Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs with Jalapeno Creamed Corn

I think this has been one of my favorite meals since I've started the blog. It just hit the spot, such a comforting meal. Nothing feels more like home than some good ole' southern cookin' y'all :) Well, I started off by marinating the chicken thighs in buttermilk for a day, and then I rubbed them down with my favorite spice blend. I grilled the chicken thighs for some of that nice smoky flavor and the brushed 'em down with some sweet & tangy BBQ sauce (yummm). On the side, I made some Jalapeno Creamed Corn. It was delish. I mean, it's sweet, spicy, salty, and creamy... pretty much everything I want in a creamed corn. And I might mention that Clayton is an avid creamed corn hater, but his tune has changed after this recipe. We also made some baked beans, one of my favorite side dishes. It's such a filling meal and still budget friendly. We could've easily have fed 4 people with all the food we made, which isn't too shabby with one package of chicken thighs, frozen silver queen corn, and a can of baked beans (I mean cheap-o). And I'm still claiming it as one of my favorite meals, silly me. Anyway, if you have a budget, but need to feed (and fill up) some of you family or friends, this will be a go-to meal for you! Enjoy :)
Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs with Jalapeno Creamed Corn & Baked Beans
Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs
For the Marinade:
6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, Washed & Dried Thoroughly
3C Buttermilk
1t Paprika
1t Cayenne
1t Chili Powder
1t Garlic Powder
1t Onion Powder
1T Hot Sauce

For the Dry Rub:
1T Salt
2T Brown Sugar
2t Garlic Powder
2t Onion Powder
1t Cumin
1t Chili Powder
1t Black Pepper

For the BBQ Chicken:
Prepared Chicken Thighs, Marinated & Rubbed
3T Olive Oil
BBQ Sauce

Directions:
1. Marinate the Chicken: Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients and pour into a gallon size bag and place the chicken thighs in as well. Toss the bag so that the buttermilk mixture has coated all the thighs. Refrigerate the chicken and marinate over night. The next morning, dump the contents of the bag into a strainer and drain the chicken from the buttermilk. And then, completely dry the chicken.
2. Making the Dry Rub: combine all in the spices in a bowl. Once combined, rub this mixture all over the marinated, dried chicken thighs. Put the rubbed chicken thighs in the refrigerator to let the spices penetrate the meat. Leave them alone until ready to grill. 
3. Grilling the Chicken: Remove the chicken thighs from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Rub them with a little more of the spice rub. Heat your grill (or you can grill inside or sauté them). Once the grill is nice and hot, cook the chicken thighs for about 7-10 minutes on each side. After each side has grilled, brush on some of your barbeque sauce. Remove the chicken from the grill and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Brush with more BBQ sauce before serving. 
Jalapeno Creamed Corn

For the Garlic Cream:
1 ½C Heavy Cream
8 Whole Cloves of Garlic, Peeled
1 Jalapeno, Deseeded & Deribbed

For the Creamed Corn:
2 ½C Charred Corn, Decobbed
1C Prepared Garlic Cream (roughly chop the jalapenos & mash the garlic in it)
2 Fresh Jalapenos, Deseeded & Diced
1 Shallot, Diced
1T Green Onion, Sliced
¾C Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
¼C Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
¼t Cayenne
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

Directions:
1. For the Garlic Cream: Place the cream in a heavy sauce pot and add in the garlic cloves and jalapeno. Bring the cream to a simmer, and then turn down the heat to low-medium heat. Let it reduce to 1 cup.
2. For the Jalapeno Creamed Corn: Char the corn in a hot iron skillet. In a separate pan, add in the charred corn, jalapenos, green onions, shallot, and prepared garlic cream (with the chopped jalapenos and mashed garlic that was simmered in the cream). Bring to a simmer and reduce by ¼ volume. Add in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Stir to blend and melt the cheese. Once the cheese has melted and reduced, season it with cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. 
3. Serve hot. 

Check out Everyday Sisters Blog for this recipe!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Homemade Samoa Doughnuts

Okay, prepare yourself. I went picture-crazy with this recipe. I just couldn't decide on what picture to choose, so I pretty much chose all of them, haha. Anyway, I have a recipe on my computer to make homemade samoa girl scout cookies, tucked away for a rainy day. They are definitely one of my favorite cookies, well that and thin mints. Anyway, I found a good doughnut recipe that I had also been wanting to try, so I decided... well let's just make samoa doughnuts. The doughnuts are light and fluffy and then they are covered in chewy caramel-toasted coconut goodness. And then, dipped in chocolate and drizzled with more chocolate. I don't know how it could get any better, honestly. These babies are tasty. Yes, it was a little of a process, but it really wasn't too bad. And you won't regret the hard work with results like this. Anyway, give these a try. I promise they're delicious!!






For the Doughnuts:
1C + 2T Whole Milk, Warm
¼C Sugar
1 Package of Active Dry Yeast
2 Whole Large Eggs, Beaten
1 Stick + 2T Unsalted Butter, Melted
4C AP Flour
¼t Salt
1Q Canola Oil, For Frying

For the Glaze:
3C Confectioners’ Sugar
½t Salt
½t Vanilla
½C Milk

For the Samoa Topping:
3C Shredded Coconut, Toasted
12oz Good-Quality Chewy Caramels
¼t Salt
3T Milk
12oz Semisweet Chocolate, Roughly Chopped

Directions:

1. To Make the Dough: Make sure the milk is nice and warm, but not overly hot. Add sugar to milk. Stir to dissolve. Add yeast into a small bowl. Pour milk/sugar mixture over yeast. Stir gently, and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Melt butter in a separate bowl until butter is almost melted. Stir to finish melting so the butter won’t be overly hot. Add beaten eggs to the melted butter, stirring constantly to make sure the butter’s not too hot for the eggs. Add the egg/butter mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour in the yeast mixture. Allow the dough hook to stir this mixture for a couple of minutes, making sure it’s thoroughly combine. With the mixer still going, add ½C increments of the flour until it is all gone. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, then turn the mixer on the same speed for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the mixer. Turn on the mixer for 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer off and let the dough sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Toss the dough to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and place straight in the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
2. To Make the Doughnuts: Remove the bowl from the fridge and turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to ¼inch thickness. Using a 3inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then roll out the remaining dough and once again cut as many as you can (repeat until you can’t anymore). Cut holes out of each round using a 1 ½inch cutter. Cover with a large tea towel and place in a warm place in your kitchen. Allow the doughnuts to rise undisturbed for at least one hour. They should be visibly puffier and appear to be airy.
3. To Fry the Doughnuts: Heat the canola oil in your deep fryer to 375 degrees. One to two doughnuts at a time, gently grab the doughnuts and ease them into the hot oil. Allow them to cook 1 minute on each side; they will brown very quickly. Remove the doughnut from the oil with a slotted spoon, allowing all the oil to drip off. Place the doughnut immediately on paper towels, for about 5 seconds, and then flip it. Allow the doughnuts to cool slightly.
4. For the Glaze: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until completely smooth. One by one, dip the doughnuts into the glaze until halfway submerged. Remove from the glaze, and then turn right side up on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (to catch extra glaze). Let the glaze harden completely before adding the Samoa topping.
5. For the Samoa Topping: In a bowl, unwrap the caramels and place in large microwave safe bowl with the milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in the toasted coconut with a spatula. Using a spoon, lightly dollop and spread the Samoa topping on the cooled, glazed doughnut. While the topping sets up, melt the dark chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the bottom of each doughnut into the melted chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer the remaining chocolate into a piping bag for later. Once the Samoa topping & chocolate bottom has set, drizzle the doughnuts with the remaining melted chocolate for garnish.
6. Serve immediately and enjoy!
source: samoa cookiesdoughnuts
*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!
**A big thanks to At Home With Haley for featuring my recipe on her blog :)


Photobucket

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Pancakes with Peanut Butter Maple Glaze

I love Jack Johnson. His music is just so relaxing and happy. One of my favorite songs is Banana Pancakes. This song got me thinkin'... I really want banana pancakes. Not just any banana pancake, but a hearty pancake with peanut butter. Because peanut butter and banana is one of my all-time favorite combination (well besides coffee + chocolate). So I searched the internet and came across a banana bread pancake recipe that everyone was raving about, so I decided to use that base of the pancakes, but add peanut butter chocolate chips and a peanut butter maple glaze. Of course, Clayton claims these are his favorite pancakes... but he does that every time. These pancakes are really good though. They are huge and thick unlike some pancakes that are thin and flat. I mean they really do taste a lot like banana bread. So if you love peanut butter + banana, then this will definitely be right up your ally!
Peanut Butter Banana Bread Pancakes with Peanut Butter Maple Glaze
For the Pancakes:
1C Whole Wheat Flour
1C AP Flour
2t Baking Powder
¼t Salt
¼C Brown Sugar
1t Cinnamon
¼t Nutmeg
2/3C Milk
1T Vanilla
3 Large, Ripe Bananas, Mashed
2T Butter Melted
½C Peanut Butter Chips

For the Peanut Butter Maple Glaze:
½C Maple Syrup
½C Peanut Butter
1C Powdered Sugar
3T Milk
1t Vanilla

Directions: 
1. To Make the Banana Bread Pancake Batter: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract to it. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in the milk & vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry. Add in the mashed bananas and mix. Add in the melted butter and stir until the batter is somewhat smooth.
2. To Cook the Pancakes: Heat a skillet or grill on medium heat. Using a 1/3C measure, spoon batter into rounds and cook until bubbles form on the top, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for another minute or two. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with butter and syrup, or the peanut butter maple glaze.
3. To Make the Peanut Butter Maple Glaze: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Pour over the hot pancakes. 


source: banana bread pancakes-how sweet it is


*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mixed Up Heirloom Margherita Pizza

Honestly, nothing makes me happier than rainbow heirloom tomatoes. All the different shapes, sizes, and beautiful colors. I swear they are like tie-dyed tomatoes, and what's not to love about that?! Well I really love to showcase heirloom tomatoes in any recipe that I make. I think one of those ways is by a simple heirloom tomato pizza. I eventually decided to do a margherita pizza, but mixed up a bit. Instead of doing a tomato sauce, I spread on some of my homemade pesto. I also put on some caramelized onions, garlic oil, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and of course the heirloom tomatoes. This pizza was a hit... Clayton is moaning as I type. Anyway, enjoy the pizza!
Mixed Up Heirloom Margherita Pizza
Sliced & Ready to Eat!!
For the Pizza:
1 Pizza Dough
Roasted Garlic Oil
Homemade Pesto
Caramelized Onions
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, Cut into Thin Slices
Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
Heirloom Tomatoes, Cut into Slices
Salt, Pepper, Dried Oregano, & Red Pepper Flakes, For Sprinkling
Fresh Basil, Julienned 

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and drizzle some olive oil on a large baking sheet and use fingers to coat thoroughly. Stretch the pizza down into a large rectangle, pressing with fingers to finish forming. Dough will be very thin.
2. Drizzle on the roasted garlic oil on the dough. Then brush or spoon on the homemade pesto. Evenly drop the caramelized onions over the pizza. Lay the slices of mozzarella over the surface of the dough and then sprinkle over the grated Parmesan. Then, spread the sliced heirloom tomatoes over the pizza. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a little salt & pepper (for a little extra flavor). Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. While the pizza is still hot, sprinkle the fresh julienned basil. Remove from the pan and slice with a pizza cutter. Finish with light drizzle of garlic oil..
3. Serve immediately!

Poached Pear Panini

If any of y'all ever decide to come to visit Savannah, don't ever hesitate to message me about places to go and eat at. One of our favorite nice restaurants to go to is Garibaldi's Cafe. They are known for their crispy flounder with a shallot-apricot sauce, but surprisingly my favorite dish is a small salad. The salad has wine-poached pears, blue cheese fritters, spicy arugula, and a balsamic-wine vinaigrette. I actually crave this salad, it's that good. It's so sweet from the pears, but salty & tangy from the blue cheese. So, since I can't have their salad, I decided to make a Poached Pear Panini. I started off by poaching the pears in a vanilla white wine syrup. I then made a sandwich with the sliced poached pears, arugula pesto mayo, crispy prosciutto, crumbled gorgonzola & creamy havarti, and a light drizzle of honey. I know it sounds super weird, but it really does work. I was surprised how much Clayton liked this panini. I wasn't hungry enough to make a full sandwich, so I just made a small crostini, and that was plenty! Enjoy!
Whole Poached Pear Panini
Spicy Arugula Pesto Mayo, Sweet Poached Pears, Crispy Prosciutto, & Creamy Gorgonzola
Weird, But Delicious Poached Pear Panini
For the Poached Pears:
2 Firm, Ripe Bosc Pears, Peeled & Halved & Cored
2T Lemon Juice
1C Water
½C Dry White Wine
6T Honey
½ Vanilla Bean, Split Lengthwise

For the Arugula-Walnut Pesto:
2C Arugula Leaves, Packed
½C Shelled Walnuts, Toasted
½C Fresh Parmesan Cheese, Grated
½C Olive Oil
6 Garlic Cloves, Lightly Roasted
1t Fresh Garlic, Minced
Salt & Pepper, To Taste  
 
For the Arugula-Pesto Mayo:
¼C Pesto
4T Mayo
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Panini:
2 Slices of French Bread, Fried in Olive Oil
1 Poached Pear, Sliced
Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
Arugula Pesto Mayo
2 Slices of Havarti Cheese
8 Slices of Prosciutto, Fried till Crispy
Drizzle of Honey

Directions:
1. To Make the Poached Pears: Toss the pears with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine water, wine, and honey in a medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add in the bean as well. Stir over medium heat until honey dissolves. Add in the pears. Cover the mixture with a round piece of parchment paper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pears are just tender when pierced, turning halfway through cooking, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the poached pears to a large bowl. Boil the poaching liquid until reduced to ¾C, about 2 minutes. Cool the syrup. Pour the syrup over the pears. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove the vanilla bean and strain the pears out of the liquid. Carefully pat dry and cut into thin slices. Set aside.
2. To Make the Arugula Pesto: Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels in a skillet over medium-high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in place, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins. Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown. In a food processor, combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted garlic, and raw garlic. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Remove the mixture from the processor and put into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate.
3. To Make the Arugula-Pesto Mayo: In a small bowl, combine the fresh pesto with the mayo. Add in salt & pepper to taste. Whisk to combine. Set-aside until ready to make the sandwich.
4. To Make the Sandwich: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a pan with tin foil and spray with Pam. Set this aside. Fry the slices of bread in olive oil. Then assemble the sandwich by spreading a layer of the arugula pesto mayo on each slice, and then lay a slice of havarti cheese on top of each slice. On one of the slices lay down the crispy prosciutto, then top with crumbled Gorgonzola and drizzle some honey on top, and the poached pears. Top with the other slice of bread & cheese. Place the sandwich on the prepared pan and bake in the oven in order to heat the fillings and melt the cheese. Cook for roughly 5 minutes (depending on your oven). 
5. Serve the sandwich and enjoy!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Candied Bacon Caramel Ice Cream

I swear this is the last sweet bacon recipe. I just had so many Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels left over that I had to figure out ways to use them. So, I first made the Bacon Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies that I just posted. And then I decided to make Candied Bacon Caramel Ice Cream. It's a sweet ice cream base with cinnamon (yum) and whiskey (double yum). Then I folded in Candied Bacon Bits and some bite-size pieces of my Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels. I know it sounds so weird, but give it a shot. The ice cream base is good enough by itself. I feel like I'm a member of Ben & Jerry's... I just know they will be coming out with a flavor similar to this really soon. Enjoy!
Candied Bacon Ice Cream with Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels
The Perfect Bite of Candied Bacon Ice Cream
For the Candied Bacon:
5 Strips of Bacon
2t Light Brown Sugar For Each Slice of Bacon

For the Ice Cream Custard:
3T Butter
¾C Brown Sugar
2 ¾C Half & Half
5 Large Egg Yolks
2T Whiskey
½t Vanilla
¼t Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
Chopped Candied Bacon
50 Prepared Bacon Caramels, Cut into Bite-Size Cubes

Directions:
1. To Make the Candied Bacon: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Sprinkle each slice of bacon with 2t of brown sugar. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway, flip the bacon over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until it is as dark as mahogany. Remove from the oven and cool the strips on a wire rack. Once the bacon is cool and crisp, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice.
2. To Make the Ice Cream: melt the butter in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and half of the half & half. Pour the remaining half & half into a bowl, set in an ice bath and set a mesh strainer over the top. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, and then gradually add some of the warm brown sugar mixture into them, whisking the yolks constantly as you pour. Pour the mixture into the saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the half & half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool. Add liquor, vanilla, and cinnamon. Refrigerate the mixture until it is thoroughly chilled. Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add in the bacon bits & caramel chunks during the last moment of churning, or stir them in when you remove the ice cream from the machine.
3. Freeze the ice cream in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before eating.

source: candied bacon ice cream

*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!

Check out the Ice Cream Social for this recipe and many other ice cream recipes!!

Bacon Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yes, you read the title right. I did make bacon cookies... with bacon caramel and dark chocolate chunks. This is definitely an interesting mix, but still somehow works. It has my chocolate chunk cookie recipe with  pieces of bacon folded in, and then sandwiched in between the two cookie layers is a hot gooey vanilla bean bacon caramel that I made yesterday. It's sweet, salty, and more importantly smoky. It also has a nice balance of crunch and gooey. If you like sweet bacon (like candied bacon), then you will really like this cookie. It's definitely a man's man cookie. Clayton is lovin' it. Enjoy!
Bacon Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Gooey Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramel Center
Look at the bits of bacon, chocolate chunks, and caramel... yum!
There is so much satisfaction when breaking open one of these babies...
For the Caramels:
½C Sugar
½C Dark Brown Sugar
1C Corn Syrup
1 Stick of Butter
1C Heavy Cream, Divided
¼C Maple Syrup
1 Vanilla Bean Pod, Split Lengthwise & Scraped for Beans
10 Strips of Thick-Cut Bacon, Fried to a Crisp & Roughly Chopped

For the Cookies:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
½C Sugar
1 ¾C Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
2t Vanilla
1t Sea Salt
2C Cake Flour
1C Bread Flour
½C AP Flour
1 ½t Baking Soda
8oz of 60% Dark Chocolate, Roughly Chopped by Hand
20 Prepared Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels Cut into Tablespoon Pieces
5 Slices of Thick Cut Bacon, Fried to a Crisp & Roughly Chopped   
Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling

Directions:
1. To Make the Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels: Reserve ½C of the heavy cream. Combine the sugars, corn syrup, butter, maple syrup, vanilla bean pod, and vanilla beans in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Set on medium high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until 240 degrees. The candy is now at the firm-ball stage. Remove from the stove and carefully stir in the remaining ½C of Cream. Place the pan back on the heat and continue to cook to 245 degrees. Immediately remove from heat and stir in ¾ of the Cooked, Chopped bacon (saving the other ¼ of the cooked bacon for topping). Pour the caramel into a buttered dish (8x8 dish=thick caramels & 9x13 dish=thin caramels). Scatter the remaining bacon on top. Let it set for at least 3 hours before cutting.
2. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with Pam, then set aside.
3. To Make the Cookies: Cream the 2 sticks of butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the mixer then add the two eggs and egg yolk one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and sea salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, bread flour, AP flour, and baking soda. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just incorporated (don’t over mix). Beat in the chopped chocolate and chopped bacon until it’s completely incorporated and the chocolate & bacon is evenly dispersed throughout the dough. Using a cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop), take one scoop of dough and place on the bottom of the vanilla bean bacon caramels and then take another scoop of dough and place it on top of the caramel. Seal the edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until the caramel is completely enclosed by the dough. And then using your fingers crimp the tops of the cookies to make them more jagged (this will make them look more homemade). Because the cookies are quite large, I only put 6 cookies per sheet tray, so that when they cook & spread, they will not touch each other.
4. Sprinkle fleur de sel on top of the cookie dough balls, then bake the for 12 minutes (cook them for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees, and cook for another 6 minutes), until it is slightly golden brown on the edges, but still soft (slightly undercooked) on the inside. Leave the cookies on the sheet tray for 10 minutes, so that the cookies will finish baking.
5. Once the cookies have rested on the sheet tray, move the finished cookies to a cooling rack, and let them completely cool completely before eating.


*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels

For my next post of the day, I made some Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels. I know it sounds soooo bizarre. And it is very strange. But I kind of relate it to eating candied bacon or bacon dipped in maple syrup. After I made these bacon caramels, well I kind of went bacon crazy. I ended up making some Bacon Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies and some Candied Bacon Caramel Ice Cream. So I'll be posting them later this weekend. Enjoy!
Vanilla Bean Bacon Caramels
For the Caramels:
½C Sugar
½C Dark Brown Sugar
1C Corn Syrup
1 Stick of Butter
1C Heavy Cream, Divided
¼C Maple Syrup
1 Vanilla Bean Pod, Split Lengthwise & Scraped for Beans
6 Strips of Thick-Cut Bacon, Fried to a Crisp & Roughly Chopped
Salt, For Sprinkling

Directions:
1. Reserve ½C of the heavy cream. Combine the sugars, corn syrup, butter, maple syrup, vanilla bean pod, and vanilla beans in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Set on medium high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until 240 degrees. The candy is now at the firm-ball stage. Remove from the stove and carefully stir in the remaining ½C of Cream. Place the pan back on the heat and continue to cook to 245 degrees. Immediately remove from heat and stir in ¾ of the Cooked, Chopped bacon (saving the other ¼ of the cooked bacon for topping). Pour the caramel into a buttered dish (8x8 dish=thick caramels & 9x13 dish=thin caramels). Scatter the remaining bacon on top. Let it set for at least 3 hours before cutting.


source: bacon caramelsvanilla bean caramels.


*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!

Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Part 4)

I know I'm back at it... another gourmet chocolate chunk cookie recipe. I was browsing the internet, and I came across someone's recipe that used some grated chocolate in it. I thought that was a marvelous idea because you get more chocolate flavor, without the added sweetness, and you get the satisfaction of looking at all those gorgeous chocolate speckled flecks. I mean it just makes the cookie that more delicious. I really liked this addition. Just make sure you don't do sweetened chocolate (just unsweetened). Enjoy!
Speckled Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies
I love all dem speckles...
For the Cookies:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
¼C Unsalted Butter (or a half of one stick), Grated & Frozen
¼C Gourmet Raw Bourbon Vanilla Sugar
¼C Granulated Sugar
1 ¾C Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
2t Vanilla
1t Sea Salt
2C Cake Flour
1C Bread Flour
½C AP Flour
1 ½t Baking Soda
3.5oz of Milk Chocolate, Roughly Chopped by Hand
4oz of 60% Dark Chocolate, Roughly Chopped by Hand
1C (heaping) of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
2oz Unsweetened Chocolate, Grated
Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling     

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with Pam, then set aside.
2. Cream the 2 sticks of butter with the gourmet vanilla sugar, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the mixer then add the two eggs and egg yolk one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and sea salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, bread flour, AP flour, and baking soda.
4. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just incorporated (don’t over mix).
5. Fold or beat in the chopped chocolates, and then the frozen, grated butter until it’s completely incorporated and the chocolate is evenly dispersed throughout the dough. Lastly, lightly beat in the grated chocolate (don’t beat it too much or the chocolate will melt and you will not achieve the speckled chocolate look). Scoop the dough into roughly ¼C balls (or I used a large ice cream scoop), and then using your fingers crimp the tops of the cookies to make them more jagged (this will make them look more homemade). Because the cookies are quite large, I only put 6 cookies per sheet tray, so that when they cook & spread, they will not touch each other.
6. Sprinkle the fleur de sel on top of the cookie dough balls, then bake the for 12 minutes (cook them for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees, and cook for another 6 minutes), until it is slightly golden brown on the edges, but still soft (slightly undercooked) on the inside. Leave the cookies on the sheet tray for 10 minutes, so that the cookies will finish baking.
7. Once the cookies have rested on the sheet tray, move the finished cookies to a cooling rack, and let them completely cool completely before eating.

source: Grated Chocolate Chip Cookies


*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Revamped: The Most Amazing Fried Green Tomato BLT with Savannah Remoulade Sauce

I know what a lot of you are probably thinking... why is this chick posting another recipe for a Fried Green Tomato BLT, when she already has one? I know, I know. I have already made this sandwich. And it was really good. But sometimes your recipes need some updating (like my almond poundcake and my chocolate chip cookies). The last sandwich was a winner, or so we thought, but after watching the Fried Green Tomato BLT Throwdown with Bobby Flay, I was just itchin' to update mine and make it better. And boy was it better, like amazingly better. Hands down, the best thing we have made. Ever. Yes, I know I probably say that a lot. But I really mean it this time. The updated & revamped version consists of thick, crusty bread fried in BACON FAT. You heard me right... bacon fat. It is just that much more delicious and buttery and just melt in your mouth amazing (I don't know if I'm even making sense at this point). I also added some creamy Boursin Cheese, which gives it just a nice tangy taste. I also added more bacon (because god forbid there isn't enough bacon, I mean it's a BLT sandwich isn't it?). But just not any bacon, the thick-cut monster applewood smoked bacon. We also changed from the bibb lettuce to baby arugula. I think this made a HUGE difference in flavor. The baby arugula added a spiciness & bitterness that gave a nice contrast to all the heavy flavors from the bacon and cheese. The last change was the switch from the vidalia-bacon mayo to my Savannah Remoulade Sauce. This is becoming one of my favorite go-to sauces for pretty much anything. It's pretty much the love child of Utah's Fry Sauce & a Cajun Remoulade. It's sweet, tangy, but has a really nice kick. I just love it. It goes with anything too... chicken fingers, french fries, fish sticks... and more importantly, my Fried Green Tomato BLT's. I just can't get over that sandwich. It was so good. And the sandwiches are HUGE. But surprisingly, Clayton managed to hoover down two of them, like that's just ridiculous. Anyway, I really want everyone of you to stop what you're doing and go make this. Like now. GO RIGHT NOW. Ok, well enjoy!!
The Most Amazing Fried Green Tomato BLT with Savannah Remoulade Sauce
For the Savannah Remoulade:
3 Pepperoncinis, Diced
1T Capers
1C Mayo
¼C + 1T Ketchup
¼C Sweet Chili Sauce
1t Garlic Powder
1t Onion Powder
1t Paprika
1t Yellow Mustard
2t Grainy Mustard
1t Horseradish
½t Pepper
1t Pepperoncini Juice
1t Apple Cider Vinegar
½t Cajun Seasoning
2t Texas Pete
2T Bacon Fat Drippings, Cooled
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Fried Green Tomatoes:
2 Green Tomatoes, Cut into ½inch Thick Slices & Patted Dry
1Q Peanut Oil, For Frying
2C AP Flour
1T Paprika
1T Chili Powder
1T Cajun Seasoning
1T Salt
3 Eggs
½C Buttermilk
1T Hot Sauce
1 Box of Panko Breadcrumbs
Salt, For Sprinkling

For the Sandwiches:
4 Slices of Crusty Country Bread, Fried in bacon grease until golden brown
4 Fried Green Tomatoes
8 Slices of Thick Cut Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Cooked (Save the Grease)
Fresh Baby Arugula
Creamy Boursin Cheese, Room Temperature
Prepared Savannah Remoulade Sauce

Directions: 
1.  To Make the Savannah Remoulade: In a food processor or immersion blender, pulse together the Pepperoncinis and capers, until it is a coarse chop (resembling a pickle relish). In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayo, ketchup, and sweet chili sauce until there are no lumps left. Then add the rest of the ingredients & the chopped relish mixture and whisk to combine until it is a smooth, creamy sauce. Refrigerate this sauce for at least an hour (or preferably over night) to let the flavors meld.
2. To Make the Fried Green Tomatoes: Slice the tomatoes to about ½inch thick and place the slices on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let the tomatoes drain for 15-30 minutes. After they have drained, dry the tomatoes a little more with some paper towels, removing any excess moisture. Next, you have to set up a battering station. I use 3 pie tins. For the first station, I mix the flour & the seasonings. For the second station, I whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce. For the third station, pour the contents of one box of Panko breadcrumbs. Now, place the slices of dried green tomato into the flour mixture, then into the egg wash, and finally the panko (making sure they are completely covered). Put the breaded slices on a tin foil-lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top, and then put the pan into the refrigerator and let the slices rest for about 15-30 minutes.
3. Frying the Tomatoes: Heat your deep fryer to 375 degrees with the peanut oil. Once the oil has heated, pull the chilled slices out of the refrigerator. Fry the slices for 4-7 minutes each (depending on the size of your fryer, mine is pretty small, so I do 2 at a time). The green tomatoes should be golden brown on the outside, but cooked, yet still firm on the inside. Once they are done frying return them to the same baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt immediately. Once all of the tomatoes are fried, put them in an oven on a low temperature to keep them warm while you finish the rest of the sandwiches.
4. Assemble the Fried Green Tomato BLT: On one of the slices, spread a heavy bit of the creamy Boursin cheese, top the cheese with 2-3 slices of the fried green tomatoes, drizzle some of the Savannah Remoulade on top of the tomatoes (this helps the arugula stick), lay on a handful of the baby arugula, making sure it’s compact. Top the arugula with the thick, crispy slices of bacon. Spread a heaping spoonful of more Savannah Remoulade on the other slice of bread and then top it onto the thick bacon. Serve the sandwich immediately.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Swirled Lemon Raspberry Poundcake with Raspberry Glaze

I just love poundcake. It's so satisfying and luscious, but still light and fluffy. I seriously make a different poundcake every week. I just use my favorite recipe and substitute a few ingredients to customize the different flavors. This week I decided to make Swirled Lemon Raspberry Poundcake with Raspberry Glaze. I just love lemon and raspberry together. It's such a refreshing combination and so summery. The base is a dense, creamy lemon curd poundcake swirled with layers of raspberry filling, and then topped with a raspberry glaze. Yum yum yum! Enjoy :)
I Love the Bright Pink Raspberry Glaze
Lemon Curd Poundcake with Swirled Raspberry Layers & Raspberry Glaze
For the Poundcake:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 8oz Package of Cream Cheese, Softened
½C Lemon Curd
1 ½C Sugar
4 Eggs
2t Vanilla
1T Lemon Zest
3T Lemon Juice
2C AP Flour
1 ½t Baking Powder
1t Salt

For the Raspberry Filling:
1C Frozen Raspberries
¼C Raspberry Jam
2T Lemon Juice
¼C Confectioners’ Sugar

For the Raspberry Glaze:
2C Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
2T Raspberry Filling
½C Raspberry Jam
2t Lemon Juice
3T Milk
½t Vanilla  

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a bundt pan with Pam, and then set aside.
2. To Make the Raspberry Filling: Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Break up any large raspberry chunks. Once the mixture has come to a bubble, remove from the heat and let it cool completely before adding it to the cake.
3. To Make the Poundcake: In a mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and lemon curd. Pour in the sugar and mix until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each one until it is incorporated before adding the next egg. Next, add in the vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat to combine. While ingredients are mixing, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this flour mixture into the wet mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
4. Layering & Baking the Poundcake: Pour ¼ of the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth it over, making sure it is completely even. Next, spoon half of the cooled raspberry filling on top of the batter (try to keep the filling in the middle, so that it doesn’t spill out while baking). Repeat by topping the filling with ½ of the remaining batter and smooth once again. Spoon the rest of the raspberry filling over the batter and finally top with the remaining ¼ of the Poundcake batter. Smooth one last time. You should have three layers of lemon Poundcake separated by two layers of raspberry filling. Bake the cake for roughly an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before pouring on the glaze.
5. To Make the Glaze: combine the confectioners’ sugar, raspberry jam, milk, zest, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until it is completely combined and smooth. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake. Let the glaze harden for 15-20 minutes before you cut and serve. 


source: raspberry filling.


*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!

Swirled Lemon Raspberry Poundcake with Raspberry Glaze

I just love poundcake. It's so satisfying and luscious, but still light and fluffy. I seriously make a different poundcake every week. I just use my favorite recipe and substitute a few ingredients to customize the different flavors. This week I decided to make Swirled Lemon Raspberry Poundcake with Raspberry Glaze. I just love lemon and raspberry together. It's such a refreshing combination and so summery. The base is a dense, creamy lemon curd poundcake swirled with layers of raspberry filling, and then topped with a raspberry glaze. Yum yum yum! Enjoy :)
I Love the Bright Pink Raspberry Glaze
Lemon Curd Poundcake with Swirled Raspberry Layers & Raspberry Glaze
For the Poundcake:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 Package of Cream Cheese, Softened
½C Lemon Curd
1 ½C Sugar
4 Eggs
2t Vanilla
1T Lemon Zest
3T Lemon Juice
2C AP Flour
1 ½t Baking Powder
1t Salt

For the Raspberry Filling:
1C Frozen Raspberries
¼C Raspberry Jam
2T Lemon Juice
¼C Confectioners’ Sugar

For the Raspberry Glaze:
2C Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
2T Raspberry Filling
½C Raspberry Jam
2t Lemon Juice
3T Milk
½t Vanilla  

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a bundt pan with Pam, and then set aside.
2. To Make the Raspberry Filling: Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Break up any large raspberry chunks. Once the mixture has come to a bubble, remove from the heat and let it cool completely before adding it to the cake.
3. To Make the Poundcake: In a mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and lemon curd. Pour in the sugar and mix until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each one until it is incorporated before adding the next egg. Next, add in the vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat to combine. While ingredients are mixing, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this flour mixture into the wet mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
4. Layering & Baking the Poundcake: Pour ¼ of the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth it over, making sure it is completely even. Next, spoon half of the cooled raspberry filling on top of the batter (try to keep the filling in the middle, so that it doesn’t spill out while baking). Repeat by topping the filling with ½ of the remaining batter and smooth once again. Spoon the rest of the raspberry filling over the batter and finally top with the remaining ¼ of the Poundcake batter. Smooth one last time. You should have three layers of lemon Poundcake separated by two layers of raspberry filling. Bake the cake for roughly an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before pouring on the glaze.
5. To Make the Glaze: combine the confectioners’ sugar, raspberry jam, milk, zest, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until it is completely combined and smooth. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake. Let the glaze harden for 15-20 minutes before you cut and serve. 


source: raspberry filling.


*Please check out, Sweets for a Saturday for my link, as well as many others!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Breakfast Sliders with Spicy Syrup

So, I've been studying away... barely any cooking at all unfortunately. But this morning, we decided to whip a simple breakfast that is really just a little cooking and more assembling. You can really make it as easy as you want. These Breakfast Sliders taste almost exactly like a sausage, egg, & cheese McGriddle from McDonald's... but better and with a nice kick. It really doesn't take any time at all, so if you're in a rush, this recipe makes a lot of food in a short period of time. Enjoy :)
Breakfast Sliders with Spicy Syrup
Sweet Pancakes with Salty Sausage Patties, Melty Cheese, Fluffy Eggs, & Spicy Syrup
For the Pancake Buns:
1 ½C AP Flour
3 ½t Baking Powder
1t Salt
1T Sugar
1 ¼C Milk
1 Egg
1t Vanilla
3T Butter, Melted

For the Spicy Syrup:
½C Maple Syrup
¼C Honey
1T Chili Powder

For the Breakfast Sliders:
20 Pancake Buns, Silver Dollar-Sized
10 Sausage Patties, Cooked
5 Scrambled Eggs, Cooked & Formed into 10 Small Patties
5 Slices of Cheese (Each slice cut into quarters/fourths)
Prepared Spicy Syrup

Directions: 
1. To Make the Pancake Buns: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter. Mix until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop a scant ¼C of the batter onto the griddle. Brown each pancake on both sides, about 2-3 minutes.
2. To Make the Spicy Syrup: Whisk together the maple syrup, honey, and chili powder until completely incorporated and smooth.
3. Assemble the Breakfast Sliders: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and spray a baking dish with Pam. Stack 1 sausage patty, 1 scrambled egg patty, and 2 quarters of cheese on top of one pancake bun.  Once all of the sliders have been assembled (leaving the top pancake bun off), put the baking dish in the oven to heat the slider and melt the cheese, about 5 minutes. Once the cheese has melted, place the heated sliders on to a plate and drizzle the spicy syrup all over them (do this to taste). Finally top with the other pancake buns. 
4. Serve warm and enjoy!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

So, my fun for the week is over :( and it's only wednesday (I have a test coming up on Monday, yuck). Luckily for me, one of my best friends from high school/soccer came down to visit me & see Savannah for the first time. We just went to all the restaurants that I love, shopped, and went on a haunted pub crawl. Here are some pictures from her visit.
Me & Clayton on the Haunted Pub Crawl
Haunted Pub Crawl
Me & Syd on the Haunted Pub Crawl
Having Drinks & Appetizers at the Rooftop Bar
What a Great View While Drinking
Anyway, in celebration of Sydney's visit, I cooked us eggplant parmesan (one of her favorite meals), and then I also made an amazing, delicious, over-the-top dessert. I don't know about you, but can you ever really get enough chocolate? I can't. Honestly. Well if you feel the same way as me, then this is the cake for you. It's four layers of flourless chocolate cake with three layers of chocolate mousse. Not just one type of mousse, but three. Yes, you heard me, THREE. There is a layer of white chocolate mousse, milk chocolate mousse, and dark chocolate mousse. Then, to top it all off, there is a thick, sturdy layer of dark chocolate ganache. I mean this is decadent. You pretty much go into a chocolate coma afterwards, but that's totally okay because it's worth it. I included the longer, more complicated recipe, as well as a Cheater's Chocolate Mousse, so that it wouldn't be so time consuming. Either way though, it's delicious. I mean the cake is already gone, and I just made it 2 days ago. Ridiculous, I tell you, just ridiculous. Enjoy your chocolate comas :)
Slice of Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
For the Flourless Chocolate Cake Layers:
1 ½ Sticks of Unsalted Butter (12T Butter)
16oz Bittersweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped
12 Eggs, Separated
1C Sugar

For the White Chocolate Mousse: 
5 ¼oz White Chocolate, Chopped
1 ¾C Heavy Cream, Very Cold
3 Large Egg Whites
2T Sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Mousse:
5 ¼oz Milk Chocolate, Chopped
1 ¾C Heavy Cream, Very Cold
3 Large Egg Whites
2T Sugar

For the Dark Chocolate Mousse:
5 ¼oz Dark Chocolate, Chopped
1 ¾C Heavy Cream, Very Cold
3 Large Egg Whites
2T Sugar

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
2C Heavy Cream
½C Confectioners Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1lb Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped

Directions: 
1.  To Make the Flourless Chocolate Cake Layers: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees with the rack in the center. Butter four pie/cake tins heavily and set them aside. Place the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until completely melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add in granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy, stiff peaks form. Whisk ¼ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the batter evenly into each prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake each cake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before layering the cake .
2.  To Make Each Chocolate Mousse: Place the chopped chocolate in a double boiler and heat until completely melted, then turn off heat and let it stand. In a separate bowl, beat the cream over ice until it forms soft peaks, and then set aside. In another bowl, with a mixer, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until firm. Remove the chocolate from the double boiler and using a whisk, fold in the egg whites all at once. When the whites are almost completely incorporated, fold in the whipped cream. Cover the mousse and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour or until set. Repeat for the other 2 chocolates .
3.  To Make the Chocolate Ganache Frosting: In a large saucepan, bring the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate and let it stand, without stirring, for about 1 minute. Whisk until just combined and then refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (around an hour).
4. To Assemble the Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake: On a cake stand, layer the cake by starting with one flourless cake, then the dark chocolate mousse, cake, milk chocolate mousse, cake, white chocolate mousse, last layer of cake, and then finish it by spreading the chocolate Ganache all over the cake. Refrigerate to let the cake firm up, but remove the cake 15-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it. 
See Them Ridiculous Layers?
Cheater's Chocolate Mousse



For the Dark Chocolate Mousse:
1 ½C Heavy Whipping Cream
1C Milk
1 5.9oz Box of Instant Dark Chocolate Pudding
¼t Vanilla
¼t Instant Espresso Powder
½C 60% Dark Chocolate, Melted

For the Milk Chocolate Mousse:
1 ½C Heavy Whipping Cream
1C Milk
1 5.9oz Box of Instant Milk Chocolate Pudding
¼t Vanilla
¼t Instant Espresso Powder

For the White Chocolate Mousse:
1 ½C Heavy Whipping Cream
1C Milk
1 5.9oz Box of Instant White Chocolate Pudding
¼t Vanilla
½C White Chocolate Chips, Melted

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, add in heavy cream & milk (both extremely cold), vanilla, and instant espresso powder. Add in the pudding mix to the bowl. Whip the mixture with a handheld mixer (or use a standing mixer), for about 3-5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. 
2. The mixture should be thick enough that when a spoonful is turned upside down it says on the spoon. Cover the mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes (preferably an hour) until ready to layer on the cake. 
Just in Case You Couldn't Tell...