Friday, February 26, 2016

Mississippi Roast


This recipe was lightening up the Internet a few weeks ago.  I put it on my to make list.  It sounded good and looked delicious. And it was easy to make.  

You first start by rubbing your roast with salt pepper and flour.  Brown your roast until it gets a nice crust.  My black skillet (cast iron) worked great.  Once your roast is browned, place the roast in a crock pot.  Add some butter and the pepperoncini.  These are flavorful little peppers.



Next you make a sauce that is poured over the meat.





Cover and set the crock pot on LOW and cook for 6-8 hours.  I cooked my roast for 8 hours.  Shred the meat and mix the meat with the sauce.   Serve.  I served mine with some mashed potatoes.





I  will say, the reviews weren't kidding - this is one of the best tasting roasts I served my family.  The pepperoncini added a wonderful flavor to the meat and the roast was moist, tender, and flavorful.  Everyone agreed it was delicious:)

The few leftovers I had, I made a slider with the meat the next day.  The meat was tastier the next day.

Mississippi Roast 
From NYT Cooking


Ingredients 

1 boneless chuck roast or top or bottom round roast, 3 to 4 pounds  
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste 
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
 ¼ cup all-purpose flour 
3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
8 to 12 pepperoncini 
2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 
½ teaspoon dried dill 
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika 
1 teaspoon buttermilk, optional 
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Place roast on a cutting board and rub the salt and pepper all over it. Sprinkle the flour all over the seasoned meat and massage it into the flesh.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over high heat until it is shimmering and about to smoke. Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes a side, to create a crust. Remove roast from pan and place it in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the butter and the pepperoncini to the meat. Put the lid on the slow cooker, and set the machine to low.
  3. As the roast heats, make a ranch dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, dill and paprika in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify. Add the buttermilk if using, then whisk again. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and add the dressing. Replace the top and allow to continue cooking, undisturbed, for 6 to 8 hours, or until you can shred the meat easily using 2 forks. Mix the meat with the gravy surrounding it. Garnish with parsley, and serve with egg noodles or roast potatoes, or pile on sandwich rolls, however you like.
Serves 6-8





    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    Avocado Toast



    Toast topped with a delicious avocado spread makes a healthy snack or quick meal.  So easy to make, quick, and delicious.  Just take a ripe avocado and smash it with a fork. Add some garlic powder, salt,  and lime juice.  Mix well and spread on a hearty piece of toast.  Top with some fresh ground pepper and a pinch of nutritional yeast.    You are ready to  bite into healthy goodness:)  Enjoy:)

    Avocado Toast
    Ingredients:
    1 ripe avocado
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice
    2 slices hearty bread toasted
    Fresh ground pepper
    Pinch of nutritional yeast

    Directions:
    1. Cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit.  Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and place in a bowl.
    2. Smash the avocado with a fork.  Add garlic powder, salt and fresh lime juice.  Mix well.


    3. Spread the avocado mixture on top of toast slice.  Top with some fresh ground pepper and nutritional yeast.  Repeat with remaining slice of toast.

    Makes 2 servings




    Friday, February 19, 2016

    Almost Famous Cheddar Broccoli Soup


    The other night, I made a hearty, creamy, broccoli soup.  It was velvety smooth and had  a rich flavor of cheese and a mild broccoli flavor.  Perfect for a light and quick dinner.   The broccoli and carrots are cooked in some broth, half and half with some onions and seasoning.    Once the broccoli and carrots are tender, you puree the mixture.  Being I was using a stand blender, I let the soup cool for about 15 minutes.  I then continued on with the recipe.


    The recipe suggested you serve the soup in bread bowls.  I did not do that.    I made some olive cheese bread to eat with the soup.

    Almost Famous Cheddar Broccoli Soup 
    From Food Network

    Ingredients

    6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 small onion, chopped
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 cups half-and-half
    3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    2 bay leaves
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    4 7 -inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
    4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
    1 large carrot, diced
    2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

    Directions


    Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.

    Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you'll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)

    Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.

    Makes 4 servings





    Wednesday, February 17, 2016

    57 Best Cooking Tips of All Time From Epicurious

    I ran across this article on Facebook.  It was  a wonderful article.  Perfect for all Cooks. My hope is you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Happy Reading:)


    57 Best Cooking Tips of All Time
    From Epicurious 



    Lemon, Bread, Butter, Parsley on Cutting Board for Stuffing / Photos by Charles Masters
    PHOTOS BY CHARLES MASTERS


    HOW TO COOK NOW

    57 Things You Can Do to Be a Better Cook Right Now

    1. BUY AN INSTANT-READ DIGITAL MEAT THERMOMETER.

    The quickest way to ruin a perfectly marbled $25 steak? Cutting into it to figure out if it’s medium rare. Yes, the Thermapen is $95, but four steaks later, you’ve broken even.

    2. WRITE IN YOUR COOKBOOKS.

    Soup could have used more tomato? Chicken needed ten more minutes in the oven? Make a note of it and you’ll never make that mistake again.

    3. MASTER THE QUICK-PICKLE.

    Whisk a little salt and sugar into some white vinegar. Pour over thinly sliced raw vegetables. Wait 20 minutes. Eat.


    PHOTO BY CHARLES MASTERS, FOOD STYLING BY SUZANNE LENZER

    4. GET YOUR KNIVES PROFESSIONALLY SHARPENED.

    You may have a steel or a sharpener at home, but once a year, get a pro to revive those knives. Your chopping will get faster, more precise—and, believe it or not, safer.

    5. FOUR WORDS TO LIVE BY: CHICKEN THIGH FAMILY PACK.

    Chicken breasts are expensive and can get dull after a while; thighs are juicier, cheaper, and more flavorful.

    6. TOSS MOST OF YOUR SPICES—ESPECIALLY THAT GROUND CUMIN.

    Ground spices die quickly. So give them a whiff—if they don’t smell like anything, they won’t taste like anything. And if they don’t taste like anything, you’re cooking with a flavorless, brown powder.

    7. JOIN A CSA.

    At a minimum, you’ll learn how to cook kale fifteen ways. At a maximum, you’ll broaden your culinary horizons by finding ways to use up all that fresh produce.

    8. REPLACE YOUR NON-STICK SKILLET.

    Do your scrambled eggs slide off the pan if you don’t use oil or butter? They should. Might be time for an upgrade.

    9. TREAT YOUR HERBS LIKE FLOWERS.

    There’s nothing worse than limp herbs. Next time, trim the stems and put the parsley in a glass of water, fit a plastic bag over it, and stash it in the refrigerator.

    10. GET A MANDOLINE AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE IT.

    Want gorgeous scalloped potatoes or perfectly julienned carrots? Buy a mandoline. Are you a scaredycat? Wear a cut-resistant safety glove until you feel comfortable bare-handed.

    11. DOUBLE THAT BATCH OF RICE (OR QUINOA, OR BULGAR, OR…)

    Having cooked grains in your fridge means that fried rice, pilafs, rice bowls and robust salads are just minutes away.

    12. MAKE SURE YOUR WORK AREA IS WELL LIT.

    Look, the 40-watt lightbulb in your oven hood isn't going to cut it. Get a cheap clamp light from a hardware store so you can see what you’re doing.


    PHOTO BY DAVID CICCONI, FOOD STYLING BY KEMP MINIFIE, PROP STYLING BY BRIAN HEISER

    13. BUY PARCHMENT PAPER.

    What else are you going to roast your vegetables on? How else are you going to make quick dinners of fish en papillote

    14. STOCK UP ON SUPER-CHEAP, RANDOM CUTS OF MEAT.

    A freezer full of roasted turkey necks and bony beef cuts will ensure you always have what you need to make broth.

    15. KEEP YOUR PARMESAN RINDS AND FREEZE THEM FOR LATER.

    Remember that thing about super-cheap cuts of meat? Think of rinds as cheese bones.

    16. BUY A NEW KITCHEN SPONGE.

    Existential question time. If your sponge is filthy and smells, how can you expect it get your dishes clean?

    17. PUT THE LID ON THE POT TO MAKE YOUR WATER BOIL FASTER.

    Seems obvious, but if you don’t know, now you know.

    18. DRY YOUR SALAD GREENS USING A KITCHEN TOWEL.

    Salad spinners? So bulky and annoying. Instead, pile your just-washed greens into a clean dish towel, gather it by the ends, and swing that sucker around until your salad is dry (or your arm is tired).

    19. SAVE THE SCHMALTZ.

    Chicken fat is amazing stuff, whether you’re frying onions in it, sautéing greens in it or spreading it on toast. So after eating your roast chicken dinner, drain the now-cooled liquid fat into a plastic container and store it in your freezer. (Pro tip: This also holds true for bacon fat.)

    20. USE A GARBAGE BOWL.

    Hat tip to Rachael Ray. Buy a large bowl and keep it at the ready to fill up with egg shells and other trash generated while cooking.


    PHOTO BY CHARLES MASTERS, FOOD STYLING BY SUZANNE LENZER

    21. BUY A NEW Y PEELER.

    Like anecdotes about high school football games, peelers get dull, especially after a couple years. We recommend the Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peeler, which is just seven bucks.

    22. FIND THE BIGGEST MIXING BOWL YOU CAN AND BUY IT.

    You cannot toss a salad or mix cookies or make meatballs in a tiny cereal bowl. All you can do is make a bigger mess.

    23. AVOID EVIL GLASS CUTTING BOARDS.

    And they’re all evil. Glass cutting boards send shivers down your spine when you use them. They dull your knives. They’re slippery. And they’re hard to use. Use wood, bamboo or plastic instead.

    24. BUY TWO LOAVES OF THAT AWESOME BREAD AND FREEZE ONE.

    Bread keeps really well in the freezer. And there are always plenty of uses for it. Just remember: Air is the enemy! Wrap that loaf in foil (sliced or unsliced) and put it in a freezer bag before stashing.

    25. STOP CROWDING YOUR PANS.

    Food that's crowded into a cast-iron skillet or sheet tray gets steamed—and soggy—instead of crisp.

    26. TOAST YOUR SPICES...

    A quick stint in a dry skillet over medium heat wakes dry spices up and releases their oils, which means your paprika will taste a lot more paprika-y. Use whole spices, watch the pan like a hawk, and stir constantly until the spices are fragrant, then transfer to a plate to cool before using.

    27. ...AND YOUR NUTS.

    “These nuts are too crunchy,” said nobody ever.

    28. ...AND ALSO YOUR GRAINS.

    It's the first step to building roasty, warm flavor. (Using quinoa? Toast it before you rinse it.)

    29. SEASON (SOME OF) YOUR VEGETABLES WITH SUGAR.

    Carrots, squash, tomatoes—these vegetables have a natural sweetness that’s enhanced by a dash (just a dash!) of sugar.

    30. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SET OFF THE SMOKE ALARM.

    Especially when cooking meat. Smoke equals char, and char is delicious.

    31. PUT A DAMP PAPER OR KITCHEN TOWEL UNDER YOUR CUTTING BOARD.

    That way, your board won’t slip around as you chop.


    PHOTO BY LINDA PUGLIESE, FOOD STYLING BY CHELSEA ZIMMER

    32. WHEN A RECIPE CALLS FOR CHOCOLATE CHIPS, BREAK OUT A BAR OF CHOCOLATE INSTEAD.

    Chopping your own chips creates pockets of melty chocolate throughout your cookies—some small, some large, all delicious.

    33. SALT YOUR SALADS.

    It adds texture. It makes the dressing pop. It’s proof that there’s nothing—nothing—you shouldn’t be salting.

    34. COOL YOUR FOOD BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER.

    If you don’t, the temperature in the refrigerator will rise. And the only thing that benefits is mold.

    35. DON'T TOAST YOUR TOAST. FRY IT.

    Warm some butter or olive oil over medium-high heat. Lay in bread and fry until golden on both sides. Sell your toaster.

    36. BUY YOUR AVOCADOS AT A MEXICAN GROCERY STORE.

    Those are the stores that sell them ripe.

    37. ALWAYS KEEP LEMONS IN THE FRIDGE.

    They’ll keep longer that way, so you’ll always be able to add fresh lemon juice to everything from dressings to cocktails. Plus, you can use the squeezed rinds to clean and deodorize your wooden cutting boards.

    38. CARAMELIZE MORE ONIONS THAN YOU NEED TO.

    A lot more—you’ll use the extras in omelets and sandwiches; on chicken, steak and pork; in pastas and stews.

    39. GET A MICROPLANE.

    Sick of shredding your knuckles instead of cheese? Buy a Microplane, which will provide years of shredding power for about $15. 

    40. SWITCH TO METAL MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS.

    Plastic warps over time, making them less precise.

    41. STORE SALAD GREENS IN A RESEALABLE PLASTIC BAG WITH A PAPER TOWEL.

    The towel is there to absorb moisture, which keeps your greens crisper, longer.

    42. FIND (AND BUY) PROFESSIONAL-GRADE KITCHEN TOWELS.

    43. SOFTEN YOUR BUTTER...

    Serving it cold and hard on toast—on anything, really—is the one way to make butter bad. (Need it soft in a hurry? Here are four ways.)

    44. ...AND MIX SOMETHING INTO IT.

    A little shallot, some chopped herbs, maybe some lemon zest—boom. You just made compound butter.


    PHOTO BY CHARLES MASTERS, FOOD STYLING BY KATE SCHMIDT

    45. MICROFIBER DISH-DRYING MATS ARE BETTER THAN DISH RACKS.

    So is a decent dish towel. Who has space for a dish rack?

    46. BUY BROWN SUGAR AS YOU NEED IT, IN AS SMALL A QUANTITY AS POSSIBLE.

    The stuff just doesn’t keep very long.

    47. BUT IF YOUR BROWN SUGAR IS ROCK-HARD, DON’T THROW IT OUT.

    Revive it with a minute or so in the microwave.

    48. ESTABLISH A SALT BOWL.

    Having a stash of salt always within arm’s reach when you’re at the stove is the first step to better seasoner (see tip 57).

    49. BAKE PIES IN GLASS PIE PANS.

    It heats more evenly than tin, and when your pie is perfectly golden-brown everywhere, you’ll know it.

    50. OIL, SALT, ROAST—IN THAT ORDER.

    When roasting vegetables, toss them in oil, then season them with salt and pepper and toss again. This way, the seasoning actually sticks to your food.


    PHOTO BY CHARLES MASTERS, FOOD STYLING BY SUZANNE LENZER

    51. KEEP YOUR VEGETABLE SCRAPS.

    Toss fennel fronds, carrot ends and other vegetable scraps into a resealable plastic bag you keep in the freezer. When you reach critical mass, make vegetable stock.

    52. MAKE YOUR OWN CROUTONS.

    Toss cubed bread on a rimmed baking sheet with oil, salt, pepper and whatever other tasty thing you fancy. Bake at 350, tossing once or twice, until golden brown. Now see if any actually make it to your salad.

    53. AIR-DRY YOUR CHICKENS.

    After you’ve unwrapped and rinsed your bird, pat it dry, salt it generously, and let it stand in the refrigerator, uncovered, for a few hours before roasting. The bone-dry skin will cook up to a crackly, crunchy, golden brown.

    54. PEEL GINGER AND KEEP IT IN THE FREEZER.

    Not only will it last longer, it will grate it more easily.

    55. MARINATE YOUR CHEESE.

    Mozzarella, feta, and fresh goat cheese? Delicious. Mozz, feta and goat cheese marinated in olive oil, chile flakes, and fresh herbs? More delicious.

    56. BUY A BETTER ICE CUBE TRAY.

    The ice cubes that come out of the dispenser in your fridge? They’re watering down your cocktails. Cubes made in silicone ice trays are denser and keep your Bourbon cold for hours (or, you know, however long it lasts).

    57. TASTE—AND SEASON—AT EVERY STAGE OF COOKING.

    Because if you wait until the end, it’s probably too late.

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

    Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Bake


    This dish is one of my favorite sides.  Rice in  a creamy cheese sauce with broccoli .  It goes with everything and is great for family dinners and to take to pot lucks or other gatherings.

    Not only is this side dish delicious - it is easy to make.  You cook some rice (I cooked mine in my Rice cooker).  Mix the rice with some cheese, Cream of Mushroom soup, milk, pepper, and fresh broccoli.  The broccoli rice mixture is spooned into a prepared baking dish.  Bake the casserole for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve.

    A delish side is ready to enjoy:)

    Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Bake
    From Betty Crocker





    Ingredients

    1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
    2 cups water
    1tablespoon butter or margarine
    1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
    1 loaf (16 oz) prepared cheese product, cut into cubes
    1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
    2/3 cup milk
    1/4 teaspoon pepper, if desired
    2 cups fresh broccoli florets (1/2 inch)
    1 cup fine soft bread crumbs (about 1 1/2 slices bread)
    1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

    Directions 

    1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook rice in water as directed on package. 

    2. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cheese, soup, milk and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. 

    3. Stir in broccoli and rice. Spoon into baking dish. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle over rice mixture. 

    4. Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until light brown on top and bubbly around edges.

    Makes 8 servings