Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tex - Mex Corn Salad

We make a lot of recipes that are referred to as Tex - Mex here in Texas. Here's a great Salad or Side Dish that has all of the ingredients needed to be referred to as Tex - Mex.

Tex - Mex Corn Salad

1 - 16 oz. Bag of Frozen Corn, thawed.
2 TBS Olive Oil
3 TBS Mayonnaise
4 oz. Mexican Cotija Cheese, crumbled + additional for Garnish.
2 TBS Fresh Lime Juice + additional for Garnish.
1 TBS Diced  Fresh Jalapeño Pepper
1 TBS Diced Red Onion
1/4 C finel chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Chile Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a Skillet on Medium High Heat:
Oil, until Hot.
Sauté for about 8 minutes, just until Charred.

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
Lime Juice
Chile Powder
Salt and Pepper
Mix to combine well.

Fold in:
Mix to combine well.

Refrigerate until cold.

Just prior to serving:
Drizzle with additional Fresh Lime Juice.
Sprinkle with additional Cheese.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ritz Cracker Dessert Bars

Who knew that crackers could be so decadent when turned into a dessert Bar?

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 - 8" X 8" Baking Pan sprayed with a Vegetable Cooking Spray.

2 Sleeves of Ritz Butter Crackers (60 crackers)
1 1/2 C Heath English Toffee Bits
1 - 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Confectioner's Sugar

In a Large Zip Lock Bag:
Crush finely, using your hands.

In a Medium Mixing Bowl:
Cracker Crumbs
Toffee Bits
Condensed Milk
Stir to combine well.

Press evenly into the Pan.
Bake 15 - 20 minutes until Golden Brown.

Remove Pan to a Rack to cool completely.

Dust well with Confectioner's Sugar.
Cut into Bars to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Stuffed, Baked Zucchini

Here's a great Vegetarian dinner recipe.

Stuffed, Baked Zucchini

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
9" X 13" Baking Pan

3 Zucchinis  (trim the ends and slice them in half lengthwise) Set Aside.
1 - 24 oz. Jar of your favorite Marinara Sauce, divided ( set aside 1 C)
1 TBS Olive Oil
1/3 C diced Onion
1 tsp minced Garlic
1/2 C diced Red Bell Pepper
3/4 C diced Fresh Mushrooms
1/4 C chopped Fresh Parsley
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
1 1/2 C Fresh Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 shaved Fresh Parmesan Cheese
2 TBS Bread Crumbs

Scrape out the Zucchinis, chop and set aside.

In the Baking Pan:
1" of Water
Cover with Foil
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove and set aside.
Do not turn the oven off.

In a Large Skillet on Medium Heat:
Bell Pepper
Sauté for 5 minutes.

Chopped Zucchini
Remaining Marinara Sauce (the 1 C will be used later in the recipe)
Pepper to taste.
Stir well.
Reduce Heat to Low.
Sauté 15 minutes.

Remove the Zucchinis from the Pan.
Drain the Water.

1 C Marinara Sauce.
Place Zucchinis on top of the Sauce.

Fill the Zucchini with the Filling.
Cover with Foil.
Return to the Oven.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the Oven.
Set the Oven to Broil.
Remove the Foil.

Top each Zucchini with:
Bread Crumbs

Return to the Oven and Broil just until the Cheese
has Melted and the Crumbs are Golden Brown.
Watch it carefully to avoid burning.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Vegetarian Pasta Nicoise Salad

We travel to France and have many friends there. One of my favorite Summer Salads is Nicoise. Traditionally it's serve with Tuna. I don't eat Seafood so I created this Vegetarian version.

Vegetarian Pasta Nicoise Salad

1 Pound of Penne Pasta prepared according to package directions.
Drain, reserve  the water and return it to the pot.

1/2 Pound of Trimmed French Green Beans boiled for 2 minutes in the reserved Pasta Water.

3 Hard Boiled Eggs, halved.

1/4 C Olive Oil
2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 TBS finely chopped Shallots
1/4 tsp Salt

2 C Halved Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 C Sliced Black Olives
1/4 C Drained Capers
1/4 C finely chopped Fresh Parsley

Pepper to Taste

In a Large Serving Bowl:
Whisk Well.

Gently Fold in:

Toss Gently.

Top with Eggs.
Sprinkle with Pepper to Taste.
Cover with Plastic Wrap.
Refrigerate 30 - 60 minutes prior to Serving.

Gently Toss just before Serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Super Lemon Bars

Here's my pick for the recipe from this week's Taste section in the Dallas Morning News.
Super Lemon Bars, Alicia Ross.  

There was a recipe for  Real Banana Pudding too, but I've posted my recipe for the Best of the Best Banana Pudding. I've tried many recipes and I'm convinced that mine is truly the best Banana Pudding!
So, I chose to post the Super Lemon Bars.

1 stick of Butter, room temperature
1/4 C Powdered Sugar, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 C Flour, divided
pinch of Salt
4 Eggs
1 C Sugar
1/2 C freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1 TBS Lemon Zest

Butter the Bottom of an 8"x 8" Pan.
The Recipe recommends that you cut two pieces of Parchment Paper that extends 2" over the sides and cut to fit the edge to prevent fire, buttering both sheets of paper.  It helps to lift the bars out of the pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In  a Stand Mixer, cream:
Butter and 1/4 C Powdered Sugar, with the Paddle Attachment.
With the mixer on low, add 1 C Flour and Salt, combine until just mixed

Using Floured Hands, shape the Dough into a Ball and press into the Pan, spreading to the edges.
Place in the Freezer for 10 minutes
Bake 20 minutes
Remove from oven and leave the oven on

While Crust is baking, use the Whisk Attachment and Whisk the Eggs and Sugar for two minutes on High until light and fluffy.
Reduce Speed to Medium - Low, add Lemon Juice, Zest and remaining 1/2 C Flour. Mix well.

Pour Filling over Crust and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
Cool to Room Temperature on a Rack

Using the Parchment Paper Liner, lift the Bars from the Pan.
Transfer to a Flat Cutting Service.
Cut into Bars.
Using a small sieve, dust the tops of the Bars with Powdered Sugar before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Dean Fearing's Chocolate Shiner Bock Cake

Dean Fearing's Chocolate Shiner Bock Cake.

I live in Texas, Shiner Bock Beer, from Shiner, Texas is our Beer of Choice here.
When I read the recipes in the paper this morning, I had to post this recipe from Dean Fearing.
Dean is a well known celebrity Chef in Dallas. He's written a cookbook , The Texas Food Bible: From Legendary Dishes to New Classics.

I've added some personal points as I wrote the recipe.
This recipe is baked in 2- (9"X 9") Cake Pans.

The cake can also be baked in a 9"X13" pan for 35 minutes.

Dean Fearing's Chocolate Shiner Bock Cake

2 1/4 C light brown sugar
20 TBS (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan ( I use my Pan Release Mix).
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla paste  (available at Williams Sonoma and online)  ( I would use 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1 3/4 C all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan ( I use my Pan Release Mix)
3/4 C Dutch Process Cocoa
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C (12oz.) Shiner Bock Beer
Shiner Toffee Sauce (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Generously coat the interior of  2- (9" square ) cake pans with butter. ( I use my Pan Release Mix)

In a Stand Mixer, with a paddle attachment:
Brown Sugar
Beat until light and fluffy.

Add Eggs (one at a time)
Add Vanilla.

In a medium bowl:
Baking Soda
Whisk well.

With the mixer on low, add dry ingredients, alternating with the Beer.
Beat just until well blended.

Scrape the batter into the pans, smooth with a spatula.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Remove pans from oven a place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve warm topped with Shiner Toffee Sauce.

Shiner Toffee Sauce:
Here's what you'll need:

4 C Sugar
1 1/2 C Cold Water
1 1/3 C Heavy Cream
1/4 C additional Sugar
1 - (12oz.) Bottle of Shiner Bock Beer
2 TBS Salt

Combine together in a saucepan on medium heat:
4 C Sugar
1 1/2 C Cold Water
Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
Sauce will begin to turn golden brown.

Stir constantly while slowly adding 1 3/4 C Heavy Cream.
It will bubble up, continue stirring.

When all of the Cream has been added, stir in additional Sugar, Shiner Bock Beer and Salt.
Gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir constantly until cooled.
Makes about 6 cups.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Small Batch Fredericksburg Peach and Southern Comfort Jam

Canning 101  Small Batch Fredericksburg Peach and Southern Comfort Jam

Dallas Morning News Taste Section 6/18/2014

It's time for Peaches in Texas. I love Peaches and any recipe that calls for Peaches. The traditional cobblers, pies, tarts, jams and jellies. I chose this recipe to post on the blog rom today's Taste section in the Dallas Morning News.
This recipe comes from blogger Amber Bracegirdle, bluebonnetsand
For many of my friends out of state and out of the country, I thought I'd begin this post with a bit of information about Fredericksburg, Texas and Southern Comfort.

Fredericksburg, the county seat of Gillespie County, is seventy miles west of Austin in the central part of the county. The town was one of a projected series of German settlements from the Texas coast to the land north of the Llano River, originally the ultimate destination of the German immigrants sent to Texas by the Adelsverein. In August 1845 John O. Meusebach left New Braunfels with a surveying party to select a site for a second settlement en route to the Fisher-Miller Land Grant. He eventually chose a tract of land sixty miles northwest of New Braunfels, where two streams met four miles above the Pedernales River; the streams were later named Barons Creek, in Meusebach's honor, and Town Creek. Meusebach was impressed by the abundance of water, stone, and timber and upon his return to New Braunfels arranged to buy 10,000 acres on credit. The first wagontrain of 120 settlers arrived from New Braunfels on May 8, 1846, after a sixteen-day journey, accompanied by an eight-man military escort provided by the Adelsverein. Surveyor Hermann Wilke laid out the town, which Meusebach named Fredericksburg after Prince Frederick of Prussia, an influential member of the Adelsverein. Each settler received one town lot and ten acres of farmland nearby. The town was laid out like the German villages along the Rhine, from which many of the colonists had come, with one long, wide main street roughly paralleling Town Creek. The earliest houses in Fredericksburg were built simply, of post oak logs stuck upright in the ground. These were soon replaced by Fachwerk houses, built of upright timbers with the spaces between filled with rocks and then plastered or whitewashed over. 

Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. Old-time German residents often referred to Fredericksburg as Fritztown, a nickname that is still used in some businesses. The town is also notable as the home of Texas German, a dialect spoken by the first generations of German settlers who initially refused to learn English. Fredericksburg shares many cultural characteristics with New Braunfels, which had been established by Prince Carl of Solms - Braunfels the previous year. Fredericksburg is the birthplace of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. It is the sister city of Montabaur, Germany. On October 14, 1970, the Fredericksburg Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in Texas.

Southern Comfort is an American liqueur made from neutral spirits with fruit, spice and whiskey. The brand was originally created by bartender Martin Wilkes Heron in New Orleans in 1874, and is now owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Small - Batch Fredericksburg Peach and Southern Comfort Jam:

1 1/2 pounds of fresh Texas peaches
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 C water
1/4 C Southern Comfort
3 rounded TBS (about half a standard 3 - oz. packet) no-sugar needed pectin.
1 C granulated sugar

Wash, remove the pits and slice the peaches. No need to peel them.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat:
Lemon Juice
Bring to a boil , boil for 20 minutes.
Place the mixture in a Food Processor and pulse several times until it is pureed.
Place the puree back into the saucepan on medium high heat.
Add the Southern Comfort and mix well to incorporate .
Whisk in the Pectin, stirring until completely dissolved.
Return to a boil.
Add Sugar all at one time and whisk continuously.
Return to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down and boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and skim off the foam.
Place the Jam in clean canning jars, with lids.
Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Otherwise, to keep longer, put the jars and the jam through a canning process in the video above.
This recipe makes approximately 3 - 8oz. jars.

Peace in the Kitchen!