Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Honey Ginger Sesame Wings

This week's wing for Wing Wednesdays takes on a decidedly Asian flair. A nice visit to King's Olive Oil and the oils and vinegars were chosen!

I knew a combination of Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar, Japanese Sesame Oil, and garlic olive oil would make a tasty combination.

Let's get the chicken baking:

1 1/2 lbs. chicken wings
1 T. baking powder
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. salt

And now let's make the sauce:
2 T. honey ginger balsamic vinegar
1 T. garlic olive oil
1 t. sesame oil
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Toss wings in the coating until completely covered and place individually on the baking sheet. Wash the bowl. You'll need it later!

Bake for 30 minutes and then increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.  Let bake an additional 15 - 18 minutes.

While chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce.

Add the vinegar to a medium bowl. Gradually add the olive oil and whisk to incorporate. It will begin to thicken the more it is whisked. Whisk in walnut oil and salt.

Remember the large bowl you washed earlier? Place the cooked wings back into the bowl and slowly add about half of the sauce over the wings. Toss the wings to coat and then pour remaining sauce and toss again.

I served these wings with a prepackaged Asian rice and some pickled ginger slices.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Northern Italian Salad: Part II

I made this salad recently and Sweet Harold fell in love with it. He requested this one again for our Italian Feast night. I changed a few ingredients for this version and it was as delicious as the prior one.

For the dressing:
2 T. walnut infused olive oil
1 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 t. kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, mascarpone, walnut oil, salt, and pepper. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the crumbled gorgonzola. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to let the flavors mingle, or refrigerate until ready to use. 

For the salad:
6 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup dried cranberries
8 thin slices prosciutto

In a large bowl, combine the greens with the toasted walnuts, dates, and dried cranberries. Add the dressing and toss gently until evenly coated. Ribbon the prosciutto on a serving platter and mound the salad on top. 

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Lolly's Spaghetti & Meatballs

I love to make meatballs. Sometimes I sear them in a skillet before dropping them into the huge vat of simmering red sauce. Sometimes I bake them for a bit. This recipe has been posted before and I will continue to post it when I make a batch because they're that good!

Let's make the sauce first:
A word of caution here: This makes a HUGE pot of sauce. I cooked this in my Le Creuset 9-quart Dutch oven and with the addition of the meatballs, it was filled to the brim. You can certainly cut this recipe in half, but while you're cooking, why not go ahead and make a full recipe and divide and freeze portions for upcoming meals?

1 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 sweet green peppers, chopped
2 T. finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup red wine
3 large cans of either crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano added
2 small cans tomato paste (plus 2 cans filled with water)
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. Tone's spicy spaghetti seasoning

In a LARGE Dutch oven over medium heat, pour olive oil and add onion and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and let cook about a minute, stirring constantly.

Add red wine and let it cook for about 2 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.

Then add the remaining ingredients, stirring well after each addition.

Lower heat to barely simmering and let sauce cook for at least 2 hours. If you are making the meatballs to serve with the sauce, drop them in as they are seared. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground round
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 pounds ground pork
1 small yellow onion, small diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
2 T. chopped parsley
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Italian styled dried breadcrumbs
Crushed red pepper flakes (if desired)

In a LARGE bowl, combine all ingredients, lightly mixing with clean hands. You don't want to attempt to use a spatula or spoon. As Ina says, "Clean hands are the cook's best tools."

Of course, you can roll these meatballs any size you prefer. But before you begin to shape the meatballs, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add a small amount of olive oil and take about a half dollar size amount of the meatball mixture and flatten it slightly into a patty shape. Place in the skillet and brown on both sides and taste. If you need to adjust the seasonings, now is the time to do that before you roll out all these beautiful meatballs.

In the same skillet, place several meatballs and let brown on all sides. Don't crowd the skillet. If you do, the meatballs will not brown properly. As the meatballs are seared, drop them into the pot of sauce to continue cooking all the way through.  

OR you can bake them on a greased baking sheet at 375 degrees F. for 15 - 18 minutes and then place them in the sauce.

Crispy Polenta Bites topped with Marinara and Parmesan

If you've only had polenta served as a side dish, it's time to make it the star of the show.  You can use your own homemade marinara or the jarred version. You can shave the Parmesan cheese or finely grated as I did here.  Either way, this is a different nibble to serve your guests.

1 - 18 oz. tube polenta, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
Parmesan cheese

Working in batches, cook the polenta in a non-stick skillet with olive oil over medium high heat, turning occasionally, until crisped and browned, 15 minutes.  

Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt.

Top with a little marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.

From Food Network

Rosemary Lemon Frico (Cheese Crisps)

These were super easy to make and were very tasty. As always, you cannot go wrong with rosemary, lemon and Parmesan cheese!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shred 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and lightly mix with 2 t. chopped rosemary and 1 t. grated lemon zest.

Sprinkle the cheese mixture into 12 rounds (2 - 3 inches) on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 4 - 6 minutes until browned and bubbling around the edges.  Let cool on the pan.

From Food Network.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

With all the other menu items to be prepared for the Italian Feast night, I took a few shortcuts on this dish. If you want to make your favorite Alfredo Sauce recipe to use here, feel free. But if you're looking for a great weeknight meal that I'm sure the kids will love, take the short cuts I did!

1 16 oz. box ziti pasta cooked according to package directions and drained well
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 16 oz. jar of four cheese Alfredo sauce
1 16 oz. jar of basil pesto Alfredo sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Mix cooked ziti, chicken and the Alfredo sauces in a large bowl. (Or, do as I did, and use the same pot you cooked the pasta. You'll have one less bowl to wash!)

Place half the pasta mixture into the casserole dish and sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese.

Pour the remaining pasta mixture and top with remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 - 7 minutes until browned and bubbly.

The Appetizer Portion of the Italian Feast Meal!

We started with one of my perfection combinations ever.

Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil mixed with Tuscan Herb Seasoning Blend in small bowls with a little freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle or two of Parmesan cheese will make your dinner guests very happy. Thinly sliced bread dipped into this nectar of the gods, is sure to please. It's the perfect beginning to your meal. 

Appetizers don't have to be elaborate and take hours to prepare. Doesn't this look delicious?

I thinly sliced cantaloupe and then cut the slices into bite-sized chunks. Then a quick wrap with a slice of prosciutto. But the perfect finishing touch? A drizzle of Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar.

If you've never tried Speciality Oils and Vinegars, trust me when I say, please do!  

And here is the link to get you started!  King's Olive Oil Company.

Stracciatella Soup

With our "Italian Feast" featuring many courses, and lots of pasta, I went in search of a lighter soup for the soup portion of our meal. This recipe is from Giada's Family Dinners. It fit the bill perfectly. However, I think a nice helping of shredded chicken would be absolutely delicious in this soup.

The word "stracciatella" translated from Italian means "little rags" which is what the strands of eggs resemble when they are cooked in the broth.  Neat, don't you think?

6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
2 T. freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, parsley, and basil to blend.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir the broth in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin strands of egg, about 1 minute.

Stir in the spinach, then season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sunday Night Italian Feast Table Setting

I've been wanting to have an Italian Feast for awhile now. Tomorrow night is the night! 

To begin the table, I chose Fiestaware for the place settings. I debated half the morning as to whether to use the traditional Italian colors, green/ red/white OR what I normally think of when I think of an Italian theme table....greens, purples, cream....you know, like a vineyard! You can see which one won the coin toss!

I used the Arthur Court grapevine napkin rings.

 And what better thing to use for a place card than a lasagna noodle???

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kids' Easter Table 2017

Spring has sprung and Easter will be here soon! I love decorating the kids' table for any holiday, but especially with Easter bunnies.

The tablecloth came from Kohl's a few years ago and I love the pretty pastel colors.

The foam chargers, plates, crazy straw cups, and napkin rings are all from Hobby Lobby.

So what do you think? If you were a little one, would you like this table?  

Sicilian Lemon & Black Pepper Wings

This chicken wing recipe is a play on the familiar Lemon Pepper Wings. The addition of Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar adds not only a fresh taste from the lemon, but the balsamic vinegar provides the perfect balance of acidity and crisp lemon flavor as well.

For the wings:
1 T. baking powder
1 - 1 1/2 T. lemon pepper seasoning
2 lbs. chicken wings, separated, wing tips removed.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Combine dry ingredients listed above in a large bowl. Toss chicken wings in seasonings until fully coated and place on baking sheet. 

Place in oven and cook for 30 - 40 minutes. Increase heat to 400 degrees F. and cook for an additional 30 minutes or so. You can turn the wings over midway through the cooking time if you'd like.

While wings are in the final bake, make the sauce.

4 T. unsalted butter
1 - 2 t. lemon pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Add the lemon pepper and vinegar and whisk to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place cooked wings in a large bowl. Slowly pour the Lemon Pepper Sauce over the wings and toss to coat. 

Preheat broiler.

Put the wings back onto the baking sheet and into the oven under the broiler for just a few minutes until the sauce begins to glaze. Watch Carefully...you don't want them to burn!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos

There are several different ways to prep your protein of choice before cooking: 

Marinades generally include an oil, a vinegar, and seasonings. 

Dry rubs consist of different seasonings to incorporate the flavor profile you want.

Wet rubs are a mix between the two. They are more of a wet paste that is applied and allowed to permeate the protein for several hours or overnight.

For this dish, I prepared a wet rub, coated the chuck roast and put it in a large Ziploc bag overnight in the fridge. This morning, all I had to do was put it into the slow cooker, add beef broth, Rotel tomatoes, and canned green chilies and turn it on to cook all day. 

Follow the links in the recipe for more information and to order the products online.

1 - 3 lb. boneless chuck roast

Wet rub ingredients:
1 t. chili powder
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. onion powder
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. smoked (or regular) paprika
1/2 t. salt
1/2 freshly ground black pepper

1 can beef broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes (your choice of flavors!)
1 small can of diced green chilies

taco sauce
sour cream
shredded cheese
diced avocados
shredded lettuce

In a small bowl, whisk together all the wet rub ingredients. Apply the wet rub to the chuck roast, completely covering the entire roast. Place roast in a large Ziploc bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Place roast into slow cooker. Slowly pour in beef broth, Rotel tomatoes, and chilies. 

Cover and set to low heat for 8 - 10 hours or high for 6 - 8 hours. 

Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place on a large tray or baking sheet.

Using two forks shred the meat and either place back into the slow cooker with the juices to remain warm while serving or place on a serving tray and ladle some of the hot juices over the roast.

Serve with warmed tortillas and your favorite taco toppings.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lolly's Meatloaf with Garlic Espresso BBQ Sauce

This meal ranks in my top five of "comfort food" meals. I've made meat loaves with white bread soaked in milk, bread crumbs, Italian bread crumbs, etc., but when I want the meat loaf of my childhood, my filler of choice is whole grain oats. Yes, oats.  As in the can with the Quaker man on the label. This is how my mama made meat loaf and sometimes this is exactly what I'm craving.

Granted, my mama always used ketchup with her version, but with leftover Garlic Espresso BBQ Sauce in the fridge, I knew this was my condiment of choice for tonight's meal.

Another twist. Publix had packages of combination ground chuck and ground pork labeled "For Meatloaf." Of course, that's what I bought!

3/4 lb. ground chuck
3/4 lb. ground pork
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup whole grain oats
1 cup (divided) Garlic Espresso BBQ Sauce (or your favorite sauce)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients but ONLY 3/4 CUP BBQ SAUCE. Lightly mixed with a fork or your hands. Gently spoon into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining BBQ sauce. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes. Bake until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Rosemary Spiced Mixed Nuts

There's something so earthy and welcoming about rosemary. Instead of just eating mixed nuts straight from the can, take a half hour and make a batch of these delicious mixed nuts. Finely chop the rosemary! The addition of the rosemary olive oil adds a special depth to the flavor.

5 cups mixed nuts
5 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
4 T. sugar
1 - 2 t. salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Toss the nuts and rosemary in a medium mixing bowl. Heat the oil in small heavy saucepan over medium low heat until warm. Add the cayenne and stir until it is dissolved. Pour the oil mixture over the nut mixture. Sprinkle on the sugar and salt, and toss to coat everything evenly.
Bake in single layer on an ungreased baking sheet, stirring often, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Please let me know if they actually last 2 weeks at your house!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Grilled Caribbean Jerk / Blood Orange Pork Burger with grilled pineapple slices

It was finally nice enough (weatherwise) this afternoon, to fire up the grill. We knew we wanted burgers, but what kind? I chose pork and we went from there. Although I'm not a fan of pineapple, I knew that would be a great addition to the Caribbean Jerk seasonings. A quick check of my available fused olive oils and I knew that the blood orange would pair perfectly with the seasonings.  Here we go!

1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
1/2 t. salt
1 t. McCormick's Perfect Pinch Caribbean Jerk Seasoning

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and shape into 5 or 6 patties. Cook on a preheated gas grill or charcoal grill. Cook until burgers are cooked through. Place buns on the grill and toast.

If desired, place pineapple slices onto the grill and let cook for 1 - 2 minutes per side.

For our burgers, I kept the condiments to a minimum to allow the citrusy goodness to shine. A light layer of whole grain mustard and mayo, a little Heinz 57, a few slices of red onion.....Perfection.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bourbon Maple Chicken Wings

We're continuing the fun of creating different flavors for chicken wings. For this version, I combined bourbon with Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar to create a deliciously sticky, gooey, messy sauce that I tossed the wings in after cooking. You'll definitely want to try this one. Have LOTS of extra napkins on hand!

For the wings:
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. granulated garlic
2 lbs. chicken wings, separated, and tips removed

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Combine dry ingredients listed above in a large bowl. Toss chicken wings in seasonings until fully coated and place on baking sheet. 

Place in oven and cook for 30 - 40 minutes. Increase heat to 400 degrees F. and cook for an additional 30 minutes or so. You can turn the wings over midway through the cooking time if you'd like.

While wings are in the final bake, make the sauce.

For the sauce:
2 T. unsalted butter
1 T. grated yellow onion
1/2 cup of bourbon whiskey
2 T. tomato paste
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and let cook for 2 - 3 minutes. 

Add the bourbon, vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire, oregano, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.

Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place cooked wings in a large bowl. Slowly pour the Bourbon Maple Sauce over the wings and toss to coat. 

Preheat broiler.

Put the wings back onto the baking sheet and into the oven under the broiler for just a few minutes until the sauce begins to glaze. Watch Carefully!

Serve with slaw or potato salad.


Adapted from www.howtofeedaloon.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Slow Cooker Country Styled Ribs with Garlic Espresso BBQ Sauce

The local grocery store had country styled ribs on sale this week. It's not the time for grilling yet, but I knew they would be perfect for the slow cooker!

2 lbs. country styled ribs
granulated garlic
dried onion

Set slow cooker to low setting. Season ribs with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Place into a slow cooker and sprinkle dried onion over the top of the ribs. Cover and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

30 minutes before ribs are ready, prepare Garlic Espresso BBQ Sauce.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Carefully place ribs onto a baking sheet.

Using a basting brush gently coat the ribs with sauce and place in oven for 20 - 30 minutes to allow it to glaze onto the ribs.


Garlic Espresso BBQ Sauce

This BBQ sauce recipe uses two of my favorite products from King's Olive Oil CompanyGarlic Olive Oil and Espresso Balsamic Vinegar.

The garlic olive oil is made from organic, slow roasted garlic which makes this extra virgin olive oil both pungent and sweet.  This olive oil is incredibly versatile. It can serve as a classic compliment to a grilled steak, can be added to pasta, roasted on chicken or flavor mashed potatoes.

The aged Espresso Balsamic Vinegar is amazingly complex, with layers of authentic espresso and dark roasted coffee. Our naturally flavored balsamic condiment is aged in the traditional Solera Method and comes from Modena, Italy. 

This BBQ sauce is very easy to make and will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. 

4 T. garlic olive oil
1/2 cup espresso vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste 

Mix ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat. Simmer 10 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of  King's Olive Oil Company

Cottage Pie

Most of us are at least familiar, at least by name, with Shepherd's Pie. How about a Cottage Pie? In Ireland, a meat pie was the traditional Monday meal because it was made from the left over remnants of the Sunday roast. If you had lamb for dinner, it was a Shepherd's Pie. If you had beef, it was a Cottage Pie. The vegetables mixed in with the meat were, of course, the left over vegetables from the prior meal as were the mashed potatoes. If you'd like to add another depth of flavor add a little red wine to the sauce. If not, it's perfectly delicious as the recipe is written.

When you're ready to top with the mashed potatoes, you can pipe the potatoes through a pastry bag, smooth them on with a spoon and make swirls like you would with meringue, or do as I did and leave an opening in the middle of the pie. 

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef or ground lamb
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, grated (or finely chopped)
1 t. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 T. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup green peas (cooked, fresh, or frozen)
6 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish.

Brown the beef (or lamb) in a large skillet over medium heat, 8 - 10 minutes. Spoon off and discard fat. Push the meat to one side and cook the onion, carrot, and thyme for 5 - 6 minutes, until the onions are just turning translucent.

Push the onions and carrots to one side and melt the butter. Whisk the flour into the butter and then add in the tomato paste. Stir everything in the pan together.

Add the stock and Worcestershire and cook for 5 - 7 minutes, until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the peas.

Turn the meat into the prepared dish and spoon the potatoes on top. Run the tip of a fork over the potatoes to make furrow and peaks so it will brown nicely. If desire, sprinkle cheese on top. 

Bake for 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbling, and the potatoes are browned.

From Real Irish Food by Dave Bowers

Irish Soda Bread

This is a truly classic Irish (white) Soda Bread, no wheat flour here. This bread is almost cake like in texture. It's perfect to serve with a cup of tea or a bowl of soup!

You can either bake it on a rimless baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet for a very rustic bread.

Remember to wrap the bread in a clean dish towel as it cools. The steam will be trapped and that helps to soften the crust somewhat so that it isn't so hard.

3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 - 3 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

Stir in enough buttermilk to make stiff dough.

Lightly flour a rimless baking sheet and turn out the dough onto it and shape it into a large round.  Life it up onto a baking sheet and slash the surface with a sharp knife to make an "X" about an inch deep across the entire surface. OR you can place the dough into a greased cast iron skillet and, using the back of the spoon or spatula, smooth the dough. Follow instructions for marking with an "X."

Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, until golden and crusty.  A tester should only have a few crumbs clinging to it, and the bread should sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.  (If it doesn't, remove it from the baking sheet, turn it upside down directly on the oven rack and bake for 5 - 10 minutes more.)  

Remove from the oven and wrap it in a clean tea towel and leave it, wrapped, to cool on a wire rack.

From Real Irish Food  by David Bowers

Sunday, March 12, 2017

St. Patrick's Day 2017 - Mulligatawny Soup

The origin of this dish begins in India with the addition of curry as an ingredient. The word translates to "pepper water." The recipe for mulligatawny varied greatly over the years and I couldn't locate an original version. As the recipe migrated through the British Isles, meat was added to the pot.

This one will be making regular appearances on the rotation!

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups finely chopped carrots
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 t. curry powder
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup uncooked rice
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper

Heat oil in a 3 - 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add chicken, carrots, bele pepper, celery, onion, and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with flour, curry powder, and nutmeg; cook and stir 1 -2 minutes.

Add broth, milk, tomato, apple, rice, salt, and black pepper, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for minutes or until rice is tender.

From Irish Favorites pilcookbooks.com

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pork Chop Breakfast

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. The local grocery had "breakfast chops" on sale this week. These are thinly sliced pork chops which can be cooked in a matter of minutes, actually more quickly than you could fry some bacon slices. A light coating with seasoned flour is all they needed.

4 - 5 breakfast pork chops
1/2 cup self-rising flour
salt and black pepper to taste
3 - 4 T. vegetable oil

Mix flour with salt and pepper in a shallow plate. Lightly coat pork chops in flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Slowly add pork chops to skillet and cook 2 - 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Northern Italian Salad

I will admit I wasn't sure how all these disparate flavors would come together. I will tell you without hesitation this is one of the most delicious salads I've ever eaten. The crisp flavors of the greens, the saltiness of the prosciutto, the sweetness of the dates, the crunch of the walnuts, the creaminess of the mascarpone and blue cheese and then the ultimate flavor combination, the tartness of the cranberry pear balsamic and the richness of the walnut oil in the dressing.  This salad is sure to impress your friends.

Here are the stars of the dressing! Follow the links for more information and to order!

Roasted Walnut Oil

For the dressing:
2 T. cranberry pear vinegar
2 T. walnut infused olive oil
1 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 t. kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, mascarpone, walnut oil, salt, and pepper. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the crumbled gorgonzola. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to let the flavors mingle, or refrigerate until ready to use. 

For the salad:
6 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dates
8 thin slices prosciutto

In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, toasted walnuts, and dates. Add the dressing and toss gently until evenly coated. Ribbon the prosciutto on a serving platter and mound the salad on top. 

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Baked Southwestern Seasoned Wings served with Honey Chipotle Cilantro Dipping Sauce

I'm starting a new series of recipes!  Wing Wednesdays are here! There will be smoked wings, baked wings, grilled wings, and fried wings. There will be dry wings with dipping sauces and wet wings that are tossed and coated with a tasty sauce!

Feel free to comment and leave your suggestions for flavor combinations!  ☺

We're started out with a wing combination that packs a LOT of flavor in each bite. Southwestern flavors are combined to make the dry rub for coating the wings before baking and Chipotle Olive Oil is whisked with honey and lime juice for a very spicy dipping sauce!

Baked wings are much less greasy and fat-laden than the fried version. A low-temperature slow cook for 30 minutes or so to render the fat then a blast of really high heat for 40 minutes or so to crisp things up a bit, result in a really great wing in my opinion!

As always, when hot sauce and spices are concerned, use less for milder/kid friendly taste buds!

This recipe will make 2 1/2 - 3 lbs. of wings.

Rinse wings and pat dry.

In a small bowl, whisk together the following:

1 T. baking powder
2 t. salt
2 t. ground annatto powder
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cayenne
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. black pepper

Add dry rub mixture to a Ziploc bag or a larger bowl and toss with the wings until they are coated evenly.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place a rack on a baking sheet and spray both with non-stick spray.

Place wings onto rack and baked on upper middle rack of oven for 25 - 30 minutes. 

Remove from oven and increase heat to 425 degrees F. Using tongs, turn wings over.

Return to oven and bake for another 25 - 30 minutes.

While wings are baking, prepare the dipping sauce OR you can toss the cooked wings in this mixture and serve "wet."

Chipotle Honey Lime Sauce

1/4 cup honey
2 T. lime juice
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. finely chopped cilantro
1/2 t. salt

Whisk all ingredients together. Taste and add additional salt or Chipotle Olive Oil if needed for more heat, or more honey if you'd like a sweeter taste. 

Add cooked chicken wings to a large bowl and gently toss with the sauce using a spatula or serve on the side as a dip.