Tuesday, July 26

The joys of Kabob making (easy kabob marinade)

Here is a great grilling idea, kabobs!

These savory treats can involve anything your taste buds can manage. Kabobs are a great way to explore summer seasonal flavors in various combinations.

Start by deciding on if you want your kabob to be an appetizer, side dish, or main course. Then choose which vegetables you would like to include, classic favorites are peppers and onions. Some great additions are squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplant.

For an easy marinade try this one it is highly recommended by someone close to me:
-Start with 1/2 cup olive oil and blend in equal amounts of garlic powder, salt, fresh ground black pepper (approx 2 tsp each)
-Cut vegetables and proteins (if using) to equal size for uniform cooking
-Toss your vegetables and proteins (if using) in
-Now skewer on your kabobs, rotating color, texture, and flavor profile
-Grill until vegetables have a nice fork-able but not a mushy texture

-These are a sure fire crowd pleaser!

For other ideas try:

Island kabobs: use shrimp, pineapple, onions, and peppers. Marinade in olive oil, salt, pepper and coat shrimp with coconut shreds

Greek kabobs: use beef, lamb, chicken, onions, and mushrooms. Marinade in lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with Greek seasoning

Asian kabobs: use baby corn, onions, peppers, chicken, and eggplant. Marinade in soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle lightly with five spice

*recommendation/marinade by LC

Grilled Asian Corn

Grilling is one of the best summer time activities. However, we often forget about tasty sides that can be grilled.

Here is a great side and a little way to spice up your corn.

Marinade is for 6 ears of corn
Full time: 1 1/2 hours (includes marinade time)
You will need:

6 ears of corn
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

Let's us begin:

Mix all marinade ingredients in a large sealable bag

Gently place corn ears into bag, seal, and remove any excess air

Shake around to coat all sides and then place in refrigerator for a minimum of 1hour

Grill on medium high and grill until edges develop a slight golden color

Wednesday, July 20

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay is a great meal! It is easy to make and packs a huge taste. It's nice deep spice flavor combined with a smooth creamy peanut sauce makes this a foodie favorite. Often served on skewers and along side rice. Satay can turn any week night into a great Foreign flavor night!

This will serve 2 to 4
Full time: 2 1/2 hours to 8 1/2 hours (based on marinade time)
You will need:

1 1/2 lb chicken tender strips
Skewers (I use metal non stick, but bamboo work fine! Just remember to soak them before using them on a grill)

For satay marinade:

4 or 5 fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces
5 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For peanut sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp fresh coriander
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Let us begin working with the satay part:

In a seal-able container, mix all the ingredients for the marinade

Place chicken in container and make sure to "squish" it and mix it to coat all sides. Seal container and put in refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours

Once it has marinated remove chicken and place on skewers.

Heat your grill to a medium heat, place skewers on grill. They cook relatively fast, roughly 5-8 minutes per side

Remove from heat and let rest on a board for 5 minutes

Chicken is now ready to serve!

Let us begin with the peanut sauce:

In a small sauce pan mix all sauce ingredients EXCEPT coconut milk. Stir to fully incorporate spices

Keep on med heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to simmer. You should have a very smooth texture

Whisk in coconut milk 1/4 cup at a time. (When done it should almost resemble a spicy mustard/Dijon color and texture) cook 5 minutes longer, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Serve on side or spooned over the satay.

Monday, July 18

BAKE IT: Challah

Traditional challah bread is one of the best things to know how to make.

Use for sliced bread, French toast, and my personal favorite homemade croutons

This will make 2 loaves
Full time: 4 1/2 - 5 hours(includes multiple rise times)

You will need:

3 eggs
8 cups flour
1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp active dry yeast
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp salt

For top:

1 beaten egg

Lets begin:

In a med/large bowl place the water and sprinkle yeast across top, let sit for a min or two

Gently beat in honey, eggs, salt

Add 1/4 cup flour gently beat

Add 2 cups flour gently beat

Add cup flour gently beat. You will begin to notice a heavier dough begin to form.

Adding in flour in parts allows the dough to mix more evenly. Continue this until you add in last cup of flour.

Knead until smooth and no longer sticky

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 1/2hrs

Punch down dough

Turn onto lightly floured board

Knead for 5 mins, and add very light flour only if it becomes sticky

Divide into 3 equal part

Roll each piece into a rope approx 1 1/2" thick

Place ropes along side each other, pinch tops together, braid, pinch bottom together

Place on greased cookie sheet or baking stone and let stand 1 hr

Preheat oven to 375

Brush beaten egg generously over top of bread, making sure to get sides as well

Bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown

Let stand at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours before cutting

Wednesday, July 13

Twice Baked Stuffed Potatoes

Looking for a new and interesting side dish to bring along to your next picnic?

Try this great combination of three fan favorites: combining the flavors of baked stuffed potatoes, the crisp texture of twice baked potatoes, with the eating ease of potato skins!

Batch will serve 8 to 10 people
Full time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours (based on stuffing speed)
You will need:

3 lbs white potatoes, small in size
1 jar Hormel Real Bacon Bits 3 oz
1 pint light cream
1 small bunch fresh chives
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Let us begin:

Start by boiling a large pot of water, make sure to add salt to the water to season the potatoes

While the water comes to a boil, wash and cut potatoes. You want to half the potatoes by width not lengthwise

Also, chop your chives into small pieces. You want to end up with approx 3 tbsp of them

Add potatoes to water and cook for 15 minutes. Not any longer, we do not actually want to cook it all the way. Immediately cool them in cold running water, do not use an ice bath.

While potatoes cook, mix half of the cream with salt, pepper, bacon, chives in a large bowl

Now carefully, scoop out a small amount of the potato to create a "potato bowl" and cut off the very tip of potato so it will stand up on it's own. Add the scooped out potato to the bowl with cream mixture

* a little note here: using a grapefruit spoon works best, since potatoes are only half cooked there is still some need for a sharper edge

Line a baking dish with all your "potato bowls"

Your next move is to mash and blend cream mix with potato, however since potatoes are only half cooked this is a little tricky. If you microwave the mixture for 10 minutes it will help re-soften the potatoes. Just know the mixture will not be super smooth, it should have a few chucks left



Fill your "potato bowls" with the mixture
*if you want to make this ahead of time, you can wrap and refrigerate this

Preheat oven to 350 and bake potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes until the "bowl" sides are fork-able.

For fun garnish with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese


Tuesday, July 5

Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is a staple in Creole cooking, it's savory sausage base and fresh dill flavor bring this side to life.

Serves 4 to 6
Full time: 35-45 minutes (based on rice cook time)
You will need:

1 pound sausage meat
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 bell pepper, chopped fine: I use a red but green works just fine
1 cup long grain rice, read package for water amount
2 tbsp fresh dill chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp worcester sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder

Let us begin:

In a small stock pot place onions, peppers, and butter. Cook over med/high heat until the onions begin to  turn translucent

Next add the sausage meat in and allow to brown, drain fat if needed

Add cool water (amount on your rice box), rice, and dry spices. Give a good stir.

Raise temperature to high and bring to boil.

Cover, reduce to simmer and simmer 25 minutes. Cooking time may vary based on rice brand. Stir occasionally

Once rice is full cooked, stir well. Add in chopped dill and serve