Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Fun 118 - Key's Review

First let me say there a number of Key's and I have not been to all of them. I have been to at least four of them and they all have some things in common. Though this review will be most accurate to my "local" one, the Spring Lake Park location.

Key's is comfort food to the max. Portions are big and tasty with not much concern for making the food "Healthy". Most of the meals ring in for under $15 and if you leave hungry you are a very special person. I'm very fond of the Biscuits and Garvy (for breakfast), Meatloaf, and Apple Pie. I have tried lots of other dishes though and they've all been quite good.

The biscuits and gravy have fresh biscuits, like all their baked goods, and a salty fatty sausage white gravy. Maybe it's just cause it's a bit tough to find here or maybe it's good sausage available but flavor is on the level of good quality from down south. I'm adding weight just thinking about it.

I should probably reiterate, Key's isn't the place to go if you are looking for elegance and refinement. The meatloaf is smothered in brown gravy, moist, tender, and with a hint of sweetness. The only thing that could be considered a drawback is the side vegatables are cooked old school style, till they turn mushy. I actually like this, it fits with the style of the place, but if you like your green beans crisp that won't happen here.

Apple pie, made fresh. Need any more? They also have great cinnamon and carmel rolls and other great pies and cakes. Dessert is not a problem.

I went twice this past weekend and I'm ready to go back.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with a Chili-Garlic Remoulade

I made this for our progressive dinner on New Year's Eve. I had appetizers and we loved this. We had extra sauce and used it on hamburgers which we almost liked even more!

I got this from The Noble Pig's blog. She has GREAT pictures with things done step by step!

I cannot get a link to work again!! Here is the link

For the shrimp:
24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons prepared garlic-chili sauce
1 teaspoon salt
6 strips bacon, quartered
Wooden skewers

For the Remoulade:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon prepared chili garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, finely chopped (both white and green parts)

In a non-reactive bowl, marinate shrimp for 15 minutes with wine, lemon zest, garlic-chili sauce and salt.

For the Remoulade, stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice, chili-garlic sauce, green onions and salt. Cover and chill until serving time.

Quarter 6 strips of bacon in half lengthwise and then again across the middle. In other words, one piece of bacon will be cut into four strips.

Soak wooden skewers in water for twenty minutes before skewering shrimp. Wrap each shrimp in a piece of bacon, securing bacon with wooden skewer, neck to tail in a half-moon. Add three to four shrimp per skewer.

Position oven rack so the food will be 3-4 inches from the heat. Preheat broiler. I broiled the shrimp on low for about twelve minutes and I turned them three times for even browning. DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE BROILER. Watch your shrimp very carefully. All ovens are different. My cooking times could be very different from yours. Just make sure shrimp are opaque and bacon is cooked through and crisp.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 jar salsa (I use a medium jar of medium salsa)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese

Place beans, corn and half of salsa into crock pot. Add chicken and rest of salsa. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Top with cheese and cook an additional 15 minutes.

Personal preference of serving - layer on a tortilla with lettuce and sour cream! Other ideas - serve with rice... make a taco salad. YUM!

We have used this is tortilla shells. I usually just put the cheese on in our tortilla!!

Chicken Enchilada Ring

I am making this one for the football game this weekend!! We really like it and am hoping it goes over good for a group. I had it at a Pampered Chef party years ago and am now getting around to post it!!

Go Vikings!! (For those of us from MN!)

2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken (about 12 ounces)

¼ cup chopped pitted ripe olives

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, undrained

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Pantry Southwestern Seasoning Mix

2 plum tomatoes

1 lime

2/3 cup finely crushed corn tortilla chips, divided

2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls

1 cup salsa

1 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop chicken and olives using food chopper; place in bowl. Add cheese, green chilies, mayonnaise and seasoning mix.

2. Seed and chop 1 tomato. Slice lime in half. Squeeze juice from one half to measure 1-teaspoon juice. Reserve remaining lime for garnish. Add chopped tomato and limejuice to chicken mixture.

3. Reserve 2 tablespoons crushed chips; add remaining chips to chicken mixture and mix well.

4. Sprinkle reserved crushed chips cupboard. Unroll crescent dough. Place dough sticky side down, onto crushed chips; press down lightly so chips adhere to dough. Separate dough into triangles. Arrange triangles; chip dies down, in a circle on round stone with wide ends overlapping in the center and points toward outside. (There should be a 5-inch diameter opening in center.) Using large tablespoon scoop chicken mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangle up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered.) Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

For garnish, cup remaining tomato into 8 wedges. Cut remaining half of lime into 4 slices; cut in half. Arrange between openings of ring. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

White Chocolate-Candy Cane Cheesecake

I just made this. My sister-in-law made it for Christmas and I could not stop thinking about it. I have been wanting to try making cheesecakes and tried this one first. Brought it to the Vikings Game on Sunday and it was GONE!! Have been asked to make another one this weekend. (I might try another kind.) Will post if it is good.

What you need

1 cup HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs

3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided

3 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

3 eggs

4 squares BAKER'S White Chocolate, melted

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

1/2 cup chopped candy canes

Make It

PREHEAT oven to 325°F if using a silver 9-inch spring form pan (or to 300°F if using dark nonstick 9-inch spring form pan). Mix graham crumbs, 3 Tbsp. of the sugar and the butter; press onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min.

BEAT cream cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in chocolate and extract; pour over crust.

BAKE 45 to 50 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Top with the whipped topping and chopped candy just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator. (I topped with the whipped topping and put Andes peppermint candies on top.)

Wednesday Fun #117 - Procrastinators Unite!

Well, hello, you all! Fancy seeing you here!

Say, um, a while back I polled as to whether or not we wanted themes still. The response was overwhelmingly "sure, why not?" Well, I was thinking about it and pondering what to do for themes... and pondering what to do for WF... (these ideas don't just grow on an idea tree in my backyard, folks! I gotta thunk 'em up my own self!)... and I think this month the theme will be...

Anti-Procrastination Month!

(Also, fitting since I'm posting January's theme on, oh, the 20th)

(Yeah, I might have totally gotten the idea from Flylady's Anti-Procrastination Day on Wednesdays, but it still works.)

Got any recipes you've been meaning to post? Maybe a new one you tried over the holidays? Or one that's been in the back of your mind to put on here since, oh, well, way back last grilling season? We don't care what season or theme it might fit, we'd love to just see it!

So your challenge is to set your timer for 15 minutes, find the recipe, and get it posted! I bet it'll even take you less time than that. Or, if you're pressed for time at the moment, just find your recipe and stick it next to/on your computer. Then you'll see it and remember! And all of your fellow Recipeeples will be thrilled to read your new recipe.

(And you'll be glad it's not a niggling little reminder in the back of your head anymore.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Egg Baked in Cream

Addendum 9/28/10: I had this on our weekly menu, but the day I was to make it, I realized, "I have no leeks!" Instead, I caramelized some onion (always caramelize more than you think you're going to need 'cuz it cooks down so much) and steamed/sauteed some Swiss chard from our CSA & threw that in too. Results = delicious!!!

I know I just posted a recipe that came from The Wednesday Chef, but I actually made two of hers that week & the other was so good, too, that I wanted to share it. Of course, you should really pop over to her site to read her mouth-watering description of Camino's Egg Baked in Cream and see some yummy-looking pictures. We had it for supper, but I think it would make a fabulous brunch dish & comes across as fancy and difficult. So, perfect for impressing the in-laws for brunch!

It's really quite easy. I think you could probably even saute the leek mixture ahead of time and then just allow a little longer for cooking. Luisa mentions cooking the leeks longer than recommended since she likes them softer, and since I do, too, that's how I did it. Mr. Kluges and I threw some torn-up spinach leaves in the ramekins on top of our leeks & it was great! The girls opted for no leeks & their spinach as a salad, but each ate TWO plain baked eggs with cream, so that was a winner for us. I have to confess that Mr. Kluges & I liked it so much that we ate two each as well! *grin* So, you may want to allow for seconds if you're not serving it with a lot of side dishes!

Egg Baked in Cream
Serves 1 with leftover leeks for many uses

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 leeks, sliced, light green and white parts only
2 sprigs thyme, leaves roughly chopped
2 sprigs parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1 large farm-fresh egg
About 2 tablespoons half-and-half
Coarsely ground black pepper
Grilled or toasted bread slices

1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, a splash of water and a pinch of salt and cook until the leeks are tender, about 2 minutes. Add the herbs and transfer to a 6-inch cazuela, cocotte or other ceramic dish, covering the bottom with the butter, leeks and herbs.

2. Crack the egg into the middle of the dish. Add enough half-and-half to barely cover the white. Sprinkle with salt and coarsely ground pepper. Cook until the white is set, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with grilled or toasted bread.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guacamole with mango and pomegranate

Yeti made this last week for Wednesday dinner, and it was awesome. I'm glad I hadn't read the recipe before I ate some, because I probably would have been scared away by the raw onion. But I don't even remember tasting it. Good stuff!

4 ripe avocados (about 2 lbs.)
1 cup finely chopped white onion
2 fresh serrano chiles, finely chopped (2 tablespoons), including seeds
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)
3/4 cup diced peeled mango
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Lime wedges to garnish

Halve, pit, and peel avocados. Coarsely mash in a bowl. Stir in onion, chiles, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, then fold in pomegranate seeds, mango, and cilantro. Season with salt and additional lime juice. Garnish with lime wedges.

(Recipe is from Epicurious.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cauliflower & Potato Gratin

Yum. I made this Cauliflower & Potato Gratin last week and it was so good, and warm, and yummy. It would make a great side dish or a vegetarian main dish with a salad. Might be a good option in a case like AKJ's Thanksgiving dilemma last year where she needed to bring a side, but somebody else was bringing potatoes, and veg, and sweet potatoes, etc.

I'm just copy-pasting the recipe over here from The Wednesday Chef, but do go over there to read her fabulous description of it because it'll totally make you hungry.

Note: I used fontina instead of Gruyere, and it filled a 9x13 glass baking dish perfectly.

Cauliflower and Potato Gratin
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

1 (1 1/4-pound) head of cauliflower
1/2 pound small boiling potatoes
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup butter
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons crème fraiche or sour cream
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese, divided (about 1 1/2 ounces)
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the dried base and green leaves from the cauliflower and discard them. Separate the head into florets about the size of walnuts and chop the stem into similar size pieces. Cut the potatoes into similar-size pieces as well.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high head and salt liberally. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and the cauliflower and potatoes (the vinegar will help keep the cauliflower white). Cook until the cauliflower pieces are tender enough to be easily cut with a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. While the cauliflower is cooking, make a cheese sauce. In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and stir in the leeks. Cook until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and whisk to make a smooth paste. Add the milk a little at a time, cooking until it thickens. When all the milk has been added, reduce the heat and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the crème fraîche, then one-half cup of the Gruyère, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous grating of nutmeg (a little less than one-quarter teaspoon). Whisk until smooth, then taste and add more salt or nutmeg if necessary.

5. Butter a 6-cup gratin dish and spread a thin layer of the sauce evenly over the bottom. Arrange the cooked cauliflower and potatoes in an even layer over the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. It should come about three-quarters of the way up the vegetables.

6. Scatter bread crumbs evenly over top and then scatter the remaining one-quarter cup Gruyère over that. Bake until the gratin is bubbling and the top is browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday Fun #116 - Happy New Year!

Hello, all! Well, based on the responses (or lack thereof! *grin*) to last week's WF, either y'all haven't learned/done/tasted anything new in 2009 or else you were all too busy with holiday fun to check in. That's fine and good, because it leaves you lots of room to answer this week's question!

Do you have any food-related resolutions or goals or "Hm, I think I'd like to"s for 2010? I mean, even if it's the not-uncommon-at-all "eat healthier," let's hear the nitty-gritty of it for you. Are you going sugar-free or caffeine-free or carb-free or something-free for a month or the year? Increasing your veggie intake? Committing to trying a new recipe each month? Swearing to yourself you'll order something new at your favorite restaurant rather than your same favorite dish every time? Maybe you want to get to the farmers' market more often, or join a CSA? Maybe it's just that you'll get some new kind of fruit on occasion when you're at the store.

How about it? Any food wishes for 2010?