Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Everglades (Fried Gator Bite grilled cheese)


This is my Florida themed Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  I call it the Everglades.  It is made with cubes of gator meat fried with a light crunchy coating.  It is topped with a spicy orange sauce with Wisconsin cream cheese and brie and then topped with Wisconsin Pepper Jack cheese.  A slaw is added for additional crunch.

Gator Ingredients:
1 lb gator meat, 1 inch cubes
1 cup buttermilk
fry oil (approx 4 cups), reserved for frying

Coating Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Slaw Ingredients:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
16 ozs slaw mixture

Orange Sauce Ingredients:
3 TBS cream cheese, softened
3 TBS creamed Brie cheese, softened
2 TBS mayo
2 TBS sour cream
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
3 TBS orange juice
2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp sugar

Grilled Sandwich Ingredients:
1 loaf baguette, cut in half
4 TBS butter
4 sliced pepperjack cheese
4 slices cooked bacon
1 cup arugula


1.  Soak gator meat in butter milk for 30 mins.  Add fry oil to small to medium pan.  Reserve until ready to use.
2.  In medium size bowl add all ingredients for coating mix.  Stir well to blend.  Toss gator meat in coating, covering completely.
3.  To make Slaw:  Mix all ingredients, except slaw in medium size bowl.  Mix well.  Add slaw and toss to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
4.  To make: Orange Sauce:  Add all ingredients in medium size bowl.  Whisk well.  Refrigerator until ready to use.
5.  Heat oil in pan on high/medium until hot  Approx. 5-7 mins.  Test oil by throwing in a piece of coating mix to see if it sizzles, then you will know oil is hot enough.  Add gator meat to oil, (approx. 10 pieces per batch), separating each piece so them do not stick.  Fry until golden brown, approx. 4-6 mins.  Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Fry remaining pieces.
6.  Slice baguette in half, lengthwise.  Then trim off 1 inch from sides.  Then cut in half, making two sandwiches.  Butter each outside piece with butter.  Place two pieces buttered side down in preheated skillet on med heat.  Add spread with orange sauce, top with gator meat, pepper jack cheese, slaw, bacon and arugula.  Add additional sauce on top.  Place top piece of baguette on top.  Grill for approx. 5 mins or until golden brown.  Carefully, flip and grill over side, for 5 mins or until golden brown.
Makes 2 grilled sandwiches


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cast Iron Corn Bread



Ingredients:

8 oz corn meal
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt, plus 1 tsp of sea salt put aside for later use.
1 can creamed corn
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 c oil
1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
1 TBS jalapeƱo, chopped
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese




Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Spray large cast iron pan with cooking spray on bottom and along sides.
3.  In large mixing bowl add corn meal, sugar, baking powder and 1 tsp sea salt.  Mix well.
4.  In same bowl add creamed corn, beaten eggs, oil, peppers and cheese.  Stir to combine.  Do not over mix.
5.  Add batter to cast iron skillet and spread evenly across skillet with spoon.
6.  Bake in oven for approx. 30-35 mins.  You will know corn bread is done by sticking a toothpick in center of corn bread and toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven. 
7.  Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp sea salt over top of corn bread.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CREAMY GORGONZOLA DIJON CHICKEN



INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
1/4 cup water
2 TBS honey
3 TBS dijon mustard
1/2 cup gorgonzola crumbles
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, flakes or chopped fine
salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh Parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
2.  Heat olive oil and butter in large skillet, medium/high heat.  Add chicken, brown on both sides until almost done.  Season with salt and pepper.  Approx. 4-5 mins on each side.                          (chicken will continue to cook in sauce).
3.  Add water, honey and dijon mustard.  Stir.  Sauce will start to thicken.
4.  Top with gorgonzola and sun dried tomatoes.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chocolate Habanero Peach Crepes



Crepes:
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 TBS sugar

Chocolate Filling:
1 cup dark chocolate morsels, melted
1/2 cup cream, plus
8 oz. cream cheese, warm
4-8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 TBS butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp habanero chili peppers, chopped fine

Peach Topping:
1 can (14.5 oz) peaches (no sugar), sliced
2 TBS butter
3 TBS brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS rum

Other Ingredients:
1 can whipped cream
1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted (for drizzle)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS habanero peppers, sliced for garnish

Directions:
1.  Whisk all ingredients for crepes in a medium size bowl.
2.  Heat a small non stick skillet on med/high.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into skillet.  Swirl batter around pan to thin out crepe.  Cook for approx 30 seconds or until starts to brown.  Turn over and slightly brown other side.  Place on wax paper.  Repeat process for remaining crepes.
3.  To make Chocolate Filling:  Melt chocolate in microwave for approx.  1 min.  Stir  Add back to microwave for additional 30 second intervals, stir.  (Do not overheat or it will burn).  Add warm cream cheese, butter, vanilla and peppers to small bowl.  Mix well.  Add to chocolate, stir well to combine.  But aside
4.  To make Peach Topping:  Heat a medium skillet med/high temperature.  Add ingredients.  Stir.  Cook until sauce starts to thicken.
5.  To assemble crepes:  Add chocolate filling to center of crepe.  Fold in half, then in half again.  Add peach topping on top.  Drizzle chocolate over top.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Add whipped cream with slices on habanero peppers on top.
Makes 9 crepes