Thursday, February 28, 2013

Broccoli-Cheez-It Souffle

Use your imagination when it comes to Cheez-Its!
They can be added to Mac and Cheese, chilis, used in place of breadcrumbs, or even as a crumb coating for chicken.
This is a recipe I've had for many years, and it's still a winner!
Broccoli-Cheez-It Souffle
2 pkgs. frozen chopped broccoli
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Cheez-It crackers, crushed

Cook broccoli as directed on package; drain.
Combine soup, eggs, mayonnaise, onion, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in broccoli.

Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray and add broccoli mixture.
Top with crushed Cheez-Its.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pub Grub - Onion & Ale Soup

Who doesn't love pub grub?
Pub grub can go beyond the typical wings and fries.
If I saw this on the menu - it would be the first thing I order.
Onion & Ale Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. sweet onions (about 3 medium) thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1/2 cup pale ale (I used Stella Artois)
2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cup low sodium beef broth
4 cups 1-inch cubes sourdough or cibatta bread
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled (I used Gorgonzola)
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley or chives for garnish

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a heavy duty pot over medium-high heat.
Add onions and reduce the heat to medium.
Cook, stirring occasionally until onions begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and continue to cook, scraping the bottom of the pot
frequently until the onions are well browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the ale and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until most of the ale has evaporated; about 2 minutes.
Add chicken and beef broth and simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with the remaining
2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Spread in a single layer and bake until golden, 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, push the bread cubes closely together and sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Season soup with salt and pepper and serve with croutons.
Sprinkle with parsley or chives.

~Slightly adapted from Fine Cooking


Friday, February 22, 2013

Blackened Chilean Sea Bass

My second shipment from Certified Steak & Seafood has arrived!
Now I get to try the Chilean Sea Bass!

I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with Certified Steak & Seafood Company !
 Restaurant Quality, individually portioned meat and seafood delivered right to your door!  Certified Angus Beef, Lobster and Seafood, Steak & Seafood Combos and Tasty Desserts ready for you and your next fantastic meal!

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For more information about the sponsors please visit the Certified Steak & Seafood website.

Sea Bass has a very mild, almost buttery quality.
Spice it up with some Cajun seasonings!

Blackened Chilean Sea Bass

Cajun Seasoning

2 Tbsp. Paprika
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. oregano

4 Chilean Sea Bass Fillets
4 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a small bowl mix together spices and set aside.
Place the fish in a shallow bowl and add milk to cover.
Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Heat a large cast iron frying pan over high heat for 10 minutes, or until extremely hot.
(Put your exhaust fan on Turbo or grill outside if you can).
You can put your cast iron skillet directly on the grill.

Remove fish fillets from the milk and drain off excess.
Dip fish into melted butter, and sprinkle each filet generously with the seasoning mixture.
Place the fish fillets in the hot frying pan.
Pour 1 Tbsp. of butter over each fillet.  Cook until the coating on the underside of the fillet turns black, 3 to 5 minutes.  Turn the fish over.  Pour another tablespoon of butter over the fish and cook for 2 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Find them on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest
Guests visiting their site will have a chance to win a $100 Gift Certificate!

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Sharing with:  The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck
                     Simple Living and Eating - Foodie Friday

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sweet Potato Wedges with Maple-Bacon Sour Cream

The fact that these fries are healthier is almost beside the point - these fries are great on their own, but I say let's indulge a little and add some bacon and maple-
 sour cream.
I don't think the kids will be able to resist!
3 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
3 slices bacon
2 Tbsp. canola oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Fry bacon until crisp, drain on paper towel and crumble.
Reserve bacon dripping.

Toss sweet potatoes, oil and reserved bacon drippings on a foil-lined
large baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
Roast, turning once or twice, until golden brown and crisp, 25-30 minutes.

Mix sour cream with maple syrup, top with bacon bits.
Season fries with coarse salt and serve with maple sour cream for dipping.
By all means, skip adding the bacon drippings if you like.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Vegetable Lo Mein

Chinese take-out at home.
I tried this recipe with Hoisin Sauce and Thai Chili Sauce, but the Oyster Sauce worked the best.

You probably have almost all the ingredients for this!
It goes together very quickly.  For protein add tofu, chicken or pork.
Vegetable Lo Mein

1/2 lb. Lo Mein Noodles or Linguini
Sesame oil
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce (or to taste)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, sliced
1 cup julienne carrot
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced shallot or red onion
1 cup fresh bean sprouts

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.  Toss with a small amout of sesame oil and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil and quickly saute ginger, garlic and scallions until fragrant.  Add the carrots, celery and onions and saute for about 2 minutes.  Stir in bean sprouts.

Add pasta, sauteed vegetables and stir in soy sauce and oyster sauce and mix to combine.
If you like a little spice, add some Chinese Hot Mustard or Chili Garlic Sauce.


Sharing with The Weekend Gourmet

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding...comfort in a cup.
I grew up with the boxed version cooked on the stove top.
This homemade version is just as simple to make!

Maybe you would like to share?  Or one spoon for each hand.
You will want to scrape every last bit out of the cup when you make this.
Especially the last warm bits left in the pot!

If you are serving the pudding in individual cups,
you can flavor those for grown-ups with a liqueur.
Fill half of the cups with the plain pudding, then stir in a teaspoon of
Frangelico or Godiva or even Irish Cream!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup half & half
3 large egg yolks
2 cups milk (I used 1% - that's what we drink)
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Toasted almonds, (optional)

Combine the cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Slowly whisk in the half & half, then beat in the egg yolks and whisk in the milk.
Let the mixture come to a simmer, whisking constantly.
Let the mixture simmer until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.
Add the chocolate and stir until it melts.
Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook whisking frequently, until the
pudding is fairly thick, about 2 minutes.
It will thicken more upon cooling.
Whisk in the butter and vanilla, until the butter is melted.
Transfer to a serving bowl or individual serving dishes.

Press some plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin,
unless you like the skin (I like it).
Refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours or more.

~Adapted from The Mom 100 Cookbook


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Eggs on the Rocks

Soft-boiled eggs are an old-fashioned breakfast.
When we were growing up, dad used to fix this for us when we had a cold 
or just needed something light to settle our stomachs.
He always called this "Eggs on the Rocks".

Soft-Cooked Eggs How-To

  1. To soft-cook eggs, bring a deep saucepan filled halfway with water to a rolling boil. With a slotted spoon, gently lower eggs into water. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 4 to 6 minutes (depending on how soft you like the yolks).
  2. To serve eggs in their shells, quickly crack the wider end with a knife and remove the top. To serve out of the shell, hold egg over a small bowl, tap around center with a knife, and gently pull shell apart, then scoop out egg with a spoon into the bowl.
Toast and lightly butter bread of your choice.
Cut into cubes.
Soft-boil your eggs to your liking and add to the bread cubes.
Serve hot with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chocolate Roulade #chocolateparty

We are doing Double Chocolate this month for the Chocolate Party!
I don't consider myself much of a baker.
Home made cakes were not my forte!
Someone had asked me to find a chocolate roulade recipe for them, and when I read the directions, it didn't look that complicated.

You be the judge!
This cake is very light, delicate and tender.
It's a bit fragile to roll, but the results are well worth it!
If your cake does break while you roll it, cut it into 4 strips and stack them up with whipped cream in between the layers.
For the cake:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
6 large eggs, separated
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
2 Tbsp. very strong coffee

For the filling:

1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.,with rack in center position of oven.

For the cake:  Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes to make a light syrup.  Put the egg yolks in the bowl of a mixer.  Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup over the yolks, mixing on high with the whisk.  Continue whipping the mixture for about 5 minutes, until fluffy, smooth, and pale yellow in color.

Add the melted chocolate and mix well.

Whip the egg white until they hold firm peaks.  Add about one third of the whites to the chocolate mixture and mix well with a whisk.  Add the remaining whites and fold in with a rubber spatula, mixing just enough to combine the ingredients.  Do not overmix.

Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to line a 12 x 16 baking sheet.  Butter the paper and coat with flour, shaking off any excess.  I used a non-stick spray instead and did have a little trouble with it sticking.

Spread the batter in the pan.  Bake for about 12 minutes until set and puffy.  Cool to room temperature; then cover with plastic wrap.

For the filling:  Whip the cream until it holds a soft peak.  Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the cream is firm.

To roll the cake:  Remove the plastic wrap and slide a knife all around the sides to loosen the cake.  Spread the whipped cream on the cake.

Starting from the long side, roll up the cake, with the parchment paper still on, peeling the paper off a little at a time as you roll the cake.  avoid pressing down on the cake as you roll, so that the whipped cream is not squeezed out.  Continue rolling and removing the paper, and finish with the seam underneath so that the cake looks smooth on top.

Use two large spatulas to slide the cake onto a serving platter.
Put the cocoa powder in a sieve and shake it over the cake to coat the top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with fresh raspberries or strawberries.

This month’s Chocolate Party theme is double chocolate. To join the Chocolate Party, please check out the information over at Roxana’s Home Baking.

I hope you’ll join our party and bake along with us. Also, if you’d like to know what are we up to and what ingredients we pick for the next parties, join our Facebook group.
~From Jacques Pepin


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pigs in Sleeping Bags

Are we ready for some Football?!!!
I may not get excited over the Superbowl, but the party menu for this week is a Home Run! - No wait, that's baseball.  I'm not a football fan.  
A homemade sausage mix takes the place of cocktail franks.
Pigs in Sleeping Blankets

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallot or onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. milk
3/4 cup drained sauerkraut
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. caraway seeds (I used fennel seeds), toasted, lightly crushed
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. ground pork
1 sleeve frozen Puff Pastry dough
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large egg, beaten

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
Add shallot or onion and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Let cool.
Combine panko and milk in a small bowl.  Let stand until milk is absorbed.
Squeeze any liquid from sauerkraut and coarsely chop.
Place in a medium bowl.  Add 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard and caraway seeds.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add pork, onion, garlic and panko/milk mixture.  
Mix until just combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 14 x 10" rectangle.
Cut lengthwise into 14 x 3-1/3" strips (doesn't have to be perfect).
Transfer sheets to baking sheet.
Using one-third of sausage filling and leaving a 1" border at each end,
pat sausage to form a thin log of filling down the center of each strip.

Lightly brush edges with egg and fold pastry over sausage mixture to enclose.
Press pastry together to seal.  Fold seam under to ensure that sausage is tightly wrapped.

Cut small diagonal slits at 1" intervals along top of pastries.

Brush top and sides with beaten egg; chill in freezer 30 minutes.
Do Ahead:
Pastries can be made 2 weeks ahead.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil and keep frozen.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake pastries (if frozen, no need to thaw) until puffed and light brown.
About 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.  Continue baking until sausage is cooked through
and pastry is golden and puffed, about 20 minutes.

Cut sausage rolls into 1" pieces.
Serve with Dijon mustard for dipping.
~Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

Artisan Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread

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