Ya-Ya’s Greek Football Nachos

February 3, 2016

nachos (2)Ingredients:
• 1 pound thinly sliced and chopped Gyro meat*
• 1 bag Tortilla chips, restaurant style
• 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
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• 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
• 1 cup shredded lettuce
• 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
• 1/2 cup black olives
• 1/2 cup red onion, diced
• ½ cup sliced pepperoncini
• 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
• 1 ½ cups Tzatziki Sauce

Directions:
1. If you do not have pre-done sliced Gyro meat, follow Ground Lamb directions below.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tortilla chips onto a large jelly roll pan or casserole dish. Top with Gyro meat (or crumbled Cooked Lamb) 6 ounces of feta. Place in the oven and cook 8 – 10 minutes or until the feta starts to brown.
3. Remove from oven. Top with Tzatziki, diced tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, olives, red onion, pepperoncini and remaining feta cheese.
4. Serve.

*Ground Lamb Directions
• 1-pound ground lamb
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. Cook lamb, garlic, yellow onion, oregano and salt and pepper in a pan over medium heat. Cook until lamb is cooked through and onions are softened approximately 7 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside.

Snowpocalypse 2016 Ice Cream

January 23, 2016

Stephanie and Caitlin from WHAG-25, are always looking for new ideas on the show, and while messaging Stephanie on the longevity of the storm she asked about Snow Ice Cream. I’ve had Snow Ice Cream but never made it but did some research into several recipes and this is the creation I came up with at Shepherd Dining Services. There’s lots of snow out there – so gather up a bowl and get cooking!

Ingredients:

1-gallon fresh snow – no yellow snow
1-cup sugar
1 tbsp. natural vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz) – more to taste

Directions:

Place the snow in a large clean metal bowl, gradually add in sugar, vanilla and slowly stir in the condensed milk to desired consistency. You may need more so have another ready just in case.

Scoop into bowls top with favorite additions or enjoy plain!

 

It’s Back!

January 14, 2016

Blog crashed and was only able to restore data to 2011, rest assured I’ll have new items and ideas in the very near future.  Stay tuned!

Check out some frozen drinks featured on WHAG 25 – Your4State.com

 

Red Monkey Seasoning and Rubs

July 4, 2011

I stumbled across the Red Monkey website over 2 months ago and they graciously sent me a few samples to try. I’ve been using them in a variety of recipes from commercial to home use and each seasoning is loaded with flavor.

The main three that I have utilized are:

Mango Habanera – a delicious blend of sea salt, dried mango, orange peel, spices, peppers, smoke, garlic and a few other spices.

Smoked Paprika and Roasted Garlic – a nice blending of sea salt, garlic, smoke, onion paprika and select spices.

Hickory Smoked Balsamic – a perfect blend of sea salt, dehydrated garlic, spices and herbs, dehydrated onion, apple cider vinegar powder, ground mustard, citric acid, and balsamic vinegar powder.

I used the seasonings on chicken, ribs, steaks, pork loins and chops, fish, lobster, shrimp, vegetables, dips, sauces, gravies and the list goes on. Don’t take my word for it, go online and look up the seasonings and pick up some to try. They are certainly worth it, and at $3.99 a bottle they go a long way. They also carry foodservice sizes in a few of their blends if you need larger quantities. I’ve been using the smaller bottles but will be placing an order for foodservice sizes in the next two days. I really hope they have the Roasted Raspberry Chipotle in stock so that I can try out on some smoked pork or beef brisket.

Try taking 1 tablespoon of the Smoked Paprika and Roasted Garlic seasoning and add it to 1/2 cups of sour cream, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. Mix well and allow to sit for at least 3 hours for seasonings to blend. You can add more or less according to your personal taste, just remember that the flavor will intensify as it sits in the fridge.

Stay tuned in for more ideas and recipes featuring Red Monkey seasonings!

Grilling up the summer!

June 15, 2011

Head to your local market, food pantry, garden, farmers market or snag some fresh produce from your neighbors garden if they are away! In any case pick some fresh ingredients, lightly season them and fire up the grill and get it smoking hot.

Sear the veggies to your desired doneness and then dress with a bit of freshly diced scallions or shallots, some grated Wisconsin cheese and drizzle on a touch of aged balsamic vinegar!

Have at it and be creative, leap before you look and grill until you can grill no more! Then grill again!

June 11, 2011

If it were not for Auguste Escoffier we would be eating to get by or simply eating as a fact of life. Food takes on a different flavor when treated with skill and understanding. All too often quality food is purchased, hidden away in a bag or drawer in the fridge, pantry or cupboard and left to the demise of time.

For some they like to look over Good Housekeeping, GQ, Taste of Home and magazine of all style of food presentation offering up a variety of cooking techniques. Suffice to say Auguste went down that path before any of these modern day versions of the quick fix recipe came to print. In 1903 he published what I believe is the mother of all magazines, cookbooks, guides and articles on taking cooking seriously.

True, I like to have fun in the kitchen but when the oil hits the skillet I like to rely on basic foundation principles. So when the latest copy of Le Guide Culinaire hit the bookshelves I was more than interested in using it for classroom instruction, and was beyond excited when a good friend from John Wiley & Sons, Inc contacted me to see if I would like to use it for educational purposes.

In the next several months I will digest the recipes as Auguste had written them, then later revised a second, third and lastly in 1921 for a fourth time. I’m also looking forward to imparting some of Escoffier’s time tested culinary skills to those paths i cross during my travels.

Apple Slaw

May 12, 2011

I wanted something bright, fresh and crisp for the upcoming summer season, and this salad hit the mark. It has a nice crispness, delightful flavor and delicious crunch.

Try a variety of your favorite apples and mix up the sharpness of cheddar if you wish. The sky is the limit so mix up this delightful summer dish and enjoy.

¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Spicy Brown mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp seat salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 medium cabbage, shredded (4 cups)
1 small red cabbage, shredded (2 cups)
2 large carrots, shredded (1 cup)
1 medium parsnip, shredded (1/3 cup)
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and cut into thin strips
1 Gala apple, unpeeled and cut into thin strips
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 oz Carr Valley Mammoth Cheddar, cut into small wedges

In a metal bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper; set aside

In a large wooden salad bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, parsnip, apples and parsley; drizzle on vinaigrette and toss to coat well.

Chill for at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to combine, and then arrange cheddar wedges around the edge of the salad in the bowl.

Beef Stew – Frugal Gourmet Style

May 2, 2011

This recipe comes to you by way of the Frugal Gourmet, a fellow TV chef that passed away in 2004 amidst a cloud of controversy. He was instrumental in my first glimpses of cooking on TV before there ever was a food or cooking channel and his wit and fun in the kitchen certainly made for creative recipes. I believe he helped usher in a move from PBS to center stage cooking and paved the way for the culinary shows we watch today.

As a tribute to the Frugal Gourmet I’d like to present my take on his classic recipe utilizing wine in marinating beef to bring out the flavor in tough cuts of meat. By soaking tough but flavorful cuts of meat in wine for several hours you break down the connective tissues and collagen making the meat more appetizing and tender. An additional side benefit is cutting down on added salt, which is always a good thing.

Only use a wine that you would consume, never cook with turned, off or corked wine, as you will impart that off flavor into the meal you are preparing.

2 pounds beef chuck roast – cubed (sometimes referred to as stew meat)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
3 celery stalks, cleaned and sliced
1 parsnip, cleaned and sliced
1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cups Zinfandel (I prefer red, but blush will work in a pinch)
4 tbsp Grapeseed oil
2 tbsp tomato paste

Place everything, except Grapeseed oil and tomato paste into a Tupperware marinade container. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, mix around every few hours to make sure everything is evenly coated.

Remove the meat from the marinade and save everything. Heat a metallic skillet over medium high heat; don’t use a non-stick skillet unless that’s all you have. Add in the oil and toss in a small amount of meat, making sure not to crowd the pan to allow even browning. Continue in this fashion until all the meat is cooked; remove from the pan and place into a large glass casserole dish. Add the vegetables and wine, stir in tomato paste until blended, then bring to a boil and gradually pour over browned meat. Place into a preheated 350˚ oven, covered for approximately 2 hours or until meat is fork tender.

Remove from the oven and ladle over fresh cooked al dente egg noodles or hot from the oven buttermilk biscuits.

Cuisinart SM-70 7-Quart Stand Mixer

March 16, 2011

The Cuisinart Stand Mixer arrived on the doorstep and my two daughters were thrilled to be part of the unpacking and product testing. When I say product testing I mean anything and everything that comes out of the mixer, they want to taste.

Setup was easy and I had the bowl and attachments cleaned up and ready to go in a few minutes. I first tried out some chocolate chip cookie recipes and then moved onto fresh dinner rolls. I used a variety of flour in each recipe, even incorporating whole wheat flour to see how the mixer powered through thicker dough. The ease of adjusting the power by a turn of the knob was really nice and the fold button really helped when adding in the chips and other particulates. The 12 speeds give you a wide variety of mixing possibilities and pared with the auto shut off countdown timer you can work your recipe magic to the exact time needed. Cake mixes and muffin batters are equally a breeze with this awesome unit. I’ve yet to tax the powerful motor or find something that bogs down the paddle, dough hook or whisk when working up my recipes.

When I attached the dough hook I powered through several batches of whole wheat and buttermilk rolls back to back without an issue of overheating or loss of power. With the clear cover guard in place I simply added ingredients in the orders called for and went about my business until the dough formed a nice ball ready to kneed, rest, portion and bake. The cover is a nice feature in that my two girls and son at times ask to add ingredients, and I was forever worrying about the cover falling in or coming apart on my Kitchen-Aid. Well, no worries with this system, the cover pressure locks into place and will not slid off or move since it’s made to fir around the entire bowl as a one piece unit.

I don’t have the attachments yet, but I’d love to try out the three power ports available. If you pick up the attachments you can chop, blend, process, squeeze juice, grind sausage, make pasta, and so forth. With this one machine and it’s attachments you can have the power of a fully stocked kitchen in the space of a stand mixer.

Cleanup is a breeze with a simply wipe down and since there are very few corners and hooks you don’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning those occasional spills.

Here’s a listing of the stand mixer with included items:

Tilt-back Head
Top Cover
3 Power outlets
7 Quart Stainless Steel Bowl with Handles
Head-lift Release Lever securely locks stand mixer head into raised tilt-back position
On/Off, Fold and Speed Control Dial
12 speeds for precision mixing.
15-Minute Countdown Timer with Auto Shutoff
Chef’s Whisk
Flat Mixing Paddle
Dough Hook
Splash-guard with Pour Spout

If you are looking for a gift, or to replace and ailing mixer with a something that will stand up to years of use and mixing then look no further. The Cuisinart SM-70 Stand Mixer has what you need and I highly recommend it.

Gazpacho – Chef Scott Style

January 17, 2011

Serves 10

I traditionally like hot and spicy food, often my staff and family comment that to try my foods is simply to dine with fire. Even though a simple dish may not call for heat I usually try to spice things up and add a little extra hot sauce or chopped up jalapeno pepper if possible.

Such is the case with this wonderful summer time soup. Even though the past several days have felt more like winter, the warmer weather is sure to arrive in the months ahead. When it does you want to be ready with this delicious creation for your guests and family. The recipe as you see it is a blending of two recipes I like, one a traditional Spanish recipe and the other a recipe from a professional garde manger kitchen. Enjoy!

Soup Base Ingredients
• 10 oz of crustless firm white bread
• 2 lbs. of tomato, seeded and chopped
• 20 fl oz canned tomato juice
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 sweet onions, peeled & chopped
• 2 red and orange peppers, cleaned & chopped
• 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
• 8 tablespoons of olive oil
• ¼ teaspoon Cumin
• 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
• Salt
• Ice water

Soak the bread in water to cover for 10 minutes, and then squeeze the water out of the bread and place into a food processor. Add the tomato, garlic, onion, peppers and cucumber and grind to a coarse puree. Add in the tomato juice and olive oil, and process until combined and smooth – PLEASE DO NOT process until it is foamy. Remove from the food processor, place into plastic bowl and season with vinegar and salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to blend and mellow. If the soup base is too thick then thin with additional tomato juice or ice water and taste to correct acidic balance of flavor with additional salt and/or vinegar if needed.

Soup Components
• 2 oz Brunoise* cucumber
• 2 oz Brunoise green bell pepper, cleaned
• 2 oz Brunoise tomato, seeded
• 2 oz Brunoise sweet onion
• 2 oz Chopped scallions
• 2 oz Chopped jalapeno pepper
• 4 oz Garlic Croutons

*Brunoise is a basic knife cut measuring 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch. The diced vegetables are blanched briefly in salty boiling water and then submerged in ice water for a few seconds to set the color.

Before service ladle soup base into chilled bowls, then sprinkle the vegetable garnishes evenly into the bowls or set aside in separate bowls so the guests can add their own amount. Lastly, place the croutons in a separate dish to be added by the guests as desired.