Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pasta alla Carbonara

Bacon? Yum!  Garlic?  Yum!  Pasta? Yum!  Yeah, that pretty much says it all.  What more do you need?  Click here for Tyler Florence's recipe I used.  Fab-U-lous!  I did use cilantro instead of parsley.  I just like the flavor better.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Changing It Up

I took 2 recipes I previously blogged about and changed them up slightly.  I used the exact marinade I used for my shrimp skewers but sauteed the shrimp instead.  Then I made mashed potatoes just like the stuffing of my twice baked potatoes.  I think it turned out really nice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just Like the Real Thing

Ok, so I've been trying to eat healthier (ok maybe not healthier but better so I can get rid of this baby weight) and this morning I decided to have an egg white omelet.  It was perfect and thanks to Kate my omelet didn't fall apart like it usually does.  I wish I had taken a picture. 

Anyway, I searched for something to do with my leftover yolks and came across homemade mayonnaise.  Perfect!  I decided since I made my first near perfect omelet today, I would also try to make mayo for the first time.  I don't use mayo much except for in recipes.  However, Taylor LOVES mayonnaise, but he is very very picky about it.  He said it tasted just like the "real thing," but was a tad too acidic for him.  I thought it called for a lot of lemon juice, but I went straight by the recipe.  Next time I'll probably only use 2 tbsp of lemon juice instead of 3.

Homemade Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of white pepper (I used black pepper since I didn't have white)
1 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)  

Whisk everything but the oil together until it is combined and smooth.  Then add the oil a drop at a time while whisking.  Ok, I tried really hard to whisk this by hand.  My arm about fell off!!  I ended up throwing it in the blender, and presto!  I had mayonnaise!

Homemade mayo will last in the fridge about a week.  This was plenty for us, but if you use a lot of mayo in one week you may want to double the recipe.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I big puffy heart college football!

I love college football!  Especially Auburn football...and did you know (as of right now) there are 5 SEC teams in the top 10???  Southern boys know how to play ball!  I'm slightly nervous
about the Auburn vs. LSU game later tonight, but until then, here is some pretty good football game day food.  Nachos.  Enjoy, and WAR EAGLE!!!!

Feeds 2 (in other words, make more for a party!)

1/2 lb. ground chuck
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 can hot RoTel
1/2 can corn, drained
Tortilla Chips
Cheese, whichever kind you like best

Brown ground chuck and drain.  Over medium heat add the ground chuck back to the pan and add the spices.  Mix to combine.  Then add RoTel and Corn.  Let simmer 5-10 minutes.
Put your chips on a plate, add some cheese, top with meat mixture, and add some more cheese.  Quick, easy and yummy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Macaroni Grill Comes to You

I saw this product on Dela's Blog and since I had a coupon, I decided to try it out.  It's a box dinner, much like Hamburger Helper, where you just add the meat and things like butter and milk.  It is slightly odd to me that a lot of restaurants are doing this now.  You can get California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas, TGIFriday's appetizers, and now Macaroni Grill Entree's all in the convenience of your local grocery aisle.  It tastes pretty darn close to the real thing, so why use the gas to make the round trip to your local eatery, wait for your food to arrive, and then leave a tip?  Unless you just like being served, which sometimes I do.  Sometimes you just need to go to a sit-down restaurant where you are the guest.  But anyway, back to this particular clone of your dining out favorites.

Of course I made some changes and didn't do it exactly like the box asked.  Where's the fun in that?  I didn't go too crazy with my alterations though.  Like Dela, I didn't use the sun dried tomatoes because I'm not really a fan.  I also was out of milk, so I used half and half.  Oh yeah, and I grilled the chicken instead of just sauteing it in the pan.

It was really good, but it had as many steps as making dinner that doesn't come out of a box so I probably won't buy it again since it is pretty expensive.  Unless I have another coupon. ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hash It Out!

I'm not sure why I became obsessed with making hash, but I did. I've never even had hash of any kind. Basically I was just thinking about some ground chuck in the freezer that I needed to use and I was tired of making hamburgers. I think I heard something about hash on the food network and it just got stuck in my brain. The more recipes I read the more I wanted to make it. Of course the most common type is corned beef hash. I've never had corned beef, but my first instinct is I wouldn't like it. Plus I had ground beef.

I didn't really find a recipe that stuck out, so I came up with my own. Hash is basically just a combination of finely chopped ingredients. However, the common ingredients seem to be meat, potatoes and onions. This would make a great "leftovers meal." I'm not using leftovers, but you totally could.

This meal really turned out great. I honestly wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but I even ate the leftovers the next day. For those who know me, you know this is a big deal. I don't usually like most leftovers. You should definitely give this a try!

Jaime's Hamburger Hash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 lb. Ground Chuck
2 medium white potatoes, cubed
1/2 white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
1 small can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can Hot RoTel (If you don't like it hot, you can sub any flavor of RoTel), drained of half the liquid

Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add the ground chuck and use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Once the meat is browned, drain off the grease and remove from the pan. Add olive oil to the same pan over medium heat. Add butter. Once butter is completely melted, add the potatoes. Once potatoes have started to crisp up, add the corn and the onion. Saute until onions start to carmelize. Add the ground chuck back to the pan and grate the garlic over the mixture. Add the RoTel and stir to combine. Let simmer about 10 minutes letting the flavors combine.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shameless Plug :)

I've started a new blog.  It's not a food blog, so if that's the only type of blog you enjoy, you can stop reading now.  It is all about my life as a new mom.  Those of you who've been visiting my blog for a while know that I recently had my first child.  Becoming Mom is all about the wonderful and insane experiences I've had and will have.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cilantro Pesto Chicken and Crash Potatoes

Ok, it is fairly well known that I am a big fan of chicken and potatoes.  We have this meal fairly often because I am all about quick and easy and these items usually lend themselves to this concept.  Therefore I am always looking for new ways to do them.  Monday Taylor was off work and hanging out at home helping me take care of Logan, so I had a little more time than normal.  That is why I could try a little more involved marinade and potatoes that take a little longer than usual.

This chicken marinade comes from Weber's Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance.  I usually don't like it when guys have the same name as me, but I'll give this guy a pass because his recipes are THAT good! ;)

This book is awesome!  He has huge color photos for each recipe, which is a must in a cookbook in my opinion.  If it doesn't have pictures, I probably won't spend much time looking at it.  After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?  The same is true for me when perusing recipes.  What looks good usually gets my attention the quickest.

I've made pesto before and honestly it didn't turn out as good as the stuff you can buy in a jar.  I was inspired to try this recipe because it was a cilantro pesto and cilantro has to be my favorite herb ever!  I only had one addition to the marinade recipe and that was some vinegar because when I tasted it, it was a little bitter for my tastes.  The vinegar solved that problem for me.  This pesto didn't have any parmesan cheese in it, so I decided to make some parmesan crisps to go along with the chicken.  They didn't really turn out like I wanted, so I crumbled them over the chicken and it tasted great.  I really like the flavor of toasted parmesan cheese.  In the words of Rachel Ray, YUMO!

The potatoes didn't really turn out like the Pioneer Woman's crash potatoes, but they were good.  I used white potatoes, but I don't think I boiled them long enough.  They were fork tender, but they didn't smash all that well.  I also don't have a potato masher so I used the bottom of a heavy glass.  So maybe those reasons were my downfall.  They tasted good anyway. :)

Cilantro Pesto Chicken
Source: Weber's Real Grilling - Jamie Purviance

4 tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts
4 medium garlic cloves
3 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and tender stems
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
3 chicken breasts

Pulse walnuts and garlic cloves in the food processor until it makes a paste.  Add the cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper until mixed.  Then stream in oil with the motor running.  Place the chicken in a resealable bag and marinade for 2 hours.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A New Look and A New Year

I decided it was time for a new look for the Burnt Toast Blog.  At the end of this month, I will have been blogging for a year.  WOW!  I have learned to branch out and try new things and I hope my food photography has gotten better in the last year.  Of course I still have a ways to go compared to many of my other food blogging friends.  (Check out some of the blogs listed on the left and you'll see what I mean!)  Hopefully I will participate is some more blogging events soon now that I am getting the hang of being a stay at home mom.  Happy Burnt Toast New Year!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shrimp Skewers

These are possibly the best grilled shrimp I've ever had!  One great thing about shrimp is they only need to marinade a short time.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

20 shrimp
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp honey
cilantro, hand torn
4 wooden skewers, soaked in water

Mix all ingredients except cilantro and let sit 30 minutes.  Place 5 shrimp per wooden skewer and grill.  Garnish with cilantro.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quick, Easy and Smoky :)

I'm not sure when I started making these pork chops, but it has become my go-to recipe.  It is quick and easy and this rub really enhances the flavor of the chops.  These chops are perfect for a quick week night dinner because you don't have to remember to put them in a marinade for any length of time.  You can prepare a good amount of the rub and keep it in the fridge, then it takes even less time.

Tonight I decided to add an extra zing and use a little of my pepper sauce as a pre-curser to the rub.  I just added a little of the vinegar to the chop then patted it down with the rub.  These chops turn out great every time and they didn't disappoint.  The pepper sauce helped keep them nice and tender and added another layer of flavor.

Smoky Rubbed Pork Chops

2 parts chili powder
1 part cumin
1 part cayenne pepper
2 parts paprika
2 parts garlic powder
1 part sea salt
1 part sugar

Generously rub each side of the chops with spice mixture.  Let sit at least 30 minutes, then grill. Does it get any easier than that??