Thursday, August 30, 2012

World's Most Perfect Dessert!


Yes, the chocolate covered strawberry is the world's most perfect dessert.  It encompasses chocolate (and who doesn't love chocolate?) and strawberries (and who doesn't love strawberries?) and it's so fast and easy to accomplish. 

In just a few minutes, you, too can whip up these special delights for your family, love of your life, or as is the case with me (sad to say), your co-workers!!  Ideally you will want to make these the day they are to be served.

I start with the biggest, freshest strawberries I can find.  Usually Sam's Club has some beauties but lately I have found the best ones at my local grocery, Kroger.
 


I then melt almond bark, purchased from the same grocery, Kroger, and located on the isle where baking supplies can be found. 

Depending on how many strawberries I have will depend on how much of the bark I melt.  I usually use the microwave to melt it and do it in 1-2 minute increments, stirring in between, to be sure it doesn't burn.


I use white almond bark and chocolate almond bark and dip strawberries in either.  Immediately after dipping, decorate with crushed peanuts, candy sprinkles or flaked coconut or drizzle with the opposing color almond bark.  Let dry on parchment paper.  Store in a cool, dry location
.   

It's truly so easy and so decadent that the recipient of the fruits of your labor will honestly think you spent all night in the kitchen when, in fact, it was only minutes.

As Julia would say, "
Bon App├ętit"! Pin It

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kaytucky Chicken



Recently I found this recipe on Pinterest through someone's blog who had posted a different recipe, I believe.  In any event, I tried it and found it quite easy to do, quite delicious, and really quite fast.  A very satisfying recipe, to be sure. 

I recommend you try it.  Don't be afraid of the puff pastry like I was, it's amazing how it bakes and truly "puffs" around the chicken roll. 

This dish will also surely impress your next dinner guests and without all the usual effort!  It's definitely a keeper!


Kaytucky Chicken
From Kayotic Kitchen - she has some great pics of each step as well!

4 chicken filets
4 frozen puff pastry sheets
4 oz cream cheese (the firm kind)
few rashes of bacon
flat-leaf parsley
1 spring onion
1 large egg
pepper
salt

Directions:
  • Cook up your bacon (I used pre-cooked to save some time).
  • Chop up spring onion and parsley.
  • Add the spring onions, parsley, crumbled up bacon and a good pinch of pepper to 4 oz firm cream cheese.
  • Mix it all up. Adding a little garlic, chili pepper and/or grated cheese also tastes great!
  • Make a fairly deep cut in each chicken fillet. And spread 1/4 of the cream mixture in there.
  • Place the chicken on top of the puff pastry, with the cream cheese side down. Season the chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  • Beat a large egg, and brush a little on the edges of the puff pastry.
  • Just fold them until you end up with small packages. The egg will function as a glue. Lightly brush the top of the puff pastry with the egg as well.
  • Pop them in a preheated oven, and bake at 400F (200C) for 30 to 35 minutes.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Quickie Appetizer


Bacon Wrapped Pepperjack Shrimp

Are you on a tight schedule with little time to spend preparing an appetizer?  Well, this one will do in a flash - trust me.  Just take raw, peeled and deveined shrimp with the tails on, add a small cube of frozen pepperjack cheese, and then wrap with a 1/3 of a strip of slightly cooked bacon.  Secure with a wooden toothpick.

Cook in a 400 degree preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until the bacon and shrimp are cooked through. 

Yum yum!! Pin It

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Crab Cake



The other evening I decided to make Crab Cakes using some of my homemade mayonnaise.  I have routinely used Tyler Florence's recipe but decided to try one I had from the Atlanta Fish Market.  I've searched on the Internet for their recipe and it appears to be a bit different than the one I have in that the current recipe calls for more bread crumbs (about a cup and a half more) and even more mayonnaise (1 cup more), more seasonings and more eggs but the same amount of crabmeat.  You can find that recipe here.

After making the recipe I had, I have to think the one I have is a bit better and has less "filler" which is the part I like.  I cannot tell you how long I've had this one but it's been many years. 

So, my suggestion to you?  Why not try them both and feel free to post back here with your recommendation.  Here is the older recipe:

Atlanta Fish Market Crab Cakes

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seafood seasoning
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (I used Panko break crumbs)
1 egg
1 pound lump crabmeat (picked through to remove any loose shells)
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
4 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cayenne, white pepper, salt, dry mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, Old Bay, mayonnaise, bread crumbs and egg in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.  Place crabmeat in another large bowl and gently fold egg mixture into crabmeat, being careful not to break up large crab pieces.  Shape into four crab cakes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the crab cakes, in batches if necessary, and cook until lightly browned, approximately 1 minute on each side.  Transfer crab cakes to a sheet pan and finish cooking the crab cakes in the oven until heated through.

Serve with lemon wedges and Joe's Mustard Sauce on the side.

Joe's Mustard Sauce

1 tablespoon Coleman's Dry Mustard, or more to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon A-1 sauce
2 tablespoons light cream
salt

Place the mustard in a mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the mayonnaise and beat for 1 minute.

Add the Worcestershire, A-1, cream, and a pinch of salt and beat until the mixture is well blended and creamy. If you'd like a little more mustardy bite, whisk in 1/2 teaspoon more dry mustard until well blended. Chill the sauce, covered, until serving.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Ah . . . Heaven!!


Yes, heaven, I said!  Homemade mayonnaise that is as good for you as the healthiest mayonnaise at the grocery store.  I've tried making mayonnaise in the past and was unsuccessful so I thought I'd give it another whirl and this time - much success!!  Here is the recipe and you must follow it to the "T"!!

Paleo Mayonnaise

2 eggs

2 cups light tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Bertolli) or walnut oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a blender (or using a hand mixer), add the eggs, vinegar, and mustard and blend together well – leave the blender running and slowly slowly slowly drop by drop or very slow drizzle add the oil.  BE PATIENT!!  Do not dump all the oil in quickly and give up!! 

When the mixture begins to emulsify or thicken, only then can you be a bit faster about pouring in the olive oil but still take your time.  Turn the blender off once all the olive oil is in and the mayonnaise is thickened to your desired consistency.  Add the salt and cayenne pepper and mix well or blend again for another few seconds. 

Now for the fun part – variations!!!  Always wait until after your mayonnaise is thick before you add seasoning but here is when you can get creative.  Add dried of fresh dill, fresh basil, or cilantro, garlic and onion, hot sauce, or even curry powder to make your own spreads, sauces and dips for just about everything.

The mayonnaise will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.  You can also half the recipe to make a smaller batch.  Ratio of eggs to oil is always 1 to 1 cup.  Other than that, you can experiment to find the exact combination of flavors to satisfy your taste buds!
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