Saturday, August 25, 2018

Home Fries With Sweet Onions

Breakfast and Home Fries just seem to go hand-in-hand where I live.  I love potatoes of any kind and I could eat them day and night, especially these.  I had used a cast iron skillet which I love, it also adds some iron in to your diet. These are a nice golden brown crispy potatoes, sure to please.

What You Will Need:
Cast Iron Frying Pan - Skillet *If you don't have one a frying pan of any kind is fine*
Measuring Spoons
Vegetable Peeler
Sharp Knife
Paper Towel
Medium Size Microwavable Bowl
Spatula or Wooden Spoon
Oven Mitts

1-Medium Size Sweet Onion, Peeled and Sliced
6-Medium Potatoes Washed, Peeled and Cubed *Sometimes I leave the skins on*
1-Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-Tablespoons Butter
1-Teaspoon Ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Or Other Salt
1/2-Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1-Tablespoon Ground Smoked Paprika
1-Tablespoon Dried Parsley Flakes

Place the cast iron frying pan in a cold oven, set the oven temperature to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature reaches 400-degrees, put on your oven mitts and remove, place on your stove top. Be Careful, this is extremely hot!!  Turn your burner on to medium high heat, add the butter and olive oil to the frying pan, let the butter melt and the oil warm up. Add in the onions and cook until they caramelize, turn a light golden brown color.

While the onions are caramelizing, in the medium bowl, put in the cubed potatoes, paprika, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss - mix the potatoes completely with the seasonings with your hands or spatula until completely coated. Place in to the microwave and microwave for 10-minutes.  Remove the onions off of the burner when caramelized, use your oven mitts, shut the burner off.  Now add the cooked potatoes into the onions, gently stir with the spatula until everything is well coated.  Put your oven mitts back on and place back in to your oven.  Bake potatoes until they are crispy and golden brown about 15-minutes or so.  Put your oven mitts back on and remove the hot frying pan from the oven, place on a flat heat-resistant top and serve.

I had served these Home Fries with Praline Brioche French Toast Casserole, fresh strawberries and thick-slab no nitrates bacon.  I bake my bacon in the oven, these recipes are also listed here on my blog.

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How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet - Frying Pan

I use a cast iron frying pan often which I love, it adds some iron in to your diet.  Some people have told me that they are afraid to use one due to having to Season them and having them rust.  The new cast iron cookware is pre-seasoned and rarely if ever will rust unless they become wet, or they have been stored away with food still inside or outside of the pan.  Seasoning is really easy, just wipe them clean with a paper towel or clean cloth removing any left over food. If there is still food residue, there are 3-things you can do.

Wash your frying pan in warm soapy water, never soak and leave in the water, dry thoroughly. You can sprinkle table salt inside of the pan and wipe it clean with a cloth, the salt acts as a non-abrasive scouring agent, or you can use a hard bristled brush and scrub away the food both work well. Using aluminum foil, scrunch in to a ball and use that to scour the pan. Don't us scouring pad  or steel wool!

To season, take a paper towel dipped in shortening or vegetable oil, rub a thin coating on to the bottom and sides, inside and outside of the pan, place face down in your cold oven on the middle rack. Don't use too much oil or shortening it will leave a sticky residue.  I put a baking sheet underneath to catch the run off of oil that drips down.  By placing it upside down, the oil won't pool inside. Now set your oven temperature to 400-degrees Fahrenheit and let it stay in there for about an hour.  Shut your oven off  and leave the frying pan inside until it cools or  let it stay over night, remove the following day it's that easy. Store in a cool dry place.  With today's new cast iron cookware you don't have to Season unless you start to see some rusting or you had caked on food residue. Pictured is Home Fries With Sweet Onions, recipe is listed here on the blog.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Praline Brioche French Toast Casserole

My grandson Caleb and I had made this for breakfast, this is so much easier than making individual pieces of French Toast.  This is basically make it and forget it until the baking time is up.  I try to make a big breakfast on the weekends, especially when the kids and grand kids come here to visit.  This is served "Family Style" just set it in the middle of your table and let everyone serve themselves.

I had made Home Fries with Sweet Onions, I'll be getting that recipe on here as soon as time permits, along with sliced strawberries and bacon. I had caught Caleb in the act, he took the bowl of sliced strawberries in to the living room, he ate almost all of them by the time I had noticed the bowl was missing. LOL!

What You Will Need:
Sharp Knife
Large Casserole Dish
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoon
Spatula or Wooden Spoon
Large Bowl
Plastic Wrap
Small Pan
Oven Mitts
Can Opener

4-Egg Whites
2 5-Ounce Cans Evaporated Milk *Not Sweetened Condensed*
1/2-Cup Brown Sugar Plus 4-Tablespoons
2-Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
Loaf of Brioche Bread, Sliced and Cubed
1/2-Cup Pure Maple Syrup *More if you want to pour extra over top*
4-Tablespoons Butter
1/2-Cup Chopped Pecans *I used Walnuts because I didn't have Pecans*
Pinch Of Sea Salt *1/2-Teaspoon*
Cooking Spray

Using your sharp knife, slice and cube the brioche. In the large bowl, whisk the egg whites, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and 4-tablespoons brown sugar.

Lightly coat the casserole dish with the cooking spray, sides and bottom.  Add in the brioche cubes and pour the egg mixture over top, gently mix the two together with your spatula or wooden spoon. Cover the top of the casserole dish with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator for several hours or over night (at least 3-8 hours is recommended)   Once the mixture has set up in the refrigerator, remove and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.       

In the small pan, add in the remaining 1/2-Cup brown sugar, salt, butter and maple syrup, turn on to medium heat. Stir together until the butter has melted, then add in the nuts.  Gently stir until all are well incorporated, mixed together.  Now, pour the nut mixture over the top of the brioche and egg mixture. Bake for 30-40-minutes or until lightly browned and the casserole sets up, firms.  Once baking time is up, remove from the oven using your oven mitts and place on to a heat resistant flat surface.  Let cool for about 10-15-minutes and serve. Here's what I had made on that particular morning.  Enjoy!

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Philadelphia Cheese Steak Grinders With Home Made Cheese Sauce

This is one of my favorite sandwiches.  We call them Subs AKA: Submarines or Grinders here in New England.  They are called other names as well depending on which area of the country you reside. Some are called Heroes, Foot Longs, Hoagies, etc.,.  Any name they go by, they are easy to make and are delicious, especially with home made cheese sauce and not that processed cheese you buy in the store.

What You Will Need:
Large Frying Pan
Box Grater
Medium Pan
Measuring Spoons
Measuring Cup
Spatula or Wooden Spoon
Large Bowl
Paper Towel
Serving Plate *I use paper plates, I was lazy. LOL!*

Ingredients Vegetable Mixture:
1-Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-Tablespoon Butter
1-Tablespoon Dried Parsley
1-Large Sweet Onion, Peeled and Sliced
1-Medium Orange Pepper, Top Removed, Sliced and Seeded
1-Medium Red Pepper, Top Removed, Sliced and Seeded
1-Medium Yellow Pepper, Top Removed, Sliced and Seeded
1-Garlic Clove, Peeled and Chopped
1-Teaspoon Sea Salt
1-Teaspoon Cracked Ground Black Pepper

Ingredients For Grinders:
3-Whole Wheat Grinder Rolls AKA: Sub Rolls, Split Each Lengthwise
1 21-Ounce Package Steak-Ums 100% Sliced Beef. *You can use Shaved Beef or thinly sliced Roast Beef if you can't find them.*

Ingredients For The Cheese Sauce:
7-Ounce Fontina Cheese *I used Casaro*
7-Ounce Cheddar Cheese *I used Kerry Gold Dubliner*
1/2-Teaspoon Clear Unflavored Gelatin *I used Knox, this is optional. It just makes the cheese thicker.*
1-Cup Boiling Water *Optional*
6-Tablespoons Whole Milk

Directions For The Cheese Sauce:
In a large bowl grate the 2-cheeses.  Place the grated cheeses and milk into the pan and melt on medium high heat, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon. You can add in the unflavored gelatin, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. If you do, then use 1-cup boiling water with the 1/2-Teaspoon of gelatin, stir and follow the directions on the side of the box. Once the gelatin is ready, add into the melted cheese, mix well until all is blended smooth.  Remove from the stove top and place on a heat resistant surface and serve.

Instructions For The Vegetables:
Place your frying pan on the stove top and set the temperature at medium-high heat, add in your butter and olive oil. Once the butter melts and the oil heats up, add in your prepared vegetables. I like to add my onions first, once they are caramelized, golden brown, I add in the rest including the salt, pepper, garlic and dried parsley.  Cook until the vegetables are tender, not too soft unless you prefer them that way.  Stir the vegetables with the spatula or wooden spoon.  Once cooked place in to the large bowl and set aside.

Add in your steak slices to the frying pan, you should have plenty of the butter and olive oil left over from the vegetables, if not, you can add more. I cook 3-steak slices at a time, cook one side until lightly browned and then flip over, you can also follow directions on the steak package.  Continue this process until all of the steaks have been cooked, or cook as many as you like.  Remove the frying pan off of the heat, shutting of the stove's burner.

Place the grinder rolls on to plates, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and add 3-slices or more of the steak, on top of the steak add the vegetables and then the cheese sauce and serve.  We also put ketchup over top of the cheese, here in New England we put ketchup on a lot of our food.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Strawberry Salad

I love the summer months because there's an abundance of farmer's markets in my area.  Fresh produce, vegetables and fruit right out of the farmer's fields are so fresh and delicious.  Big factory farms are pushing the family owned farms out of business, another reason why I like to shop at the markets, I'm supporting small family businesses.  You can find almost anything you are looking for at a farmer's market, it's not just fruits and vegetables.  I purchase fresh cheese, milk, veggies, fruit, meats, home made soaps, candles, etc.,.  This is a nice way to also get back in touch with your community as well.

This strawberry salad takes no time to make, you can eat it alone or pair it with a meal.  You can toast the walnuts if you like, I didn't bother.

What You Will Need:
Sharp Knife
Large Bowl
Vegetable Peeler
Salad Tongs

1 16-Ounce Package Strawberries, Washed, Dried and Sliced
1 16-Ounce Bag Walnuts Halves & Pieces *About a handful or more if you like. I used Fisher's.*
1-Small Sweet Onion, Peeled and Sliced.
1 7-Ounce Block Cheese *I used Kerry Gold Skellig*
1 12-Ounce Bottle Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar *I used Maple Grove Farms*
16-Ounce Mixed Greens

*Note: Add as little or as much as you like of the above ingredients, this is just a suggestion as to what I had made.*

Remove mixed greens from packaging and put into a large bowl.  Add in the walnuts, sliced strawberries, onions and cheese. For the cheese, use a vegetable peeler and slide down the side, or across the top, it will make ribbons, or you can use a knife and cut in to junks. Drizzle the strawberry balsamic vinegar over the top of the salad and then gently toss with salad tongs and serve. I had served this salad with my Kielbasa with Grape Jelly and my Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sweet Potato Chips, also listed here on my blog.

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Sweet And Spicy BBQ Sweet Potato Chips

I had 2-Sweet Potatoes sitting on the shelf in my root cellar and was trying to decide what to make with them?  Since they were starting to sprout eyes, I really didn't have a choice, do something with them or they would spoil or plant them, planting this late in the year wasn't an option. Ding...ding...ding... I came up with Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chips with my own seasonings. Admittedly a little bit of this and and a dash of that surprisingly enough turned out really well.  I have made home made french fries before but not potato chips, this was my first attempt.  Next time I will make more because they were really good.  Mine have no preservatives or anything unhealthy, just read the bags of chips that you purchase. If I can't pronounce the ingredients, or I don't know what they are, they stay on the grocery shelf.  Scratch cooking and baking really isn't that hard once you know the basics, and that's what I'm trying to share.  Like with all of my recipes, let me know if you made them and how you liked them.  😊

What You Will Need:
Large Plate
Large Zip Lock Bag
Vegetable Peeler
Sharp Knife or Mandolin *I used a knife this time*
Medium Bowl
Paper Towels
Electric Skillet or Frying Pan *I used the skillet*
Spider or Slotted Spoon *I used a Spider*
Candy Thermometer or Oil Thermometer

2-Large Sweet Potatoes. Washed, peeled and thinly sliced in to coins - circles
1-Tablespoon "Brown Sugar & Bourbon Grill Mates Seasoning"
3-Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
1-Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1-Tablespoon Granulated Onion Powder
1/2-Teaspoon Sea Salt Fine Crystals
2-Cups Pure Vegetable Oil

Add the oil to the electric skillet. Set the temperature to 360-375 degrees, if the oil starts smoking dial the temperature back down. Use your thermometer to check the temperature. Cut the sweet potatoes into coins - circles, you can use a sharp knife or mandolin, set aside.  Put all of the dry ingredients into the zip lock bag, seal and shake mixing all of the ingredients together, set aside.

Gently lay down each sweet potato coin into the hot oil, be very careful the oil is extremely hot and will splatter if you drop them in too quickly.  Add around 12 or so coins depending on the size of your electric skillet, don't over crowd. Fry for 2-3 minutes, when they're ready they'll turn a light golden brown color and the edges will curl up. Remove from the oil using the spider or slotted spoon, lay down on a paper towel and pat the excess oil off.  Place the chips into the zip lock bag with spices, close the bag and shake until both sides of the chip are evenly coated.  When adding the next batch of sweet potatoes, let the oil come back up to temperature before adding them into the oil. Repeat the processes until you have fried all of the chips.

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Kielbasa With Grape Jelly

I know this sounds like an odd combination, but trust me it's very good and easy to make.  Kielbasa aka: Polish Ring can be found without nitrates which is what I buy. Nitrates, preservatives, colors, etc., are not good for you. The Grape Jelly cooks down leaving a sweet sticky glaze, I let my Kielbasa cook so it gets a little dark, making it almost like being barbecued. You'll know what I mean when you try it. A couple of weeks ago I had 2-Sweet Potatoes that I wasn't sure what to do with?  Ding...ding...ding... Sweet and Spicy Potato Chips with my own seasonings, along with Strawberry Salad, I'll be posting both of those recipes on here as well.  I try to make not so ho-hum meals, I'm one that gets bored eating the same food all of the time.  This meal was sweet and savory as well as nutritious as well as delicious, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

What You Will Need:
Sharp Knife
Large Baking Dish
Oven Mitts
Spatula or Spoon

2 12- Ounce All Natural No Nitrates Kielbasa
1 18-Ounce All Natural Concord Grape Jelly (If you can find an 9-ounce bottle, I wasn't able to.)

Preheat Oven to 350-Degrees Fahrenheit

Using your sharp knife, cut each Kielbasa in to slices cutting on the bias. You can cut in to coins - circles if you like, I just like the bias cut for this dish.  Lay each slice down in the baking dish making the first layer, continue layering until all of the slices are in the baking dish.  You don't have to be fussy with this because it's going to be covered with the grape jelly.  Now add the jelly, using your spatula or spoon, smooth the jelly across the top so it's completely covered. Bake in the oven for 45-minutes or until the jelly has thickened.

You will get some dark pieces that looks similar to being barbecued, that's what you want but not burned. Each oven is different so keep an eye on it during the baking process.  Put on oven mitts and remove, place on a heat resistant surface. Give it a stir mixing all of the jelly in to the kielbasa, serve with my above suggestion or with whatever you prefer.

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