Monday, April 25, 2016

Recipe Share: Raspberry Coulis

My sis introduced me to this recipe awhile ago. And ever since, I've been hooked. I make it when I want to impress guests or when I take a meal to a family - I'm lucky to have a cooking loving sister like Jaime. She always shares the best recipes with me.

This recipe is delicious on top of brownies and vanilla ice cream. It would also taste great with crepes or pancakes or even on toast. 

I need to buy myself a larger mesh strainer. It always takes me awhile to strain the seeds out. But, it's totally worth it!
Look at the beautiful smooth, glistening sauce! Mmm!

Here's the printable recipe:

Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 water
2 cups fresh raspberries, rinsed and picked over

Directions:
  • Combine the sugar and water in a medium heavy pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add the raspberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the syrup thickens and reduces by 3/4 in volume, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a blender or food processor, and puree on high speed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down with a rubber spatula to extract as much juice as possible. If too thick, add water a teaspoon at a time to reach the desired consistency.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (The coulis can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)

(I also like to add the juice of half a lemon in when I add in the raspberries for a little zing.)

Make this next time you are craving brownies and ice cream. It will make your taste buds sing.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Recipe Share:Lemon Scented Crispy Chicken Thighs with Baby Potatoes and Carrots

This Kelsey Nixon recipe really hits the spot. The croutons are a surprising ingredient and so tasty! And you all know I love me some roasted potatoes! I think chicken thighs are always a good idea as well. 
Here's the printable recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 baguette, cubed
12 oz. small red new potatoes, halved
canola oil
8 bone in chicken thighs, skin on
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 large yellow onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
12 oz. heirloom baby multi-colored carrots, or baby carrots, scrubbed and tops removed
2 lemons, cut into wedges
1 small bunch fresh lemon thyme or thyme sprigs
fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cubed baguette on a sheet tray and bake 10 minutes to dry out. Reserve.

Add the potatoes to a pot of simmering water and simmer until you just take the bite off, 10 minutes (we will cook these again in the skillet). Remove and reserve.

Turn up the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

Heat a 14-inch heavy-bottomed skillet on high and coat with canola oil. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken skin-side down, working in batches if needed, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet, reserving all of the fat in the pan.

Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and sweat until translucent and softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the baguette cubes, reserved potatoes and carrots, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the lemon wedges and lemon thyme. Toss all the ingredients in the fat with an additional glug of oil if needed. Arrange the thighs on top and place in the oven until the thighs reach 160 degrees F, about 15 minutes.

Garnish with parsley and serve. 


This dinner is really delightful. I hope you try it and love it as much as I do!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Recipe Share: Ham, Leek, and Gruyere Quiche

This Kelsey Nixon recipe is to die for! It's so easy, and so tasty!! I made it like 4 times in two weeks after trying it. I craved it, and now I'm kinda craving it looking at this picture!! Seriously, you need this quiche in your life. 
Here's the printable recipe.

Ingredients: 
(Kelsey makes her own pie crust. If you want to do that, click on her recipe above for her instructions. I just buy a frozen pie crust to make my life easier.)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 large leeks, white and light green parts chopped (to clean your leeks, chop them up and soak them in water for a bit. All the dirt that may be lurking between all the layers will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Then dry your leeks well before sauteeing.)
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch nutmeg
5 large eggs
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1 cup diced honey-baked ham (I just buy honey ham from my deli and chop it up)
chives chopped for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and saute the leeks until they soften and begin to caramelize, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. (Aren't leeks so pretty?)
Remove from the heat, cool and reserve.

Whisk the cream, milk, cornstarch, salt, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Scatter the leeks evenly over the bottom of the crust. Top with the cheese and ham. Put your quiche on a large sheet tray and then pour the custard over the top (this way if it spills a little, you'll be okay). Place tray with quiche on it in the oven. 

Bake until the center is set and the crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Garnish with chives and serve warm or at room temperature. 


Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Recipe Share: Panzanella

This salad is delectable. The flavors are so robust and the textures are incredible together. It was delicious in every way. Kelsey Nixon is a master chef. Every recipe of hers I try makes me love her even more. 
Here's the printable recipe.

Ingredients:
1 loaf french bread, cut or torn into 1 inch cubes (about 6 cups)
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch dice
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch dice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, grated or pressed
1/2 cup olive oil
8 oz. smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/3 inch dice
8 oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced into thirds on the bias
8 oz. cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the cubed bread with enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat liberally, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the bread cubes in an even layer on one side of a large baking sheet. In the same mixing bowl, toss the diced peppers with some extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on the other side of the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven to bake until the bread is crispy and golden brown and the peppers have softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Keep an eye on it so the bread doesn't burn!

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and garlic. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Once the bread is toasted, combine the bread and peppers with the smoked mozzarella, snap peas and tomatoes (you can use the same bowl you tossed the bread and peppers in). Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and add the torn basil leaves. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop. 


Mmm... my mouth waters every time I think of this salad! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Recipe Share: Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon

These little babies will change your life for good. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating. They are perfect in every way. The candied bacon, the dill, the whole grain mustard... it all works in complete harmony and is like a party in your mouth. Beware when you do make them that they will disappear fast, so make sure to serve yourself first.

This is a Kelsey Nixon recipe. You shouldn't be surprised. I love her, and her recipes are amazing. Here's the printable

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
cayenne pepper
pinch ground cinnamon
1/8 pound thick cut bacon (about 3 strips)
8 large eggs, straight from the refrigerator
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 scallions, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
paprika for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, a pinch of cayenne and the cinnamon. Place the bacon on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle each slice of bacon with some of the spiced sugar and bake, about 10 minutes. Flip the bacon, sprinkle with the remaining spiced sugar and continue to cook until crispy, about 10 more minutes. Remove the bacon from the oven and allow to cool. When the bacon is cool, mince it and set aside, reserving a quarter of it for garnishing the eggs.

Put the cold eggs in the bottom of a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan with a lid and let stand for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse with cold water. Let the eggs cool a bit and then peel when they are still warm (eggs are much easier to peel when they are warm). After they are peeled, you can then store them, covered, in the fridge.

Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, the scallions and the minced bacon in a medium mixing bowl. Season with the salt.

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Gently remove the yolks by pressing your thumb against the back of the yolk to pop it out of the white. Add the yolks to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture. Mash together, using a fork, until smooth.

Put the filling in a re-sealable bag. Cut one end off and pipe the filling into the egg whites. Sprinkle with the paprika, extra bacon bits and dill before serving.

Cook's Notes: A wire rack is a great way to cook bacon because the air can circulate around the bacon making it crispy and delicious.

Plastic bags are a great tool to use in place of a piping bag, easy and disposable. 

When I've made this, I end up with plenty of filling, so fill 'em up baby. Fill 'em up high! And enjoy! You'll thank me later.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Recipe Share: Roasted Pork Loin with Peach BBQ Sauce and Smashed Potatoes

Ladies and Gents, this recipe is seriously amazing. With each bite, I kept singing its praises... saying, "Oh my goodness.. wow, this is... wow, mmm..." I guarantee you, too will love it. It's from my girl Kelsey Nixon. (She's not technically my girl, or my girl friend even, but I like to think she and I would be great friends if we ever met. I love her cooking style, and her personality is adorable. And, she is always stylin'.) What made this recipe taste even better was that I made it with Jaime. She and I love to cook together, and we had a great time making this meal. 

So, here's the printable recipe.

Pork and Peach BBQ Sauce:
4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced (we used frozen peaches)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. ginger, minced
2 1/2 pound boneless pork loin roast
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock

Smashed Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. small Yukon gold potatoes (I'm a total Yukon gold potato freak/fan. I have a really hard time using any other kind of potato these days. The Yukon gold is just so creamy and delicious. I feel like it has such a delightful flavor compared to any other potato. Try them if you haven't yet! You will see what I mean.)
kosher salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
For the pork and peach bbq sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the peaches, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Reserve half (about 2 cups) of the peach BBQ sauce and set aside. Transfer the pork, fat-side up, to a rack over a heavy-bottomed roasting pan and brush the rest of the sauce all over the pork. Add the stock to the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140 degrees F, about 1 hour.

For the smashed potatoes: Meanwhile, place the potatoes in large pot and cover with salted cold water. The potatoes will soak up that salt like pasta and it will make a big difference in flavor. Cover and bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the same pot, allowing them to dry. Heat the half-and-half and butter in a small sauce pot over low heat. Add the mixture to the potatoes along with the cream cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher and set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve.

For serving the pork: Transfer the pork to a baking sheet to rest for 10 minutes, and then thinly slice half of the loin. Store and reserve the other half for leftovers.

Remove the rack from the roasting pan and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Whisk in the reserved BBQ sauce and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate the browned sauce. Cook until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.

Serve the sliced pork with the reduced peach BBQ sauce over the smashed potatoes. 

Delicious, I tell you!!