Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bacon Fried Potato Salad Bites with Fry Sauce

How many times after picnics, BBQs or tailgates have you been left with a container, half filled, of potato salad? 
Growing up in the South, there's not a party or BBQ without potato salad on the menu! Trying to use up the leftovers the next day, I came up with this dish. I pump up my potato salad with bacon and then deep fry it! What's more Southern than deep fried party food?! Dip it into the delicious fry sauce and you've got an appetizer or side the whole crowd will love!
Bacon Fried Potato Salad Bites with Fry Sauce
6 cups cubed, peeled Idaho potatoes
1 Tablespoon salt
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped fine
1/3 cup minced celery
1/3 cup sliced green onion
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend
¼ cup sweet pickle relish
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup mayonnaise
6 cups vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups panko bread crumbs

For the Fry Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of the salt, and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to hot pot to dry.  

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the chopped egg, bacon, celery, green onion, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, pickle relish, mustard, parsley and mayonnaise. Add the potatoes and stir, slightly mashing, until the mixture is evenly blended and there is an equal amount of smooth and cubed potatoes.

Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, create small balls about 1 heaping Tablespoon each, of the potato salad mixture and line them up evenly on the cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until the balls are firm enough to roll.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a large, high sided pot over medium-high heat, fitted with a candy thermometer.  
To set up the breading station, pour the remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt and the flour into a small pie plate and whisk it together. Whisk together the eggs and water in another pie plate and the panko in a third plate. Set aside for later use.

Remove the tray of the potato salad bites from the freezer, and handling them carefully, dredge first in the flour, then egg mixture and finally in the panko mixture. Place the breaded balls in the hot oil carefully and fry for 3-5 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel lined tray.

To make the Fry Sauce, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, sriracha and apple cider vinegar in a small mixing bowl.

Serve immediately with dipping sauce. Makes 45 bites

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bush’s BBQ Tex-Mex Tostadas

Bush's Beans hosted a "Best Darn Backyard BBQ" Contest and when I saw that the prize was a Big Green Egg package, I knew I had to try to win one for Louis!
Well, it's my (and his) lucky day- I was chosen as one of their regional grand prize winners and pretty soon we'll have a Medium Big Green Egg Grill, an Egg Nest, set of two Egg Mates, a 10 pound bag of lump charcoal, an ash tool, grill gripper and a box of charcoal starters!
My kids (and I) love tostadas. They're delicious and really quick to throw together on a busy weeknight. This is my Tex-Mex BBQ twist on tostadas. I piled grilled fajita chicken and smoked cheddar cheese on top of a crispy tostada shell. Instead of traditional re-fried beans, I made BBQ re-fried beans using Bush’s Grillin’ Beans Steakhouse Recipe and drizzled the whole thing with a delicious jalapeno cilantro ranch sauce! If you have any leftover sauce, use it as a salad dressing- you won't be sorry! 

Bush’s BBQ Tex-Mex Tostadas
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons oil
1 (1.12 oz) packet Fajita seasoning
¼ cup jarred sliced pickled jalapenos
½ cup ranch dressing
1 cup cilantro leaves
10 crispy tostada shells
8 ounces shredded smoked cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups shredded iceberg lettuce
 
Place the chicken, oil and fajita seasoning in a large zip top bag. Massage the seasoning into the meat to evenly coat it and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Place the pickled jalapeno slices, ranch dressing and cilantro in a blender and puree until smooth. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Pre-heat a grill over high heat. Place the chicken on the grill, smooth side down for 5 minutes. Flip and continue to grill for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Place the Bush’s beans in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the beans into a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the beans, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until heated through and thickened.

Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Spread a heaping Tablespoon of the beans onto each tostada shell. Top with cheese, shredded chicken and lettuce. Drizzle with the cilantro sauce and serve immediately.
 Makes 10 tostadas.

 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Meaty Mushroom Frito Pie Burger

My second entry for The Mushroom Channel's Game Day Blend Contest is a mouthful! 
What goes better with Texas football than Frito Pie? 
Frito Pie Burgers, of course!
Their challenge is to create the best blended burger for your next football party or tailgate session using their method of blending:
"Create delicious, healthy meals with one simple ingredient – mushrooms. Research shows that people who eat mushrooms have better diet quality and increased intake of some nutrients, making them the go-to ingredient for delicious family meals. It’s never been easier to use mushrooms to transform meals, starting with those that may already be in the weekly rotation. Simply chop mushrooms to match the texture of ground meat – beef, pork, chicken, turkey (or tofu) – and use in place of some of the meat in recipes such as burgers, tacos, meatloaf, lasagna, pasta sauce, or meatballs to make every day dishes more healthful and delicious. This technique is referred to as The Blend."
Meaty Mushroom Frito Pie Burger
 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 pound lean ground beef
 cheddar cheese
5 bakery hamburger buns

Toppings Bar:
Mayo
Chili
Red onions
Sliced pickled jalapenos
Fritos

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Roughly chop mushrooms and add them to the hot oil. Cook for 10 minutes or until mushrooms have browned and softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 2-4 more minutes. Place sautéed mushrooms in a large mixing bowl and set aside to allow them to cool.
To the large mixing bowl with the chopped sautéed mushrooms, add the Worcestershire sauce, creole seasoning and ground beef. Mix thoroughly to combine and shape the meat mixture into 5 patties. Heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in the pan. Once oil is hot add patties to pan and cook 5-7 minutes or until a brown crust has formed on the underside of the patty. Flip burgers over and cook another 3 minutes.

Place cheese on each burger and continue to cook, until melted, for 2-4 minutes.
Toast the buns until nicely golden brown.

To assemble the burgers spread a thin layer of mayo on the top and bottom of each toasted bun half. Place a burger patty on each bun bottom and top with chili, onion, jalapenos and Fritos. Place the bun tops on each and serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

7 Layer Tex-Mex Mushroom Burger

I've had so much fun creating blended burgers for 
Their challenge is to create the best blended burger for your next football party or tailgate session using their method of blending:
"Create delicious, healthy meals with one simple ingredient – mushrooms. Research shows that people who eat mushrooms have better diet quality and increased intake of some nutrients, making them the go-to ingredient for delicious family meals. It’s never been easier to use mushrooms to transform meals, starting with those that may already be in the weekly rotation. Simply chop mushrooms to match the texture of ground meat – beef, pork, chicken, turkey (or tofu) – and use in place of some of the meat in recipes such as burgers, tacos, meatloaf, lasagna, pasta sauce, or meatballs to make every day dishes more healthful and delicious. This technique is referred to as The Blend."
My first entry took 7 Layer Dip and Blended Burgers and mashed them together. Cook the burgers, toast the buns and let your guests top theirs themselves while you sit back and enjoy the game!
7 Layer Tex-Mex Mushroom Burger
 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 pound lean ground beef
5 bakery hamburger buns

For the Toppings Bar:
 shredded cheddar cheese
re-fried beans
sliced avocado
sour cream
assorted salsas
diced red onion
pickled jalapenos
cilantro

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Roughly chop mushrooms and add them to the hot oil. Cook for 10 minutes or until mushrooms have browned and softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 2-4 more minutes. Place sautéed mushrooms in a large mixing bowl and set aside to allow them to cool.
To the large mixing bowl with the sautéed mushrooms, add the Worcestershire sauce, creole seasoning and ground beef. Mix thoroughly to combine and shape the meat mixture into 5 patties. Heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in the pan. Once oil is hot add patties to pan and cook 5-7 minutes or until a brown crust has formed on the underside of the patty. Flip burgers over and cook another 3 minutes.
Place cheese on each burger and continue to cook, until melted, for 2-4 minutes.
Toast the buns until nicely golden brown.
Set out the burgers, buns and assorted toppings and let your guests have fun making their own creations!





Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Apple-gato

It's finally fall! 
Which, in Texas, means nothing since it's still hot and it will be for quite some time. Every Halloween my kids come home from Trick-or-Treating and we have to peel them out of their costumes, since they're covered in sweat and sugar. 
One of my favorite treats this time of year is the Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks. I don't get them often, but it truly is like drinking an apple pie! Hot apple cider, cinnamon, caramel and whipped cream all combine to make a comforting, delicious drink.
Since Starbucks isn't cheap, and there isn't one close to my house, I decided to start making them myself and skip the ridiculous drive through price tag. While enjoying my copycat drink at home I started thinking about what would happen if I combined my Caramel Apple Cider with an affogato?! Affogato means drowned in Italian, and it is made by pouring a shot of hot espresso over scoops of vanilla ice cream.
My concoction takes cinnamon infused hot apple cider in place of the espresso and pours it over caramel gelato and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce! Decadent I tell you!
These are dead simple to put together but also look pretty impressive. If you want to serve these at a party, or before heading out to trick-or-treat, just keep the apple cider mixture in a crock pot (it'll make your house smell amazing as well) and let guests ladle the hot mixture over their gelato right before serving.
If you really want to be naughty, a shot of butterscotch schnapps is delicious mixed in as well!
Apple-gato
1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
2 Tablespoons jarred salted caramel sauce
4 cups caramel gelato

Place the apple cider and cinnamon stick in a small saucepot over medium-low heat. Bring the liquid up to a simmer and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.
While the cider is simmering, place the caramel sauce in a small shallow plate and holding the glasses upside down, dip the edges into the sauce.

Place about 3 scoops of gelato into each rimmed glass and pour about ¼ cup of the cinnamon infused cider in each glass. Serve immediately.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mann's Muffulettas

New Orleans is famous for the muffuletta- a delicious sandwich loaded with Italian cold cuts, cheeses and a marinated mixed olive salad. Growing up, I had my fair share of muffulettas from all over town, but it wasn't until I was in college that I found my favorite version. I was going to school at UNO and there was a hole in the wall daiquiri shop and cafe right down the street from school that did something I had never seen before- they toasted theirs! Every other place I had been served them cold, but once I tried their version with melty cheese and toasted bread that was soaking up all of the juices from the olive salad I was hooked!
Cooking Contest Central and Mann's is hosting a blogger recipe contest using their Broccoli Cole Slaw and my entry combines their delicious and healthy slaw mix with the classic flavors of a toasted muffuletta sandwich! The slaw is delicious on it's own, but it really gives a great crunch and texture to this sandwich!
Mann's Muffulettas
1 (12 oz) bag Mann's Broccoli Cole Slaw
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1/3 cup sliced green olives
2/3 cup chopped giardiniera (jarred mixed pickled vegetables)
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ciabatta rolls
18 ounces shaved deli ham
6 ounces slices soppressata
9 ounces sliced provolone cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a medium sized mixing bowl toss together the Broccoli Cole Slaw, sliced black and green olives, chopped giardiniera, Italian dressing and salt until well combined. Set in the refrigerator to chill.
Place the ciabatta rolls cut side up on a large cookie sheet. Top each roll bottom with equal amounts of ham, soppressata and then provolone cheese. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bun tops are lightly toasted.
Remove the tray from the oven, top each sandwich bottom with an equal amount of the muffuletta broccoli slaw and then the toasted sandwich top. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mexican Street Corn Panzanella Salad

If you've ever visited this blog you know I have a big crush on all things Mexican Street Corn. Charred sweet corn, fresh cilantro, creamy mayo, smoky chili powder and a hit of lime is a combo I can't get enough of! So when I saw that Concord Foods was having a summer recipe contest using their lime juice, it wasn't long before I knew what to create. Luckily, the judges loved it just as much as my family did and I won first place in the Salads and Sides category! A $200 gift card is on the way and I'm so excited to have won!
Mexican Street Corn Panzanella Salad
3 cups cornbread cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large ear of fresh corn
3 ounces crumbled cotija cheese
¼ cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup sliced green onion
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Concord Foods Reconstituted Lime Juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
 Lay the cornbread cubes on a small cookie sheet, and place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted.

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat. Grill the ear of corn until well charred, about 10 minutes. Remove the kernels from the cob and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add the cotija cheese, cilantro, green onion, mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder and salt to the corn and stir until it’s well mixed. Add the toasted cornbread cubes to the bowl and stir gently. Serve immediately.