Thursday, March 27, 2014

New England Clam Chowder

This really turned out excellent.  I didn't make it exactly as written but I would definetely make it again.  The instant potato flakes added a nice flavor to it.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock I used 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice I used 2 6.5 oz cans
  • 1 cup heavy cream I used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes I used 2 potatoes
  •       3 tbsp. instant potato flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

    Monday, March 24, 2014

    Dinosaur BBQ Catfish

    This was good.  I baked them at 400 for about 15 minutes.  Next time I will cook half the time on one side and half on another. 

    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1 egg
    2 catfish fillets
    1/2 tsp cajun seasoning

    Slice catfish into fingers and marinate in buttermilk mixture above.

    Spray a cookie sheet with pam.  Combine 1/2 cup cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour plus 1 tsp cajun seasoning.  Dip and place on cookie sheet.  I had a TON of crumbs left over so you probably could have decrased the amount.

    Nutella Brownies

    I'm trying to use up some Nutella that my son decided he doesn't like.  There are very rich and chocolately.  I didn't add the chocolate chips and I'm kind of glad I didn't because they are chocolately enough.  I halved the recipe.


    1 cup (2 sticks) butter
    2 1/4 cups sugar
    1 regular sized jar of Nutella
    4 large eggs
    1 cup cocoa powder
    1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    10 ounce package mini chocolate chips


    Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
    In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow to boil.
    Remove from the heat and stir in the Nutella until smooth.
    Pour butter mixture into a large bowl. Beat in cocoa powders, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
    Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until just combined.
    Spread into prepared pan (batter will be very thick and sticky) and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked.

    Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

    I made these muffins this weekend and halved the recipe.  They turned out well.  By accident, for the topping I halved the butter but not the flour or sugar.  All were eaten:)

      For the streusel
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
    • For the batter
    • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, add the dry streusel ingredients (flour, sugar and cinnamon) and stir with a whisk to combine. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, add the butter pieces and work into the dry mixture until well incorporated. Set aside.
    3. To make the batter, in another medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk together. Set aside.
    4. In the bowl of stand mixer, beat together softened butter, oil, and sugar and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added.
    5. Keeping the mixer on a low speed, slowly add in the sour cream and vanilla and finally the flour mixture and mix until fully combined, but being careful not to over mix the batter. (Once you’ve turned off the mixer, using a spatula, give the mixture one additional stir by hand just to make sure that all of the wet ingredients from the bottom are completely mixed into the flour mixture.)
    6. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Then sprinkle some of the streusel mixture on top of the batter. Divide the remaining batter into the muffin cups (spoon on top of the streusel layer) and then divide the remaining streusel over each muffin, sprinkling it over the batter.
    7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
    8. Remove the pan from the oven and remove each muffin to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs

    This recipe is actually a sub recipe but I used it as spaghetti and meatballs.  I got this recipe out of the food network magazine this month.  It was really good.  I halved the meatball recipe and cooked the meatballs and sausage in the oven at 400 for about 10 minutes to get off some of the grease.  I also added about 3 tbsp of sugar to the sauce.  I wouldn't spend the money on the real parmesan cheese next time.  I would just use the grated from a can.

    • 2 28 -ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
    • 1 6 -ounce can tomato paste
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), plus 1 small piece parmesan rind
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 pounds sweet and/or hot Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 loaves Italian bread, cut into 3-inch pieces and split open
    • Shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
    Combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves and parmesan rind in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add 1 cup water, 1/4 cup parsley, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
    Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a medium bowl; soak 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the beef, eggs, 1 cup parmesan, the remaining 1/4 cup parsley and 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the breadcrumb-milk mixture and mix with your hands until combined. With damp hands, shape into 24 meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches each; transfer to the slow cooker.
    Add the sausage pieces to the slow cooker, then cover and cook on low, 7 hours. Remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on the bread and top with mozzarella.
    Photograph by Christopher Testani

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    Chicken Chile Stew

    This is a very good flavored chicken soup.  A little too spicy for the kids but we really enjoyed it.  I served it with cornbread.



    1. Put the chicken in a large pot over medium heat and add water to cover. Add the cumin, thyme, marjoram and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 2 1/2 hours (or pressure cook for 45 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pot and allow it to cool. Discard the bones and the skin and chop the chicken meat into bite-size pieces.
    2. Return the chicken to the pot and add the green chile peppers, habanero chile peppers, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes and potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender (or pressure cook for 10 minutes). In a separate small bowl, mix the flour with some water and add to the soup, stirring well so the flour does not clump. Raise heat, bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese

    This was ok but kind of bland.  It didn't really have much taste.  I used pretzels on the top instead of tortilla chips.

    Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 40 minutes
    Total Time: 50 minutes
    Yield: 4 servings
    Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese – creamy mac with a kick!
      for the mac and cheese:
    1. 4oz. macaroni pasta, uncooked
    2. 1 and 1/2 Tbsp unsalted or salted butter
    3. 1 and 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    4. 1 and 1/2 c whole milk
    5. 1 and 1/2 c grated Pepper Jack cheese
    6. salt and pepper, to taste
    7. 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
    8. for the crunchy topping:
    9. 3 Tbsp salted butter
    10. 1/4 c breadcrumbs
    11. 3/4 c crushed tortilla chips
    12. jalapeno slices
    1. Cook macaroni according to the instructions on the package. Drain, let sit covered.
    2. In a large skillet (I used 11" cast iron skillet), melt butter.
    3. Add flour and whisk it in. Cook for 30 to 40 seconds on medium heat, until the flour absorbs the butter and bubbles up.
    4. Gradually add milk, slowly pouring 1/4 of a cup at a time, letting the sauce thicken after each addition. Repeat until all milk is added.
    5. Add cheese and stir in with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted.
    6. Add macaroni and stir in until all macaroni is coated with creamy cheese sauce.
    7. Add salt, pepper and crushed red peppers.
    8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    9. In a large mixing cup, stir together melted butter, breadcrumbs and crushed tortilla chips. Sprinkle over the mac and cheese.
    10. Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges start to bubble.
    11. Garnish with jalapeno slices.
    12. Let sit 5 minutes.
    13. Serve.

    Monday, March 10, 2014


    I tried to find my usual fastnaught recipe yesterday and I couldn't.  So I just happened to be searching through a cookbook I had, and I found a Buffalo based recipe.  So I tried it.  They turned out very well.  I made the dough in my stand mixer at night.  Then I let rise for about a 1/2 hour before putting the dough in the refrigerator.  Then in the morning I took out the dough, and let it warm up.  Then I rolled it out and let it rise while I heated up the oil.  Then I fried them at 375 on the stove for a few minutes until they were brown on each side.

    Mix 1.5 cups flour with 1/3 cups sugar and one packet of yeast and a dash of salt in the  mixer while 1 3/4 cups milk and 1/4 cup shortening is warming on the stove.  Then once its warm (the shortening doesn't need to melt), add the mixture to the mixer along with 1 egg.  Mix 2 minutes and then add more flour.  Mix another 2 minutes.  Then I added enough flour to make a soft dough and continued to mix with the dough mix until it came together.  I put it in a pam sprayed bowl with a cover after it was finished.  Delicious.