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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

2 Salsa Recipes For The Summer




How about a vegetable salad tonight with a little salsa?


See,Having a jar of salsa in your pantry is great when you want to break out the bag of tortilla chips, but you can also use salsa to add flavor to dinners when you don't have fresh veggies on hand.


Cucumber and Tomato Salad( See Photo Above)


(Okay, or maybe when you don't want to spend the time chopping up those veggies...Like lazy me!) Combine with ground beef and a few seasonings to make a meatloaf, throw a quarter cup into an omelet, dump a jar of salsa verde into a slow cooker with some chicken breasts to come back to a warm, spicy pulled chicken, or dollop onto a piece of white fish...I don't eat fish..but some of you do...I'm just saying..


Mexican Chicken-



If you're looking to make a meal infused with flavor that everyone will love, look no further! Forget slaving over the stove and get a perfectly flavored chicken with this two-ingredient, no-fuss recipe! The prep is simple— toss your favorite salsa (we suggest one without any added sugars or artificial ingredients) and chicken breasts into the slow cooker and allow it to cook for about 4 hours. Voila! You've got yourself a meal packed with protein and juiciness.


INGREDIENTS:


1.Shredded Chicken


2.Salsa-(Homemade or Store Bought if you're really lazy.)


DIRECTIONS:


To make this salsa chicken, just pop some raw chicken in a slow cooker.  (I didn’t want to mess with bones, so went with chicken breasts for easy shredding.)  Then cover it with lots of your favorite salsa.  


Season it with some extra salt and pepper, give it a stir, and then let your slow cooker do its thing.


After about 4 hours (or all day long while you’re at work), pop off that lid, and the chicken should fall apart into shredded, juicy, salsa-y perfection.


The key is just to use really good salsa, since the seasonings in the salsa are obviously what will flavor the chicken.  Remember, too, that the chicken will release plenty of its own juices during cooking.  So don’t be afraid to use some salsa with an extra “kick”, since the intensity of its flavor will get watered down slightly while cooking.  I also recommend seasoning the meat with extra salt and pepper before cooking.  (And if you like heat, feel free to throw in an extra jalapeno too.)
I mean seriously.  Shredded Mexi chicken could not get any easier.  You’ve gotta try it.


Can't get any easier than that...Enjoy!   Eat Well My Friends

Friday, June 17, 2016

Chili Con Carne with Beef, Chorizo and Chipotle

Hey Guys ( and Gals) What's more comforting than a nice big bowl of chili con carne? This recipe combines ground beef with diced chorizo for even more meaty madness, and best of all, it cooks up perfectly in your slow cooker!

I'm into the comfort food, baby!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium chorizo sausages, skin off and diced roughly
  • 600-700 grams grass fed ground beef/mince
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 chipotle chilli peppers (dried or tinned), diced
  • 1 teaspoon seasalt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ cup diced tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • Garnish: greek or coconut yoghurt, fresh coriander, spring onion
DIRECTIONS:
Slow cooker method
  1. Cook onion in olive or coconut oil over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. This can be done in a frying pan or directly in a slow cooker dish if it's heat-proof. Then add the diced chorizo, stir and cook for a further 2 minutes, until slightly browned.
  2. Now add the beef and break it apart while stirring with the onion and chorizo. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic and spices and stir together for a minute to release the aromas.
  3. Finally, add the tomatoes and vinegar, bring to simmer and transfer to a slow cooker (unless already in the slow cooker dish, then simply place the vessel back onto the heat element).
  4. Cook covered for 2-3 hours on HIGH, 4-5 hours on MEDIUM, 6-7 hours on LOW.
Stove top method
  1. Repeat the same steps as above but cook everything in a large pot or a deep frying pan with a lid. Once all ingredients are added and brought to simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring a few times.
Oven method
  1. Repeat the same steps as above and once all ingredients are added and brought to simmer, transfer the mix to an oven-proof casserole dish or a Dutch oven, cover with foil and cook in a 200C/395F oven for 30-45 minutes. Stir half way.
Huh? What do you think? Enjoy! Eat well My Friends!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bacon Bourbon Meatballs


It's summer and it's time for barbecuing...Here is something interesting and new that will definitely be a party favorite. These meatballs...These Meatballs..They’re made with….wait for it… Wait for it…. Bacon! Whoaaaaa bundy!! BACONNNN!


 Mind blown right? That’s right. Bacon. Bourbon. Meatballs. Periods added for extra emphasis not really required in the title. But have you ever had a bacon meatball? If you have then you’re way cooler than me because these were a first for me.First time I ever heard of it!


INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 bacon strips
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon





  • DIRECTIONS:
    1. Place the uncooked bacon into a food processor and process for about 1 minute or until bacon is finely ground up. Add in the onion and process until onion is finely chopped and mixed in.
    2. Spoon bacon and onion mixture into large bowl. Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
    3. Scoop out the meat mixture and roll into balls using your palms, should make about 24 1 inch meatballs.
    4. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Place the meatballs into the sauce pan and cook, turning every couple minutes to ensure all sides cook evenly. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until fully cooked.
    5. Remove the meatballs and set aside. Remove the pan from the heat and pour out the excess grease.
    6. Add the barbecue sauce, water and bourbon to the saucepan and return to heat. Stir to mix the sauce together. Add in the meatballs and allow them to simmer in the sauce for at least 10 minu
    Huh? Whattt? Try these...You'll love em and everybody at your cookout will be talking about you!


    Enjoy!!! Eat Well My Friends!

    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    Coconut Pie

    Noooooooooooooo, I've never heard of it either until today...but it's the type of exotic recipe that was tailor made for this blog...

    Check it out-

    INGREDIENTS-
    • 8 graham crackers (one sleeve)
    • 1/4 cup pecans
    • 4 tablespoons melted butter
    • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
    • 15 ounces can sweetened cream of coconut
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon cold butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon icing (powdered) sugar
    DIRECTIONS-

    1. Start by making a graham cracker crust: Crush the graham crackers and pecans in a food processor (or by hand in a baggie with a rolling pin). Stir in melted butter, press into a pie tin, and bake at 350° F for 10 minutes. Then leave the crust to cool.
    2. To make the coconut custard, start by heating milk and cream of coconut in a saucepan until scalding.
    3. In a bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until pale yellow.
    4. Carefully temper the yolk mixture by whisking in 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture. Then, slowly add the remaining milk, whisking continuously until fully combined.
    5. Pour the custard base back into the saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk continuously until the custard boils and thickens. Then remove from the heat.
    6. Whisk in the cold butter and vanilla extract. Leave custard to cool to room temperature.
    7. Pour the cooled custard into the cooled crust and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours.
    8. Toast coconut flakes in a pan over low heat until the edges are golden. Let cool.
    9. Whip cream with icing sugar until it is thick and spreadable.
    10. Top the coconut pie with whipped cream and sprinkle on coconut flakes. Slice and serve!
    Chase it down with Cold Milk!

    Enjoy...Eat well My Friends!

    Tuesday, June 7, 2016

    Pizza Made at Home


    Hey Guys, After a long day at work, it's tempting to stop and pick up dinner from a favorite takeout joint instead of making a meal at home. It's not just a busy schedule that makes this option so enticing; a lot of takeout foods are simply delicious. But eating takeout all the time quickly becomes expensive. Fortunately, many of the best takeout meals can be made quickly and cheaply at home...Like Pizza

    For your information...Pizza can be as simple as topping a few bagels or bread with tomato sauce and some shredded cheese, and baking in the oven (or toaster oven) for 7 to 8 minutes. Add fresh veggies sitting in the fridge as toppings. Making homemade pizza dough is similarly easy, although it can add considerable preparation time.

    Check it out-

    INGREDIENTS:
    • Pizza Dough:
    • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup store-bought or homemade pizza sauce, recipe follows:
    • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
    • 1 cup pepperoni pieces
    • Four Cheese Pizza:
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • One 3.5-ounce jar pesto
    • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
    • 4 ounces fontina, grated
    • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
    • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    • Tomato Basil Salad:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
    • 1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 16 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade, plus more if needed
    • Salt and pepper
    • Pizza Sauce:
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • Three 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
    • Salt and pepper
    • Pinch sugar
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
    DIRECTIONS:


    • For the pizza dough: Sprinkle the active dry yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm--not lukewarm--water.
    • In a mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil and mix until combined. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix until combined.
    • Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil and tip the dough in. Form a ball and toss to coat the dough ball in the olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 or 4 days refrigerated.
    • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
    • To prepare the dough for the pizza assembly: Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll out one part as thinly as possible and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
    • For the basic pepperoni pizza: Spread the sauce over the pizza base. Top with the sliced mozzarella and pepperoni.
    • For the four cheese pizza: Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Pour the jar of pesto onto the dough and spread evenly. Add the mozzarella, fontina, goat cheese and Pecorino Romano.
    • Bake both pizzas until the crusts are golden and the cheese is bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes.
    • For the tomato basil salad: While the pizzas are baking, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. Add the garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute and removing it from the heat before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden). Pour it into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly. Add the tomatoes, balsamic, basil and some salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, and then taste and add more basil if needed, and more salt if needed. Set aside.
    • Top the four cheese pizza with the tomato basil salad. Cut the pizzas into slices and serve.
    Pizza Sauce:
    • Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a hot pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the garlic and chopped onions and give them a stir. Cook until the onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, whisking to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid reduces by half. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar. Add the dried oregano and basil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

    Monday, June 6, 2016

    Cuban Style Braised Steak And Peppers

    I'm backkkkkkkkkkk!  And I'm back with a very exotic and well tasting dish...

    Try this recipe folks...Get the deliciously tender meat you can only get from a long braise with minimal effort by using a slow cooker.



    Ingredients-

    • ½ c. dry white wine
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1½ tsp. dried oregano
    • kosher salt
    • Pepper
    • 1 can diced tomatoes
    • 1 medium onion
    • 2 red peppers
    • 2 clove garlic
    • 1 tbsp. capers
    • 1 lb. flank steak
    • 1 c. long-grain white rice
    • ¼ c. pimiento-stuffed olives
    • 1 tbsp. Olive brine
    • chopped fresh cilantro

    Directions-

    1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the wine, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
    2. Stir in the tomatoes (and their juices), onion, peppers, garlic, and capers. Nestle the steak among the vegetables and cook until the steak is cooked through and shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
    3. Twenty minutes before the beef is done, cook the rice according to package directions.
    4. Using two forks, shred the beef. Fold the olives and brine into the beef mixture and serve over the rice. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

      (Don't Sweat the)Techniques-


    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