Posts Tagged ‘delicious’

Kale Caesar Salad

September 14, 2017

This salad could also be referred to as a slaw depending upon the style of menu presented.  The heavy texture and bite of Kale stands up to the robust quality of the Caesar dressing covering the salad.  I chose Kippered snack herring to be used in the dressings, but can be eliminated if desired or switched to anchovy fillets or sardines if desired.  As always the quality of ingredients makes the dish, so do use wilted greens or off tasting oil as they will detract from the presentation and flavor.

Ingredients:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 can kippered snacks in oil (3.25oz)
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup EVOO
½ cup shredded Parmesan, divided
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
1 lb kale, cleaned, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise to form ribbons.

Procedures:

Place first four ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.  While the blender is still running gradually add the oil in a slow stream to create a creamy dressing.  When fully combined remove from the blender and place into a small bowl and set aside.

Place kale into a large bowl and drizzle in ¾ of the dressing, combining to coat the kale evenly.  Add in a few grinds of salt and pepper to taste, then top with remaining chopped egg and remaining Parmesan cheese and drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

Note – Dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead if kept in fridge.

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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.

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.

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.

Avocado, Sausage, Onion and Wisconsin Jalapeno Colby Cheese quiche

January 17, 2011

1 Avocado – pitted and thinly sliced
¼ cup minced onion
6 oz Ground sausage (good quality)
1 oz canola or Grapeseed oil (if needed)
3 oz grated Widmer’s jalapeno Colby cheese
4 large eggs
¾ cup 2% milk
¼ tsp Salt
Dash of Ground Black Pepper (more if desired)
1-9” Pie crust

Preheat oven to 350˚F

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Toss in ground sausage and break apart as you cook. Stir and cook until it just starts to brown, still a bit pink. Add oil if there is not a lot of fat from the sausage and toss in onions and continue cooking until onions are lightly browned and sausage is completely cooked. Remove from heat and transfer sausage onion mixture to a separate bowl.

Take pie shell and line bottom with ½ avocado in a circle. Add in sausage and onion and top with grated cheese. Then layer remaining ½ avocado in a circle on top of the mixture making sure to press in slightly to stay below top.

In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and milk until well incorporated, stir in salt and dash of pepper. Pout egg mixture into pie shell and carefully place quiche onto a baking sheet and then into the oven, towards the bottom 1/3 of the oven.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set and center no longer jiggles when checked. Remove from oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before cutting.

Irish Creme Moussecarpone Pie

January 4, 2011

This pie was created after working with Wisconsin Crave Brothers mascarpone in a variety of fashions including simply blending equal parts of mascarpone and chocolate. I took it one step further and created a crispy crust of fresh chopped pretzels, a little bit of butter and some brown sugar for sweetness.

It’s a nice dessert to have ready in a few minutes and that all it takes to make this delicious creamy dessert. You need about 6 minutes to cook the crust to set it and then about 5-8 minutes to blend the chocolate that you melted into the fresh mascarpone cheese. It really is that simple and your guests will think you went to great lengths; going to a bakery to purchase the pie or that you spent a lot of time in the kitchen creating this masterpiece.

Ingredients:
4 cups Pretzels – chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup Brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
10” deep dish pie pan or plate
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4 cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, melted
4 cups Wisconsin Mascarpone Cheese, room temperature
¼ cup Irish Crème Whiskey, you can substitute any variety
1 tsp Vanilla extract, pure

½ cup chocolate chips reserved for topping
whipped topping

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F
2. Chop pretzels in blender or doubled zip lock bag until very small particles then place into pie plate. Add in brown sugar and melted butter and blend together then press crumb mixture evenly into pie plate.
3. Place into oven and bake for 6 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
4. While crust is baking, melt the chocolate until smooth and creamy, make sure not to get any water into the chocolate or it will seize up and get lumpy.
5. Blend vanilla and Irish whiskey into mascarpone, mix until incorporated, and then gradually add in melted chocolate and whisk together until smooth. If you can’t do it by hand then use a hand mixer on low speed until mixture is smooth.
6. Spread the mixture into the still warm piecrust. Press lightly into the plate; this allows the mixture to flow into the crust to bind it to the filling.
7. Sprinkle the ½ cup of chocolate chips onto the top of the pie and place into a fridge and allow hardening for at least 1-2 hours.
8. Slice and serve with whipped topping and enjoy.

Cuisinart Toaster Oven

October 21, 2010

The Cuisinart TOB-195 costs a little more than most toaster ovens but it has loads of features

1. All the controls are right in front.
2. Oven has a great convection feature.
3. Non-stick walls for easy clean-up.
4. Fits the pampered chef circular baking pan.
5. easy to clean surfaces.

The two main complaints is that the door gets really hot and does not pull the tray out when you open it. The door was hot enough to burn my daughter’s finger which occurred only after a really brief touch when opening to pull out some toast. The other issue is that the crumb tray needs to be removed from the back of the oven. That makes it difficult to clean since you have to pull the oven away from the wall to remove the tray.

The really nice feature of this oven is the quick start up, coming up to temp in a few minutes. It’s been great for my family and excellent for dorm style living where a small oven makes short work of those late night hunger pangs. The oven is so versatile that it cooks pizza to a delicious crispness one moment and then is ready to toast of your favorite bagel the next. My family likes it because it’s also an energy saver vs using the larger wall oven.

I like the overall look and versatility of using the larger oven for bigger items and then using this oven for cooking breads, smaller vegetable dishes and fresh baked muffins and pastries for the family.

You will not be disappointed if you purchase this oven but I do recommend making sure that your little ones are warned about the hot oven door and the possibility of getting burned. If purchasing for a dorm room make sure you have ample space for the rear tray removal and keep in mind it will get hot across the entire surface area so don’t store items on top or place it into an enclosed space.

Healthy Cooking at the Culinary Institute of America

October 3, 2010

In looking at my Blog photo you can see the Colivata restaurant at the CIA. This week I return to the campus to continue my culinary training and honing of skills. I’ll be taking Healthy Cooking class in the morning and business management class at night.

The day starts at 5:30am and then ends around 8pm. What’s nice is that my place of rest is the Journey Inn, located directly across from the Vanderbilt Estate. Journey Inn is run by two sisters, Diane and Michelle DiNapoli, who are two of the most wonderful people you would ever meet. The B&B is beautiful and the rooms are comfortable, nicely decorated and relaxing. Service is top notch and if you get the chance, have breakfast, their selections are the best way to start your day.

I did enjoy my day, and was able to get to see the Vanderbilt property, FDR’s home and Eleanor’s home after her husbands passing in April of 1945. I then went to the CIA campus and spent a few hours at the library doing some research on healthy cooking along with recipe searches.

Tomorrow starts early so I’m heading off to bed.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

August 6, 2010

This machine has been really neat to use. It’s has a very small counter foot print, everything stores within itself, and it’s very easy to use and clean. The quality of ice cream, yogurt, sorbet or mixed drink is dependent upon what you place into the freeze bowl before you switch it on. I’ve made ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt, frozen drinks and everything mixed up quite well and were very flavorful. The more fat in the mix the better the consistency and flavor. The ice milk did freeze up nice but after going into the deep freeze it hardened up too much. My recommendation is to stick with the full flavor varieties of ice cream and yogurt.

However, sugar free drinks did not freeze well at all in the machine. They tended to cause the machine to run hard and stop when the ice built up on the sides. That nice slushy granular ice texture never formed and I had to stop the machine and pour warm water into the bowl to remove the ice. You need the sugar to combine with the ice to get he granulated texture so I suggest to sticking to the real thing and use sugar.

Cleanup is fast and simple and took just 2 to 3 minutes and every component was cleaned and the freeze bowl was back in the freezer ready for the next mixed drink or luscious creamy dessert. You need to be careful with the freeze bowl and make sure that you refreeze the bowl upside down so any water can run out of it while it’s drying and freezing.

You won’t be disappointed when you purchase this machine, and you will have loads of fun creating a plethora of frozen delights.

Hog Wild BBQ

May 2, 2010

From the depths of Edinboro University as my assistant at our Delta Chi Fraternity parties Dean Wells has truly risen to hold high court with the best of the best BBQ Pit Masters. He now runs his own BBQ operation, Hog Wild BBQ, with a truly huge self contained and designed smoker. As Hawkeye once said on M*A*S*H* he should have a Pit Boss Gold Medal with “…little riblet clusters.”