Friday, November 26, 2010

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy Ree Drummond

Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
45 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
12 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter, plus more for baking
  • 1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Milk, if needed, for thinning

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel the potatoes and rinse them in cold water. Chop the potatoes in fourths. Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, and then return them to the pan. With the burner on low heat, mash the potatoes with a potato masher; the more steam that's released while you mash, the better. Mash for about 5 minutes. Turn off the burner.

Add the butter, cream cheese, half-and-half, and seasonings. Stir to combine, and if the mixture needs thinning, add milk. Check the seasonings, adding salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the mashed potatoes into a large casserole pan. Dot the surface with butter. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

This was a delicious recipe for our Thanksgiving turkey. It was easy to prepare and so well worth it! It was from a Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode where Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman challenged him to a Thanksgiving throwdown! She won! I also made her Mashed potatoes. Delish!

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Recipe courtesy Ree Drummond

Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
20 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
5 hr 0 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
18 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 3 oranges, peeled, white pith removed, skin roughly chopped
  • 1 (20-pound) fresh turkey
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped orange zest

Directions

Combine the water, apple juice, salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried rosemary, and orange peel in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat immediately, cover, and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Cool mixture in the fridge until you're ready.

To brine the turkey, remove the turkey from wrapper, remove interior bags (set aside; refrigerate), and rinse turkey thoroughly under cool water.

Place the turkey into a plastic brining bag or a very large pot.

Pour the cooled brine mixture over the top, adding extra cold water if you need more to completely cover the turkey. Seal the bag or cover the pot and allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours before roasting.

Before roasting, remove the turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Then soak in a sink full of fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry. Discard brine. (This soaking process will decrease the likelihood of too-salty gravy).

Preheat the oven 275 degrees F.

Truss the bird and place it breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy-duty foil. Make sure it's entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan). Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes per pound (a 20 pound turkey will roast for about 3 1/2 hours).

Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove the aluminum foil and set aside. Mix the softened butter with the rosemary and orange peel and rub all over the skin of the turkey, covering every single inch of the skin. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey, uncovered, back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes, until the thermometer registers 170 degrees F and until the juices are no longer pink.

Remove from the oven and cover with foil until you are ready to carve and serve. Reserve pan juices to make gravy.

Cook's Note: This is enough for a 20 pound fresh turkey. You can decrease the quantity for a smaller bird.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hunter's Minestrone


I saw an episode of Ultimate Tyler today. He's one of my favorite chefs from the Food Network and also the Cooking Channel. EVERYTHING that I've made of his has been delicious and this didn't fail. He made a Minestrone Soup that got great reviews. Being that Alyssa isn't feeling well, I figured that this would be good for her for dinner. It's actually an easy recipe but it works best of you get the ingredients out ahead of time. The full recipe will be at the bottom.
First you saute the Sage, Thyme and Rosemary in the oil to flavor the oil. Add the 'tube' of breakfast sausage and break apart the pieces. Next, you chop up the carrots, celery and onion in the food processor. Dump them into the pot and cook for a few minutes.

While that is cooking, heat up the chicken broth and garlic in a pot. I used homemade chicken stock. The garlic BULB can just be thrown in because you're only using it to flavor the broth.


add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, beans etc.
Take the garlic out of the chicken stock. Add the chicken stock to the sausage mixture.
Cook the macaroni, drain and keep separate. I don't add mine to the soup until I'm ready to serve it. Otherwise the macaroni will soak up all of the broth. I also used garlic toast that we had on hand. I guess you can tell that I like garlic! The soup doesn't taste garlicky at all.

Hunter's Minestrone

by Tyler Florence
Serves:
6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 1/2 pound small rigatoni
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tube of frozen breakfast sausage or Sage sausage that's used for making stuffing, thawed
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves, finely minced
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 12 slices baguette
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Combine the stock and halved garlic head in a big saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes to give the stock a nice, garlicky taste; strain out the garlic. Keep warm.
Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the rigatoni.
Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the sage, rosemary and thyme and warm the oil over medium heat to infuse it with the flavor of the herbs, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with the side of a big spoon until well browned. Chop the carrots, celery, and onion in a food processor. Add to the saucepan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
To the pan with the sausage stir in the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, cannelloni beans, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water for 6 minutes; it should be slightly underdone. Drain and stir into the simmering soup. Add the parsley, and salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste. Discard the bay leaf and herb sprigs.
To serve, preheat the broiler. Put the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and float a couple of the baguette slices on top.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Emeril's Homemade Sweet & Spicy Pickles

Yesterday Alyssa and I made Emeril's Sweet & Spicy Pickles. They are a favorite of Alyssa's. They remind her of 'Wickles', a very popular brand, but she thinks these are even better! The recipe calls for 3 lbs of Kirby Cukes and it serves 4 pints. We decided to triple it! (We did each batch separately though). *** NOTE: We don't use the 24 dried cayenne peppers for this. I've heard it's not that hot using them but I don't want to even go there. We put one teaspoon of red pepper flakes into each recipe instead.
It's an easy recipe, just a bit time consuming.

You start by washing and then slicing the cukes.

Add the sugar and water to the bowls
Add the onions and red peppers. The peppers aren't in the recipe but we think it makes the look pretty so we add them!
After soaking for 2 hours, run under water to get rid of the salt water mixture.
Mix up the rest of the ingredients in a pan, then add the cuke mixture. This was the most tedious part. It calls for 10 TABLESPOONS of chopped garlic for each recipe! So I had to peel and chop 30 TABLESPOONS worth. P - U !!!!
Fill the jars, seal and process in a water bath. DONE!!!! Now you have to wait 2 weeks for them to work their magic!

Emeril's Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickles

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005

NOTE: When selecting cucumbers for pickling, there are a few things to remember. For crisp pickles, choose ripe, pickling cucumbers, which are shorter and chunkier than regular eating cucumbers, which tend to be longer and smoother. Ripe pickling cucumbers are darker green, firm, and not "bloated." They should have plenty of spiny bumps on the outer surface. Overripe cucumbers make mushy pickles. They tend to have yellow or white streaks or spots and their surfaces are smoother. Choose pickles that have not been coated in wax, as the pickling brine cannot penetrate through the wax. The fresher the cucumbers, the crisper the pickles will be. For best results, try picking your own cucumbers from a local farm or farmers' market.

Prep Time:
40 min
Inactive Prep Time:
338 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
15 min
Level:
Intermediate
Serves:
4 pints
3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

2 cups sliced onions

1/2 cup pickling salt

6 cups water

3 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

3 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

4 whole cloves

10 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic

24 dried cayenne peppers

2 teaspoons 100 percent Natural Pickle Crisp, optional

Place cucumbers, onions, pickling salt, and water in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow cucumbers to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the onions and cucumbers through a colander and rinse well for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves, garlic, and peppers in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to a simmer and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Fill each of the hot sterilized pint-size preserving jars with the pickle mixture, dividing them evenly, and enough of the liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Natural Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired. With a clean damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Screw on the metal ring just until the point of resistance is met. Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes.

Using tongs, remove the jars, place on a towel, and let cool. Test the seals by allowing the jars to stand at room temperature overnight or until the lids pop. Tighten the rings and store in a cool dry place. Let the pickles age for at least 2 weeks before using.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Balsamic-Baked Onions and Potatoes with Roast Pork

These recipes are from Jamie Oliver. I saw him make this on his Jamie At Home show on the Cooking Channel the other day. He said that this dish will fulfill every mans dream! It did not fail. PJ loved this meal. I served it with spinach on the side. Don't be afraid of all the Balsamic Vinegar in the potatoes. It ends up carmelized and just delicious!

Balsamic-Baked Onions and Potatoes with Roast Pork

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 pounds medium-sized waxy potatoes (all purpose), peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • 7 ounces butter, cubed
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 whole bulb garlic, quartered or smashed
  • 5 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups cheap balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the pork:
  • 1 small bunch fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground fennel seeds
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) boneless rolled pork loin, preferably free-range or organic, skin off, fat scored in a crisscross pattern
  • Olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 wine glasses white wine

Directions

This dish has attitude - it uses a lot of balsamic vinegar but, trust me, it works really well! The onions and potatoes are baked in the vinegar, making them crispy, dark, sticky and sweet. I've chosen to serve them with roasted pork, but beef or lamb works just as well. I prefer red onions for their color and sweetness.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for around 8 minutes, then drain and return to the pan. Chuff them up a bit by shaking the pan.
To prepare the meat, scatter a handful of finely chopped rosemary leaves over a large chopping board. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and the ground fennel seeds. Roll the pork across the board, pressing down hard so all the flavorings stick to it.
Get a large roasting pan that your pork will fit snugly into, and place it on a burner over a medium-high heat. Pour in a little olive oil and place the pork in, fat side down, sprinkled with any flavorings remaining on the board. After a few minutes, when the pork fat is lightly golden, turn it over and add the garlic cloves, onion, celery and bay leaves to the pan. Place on the bottom shelf of your preheated oven for 1 hour, basting it halfway through. (For the last 20 minutes of cooking, you may need to cover the pork with a bit of damp waxed paper to stop it coloring too much.)
Get another roasting pan, into which you can fit the potatoes in 1 layer, and heat it on the stove. When hot, pour a glug of olive oil into it and add the butter, rosemary and garlic. Add the potatoes and toss them in all the flavors. Add the onions and all the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on the burner to reduce the balsamic vinegar a little. Place the pan on the top shelf and cook for around 50 minutes, until the potatoes and onions are dark, sticky and crispy - removing the pan to toss the onions and potatoes halfway through.
After 1 hour, the meat should be cooked. Prick it with a sharp knife - if the juices run clear, it's done; if not, pop it back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, keeping the potatoes warm. Remove it from the oven and let it rest on a plate for 10 minutes. Pour away most of the fat from the pan and mash up the garlic and onion. Place the pan over the burner and add the white wine. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, scraping all the meaty, marmitey goodness off the bottom to make a tasty little sauce, and season if necessary. Pass through a sieve into a serving pitcher. Then slice the pork and serve it with your incredible baked onions and potatoes, drizzled with the pan juices. This meal goes great with some nice greens or an arugula salad.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Traditional Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar


This isn't a recipe but a shout out to tell the world of the BEST Balsamic Vinegar that's out there. This is the Traditional Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar from JD Gourmet. http://www.jdgourmet.com/about.html We started buying it a few years ago at the Bethlehem, CT Garlic Festival. It is one of those foods in life that give you great comfort. I don't use it in recipes where it's with a lot of other flavors. I'm sure it would be very good that way but we like to save it to use AS the main flavor. We use it to dip bread in, over mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and sliced tomatoes from the garden etc. It's the caviar of Balsamic Vinegars!
Tonight we will have a meal that is planned around this delicious vinegar!!! PJ will be very happy!
** Photo from the JD Gourmet website.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Marinated Portobello Stuffed Whole Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Red Onion

This recipe is from the 2nd place winner of the Next Food Network Star, 2010. It looks long but is actually quick to throw together. I followed it exactly EXCEPT I added some white potatoes as well as the sweet potatoes because PJ doesn't like sweet ones, and after throwing everything in the pan, I drizzled the rest of the oil mixture from the mushrooms over the potatoes. This was the most flavorful, moist chicken we ever had. You can even throw it together the night before and plop it in the oven in the afternoon. Alyssa ended up not eating here last night. When she got home I started to tell her about it being that we watch the show together and she said PJ already told her how good it was. Now how's that for a compliment. Oh, I also used a 7.5 lb oven stuffer roaster, not a 3 lb one mentioned. I cooked it according to the chicken package time.

Marinated Portobello Stuffed Whole Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Red Onion

Recipe courtesy Tom Pizzica

Serves:
4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-pound) whole fryer chicken
  • 8 slices Marinated Portobello mushrooms (4 whole portobellos), recipe follows
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Dash smoked paprika
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges (from root to tip)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Start at the cavity end of the chicken and work your finger underneath the skin. Using 2 fingers, gently separate the skin from the entire breast and then work your way to the thighs and legs.
Cook's Note: There is a little piece of skin underneath the main skin that separates the thigh meat from the breast meat, just break through this part and don't be afraid of tearing the main skin because you won't.
Take the portobello mushroom slices and lay them flat underneath the skin over the breast and thighs. Do this until all the slices of mushrooms are underneath the skin. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Place the chicken in a roasting pan.
Place the sweet potatoes and red onion in a bowl. Coat lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss. Place the potatoes and onions around the chicken and cook for about 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees F. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
Slice and enjoy!

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms:

  • 8 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Brush the mushrooms carefully with a paper towel to get rid of the excess dirt. Using a spoon, carefully scrape out the gills from the underside of the portobello cap.
Slice the mushroom in half along the perimeter (like you are butterflying it) so you have 2 thin rounds, and then place them in a large bowl.
In a saute pan add the oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and the shallot and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, honey, salt, and pepper and whisk vigorously.
Pour the mixture over the mushrooms and with your hands toss gently to coat, making sure there is even coverage.
Let the mushrooms stand at room temperature for at least 45 minutes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

BOMBAY SLOPPY JOE'S

Photo from Food Network

Alyssa and I saw this recipe on Aarti's Party on the Food Network. It is served with the Kale Salad (listed under SALAD to the right) and Creamy Pistachio Pops (which will be on here w/i the next week).
This recipe got RAVING reviews in the comment section of the recipe so we just had to try it. It was actually easy but I would suggest reading through the recipe first, then doing ALL of the prep work and then starting the dish. There were times that I actually turned the stove off so I could prep more ingredients. It's not hard at all though!
Let me say... this recipe was delicious. It was my introduction into Indian Cooking. The next time I make it I will double the recipe or maybe triple it! Alyssa even said that if there were any leftovers she'd like to try it mixed with a salad, kind of like a taco salad!

Sloppy Bombay Joes

Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira 2010

Prep Time:
35 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
1 hr 0 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 serrano chile, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water

Turkey:

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Small handful shelled pistachios, about 1/4 cup
  • Small handful raisins, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
  • 1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact (don't chop it up unless you like things spicy!)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • Small handful chopped fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
  • 4 to 6 hamburger buns

Directions

Begin by making the sauce: Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until it shimmers. Add the ginger, garlic and serrano pepper. Saute until the ginger and garlic brown a little. Add the garam masala and paprika and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile for the turkey, in large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of oil. When shimmering, add the pistachios and raisins. Cook until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of oil, and warm until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 10 seconds, or until some of the sizzling subsides. Stir in the onions and bell pepper; saute until softened and starting to brown. Add the serrano pepper. Saute for another couple of minutes, seasoning with a little salt. Stir in the turkey, breaking up the big lumps. Cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, your sauce should be ready. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the turkey. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Once the turkey is cooked and the sauce has thickened a little, remove the serrano pepper (unless you want to eat it whole, like my Dad does!). Add the honey, half-and-half, pistachios and raisins. Stir through and taste for seasoning. Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro.

Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and serve. Eat (with your hands!) and enjoy!

Massaged Kale Salad

My picture of this salad is blurry so here's one straight from the Food Network.
I was a bit nervous about even attempting this recipe. Kale can be so bitter. I read the reviews and EVERYONE loved it! So how could I not try it? I have to admit that I did the order of ingredients wrong. Read before making this. In the end, all of the ingredients were in there in the correct amounts but Alyssa remembers there being more dressing when we saw it on Aarti's show. Honestly, I think the order of the ingredients wasn't the problem, I think it was the fact that i bought the biggest head of Kale that there was. I think i should have doubled all of the other ingredients. The parts of the salad that had the dressing coating it were delicious. Aartie said it's best the longer it sits. This salad goes with her Bombay Sloppy Joe's which you will find in the Main Dish category to the right.

Massaged Kale Salad

Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira, 2010

Serves:
4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons

Directions

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.

Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

GRILLED PORTOBELLO AND TOMATO


Last night I made a delicious 'side' from Mrs. Celenza's cookbook FROM THE TABLE OF PLENTY. It was Grilled Portobello And Tomato. Let me first say that my picture doesn't do it justice. I should have plated it for the picture but oh well! It was simply DELICIOUS! It made me think 'summer' when I tasted it but would be just as good an comforting in the winter! It was super easy also.

GRILLED PORTOBELLO AND TOMATO
From the Table of Plenty, Marion Celenza

1 lb. Portobello mushroom caps, rinsed, drained, sliced into 1/2" thick pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced (I used a red onion)
2 beefsteak tomatoes, ripe but firm, 1/2" slices
3-4 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Lightly coat a 9x15" solid metal grill pan. (I didn't have one so I just used a jelly roll pan). Preheat broiler.
Pat dry mushroom slices with paper towels. In a small bowl blend oil and vinegar. Brush this mix over both sides of the sliced mushrooms. Lay mushrooms, side by side, on the grill pan. Arrange tomato slices and sliced onion over mushrooms. Sprinkle with garlic, cheese and black pepper. Lay bay leaves upon various areas of the vegetable mix.
*Broil vegetables 5 inches below heat for 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts and is light golden brown. Turn off broiler. Allow tray to sit in oven for another minute. Remove bay leaves and discard.
Serve hot; use a spatula to assist in serving. Serves 6.
* When broiling, do not run out to the grill and get distracted like I did. This cooks FAST!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Joan's Broccoli Madness aka... Sweet Tomatoes Broccoli Salad


Joan’s Broccoli Madness


Whenever we visit Brooke, we always go to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. We just love it! One of our favorites is the Broccoli Salad. I was so happy to find the recipe today. I made it as a side with dinner tonight and it was delicious.... just like I remember!

Serves 6-8.
1 bunch uncooked broccoli*
½ cup crumbled cooked bacon
½ cup cashews
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup chopped red onions

Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl.
In a second bowl, beat dressing ingredients together gently until smooth.
Toss the salad with the dressing approximately 10 minutes before serving to allow flavors to meld. Serve on chilled salad dishes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DEEP FRIED PICKLES

Alyssa has been craving Deep Fried Pickles lately. We had them first at Smokin' Al's and we all just loved them. She made them when Scott and her were visiting Brooke. They all loved them. Alyssa didn't use a recipe. She just opened a jar of Dill Pickle Chips, dipped the chips in egg and then Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs and then fried them until the were golden brown. She served them with ranch dressing. I never though I'd like them but boy, they were delicious!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

ZUCCHINI NOODLE PESTO

This was a pretty interesting recipe. If there was a way to make the Pesto to be less fattening, it would be the perfect diet food. Below is the original recipe. It comes from the blog called Tea & Cookies. http://teaandcookies.blogspot.com/2009/08/zucchini-noodles-with-pesto.html
I did change a few things though. I made a bunch of jars of Basil Pesto in the spring. I use quite a bit of garlic in mine so I didn't add more to this recipe. I also used sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh ones. I thought it was pretty good.

ZUCCHINI NOODLE PESTO


Two medium-sized zucchini or one large one (but not those crazy baseball bat zucchini), about four to five cups.
One large bunch of basil, leaves removed from steams (about 3 cups)
Garlic, 1-2 cloves (start with one, add a second if you find you want more garlic flavor)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup dried or fresh tomatoes, sliced (if dried) or cut into chunks

Run the zucchini over a mandolin to create “noodles, or cut into 'matchbook size'.
Put basil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor (you can chop by hand, if you don’t have a food processor, it just takes a bit of time). Process the herbs while drizzling olive oil in though the feeder tube until you see the consistency change from chopped to smooth, (somewhere between 1 to 2 tbs. of oil). Add salt and pepper to taste (I’d start with 1/2 tsp of salt and add more if you like).

Toss all together. Eat immediately.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing and Fried Eggplant Croutons

I made this salad last night. It had gotten great reviews and my family agrees! I was a bit skeptical about the eggplant croutons but they 'make' the salad! DELICIOUS! There was enough dressing to use on additional salads. I keep it in the refrigerator in a canning jar.
Aaron never let's me down with his recipes!

Deep-Fried Eggplant Croutons

Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo Jr.

Ingredients
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 bag spring mix greens
  • 1 heart romaine, chopped
  • 10 basil leaves, torn
  • 10 fresh oregano leaves
  • 10 parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Directions

Preheat a fryer to 375 degrees F.
In separate shallow dishes add flour, egg and bread crumbs. Coat the eggplant cubes in the flour, then the egg and finally through the bread crumbs. Carefully add the cubes to the fryer and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the fryer to a paper towel lined platter to drain. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic and mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to combine and emulsify. Add the herbs, salt and pepper. Set aside to dress salad.
In a large serving bowl, toss together the greens, herbs, cheese, tomatoes and onion.
Toss with the desired amount of dressing, top with eggplant croutons and serve.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

CORN and BASIL CAKES...

This was a delicious recipe adapted from Eating Well. Adding the basil made for a nice fresh taste. They were very easy to make.

Corn and Basil Cakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears) or frozen (thawed)
1/2 cup chopped basil

Whisk flour, milk, eggs, 1 Tablespoon oil, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in corn and basil.

Brush a nonstick skillet (I used my crepe pan) lightly with remaining oil; heat over medium heat until hot (but not smoking). Cook 2 cakes at a time, using 1/4 cup batter for each. Pour the batter onto the skillet (batter will be very thick) and pat down a bit with the back of a spoon, but leaving them thick. Cook until the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with remaining oil and batter, making ten cakes total. Reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Five-Spice Tilapia

This was such an easy recipe and is packed with flavor!

Five-Spice Tilapia
From Eating Well

1 pound Tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, or enough to cover fish
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Sprinkle both sides of Tilapia fillets with five-spice powder. Combine soy sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Tilapia and cook until the outer edges are opaque, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, turn the fish over, stir the soy sauce mixture and pour over the fish and into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly (make sure to not caramelize sugar), about 2 minutes more. Add the scallions and remove from the heat.

Serve the fish drizzled with the pan sauce.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GARLIC SCAPES... A NEW CULINARY WONDER!

On our trip last week to Ithaca, NY, we stopped off at our favorite Farmers Market... The Ithaca Farmers Market. http://www.ithacamarket.com/
We always find something new there to try and this time was no exception. We happened to notice people checking out and buying these curly looking scallions (or so we thought). They were buying a TON so we knew they couldn't be scallions because what do you do with a TON of scallions. We kept walking around and found another 'farmer' that had these interesting curly things. We asked him about them. He explained that they are Garlic Scapes... the stems and seed heads of the garlic plant. For about 2 weeks in June, they curl and that's the perfect time to pick them. He explained that if they don't look like a pigs tail, they aren't ready! He said that people can't get enough of these things! They saute them, pickle them and make pesto with them. Well, PJ and I LOVE garlic so we HAD to get some of these and give it a try. It was too early in the week as we weren't going home for 5 more days so he told us where his farm stand is and he'll pick some Tuesday night for us. We ended up buying 5 POUNDS of these things. I LOVE canning so my plan was to make pesto and pickle some.

The recipe we use for making pickled scapes is the Dilly Beans recipe found in the Ball Blue Book.Quite a few blogs recommended this recipe. I read that these taste best after 3 weeks of being in the brine so I actually haven't tried them yet!

DILL PICKLED GARLIC SCAPES


2 pounds Garlic Scapes
1/4 cup canning salt
2-1/2 cups vinegar
2-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
4 cloves garlic, divided (I did NOT add these. The Scapes are strong enough in flavor!)
4 heads dill, divided
Trim ends off green beans. Combine salt, vinegar and water in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4” head space. Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic, and 1 head dill to each pint. Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving ¼” head space Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: about four pints.

Then I made Pesto with a bunch of Scapes. This was VERY strong in taste and hopefully will calm down after a while. I froze all of the jars except one, which is in the refrigerator. I've read that people love mixing a little with mayo to make a spread with it .

Garlic Scape Recipes: Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto
Ingredients
  • 10 garlic scape (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of toasted almonds
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
Procedure
Mix the finely chopped garlic scape, Parmesan cheese, almonds and half of the olive oil in a container of a food processor. Blend the mixture and see if more olive oil and Parmesan is required and add the same. You can decide upon the texture of the pesto the way you like it. Season the mixture with salt. You can also add a bit of fresh lemon juice just before serving. You can preserve this garlic scape dish in a refrigerator for a couple of days. All you have to do is place the mixture in an airtight container.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Yogurt Grilled Chicken Breast with Pineapple Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Last night we had a delicious, healthy dinner. I made 2 recipes that were from an episode of Party Line With the Hardy Boys on the Food Network. I cooked the chicken on the charcoal grill
which added a bit of a smokey flavor. I also grilled some Portobello Mushrooms and Zucchini. YUM!

Yogurt Grilled Chicken Breast with Pineapple Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Recipe courtesy Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh

Serves:
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 6 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Lemon slices, for garnish
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pineapple Salsa, recipe follows

Directions

Mix the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon zest, salt and hot sauce together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat a cast iron grill pan over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or preheat an outdoor grill. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 4 minutes per side, until the chicken is firm to the touch.

Platter and garnish with lemon slices. Serve warm or at room temperature with salsa on the side.

Pineapple Roasted Red Pepper Salsa:

  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into small dice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Pinch salt

Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and mix well. Place in a decorative bowl and serve.

Lemon Basil Pasta Salad

Recipe courtesy Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh

Serves:
6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 8 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Directions

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way with water and place over high heat. Add plenty of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to cool down.

Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and add the tomatoes, basil, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Toss well and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Monday, April 5, 2010

SILK TIE EGG COLORING

I found this unique way of coloring eggs on the internet. http://jackiewilson.blogspot.com/2010/04/dyeing-easter-eggs-using-silk-neckties.html and also http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/03/silk-dyed-eggs.html

You use silk ties to color your Easter Eggs. The pattern from the ties will come out and be on your eggs. I HAD to give this a try. I went to my local thrift shop and bought the ties for $1 each.
I cut the ties open and made approx 7" squares with the fabric. I did the same with white fabric to use as my 'cover' to the ties. I boiled them in a water/vinegar mix for 15 minutes...
then I put them on a plate to cool off. I couldn't wait to see the end result so i didn't wait too long to open them up. And the final result was.......
Wha-La! For a first timer, I think they turned out pretty good.
Silk Dyed Easter Eggs
Tutorial by www.ourbestbites.com

Materials and Tools
-Raw Eggs
-Glass or enamel pot (but pretty much any non-aluminum pot will be fine)
-Silk ties, blouses, or boxers, cut into pieces large enough to cover an egg
-An old white sheet, or pillowcase, or tablecloth, or random fabric, cut into pieces to cover silk-wrapped eggs
-Twist ties or string
-4 tablespoons of white vinegar
-Warm water
-Vegetable oil
-Paper towels
-Tongs or spoon

1. Remove seaming from ties and any lining on the inside. You just want a piece of the silk. Cut silk into a square (or a piece) large enough to wrap around a raw egg.

2. Wrap an egg with a piece of silk, making sure the printed side of the material is facing the egg. Silk can still be used if it doesn't fit perfectly around egg. Just try to make as much smooth contact with the fabric to the egg as you can. The pattern will transfer better if it is right up against the egg. Any part that is folded or wrinkled will leave kind of a tie-dyed pattern (which is a good thing, it’s pretty that way) Secure with twist-tie or string.

3. Place the silk-wrapped egg in a piece of white sheet, pillowcase, or old tablecloth and secure tightly with another twist-tie or string.

4. Place the egg(s) in the pot. Fill pot with water to cover eggs completely. Then, add the 1/4 C of white vinegar.

5. Bring water to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

6. Remove eggs from water with tongs or spoon and let cool on a pile of paper towels or in a colander.

7. When eggs are cool enough to handle, you can remove the fabric.

8. To add a little bit of luster to your eggs, put a dab of vegetable oil on a paper towel and rub onto the egg.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

EDITED to add picture of completed pork (above). My photoshop is not working so I couldn't get rid of the brightness.

During the storm that whipped through the area last week causing massive power outages, I went to free cooking demos at a Garden center with one of my friends to pass the time. They had local chefs come in and do demos with a vegetable or herb theme. I guess they expected us to then purchase the plants. At the end of the demo, we all got to sample the food that was made. On the first day of demos, the featured chef was Leisa Dent of LL DENT. http://www.lldent.com/
Leisa was a very charismatic person. She has us laughing the entire time. She made
Fried Green Tomatos and Pork Shoulder with Garlic and Rosemary. BOTH were delicious! I'm going to be cooking it tomorrow so I made the marinade today and injected it so that it will have time to really develope the flavors. It should sit in the refrigerator overnight for the best flavor.

LL DENT'S PORK SHOULDER with GARLIC and ROSEMARY

1 pork shoulder approx 7 lbs.
Marinade:
In a blender add:
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 big sprig of Rosemary, leaves taken off and minced
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of water, added slowly

Blend together and fill an injector with the marinade. Inject all over the pork, as much as you can. Using what's leftover, slather all over the pork. Wrap it up and refrigerate it over night.
Dry the outside of the marinade. If it's wet, you won't get a crispy crust on the pork. Cover and bake approx 2 hours (remove cover during last 1/2 hour), paying attention to the temperature of the pork. It should reach 155 before taking out of the oven.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before you start slicing off pieces. **You can cook this in a smoker for approx 10 ours. I have one for outside but bought a smoker bag to use in the oven to give it that smokey flavor.

This is how much Rosemary I used

Finely chopped Rosemary and Garlic


I used a Magic Bullet instead of a blender

I have 2 injectors. This one works good because the openings are large and the pieces of garlic and rosemary can pass through without getting clogged

inject the marinade all over the pork


Tomorrow I will put pics of the finished product. I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

This 'salad' is delicious! It's light and very tasty! I read the reviews and most of them said to double the dressing so that's what i did. The recipe is the original one though. I used Israeli Couscous because I like the texture better.

Black Bean and Couscous Salad



Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat.
3. Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I just made 2 coffee cakes last night. You can read about my disasters in todays blog update:http://mamazuke.blogspot.com/2010/02/yesterday-was-not-good-day-for-baking.html
I have to say though that this recipe is very good and also very easy. It was given Last night just wasn't a good baking night!

Jewish Coffee Cake
CAKE INGREDIENTS
1 stick of margarine, creamed
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 ts. baking soda
1/4 ts salt
1 ts. baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 ts vanilla

TOPPING INGREDIENTS
Mix together:
1/2 cup chopped nuts such as walnuts
1 ts. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

Mix all of the cake ingredients together beating well. Put 1/2 of the batter into an ungreased tube pan. Spread 1/2 of the topping on that. Then pour the rest of the batter in top of that and finish with the rest of the topping mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 F. Let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SZECHUAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS


Alyssa and I had this for lunch today and LOVED it!. I actually threw it together on Sunday so today was easy. The first time I made it I thought it was way too hot. This time I didn't use the szechuan sauce and just added about 1/4 cup of a low salt Chinese stir fry sauce that I had in the fridge. I'm always substituting! I also used leftover chicken so I just diced the chicken and added it to the veggies and spices. That made it real easy. So today, I just heated up some and then we rolled it in lettuce leaves like egg rolls. It was so good and also healthy.

Spicy Szechuan Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo Jr.
Level:
Easy
Yield:
6 servings

Ingredients
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup shredded daikon radish
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 cup bean sprouts
3 stalks (1/2 cup) scallions
1/4 cup Szechuan sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, for frying
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, juiced
1 head Bibb lettuce leaves
Directions
Split boneless chicken in half. If too thick, pound out to make thinner.
In a medium bowl, mix together radish, carrots, bean sprouts, and scallions. Add Szechuan sauce.
In a small bowl, mix together five-spice, cayenne, salt and pepper. Season chicken breasts lightly with rub. Cut the chicken into strips.
In a large skillet over high heat, add the grapeseed oil. Once hot, sear the chicken breasts for 4 minutes on each side. Add butter and lemon to pan and baste the chicken for another minute. Remove chicken to a platter to let cool. Once cooled, dice or shred the chicken.
Place a spoonful of the vegetable mixture and the shredded chicken onto each leaf of lettuce. Roll and serve.

Monday, February 8, 2010

WHO DAT~ POBOY!

In honor of The New Orlean's Saints playing in last night's SuperBowl, we decided to support them by having Shrimp PoBoys for dinner. They were delicious! Alyssa even commented that "these taste better than the ones we had in New Orlean's"! I don't know about that but hey, i'll take the compliment! The recipe is from Tyler Florence. It calls for Shrimp AND oysters but we passed on the oysters. We also had the Sweet Potato Matchsticks on the side. That recipe is also below. I did all of the prep work before the game. At 1/2 time, I made the shrimp and matchsticks.

Shrimp and Oyster Po' Boys
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Tyler's UltimateEpisode: Ultimate Po Boys
Rated: 5 stars out of 5

Yield:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
24 medium-sized oysters, shucked
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons hot sauce, plus more for sandwich
2 cups fine ground cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Pinch cayenne
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
Kosher salt
2 soft sub or hoagie rolls
Creole Mayonnaise, recipe follows
Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
Tomato slices
Lemon wedges

Directions
In a large bowl, soak the oysters and shrimp in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce for 20 to 30 minutes. In a shallow dish, whisk, together the cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne.
In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375 degrees F.
Drain the oysters and shrimp and toss them in the seasoned cornmeal. Working in batches, fry the oysters and shrimp until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt, to taste.
Split the rolls and smear with Creole mayonnaise. Line with plenty of shredded lettuce and tomato slices. Top with fried oysters and shrimp. Cut each roll into 2 to 3 pieces. Serve with hot sauce and a wedge of lemon.

Creole Mayonnaise (Remoulade): (I cut in half which was still too much!)
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup roughly chopped cornichons
1 tablespoon creole mustard
2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients well in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: about 3 cups

Sweet Potato Matchsticks
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Tyler's UltimateEpisode: Ultimate Po Boys
Rated: 5 stars out of 5Rate itRead users' reviews (2)
RECIPE
COMMENTS & REVIEWS(2)
Cook Time:
15 min
Level:
Easy
Yield:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
Peanut or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
3 to 4 sprigs rosemary
3 to 4 sprigs fresh sage
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 to 6 cloves garlic, separated but unpeeled
2 to 3 large sweet potatoes
Cajun Seasoning, recipe follows

Directions
Begin by putting the oil, herbs and garlic in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Bring the oil up to 365 degrees F, then remove the herbs and garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. They should be nice and crackly at this stage. Reserve for garnish.
Using a mandoline, cut the sweet potatoes into matchsticks. Put in a large bowl of ice water to remove any starch. Soak for a few minutes and rinse with fresh cold water until it runs clear. Drain the matchsticks and pat dry in a kitchen towel, to remove as much water as possible. Fry in 365 degree F oil, in small batches, until crispy and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper cones, resting in cups, and season with Cajun spice mix. Peel the garlic cloves and sprinkle over the matchsticks along with the fried herbs before serving.
Cajun Seasoning:
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.