Thursday, February 27, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Patsy's Halibut

So the other day when I shared the Italian Broccoli recipe with you, I mentioned "the fish." Well today, you get the recipe for "the fish."  I went to a birthday party last night for a precious 13-year-old and spent hours taking in all of the loved ones that shared those great memories with me at Patsy's. Every single person in that room would use their best Italian accent and tell you what Patsy thought of eating meats other than fish.

 ::in my Italian grandpa accent:: "You, you eata da fish...the chicken, it hasa da hormone, da hormone make the chicken fat, you eat the chicken, you getta fat like the chicken...the fish, you gettin da fish" (be glad you can't hear impression is terrible).

I actually went in on a double date and rather than walking into the kitchen and just letting him know I was there to eat and waiting to see what he brought me, I ordered via the waitress, off the menu. She must have tattled on me because not long after she walked off, here he came....and I got scolded. I ordered pasta with Italian sausage and marinara. He said "Who order the sausage? What's a matta with you?" Can I give you one guess as to what I ended up with? The fish.... and I loved every bite. This dish holds an insane amount of memories and I am more than excited to share it with you. He may not be blood, but he is family, so consider this a recipe passed down.

2 halibut fillets (Skinless) - you can use any mild white fish: sea bass, talapia, orange roughy, etc.
Italian-style bread crumbs
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp capers
4 slices red or green bell pepper.
l lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the fillet. Coat top of fillet with breadcrumbs. Pile the garlic and capers in the middle area on top of the fillets. Top with pepper slices.  Zest some lemon rind and drizzle lemon juice over the fillets.

Turn your ovens broiler on. Drizzle some olive oil in an oven-safe skillet. Heat it on the stove-top over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot, place the fillets in the skillet to sear the bottom, drizzle olive oil over the fish. Place in the oven for 6-8 minutes to finish cooking the fish. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the fillet. The internal temperature should reach a minimum 130 to 135 degrees. Serve with Italian Broccoli or Stewed Okra (both Patsy inspired side-dishes).

**If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you can place them on a baking sheet and just broil them, you just won't get the sear on the bottom but it is still perfectly delicious!

Enjoy! XOXO~

Friday, February 21, 2014

Turkey Sprout Sandwich

We have a bar & deli down on Main St. in my home town called Bison Witches. They have three other locations around the U.S. but we love stopping in during an afternoon outing and grabbing a sandwich and a bowl of soup or chili. I have been going there since my Freshman year of college, which is when I discovered the little jewel of a sandwich, the Miss Priss.

As weird as it sounds, I am really picky when it comes to enclosed foods such as sandwiches, burgers and tacos. I come by it honestly, my dad gave up trying to place our drive-thru orders years ago. If we did find ourselves whipping through a McDonalds or any other fast-food spot, he would pull past the speaker and make the person in the backseat place the order. My mom, sister and I knew eachothers "special" requests by heart. He would say "just order me 2 cheeseburgers - however they come" I am a ketchup and cheese only girl when it comes to burgers, meat and cheese only on tacos and sandwiches....usually. 

In the case of the Miss Priss, even though it goes against the rules I've ordered by my entire life, I was 18 and had just discovered alfalfa sprouts and had branched out a bit and dipped a chicken finger in some honey mustard, WOO HOO! (That was big stuff - the smell of mustard makes me cringe). So, trying to eat like a big girl, I ordered it, and fell in love. I drive by and start to crave it. The honey mustard is more honey than mustard which is perfection to me and the sprouts have just enough crunch to put a little extra pep in your step. Here is my homemade version

The Sandwich
2 slices bread (a good hearty honey oat or wheat best)
4-6 oz sliced turkey, deli style
1-2 slices white cheddar cheese
2 thin slices of tomato
1/2 cup sprouts
Honey Mustard (recipe below)

Honey Mustard
1 tsp country dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey

Mix up the honey mustard, set it aside. Layer on one slice of bread: tomato, turkey, cheese, sprouts. Spread honey mustard on top slice of bread and place spread side down on top. Easy as 1,2,3!

I didn't have regular tomatoes on hand so I just sliced up some cherry tomatoes

(This is the Country Dijon I used)

Enjoy! XOXO~

Barnyard Bistro on BlogLovin

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Italian Broccoli

This broccoli is the most familiar vegetable dish on my family's dinner table. Thanks to our beloved Patsy, our family's (and our community's) own Italian grandpa. He ran a local Italian restaurant where he took the time to create a menu for the average diners, but for the ones he loved....he would slap your hand and shut your mouth if you even dared to try and order something you were craving. He knew what you needed, and THAT is what you were going to get, and what you needed....was a big plate of sauteed broccoli and "the fish"Since he retired, this has become a nostalgic comfort food for me. Reminiscent of the many years of laughing and conversation our family and friends shared in that little brick building. 

4 cups broccoli florets
4 cloves garlic, shaved
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp water
Kosher salt

Drizzle olive oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add in the broccoli, sprinkle with kosher salt and toss several times to distribute the oil. Cook, continuing to toss occasionally for 5 minutes. Add in shaved garlic and toss. Continue to cook and stir until majority of the garlic is toasted to a medium golden brown (around 5 minutes). The broccoli should be firm but fork tender. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! XOXO~

Margarita Chicken - GAC Exclusive

Check out this exclusive recipe in the GAC - Great American Country "Krystal Keith in the Kitchen" blog series: Get it here.

Enjoy! XOXO~

Monday, February 17, 2014

French Toast Breakfast Stackers

For the last few days, I have been out running errands in, get this....SHORT SLEEVES! Even if it only last a few is just what me and my little family needed to give us a little boost of energy. We've been outside playing with dogs, walking "the hood" and making spring plans for outdoor bar-b-ques. This kind of weather makes me wake up inspired and ambitious to start the day. The inspiration I woke up with today, brought you this sweet and savory breakfast stacker. It is all the components of the "Americana" style breakfast, eggs, sausage or bacon, toast....make that French toast....and maple syrup. What more could you possibly ask for?

4 patties of sausage OR 4 slices of bacon 
6 eggs 
4 slices french toast or challah bread (1/2 inch -3/4 inch thick)
3 Tbsp milk, divided
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 slices of American cheese
1/3 cup maple syrup, heated
salt and pepper

Whisk together 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp milk, sugar and vanilla. Add slices of bread one at a time, flipping several times to saturate both sides in egg mixture. Lay each coated slice of bread aside to let the egg mixture soak in. Cook bacon or sausage and set aside. Whisk together remaining 3 eggs and 1 Tbsp milk; salt and pepper to taste. Scramble eggs in a skillet over medium heat; set aside. Cook soaked slices of bread in a skillet over medium heat, flipping to brown both sides to a medium golden color.

To construct the "stacker" start by placing scrambled eggs on top of 1 slice of french toast, top that with 2 patties of sausage or 2 slices of bacon (cut the bacon in half and criss cross all four halves), followed by a slice of cheese and then a second slice of french toast. Drizzle warm maple syrup on top and serve immediately, because why would you want to hold out on digging into this?! 

**If desired, you can dust the stacker with powdered sugar before drizzling the maple syrup for that extra touch of sweetness. 

And here are just a couple more pics of the stackers! My hubby always wanders out of his office or man cave just as I'm putting the final touches on a dish. I have to start slapping hands to get just a few quick pics in before he devours the goods!

Enjoy! XOXO~

Friday, February 14, 2014

Simple Pastry Dough

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you and yours are making the most of this sweet day. Me and mine are being lazy today, lounging around after a breakfast of Cabo Breakfast Burritos, just trying to recover from my latest travels. My house smells like roses and lilies thanks to a Valentine's delivery from my sweet dad.

With love in the air....on to the food! I love making pies, tarts and quiche. What do these three dishes have in common? a delicious buttery crust. I have family recipes that are so flakey and buttery that they are basically pie perfection but they require quite a bit more love and attention to make. I had to have a basic pastry dough that I could whip up in a flash and know that I can count on for those times when I had to make extra batches. This pastry dough is my go-to basic recipe. Double it, Triple it, whatever you need! 

2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 stick butter (8 Tbsp), cold
2 large eggs, slightly beaten

In a food processor fit with either a dough blade or metal blade, combine dry ingredients and pulse a few times. Cut butter into pats (this just means to slice the stick of butter into approximately 1/4-inch slices). Add the cut butter to the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is combined well with the dry ingredients. It should be a light, fluffy, crumbly texture and no chunks of butter should be visible. 

Add in the egg and pulse 10 times. Turn the processor on and let it run for 15 seconds. Your dough should start to gather into somewhat of a ball. It may not come together as well with a metal blade, I use the plastic dough blade. Flour your work surface and dump the dough out on the surface. Work all the dough by kneading it together a few times until it becomes one smooth ball of dough.

Divide the dough in half. Flatten dough into 2 disks and place in refrigerator for an hour (you can leave it overnight if you wish). When ready to work, place one disk on a floured surface (leaving the second disk in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.) and begin to roll the dough out to desired size to begin making your tart or pie. This recipe makes up to two 12-inch crusts.

I used this batch of dough to make little desserts for a cocktail party. I used a fluted cookie cutter to cut the dough into flat "cookie" type bases. I then added a dollop of vanilla bean custard, berry compote and chopped walnuts. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy! XOXO~

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Cabo Breakfast Burritos

Every trip I have ever made to Cabo San Lucas, MX has begun with a trip to our favorite little local grocery store. We enjoy making breakfast together and taking in the view of the beach and eating poolside. The two things that you can always count on in Mexico are good fresh mexican cheese and thin, fresh, delicious tortillas. Nothing like the store-bought kind you buy here that are thick, bready (is that a word?) and flavorless.

We have tried and tried to find a brand of tortilla that can even come close to the paper thin originals. Even going as far as buying 100 fresh-made tortillas from a little specialty shop in Cabo San Jose (just outside of San Lucas) and bringing them home with us. But the tortillas gods are on our side! Wal-Mart recently hit the mark, and they are literally 150 calories less than the original (I'm assuming the lard in the originals has something to do with it). In the refrigerated section by the mexican cheeses, I found a package of uncooked tortillas and bought them to try. They are nearly perfect, the originals are still just a hair thinner but I am NOT complaining! 

I decided to share them with you using our breakfast burrito recipe that has been our Cabo breakfast staple since as far back as I can remember. My husband bit into one and proclaimed "It makes me feel like I'm in Cabo" That's what I was going for so....Get your Cabo on.

These are the tortillas and chorizo I use!
4 uncooked tortillas
1/4 cup chorizo*
2 eggs
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp queso blanco or fresco
*chorizo is a spiced mexican sausage

Place the uncooked tortilla in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook it on one side for a minute and then flip and cook the other side for 30  seconds to a minute. If the tortilla doesn't puff up as it cooks, turn heat up. If it begins to burn, turn heat down. Keep tortillas covered to help keep them warm. Scramble eggs and egg whites in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper; set aside. Cook chorizo in a skillet over medium heat, it will begin to look like a thin chili. Once it is cooked through, spoon it into a small bowl or plate. Wipe skillet clean and heat the skillet (sprayed with cooking spray) over medium heat. Once the skillet begins to get hot again,  pour scrambled eggs into the skillet, immediately begin using your rubber spatula to pull cooked egg away from edges, folding it into the center and the folding the center over. Continue folding the mixture back and forth around the skillet until the egg is completely cooked. (This process is literally under a minute). Build burritos by dividing eggs, chorizo and cheese among the 4 tortillas  and rolling them up. Serve immediately. 

Not gonna lie....I usually make 6 and 2 don't make it to the burrito building stage
I'm starting to get hungry again...
Eggggggsactly perfect scrambled eggs!
Build A Burrito Bar!
Cabo-style burrito perfection!

Enjoy! XOXO~

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Billie's Supper Club Chili

With the snowstorm that blew in on Superbowl Sunday, I decided to treat my watch party guests to the holy grail of my recipe collection. They were greeted with a sacred family specialty, my Nannie's Supperclub Chili (with a side of skillet cornbread ofcourse!). I can't tell you how many people said "this is just what I needed" and "how perfect for a day like this"

This is the exact recipe that my Nannie served at Billie's Supper Club, the nightclub she owned and operated. The same nightclub that provided so much of the inspiration that lead my dad to become a musician. He spent the summers in Ft. Smith, Arkansas at his grandmother's house and pitched in by working in the kitchen. She would let him get up on stage and jam with the house band when the bar was slow.  Billie's Supper Club is mentioned in songs such as Honkey Tonk U and Clancy's Tavern. And is almost always the picture that is painted in his mind as he pens songs about good ole country bars and the people that wander in and out of them. This chili is not only blue ribbon worthy in flavor, it also holds so many special stories and moments in each bite.

3 large white or yellow onions, chopped
10 lbs ground chuck (regular ground hamburger meat is fine too)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups water
3 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cumin
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp white pepper
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups cracker meal (just crumble crackers)

Use a big pot with a lid. Brown meat and onions about 1/2 way. Add water, stir and let simmer, covered, for 4 hours. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well.  If you prefer beans in your chili you may add your favorite bean. Simmer for 1 more hour covered. You may add a little more water if needed. Salt to taste - remember that the cracker meal added salt too so taste it before adding any additional salt.

Make It Your Own!
If you like a really spicy chili, try adding some hot green chiles or increasing the amount of cracked red pepper. This is a large amount of chili, so bag it up and freeze the leftovers for a snowy day, which according to the weather man we will have plenty of in the near future!

Enjoy! XOXO~