Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week 14: Taco Loaf and unwanted phone calls.

The Patriots killed the Texans this week, 42-14.  Brady seemed like he was in a great mood during the pre-game interviews, joking with the media and grinning like a madman when asked about his wife and their new baby girl, Vivian Lake.  As usual, my husband and just about every other male I know got tickets to the MNF game.  While he seemed to be having a great time before the game as well, he was in less of a good mood when he stumbled in the door at 2:30 AM and if possible, even less of a good mood when I woke him up at 7.  

Hernandez picked up where Gronkowski left off, scoring 2 TDs and doing some of the worst end zone dancing that I have ever seen.  Lloyd contributed 2 TDs as well and Ridley and Stallworth each contributed 1 apiece.   That’s about all I can tell you since I fell asleep at halftime.  Luckily, since my husband decided to call me just about once an hour seeing as he was less than sober, at no time did I have to worry that the Patriots were losing their lead.  

Since the hubs was gone, I didn’t cook FOR the game.  But for my faithful 15 followers, only one of which consistently reads the blog (thanks mom!) I have posted two recipes below that I could have made.

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 Cup shredded Parmesan
2 Shallots
15 Hot Peppers (Serranos, Poblanos or Jalapenos)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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.

Taco Loaf

1 Lb Ground Beef
½ Cup Onion, Chopped
½ Cup Green Pepper, Chopped
½ Cup Red Pepper, Chopped
1 Can Diced Green Chilies
I Envelope Taco Seasoning
1 Loaf French Bread
1 Tomato, Diced
¼ Cup Green Onion, Diced
Grated Cheddar, Mozz, or MJ

1. Brown Ground Beef and Onion until beef is no longer pink. Add Peppers and cook 2 more minutes. Drain.
2. Add Green Chilies and Taco Seasoning, cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.
3. Half the loaf of bread. Spread half of mixture on each side. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Divide and sprinkle Tomatoes, Green Onion and Cheese over Beef Mixture. Broil 8 inches from the top for 1 to 2 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

Happy Cooking!

Week 13: Chicken Piccata and Hard Knocks

The Patriots clinched the AFC East title this week by winning a close one against Miami, 23-16.  The Patriots earned their points mostly by capitalizing on Miami’s mistakes, including a roughing the punter, a botched punt and a fumble.  

Welker tied Jerry Rice for the number one spot with 17 games with 10+ receptions and Brady tied Drew Brees with the third most seasons with 25+ TD passes at 8 total.  

I was pumped to see the Miami game this season just because HBO featured them on Hard Knocks.  I was more pumped to see that Tannehill didn’t do a great job.  He acted like a spoiled brat during the preseason.   I liked Matt Moore.  Since I am not an NFL analyst, I didn’t really question it when they said Gerrard would start over him.  But when Gerrard got hurt they went  to Tannehill?  The only thing I liked about him was his wife.  And it was one of those “I would love to hate her because she looks like Barbie but she does so much charity work I actually have to like her” type of likes.  The best part of the whole team is Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner.  The man is hysterical.  Not only is he an ex Marine but he is also a BC Alum and from Braintree, so it’s no wonder I like him.  He is the epitome of Massachusetts Sarcasm.  I could easily picture him donning a worn out Sox hat and backing up Matt Damon as he kicks some ass in Good Will Hunting.  How do you like them apples?

Easy Chicken Piccata

3 Boneless Skinless Breasts - butterflied and cut in half
½ Cup fresh Lemon Juice
6 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
¾ Cup Chicken Stock
¼ Cup White wine (optional)
¼ Cup Capers - rinsed
Salt and Pepper
Chopped Parsley
Olive Oil

1.  Liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Dredge in flour.
2. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large pan over medium heat.  When bubbly, add 3 pieces of chicken.  Cook 3 minutes per side.  Remove from pan.
3. Add 2 more tablespoons butter and 2 more tablespoons oil.  When bubbly, cook last 3 pieces, 3 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.
4. Add chicken stock, wine, capers and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, add more pepper or stock if needed.
5. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
6. Remove chicken from pan.  Add last 2 tablespoons butter and whisk for 2 minutes.
7. Garnish chicken  with parsley.
Serve Sauce on top or on the side
*Note: This is not a picture of my chicken piccata.  I forgot to take one :(  I swiped this baby off Google Images.  Oops. 

Happy Cooking!

Week 12: Thanksgiving and Italian Subs

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would be less happy if I had fought my food coma to stay up and watch the Patriots lose, but since we spanked the Jets 49-19, my holiday ended on a very good note.   For the past 4 weeks the Patriots have put up an average of 45.7 points per game and won by an an even more impressive 27.3 points per game.  (Let it be said that I did NOT compile those numbers myself.  I don’t do math.  I simply read about it on SBNation.)

This game was both a Patriots win and a Jets meltdown.  On the Patriots side of things, 6 different players scored TDs.  Edelman (2), Brady, Vereen, Ridley, Gregory and Welker.  On the Jets side, they turned the ball over 5 times, one of which will live in infamy as Sanchez ran into his own player's butt and fumbled the ball.  

Now, if you think that I put together a Jet-Centric meal on Thanksgiving, you’re crazy.  But I am posting about my famous Sub Sauce so you can make your own Italians.

Italian Sub Sauce:

Ingredients: (for 4-6 subs)
2 Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ Small Red Onion, minced
1 Cup Dill Pickles, diced (1/2 Cup if you don’t like them as much)
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Pinch of Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Optional - 1 Tablespoon FINELY MINCED Jalapenos.  

1. Combine and let sit 1 hour.  Use to top an Italian Sub.

To put together the Sub, I like to toast the bread with Provolone on top, then pull it out and add Mortadella, Ham, Salami, Banana Peppers and the Sub Sauce in the middle.  If you want Lettuce, add it on top of the sauce.  Personally, since it tastes like nothing, I don’t think it contributes anything to the sandwich and I don’t bother adding it.  

Happy Cooking!

Week 11: Maple Mustard Pork and Indiana Potato Salad

For a few weeks now I have been hearing the RGIII vs. Andrew Luck Rookie of the Year debate.  I hadn’t paid much attention to it as I no longer play fantasy football nor had I seen either QB play against the Patriots. Until this past week.  Lets just say that Luck was not so lucky.

Tom Brady threw three TD passes in the Patriots 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.  Luck threw three interceptions.  

Gronkowski grabbed two of Brady’s TD passes this week, Edelman was the recipient of the third TD pass and he also added a 68 yard punt return at the beginning of the second quarter.  Gostkowski managed to get a field goal through the uprights and the Patriots D had two TD’s of their own.  Alfonzo Dennard had an 87 yard interception return for a TD and newbie Aqib Talib had a 59 yard interception return for a TD. 

The big news (other than the good defensive work by the Patriots) was that Gronkowski broke his arm late in the game during an extra point play.  Lots of people have been critiquing Belichick for leaving him when we were winning by 20+ points but like usual, Belichick doesn’t care and neither do I.  It’s their job to PLAY.  Besides, when is the last time someone got hurt on an extra point play?  The odds were with us.  

In my humble opinion, you can’t do better than last year’s Indianapolis food.  Last year we had Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Indiana Potato Salad and Mustard Vinaigrette Coleslaw.  This year we only slightly switched it up.  We redid the Indiana Potato Salad (Yum!) but had Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin Tips instead.  

Indiana Potato Salad

8 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Cup Green Onion, chopped
8 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled.
½ Cup Mayonnaise
½ Cup Sour Cream
½ teaspoon Seasoned Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
¼ teaspoon Celery Salt

1. Peel and cube potatoes.  Boil for 8 minutes or until slightly tender.  Drain and let dry.
2. Preheat oven to 350.  
3. In a large bowl, combine Potatoes, Cheese, Onion, Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, Salt, Pepper and Celery Salt  Mix well.
4. Pour the Potato mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 pan.  Top with Bacon bits and bake for 1 hour or until cheese is browned.

Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin Tips,2327,152179-232202,00.html

1 Pkg Pork Tenderloin Tips (1.5 Lbs)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Celery Seed
1 Tablespoon Pepper, divided
½ Tablespoon Dried Thyme
¼ Cup Maple Syrup plus 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, divided
¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard, divided
½ Cup Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Creamed Horseradish

1. Preheat oven to 375.  
2. In a small bowl, combine ¼ Cup Maple Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 Tablespoons Mustard.  Mix well.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over Medium High Heat.  Season Pork with Salt, Celery Seed, Thyme and half of the Pepper.  Add Pork to the pan and cook 2-3 Minutes per side until lightly browned.  Remove meat from pan and set aside.
4. Add Maple Syrup mix to pan and cook 5-8 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring frequently.
5. Return Pork to the pan and turn to coat.  Place skillet in the oven and cook 10-15 minutes, basting every 5 minutes.  Let pork stand 5 minutes before serving.
6. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, 2 Tablespoons Mustard, Mayonnaise, the remaining Pepper and Horseradish.  Serve with pork.

Happy Cooking!