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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl Dinner

Jalapeno Poppers

3 medium sized jalapenos
3 TBS cream cheese
2 slices of bacon

Preheat to 375 degrees
Slice jalapenos lengthwise and scrape out seeds and white membrane, unless you like the spice, then leave some of the membrane. 
Spread cream cheese into each jalapeno. I like just enough to fill to the top, but not mounded up.
Wrap with bacon and bake until bacon is crisp.

Obviously you can make many more if you like, but it was just the 2 of us and we didn't need a truck load!
These were delicious!!! 

Potatoes Au Gratin?
These were not your traditional Au Gratin, it was more of a potato cake, maybe?  Anyways. 

5 Red potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/16 of an inch thick.  Break out your mandolin, you will need it.
3 generous TBS of horseradish cheddar cheese spread, softened
salt and pepper
sprinkle of paprika
3 TBS bacon bits
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat to 350 degrees
After slicing potatoes layer in a single layer on bottom of greased pie dish.  I did it in a big circle, then smaller and so forth.  I did two layers and then I would spread about 1 TBS of the cheese spread on top.  About half way through I added the salt, pepper, and paprika. Repeat with remaining spuds.
Bake for 50 minutes, cover with foil if the top browns too much. 
Remove from oven and top w bacon bits and grated cheese, return to oven 10 more minutes to melt.
Allow to cool before cutting. 

Here's a picture of the Potato thing after I sliced it.  Perfect little pie pieces, I put some ranch on top of mine. 

Behind there in the back are Feta Stuffed Mushrooms.  I've posted the recipe before.  They are a favorite at my house!

Boneless Chicken Wings

1lb BLSL chicken tenderloins
11/2 cups of hot sauce (I used Franks)
2 cups flour
salt and pepper
garlic powder
crushed red pepper
onion powder
oil for frying

Cut chicken tenders into small pieces, about 3 per tenderloin, and place in a ziplock, add hot sauce.  Marinade as long as you can, I did about 6 hours.
Heat oil to 350 degrees and remove chicken from hot sauce, discard remaining sauce. 
Mix flour and spices together, just eye ball it.  I use a lot of this and a little of that, whatever you like.
Dredge chicken in flour and fry in oil.  Took about 6 minutes each batch.  I did 5 per batch, don't over crowd.
Drain on paper towels and service with Ranch!  I mixed Ranch and some of the Franks hot sauce to make a "Cajun ranch". 

Apple Muffins

1 yellow cake mix
2 Granny Smith apples
2 TBS brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Splash of vanilla (1/2 tsp)

Preheat to 350 degrees. 
Peel and chop apple into very small pieces. It's not apple sauce, so don't get crazy. 
Prepare cake mix according to package directions, add chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Stir to combine.
Divide into paper lined muffin cups and bake according to package directions. 
If you want them a little sweeter add some brown sugar and butter to the top.  They were good either way. 

Metro Diner

Metro Diner is a little hole in the wall near downtown Jacksonville, about 30 minutes from where we live.  They have been featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  We have heard nothing but amazing things about it from our friends.  We decided to try....AMAZING!  My husband and I had the chicken and waffles.  The fluffiest, most delicious waffle ever.  We opted for tenders in lieu of the bone in chicken.  They serve it with a sweet and spicy sauce, which is syrup with a little hot sauce.  Sounds weird, but it was really good.  I was covered in syrup and hot sauce by the end of the meal.  I have a problem.  Our friends joined us, as well.  Eric had a breakfast burrito that was the size of his head and Kathryn had a breakfast pie.  It looked like a frittata, they both loved their meals as well.  I wish I had taken a picture before I began to devour my food, but I forgot so you are left with this. 

Italian Chicken

No big story here, I just needed to get dinner on the coffee table in front of the TV so I would have a happy husband.  It's not a very impressive meal at all really. 

Italian Chicken:
8 chicken breast tenders
2 cups Italian dressing

I marinated the chicken all day while I was at work.  I wanted to make some fancy smancy marinade for it, but I didn't have time and I threw it in a bag with the Italian dressing.  I use wishbone if I don't have time to make my own.  I was going to grill them, however, that is difficult when you realize you are out of propane.  Whoops!  Plan B!  I cooked 2 pieces of sausage as well, because I didn't know if the chicken would be enough to fill my honey's tummy.  I used the grease from that to cook the chicken.  I cooked it on pretty high heat, med high maybe?  It took maybe 8 minutes to cook them through.  I turned the heat to low and put a loose lid on it to keep them hot while I made the mashed potatoes and the crab. They tasted as delicious as they looked and were so tender.

Mashed potatoes are amazing.  I think russet potatoes make the absolute worst mashed potatoes.    I used yellow potatoes and added just a little roasted garlic, salt, pepper, cream cheese, butter (of course) and some half and half. Pretty simple.

Imitation Crab:
Melt about 1 TBS of butter over high heat, add the crab.  Season w salt and pepper, little garlic powder, and cook until starts to brown.  Took about 6 minutes.  We love real crab and imitation crab so I don't do much to it.  We love it just like it is.  You may not be so lucky, we have simple tastes. 

Balsamic Vinegar Pizza Pizza!

I like to make pizzas when I either have left over meat I need to use, or I don't have a lot of something left.  I made my husband BBQ chicken, bacon pizza (recipe is on here somewhere) and I made this little guy for myself.  I purchased a ridiculously expensive bottle of balsamic vinegar, aged 15 years!  It is delicious, almost a syrup! 

1 ready made pizza crust
1/2 cup of cooked chicken (I cooked w garlic, salt, pepper and a little cayenne)
2 TBS pizza sauce
3/4 cup of shredded gouda (I would use mozz next time, Gouda was all I had at the time)
1/2 TBS basil flakes
drizzle of balsamic vinegar

It's not rocket science, but the pizza sauce goes first, then the cheese, add your chicken, sprinkle the basil and then drizzle just a little of the vinegar on top and bake it.  450, about 10 minutes. 
Pretty good, not going to set the world on fire.  The BBQ chicken one was better. 

Chicken Pad Thai

I finally found tamarind paste at Whole Foods!  Oh happy day!  I love Pad Thai!!  Given the opportunity, I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It's my favorite food in the whole world.  I would need some of those curry crab rangoo0ns from time to time, obviously.

This is my first attempt and it wasn't bad, but wasn't amazing either.  We ate it, I had heart burn, and I know what I did wrong.  While making the sauce I thought I didn't have enough for the noodles I was using, so I doubled it.  Which was a mistake.  I also deviated from the recipe because, well, who doesn't love lime juice.  My recipe with be minus the lime juice in the sauce, but not squeezed on top, that my friends, is amazing!

4 BLSL chicken breasts, cut very small
1 package of rice noodles
3 large eggs
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 TBS tamarind paste
1 TSB rice vinegar
3 TSB fish sauce
3 TBS palm sugar (mine were in little circles, I used one)
1 TBS chili sauce, or to taste

Garnish with:
bean sprouts (yuck)
lime wedges (yum)

Start soaking your rice noodles in warm water 15-20 minutes.  They should be pliable, but still firm. 
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a pot and heat until it smells awful and the sugar is dissolved.  Keep warm until ready to use.

My wok is not very good, so I don't scoot around and cook multiple things at once.  I heat a little butter and make my eggs, then set aside. 
Add oil (I used sesame) and cook chicken, season w salt and pepper until no longer pink.  It will only take a few minutes. 
Once the chicken is cooked, drain your noodles and add to the wok, I have it pretty hot at this point and stir fry.  Add your sauce and cook for about 3 minutes until your noodles are perfect.  Do not over cook or you will have mush. 
Remove from wok completely. Garnish and eat!! 

We did enjoy it, but it was not exactly what I was looking for. 

Steak House Dinner

My friend turned me onto this store called Fresh Fields Farm, it's directly from the farm. Cheaper, fresher and delicious-er! I bought pretty much everything you see here, with the exception of the sausage, from there.  Everything was delicious.  I'm still working on perfecting my steak doneness and texture, I haven't had much practice with it.  As you can see, we eat a lot of chicken! 

Pull it out of the fridge about 30 mins prior to cooking.  Pat dry and season both sides w salt and pepper.
On high heat drizzle a little oil and sear one side of the stead for 3 minutes.  Don't touch it!  Flip and do the other side for 3 minutes.  Top w a pat of butter on top of each and throw in a 450 degree oven for 7 minutes.  Take it out and cover w foil for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle w parsley.

In that pan you just used I added 2 handfuls of sliced mushrooms, with a little garlic and chopped shallots. Sauté until soft, then deglaze with some wine.  Whatever you have.  I had a bottle of chardonnay already opened, go 2-3 circles around the pan and allow to reduce.

Heat butter on high heat in a pan.  Add scallops and allow to sear, takes just a few minutes on each side.  I just seasoned w salt and pepper....they were delicious!

Brussel Sprouts:
2 sausages links, cut into bite sized pieces
15 sprouts, cut in half, cleaned
salt and pepper

Over med high heat, brown the sausage.  I like it really brown, almost burnt. 
Once the sausage has a little color, add the brussel sprouts and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.  Season w salt and pepper, liberally!  Once they are to your desired doneness, eat um!
I like them soft, but not mush, this isn't broccoli. 

Dinner was delicious, my cut of meat was the "cheap one" so I got the nicer ones this shopping trip.  I'm going to try the broiler next time and see the difference.