Friday, December 30, 2016

Cranberry Char Siu Pork Tenderloin

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I'm so excited to be using Cape Cod Select premium frozen cranberries for their Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge! They were nice enough to send me two bags of the most gorgeous cranberries I've ever seen to work with. Farm fresh, recipe ready, no additives, preservatives or GMOs, what more could you ask for?

Char Siu Pork, or Chinese BBQ Pork, is a delicious dish that combines juicy savory pork covered in a sticky sweet glaze. It’s absolutely delicious. The only problem is, when trying to re-create this dish at home, I realized that the signature red color of the meat was due to an alarming amount of red food dye.

Not so appetizing, right?

Well, when I was brainstorming what to create with these gorgeous cranberries it hit me! Why not turn these gorgeous red berries into a naturally bright red, tangy and delicious Char Siu Pork! No red dye needed. I hope you love my version as much as my family did!

Cranberry Char Siu Pork Tenderloin

Brine:
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup ice cubes
2 pork tenderloins, (about 14-16 oz. each) trimmed of all silver skin

Pork:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Sauce:
1 ½ cups Cape Cod Select Premium frozen cranberries
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
3 tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

In a large zip top bag, dissolve the salt in the warm water. Add the remaining brine ingredients and the tenderloins. Brine for 15-20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the pork with half of the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 425°F.

While the pork is brining, make the sauce. Stir together the cranberries, hoisin, Chinese five spice, garlic, ginger, chili paste, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil in a medium sauce pot over low heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens.

Heat the remaining oil in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When oil is very hot and rippling, add the tenderloins. Sear each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Brush with cranberry sauce, and place the pan in the oven. After 15 minutes of cooking, brush with the glaze again. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temp of 145-150 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven. Tent lightly with a piece of foil and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining cranberry sauce.


You can follow Cape Cod Select on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

To find Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries near you click HERE

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sage and Pomegranate Sparkler

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When I saw that Stirrings was hosting the Stir It Up Holiday Blogger Mixology Challenge I knew I had to join in the fun, and the holidays are the perfect time to try a cocktail challenge. I was thrilled when they sent me some delicious samples to work with. My first entry is totally delicious and would be a festive way to toast the new year!



Sage and Pomegranate Sparkler

Stirrings Cosmopolitan Rimmer
6 fresh sage leaves
6 ounces Stirrings Simple Pomegranate Martini Cocktail Mix
3 ounces vodka
juice of 1/2 a lime
4 ounces prosecco


Rub a sage leaf around the rim of 2 cocktail glasses and then press the rims into the Stirrings Cosmopolitan Rimmer to coat. In a cocktail shaker muddle 4 sage leaves. Fill the shaker with ice then pour in the Stirrings Simple Pomegranate Martini Cocktail Mix, vodka and lime juice. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into glasses. Top each off with the prosecco and garnish with the remaining sage leaves. Serves 2

To get your hands on some of these delicious mixers yourself, they can be found in Austin, TX at: 1st Colony Liquors, Total Wines & More, 34 Wine & Liquors, 6S Spirits, ABC Liquors, 82 Liquor

To follow Stirrings you can find them: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

#STIRRINGSMIXOLOGYCONTEST

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cranberry White Chocolate Chess Pie

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Don't cranberries just scream holiday?!

I'm so excited to be using Cape Cod Select premium frozen cranberries for their Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge! They were nice enough to send me two bags of the most gorgeous cranberries I've ever seen to work with. Farm fresh, recipe ready, no additives, preservatives or GMOs, what more could you ask for?

Let's start with dessert, shall we?

My first entry is this gorgeous and festive Cranberry White Chocolate Chess Pie.


Cranberry White Chocolate Chess Pie
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
4 ounces white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup Cape Cod Select premium frozen cranberries
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.

Add the eggs, vanilla and cornmeal. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the pie shell. Sprinkle the cranberries evenly over the filling. Bake for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

You can follow Cape Cod Select on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest


To find Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries near you click HERE








Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cheddar Jalapeno Churros with Cilantro Ranch Dip

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Holy Moly
Apparently, me and the deep fryer have a thing going on right now, and man is it dangerous!
These cheesy puffy sticks of deliciousness are so easy to make, and I can't wait to throw a party and make them tot size
This is my entry for the Old Croc Most Aussome Recipe Contest and I really hope those judges love these as much as I did!
Cheddar Jalapeno Churros with Cilantro Ranch Dip
4 cups canola oil
4 Tablespoons butter
2/3 cup water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1/2 cup flour
2 medium eggs, beaten
2/3 cup OldCroc Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbsp. fresh jalapeno, minced finely
1/3 cup ranch dressing
½ cup cilantro leaves

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 400 degrees F.
Heat butter, water and half of the salt together in a large saucepan, over medium high heat, until the butter has melted and bring the mixture to a boil. Whisk in the flour and remove the pot from the heat. Stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Allow the dough to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Gradually add eggs, beating well between each addition. Add cheese and half of the jalapeno and stir to combine.
Spoon the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe and snip off 3-4 inch sections of dough from the pastry bag into the oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until all sides are golden brown. Remove from the oil and let rest on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with remaining salt.
Place the remaining jalapeno, ranch and cilantro in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with churros.
Makes 24 churros


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bacon Fried Potato Salad Bites with Fry Sauce

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Easy Salmon Buffalo Lettuce Cups

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This is my entry for the Alaska Gold's Easy Salmon Recipe Contest!
I took our love of salmon and buffalo wings to make a super delicious lettuce wrap that my whole family loved. This recipe took me a total of 20 minutes to make, and the kids loved putting together the lettuce cups themselves. The Buffalo Salmon is smoky and a little spicy which pairs perfectly with the cool and creamy blue cheese celery and carrot salad!
Easy Salmon Buffalo Lettuce Cups
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup thinly sliced celery
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tablespoons good quality blue cheese salad dressing
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons hot sauce
8 butter lettuce leaves

In a small bowl stir together the carrot, celery, green onion and blue cheese dressing until evenly combined. Set in the fridge to chill.

In a small mixing bowl stir together the salmon, salt, garlic powder and paprika.

In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the salmon to the melted butter and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and turn the heat off.

Spoon an equal amount of chilled carrot and celery salad into each lettuce cup. Top with salmon and serve immediately.

4 Servings


Winner Winner Salmon Dinner

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Thank you to everyone that voted for my entry in the Pier 33 Gourmet Contest! I am so thankful for the support! I won the 2nd AND 4th place prizes (a $100 Visa gift card and an Apple iPad Air)
My kids are super jealous and Brianna thinks the iPad will be for her......haha! Not a chance!
Also, Facebook reminded me this morning that it was two years ago today that I won the Extended Stay America Cookoff! What an amazing time. I wish I could do it all over again!



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Plantain Crusted Salmon with Mango Citrus Salsa

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My recipe for Plantain Crusted Salmon with Mango Citrus Salsa is up in Pier 33 Gourmet's gallery today! Any votes you could throw my way would be so appreciated!
Plantain Crusted Salmon with Mango Citrus Salsa
1 cup diced fresh mango
½ cup diced navel orange
1 ½ Tablespoons fresno chili pepper, diced
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup sliced green onion
1 teaspoon honey
1 Tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 ounces plantain chips
4 (6 Oz.) Skinless Boneless Pier 33 Salmon Singles
2 Tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl stir together the mango, orange, chili pepper, cilantro, green onion, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Place the plantain chips in a small food processor and pulse until it becomes coarse crumbs.

Lay the salmon pieces on a small foil-lined cookie sheet. Brush with honey and sprinkle the seasoning evenly over each piece. Gently press the plantain crumbs onto the tops of each salmon piece. Lightly spray the top of each salmon piece with non-stick cooking spray. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until salmon is just cooked through.

Spoon the salsa onto each piece of salmon and serve immediately.

Serves 4

link to vote HERE

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nikos Greekitos

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I think I saved the best for last. My final entry for the Nikos Feta Cheese Challenge are my favorite! Two of my go to party snacks, loaded hummus dip and taquitos had a baby and made these Greek inspired hummus taquitos with tzatziki sauce!
If you haven't heard of tzatziki sauce before, it is a yogurt based cucumber dip that is soooo yummy and available in your grocery store, ready to go right where the refrigerated dips are.
These are super easy to make and can serve as an appetizer, or along with a salad would be a great summer lunch!
Nikos Greekitos
1 cup garlic flavored hummus
½ cup chopped Kalamata olives
½ cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
¼ cup minced red onion
12 flour tortillas
1 cup prepared tzatziki sauce (cucumber yogurt dip)
 
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
 Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
 In a small mixing bowl stir together the feta, hummus, olives, roasted red bell pepper and red onion until well combined. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of the hummus mixture into the middle of each tortilla and roll, wrapping tightly. Place the rolled tortillas seam side down on the cookie sheet. Lightly spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.
 Serve warm with tzatziki sauce. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Feta Crostini with Roasted Balsamic Grapes and Arugula

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My second entry for the Nikos Feta recipe contest are these gorgeous Feta Crostini with Roasted Balsamic Grapes and Arugula. The creamy feta spread is so delicious on the crispy baguette slices. Peppery arugula and roasted balsamic grapes top these little bites off perfectly. The baguette and feta spread can be made ahead of time if you're looking to save time as well!
Feta Crostini with Roasted Balsamic Grapes and Arugula
60 black seedless grapes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (6 ounce) package Traditional Nikos Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 Tablespoons half and half
20 (1/2-inch-thick) toasted baguette slices
2 cups baby arugula leaves
 
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small foil-lined roasting pan, mix the grapes, 1 Tablespoon of the  olive oil, half of the salt and half of the pepper. Place in the oven and roast, until grapes begin to wrinkle and split, about 15-20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and stir to coat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the grapes from the pan and return the grape juice and balsamic mixture back to the oven for 10 minutes or until thickened and syrupy.
While the grapes are roasting, combine the feta, lemon zest, half and half, and the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Spread the feta mixture over the toasts; top each with arugula, 3 roasted grapes and drizzle with the balsamic syrup. Serve immediately. Makes 10 servings.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Orange Chipotle Tex-Mex Noodle Salad

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When I saw that JSL Foods was hosting their very first Blogger Recipe Challenge I knew I wanted in! The challenge was to pick one of the delicious noodles that they make to create a cold noodle salad or a stir fry with non-asian flavors. I knew if they wanted a mash-up that mine would be Tex-Mex inspired and as soon as I saw their Yakisoba Mandarin Orange Stir Fry  Noodles I knew what I'd make. JSL generously sent me three packages to work with and my family loved the results!
I love the way orange and chipotle work together and it paired so nicely in this refreshing, easy to put together cold noodle salad! Grilling the oranges creates a delicious smokey flavor that mirrors the smokiness of the chipotle peppers. The grilled corn is sweet and the crunchy pepitas on top provide an unexpected crunch!
Orange Chipotle Tex-Mex Noodle Salad
1 ear corn
1 large navel orange, cut into 6 wedges
1 avocado, halved and pitted
1 Tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 packages (7.7 oz) Fortune Yakisoba Mandarin Orange Stir Fry Noodles
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons toasted cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup minced red onion
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
½ cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped

Pre-heat a large grill pan over high heat. Brush the corn, cut sides of the oranges and cut sides of the avocado with oil. Sprinkle the corn and avocado with salt. Grill for 5-7 minutes, or until you start to see nice grill marks. Remove the items from the grill and set aside to cool.
Place the noodles in a colander and rinse under hot water until they loosen. Set aside and allow them to drain.
Once cool enough to handle, remove the kernels of corn from the cob and cut each avocado half in half again (creating 4 wedges).
Place the contents of one of the seasoning packets in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice of 2 of the grilled orange segments into the bottom of the bowl. Whisk in the canola oil, adobo sauce, rice wine vinegar, cumin and salt until smooth. Add the noodles to the dressing and toss gently.

Stir the grilled corn kernels, black beans, minced red onion, sliced green onion and cilantro into the noodle mixture. Divide the noodle salad into 4 serving bowls. Top each serving with a grilled orange wedge and wedge of grilled avocado. Serve immediately.

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JSL products can be found at Albertson, Lucky's, Von's, Pavilions, WinCo and Target!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Feta Filled Street Corn Grilled Avocado Cups

Yum
After having a crazy busy month and being gone from home for 2 weeks (more on that later) I was more than ready to get back to my kitchen and start cooking! Nikos Feta is hosting an awesome contest right now, and I'm excited to share my entries!
First up is my Feta Filled Street Corn Grilled Avocado Cups. If you have read my blog before at all, you know I have a serious crush on Mexican Street Corn and this dish highlights everything I love about the taco truck staple. 

Feta Filled Street Corn Grilled Avocado Cups
4 ripe Avocados, halved and pit removed
2 teaspoons oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup pre-cooked wild rice
1 (11 oz) can Mexi Corn, drained
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush the avocado halves with the oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Place the avocados on the grill pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until grill marks appear. Remove from the grill and place on a serving platter.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, lime zest, lime juice, mayonnaise and chili powder. Add the wild rice and corn to the dressing and stir to coat evenly. Gently stir in the bacon, feta and cilantro.
Spoon the mixture into and around the grilled avocado cups. Serve immediately with lime wedges.




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Saucy Southern Mama and a Giveaway!

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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!!

Mexican Street Corn Burgers

Y'all know I can't help myself when it comes to Tex-Mex mash ups , right? Well, I did it again. For my 5th entry into the # Respect...