Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bourbon Banana Walnut Bread

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I love making home made bread occasionally and this one really is a winner. The flavors are nice and it’s great as a snack, dessert or breakfast. I’ve also thought about making these a mini loaf in Christmas baskets instead of added sweets like cookies. Either way it’ll be

Bourbon Banana Walnut Bread

(Adapted from Life Currents)

Makes a 9x5 loaf, or 8 servings

 

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1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon fine grain salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs lightly beaten
2 very ripe bananas mashed
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon bourbon

 

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan, and set aside.


Whisk the dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using a sturdy fork or in a Kitchen-aid until it’s lightened in color and texture.

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Mix in the flour mixture until well blended and the consistency of brown sugar.

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Gradually beat in the eggs.

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Fold in the mashed bananas, walnuts, and bourbon.


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Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350° F for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely.


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Monday, December 4, 2017

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Caramelized Onions

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Goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses and combined with caramelized onions you can’t go wrong. I think if I made this dish again I would stuff it with it like instructed and then come up with a balsamic sauce on top, because it was almost too much cheese on cheese. Overall full of flavor and really yummy!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Caramelized Onions

(Adapted from A Dish of Daily Life)


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2 tablespoons of butter

2-3 onions, chopped (I used vidalia)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I use a fig balsamic that I love)

8 oz log of goat cheese

2 lbs of chicken tenderloins

1 large or jumbo egg

splash of milk

panko bread crumbs for crusting

oil or more butter for pan frying

1/4 cream (optional, if you decide to make a sauce with the leftover goat cheese)


Caramelizing the onions:


Melt your butter over medium heat.


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Add your onions to the pan; stir to coat.


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Check on your onions every 10 minutes or so and give them a stir; lower the heat if you need to.


At around 50 minutes, add 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar. Continue to stir the onions for a few more minutes.

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Remove from heat and let cool.

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Goat cheese and caramelized onion mixture:


Once the caramelized onions have cooled, combine the onions with an 8 oz log of goat cheese. Mix well.


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Chicken


Whisk together your egg and a splash of milk.


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Place a couple tablespoons of the goat cheese mixture on each tenderloin. Be as generous as you can without making it too difficult to roll.


Once your chicken is rolled, dip it in the egg and milk mixture, then coat with bread crumbs. Set aside until all your tenderloins are rolled.


When you're ready to start cooking, heat enough oil or butter to coat your pan and start pan frying the chicken. Once they are golden brown, remove from heat. You'll be doing these in batches; add more oil or butter as needed.


Finish cooking the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees until they are cooked all the way through. Chicken should register 165 degrees to be considered done.


Sauce (optional)


When your chicken is ready for the dinner table, take any leftover of the goat cheese mixture and whisk together with 1/4 cream over low heat. Once the goat cheese has liquefied, spoon over your chicken.


*If you know you aren't going to want the sauce, you might want to consider adding another lb of chicken tenderloins and making extras for leftovers.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Eddie V’s Crispy Cashew Calamari

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We LOVE Eddie V’s, and one thing we always get as an appetizer is the calamari. I found a news article where they posted the recipe and I knew I had to try it!! It comes out really good and the sauce is beyond amazing. It almost makes too much sauce so cutting in half would work better. I just frozen half of it so I’ll have it ready next time.

Eddie V’s Crispy Cashew Calamari

(Adapted from Eddie V’s)

 

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1 lb ¼ inch sliced calamari

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup seasoned flour (salt and pepper)

 

Mix the buttermilk with the calamari and let sit for 30 minutes in the fridge


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Vegetable mixture

¼ cup julienne carrots

¼ cup sliced green onions

2 chili peppers

¼ cup mung bean sprouts

¼ cup cashews

 

Kung Pao sauce

1 qrt-fish stock

½ cup dry sherry

1 cup soy sauce

½ cup sugar

½ cup sliced ginger

1 cup rice vinegar

½ cup sesame oil

½ cup sriracha sauce

1 tbl salt

½ cup cornstarch


Bring all ingredients to a boil, simmer 5 minutes.


Thicken with cornstarch.


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Strain through fine mesh strainer.


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Heat canola oil in pot to 350 degrees.


Toss the calamari with the seasoned cornstarch and place in the fryer until golden brown.


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Heat sauté pan up with 2 tbl of canola oil and gently sauté the vegetables (keep them crisp)


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Toss the calamari and vegetables together and split between two plates, pour a ladle full of sauce over each plate or as desired.


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto

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If I’ve said it once I’ll say it 100 times. Risotto is a labor of love, but let me tell you this is the dish that wows people and changes to whole meal! We honestly couldn’t get enough of this dish and where fighting over who gets the leftovers. Yes, it’s that good….so good my kid had a mini meltdown and I was just savoring every bite blocking out the tantrum going on in the back ground.  Life…..changing!

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto

(Adapted from How Sweet it is)

 

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1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1 1/3 cups dry white wine

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons brown butter

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs: sage, parsley + rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, combine chopped sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and smoked paprika, tossing well to coat.

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Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, tossing every 8-10 minutes.

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Remove and mash until pureed (or you could use a blender or food processor - I just used a potato masher), then set aside.

[Note: while the potatoes are roasting you can do other things, like cook the bacon or chop the fresh herbs to get it out of the way.]

 

Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add chicken or vegetable stock. Heat until hot. If it begins to boil, turn down so it is no longer boiling.


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Heat a larger saucepan or even a dutch oven over medium heat. Add in remaining olive oil and butter (not the brown butter), then add shallots with a pinch of salt.


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Stir to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft, then add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase heat slightly and add rice, stirring to coat.


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Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring 2-3 times until the rice is translucent and begins to toast.


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Reduce heat to medium-low and add in wine.


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Continue to stir as the rice absorbs the wine. When most of it is absorbed, add in about 1/3 of the warm chicken/vegetable stock. Repeat the process, continuously stirring until the stock is absorbed, then add another 1/3. Repeat until all of the stock is used and absorbed and the rice is cooked, making sure to take a spoonful and taste test. The whole process will take about 20-25 minutes. If the rice is still too chewy and dense, heat a bit more liquid and add it again, stirring. The rule I go by is to add enough liquid just to cover the very top of the risotto.


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Once the rice is cooked to your liking, reduce heat to low and stir in about 3/4 cup the sweet potato puree.


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Take a few minutes and really stir so it is well-absorbed.


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Stir in parmesan cheese and brown butter, mixing to combine.


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Taste and season additionally if desired, but remember that you are going to add bacon on top!


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To serve, place the risotto in a bowl and top with some additional cheese, a sprinkling of herbs, the crumbled bacon and then more herbs and cheese if desired. Serve immediately!

 

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