Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ham and Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Happy New Year one and all! We traditionally have ham for New Year Day dinner, but this year, we are having it on the eve. I am being lazy and picking up a Honey Baked Ham, but I am pairing it with some cheddar cheese biscuits I have been baking since the early nineties. Give the a try, I think you will like them. I wish you a happy, healthful, prosperous new year filled with love!

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (about) cold buttermilk
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp milk (glaze)
  • Poppy seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in processor and blend.
  3. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until fine meal forms.
  4. Transfer to large bowl.
  5. Mix in cheese.
  6. Mix enough buttermilk into flour mixture to bind dough.
  7. Turn out onto floured surface and knead gently until combined, about 10 turns.
  8. Pat out dough to 3/4-inch thickness.
  9. Using 3-inch-diameter cookie cutter, cut out biscuits.
  10. Gather scraps, pat out to 3/4-inch thickness and cut additional biscuits.
  11. Transfer biscuits to ungreased cookie sheet.
  12. Brush biscuits with egg glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  13. Bake until golden brown and firm to touch, about 18 minutes.
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Blackened Chicken Alfredo

BlackenedChickenAlfredo

This is a recipe adapted from Guy Fieri’s dish that won the second Food Network Star. I do not normally like cream sauces, but I love this one. I also made panzanella to go with it. Yum!

Blackened Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Rendezvous Rib Rub
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cooked fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Dredge the chicken breasts in the rib rub.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over very high heat.
  4. Carefully place chicken in skillet.
  5. Blacken both sides of the chicken.
  6. Place in the oven until cooked, about 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions and place in a large bowl.
  8. Once chicken is done, slice in strips on the bias and cover to keep warm.
  9. In a saute pan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
  10. Add garlic and lightly caramelize.
  11. Add the sun dried tomatoes.
  12. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
  13. Add the heavy cream, increase the heat to a simmer, and reduce the cream sauce by half.
  14. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, pepper, and chicken slices.
  15. Pour over pasta in bowl and toss.
  16. Divide among plates.
  17. Garnish with scallions and more Parmesan.

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Carnitas Burritos with Pineapple Salsa

A couple of months ago, we made some Slow Cooker Carnitas. There was some left, so it went into the freezer for a later use. The time to use it is now. I thawed the meat and wrapped it up with some shredded pepper jack cheese into a burrito. I heated it up in a 350 degree oven. Serve this with some lettuce, tomato, and fresh salsa. Try the pineapple salsa below, it compliments the pork very well. Or, top the burrito with all your favorites. Maybe there is some green chili hiding in your freeze somewhere.

Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 jalapeno chile, tiny dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

Instructions:

  1. For chunky salsa: combine all ingredients in bowl.
  2. For a smoother consistency, use food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse until desired consistency.
  4. Can be made up to a day ahead, but let sit at least an hour.

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Chicken Souvlaki Sandwiches with Tzatziki Sauce

ChickenSouvlaki

I love greek fast food! I especially love grilled meats covered with tzatiki sauce. Here is something easy. Marinate some cubes of chicken in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano. Add to a skewer alternating between chicken and some chunks of onion, yellow or red. Grill until done and remove from skewers. Squeeze some more lemon juice on top and wrap in warm pita bread. Top with the tzatziki sauce below and enjoy! By the way, it is 20 degrees outside today, but I still fired up the gas grill.

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup seeded, shredded cucumber
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper, taste

Instructions:

  1. Toss the shredded cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Allow to sit at least 5 minutes wrapped in a paper towel.
  3. Get a medium bowl or small food processor.
  4. Mix the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil.
  5. Season with garlic, fresh dill, and oregano.
  6. Squeeze the cucumber to remove any excess water.
  7. Stir into sauce.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Salisbury Steak

Salisbury steaks are a wonderful comfort meal in our family. We usually have them with some form of potato, peas, and gravy of course. I also usually caramelize some onions in the pan drippings as well. When making Salisbury steaks, you want them to hold together, but not have a meatloaf texture. However, starting with a modified panade does the trick of holding them together but retaining a more hamburger like texture.

Salisbury Steak

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 Tbsp instant potato flakes
  • 1 1/4 pound 93 percent lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin

Instructions:

  1. Whisk milk, potato flakes, salt and pepper in large bowl.
  2. Add beef and knead until combined.
  3. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick oval patties and transfer to parchment-lined plate.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  5. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Cook patties until well browned, about 5 minutes per side.
  7. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  8. Transfer patties to oven safe serving platter.
  9. Heat in oven while cooking onions.
  10. Add onion and remaining butter to empty skillet and cook.
  11. Cook until onion is softened and brown, about 10 minutes.
  12. Serve on top of patties.
  13. Top with brown gravy.

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Teriyaki Chicken and Asian Vegetable Saute

teriyakichix

These recipes are from two of my favorite Food Network stars that could not be more different, Alton Brown and Guy Fieri. Wow, two ends of the spectrum that both produce tasty food. And yet, they both ham it up. I learn a lot about the history and science behind my favorite foods from the quirky instructive Alton Brown. Guy explodes off the screen with his personality and his in your face preparation and flavors. Below is a recipe adapted from Guy’s Teriyaki sauce. Put a ¼ cup in a freezer bag with some chicken and marinate overnight and grill it.Alton’s Asian Vegetable Saute goes perfect with the teriyaki chicken. Enjoy these dishes from two of The Food Network’s best!

Asian Vegetable Saute

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 8 ounces carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 4 ounces savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 3/4 ounce chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Heat sesame oil in skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, carrots, salt and pepper and saute for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar snap peas and continue to saute for 1 minute.
  4. Add the savoy cabbage and green onions and saute for an additional minute.
  5. Remove from heat, add the rice wine vinegar and stir to combine.
  6. Scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan.
  7. Sprinkle with cilantro and toss to combine.
  8. Serve immediately.

Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, heat the oil until shimmering.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, and chili flakes.
  3. Stir constantly for one minute.
  4. Add the green onions and mirin.
  5. Cook to reduce the liquid for three minutes.
  6. Stir in the soy sauce and brown sugar.
  7. Simmer over medium heat for five minutes stirring occasionally.
  8. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water.
  9. Slowly pour into the pan and stir to combine.
  10. Simmer over medium heat for three minutes stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove from heat and cool.
  12. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to a week.

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