I am what many would call a "Foodie" - amateurs who simply love food and/or drink for consumption, study, preparation and news.
Now the statement above should make it clear that I do not have any formal training when it comes to food preparation. I have, however, been told that I am a pretty good cook and I hope you enjoy reading this column as much as I enjoy writing it.
Follow me on twitter @Cooks_CornerLCP
Summer is usually not the time for chili but this Wisconsin summer, like every season since last fall, has been out of the ordinary. And while I do like chili, I’m not always in the mood to take the time to whip up a batch for my chili craving daughter, Milena. Well, leave it to her to go online (rachachow.com) and find a recipe for chili that uses leftover taco meat for her concoction, and by the way it was devoured at home, it was a big hit.
Basic chili from leftover taco meat
1 cup or more of leftover taco meat
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
15 ounce can beans (black, pinto or kidney, your choice)
Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
Garnishes: Grated cheese, sour cream, onions, etc.
In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. If needed, taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking and cook, stirring every few minutes, for a half hour or more while partly covered.
Helpful hints: If you like your chili really spicy, try hot petite diced tomatoes with chilies in the dish, or modify the flavor with sweet peppers or other variations. This recipe also works great with leftover hamburgers or chicken. Just shred the chicken before mixing all of the ingredients.
My husband is not a big dessert eater, but he’s does enjoy certain indulgences. This next recipe is a twist on a treat he always enjoyed when our former neighbor, Fern Harold, would make it. It’s a similar outcome with less fuss and comes from a Taste of Home recipe via Philadelphia cream cheese.
No bake raspberry lemon bars
2 6 ounce packages fresh raspberries, about 2½ cups, divided
6 graham crackers, crushed, about 1 cup, (may substitute vanilla wafers)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 8 ounce packages Philadelphia cream cheese, softened (may substitute 1/3 less fat)
1 7 ounce jar Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Reserve 20 raspberries for garnish, refrigerating until ready to use. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and butter until well blended then press onto bottom of 9-inch square pan and refrigerate until ready to use. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese, marshmallow cream and lemon juice until light and fluffy then stir in the remaining raspberries before spreading over the graham crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and top with the reserved raspberries before serving.
If you like iced coffee, don’t dilute it with watery ice cubes. Instead of dumping the last of that morning coffee down the drain, use leftover coffee (or brew a fresh pot) and pour it into an ice cube tray and chill. Store the cubes in a large freezer bag or leave them in the tray and use when needed.
July is over and I’m happy to see it go. Between running around with the kids, a nightmare car ride from Iowa back to Wisconsin (think wrong way driver) and the moving out of state of a good friend, I’m just glad it’s over.. and yes, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.
Makes 14 servings
1 6 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 46 fluid ounce can pineapple juice
1½ cups white sugar
2 cups strong brewed black tea
2 cups bourbon whiskey (or rum)
1 2 liter bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage (may substitute ginger ale or club soda)
In a large bowl or container, mix together the orange juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate, pineapple juice, sugar, tea and whiskey. Transfer to a shallow bowl, dish or quart-size freezer bags and freeze overnight.
Remove the frozen mixture from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving then chop with a wire whisk or potato masher to make a slushy consistency. If using the freezer bags just knead the bag to break up the slushy. Scoop the frozen slush into glasses (an ice cream scoop works well here), and top off with the soda. Enjoy.
This drink can be a bit sweet for some, so adjust the sugar according to your taste. Leftovers can be refrozen and stored in the freezer (a plastic ice cream bucket with a lid will do) for future use.
To share a helpful hint or comment, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @Cooks_CornerLC.
Baked beans are like chocolate chip cookies.. everyone has a recipe and swears that theirs are the best. This next recipe is a baked bean recipe I tried while attending the high school graduation party of my cousin Lauren Ithier. Her mother Colleen was kind enough to share the recipe after I saw everyone devouring them during the party. They were delicious and just sweet enough.
Old Settlers Baked Beans
1½ pound ground beef
1 pound bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
½ cup barbecue sauce
4 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 16 ounce can pork and beans
1 16 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 ounce can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can butter beans
1 can lima beans
1 can Bush’s baked beans
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Brown and drain the ground beef, bacon and onion until the meat is done and the onions are tender. Drain the fat then add the next 8 ingredients and mix well. Combine all of the beans and add them to the mixture. Bake in large casserole, covered in foil for 1 hour; may be frozen after baking.
Colleen does like spice, and while the beans are delicious as is, I would suggest a bit of hot sauce. This recipe is great for potlucks, parties and travels well in a Crockpot.
Who doesn’t love bread? But it’s summertime, it’s hot and a heavy meal is not always appetizing. So, if you’re looking for something lite and satisfying for nourishment, this next recipe from 12tomatoes.com skips the starches and substitutes Bibb (or butter) lettuce instead.. making it carb friendly too.
Chicken lettuce wraps
16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes or strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (canola or olive oil may be substituted)
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon Asian (dark) sesame oil
1 tablespoon Asian chili pepper sauce/paste (optional)
Rinse the lettuce leaves and pat them dry, making sure not to tear them; set them aside. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet and cook the chicken (may have to be done in batches) for about 4 minutes. Drain the grease and add the onion and ginger, cooking for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and chili pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Lastly, add the green onions, sesame oil, and carrots and cook for an additional minute, making sure the chicken is no longer pink. Spoon the mixture into the center of the lettuce leaves, wrap and enjoy. Makes 4 servings.
Tyr this with chicken, beef, pork or shrimp too.
Sometimes you see a picture of a recipe and you just know that it’s going to be good. That’s what happened when I came across Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman’s post on Facebook. She apparently forgot “a bunch of shrimp” she had ready to go for her Fourth of July festivities on the ranch, so she decided to prepare a variety of shrimp dishes instead. This next recipe is one of them. Her post says it was “divine” and from my son Sebastian’s reaction to it, she was right.. he has now declared it one of his top five dinners.
Coconut curry shrimp
2 Tablespoons butter
1½ pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (Ree used U10, and I used 31/40 but any size will do)
1 whole medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 can 13½ ounce can coconut milk (Ree used A taste of Thai brand and I used Chaokoh)
2 tablespoons honey, more to taste (I omitted the honey)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1 whole lime, juiced
Hot sauce, optional
12 whole basil leaves, chopped and more for garnish (may substitute parsley or cilantro)
2 cups rice, (Basmati or your preference)
Prepare the rice according to package directions and set aside.
Heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, turning them over halfway through, until pink and fully cooked. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the hot skillet, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the curry powder over the onions and garlic and continue cooking and stirring for another couple of minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Add the honey (I didn’t), salt and lime juice, and allow the sauce to heat up until bubbling gently. Add shrimp into the sauce, tossing to coat, and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste the sauce and add more salt, lime juice, or honey and hot sauce depending on your taste. Stir in the basil (I used cilantro) and serve over a bed of cooked rice or pasta, garnishing with more herbs as needed - delicious.
We happened to also grill some premade shish kabobs we picked up at Pick n’ Save this night. We poured some of the sauce over the kabobs and they too were “divine.” Try it with chicken too.
Cuban food is delicious. It’s full of color and flavor, but most importantly it can be easily prepared with a quick trip to your local grocery store or farmers market. This next recipe makes a tender, flavorful skirt steak, but does require some prep time as the recipe states that the marinade is best after 24 hours. The original recipe also calls for panfrying the steak, but I’ve modified it a bit so we could grill it instead. For the full, original recipe, go to http://tinyurl.com/ohajztt.
Cuban-style skirt steak with classic sour orange mojo
For the skirt steak (also called hanger steak)
1½ pound skirt steak, trimmed (I used 3 pounds)
½ teaspoon, or to taste
1 lime, quartered
Sour orange mojo
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded and minced (store didn’t have Scotch bonnet so I used jalapeno)
1 to 2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted (I used 2 teaspoons ground cumin)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup equal parts lime and orange juice or 1/3 cup sour orange juice
1 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (I used red wine)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Season the steak(s) with salt and set aside. Place the olive oil into a small saucepan and place it over medium-low heat to warm (do not let it get too warm). While the oil is warming, place the salt, garlic, cumin and Scotch bonnet into a mortar and grind them with the pestle (if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, just grind it in a food processor). Once the oil is warm, add the seasonings to it and let it steep for 10 minutes or more before whisking in the juice(s) and vinegar; season with pepper to taste and transfer to a jar or covered dish.
You can now do one of two things at this point: place the steak in the mojo sauce and let it marinate for an hour (unrefrigerated) before grilling, or if you plan to let the mojo meld overnight, let the seasoned skirt steak do the same by placing it uncovered on a wire rack in the fridge. The next day, take the mojo and steak out of the refrigerator one hour before ready to grill; place the steak in a baking dish, cover it with the mojo sauce and let it marinate one hour before grilling.
Serve immediately with lime on the side to squeeze over their steak. This steak pairs well with rice or a green salad. My kids went one step further and wrapped it in tortilla shells.
You can also substitute flank steak for skirt here, but remember that both can become very tough if overcooked. When slicing the meat, cut against the grain for tender, juicy pieces. If you’re using the original 1½ pounds called for in the recipe, you will have some mojo sauce left over. Just refrigerate it and use it later to marinate chicken or pork.. delicious.
Recently I told you about our family’s attempt to eat healthier by cutting down on carbs - less bread, more protein, fruits and vegetables, which unfortunately, does not involve mashed potatoes. Well from a girl who grew up eating lots and lots of rice dishes, I absolutely love mashed potatoes, and the thought of not being able to eat them was discouraging. So, when Milena came home with a mashed cauliflower recipe I was a bit skeptical but still, all in, and after tasting it, I loved it.
1-2 garlic cloves (I used 2)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons butter
2-4 ounces of cream cheese, (may substitute reduced-fat cream cheese)
¼ cup milk or heavy cream
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a pan with water, add the garlic clove and bring the water to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, add the cauliflower and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and let it sit in a colander (do not let it cool) for a moment to make sure most of the water has drained.
While the cauliflower and garlic clove are draining, add the butter, milk and cream cheese to the pan and stir until smooth before transferring to a mixing bowl. Add the cauliflower to the cream mixture, toss in the parmesan and with a hand masher (or an immersion blender) mash until smooth. (Mine came out smooth and creamy with just a hand masher, but others swear by the immersion blender.) Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with chives or parsley for extra texture and flavor. This comes out to about 6 to 8 grams of carbs per serving - makes 4 to 6 servings.
I suggest using fresh cauliflower for this dish. When I tried making it with frozen florets, the consistency was grainy and not as smooth. A longer cooking time or the immersion blender may remedy this. You can also substitute a low sodium chicken broth for the water when boiling the cauliflower.
Yellow, green or purple cauliflower can also be used.
Trying the low carb approach
Therese Balistrieri is a dear friend who Tom and I haven’t seen in years, and she, like Tom, has lost a significant amount of weight in the last year thanks to working out and a low carb diet. We ran into Therese at a football showcase at Northwestern University that out son Sebastian and her son Tony were attending earlier this month, and when she and Tom got to talking it was all about recipes and low carbs. Therese has an armory full of recipes and was happy to share them with us; when Tom heard he could have pizza again, he was completely hooked. Now I’m a skeptic, who loves her bread, but I have to admit when I tried it, it was delicious. You can find lots of Therese’s hints and recipes on her Facebook page, Taking off the pounds in 2014.
Low carb pizza
1 package FlatOut light Italian herb flatbread (about 9 net carbs once you garner in the fiber)
1 16 ounce jar Mid’s pizza sauce (only 4 carbs per ¼ cup)
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or 6-8 slices of fresh mozzarella (I did a bit of both)
1 or 2 Italian sausage links, sliced or ½ pound ground Italian sausage
Your choice of herbs or veggies
A pizza stone if you have one
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. If using Italian sausage or ground Italian sausage, cook through and set aside.
Take a couple of sheets of flatbread and lay them on the pizza stone or a cookie sheet. Brush the flatbread with a bit of olive oil (I did sprinkle a bit of coarse sea salt on the bread here) and bake for 5-6 minutes to crisp the bread. In full disclosure, when Tom made his pepperoni pizza originally he forgot this step and while the pizza was delicious, it was also soggy so don’t bypass this step.
Once the “crust” is ready, use about 2-3 tablespoons of the pizza sauce per flatbread and spread it out to the edges. Sprinkle the sauce with the cheese, sausage (for me) or pepperoni (for them) and your choice of fresh herbs or veggies (optional) and place it in the oven for 9 minutes or until the cheese melts. One whole pizza comes out to about 10-11 carbs and they can easily be personalized. I found the FlatOut bread in the deli at Pick ‘n Save, but I’m told it’s also available at Walmart.
The heat is here and the humidity is on its way. If you like iced coffee but don’t like how it gets watered down with ice cubes, don’t toss out that little bit of coffee at the bottom of your coffee pot. Fill an ice cube tray with the leftovers and use them for your iced coffee.
Farmer’s markets are in full swing so it’s a great time to pick up some of the items needed for this recipe. It’s a dish I love to order when I go to Mexican restaurants and I couldn’t contain my excitement at coming across it under my latest recipe website find, hispanickitchen.com. This particular version comes from Sonia Mendez Garcia, enjoy.
Camarones (shrimp) a la Mexicana
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 to ½ teaspoon jalapeño powder (if you cannot find jalapeño powder substitute with Cayenne or chipotle)
Olive oil drizzle
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup diced white onion
1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Clean the shrimp and transfer to a plate. Using paper towels soak up any excess moisture which will help the shrimp sear better when cooking. Season the shrimp with the dried spices listed and drizzle with olive oil stirring to combine before setting aside.
Prep the peppers, onion, garlic and tomatoes and set aside. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat for 5 minutes. When pan is hot, add the shrimp, spreading out evenly without crowding the pan. This may have to be done in batches. The shrimp will cook quickly, so turn over after one minute and cook for another minute. Drizzle in the red wine vinegar then remove the shrimp from the pan.
In that same pan, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, the onions, peppers and garlic; season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add the shrimp back in along with the fresh lime juice and cilantro and toss to combine just until the shrimp is warmed through. Remove from heat and serve over rice or with tortillas for tacos.
Sonia suggests that instead of just lettuce and tomatoes for a side dish, try making a quick crunchy cabbage slaw with 3 cups of shredded cabbage, 1 cup julienned jicama, 4 diced radishes, 1 minced chile serrano, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste for a tasty taco.
One of the perks of writing this column is the occasional invitation to judge a food contest. Tom and Alicia Voell of Hideaway Bar & Grill, Okauchee were kind enough to invite me back to judge their second rib cookoff in May, along with restaurateur Hans Weissgerber, State Representative Joel Kleefisch and newbies Oconomowoc Town Chairman Bob Hulquist, Bill Meyers of Everdry Basement Waterproof and Buck’s announcer and morning radio show producer of 102.9 The Hog’s “Bob and Brian Show,” Erick “Rock” Jensen.
This year’s competition featured 14 contests and included entrants from all over Lake Country including Ashippun, Hartland, Oconomowoc, Genesee Depot, Sussex and more. The top prize went to brothers Andy and Tom Hoffmann of Oconomowoc with Don Lee of Okauchee taking second and Tony Guardalabene and Chris Schult, both of Oconomowoc, tying for third. In addition to the rib cookoff the Voell’s also offer a meat raffle during the event with proceeds going to the Okauchee Fourth of July Fireworks fund.
Many of the ribs we tried were savory or spicy, but this next recipe is one I found at TasteofHome and delivers a sweet and tangy flavor with an Asian twist.. enjoy.
6 pounds pork spareribs
1½ cups ketchup
¾ cup packed brown sugar (may cut down to ½ cup)
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup honey (may cut down to ¼ cup)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon pepper flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce (my addition)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut ribs into serving-size pieces (I didn’t), place with the meaty side up on racks in two foil-lined 13-by- 9-inch baking pans, cover tightly with foil and bake for 1¼ hours (I baked at 325 for 2 hours) or until meat is tender. While the recipe doesn’t call for seasoning the ribs before baking, I like to add a little salt and pepper to the meat before baking. Remember there is a lot of sodium in the soy sauce, so go easy if you do season before baking.
While the ribs are cooking combine the remaining ingredients and set aside. (While I made the recipe as the recipe calls for, I did find the sauce a bit too sweet and would cut the sugar and honey as stated in parenthesis in the ingredients’ list. A little hot sauce or pepper flakes also helps.)
Remove the racks from the pans, drain the ribs if necessary and return them to the pans. Pour the sauce over the ribs and bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until sauce coats the ribs, basting them occasionally. Ribs can also be grilled over medium-hot heat for the last 35 minutes instead of baking.
The original recipe calls for greasing the pans but I found this unnecessary and substituted lining the pans with foil for easier cleanup instead. If 6 pounds of ribs is too much to handle, just cut it down to 3 then bottle the rest of the sauce and serve it over pork or chicken for another meal.
I recently told you about my oldest daughter Anastasia coming back from college and the tasty pasta dish she brought with her. But she’s not the only kid who likes to cook in the house; Milena and even Sebastian have been known to try out a new recipe in the Luksich kitchen. But that doesn’t always mean that you get to taste the treats once they’re prepared. I speak from experience, since while working late one night I came home to the delicious aroma of chicken in the house only to be told, “sorry Mom, we ate it all.” They were kind enough to give their dad a piece, but as for me… nada. It was a recipe Milena was trying after preparing it in her cooking class at school. She was kind enough to make another batch, and this time I did get to try it.. pretty tasty.
Easy Breaded Chicken
1½ pounds of chicken breasts (we cut them into tenders)
2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted
½ package dry Buttermilk Ranch or Italian dressing mix
¾ cup bread crumbs or cornflake crumbs (Milena used Italian bread crumbs)
1/3 cup of shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt the butter and set aside. Mix the dressing mix with the bread crumbs and the parmesan cheese. Use the chicken breasts as they are or cut them into strips or chunks and dip the pieces into the butter and then into the bread crumb mixture coating evenly.
Place the chicken onto a lightly greased glass or ceramic dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (smaller pieces will take less time about 20 to 25minutes – but always check for doneness). Remove from oven and serve with your favorite dipping sauce or try them with the mashed cauliflower and potato dish below.
Coat your cheese grater with nonstick spray for easy shredding and easier clean up.
My oldest daughter Anastasia is back from school for a whopping two weeks before she has to go back to campus to move into her new flat. So yes, we had to move all of her belongings home so that we could trek it all back in a week and put it in her new place - great planning kid. Now with that said, she did come back with a new recipe, so all is forgiven.
Pasta with basil cream sauce
1 pound pasta (I used spaghetti, but Anastasia used linguine, use what you like)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine (optional)
1 pound ground Italian sausage (I used spicy Italian sausage with casings removed)
4 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
1 pint of heavy cream
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 ounce of fresh basil, shredded
Prepare your pasta according to package directions (to al dente) and set aside.
Heat a large skillet and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the chopped onion and sauté a few minutes before adding the Italian sausage. When the sausage is cooked through, drain the excess oil, then add the garlic. Continue cooking about 3 to 4 minutes before adding the heavy cream. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes before adding the Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Cook another 4 to 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken (it should look pink or red from the Italian sausage drippings) then add your pasta and serve.
Try adding sautéed mushrooms for another layer of flavor and texture.
I love finding new recipes to try. It certainly helps answer that age old question; What should I make for dinner? Finding new recipes to try is harder than you’d think. Will everyone like it; do I have all of the ingredients; what if it’s awful? But when you find one that everyone enjoys, it’s like hitting the jackpot.. a new recipe that you can add to your menu rotation. This next recipe comes from food.com, is quick to prepare and is a flavorful addition to the dinner hour.
Pan grilled pork chops with a thyme mushroom sauce
4 pork chops, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons oil
1 8 ounce package mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup wine (may substitute water broth)
2 tablespoons of heavy cream (may substitute milk)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons sour cream (to help thicken the sauce if using milk)
2-3 sprigs of thyme
Sprinkle the salt, thyme, and pepper on the pork chops and let sit on counter top for 30 minutes. Place oil in a large cast iron skillet and heat to medium hot. Place the chops in the pan, arranging them so they don’t touch each other (you want them to sear not simmer). Cook until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes per side then cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, turn off the heat, and let the chops sit for about 8-10 minutes, depending on thickness of chops. Remove the chops and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
After removing the chops, I add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté for a bit before de-glazing the pan with a little water, wine or broth. I then add the heavy cream, butter and sour cream (if using milk instead of heavy cream). I also added some thyme to the sauce for another layer of flavor.. delicious. Serve over the chops with some ravioli, rice, potatoes or a green salad.
For lots of flavor let the pork chops sit with the seasoning for 30 minutes as they approach room temperature before cooking. However the longer you season the chops, the stronger the flavors. If seasoning for longer than 30 minutes, you may need to leave them in the fridge. Just make sure to bring them back to room temperature again before adding them to the hot pan. This will ensure a nice sear on the chops. This recipe can easily be adapted for grilling, just add some of the juices from the chops to the pan (after you’ve let them rest) to prepare the sauce.
Side note: This mushroom sauce was delicious and is now one that I make regularly to pour over chicken, steak, pork or pasta. The kids love it.
To share a helpful hint or comment, send an email to email@example.com or follow me on Twitter @Cooks_CornerLC.
When it comes to seafood at our house Anastasia, Sebastian and Tom are the big fans, especially lobster, shrimp or crab. As for me, I can take it or leave it, but unlike the rest of my family, my youngest daughter Milena is not a seafood fan, unless of course it’s crab cakes - the only seafood she looks forward to. This next recipe comes from Old Bay Seasoning and is a twist on crab cakes, with all of the flavor and half the work.
Crispy Crab Nuggets
1 pound fresh crab meat
3 slices of white bread, crust removed or packaged bread crumbs (see helpful hints)
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon parsley
Put breadcrumbs in food processor and pulse until fine. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and Old Bay seasoning. Add the breadcrumbs and crab meat and mix by hand to avoid breaking up the crab meat too much. However, you may need to break up the very large lumps so that the crab balls stay together. Shape into 24 balls and fry in batches in hot oil until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels and serve with or without a sauce, makes a great appetizer.
One comment suggested using saltines instead of bread for less grease absorption and another suggested substituting Ritz crackers (about 24 crushed into dust) for a sweater, more buttery flavor. The nuggets may also be baked at 350 F for about 20 minutes or place under the broiler for 8-10 minutes.
We are big fans of Mexican food in our house (no, it is not the same as Puerto Rican food) and tacos are toward the top of our list. Unfortunately, when I make them at home, it’s usually with a powder mix that I doctor up with some seasonings and spices. They’re pretty good, but my son Sebastian is not a fan so I decided I’d try a new recipe and this next recipe is at the top of my list.
2 teaspoons olive oil (original recipe calls for corn)
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground beef
½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Heat the oil in skillet over medium heat than add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic, spices and ½ teaspoon of salt and stir about 1 minute before adding the ground beef. Brown the beef, drain the excess fat than add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar and vinegar. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, stirring occasionally and making sure to break up the meat so there are no big chunks. Once the liquid has reduced and thickened (about 10 minutes), taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve with your favorite taco dressings and enjoy, makes about 8 tacos.
Reviewers have said this recipe also works well in layered taco dip and is excellent in taco salads.
When you’ve got kids running in different directions a quick and easy meal is always in need, so when I saw this recipe on a Food Network rerun of the Down Home with the Neelys, I knew I had to try it. It takes about 30 minute to prepare (including prep and cook time) and according to the recipe pairs well with a Pinot Grigio. What more could you ask for?
1 pound angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6, we love our garlic)
¼ cup onion, finely chopped (my addition)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lemon, juiced, plus ½ lemon, zested
½ cup dry white wine
5 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water, over medium heat, and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. While the pan is heating season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the shrimp, and sauté until just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan with a slotted spoon to reserve the oil. Add the garlic, chopped onion and red pepper flakes to the skillet, then sauté about a minute before adding the lemon juice and white wine. Raise the heat to high and let the liquid reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the butter and add the shrimp. Coat the shrimp with the sauce before adding a small ladleful of the pasta cooking water to the dish if the sauce is too thick. Remove from the heat.
Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with the chopped parsley and toss. Add the lemon zest and adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately.
Do not omit seasoning the shrimp before sautéing it really adds a depth of flavor to the dish. For an added layer of flavor, try adding some chopped tomato when sautéing the garlic and onion. For those who like extra sauce, try doubling all ingredients except the pasta, butter and parsley.
This recipe has apparently made the rounds. Apparently it came from Betty Reul, who got it from Ann Hasselkus, who gave it to Betsy Sander, who eventually gave it to me who is now sharing it with you. Enjoy.
Salmon bake with pecan-crunch coating
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1½ teaspoon honey
¼ cup soft bread crumbs
¼ cup finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
4 4-to-6 ounce salmon fillets
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Fresh parsley springs and lemon slices for garnish
Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine the mustard, butter and honey and set aside. In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pecans and chopped parsley and set aside. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper and place the fillets, skin side down, in a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Brush the mustard mixture on the fillets then spoon the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of each fillet.
Bake the salmon for 10 minutes or until the fish is flakey. Let the salmon rest a few minutes before garnishing with fresh parsley and lemon, if desired, and serve.
Betsy used spicy mustard instead of Dijon and dried parsley instead of fresh when she didn’t have fresh on hand. She also added a few minutes to the cooking time “to make sure it was cooked,” but added that the topping can burn quickly so be careful.
I’ve had enough of this winter weather. Would someone please let Mother Nature know that it’s spring in Wisconsin and we’re ready for some sun shine? Now, while I apparently have no control on what’s going on outside, I do have control of what’s going on in my kitchen, and it’s calling for spring. So who am I to deny it? This next recipe is one that comes from bakerella.com and it has spring (or summer) written all over it.
Peach Crunch Cake
1 24.5 ounce jar of sliced peaches (cut into smaller pieces) in light syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, cut into 16 pieces
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup brown sugar (½ cup will do)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 13-by-9-inc baking dish, layer the ingredients in order, starting with the peaches and its juices. Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the peaches, do not mix. Layer the butter slices over the cake mix then sprinkle the chopped walnuts (I prefer pecans) over the top. Finish it off with the brown sugar and bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm or cold, with or without ice cream.
Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar over the ice cream for an extra treat. This recipe easily be adapted to other fruits too.
To share a helpful hint or comment, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @Cooks_CornerLC.
- Summer in Wisconsin equals chili: Basic chili from leftover taco meat (0)
- Some recipes just scream summer: No bake raspberry lemon bars (0)
- It’s 5 o’clock somewhere: Bourbon Slush (0)
- Not too hot, not too sweet equals just right: Old Settlers Baked Beans (0)
- That's a wrap: Chicken Lettuce Wraps (0)
- Ree’s forgetfulness benefits us all: Coconut Curry Shrimp (0)
- Welcome to Miami: Cuban-style skirt steak with classic sour orange mojo (0)
- If you miss mashed potatoes, try this: Cauliflower Mash (0)
- Trying the low carb approach: Low Carb Pizza (0)
- A taste of Mexico: Camarones (shrimp) a la Mexicana (0)
- More Cook's Corner posts
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- All 2012
- All 2011
- All 2010
- All 2009
- All 2008
- All 2007