Thursday, 28 August 2014

Spicy Pepperoni Pasta

Spicy Pepperoni Pasta



Ingredients:

2 Cups Dried Pasta, I used Bow Tie
About 1 Cup thinly sliced Pepperoni, Spicyness is up to you
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper (2 Two other bell peppers, color is up to you)
2-4 Cloves Garlic
1 Small onion
1 Small can Tomato Paste
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, Undrained
1/2 Cup Green Onions, sliced thinly
Oil for cooking

1 Tablespoon Paprika (or more)
1-2 Tablespoons Oregano
1-2 Tablespoons Basil
1 Teaspoon Cayenne or Crushed Red Chilies, Optional
Pepper

Shredded Cheese to serve

Instructions:

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add a small amount of cooking oil.

Set a large pot of water to boil.

Mince the garlic and onion.

Cook the onion and garlic together for about 5 minutes in preheated skillet, push to one side.

Add the pepperoni slices to the skillet in a single layer. Season well with pepper and the paprika. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until oil starts to come up from the pepperoni. Stir fry cook the pepperoni and onions together.

Dice the two bell peppers, and add to skillet, cook an additional 10 minutes. The water should be boiling, so cook the pasta according to package, and drain.

Add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet and stir well to create a sauce. Toss in the cooked noodles and sliced green onions and gently stir to blend.

Serve in bowls, garnished with shredded cheese on top.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Great for kids, call it pepperoni pizza pasta and use less paprika.

Other Places:

Would go great with some Fresh Bread.

Deep Fried Pork Kebabs With Red Sauce

These were unreasonably good. Which once again is why there are no pictures, I ate them all before a camera was found. . .

Deep Fried Pork Kebabs

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1/3 Cup Brown Sauce/ A1/ Steak Sauce
1/4 Cup Ketchup
Salt and Pepper
1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, or more to taste

Kebabs:

2-4 Boneless Pork Loin Chops or a small Pork Loin

Salt and Pepper
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup milk

Flour to coat pork
Panko Style Bread Crumbs
Wooden Skewers

Special Tools:

Deep Fryer


Instructions:

To make the sauce, mix everything listed in a small bowl until evenly blended. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Heat Deep fryer to about 340-350°F.

Trim any fat from the pork and slice into 1 inch cubes. Season well with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the milk and eggs.

Place some flour in a shallow dish to dredge the pork in.

Place some panko crumbs in another dish for coating.

Skewer the pork 3-4 per skewer.

Dredge each skewer in flour.

Dip each skewer in the egg wash, then coat with the panko crumbs. Place coated pork kebabs on a tray until ready to fry.

Place the skewers in the basket of the fryer without over crowding. Lower into oil and cook for 5-7 minutes, shaking well half way through to ensure everything cooks through.

Serve hot with sauce on the side.

Enjoy!

Notes:

I would like to say again just how amazingly good these were, plus that sauce is excellent. Would be great with other fried chicken or pork things as well I think.

Other Places:

How about one of my favorite recipes?

Pasta Sauce

California Sushi Roll

An extension of the original Sushi Test

California Sushi Roll

Ingredients:

1 Cup uncooked sticky rice
1 small Carrot, cut julienne/matchstick
1/2 Avocado, sliced into thin fingers, peeled
Toasted Sesame Seeds
2-4 Sheets Nori
Imitation Crab, stick/leg style You need about 3-4 thin fingers of crab per roll

To Serve:

Soy Sauce
Wasabi
Pickled Ginger

To season Sticky Rice: 
Per 1 cup uncooked rice
1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Mirin
2 Teaspoons Salt

I added all ingredients to a small bowl and stirred to dissolve the salt. Any leftovers of this seasoning, if you made too much can be saved and used to help arrange the sticky rice onto the nori as well as to seal the roll at the end in place of plain water.

I also made a Spicy Mayo:

1 Tablespoon Mayo
1-3 Teaspoons Sriracha Sauce

Place in a small bowl and mix well to blend. Transfer to a pastry bag with a fine tip. Drizzle over top of cut sushi for a spicy kick. Or serve in a small serving bowl to dip the sushi in if you prefer.

Instructions:

Cook the sticky rice according to package directions. Once cooked transfer to a wood or stainless steel bowl. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Add the seasoning mixture to the rice and stir gently to coat. Trying not to over stir as that will make the rice gluey.

To prepare sushi, Slice the tuna fillet into 1cm X 1cm square finger sections. So that you have long small tuna "finger" fillets. Keep sliced ready to use tuna in a bowl which is in a ice bath to keep the tuna cold as you work. Thinly slice the avocado, or chop into small pieces.

Place bamboo mat on clean work surface. Lay a slightly larger piece of plastic wrap over the bamboo mat. Place nori sheet on top of plastic wrap. Carefully spread some sticky rice over almost the entire sheet of nori, only leaving a one centimeter  band at the top of the sheet to be used to seal the roll together.

Sprinkle some sesame seeds over top of the rice.

Along the bottom edge of the rice, arrange the crab stick and vegetables in a line. Crab, then avocado and last carrot, trying to keep everything even all along the roll. Evenness makes for a prettier roll at the end and they will stay together better when you slice them.

Working carefully begin to tightly roll the sushi,  using the bamboo mat. Once tightly rolled, use your fingers dipped in a water bowl to dampen the bare exposed nori at the top of the roll, and press the roll closed and seal.

Wrap the rolls in the plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to serve. When time to serve, unwrap from plastic and slice with a very sharp knife into pieces that are about 1 inch wide. Drizzle with spicy mayo and serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

Enjoy!

Other Places:

The Original Sushi Test


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Caramel Apple Pie

Caramel Apple Pie




Ingredients:

1 Recipe Pie Crust, or your favorite recipe for a top and bottom pie crust

4  Apples, peeled, cored and cubed
2-3 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1-2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger, ground
Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Caramel or Dulce de Leche or Butterscotch Sauce


Special Tools:

8 or 9 inch Pie Pan
Fine Sieve or strainer
Rolling Pin
Crimp Cutter if you have one, if not don't worry about it

Instructions:

Prepare the pie dough according to the recipe you plan to use. Divide dough in half and chill at least one hour.

If you are making your own style of caramel sauce, get on to making that.

While the dough chills, prepare pie filling.

Peel, core, and cube the apples. Transfer the apples to a large pot and toss with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until apples are just soft, but not falling apart into apple sauce. About 20 minutes.

Strain the apples through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid and solid apple bits. Set aside the apple bits for a moment.

Return the liquid to the pot and continue to cook and reduce over medium heat and until about half the liquid has evaporated away. Set aside for now.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Lightly grease the pie pan.

Roll out one of the pie crust dough halves to about 1/8 inch thick and large enough to fill the pie plate. Do not trim edges yet.

Pour the solid apple bits into the pie shell.

Roll out the second dough half and slice into 2/3-1 inch wide strips (here is when you use the crinkle cutter if you have it). Cover the apples with a lattice pattern. Google how to videos if you have no idea what that is.

Roll the edges of the pie crust underneath each other so you have a tube of crust going around the entire circumference of the pie. Pinch and seal the edges into a pretty pattern.

Bake pie in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Do not open that oven door during this time!

Remove pie from oven, reduce oven heat to 350°F.  Remember that liquid we separated from the apples and reduced earlier? Grab that and pour it over the entire top of the pie, trying to cover all the lattice evenly.

Return pie to oven and continue to bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden and bottom crust is cooked through. There should be some bubbling from inside the pie when it is cooked through.

Remove pie from oven. Pour caramel sauce of choice over the entire pie over the lattice, and in the gaps between the lattice. Allow pie to cool slightly. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Notes:

This is apple pie done right!

Other places:

How about some Ice Cream or Whipped Cream with this pie?


Monday, 18 August 2014

Chinese Off-Cut Fish Noodle Bowl

Fish Noodle Bowl

I recently made a snapper over puttanesca sauce, but had to buy whole fish and not fillets. So I had to find something to do with all the left over bits of fish because that is a fine fish and I am not one to waste good food.

Ingredients:

Fish Stock:

1 Pound Fish off Cuts, like skeletons, heads, small scraps etc.

1/2 Cup carrots
2-3 Ribs Celery
1/2 Small Onion
2-3 Cloves Garlic
1 Inch Peeled Ginger Root
2 Bay Leaves
3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley
2 Tablespoons Pepper Corns
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chinese Five Spice
2 Tablespoons Rice vinegar

Noodle Bowl:

4 Servings Rice/Ramen noodles
1/2 Cup Carrots, thin sliced
1/2 Cup Edamame, shelled
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Shrimp
2-4 Stalks green onion, sliced

Special Tools:

Fine Sieve

Instructions:

Chop the carrots, celery, onion, ginger root, and parsley. Add to a large stock pot with 2-3 Cups water

Add the fish parts, bay leaves pepper corns, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer but do not boil.

Stir and simmer half covered and half uncovered for 60-90 minutes.

Strain through a fine sieve reserving the liquid and discarding everything else.

Rinse out the stock pot and return the reserved pot liquid to the pot.

Add the carrots, edamame and cooked shrimp and bring to a bowl.

Add the noodles and cook until soft.

Serve hot with green onion slices over top.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Other Places:

Something More North American:

Garlic Twist Bread

Deep Fried Snapper Fillet

Snapper Fillet

Ingredients:

2 (roughly) Pounds Snapper Fillet, bone and skin removed
2/3 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Cracked Pepper
1-2 Tablespoons Basil
1 Tablespoon Salt

Oil for frying

Special Tools:

Deep Fryer! Or a cast iron skillet that is deep enough to fry fish fillet in.

Instructions:

Heat oil to a medium heat level or about 350°F.

Fillet the snapper into desired sized pieces.

In a shallow wide dish, like a pie plate, sift together the flour, paprika, cracked pepper, basil, and salt.

Dredge the fillets in the flour mixture and set on a tray for about 3 minutes or longer in a fridge.

Dredge the fillets again.

Fry in heated oil for between 2-3 minutes until flaky.

Serve hot and fresh.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Other places:

Goes great on top of:

Puttanesca and egg noodles!

Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca Sauce

Pictured with Meatballs and Fresh Pasta


Ingredients:

4 Tomatoes
2-3 Cloves Garlic
1/4 Cup Capers, Drained of liquid
2 Teaspoons Thyme
2-4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Hot Crushed Chili Powder

Optional:

2-3 Tablespoons Olives, chopped
Anchovies, whole or chopped
Parmesan Cheese, shredded, garnish

Instructions:

Either in a food processor with a blade attachment or with an immersion blender, pulverize all the ingredients, except for the anchovies, if you are using them.

Bring sauce to a gentle simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stir in anchovies if using.

Use over pasta, as a sauce with fried fish, or make a puttanesca pizza on a nice crusty slice of bread or baguette slices.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Had this for dinner under a fried snapper fillet, was delightful in every way! Tomorrow's lunch will include a puttanesca pasta for me!

Other Places:

Something for a party:

Boozey Blueberry Jello Shots 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Rosemary Chicken

Rosemary Chicken

Ingredients:

2-3 Chicken Breasts, bone and skin removed
1 Cup Water or Chicken Stock
1/3 Cup Vinegar
1/3 Cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Onion
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
About 3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary Leaves*
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1-2 Cloves Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Paprika

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

Optional:

1 Cup Mixed Veggies (Corn, edamame, peppers, tomatoes etc)

* Or 1 Tablespoon dried, crushed rosemary, I suggest fresh though if possible.

Instructions:

Slow Cooker:

Lightly spray the inside of the slow cooker insert with cooking spray.

I usually cut the chicken into strips, but you can cube them or leave them whole.

Chop the onion, mince the garlic.

In a bowl whisk together the chicken stock or water, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, corn starch, rosemary, oregano, minced garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and paprika. Whisk well until smooth. Stir in the chopped onion. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker, add the chicken and stir to submerge the chicken.

Cook on high for 2-4 hours, low for 4-8 hours. Add any remaining vegetables during the last hour of cooking.

Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles, garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

Enjoy!


Oven:

Preheat oven to 375°F

Lightly mist a casserole dish with cooking spray.

I usually cut the chicken into strips, but you can cube them or leave them whole.

Chop the onion, mince the garlic.

In a medium sauce pan add the chicken stock or water, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, rosemary, oregano, minced garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and paprika.

Whisk well until smooth while cooking over medium heat. continue to heat until just boiling. Add the corn starch, whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in the chopped onion.

Arrange the chicken breasts in the casserole along with any other vegetables you wish to cook in the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables in the casserole.

Bake in preheated oven for 40-60 minutes, until sauce is reduced and chicken is cooked through.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles garnished with chopped fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Garlic Butter

Well not really cooking, but let's not be to finicky about it. Also some toasted bread with garlic butter would be pretty excellent along side this rosemary chicken. . .

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Lemon Tomato Chicken Piccata

Lemon Tomato Chicken Piccata


Pretty and yummy. Also pictured, herb roasted potatoes.


Ingredients:

2-3 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Chicken Broth/stock
1 Lemon, whole
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Flour or Corn Starch
2 Tablespoons Capers
1/2-2/3 Cup diced tomatoes
2-3 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Parsley, Chopped

1/2 Cup Flour
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying
3-4 Chicken Breasts, boneless/skinless

Instructions:

Zest the lemon rind into a small bowl. Finely mince or grate the garlic and add to the bowl, set aside.

Peel the lemon so there is no white pith left around the outside. The white part of the rind will become very bitter if cooked in the sauce.

Chop the peeled lemon into thin slices and then quarter sections.

Pound the chicken breasts flat to about 1/2 inch thick or less. Try and flatten the breast evenly so it will cook evenly.

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, dredge or coat the chicken in the flour and set aside.

Bring a  skillet with oil to medium heat.

Set an oven to warm, or about 200°F. Place a serving platter in the oven

Season both sides of the chicken again.

Fry the chicken in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry for about 3-4 minutes a side until cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to the platter in the warmed oven for the time being.

Once all the chicken is cooked through, carefully drain most of the oil from the skillet, leaving a thin layer just coating the bottom. Return skillet to stove top over medium heat.

Add the lemon rind and minced garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and sliced lemon to the skillet, stir and bring to a boil. Cook while stirring for 5-8 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and flour/corn starch, whisk well to blend in. Stir in the capers and tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add butter to the skillet and gently stir in until melted.

Stir in parsley.

To finish either pour the sauce over the chicken when plated, or the chicken breasts can be placed in the sauce in the skillet and simmered gently together to meld the flavors.

Serve over pasta or with Roasted Potatoes.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Served at a dinner party, came together easily and was very much enjoyed by all. Great success!

Other Places:

What was cooking last year?

Rustic Pasta Sauce




Thursday, 7 August 2014

Chiffon Sponge Cake

Chiffon Cake

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil (I used coconut oil)
4 Eggs, separated into yolks and whites. We need both, just separately
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
7 Ounces Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
7 Ounces White Sugar, Divided into two 3.5 ounce portions

Instructions:

If using coconut oil it needs to be liquid, gently heat if it is solid. But don't allow it to get hot enough to cook the eggs.

Preheat oven to 325°F. 

Grease a 10 inch spring form pan completely. Then dust the inside with flour. Shake out any excess flour. 

Whip the vegetable oil with the egg yolks until bright yellow and foamy/frothy looking. 

Whisk in the water and vanilla until blended. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and one of the 3.5 ounce measures of sugar. Create a well in the center of the bowl Set aside.

In a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer whip the egg whites until white and opaque, gradually add in the second measure of 3.5 ounces of sugar while continuing to whip until stiff peaks form in the mixture. This step takes a bit of time.

Pour the oil, egg yolk, water and vanilla mixture into the well of the flour bowl, blend and mix until a smooth batter forms. Whip with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds to incorporate air into the batter.

Fold the stiff egg white mixture into the cake batter. To fold while baking is to gently stir by lifting batter from the bottom to the top, you don't want to over mix and push the air out of the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared 10 inch spring form pan. 

Bake for 30-50 minutes until cake has risen, and is golden brown and baked all the way through.

Serve with Whipped cream, Ice Cream, Berry Sauces, or just a dusting of icing sugar.

Enjoy!

Notes:

If your cake looks delightful when you take it out of the oven and then falls a lot as it cools then that means you were too eager and took it from the oven too soon. The cake is still savable though, it will just be slightly more dense than intended, will still be yummy though.

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Bandera Pizza Bread, my post popular recipe by far.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Santa Fe Ranch Dip

Santa Fe Ranch Dip

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup Ranch Dressing
2-4 Tablespoons Pizza Sauce
1 Tablespoon Pizza Spice, Optional

Instructions:

Measure everything out into a small bowl and whisk well to blend into a smooth evenly blended sauce.

Cover and chill in fridge until ready to eat.

Goes great with crackers, veggie sticks, bread sticks, Bandera Bread, Garlic Fingers, Chicken Wings etc.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Oops, while the Bandera Bread recipe is by far the most popular recipe in my list I had forgotten to include the dip that usually goes with it as a recipe. Since I usually don't bother with extra condiments or dips while eating. Sorry for the delay everyone, but now you can make Bandera bread, and the dip at home.

Other Places:

A different sort of sauce:

Thai Peanut Sauce

Friday, 1 August 2014

When in Doubt. . .



Did you watch King of the Hill? I used to watch it with my family all the time, my younger brother kind of looked like bobby at the time so we thought it was great. Anyways, there is an episode where Minh tastes and judges Peggy's favorite recipes.

To everything Minh says "add nutmeg"

I would like to let everyone know that she was probably right.  Nutmeg is magic! Add a teaspoon to most sweet or savory dishes and it will do great things.

Cheeseburger Helper Pantry Stockers

Still too hot to cook or do much. . .

Cheeseburger Helper

Ingredients:

Sauce Mix:

2/3 Cup Powdered Milk
1-2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1-2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1-2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
1-2 Teaspoons Paprika
1 Teaspoon Sugar

To Prepare:

3 Cups Water
1 Pound Ground Beef
1 Diced Onion, Optional
1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Pasta Noodles
1 Cup Shredded Cheese

Instructions:

Sauce Mix:

In a small bowl or ziplock bag measure out all the ingredients for the sauce mix. Sauce mix can be measured out into containers and stored like any other dry good. Excellent for a quick home made dinner option. You can even measure out the 1 1/2 cups pasta and have that in the bag with the sauce mix all ready to go.

To Prepare Dinner: 

In a large pot or skillet over medium heat, scramble cook the ground beef and the onion if using until beef is cooked through and no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 3 cups of water to the pan, the pre-measured sauce mix and the pasta.

Bring everything to a boil.

Reduce heat slightly, cover and allow to simmer for about 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until noodles are cooked tender.

Stir in shredded cheese, continue to stir until melted into the sauce.

Turn heat off and allow to stand for about 5 minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.

Enjoy!