Thursday, April 30

MAKE IT: Fruit and Fun Granola

Granola is both one of the easiest and addictive things to make. With a few ingredients you can easily make this treat and play around with its flavors. You can go from sweet to savory or even spicy just by changing what you mix in. Here is my favorite granola recipe filled with a bit of sweet and a bit of fun.

Full time 3 hours (includes rest time)
Makes 8-10 servings

The needs-

2 cups quick oats (for rolled oats toast an additional 10 minutes first)
1 1/2 cup almonds
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apples, diced
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed lightly
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

The know-

Preheat oven to 350'

On a small baking tray place oats, wheat germ, and almonds.

Toast in oven for 15 minutes or until wheat germ begins to golden, stirring occasionally.

While this toasts-in a large mixing bowl combine butter, honey, and brown sugar. Stirring to dissolve brown sugar into butter.

In a small bowl combine dried cranberries, apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Tossing to lightly coat fruit.

Once oats are toasted, mix contents of tray into butter mixture. Stir well to evenly coat oats.

Add in dusted fruit and stir to evenly distribute.

Pour mixture onto baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Reduce heat of oven to 300' and return tray to oven.

Bake 25 minutes or until nicely golden.

Remove carefully from oven and set on a wire rack to cool for two hours.

Once cooled and set, you need to break it up into easy to eat pieces. Then move to a storage container or zip top bag. Granola will stay fresh in refrigerator for one week.


Tuesday, April 28

Chorizo con Papas (Mexican Chorizo and Potatoes)

This simple, but traditional dish is a great one for the recipe book. Made with few ingredients in a short time, it will have you licking your lips and asking for more.

Full time 30 minutes
Serves 4

The needs-

1 lb chorizo, casing removed and crumbled
4 eggs
2 large potatoes, diced into 1/4" pieces
1 small onion, diced fine
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
*salt only if needed

For cooking:
1 cup vegetable oil

The know-

In a deep saute pan heat oil over medium-high heat just until it beings to bubble.

Carefully add in potatoes and let cook 8-10 minutes or until crispy and golden.

Drain oil and carefully move potatoes to an paper towel line plate.

Return pan to heat and add in chorizo. Brown chorizo for 2-3 minutes.

While this browns, toss onions, minced garlic, and pepper in a bowl.

Add in onion mixture, continue to cook 5-8 minutes or until onions have lightly browned on edges and chorizo is cooked through.

Add potatoes back into pan and season with pepper, taste to see if salt is needed. If it is add a small amount in at a time until seasoning is right.

Allow flavors to meld in pan over simmer while you prepare eggs.

Lightly spray a saute pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat.

Crack eggs carefully into pan, giving each a moment to solidify before cracking next egg. Fry eggs 3-4 minutes or until lightly brown on bottom.

Carefully flip over and fry an additional 1-2 minutes. You are going for a nice over easy egg with a runny yolk.

To plate. Remove everything from heat.

Split chorizo medley into four portions. Placing one portion on a plate.

Top with egg being careful not to break yolk.

Garnish with fresh chives is desired.

Serve immediately. Cheers!

Sunday, April 26

HOW TO: Make Seasoned Taco Filling

Tacos are a great stand by or go to dish for busy weeknight dinners. They can be easily made and a quick to the table. Here is a great weeknight taco, which will really get taste buds cheering!

Full time 30 minutes
Serves 4

The needs-

15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
4 oz can diced jalapenos, drained
1 large white onion, diced fine
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 chicken stock or water.
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried cilantro
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

The know-

In a small bowl combine all the spices until well blended. Set aside.

In a deep saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat and add in onion. Cook onion 5-8 minutes or until edges begin to golden.

Add in ground beef and stir to help break up the beef. Cook 5-8 minutes or until beef appears mostly browned.

Add in diced tomatoes with juices from can and diced jalapenos.

Add in half of the seasoning blend and stir to fully incorporate. Cook 4-5 minutes or until beef appears to be fully browned.

Add in remaining seasoning blend and stir to fully incorporate.

Add in chicken stock (or water). Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid is fully absorbed. It will take approximately 5-10 minutes.

Once liquid is absorbed you are ready for dinner. Move to serving bowl and serve with your favorite taco fillers (lettuce, sour cream, ect)

Thursday, April 23

Chicken Kelaguen

Chicken Kelaguen is a dish from Guam. It is a very tasty dish from Guam, containing both sweet and spicy ingredients. I learned this from a co-worker several years ago. She told me the secret behind a good kelaguen that did not require days of preparation was ratio. You have to balance out the sweet with the spicy or the dish is ruined.

Make sure you stick to a even balance ratio. If you taste test the dish often the first time you make it, you will notice that the lemon juice (sourness) evens out with the coconut (sweetness), combine this with just enough red pepper flakes (spicy) so that while eating the dish, the heat of the spice kicks in after several bites. This is often referred to as back heat or slow burn. Trust me it is yummy!

This serves 2-4 (easily doubles but watch your ratio)
Full time: 1 1/2 hours

The needs-
2 lbs skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup coconut shreds
1/4 cup green onions finely diced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

Preheat your oven to 375

In a baking dish, place chicken and sprinkle over salt and pepper.  Bake chicken for 1 hour or until chicken temps out at 180

Once chicken has reached proper temperature remove from oven and let cool slightly.

While this cools, place all remaining ingredients in a saute pan and allow coconut shreds to soak up some of the lemon juice.

Once chicken has cooled slightly you are going to shred it, do this by placing two forks in the chicken a gently pull apart, move these shreds into the pan with the coconut mixture

Once all chicken has been shredded, stir mixture to thoroughly coat meat. Heat in saute pan for 10 minutes over medium high heat or until chicken is warmed through.


Monday, April 20

White Castle Style Turkey Sliders

White Castle Sliders are one of the most recognizable late night munchies out there. If you are craving their highly addictive flavors, here is a great way to make them at home with a fun twist, turkey. Just as addictive as the original!

Makes 12 sliders
Full time 30 minutes

The needs-

1 pack slider rolls (Kings Hawaiian for authentic, I am using Martin's potato)
Pickle rounds *optional
6 slices cheddar cheese (American if desired)
2 lb. ground turkey
1/3 cup dried onion flakes
1 tsp Bada complete seasoning (or seasoned salt)

The know-

Preheat oven to 400'.

In a 9 x 12" baking dish, spread out the dried onions evenly.

Place ground turkey on top and gently press to make 1 large patty.

Make sure you really keep it level with an even thickness.

Sprinkle across the seasoned salt.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes. 

You will notice shrinkage, that is a good sign.

Top with cheese slices and return to oven. Cook 2-4 minutes longer.

Carefully remove from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes.

Slice into 8 even squares. 

Carefully lift square out of pan with spatula, making sure to get bottom onion layer, placing on a slider bun. 

Top with pickle round if desired, serve immediately and cheers!

Saturday, April 18

Sriracha Buffalo Chicken Wings

Here is a flavorful wing with depth of flavor and hints of exotic spice. Created while recently teaching the youngest in the household to make buffalo wings, this recipe was created purely by experiment, and glasses of milk standing by. Thanks ZC for your help in the kitchen on this one!

Full time 1 1/2 hours
Serves 4-6

The needs-

2 lbs (24) chicken wings, or grab a "wing" bag which also has drumsticks in it
1 cup Franks Hot sauce
1/2 cup Sriracha
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp habenero hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper*
1/4 tsp ground red pepper*

*If you can find McCormick Hot Shot, I recommend it, it is a well balanced blend of both red and black pepper ground. Use 1 tsp for this recipe.

The know-

Preheat your oven to 425' and get a large pot of water boiling over high heat. For extra flavor add 1 tsp salt into the water.

In a large bowl combine hot sauce, sriracha, vinegar, habenero sauce, salt, and pepper.

Whisking well, give it a little taste, your going to want to adjust the heat if needed.

Pour half the sauce into a small bowl and set both bowls aside.

Once your water is boiling and wings into the water, pre-boiling the wings is going to give the wings a nice crisp texture.

Boil for 7 minutes and then drain.

Let these sit in the colander for a moment, while the rest line a cutting board with two layers of paper towels.

Lay wings out onto the paper towels and top with two more layers of paper towels. Pat carefully to remove all excess water.

Move wings into the large bowl with sauce and toss to full coat.

Carefully move wings to a baking sheet. Lower heat to 400' and bake wings for 25 minutes or until the edges appear to be browning.

Lower heat to 325 and cook an additional 10 minutes or until fully cooked.

While wings cook, carefully wash bowl. The combination of sauces will create a slight pepper steam while washing, so be careful. Once bowl is completely washed and dried, pour reserved sauce into it and set aside.

Once wings are cooked carefully move wings back to the bowl.

Toss to completely coat. Move to a serving platter and serve immediately.