Monday, November 5, 2018

Sticky Pepper Glazed Ribs

I love to BBQ or grill which ever you call it, I call it BBQing. I have a good recipe for sticky asian ribs and this reminded me a bit like that, but it has LOTS of black pepper and I LOVE black pepper and sticky.... and ribs. My motto is the "messier the food, the better it is". 
One morning I was watching the food network and watched Trisha Yearwood's show and she made these. I cook my ribs differently, out on the grill after baking in foil packets low and slow. Her recipe is here if you want to see the original. I'm posting how I made them. Either way , Delish!!!

Sticky Pepper Glazed Ribs

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 1/2 pounds total) cut each rack into 3 pieces or in half in they are short. You want about 3 bones per piece

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon course ground Black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 small onion, minced 
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 cup apricot preserves 
1/4 cup honey 
1/4 cup ketchup 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
Green onions for garnishing

For the ribs: Preheat the oven to 275 or 300 degrees F.
Stir the chili and cumin together with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the rub mixture over your ribs. Place one piece of rib in aluminum foil, and fold to make a tight little packet, place on Cookie sheet. Continue until all of your rib pieces are in foil packets and in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
Bake in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Ribs should be slightly pulled back from the bone. Remove from oven and let cool just so you can handle the foil.
For the sauce: Meanwhile as you are baking the ribs, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the peppercorns, garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, preserves, honey, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until syrupy. Set aside till ribs are done.
To finish the ribs heat BBQ grill to medium heat while ribs cool. Once you are able to unwrap the foil, carefully grab ribs with tongs and place on grill, top side down. Brush the side that is up with the Pepper glaze sauce and grill for about 5 minutes with grill lid closed.
Carefully turn the ribs over, brush the tops with more Pepper glaze sauce and let grill for another 5 minutes. Remove to large cookie sheet or serving platter.
Garnish with chopped green onion if desired.
Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Creamy Mushroom and Rice soup

I had a lot of the  rice and mushroom side dish I posted earlier. My hubby's most favorite soup is cream of mushroom soup. When we were first married I didn't know how to cook that well,  so I would make the canned kind.... Funny, I never thought of just eating that like soup, thought it was strictly for casseroles. But anyway, I thought the leftovers from my mushroom rice  side dish would make a great Creamy Mushroom soup... it was delicious... Enjoy!

Creamy Mushroom and Rice soup

1/4 butter
1/4 cup flour
pinch of Thyme
fresh ground pepper
2-3 cups good chicken broth or veggie stock (depending on how thick or how much you want to make)
1 or 2 cups of half n' half  (you can use straight milk or cream but I like 1/2 n 1/2)
Left over Mushroom and Rice
Salt and pepper to taste

Make a roux by melting the butter in a soup pot or dutch oven, then add the flour and whisk into the butter; let cook for about a minute over medium heat.
Then add 2 cups of the broth while whisking. Let this cook for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.      
If it's too thick add another cup of broth. 
Add 1 or 2 cups of half n' half and about 2 cups of the mushroom and rice. I just ad-libbed this recipe, I added mushroom and rice till it was as thick as I wanted my soup to be. 
Let this simmer for a few minutes at a medium low heat so the rice is hot.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. I served with grilled sandwiches or a crusty french bread would be great too.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Mushrooms and Rice!

This is an amazing side dish!!!  I saw it on facebook and had to give it a try... Amazing!!! I served with grilled steak and steamed green beans. This recipe makes a LOT so with the leftovers... I made cream of mushroom soup! My hubby's favorite... I'll post that recipe after this one.

Mushrooms and Rice

2 - 3 tbsp olive oil , separated
2 Tablespoons Butter
1.5 lb mushrooms , sliced (I used two big containers of the pre-sliced baby bellas)
2  Garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion , finely diced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice, uncooked (I used Basmati Rice)
2 1/4 cups vegetable stock / broth (or chicken)
1 1/2 - 2 cups sliced green onion / scallions
Optional: More butter to stir through

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot over high heat. Add half the mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Season with salt and pepper then remove and set aside (we put these in at the end, mushrooms cooked in rice don't stay as golden).
If the pot is dry, another 1/2 - 1 tbsp oil, and add butter. When melted, add onions and garlic.
Cook for 30 seconds, then add remaining mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned (they won't caramelize as well as the first batch) and the base of the pot is brown.
Add rice and a splash of broth. Mix so the brown stuff on the bottom of the pot mixes into the liquid. 
Once the base of the pot is clean, add remaining liquid. Place lid on, bring to a simmer then turn down to medium low.
Cook for 15 minutes or until there is no residual liquid (tilt pot to check).
Remove from stove, remove lid, QUICKLY toss in reserved mushrooms and scallions, put lid back on. Leave for 10 minutes (do not skip this step!).
Fluff rice using a fork or wooden spoon. 

OPTIONAL: Stir through more butter.  Serve!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Crunchy Granola clusters

I love granola and so does my hubby. I saw this recipe on the Pioneer woman, but tweaked it a bit. I use a variety of nuts and dried fruit. I use a mixture of what I have on hand. I also used maple syrup because I was out of molasses and I liked the flavor so much that that is what I use all the time now. This is a great mid after noon snack or you can eat with almond milk for cereal in the morning. Sometimes I break it up small and add to melted semi sweet chocolate and spread out on parchment paper like a bark. Then break for a healthy treat instead of candy bars. Enjoy!

Crunchy Granola Clusters

Brown Butter:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
Toasted Oats:
6 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey 
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or molasses) 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1 cup crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1 cup wheat germ 
1/2 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans 
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds 
1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds 
1/4 cup flax seeds 

For the brown butter: 
Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, swirling the saucepan t to keep the butter moving around, until it melts and bubbles up, 3 to 4 minutes. When the butter is a medium golden brown, remove the skillet from the heat (it will continue browning in the skillet over the next 30 seconds or so!). Set aside. 
For the toasted oats: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, toss the oats with the oil, and salt. Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheets and bake, shaking the pans twice during the cooking time and making sure the oats don't burn, until toasted, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
For the clusters: In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey and maple syrup. Stir the mixture until combined, then heat over medium heat, stirring, until barely bubbling. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the brown butter to the pan and stir.
Toss together the toasted oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds, almonds and flax seeds in a large bowl. Pour the sugar mixture over the oat mixture, stirring as you pour. Toss to combine; it will be sticky!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and thoroughly spray with non stick cooking spray. (make sure you spray the edges of the pan too. Pour the mixture out onto the baking sheet, spread out and pat down with a rubber spatula so it’s pressed down into the pan and bake until golden, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool then I use a knife or off set spatula to lift a corner up and I break with my hands into clusters, you can make them as big or as small as you like. 

Store in a zip lock baggie or two (i use two gallon size) ENJOY!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon

I have been a care giver to my elderly parents for the last 6 or 7 months, and it's hard coming up with recipes that they love and will eat or are able to eat. My mother has been eating sweet potatoes like you wouldn't believe and it's easier for my dad to eat soup rather than slices of meat or things like that. I saw this recipe on The Kitchen I had to give it a try. I basically followed exactly but I also added some dried parsley to the herbs and pretty much doubled the bacon ... Yum

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon

       2 tablespoons butter
6 to 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into a small dice 
2 cups diced peeled sweet potato
1/2  medium onion, diced 
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
1 small red bell pepper, diced 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage  
1 bay leaf 
                1 Tablespoon dried parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder 
1/2 package frozen sweet petit frozen corn
2 cups chicken stock 
1 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup minced chives (opt. can use green onion tops)

In a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the bacon and cook until crispy and most of the fat is rendered, about 8 minutes. Set the bacon aside for later use, leaving the fat in the pot.
In the same pot over medium heat, saute the sweet potato, shallots, garlic and bell pepper, stirring frequently, until the shallots are tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, sage and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and curry to the vegetables and stir until incorporated. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the corn and chicken stock, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the sweet potato is tender, another 20 to 25 minutes. Add the cream and cook a few minutes more till hot.  Season with salt and pepper.

Plate into individual bowls and garnish with the crispy bacon and chives.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Zuppa Toscana Soup

I love's a new tradition in my family that either the day before thanksgiving or Black Friday, we have an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. We eat and play games all evening. This year I made this Delicious Zuppa Toscana Soup that I found here. I followed the recipe as it was except I used a Hot Italian Sausage and left out the Crushed red pepper, and instead of just spinach I did a mix of kale and baby spinach..... So good. Enjoy!

Best Ever Zuppa Toscana Soup

Ingredients 1 pound bulk Hot Italian sausage 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 1 large onion, diced 1 tablespoon minced garlic 5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth 6 potatoes, thinly sliced 1 cup heavy cream 1/4 bunch fresh baby spinach and kale mix (I used a couple of handfuls)Directions Cook the Italian sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. drain and set aside. Leaving a few tablespoons of drippings in the bottom of the Dutch oven, stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage and bacon; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Savory Herb Turkey Gravy

No Thanksgiving is complete without a delicious Savory Herb Gravy I found this recipe on pinterest and it's simple to make from turkey giblet stock that you make while the turkey is roasting. YUM!

Savory Herb Turkey Gravy
2 tablespoons olive oil
Reserved turkey neck and giblets
1 yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
1 carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups water
6 black peppercorns
1 large handful fresh herb sprigs (parsley, rosemary, thyme marjoram)
1 bay leaf
Reserved turkey drippings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large stockpot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add turkey neck and giblets. Allow to cook a few minutes undisturbed to get nice and brown. Use tongs to flip and brown other side.
Add onion quarters, carrot, celery, and garlic. Allow to brown, stirring only occasionally, to brown all sides evenly.
Instructions:Add wine to pot and scrape bottom of pan to deglaze. Allow wine to boil and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add water, peppercorns, herbs, and bay leaf to pot. Do not cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for at least one hour.
Strain liquid into a container. Discard all solids except any meat from the neck you'd like to pick off. You can chop up the other giblets real small if you like that stuff too (I'm not quite at that point in my life yet). Refrigerate liquid so that the fat congeals on top (there wasn't any congealed fat when I did it). Once cold, remove solid fat from liquid.
Combine remaining drippings from the turkey with the broth you cooked earlier.
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir. Cook until mixture is golden brown and smells wonderful. Add a ladle of your broth mixture and whisk until you have a thick paste and there are no lumps. Add another ladle and whisk again until smooth. Continue adding liquid and whisking until everything is combined and smooth.
Reduce heat to low and continue to cook if gravy needs thickening. Add salt and pepper, as desired. Amount of salt depends on how much of the turkey drippings you use, so be sure to taste. Transfer to gravy boat and serve hot.