Sunday, April 28, 2019

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

I have seen chefs and cooks do smashed potatoes a lot but have never actually made them. I tried it out yesterday to go with grilled steak and asparagus for a different potato side dish . Oh my goodness... so yummy! I used Yukon Gold potatoes since they crisp up nice around the edges but are buttery soft in the center. YUM! we topped with a dollop of sour cream. You could also flavor the butter with a little garlic if you like and top with bacon bits and cheddar cheese for a loaded bake potatoe flavor. I did parmesan cheese and little fresh parsley at the end. Anyway you top them is delish! Enjoy!

Crispy Smashed Potatoes
10 to 12 small Yukon Gold potatoes, washed
3 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese, Optional Garnish
Finely chopped parsley , optional garnish
Sour cream for serving, if desired

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Cook potatoes until soft - small ones should take around 20 to 25 minutes, large ones might take 30 minutes. It's ok if the skin splits.
Preheat oven to 350F . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spray with non -stick cooking spray or olive oil. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes and let them dry in the colander for 5 minutes or so. Or you can leave in the pot with the lid off until you are ready to smash them if you boiled ahead of time.
Place on the baking sheet then use a large fork or potato masher to squish them, keeping them in one piece. The flatter you smash them the crispier they are, If you leave them with a  little more nubbly surface the better crunch!
Leave on the baking sheet to steam dry for 5 minutes or so - makes them crispier!
Drizzle with a spoonfull of butter, then just a bit of olive oil (about 1/4 tsp on each). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 30 minutes, then sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese and fresh Parsley. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes or until deep golden and crispy. Do not flip!
Serve hot, Top with a dollop of sour cream on top if desired. 


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

I love to watch Diners, Drive ins and Dives on the Foodnetwork and they featured a restaurant that served something like these... so of course I googled a recipe and found a few that sounded delicious. I combined a couple of different ones to come up with these. I think I will serve these as an appetiser for my next 4th of July party. Sooooo yummy!

Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
6 Medium Jalapeños
6 slices bacon, cut in half
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 TBsp. sour cream
1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chicken or poultry rub (use which ever is your favorite)

When ready to cook, set temperature on your smoker to 180 and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.

Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise. Scrape out any seeds and ribs with a small spoon or paring knife.
Mix softened cream cheese with Poultry rub, sour cream and grated cheese.
Spoon mixture onto each jalapeño half. Wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick if needed.
Place the jalapeños on a rimmed baking sheet with holes in the bottom (I found mine in the Barbecue grill section at walmart). Place on grill and smoke for 30 minutes.
Increase the grill temperature to 375 and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked to desired doneness. Serve warm, enjoy!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

As usual I found this recipe on the Food Network... it was from the Pioneer Woman and you can find the original recipe here.
This sauce is great !! I used on grilled chicken as a topping along with sauteed portabella mushrooms and grated Parmesan cheese. I tried again and added a can of crushed tomatoes to it. Then tossed over some cooked zucchini noodles and added meatballs to the bowl. I saved the leftover sauce in a Tupperware container in the freezer.
Very versatile sauce... Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 large onion, finely diced 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 jar (15.5 ounces) sliced roasted red peppers, drained 
1 to 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 cup heavy cream (or more to taste) 
Grated Parmesan (to garnish)
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.
Add the broth (if you like a thicker sauce only add 1 cup broth, for a thinner sauce add 2 cups broth), salt and pepper and stir until heated.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers). 
Return sauce to the skillet and add the cream. Heat through.
You can serve the sauce right away or cool it and bag it up.

Here is a pic of my grilled chicken topped with this sauce and mushrooms with roasted veggies.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Roasted Spatchcock Turkey

I tried this recipe on a nice winter day AFTER Thanksgiving.... as if I didn't have enough turkey. I think I will do this for Turkey day next year! Frees up the oven and it cooks faster and it was delicious!!!. And it looks cute sitting in the smoker LOL. I served with roasted acorn squash and green beans... think I will make Thanksgiving dinner simpler next year.... not so many sides or desserts.
I brined my Turkey using this recipe but Alton Brown has a good one too. After brining you Spatchcock the turkey or remove the back bone. then dry off with  a paper towel and follow the recipe below. I found it here.  I didn't use the injection because I brined my turkey but this method of cooking was great. We Loved it.

Roasted Spatchcock Turkey

  • 18-20 lb Whole Turkey
  • 1-2 Tabelspoons All purpose RUB ( I used a garlic, salt and Pepper rub)
  • 1-2 Poultry Rub (your favorite kind)
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 bundle Poultry Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Sage)
  • 3 cloves Garlic
Thaw frozen turkey in refrigerator for 5 days; remove neck and giblet bag, rinse, and Brine over night. Rinse off and soak in a sink of cold water for about 15minutes, pat dry with paper towel.
Remove the tail with a sharp knife, flip the turkey breast side down and cut along each side of the backbone with kitchen shears. Discard backbone and use a sharp knife to cut through the breast bone (wish-bone) allowing the turkey to lay flat.
Trim away and sinew or fat from the bone side of the turkey and dry the cavity with paper towel. Spray with Olive Oil cooking spray and season with a layer of all purpose seasoning and your favorite poultry rub. If both have a large salt content, you may not need to use as much. Just a light sprinkling all over will work great. 
Flip the turkey over breast/skin side up; use paper towel to completely dry the skin and spray with olive oil cooking spray and  season the skin side with your all purpose seasoning and  poultry rub.
Prepare smoker for indirect cooking using your favorite wood or smoking pellets for flavor. The smoker should be at 275-300⁰ the entire cook.
Place turkey skin side up on the smoker. Tuck the wings and arrange the legs so the bird lays flat on the rack. Smoke the turkey for 1 hour then baste. 
To make the baste: Heat the butter with the herbs and garlic in a small pot until melted; keep warm. Use a basting brush to drizzle the melted butter mixture over the skin as the turkey cooks. I baste the turkey every 1/2 hour after the first hour of cooking.
Cook the turkey until a probe thermometer reads 165⁰ in the thickest part of the breast. Rest the turkey for 5-10 minutes and cut into desired portions.

Cranberry Relish

Every year I buy the jelly cranberry sauce since my husband loves it. This year I saw this recipe on The Kitchen on the food network and it looked simple enough so I thought I would try it. (I did have a can of the jelly stuff just-in-case.) But oh my goodness this stuff was devine...I don't think I will buy cranberry sauce anymore.

 Cranberry Relish

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup sugar 
1/2 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier orange liqueur
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
Grated zest of 1 lemon 
Grated zest of 1 orange 

  1. Combine the Cranberries, apple, sugar, orange liqueur  1/2 cup water, the cinnamon, and cloves, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the cranberries start to pop, and slightly thickened. About 10-15 minutes . Remove from the heat, stir in the grated zests, and chill.

Classic Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing

I think one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner is the stuffing. I crave it through out the year. In my family growing up we always had Stove Top...easy and when you have a large family quick and easy is what you do. I married a man whose mother cooked from scratch and made homemade stuffing and even stuffed the bird.... I admit... I had never seen a stuffed turkey until I got married. I don't stuff the turkey anymore but was always looking for ways to up my recipe... meaning up the flavor.... I loved this recipe... will keep for my go to from now on. You could omit the sausage if you like but I LOVED the mushrooms and other flavors. and put any little tweak on it you like. I don't quite use that much butter since the sausage has some fat in it....

Classic Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, cut into pieces, divided, plus more
10 cups coarsely torn sourdough bread, dried out overnight (I dried mine in the oven at about 200 degrees until dried out)
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 small container of sliced mushrooms, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons  a mix of fresh chopped sage, rosemary and Thyme ) or 1 to 2 teaspoons dried)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
½ cup dry white wine
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 cups turkey or chicken stock (preferably homemade), plus more

To make the stuffing:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 3-qt. baking dish and set aside.
  • Place bread in a large bowl.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking into small pieces with a spatula, until browned and cooked through, 7–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the grease. Then add to the bowl  with bread.
  • Add Mushrooms to the skillet with the sausage fat and saute for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and the liquid has evaporated (may take a little longer depending on your mushrooms. 
  • Then, add onions, celery, and herbs to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until onions are golden brown and soft, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl with bread.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook wine in skillet, scraping up any browned bits, until almost all evaporated, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup butter; cook, stirring, until melted. Drizzle over bread mixture.
  • Whisk eggs and 2 cups stock in a medium bowl; pour over bread mixture. Season with salt and pepper and toss, adding more stock ¼-cupful at a time as needed (you may not use it all), until combined and bread is hydrated. Transfer to prepared baking dish and dot with remaining ¼ cup butter.
  • Cover with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray ; bake for about 30–35 minutes.  Increase oven temperature to 450°. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Maple Syrup Pudding Cake

I ran across this recipe one day while watching The Kitchen. I decided to try for Breakfast on Thanksgiving morning! Oh my goodness delicious!! it tastes like pancakes with butter and syrup already on them! But for feeding a crowd you all get warm from the oven at the same time instead of flipping pancakes. I served mine with breakfast sausage and soft fried eggs. Soooooo good!!

Maple Syrup Pudding Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk 
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled 
1 large egg 
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
1 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter and egg. Stir the wet mixture into the dry; the batter will be thick.
Heat a 9 or 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the cream and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Bring to a low simmer and add a pinch of salt. Turn off the heat. Using a spoon drop the cake batter into the maple syrup mixture a spoonful at a time. Make dollops of cake batter all over the pan.

Bake until the cake is set, 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes our pretty clean and the top is golden around the edges. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired. I served with breakfast sausage and eggs! Tastes like pancakes with butter and syrup on them! 

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

I have seen chefs and cooks do smashed potatoes a lot but have never actually made them. I tried it out yesterday to go with grilled steak...