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Friday, June 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler



Doesn't that look good?  Yessss, Yesss...Nothing says Summertime like a great dessert..And that dessert being a nice piping hot Peach Cobbler!!!

Check it out!

INGREDIENTS:
4
cups fresh or frozen sliced peeled peaches

1/4
cup sugar
1
cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2
cup sugar
1
cup milk
Ice cream or whipped cream
DIRECTIONS:

Spray 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

In large bowl, gently toss peaches and 1/4 cup of the sugar.

Turn into slow cooker.

In medium bowl, gently beat Bisquick mix, sugar and milk with whisk until blended. Pour over peaches in slow cooker.
 
Cover; cook on low heat setting 3 hours or until cobbler is set in center.
 
Serve cobbler with ice cream.
 
 
Don't sweat the Tips &; Techniques

More or less sugar can be used in this cobbler depending on the sweetness of the peaches.

To prevent the sides of the cobbler from burning, line the slow cooker with cooking parchment paper.

A glass of Milk is the suggested beverage to have with this-



Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grilled Root Beer Ribs

Look...when I read about this in Food and Wine...I thought it sounded so bizzare and totally off the heezy that it actually got my attention and I said...Hmmmmm, maybe I ought to look into this.

Inspired by the Southern practice of cooking meat with Coca-Cola, Zak Pelaccio marinates racks of spare ribs in a mixture of root beer, fish sauce, and garlic, then roasts and grills them until tender and charred. "On the Island, we use local root beer from St. John Brewers, which is very sweet — the sweeter the better," he says. 

So check out this recipe-

INGREDIENTS: 


  • bottle(s) (12 ounces) root beer
  • 1 cup(s) Asian fish sauce
  • 1 head(s) garlic, cloves crushed
  • 1/4 cup(s) black peppercorns, cracked
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 16 cup(s) ice
  • 2 rack(s) (large) pork spare ribs (about 5 pounds each)
  • 1 bean vanilla, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoon(s) finely ground long pepper (see Note) or black pepper
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh lime juice plus lime wedges, for serving
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 bottles of the root beer to a boil with the fish sauce, garlic, cracked black peppercorns, and shallots. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 25 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large roasting pan and add the ice. Add the rib racks, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the marinade and scrape off most of the solids. Transfer the ribs to a large rimmed baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for about 2 hours, until the meat is very tender but not falling off the bones.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 bottles of root beer with the vanilla bean and seeds and long pepper and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 25 minutes. Add the lime juice and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean.
  4. Light a grill. Grill the ribs over high heat until richly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the racks to a carving board and cut in between the ribs. Serve the ribs with lime wedges, passing the root beer sauce at the table.
Don't Sweat the TIPS & TECHNIQUES:

 Long pepper, a fragrant relative of black pepper from Indonesia, can be found at specialty food stores and online at salt traders.com.

Enjoy!  Eat well my friends....Have  a Coke with this-

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Breakfast Bread Pudding with Peaches and Vanilla-Buttermilk Syrup



Ummmmmm This looks sooo good... Too good for me to even contemplate eating...but this looks like something I'd have to sneak and have...

This very well could be a new brunch favorite! Instead of the usual French toast or pancakes,You should  try this bread pudding with fresh peaches to start your day. For ease in the morning, prepare peach sauce, custard, and assembly the night before.
Yeah, knowing me...I'd have to.

Check out the recipe..

INGREDIENTS:

Peach Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 6 large ripe yellow peaches, halved, pitted, and coarsely chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Custard:
  • 1 loaf(s) (1-pound) challah or brioche
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) milk
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 teaspoon(s) nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoon(s) sugar
Vanilla-Buttermilk Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup(s) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) sugar, combined with above
  • 1 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
DIRECTIONS:

  1. To make peach sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in vanilla bean and lemon juice. Add peaches and simmer gently until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove vanilla, then use a slotted spoon to transfer half of peach mixture to bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 to 5 times, until mixture is a chunky sauce; set aside for assembly. Reserve the rest of peaches and their juices in a dish, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast bread slices in a single layer on a rimmed sheet tray until just golden and dried out, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip slices and toast 5 to 7 minutes more.
  3. To make custard: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep 20 minutes. Remove vanilla.
  4. Whisk eggs and yolks in a medium bowl, then whisk into steeped milk-cream mixture.
  5. To assemble: Grease a deep pie dish. Arrange 3 to 4 pieces of bread on bottom of dish, spread 1/2 cup peach sauce on bread layer, and repeat with remaining bread slices and peach sauce, ending with bread slices.
  6. Slowly pour custard into dish, gently pressing down on bread as needed so it absorbs custard (pudding may need to sit a few minutes before adding more custard). Discard any leftover custard. Cover and let sit at least 40 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle top of pudding with 2 tablespoons sugar and garnish with a few gratings of nutmeg. Bake until golden, puffed, and set, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let sit 20 minutes.
  8. To make vanilla-buttermilk syrup: In a medium saucepan, cook cream, buttermilk, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat, stirring, until sugar melts. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda, vanilla bean, and salt; mixture will foam and froth. Let sit 2 minutes.
  9. Serve pudding immediately with reserved peaches and vanilla-buttermilk syrup.
Have a nice hot tumbler of coffee with this-



Enjoy! Eat Well My Friends!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach, Ricotta, and Fontina

I'm devoting a little more time to this blog...I've got Keith's Space and Escapades pretty much squared away..... Today no shameless plugs...Just a straight up good recipe for you...Baked Rigatoni with Spinach, Ricotta and Fontina.

I got this out of Food & Wine , which is becoming my favorite on-line reading material...Next to my blogs of course...This is a quick take on spinach and ricotta cannelloni, this baked pasta is fast because there's nothing to stuff. The filling is simply tossed with cooked rigatoni that's then topped with fontina and baked to a golden brown.

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1 pound(s) rigatoni
  • 3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 cup(s) (about 1 pound) ricotta
  • 5 tablespoon(s) grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
  • 6 ounce(s) fontina, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni until almost done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Put the pasta in the prepared baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  3. Meanwhile, squeeze as much of the water as possible from the spinach. Put the spinach in a food processor and puree with the ricotta, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in half the fontina.
  4. Stir the spinach mixture into the pasta. Top with the remaining fontina and Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the top. Bake the pasta until the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Variation: You can substitute another chunky pasta, such as penne rigate, penne, ziti or fusilli. Boil all of these one or two minutes less.
  6. Wine Recommendation: A delicately flavored white such as Orvieto will complement the mild ricotta nicely. And, because Orvieto is not oaky, the wine has no bitter tannin to clash with the slightly bitter spinach and nutmeg.
Serve with a nice red wine...






and afterwords...chill with that special someone-





Enjoy!  Eat and Love Well My Friends!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Omelet Española Squares

Detective Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace, the new wife of Assistant District Attorney Keith Wallace, charactors of my blog, Escapades (In what is yet another shameless plug for this blog's sister blog) shared this recipe with me...

"This potato omelet -- called a tortilla in Spain -- is a variation of one of the classic tapas (hors d'oeuvres) served there. The squares are best made a few hours ahead and served at room temperature." she said.



INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 pound(s) (about 2 large) all-purpose potatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 can(s) (14 1/2-ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped pimiento-stuffed olives (salad olives)
  • Fresh chives for garnish
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In nonstick 10-inch skillet with oven-safe handle (or cover handle with heavy-duty foil for baking in oven later) heat olive oil over medium heat; add potatoes, onion, green pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In medium bowl, with wire whisk or fork, beat eggs with pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water. Stir in tomatoes and olives. Stir egg mixture into potato mixture in skillet and cook, covered, 5 minutes or until egg mixture begins to set around edge. Remove cover and place skillet in oven; bake 15 to 20 minutes, until omelet is set.
  3. Carefully invert omelet onto large, flat plate. Let cool before cutting into 1-inch squares. Garnish with chives.
Carlotta said that you should have a big glass of orange juice with this..and to enjoy it and to eat well....(She and Keith Wallace return from their honeymoon next week!)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sugar-and-Spice Skillet-Roasted Duck Breasts

Yes...The title is correct...I didn't make this up!!....Inspired by tagine blends from Morocco, New Orleans chef John Besh of Restaurant August created a flavoring mix of cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, and sugar to sprinkle on the duck breasts. The spices provide terrific aromas, while the sugar gives the meat a burnished crust in under 10 minutes of cooking.

Once again we are in New Orleans...My favorite U.S. city that I have never set foot in!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 whole(s) star anise pods
  • 1 teaspoon(s) black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoon(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cardamom
  • 6 (6-ounce ) boneless Pekin duck breasts, skin lightly scored in a crosshatch pattern
  • Salt
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a spice grinder, grind the star anise pods and black peppercorns to a powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl and stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet. Season the duck breasts with salt and generously sprinkle them with the spice mixture. Add the duck breasts to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderate heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the duck breasts for about 5 minutes, until they are medium-rare. Transfer the duck breasts to a carving board and let rest for about 5 minutes. Thickly slice the duck, arrange the slices on plates, and serve.
Serve with a nice Red wine....(rare that I would suggest that for Breakfast)



Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers

My main man, Reed Nelson...The Trumpet player from my other blog, Escapades (Shameless plug for other blog) recent played in New Orleans...While he was there he had Red Beans with Pickled Peppers and he raved about it..

He shared this recipe with me and so I decided to share it with you guys... He happened to tell his good friend, Mabel Jenkins Moore, who owns the soul food joint, frequented by so many of the charactors in my story about it and she fixed it for him, her husband, 88 and the rest of the band...

So we thank Mabel and Reed for this recipe...

In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. Grace Parisi likes making the recipe any day of the week, and she replaces the ham with smoky bacon.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ounce(s) thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inner celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 pickled jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup(s) Peppadew peppers, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 30 ounce(s) (two cans) red kidney beans
  • 1 cup(s) low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Steamed white rice, for serving
DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic, pickled jalapeño, and 1/4 cup of Peppadews and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the beans with their liquid and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, 8 minutes. Season the beans with salt and pepper.
  2. Ladle the beans into bowls and top with a mound of rice. Garnish with more Peppadews and serve right away.
Enjoy! Eat Well my friends...Thanks Reed, Thanks Mabel!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Grilled-Fruit Bruschetta with Honey Mascarpone

Well it's June....and I'm back....I neglect this blog so much....But I'm back with a new recipe for the season...
Grilled Fruit Bruschetta with Honey Mascarpone.

I borrowed this recipe from FOOD & WINE..This knife-and-fork dessert is a fantastic showcase for seasonal fruit at its peak; caramelizing the fruit on the grill intensifies its flavor. The grilled bread served alongside soaks up the sweet juices.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried lavender buds
  • 4 large apricots, halved and pitted
  • 4 nectarines, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 pound(s) sweet cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup(s) mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoon(s) honey
  • 8 slice(s) (1-inch-thick) peasant bread
  • 8 rosemary skewers, most of the leaves stripped off


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Put the sugar and lavender in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. In a large bowl, combine the lavender sugar with the apricots, nectarines, cherries, lemon juice, orange zest, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss well and season lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir the mascarpone with the honey, and season with pepper. Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil.
  3. Light a grill. Thread the fruit onto the rosemary skewers; reserve any juices in the bowl. Grill the bread over high heat until lightly charred and crisp, about 30 seconds per side. Grill the fruit skewers over moderate heat, basting a few times with the reserved juices, until lightly charred and just tender, about 4 minutes per side.
  4. Spread the honey mascarpone on the grilled bread and halve each slice. Transfer to a platter. Slide the fruit off the skewers onto the bread, drizzle some of the juices over the fruit, and serve.
ENJOY!  Eat Well My Friends!


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