Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bacon Stuffed Dates

Tip:  Read direction completely before preparing.

4 slices bacon, each slice cut in 3 pieces
12 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degree.

Make a slit in the side of each date and remove the pit.  Stuff date with cheese in the cavity and wrap each date with a piece of bacon. 

Roast the dates in the oven until the bacon on top is starting to crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Turn the dates over and cook the other side until the bacon crisps. 
Remove the dates from the oven and brush both sides with maple syrup. 

Return the dates to the oven until they are really crackly and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.  Enjoy!

Tip:  A date to remember!  Considered the diamond of dates, Medjools are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cabbage Soup

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

4 tablespoons butter
1 small green cabbage (about 1 lb.), finely shredded
2 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced thinly, and cut into fingers
1 package Knorr leek soup
6 cups chicken stock
salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded

Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot.  Add cabbage, and potatoes, saute for about 4-5 minutes until the cabbage is softened.

Pour in the chicken broth, empty the package of Knorr leek soup in, add salt and pepper to your tasting, and stir.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and grate the cheese directly on top of each serving.

Tip:  Serve with slices of buttered banquette.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Braised Spare Ribs in Coconut Pineapple Juice

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

2 lb  pork spare ribs, cut into 2 inch by 2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 large shallot, diced
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teapsoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoon oyster sauce
vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 cups coconut pineapple juice
1 onion, sliced into segments
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
2 fresh cilantro sprigs

In a mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, shallot, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, fish sauce, and oyster sauce.  Mix well, then add the pork ribs and stir to coat well. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.

Pour the oil into a wok and heat to 350 degrees. Add the undrained pork in batches and deep-fry over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until brown.

Remove the pork and place in a bowl.

Put the coconut pineapple juice in a large saucepan or deep saute pan and bring to the boil.

Add the pork ribs and simmer for 5 minutes, then increase the heat and cook for a further 3 minutes, or until the juice has reduced to a 1/2 of its original amount.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, onion, garlic chili sauce and a pinch black pepper.  Stir constantly for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Transfer the ribs to a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.  Enjoy!

Tip:  Excellent served over hot steamed white rice!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Arroz Griego (Greek Rice)

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

1/2 cup bacon
2 cups rice
1 cup beef broth
1 cup onion soup
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, julienned
1 cup cabbage, chopped
1 garlic glove, finely minced
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cups water

In a deep heavy bottomed skillet, fry the bacon, then drain the rendered fat, remove bacon and set aside.

To the same skillet, over medium high heat, add butter, garlic, bell pepper and onion and sauté for 4 minutes, until onion is lightly browned. 

Add water, beef broth, onion soup, rice, bacon, and cabbage.

Bring to boil, cover, lower heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

After the first 10 minutes, uncover, turn rice, recover and finish cooking the other 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hash Brown Casserole

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

1 pound package frozen Hash Browns
4 ounces sour cream
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 cup grated Colby cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degree. 

Spray 6×11 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, place potatoes in the pan, then season with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl add minced onions, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and melted butter and mix together.

Spread mixture over potatoes.

Sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until all heated through and the cheese is lightly browned.

Tip:  A great comfort food that you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  A casserole, from the French for "saucepan", is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Caramelized Onion dip

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

3/4 cup caramelized onions (Click for Recipe)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 container (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 black pepper
1/8 cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Chop up your caramelized onions a bit, so that you don't get long stringy onions when dipping.

In a mixing bowl, add the chopped caramelized onions, and all the other ingredients, mix well.  Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Flower Power! The First Fondant Cake!

Flower Power! My first attempt at using Fondant on a cake. It wasn't as difficult as I thought. The cake is a Yellow Butter, and the icing I used before the Fondant is a buttercream. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spicy Eggplant Dip

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

1 large eggplant
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Prick the eggplant all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until soft.

Remove from the oven and place the eggplant on paper towels to drain and cool.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel the flesh off the eggplant and place onto a cutting board. Cut off the ends and discard with the skin.

Finely chop the eggplant and place in a mixing bowl.

Add the garlic and lemon juice and mash together with the back of a fork.

Slowly add the olive oil, stirring continuously with a fork to combine.  Stir in the parsley, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Makes:  1 1/2 - 2 cups

Tip:  Great with blue corn tortilla chips!  Spread on blue corn chips, lay a grilled shrimp on it and devour!