Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chicken Broth, Chicken Soup...You decide!

Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder of the basics. Making chicken broth is easy and economical and you get a bonus...cooked chicken for salad, tacos, casseroles, enchiladas, etc.

Yield 8 cups of chicken broth and 2 pounds of cooked chicken


4 1/2 to 5 pounds (about 6) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 carrots, quartered crosswise
2 celery, quartered crosswise
2 dried bay leaves
4-5 black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves
6 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon granules or 1 large Knorr's cube

Do not add in any salt to the water.


Place breasts in stock pot and pour water over the breasts to cover by about 1-1/2 to 2 inches.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Bring to a boil then quickly reduce the heat to low so that the water is only at a bare simmer (do not boil fast it will toughen the chicken).

Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes only (important).

Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to sit in the water for 15-20 minutes (15 minutes for regular-size breasts and 20 minutes for large breasts). If you have a thermometer, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 160 degrees at the meatiest part of the breasts.

Transfer breasts to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and let cool.

At this point, you can cook the broth more to concentrate the flavors and serve as chicken soup.

Remove vegetables from pot. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter or moist paper towels. Measure broth and if you have more than 8 cups, return to pot and reduce on medium heat till you have approximately 8 cups. Cool and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and cube or shred for your desired usage. You should have around 2 pounds of chicken. The cooked chicken can be frozen for ups to 3 months.

NOTE: You can use a whole chicken instead of the breasts, but you will need to increase the cooking time from 15 minutes to 30 minutes and the soak time to 30 minutes. Check the temp in the thigh. It needs to be 160 degrees.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Taco Pinwheels

Recipe courtesy of Kittencal

These makes a wonderful addition to a buffet table and will be enjoyed by everyone! Plan ahead, the tortilla rolls must be chilled for at least 2 hours before slicing…

Serve with your favorite salsa

Servings about 4-1/2 dozen


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (16-ounce) can refried beans

8 (10-inch) flour tortillas (make certain the tortillas are at room temperature for easy rolling)

3 cups shredded head lettuce

2 large Roma tomatoes, finely chopped

2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chilies

1 cup finely chopped black or green olives (or can use half each)


In a medium bowl combine the soft cream cheese with taco seasoning and garlic powder until well blended.

Stir in the refried beans until thoroughly combined.

Spread about 3-4 tablespoons over each tortilla.

Layer the shredded lettuce, tomatoes, chilies and olives down the center of each tortilla.

Roll up as tightly as possible to about 2-inches in diameter.

Wrap each rolled tortilla in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Slice each rolled tortilla into about 1-inch slices (at this point you may place on a platter cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate until ready to serve).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Shrimp Salad

Recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

This recipe can also be prepared with large shrimp (26/30); the cooking time will be 1 to 2 minutes less. The shrimp can be cooked up to 24 hours in advance, but hold off on dressing the salad until ready to serve. The recipe can be easily doubled; cook the shrimp in a 7-quart Dutch oven and increase the cooking time to 12 to 14 minutes. Serve the salad on a bed of greens or on a buttered and grilled bun.

Serves 4
1 pound extra-large shrimp (21-25), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice plus 1 additional tablespoon, spent halves reserved
5 sprigs fresh parsley leaves plus 1 teaspoon minced parsley leaves
3 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves plus 1 teaspoon minced tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns plus ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar

Table salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 small shallot , minced fine (about 2 tablespoons)
1 small stalk celery , minced (about 1/3 cup)

1. Combine shrimp, 1/4 cup lemon juice, reserved lemon halves, parsley sprigs, tarragon sprigs, whole peppercorns, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt with 2 cups cold water in medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook shrimp, stirring several times, until pink, firm to touch, and centers are no longer translucent, 8 to 10 minutes (water should be just bubbling around edge of pan and register 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer). Remove pan from heat, cover, and let shrimp sit in broth for 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with ice water. Drain shrimp into colander, discard lemon halves, herbs, and spices. Immediately transfer shrimp to ice water to stop cooking and chill thoroughly, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from ice water and pat dry with paper towels.

3. Whisk together mayonnaise, shallot, celery, remaining tablespoon lemon juice, minced parsley, and minced tarragon in medium bowl. Cut shrimp in half lengthwise and then each half into thirds; add shrimp to mayonnaise mixture and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Poop Deck Cocktail

Recipe from Harry Craddock's "The Savoy Cocktail Book," Pavilion, 2007

Named after the nautical term for a deck over the stern of a ship, this sweet recipe comes from the classic "The Savoy Cocktail Book," which collects the recipes of renowned London barman Harry Craddock.

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

1 cup cracked ice

1 ounce blackberry brandy

1/2 ounce port

1/2 ounce brandy

Place the ice in a 2-cup measuring glass. Add the blackberry brandy, port and brandy, then stir for 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vietnamese Shrimp Pops with Peanut Sauce

Here's a great recipe from Weber's Way to Grill. As far as technique goes, this is fairly easy, but it tastes like you put a lot of effort into it.

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

WAY TO GRILL: direct high heat (450° to 550°F)
GRILLING TIME: 4 to 6 minutes
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, stirred
1⁄3 cup old-fashioned peanut butter, stirred
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Shrimp Pops
1 pound ground pork
¾ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
2 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup vegetable oil

1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the sauce ingredients. Place over medium heat and cook (but do not simmer), whisking constantly, just until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes (the sauce will thicken further as it cools). Remove from the heat.

2. In a food processor or blender, pulse the shrimp pop ingredients and process until a chunky paste is formed. Pour the vegetable oil onto a sheet pan and brush it evenly all over the surface. Using 2 spoons, shape the mixture into small ovals or quenelles, placing them on the oiled sheet pan as you make them. Turn them, making sure they are well coated with oil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up the texture.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat.

4. Place a quenelle on the end of each skewer. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the shrimp pops over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until they are opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once or twice (cut one open with a sharp knife to test for doneness). Arrange the shrimp pops on a serving platter. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.

©2009 Weber-Stephen Products Co. Recipe from Weber’s Way to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Super Easy-No Machine Chocolate Ice Cream

Recipe and photo compliments of Cook's Illustrated

Makes 1 quart

If you plan to store the ice cream for more than a few days, place plastic wrap directly on its surface before freezing. See Notes below.

1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
1 tablespoon hot water
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream , cold

1. MELT CHOCOLATE BASE Combine coffee (or espresso) powder and hot water in small bowl. Let stand until coffee dissolves, about 5 minutes. Microwave chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and coffee mixture in bowl, stirring every 10 seconds, until chocolate is melted, about 1 minute. Stir in vanilla and salt. Let cool.

2. MIX AND FREEZE With electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream to soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Whisk one-third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Fold remaining whipped cream into chocolate mixture until incorporated. Freeze in airtight container until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 2 weeks. Serve.


Follow these steps for chocolate ice cream that’s incredibly easy—and delicious.

1. Skip the double boiler. Start by microwaving the chocolate, coffee, and condensed milk until the chocolate is melted.

2. Skip the ice cream machine. For fluffy texture that mimics churned ice cream, gently fold in whipped cream.

3. Skip the stirring. Simply pour the mixture into a container and freeze for at least six hours.


  • We used sweetened condensed milk in place of cream because it maintained its velvety texture in the freezer.
  • Instead of a double boiler, we kept things simple and used the microwave to melt the chocolate and combine the ingredients.
  • For a fluffy, light texture similar to churned ice cream, we took a cue from the Italian dessert semifreddo and folded in whipped cream.
  • Bittersweet chocolate also worked well in maintaining the texture. To heighten chocolate flavor even more, we turned to instant coffee powder. The note of bitterness intensified the chocolate without making it taste like a cup of coffee. It also helped balance the sweetness of the condensed milk.
  • A pinch of salt and a little vanilla extract rounded out the flavors.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lemon Tea Cookies

This is a delightful recipe I found on RecipeZaar posted by Lavender Lynn. This recipe is extremely close to the one I use for catering. These are very easy to make. You can use store-bought lemon curd for convenience. They are always a hit.

3 hours | 1¼ hours prep

Yield: 3 dozen


  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. In large bowl, Beat butter, 1/3 C powdered sugar, and vanilla with mixer on medium speed until well blended.
  2. Stir in flour until dough forms.
  3. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes
  4. Heat oven to 350°F Shape dough into 1" balls.
  5. Place balls 2" apart. Press thumb into center of each ball to make indentation.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove to cooling racks and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  8. In 1 qt saucepan, heat all filling ingredients over low heat about 25 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
  9. Cool about 15 minutes.
  10. Fill each thumbprint with rounded 1/4 tsp filling. Sprinkle 1 T powdered sugar over cookies.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Grilled Jalapeno-Cream Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers

Recipe and photo courtesy of Kittencal

One of my favorite burgers! you may omit the jalapeno but don’t not omit the cream cheese feel free to season with your favorite spices…plan ahead the burgers need to be refrigerated overnight to blend flavors

Yield 8 burgers


1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 garlic love, minced (can omit if desired if you are a garlic lover add it in!)

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 package dry onion soup mix (can use the whole package if desired)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Montreal Steak seasoning (or use fresh ground black pepper)


In a small bowl mix the cream cheese with jalapeno and 1 minced garlic clove.

In another bowl combine the ground beef with 1/2 package dry onion soup mix (or use the whole package) 4 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning.

Divide the ground beef into 16 equal portions.

Pat each portion into about 1/2-inch thickness (doesn’t have to be exactly 1/2-inch).

Spoon a scant 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into the center of 8 patties (do not spread).

Top with remaining patties pressing down the edges to seal the meat together. Make an indentation in the center with your thumb being careful to not destroy the seal. This will help when the patty is cooked and expands.

Place on a plate then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 2 days.

Heat grill to medium heat, then oil the grill grates.

Grill for about 10 minutes per side (do not press down the burger while cooking or the cream cheese mixture may drizzle out).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Super Quick and Easy Blueberry-Banana Cheesecake

The first time I tasted this I just couldn't believe how fantastic the combination of blueberries and bananas tasted...it's a slice of heaven. I now put blueberries and bananas on my cereal in the morning! This is pretty darn quick and easy. Your kids would love to get into the act on this one.

Yield: 2 cheesecakes

12 Ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
8 Ounces Cool Whip®
4 Each Bananas, sliced
1 Can Blueberry Pie Filling
2 Each Graham Cracker Crumb Pie Crusts

1. Using an electric mixer, beat together first 4 ingredients, then fold in Cool Whip.
2. Place slices of 2 bananas on bottom of each pie crust.
3. Pour cream cheese mixture over bananas.
4. Spoon half can of blueberry pie filling over each pie.
5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shrimp and Peanut Butter Pasta

Chef Katie Bingham adapted this recipe from the "Moosewood Low-Fat Cookbook." One taste-tester wrote that it "made me think I've been missing out on something."

Makes 4 to 6 servings


3 tablespoons peanut butter, room temperature

¼ cup water

1 garlic clove

½ jalapeno, seeded

2 tablespoons cider or rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

¼ cup diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root

2 tablespoons cilantro

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


1 pound favorite pasta

1 cup broccoli, sliced

1 cup cauliflower, sliced

1 carrot, peeled, cut into matchsticks

1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined

Creole seasoning

In a blender, puree all sauce ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cool water. Toss with peanut sauce.

While pasta is cooking, saute broccoli, cauliflower and carrots until al dente. Add to peanut-pasta mixture.

In the same skillet, saute shrimp with a little Creole seasoning until just cooked through. Do not overcook. Serve on top of veggie peanut pasta.

Friday, June 26, 2009

PF Chang's™ Orange Peel Chicken

Description: Lightly coated pieces of chicken with a hint of citrus served with a tangy tomato-based sauce.

Serves 4


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
peel from 1/4 orange, julienned (into 1/8"-thick strips)
cooked white or brown rice, to serve


1. Prepare the sauce: In medium saucepan, heat oil; add garlic and onions; do not let the garlic burn; add tomato sauce; bring to boil.
2. Add sugar, chili sauce and soy sauce; bring to boil; simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce thickens; remove from heat.
3. Prepare chicken: In wok or large skillet, heat oil. Meanwhile cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
4. In medium bowl combine egg and milk; mix well. Place flour in shallow dish.
5. Coat chicken pieces - first in the flour, then the egg wash and back into the flour. Cook in 2 or 3 batches until all chicken is cooked.
6. When chicken is done, remove oil and rinse out wok with water; reheat pan. When hot, add orange peel and chicken; heat through -
about a minute - stirring gently. Add sauce; heat through.
7. Serve with white or brown rice.

TGI Friday's™ Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Description: A creamy Alfredo sauce bathes al dente fettuccine pasta ribbons. All topped off with juicy chicken–sautéed with red bell peppers in a special Cajun butter–finished with Parmesan shavings.

Serves 4


10 oz. cooked fettuccine (cooked al dente)

1 cup Spicy Cajun Pasta Sauce (recipe follows)

1 boneless chicken breast, cooked and sliced in strips

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Spicy Cajun Pasta Sauce:

2 oz. olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic

1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

1/2 cup coarsely chopped green peppers

1/2 cup coarsely chopped red peppers

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup V-8 juice

cornstarch (mix about a table spoon with a couple tablespoons cold water to form a slurry)

salt and pepper, to taste


1. Prepare sauce: Heat oil in saute pan; add garlic; saute for 30 seconds; add onions and saute for 1 minute; add peppers and continue to saute for another minute. Deglaze with chicken stock and reduce to half. Add V-8 juice and cayenne pepper; bring to boil; simmer 10 minutes.

2. Thicken to consistency with cornstarch; season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Add cooked pasta to sauce and heat through until hot.

4. Arrange on serving dish and top with chicken breast. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.

Olive Garden™ Chicken Marsala

Lightly coated chicken breasts skillet fried with sauteed mushrooms in a Marsala sauce.

Serves 4


1/4 cup cake flour (Wondra)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

4 tablespoons oil

4 tablespoons butter

4 chicken half breasts -

boneless, skinless

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup Marsala wine


1. In shallow dish, combine flour, salt, pepper and oregano; stir to blend.

2. In heavy skillet, heat oil and butter until butter melts and mixture bubbles lightly.

3. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour; shake off excess; saute in pan 2 minutes for the first side or until lightly browned; as you turn chicken, add mushrooms around the chicken pieces. Cook about 2 more minutes, until lightly browned on the second side; stir mushrooms. Once the second side is lightly browned, add wine around the pieces; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Transfer to plates and serve.

Rice Pudding with Orange Zest

The Winelady was kind enough to send me this blog post via Foodbuzz. I liked it so much I decided to share it here on Southern Flavor Zone. Enjoy!

Recipe and photo courstesy of Mangia! Winelady Cooks

I'm a dessert lover and rice pudding has always been a favorite. However, in recent years I stopped making it because it was way too rich and not very healthy with all the eggs and cream. Not that eggs and cream are unhealthy, but for my personal health concerns I started cutting back on the rich foods that add too many calories making the pounds add up faster than I can say grandma.

I came across this recipe in Woman's Day magazine. I made it several times, and based on the critiques I received from my "tasters" I made a few changes and came up with a very tasty rice pudding. I splurged with "real" whipped cream which is a "must have" on rice pudding.


* 2/3 cup Arborio rice
* 8 cups water
* pinch of salt
* 3 cups 1% milk
* 1 5 oz. can "evaporated" milk
* 3 TBLS. packed light brown sugar
* 2 TBLS. granulated sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1 tsp. grated orange zest
* 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

#1. Place rice in a strainer and rinse under cold water. Stir with your fingers to remove some of the surface starch. Place the rice in a 5 quart saucepan with the 8 cups of water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium and then boil for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is just tender. (Try not to overcook the rice). Drain rice and return to the pot.

#2. Stir in the milk and sugar into the rice, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to a slow simmer.

Simmer, stirring frequently at first and then continuously toward the end for about 25 minutes, or until the rice doubles in size and is soft and tender. (The mixture will be very liquidy. Don't panic.)

#3. Pour into a bowl, stir in the vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

Let cool on the counter before refrigerating. Refrigerate at least 4 or 5 hours. The liquid will be absorbed into the rice and will then be ready to serve.

#4. Add grated orange zest and cinnamon to garnish and serve with fresh whipped cream.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crawfish Curry with Mango Chutney

Another gem from Chef Susan Spicer at Bayona, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. She's a master at combining local ingredients with techniques and flavors from other parts of the world; here Louisiana meets Thailand and India in a sweet, tangy dish that you don't have to be too adventurous to love.

3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
1 gren bell pepper
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
2 zucchini, 1/4 inch dice
1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced
3 tablespoons flour
1 quart of shrimp stock or crawfish stock
6 ounces pineapple juice
2 tablespoons curry paste
1 pound crawfish tails, or substitute raw shrimp if crawfish are not available

For the mango chutney:
1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, mincced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup raisins

Suggested condiments:
Crispy fried onions
Chopped nuts
Chopped egg
Toasted coconut

The mango chutney: Sauté onion and ginger in the oil, then add the diced apple and let it pick up some color. Add the mango, sugar, vinegar and raisins, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Let cool.

The curry: In a 2-3 quart saucepot, sauté the onion, peppers and garlic in peanut oil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with the flour, then stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Whisk in the stock, pineapple juice and curry paste. Bring to a boil, whisking all the while, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, longer if it needs further thickening.

Shortly before serving, sauté the crawfish or shrimp with the apple in a large sauté pan with a little bit of peanut oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the curry base and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and red pepper, or you may add a bit more curry paste if you like. Serve hot over long grain or jasmine rice, and your choice of the suggested condiments.

YIELD: 4-12 portions, depending on how much of an oinker y'all wanna be

Jalapeno Chutney

This recipe was passed to me by my dear friends Kirby and Suzie. I have not made this yet, but Kirby says it's a good'n.

Yield: 4 cups

4 medium Fresh mangos

3/4 cup raisins

½ cup Light brown sugar

3 cups Sugar

½ tablespoon Fresh garlic; minced

½ cup Honey

1 tablespoon Lime juice

½ cup Water

¼ cup Vinegar

½ tablespoon Ginger; (ground)

2 tablespoons Diced red bell pepper

½ cup Diced fresh jalapenos

1 teaspoon Salt

½ tablespoon Fresh ground black pepper

Peel mangos and cut from the pit. Chop into chunks. Place all ingredients into large pot. Bring mixture to boil and continue boiling uncovered for 25 minutes. Mixture will thicken slightly as liquid is reduced. Pour into large bowl of food processor, pulsing briefly to coarsely mince chutney before serving.


(1) When making this recipe, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated because of the

boiling jalapenos

(2) Add more jalapenos if you hot. Enjoy!

Kitten’s Banana-Almond Streusel Muffins

Recipe courtesy of Kittencal

These muffins bake moist and high with a wonderful banana almond flavor… a long time favorite recipe I still make to this day, depending on the size of bananas, the yield may vary slightly.

Yield 12 muffins


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (can increase to 1 teaspoon)

1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped almonds

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1/3 cup melted butter

1/3 cup chopped almonds


1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons soft butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Set oven rack to second-lowest position.

Line 12 regular size muffin tins with paper liners.

For streusel topping; in a bowl combine the flour with brown sugar and cinnamon; using your fingers blend in the butter, then mix in the chopped almonds; set aside.

For muffins; in a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chopped almonds.

In a medium bowl whisk melted butter with sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined then mix in the mashed bananas until blended.

Using a wooden spoon, mix in the wet mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (do not over mix. Small lumps in the batter are okay).

Divide batter evenly between each muffin tin.

Sprinkle prepared streusel mixture over the top of each muffin.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until muffins test done.

Grilled Chicken with Corn and Poblano Chile Sauce


Recipe courtesy of Debi Shawcross

Serves 4


¾ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch cilantro

½ bunch Italian parsley

5 green onions, chopped

2 Serrano chiles, chopped, with seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

3 ears fresh corn, husked, and kernels removed from cob

½ cup water

1 cup heavy cream

1 Poblano chile, seeded and diced

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Transfer marinade to a large zip-lock bag and add chicken breasts. Marinate in the refrigerator 8-24 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat for 6-7 minutes per side, turning often. Transfer grilled chicken to platter and let sit 10 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick slices.

While the chicken is resting, prepare the sauce: Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and poblano chile peppers and sauté 3-5 minutes. Add corn kernels and water and simmer 1 minute longer. Add the cream and simmer 1 minute longer. Gradually add the cheese and stir until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the sauce onto the serving plates and place the chicken on top of the sauce.

Kitten’s Fried Italian Parmesan Zucchini Slices

Recipe courtesy of Kittencal

You can use this recipe for cauliflower (parboil before frying), mushrooms, squash, and eggplant. All are extremely yummy.

These may not even make it to the table they are that good! … use only dry breadcrumbs

Servings 6


1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (rubbed between fingers to release the flavors)

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or adjust to heat level

2 medium zucchini, unpeeled and sliced into 1/2 to 3/4-inch rounds.

2 eggs, beaten (you may need another egg)

1 tablespoon water

olive oil for frying


In a shallow bowl whisk the eggs with 1 tablespoon water.

In another shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs with 8 dry ingredients.

Have all the zucchini slices breaded and on a plate before frying.

Dip the slices firstly in the egg mixture allowing excess to drip off, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture pressing down firmly with hands to adhere the coating to the slices (do not discard the coating you can dip in again before frying).

Place all coated slices on a plate/s.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

If you have any leftover breadcrumb mixture you can give the slices a quick coating again just before placing in the oil.

Fry the slices in batches until golden brown and crispy turing once or twice.

Transfer to a rack or a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve immediately (that is if you have any left to serve lol!).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rich Moist Zucchini Chocolate Cake

The Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Canola oil
1/4 cup Unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 cup Light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Instant coffee powder
3 eggs
1/4 cup Milk
2 cups Zucchini, grated then chopped slightly

The Topping
3 tablespoons Light brown sugar
1/2 cup Pistachios, toasted and chopped

The Procedure
  1. Preheat oven to 360F/180c for 15 minutes.
  2. Grease and flour a 9 inch spring-form pan. You can use cocoa instead of flour.
  3. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour,cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl add oil, applesauce, sugars, vanilla extract and coffee powder. Using a hand mixer beat the mixture in medium speed for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs in 3 additions beating it after every addition. Now also add the milk and beat until well combined.
  6. Reserving half a cup of the flour mixture, add slowly the remaining flour to the wet ingredients, while beating it in low speed. Combine well the grated zucchini, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of flour. Add this to the batter and mix it well. Note that the batter is thick at this stage. So don’t worry.
  7. Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and smooth it out using a spatula. While using a spring-form pan it’s advisable to place the pan on a baking sheet, so that the batter or baked cake does not fall down if the pan is not locked properly.
  8. Prepare the topping by mixing the brown sugar and pistachios. Sprinkle this mixture evenly on the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Mine was done in 45 minutes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Crescent-Almond Topped Chicken Casserole

Recipe adapted from of Kittencal . Visit Kittencal for original recipe.

Another favorite chicken casserole that also works well with cooked turkey. You can prepare the soup mixture and refrigerate overnight. Before using, warm in the microwave or on top of the stove until hot, the filling must be hot before topping with the dough, if desired double all ingredients and bake it in a 13 x 9-inch pan.

Servings 4-6


3-4 tablespoons butter (or as needed)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, diced

2 carrots, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced (garlic lovers can use more)

1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms (or can use as much as desired)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 (10-3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

2/3 cup mayonnaise (do not use salad dressing)

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups cooked chopped chicken

1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1/4 cup peas, frozen

salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


1 (8-ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup slivered almonds

3 tablespoon melted butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

In a large saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat.

Add in onions, celery, and carrots; saute until softened (about 4 minutes).

Add in garlic, sliced mushrooms, and cayenne pepper; cook stirring until the mushrooms are tender.

Add in condensed soup, sour cream 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese; mix until smooth and combined.

Mix in the cooked chicken and water chestnuts; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5-6 minutes or until heated through.

Season with salt and pepper (at this point you may refrigerate the mixture until ready to use for the casserole, the mixture must be warmed before topping with the crescent dough).

Add frozen peas at last minute before transferring to baking dish.

For topping; unroll the crescent roll dough and shape into two rectangles then seal all perforations together.

Place the dough rectangles over the hot chicken mixture trimming to fit the baking dish if necessary (the filling mixture must be hot before topping with the crescent dough).

In a small bowl combine 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese with the sliced almonds then sprinkle over the crescent dough.

Drizzle melted butter over the top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the crescent topping crust is browned.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sausage and Egg 'Muffins'

Recipe Courtesy of Kittencal

To save time you can make the egg mixture up the night before and refrigerate just spoon into the muffin cups and bake in the morning!

Add in some cooked finely cubed potatoes or whatever you like, these may also be baked in jumbo muffin tins for a slightly longer baking time

Servings 12


1/2 pound bulk pork sausage (mild or spicy)

3 garlic cloves, minced

12 large eggs

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup or 1 large green onion, finely chopped)

1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Set oven rack to second-lowest position.

Generously grease 12 regular-size muffin cups.

In a skillet cook the sausage meat with garlic until browned; drain fat.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs, then add in onion, bell pepper, salt and black pepper.

Stir in the cooked sausage and shredded cheese.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of the egg/sausage mixture into each greased muffin tin.

Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until just set.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Pie

This is delicious and very easy to make. Enjoy!

1 9″ pie shell, baked
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
whipped cream
confectioners sugar

Take a little more than half of the berries and mash them in a bowl with sugar and cornstarch. Place the mixture in a double boiler and cook until it thickens and becomes a glaze. Remove from heat. Take all but 4 of the remaining berries and slice them lengthwise. Place slice berries on the bottom of the cooked pie crust. Pour cooked berries over and let set. When completely cool and ready to serve, cover entire top with whipped cream. Dip the last 4 berries in confectioners sugar and use to garnish the pie.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Grilled Pork with Bourbon Whiskey Marinade

Recipe courtesy of: Kittencal

Your going to love this marinade!..

Plan ahead, there is a marinating time of 8-24 hours, you should have enough marinade for a small pork roast or 2 tenderloins or 7 (3/4-inch) pork chops… if you are rationing your bourbon you may reduce to 1/3 cup but 1/2 cup is better to use.

Yield 2-1/4 cups (approx)


3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (use only low-sodium)

1/2 cup bourbon whiskey

1/4 cup Worcestershires sauce

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh minced gingerroot (or use 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger powder)

3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning spice (or can use 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper)

Do not add in any salt to the marinade


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

Pour over 2 pork tenderloins or 7 3/4-inch thick pork chops or a small pork roast

Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

Remove the pork and discard marinade.

Grill as desired.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dionicia's Famous Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is simply the BEST of the BEST!! The recipe comes from Ernesto's Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. If you find a better recipe, I sure would like to know about it.

1¼ hours | 15 min prep


* 12 roma tomatoes, whole
* 3 teaspoons oregano (Mexican if you have it)
* 10 garlic cloves
* 5 bay leaves
* 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (can substitute ground)
* 2 teaspoons marjoram
* 1 teaspoon thyme
* 6 large peppercorns
* 3 teaspoons peppercorns, small
* 1 tablespoon oil
* 1/4 cup onion
* 4 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
* 8 pieces chicken
* 8 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
* 2 avocados
* 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Boil tomatoes 10 minutes.
2. Place tomatoes and next 8 ingredients in blender and blend for 4 minutes.
3. Saute onion in oil and add blender contents by pouring through a mesh strainer.
4. Add one quart of water to strainer and swirl.
5. Put leftover ingredients from strainer in 1/2 cup of water, blend well and strain into pot.
6. Add one more quart of water.
7. Add chicken bouillon and chicken pieces and boil until chicken is cooked.
8. Fry tortilla strips in oil until crispy.
9. Heat 8-10 oz. of stock for each serving. Place one piece of chicken in stock to heat and then debone.
10. Fill bowl with a handful of chips, 3-4 avocado slices, meat of one piece of chicken, cover with mozzarella cheese.
11. Pour boiling broth over ingredients in bowl and serve.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Churros, OMG Sweet Hot Churros!

These fried fritters are just delightful. They are served by street vendors all over Mexico and Spain. They are best eaten hot from the fryer which usually means homemade or from a vendor who is actually frying on the spot. They are inexpensive and easy to make.

Yield: About 20 4-inch long

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
peanut or safflower oil for frying
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the water, milk, salt and oil in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat, and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until it forms a stiff, dry ball.

Transfer the dough to the large bowl of an electric mixer and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Beat it on medium-high speed for 1 minute, or until the dough softens and becomes more malleable. Add the egg and continue beating. At first the dough will be in pieces, but as you continue to beat it, it will come together to form a smooth mixture. Set it aside to cool. Mix the sugar and the cinnamon and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat at least 1 inch of oil in a deep 8 or 9-inch skillet until it reaches 350 degrees. Cuff the top of a 12-inch pastry bag and insert a large star or fluted tube (1/2-inch opening). Fill the bag with half of the dough, push the dough down towards the tip and twist the top of the bag closed. Hold the bag perpendicular to the skillet about 3 inches above the oil and
squeeze out a 3 or 4-inch length of dough directly into the hot oil. Cut the flow of the dough off with a knife. Squeeze out 2 or 3 more lengths of dough depending on the size of the skillet. Fry each churro until golden brown on one side before flipping it over to the other side to brown. Drain on Absorbent paper, sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture, and serve immediately. Instead of the sugar/cinnamon topping, you can dunk them into chocolate.

Chocolate for Churro Dunking

4 ozs dark chocolate, chopped

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 tablespoons sugar

Place the clocolate and half the milk in a pan and heat, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk and whisk into the chocolate with the sugar. Cook on low heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is thickened, about five minutes. Add extra cornstarch if it doesn't start to thicken after 5 minutes. Remove and whisk smooth. Pour and server in cups or bowls for dunking churros. Do not pour over churros, but use the mix for dunking churros after every bite. Served warm.

Succulent and Beautiful BBQ Beer-Can Chicken

Original recipe adapted and modified from Cook's Illustrated
Photos from Cook's Illustrated

We have done a lot of beer-can chickens in our day, but when I saw the techniques that the Cook's Illustrated Test Kitchen used, I was converted. Using these techniques have substantially improved the appearance and flavor of our chickens. Read all the way through the recipe and the additional info before you start. You are gonna be really glad you tried this!


  • Bank the coals in the grill on either side of a disposable aluminum pan. The coals will cook the chicken evenly and the pan will catch dripping fat from the chicken.
  • Open the top of the can wide open with a church key to allow the greatest amount of steam to escape. The normal hole is far too small.
  • Lance the chicken’s skin with a skewer to make holes from which rendering fat can escape.
  • Rub the chicken liberally with a spice rub on top of and underneath the skin.
  • Coat the chicken with a sweet-tart glaze towards the end of cooking to improve the chicken’s flavor and color. If applied too early, the glaze will burn.

Makes 2 chickens, serving 4 to 6

Look for chickens that weigh between 3 and 3 1/2 pounds; if they are significantly larger, you may have trouble fitting the lid on the grill.

Spice Rub

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons Creole seasoning

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons beer

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Beer and Chicken

2 (12-ounce) cans beer

4 crumbled bay leaves

2 whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds each), patted dry

4 cups mesquite wood chips

1. For the spice rub: Mix brown sugar, Creole seasoning, and black pepper in bowl.

2. For the glaze: Stir brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, beer, and hot sauce together in medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon spice rub.

3. For the rest: Measure out 1 cup beer from each can; take 2 tablespoons from measured beer and add to ketchup glaze. Prepare beer cans as shown in photo 1, and add 2 crumbled bay leaves to each can.

4. Prepare chickens as shown in photos 2 through 4.

5. Soak wood chips in bowl of water to cover for 15 minutes. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (about 90 coals) and burn until charcoal is covered with fine gray ash. Place 13 by 9-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan in center of grill. Pour half of coals into pile on each side of grill, leaving pan in center. Scatter wood chips evenly over coals, set cooking grate in place, cover, and let grill heat up 5 minutes.

6. Place chickens (on cans) on center of grate, using drumsticks to stabilize them. Cover and grill until skin is well browned and very crisp, 40 to 60 minutes. Brush with ketchup glaze and grill, covered, until thigh meat registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer. Wearing oven mitts or using wad of paper towels, transfer chickens (still on cans) from grill to cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Hold base of can with oven mitt or wad of paper towels, insert tongs into neck cavity of chicken, and pull chicken off can. Carve and serve.

Flavor That's More Than Skin Deep

From its crisp, spiced skin to moist meat, beer-can chicken is flavored through and through. Here's how to get the ultimate beer-can chicken experience from your grill.

1. Use a church key can opener to punch holes in the top of the can; this will allow the maximum amount of steam to escape.

2. Loosen the skin on the breasts and thighs of the chicken by sliding your fingers between the skin and the meat.

3. Massage the spice mixture on the skin, under the skin, and inside the cavity.

4. Using a skewer, poke the skin all over to render as much fat as possible.