Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Deep Fried Pickles)

Welcome friends to another Free Recipe Wednesday. I hope everyone has had a good week so far. Before I forget to mention it, my vacation starts this Saturday so there won’t be a Free Recipe Wednesday post next week. I will be in Progresso, Mexico that day and coincidentally it’s me and my wife’s 4 year anniversary that day as well.

So today’s recipe, Deep Fried Pickles, is something that I really enjoy but have never tried to make. I order these at just about any restaurant we go to that sells them. The only bad ones I’ve ever had were from Captain D’s but they’re like the fast food of the seafood world so I guess I shouldn’t have expected much. If you’ve never tried Fried Pickles you’re really missing out. I absolutely recommend you make these or at least try them next time you see them on a menu somewhere. The ones I’ve had in the restaurants are mildly spicy but if you decide to make these yourself and you don’t like spicy food just omit the cayenne pepper and hot pepper sauce. Enjoy and as always comments are welcome below.

Deep Fried Pickles

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vinegar-Based Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar Dill Pickle Slices
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Remove pickles from the jar and drain on a paper towel.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of the flour, buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, seasoning salt and garlic powder.
3. In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper.
4. Preheat oil in a deep fryer or pot to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C).
5. Dip drained pickles into wet egg mixture and then dredge them in the dry flour mixture.
6. Deep fry until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
7. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tip 1For a thicker coating, coat pickles in the dry mixture first then in the wet mixture and then in the dry mixture again.
Tip 2If you let the pickles rest in the dry mixture and dry out a little the coating will stay on better when you fry them.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Saucy Special!)

Welcome friends and food lovers to another edition of Free Recipe Wednesday. (10 days until vacation starts – had to throw that out there.) Today’s Free Recipe Wednesday is a special, delicious, one-of-a-kind, “saucy” edition. (See what I did there?) Anyway, below you will find recipes for 3 of the best sauces I’ve ever had. They all came as part of separate bigger recipes but the sauce alone was so good it deserved to have its own spotlight.

The first sauce is the Poblano Cream Sauce. I came across this sauce in a recipe for some sort of enchilada if I recall correctly. I’m not sure why but my brilliant culinary mind immediately thought “that would make an awesome pizza sauce” and oh man did it ever. I used this sauce just as you would pizza sauce on the bottom of the crust. I then topped it with seasoned grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, and then drizzled more of the sauce over the top. Simply amazing and a must try. I can think of many many other uses for this sauce as well.

The second sauce is a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. This sauce was part of a Bobby Flay recipe for Grilled Steak Quesadillas with Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese, Mushroom Relish, and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. For me the whole recipe was good but there was too much going on with too many flavors in my opinion. The Roasted Red Pepper Sauce was simply amazing though. I’m not a bell pepper fan but all of the ingredients, especially the honey, combined together makes this sauce so delicious. I enjoyed this sauce so much that I’ve even used it as a condiment on burgers and simple turkey and cheese sandwiches. Just like the Poblano Cream Sauce this sauce has a virtually unlimited amount of uses.

The third, and final, sauce is a Fish Taco White Sauce. This sauce, as the name would imply, is typically what you would find on fish tacos. I’m a huge fan of fish tacos and will order them anytime I’m at a restaurant that serves them. This sauce, in my opinion, is really what makes them so good. However, like the previous two sauces, this white sauce is so versatile that it could be used with so many other foods. One taste of this sauce and you’ll see what I mean.

Poblano Cream Sauce

  • 6 Poblano Chiles
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 pkg (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Shredded Cheddar Cheese

    1. Place chiles on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and broil 3 inches from heat 8-10 minutes on each side until charred.
    2. Place chiles in a heavy-duty zip-lock plastic bag, seal, and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins; peel and seed chiles.
    3. Combine chiles and broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
    4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; stir in chile mixture.
    5. Add cream cheese and cheddar cheese, stirring constantly.
    6. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until cheese is fully melted.

    Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

    • 2 Red Bell Peppers
    • 3 Tbsp Chopped Red Onion
    • 2 tsp Chipotle Puree
    • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
    • 2 Tbsp Honey
    • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste

    1. Place bell peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and broil 3 inches from heat 8-10 minutes on each side until charred.
    2. Seal bell peppers in a heavy-duty zip-lock plastic bag; let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins then peel and seed bell peppers.
    3. Combine bell peppers, onion, chipotle, lime juice, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
    4. With the motor running, slowly add oil and blend until emulsified.
    5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    Fish Taco White Sauce

    • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
    • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
    • 1 Lime, juiced
    • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
    • 1 teaspoon Minced Capers
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Dill Weed
    • 1 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

    1. In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise.
    2. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny.
    3. Season with jalapeno, capers, oregano, cumin, dill, and cayenne; stir well to combine.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Free Recipe Wednesday! (Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce)

    Hello again everyone!  Wednesday is finally here so the weekend is right around the corner.  That also means it's less than 3 weeks until my wife and I go on our 4 year anniversary cruise to Progresso and Cozumel, Mexico.  We're cruising out of New Orleans so we'll be there one day before the cruise. We're planning to eat at Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro for dinner and we will of course be going to Cafe Du Monde for their awesome Beignets and Chicory Coffee.  I will definitely be taking pictures everywhere we eat in NOLA as well as on the cruise and in Mexico so I will share when we get back.

    Now on to today's Free Recipe Wednesday.  I watched Giada De Laurentiis make this dish on her Food Network show "Everyday Italian" a few years ago and have never got around to trying it.  I remember it looked so delicious and so easy to make so I'm not sure why I haven't tried it yet.  It might be because Saffron is the most expensive spice on the market, although I'm pretty sure it's really not that bad.  So what is "scallopine" you ask?  I asked myself the same thing and decided to look it up.  "Scallopine", often times spelled "scallopini", is a sauteed cutlet (usually veal or poultry) that has been pounded thin and coated with flour.  It's apparently a pretty simple technique that adds a little something extra to sauteed chicken.  Let me know if you give this recipe a try and what you thought about it.  If I get a chance to make it soon I'll try to remember to post an update.  As always, please feel free to leave comments below.

    Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce

    • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 1 pound Chicken Breasts
    • 2 Shallots, sliced
    • 1 clove Garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup White Wine
    • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
    • 1/4 teaspoon Saffron Threads
    • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
    • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    • 3 tablespoons Chopped Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley
    • Flour for coating chicken

    1. Place the flour in a shallow dish.
    2. Gently pound the chicken breasts out to an even thickness; place each chicken breast into the flour and lightly coat each side.
    3. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. 
    4. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. 
    5. Cook the chicken until golden and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer the chicken to serving plate and tent with foil to keep warm. 
    6. Turn the heat to medium; add the shallot and the garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.
    7. Deglaze the pan with the white wine; using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and cook until the wine is almost evaporated.

    8. Add the chicken broth and saffron threads; bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes. 
    9. Add the cream, salt, and pepper; stir to combine and simmer for 1 minute to blend the flavors. 
    10. Pour the sauce over the chicken; sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Free Recipe Wednesday! (Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos)

    Hello again friends! Is it really Wednesday again already? The weeks just seem to fly by these days yet the weekends never come fast enough and never last long enough do they? So this week's Free Recipe Wednesday is going to be a good one. My wife and I make taquitos at least once a week, mainly because they're delicious but also because corn tortillas are gluten free and my wife is allergic to gluten. This recipe calls for flour tortillas but I'm certain they'll be just as delicious with corn tortillas. We usually cook up ground beef with taco seasoning and cheese for cheesy taco taquitos but lately we've been trying other fillings because taquitos are such a versatile food. So far we done shredded chicken with cheese as well as breakfast sausage with cream cheese (super delicious!) in addition to our standard taco filling. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas on what to use for fillings so when I came across this recipe a couple of days ago on one of the many cooking sites I visit I knew I had to share it this week. It looks amazingly delicious from the pictures and I honestly can't wait to try them. I hope you all enjoy this one. Give it a try and drop me a comment below to let me know what you thought of them.

    Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos

    • 3 cups Cooked Shredded Chicken
    • 6 oz Cream Cheese, softened
    • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
    • 1/2 cup Salsa
    • 1 1/2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
    • 1 1/2 cups Chopped Baby Spinach, stems removed
    • (6-inch) Flour Tortillas or Corn Tortillas
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Vegetable or Canola Oil

      1. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, cheddar and spinach; season with salt and pepper to taste.
      2. Add 2 spoonfuls of the chicken mixture across the center of a tortilla; roll up and set seam side down on a platter.
      3. Repeat step 2 until all the tortillas are filled and rolled.
      4. Add enough oil to a large skillet to generously cover the bottom of the pan; heat on medium to medium-low heat.
      5. Cook taquitos in batches, turning to brown each side; remove to paper towels to drain.
      6. Serve with your choice of dunking sauce.

      NOTE: If using corn tortillas do not roll them all up in advance. Your corn tortillas will begin to crack and fall apart before you're ready to cook them. Instead, lay out 3 or 4 at a time on a plate and roll them up just before placing them in the oil.