Recipe

Winner Dinner: Salmon Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash

 

This is a less sinful indulgence for the carb addicted. Did you know that you can grow a healthy version of spaghetti right in your back yard? Spaghetti squash provides about half the calories and 1/4 the carbs. It also carries 2 grams of fiber and beta carotene. Spaghetti squash is delicious with any meat or sauce and if you are trying to lighten your carbo load, it’s worth a shot.

The Ingredients 

  • Salmon- 1.25lb package, frozen
  • Bacon- I used 2 strips of thick cut, you could use more or less.
  • Spaghetti Squash- one good size squash will feed a family of 4 if you need it to. We did boats and served two here, but it was ALOT of squash. This is an excellent thing to make and then take for lunch. You can eat until you are full and add more meat and cheese right into the rind, wrap it and you are good to go.
  • Butter- 1/3 cup (not including bacon drippings)
  • Heavy Cream- 1 Cup
  • Parmesan- 6oz for sauce, 2oz for garnishing= 8oz
  • Capers
  • Seasonings- Salt, Pepper, Cajun, Basil, Garlic (minced)
  • Olive Oil- 2T ish

 

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The Cooking
– Heat the oven to 350°
– Wash your squash and halve it (Some would say remove the stem, but I leave it, as it allows me to use the rhind as a bowl and it looks cool and harms nothing)
– Scoop out the seeds and gooey stuff from the center
– drizzle olive oil and spread it all over, coating the insides of the squash, salt and pepper all over
– Bake that baby for about 15 minutes

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  • Meanwhile, prep the Salmon by drizzling it with olive oil and plenty of cajun seasoning
  • Add Salmon after Squash has baked 15 minutes and let them bake together for another 45 or until the squash and fish are both fork tender and pleasantly browned20190605_170923_Film1

While you are waiting for them to finish up in the oven,  fry up the bacon and leave the drippings to use in the alfredo sauce.

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Alfredo Sauce:

Melt the butter with the garlic
When butter is liquid, add heavy cream and whisk until it simmers (keep the heat med-low so it doesn’t scald)
When it gets to where it has thickened and the simmering bubbles don’t quite pop, you are ready to remove the heat and add cheese, salt, pepper, and basil
Add capers and bacon to the sauce at this point, or sprinkle them on top as a garnish, or both!

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Assembly:

Fork the squash. Fork it real good.

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Add some sauce
Add some fish
Add more cheese
Add more bacon
Put the lotion on the skin (I digress…)

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I know this is a bit of a stretch as a Winner Dinner, given that you have to brown bacon and make sauce, but I hope the simplicity of this dish and the ease of cleanup make up for that. This recipe is excellent with a tangy tomato sauce and any meat you have around. Make it your way and then come back and show me! Thank you for reading, as always.

-Z

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Recipe, Uncategorized

Strawberry and Cream Scones

20190220_145346_Film1My first endeavor to make scones was so successful, I thought I would share the recipe I wound up using. It is a blend various recipes.

By and large, chefs were in agreement that what we love about scones is their texture; that flaky, buttery, mouth parching, tea craving texture… and the keys achieving this are:

1)Preheat the oven completely before baking
2) keep your butter (and cream cheese) cold.

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 C White Sugar
1T baking powder
1/2t salt
1/2C unsalted butter (cold, cubed)
8oz cream cheese (cold, cubed)
1 egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1t vanilla
3T Strawberry jam, plus more for topping

Preheat to 400 F
1. Sift or wisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. Cut in butter and cream cheese until coarse crumb textre is acieved
3. Whisk together cream, vanilla, and egg and add slowly to dry mixture and mix until just combined
4. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and shape into circle 1/2 in thick.
5. Top with jam polka dots, as pictured. You can also take the leftover 4oz of cream cheese and add some cream, sugar, and jam to make a glaze. I did both this time around (I baked the sconed with the “glaze” on them, which resulted in a really moist scone. Many other recipes suggested brushing the scones with cream or a reserved portion of the wet ingredients (vanilla, cream, egg). When using fresh fruit, pat strawberries dry and add them following the wet ingredients, mixing as little as possible. You can use this recipe with any fruit or jam, chocolate chips, caramel, even cold, cubed cinnamon butter. To leave out the cream cheese, replace it with butter.
6. Cut the scones and bake 12-16 minutes.

Recipe

Big Kahuna Burgers

For some reason watching Jules eat that burger from the fictional Hawiian burger joint in Pulp Fiction always makes me hungry, so here’s what I do about it:

Big Kahuna Burgers

Hawiian Buns (full size or sliders)
Pineapple rings (tidbits recommended for sliders but it doesn’t really matter)
Ground Pork
Ground Beef (I usually use 75% pork and lean beef, but you can use what you have)
Tony Cachere’s Seasoning
Franks Red Hot (or preferred hot sauce)
Mayo
Meunster cheese
Bacon (optional)
Banana Peppers (optional)
Butter (for buns)

I always start with my trusty cast iron skillet. Let it heat up to meduium high. Add a pat of butter to the pan and place your pineapple in for grilling. Grill to taste. Some like it golden, some like it burnt.
Once grilled, place it aside and if you haven’t yet, your bacon (drain the pan after).

Next comes the meat. For sliders I recommend 1/10 lb or less, for full size burgers 1/4lb per patty. I sprinkle the meat liberally with the Cajun seasoning and mix it in before molding the patties to make them super tender. You can also mix it up by putting your cheese and/or bacon inside the patty.

As you are cooking the patties, you can take a moment to make the spicy mayo… You just mix 1 part sauce to 5 parts mayo (or to taste).

Once the burgers are done, drain the pan and butter and toast your buns if you haven’t yet. You are not ready to build your burger and eat. The “classic” Big kahuna is served with spicy mayo, pineapple, cheese, bacon and banana peppers in place of the conventional pickle. Enjoy!

Slider Tip: If you are wanting to go the slider route, you can make the patties by using a cake pan and baking the meat until done. This makes a large, thin patty you can use for your sliders. Just press the seasoned meat into the bottom of a cake pan as evenly as possible. For 2lbs of meat, 25-30 minutes at 375 should do. Always check the thickest portion of meat for proper temperature (typically the middle in this case) . You can add the cheese at the 25 minute mark to make it nice and melty for serving.

Recipe

Crawfish Quiche

Crawfish Quiche

Butter
Garlic
Red Onions
Crawfish
Eggs
Cream
Artichoke Hearts
Capers
Cheese
Pie Crust

Preheat to 425 degrees American. Be sure pie crust is out to thaw.
Butter a med-high cast iron pan (1-2 “pats”), add garlic and onion and let them get wet for a few minutes before adding the crawfish. Add salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning. You want to keep moving it so the flavors mix. Once it starts to smell good, turn off the heat but keep stirring until the heat dies down to where you can do something else without burning anything.

Get your dairy, add the eggs and cream to a bowl and cream them together.

Add artichoke hearts and capers to the meat mixture and give it a stir… get your pie crust rolled out. Add the meat mixture, followed with the egg mixture, top with cheese.

Put it in the oven and leave it 10 minutes
After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 325
Let it cook at least another 20 minutes and no more than 45 total.

Sometimes I make this pretty by topping it with Franks and sour cream right before serving.

Recipe, Uncategorized

Bacon and Avocado Stuffed Tomatoes

Bacon Avocado Stuffed Tomatoes

What you need:

Tomatoes (I use Roma but any kind will do)

Butter (Salted Sweet Cream is what I use. You can substitute olive oil or use almond oil or any other nut oil to add a different flavor)

Mozzerella Cheese

Ripe Avocado (Firm not overripe, although you could mix up a guac and put it in place of the avocado on it’s own)

Bacon (baked or fried, but definitely cooked. You can cook it up ahead of time or while your tomatoes are in the oven)

Salt, pepper, red chili flake, italian seasoning

To do:

-Preheat to 450

– Cut each roma in half and remove the innards (reserve for salsa or pasta sauce)

– Place ¼ T butter in each tomato

– Mix italian seasoning and mozzerella together (1T seasoning to 1C cheese is a good ratio. Extra cheese mix goes good on garlic bread, on top of chicken, etc.)

– Stuff tomatoes with cheese mixture

– Bake on a cookie sheet at 400 for 10-20 minutes depending on how much you like broiled cheese (I love it)

– Cook your bacon and slice your avocado (You only need half for 4 stuffed tomatoes (2 whole romas). Salt and pepper the avocado to taste

– When tomatoes are baked to your satisfaction, remove them and add the bling. The red pepper flake adds color and spice, but it’s optional.

Quantities are inexact because the size of tomatoes can vary greatly. I recommend 1/2 slice of bacon per tomato and 1 cup of cheese mixture for 4 stuffed Roma halves.