Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Easy Broccoli Casserole


You can easily whip this recipe up on a weeknight. Don't think you have to wait for the holidays or special events to have a broccoli casserole. This recipe should be baked in a 9 x 9 or 11 x 9 casserole dish. If you want to use a round casserole dish, a 2-quart size should be fine.

4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray the casserole dish with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and pour into the baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Let rest a few minutes before serving.



White Cheddar Potatoes


Our comfort food recipes continue with this one.  The use of a food processor will give you the uniformly thin slices of potatoes that make this dish so beautiful and allows all the creamy cheesy goodness to fill in between the layers.

4 medium potatoes, washed and sliced very thin
8 oz. sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 t. salt
1/2 t. white pepper
1 t. dried parsley
8 oz. block of white cheddar cheese, shredded, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. F.  Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

Layer one-half of the potatoes into the dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the next six ingredients along with one half of the shredded cheese.

Slowly pour one half of the sour cream mixture over the potatoes. Layer remaining potatoes, pour remaining sour cream mixture over the potatoes, and top with remaining shredded cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 45-50 minutes. Remove foil and let potatoes cook another 15 minutes or so. Potatoes are done when a knife can be easily inserted into potatoes. 

If needed, place potatoes under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.  


Ground Pork Meat Loaf with Black Mission Fig and Garlic Glaze


I'm still on non-weight bearing with the broken foot. But I was craving meatloaf and cooked us a great comfort food meal. A flavorful meatloaf that's made even better with a unique glaze. No ketchup and/or brown sugar here!  I also use whole grain oats as my filler instead of bread or breadcrumbs. It's a delicious way to add whole grains to your diet!

Figs pair well with pork, so Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar immediately came to mind as an ingredient IN the meatloaf, as well as for the glaze to add during the last 10 minutes or so of cooking.

Let's make the meatloaf!

2 lbs. ground pork
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 - 2 t. salt
few grinds of black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spray two loaf pans or a parchment lined baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Lightly spoon the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pans or shape into a loaf on the baking sheet.  

Place in oven for an hour or until an instant-read thermometer shows the internal temperature of the meatloaf at 160 degrees F.

While the meatloaf is baking, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, add 3 - 4 T. of Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar and whisk in 2 - 3 T. of Garlic Olive Oil.  Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. During the last 10 minutes or so of cooking time, spoon or brush the glaze over the top of the meatloaf and return to oven.



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dining Out Southeast: The Peerless Saloon and Grille, Anniston, AL

I received a gift certificate from The Peerless Saloon and Grille for my birthday. At long last, we were finally able to go today to check out this historic building located in downtown Anniston.  Dating back to 1899, the Peerless Saloon is on the U.S. Register of Historic Places and features live music Thursday through Saturday nights. Thursday is open jam session night and local bands play on Friday and Saturday nights. The Peerless Grille Restaurant is adjacent and offers delicious southern cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere. While at the Saloon, be sure to see the massive mirror-backed mahogany bar that was featured at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

Now on to today's visit!

Meghan was our server today. I'm still nursing the broken foot and she quickly made accommodations for my wheelchair and made me very comfortable.  

There's something for everyone on the menu. The appetizer section is your usual suspects, fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, chips and salsa, quesadilla, nachos, mac and cheese bites, and buffalo chicken dip.

Now y'all know me well enough by now if Fried Green Tomatoes are on the menu, I have to give them a try. 


These were exactly the way I like them.  Thinly sliced, lightly breaded and fried just until they are perfectly browned. They were served with a nice garnish of fresh diced tomatoes and onions with a house prepared buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.  Notice those fried flour tortilla chips are resting on.  They were freshly fried and hot. I inquired to Meghan and she confirmed that you can also choose these for your nachos if you'd prefer them to the corn tortilla version.  $6.99

Now on to the main event menu choices. A wide variety of sandwiches, chicken wings, chicken tacos, steaks, burgers with a wide variety of build your own toppings, vegetable plates, and seafood selections galore!

Harold, upon the recommendation of our son in law, chose the Big Nasty. I'm not sure where this name originated because the sandwich was anything but.  You can choose either a fried, blackened or grilled chicken breast (Harold chose blackened), tossed in one of the signature sauces (he chose garlic romano ranch). The sandwich is topped with mayo, Swiss, cheddar, AND pepper jack cheese!  The sandwich is served with one side item. He went with the sweet potato fries which are thinly sliced, seasoned with cinnamon sugar and notice the small container on the side? Yep, that's maple syrup to dip the fries! $8.99


The chicken was perfectly cooked, the bread was nice and chewy, and the garlic romano ranch was an excellent dipping sauce. 

Now my turn to order. As always, I'm usually torn between four items. Today was no exception. Meghan answered all my questions and helped me choose wisely! 

Now, this may seem like an odd choice to some, but that's exactly why I ordered this sandwich.  A smoked salmon BLT.  Toasted sourdough bread with pesto mayo, smoked center cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and hardwood smoked salmon. This sandwich was also served with a choice of one side, and I picked sauteed Brussels sprouts with bacon. $9.49.



This was one of the most delicious slices of sourdough bread I've ever eaten. The sandwich was LOADED with smoked salmon, the pesto mayo was spot on, and the bacon had a great crunch. I fell in love with this sandwich.

The Brussels Sprouts were perfectly seasoned, lightly sauteed (NOT MUSHY!), and had an ample amount of crumbled bacon as a topping. You would love these even if you don't like Brussels Sprouts!


We certainly enjoyed our early afternoon meal, and are looking forward to returning and sampling more the menu items.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Espresso Beef Stew


We had our first frost of the season this weekend. That called for a comfort food meal! One of my favorites is Beef Stew with Cornbread. After this pot of comfort food goodness was ready to eat, I tried a bite and knew it needed something. I saw the bottle of Espresso Balsamic Vinegar and decided to add a tablespoon or so. Perfect! The richness of the vinegar gave just the right finish for this delicious beef stew.  

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
6 cups of low-sodium beef stock
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 envelope French's Beef Stew Seasoning Mix

In a 5 - 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Lightly salt and pepper beef. Brown stew meat in batches. Add the beef back into the Dutch oven and pour in beef stock.

Bring to a gentle boil and add the vegetables, garlic, and seasoning mix. Stir to combine everything and lower heat to a simmer.  Cover and let stew cook for several hours, stirring occasionally.

Just before serving, stir in the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar. 

Serve with cornbread or yeast rolls.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs


While I am sidelined, Sweet Harold has really stepped up to the plate (see what I did there?) and gone above and beyond to do everything possible to help me. While I called out instructions from the den, he made the marinade, got the chicken in to marinate for a few hours while he went back to work, and came home and cooked dinner. On top of that, he even plated and made this great picture for the blog!  Thank you, Sweet Harold! 

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 T. Garlic olive oil
2 T. Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
2 T. Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. Herbes de Provence
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

Rinse the chicken thighs and pat dry.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients, and pour into a large Ziploc bag and place chicken into the marinade. Close securely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place a baking rack onto the baking sheet and spray it as well.

Place chicken onto rack and back for 20 - 22 minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Serrano Adobo Pork Sandwiches with Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise


I'm on Week #2 of the foot/leg cast and cooking is still a challenge. So the slow cooker to the rescue! If you're preparing food for a crowd, make a batch of these sandwiches and you'll have friends for life. The heat level can be adjusted by adding more or less of the canned peppers in adobo sauce. Here's the type I used.



The Serrano Honey Balsamic Vinegar adds a subtle heat and sweetness to the pork as well.

I served these on slider style buns, but regular buns or hoagie rolls would work just fine. Take a few minutes and make the Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise.  These were delicious!


2 cups drained, chopped tomatoes
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. chili powder
3 T. Serrano Honey Balsamic Vinegar
3 T. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 T. honey
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder
Sandwich Buns
Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise
Lettuce Leaves
Sliced Tomatoes

Process the first seven ingredients in a food processor until mixture is smooth.

Cut pork shoulder in half and place in 5 quart (or larger) slow cooker. Pour tomato mixture over pork. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours. Remove from slow cooker. Cool slightly and shred. Return to the slow cooker to remain warm.

Spread buns with Rosemary Garlic mayo.


Top with shredded pork.


Spread top bun with mayo and place on sandwich and serve!


Adapted from 2001 South Living Annual Recipes.

Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise


I made this mayonnaise to go with the Serrano Adobo Pork Sandwiches. It definitely complimented the spicy flavor of the sandwiches. This condiment would be delicious on sandwiches or burgers or as a dressing for potato salad.

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

Stir together all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

From 2001 Southern Living Annual Recipes.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Peasant Stew


While thinking of something I could prepare for us to have to this week, I grabbed the 2001 Southern Living Cookbook off the shelf.  I decided I'd try to cook whatever was on the page I opened the book to.

And here we are, Peasant Stew.  I adapted somewhat for the ingredients I had, but this one will definitely be placed in the rotation.

3 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs, diced
1 t. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 - 16 oz. Conecuh sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 bay leaf
9 cups chicken stock
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can Italian cut green beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. pepper

Add all ingredients into a large Dutch oven (at least 5-quart size). Stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, 30 - 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with cornbread or rolls.


Me

Just wanted to let you know that I took a tumble Friday a week ago. I thought it was a sprained ankle, but further tests showed that it is a break of bones in my foot. I'm going to be off my feet for awhile, but am still managing to do a little cooking.

I didn't want y'all to think I was shrinking on my blog duties! Please leave a note here and let me know you're still out there and reading.  I'm fighting cabin fever and would love to have some messages here!

This is going to take a while to heal.  


Monday, October 2, 2017

Slow Cooker Cubed Steak with Peppers and Onions


I had a nasty tumble last Friday and have been instructed by the doctor to stay off the sprained ankle for two weeks. I had doubts I'd be doing any cooking whatsoever, but I surprised myself by preparing a slow cooker with a little help from Sweet Harold.

I think y'all will enjoy this one. You can definitely add this one to your "comfort food" or "slow cooker" file.

1 can Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can beef broth
2 envelopes dry onion soup mix
1 T. minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. cubed beef steak
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise, and then thickly sliced into chunks
1 green bell pepper, thickly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thickly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thickly sliced
Cooked white rice
Chopped parsley for garnish

Set the slow cooker to high heat setting. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Golden Mushroom Soup, beef broth, and dry onion soup mix. Stir in garlic and freshly ground black pepper.  Add a 1/4 cup or so of this mixture into the slow cooker.

Add a layer of cubed beef steak, top with half of the onion chunks and half of the peppers.

Pour half of the soup mixture over the steak and vegetables.

Repeat layers.

Cover and let cook 3 - 4 hours on high or lower heat to low and let cook 5 - 6 hours.

Serve over cooked rice and top with chopped parsley.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tropical Cole Slaw with Pineapple


Last night I experimented with a new flavor for chicken wings. Here is the result:  Passion Fruit and Blood Orange Chicken Wings.

I tried a new slaw recipe as well for our side dish. The tropical flavors come from crushed pineapple, passion fruit balsamic vinegar, and blood orange olive oil.  Such a fresh, bright taste for this slaw.

1/3 cup of Duke's mayonnaise
16 oz. bag of finely chopped slaw mix
8 oz. can of crushed pineapple in juice (don't drain)
salt to taste
a few grinds of black pepper

In a large bowl, combine whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, and vinegar. 

Fold in slaw mix until thoroughly combine. Add pineapple and combine.

Add salt and pepper and taste. You may need a little more oil and/or vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.




Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wing Wednesday: Passionfruit and Blood Orange Chicken Wings


With summer coming to a close, I thought I'd have one last "tropical" burst of flavor for dinner. Passionfruit and Blood Orange with chicken? Oh yes! I started with one of my most favorite condiments: Heinz 57 sauce. Then I mixed and added and tasted and mixed and added and tasted until I had a great balance of sweet, tangy, and citrusy.

For the wings:
1 1/2 lb. chicken wings, separated and tips removed
1/2 t. salt
a few grinds of black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add chicken wings and toss to coat. Let wings marinate while oven preheats.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place chicken in a single layer.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and drain any accumulated fat.

While the chicken wings bake, make the sauce.

For the sauce:
1/2 cup Heinz 57 sauce
A few grinds of black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together.  Using tongs, place the chicken wings into the bowl of sauce and toss to coat. 

Place wings back into the baking pan, and pour any remaining sauce over wings.  Return to oven for another 10 minutes or so until the sauce glazes onto the wings.



Monday, September 25, 2017

Slow Cooker Hatch Pepper Chili


My boss had some Hatch Pepper seeds this year which he planted and he had a bountiful harvest. He graciously shared with others and I knew I wanted to make Hatch Pepper chili with my batch.



Here's my recipe:

1 1/2 lb. stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb. ground chuck (80/20)
1 - 2 T. vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup beef stock
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 T. chopped garlic
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 can of drained and rinsed, pinto beans
10 - 12 medium Hatch chiles, prepared as noted below**

**The easiest way to char the skins off the peppers is to place them on a blazing hot grill and char the peppers until the skins darken and blister up. Remove them from the heat and place them in a sealed plastic bag until they cool. Then you can gently remove the outer layer and remove the seeds. Then, chop!

Heat 1 T. vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add about half the stew meat and let the sear until well browned. Place into the slow cooker and repeat with remaining vegetable oil and stew meat.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add ground beef to skillet, breaking it up well with a wooden spoon and brown well. Add to slow cooker.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions to the skillet and lightly salt. Cook, stirring frequently until onions become golden brown. Remove from heat and add to the slow cooker.

Add beef stock, tomatoes, seasonings, and beans to the meat mixture in the slow cooker and stir to combine.

By this time, the peppers should be cool enough to easily handle. Remove the skin and seeds and discard. Finely chop peppers and add to the chili.






Add the peppers to the chili mixture and stir to combine.


Cook the chili on low for 5 - 6 hours or on high for 3 - 4 hours.

Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.


Serve and top with shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, etc.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mediterranean Salmon Patties


I love experimenting with canned salmon. Now before you cringe and say "ewwww," hear me out. Salmon patties made with canned salmon are a Southern staple and delicacy. These have a unique flavor profile due to the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and capers added to the mix! Look for boneless skinless salmon and enjoy experimenting yourself!

If you're not feeding a crowd, or don't want leftovers, feel free to cut the recipe in half.

2 - 14 oz. cans boneless skinless salmon, drained
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 T. finely chopped onions
1 t. minced garlic
1 T. Dijon mustard
4 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
a few grinds black pepper
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 t. capers
2 T. vegetable oil

Add salmon to a large bowl, and carefully break up with a fork. Add next 10 ingredients and gently fold together until well combined.

Add vegetable oil to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Shape salmon into equal sized patties. Place in skillet and let cook 3 - 4 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. 

Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and continue with remaining salmon.



Crockpot Butterbeans


Whether you call these butterbeans or large limas, a more apt description might be delicious. These are Sweet Harold's favorite dried bean and whenever he requests them, they're on the week's menu.

A soak overnight in cold water helps with the sometimes unpleasant aspect of enjoying protein and fiber packed dried beans.  

The ease of crockpot cooking shines with this recipe. 

1 lb. dried butterbeans, rinsed and sorted
water to cover
1 small ham hock
Salt to taste

Place butterbeans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, drain beans, place in a slow cooker and cover with fresh water. Add the ham hock and cover. Set slow cooker to cook on high 4 - 6 hours or low for 6 - 8 hours.

When beans are soft and cooked through, they're done! Taste and add salt if needed. Depending on the saltiness of the ham hock, additional salt may not be needed.

Serve with Lolly's Cornbread


Lolly's (no sugar added) Cornbread



I am definitely in the "cornbread does not need sugar" camp! Here's my very simple recipe that has stood the test of time since I won 4-H competitions in elementary school!

2 cups of self-rising white cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
2 T. bacon grease

Yes, that's it.  That's the entire recipe.  

I won 1st Place in every 4-H Bread Competition I entered in elementary and junior high school.  I bet you didn't know that, did you?  I decided if the recipe wasn't broken, I wouldn't try to fix it.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

In a medium mixing bowl, add cornmeal and then slowly stir in buttermilk until it's well blended.  

Put the bacon grease in a cast iron skillet and heat it over medium heat until a drop of the batter sizzles.

Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden brown about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest in skillet for a few minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Baked Tuscan Herb Grouper


As regular readers of the blog know, grouper is Sweet Harold's favorite fish. This beautiful fish was purchased at the Gulf in May has been waiting patiently in the freezer until tonight. I let it thaw in the fridge today and gave it a quick rinse and patted dry. A few minutes in a hot oven and dinner was served.  Grouper has a nice, clean flavor and cooks quickly. The Tuscan Herb olive oil and seasoning paired well with the fish and didn't overpower.

1 lb. grouper fillet
salt 
pepper
1 T. Tuscan Garlic Seasoning Blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Rinse the fish and pat dry.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray. Lightly brush fish on both sides with the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Tuscan Garlic Seasoning Blend.

Place on baking sheet and let bake 10 - 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily.  

Turn on broiler and let fish brown briefly. Serve immediately with lemon or lime wedges.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lolly's Game Day Chili


If we had a nickel for every pot of chili that's cooked on weekends during the Fall Football Season, we could all retire tomorrow! Regular readers of the blog know that I dearly love experimenting with new versions of chili. For this batch, I used equal portions of ground chuck and ground pork. Wow, this chili was tasty!

1 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 t. salt
a few grinds black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
3 - 4 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground cayenne
2 t. dried Mexican oregano, crushed
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
4 cups beef stock
2 cans Bush's Mixed Chili Beans

In a Dutch oven (at least 5 quarts), heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and jalapenos and cook stirring occasionally. Let the vegetables cook until the onions become translucent. Add garlic and salt and let cook another minute or so.

Add the ground chuck and ground pork, breaking the meat apart with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring frequently until meat is cooked through. Drain any fat that has accumulated in the pot.

Add seasonings, tomatoes, beef stock, and beans. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to a simmer.

Let chili simmer for an hour or two, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with crackers or corn chips and top with your favorite chili toppings.





Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wing Wednesday: Asian Sweet Heat Chicken Wings



I knew I was going to have wings for dinner, but I had no idea what flavor they would be. I came home from work, went through my King's Olive Oil selection and went to work mixing and matching and tasting and here is the result!

The wings are seasoned with lemon pepper, ground ginger, and granulated garlic. While they bake, whisk together balsamic vinegars, olive oils, and other ingredients, which simmer to make a sweet, sticky, slightly hot glaze!  Yum!!

2 lbs. chicken wings, separated, tips removed
1 T. lemon pepper
1 T. ground ginger
1 T. granulated garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the wings in a large bowl and sprinkle the lemon pepper, ground ginger, and granulated garlic over the wings. Toss to coat.

Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place wings in a single layer on baking sheet and place in oven for 30 minutes.

While wings are baking, make the glaze.

2 t. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes

In a small saucepan, whisk together the first four ingredients. Place saucepan over low heat and whisk in the garlic olive oil and sesame oil. Bring to a gentle simmer and let glaze thicken. Remove from heat.

Remove wings from oven after the 30 minutes and brush with the glaze. Return to oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and apply another coating of the glaze. Return to oven for 10 - 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and garnish with sesame seeds.

Serve immediately.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Serrano Honey Grilled Chicken Fajitas


Tonight is Fajita Night! Sweet Harold commented after the first bite, "I think this is the best thing you've cooked in a long time." High praise indeed.

I used boneless skinless chicken thighs.  The chicken marinates in a serrano honey and garlic olive oil based marinade. The chicken is grilled and the vegetables are cooked in a large cast iron skillet on the grill. 

For the marinade:
1 T. chili powder
1 T. granulated garlic
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1/2 t. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients and place in a large Ziploc bag. Add 3 - 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs and seal the bag carefully. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

While the chicken marinates, prepare the vegetables.

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced from root end to tip end
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced lengthwise
8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 t. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine well. Set aside.

Preheat grill on high heat. Place chicken on grill and allow to sear for 3 - 4 minutes. Do not attempt to turn chicken until it releases from the grill easily. Lower heat to medium high heat and grill chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Remove from grill and stack the chicken one on top of the other and wrap tightly in foil while you cook the vegetables.

Add 1 T. of oil the skillet and place on the grill over high heat. When an onion slice, placed in the oil sizzles, you're ready to add the remaining vegetables. Isn't that beautiful!?!


Close grill and let vegetables cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Using a  metal spatula, turn the vegetables and allow to continue cooking until vegetables soften and lightly char, but not long enough to become mushy!

Remove from heat. Unwrap chicken thighs and slice against the grain. 

Heat flour tortillas according to package directions (or by placing on the hot grill for about 10 seconds a side). 

Load up that tortilla with the sliced chicken, a nice helping of the vegetables, and top with lime juice, sliced avocado, cilantro, sour cream, etc.




Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cheese Plate Night


On those nights when cooking isn't an option, I like to keep a variety of new cheeses to try. Think outside the box and be open to experimenting with different varieties. We had two new kinds of cheese tonight and loved both of them.

Let's start out with one of my long time favorites:  Stilton Blue which is an English cheese. It's known for a strong aroma and taste. If you've only tried the blue cheese in prepared bottled blue cheese salad dressing, give this one a chance!


Next, Isle of Man White Cheddar which is a hard pressed, firm bodied cheese. It has a subtle, creamy flavor made from pasteurized cow's milk.  An ideal cheese for the entire family.


The next one was a new cheese for me. In fact,  I had never heard of Basket Cheese. It is a salt, soft white cheese shaped from small wicker-textured baskets. It has a very mild flavor with a taste between ricotta and mozzarella made from goat and sheep milk. Due to the very mild flavor of this cheese, I drizzled it with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and then sprinkled the top with Tuscan Garlic Seasoning blend. We really enjoyed this one.


An another new cheese to try! Isle of Man Cracked Peppercorn Cheddar is a firm, creamy and full flavored cheese. It's blended with cracked black peppercorns which give it a very unique look and quite a bit of zing! It's aged for 10 - 12 months. I can't wait to try this one on a burger!


I added a few other nibbles to go along with the cheese.

Hummus with olive tapenade served with pita bread triangles. 



And my favorite Italian cured meat, capicola. I love it's spicy hot flavor!