Monday, July 26, 2010

Blueberry Mojito Recipe

Matt "invented" this recipe while out in Vegas. The best part is when you get to the rum infused blueberries in the bottom of the glass.

I am just estimating the amounts.

1 shot light rum (we used Bacardi)
splash fresh lime juice
couple fresh mint leaves
small handful fresh blueberries
sugar to taste
club soda
Garnish: lime slice, mint leaves

Add everything to a tall glass (except soda). Muddle mixture. Top off with club soda. Garnish with lime slice and mint sprig.
Matt liked his with more sugar than I did.

Club Sub Sandwiches with Mom's Pizza Dough Recipe

The other day my mom and I were discussing her pizza dough and what she does or doesn't put in it. I was surprised to find out that all she uses is flour, water and yeast. No salt, so sugar and no oil. I guess I always thought she used those ingredients for some reason.

Well, I am going to give that simple recipe a try here, in making the base for submarine club sandwiches.
These turned out perfect, just like Big Al's, the restaurant that inspired them.

Homemade Sub Buns
3 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
1 cup warm water, plus extra as needed
1 package active dry yeast
olive oil for bowl

Add flour to bowl of stand mixer and make a well. Add water and yeast. With dough hook, mix dough til it comes together into a ball, adding more water as needed.

Meanwhile, oil a large bowl lightly. Add dough and roll til covered with oil. Cover bowl with a towel and let rise in a warm place til doubled, about 1 hour.

Remove from bowl and knead a few times on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough in half and shape into two submarine shapes (whatever size you prefer). Cover and let rest about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 450°.

Bake subs about 10-15 minutes, or til golden brown. Cool and slice each in half lengthwise.

Club Sub Sandwiches
Homemade Sub Buns
sliced Black Forest ham
smoked turkey
crispy fried bacon
sliced Provolone cheese
lettuce and sliced red onion
Al's Sub Sauce (recipe follows)
Layer the cheese both sides of the bun, leaving it open faced. Bake or broil til cheese lightly melts.
Cool slightly and layer with remaining meats and your favorite condiments and serve with sub sauce and chips.

Al's Sub Sauce
Equal parts salad dressing and French dressing, plus Frank's Red Hot sauce to taste. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before using.

M.'s Best Chicken Recipe

When M. posted this recipe, I just couldn't resist making it. I love cooking with yogurt, as yogurt adds great tangy flavor but also tenderizes the meat or chicken at the same time. And it works well here, the chicken just melts in your mouth.

This is my variation on M.'s recipe:

3-4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
fresh juice from 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Spray a 9 x 13" baking pan with cooking spray. Add chicken and sprinkle all over with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Let sit 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine in a medium bowl:
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Miracle Whip)
2 T Dijon mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t each: garlic and onion powders
1/4 t cayenne pepper
pinch dried thyme

Combine and pour over chicken. Spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or til chicken is browned and cooked through.

Serve chicken with sauce over sauteed spinach or your favorite side dish.
For M.'s original recipe, click here: Best Chicken Recipe

Magic Cookie Bars Recipe

One of my favorite cookie bars of all!

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 13x9" baking pan with non stick cooking spray.

Combine vanilla wafer crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a spatula.

Bake 25 minutes or til lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars.

Slow Cooker Authentic Beef Tacos with Three Kinds of Salsa Recipe

On Matt's last trip to Vegas, he brought home a kitchen full of authentic Mexican items, including almost a dozen Molcajetes, or salsa holders. I planned a dinner around those holders.

Some day soon, when it isn't quite so hot outside, we'll do a whole fiesta to include the other items. They ranged from a tamales pot, trays, toys (although I don't know what we'll do with those things), tortilla presses (I better find a good recipe first), pots and pans, tortilla steamers and a few other items.
The recipe for my Adobo seasoning can be found here: Adobo Seasoning

1 lb lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Ancho Mexican chili powder
1 t oregano
1 t Adobo seasoning (I used homemade)
water as needed (I think I used about 1 1/2 cups all told)
flour tortillas
lettuce, shredded
shredded Mexican blend cheese

Add beef and seasonings to the slow cooker. Cook on high 4 hours, keeping an eye on the water level, adding however much as you like. I like my tacos with a bit of sauce.

I served the tacos topped with Mexican cheese, lettuce and one had hottest and the other medium salsa.
Hottest Salsa
sliver of onion
1/2 garlic clove
sea salt to taste
1 chicken bouillon cube
fresh lime juice (to your taste)
2-3 fresh habaneros (or to your taste)
1 small can diced tomatoes
Add onion through habaneros to the blender, with juice from the tomatoes.
Add tomatoes and a little water (I just add a little to the tomato can, swish it around, and pour it in). Blend til just mixed, but still a little chunky.
Pour in to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat.  Reduce heat
and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Cover tightly
and refrigerate at least an hour.
Medium Salsa
1 small can tomato sauce
2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t hot pepper flakes or to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
Add everything to a small bowl and blend. Taste and adjust as desired. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least an hour.
Mild Salsa
1 small can diced tomatoes
1/2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
sliver of onion
1/2 garlic clove
fresh lime juice, to taste
fresh cilantro leaves, to taste
sea salt, to taste
Blend all ingredients in blender just til mixed; cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Hot Dogs, Mac n Cheese and Shannon's Potato Salad Recipe

All the talk about potato salad yesterday made me hungry for it so I whipped up a big batch. It'll make a great lunch today. Just add some extra black pepper and I'm good to go.

The potato salad was really simple; it was hot yesterday and I didn't feel like doing too much chopping and fussing with it.

Measurements are approximate.

Potato Salad
6 potatoes, peeled, cooked and diced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl with a tight fitting cover, toss potatoes with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Dirty Rice Recipe

If you're looking for a dirty rice recipe using chicken livers, you won't find it here. I substituted bacon. This household doesn't do the liver thing.

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup your favorite Cajun marinade (I used a prepared)

Preheat grill over medium high heat.

Marinade shrimp 1 hour. Drain well and discard marinade. Skewer shrimp
and grill a few minutes per side or til shrimp are cooked.

Serve shrimp with dirty rice.

Dirty Rice
olive oil
6 slices lean or center cut bacon
1 small onion, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Cajun seasoning to taste
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
3 cups cooked white rice
In a large frying pan, heat a little oil over medium heat. Saute bacon til fat starts to render. Stir in onion, bell pepper and celery and cook til softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook a few seconds. Add seasoning.
Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and heat through.
Discard bay leaf.
Serve shrimp with rice.