Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chili-Cheese-Slaw Dogs with Beer Braised Brats topped with Homemade Mole Chili, Pimento Cheese, Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw, Fried Onion Strings, & Srirancha Sauce

Here's the next recipe from our Memorial Day meal. I have been itchin' to make chili-cheese-slaw dogs for a while. It brings up a lot of childhood memories from when we would go eat at the Varsity before Atlanta Falcons games, Braves games, and UGA Football games. And I would always get a chili cheese dog with slaw added with a side of fries and a frosted orange. If you have never been to the Varsity, then you are missing out, and I urge you to go. Did you know it's actually the largest drive-in restaurant in the world? That's pretty awesome. Anyway, I decided to take a stab at this all-American classic, but of course, by adding my own signature twist. It was a requirement that I make every component from scratch and my friends, there are a lot of components. So, feel free to use store-bought ingredients to make it a little easier on you. First, I started off by braising from brats in some dark beer and caramelized onions. I have never really been a huge fan of hot dogs, but we love brats braised in beer, so we just had to do it. After they braised, we charred them off on the grill until they were nice & crispy. Then, I whipped up a batch of my homemade mole chili that has a couple crazy ingredients such as cocoa powder, peanut butter, and pumpkin pie spice. It's deliciously sweet, but still hearty & spicy like a traditional chili. I also made my favorite pimento cheese recipe because I mean honestly, what is better than pimento cheese? Nothin' bro. I topped the dogs with my favorite coleslaw recipe, crispy onion strings, and a special, special sauce. I call this sauce, "Srirancha Sauce", because it is a combination of a homemade ranch dressing and my new favorite spice, homemade sriracha powder (that was used in my Pickled Deviled Egg recipe on Tuesday). This sauce is creamy & spicy, but still has that amazing herby flavor that I love. Well, that's it... not too bad eh? Haha, I know it's a lot, however, if you have the time, then definitely make these gourmet dog. You won't regret it!! Enjoy :)
Gourmet Chili-Cheese-Slaw Dogs
Look at all them layers...
The crispy onions are the best, yum-o!
Don't forget a drizzle of the homemade Srirancha sauce :) 
My Mountain Man chowin' downnn. 
For the Beer Braised Brats:
4 Brats
Your Favorite Beer, To Cover
1 Medium Vidalia Onion, Cut into Slices
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Homemade Chili:
2T Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1T Garlic, Chopped
1lb Ground Beef Chuck (80/20)
2-28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1C Water
1 4oz Can of Chopped Green Chiles
2 Jalapenos, Seeded & Diced
3T Chili Powder
1t Paprika
½t Dried Oregano
½t Cayenne Pepper
1t Cumin
¼t Pumpkin Pie Spice
½t Salt
1t Onion Powder
1t Garlic Salt
2t Brown Sugar
¼C Creamy Peanut Butter
2T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1-2T Hot Sauce
1t Worcestershire
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Pimento Cheese:
4oz Cream Cheese, Softened
½C Mayo
¼t Garlic Powder, Pepper, & Paprika
2t Hot Sauce
2T Sweet Onion, Grated
8oz Pepper Jack Cheese, Shredded
8oz White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
8oz Sharp Yellow Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
2 Roasted Red Peppers, Diced
½C Candied Jalapenos, Diced

For the Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw:
3C Coleslaw Mix
3-5 Green Onions, Chopped (depending on how much onion you like)
2 Large Jalapenos, Diced
2T Candied Jalapeno, Diced (or you can use pickled jalapenos and add a little more sugar)
¼C Mayo
¼C Sour Cream
1t Yellow Mustard
1t White Vinegar
1t Sugar
1t Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper, To Taste 

For the Fried Onion Strings:
1 Large Vidalia Onion, Sliced Very Thinly
2C Buttermilk
2C AP Flour
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
½t Cayenne
Vegetable Oil, For Frying

For the Srirancha Sauce:
½C Sour Cream
¼C Mayo
Cold Buttermilk (however much to your preferred thickness)
2T Fresh Parsley, Minced
¼C Fresh Chives, Minced
1 Small Clove of Garlic, Minced into a Paste (use a little coarse sea salt to help grind it)
½t Garlic Salt & Garlic Powder
½t-1t Homemade Sriracha Powder
Salt & Pepper, To Taste (I also used a pinch of sugar for a little sweetness, this is optional)

For the Chili-Cheese-Slaw Dogs:
Beer Braised Brats, Grilled
Hot Dog Buns, Toasted
Prepared Chili
Prepared Pimento Cheese
Prepared Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw
Fried Onion Strings
Prepared Srirancha Sauce
Additional Toppings (raw onion, sauce, etc.)

1. For the Beer Braised Brats: Heat some olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the sliced onions along with some salt & pepper, and caramelize until golden brown. Once the onions have caramelized, place the brats into the Dutch oven and cover with the beer and any other seasonings that you want. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the brats are cooked through. Remove the brats and set aside the beer mixture. Right before you are ready to eat, grill the brats until golden brown and charred. Return the brats the beer mixture until you are ready to serve.
2. For the Chili: Heat the olive oil in a big pot on medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, then add in the garlic and diced jalapenos and cook for about 2 minutes. Next, add in the ground beef and cook thoroughly through. Add in the water, crushed tomatoes, and green chiles. Let this mixture cook for about 10 minutes, then stir in chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne, cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic salt, and brown sugar. Let this mixture cook covered on low heat for 30 minutes. After it has simmered, stir in the creamy peanut butter, cocoa powder, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and pumpkin pie spice. Once again, cook on simmer for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Keep the chili warm until you are ready to spoon on top of the dogs.
3. To Make the Pimento Cheese: In a big mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, & hot sauce. Separately, shred the three blocks of cheese and put in the bowl with the cream cheese & mayo mixture. (I use the second smallest shredding side because I like it more that way. It does take more time, but I think it's worth it. But you can do the cheese in the bigger shred if that's how you like your pimento cheese. Toss the mixture together until the mayo is covering all of the cheese. Add in the diced red peppers, grated onion, and candied jalapeno. Toss until it’s evenly incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. For the Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw: In a medium-mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, mustard, sugar, lemon juice, fresh jalapeno, and candied jalapeno. Toss this mixture with the coleslaw and green onions until completely coated. Set it aside until ready to assemble the hot dogs.
5. For the Fried Onion Strings: Slice the onion very thinly. Place in baking dish and cover with buttermilk and hot sauce. Soak for at least an hour. Combine all the dry ingredients and seasonings, and set it aside. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Grab a handful of onions and toss in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown & crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Repeat until all the onions have been fried. Top the brats with the crispy onions.
6. For the Srirancha Sauce: Whisk together the sour cream, mayo, parsley, chives, garlic paste, garlic salt, and garlic powder until smooth and combined. Add in some buttermilk, starting with a small amount and working up to more to the thickness that you want. Whisk in the Sriracha Powder to your desired spiciness, I used 1t of the powder for a fairly spicy sauce. Taste once again and season with salt, pepper, & sugar to your liking. Pour into a container and refrigerate until you are ready to drizzle onto the hot dogs.
7. Assemble the Brats: Lay the brats into the toasted buns and top with the pimento cheese, homemade chili, coleslaw, crispy onion strings, and a drizzle of the Srirancha Sauce.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pickled Deviled Eggs with Country Ham & Sriracha Powder

Pickled Deviled Eggs with Country Ham & Sriracha Powder
We had the best meal last night for our Memorial Day Cookout. We made a few things and all of them were just top notch. Our dinner consisted of Pickled Deviled Eggs with Country Ham & Sriracha Powder, Gourmet Chili-Cheese-Slaw Dogs with a bunch of fixin's, & some decadent S'more Brownies Bars that rocked my world. But today, I'm going to start off with the Pickled Deviled Eggs. Do y'all like deviled eggs? I don't. I absolutely don't. I know that's probably sacrilege here in the South. But, they have just always grossed me out. I actually hadn't ever eaten one until about 2 weeks ago when we went to our favorite Atlanta restaurant, JCT Kitchen. Apparently, they are very well known for their deviled eggs that are topped with country ham (sorta like the prosciutto of the South). Well, I had one bite of their eggs, and I was instantly sold. So, I came home and started researching for the best recipe. After looking around, I came across the most clever idea, which involved pickling the hard-boiled eggs with a beet-vinegar mixture. This brine tinges the outside of the eggs hot pink making them absolutely adorable & more likable.   I love that they are pickled because it gives them a nice bite while also taking away some of the sulfur-y egg flavor that has always turned me off in the past. The best part of the pickled deviled eggs are the toppings. I especially loved the homemade Sriracha Powder. It takes on the usual role of a traditional deviled egg that has been sprinkled with paprika. But please, don't skimp out on the country ham topping, it really brings these over the top. If you don't live in the South or don't have access to buying country ham, you could easily substitute it with some prosciutto or serrano ham. Well, I hope that y'all had a happy Memorial Day celebration and some great grub!! Enjoy :)
Here's the Deviled Pickled Eggs with just a sprinkling of Sriracha Powder 
Don't they look purdy all lined up?
I love the country ham topping!!
For the Beet Pickling Liquid:
3C Water
1C Distilled White Vinegar
1 Small Beet, Peeled & Sliced
¼ Vidalia Onion, Minced
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
1T Brown Sugar
1T Pink Peppercorns
1T Pickling Spice
½t Salt

For the Sriracha Powder:

For the Pickled Deviled Eggs:
10 Hard-Boiled Eggs, Pickled & Sliced in Half
Prepared Beet Pickling Liquid
¼C Mayo
1T Goat Cheese
2t Grainy Mustard
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
1t Fresh Chives, Minced (plus more for garnishing)
Thinly Sliced Country Ham, Torn into Pieces (you need 20 pieces)
Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Prepared Sriracha Powder, For Sprinkling

1. For the Beet Pickling Liquid: Cook your eggs by your preferred method, and then peel them. Bring the water, vinegar, beet, onion, garlic, sugar, pickling spice, and salt to a boil in a small pan, and then lower the heat to simmer the liquid, uncovered, until the beet is tender, about 20 minutes. Cool the liquid completely, uncovered. Place the cooked eggs into a container or large Mason jar, and pour the beet pickling liquid over them until they are completely submerged. Chill the pickled eggs for 12-24 hours. The longer the time, the stronger the color and flavor will be, but also the eggs will be firmer in texture. I did 16 hours and loved the results. 
2. For the Sriracha Powder: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat. Spread as much Sriracha as you want onto the silpat, making sure it is as thin as possible. Bake the Sriracha for roughly 60-90 minutes, depending on how much you did. The Sriracha should be completely dry and beginning to flake. Using a sharp knife, scrape the dried Sriracha until all of it has been lifted from the silpat. Place the flakes into a plastic bag, and then hit the bag with a rolling pin, so that it is completely crushed and resembles a powder. It should look very similar to paprika or cayenne. Place into a container or jar. Set it aside until you are ready to sprinkle on top of the deviled eggs.
3. Remove the eggs from the beet pickling liquid and pat them dry. Cut each egg in half lengthwise and remove the yolks into a small bowl. Mash the yolks with the mayo, goat cheese, grainy mustard, chives, and seasonings. Whisk until smooth. Place the seasoned yolk mixture into a piping bag, and pipe it evenly amongst the egg white shells. Top each egg with a piece of country ham, a sprinkling of Sriracha powder, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of fresh chives.
4. Serve chilled. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blueberry-Buttermilk Waffles with Andouille Sausage Maple Syrup

There's nothin' better than a sweet & salty combination for Sunday Brunch. I personally love anything of the sort, so I decided to make some sweet waffles with some spicy, salt syrup to pour over the top. I eventually decided to buy some fresh blueberries at the Farmer's Market because they were perfectly plump & delicious. I then got some spicy andouille sausage and cubed it up, cooked it till crispy, and then infused it with some good quality maple syrup for the ultimate savory flavor. These waffles may not be for everyone, but they certainly hit the spot for us. We just totally dig 'em. What a perfect brunch these waffles made!! Enjoy :)
Blueberry-Buttermilk Waffles with Andouille Sausage Maple Syrup 
Look at all that sausage :)
For the Blueberry-Buttermilk Waffles:
1 ½C AP Flour
½C Cornstarch
1t Baking Powder
½t Baking Soda
1t Salt
1T Sugar
1C Milk & Buttermilk
2/3C Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
2t Vanilla 
1t Amaretto
1C Blueberries (plus extra for garnishing)

For the Andouille Sausage Maple Syrup:
1C Andouille Sausage, Cut into Cubes
1C Pure Maple Syrup
Pinch of Cinnamon & Cayenne

1. For the Blueberry-Buttermilk Waffles: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Whisk together to blend.  In another mixing bowl, beat together the whole milk, buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk just until incorporated and few lumps remain.  Set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat a waffle iron.  Fill waffle wells, sprinkle with blueberries, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until crisp and golden.
2. For the Andouille Sausage Maple Syrup: Fry the Andouille sausage in a small pot until brown and crispy. Whisk in the maple syrup and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Keep warm until ready to pour over the blueberry waffles.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Ranch Dressing Base, Roasted Chicken, Hot Buffalo Sauce Swirl, Crumbled Bleu Cheese & Bacon, and Crispy Chicken Skin Cracklin's

We have really been on a pizza kick recently. And I really am not that big into pizza. I don't know why, but it's never technically been a meal that I would ever crave. But, I do know one thing, I love me some buffalo chicken pizza. And every buffalo chicken pizza up until this point was good, but this pizza I made finally did it justice. My pizza has all the traditional fixin's... ranch, bleu cheese, chicken, and buffalo sauce. However, I did decide to kick it up a notch by adding some crispy chicken skin cracklin's. I mean, what's better than some crispy chicken skin. It's like chicken bacon to me. And even though I have always loved buffalo chicken pizza, it was always missing something fried & crispy to resemble a real chicken wing. Well, my friends, these cracklin's are the answer. Sooooo amazingly good. Don't forget to garnish the pizza with some crumbled bacon and most importantly, fresh chives, which I think provide a nice herb-y component to this otherwise-decadent pizza. Obviously, you could leave off some of these ingredients to make it slightly easier to make, but trust me, don't. Just don't. We loved this pizza and it really perfectly resembles a basket o' buffalo wings at your favorite bar!! Enjoy :)
Over-the-Top Buffalo Chicken Pizza with all the Fixin's
Can you see the crispy chicken skin cracklin's? They are those gorgeous golden-brown nuggets!
A Must: Garnishing with Fresh Minced Chives
For the Roasted Chicken Breasts:
2 Chicken Breasts, Skin On & Bone In (reserve the chicken skin)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Crispy Chicken Skin Cracklin’s:
Reserved Chicken Skins, Partially Cooked & Dried
Vegetable Oil, For Frying

For the Buffalo Chicken Pizza:
Homemade Pizza Dough
Roasted Chicken, Cut into Cubes
Homemade Ranch Dressing
2C Sharp Yellow Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1C Mozzarella, Shredded
Crumbled Bleu Cheese
Hot Buffalo Sauce, For Drizzling
Bacon Lardons, Cooked until Crispy
Crispy Chicken Skin Cracklin’s, Roughly Chopped
Fresh Chives, For Garnishing

1. For the Roasted Chicken Breasts: Wash and dry the chickens breasts and toss them in the olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast the chicken breasts in a pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Once they have cooled, remove the skin and press the skins between paper towels to dry them and remove excess moisture. Set these aside until you are ready to cook them.  Roughly cut the roasted chicken into cubes, and then set it aside.
2. For the Crispy Chicken Skin Cracklin’s: Heat some vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the pressed, dried chicken skins and cook until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Roughly chop the cracklin’s and set them aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and roll out half of the pizza dough as thinly as possible and place onto a large baking sheet (the other half can be used for another pizza).
4. Making the Pizza: Spread the homemade ranch dressing generously across the dough. Scatter the yellow cheddar on top of the ranch, and then sprinkle the top with the roasted chicken pieces. Lay the mozzarella on top of the chicken. Continue to layer on the crumbled bleu cheese and bacon lardons. Bake the pizza for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and immediately garnish the pizza with a buffalo sauce drizzle, chicken cracklin’s, and fresh chives. Cut into squares or slices and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Classic Blueberry Cobbler

I love cobbler. Cobbler of all sorts. I'm partial to blackberry myself, but peach is also an ultimate favorite. However, I decided to mix it up a bit and make a blueberry cobbler. Nothin' too fancy or crazy here, just good ole' classic blueberry cobbler. This cobbler topping is not cake-like at all, unlike a lot of other toppings that I had. So I liked the crunch that it provided. The blueberry filling was sweet yet tart, and pairs perfectly with vanilla bean ice cream, of course. Never forget the ice cream. This is the perfect summertime dessert, and you can really substitute any fruit that you like. Hope y'all are having a great week!! Enjoy :)

Classic Blueberry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
For the Blueberry Filling:
4C Fresh Blueberries
2T Honey
1 Lemon, Zested & Juiced
1T Cornstarch

For the Cobbler Topping:
1C AP Flour
½C Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Softened
¼t Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish with Pam. Set it aside.
2. For the Blueberry Filling: Place the blueberries, honey, lemon, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl and toss to combine & coated. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
3. For the Cobbler Topping: In a mixing bowl, using a pastry blender, combine the flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt together until it forms large clumps of dough. Refrigerate them for 1 hour.
4. Once the cobbler topping has chilled, crumble it over the fruit filling until completely covered. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Slow Roasted BLT Sandwiches with Fried Bread & Basil Mayo

I love a great, classic BLT sandwich. Especially when they are made with high-quality ingredients. But, this BLT recipe takes it to a'whole'nother level. I found the recipe from the amazing food blog, Not Without Salt. She has great recipes, and this is definitely one of my favorites. Instead of using fresh tomatoes, she slow-roasts the tomatoes and practically turn them into vegetable candy. It really intensifies the flavor. It's amazing. She also made a simple basil mayo that I kinda kicked up a bit with a few extra ingredients. I layered my sandwich with crispy thick cut bacon and fresh Bibb lettuce, and it was the perfect combination. And, as always, I fried the bread slices in the leftover bacon fact because it makes every sandwich that much better, trust me. So, go on make these BLT's... they truly are delicious!! Enjoy :)
Slow Roasted BLT Sandwiches with Fried Bread & Basil Mayo
Mmmm, slow roasted tomatoes...
Sliced & Ready to Eat!!

For the Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
Barely Ripe Roma Tomatoes, Sliced ¼inch Thick
Olive Oil
Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Basil Mayo:
½C Mayo
¼C Fresh Basil, Chopped
1 Small Clove of Garlic, Minced
1t Lemon Zest
Pinch of Sugar
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the BLT’s:
Prepared Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Prepared Basil Mayo
Bibb Lettuce Leaves
Thick Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cooked until Crispy (save the bacon fat)
Country Bread, Cut into Slices & Fried in Bacon Fat until Golden Brown

1. For the Slow Roasted Tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and lay the slices of tomato onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the fresh rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper. Bake for 4 hours until shriveled around the edge, but still maintaining their juice. If you have leftover tomatoes, simply cover the leftovers with olive oil and place into the refrigerator.
2. For the Basil Mayo: Mix together all of the ingredients until combined. Set it aside until ready to use.
3. For the BLT’s: Cook the bacon in a sauté pan until very crispy. Remove the bacon, saving the bacon fat. Fry the slices of bread in the leftover fat over medium heat until the bread slices are golden brown and crunchy, about 2-3 minutes per side. Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the basil mayo on each slice of bread, and then layer on the slow roasted tomatoes, crispy bacon, and Bibb lettuce. Enjoy.