SOUTH of the BORDER CHICKEN WINGS & BEER BAKED BEANS

SOUTH of the BORDER CHICKEN WINGS
GLAZE
1 cup BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
1/4  cup light corn syrup
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Juice of 1 lime

  • In a small saucepan whisk together the BBQ sauce, corn syrup, garlic powder and cumin.
  • Stir in green chiles and onions.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in lime juice and set aside.

WINGS
2 pounds chicken tenders
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick spray.
  • Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper on chicken pieces.
  • Arrange chicken in a single layer.
  • Bake 25-30 until cooked through.
  • Brush with glaze last 10 minutes.
  • Serve with remaining sauce and ranch for dipping.

JALAPENO RANCH (FOR DIPPING)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzey’s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving

BEER BAKED BEANS
1 pound small white beans, soaked over night, drained and sorted
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1 large shallot, sliced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 bottles Angry Orchard Summer Honey hard cider or Shocktop
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 KNORR chicken gel bouillon
Fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large skillet cook bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.
  • When bacon is done, add onions, shallot and garlic to bacon grease sauteing until opaque.
  • Whisk together the beer, hot water and bouillon. Add to onion mixture and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Add honey, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Add beans and return to a boil.
  • Transfer to baking dish baking until beans are tender and moisture is absorbed.
  • Stir in bacon just before serving.

My family added some of the extra wing sauce from above to the beans and LOVED it.

Three is Better Than One Muffins
The pot is on the stove and I have plenty of these muffins so come on over and visit a spell at Comfy Cook or My Sweet and Savory.
Three is Better Than One Muffins
Ingredients:
1/2 cup margarine, melted  (I used oil.)
1/2 cup Rice Dream or milk
1/2 cup Egg Beaters or 2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups combination of cranberries, blueberries and black berries
I used fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries and cranberries. Do not defrost until ready to use.
Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease or line 12 large muffin pans. There will be some left over to make a mini cake or two additional muffins.
In bowl, stir together the margarine, rice milk and eggs.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, 1 1/4 cups of sugar, baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture all at once.
Stir until blended. There will still be lumps. So not overmix.
Fold in the three kinds of berries.
Divide batter into prepared cups and sprinkle the remaining 4 teaspoons of sugar over the batter.  Another option is making a streusel with ground or chopped nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon and a slight amount of oil to make the streusel moist, not wet.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden. Check at 25 minutes.  The berries added moisture to the muffin and I think it needed more time than normal, for muffins.)
Piña Colada Dip – A taste of the Caribbean ala Year on the Grill

OK, you thought of it when you read the title, may as well go ahead and click the play button and hum along while you read the post…

I love food.  I love recipes and I love bloggers that put it out there everyday.  I am not the kind of person that writes about a recipe that fails, I will usually find something positive about that recipe that I can talk about with out bringing up negative aspects.  I am just a positive fun loving guy.
 
So, having said all that, when I do come across a recipe that will change my life… Well, my eating life anyway… I am often at a loss for words for how to convey how much a recipe DOES succeed at every level.  This is one of those recipes that is so simple, yet so perfect in every way…
 
Low calories
Very healthy
But best of all, incredibly tasty!
 
First, credit is due COOKING TIP OF THE DAY where I saw this recipe earlier in the week.  I happened to have had everything I needed handy and a variety of fresh vegetables suitable for Linda’s dip.  If you check original post of the recipe (HERE), you will read that Linda recommended this for fruit (pineapple, bananas, apples, etc.).  This would make a GREAT dessert.  But I used it as a substitute for vegetables.  Either way, I can not hype this treat too much…
 
here’s what I did…
 
1 low fat Vanilla Yogurt
2 TBS shaved Coconut (toasted)
1 TSP Flavored Rum (Pineapple, Coconut, Black Cherry, Banana or in this case… Mango)
Raw vegetables cut for dipping… Carrots, Celery, Bell peppers, Mushrooms… Whatever happens to be in your fridge).
 
Toast the coconut by placing a thin layer of coconut on a sheet of parchment paper.  I put this under the broiler for just 3-5 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, fine line between toasted and burnt.
 
Mix 1/2 the coconut with the rum and yogurt, add the remaining coconut on the top to look pretty.
 
Dip and serve and you will lick the bottom of the bowl.
 
I have eaten pretty good on the island since I have arrived.  My cooking, as well as two or three restaurants a week… No exaggeration, this is the best thing I have eaten on the island.
 
In fact, next night I made almost the same thing…
 
 
Except I made the dip with Black Cherry Rum… Yum!
 
 
And as an aside, I came across a store that sells those rotisserie cooked chickens.  You’ve seen them, most larger stores seem to have them these days, certainly Wal-mart, Sam’s Club, etc. sell them.  I just sliced a few hunks of meat and served that with the veggies and dip.  A wonderful lower cal dish (I know, i could have taken the skin off, but it tastes sooooo good!).
 
I actually have two asides… First, imagine this dip with a peppery hot spicy chicken wing.  heat and sweet, a great combination.
 
And second, even here on the island where everything is expensive, the whole COOKED and very tasty chickens are only $6 and a raw uncooked chicken is $9… Does anyone have a reason???
 
 
Don’t be afraid of the rum, there is only 1 teaspoon… Just enough to add a bit of za za zing.
 
Thanks Linda, GREAT recipe idea.
 
 
I have been on island now for nearly three weeks, and all is going very smooth.  I am updating three blogs now with my adventures.  One is a scrapbook type with almost no wording, and just a bunch of photos from my day.  Yesterday I went snorkeling out my back door (beach is only 30 yards away).  Come see my photos I took of all the pretty fishies… 

FISH EVERYWHERE! Snorkeling out my back yard

I also have a blog that is featuring more Caribbean food ideas.  Right now I am trying to greet my hard working wife at the door at the end of her hard day with different frozen drinks, so I have done several posts on them lately.  As well as restaurant reviews and exotic ingredients…

A Kansas Foodie in the Virgin Islands

 
And as always, 
 

Who knew it was that easy!
Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. As always, I was SO surprised to learn that I CAN COOK THAT!!!

Give me a little taste of home, and stop by the comment section. Let me know you won’t forget me while I am gone!

 
 
Oh, and one more update and question before I leave you all for a week –
 

Just in case you all think i am turning into a rummy since I landed, I have started (and kept up with) a 90 minute a day walk/explore the island, 10,000 aerobic steps a day diet (no change in food intake, but the theory is that if you walk 10,000 steps a day, you will lose weight).  I do not have a scale, but all the clothes I brought are fitting better.
 
But I do wonder, Does this Ass make my my Donkey look fat???  This was taken after I walked 3 miles ALL UPHILL to the highest lookout spot on the island.  the sweat stains were not photoshopped in.
 
See you all in a week!

 

Raspberry Streusel Muffins: Lovin’ From The Oven
Muffins are one of the easiest breakfasts to make.  You can make them ahead and freeze them, simply make them the night before or if you have the time, make them fresh in the morning.  Their flavor doesn’t diminish with early baking.  We got some raspberries on sale a month ago and froze them.  I brought one bag out this week and made these scrumptious muffins.  The tartness of the raspberries goes well with the sweetness of the streusel.  One helpful tip: make up a bunch of streusel and store it in a glass jar in your fridge.  It lasts a long time and saves you time when you want a fun topping on a cake, pie or muffin.
 Raspberry Streusel Muffins:
Muffins:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup raspberries
Topping:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp lemon peel
2 Tbsp melted butter
Glaze:(optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Mix all ingredients for muffins except the berries.  Fold in berries.  Fill muffin cups with batter.  Mix topping ingredients and crumble the topping over muffins.  Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Mix glaze ingredients and drizzle glaze on muffins after they have cooled 15 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen.
Come visit me at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker!
You say zabaglione, I say sabayon: Don’t call the whole thing off, Save Room for Dessert

Do you remember the song? Louis Armstrong and Fred Astaire both sang this romantic tune over the decades, and this dessert from the Joy of Desserts archives would be pretty to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day no matter how you pronounce it.

Whether you call this dessert zabaglione like the Italians, or sabayon like the French, it is the same classic dessert made with egg yolks and a sweet dessert wine. It only takes about 15 minutes to make and can be prettied up by serving in a glass with berries.

Italian Zabaglione or French Sabayon
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings
2 packages (6 ounces each) raspberries
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dry Marsala or other dessert wine

Divide berries between four 8-ounce dessert dishes or stemmed glasses.
Fill the bottom of a double boiler (or a saucepan with a metal bowl fitted snugly on top) with 1-2 inches of water or just below bowl. Bring water to a simmer.
Beat egg yolks and sugar in top of double boiler or bowl with an electric mixer or wire whisk until fluffy and light in color, about 5 minutes. Maintain water at a low simmer while beating.
Add Marsala, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuously beating until mixture forms very soft peaks, about 8 minutes.
Pour zabaglione mixture over berries and serve immediately.

Nutrition Per Serving: 238 calories, 4.79g total fat, 1.64g saturated fat, 3.39g protein, 37.47g carbohydrate, 209.78mg cholesterol, 2.04g fiber, 192mg sodium
Recipe and nutrition values from Driscoll’s, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)

Healthy tips:
* Substitute blackberries, blueberries or about 3 cups sliced, hulled strawberries
* Try a mixed berry zabaglione with some of all the above berries
* 1 cup of strawberries provides an amazing 93% of your day’s supply of Vitamin C
* 1 cup of raspberries and blackberries each provide 50% of your day’s supply of Vitamin C
* Blueberries have one of the highest antioxident values at 5,486 ORAC Value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) per cup

Happy St. Valentine’s Day,

Joy of Desserts

BREAD – And YOU can make That Loaf ala Year on the Grill

Greetings! Here’s another YOU Can Cook That post when it should be I can Cook that. BTW, hi again, Dave here fromMY YEAR ON THE GRILL. The resident cook in training. Today, I am addressing only one blogger out there (but I suspect there are other bloggers who have not baked a loaf of bread on their own). So this post is directed at Lea Ann of MANGOS CHILI and Z. However it is dedicated to all those “want to be” bread bakers out there.

Now, on my own site, I joke that I am a master baker. Truth is, I have about a dozen loafs of bread under my belt, several trays of rolls and I regularly make hamburger buns, but I am far from a master baker. But, as I have said before, whenever I tackle a project, I do a great deal of research. So what I lack in actual experience, I make up for in book learnin’. I think I can help Lea Ann with her bread baking issues.

Her first issue is that her loafs were chunk hard. In her words, a brick.

You see, she recently was gifted a Kitchenaid mixer. WHOO WHOO! what a great gift! HOWEVER, it has a flaw. The flaw is that Lea Ann believed it’s hype. While it is great for mixing, and with the “dough hook”, it advertises itself as doing the kneading for you; in my opinion, I am going to guess that the kitchenaid over kneaded the dough. Too much kneading will cause the bread to be too hard. So, one suggestion, let the dough mix in the kitchenaid, but do the kneading by hand.

Next, she suggests that the dough does not rise.

OK, a couple of solutions. First, are you premixing the yeast in water. Just a little so that it is dissolved does the trick. And, if you are (as you should), be sure that the water is only luke warm. Just a shade above skin temperature, but not uncomfortably warm. Pee warm if you will (but don’t ask me how I know how warm pee is). If the water is too warm, the yeast will die and nothing will rise. Book says about 105 degrees, but no more than 110.

But yeast dough does rise best in a warm area. I keep the heat turned down in the house while my wife is away at her inconvenient day job. So, I need to find the warmest spot in the house to set my dough in while it is rising. Especially on cold days, I like to preheat my oven while my bread rises, and I set the rising dough on top of the stove. With the dough covered, this is by far the warmest spot, and I always get a great rise out of the dough. OR, you can just let the dough rise longer. Dough will rise in a refrigerator if you leave it long enough. Just because the recipe says to let it rise an hour does not mean it will hurt to let it rise three hours.

Another suggestion for Lea Ann is to do a second rise. That is, to do the initial rise, take the dough and hit it hard with a fist. the dough will partially collapse again. then, form the dough into the final product (a dome, a loaf or rope… or whatever). Place the dough on the baking surface, and return to that warm spot and allow to rise again. This second rise will be the one that adds bubbles and tenderness inside the loaf (making it soft).

And finally, to get a more crisp crust, that seals in moisture, take a cup of ice and dump that into the bottom of your stove as the bread is baking (at the beginning of the bake only). The steam will help to seal the crust faster and keep the moisture inside the loaf.

OK, as I promised Lea Ann, I have a wonderful no fail recipe for bread. When hunting for a “standard” bread recipe, I asked for a bit of advice from my favorite blog buddy,Mary from ONE PERFECT BITE. I was a bit surprised when she explained that she does not have a recipe of her own, but uses one from another blogger. Surprised until I found the site of said blogger. These are the famous Moomie’s Buns (I dream of having someone name buns after me one day, but I digress). If you google “Moomie Buns”, you will find about 212,000 links. I initially blogged this on my own site when I made Hamburger buns. Now that I am posting here, you can count at least 212,002. ClickHERE to get to my post on hamburger buns.

So, Here’s my Moomie recipe…

� 1 c water
� 2 tbsp butter or margarine
� 1 egg
� 3 1/4 c. flour
� 1/4 c. sugar
� 1 tsp salt
� 3 tsp instant yeast

� Place all ingredients in your bread machine. Select dough. Allow to run cycle.

Now, I have heard that Lea Ann does not have a bread machine. when I learned that, I had already made my loafs for this post. But, it is easy to do what a bread machine does on the “dough cycle”. Just add all the ingredients together in youkitchenaid bowl. Mix until it just forms a ball. Do not over mix.

Then, knead the dough into a ball shape, coat with a bit of oil and allow to rise for at least an hour, until it has doubled in size.

Punch the ball and allow it to collapse a bit (this is all a bread machine does on “dough cycle”).

� Dump out onto lightly floured surface. form into bread shape, or cut and form into bun shape. Place on greased cookie sheets or your bun pans, cover; rise about 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes til golden. Cool on wire racks.
I cut them into two loaf size, a little on the flat size, I was going to make Cajun Po’Boy sandwiches, so wanted that size.

OK, in the spirit of the original recipe, i made a few additions…

I added…

1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
and for an extra kick,
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes!

This recipe is wonderfully adaptable. Add fresh herbs, a little cheese or what have you, and it should work fine. I never make the same loaf twice.

I also brushed the bread with some melted butter prior to baking and sprinkled some onion and garlic flakes on top of the loafs.

I bake bread on a cookie sheet, on parchment paper. Works great for me.

I wanted to include a picture of the ice cubes in the bottom of my oven as the bread was first going into the preheated oven.

It sounds so odd, but it does work to have some steam in the oven.

Lea Ann… You can do this, this recipe, this process has never failed me. There is something primal in making your own bread, knowing what you want to do with it and shaping it accordingly. Once you have some success, you will go crazy as a baker. ALMOST as satisfying as cooking over live fire… but just almost.

And look what I CAN COOK…

Shrimp Po’Boys, and plantain fries…

Come take a look at my site today for the Plantain recipe. and I will post the Po’Boyrecipe tomorrow on my site…

See you all next Thursday!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL.

Strawberry cream pie recipe; Surprise your Valentine

Here’s one very tasty strawberry cream pie recipe from my Joy of Desserts archives. It’s a great dessert to surprise your Sweet Valentine — notice how the strawberries are hulled into a heart shape — or you could bake this pie in a heart-shaped plate, too.

It’s quite easy with a store bought pie crust and a basket of strawberries. All you’ll have to prepare is the custard, but if you want to cut corners there too, you could always just replace it with store bought pudding.

Another variation would be to prepare in small tartelette molds. You’ll love this recipe so much, you’ll want to enjoy it all during strawberry season.

STRAWBERRY CREAM PIE

4 Egg yolk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon of natural flavoring
such as vanilla, lemon, rum, or
Grand Marnier1 Prebaked pie or tart shell
1 Basket of strawberriesGently beat the yolks, add sugar and salt. Slowly bring to almost a boil while stirring. DO NOT BOIL or it will curdle. Add flavoring and let cool.

While you are waiting for the custard to cool, wash and cut your strawberries in halves. Gently stir in a few teaspoons of sugar to macerate (marinate for fruits). When cool, add the custard to your favorite pre-baked pastry shell. Line the macerated strawberries all around on top of the custard, covering it completely. Pour all sugar syrup over the top.

Voila! Simple as Strawberry Pie!

Joy of Desserts

Flourless Chocolate Apricot Mini Cakes
At Sweet and Savory, I am posting flourless recipes throughout the month of February. I have started off with chocolate brownies and chocolate cakes and later will go to some delicious cookies. Since, I am busy creating these goodies, I thought I should share one recipe here, for all Our Krazy Kitchen fans.

 

I have found that flourless cakes, brownies and cookies seem to taste better than their counterparts with flour. I decided to bake a number of flourless recipes and started with this one and I like it, a lot. It seems to be creamier than flour cakes. The chocolate flavor shines out to its fullest.

Flourless Chocolate Apricot Mini-Cakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup shredded or chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa

3 eggs

6 dried apricots

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line 10 muffin cups.

In microwave or in a double boiler on stove, melt chocolate and margarine. In microwave, check it every 30 seconds, mixing it, each time.

When melted, remove from heat and stir until combined.

In medium bowl, mix cocoa and sugar.

Add eggs and whisk until combined.

Add chocolate mixture and whisk again, until combined.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 the way up.

Cut dried apricots into halves or thirds and place on top of each mini-cake. Push in slightly.

Bake at 375 degrees for 17 minutes.

Cool and serve. I ate the first one warm and it was so good so you may not want to cool them.

 

What makes this so good is the contrast of the tangy apricot and the sweet chocolate. Also the textures contrast which is a bonus. You could probably make this with any fruit, you like with chocolate. At first, I was going to use frozen peaches but I was afraid there was to much liquid and it would ruin the mini-cakes. Strawberries would be great. I love chocolate covered strawberries.
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner – Joanne of Eats Well With Others

So I have to admit. I’m a little nervous. This is my first time.

Cue awkward silence.

AS A GUEST BLOGGER!

But have no fear, I will try to make the experience as pleasurable and painless as possible. I am Joanne from Eats Well With Others, a first year MD/PhD student from NYC who spends most of her time avoiding studying by either (a) running or (b) cooking. These may seem like two antithetical things but they are actually one vicious cycle. I run so that I can eat what I want. And then I cook so that I can eat to fuel the running. I also like taking long walks on the beach and watching sunsets. And am just looking for someone who will make me laugh. Just thought I’d throw that in there in case this paragraph didn’t sound enough like a singles ad.

So let’s see, what do I cook? When people used to ask me this I always used to say, “Well, I can do just about anything with a sweet potato.” Which used to be very true and still is to some extent (sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables), except that they have kind of been usurped by winter squash. And pasta. When you train for a marathon, you need to eat a lot of pasta. So that is by far what has been dominating my blog for the past five months. In general, though, I cook mostly vegetarian dishes, not necessarily by choice but mainly because I am a med student on a budget and it is cheaper this way. I use a TON of vegetables in my cooking and I truly believe that no meal is complete without them. I have also recently started baking. Which is infinitely more of a challenge than cooking is. But the end products are usually equally tasty.

Anyway, that’s enough about me. Let’s get on to our feature presentation!

Whenever I go home to visit my parents and siblings, I am the one who does the cooking. Mainly because if I don’t take the reins, we end up eating Chinese take-out at 10PM. And no one wants that. Except, of course, for my brother who is a stereotypical 20-year-old boy and could happily live off of Tex-Mex and General Tso’s Chicken for the rest of his life. Until his metabolism catches up with him. But that is another grievance for another day.

This dish is one of the few successes that I have had when cooking for my family. They are very picky eaters and so every dish I make is scrutinized heavily for spice content (my dad hates almost all herbs and spices. He can handle basil in small quantities. It is a situation. We are working on it) as well as for veggie content.

Two things that they do like, however, are chicken and potatoes. I’ll take what I can get.

Thus, I present you with grilled Hoisin chicken breasts, accompanied by a side of maple mustard glazed potatoes and string beans. I hope they are as celebrated in your kitchen as they were in mine.

Thank you to the ladies of the Krazy Kitchen for gracing me with the opportunity to share these with you all! Enjoy!

Grilled Hoisin Chicken Breasts
Serves 4

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 lb chicken breasts

1. Whisk together all of the ingredients except for the chicken in a small bowl. Heat up your grill.

2. Arrange chicken on a platter and brush lightly with the hoisin sauce mixture. Turn to the other side and coat as well. Place the chicken on the grill and cook, occasionally brushing with sauce and turning every 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Maple Mustard Glazed Potatoes and String Beans
Serves 6, adapted from Vegan With A Vengeance

2 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 lb string beans
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 400.

2. Arrange the vegetables in a 9×13 casserole dish. In a mixing bowl, stir together all of the other ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and mix until everything is coated. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss everything. Turn down the oven to 350 and cook, uncovered, for another 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss again, and cook for another 25 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – MY YEAR ON THE GRILL with a Vegetable and Cheese GALETTE with Balsamic Vinegar
WHAT AN HONOR, to be invited to be a guest blogger on this wonderful site! I was only introduced to this site last week when Chris from NIBBLE ME THIS hosted the first “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” guest post, and I have really enjoyed everything about it. I love the idea of blogging to begin with, but to have such a group band together to create a whole better than the parts is amazing. Thanks to Tamy and the girls for letting me be a part of this. I called in a couple of favors to thank not only the active participants on the site, but also the readers and followers of the site for something special… A wonderful giveaway contest for one of Oprah’s favorite things… Read on, details about the contest to follow at the end.
My name is Dave, and I am a hairy knuckled neanderthal fire cooker. I love to grill, smoke and use my backyard for entertaining (although the Kansas winter is setting in, so my entertaining is starting to move indoors. My site is called MY YEAR ON THE GRILL, and I certainly invite any and all of you to come take a look by clicking HERE! But today, I am going to abandon my grill and honor all these wonderful bloggers by stepping out of my comfort zone and publish an original recipe I created as part of a dinner party I recently hosted for my wife’s boss. Lots of pressure on making that dinner work (I likened the pressure to hosting your first Thanksgiving for your Mother-in-Law). I did extensive research, found a few ideas, and adapted them to fit my likes and came up with…
Vegetable and Cheese GALETTE
with Balsamic Vinegar
Galette, or more properly Breton galette, a fancy name for flat, round or free form crusty cake. Kind of tart thingies (pretty fancy word for a hairy knuckled Neanderthal, but I was putting on airs for my wife’s boss… and you all).

Here’s what I did…

As always, assemble the ingredients first. Nothing worse than getting ankle deep in the cooking process and finding out you are short something crucial. I needed…

For the Cornmeal Dough, BTW, this recipe makes 4 Galettes.

1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons top quality olive oil
1/4 cup ice water

Combine the ingredients and mix well. The dough needs to be chilled well in order to work for the look you want. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Which gives me time for a commercial about the giveaway contest…
OK, here’s the advertisement for the
giveaway contest to come…
I was recently contacted by O. No, not “that” O, but O OLIVE OIL . O Olive Oil is the original maker of organic CITRUS-CRUSHED Olive Oils and premium Barrel aged Wine Vinegars. I was given a sampling of their extensive product line, and was asked to “PLAY – ENJOY – WRITE/BLOG AWAY”. Well, while waiting for my shipment to arrive, I took a look at their website for details about their company… Oh My is all I can say. These are artists in the art of oil press and aging vinegar. For details, click this link for the process an Abruzzese olive mill that crushed lemons along with the olives creates. From the humble beginnings, they have been recognized by OPRAH (yeah, that O), Bon Appetit, Gourmet, magazines, as well as Good Morning America, The Tyra Banks Show and the New York Times as perfect products! While you can make this recipe with generic products, the top quality artisan products that O OLIVE OIL company provide really made this recipe sing… And keep reading, as you will get a chance to win some of these as well!

I used about a tablespoon of the extra virgin oil to saute sweet onion rings. When using EVO, be careful not to get the oil too hot, or the oil will burn.

I then added some green pepper rings and let these simmer for about 15 minutes to caramelize.

And now, get the dough out of the fridge, and separate into four equal parts. The dough separates easily, and you want a well floured surface to work on. work the dough into small thin circles, about 6 inches across.
Put them on a parchment paper sheet, or a well greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little EVO on the circles, flip over and sprinkle a little more on the other side.

Add the stuffings… For these, I used …

Onion rings Green bell pepper rings sliced cherry tomatoes diced mushrooms(but I saved a presentation mushroom slice to put on the top of each)

Before closing up, I added some grated fresh provolone cheese. I like using provolone to cook with, it not only tastes great but it melts better than most cheeses.

I was making this a vegetarian dish. But you can make the same thing with any number of ingredients, including bacon (everything tastes better with bacon), sausage, peperoni… squash, or any number of vegetable combinations. And as to cheese, imagine brie or goat cheese or fresh mozzarella or how about a good Stilton, blue cheese… This is a very versatile and adaptable for whatever you might have in mind, or what is left over in your pantry.

And now, sprinkle on some wonderful Balsamic Vinegar! I love balsamic, but not all is created equal. I like to have a bottle of really good stuff to use for specialty items or occasions like this.
Next, close up about one inch of the dough all around for that Galette look (instead of a pizza). BTW, I am not a fan of the texture of mushrooms, so I left them off mine (It’s good to be the cook).
Everyone else got that presentation mushroom slice put on the top. I then brushed on a little butter to make sure the edges would stay shut while cooking.
Just as I was putting in the oven, I topped with a little more grated provolone so that it would brown up nicely while cooking…

In a preheated oven at 375 degrees, for 45 minutes…

And Viola! I served this in place of a salad, as an appetizer. You could also make these larger, and if there happens to be a vegetarian in your midst and don’t want to hog tie them and force bacon down their throats, this would make an excellent vegetarian option. Also, as I was serving, I drizzled a little more fresh Balsamic Vinegar on the top, with a little splashing to one side of the tart (maybe a tablespoons worth total per Galette). Nice little extra taste, and for presentation. The holidays are coming up, those inconvenient vegetarians are out there, and need to be treated with the same respect you show your fowl (eating) guests. This is a nice little item to have ready, prep time takes about 2 hours (because of the dough temperature issue), but well worth it.

Bon Apetite!

OK… Contest time…
3 ways to win!
3 prizes to win!!!

I LOVE these products. Quality will show, and I was inspired to create something special with them. O Olive Oil has been very generous in offering not just one gift, but three combinations of their oils/vinegars. So, I will be offering three ways to win…

First, I will be running a similar contest at MY YEAR ON THE GRILL, (which you can reach by clicking HERE)! Follow the link, follow the rules about posting a comment on that site and you double your chances.

Next, on this site, just follow the link I am posting to the O OLIVE OIL HOME PAGE(that you can reach by clicking HERE). Surf around and see what they are all about. take a look at their about us page, and especially enjoy their “crush” page where you can really see the quality and difference they put into their product. Finally, head to their products page and follow the links on the side to see all the different items they have for sale. then come back here and just make a comment about which is your favorite product. Everyone who leaves a comment on this page listing a product that O OLIVE OIL sells will receive an entree into the contest/ I will assign each entry a data base number, and use WWW.RANDOM.ORG to pull a virtual number out of a hat and let you know who won! This contest is open to US and Canada only (sorry to the international readers, but the shipping is prohibitive). You can get a second entree if you become a “follower” to this site (those little pictures of faces at the middle of the lefthand sidebar). If you are already a follower, just drop me that message in the comment section. And finally, if you post a note on your blog advertising OUR KRAZY KITCHEN and the contest, you will receive 5 additional entrees. Be sure to leave a comment so I know to follow and see what your blog is all about!

One more time, here is what the winner wins… a bottle of each of the EVO and Balsamic I used to make this recipe…

O extra virgin olive oil This fine Extra Virgin Olive Oil is our house blend of our favorite oils from around the world. Small family farms from around the Mediterranean and California. Hand blended. Spain for fragrance. Greece for richness. Tunisia for mystery. Italy for love. And California for taste. A house favorite for everyday use. $9

AND a bottle of…

O california balsamic vinegar. The beloved balsamic vinegar, California style. Aged in the traditional way in oak wood. Hand-crafted in small batches right here in Sonoma. Rich, sweet, round & smooth flavor. Our obsession with quality and healthy ingredients led us back to California. Excellent brushed over grilled chicken with rosemary and black pepper. Drizzle over fresh strawberries or pears. Great in vinaigrettes and sauces. $12

Good luck to all!

Oh wait… that’s just two ways to win (comment here, comment on MY YEAR ON THE GRILL, I promised a third…

How about a …

RECIPE CONTEST!

The good folks at O OLIVE OIL COMPANY want to see what you might do with their oils or vinegars. Now, you do not have to list an original recipe, simply comment here a link to something you have posted in the past. It can be a magazine recipe, original or great grandma’s recipe. It can even be just an idea for something you might like to try. I will forward all these ideas to the vice president of O OLIVE OIL and he will decide which recipe he would most like to see made with any of their products. Please leave these comments separate from the comments you made above so I can keep track. The comments must be attached to this post, and are only open to residents of the US or Canada. Again, no need to post the recipe on my comments page, just send me a link to what you have posted previously. If you have not posted, you have a week to post and get the link to me. Or, you can comment with just your idea of what you would like to do with their oils.vinegars. One hint I should pass on from O -remember these are mostly finishing oils and do not do well when heated—the citrus portion tends to dissipate under certain temps. Though our blood orange does well on roasted fowl and grilled seafood so often it depends on the recipe/use. Jalapeno lime does great on grilling veggies so…depends. That’s what makes it fun to experiment. The vinegars, of course, are another thing. They are great for reductions, for punching up soups/stews, adding flavor texture to most any thing. Experiment. Play. Enjoy.Feel free to submit a recipe post on this site AND submit a recipe on my home, MY YEAR ON THE GRILL site. There will be only one recipe contest winner from both sites, but this way you can enter twice to double your chances. If you have any questions, drop me a note. The contest closes at midnight, next Friday, November 13th, and a winner will be announced over the weekend. It will take just a few days longer to announce the winner of the recipe contest…

Oh yeah, the winner of the recipe contest will receive a gift box of your choice of one of the seasonal box collections…

  • fall collection O Zinfandel Vinegar, O Blood Orange Olive Oil, O Porto Vinegar. Imagine roasted beet salads with chunks of insalata ricotta cheese. $38 value
or
  • spring collection O Ginger Rice Vinegar, O Jalapeño Lime Olive Oil, O Citrus Champagne Vinegar. Early spring fish tacos with crunchy slaw will sing with these exotic flavors. Crumble feta cheese in there for the Wow! $38 value
or
  • summer collection O Champagne Vinegar, O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, O Pomegranate Vinegar. Perfect for late summer heirloom tomato & garden lettuces. $38 value
or
  • winter collection O Sherry Vinegar, O Ruby Grapefruit Olive Oil, O Porto Vinegar. The Ruby and Porto in this gift set will dazzle home chefs gathered around warm fires with crusty bread & brie. $38 value

And now… Good luck to everyone! And thanks for letting me come and play on your site… it was fun!