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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Flaming Chicken!

I'm writing this, without the benefit of having a kitchen at the moment. But with past experiences, I know that this recipe is doable.
I was sitting and munching on some flaming cheetos the other day, and it got me to thinking. What would this taste like on meats. Now, I figured that this recipe can be great on chicken or pork chops.
You can even replace the cheetos, with funyons, doritos or any other potato chips. It is that versatile.
But I do have one request, if anyone should happen to try this recipe, to please send me your opinions and photos. It would be greatly appreciated. Now for the recipe.

Flaming Cheetos Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
3 c. Crunchy Flaming Cheetos, crushed
2 tbsp. Panko or breadcrumbs
1/8 tsp. Garlic powder
1/8 tsp. Onion powder
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 c. Ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 400.
Place Cheetos in a gallon sized ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin or you could use a processor and put the crumbs in the bag. Add the breadcrumbs and seasonings to the Cheetos.
Put the ranch dressing in a bowl. Dip your chicken into the dressing and than in the bag of Cheetos mixture. Shake until the chicken is well coated.
Place the chicken on a parchment paper lined cooking sheet pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 temperature.
Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fall Is Coming!

Yes, fall is coming!
I love fall season more than any other season. It's not too hot and not too cold. But most of all, I love the colors.
With fall, I think of Halloween and Thanksgiving. I think of candy apples and caramel apples. Hot chocolate and many more wonderful delights.
But today, while thinking of fall, it came to mind that I need to come up with a delicious treat for my readers. Well, I did just that. I went and combined the flavor of baked apples, caramel apples and hot cider into one delicious and sinful delight!

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

6 apples, to make into apple glasses
3 c. Apple juice
1 c. Orange juice
3 tbsp. Caramel topping, ice cream topping works well
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Allspice
6 cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Preheat oven to 325.
Slice tops off the apples. Scrape out the core of each apple (a meal n baller works great here), being careful not to go thru the bottom of the apples.. Place the apples cut side up in a 9X13 inch pan and bake for 10 minutes. Allow apples to cool completely.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring to boil, the juices, caramel, cinnamon and allspice. Serve in the apple glasses and drizzle with caramel and garnish with cinnamon sticks. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Story; My Life

Today, I've decided to not write about food or showcase my dishes. Today, I decided to tell you all about me, my life in the past 18 months after the passing of my wife. I feel that everyone needs to know what I went through and what I have accomplished.
My wife of 28 years, passed away in December of 2012. She had suffered several massive strokes within a matter of 24 hours. But they weren't her first. Easter 2002, she suffered a stroke that had left her completely disabled.
After her death, I had thought that I was strong enough to move on and continue with life. Boy was I ever wrong. By June 2013, six months after her death, I decided to just fill my van with what I wanted and leave York for North Platte. Once in North Platte, my depression had started to have a stranglehold on me. I couldn't concentrate on my work, ended up living in a homeless shelter there until September. I then decided to see if I can get back into life and returned to York. Boy was I wrong. For then the depression really started choking the life out of me. I was sleeping in my van and eating food out of cans. In November, I decided to go to the People's City Mission in Lincoln. Was there until January of this year. I had the opportunity to return back to my old job at the college in York. But again, my depression grew even darker. On a very cold early morning 2-3 in the morning to be exact, I found myself wondering the streets in just my boxers. In the snow and ice, no shoes or socks. How I was never caught and arrested is beyond me.
It was then that I realized that I needed help. So back to Lincoln I went and back to the shelter. I'm now receiving counseling for my depression. Finally getting proper medical care for my Parkinson's and lupus. But I still have a very long ways to go. Just recently, I've been told of my approval of disability from SSA and that I will be having my own place to call home once again.
So now you all know what I have been thru and where I'm going from here. Thank you all for your years of reading my blogs, and I will continue to entertain you all with my adventures soon again.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ribs! Not Adam's Rib!

Ribs! No matter which kind they are, one just can eat enough. Whether it's short ribs, spare ribs, babybacks, or any other kind.
But for me, when I think of ribs, only one comes to my mind.
Prime rib! The king of ribs?
Ribs are considered the most desirable part of the beef, it is also the most popular when it comes to either roasting or braising. Yes even for grilling too!
There is nothing in beef that is more majestic or desirable as the whole prime rib,  also known as the standing rib roast. It is usually consisted with six to seven bones. When slowly roasted for several hours, it takes on the beautiful color of dark mahogany and the interior is a nice rosy pink.
The ribs are succulent and intended with a beefy flavor.

Herb Prime Rib Roast with Red Wine Demi Glace

1 Bone in Prime rib roast, approximately 10 pounds
2 tbsp. Canola oil
2 tbsp. Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1 tbsp. Cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. Dry mustard
2 tbsp. Fresh rosemary, rough chop
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Fresh thyme

Pat dry the roast, rub with the oil including the bones. Set aside 1 teaspoon of thyme for the sauce. (See following recipe).
Mix dry ingredients and rub all over the roast. Place in roasting pan, bone side down. Cover and let sit at room temperature to 2 hours.
Move oven racks to bottom third of the oven and preheat to 450. Place roast in the oven and cook 30 minutes to reach a nice caramel brown coloring and crispy crust. Reduce heat to 325 and continue to roast for one hour. Remove and place the roast on a platter. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing. 

Red Wine Demi Glace

3 large shallots, medium dice
1/2 c. Brandy
3 c. Red wine
1 c. Demi glace, available in stores
Reserved thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. Red wine vinegar
1/4 c. Butter

Saute shallots slowly in butter until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn heat to heat to high and remove pan from the stove, add brandy and return to stove.  Once back on the burner, it will catch fire burning off the alcohol. Allow to burn until almost dry. Lower the heat to medium high, again remove pan from stove and add the wine. Reduce by half, about 10-15 minutes. Add demi glace, bay leaf and thyme leaves. Simmer gently on low for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaf and set sauce aside until the roast is ready to carve. Warm sauce on low simmer, whisk in butter, vinegar and meat drippings, taste again, preseason if needed. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chocolate Isn't Just For Desserts Anymore!

Last year, I published many ebooks. One is Chocolate Isn't Just For Desserts Anymore.  I have published this cook book, with having in mind that chocolate can be used as a seasoning rather than just as a sweet dessert.
In this blog posting, I will present just a few of what is in my cookbook. If you want to buy this cookbook or any of my other cookbooks, just go to www.smashwords. com.

Red Wine and Dark Chocolate Sauce for Beef Roasts:
An amazing sauce or even gravy for roasted beef is made with a hint of very bitter chocolate. I like to create a basic yet flavorful beef stock that is reduced to one cup. Then waiting a melody of leeks and garlic till caramel color, reglazing with a burgundy blend wine, adding fresh rosemary, then about 2 ounces of 72% good quality bittersweet chocolate. Allow the sauce to gently simmer until it coats the back of a spoon and add about 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter to finish. This sauce has been featured in over hundreds of wine dinners and always makes a lasting impression for family gatherings.

Sweet Diablo Buerre Blanc:
Now if you consider yourself an advanced culinary exposé to your realm of knowledge in food trends, I challenge you to try this out. This recipe is a killer with poultry, pork, lamb, and salmon. Buerre Blanc is a classic French Sauce, that literally means white butter. The sauce has many variations although the basic is made with white wine, garlic, shallot, bay leaves, then cocoa butter is whisk or emulsified with in the reduced wine, creating a rich buttery sauce.

My professional arena with creating food has always stemmed from taking ideas, concepts and ingredients that are not normally thought to go together. This is what I love most about food and cooking out side of the bix , that melds into an unique one of a kind culinary experience., thate in the recipe t be worried about them being over chocolatey, but there is just enough flavor for depth.

Look Out Colonel Sanders! I'm back!

Yes I am back with more and better fried chicken recipes, so I would suggest the the Colonel should step aside and let's start cooking.
Whenever summer comes, I always think of picnics. Then when I think of picnics, I think of fried chicken. Then when I think of fried chicken, I think of buttermilk fried chicken. Whew! That's a lot of thinking and now I'm hungry.
I have developed a recipe for buttermilk batter for fried chicken, which is quite simple and very versatile. You can add any kind of seasonings to it and never go wrong. Enjoy, and have a safe summer.

Buttermilk Batter Fried Chicken

1 c. Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. Buttermilk

Mix together the dry ingredients. Combine egg and buttermilk, then add to dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a skillet.  Dip chicken pieces into batter and then into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown and tender, about 7-10 minutes.
You can serve with honey drizzled over the chicken or with buttermilk gravy. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

It's Summertime! Bring on the Rhubarb!

Summer has finally arrived! Mother Nature has finally made up her mind.
For me, summer means picnics, ice cream, swimming in the lakes or ocean (depending where you live), but most of all it means rhubarb. That wonder summertime fruit, whether it's pies, cakes or a crumble. I will eat it until I burst.
I have came across an old favorite recipe for a rhubarb crumble, that has brought back many memories. I used to serve it warmed with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Talk about a heaven's delight.
I thought that I would share this recipe with you and allow you to make new memories as well for yourself. So enjoy, good eats and have a safe summer.

Brown Sugar Rhubarb Crumble

1 tbsp. Butter, softened at room temperature

For the Topping:
1 c. Flour
1 c. Brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c. Oats
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
8tbsp. Cold butter, cut into small pieces

For the Filling:
7 c. Rhubarb, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices
1 c. Brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 c. Cornstarch
1 tbsp. Lemon juice
2 tsp. Lemon zest
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8X8 inch baking dish with the softened butter and set aside.

Make the topping: In a processor or blender, combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until well combined. Add cold butter and pulsed until a coarse texture is met and clumps together when squeezed lightly, about 1 minute.

Make the Filling: Combine rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until evenly mixed. Transfer to the greased baking and sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. The pan will be very full, but the crumble will settle as it bakes.

Bake until the topping is lightly browned, the rhubarb is tender and the juices are bubbling thickly around the edges, about 45-60 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool to warm or room temperature and allow juices to thickened, about 1 hour.

Serve with your favorite ice cream or whipped topping.