Thursday, June 30, 2011

Entering the World of Etouffe

Good morning amazing bloggers! I have managed to weasel my way onto a computer for a little recipe time with my favorite people. This pleases me, which means I may be able to weasel online tomorrow as well. Today we are going to be making a seafood etouffe. An etouffe, pronounced e.tu.fe, is a Cajun dish normally served with chicken or seafood. It can be compared to gumbo if you must compare it to something. This dish is very popular in the bayou country and Louisiana. The meaning of etouffe means "smothered" or "suffocated". Okay, I'm sure I have filled your heads with a little knowledge this morning, so enough of this idle chatter. Let's see our recipe for today!

Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Gradually pour in the flour, making sure to stir constantly until the mixture turns a tan brown or darker, at least 15 or 20 minutes.
  3. Once the roux is browned, add the onions, garlic, celery and bell pepper to the skillet, and saute for about 5 minutes to soften.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and fish stock, then season with the seafood seasoning.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Season the sauce with hot pepper sauce and cayenne pepper, and add the crawfish and shrimp.
  7. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque.
  8. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a fun and extremely hot Summer's day. Go enjoy the food and the pool. I will try my hardest to be back tomorrow. I send my blogging love through the internet to you all! See you on the flip side.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Aye Carumba! Jalepeno Chicken!

Hola amigos y amigas! Welcome to another exciting entry to Everyday Meals. Today, we are diving deep into Mexican cuisine. We are taking plain old chicken and kicking it up 100%. Today's dish is called Jalapeno Chicken. Yes, it's flavorful, spicy, and will probably leave you with heartburn later on tonight. But trust me when I say it will be worth it! Let's meet in the kitchen and make us some dinner!

Jalapeno Chicken

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 jalapeno peppers, or to taste, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon chicken seasoning blend, or to taste
  • 1/2 (10 ounce) can pina colada mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 can or bottle bock beer

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cook and stir the jalapeno peppers and onion until tender, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the hot skillet.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken tenders with chicken seasoning.
  5. Cook the chicken and stir in the olive oil until slightly golden brown and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
  7. Return the jalapeno peppers and onions to the skillet, and stir in the pina colada mix and sour cream.
  8. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes; stir in the chicken, and mix in the bock beer.
  9. Simmer until the flavors have blended and the sauce has slightly thickened, 15 to 30 more minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Well, enjoy your night folks. I will try my hardest to come back tomorrow and post for you all. Remember, Thursdays and Fridays are my toughest time to be online. I will catch you on the flip side though. Adios!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another enticing entry to Everyday Meals! Today, we are diving into Greek culture for a little moussaka. Moussaka is an eggplant or potato based dish from the Middle East, the Balkans, and Eastern Mediterranean. There are many variations of this dish, but it's best known from the Greek version. So, enough learning about the background of this dish. Why don't we go ahead and make it for ourselves? Let's go!

Grilled Eggplant Moussaka

You will need:

  • 3 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 3 large potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten  
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Brush the eggplant, potatoes, and zucchini lightly with extra-virgin olive oil.
  3. Grill the vegetables until just tender and golden brown.
  4. Layer the potatoes into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  5. Next layer in the eggplant, followed by the zucchini and set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Whisk in the flour, and cook until the flour smells slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
  9. Whisk in milk, nutmeg, and salt.
  10. Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Place the egg yolk into a bowl, and quickly whisk in 1/4 cup of the thickened milk, a tablespoon at a time.
  12. Quickly stir the egg yolk mixture into the thickened milk until smooth, then set aside.
  13. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  14. Stir in the ground beef and onion, and cook until the beef is crumbly and no longer pink.
  15. Drain off any excess grease, then stir in the oregano, parsley, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  16. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  17. To assemble, spread the meat mixture over the vegetables, and sprinkle with the feta cheese.
  18. Pour the white sauce over top, and smooth with a spatula.
  19. Bake moussaka in preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  20. Enjoy!

I hope you all get your fill of this funny sounding dish. Go ahead, make a few jokes, but enjoy it none the less. Have a great evening and I will see you all tomorrow! Happy blogging everyone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Curry Classic

Good afternoon my amazing bloggers! We are going to start this entry with a brief cultural background of the dish we will be preparing today. We are making what is called Vindaloo. It is an Indian curry dish from the region of Goa. It is often a staple of curry House menus. It is a spicy dish. The dish is derived from the Portuguese dish "Carne De Vinha d'Alhos" which is made of pork, wine, and garlic. So, now that we have some background on this dish, let's get cooking!

Beef Vindaloo

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground red pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 onion, chopped
  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Are you still with me?

  1. Whisk the vinegar, garlic paste, ginger paste, yogurt, salt, black pepper, and red pepper together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the beef cubes until evenly coated.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 30 minutes).
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  5. Cook and stir the onions in the hot oil until they soften, turn translucent, and begin turning golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the beef cubes, and cook, stirring frequently until the meat is no longer pink on the outside, about 10 minutes more.
  7. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Pour in the water, and bring to a simmer.
  9. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the beef is tender, about 40 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  11. Enjoy!

Well, I will see you all tomorrow. Excellent job preparing this dish everyone! Keep up the good work and happy blogging.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who Loves Italian Food? You Do!

Good evening bloggers! I have a brand new dish ready for you all to conquer  tonight. This dish is pure Italian. It took me a very long time trying to figure out what would appeal to you all, and I'm certain that this dish is the bomb. Yes, I went there. ^_^
This is just a little side note to you all, but on Thursdays and Fridays, I may not be able to post like I have usually been doing. My laptop finally died on me today. I am working on finding a quick solution, however. If I am lucky, I *might* make Thursdays and Fridays, but I promise nothing because I don't want to let anyone down. But with that being said, let's get into the kitchen and make something wonderful!

Veal Scaloppini with Lemon Cream Sauce

You will need:

  • 8 pieces of veal scaloppini
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1.5 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. Dip the veal into the beaten egg, then press into the bread crumbs.
  2. Gently shake off any excess, and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the breaded scaloppini, and cook until golden brown on both sides, and no longer pink on the inside, about 4 minutes per side.
  5. Move them to a paper towel lined plate, and keep warm.
  6. Pour the lemon juice and white wine into a skillet.
  7. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Dissolve the cornstarch in about 2 tablespoons of chicken broth, and set aside.
  8. Pour the remaining chicken broth into the skillet, season with garlic pepper and lemon pepper, and bring to a boil.
  9. Once the sauce is boiling, stir in the dissolved cornstarch, and cook until thickened and clear, about 1 minute.
  10. Remove the sauce from the heat, then whisk in the heavy cream.
  11. Place the veal on a serving platter, and pour the sauce over to serve.
  12. Enjoy!


I hope you all enjoy this lovely night. I will do my best to be around as much as possible. I might just have to double up on recipes come Wednesday and Thursday, just for you all. I'll catch you all tomorrow! Good night.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A First Class Meal

Good afternoon my lovely bloggers! Today s a great day. I have no plans except to finish the movie, Titanic. I love this movie. As a matter of fact, I can quote it very well. I have always been fascinated by the Titanic and it's disasterous incident. In honor of the movie, I have gathered a recipe that could have been served on board the ship during that era. So, with that being said, let's get in the kitchen and make something scrumptious! Oh, just a little shout out to my best friend and sister, Jessica. Today is her birthday, so let's send her some birthday wishes via the comment box below this blog!

Sauteed Duck Breast with Figs and Port

You will need:

  • 2 large duck breast halves, boned (bones reserved)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or dried, crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.75 pounds chicken backs or wings
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 cup beef stock or canned unsalted broth
  • 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup Port
  • 6 dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled

  1. Remove any excess fat from the duck breasts. 
  2. Brush the breasts with oil, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon thyme and pepper. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the duck bones, chicken backs and onion, then cook until brown, turning occasionally, for about 12 minutes. 
  4. Add both stocks and bring to a boil. 
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup liquid, about 1 hour. 
  6. Strain and de-grease the duck stock.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  8. Season the duck breasts with salt, then add to skillet skin side down and cook for 4 minutes. 
  9. Turn and cook about 2 minutes longer for medium-rare (or longer for your preferred style). 
  10. Transfer the duck breasts to a heated platter and tent with foil to keep warm. 
  11. Pour off the fat from the skillet. 
  12. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. 
  13. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. 
  14. Add the Port and figs. 
  15. Increase the heat and boil until the liquid is reduced to a glaze, scraping up any browned bits, for about 4 minutes. 
  16. Add the duck stock to the skillet and boil until syrupy, adding any juices accumulated on the duck platter, for about 6 minutes. 
  17. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, then season with salt and pepper. 
  18. Thinly slice the duck diagonally and arrange on plates.
  19. Spoon the sauce over and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon thyme.
  20. Enjoy!

I know, this recipe is a bit exstensive, but it's worth all the work. Anything that was worth a first class meal in the early 1900's is surely good enough now. Enjoy your meal and I will see you all tomorrow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Apricot-Glazed Cornish Hens

Good evening bloggers! Tonight is one of those nights where our hunger is almost unbearable. I know it is for me at least. I searched and searched for something other than chicken or turkey. What I found made my mouth salivate. I know for a fact that we have not had something like this on EMEF yet. We will be working with... drum roll please? Cornish Hen! With that being said, let's meet in the kitchen and make a delicious meal!

Apricot-Glazed Cornish Hens

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ready? Great!

  1. Combine the salt and cayenne. 
  2. Rub a third of the mixture inside hens. 
  3. Brush 1 tablespoon butter over hens, then sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture. 
  4. Place on a rack in a shallow baking pan.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the preserves, honey, onion, nutmeg and remaining butter. 
  7. Cook and stir until preserves are melted, then brush it over the hens. 
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until golden brown and a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. 
  9. Cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

I hope you all have a wonderful night. Enjoy the cornish hen with your family, then finish off the meal with a night red wine. Or if it suits you better, a nice family-oriented movie with the kids. I'll see you all tomorrow. Happy blogging!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chim, Chim, Chimichanga Baby!

Good afternoon my lovely bloggers! I hope you all are staying cool on this extremely hot day. This is one of those days that you should grab your sunscreen, a pina colada, and park your tookus pool side. It's also a great day to add a little Mexican flavor to your diet! That's right folks. We are making chimichangas tonight! So, grab your towl and your cooking utensils and let's make some grub!

Beef and Bean Chimichangas

You will need:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1.5 cups whole kernel corn
  • 2 cups taco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 8 (12 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (16 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1 tomato, diced

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. 
  3. Drain the excess grease, and add the onion, bell pepper, and corn. 
  4. Cook for about 5 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 
  5. Stir in the taco sauce, and season with chili powder, garlic salt and cumin, stirring until blended. 
  6. Cook until heated through, then remove from heat, and set aside. 
  7. Open the can of beans, and spread a thin layer of beans onto each of the tortillas. 
  8. Spoon the beef mixture down the center, and then top with as much shredded cheese as you like. 
  9. Roll up the tortillas, and place them seam-side down onto a baking sheet. 
  10. Brush the tortillas with melted butter. 
  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. 
  12. Serve with lettuce and tomato.
  13. Enjoy!

I hope all of you are taking precautions against this horrible heat and sun. I'm not doctor, but I recommend SPF 100... haha. I'm just kidding, but seriously, be safe and avaoid prolonged amounts of time in the sun. Have a great evening and happy eating! I'll see you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scrumptious Snacks and Dinner Delights

Good evening bloggers! I had a dear friend of mine message me tonight. She shared a special little treasure with me. I'm taking her advice and sharing it with you all. We all know kids and adults alike still love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Stay tuned in and scroll down to bask in this awesome treat! Before that however, we should get in the kitchen and make something to eat before hitting up dessert. Let's go!

Fettuccini Bolognese

You will need:

  • 3/4 pound whole-wheat fettuccini 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried 
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans no salt added diced tomatoes with juice 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth 
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk or regular whole milk 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

  1. Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil, and cook the fettuccini according to the directions on the box. 
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. 
  3. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the garlic, ground beef, and thyme and cook until the meat is browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and broth and cook for 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Stir in the milk and cook for 1 minute more. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper. 
  7. When the pasta is done, drain it, put it back in the pasta pot, add the sauce and stir the sauce and pasta together. 
  8. Put into serving bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Enjoy!

Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 6 tablespoons favorite jam
  • 6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Spread the butter on one side of each bread slice. 
  3. Flip the remaining slices over and spread them with the jam. 
  4. Flip the remaining slices over and spread them with the peanut butter.  
  5. Sandwich together the jam slices and the peanut butter slices, keeping the buttered sides of the bread facing out.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. 
  7. Add the sandwiches and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the tops. 
  8. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. 
  9. Flip the sandwiches over and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar. 
  10. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
  11. Remove the sandwiches from the skillet and cut into quarters.
  12. Enjoy!

Voila! I hope you enjoyed our special treat for tonight. I want to send a special 'Thank You' to my darling friend as well. Have a great night everyone and I will catch you on the flip side!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do the Chicken Dance!

Good evening my amazing blogger friends and readers! Summer is all about grilling, burgers, chicken, and kebobs. Any one who is a cook can appreciate a good chicken recipes. I come to you with a delicious chicken recipe complete with beer sauce. I'm starving, and I'm sure you are as well, so grab that 6 pack that is sitting in your fridge and let's get cooking!

Chicken Legs with Beer Barbecue Sauce

You will need:

For the Chicken:

  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks and/or thighs, skinned, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil 
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Few drops of hot pepper sauce


  1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Rinse the chicken and pat dry. 
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil. 
  3. Add the chicken and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning to brown evenly. 
  4. Drain off any fat from the chicken. 
  5. Add the onion to skillet with the chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. FOR THE SAUCE: In a small mixing bowl combine the chili sauce, beer, brown sugar, cumin, mustard, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. 
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken. 
  8. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat. 
  9. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. 
  10. Uncover and turn chicken. 
  11. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the chicken is tender and no pink remains. 
  12. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter to keep warm.
  13. Skim the excess fat off the sauce in the skillet. 
  14. If desired, simmer sauce, uncovered, to your desired consistency. 
  15. Pour the sauce over the meat.
  16. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a great evening and I will catch you on the flip side. Good night!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To... Not That I Do...

Good evening bloggers. I'm sorry about my delay with posting this entry. I do have a very good excuse. Care to hear it? It's my Birthday! Yes, I turned 22 today and couldn't have asked for a better day. It was filled with my loving family and friends and many, many Birthday wishes. So, considering the day, I have chosen a down-home, Southern comfort food as a Birthday dish. Let's head into the kitchen and celebrate!

Birthday Turkey Enchiladas

You will need:

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Tortillas

  1. Brown the turkey in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the taco seasoning before it finishes browning.
  3. Once the turkey is cooked, moved it to a plate. 
  4. Cook the onion until it turns soft. 
  5. Once the onion is soft, return the turkey to the skillet, adding the tomato and black beans, making sure to  mix everything together. 
  6. Grease a 9x13 pan. 
  7. Take a flour tortilla in your hand and pour in some of the meat mixture. 
  8. Add a sprinkle of cheese, and wrap up the enchilada and put it in the pan. 
  9. Repeat until all of the mixture is gone.
  10. Pour enchilada sauce over the top and cover with foil.
  11. Place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until it's bubbly. 
  12. Remove the foil and sprinkle cheese on top and put it back in the oven to melt the cheese.
  13. Sprinkle the top with cilantro and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the rest of this very short evening. I sure enjoyed today. Thank you for bearing with my lateness. I will see you all tomorrow! Happy Blogging!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our 100th post?! And Father's Day as Well!

Good afternoon and Happy Father's Day to all of our male readers with children! In honor of today being Father's Day (and this being our 100th post), I thought long and hard about a meal fit for Dad. Seeing how my own husband eats, I figure that we should make something filling. What fills up a guy more than steak? Nothing. That's what's on our menu. Steak. Let's grab our supplies and head out to the grill!

Shell Steaks with Red Wine Butter

You will need:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, cracked
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1/2 cup ruby port
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • Vegetable oil, for grill
  • 4 (10 to 12-ounce) shell steaks (also called club steak or New York steak), about 1.25 inches thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper

You haven't run off on me, have you? Great!

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the coriander seeds and peppercorns and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Pull the pan from the heat and add the port and wine. 
  5. Return the pan to the heat and, if cooking over a gas burner, tip the pan to let the alcohol ignite and then die out.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer briskly until syrupy, 20 to 25 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  7. Beat the remaining butter in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer or whisk until smooth and light. 
  8. Add the reduced wine mixture, vinegar, parsley and 1.5 teaspoons salt and beat until evenly mixed.
  9. Spread a 12-inch-long piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. 
  10. Mound the butter across the plastic wrap, about 2 inches from edge nearest you. 
  11. Fold the bottom edge of the plastic wrap over the butter and roll it up to make a 1-inch-wide log. 
  12. Twist the ends together in opposite directions and refrigerate until firm.
  13. Prepare an outdoor grill with a high fire.
  14. Brush grill grate lightly with oil. 
  15. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and black pepper, to taste. Grill 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meat reads 120 degrees to 125 degrees for rare; 125 degrees to 130 degrees for medium-rare; or 130 degrees to 135 degrees for medium. 
  16. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. 
  17. Serve each steak topped with a 3/4 inch thick slice of the wine butter.

I hope you all enjoy this special day devoted to all of the great Fathers out there. You're worth it! I'll see you all tomorrow. Have a great rest of the afternoon and evening!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer's Here! Let's Celebrate!

Good afternoon bloggers! Summer is finally upon us, but for some of us, it's already been here. What good is Summer if you don't have something grilled to eat as well as something to cool you down while under the blazing sun? That's exactly what our menu is about today. We will be making an excellent meal and finishing it off with something deliciously cool and delightful. Enough of this chatting act... Let's go grill!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

You will need:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots, divided
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2.5 pounds total
  • 1/2 pound fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted,halved
  • 1 fresh Fresno chile, red jalapeño, or Holland chile, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. 
  2. Combine 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup minced shallots, 4 tablespoons lime juice, and vegetable oil in a resealable plastic bag. 
  3. Add the pork tenderloins and seal the bag, then turn to coat. 
  4. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. 
  5. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup shallots, 2 tablespoons lime juice, cherries, chile, and olive oil in a medium bowl. 
  6. Season the salsa lightly with salt and pepper and set aside to let flavors to meld. 
  7. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and season generously with salt and pepper. 
  8. Grill the tenderloins, turning frequently, until a thermometer inserted into meat registers 145 degrees, or about 15 minutes. 
  9. Let rest for 10 minutes. 
  10. Cut into thin slices and serve with salsa.

Watermelon Granita

You will need:

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  1. Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth. 
  2. Pour the ingredients into a 9x9x2 metal baking pan. 
  3. Freeze the mixture for 1 hour. 
  4. Stir, mashing any frozen parts with the back of a fork after the first hour. 
  5. Cover and freeze the mixture until firm, about 2 hours. 
  6. Using a fork, scrape the granita vigorously to form icy flakes.
  7. Spoon the icy flakes into a cup or small bowl.
  8. Enjoy!

I hope you all enjoy the blazing afternoon. Keep cool and protected as well. Have a great afternoon and I will catch you all tomorrow!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Well, hello bloggers! Welcome to Everyday Meals! Today, I felt like making something Italian. I, as stated before, love Italian food. I love food from other cultures. This brought a thought to my mind... I've been posting to Everyday Meals since February. I want to know where you, my readers, are from. Tell me about your culture, or even your state. What are your favorite types of foods? With that, let's head to the kitchen and make something!

✯✯Spinach and Four-Cheese Manicotti✯✯

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons  oil 
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic
  • 1.5 cups ricotta cheese 
  • 1.5 cups shredded  mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/3 cup grated  parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • salt 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 (10 ounce) package  frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions, squeezed dry 
  • 8  manicotti, cooked and drained
  • 6 cups marinara sauce 
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese, for topping

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  3. In a skillet, saute the onion in oil for about 4 minutes or until softened, adding in the garlic the last 2 minutes.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, 1.5 cup mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, then beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and well combined.
  5. Season with white salt or seasoned salt and black pepper to taste.
  6. Stir in onion mixture and spinach; mix well to combine.
  7. Spoon into cooked and cooled manicotti shells.
  8. Pour half of the pasta sauce into the prepared baking dish.
  9. Arrange shells over sauce.
  10. Top with the remaining sauce and use a spoon to spread the sauce over the shells.
  11. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese over the sauce.
  12. Cover and bake for 25 minutes.
  13. Uncover and top with mozzeralla cheese.
  14. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
  15. Let stand 10 mins before serving.
  16. Enjoy!

When this is all said and done, you will wind up with a beautiful manicotti to enjoy with friends or family. Enjoy your evening and I will see you all tomorrow. Good night amazing bloggers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cochinita Pibil

Good afternoon bloggers! In this installment of Everyday Meals, we are going to be making a dish that is indigenent to Mexico. The Yucatan to be exact. This is is a perfect dish for parties and for big families. It's called Cochinita Pibil. It's a braised pork dish that can be accompanied with rice and a good beer of your choice. Let's grab our aprons and/or chefs hats and let's get cooking!

Cochinita Pibil

You will need:

  • 4 pounds of pork shoulder
  • 1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 ounces of red achiote paste
  • Pickled red onions, for garnish
  • Dry Mexican cheese, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

NOTE: You can find the achiote paste at a Specialty Latin market, or possibly a supercenter.

  1. The night before or the morning before you plan to serve this, mix the orange and lime juice with the achiote paste and salt in a blender until combined. 
  2. Be sure to rinse the blender soon afterwards, as the achiote stains. 
  3. Cut the pork into chunks of about 2 inches square, but don’t trim the fat, as you will need it in the braising to come. You can always pick it out later. Put the pork in a non-reactive (glass, stainless steel or plastic) container, then pour over the marinade mixture. 
  4. Mix well, cover and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  6. Line a large casserole with a double layer of heavy-duty foil, or a triple layer of regular foil because you want a good seal (You can also use banana leaves, which is the traditional method for cooking this dish.)
  7. Pour in the pork and the marinade and close the foil tightly. 
  8. Put the casserole in the oven and bake for at least 3 hours. 
  9. At the 3 hour mark, check to make sure the meat is tender and falling apart.
  10. When the pork is tender, take it out of the oven and open the foil. 
  11. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl, then shred it with two forks.
  12. Pour enough sauce over the meat to make it wet.
  13. To serve, either use this as taco meat or eat it over rice, garnished with cilantro, lime wedges and queso seco, a Mexican dry cheese a little like Greek feta.
  14. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this dish and I will see you all tomorrow. Great job cooking everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Alaskan Lasagna? WHAT?!

Good afternoon bloggers! Before we start, I want to fill you in a little bit about myself. I'm sure that those of you already have figured me out a little, but that doesn't tell you much about my history. I was born in Alaska. It is my pride and joy, my home of all homes. I love the fresh salmon and the smell of the tundra. I love when it rains, but on only half of the road. Okay, as you can guess, I LOVE Alaska. This is all relevant to our meal tonight. We are making... Drum roll please?

Alaskan Halibut Lasagna

You will need:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1.5 pounds halibut steaks, bones removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. 
  2. Add the halibut and thyme. 
  3. Cook it until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer, then remove and set aside. 
  5. Add the remaining butter to the skillet. 
  6. Stir in flour and salt until it's smooth, then cook and stir until golden brown. 
  7. Gradually add the broth and cream. 
  8. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  9. In a greased 13 x 9 baking dish, layer half of the noodles, halibut, white sauce and cheese, then repeat the layers. 
  10. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 
  11. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes longer or until bubbly. 
  12. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. 
  13. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.
  14. Enjoy!

If you all ever have the chance to google, or even visit Alaska, DO IT. It's a treasure all it's own. You have a great est of the afternoon and evening. I will be back tomorrow!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Hey, hey, hey bloggers! Welcome to a very Asian inspired Everyday Meals. We are traveling to Korea with this awesome recipe. It is a very modern twist on "bibimbap", a dish loaded with rice, vegetables, sliced meat, an egg, and hot sauce. You can get it served with a beer as well. I am very familar with this type of recipe. There are many local spots where I'm from that serve this meal. So, enough chit-chat. Let's go make some food!

Korean Rice Bowl

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1/2 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
  • 1.5 pounds New York strip steak, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, divided
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sake or dry Sherry
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1.5 pounds slender asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus additional for brushing
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 cups freshly cooked medium-grain white rice
  • Korean hot pepper paste (kochujang)
  • Kimchi

NOTE: The specialty items can be found at your local Asian market, specialty stores, or even a super center.

  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until golden brown, stirring often, about 3 minutes. 
  2. Transfer sesame seeds to a small bowl to cool. 
  3. Grind the sesame seeds, fleur de sel, and chile powder in mortar with pestle or in spice mill until about half of sesame seeds are finely ground, then return to the same small bowl.  
  4. Place the steak in the freezer for 1 hour to ease slicing. 
  5. Cut steak crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices. 
  6. Whisk the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, green onions, sugar, sake, and garlic in a medium bowl, then toss the steak in the soy mixture. 
  7. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. 
  8. Heat a griddle or 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. 
  9. Toss the asparagus with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. 
  10. Sauté the asparagus until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes, then return to rimmed baking sheet. 
  11. Sprinkle sesame salt over, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. 
  12. Tent with foil to keep warm. 
  13. Brush griddle with vegetable oil. 
  14. Working in batches, grill the steak until just browned, about 1 minute per side. 
  15. Transfer to a bowl and tent it too with foil to keep warm.
  16. Brush griddle with vegetable oil once again. 
  17. Crack the eggs onto the hot griddle. 
  18. Cook until the whites are set but yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  19. Divide warm rice among bowls. 
  20. Divide asparagus, then beef among bowls, placing it atop the rice. 
  21. Top with fried egg. 
  22. Serve with Korean hot pepper paste and kimchi.

Voila! This dish will keep you full and happy all night long. There's definitely no shortage of food despite the "bowl" size. I recommend serving ths dish in the largest bowl you have! Actually, nix that... Please eat a proper amount according to your regular food consumption. Have a great night and I will see you all tomorrow!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!

Good morning everyone! Welcome to another amazing edition of Everyday Meals! I hope that you all have gotten over the shock of 7 recipes yesterday. If not, well, here's just one more to make you jump up and down for joy. I am stepping away fom the grill for a little bit and we are going to dive into something pertaining to pasta, one of my favorite areas of food. Let's grab the shopping list and meet back in the kitchen soon.

Pasta with Veal, Sausage, and Porcini Ragu

You will need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 8 ounces veal stew meat, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 pound fresh pappardelle or purchased fettuccine
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

NOTE: You may find porcini mushrooms your specialty food market and many supermarkets

  1. Bring 1 cup water and mushrooms to a boil in a small saucepan. 
  2. Remove the pan from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. 
  3. Strain the liquid through paper-towel-lined sieve into bowl. 
  4. Coarsely chop mushrooms and set the liquid and mushrooms aside. 
  5. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  6. Add the onion, carrot, 1/4 cup parsley and garlic. 
  7. Sauté until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. 
  8. Push vegetables to side of skillet and add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking up with back of fork, about 4 minutes. 
  9. Add veal and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes then add the wine. 
  10. Increase the heat to high and boil until wine is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. 
  11. Add 1 cup chicken broth and boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  12. Pour in the reserved mushroom liquid. 
  13. Simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes. 
  14. Transfer the mixture to a processor. 
  15. Process the mixture until coarsely chopped, then return the mixture to the skillet. 
  16. Mix in the tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, sage, fennel seeds and porcini mushrooms and reduce the heat to low. 
  17. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork, adding the remaining chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. 
  18. Season with salt and pepper.  
  19. Cook the pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender Al dente, stirring occasionally, then drain. 
  20. Add the sauce to the pasta pot and rewarm over medium heat. 
  21. Add pasta and toss to combine. 
  22. Transfer to bowl and sprinkle with cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.
  23. Enjoy!

Phew! I know that seemed like a lot of steps, but I have confidence that it will be made perfectly. You all are amazing and I will see you tomorrow for another great installment of Everyday Meals. Have an awesome afternoon!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recipe Overload! 7 New Recipes Just For You

Good morning my lovely bloggers! Due to a recent move, I have been unavailable for the past week. But, fear not my lovelies! I come to you with a weeks worth of recipes that'll knock anyone off of their feet. I bring some breakfast recipes and a whole lot of grilling recipes (just because Summer is so fun!). So, this will be one heck of a blog entry. Let's grab our necessities and get started!

Mexican Shrimp Burgers

You will need:

For the Burgers:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves 
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled 
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs, plus more as needed 
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and diced 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

For the Avocado Aioli: 

  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled 
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, halved and seeded 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

  • 6 hamburger buns, split in half 
  • 3 medium tomatoes, sliced 
  • 6 lettuce leaves or a mixture of baby lettuce leaves

  1. For the Burgers: In a food processor, combine the shrimp, egg, cilantro, garlic, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, poblano chile, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Process until the mixture is a coarse puree. 
  3. Form the mixture into 6 patties and set aside (if the mixture is too wet, add additional bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture can be molded easily). 
  4. Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the patties with vegetable oil and grill until golden, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. 
  5. For the Avocado Aioli: Scoop the avocado pulp into the bowl of a food processor. 
  6. Add the mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic cloves, serrano chile and cilantro. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  7. Serve the shrimp burgers on buns, topped with a dollop of avocado aioli, sliced tomato, and lettuce.

Sweet Tea Ribs

You will need:

  • 6 bags black tea
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 orange
  • 2 racks baby back ribs (about 2 pounds)

  1. Empty 3 tea bags into a bowl and combine the loose tea with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 
  2. Grate in the orange zest. 
  3. Pat the ribs dry and trim the membrane from the underside. 
  4. Rub the tea mixture over the ribs and place in a roasting pan, meat-side up, and bring to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. 
  6. Steep the remaining 3 tea bags in 2 cups boiling water for about 5 minutes. 
  7. Discard the bags and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and the juice of half the orange. 
  8. Pour the mixture around the ribs in the pan. 
  9. Cover with foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the ribs from the oven and increase the temperature to 450. 
  11. Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 
  12. Baste the ribs with some of the liquid, then return to the oven and cook, uncovered, basting a few times, until the ribs are dark and glazed, 20 to 30 minutes.
  13. When the remaining liquid in the saucepan is syrupy, add lemon juice to taste. 
  14. Brush the ribs with the glaze. 
  15. Cut the racks into pieces and serve.

Dry Rubbed BBQ Chicken

You will need:

  • 8 cups water, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry BBQ seasoning, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves

  1. In a large plastic container with a lid add 8 cups water, 3/4 cup salt, 3/4 cup brown sugar, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the BBQ seasoning. 
  2. Stir until well mixed. 
  3. Add the chicken to the brine and refrigerate at least 2 hours and no longer than 4 hours
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry. 
  6. In a small bowl combine 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons dry BBQ seasoning. 
  7. Rub the outside of the chicken with spice mix and transfer to a roasting pan. 
  8. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan and put in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat reaches 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. 
  9. Remove the chicken from the oven to a cutting board. 
  10. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, loosely covered with foil, before carving and arranging on a serving platter. 
  11. Enjoy!

French Toast Panini

You will need:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cognac (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt
  • 8 slices Texas toast or other thick white bread
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
  • Pure maple syrup, for garnish

  1. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, orange juice, vanilla, cognac, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  2. Place the bread in 2 shallow baking dishes in a single layer. 
  3. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and let soak for 10 minutes.
  4. While the bread is soaking, preheat a grill to medium. 
  5. Place a flat cast-iron skillet on the grill. 
  6. Brush the bananas with the melted butter and cook in the skillet until they are browned on all sides and beginning to release their juices, about 3 minutes. 
  7. Use a spatula to transfer the bananas to a plate, then wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel. 
  8. When the bananas are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  9. Remove a piece of bread from the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off. 
  10. Place on a cutting board, top with four or five banana slices, then cover with another piece of bread. 
  11. Brush the skillet on the grill lightly with vegetable oil. 
  12. Add the sandwich to the pan and place a grill press or heavy pan over the sandwich to weigh it down. 
  13. Cook until the bread is nicely toasted and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  14. Flip, press and cook on the other side until golden. 
  15. Keep warm and repeat with the remaining bread and bananas, adding more oil as needed. 
  16. Transfer the panini to plates and slice in half diagonally, then top with confectioners' sugar and plenty of maple syrup.

Corned Beef Hash

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces cooked corned beef, diced
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese

  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. 
  2. Add the corned beef and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it releases some fat and browns slightly, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the onion, bell pepper and potatoes and cook, undisturbed, until brown and crisp on the bottom, about 6 minutes. 
  4. Continue cooking, turning the hash as it browns evenly, about 15 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the eggs sunny-side up or over easy and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the cheese slices on top of the hash, reduce the heat and let sit until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. 
  7. To serve, top each portion of hash with a fried egg.

Open Face Lasagna

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from casing 
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup grated manchego cheese

  1. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Once hot, add the chorizo, ground beef onion, and garlic. 
  3. Using a spatula, break up the meat as small as you can as it browns. 
  4. Saute until dark brown, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, panko, heavy cream, and salt. 
  7. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 15 minutes. 
  8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the lasagna noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. 
  10. Put 1 lasagna noodle on each of 4 plates. 
  11. Spoon the meat mixture over the pasta and spread it out evenly. 
  12. Sprinkle on about 1/8 of the parsley and grated manchego. 
  13. Lay another lasagna noodle on top. 
  14. Sprinkle with more parsley and manchego over the second noodle and dust with remaining 1 tablespoon smoked paprika. 
  15. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

Glazed Double-Cut Pork Chops

You will need:

For the Pork:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 double-cut bone-in pork loin chops
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill

For the Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 cups ketchup
  • 1.25 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup prunes
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

  1. Prepare the pork: Mix 2 tablespoons salt, the black pepper, brown sugar and paprika in a bowl, then rub all over the chops. 
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the vinegar and brown sugar until dissolved. 
  5. Add the ketchup, apple juice, syrup, bourbon, prunes, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt and 1.5 teaspoons black pepper and bring to a boil. 
  6. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. 
  7. Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender.
  8. Preheat a grill to medium. 
  9. Brush the grates with vegetable oil, then place the chops directly over the flame and grill until marked and cooked halfway through, about 15 minutes. 
  10. Turn the chops and place on a cooler area of the grill (such as the edges), then cover and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140 degrees to 145 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  11. Uncover and brush the chops on all sides with the prepared sauce, then cover and cook until glazed, about 5 more minutes. 
  12. Transfer to a cutting board and brush with more sauce. 
  13. Tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes. 
  14. Serve with more sauce.

Voila! I hope you all thouroughly enjoyed yourselves. If not, clearly, I am not doing my job right. I will see you all tomorrow. That is a promise (now that I have an awesome internet provider...) Have a great day and most of all, have a blast cooking!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pie and Bulgar

Good evening bloggers. I want to apologize for my disappearance. There was a recent environmental disaster in Massachusetts yesterday. I would have had a blog entry for you, however, with worrying for friends and family I was unable to provide that for you. Everyone is doing fine though. There were a few reported deaths and many injured. Downtown Springfield suffered a lot of destruction and the National Guard is to be called in for relief efforts. I'm 100 percent positive that they will bounce back, but in the mean time, all we can do is pray and stay updated. For now, we will occupy ourselves with a nice and hearty entry! Let's gather out aprons and meet back in the kitchen.

Spanakopita Pie

You will need:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef 
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with Italian-style herbs, undrained 
  • 12 sheets frozen phyllo (filo), thawed 
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 
  • 1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs 
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  3. In a 10 inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then drain. 
  4. Stir in spinach, parsley, salt, pepper, and all but 1/2 cup of the tomatoes. 
  5. Cook and stir until hot and set aside.
  6. Cover phyllo sheets with damp paper towel. 
  7. Arrange the sheets, layering 3 at a time, in an "X" shape and then in a "plus" shape to create a spoke pattern on your work surface, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with 1 teaspoon of the bread crumbs as it is added. 
  8. Transfer all the layers of the phyllo to a pie plate, gently easing dough down the sides of the pie plate and allowing excess dough to hang over edge. 
  9. Place beef mixture in the pie plate and top with feta cheese. 
  10. Fold overhanging phyllo up and over the filling, leaving 2 to 3 inches of the center of the filling uncovered. 
  11. Spoon the remaining 1/2 cup of tomatoes in the center. 
  12. Brush the phyllo with butter. 
  13. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. 
  14. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Mediterranean Shrimp with Bulgar

You will need:

  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic wine 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 pound uncooked small (30 to 40 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, heat water to boiling. 
  2. Add bulgur, then reduce heat to low. 
  3. Cover and simmer about 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  4. Meanwhile, in a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. 
  5. Add the onion and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. 
  6. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  7. Stir tomatoes, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the parsley, the capers, black pepper and red pepper flakes into onion and cook 3 minutes. 
  8. Stir in shrimp. 
  9. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink.
  10. Stir the cooked bulgur into shrimp mixture and sprinkle with cheese. 
  11. Cover and cook for 2 more minutes. 
  12. Sprinkle with remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons parsley.
  13. Serve!

 Pictured Above: Mediterranean Shrimp
Pictured Above: Spanakopita Pie

Enjoy both of these recipes and I will see you all soon. I will keep you updated with the bounce back of Massachusetts. For now, have a great evening and I will see you as soon as I can. Good night!