Thursday, February 4, 2016

Potato Waffle Melt


Potato Waffle Melt
(4 servings)


Ingredients:

1½ cups Leftover Mashed Potatoes
1 cup Buttermilk
2 large Fresh Eggs
¼ cup Unsalted Butter, melted
4-5 Sage Leaves, minced
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Baking Powder
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
½ lb. Sliced Turkey (leftover works well)
1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 medium Avocado, lightly mashed
as needed Salt and Pepper
4-6 oz. Brie Cheese, sliced
½ cup Cranberry Sauce (leftover works well)

Directions:

To make the waffles.  In a medium bowl whisk together the mashed potatoes, buttermilk, eggs and melted butter until smooth.  Then stir in the sage.  Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and stir until just combined.  Fold in cheese.  Pre-heat waffle maker (see note).  When ready scoop batter into hot greased waffle maker and spread out with back of a spoon.  Cook according to waffle maker.  Repeat until batter is gone.  Prep sandwiches by heating a skillet and melting butter in it.  Add the turkey and crisp up cooking about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Mash avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste.  To assemble sandwiches, spread avocado over half the waffles you made.  Divide half the brie over the avocado, top with turkey and then cranberry sauce.  Divide remaining brie over the sauce and top with remaining waffle pieces.  Place sandwiches on a lined baking sheet and put in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes and enough to melt brie but not overdo it.  Serve immediately.

Note:               If using a round waffle maker, break waffle into the 4 wedges indicated on the waffle.  If using a square waffle maker, just leave them whole.  Should make 4-5 waffles.

Note.                If you want to make it more
                        extreme, add 8 slices Thick-
                        cut Bacon, cooked before you
                        add last of brie in sandwich.
                        Then top finished sandwiches
                        with 4 large eggs, cooked to
                        your specs.  Cook eggs while
                        sandwiches are in the oven.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Type of Monte Carlo Sandwich


Type of Monte Carlo Sandwich
(4 servings)


Ingredients:

3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
3 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
2¼ cups Milk
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
8 Slices Country French Bread
2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
½ lb. Virginia Ham, sliced
½ lb. Roasted Turkey, sliced
2 cups Gruyere Cheese, grated (see note)

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour stirring for 1 minute.  Slowly add the milk while whisking and continue to whisk until sauce thickens (8-10 minutes).  Bring sauce to a boil and continue stirring for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Stir to distribute evenly, pour into a glass container and cover with plastic warp.  Refrigerate unto an hour to cool.  Lay 4 slices of bread on counter and spread mustard evenly on them.  Spread a ¼ cup of sauce over mustard on each slice.  Divide ham and then turkey evenly over the 4 slices.  Sprinkle a ¼ cup of cheese over the turkey on each slice.  Top these with the remaining 4 slices of bread.  Top these slices with the sauce equally and then evenly divide the remaining cheese over the sauce.  Now place the sandwiches on a parchment-lined baking dish.  Put in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.  Remove and let rest 5 minutes before slicing in half and serving.

Note:               Gruyere cheese is expensive.  So you can use any other kind of Swiss cheese or even try something different.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Some Winter Sandwiches that are a Little Unique

I don't know about you but I happen to love "Sandwiches."  There's something to be said about the ability to hold food in your hands and eat.  It doesn't have to be between two slices of bread but that works best for me.  The fun is in all the things you can do to make a sandwich you love.

Now different times of the year bring out different sandwiches.  Spring makes you think of some type of light sandwich.  Nothing too heavy.  Summer has burgers and dogs and other sandwiches of the grill.  In the fall, pulled pork and brisket seems to fill our bread or buns.

But when winter comes along, you look for something more hearty and comforting.  Well this week I have 2 sandwiches that should meet that criterion.  They are both also a little unique from your common sandwich thoughts.

The first on Wednesday is a takeoff of the classic Monte Cristo sandwich.  It's called "Type of Monte Cristo Sandwich" but it uses a bĂ©chamel sauce instead of an custard type egg dip.

Then on Thursday, I have a "Potato Waffle Melt" that uses mashed potatoes in place of bread.  You will need a waffle maker for this sandwich but it will be well worth it.  This one is actually great for after Thanksgiving or Christmas to help use some leftovers.

Please give them a try.  I'm sure you will be impressed with them.  Do share them too.  Until next week, "Happy Cooking" and enjoy.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Garlicky Shrimp with Tomatoes & White Wine


Garlicky Shrimp with Tomatoes & White Wine
(4 servings)


Ingredients:

3 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves Fresh Garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium Shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
1 pt. Grape Tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 lb. Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined & tails removed
½ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
3 tsp. fresh/1 tsp. dry Thyme leaves
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
1 cup Dry White Wine
4 cups Cooked Rice or 12 oz. Cooked Pasta of Choice

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil.  Add the garlic and shallots and sautĂ© about 1 minute.  Next add the tomatoes and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until they begin to soften.  Now add shrimp, red pepper and thyme.  Stirring occasionally, cook about 3 minutes or until shrimp is pink.  Mix in salt, pepper and wine bringing to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.  This should take around 3 minutes.  Serve over rice or pasta.

Note:               I would use something in the range of 24 to 36 shrimp per pound for this recipe.  You could use larger shrimp and leave the tails too for a different look.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shrimp Scampi


Shrimp Scampi
(6 servings)


Ingredients:

12 oz. Linguine, cooked & waiting (see note)
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
4 cloves Fresh Garlic
1 lb. large Raw Shrimp, peeled, deveined & tails removed
2 medium Fresh Lemons
to taste Salt & Black Pepper
2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

Directions

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to directions so it is done just before needed.  In a large skillet, warm oil and 3 tbsp. of butter over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute.  Then add the shrimp and continue cooking for about 3 minutes or until no longer translucent.  Halve the lemons and juice into skillet catching seeds in your hand.  Now add salt and pepper to taste and the last tbsp. of butter.  Stir and reduce heat to low.  Remove pan from heat and add the pasta and parsley.  Toss mixture until well combined and adjust seasoning if needed.  Serve with a crusty bread.

Note:               You can use fresh or dry pasta for this recipe.  Just adjust the time you start cooking so pasta is done al dente just before it is needed for best results.  You could also use a different type of pasta if so desired.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Some Shrimp Dishes for a Cold Winter Night

I don't know about you but I love fresh shrimp when I can get it.  But it's not always available in everyone's area year-round.  So I use frozen raw shrimp when I need them.

If you do use frozen shrimp, always thaw them in ice water in the refrigerator.  Usually figure 1 day for them to thaw and, of course, use them right away.  Same goes for fresh shrimp.  Keep them in ice water until ready to use and only keep them up to 48 hours.  The sooner you use them the better.

I try to keep it down to once a month, the eating of shrimp.  But I could do it weekly or even more often.  I love shrimp and I've never had a dish I didn't like.  So I thought you might like to have a couple more shrimp recipes to try yourselves.

There are several in the "Recipe Tabs" above for you to look at and try.  But I'm adding 2 more this week.  On Wednesday, try an old favorite, "Shrimp Scampi" which has many different tweaked recipes.  Then on Thursday, I have a "Garlicky Shrimp with Tomatoes & White Wine" for you to try.

Give them a try and if you have a great shrimp recipe, send it to me so I can give it a try.  Thanks for checking out my food blog and please share it with others.  "Happy Cooking" until next week.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cheesy Bread


Cheesy Bread
(6-8 servings)


Ingredients:

1 large Loaf of Round Bread
8 oz. Sliced Cheese (your choice-see note)
½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
½ lb. Smoked Bacon, chopped & cooked crisp
2 cloves Fresh Garlic
½ cup Unsalted Butter, melted

Directions:

Slice a cross-hatch pattern in the bread about one inch apart from the top.  Be careful not to cut all the way through.  Between each cut insert a slice of cheese.  Brake the slices up as needed to do this with the bread.  Also sprinkle the bacon into all the sliced areas.  Mix the garlic and butter in a small bowl and pour most of it over the sliced areas.  Brush the remaining butter mixture over top and bread and sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese.  Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.  Open foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Place loaf on a serving platter and serve.  Guests can pull off pieces or use a sharp knife to cut off a section.

Note:               I recommend using Mozzarella or Colby-Jack cheese for the slices.  But try whatever flavor of cheese meets your flavor profile.

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