If you 've ever planted jalapeno peppers in your garden, you know it doesn't take too much care other than water and sunshine. And with those sunny days comes an abundance of peppers. Have you every wondered what to do with all those peppers?
One of my favorite foods growing up was taco pizza. Going out to dinner was a treat ‘back in the day’ and I remember a couple of meals we all enjoyed ordering and one was taco pizza. I can see it now with the mounds of lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheddar cheese piled on top of a thick pizza crust loaded with taco meat, salsa and and jalapeno peppers. This recipe of taco pizza jalapeno poppers is my version of that memory.
10 - 15 jalapeno peppers (seeds and membrane removed)
½ lb. lean ground beef
½ onion (chopped)
Teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large Tablespoons cream cheese (softened)
Cup of crushed tomatoes
Shredded cheddar cheese
Dragon Sauce (combine these two ingredients)
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
Teaspoon Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
Taco meat: Brown the hamburger along with the chopped onion. Go ahead and salt and pepper the meat while on the stove top. Once cooked, drain the grease. Add the meat back into the sauté pan and add the spices. Blend the spices with the hamburger meat then add the crushed tomatoes. Once the meat has cooled slightly, add the cream cheese.
Once your jalapenos have been sliced down the middle, seeds and membrane removed, place them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Give each jalapeno a dollop of the Dragon Sauce and spread it throughout the jalapeno half.
After the taco meat has cooled, go ahead and add taco meat to each jalapeno. Be careful not to add too much. After the taco meat has been added, give each jalapeno half some shredded cheddar cheese. After the cheddar cheese, slice the grape-size tomatoes into thirds and top each popper.
Turn the oven on broil and cook for five minutes. Once you’ve taken out of the oven, it’s time to plate and serve.
or mGoing to the garden to gather ingredients for a summertime meal is a wonderful feeling. Being able to go garden to table in a matter of minutes, knowing you're feeding your body with the healthiest of foods. Try this simple meal that tastes like it took hours to prepare.
Two chicken breasts (trimmed)
One cup of quinoa
Summer roasted vegetables (zucchini, egg plant, carrots or other vegetables)
Cool vegetables (cucumber and tomato chopped)
Feta cheese or mozzarella (your call)
Oregano Vinaigrette for roasting vegetables
It’s a 20/20/20 cooking formula with 10 minutes prep time
Cut chicken breasts in chunks (salt and pepper), saute’ over medium heat in a pat of butter and a teaspoon of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Approximately 20 minutes until golden brown.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Chop vegetables into chunks and place in a bowl. Add Oregano Vinaigrette and mix (vinaigrette recipe below). Roast for 15 - 20 minutes.
Follow the directions for the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa. Bring a cup of water and a cup of chicken broth to a boil. Add the quinoa to the boiling mixture. Once at a second boil, simmer with the lid on the pot for 15 - 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
¼ cup EVOO
¼ cup of Rice Vinegar
Teaspoon of oregano
½ teaspoon of basil
½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon of minced garlic
Salt to taste
Shake well in bottle
One part Balsamic Vinegar
Two parts EVOO
For this recipe, use ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar and ½ cup EVOO, Shake in Bottle (use your preference).
Cucumber and Tomato
Feta Cheese or Mozzarella
Liquor Cabinet Raid...Amerischino
The Americhino is a take on the original Americano
While looking through the liquor cabinet, I discovered an unopened bottle of Campari (though the reason for buying it, alludes me). I was on the hunt for a summertime cocktail. Having a lite, delicious drink after a days work appeals to me.
The plan for the evening was to prepare a lite Italian meal. On the menu was saute' chicken, roasted garden vegetables, quinoa, and a lite balsamic vinaigrette (the recipe will follow).
As I was trying to pair a cocktail with the menu, I thought about the Campari and club soda, googled some ideas, and ran across the Americano.
The recipe for the orginal Americano is very simple. All you need to do is pour equal parts of Campari and sweet vermouth over ice and fill the glass with club soda. I had sweet vermouth used previously with martinis.
After first tasting Campari, I noticed a bitter-sweet flavor with some herbal notes and a hint of orange. I'm not quite sure how to describe the Italian aperitif, however, I know I enjoyed the earthiness immensely.
There's a rich history associated with the Americano. Some say it was first served in the 1860s at Gaspare Campari's bar in Milan, Italy (This is where the 'secret' Campari recipe originated). Another story claims the cocktail was named after an Italian boxer Primo Carnera in the 1930s.
My most favorite story behind the cocktail is the introduction into the James Bond movies. Before Sean Connery, Bond was an American actor and the Americano was requested in Casino Royale (the original).
As for me, the Americano was too bitter, so I made some changes. For those that prefer a less bitter, taste, I've achieved a good formula. The Americhino has an extra fruitiness that will cut-down on the bitters and delight the senses.
1 1/2 ounces of Campari
1 1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth
Three ounces of club soda
Squeeze of lemon
Squeeze of orange
1 1/2 teaspoons of maraschino juice
All poured over crushed ice and stirred
Garnished with a twist of orange peel and a maraschino cherry
Simple Recipes...THE COBB
The Irvin Cobb Championships have taken place every year for the past 84 years on the third weekend in July. The tournament, named after Paducah native Irvin S. Cobb, is one of the premier golf tournaments in Kentucky.
Cobb was an American author, humorist, editor and columnist and appreciated a good bourbon. He was known as a ‘whisky lovin’ man. One of his well-known books was a whiskey novel Red Likker published in 1929. Whiskey/Bourbon is the ‘ice tea’ of Kentucky.
In addition to bourbon, “the South’ is quite fond of homemade lemonade. Made with fresh squeezed lemons, sugar, and ice, it’s a treat that helps beat the heat. If you combine the two, bourbon and lemonade, you’ll have the drink “THE COBB”.
Two slightly muddled mint leaves
Shot of bourbon (I prefer Woodford Reserve)
Sugar rimmed glass
Juice of a whole lemon
T. of simple sugar
Sparkling water (lime)
Lemon slice and sprig of mint for garnish
Rim the glass with sugar, gently muddle two mint leaves, add crushed ice, pour a shot of bourbon, combine the lemon juice and simple sugar then pour into the glass, fill the remainder of the glass with lime sparkling water, stir, garnish with a lemon slice and sprig of mint.
10 large eggs
One pound broccolini
1.5 cups Romano cheese
½ cup feta cheese
Two tablespoons olive oil
Pick off the leaves of the broccolini and cut the long stems into thinner stems
Bring salted water to a boil
Add the broccolini to the boiling water and cook for three minutes
Take out and let sit in ice cold water (this prevents further cooking)
Add both cheeses and stir
After cheese has been added, take the blanched broccolini and squeeze excess water out by placing it in a paper towel. Cut most of it into chunks. Leave three or four stems uncut to place on top of frittata. Add the cut broccolini
In a non-stick skillet, warm the olive oil. Once warm, add the egg mixture
Continue to cook 5 - 7 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Once the frittata begins to move away from the side of the skillet, it’s time to bake it in the oven.
Strategically place the three or four long stems of broccolini on top of the frittata
Baking should take eight minutes. Wiggle the egg mixture around while in the oven until it no longer jiggles.
Take out of the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes
The frittata should slide out of the skillet onto a plate
The frittata gets better as the frittata sits and the flavors blend
Tip: After the frittata has finished cooking in the skillet, before adding it to the oven, run a knife along the edges to loosen from the skillet.
Tip: The less water your vegetables have before adding to the eggs, the better your frittata will firmly hold. Always drain excess water from your vegetables after cooking. Use a paper towel or a cheesecloth. Otherwise, your frittata may become soggy.
There’s a basic formula for the perfect Spritzer. Follow these simple basics and ‘Spritz’ away.
Three ounces of Prosecco or wine
Two ounces of preferred liquor or mixer
One ounce of liquor or mixer
Finish with a garnish
The Peachy Weekender
Three ounces of Prosecco
Two ounces of peach flavored sparkling water
Once ounce of Peach Schnapps (Don’t go cheap on the schnapps)
One fresh peach
Maraschino cherry and two teaspoons of juice
Cut your peach into quarters. Peel three sides and leave one for garnish
Place peeled peach in the bottom of the glass and muddle a bit
Add crushed ice
Two tsp of maraschino cherry juice
Top off with more crushed ice
Add saved quarter, cut in half, with a cherry for garnish
Simple Recipes...the cocktail
Eight mint leaves muddled
Fill tall glass with crushed ice
Pour a shot of Myers’s Rum
Fill glass half-full with 100% pineapple juice
Add squeeze of fresh lime
T. of maraschino cherry juice or grenadine
Top off with club soda and a mint leaf for garnish
Simple Recipes...the plantain