Monday, April 25, 2016

Capital Grille Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella

Capital Grille Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella

I have a new found favorite. I made this Sunday for Rick and I, he had what was left last night and then served it to 3 at the restaurant today! Have to give this one 5 thumbs up! Will definitely be making again!!! 

Also find it here...
Capital Grille Prosciutto-Wrapped Mozzarella

Ingredients:

■1 pound large fresh mozzarella balls
■15 paper thin slices prosciutto
■10 ounces large or cherry heirloom tomatoes (mix of yellow and red)
■1 teaspoon kosher salt
■1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
■6 slices pain rustique bread, cut in 1/4-inch thick slices on the bias (see note)
■1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot clarified butter (divided)
■1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano cheese (see note)
■1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
■3/4 ounce chiffonade cut basil leaves plus 3 sprigs fresh basil for
■garnish
■2 tablespoons 12-year-old balsamic vinegar
Preparation:
■Slice the balls of mozzarella cheese into about 1/2-inch-thick slices weighing about 1 1/4 ounces each.
■Individually wrap the slices of mozzarella with slices of prosciutto, making certain to completely cover the cheese.
■Place the wrapped mozzarella on parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
■Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Halve or quarter smaller heirlooms tomatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Let tomatoes rest.
■Brush slices of bread on both sides with the 1/4 cup hot clarified butter and sprinkle both sides liberally with the grated cheese. Press cheese gently into the bread. Toast in a panini press over medium-high heat or in a hot sauté pan that has been coated with clarified butter, turning once, until golden brown and crisp on each side. This will take 1 to 2 minutes per side. If using a skillet, cook slices in batches; do not crowd pan.
■Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
■Place remaining 2 tablespoons clarified butter in a hot skillet. Gently set pieces of wrapped mozzarella in the skillet and sauté 2 minutes per side or until exterior is crisp. Place seared mozzarella balls on a cookie sheet then transfer to oven. Cook until cheese starts to melt and is hot, about 5 minutes.
■Meanwhile toss tomatoes with olive oil, the chiffonade of basil and the balsamic.
■To assemble: Mound a spoonful of the tomato salad in the centers of three large, warmed dinner plates. Arrange the grilled mozzarella, leaning it against the tomato salad, around the front and side edges of the plate. Lean two croutons on the backside of the plates. Place a sprig of basil in the center of the tomatoes and serve immediately.



Notes: Pain rustique has a thick crust similar to Italian bread.
Grana Padano cheese is available specialty food stores.
Parmigiano-Reggiano could be substituted.

Source: Jeff Beale, executive chef, The Capital Grille, Wisconsin

Nana's Alfredo Sauce


Meal Plan Monday #13

Nana's  Alfredo Sauce

For years, this has been a family favorite! With a few revisions,
we also served this at LuVici's...a favorite of many customers...
one lady told me she could just drink a bowl of sauce! haha
There are so many variations that can be used in this combo.
Saute chicken pieces or breast strips...blanched broccoli florets...
use leftovers of chicken & broccoli...Sauteed Chicken Strips & Sundried
Tomatoes or Sauteed Chicken Strips & Sauteed Mushrooms. My children love this
Alfredo Sauce and I have used the same recipe for years!
OH, several years ago I was on Sara's Secrets with Sara Moulton's
live phone call. We were discussing leftovers and this is the recipe
that I was talking about. They aired my picture as Sara was talking
with me. I also told her that my family has always called leftovers,
"re-runs" and many times they were incorporated to a totally
different realm, whether entree, side dish or soup!




Nana's Alfredo Sauce
Paula George Smith
1 stick butter 1/2 cup
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves chopped or 1 tsp. dried
2 tbsp. parsley chopped or 2 tsp. dried
1 Tbsp. basil leaves, julienned or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. garlic, minced or 1 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots or 1 tsp. onion powder
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups milk
1 cup shredded Provolone
1 cup shredded Parmesan
Optional: Sauté 2 cups sliced mushrooms in the butter.
(2 Tbsp. McCormick's Mediterranean Spiced Sea Salt can be used in lieu of the herbs & spices)

Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
Do not brown. Add seasonings, heavy cream & milk.
Heat over med heat until hot, reduce heat to low and whisk in
cheeses until melted. Adding 1/2 of each at a time makes it easier
to melt.
Sauteed Chicken Breast strips and blanched broccoli can be
added to sauce or plated on fettucine pouring the sauce over last.
Garnish with a sprinkling of Shredded Parmesan and Parsley or julienned basil. 

Chocolate Cobbler aka Brownie Pudding

See it here!
I have been making this for years, always a customer & family favorite. Thought it might be a nice comfort dessert for those that are snowed in! It doesn't have eggs, so is also pretty much basic pantry items & milk.





In 13x9 baking dish, melt 1-1/2 sticks butter.
Combine:
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Spread over melted butter.
Combine:
1/2 cup cocoa
1-1/2 cups sugar
.
Bring 2-1/4 cups water to boil and combine with sugar/cocoa mixture. Pour over batter mixture in pan. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.

BH&G 

8x8 pan.

Combine:
1 cup SR flour
2 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Mix & stir in 3/4 cup chopped walnuts if desired.
Pour into greased pan.
Mix 3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa 
1-3/4 cup very hot water
Pour over, do not stir. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. 

Layer Yellow Cake with Homemade Fudge Icing


SEE it @ Southern Plate



I'm not much on desserts but this is by far the Very Best Cake and Icing "EVER" known to man. This icing is great on brownies and on top of any homemade ice cream.
Reminds me of childhood days. BTW! I don't have 8-10 (9") cake pans so I bake in 2 batches. 




Layer Yellow cake with Homemade Fudge Icing (lots of layers)
Make the icing first~ What you'll need:*
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 blocks unsweetened baking chocolate
2 5-oz. cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large, heavy 'pan' over medium-low heat add the sugar, chocolate, milk, butter, and vanilla all at one time. Cook slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Do not let this boil. It is important to make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved and no texture remains.
For the Cake layers~ What you'll need:
1 cup butter (room temp= unsalted)*
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs (room temp)*
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Now let's make and assemble this baby!!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8-10 9" cake pans with shortening and set aside.
1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl and add the eggs all at once and beat until well mixed.
2.Add the flour and water alternately, beginning and ending with flour. *Note: It is normal for the batter to appear curdled. Don't freak out!!*
3. Mix in the vanilla.
Now, pour approximately 3/4 cup batter into each greased prepared pan. Smooth the batter to the edges of the pans. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until layers are barely golden on top. Remove from oven and turn out onto cooling racks.
If you don't have enough pans, clean the pans, grease them and repeat baking. When next set of layers go into the oven, begin icing the cake.*
Place a still-warm layer on a cardboard round set atop a cooling rack inside a baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup icing on the layer spreading it gently to the edges. Top with the next layer and repeat.
When all layers have been stacked and iced, spread remaining icing over top and sides of the cake. If the icing becomes thick, return the pan to "very low"heat until it returns to spreading consistency.

Lobster & Crab Pie

MEAL PLAN MONDAY #31

During our last trip to the mountains, I talked Rick into lunch at The Wild Plum Tea Room. He had wanted to try their Lobster Pie, of course, they had sold out when we got there! I bought their cookbook and adapted the recipe for us after returning home. Very tasty, but very rich! Kind of like Brylcreem, "A little dab will do you! "




Lobster & Crab Pie
Paula Smith
adapted from Wild Plum Tea Room

4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 shallots sliced thin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts, not marinated
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup lobster tail meat
1 cup lump crabmeat 
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano
Puff pastry
1 egg beaten w/ 1 Tbsp. water 

In medium skillet, sauté :butter, shallots, flour, cayenne & dry mustard for 2-3 minutes. Add heavy cream & half & half, bring to a slow boil & cook until thickened. Remove from heat & cool. Combine sour cream, artichokes, parsley, lobster, crabmeat & Romano. Stir in béchamel & spoon into 4 large ramekins. Cut puff pastry to fit top of ramekins, brush with egg wash. Bake in 425 preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Garnish with shredded cheese & fresh parsley.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Four Bean Salad w/Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Check it out at Southern Bite

Spring is here & lighter, refreshing side dishes need revisiting. This is a favorite adapted from a recipe that I had seen with an oriental dressing. My Honey Dijon Vinaigrette is one of my favorites for several salads...Chopped Salad, Spinach/Strawberry/Pecan/Blue Cheese Salad. 



Four Bean Salad w/ Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
12 oz. fresh green beans, split lengthwise
8 oz. wax beans, split lengthwise
2 cups frozen edamame
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Dressing:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper 
Prepare green beans & wax beans. Add edamame & steam in microwave for 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water & drain. Add drained garbanzo beans, chopped pepper & chopped red onion.
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over bean mixture, toss to coat. Let stand 30-40 minutes at room temp, toss again & serve. Refrigerate any salad that is left.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Finally, TAMALES, OLE!

I have been wanting to make tamales for some time now...it finally happened yesterday and today. I cooked pork carnitas, had ground beef taco meat, made 4 pints of red chile sauce last night.

See it here also: Meal Plan Monday #11

TAMALES
Soak corn husks 2-3 hours in warm water until pliable.

For Masa dough...for each 2 cups of masa harina, use 1/2 cup lard, 1 tsp. Salt, 1/2 tsp. Chili powder, 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. Paprika & 1/2 tsp. Ground cumin. Add enough chicken broth to make spreadable consistency dough. Spread in 4" square in corn husks that have been soaked until pliable. Roll & fold up end. Stand in steamer basket. When all are ready, steam for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. May be frozen in ziplock bags, steamed for 25 minutes from frozen state. 

I used 6 cups masa and had enough for 30 tamales.

I also made red chile sauce from dried red peppers to freeze in batches. I doubled this recipe & had 4 pints. 


Red Chile sauce:
Ingredients:
  • Red Chile Pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cumin
  • Whole Crushed Oregano
  • Granulated garlic
  • Salt or granulated chicken bouillon
  • Flour
  • Oil

Directions:

  1. Rinse and remove the stems and seeds from approximately 25 pods.
  2. In a pot, add enough water to fully cover pods. 
  3. Add 1 bay leaf.
  4. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes, then let cool slightly.
  5. Remove bay leaf, and with a blender puree pods and the water.
  6. Use a colander to separate the pulp from the skin, do this several cups at a time.

To the Pureed Sauce add:

  1. .5 tsp cumin
  2. 1 tsp whole oregano (crushed)
  3. 2 tsp granulated garlic
  4. 2 tsp salt or granulated chicken bouillon

*To make a roux:

  1. Add 1 tsp of oil and 1 tsp flour
  2. Let simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add to chile sauce to thicken and bring to a boil.


CARNITAS:

3 lb. pork roast
1-1/2 onions, quartered
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1-2 tsp.  Fresh ground cumin seed
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1 tsp. Smoked paprika
1 jalapeño
1 naval orange, quartered
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper

Place roast in slow cooker, sprinkle with oregano, cumin, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper. Add peeled, quartered onion, whole jalapeño. Squeeze juice from orange over and add orange pieces to pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove roast & shred meat.

BEEF FOR TACOS BURRITOS TAMALES

In large skillet, combine:

2 lbs. ground chuck, raw
1 lb. extra lean ground beef, raw

Break meat up & add:
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tsp. Minced garlic
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
2 tsp. Fresh ground cumin seed
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 Tbsp. Smoked paprika
8 cups water

Bring to boil, reduce heat & cook at slow boil for 2 hours, stir occasionally & add more water if necessary. Cook down until most of liquid evaporates. Remove with slotted spoon.

SHREDDED BEEF:
3-4 lb. roast
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1 onion, quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. Cumin seeds
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1-2 jalapeño peppers
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
2 cups beef broth low sodium

Place all ingredients in crockpot & cook on low for 8 hours. Remove roast and shred. Strain broth and add some to the meat to keep it moist, reserve remaining broth. 










Sunday, April 3, 2016

Marinated Shrimp & Olive Salad


Find it here also... Southern Plate
Marinated Shrimp & Olive Salad
5 lb. 21-25 shrimp boiled in Old Bay seasoning, peeled & deveined
1 can black olives (about 2 cups)
1 jar pimento stuffed green olives (about 2 cups)
6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 large red onion, cut in circles(I prefer to cut in strips)
1 lg. bottle Zesty Italian dressing
1 qt' sliced fresh mushrooms
1 qt. cherry tomatoes, halved
3 stalks celery chopped
Fresh parsley
Boil & Peel Shrimp. Put all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl, cover and chill for 24 hours before serving.
Shake or stir often. Serve on bed of lettuce with crackers or tortilla chips.



Saturday, April 2, 2016

April 2016 Newsletter







APRIL 2016 NEWSLETTER

Thai Chicken Satay


This is one of my favorites to serve as a heavy appetizer.


Thai Chicken Satay

  • 8-12 skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips 
  • 1 package wooden skewers
Marinade:

6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tsp. coriander
4 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dark say sauce
4 tsp. ginger minced

2 Tbsp. lime juice
6 Tbsp. oil

Mix marinade ingredients. Cut chicken into thin strips  and marinate at least two hours.
Chicken Satay:

Thread chicken pieces onto one end of satay sticks. Broil or much better, barbecue, baste with marinade. Serve with peanut sauce for dipping.
Peanut Sauce:

1 c. chunky peanut butter
1-2 tsp. hot chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 c. lime juice
1/4 c. dark soy sauce
1/2 c. peanut oil

Mix ingredients together. Should have a sweet/hot peanut flavor. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly.
***************************************

French Country Omelet

This is absolutely one of my favorite go-to recipes. It can be varied in so many ways...depending on what you have on hand!

French Country Omelet
Paula George
This is great for breakfast, brunch or dinner! Enjoy!
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled *see variations
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup Vidalia onion, diced
5 or 6 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. half & half
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack/Colby cheese *see variations
2 Tbsp. fresh snipped chives
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook bacon over medium heat(I use the lid to my Lodge 10" cast iron combo skillet);
crumble and set aside.
Reserve 2 Tbsp. drippings.
Add potatoes and onions and cook until lightly browned.
Beat together eggs, half & half, salt and peppers.
Reduce heat to medium-low.
Pour over potatoes.
Cook 2-3 minutes.
Top with crumbled bacon.
Sprinkle with cheese and chives.
Place skillet in oven and cook 5-6 minutes until eggs are set.
Variations: Use 1/2 lb. bulk sausage, crumbled and browned.
         Use 1 cup diced ham, browned in 2 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil.
         Use pepper jack cheese or sharp cheddar cheese.
         Add 1 cup sliced mushrooms 2-3 minutes before potatoes and onions are done.
Great served with sliced tomatoes, wheat toast!
****************************************************
Another Chicken Salad
Paula George

3 cups chicken, shredded (leftover from the chicken savoy)
1 cup sliced red grapes
1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise ( I prefer Duke's)
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Delicious for sandwiches or with crackers for a salad plate.
******************************************************************
Lemony Linguine with Chicken, Sugar Snap Peas and Mint
 Cooking Club of America

This creamy pasta gets a bright counterbalance from lemon, chives and mint. Look for stringless sugar snap peas in the produce aisle, to save time on preparation.
8 oz. linguine
12 oz. sugar snap peas
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon lemon peel
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cook pasta according to package directions, adding peas during last 3 to 5 minutes; drain.
2 Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook chicken 3 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink on the outside, stirring frequently. Add shallots and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3 Add broth and cream. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Boil until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from heat; stir in mint, chives and lemon peel.
4 Toss pasta and peas with chicken mixture in large bowl; sprinkle with cheese.
* ****************************

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

"Together"

I travel along the highway...early morning,
Reminiscing the past couple of days spent with you.
The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your
love embracing me.
Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind.
I travel along the highway.., anticipating...
The next time that we spend together...
The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your
love embracing me.
Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind.
I travel throughout the day...early afternoon,
Anticipating the times that we will spend together...
The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your
love embracing me.
Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind.
I travel into the evening, darkness arrives,
Anxious to lie in your arms, your voice saying, "My Angel"...
The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your
love embracing me.
Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind.
I travel into the days... that lie ahead,
Longing to spend my days and nights with you.
The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your
love embracing me.
Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind.

Paula 2010
 

Paula 2010

Lemony Linguine with Chicken, Sugar Snap Peas and Mint

I started making this several years ago, the trial run was when I was working at LuVici's for lunch one day. Served it to numerous customers in the restaurant that day & it got a "thumbs up" from everyone! 
It just screams SPRING!!!!

MEAL PLAN MONDAY #16



Lemony Linguine with Chicken, Sugar Snap Peas and Mint 
 Cooking Club of America



This creamy pasta gets a bright counterbalance from lemon, chives and mint. Look for stringless sugar snap peas in the produce aisle, to save time on preparation.
8 oz. linguine 
12 oz. sugar snap peas
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon lemon peel
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cook pasta according to package directions, adding peas during last 3 to 5 minutes; drain. 
2 Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook chicken 3 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink on the outside, stirring frequently. Add shallots and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
3 Add broth and cream. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Boil until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from heat; stir in mint, chives and lemon peel. 
4 Toss pasta and peas with chicken mixture in large bowl; sprinkle with cheese.