Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Saucy Southern Mama and a Giveaway!

Have you ever had fried potato salad?
I never had before, but let me tell you, it's the perfect addition to this burger! I made a standard potato salad, added Champagne Honey Mustard to the dressing, rolled it in panko and deep fried it! It's creamy and cool on the inside and super crunchy on the outside. Along with the fried potato salad patties, this burger has spicy sweet candied bacon, a sweet heat honey mustard spread, baby arugula salad and a sweet heat burger patty all piled on a brioche bun. You will be full for the rest of the day after this one. I promise!
This is my second entry for the Saucy Mama Blogger Challenge and I'm hoping that one of my entries will win me a spot to compete in the World Food Championships this November. 
If you'd like to get your hands on some of these delicious Saucy Mama products yourself, you're in luck! One lucky reader will get their choice of 3 Saucy Mama Products! (rules at bottom of post) All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me which products you would want if you win. For an extra entry, share this post on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did that. Good luck!
The Saucy Southern Mama

Fried Potato Salad Patty
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, boiled, cooled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 hard boiled eggs, diced
4 Tablespoons minced celery
4 Tablespoons minced red onion
2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning blend
3 Tablespoons flour
1 egg
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
6 cups vegetable oil
 
Bacon
12 slices bacon
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sweet Heat Spread
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Burger Patties
1 pound ground chuck
½ pound ground sirloin
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 Tablespoons SaucyMama Sweet Heat Marinade, divided
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

6 Brioche Buns

Arugula Salad
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups baby arugula leaves


To make the potato salad patties, in a large mixing bowl combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, red onion, relish, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, Champagne Honey Mustard, garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning. Stir together until well combined and, using a potato masher, mash slightly until well blended. Using a large ice cream scoop, portion 6 patties onto a small foil lined cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes or until patties are well chilled and firm enough to handle. To set up the breading station, pour the remaining 1 teaspoon of the cajun seasoning 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. Place the vegetable oil in an electric fryer or a large sauce pot fitted with a candy thermometer and bring the oil up to 375 degrees over medium high heat.  While the oil is coming up to temperature and the patties are setting in the freezer, start on the remaining components. 

To make the bacon: Place a cooling rack in a large rimmed cookie sheet and lay the bacon across it. Place the cookie sheet in a cold oven, and set the temperature to 375 degrees. Cook the bacon for 15 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and flip bacon pieces over. Brush bacon with the Champagne Honey Mustard and then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and cayenne. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until bacon is crisp and sugar has melted.

To make the Sweet Heat Spread whisk together the mayonnaise, Champagne Honey Mustard and Sweet Heat Marinade in a small bowl.

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

To make the Burger Patties, add the ground chuck, ground sirloin, garlic, salt and 2 Tablespoons of the Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well blended, handling as little as possible to avoid overworking. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning only once, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, brush the patties with the remaining 3 Tablespoons Sweet Heat Marinade. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the buns cut side down on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly, watching very closely to avoid burning.
 For the arugula salad, whisk together the olive oil, Saucy Mama Champagne Honey Mustard, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl. Gently toss the arugula leaves in the dressing and set aside.


To assemble the burgers, spread each side of the buns with sweet heat spread. Top each bun bottom with an even amount of the arugula salad. Place a burger patty on top of that and then top with two pieces of bacon. Place a potato salad patty on top of the bacon slices and the top half of the toasted bun. Serve immediately with lots of napkins!
For the contest: Winner will be selected using random.org on June 3. Winner is allowed to choose 3 products (except olives) of their choice.
Congratulations Susan Christy! You are the winner of the giveaway!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Saucy Senorita

Let me introduce you to The Saucy Senorita. I created this beauty for a contest in the hopes of winning a spot to compete in The World Food Championship cook-off in November. The lovely people at Saucy Mama sent me a box of their delicious mustards, dressings and marinades to work with and I had so much fun using them in my entries! My first submission uses three of their products in a burger that has Southern and Mexican flair!
Fried Green Tomatillos, Chipotle Mustard Brown Sugar Bacon, Poblano Ranch Spread and Lime Chipotle Burger Patties are sandwiched between buttery soft Brioche Buns for a sweet and spicy burger that I hope will knock the judges sombreros off!
Be sure to come back Wednesday to check out my second submission and to enter a giveaway to win some of these sauces for yourself!
The Saucy Senorita
Bacon
8 slices bacon
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Poblano Ranch Spread
1 cup packed cilantro
¼ cup crumbled Cotija cheese

Fried Green Tomatillos
4 cups vegetable oil
½ cup all-purpose flour 
1/8 cup masa
1/2 cup beer
3 large tomatillos, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
½ teaspoon salt

Burger Patties
1 pound ground chuck
½ pound ground sirloin
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

4 Brioche Buns
Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
To make the bacon, place a cooling rack in a foil-lined large rimmed cookie sheet and lay the bacon across it. Place the cookie sheet in a cold oven, and set the temperature to 375 degrees. Cook the bacon for 15 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and flip bacon pieces over. Brush bacon with Chipotle Mustard, and then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until bacon is crisp and sugar has melted.
To make the Poblano Ranch Spread, place the cilantro, Cotija cheese and Poblano Ranch Dressing in a mini food processor and process until smooth. Set in the fridge to chill.

To make the Fried Green Tomatillos, place the vegetable oil in an electric fryer or a large sauce pot fitted with a candy thermometer and bring the oil up to 360 degrees over medium-high heat. In a small mixing bowl, place 2 Tablespoons of the flour. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, masa, beer and Chipotle Marinade. Dredge the tomatillo slices in the flour, then batter mixture and carefully place in the hot oil to fry for 3-5 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel lined tray. Sprinkle with salt. 

To make the Burger Patties, add the ground chuck, ground sirloin, garlic, salt and half of the Lime Chipotle Marinade into a large mixing bowl. Mix until well blended, handling as little as possible to avoid overworking. Shape into 4 patties to fit the bun size. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning only once, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, brush the patties with the remaining Lime Chipotle Marinade. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the buns cut side down on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly, watching very closely to avoid burning.

To assemble the burgers, spread each bun top and bottom with Poblano Ranch Spread. Place a burger patty on top of each bun bottom and then top with two pieces of bacon. Place fried green tomatillo slices on top of the bacon and then the top half of the toasted bun. Serve immediately with lots of napkins!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Chipotle Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks

My last entry for the Del Real Blogger Recipe Contest is my Tex-Mex spin on a Philly Cheesesteak. These melty sandwiches come together in 20 minutes and didn't last much longer than that once I served them. 
Shredded Chipotle Chicken is layered with sauteed onions and peppers, topped with melty cheese and served in a crusty bun. 
Chipotle Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 poblano pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and stem removed and sliced
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
4 bakery bolillo rolls, split in half
8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Add the oil, poblano, onion and salt to a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over high heat. Sauté, stirring frequently until charred and softened, about 5-7 minutes.
While the pepper mixture is cooking, prepare the chicken according to the package directions.
Place the rolls on a large cookie sheet and place in the oven to warm, about 3-5 minutes.
To assemble the sandwiches, divide the sautéed vegetables, Chicken Tinga, and cheese evenly between the 4 rolls. Place the tray back in the oven until all the cheese is melted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove sandwiches from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.


Del Real is also awarding a ‘Top Voted Recipe’ prize. The voting page is now active and individuals may vote for one recipe, per day and must have a Facebook account in order for the vote to validate. If you'd like to take a moment and help me win the title of "Top Voted" I'd be so appreciative! Here's the LINK

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pee Paw's Sticky Chicken Pot

This past weekend was insane. 
I hurt my arm (the right one, of course) the weekend before, was in a plaster splint that went from the middle of my fingers all the way up to my shoulder and I quickly figured out I'm not very good as a lefty. I was freaking out since I was already scheduled to host 45 people at my house for Louis' office party on Saturday, so my parents drove 9 hours from Louisiana to help out. My mom had already told me that she was bringing my grandpa's cast iron pot with her for me to have. She put it in the garage since it was packed in a box with newspaper, and being so busy trying to host such a big event at my house with one arm, it sat in the garage until yesterday.
I unwrapped it and took it inside so I could start the process of re-seasoning it since it hasn't been used in years.
The kids got home from school in the afternoon, and as Marshall was unpacking his school bag he saw it, walked over to it and asked "what's this?"
I said "do you remember Great Pee Paw and Great Grammy? This was their pot and now Nana gave it to me to have"
Marshall replied "well, that's nice....... because even when you're not using it, it can be your memories"
That kid. He gets it.
Sometimes my kids drive me to the brink of insanity and other days they say things that stop me in my tracks and all you can do is grab them and hug them so tight they complain.
I know some people hate cooking.
To them it's a chore and it makes a mess and it's not worth the hassle. 
But to me, that's it.
That's what it's always been about.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Del Real Southwest Chicken Caesar with Cornbread Croutons

Don't let the short list of ingredients and super easy instructions fool you. This salad is loaded with Southwest flavor and is perfect for all those summer picnics and BBQ's coming up! When you don't want to heat up the kitchen this is the perfect thing to serve. My family gobbled this up and it was so easy to throw together before we ran out the door for baseball practice. If you want to make it even easier on yourself, the croutons and dressing can be made ahead of time as well. Leftovers (if there are any) would be awesome thrown in a tortilla and eaten as a wrap the next day!
Del Real Southwest Chicken Caesar with Cornbread Croutons
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon creole seasoning
6 ounces bakery prepared cornbread, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 package (16 ounce) Del Real Foods Shredded Chicken
¼ cup Caesar dressing
12 ounces salad greens (this is about 16 cups)
¼ cup roasted salted pepitas
 
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and creole seasoning together in a small bowl.
Place the cornbread cubes on a foil lined cookie sheet, spray generously with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with the seasoning mix. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until cubes are browned and crisp.
While the croutons are toasting, prepare the chicken according to package directions. Drain the chicken and set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, stir together the Caesar dressing and Salsa Verde.
In a large serving bowl, toss together the salad greens, chicken and the salad dressing. Top with croutons, sprinkle with pepitas and serve immediately.

Del Real is also is awarding a ‘Top Voted Recipe’ prize. The voting page is now active and individuals may vote for one recipe, per day and must have a Facebook account in order for the vote to validate. If you'd like to take a moment and help me win the title of "Top Voted" I'd be so appreciative! Here's the LINK


Friday, April 22, 2016

Del Real Seven Layer Mexi-Mac

The lovely people at Del Real are hosting a blogger recipe contest and I have had a ton of fun coming up with entries using their delicious products. It's no secret that I could eat Tex-Mex on repeat and never get sick of it, so as soon as I saw this contest I was in! My first entry is a mash up of a few easy family favorites that my kids love. 
Mac and Cheese and Tex-Mex Seven Layer Dip had a baby and it is my Del Real Seven Layer Mexi-Mac. Super quick and easy to throw together thanks to Del Real's Chicken Chile Verde and Frijoles Refritos, this dish will be ready in 25 minutes! I used small shell pasta in this because that's what my kids picked, but feel free to use any small shaped pasta you have. 
Del Real Seven Layer Mexi-Mac
1 Tablespoon salt
8 ounces medium pasta shells (or any other short cut)
6 cups shredded cheese
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup diced tomato
2 Tablespoons sliced green onion
1/3 cup sliced black olives
¼ cup chopped cilantro


Pre-heat broiler to high.
Bring a large pot of water up to a boil over high heat.
Once the water is boiling, add the salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions until tender and drain.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the Chicken Chile Verde and Frijoles Refritos according to package directions.
Add the drained pasta back to the pot you boiled them in and add the Chicken Chile Verde, 4 cups of the cheese and the sour cream. Stir until the pasta is well coated and pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread the Frijoles Refritos evenly over the top of the pasta mixture and sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of cheese over that. Place under the broiler and, watching closely to prevent burning, broil until cheese is melted. About 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the dish evenly with diced tomatoes, green onion, black olives and cilantro. Serve immediately.
 
 Serves 8
total time: 25 minutes
                             
Del Real is also is awarding a ‘Top Voted Recipe’ prize. The voting page is now active and individuals may vote for one recipe, per day and must have a Facebook account in order for the vote to validate. If you'd like to take a moment and help me win the title of "Top Voted" I'd be so appreciative! Here's the LINK

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Big TX Brisket Bock Bucatini with Mini Rellenos and Cilantro Pesto

I am so excited and a little shocked that I was recently accepted to compete in Barilla's Represent Your Region Contest! Competitors were sent an assortment of Barilla pastas and challenged to create a dish inspired by their region. As I brainstormed what to make to represent Texas the best, I was overwhelmed with the list of ideas I had. I managed to edit it down and I am really excited with what I came up with!
I made a Tex-Mex braised beef brisket sauce loaded with chiles, smoked salt and Shiner Bock beer and tossed that with Barilla's bucatini pasta. Drizzled on top is my Tex-Mex spin on a pesto with cilantro, lime and pepitas. The crowning glory is my "Mini Rellenos" - roasted jalapenos stuffed with cheese and fried just like their tex mex big brother Chiles Rellenos!
The grand prize for this contest is an all expense paid Culinary Weekend experience at Barilla’s annual Modern Casual retreat at Farmer Lee Jones'Culinary Vegetable Institute in Cleveland, OH!!! There's also a people's choice award up for grabs, so if you can, hop on over HERE and give my recipe a vote!
3 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 cups boiling water
1 Tablespoon ancho chile powder
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground toasted coriander
1 teaspoon smoked Mexican sea salt       
1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
3 pounds beef brisket
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large poblano pepper, chopped with seeds and stem removed
12 ounces Shiner Bock beer

1 cup packed cilantro leaves
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 small clove garlic
1 Tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
2 Tablespoons  olive oil 
1 Tablespoon salted roasted pepitas
1/2 teaspoon smoked Mexican sea salt       

6 large jalapeno peppers
4 ounces oaxaca cheese, cut into 6 sticks
4 cups frying oil
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup flour


1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 12-ounce package Barilla Bucatini


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place chiles in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and place a small glass plate on top to weigh them down. Soak until chiles soften, at least 30 minutes.
Place chiles in blender along with the soaking liquid, chili powder, garlic, cumin seeds, oregano, coriander, smoked salt and tomatoes; blend until smooth.

Pat beef dry, remove excess fat and cut into 3 inch cubes. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Melt the butter and oil over high heat in a large heavy based pot. Working in batches, add brisket and sear on all sides until browned, then remove to a plate and set aside. Turn heat down to medium low and add the chopped onion and poblano. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened. Add the beer, brisket (add the juices too) and the chile puree.

Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and place in oven for 2 hours. Uncover and continue to cook about 1 hour longer or until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with forks and the liquid has reduced to be a thick sauce.

While the brisket is cooking, place the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, olive oil, pepitas and salt in a small food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into a squirt bottle for later use.

Remove the brisket from the sauce onto a large sheet tray. Skim off any fat from surface of sauce and shred the brisket coarsely with two forks, discarding any remaining fat. Return the shredded meat to the sauce, cover the pot and set aside until ready to serve.

Place the jalapenos over a gas flame or underneath the broiler and char until they are blackened on all sides. Place them in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes. Peel the charred skin off and carefully make a small slit one side of the pepper. Fill the peppers with the cheese and secure with a toothpick. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour in oil and heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 375 degrees. Beat the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolk and continue to beat until combined. Dredge the filled peppers in flour, shake off any excess, then dip the into the egg mixture. Fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes and drain on a cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet.

Bring a very large pot of water up to a boil over high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt and add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.

When the pasta is ready, reserve 3 cups of the pasta water and drain. Add the pasta to the ragu mixture, along with 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Gently toss the pasta over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce coats the pasta.

To serve, place a serving of pasta in a large bowl, drizzle with the cilantro vinaigrette and top with mini rellenos. Serve immediately, makes 6 servings.