Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

Ok people, I have a good one for you today!

I have seen a lot of variations of this cheesy garlic pull-apart bread all over the interwebs lately.
I was having some people over last weekend and decided to give it a try.

(Notice the hole right in the centre, someone grabbed a piece before I could get my camera, it is just that good!)
I took about 4 recipes and put them together to make this one.

It is AMAZING! I mean what is better than hot melty cheese with garlic on warm sour dough bread!

I am drooling just thinking about it!

What you need,

1 round loaf of sourdough bread
½ cup butter
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
¾ cup Monterey Jack Cheese, sliced about ¼ inch thick, I got about 10 slices
½ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with a double layer of tin foil, make it big enough to wrap all the way around the bread loaf.

Cut the bread into a grid pattern, cut down but not all the way through about 1 inch apart, going in both directions to create squares of bread.

In a bowl combine the butter and the garlic and cook in the microwave for about 30 seconds until melted. Stir in the green onions.

Using a spoon, drizzle the butter mixture into the bread, gently separate the squares and drizzle in between each one.

Carefully slide the slices of Monterey jack cheese in between the bread squares you may need to break some of the slices in half to get them all to fit.
Tightly wrap the bread up in the tinfoil. Bake the bread in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt.

Take the bread out of the oven and heat the broiler. Open the tin foil and sprinkle the cheddar cheese all over the bread. Put the bread under the broiler for 5 minutes until golden brown and melty.

Carefully transfer the bread to a plate and sprinkle with the parsley.

Serve right away.

I can’t tell you how good this bread is, I suggest you make is as soon as possible.

Mmmmm warm cheesy bread! SO GOOD!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Easy Skillet Mac and Cheese

I am a sucker for any kind of cheesy noodles.

When I made this Oven Barbecued Chicken and this skillet mac and cheese was a suggested side, well you didn’t have to ask me twice to make it!

It is super rich and creamy, just the way I like my mac and cheese.

What you need,

3 ½ cups water, plus extra as needed
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
12 oz. (3 cups) elbow macaroni
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. hot sauce
6 oz. Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (1 ½ cups)
6 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, grated (1 ½ cups)
3 tbsp. butter

Bring water, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, macaroni and ½ tsp. salt to a vigorous simmer in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over high heat. Cook stirring often, until macaroni is tender and liquid has thickened, 9-12 minutes.

Whisk remaining ½ cup of evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl.

Stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Off heat stir in the cheese 1 handful at a time until combined and creamy. If the sauce is too thick thin with a little water. Stir in the butter. Season the macaroni to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot.

This mac and cheese went perfectly with the Barbecued chicken. We loved it.

It was so quick and easy it could easily replace the stuff in the blue box!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oven Barbecued Chicken

I tried to cook burgers on the barbecue the other day and ran out of propane halfway through. Awesome!

I hate when that happens.  I haven’t found the time to go for more propane yet but I was craving barbecue. So when I saw this recipe in my newest America’s Test Kitchen magazine I knew it would be perfect.

What you need,

1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp. molasses
3 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. finely grated onion
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. dry mustard
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together the ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, grated onion, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, maple syrup, chili powder and cayenne.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and season both sides well with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in an oven safe 12 inch skillet over medium high heat.

Brown the chicken on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate.
Pour off any excess oil from the pan. Pour in the barbecue sauce and scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until it is thick and glossy, about 4 minutes.

Off heat return the chicken to the skillet and coat each piece well with the sauce.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Using pot holders (the skillet handle will be smoking hot!)
Remove the skillet from the oven and adjust the oven rack to 5 inches below the broiler.

Heat the broiler then put the pan back into the oven and cook until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 160 and the chicken gets a little brown on top, about 5-8 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Whisk the sauce in the pan to combine, and then transfer it to a bowl for serving.

Serve the chicken with the sauce.

This chicken was amazing, the sauce is to die for, and the chicken was tender and juicy.

And the mac and cheese I served it with well I have no words! I will share that recipe tomorrow.

So don’t worry if you don’t have a barbecue or you are out of propane, like me! You can whip this chicken up in no time and no one will know it didn’t happen outside on the grill!



Recipe from America’s Test

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Steak Au Poivre with Brandied Cream Sauce

We don’t eat a ton of red meat around here, but sometimes you just have a hankering for a good steak.

My in house taste tester LOVES pepper. He peppers everything, including his bread! 

So when I saw this recipe for Steak Au Poivre in the new America’s Test Kitchen Magazine I knew I had to give it a try.

It was really very easy and it tasted amazing!

What you need,

4 tbsp. butter
1 shallot, minced
1 cup beef broth
¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup + 1 tbsp. brandy
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. lemon juice

2-4 (8-10oz) strip steaks, about 1 inch thick, trimmed
1 tbsp. black peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

In a pot over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.
Add the beef and chicken broths, increase the heat to high and boil until reduced to about ½ cup. This will take 8-10 minutes. Set mixture aside once it has reduced.

Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt. Rub one side of each steak with the cracked black pepper. Press the pepper with your fingers to adhere it well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot, about 4 minutes. Lay the steaks, unpeppered side down into the hot skillet, immediately increase the heat to medium high. Press firmly down on the steaks with the bottom of a cake pan or flat pot lid. Cook without moving them until well browned, about 6 minutes.
Using tongs flip the steaks over. Press firmly on the steaks again with the cake pan or pot lid. Cook until desired doneness, another 3-5 minutes.
Transfer steaks to a plate and tent loosely with foil.

Pour the reduced stock mixture, ¼ cup brandy and the cream into the now empty skillet. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to heavily coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, remaining 1 tablespoon of brandy and lemon juice.
Season the sauce with salt to taste.

Serve the steaks with the sauce. 

A nice big scoop of fluffy buttermilk mashed potatoes on the side goes great.
The sauce is to die for, and makes great gravy for the potatoes as well.

I am very happy with how these steaks turned out! I will be making them again for sure!