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Friday, February 25, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Here's the number three dip!  
Hope you make all three and enjoy eating them too!

Spinach Artichoke Dip



The Players!


In large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Slowly whisk in flour and make a roux.  
Cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and begin to whisk in milk a 
little at a time until all lumps are gone and a sauce forms.  
Return to heat and continue to stir until sauce it thickened.  


  Add in Parmesan cheese, ½ of jack cheese, spinach, artichokes, salt, cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce.  Mix thoroughly.   


Spray an 8x8 baking dish with Pam and pour mixture into dish.  Drizzle the 
half-n-half over the top of the mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining jack cheese and bake @ 375º for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.


 YUM!



Recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip:








Spinach Artichoke Dip

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
2 (10 ounce) packages of spinach, chopped, drained
   and all water squeezed out
1 can artichoke quarters, drained and chopped
1/3 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 shakes of Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons half-n-half

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Slowly whisk in flour and make a roux.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and begin to whisk in milk a little at a time until all lumps are gone and a sauce forms.  Return to heat and continue to stir until sauce it thickened.  Add in Parmesan cheese, ½ of jack cheese, spinach, artichokes, salt, cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce.  Mix thoroughly.   Spray an 8x8 baking dish with Pam and pour mixture into dish.  Drizzle the half-n-half over the top of the mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining jack cheese and bake @ 375º for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Happy Eating!



Pink Dip

Here is you next dip for the Oscar's


Pink Dip





The Players!  Yes, there are only 2!


Place in deep mixing bowl and let cream cheese come to room temperature.  


Start adding a little at a time salsa.  Using a hand mixer to mix thoroughly.


Blend well with each addition.  Place in airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.


Pinkalicious!


It may not be pretty, it is pink and it tastes great!  
Freshly made and no preservatives!



Pink Dip Recipe:

Pink Dip

1 (8 ounce) 1/3 less fat cream cheese
½ cup salsa (fresh or bottled)

Let cream cheese come to room temperature.  Place in deep mixing bowl and add salsa.  Use hand mixer to mix thoroughly.  Place in air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Happy Eating!

Garnish with a little cilantro and get dipping!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oscar Party Dips

What are you serving for your Oscar party?  I have for you 3 freshly made dips to serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or just plain ole crackers!

Here is the first one!




Salsa:


Here's how to make the freshest salsa you've ever tasted!


The Players!


Drain the tomatoes. chop onions and jalapeno, toss in your food processor along with the garlic powder and lemon juice.  Pulse until well blended. (save cilantro until the end as it will over blend and you will have a funny color of salsa).


Taste, add salt to adjust seasoning. Add cilantro and begin to pulse.


Re taste at this point and see if you need to add more heat, 
if so add more jalapenos.


Fresh and easy to make.  Happy Dipping!

The Recipe:

Salsa

2 quart jars of tomatoes or 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
¼ cup onion chopped
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon jalapeno chopped, more if you like it hotter
¼ cup cilantro, rough chop
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Place all ingredients except for cilantro in food processor and pulse until smooth.  Now add salt and cilantro.  Pulse until well incorporated.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Pour into airtight container and chill until ready to serve.

Happy Eating!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pecan Crusted Stuffed Chicken

Have you asked yourself, what do I do with the chicken tonight?  Simple, Pecan Crusted Stuffed Chicken.  It is very easy to make and it tastes great.  The ground pecans on the outside gives it a great nutty and crunchy texture.  The creamy stuffing inside with the mushroom, onions, cream cheese, Dijon mustard coupled with the fresh thyme gives way to a wonderful flavor.  Try it, I'll bet your will love this dish and add it to your weekly lineup.


See all the nuttiness!


The Players!


Finely chop your mushrooms.


Chop your green onions and use the light green parts as well. 


Melt butter in a skillet and saute mushrooms and onions until tender.  
Remove from heat and let it cool.


When mixture is cool add cream cheese, mustard and thyme.  
Mix until well combined.
  

Divide into two portions and spread on each piece of chicken.  
Roll up, pressing to seal any edges. 



Mix pecans and breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Place the olive oil on a flat dish.  Dip chicken rolls into oil and then into pecan mixture, turning to coat.  


Place of a greased baking sheet, seam side down.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until done. 


Garnish with chopped parsley.


Look how crunchy the crust is and wait, theres more, look at the stuffing.  Oh my gosh, this tastes amazing and it will impress your family and friends.

Happy Eating!

The Recipe:


Pecan Crusted Stuffed Chicken

1 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 green onions, chopped white and light green parts
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
3 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ tablespoon fresh thyme
¾ cup pecans, ground fine
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup fresh parsley, fine chop
1 tablespoon olive oil

Serves 2:

Cut your chicken breast in half-length wise.  On a hard surface, pound chicken with a meat mallet to ¼ inch thick.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a 10” skillet melt butter.  Add chopped mushroom and onions and sauté until tender.  Set aside to cool.  When mixture is cool add cream cheese, mustard and thyme.  Mix until well combined.  Divide into two portions and spread on each piece of chicken.  Roll up, pressing to seal any edges.  Mix pecans and  breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Place the olive oil on a flat dish.  Dip chicken rolls into oil and then into pecan mixture, turning to coat.  Place of a greased baking sheet, seam side down.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until done. Garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve with wild rice and green salad.

Happy Eating!




Friday, February 11, 2011

Fettuccini Bolognese

 I love, love Bolognese sauce!  This is my first attempt to make this, so bear with me.  It did take a long time to make but it was so worth my time.  As it was just me eating today so I froze the remainder to share with someone special!  This might be a great Valentine's dinner for you and your loved ones. So give it a go and see what you think...


Doesn't it look amazing?


The Players!


This step is called soffrito.  Soffritto, roughly translated as "softly fried", 
is the fried diced aromatics that are the base of the dish, 
in this case the onions, carrots and celery.

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot, then add diced vegetables and stir over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until they are soft but not browned.  


Add garlic and pancetta, cook for 2-3 minutes.


Now add the salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg 
stirring for 30 seconds.


Add the meats to the pot and start breaking up the meats as they cook.  Stirring until all  meats are combined and browned.



Add tomato paste and stir into the meat mixture for 3 minutes. 




Add wine and cook, stirring to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and the until half the liquid  is evaporated, about 2 minutes. 




Now add the tomatoes with their juices and beef stock.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 3 ½ hours.




Stir in the milk and the half-n-half.  Give it a good stir and cook for another 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.






Add desired amount of pasta to individual bowls, add sauce and toss to coat.  Add Parmesan cheese to each dish and toss.



Doesn't this look amazing?  
Just wait until you taste it, it's even better than you can imagine...


Happy Eating!

The Recipe:


Fettuccini Bolognese

4 tablespoons  olive oil
1 ¼ cup onion, chopped
¾ cup carrots, small dice
¾ cup celery, small dice
2  cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
½ lb ground beef
½ lb ground pork
½ lb ground pork sausage
3 ounces pancetta, chopped
½ cup whole milk
½ cup half-n-half
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz cans)
2 cups beef stock
1 lb fettuccini
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Serves 6 to 8.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot, then add diced vegetables and stir over medium high heat for 5 minutes until they are soft but not browned.  Add the garlic and pancetta, cook for 2-3 minutes.  Now add salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg stirring for 30 seconds. 

Add the meats to the pot and start breaking up the meats as they cook. Stirring until all meats are browned.  
Add tomato paste and stir into the meat mixture for 3 minutes. 
Add wine and cook, stirring to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and the until half the liquid  is evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Now add the tomatoes with their juices and beef stock.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 3 ½ hours.  Stir in the milk and the half-n-half.  Give it a good stir and cook for another 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil.  Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 10-12 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Add desired amount of pasta to individual bowls, add sauce and toss to coat.  Add Parmesan cheese to each dish and toss.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and serve with hot crusty bread.

Happy Eating!




Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fried Avocados with Lime Dipping Sauce

 Yes it's true.  Fried Avocado's!
I hardly ever fry anything but I just had to try these.  They are fantastic, fabulous and just down right awesome.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BBQ Brisket


You don't have to fire up the grill for this recipe.  It is quick and easy to prepare, it just takes patience!  It cooks LOW and SLOW.


It's good as a main course or better on a sandwich!  Brisket is a inexpensive cut of meat and can feed an army of people for very little $$.  Brisket, tri-tip and London broil are all about the same cut so look around in your butcher shop and see what they call it in your neck of the woods!




Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a baking dish with foil.  (Or use your crock pot and cook on LOW same amount of time).  Place trimmed brisket in dish (fat side down).  Sprinkle garlic powder, seasoned salt, pepper over the brisket.  Add in the beer and cover tightly.  Reduce heat to 275 degrees and cook for 4 1/2 hours.




Ok, I left this photo small because I know how squeamish you all can be when you see raw meat!  


This is how it looks before you add the BBQ sauce and cook for another 2 hours.


Uncover and add BBQ sauce over all the brisket.  
Cover and place back in the oven for an additional two hours.



Remove brisket from oven and let cool.  


When cool enough to handle, cut the meat on the cross-grain.  
Otherwise, you will have chopped brisket!


In the meantime,  drain off the juice from the pan.  Place into a saucepan and cook over medium high heat until reduced and thick, 
approximately 30 - 45 minutes


This is reduced in half.


It just melts in your mouth it is so tender!







The Recipe:

BBQ Brisket

3 lb brisket, trimmed and most of fat removed
2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoned salt
2 teaspoons  black pepper, freshly ground
1 lager style beer (Shiner light)
1-2 cups BBQ sauce (Stubbs)

SERVES 4

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a baking dish with foil.  (Or place in your crock pot and cook on LOW)  Place trimmed brisket in dish (fat side down).  Sprinkle garlic powder, seasoned salt, pepper over the brisket.  Add in the beer and cover tightly.  Reduce heat to 275 degrees and for four and one half  hours.

Uncover and add BBQ sauce over all the brisket.  Cover and place back in the oven for an additional two hours.

Remove brisket from oven and let cool.  In the meantime,  drain off the juice from the pan.  Place into a saucepan and cook over medium high heat until reduced and thick, approximately thirty to forty-five minutes.

Serve meat with reduced BBQ on top.


Happy Eating!


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