Thursday, January 18, 2018

Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dip


Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dip
(about 4 cups)


Ingredients:

½ lb. Bacon
2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 medium Sweet Onion, chopped
1 medium Red Onion, chopped
2 tbsp. Dark Corn Syrup
1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup Sour Cream
8 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 Green Onion, sliced (garnish)

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.  Crumble bacon after it has sat about 10-15 minutes.  Reserve 2 tbsp. of the bacon fat in the skillet and add the butter.  Stir in both chopped onions and cook about 5 minutes until softened.  Stir frequently.  Stir in 1 tbsp. of corn syrup and continue cooking another 10-15 minutes until onions are caramelized.  Now stir in remaining corn syrup, vinegar and crumbled bacon.  Mix well and remove from heat.  Add the sour cream and creamed cheese, stirring to blend.  Stir in 1½ cups of the Monterrey Jack cheese, mix well.  Pour mixture into a 1-quart baking dish.  Top with remaining cheese and place in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly around the edges.  Remove and sprinkle with the green onions and serve with tortilla or pita chips and assorted crackers.

Note:               If you want a little spice, just add some hot sauce when you add the sour and creamed cheeses.  The amount depends on taste.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Spicy Corn and Bacon Dip


Spicy Corn and Bacon Dip
(6-8 servings)


Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz.) Whole Kernel Corn, drained
6 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped
1-2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed and fine dice
4 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
¼ cup Sour Cream
3 tbsp. Dried Chives
To taste, Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour mixture into a sprayed 1 to 1½ qt. baking dish.  Place in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.  Top with extra chives and serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Note:               If you don’t like it spicy, omit the jalapeno peppers.  If you like it a little hotter, leave the seeds in or add more peppers.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Super Bowl Dips

The Super Bowl is coming quickly.  They play it on February 4th.  So I thought that it would be good to offer up a couple of party dips for you to try.

I’m doing it a little early so you can try them out and see if they work for what you are planning on Super Bowl Sunday.  You do have a few weekends of playoffs to test them out.

They are both pretty simple to make and should be big hits.  So on Wednesday, we have “Spicy Corn and Bacon Dip” for you to check out.  Then for Thursday, let’s give “Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dip” a chance.

You do know that “Bacon” helps everything taste better.

Hope your team is in the hunt still.  “Happy Cooking” until next week and, as always, please share this post with others.  Thanks.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Stuffed Meatloaf


Stuffed Meatloaf
(6-8 servings)


Ingredients:

1 clove Fresh Garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bag (6 oz.) Fresh Spinach
1½ lb. Ground Chuck
½ lb. Ground Pork
1 small Onion, fine dice
¾ cup Plain Bread Crumbs
2 large Fresh Eggs
¼ cup Milk
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
1/3 cup BBQ Sauce (your favorite)
1 tbsp. Honey
6 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
1 cup Asiago Cheese, shredded
10 slices Bacon, regular thickness

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil and add the garlic until fragrant.  Then add spinach and cook about 3 minutes or until wilted.  Remove from heat and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine ground pork, onion, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, salt and pepper before adding the ground chuck.  Gently combine the ground chuck not to over work it and make it tuff.  In a small bowl, combine the bbq sauce and honey and set aside.  Take the meat mixture and pat it into a 14-inch square on a sheet of foil.  In the center area of square, place the cheese slices in a single layer.  Spread 3 tbsp. of bbq mixture over the cheese.  Sprinkle the Asiago cheese over that and then the spinach mixture.  Carefully roll up the meat into a spiral, starting at one side.  When all rolled up, pinch ends to seal.  Lay out bacon one next to the other and put the meatloaf on top.  Wrap the bacon around the loaf, trimming the extra but covering the whole loaf.  Place seam down on a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Put in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160-degrees.  If needed or desired, place pan under the broiler to crisp up the bacon.  Drizzle with remaining bbq sauce mixture.  Then let the meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note:               If you like a little heat, change out the bbq sauce for Sriracha or another hot sauce of your choice.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak


Slow Cooker Swiss Steak
(4 servings)


Ingredients:

1 can (14 oz.) Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 large Green Pepper, chopped
1 medium Onion, chopped
4 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dried Thyme, crushed
1½ lb. Round Steak, ½ inch thick
 As needed Salt and Pepper
½ cup All Purpose Flour (optional)

Directions:

In a 4 to 6 qt. slow cooker, combine tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, peppers, onion, garlic and thyme.  Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.  Salt and pepper each side of the steaks and prick with a fork all over.  See note below if using flour.  Add steak to the sauce covering them and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.  Or cook on high for around 4 hours.  Serve over cooked noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

Note:               If using the flour, dredge the steaks in it and sear in a skillet over medium-high heat on both sides.  Then continue with the directions above.

Note:               If short on time or don’t have a slow cooker, use the oven.  Using a Dutch oven, follow the above directions and place in a pre-heated 325-degree oven for 2 hours or until steak is tender and falling apart.

Note:               If you like a lot of sauce, double the cans of diced tomatoes.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Some Warm Weather Entrees

As we have been going through this long stretch of cold weather, some good warming comfort food sounds really good to me.  I hope to you as well.

So I have found a couple of dishes I think most people will like to try.

An old favorite of mine is Swiss steak.  This one, “Slow Cooker Swiss Steak” is as it says, done in a slow cooker.  This is Wednesday’s recipe.

Now for Thursday, I have little different version of your traditional meatloaf.  This one is “Stuffed Meatloaf” and it has several ingredients inside.  It is stuffed with mozzarella cheese, spinach, bbq sauce, honey and garlic.  Then it’s wrapped in bacon.  How could you not want to try this one?

Of course, you can do variations on each of this week’s recipes.  So give them a try and let me know your thoughts on them.

Hope your new year is starting off well and that the weather is going to start warming up.  “Happy Cooking” until next week and please spread the link.  Thanks.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Spaghetti with Puttanesca Sauce (GF)


Spaghetti and Puttanesca Sauce (GF)
(4 servings)


Ingredients:

2 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra
6 regular Anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
3 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 can (28 oz.) Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz.) Diced Tomatoes
½ cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and coarse chop
3 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. Capers, rinsed
To taste, salt and pepper
12 oz. pkg. Gluten-Free Spaghetti

Directions:

In a large skillet, cook oil, anchovies, garlic and pepper flakes together over medium heat.  Stirring often, cook until garlic turns golden but not brown (about 1-2 minutes).  Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes with their juice.  Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened slightly (15-20 minutes).  Off heat, stir in olives, parsley, capers and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add one tbsp. of salt and then the pasta.  Cook one minute short of package directions, drain reserving ½ cup of cooking water.  Put pasta back in the pot, add the sauce and toss to combine.  Add reserved water if needed for desired consistency.  Divide into 4 individual bowls and pass additional olive oil for a topping to taste.

Note:               You can use Anchovy paste in place of the fillets.  Use ¼ tsp. of paste for each Anchovy.  If you use more than a couple fillets, error on the light side with the paste.  As the more paste you use, the flavor can become overwhelming.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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