Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week 7: Baby Back Ribs and Pumpkin Mania

Dan and I spent this Saturday picking out pumpkins, carving jack-o-lanterns and making Pumpkin Seeds.  I had the better pumpkin.  I had the better pattern.  And in the daylight, I had the better jack-o-lantern. 

Then, darkness descended on Quinapoxet Avenue. 


When lit up, his jack-o-lantern kicked my jack-o-lantern’s ass!  How did he know it would look like that!?!?!?!  Friggin’ Engineers.

Pumpkin Seeds

  • 2 Cups Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼  teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Spread on a parchment lined baking pan and cook 1 hour at 275, stirring every 15 minutes.

Dan asked for homemade ribs this week since I was sick last Sunday during the Dallas game. These need to be started the day before, but they are well worth the extra preparation. You can make this with pre-made BBQ sauce or use the Zesty homemade version below!

Zesty BBQ Sauce

  • 2 Cups Ketchup
  • 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
  • 1 ½ Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 ¼ Cups Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ Cup Molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Celery Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper

1. Combine wet ingredients in a large saucepan.  Add spices and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Oven Baby Back Ribs

  • 2 Racks Baby Back Ribs
  • 8 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay
  • ½ teaspoon Thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Cups BBQ Sauce

1. Combine dry ingredients and rub into Ribs.  
2. Create a large foil packet and place Ribs inside.  Refrigerate 8-48 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 250.  Leaving the Ribs in the foil packet, bake 3 hours.
4. Remove Ribs from foil and place on foil lined pan.  Increase temperature to 300 and bake for 1 hour, basting with BBQ Sauce every 10-15 minutes.
5. Broil for 5 minutes just until sauce in bubbly and charred.
Serve with extra sauce on the side.

Happy Cooking!

Week 5: Sloppy Joes for Sloppy Jets

Okay.  I was wrong.  I can admit it.  Or rather, I have had to admit it several times since the end of this game.

I don’t particularly care for BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because he has so many names.  Or maybe it’s because I think “The Law Firm” is a pretty dumbass nickname.  Maybe I don’t even have what some people would refer to as “a sane reason.”  Some things just are.

136 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns later, I am eating crow.  Lots and lots of it. 

I guess he is okay. 

In honor of Sexy Rexy and the Jets, we are making Sloppy Joes!  New York isn’t exactly known for Sloppy Joes - but New Jersey is.  They are also known for “Disco Fries.”  I, and most everyone I know, refer to these as Poutine or Gravy Fries, but leave it to New Jersey to come up with the most ridiculous colloquialisms.  Since I already blogged about fries once, just scroll down to that recipe, add Mozzarella and Gravy, and Voila! Disco Fries.  

Sloppy Joes

  • ¾ Lb Ground Beef
  • ¼ Cup Onion, diced
  • ¼ Cup Green Pepper, diced
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¾ Cup Ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Potato Rolls

1. Brown Meat, Onion and Peppers in a pan.
2. Add the rest.  Simmer 20 minutes before serving on Potato Rolls.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 4: Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Goat Cheese Phyllo Cups and Stuffed Serranos

Holy Rusted Metal Batman!  Brady is back.  For those of you who missed this very factual and high-brow article by Barstool Sports, Brady cut his hair!

Obviously his hair stylist has the magic touch.  I have a sneaking suspicion the same stylist also did Wilfork’s hair this week, but I can’t prove it.   

While we are on the subject of things I can’t prove, I heard Arrested Development is coming back for 10 episodes and a movie.  I love you, Bluth Family.  You make me seem so normal. More than that - you make my family seem sane!  (well, ...almost)  I don’t know why this took so long.  Jeffrey Tambor is a comic genius and Jason Bateman is hysterical as long as Jennifer Aniston isn’t within a 50 mile radius.  I swear if she somehow nabs a guest spot and ruins this for me, I will erase all my DVR’ed episodes of Friends.

Stuffed Serranos
These are only mildly spicy.  If you want more of a kick, I would suggest using Hot Sausage, exchanging the Parmesan for Pepper Jack or adding a few dashes of Cayenne.

  • 1 Lb Sweet Sausage
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 C shredded Parmesan
  • 2 Shallots
  • 10 Hot Peppers (Serranos, Poblanos or Jalepenos)
  • EVOO

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash, Halve, De-Stem and De-Seed the Serranos.  Set aside.
3. In a Saute pan, heat oil and cook shallots 3-5 minutes or until translucent.  Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Saute Sausage until done.  Drain and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine Shallots, Sausage, Cream Cheese, and Parmesan.  Mix well.  Stuff approximately 1-2 Tbsp of Sausage mixture into each pepper half.
6. Arrange Peppers on a parchment lined pan and bake 30 minutes until they the Sausage is browned on top and the Peppers are cooked through.
*Serve with Ranch or Sour Cream for dipping.

Goat Cheese Phyllo Cups
This recipe was made for me less than 2 weeks ago by my friends Eric and Erica Lesperance.  I loved it so much I had to make it again this soon and with only minor changes.

  • 2 packages Mini Phyllo Cups (30 total)
  • 4 oz Pancetta, diced
  • ⅔ C Light Cream
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • ⅛ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Garlic Salt
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Seasoned Salt
  • 4 oz Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 C Green Onion, diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 and arrange Mini Phyllo cups on a parchment lined pan.
2. In a small pan, saute Pancetta.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.
3. In a bowl, whisk together Cream, Eggs, Pepper, Garlic Salt, Garlic Powder, Cayenne and Seasoned Salt.  Blend in Pancetta, Goat Cheese and Green Onion.
4. Fill each Phyllo cup and bake 15-20 minutes until the cups are browned and the eggs have set.

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¼ C Mayo
  • ½ C Grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 14 oz Artichoke Hearts, drained and Chopped
  • 1 pkg Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ C Shredded Mozzerella
  • 10 Flour Tortillas
  • EVOO
  • Sea Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix together Cream Cheese, Mayo, Parmesan, Minced Garlic, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper.  Gently stir in Artichokes and Spinach.
3. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased baking dish and top with Mozzarella.  Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly.
4. While the dip is baking, stack and cut the Tortillas into fourths.  On a small plate, pour 2-3 Tbsp of EVOO and season with Salt and Pepper.  Using a brush, apply seasoned oil to Tortillas sparingly.  Arrange the tortillas onto a foil or parchment lined pan and bake 3-5 minutes per side or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with sea salt while warm and serve immediately.

Next Week: Look forward to a guest post by Dan!
Happy Cooking!

Week 3: Pizza and Dip

I blame Giselle. And OchoCinco.  His game is non-existent, why couldn’t she marry him if she was going to ruin someone?

I am not even going to discuss the game, other than to say we played Buffalo, Wes Welker is still the man, and  we made Margherita Pizza, Buffalo Wings and Reuben Dip.  

Margherita Pizza
  • Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • Pizza Dough
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Fresh Basil, diced

1. Preheat oven according to Pizza Dough directions.
2. Using a spoon, spread Marinara sauce on dough.  Layer with Mozzarella and diced Basil.  
3. Cook according to directions.

Baked Reuben Dip
  • 2/3 pound thinly sliced corned beef
  • 3/4 cup light cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 3/4 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • marble rye, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
2. Spread in a lightly greased baking dish and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Serve with Marble Rye.

Happy Cooking!

Week 2: Carne Asada Fries

The Pats hosted the Chargers last night for their home opener and as predicted, they rocked it!  Brady threw for 423 yards, add that to the 517 he threw for 6 days ago and he is the owner of yet another Patriots throwing record.  And Brady didn’t even make the best play of the game!  That honor belongs to Vince Wilfork, who had his first career interception and lumbered down the field like a man of only 300 lbs!  Dale was right when he named his fantasy football team Vincewillforkyoureteamup.  

In honor of San Diego we made Carne Asada Fries.  This took awhile to make, but was well worth the effort.  Homemade Garlic Parmesan Fries topped with Citrus Flavored Carne Asada, Homemade Pico de Gallo and Sweet and Spicy Guacamole.  HEAVEN!

Parmesan Garlic Fries
  • 4 Russet Potatoes, cut into ¼ inch strips
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
  • ¼ C Grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Beau Monde
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Salt
  • EVOO
  • Pepper

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.  Place potato strips on a greased pan in a single layer.  Bake 35 minutes or until done.

Carne Asada
  • 1.5 Lbs Flank Steak
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno, minced
  • 1 C Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • 1 Orange, juiced
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ½ C EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Combine all ingredients except the steak.  Mix well.
2. Place Steak in a large Ziploc Bag.  Cover with Marinade and refridgerate for 4-24 Hours.  (the longer the better, I let mine sit for 24 hours)
3.  Remove steak from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling.
4. Preheat grill and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 ½ C Tomato, diced and seeded
  • ¼ C Onion, minced
  • 1  Jalapeno, minced
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • ¼ C Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1.Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Sweet and Spicy Guacamole

  • 3 Avocados
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • ½ C Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Serrano, minced
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ C onion, minced
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp Cayenne
  • ½ Cup Mango, minced
  • dash Chili Powder

1. Combine and let sit 30 minutes before serving

Add some Shredded Cheese and and enjoy your Carne Asada Fries!

Happy Cooking!