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Monday, February 25, 2013

Dirty Rice Burritos

Here is something that I must admit...I haven't tried yet...but seeing the recipe on the back of a box of Zatarain's New Orleans Style Dirty Rice.(Shameless unpaid plug!)..gave me pause for a moment... I said to myself...Why not share this with my readers?? And why not?  It looks good.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound fresh chorizo or spicy pork sausage
2 1/2 cups water
1 package ZATARAIN'S® Dirty Rice Mix, Original
6 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
12 flour tortillas (8-inch)
1 1/2 cups salsa
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook chorizo in large skillet on medium-high heat until lightly browned. Drain fat; set aside. Add water to same skillet; bring to boil. Stir in Rice Mix and chorizo; return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat eggs in large bowl. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add eggs; cook and stir until firm. Add to rice mixture; mix lightly to combine.

3. Spoon rice and egg mixture into each warmed flour tortilla. Top each with salsa, sour cream, cheese and cilantro. Fold into burritos to serve.

Makes 12 servings.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cherries Jubilee

I've been curious about this dessert ever since I first saw it served to someone on Televison...and since I'm eating it as I write this...Here is the recipe for it..


It only takes about ahhh 15 minutes to prepare...

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans whole Bing cherries in juice, drained and juice reserved
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup kirsch or cognac, warmed
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream (Haagen Das if you can afford it!)
DIRECTIONS:

 In a small dish, combine a little cherry juice with sugar and cornstarch. In a skillet, heat juice from cherries over moderate heat. Add cornstarch mixture. When juice thickens, add cherries to warm through. Pour in warmed liqueur, then flame the pan to burn off alcohol. Remove cherries from heat. Scoop vanilla ice cream into large cocktail glasses or dessert dishes and spoon cherries down over ice cream.

See, I told you it was simple...Enjoy!   Eat well my friends!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spaghetti Carbonara

It's Monday and that means it's time to make a pasta dish for dinner!  Actually, I'll use any excuse to make a pasta dish at anytime...My love for pasta and Spaghetti in particular is legendary!

Today I'm talking Spaghetti Carbonara..Carbonara is the sauce... A carbonara sauce is typically made with just Italian bacon, eggs, cheese, and black pepper. A little half-and-half creamer creates an even silkier texture.


INGREDIENTS: 

 


  • 1 pound(s) spaghetti
  • 8 ounce(s) (8 slices) bacon, cut 1-inch-thick crosswise
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup(s) half-and-half
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta). In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  2. Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.
Serve with a white zifandel-






Enjoy Life, Enjoy Food!!    Eat Well My Friends!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Turkey Sweet Potato Casserole



Before you say ewww or before you say you will never or rather you would never eat this..I ask you to have an open mind a minute....

All your Thanksgiving favorites are combined in this savory casserole that's so easy to make, you can enjoy it any time.  Just think about it....

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cup(s) cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon(s) packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup(s) evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup(s) Swanson® Chicken Stock
  • 1 small (about 1/4 cup) onion, minced
  • 1 can(s) (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
  • 1 can(s) (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
  • 3 cup(s) cubed cooked turkey
  • 3 tablespoon(s) water
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Stir the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk in a medium bowl. Spoon the sweet potato mixture around the inside edge of a 10-inch round casserole, forming a ring.
  2. Heat the stock, onion, and water chestnuts in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the soup, turkey, and water. Cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Spoon the turkey mixture into the center of the sweet potato ring.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the turkey mixture is hot and bubbling. 
TIPS & (Don't Sweat the) TECHNIQUE-

  You can substitute chicken for the turkey and chopped walnuts for the water chestnuts (if using walnuts, sprinkle them onto the finished dish).Just thought you'd like to know that!


Enjoy!  Eat well my friends (With an open mind!!!)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Beer Braised Beef Stew

Perfect meal for a Sunday Afternoon as you hunker down and catch a good Basketball game.....If you pair this beef stew with a dark beer, you will have the perfect meal for a Sunday afternoon or a Saturday afternoon for that matter.

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1 (4-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 pound(s) carrots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) water
  • 1 bottle(s) (12-ounce) dark beer (such as a brown ale)
  • 1/3 cup(s) white (distilled) vinegar
  • 1/2 cup(s) ketchup
  • 1/3 cup(s) golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoon(s) brown sugar
  • Green beans, for serving (if desired

DIRECTIONS:


  1. Rub one beef chuck roast with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In 12-inch skillet, heat vegetable oil on medium-high until very hot. Brown roast on all sides. Transfer to 6- to 7-quart slow cooker bowl.
  2. To skillet, add onions, carrots, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook on medium-high 2 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring. Add beer and vinegar. Simmer 4 minutes, stirring. Transfer vegetables and liquids to slow cooker bowl along with ketchup, raisins, and brown sugar.
  3. Cover; cook 10 hours on Low or until tender.
  4. Skim and discard fat from cooking liquid. Slice meat; serve with vegetables and green beans, if desired. Drizzle with cooking liquid.
Of course you know, you have to have a nice micro brew with this to top it off don't you?

Enjoy!  Eat and Drink Well My Friends!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Southwestern Steak & Grits

I knew I had written a post on Shrimp and Grits.... Everybody loves Shrimp and Grits...But I can't eat seafood...What I can I enjoy with Grits that's just as good?...Answer Steak and Grits!

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 cup quick grits
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 can Regular Rotel (tomatoes & chilies), DRAINED
  • 2 ounces chopped green chilies (1/2 of one of those small cans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS:

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan or, even better, an oven-proof pot, like LeCreuset. Add the salt, then stir in the grits and continue to stir until the water comes back up to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. 

After 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the two cheeses, Rotel (drained, unless you want to burn your taste buds off), chilis, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Stir until all cheese is melted and well incorporated. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Transfer pot to oven (or pour grits into a casserole-type baking dish) and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes.

Let the grits cool for about 10 minutes prior to serving. The top layer will firm up a bit, and, when stirred into the pot, makes for great texture.
For the steak:
  • 16 ounce steak of your choice (we love flatiron – see below)
  • Olive oil
  • Dry rub of your choice (I swear by Dizzy Pig Cowlick)
In a 1-gallon Ziplock bag, pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of your steak rub, mix together well, then drop your steak in the bag. Get as much air out of the bag as possible and make sure the steak is well coated in the olive oil + rub mixture. Marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
Remove your steak from the fridge at least an hour before you plan to cook it. Load your grill up with charcoal and get it as hot as possible.



With the Egg, we go for about 800 degrees. :-0

Incidentally, for a steak that is at least 1.5 inches thick, I swear by the TRex Method. You can read TRex’s novella at the previous link, or you can just remember: hot sear, 20 minute rest off the heat, roast at lower temperature until done.

So I started by searing our flat iron steak (our favorite “budget cut” – the 2nd most tender cut after the tenderloin, but with a rich flavor closer to that of a ribeye, and for a fraction of the price) for about 90 seconds a side.

Normally you would rest a steak off the heat for 20 minutes, then roast it until done at around 400 degrees. But I was racing against the sunset for photo lighting last night, so we rested the steak for only about 5 minutes, then finished it off at around 500 degrees for about 4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature read 135 degrees.

Prior to slicing your steak, always let it rest (again) for at least 5 minutes; during this time the juices, which had been driven to the meat’s surface by the high grilling temperatures, will redistribute themselves into the interior of the meat, leaving you with a much juicier steak. If you slice into a steak too soon, most of the juices will be sitting in a pool on your plate, instead of moistening and adding flavor to each slice.



In conclusion, Let’s be honest, you just can’t go wrong with steak, right? But having said that, I thought the grits were – without question – the star of this duet. The addition of cream cheese was brilliant, as it brought the creaminess to a level of perfection without having to add bags and bags of grated cheese. And the Rotel adds just the right southwestern kick without stealing the entire show.

If you’re feeling spicy and have a hankering for comfort food, this dish is sure to satisfy.

Enjoy! Eat well my friends!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meatball Parmigiana Sliders





Me again?  Yeah..I'm not waiting a week again before I post...Here is a real show stopper and sure to be a party favorite..Meatball Parmigiana Sliders..

I got this from Martha Stewart's living ..Meatballs coated in marinara sauce, smothered with cheese, and sandwiched in brioche rolls are a party-perfect nibble. For tender meatballs, combine the ingredients gently and don't pack the meat too tightly.

INGREDIENTS:

        slice(s) white or sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup(s) whole milk
  • 8 ounce(s) ground beef (85 percent lean)
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  • 8 ounce(s) ground pork
  • 4 ounce(s) ground veal
  • 1 cup(s) (1 ounce) finely grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoon(s) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
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  • Coarse salt
  • marinara sauce
  • 24 brioche rolls, split
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  • 1 1/2 cup(s) (5 ounces) coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1 ounce) finely grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, for sliders
  • Small basil leaves

  • DIRECTIONS:

    1. Make the meatballs: Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. Gently mix bread and milk with meats, 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, parsley, garlic, egg, and 1 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
    2. Roll mixture into 24 one-ounce balls (each about the size of a golf ball).
    3. Heat sauce in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Drop meatballs into sauce, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
    4. Make the sandwiches: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Working in batches, arrange rolls, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Place 1 meatball, a spoonful of sauce, 1 tablespoon mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon pecorino Romano on bottom halves. Bake until cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Top with basil and close sandwich.

      I'm telling you....Nobody will have thought of this before you...Except me of course...Heh Heh!
    Enjoy!   Eat well my friends!

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Maple Cinnamon Applesauce

    Hello folks...It's been a week since I posted anything....That's because I was looking for something kind of unique...

    This wasn't it...but I thought perhaps I should post something anyway...Just for the sake of posting...So I come to Maple Cinnamon Applesauce...Not too complex....

    Turn fresh fall apples into delicious maple-and-cinnamon-spiked homemade applesauce with this easy recipe..Check it out-

    INGREDIENTS:
    • 6 McIntosh or other tart apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 Golden Delicious or other sweet apple, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1/4 cup(s) water
    • 2 tablespoon(s) pure maple syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
    DIRECTIONS:

     Combine apple pieces and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the apples are very soft and falling apart, about 30 minutes. Mash the apples to the desired consistency and stir in maple syrup and cinnamon.

    Carb Servings: 1 fruit. Carbohydrate Servings: 1.


    There...doesn't get any simpler than that!  Enjoy!


    Food Safety Tips
    Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


    1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

    Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

    2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

    Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

    3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

    Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

    4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

    One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

    * Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

    * Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

    * Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

    Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

    5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

    Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

    6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

    Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

    7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

    You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

    8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

    The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

    9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

    10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

    You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






    Cavier & Vodka
    Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household