all sorts of recipes, from me to you

all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Monday, February 27, 2012

Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam with a Rant


Dear bacon jam ~ I knew I loved you before I even made you! 


It’s sticky, porky, sweet, garlicky, savory and spicy.  Frying the bacon till crisp, and combining with onions, garlic and other ingredients, cooking long and slow for the onions to caramelize, allowing it to turn into a thick syrup; and finally, pulverizing it all in a food processor for one of the best chunky gustatory sensations you can imagine.






This recipe, from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, has been floating around for at least a year, and I can’t imagine why it took me so long to finally make it.  The only change I will be making the next time is to double the recipe so as to share.  It is equally delicious served cold, room temperature, or warmed.  And it keeps well refrigerated for a month, if it lasts that long.






This is definitely one of the best things I have done with bacon.  I slathered this ‘jam’ on my toast this morning, but there are so many ways to enjoy it:  On a slice of tomato, on a burger, or a warm biscuit, grilled cheese, bagel chips, fried eggs, flambéed cheese, shrimp, scallops, whitefish, pork tenderloin, chicken, on crostini.  In quesadillas, on peanut butter or fried egg sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, burritos, pigs in a blanket, pizza, deviled eggs or potato salad.  Spread the bacon jam on a crescent roll before rolling and baking and serve either warm or room temperature.  Or just “straight-up,” right out of the jar!



Before
After 3.5 hours slow cooking



Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup brewed strong coffee

Method:
Line a platter with paper towels, and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly browned, approximately 20 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to the platter to drain.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat (discard or reserve for another use).
Add the onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent, 5-6 minutes.
Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee, and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. 
Add the bacon, and stir to combine.
Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3½ to 4 hours.
If it starts to dry out after 2 or 3 hours, add ¼ cup of water at a time and stir well.
Transfer to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.

Oh, my gosh, if you haven’t made bacon jam yet, you have to do it soon!  You might just love it and become addicted too!


Rant time:  I’m like many of you ~ fed up with the two word CAPTCHA that Blogger installed on Blogspot posts recently.  It is just plain frustrating when trying to make a comment, for so many reasons.  After reading a post on Diane’s blog, I changed the settings on my blog.  I was using the new Blogger interface and had to revert to the old interface to change the comment setting.

Here are the simple steps to turn off the word verification:

Go the dashboard for your blog.  (If using the new interface:  go to your dashboard, and click on the gear in the upper right hand corner.  In the drop down box, select “old blogger interface.”)

Click on settings on the old interface.

Select the “comments” tab.

Scroll down the page to “Show word verification for comments?”

Click, “No.”

Hit “Save Settings” at the bottom of the page!

Be happy, as you should be CAPTCHA free now!



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes.   She’s having an awesome giveaway now!



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Friday, February 24, 2012

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Chives with Snow



I’m a potato lover from way back, but not crazy about mashed potatoes; even Mom’s years ago.  Mom always got rave reviews for her mashed potatoes and she never allowed any one else in her kitchen to assist in the process.  I never knew her secret for them… 


On the other hand, Bill loves lumpy mashed potatoes like his mom used to make.  I could tolerate them a little better since there was more texture to them.  Then along came smashed potatoes.  






Smashed potatoes are perfect for us!  I like the consistency and Bill gets the lumps!  This is a great side dish of cheesy smashed potatoes flavored with garlic and chives.  There is a plethora of ways to make smashed potatoes and this is our favorite.  Simply delicious potatoes!


Cheesy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Chives   

Ingredients:
                                                                                                                      
4 Idaho baking potatoes, peeled or unpeeled and cut into cubes
3 garlic cloves, quartered
1/3 cup warm buttermilk
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper

Method:



Place potatoes and garlic in large saucepan, adding enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
Boil gently 15 to 20 minutes until potatoes break apart easily when pierced with fork.  Drain well.
Return potatoes and garlic to saucepan.
Shake saucepan gently over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes to evaporate any excess moisture.
Mash potatoes and garlic with back of spoon or potato masher, leaving some potato pieces in chunks.
Add all remaining ingredients and mix gently.


YUM!



By the way, we have 6” of very heavy wet snow this morning and we just got rid of some of it…






If it's 80 degrees and sunny where you are, I wish we were there with you!



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes.   She’s having an awesome giveaway now!




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Monday, February 20, 2012

Bourbon-Soaked Pork Tenderloin with Brown Sugar Honey Glaze ~ a Cookbook ~ and Distilleries


If you like a lingering bourbon flavor in meat, you will have to use this marinade the next time you prepare pork.  The bourbon flavor comes through just enough to notice but not enough to overpower the meat.





One of my very favorite Southern cookbooks is The New Low-County Cooking by Marvin Woods.  The jacket liner of his cookbook says, “There’s a whole world of flavor packed into an eighty-plus-square-mile area surrounding the cities of Charleston and Savannah.  It’s called the Low Country of South Carolina.”  It’s a great area to visit for cuisine and beautiful scenery.  Marvin Woods transforms standards into updated dishes, which leads to this recipe for Bourbon-Soaked Pork Tenderloin.  Actually, his recipe is intended for pork chops but I had pork tenderloin and used it instead.  









The marinade in this recipe is a super tenderizer for the pork with the end product being tender and succulent.  If you are apprehensive about using bourbon, substitute it with apple, cranberry or grape juice, sparkling cider, vegetable or chicken broth.  After the pork marinates for 36 hours or so, it can go on the grill, as Woods does, or in the oven, my way.  Then brush it several times with the Brown Sugar Honey Glaze while roasting.  






Bourbon is really the only distinct American spirit, according to Woods, with most of it coming from Kentucky.  I know that for a fact as I grew up in Louisville, and there are countless distilleries in the surrounding area.  Check out this post that was made just after I began blogging. 

I learned a lot about bourbon as a great family friend was a Federal inspector over-seeing many distilleries ~~~ he had so many stories for us and samples too, in unlabeled bottles!





Bourbon-Soaked Pork Tenderloin with Brown Sugar Honey

 1 (2 pounds) boneless pork tenderloin
Bourbon marinade
Brown Sugar Honey Glaze

For the bourbon marinade:

1 cup bourbon
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt



In medium bowl, stir together all the marinade ingredients.
Place the tenderloin in a deep baking dish.
Pour the marinade mixture over the pork, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove from refrigerator and place in roasting pan.
Roast pork for about 40 minutes or until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 160 degrees.
During the last 10 minutes, brush with the Brown Sugar Honey Glaze several times.


Brown Sugar Honey Glaze:

¾ cup honey
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Marv Spice*

Method:

In a saucepan, combine the honey and brown sugar and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. 
Stir in all the remaining ingredients.
Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Marvin Woods:  This flavorful sauce with an Asian accent can be used in place of most barbecue sauces.  I especially like it on spare ribs, pork and lamb.


*Recipe for Marv Spice:

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method:

In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until combined.
Store in airtight container for up to 6 months.

Marvin Woods:  I use this spice mixture in my macaroni and cheese as well as in fish, chicken and meat dishes that I feel can use a touch of inspiration.

 This is especially delicious for all you pork and bourbon lovers!

ENJOY!!!


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda, at My Kind of Cooking!  She’s hosting a great giveaway now ~ one of her cookbooks and cute kitchen towels.







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Friday, February 17, 2012

Slow-cooked Barbecued Chicken

This “fix it and forget it” slow cooker chicken is a hearty dish that is made for cold wintry days.  I saw this recipe in the January issue of “Southern Living” magazine and had to give it a try. 






It’s a simple tasty dish that makes an easy meal.   I doubt that the bourbon would make much difference if omitted.   The mix of vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup gave the chicken an appealing tangy flavor, with the lemon adding piquancy.

This resulted in very tender chicken that shredded easily.  The next time I make it, I will do exactly that:  Prepare the chicken, cook it in the slow cooker and when done, remove the chicken, let it cool slightly, discard the bones and lemon, shred the chicken and serve it on buns for delicious slow-cooked barbecued chicken sandwiches!


Ready to simmer


Slow-cooked Barbecued Chicken

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
3 pounds cut-up whole chicken*
½ cup cola soft drink
1/3 cup ketchup
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 lemon, sliced

Method:

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over chicken.
Place chicken in a 6-quart slow cooker.
Whisk together cola soft drink and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.
Slowly pour mixture between chicken pieces (to avoid removing spices from chicken).
Place lemon slices in a single layer on top of chicken.
C0ver and cook on HIGH 5 hours or on LOW 6½ to7 ½ hours, or until done.
Transfer chicken pieces to a serving platter; discard lemon slices.
Skim fat from pan juices in slow cooker.
Pour juices over chicken; serve immediately.
6 servings

*Pam’s note:  Use a whole chicken or your favorite pieces.  I removed the skin from all of the chicken---no fat to skim from pan juices.


As Southern Living says, “take comfort in this!”



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda, at My Kind of Cooking!  She’s hosting a great giveaway now ~ one of her cookbooks and cute kitchen towels.







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Monday, February 13, 2012

“Yummy ~ Not Pretty” Cookies for Valentine’s Day



You know those pretty little heart-shaped sugar cookies that are drizzled with chocolate that you bake for Valentine’s Day?  I was all ready to bake them until Bill went to the mailbox and came in the house with the March issue of “Food Network” magazine ~ the Chocolate issue!  







I’m not the resident chocolate addict, but I drooled my way through the magazine, and came to “The Way the Cookie Crumbles.”   It told me, “Choose your chocolate chip cookie style:  crispy, chewy or somewhere in between.”  “Chewy” got my attention!

I don’t bake cookies a lot any more like I used to, but when I do; it’s usually some variety of a chewy type cookie.  In my cookie baking experience, I know it can be hit or miss in making a cookie that claims to be “chewy;” only to have it turn out crunchy!  So many variables:  baking time, whether the dough is chilled or not, etc.  These cookies live up to their description:   chewy, delicious and chock full of semi-sweet chocolate chips!

My chocolate chip cookies may not be as pretty as those dainty, beautifully decorated red, pink and white Valentine cookies, but I can tell you for a fact ~ they taste great!  Are you a crispy or chewy sort of person?









Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cups packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Method:

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together into a large bowl.
Beat butter and both sugars in a bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, or use a stand mixer.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low.
Add flour mixture and beat until combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. 
Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop heaping tablespoonful’s of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2” apart on cookie sheet.
Use my cookie scoop and cookie sheets with ridges.
Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges but still soft in the middle, about 12 minutes.
Remove the cookies from oven and let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Makes about 30 cookies


YUM!!!










Here’s wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!!!




                                  Valentine glitter









Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, My Kind of Cooking.  She's hosting a giveaway now for one of her cookbooks and cute kitchen towels!



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Friday, February 10, 2012

Chile-Dusted Shrimp with Quick Corn Relish


The sugar, in the spice rub here, caramelizes during cooking and turns the shrimp a nice golden-brown color. 

This is a recipe adapted from Cooking Light.  The shrimp has a mild spicy taste and the vegetable mix has a sort of sweet-sour flavor to even the spicy shrimp.  The original recipe had 2 additional chile powders:  ancho and chipotle.  Bill is not crazy about so much of it, so I just used the traditional chili powder.  A can of Del Monte Fiesta Corn with red and green peppers would be great; omit the pimentos. 

We were pleasantly surprised with this dish; it’s really delicious ~ I will be making it again soon!







Chile-Dusted Shrimp with Quick Corn Relish
Adapted

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons pimentos
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon roasted ground ginger
1 (15-ounce) can whole-kernel corn
1½ tablespoons cider vinegar
1½ pounds peeled and deveined shrimp

Method:

Combine chili powder, sugar, salt and seasoned pepper in a shallow dish.
Add shrimp to spice mixture and stir well to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and ginger to pan.
Sauté for 3 minutes.
Add corn and pimentos to pan and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds.
Transfer corn mixture to a bowl.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
Add shrimp to pan.
Sauté 3 minutes or until done, turning once.
Serve over corn mixture.

It’s really scrumptious and quick too!



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, My Kind of Cooking.  She's hosting a giveaway now for one of her cookbooks and cute kitchen towels!






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Monday, February 6, 2012

Baked Trout Filets and an Award



Imagine this:  meatloaf ~ covered with mayonnaise-filled mashed potatoes ~ cooked all day in a crockpot... and the grease, soaking the meatloaf, and partially covering the mashed potatoes piled on top.

That was my first newlywed cooking disaster years ago, during Bill’s Army days when he was stationed at Ft. Lost in the Woods Leonard Wood, Missouri.  That meal was inedible ~ I can still taste the mayonnaise in that lump of mashed potatoes and so can Bill!  We laugh about it, and cringe, to this day…


The next fiasco I remember was when he was discharged from the Army, and we moved into an apartment in Louisville.  I wasn’t a big fan of fish or seafood, back then; however, I knew it was a nutritious source of protein for healthy eating, so I bought a package of frozen trout.  I failed to get the memo that said trout always comes with its head intact.  When that trout’s head, with his bulging eyes, slid out of the package, I gagged, and fed him to the garbage disposal!  Sliders for dinner that night! 

That was the last time I had anything to do with trout --- until I saw it beheaded at the fish counter in Jewel the other day.  I had to try again and it turned out perfectly with this great recipe. Enough said, are you braver than me? Do you serve trout with its head still attached?  







Baked Trout Filets

Ingredients:

4 trout filets
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh or concentrate

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place filets in baking dish sprayed with a cooking spray.
Whisk mayonnaise and olive oil in a small bowl and spread on each filet.
Stir together cheese, pepper and breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle liberally over fish.
Drizzle with lemon juice.
Bake about 25 minutes, uncovered or until fish flakes and is browned.
May be placed under broiler to brown, if you prefer.

ENJOY!!!


And now for the Liebster Award:

Jaana, @Janna’s kitchen, bestowed this blog with the Liebster Award.  Go check out her “up and coming” food blog!  The best part is that you automatically win and I am proud to add this to my other awards displayed on my sidebar.  A big “thank you” to Jaana!


What is the Liebster Award?









First of all, liebster is German for “favorite” or “dearest.”  This award is given to draw attention to blogs worthy of note --- usually with few followers, 200 or less.   There is no evaluation committee or formal award process for the Liebster Award, but in a way it is even nicer.  It is recognition that a peer has noticed and appreciated your work!

Here are the rules for the award:

1.       Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2.      Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3.      Post the award on your blog.

4.      Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogosphere – other bloggers.

5.      And, best of all --- have fun and spread the karma!


I’m happy to spread the karma to these "up and coming" blogs:


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet


Dr Dan @ 101 Cooking for Two


Shug @ Shug…My Steps of Faith


Chinkee @ One Big Bite  


Becki @ Becki’s Whole Life




Go check them out!

Here’s wishing you all a good week and:


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, My Kind of Cooking.  She's hosting a giveaway now for one of her cookbooks and cute kitchen towels!






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Friday, February 3, 2012

Spicy Sloppy Joes for Super Bowl Sunday



Growing up, this was a favorite messy meal of mine, and still is today!




Sloppy Joes are perfect for a delicious quick meal for your family or a crowd too ~ like for your Super Bowl party that’s coming up Sunday!  It’s a comfort food dish that is cheap also.  I make it just like Mom did, in an electric skillet.  It’s great for Sloppy Joes, but a slow cooker works just as well.

These Sloppy Joe’s are not sweet, like most are, and they’re not runny either ~ making them not so sloppy! Serve these Super Bowl Sunday for raves from your fans!


Spicy Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

1½ pounds ground round
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons McCormick’s Montreal Seasoning
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dry mustard

Method:

To a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add ground beef and break it up.
Sauté until no longer pink.
Reduce heat to medium and add onions and bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato sauce and paste.
Turn heat to low and add remaining 5 ingredients.
Simmer on low for at least 5 minutes.
Serve piled on toasted buns.
4-6 servings
Enjoy with tangy cole slaw and your favorite sides.


Have a great Super Bowl Day and I hope your team wins!  Sadly, mine’s not playing…



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes.







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