Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Thank you to the September 2012 issue of Southern Living.  This recipe takes a little time to make, but it is well worth the time and effort. 

3 cups pecan halves and pieces
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides.  Lightly grease foil.

Pulse flour and next 3 ingredients in a food processor 5 to 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Press mixture on bottom and 3/4 inch up sides of prepared pan.

Bake crust at 350° for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle chocolate morsels over crust. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

Whisk together brown sugar and next 3 ingredients until smooth.  Stir in coconut and toasted pecans, and spoon into prepared crust.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and set.  Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).  Chill 1 hour.  Lift baked bars from pan, using foil sides as handles.  Transfer to a cutting board; cut into bars.

German Chocolate-Bourbon-Pecan Pie Bars:  For a spirited kick, whisk 1/4 cup of your favorite bourbon into brown sugar mixture.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pickled Potato Salad

This is a far stretch from your typical mayo based potato salad. It was a nice contrast to the roasted pork loin. 

Ingredients for the salad:
8-10 baby red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped leeks (or chives, green onions)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup chopped pickles (use sweet or dill)
2 tablespoons beer (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (can use cider vinegar)

Ingredients for the dressing:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup of beer (used the same beer)
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of yellow mustard

In a large pot, boil potatoes in enough water (so that they are submerged) with a dash of salt for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender (but not too soft! Skin shouldn't come off easily). Rinse and set aside.

Once potatoes have cooled, cut into fourths and place in a bowl or dish. Add in onions, leeks, parsley and pickles; stir. Then add in vinegar and beer and gently coat. Set aside.

To make the dressing, heat oil in a saucepan. Add onions and cook until tender. Add the beer, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Heat until sauce has thickened and reduced. Add in mustard and take off heat. Pour dressing over salad, add additional salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Thanks to www.sheknows.com

Oktoberfest Fun!

We celebrated Oktoberfest this past weekend. A trip to World Market and I had two unique wooden serving pieces and two gorgeous bronzed serving bowls. Hobby Lobby provided the antler candleholder and the Hummels were purchased in Munich during a trip there years ago. Plates are from Chef's Catalog.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Patatas Bravas (Fiery Potatoes)

While preparing the Spanish Pork Burgers, I went in search of a recipe for the perfect side dish.  I found it here with this recipe from The Cuisines of Spain.  Such fresh tasting ingredients in the sauce took these simple diced, fried potatoes to another level entirely. 

1 1/2 pounds potatoes
olive oil for frying
1 t. hot paprika
1/2 t. hot red pepper flakes
1/2 t. Tabasco sauce
1 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup tomato sauce

Peel and cut the potatoes in a small dice.  Pour the oil into a large pot to a depth of 1 1/2 inches and place over high heat.  When the oil is almost smoking, add the potatoes and fry for 2 minutes or until golden.  Using a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, lift out the potatoes holding them briefly over the pot to allow the excess oil to drain.  Transfer to an ovenproof platter lined with paper towels to drain further. 

Sprinkle with salt and kept the potatoes warm in a low oven.  Pour the oil into a heatproof container and reserve.

In a small saucepan or skillet, heat 3 T. of the reserved oil over low heat.  Add the pimento, red pepper flakes, Tabasco sauce and vinegar and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well blended.  Remove from the heat.

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomato sauce and the pimento mixture and process (on medium speed if using a blender) for 1 or 2 minutes, until the sauce is pale orange.

In a bowl mix together the potatoes and the sauce or simply pour sauce over potatoes.  Serve hot.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spanish Pork Burgers

Tired of the same old ground beef/chuck burgers?  Finding turkey burgers are just blah most of the time?  If you're looking for a new twist on burgers, here it is!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 thin slices of serrano ham
2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (pimentón de la Vera)
4 ounces Idiaz√°bal cheese, shredded
4 crusty French rolls, split
4 whole jarred piquillo peppers, slit open

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, parsley and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil.  Add the ham; cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp, 2 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Light a grill.  Mix the pork, paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.

Grill over moderately high heat for 5 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.  Top with the cheese, cover and cook until melted.  Transfer to a plate.  Brush the cut side of the rolls with oil and grill.  Spread the rolls with the mayonnaise, add the burgers and top with the piquillos and ham.

From Food & Wine

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chicken Cutlets with Lemon & Oregano Pan Sauce over Orzo & Spinach

Fall is coming and the oregano won't last much longer. So I decided that I needed to come up with a recipe to use as much as I could. I honestly believe this is the best chicken dish I've ever cooked. Yes. It was THAT good.

Let make a compound butter to start:
1 stick softened butter
3 T. fresh oregano leaves
zest and juice of one lemon

Combine in a mini food processor or with a small whisk. Set aside.

2 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded thin between 2 pieces of plastic wrap
1/2 cup self rising flour, lightly salted and peppered
2 T. olive oil

Dredge chicken breasts pieces in flour. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat and brown chicken cutlets a few pieces at a time.

Repeat with remaining chicken cutlets. Set aside on a cooling rack so that they will remain crispy.

When all chicken has been browned, drain remaining olive oil from the skillet. Do not disturb all the nice browned bits. 

Now for the pan sauce:
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced

Over high heat, deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add chicken broth, shallot and garlic. Boil until liquid has reduced by half.

Lower heat to medium high and add the compound butter you made earlier. Stir constantly while butter melts and slightly thickens sauce.

See how gorgeous that oregano looks in this sauce???

While the chicken was browning, boil 1 cup of dry orzo in chicken broth. Boil for about 9 minutes and drain. Add one (packed) cup of chopped fresh spinach to the drained orzo. Stir to wilt. Taste and add salt if needed.

Spoon the orzo/spinach onto a large platter. Place chicken cutlets on top and pour pan sauce over the chicken and orzo. 

Serve with lemon wedges or top with a little more lemon zest if desired.

Sauteed Onions in Gravy with Ham and Eggs Over Toast

Here's another brunch experiment that was surprisingly tasty!  The variations to this dish are almost endless.  For dinner time you could easily substitute chicken for the ham and rice or noodles for the toast.  Use your imagination here!
1 1/4 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 T. butter, divided
1/2 cup diced ham
6 hard cooked large eggs, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup low fat milk
8 slices country styled bread, toasted
Over medium high heat, melt 2 T. butter in a large skillet.  Add onions and cook, stirring often until the onions are limp and lightly browned, about 8 - 10 minutes.

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 1 T. butter and sautee ham until browned.
Mix a little broth with the flour in a small bowl.  Make a smooth paste and then to remaining broth and mix into onion mixture.  Add milk and increase heat to high and heat to boiling. 
Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until thickened and add ham and chopped eggs.
Check seasonings and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from heat and ladle over toast.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Prosciutto & Fontina Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)

Well, you all know my addiction to the Cumin Cheese Puffs which are very popular on the blog. Today I ventured outside the recipe box and added prosciutto and fontina cheese. Oh my. If you think you made a lot of friends with the original recipe, make these!

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 eggs
6 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
6 oz. fontina cheese, grated
2 T. finely minced chives

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring water and butter to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and add flour all at once. Beat with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball. Continue beating for two minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 minutes.

Beat in one egg at a time. Trust me, it will seem like it will never mix together and then suddenly, all at once, it will mix together beautifully. 

Stir in prosciutto, cheese and chives. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using two small spoons, drop dough onto baking sheets about an inch apart. I make mine small so they will be more "a bite or two" size.

Bake for 12 minutes and then turn pans around and bake 12 more minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

It's tradition at our house when Alabama plays Arkansas, we enjoy PIG! at halftime. Today's menu included thick cut bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. The bacon seals in the great juiciness of the tenderloin and crisps up nicely during the final 10 minutes or so of cooking.

1 pork tenderloin (1 - 2 pounds)
1/2 lb. thick sliced bacon
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 t. ground ginger
couple of grinds black pepper
1 t. dried red pepper flakes

Mix brown sugar and soy sauce in a bowl. Add ginger, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Pour into a 1 gallon zipper seal bag. Place tenderloin into marinade and put in refrigerator  for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove tenderloin from marinade and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Wrap bacon slices around tenderloin until completely covered. Secure with toothpicks if needed.

Using a basting brush, add additional marinade over bacon slices. Place in oven and cook for 35 - 45 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so brush with additional marinade. Cook tenderloin until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.

Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Southwestern Turkey & Vegetable Stew

Such a great mix of flavors and textures are in this stew. I had been toying with the idea of a stew made with turkey and autumn vegetables. No cooking pumpkins yet, so I went with sweet potatoes. Dried cranberries added sweetness. This is a very healthy stew. Try it this Fall!

2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 pound roasted garlic and red pepper flake marinated turkey tenderloin, cubed into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
4 garlic cloves, grated
3 cups of 3/4" - 1" cubed sweet potatoes
26 oz. chicken stock
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
11 oz. can Mexicorn, drained
8 oz. can Rotel zesty tomato SAUCE (not a regular can of Rotels)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 t. Chipotle Chile pepper
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 cups shredded spinach

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add turkey and brown until the turkey chunks begin to caramelize.


Remove the turkey to a bowl and add onions, garlic and jalapeno to the Dutch oven stirring until they begin to soften.

Next add the cubed sweet potatoes and keep stirring for 3 - 4 minutes.

Now add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the spinach. Bring the stew to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook for 20 - 25 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Turn off heat and add spinach. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

I topped with a little sour cream and shredded Monterrey jack cheese with jalapenos. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pancetta & Kale Soup

This is a strictly Lolly recipe.  And yes, it's one of those dishes that is better after it has time to mingle its flavors in the fridge overnight.

8 oz. diced pancetta
1 T. olive oil
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine
2 quarts chicken broth/stock
1 t. red pepper flakes
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes (with oregano & basil)
5 cups packed kale, thinly sliced

Heat olive oil over low heat in a 5 quart Dutch oven.  Brown pancetta, stirring occasionally.  When pancetta is browned, remove from pot and drain on paper towels.  Pour off all but 1 T. of fat and add celery, carrots and onions.  Increase heat to medium and cook for 5 - 7 minutes until vegetables have softened.  Add garlic and let cook for one minute, stirring constantly.  You don't want it to burn!

Add pancetta back to the pot and increase heat to high.  Deglaze with the wine and stir to loosen all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.  Add the chicken broth or stock and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to simmer and add red pepper flakes, beans and tomatoes.  Stir well and add kale. 

Let soup simmer for 20 - 25 minutes until kale is tender.  Serve with crusty bread and top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bride to Be Lingerie Shower

I co-hosted a Bride to Be's Lingerie Shower a few weeks ago and thought I'd post some pics of the table and food.


Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry with Soba Noodles

I had an assortment of veggies and some beautiful Gulf Shrimp waiting to be enjoyed.  So instead of a traditional Labor Day BBQ meal, Sweet Harold and I went "lite" last night for dinner.  This is a mix and match recipe.  You don't like shrimp?  Substitute 1 pound thinly sliced steak, pork or chicken.  Or you don't eat meat?  Use only vegetables.

Boil Soba Noodles according to package directions.  When cooked, drain and rinse with cold water and drain again.

Whisk the following ingredients together in a medium bowl:
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. canola oil
2 t. hoisin sauce
1 T. honey
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. grated fresh ginger
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. roasted garlic teriyaki sauce

Set aside while you prepare your choice of vegetables.  Here's my veggie choices. Try to cut the vegetables as close in size as possible so that they cook evenly. 

Broccoli (3 cups of florets)
Carrots (2 cups diced)
Green Bell Peppers (1 large, diced)
Green Onions (3 thinly sliced)
Mushrooms (8 oz.)
Bok Choy (1/2 head, thinly sliced)

Extra ingredients: 
small can diced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup peanuts
sesame oil for drizzling
sesame seeds for topping

Heat 1 T. canola oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until it shimmers.  Cook shrimp (or meat), stirring constantly until done.  Remove from wok. 

Heat 1 T. canola oil in wok over high heat until it shimmers and add vegetables.  Stir until vegetables are cooked to your desired doneness.  You still want some crunch!  Add the water chestnuts and peanuts and mix in thoroughly with the veggies.  Add sauce to veggies and stir well.  The cornstarch will thicken upon boiling and the sauce will coat the vegetable mixture.  Gently add in the cooked shrimp or meat. 

Remove from heat and toss in drained soba noodles.  Drizzle a little sesame oil and top with sesame seeds.