Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Honey Dipped Figs - 52 Appetizer Recipes


 OH YUM!

These are such a hit for any party.  Sweet Figs with their chewy texture... Remember Fig Newtons as a kid... These have that familiar taste, dressed up with almonds, honey and cheese!

They are very easy to make, great for kids to assemble.

Baking in an oven or alternatively "baking" in a grill converted to an oven makes them easy to cook.  Ever wonder how restaurants get that flat perfect look for a slice of bacon... They bake em.

No trick, just bake until you get the correct look of crispy cooked through bacon.  A bit of the bacon drippings ends up inside the fig to add to the flavor.

A terrific easy to make party snack that will have your guests thrilled!  Timing these right so they pop out of the oven just as the guests arrive, add a drink and a fig and the party begins!

Enjoy indeed!


 OK... Here's what I did...

Bacon Wrapped Honey Dipped Figs

Ingredients
  • 24 Fresh Figs
  • 24 (half) tsp Honey
  • 24 tsp Goat Cheese
  • 24 (half) tsp Slivered Almonds
  • 24 (Half) slices of Bacon
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare the figs, slice partially through each fig to the center, open each to show a pocket.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add the Honey, Goat Cheese, and Almonds and stir to thoroughly evenly  mix and combine
  3. Add 1 rounded tsp of the honey cheese mix to the cavity you made in the figs and close them up with little spilling out the edges.
  4. Wrap each fig with a half piece of bacon.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil overlapping the rims (for easy clean up.  Some of the honey will drip on the sheet and bake hard for VERY difficult clean up).  Arrange the figs on the sheet with the loose end of the bacon side down.
  6. Alternatively, if you are grilling, set your coals for indirect grilling (HOT Coals on one side of the bottom with a "cold" side with no coals under the grate.  Add a disposable aluminum pan with 1 inch water in the bottom under the cooking grate.  Arrange the wrapped figs on the grate over the water.  Close the lid and use your grill as an oven to "bake" the figs.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.  Check the color of the bacon and continue to bake until you reach that cooked bacon look and the bacon has crisped and cooked thoroughly.
  8. Remove from the oven, drain on a paper towel, Serve warm and ENJOY!

 A Fantastic Appetizer.  Crispy Bacon, all dressed up with a honey sweet cheesey center... A Favorite!

A win win win!

One of my "52 Appetizer Recipes" Collection (Plenty more than 52 actually, A great place to find ideas!

******************************************************

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Brioche Hamburger Buns from a Bread Machine - 52 Secret Grilling Time Extras


 I love Bread!

And bread machines are god's gift to bread lovers.  Only a few minutes hand on work (maybe 10 minutes total), a couple of hours of sitting around (or doing other prep work) and viola... fresh baked bread.

This recipe is for that eggy, extra rich (extra butter and an egg in the recipe) bread called a Brioche bread.

Soft and moist with a beautiful crumb.  The tops plump up nicely for that classic dome shape with a golden brown and delicious coloring.

The machine does all of the work, mixing, kneading and setting the right environment for that first rise.  Makes this a fool proof easy to duplicate recipe.  Making these buns a perfect compliment to your burgers,,,

Enjoy indeed!

 OK... Here's what I did...

Brioche Hamburger Buns from a Bread Machine

Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 Cup Warm (110 degrees) Water
  • 2 TBS Malted Milk Powder
  • 1 Package Bread Machine Yeast
  • 2-1/2 TBS Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 3 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 TBS Butter (Softened to room temperature)
Cooking Directions
  1. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your bread machine.  Use the "DOUGH" setting and all ow the machine to work (Mix, Knead and first Rise).
  2. When the cycle has finished, form into a ball and drop onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide into 8 (large Buns) or 12 (Average sized) or 16 (Slider size) pieces.
  3. Shape each piece into a ball,  Evenly space each ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press each ball flat, about 1 inch thick.
  4. Lightly brush each bun with melted butter.  Cover the baking sheet with a tea towel and set in a warm draft free part of your kitchen.  Allow a second rise for about 30 minutes (each bun will puff up about 2 inches tall with a nice rounded top.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Set a 9X13 casserole pan with 1 inch of water in the bottom rack.  Once the oven has pre-heated and your buns have risen, bake for 17 minutes until the tops are a deep golden color.
  6. Set them on a rack to cool, brush the tops again with melted butter.
    Slice and serve with the burger of your choice and of course... ENJOY!

Double Click the Photo above for
my GROWING list of HUNDREDS
of BBQ Recipes
So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Parmesan Cole Slaw - 52 Grilling Time Secret Extras


 Here's another in my on going quest to make the simple (and inexpensive) bagged Cole Slaw into something just a little more special... Even memorable.

And indeed this is very memorable.

A little sweet (Sugar and sweet pickle relish).

A hint of tart from the zest and juice of a lemon.

A rich nutty cheesy taste from the Parmesan cheese.

And all held together with a bit of the extraordinaire... Mayonnaise!

And once you have the slaw ready, a simple dress up tip to sprinkle some Paprika on top.  It does add hints of spice but also the contrasting colors of the bright red and bright green (wrapped in white) make for a beautiful presentation dish.

A dish perfect for just about any lunch snack or will stand proudly alongside the other dishes at any PotLuck, big family gathering, summer picnic or neighborhood pass-a-plate meal.

A delicious, beautiful upgrade for a simple inexpensive bag of Cole Slaw... Enjoy!


  OK... Here's what I did...

Parmesan Cole Slaw

Ingredients
  • 1 Bag Cole Slaw
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 1 TBS Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Juice and zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Sweet Paprika Spice for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the Mayo, Pickle Relish, Sugar, Salt, Lemon zest and Juice plus the Parmesan Cheese.
  2. Add the bagged Cole Slaw mix and fold to combine and thoroughly mix.
  3. Cover bowl and chill for at least three hours (preferably overnight).
  4. Just before serving, using a colander, drain the excess liquid. arrange in an attractive serving dish
  5. Garnish with Paprika spice, serve chilled and ENJOY!

*************************************************************************

Double Click the Photo above for
my GROWING list of HUNDREDS
of BBQ Recipes
So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!

*************************************************************************

Double Click the photo above for my
GROWING list of Hundreds of
Side Dishes
So,  I am also pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook Side Dish Recipes"!!!

Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!

LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!

****************************PINTEREST**************************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lemony Artichoke and Crab Meat Dip - 52 Appetizer Recipes


This is my GO TO recipe when I need to bring something to impress.

A rich lemony mixture of Lemons and Cream Cheese made smooth with a bit of mayo.  This is very addictive.  Don't be surprised when your guests flock to the dip bowl and hang out until it's gone.

The dip is very easy to make.  Simply mix well and a quick bake to heat and get that golden brown and delicious look.

I even have a little bonus recipe for you...

For the baked tortilla chips, simply buy some flour tortillas.  Cut into edge shapes.  Brush each wedge with butter and season with taco seasoning.
Lay each wedge in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until the wedges have started to dry out and crisp.

Serve alongside the dip for extra bragging rights.

This is such a winner.  Perfect for any small dinner party, big family get together, the church ladies will be green with envy if you bring this to the church PotLuck and of course a great "game day" snack for your Super Bowl party!


 OK... Here's what I did...

Artichoke Lemon and
Crab Dip

Ingredients
  • 2 Packages (8 ounce each) Cream Cheese, softened to Room Temperature
  • 1-1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced and smashed to a paste
  • 1 Jar (14 Ounces) Artichoke Hearts, Quartered packed in Oil, drained and chopped to half dime size.
  • 2 Cans Crabmeat, carefully picked clean of shells and squeezed to drain, chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 Lemon
  • 4 Green Onions, diced, whote and green parts.
  • 1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Pinch each of salt and pepper
    Optional, add Taco seasonings or Creole/Cajun Spices for a seasonal dish
  • Additional Lemon slices for garnish
  • Additional Green onions for garnish
  • Serve with Baked Tortilla chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, add the minced garlic paste, artichoke hearts, crabmeat, lemon zest and juice as well as the chopped green onions and Parmesan cheese with the seasonings.  Mix on low for a full minute until thoroughly combined and evenly mixed.
  3. Spoon mixture into an attractive shallow baking dish (I like to use a fancy Pie Plate for this... Just the right size.  Bake for 30 minutes until top just starts to brown.
  4. Garnish with lemon slices and additional chopped green onions.  Serve hot with baked tortilla chips and ENJOY!

 A Fantastic Appetizer.  Crispy fried chicken, all dressed up with a heat and sweet sauce... A Favorite!

A win win win!

One of my "52 Appetizer Recipes" Collection (Plenty more than 52 actually, A great place to find ideas!

******************************************************

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

***********************PINTEREST*********************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Honey Teriyaki Chicken Wings - 52 Appetizers


I do love Chicken Wings!

And these are just about as good as they get.

Fried first to insure a crisp skin.

Then flavored with a sauce that is honey sweet, with Earthy complex Teriyaki Asian flavors and all spiced up with a bit of Red Heaven - Sriracha Sauce (The red Rooster hot sauce).

And finally, baked to a crisp and slightly caramelized final product.

Worthy of the finest bar snack menu.
Worthy to serve to your best buds for half time of the greatest game of your life.

Just a quick tip, these can easily become a terrific dish to take for a tailgate party.  Once sauced and crisped up, dump into a crock pot and off you go.  They will lose a bit of crispness in the waiting, but are still wonderful.

You can also add these to a tailgating menu.  Especially if you have a grill.  Simply cook them as directed through step 8 below... That is, flour, fry and sauce the wings.  Then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and store in an ice chest (no ice) until ready to finish cooking.  Then set your grill for indirect heat (Coals on one side, no heat source under the opposite side) and use your grill as an oven for the final step of crisping and caramelizing the sauce on the wings.

You will be the hit of the tailgate party!


OK... Here's what I did...


Honey Teriyaki
Chicken Wings


Ingredients
  • 20 Chicken Wings, cut apart, drummettes and wingettes
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 TBS Cornstarch
  • Canola Oil to fill a large heavy bottomed Skillet (Cast Iron works great) about 1/2 inch from bottom
  • FOR THE SAUCE -
    1-1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Garlic Rice Wine Vinegar (Cooking wine)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 2 TBS Garlic Powder
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 2 TBS Sriracha Hot Sauce
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the Canola Oil over medium high heat until you reach the "Popping Stage" (when you add drops of water to the oil and it starts to POP)/
  2. Dry each chicken wing with a paper towel.
  3. In a ZipLock bag, add the flour and cornstarch (Shake to mix).  Then add the chicken wings, seal and shake to coat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Work in batches, add 1/2 of the coated wings to the oil.  Do not crowd the wings, allow them to have their space, not touching the other wings.  Fry for 8 minutes, flip the wings and fry the other side for another 8 minutes.
  6. Repeat with second batch.
  7. While the wings are cooking, prepare the sauce.  In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients for the sauce.  whisk well to combine.
  8. When all batches of wings have been fried, add the wings to the bowl with the sauce and mix to evenly coat each wing.
  9. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up).  Place the wings on the sheet, again giving space, not touching.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes until the skin begins to crisp up and caramelize.
  11. Serve Hot with a Blue Cheese or cool Ranch dipping sauce and ENJOY!

 A Fantastic Appetizer.  Crispy fried chicken, all dressed up with a heat and sweet sauce... A Favorite!

A win win win!

One of my "52 Appetizer Recipes" Collection (Plenty more than 52 actually, A great place to find ideas!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Peppercorn Beef Ribs - World's Most Moist and Tender - 52 Beef, It's What's for Dinner



OK... Add this to my list of the greatest foods I have ever eaten.  And actually move this to the top!

NO JOKE, these are about as good as it gets.

Recently I received a copy of "Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill " by Justin Smillie, Chef of Upland...

Here's what Amazon has to say about the book...

A diligent crisping, a murmuring simmer, a slow roast, a ripping hot sear: mastery of the subtleties of heat and time is Justin Smillie's hallmark. In this book, the celebrated chef of Upland explores the fundamental techniques of braising, roasting, and grilling--and shows you how to see them in new ways, to learn the rules to break them.
The chapters begin with thorough lessons on these basic methods. From there, the recipes evolve to feature variations on the techniques, altering ratios of moisture, intensities of heat, reversing expected processes. Sometimes the techniques are surprising, like braising chicken leggs in the juices created by overcrowding a pan of peppers. And sometimes the results are unbelievable, like tender peppercorn-crusted short ribs, made by first steaming the ribs before searing them to a spicy crisp. 
This is a book about delighting in the details, about cooking by hand, about learning to see and smell and touch like a modern master. It's a book you will keep, read, learn, and cook from for years to come.


I could not agree more.  One of the best cook books I have ever read with detailed instructions, restaurant worthy menu pairings with side dish recipes meant to be served along side each main dish.  Plus the mind of a chef is explored as he walks us through the delights of each dish.

The book is beautifully laid out with photos of nearly all dishes.  The instructions are detailed and the notes and suggestions at the end of each recipe will make these restaurant dishes come alive in your kitchen!  This is indeed a "You can do this" book that gives you all the confidence you need.

As to these ribs... Simply WOW... This may be the most complicated recipe I have ever attempted.  Brining, Confit, Searing, roasting and more taking at least 3 days (actual hands on working time, much less than an hour or so).  But, if you are looking for a meal to impress, something special for a dinner party, These ribs are for you!

And a BTW... I recently made these a second time at a tailgate party for a WORLD CHAMPION Kansas City Royals ball game.  I Did all the steps at home until the last.  I brought the dutch oven with the ribs inside to the game, set up my trusty Weber Grill and baked them using indirect heat (Coals bunched up on one side while the opposite side was left without direct heat).  With the lid on, Ribs were then baked until ready (about 15 minutes)... The HIT of the game (sadly, the Royals were not as successful, but that's just one of 162 games!

As a gift or a new reference book for yourself, this is a keeper.




OK... Here's what I did...


Peppercorn Crusted Beef
Short Ribs


Ingredients
  • Olive Oil as Needed, about 3-1/2 Cups, divided
  • 1 Red Onion, Halved equatorially
  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup plus 2 TBS Black Peppercorns, toasted
  • 2 TBS Corriander Seeds, toasted
  • 2 TBS Fennel Seeds, toasted
  • 3 Fresh Bay Leaves
  • 1 Lemon, Halved
  • 1 - 8 Pound Bone in Beef Short Rib Rack (Whole Ribs from the Center Cut Preferred)
  • 1/2 Cup dry Green Peppercorns, Toasted
  • 1/4 Cup Pink Peppercorns, toasted
  • 1/4 Cup White Peppercorns, toasted
  • Served with Fish Sauce as a condiment, to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Brine the Short Ribs (at least 72 hours (3 days - 2 days to brine, 1 day for the confit rub) before cooking the ribs) - Set a medium heavy saute pan over medium-high heat and slick it with 1 TBS Olive Oil/  Once the oil is hot, lay the onion halves cut side down in the pan.  Sear the onion for 8 minutes until blackened.
  2. Pour the water into a nonreactive container.  Stir in the kosher salt, and sugar until desolved.  Add the burnt onion, 2 TBS black peppercorns, and the coriander and fennel seeds.  Bruise the bay leaves and add them to the brine.  Squeeze the lemon halves into the brine, tossing the lemons in as well.  Submerge the beef short ribs into the brine.  Transfer the container into the refrigerator and chill for 48 hours.
  3. Confit the Peppercorns (12-24 hours before serving cooked ribs) - Place 1 cup black peppercorns, along with the green, pink and white corns in a medium pot and pour in 3 cups of Olive Oil.  Set the pot over low heat and bring the oil to a light simmer.  Once simmering gently, cook the peppercorns for 20 minutes or until the pink peppercorns smash easily. when pressed.  Remove from the heat and let the confit cool to room temperature.
    Cover the pot and refrigerate for 12 hours (Will store in the fridge for up to a month).
  4. Make and Apply the Rub (12-24 hours before serving cooked ribs) - Remove the confit from the fridge and let stand until room temperature.  Drain the peppercorns from the oil and smash in a large mortar and pestle until a wet gravel like paste forms.  Add additional oil as needed to achieve the consistency of wet sand.   Alternatively you can pulse the peppercorns in a food processor.
    Remove the ribs from the brine and thoroughly dry with paper towels.  Slather the Beef ribs with the confit paste (the meaty side).  Place the ribs on a cooling rack  set over a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate.  Let the meat rest for 12 to 24 hours. or until the rub hardens and feels leathery to the touch.
  5. Steam Roast the Ribs (1 hour before roasting) - One hour before roasting, remove the beef ribs from the fridge and allow the them to come to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350 degree.
    Place the ribs peppercorn side up in a large dutch oven  or a deep roasting pan.  Seal the pot or pan with a double layer of aluminum foil before securing the lid.  Slide the pot onto the center rack and roast for 3 hours or until the meat is plump and bouncy.  Each hour check to see if there is any liquid in the bottom of the pot.  If dry, add a splash of liquid to steam the beef.
    After 3 hours, remove the dutch oven from the stove.  Remove the cover but let the aluminum foil stay sealed.  Let the meat rest in the steam for another hour.
  6. Section and Sear the Ribs (When ready to eat (Finally)) - Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    Set a heavy Saute pan or Cast Iron skillet over medium high heat.  Swirl in enough  olive oil to cover 1/2 inch.  Once the oil is shimmering hot, place the ribs in the pan with the peppercorn side submerged.  Sear at a steady sizzle for 4-5 minutes, or until brown and just starts to crisp.  While searing, be sure to roll the meat on it's arch so the meat browns evenly all the way across the rubbed surface.
    Once the crust has formed, transfer back to the Dutch Oven, removing the lid and roast for an additional 15 minutes for the crust to set hard without burning.
    remove from oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes... Serve HOT and ENJOY!

Love the recipe and love the book!

*************************************

Here's the legal stuff... "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!".  Love this book and highly recommend it!

I am so thrilled to add this book to my library.  A terrific inspiration and reference that will send my get to gathers to that next level.

As a gift or a new reference book for yourself, this is a keeper.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spinach and Artichoke Hearts Mac and Cheese - 52 Recipes for Side Dishes


 This is a little bit of a book review along with a recipe (Posted for review).

The recipe comes from The Chopped Cookbook: Use What You've Got to Cook Something Great .  This is the cookbook, published by the folks at the Food Network and based on their hit TV Series, Chopped.

BUT WAIT, before you pre-judge, this book does not feature odd combinations (Steak and Jelly Beans), Instead the book features recipes that use mostly items in your pantry.  Now, I am a coupon and "what's on Sale" shopper.  If I get a great deal and I happen to have used the item in the past, I will pick up a can, jar or frozen item just because it's on sale.  So, my pantry is pretty well stocked.  But even the hobbiest cook with only a sparsely stocked pantry will find great ideas with only a small number of ingredients to buy.

Like this dish.

I had everything in my pantry except the Artichoke Hearts.  You may need to add the Mozzarella and the Spinach to your shopping list but this dish is worth the effort.

Everyone loves Mac and Cheese.  And this one rates up there with the best.  The flavor combination comes from a likely spot... The famous Spinach and Artichoke Hearts Dip.  Made famous in countless Happy Hour menus and deservedly so.  Delicious.

Very easy to make, the sauce takes just about as much time as it does to cook up the pasta.  Reheats very well.  Best to add an extra bit of whole milk just before reheating.

Makes a great side dish... Can also be used as a Vegetarian main dish.  The leftovers are great for a quick reheat lunch and most of all...

Delicious! Enjoy!


 OK... Here's what I did...


Spinach and Artichoke Dip Mac and Cheese


Ingredients
  • 4 TBS (1/2 Stick) Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • Finely Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)
  • 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 6 Cups Milk
  • 1 (10 Ounce) package Frozen Spinach, thawed, Chopped, then drained and squeezed as dry as possible
  • 1 (9 ounce) package Frozen Artichoke Hearts, Chopped, then Thawed and Drained
  • 1-3/4 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin olive Oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees, Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, 2-1/2 tsp salt and a couple of turns of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in the flour until combined.
  3. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer.
  4. Start the pasta and cook according to the package directions, EXCEPT, cook 1 minute less for Al Dente texture. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce during baking. Drain when time is up, return drained pasta to large pasta pot.
  5. Back to the sauce, while the pasta is cooking, add the spinach and artichoke hearts and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mozzarella, remove from heat and transfer sauce to the pasta pot. Stir to evenly mix.
  6. Transfer the pasta to a large 3-1/2 quart baking dish.
  7. Toss the Panko bread crumbs with the olive oil. Sprinkle these on the top of the pasta in the baking dish.
  8. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the Panko is golden, about 40 minutes,
  9. Serve Hot and ENJOY!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Reuben Pinwheel Sandwich - 52 Appetizers


 It's Graduation time in my area.

I get asked to make a tray of appetizers often.  I love serving these up to fans of the sandwich, and for a hostess that simply wants something tasty (one of the most popular sandwiches), yet just a little something something.

I have made these several times, each time the plate comes back empty.  People love these!

There is a slight down size, normally pinwheel sandwiches are inexpensive to make.  These are about the most expensive pinwheels I make because of the cost of the corned beef.  I tried these with a lower quality (cheaper) corned beef... MUCH lower taste.  So, it's off to the deli counter.  Ask for the thinnest possible cut and make a couple of layers for that seasoned pickled beef taste that you want.

The recipe will make about 60 bites (depends on how thick you slice them).  Ingredient costs are about $15, making them about a quarter each.

But worth it...Guaranteed empty plate coming back!


 OK... Here's what I did...



Reuben Sandwich Pinwheels


Ingredients
  • 5 Tortilla (Soft, Flour)
  • 1 BricK Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Russian Dressing (can use 1,000 Island or French)
  • 15 Thin Sliced Corned Beef Lunch Meat Slices
  • 1/4 Cup Sauerkraut. Drained and squeezed dry
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, Add the softened Cream Cheese, Shredded Swiss Cheese and the Russian Dressing. Using the whisk attachment, Whisk until creamy and spreadable.
  2. Lay out the soft flour Tortillas. Spread 1/5th of the Cream Cheese mix on each tortilla. Spread to evenly coat each tortilla.
  3. Evenly top each with slices of the corned beef (except for the top 1/2 inch (the Cream Cheese mix will help Seal the pinwheels)
  4. Evenly top with 1/5th of the Sauerkraut.(except for the top 1/2 inch (the Cream Cheese mix will help Seal the pinwheels).
  5. Lightly roll up the Tortillas. Not too tightly, do not roll up so tight that the filling pushes forward. Once you reach the top (The part with just Cream Cheese mix). press to seal the top edges, forming a log. Repeat with remaining Tortillas
  6. Refrigerate the "Logs" for 1 hour.
  7. Slice each log into 1/2 inch Pinwheel Sandwiches, discard (or cooks delight, eat) the end pieces that do not sit flat. Repeat with remaining logs.
  8. Plate, serve chilled and ENJOY!


 A Fantastic Appetizer.  The Reuben is a very popular sandwich.  This is that sandwich in a handheld appetizer form.  All the flavors, simple, to make, attractive to serve and popular!

A win win win!

One of my "52 Appetizer Recipes" Collection (Plenty more than 52 actually, A great place to find ideas!
And PERFECT for any big gathering...  Potluck, Neighborhood Pass a Plate event, Something to bring, BIG Family event (Impress that Sister-in-Law) and you will really shine when you take a plate of these to that Church PotLuck dinner.  Guaranteed you will bring home an empty plate!

One of my "52 Church Potluck Dishes" Collection (Plenty more than 52 actually. A great place to find ideas!

FMP