Sunday, April 11, 2021

12 Years Ago Tonight

12 years ago tonight I was sitting in front of the computer with a glass of wine missing my mom. I had done a lot of Easter baking. I had used all of her recipes.

I started this little blog to fill a void.

A lot has happened during the past 12 years. 

Too many goodbyes but some wonderful hellos.

I came across I photo of my Mom with her first grandchild today. Priceless.




Sunday, April 4, 2021

Table for Two Please.



Another Holiday dinner with just the two of us. Is this the new normal?

I must say is that this was quite a delicious Easter dinner. The lamb was cooked spot on!! The sauce was delicious, how could it not be with whiskey in it! 

The flavors were perfect together. The parmesan asparagus and the smashed potatoes. It all went together perfectly. I was quite pleased with myself for putting this together.

Lamb Chops with Whiskey Sauce

Ingredients:
5 lamb chops
salt and pepper
Thyme
2 Tbsp butter

Whiskey Sauce:
1 shallot, minced 
1 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon flour
5 tablespoons Scotch whiskey (or another type)
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Method:

Pat lamb dry with paper towels. M
assage the chopped thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper into the meat. Set the lamb chops aside at room temperature for 5 minutes.  


Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb chops and cook until a rich, brown crust forms on the bottom, 4 to 6 minutes (if you're using thicker lamb chops, this could take up to 10 minutes).

Flip the lamb chops and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145°F, 4 to 6 minutes more.

Transfer the lamb chops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. 

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat.
Add the shallot and Thyme and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until incorporated.

Off the heat, slowly stir in 1/4 cup whiskey, scraping up any browned bits, and let sit until bubbling subsides about 1 minute. Carefully return skillet to medium heat and simmer until whiskey has almost completely evaporated for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the broth and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly and reduced to 1/3 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.


Whisk in the remaining tablespoon whiskey, parsley, butter, lemon juice, and any accumulated lamb juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Return the Lamb Chops to the pan and cover with the sauce.




Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus

Ingredients-
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
Salt and pepper
11/2 oz Parmesan cheese (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled
pinch cayenne
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp honey

Method:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450˚. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Using a fork, poke holes up and sown asparagus spears. Toss asparagus with 1/4 tsp salt and let stand for 30 minutes in a single layer on a large paper towel-lined platter.


Combine 1/2 cup Parmesan, panko, butter, 1/8 tsp salt, pinch pepper, and cayenne in a bowl. Transfer half of the panko mixture to a shallow dish and reserve the remaining mixture. Using an electric mixer whip egg white and honey together on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape egg white mixture into a medium baking dish, then gently toss asparagus in the mixture. Working with one spear at a time, dredge half of the asparagus spears in panko and transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Refill shallow dish with reserved panko mixture and repeat with reaming asparagus.


Bake asparagus until just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and continue to bake until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes longer.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

There Is A Package At Our Door


Yeah!!! A delivery of Pat's King of Steak Subs!!!
This is what is for dinner!!!



 Gotta love the Cheese Wiz!!

Friday, April 2, 2021

Bacon!!! On Good Friday!!! Good Grief!!!





International Cooking Club Meal. Honestly, it was not until I was frying up the bacon in this recipe that I realized that I was frying up bacon on Good Friday!!!

Seriously!!!

I could not make this stuff up!!!

Anyway, this was this month's selection for Shrimp Tacos and a Mexican martini.

Let's just sum this up quickly. Loved the Shrimp Taco filling but not a fan of the soft taco. Next time using the hard Taco.

The Martini... Well, let's just say I am not a tequila lover.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan and Mac and Cheese Balls



 Tonight we have two returning Air Fryer recipes.

The Chicken Parmesan was actually Chicken Tenders that were finished off in the oven.

Ingredients-

1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 oz milk
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
6 chicken tenders
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp olive oil
Marinara Sauce
Mozzarella, shredded
Parmagiano

Method-
Preheat oven to 350˚.

Pour flour onto a pan.
Combine the egg and milk into a bowl and mix.
Pour the breadcrumb onto a separate pan.
Dip each chicken into the flour, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs/

Insert the Fry tray into the Basket. Insert the basket into the air fryer.
Press the French Fry button (400˚F) and set the cooking time to 3 minutes. Let the air fryer preheat.

Place the chicken tenders onto the Basket. Insert the basket into the air fryer.

Press the French Fry button (400˚F) and set the cooking time to 10 minutes. Flip the chicken tenders halfway through the cooking time. 

Remove tenders from the air fryer basket.

Put tenders on a baking pan. Cover with sauce and cheeses. Heat in oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


The Mac and Cheese Balls were in the freezer and were heated up while the chicken was in the oven. Click here for the recipe for the mac and cheese balls.

Insert the Fry Tray into the basket. 

Set the cooking temp to 360˚ and the cooking time to 3 minutes. Let the air fryer preheat.

Place the mac and cheese balls in the basket.

Cook at 360˚ for 5 minutes. Rotate the mac and cheese balls and cook for another 5 minutes.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Sausage Stuffed Peppers



I think this is a better Stuffed Pepper. Sausage, bread cubes, parsley, cheese, and egg. The stuffing just tastes better than the rice and beef that I usually make. 

Well, that is just my opinion.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Salad and Fried Dough




 Keep in simple Monday.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Winner Winner Air Fryer Fried Chicken Dinner



I have always wanted to make Fried Chicken. I just have this thing about large pans of oil. Back in my restaurant days, I got an electric shock while cleaning out a fryolator. So the idea of a pot of oil in the kitchen of my house never made me feel comfortable. Until the Air Fryer arrived.

This is a no-brainer. This was delicious chicken. I used two bone-in the breast and 2 thighs. I cut the breast in 1/2 so the cooking time would be the same for all the chicken. I soaked the chicken pieces in a cup of buttermilk and 2 tbsp of hot sauce for about 7 hours in the fridge.

I mixed 2 cups of flour with salt, pepper, onion powder. Dredged the chicken in the flour and sprayed both sides of the chicken with cooking spray. This can get a bit messy. Need to work on how this is done...

Into the air fryer basket with the temp set at 390˚ for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over, spraying any flour you see on the chicken with cooking spray and set the timer for another 10 minutes. The chicken will be ready when the internal temp is 165˚.

It is not KFC crispy but it was quite delicious.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Ina's Beef Stew


This was really really good. Forgot to add the peas at the end. Chris was not bothered by this at all.

Perfect for a lazy Sunday around the house.

INA GARTEN'S UNFORGETTABLE BEEF STEW



  • Ingredients-
  • 3/4 pounds good quality beef chuck, cubed into ~ 1 ½" sized pieces
  • 1/2 bottle of good red wine
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 cups flour 
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1 ½" chunks
  • 1/2 lb potatoes cut into chunks
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 1 branch fresh rosemary (if you have cheesecloth wrap some around the Rosemary)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Method-

Marinate the Beef
Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, and bay leaves.
Marinate overnight in the refrigerator
Brown the Beef
The next day, preheat the oven to 300° F
In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, 1 Tbsp salt, and pepper, and combine
Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, discard the bay leaves saving the marinade.
In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mix before shaking off the excess.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly.
Place the beef in a large oven-proof Dutch oven and continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary. 
Place all the beef in the Dutch oven

Prep the Veggies
In the same large pot, heat another glug of oil before adding the onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally

Finish the Soup
Place all the vegetables into the Dutch oven over the beef.
Add the reserved marinade to the empty pot and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon
Add the stock, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, ½ Tbsp salt, and 2 tsp pepper
Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove.
Cover the pot and place it in the oven to bake it for about 2 hours, or until all of the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking
If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250 or 275° F.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Rosemary Balsamic Pork Chops And Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes



Let's just start with the potatoes. I found this recipe on the Blue-Eyed Soul Food blog. This is my new favorite potato recipe. Oh, amazing. Crispy and crunchy and the seasoning possibilities are endless. One suggestion was as a snack during a football game next fall. Like we will wait that long to make these again!

Ingredients-
1 1/2 lb baby Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cups chicken stock ( I used Vegetable Stock)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick) – melted
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
Kosher sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method-
Place the potatoes in a medium-sized pot
Pour in the broth, enough to cover the potatoes
Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender
Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a cutting board
In a small bowl combine the melted butter, olive oil, parsley & paprika
Dip the bottom of a small drinking glass in the butter mixture and gently press the potatoes with the bottom of the glass. Dip the glass into the butter as needed while smashing the potatoes. Be careful not to smash them too hard so they break apart. Just enough to flatten slightly

Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees
Spray or lightly coat the air-fryer basket with a little bit of olive oil
Gently transfer the potatoes in one layer to the basket of the air fryer
Brush some of the butter mixtures with a basting brush over the tops
Sprinkle salt & pepper evenly over the potatoes
Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees
Remove the basket & gently flip the potatoes
Brush with more of the butter mixture. Season again with salt & pepper
Continue to air-fry for 8 minutes at 400 degrees until crispy and browned.


The pork chop recipe is my 2nd favorite way to prepare pork.

The sauce is spot on with the pork, especially adding 1/2 tbsp of Dijon to the Balsamic vinegar.

Rosemary Balsamic Pork Chops-

Ingredients-
2 Pork Chops, at least 1-inch thick
salt, and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. freshly chopped rosemary leaves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Method-
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub each chop with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange in a baking dish and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until firm but springy to the touch. Remove the chops from the oven and sprinkle with rosemary and vinegar. 
To give the sauce a creamy texture with no added fat, mix a tablespoon of mustard with the vinegar before adding it to the pan. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes more to caramelize the vinegar. Serve immediately.