Aye Spicy!

Last week my friend Kev. posted a picture of Jalapeno Poppers he brought to a party and I was slightly jealous. I wanted some and he wasn’t sharing any.
Time to make my own then.

The recipe is decidedly simple as all out but it packs a nice punch of flavor.
Added bonus, I ended up with 8 medium poppers at a grand total of 240 calories.
Excellent little snack if you keep to eating only 2 or 3.

poppers

You will need for 2 servings:

4 jalapenos
4 tbs of cream cheese ( I used Boursin)
1 package of Prosciutto or 8 slices of thin bacon (ask the butcher to slice for you)

Cut jalapenos in half, scoop out seeds.
Fill evenly with cream cheese
Wrap with bacon and put on a cookie sheet.

WASH YOUR HANDS REAL WELL!(trust me)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and allow poppers to cook a little for 10 minutes.
Set broiler on low and place poppers on the middle rack.
Broil for about 10 minutes making sure bacon doesn’t burn.
For an additional 3-5 minutes broil on high.
Let cool a little and enjoy!

You can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients.
I think you’ll want to because mine were gone as soon as TallOne found out I made them.

Countdown to Halloween

Every year a friend of mine throws the Halloween party of all parties.
She has published two books on anything Halloween decor and it’s amazing how much she does for just one night.
She makes all her own decor for the party, comes up with scary foods and drinks.

You can find her on Facebook.www.facebook.com/EerieElegance
There is a lot to see on her website too.

We love her parties, and tonight is the night.

Britta has a contest for creepy food and I’m bringing some special deviled eggs.

Introducing Ogre eyes.

I think they’d be a hit at any party, but mostly so at a kid party!

Ogre Eyes
(I made 24)

12 hard boiled eggs
3 tbs mayonaise
1 tbs plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic
green food coloring
12 pimento olives

Cut eggs in half lengthwise and take yellow out and put in a separate bowl
Combine eggs yolk, mayo, yogurt, salt,pepper and garlic until you get a smooth mixture.
Add food coloring 4-5 drops at a time stirring in between until you get the color green you like.
I used “Neon” food coloring and got a pleasing lime green.
Cut olives in half on the wide side.
Fill egg white halves with egg mixture
Place an olive piece in the yolk part, pressing lightly to slightly immerse the olive

I used a few dashes of hot sauce to stimulate blood shot eyes for the picture. It’s my intention to offer it on the side.

Enjoy!

A very careful transport by the way, these guys are slippery.

Greek Salad, for a hot day.

This salad is fresh and easy to make on short notice and requires no cooking.
It goes well with anything from the grill.

Cucumber tomato salad.

1 container cherry tomatoes or
2-3 vine ripened tomatoes
1 cucumber
3 ounces of feta cheese
16-20 Kalamata olives
2 table spoons olive oil
1/2 to 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
If you are using regular tomatoes cut them in 8 parts (quarters?)
Peel and cut cucumber in 1-2 inch cubes
Combine olive oil and vinegar with salt and pepper and set aside.

Toss all ingredients together.

I don’t like to make this too much ahead as the tomatoes get mushy and the cheese tends to take on too much of the dressing.

 

I serve ours a bit “deconstructed” because tomatoes give me heartburn, CollegeGirl doesn’t like Feta and BubbleWrapBoy doesn’t care for Kalamata olives.
So everyone is free to make their own on their plate.

Enjoy!

Make ahead Lunch

This is a recipe from last year, made by Himself.

On the rare occasion Himself has to fend for himself for dinner he has been making Frittata. Not just eggs and cheese, no this is a Man’s Dish not your frou-frou girlie kind of food. (or so I was told)
It starts with eggs and anything he can find in the fridge, literally. The base remains the same but the sky is the limit as for the filling.

Anything goes Frittata

4 eggs
1 cup cream
2 tbs butter
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup cheese
6 ounces ham, chopped
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 cup spinach
1 tomato
1/2 cup mushrooms

Mix cream with egg, salt and pepper
Add ham, shallots,garlic, spinach and mushrooms
Melt butter in medium sized skillet.
Mix well and pour into skillet
Slice tomato into thin slices and evenly layer them on top of the egg mixture
Sprinkle cheese over the whole mixture
Cook on low, covered, until egg is set.
You can swap out the vegetable, artichoke hearts instead of spinach. Bacon instead of ham. If you want a thicker frittata add an egg.

Enjoy!

Veggies and meat, easy in one dish.

I like dishes like these, they get assembled, go in the oven and are done.
No extra things to do but clean the kitchen.
This was an Emeril Lagasse recipe from over 20 years ago that I tweaked (I took out the rice)
I’ve used pasta sauce for the tomato sauce and if you want it leaner use just beef.

4 green bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup cheese, mozzarella is good.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the shallots and chopped bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the beef, pork, garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes.
Cook until the meat is browned, about 6 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce and stir well.
Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep.
Stuff the bell peppers with the meat mixture and place in the baking dish.
Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

About 5 minutes before done sprinkle with cheese and allow it to melt.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Blue, blue baby!

Yes this is a repeat, from 2010.
I do have a new fish recipe for Friday but wanted to take a picture but can’t before I make it right?
So that’s next week, until then try this one today.

Cod with Blue cheese.
For 4 people:

12-16 ounces True Cod or Rock Cod
2.5 ounces Blue cheese, Stilton, Danish Blue
4 ounces of Creme Fraiche or
Sour Cream but use less and use 3 ounces of Blue Cheese.
1/2 cup to 3/4 Cup sliced almonds, I like the ones with the skin on them
Parsley for decoration

Wash the fish and dry it.
Preheat oven to 325.
Mix Creme Fraiche and Blue Cheese until it becomes a paste.
Spread the mixture over the fish, I try not to get the edges. It will melt and coat the rest of the fish.
Sprinkle with almonds, use as much as you want.

Bake the fish for 20 minutes, less for thin pieces.
Fish should be flaky, so check it after 15 minutes.
The cheese will melt but should not burn.

Pesto Chicken

Himself bought this rather big jar of Pesto at Cost-Co. Because it is without preservatives it needed to be frozen while half full.
It’s taking up part of a drawer in the freezer and it needs to be used.
I looked around on the interwebs and found the perfect recipe that will use up all of it.

Oven baked Pesto Chicken

1 chicken breast per person, cut in strips about 2 inches wide
1/2 cup pesto sauce, make your own or store bought
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 373/190
In an ovenproof dish spread half of the pesto on the bottom
layer with chicken
spread remaining pesto on chicken
cover with foil and let bake for 25 minutes
remove foil and cover chicken with cheese
allow cheese to melt
if you have a broiler use it to give the cheese a bit of browning.

Enjoy!

(from http://www.kalynskitchen.com/)

Smokey, with a kick.

I have to admit, I love spicy food.
The Boy and Himself don’t always agree with me.

Since finding smoked Paprika and Chiplote powder a whole new spin on spicy has become available.
The sweet of the Paprika coupled with the kick of Chiplote powder is a good compliment to “denser” meat such as pork tenderloin or a good sized chicken breast.
Marinating for longer than an hour will intensify this, so be careful.

I found the meat took on the spices real well, resulting in a slight red/pink crust.
I paired it with a bit of Chiplote mayo and am loving it.

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Reddened Pork Tenderloin.

1 pork tenderloin
1-2 tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp chiplote powder
(if you do not have chiplote readily available use 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
salt to season
Mix all spices together and cover tenderloin with them by rubbing mixture into meat.
Allow mixture to marinate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325
In a sauté pan brown pork tenderloin on both sides for about 5 minutes on each side.
Transfer to ovenproof dish and bake tenderloin in oven for 40 minutes.

Pork might be pink, best way to test is by pushing on it with a finger. If it is too “bouncy” it’s still pink, if you push down and it’s somewhat firm you have a cooked tenderloin.

Let rest for 5 minutes and cut into slices. I like to cut mine a bit above thin.

For the Chiplote Mayo
3 tbs Mayonaise
1 tbs yogurt
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of chiplote powder or cayenne

Mix well, taste and add another pinch of Chiplote or Cayenne.
If you taste a piece of your tenderloin together with the sauce you’ll know when to stop making it spicier.

Enjoy!

I love Top Chef

If you are not familiar with the show Top Chef here is a breakdown.
16 established chefs compete for the title of Top Chef.
They do so with Quick fire challenges and other cooking tests. I love it!
I found the Quick Fire cookbook from the first 5 seasons and bought it.

First recipe that caught my eye was a deviled egg recipe.
It was a Quick Fire challenge where they had to use ingredients from a vending machine.
There were corn nuts in the mix but I omitted those.

With my boys hungry and 18 freshly bought eggs I made the recipe!

Vending machine deviled eggs.

5 slices of salami cut in thin strips
2 eggs per person
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
salt and pepper to taste

cook the salami strips in a frying pan until crisp, drain on a paper towel and set aside
boil eggs for 8-10 minutes, rinse under cold water and add ice cubes to pan to cool off quickly
once cold peel eggs and cut in half, take out yolk and put the whites on a plate
with all yolks in one bowl add olive oil and spices and mix well
using a small spoon put yolk mixture back into the egg whites
garnish with the salami strips
leave in fridge for 10 minutes

Enjoy!

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