Friday, July 27, 2007

Roast Chicken Seasoning Rub

This recipe is from Kalyn's Kitchen. Kalyn blog is about the combining her love for delicious food with a commitment to healthy, lower glycemic eating. She shares her recipes and kitchen secerts that helped her lose over 40 pounds on the South Beach Diet. Not only does she enjoy cooking but loves to garden and grows her own fresh herbs.

Below is a recipe for a Roast Chicken Seasoning Rub she created with the inspiration from Pride of Szeged Chicken Rub

Makes about four cups

1 1/2 cup garlic powder
1/2 cup dried thyme
1/2 cup dried parsley
1/3 cup onion powder
1/3 cup rubbed sage
1/3 cup dried rosemary (use cracked rosemary, or see note below)
4 T sweet paprika (I like Penzeys)
4 T cayenne pepper (or less, but this is only mildly spicy)

If you don't have cracked rosemary, start by putting the rosemary in the food processor with a steel blade and buzzing it for 2-3 minutes, until all the dried rosemary leaves are broken into small bits. Then add other ingredients and process about 30 seconds, until ingredients seem well combined. This should be stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid if you're keeping some for yourself.

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Bananas Foster

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 bananas peeled, halved, and cut lengthwise
1/4 cup dark rum
Ice cream, optional
Pound cake, optional

In a large skillet, melt butter. Using a wooden spoon, add brown sugar and stir together. Add the bananas and cook until caramelized on both sides, over medium-high heat. Move pan off heat, add the rum and return to the stove to catch a flame from the gas stove or a long lighter. Stand back when ignited and flambe the bananas. Be careful a flame will shoot up above the pan. Let flame die down and the alcohol cook out. Serve bananas over vanilla ice cream and/or a slice of pound cake.

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 (10-ounce) tilapia fillets
4 Kaiser buns, split, buttered and toasted
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise, recipe follows
Store-bought mango salsa

In a shallow dish, combine first 6 ingredients.

Pour melted butter into another shallow dish. Dip fish fillets in melted butter and coat with seasoning mixture.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook prepared fish, in batches if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Spread Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise evenly over toasted buns. Place blackened fish on bottom half of bun, top with mango salsa, and cover with top half of bun.

Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The winner of The Next Food Network Star Amy Finely had some outstanding recipes on the show. We are goping to feature one of them here for you. This was in the Iron Chef Challenge episode. According to one of the judges that night; who happened to be Iron Chef America Star and the world renowned Chef Cat Cora; this was one of the best dishes that night.

Below is Amy's Goat Cheese and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts recipe.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound crimini mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 ounces softened goat cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 recipe Mushroom Wine Sauce, recipe follows
1 recipe Sauteed Fingerling Potatoes, recipe follows
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Special equipment: A food processor, kitchen twine

Place the chicken breasts, 1 by 1, between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/2-inch thick. Set aside.

Stem the mushrooms and place the caps and stems separately in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saute pan over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, and saute until all the liquid has evaporated. (This is called a duxelle.)

Season well with the salt and pepper. Set aside. Smear each chicken breast with some of the goat cheese and top with some of the duxelle. Roll the breast up and tie with the kitchen twine. Season with the salt and pepper. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and sear the chicken on all sides. Continue to saute until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing the kitchen twine and slicing each rolled breast into 4 to 5 slices. Top with some of the remaining duxelle and several spoonfuls of the Mushroom Wine Sauce.

Serve with the Sauteed Fingerling Potatoes, garnished with the chopped parsley.

Mushroom Wine Sauce:

1 1/2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter, cold
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Place the shiitakes in a mixing bowl and add the boiling water. Allow to sit undisturbed 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid is richly fragrant and has taken on the earthy flavor of the mushrooms. Strain and reserve the liquid. Discard the mushrooms or reserve for another use. In a small saute pan over medium-high heat, bring the mushroom liquid to a strong boil and reduce by half. Add the wine and chicken stock, reduce by 1/2 again. Remove from heat and add the butter, swirling the pan until the butter is incorporated and the sauce is glossy and shiny. Season with the salt and pepper.

Sauteed Fingerling Potatoes:

1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Special equipment: A mandoline

Using the mandoline or a knife, slice the potatoes into thin rounds of uniform thickness. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and saute the potatoes until cooked through with a golden, crispy crust. Season with the salt and pepper.

2007 Next Food Network Winner - Amy Finely

If you are like me and enjoy watching The Food Network just for the tips and new recipes then you may have heard about the Next Food Network Star.

This was the third season and the finale was this evening at 9pm eastern. After several tough challenges and even having been sent home in the last episode, only to be brought back after a finalist claims about his past were found to untrue. Amy Finely also known on the show as the Gourmet Next Door, was announced as The Next Food Network Star.

Aside from a 2008 Mercury Mariner, Amy, won the chance to host her very own show on the Food Network this fall. We can only hope for the best for her.

A little bit of informatin about the winner. Amy is a traveler who loves food. She attended culinary school in France (Gregoire Ferrandi's Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise). A freelance writer who has authored a travel book on Italy, Amy wants to inspire viewers to cook simple, beautiful food. In addition to writing, Amy also works as a caterer and is a stay-at-home mom to her two children.

Amy was asked some time during the show why she should be The Next Food Network Star.

"I'm going to help people have more joie de vivre in their lives by illuminating the food culture of the ultimate romantic, glamorous, stylish, foodie city – Paris."

I can't wait to see her upcoming show this fall on the Food Network.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Would you like a cocktail to beat the summer heat?

To make the best cocktails for your next Summer Party you will need some basic items. These items include the right glasses for each particular drink. However These are not always necessary. I prefer just getting the biggest glass in my cabinet, but that is for me only...

You will also need a shaker if you are looking to make a Martini or many other drinks. If you enjoy the popular Mojito or a Caipirinha you will need a muddler to muddle the Spearmint or Mint leaves and sugar. You cannot forget that blender to make all the frozen Daiquiris or PiƱa Coladas

Below are all the links you will need to prepare for your next party. Amazon has all the cocktail party supplies you will need minus the alcohol.

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Summer Cocktails - Bacardi Mojito

1 part BACARDI® Rum
3 parts Club Soda
12 Mint Leaves
1/2 Lime
1/2 Part Sugar

Place 12 mint leaves, 1/2 part sugar and 1/2 lime in a glass. Muddle well with a pestle. Add BACARDI, top off with club soda, stir well and garnish with sprigs of mint or a lime wheel.