Jalapeño Bacon Strata

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This is one of my hubby pleasing meals.  His absolute favorite ingredient ever is jalapeños.  This man truly tries to eat them with everything(usually raw).  Sometimes I beat him to the punch and cook with them…. Gotta keep ‘me guessing!

I had a loaf of no-knead bread (I’ll be sharing that with you lovelies in a future blog post!) going stale so I threw together this strata.  Stratas need a few hours to sit so the egg can soak into the bread so it is perfect to prep the night before then pop in the oven in the morning.

  

Ingredients 

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (I remove the stems and seeds but if you want more heat leave them in)
  • 4 C bread, cubed
  • 2 C cheddar, shredded
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C milk
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t mustard
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Salt and fresh pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Add onion and jalapeno. Cook until onion is tender. Drain.
  1. In a greased 9×9 baking dish, layer half the bread cubes, cheese, then bacon mixture. Repeat the layers.
  2. Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over bread concoction.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. In the morning, preheat the oven to 325. Allow the strata to sit at room temperature while the oven heats.
  5. Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chickpea asada

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Living in Texas means that I eat a lot of tacos.  It isn’t just a stereotype, tacos are absolutely a food group in Texas.  I can recall days where I ate tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The other day, the words ‘chickpea asada’ popped into my head.  I don’t know whether it was divine intervention or my stomach but I became really excited about this idea.

I often make a crockpot of dried chickpeas on Sundays to have on hand all week.  You could also use canned chickpeas, of course.  I seasoned the chickpeas with classic asada flavors and topped it with my carrot salsa and crumbled queso fresco for a quick dinner.  To make this vegan, you could use a vegan cheese or leave the cheese off (it doesn’t really need cheese, this is plenty flavorful).


Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/4 t chili powder
  • 1/8 t onion powder
  • 1 T lime juice
  • Corn tortillas
  • Salsa of your choice
  • Queso fresco (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the chickpeas and toss so the oil coats the chickpeas.
  2. Season with the pepper, salt, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and onion.  Stir to evenly distribute the spices.  Allow to cook for a minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. While the chickpeas are cooking, start to warm up your tortillas.
  4. Add the lime juice to the chickpeas, stir and continue to cook until the lime juice has evaporated.
  5. Put the flavored chickpeas onto the corn tortillas, top with salsa and cheese.

Pasta cooked on the grill

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There are no bounds to the foods that I will cook on the grill. I love the smoky flavor that the grill gives food and I avoid using my stove or oven in the summer. This pasta dish is really easy and scrumptious.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tomatoes (I used yellow tomatoes)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t sea salt
  • 1 T oilve oil
  • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 C baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  1. In a cast iron pan, combine the first 8 ingredients.
  2. Get the fire started in your grill. Once hot, place the pan on the grill and bring it to simmer. Stir periodically. Once the liquid is almost all gone, stir in the spinach.
  3. The pasta is ready when the liquid is gone and spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with parmesan to serve.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad

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I love to take advantage of summer squash while it is in abundance in our baskets, at farmer’s markets or from friends who are eager to get rid of their bumper crop. Wherever you are getting your summer squash fix, they are perfect for blending with other ingredients or in very simple preparations because of their subtle flavor.
This salad is perfect on a hot evening when a cheesy or fried squash dish just won’t do.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound summer squash (you can use a combination of yellow and green)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • Baby spinach
  • Shaved Parmesan to taste
  • 3 T chopped pecans (almonds or toasted pine nuts would be good too)

Instructions

  1. Trim the ends off the summer squash and use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice lengthwise into a bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss in a couple handfuls of baby spinach.
  4. Shave a little Parmesan over the salad and garnish with the pecans.

Blackberry, jalapeno spritzer

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Over the weekend, my family and I spent the weekend enjoying Sweet Berry Farm.  Sweet Berry Farm is a nearby farm that has some fun produce available for pick-your-own.  On this beautiful spring day, they had plump blackberries and ripe peaches for the picking.  During other times of the year, they have strawberries, a pumpkin patch, flowers and potatoes.


We were having so much fun picking blackberries that we may have went a tad overboard.  Luckily, I have a lot of yummy ideas to use up the blackberries.  One of the recipes that I got to work on as soon as we got home was this yummy blackberry, jalapeno spritzer.  This was inspired by a blackberry, jalapeno jam that a dear friend makes.


Ingredients:

  • 3 oz white wine
  • 1 oz club soda
  • 5 blackberries
  • 1/2 jalapeno, sliced into coins
  • Agave syrup, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Muddle the blackberries and jalapenos in a wine glass.
  2. Add ice then drizzle some agave syrup into the glass.
  3. Pour in the white wine and club soda and stir.
  4. Garnish the glass with a sliced jalapeno

Mouthwatering Monday

Each week, I share recipes from other bloggers that got my mouth watering this week.

How absolutely amazing does this avocado, strawberry, basil toast look from Love and Lemons?

For me, summer is salad season. This salad from Lauren’s Latest looks lovely.

Smitten Kitchen is pure genius – making ice cream sandwiches with saltine crack.

Seriously? I would not miss the meat at all in these veggie burgers. from Kitchen Whisperer.

Tequila sunrise Popsicles (aka poptails)…. Enough said! Thanks Design Confidential for this yummy adult popsicle idea.

Grilled Pineapple Pulled Pork Pizza

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You already know that everything is better cooked on the grill but pizza is especially delectable cooked this way. I absolutely love the smoky flavor that the grill imparts. Not only is it delicious but it also helps you avoid heating your oven (and house) during the summer. Also, it is super easy!

This isn’t really a proper “recipe”…. Rather an idea or technique that I want to share because it rocks.

INGREDIENTS

Your favorite pizza dough (either homemade or store bought)

Delicious toppings of your choice (I used Pulled pork, Pineapple, Red onion, BBQ sauce, White cheddar)
INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare your favorite pizza dough or use a store bought dough. Shape the dough with your hands on a floured surface or stretch it.
  2. Get your fire prepared and gather the toppings.
  3. Once the grill is hot, dip a paper towel in olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates. Then place a pizza dough round directly on the grate. Close the lid and cook a couple minutes (until the bottom of the dough is done) then flip.
  4. Spoon the sauce onto your pizza and add the other ingredients. Close the lid and cook until the bottom is cooked and the cheese is melted. Once it is done, move it to a plate or some other flat surface.

Tasty seasoned potato snacks

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My family loves when I make up a batch of these tasty battered potato treats.  We sometimes eat them before dinner, with dinner or as dinner.  The resulting snack is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  They are especially delicious served with salsa or a chutney.  I served them tonight with one of my favorite new condiments: kasundi.

As soon as I heard about the Food & Wine Conference contest sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission, I knew it was time to share this recipe with ya’ll. By the way, if you are interested in learning more about this contest you can check it out here.


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded
  • 4 cloves garlic
  •  2 C flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t  coriander
  • Oil to pan fry

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Thinly slice the potato (I used my food processor) and put in medium bowl.  Cover with water.  This will prevent the potatoes from browning and will remove some of the starch.
  2. Put the lemon juice, jalapeño and garlic in your food processor.  Process into a thin paste.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Add the jalapeño mixture to the flour mixture and combine.
  4. Drain the potatoes but don’t dry them.  Coat the potatoes with the flour blend.  If the mixture is too dry, add water a little at a time so that it will coat the potatoes.
  5. In a large skillet, put a layer of oil and heat to 350.
  6. Place a layer of the potatoes in the pan and cook until they are golden brown.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.  I actually put my baking drying racks over paper towels and let them drain there.
  7. Devour immediately with your condiment of choice.

Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak

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Flank steak is a fairly inexpensive cut of meat but isn’t super tender. The key to taking advantage of this flavorful beef is to let it marinate for a long time. For this recipe, we use a lot of delicious ingredients: wine, Worcestershire, garlic, dried peppers and rosemary. Make sure you cut this against the grain to serve. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tblack peppercorns
  • 2 dried chiles de àrbol, broken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 C red wine
  • 2 T worcestershire
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
  • 1⁄2 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (2-lb.) flank steak

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except flank steak. Poke flank steak all over with a fork and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, overnight (up to 24 hours).
  2. A half hour to an hour before cooking, move flank steak to a plate at room temperature.
  3. Build a med-hot fire in your grill. Grill steak for 7-8 minutes per side (until browned or cooked according to your preference).
  4. Transfer meat to a cutting board, tent with foil and allow it rest for 10 minutes. Cut the steak into thin slices against the grain. Serve with any reserved juiced. Devour.