Frozen Margarita Pie
Ingredients:
Crust:
1 cup finely crushed pretzels (or chopped in a food processor)
¼ cup sugar
Filling:
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
⅓ cup frozen Bacardi Margarita Mix, thawed
2 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
green food coloring, as needed (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Bacardi Margarita Mix, thawed
1 tablespoon tequila

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix crushed pretzels and sugar together in a bowl, stir in butter until evenly incorporated. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, press into bottom and up sides of plate to form a firm, even crust.

Bake curst in the preheated oven until edges are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Mix sweetened condensed milk, Bacardi mix, tequila, orange liqueur, and food coloring in a large bowl.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat cream, 2 tablespoons Bacardi mix and 1 tablespoon of tequila, until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream mixture into sweetened condensed milk mixture. When crust is cooled, spoon filling into crust.

Cover pie with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 4 hours.

3 Irish Men Cupcakes
adapted by pinch.my.salt originally adapted by David Leberman

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup sour cream, or yogurt
6 ounces Guiness Beer
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

Ganache:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons Jameson Whisky
2 tablespoons butter

Frosting:
1 stick of butter, soften
3 cups confectionary sugar
4 ounces softened cream cheese
4 tablespoons Bailey’s

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with liners and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix eggs and sugar until creamy. Add melted butter, sour cream, beer and vanilla. Mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking powder, and soda, whisk until combined. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mix until smooth, about 2 minutes at medium speed.

Fill cupcake liners ¾ of the way full. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.

Let cupcakes cool, about 10 minutes, before transferring to a cooking rack.

While cupcakes are cooking, in a small sauce pan heat cream over medium high heat until its warm, but not boiling. Chop chocolate into small chunks and place in a medium sized bowl. Add butter (in small chunks) to chocolate and butter. Stir until it melts and becomes cool. Add in your whiskey and set aside to firm up a bit, about 10-15 minutes.

While the ganache is cooling, use a small circular cookie cutter, or melon baller, and remove a small portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill the center with ganache using a small scoop or piping bag.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time. Once the sugar is incorporated and the frosting is smooth, add in the baileys, mix until completely smooth. Place the frosting into a piping bag or zip lock bag (cutting a small edge) and frost the cupcakes.

Cucumber Vodka Watermelon Jello Shooters
Ingredients:

1 12–16 pound watermelon
4 cups cucumber vodka
4 3-ounce boxes Jolly Rancher Watermelon Jell-O mix
2 1-ounce boxes unflavored gelatin

Preparation:

1. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the watermelon into two equal halves, lengthwise.

2. Use your knife to slice all the way around the perimeter of the watermelon flesh, about an inch from the rind. Be careful not to pierce through the skin, as this will lead to your Jell-O leaking out. Then use a kitchen spoon to scrape out the rest and create a smooth bowl with roughly 1/2-inch red watermelon flesh left on the rind.

3. Line two small, rimmed baking sheets with paper towels in a way that creates a bed for your watermelon bowls. The idea is to create enough support to keep the watermelon bowls from rolling at all while they’re in the fridge. Put one bowl in the center of each tray and set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Jell-O mix and the unflavored gelatin. Add 4 cups of boiling water and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the vodka all at once and whisk just to combine.

5. Pour the Jell-O mixture into the watermelon bowls, dividing evenly. Carefully place the Jell-O filled watermelon bowls in the fridge, and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

6. When Jell-O is set, cut each half into 1-inch slices, crosswise, then cut each slice into 2–3 wedges, and serve.

Happy Friday and Bon Appetito!

Must Have Boozy Desserts for Any Party


Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail is one of the easiest things to make.  Most people make one basic mistake at home, they overcook the shrimp.   Follow these easy directions and you will always have the most succulent shrimp!

1 lb. 21-25 count AMERICAN Shrimp (the count # is how many shrimp in one pound), peeled & deveined
1 tablespoon Webers® Boston Bay Seasoning
2 cups cold water
Ice bath (ice cubes & cold water)
½ cup shredded lettuce (for plating)
Lemon wedges for garnish, if desired

Ice Bath for Shrimp

Ice Bath For Shrimp

Cocktail Sauce:

½ cup ketchup
¼ cup horseradish
Juice of ½ a lemon
2-3 dashes of tobasco sauce
1 teaspoon Webers ® Boston Bay Seasoning

Place the water and Boston Bay Seasoning in a medium sized sauce pan over high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Immediately add the shrimp.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Drain shrimp and place into the ice bath (this prevents further cooking).  Drain the shrimp when cooled (about 30-60 seconds).  Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a small mixing bowl add all the cocktail sauce ingredients, mix until well blended.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve:  Place shredded lettuce in cocktail glass, top with shrimp, and drizzle with cocktail sauce.  This recipe serves 4.

The

What You Will Need

Years ago I started working as a cooking instructor at The Viking Cooking School in Memphis, TN.  I learned so many great things about cooking, styles, techniques, short cuts, knife skills, etc.  But one of my favorite things that I learned was how to cook the best steak at home.  We always use to go out for steak, Ruth’s Chris was our favorite steakhouse.  I can proudly say that we haven’t been back there in many years.  Once again, you too can make the best steak ever at home.  You only need a few ingredients for the steak, but I like to add a wine reduction sauce with mushrooms as well.

There are several key techniques for making the best steak at home:

  • Start with “USDA Prime Beef” Filet (yes, it’s worth the $$$)
  • Take steaks out of the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking
  • Wrap steak(s) with butchers twine (sold in every grocery store)
  • Season steaks 30 minutes before cooking
  • Generously rub steaks with extra virgin olive oil
  • Use good quality sea salt (I like grey and pink)
  • Freshly ground peppercorns are a must!
  • Prepare grill 30 minutes in advance
  • Bring grill up to the hottest temperature possible before cooking steaks
    Hottest Temperature

    Hottest Temperature

    Grilling Steaks

    Grilling Steaks

  • Use a meat thermometer!  (Unless you’ve been cooking steaks for a while and can tell their doneness using the “touch” technique.
  • Let the cooked steaks rest!  Cover with aluminum foil for 3-5 minutes, this prevents juices from escaping and keeps the meat moist and flavorful.

    Let Steaks Rest

    Let Steaks Rest

Portobello Mushroom Sauce:Deglaze Pan with Brandy

You'll never go back to your favorite steakhouse again!

You’ll never go back to your favorite steakhouse again!

Buon Appetito!

Buon Appetito!


Succulent Shrimp Cocktail and the “Perfect” Filet Mignon” – July & August Calendar Photos


Live at 9 – Rob’s Favorite Char-Grilled Oysters

I just LOVE taking pictures of my food and then upload them to Facebook.  Some people call this “food porn”….I call it “sweet temptations”.  One of my favorite photos is my char-grilled oysters.  I just wish I enjoyed eating oysters….but we won’t go there.  People always find it funny that I can make something taste so good when I won’t even eat it.  You just need to know which flavors go with what.  I suppose I have been blessed with this ability.

This is a very easy take on the famous “Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters” from New Orleans.  In this recipe, I steam open the oysters.  If you choose this method, be careful not to over steam them.  If possible, open them raw.

Char-Grilled Oysters

Char-Grilled Oysters

1 dozen oysters, steamed open*

Compound Butter

1 ½ sticks butter
⅓ to ½ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, whole
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Lemon Pepper

Prepare compound butter:

Place butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Divide butter into 12 pieces, 1 tablespoon each, for topping on oysters.  Remaining butter can be kept frozen for up to 6 months.
Heat the grill to medium high.

Place oysters on the grill, shell side down.  Cover grill and cook oysters for 2-3 minutes.  Place on tablespoon butter on top of each oyster.  Cover grill and continue cooking an additional 2-3 minutes.

*To clean, place oysters in a colander in and rinse under cold running water.  If necessary, scrub off any mud and debris with a scrub brush.

 

For Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe, Fruit Kabob Flag, Cucumber Boat and Yellow Squash Goose, click on the link below:

More Recipes

Char-Grilled Oysters

Char-Grilled Oysters

Buon Appetito!


Happy 4th of July!  And what a great time of the year to share with friends and family over some yummy ribs, salads, watermelon, and whatever else you like on this wonderful holiday.  My son, Rob, is our families official rib cooker, but since his relocation to Colorado I’ve had to try and come up with my own recipe/style of cooking ribs.  I hope you enjoy them, remember, low and slow…..

The rub:

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion The Rubpowder
2 teaspoons Weber® Smokey Mesquite Seasoning
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Smoked Paprika
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Pasilla Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Chipotle Chili Powder
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Rinse ribs and remove the membrane from the rack of ribs using a paper towel.

Remove the Membrane

 

Sprinkle ribs with rub.

Sprinkle ribs with rub

Wrap ribs in foil and place in refrigerator overnight, if possible, or at least for 60 minutes.

Prepare the grill:
Preheat your grill to 225°, try and maintain this heat throughout the entire cooking process. Place a smoke box (filled with soaked chips) directly over the coals.

Remove ribs from foil and place on grill, but not directly over the coals.* Smoke ribs for 2-3 hours for baby back ribs and 3-4 hours for Saint Louis style ribs. Remove ribs from grill and wrap in foil (this will prevent ribs from drying out). Continue smoking the ribs (adding additional wood chips as needed) until the ribs are done (check doneness by bending the ribs, if they bend easy, they are ready, if not, go grab a beer and come back later).

Memphis BBQ Ribs

Bon Appetito!

Memphis Style BBQ Ribs

1 Rack Ribs, Baby Back

Rub:
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Weber® Smokey Mesquite Seasoning
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Smoked Paprika
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Pasilla Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Chipotle Chili Powder
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Ribs:
Rinse ribs and remove the membrane from the rack of ribs using a paper towel.
Combine rub and sprinkle on both sides of ribs.
Wrap ribs in foil and place in refrigerator overnight, if possible, or at least for 60 minutes.

Prepare the grill:
Preheat your grill to 225°, try and maintain this heat throughout the entire cooking process. Place a smoke box (filled with soaked chips) directly over the coals.

Remove ribs from foil and place on grill, but not directly over the coals.* Smoke ribs for 2-3 hours for baby back ribs and 3-4 hours for Saint Louis style ribs. Remove ribs from grill and wrap in foil (this will prevent ribs from drying out). Continue smoking the ribs (adding additional wood chips as needed) until the ribs are done (check doneness by bending the ribs, if they bend easy, they are ready, if not, go grab a beer and come back later).

Brush your favorite sauce on top of ribs, cook an additional 2-3 minutes and remove ribs from grill.

*Great website with lots of information regarding ribs…
http://amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/best_BBQ_ribs_ever.html

Memphis Style BBQ Ribs


WREG “Live at 9” – Making Fresh Mozzarella & Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Fresh Mozzarella

1 pound fresh mozzarella curd*
6 cups water
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Slice the curd into thin slivers and place in a large mixing bowl.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add the salt and bring back to the boil.

Gently pour enough boiling water over the curd to cover, let it sit for a few minutes to temper the curd. Use 2 wooden spoons to gently gather the curd together in the center of the bowl. Use the spoons to scoop the mass out of the water and hold it above the bowl, allowing the weight of the cheese to cause it to stretch back down to the water. Repeat lifting the cheese and letting it stretch until it looks smooth and shiny.

To shape the cheese, lift the cheese out of the water and roll it into a tight ball. Pinch the bottom of the ball to seal the seam. The surface of the ball should be smooth and shiny.

Place the form balls into an ice-water bath to cool. If more flavor is desired, salt can be added to the water bath.

Wrap finished mozzarella balls highly in plastic wrap. Serve within 24 hours for optimum flavor and texture.

*Mozzarella curd is available at specialty cheese shops, or on the web at www.goldenagecheese.com.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Grill time: 4 minutes

8 slices Italian Bread
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.

Brush pesto mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Layer tomatoes on 4 slices and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with mozzarella slices and remaining bread slices; firmly press sandwiches together.

On a preheated grill over medium high heat, place sandwiches on an angle and cover (close grill cover if grilling outside or use either a pan lid or a metal bowl, inverted, if grilling inside). Cook 2 minutes, rotate 90° and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes, covered. Flip sandwiches over and repeat process as above. Serve on a bed of leafy greens, if desired.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Buon Appetito!

 



May’s Calendar Recipe – White Chocolate Chip Raspberry Cookies made with Greek Yogurt

One of my favorite things to do at my job is create new recipes using our new products.  Fleishmanns® Simply Homemade® Muffin and Bread Mix, Specially for Greek Yogurt, is one of our newest to hit the market.  I loved creating new recipes for these mixes.  The mixes are available in 3 different flavors, Lemon Poppyseed, Raspberry, and Banana.  The following recipe was created to use with our Raspberry mix.  As always, quick, easy and DELICIOUS!!!

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 12-20 minutes

1 package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Raspberry Muffin and Bread Mix
2/3 cups Greek yogurt
1/3 cup butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 (12 ounce) package of white chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) package yogurt covered cranberries or chocolate covered cranberries, optional but yummie

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium size mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add yogurt and egg. Stir until well combined. Add raspberry mix and continue mixing just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and yogurt covered cranberries. Refrigerate batter 15-20 minutes (this prevents cookies from spreading).

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Buon Appetito!