Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cinco De Mayo: Aussie Grass-Fed Beef Recipes


Aussie Grass-Fed Machaca Nacho Cups


If you're gearing up for a big Cinco de Mayo celebrations, don't forget the decorations, the margaritas and especially don't forget the BEEF!

Get your Cinco on with some AUSSOME dinner recipes, using Aussie grass-fed beef!   These easy tenderloin skewers are delicious with a tomatillo-based, salsa verde marinade (courtesy of A Merry Recipe), and the Top Sirloin shredded Machaca Nacho Cups are super simple in the crock pot.

Don't forget the tacos!  These strip-sirloin street tacos are slow-roasted in the oven with a brisket-style sauce, caramelized peppers and onions, and a DELICIOUS Mexican Street Corn Salad!

Aussie Grass-Fed Salsa Verde Tenderloin Skewers


Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus 2 hours marinating time) / Cook Time: 20 minutes / Servings: 50 skewers

Ingredients:

  • 1 Aussie Grass-Fed beef tenderloin (about 6 lbs.)
    Sliced Aussie grass-fed tenderloin
    in salsa verde marinade
  • 8-10 medium tomatillos, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 chopped scallions
  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4-5 medium avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 50 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup queso fresco crumbles
  • 50 8"-10" wooden skewers
Steps: 
Skewers on the grill
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Place the skewers in a large pan of water to soak for about 2 hours so they don't burn on the grill.
  3. Cut the jalapeño and poblano peppers in half lengthwise and remove membrane and seeds.  Place them open side down on a cookie sheet and broil for about 5 minutes, until skin begins to blacken and bubble.  Turn over and broil for another 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, allow them to cool and peel the skin off of both peppers.  Transfer to a food processor.
  4. Add the chopped tomatillos, scallions, cilantro, garlic, avocado oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.  
  5. Pulse on high speed for about 30 seconds until the mixture is combined and makes a consistent, slightly chunky salsa verde marinade. Set aside.
  6. Slice the tenderloin into thin (1/4" thick) slices.  
  7. Arrange the meat in a very large bowl or dish and cover it completely with the salsa verde marinade.  Mix with your hands slightly if necessary to make sure that all the meat is covered in the marinade.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  8. Heat a large grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees).  
  9. Remove the skewers from the water and place one slice of meat and a cherry tomato on each skewer.
  10. Grill 8-10 skewers at a time on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove from the grill and place a piece of avocado on each skewer.  Sprinkle with queso fresco and serve
Aussie Grass-Fed Salsa Verde
Tenderloin Skewers


Aussie Grass Fed Machaca Nacho Cups


Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 4 hours / Servings: 100 cups

Ingredients:
  • 1 Aussie Grass-Fed Top Siroin (about 6 lbs.)
  • 1 large green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
    Aussie grass-fed top sirloin
    browned and in the crock pot
  • 15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes with jalapeños (I used Ro-Tel)
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. each salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • 1 large bag of tortilla chips
Steps:
  1. Cut the top sirloin into 6-8 large strips or pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on high heat.  Place the meat into the hot skillet and brown the meat on all sides for 2-3 minutes.  You may need to do this in batches.  Transfer the pieces to a large crock pot once browned.
  3. Add about 1 cup of water to the skillet once the meat is browned and de-glaze the pan completely.  Transfer the broth to the crock pot.
  4. Add the green pepper, onion, canned tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper to the crock pot.  Stir until all ingredients are completely combined and covering the meat.  
    Finished Machaca served into
    small cups

  5. Seal the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours.
  6. Remove the meat from the crock pot, one piece at a time and shred with a fork.  Return the meat to the crock pot, re-season if necessary (I use half the quantity of the previous amounts added), and lower the heat on the crock pot to its lowest setting.  Allow the meat to rest for about another hour at the lowest setting before serving.  There should be plenty of liquid in the crock pot with the meat.
  7. To Serve: Spoon about 2 tbsp. of the shredded meat into small serving cups.  Garnish with about 1 tbsp. sour cream, a pinch of chives and a tortilla chip.




Aussie Grass-Fed Slow-Roasted Strip Sirloin Tacos

Aussie Grass-Fed Slow-Roasted Strip Sirloin

Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes / Servings: 20-24 tacos

Ingredients:
Aussie Grass-Fed Strip Sirloin
with Sauce and Caramelized Veggies
  • 6-7 lbs. Aussie grass-fed strip sirloin (whole)
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 32 oz. low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large yellow or red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large poblano pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 12 oz. bottle of chili sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. of your favorite steak seasoning (I used McCormick "Grill Mates" Smokehouse Maple)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
Steps:
Preheat oven to broil (highest setting).
Place the strip sirloin in a large roasting pan, fat cap up. Use a sharp knife to make 10 slits in various places in the meat.  Fill each slit with a peeled garlic clove.
Place the meat in the oven and broil on high for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, turn over and broil for another 10 minutes on the other side. Remove from the oven again, and reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees.  Add the beef broth to the roasting pan, cover the pan with foil and return to the oven to cook for 1 hour.
Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized.  Set aside until ready to use.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ketchup, chili sauce, turbinado sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, steak seasoning, salt and pepper.  Stir with a whisk to combine and set aside.
After 1 hour of cooking, remove the meat from the oven.  Turn the meat over again so the fat cap is up and cover completely with the ketchup mixture, allowing any extra sauce to drip over into the juices on the side. Cover the sauce with the peppers and onions.  Cover the pan with foil again, return to the oven and cook for one more hour.
Remove the meat from the oven.  Cut the meat, peppers and onions together into bite size pieces with a sharp knife and return all the meat and veggies to the juices in the pan. Remove any large fat pieces if desired.  Stir well to combine and serve with tortillas, Mexican Street Corn Salsa (recipe below) and some queso fresco!


Mexican Street Corn Salsa

Strip Sirloin Tacos with
Mexican Street Corn Salsa


Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 6 minutes / Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
  • 3 ears of white or yellow corn (or 3 cups of frozen corn)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 chopped Red Onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (cotija works too)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1/2 chopped jalapeno (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Poblano Ranch Dressing
Steps:
  1. Grill or broil the corn and red bell pepper on high heat for about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and remove the husks. Remove the kernels by placing the ear upright in a large bowl and run a sharp knife down the side of the ear. If you're working with frozen corn, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil on high heat and add the corn. Allow it to blacken for about 2 minutes on each side, remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the chopped red onion, crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro, lime juice and chopped jalapeño (optional).
  3. Drizzle in the dressing, toss combine and serve.





Sunday, April 16, 2017

Good Morning Arizona: Easy Easter Egg Leftovers



If you're like me you LOVE dyeing and hiding Easter eggs with your kiddo, but you're TIRED of the same old leftover hard-boiled egg recipes.  Egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs are fine, but what about some REALLY delicious, over-the-top, quick and easy brunch or dinner ideas ?!  Now, THAT sounds like something I'd be excited to cook AND eat!

Leftover Easter Egg Brunch Enchiladas

Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Servings: 16 Enchiladas

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Del Real Foods Carnitas
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 6 leftover, hard-boiled Easter eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 15 oz. can Ranch Style beans with jalapenos
  • 1 tbsp. McCormick taco seasoning
  • 28 oz. can red enchilada sauce (I use Las Palmas)
  • 4 cups shredded Mexican Cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • non-stick cooking spray

Steps:  
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the carnitas, beans and taco seasoning.   Cook on medium heat until all ingredients are combined most of the liquid has evaporated.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Spray a separate saucepan with non-stick cooking spray.  Heat on medium heat and add the beaten eggs.  Season with salt and pepper, scramble and cook until 3/4 done. Stir in the leftover hard-boiled eggs and cook until combined and eggs are completely cooked.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Warm the tortillas briefly in the microwave for about 1 minute.
  5. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish.  Arrange the tortillas in the dish like tacos, and fill them individually with some of the meat mixture and some of the egg mixture.  Sprinkle the insides with 1/2 of the cheese and then another spoonful of the enchilada sauce.  Roll them up, placing the open edges down in the baking dish.
  6. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce, then top them with the rest of the cheese.
  7. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.  Top with sour cream, avocado slices and fresh cilantro.



Leftover Easter Ham & Egg Mac N Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 75 minutes / Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
  • 40 oz. tray frozen macaroni and cheese
  • 1 cup diced (leftover)ham
  • 3 leftover hard-boiled Easter Eggs
  • 1 cup Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 stick melted butter

Steps: 
  1. Cook macaroni and cheese according to package directions.
  2. About 15 minutes before the mac n cheese is done, mix all topping ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Transfer the cooked macaroni and cheese to a deeper glass baking dish and sprinkle the topping on top of the mac and cheese. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, until the topping is melted, browned  and crunchy.  
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Good Morning Arizona: Light Spring Dishes




Baked Margherita Spaghetti Squash

OK, it's crunch time.  Bikini season is right around the corner.  We made it through Easter and St. Patty's Day. If we can keep it light until cinco de Mayo, I think we'll be ready for summer!  Here are  a couple of light and easy dishes for spring that will still impress your guests and family!


Baked Margherita Spaghetti Squash


Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 45 minutes / Servings: 2

Ingredients:
Baked Margherita
Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large Roma tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp. each salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Using a large knife or a cleaver, slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings.
  3. Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti like texture. If it's too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.
  5. Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the mozzarella cheese. Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash.


Baked Wontons with Lemon Shrimp & Champagne Pesto

Prep Time: 25 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes / Servings 12 wontons

Pesto:
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup Italian parsley 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. brut champagne
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt/pepper
Steps:
  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the olive oil. 
  2. Pulse until combined, scrape down sides with a spatula, and mix again on high speed for about 10 seconds. Drizzle in olive oil and mix for about 1 minute until smooth.

Lemon Shrimp:
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. shrimp, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (score the peel and save for garnish)
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (plus 12 small sprigs for garnish)
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt/pepper
Steps:
  1. Heat the olive oil on high heat in a large skillet. Add the thyme and chives and stir until combined. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2.  Turn off heat, add the lemon juice and allow it to steam to finish cooking for about 3 minutes
Wontons:
Ingredients:
  • 12 wonton sheets
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the wontons on a cookie sheet and brush the wontons with olive oil or spray with cooking spray on both sides.
  3. Bake in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.

To build:
  1. Place a wonton sheet onto an individual appetizer dish. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of the pesto into the center. 
  2.  Place 3-4 pieces of the shrimp on top of the pesto. 
  3.  Garnish with a few pieces of scored lemon peel and a small sprig of thyme. 

Good Morning Arizona: Iced Easter Sugar Cookies!

LOTS of moms out there are dealing with egg allergies these days, or even kiddos that just don't want to eat the leftover hard-boiled eggs!

This is a great way to carry on the tradition of dyeing and decorating eggs without the leftovers and allergies!



Iced Easter Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 60 minutes (plus one hour chill time) / Cook Time: 60 minutes / Servings: 24 cookies

Cookies:
Ingredients:
  • 1.5 sticks of butter, softened
    Iced Easter Sugar Cookies
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • .5 teaspoon salt

Steps:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.  
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, and slowly mix in the vanilla.
  4. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt, until all ingredients are combined and a loose dough is formed.  Wrap the mixture tightly in plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Roll out dough out onto a floured silicone baking mat or parchment paper until the dough is 1/4 inch thick. Use Easter themed cookie cutters to make shapes and transfer the silicone mat or parchment paper to a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 6-7 minutes at 400 degrees until edges are golden brown.  Cool Completely before frosting with royal icing (recipe follows).

Royal Icing
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 5 minutes / Servings: Ices 24 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
  • 4-6 tbsp. water (to adjust thickness)
  • various food coloring

Steps:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar.  Stir constantly on medium heat until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture reaches 160 degrees (this will pasteurize the eggs and kill any bacteria).  Place the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on high speed for 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form into a meringue.
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar one cup at a time, slowly increasing the speed to incorporate each cup before adding the next.
  3. Separate the icing into smaller bowls, adding water, 1 tbsp. at a time to achieve the desired icing thickness (I like to use a thinner, "flood" consistency).
  4. Drop food coloring into each bowl as desired, using a toothpick to stream the dye into patterns and shapes on the surface of the icing.
  5. Dip the cookies briefly on the top of the icing, face down.  Lift up slowly and allow the excess icing to drip back into the bowl before placing the cookies on a wire cooling rack to set.  Add more food coloring to the icing as needed, or to change the colors/patterns.
  6. Allow the cookies to set for 1-2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3TV Phoenix: Aussie Grass Fed Sliders and Steaks!

Balsamic Peach and Burrata Slider


I'm LOVING the flavor and benefits of True Aussie Grass Fed Beef! I've been looking for a way to add lean protein to my diet, as I'm faced with the task of managing my high cholesterol. This is the perfect solution!

It's naturally lean, since the cows are 100% grass fed, and has a super high-level of Omega 3 fatty acids; the same components found in salmon and fish!

Leaner meats cook faster than fattier cuts (about 30% less cooking time), so be sure to turn down the heat by about 50 degrees from your normal grilling temperature and be sure to flip it only once during cooking. Happy grilling!!!


Balsamic Peach and Burrata Sliders

Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 10 minutes / Servings: 6-8
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. True Aussie ground beef 
  • 16 oz. bag sliced frozen peaches 
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 1 cup baby arugula 
  • 8 oz. burrata cheese, cut into 6-8 pieces 
  • olive oil spray 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 6-8 ciabatta slider rolls 
Steps:
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Whisk until combined. Stir in the peaches, cover, and set aside to allow them to marinate and thaw for about 15 minutes. 
  2. Form 6-8 small slider size patties with the beef. Handle the beef as little as possible to maintain tenderness. Sprinkle both sides of the sliders with salt and pepper and set aside to rest. 
  3. Spray a grill with olive oil spray and heat to high heat. 
  4. Remove the peaches from the marinade and place them in a wire grilling basket. Place the peaches and the sliders on the grill for about 6-8 minutes, flipping once during cooking. 
  5. In the last few minutes of cooking, spray the ciabatta buns with the olive oil spray and toast them for 1-2 minutes on the grill. Remove the sliders from the grill and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes before building and serving. 
  6. To build the sliders: Place the bottoms of the ciabatta buns on a serving dish. Place a slider on top of the ciabatta bun. Place some of the burrata cheese on top of the slider. Top each one with some of the baby arugula and place 2-3 pieces of the grilled peaches on top of the arugula. Serve immediately. 

Grilled Aussie Grass-Fed Strip Steaks with Fresh Chimichurri


Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 10 minutes / Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 True Aussie grass-fed strip steaks 
  • 1 cup flat parsley leaves 
  • 5 medium cloves garlic 
  • ½ extra virgin olive oil 
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons water 
  • ¼ cup red onion finely diced 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • non-stick cooking spray (or more olive oil) for the grill
Steps:
  1. Heat grill to high heat. 
  2. Put parsley and garlic in a food process and pulse until they are finely chopped. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, water, red onion, kosher salt, and red pepper flakes until completely blended. Set aside until ready to serve. 
  3. Rub each of the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. 
  4. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray or brush the grill with olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill each of the steaks on high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side, until the steaks reach 130 degrees internally for medium-rare. Remove from the heat and loosely wrap or tent the meat in foil for about 7 minutes before serving with the chimichurri. 

Click on the link to view the Good Morning Arizona Segment:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Super Bowl Sliders! Grass-Fed Deliciousness for Every Team!

Atlanta Falcons Slider

No matter who you were rooting for, Super Bowl LI was legendary.  It can't be re-created.  But you CAN re-create the food that was served!

Our guests LOOVED that we had a True Aussie grass-fed beef slider for each team, with ingredients that are significant to that team's region.

We asked each of our guests which one they liked the best, and the winner was ATLANTA...hands down!  But the reason?  Because you could REALLY taste the great flavor of the BEEF!

If you haven't tried grass-fed beef, you're missing out on the incredible, rich flavor, the lean but juicy and tender texture, and all the health benefits of eating grain-free beef, like lower cholesterol and higher Omega-3 fatty acids!  Add the flavors of grilled balsamic peaches, or Boston baked bean hash browns and you've got a party!



Atlanta Falcons Grass-Fed Sliders with Grilled Balsamic Georgia Peaches

Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 10 minutes / Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
Atlanta Falcons Slider
  • 1 lb. True Aussie ground beef 
  • 16 oz. bag sliced frozen peaches 
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 1 cup baby arugula 
  • 8 oz. burrata cheese, cut into 6-8 pieces 
  • olive oil spray 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 6-8 ciabatta slider rolls 
Steps:
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Whisk until combined. Stir in the peaches, cover, and set aside to allow them to marinate and thaw for about 15 minutes. 
  2. Form 6-8 small slider size patties with the beef. Handle the beef as little as possible to maintain tenderness. Sprinkle both sides of the sliders with salt and pepper and set aside to rest. 
  3. Spray a grill with olive oil spray and heat to high heat. 
  4. Remove the peaches from the marinade and place them in a wire grilling basket. Place the peaches and the sliders on the grill for about 6-8 minutes, flipping once during cooking. 
  5. In the last few minutes of cooking, spray the ciabatta buns with the olive oil spray and toast them for 1-2 minutes on the grill. Remove the sliders from the grill and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes before building and serving. 
  6. To build the sliders: Place the bottoms of the ciabatta buns on a serving dish. Place a slider on top of the ciabatta bun. Place some of the burrata cheese on top of the slider. Top each one with some of the baby arugula and place 2-3 pieces of the grilled peaches on top of the arugula. Serve immediately.


New England Patriots Grass-Fed Sliders with Bean Town Hash Browns

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes / Cook Time: 35 minutes / Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
New England Patriots Slider

  • 1 lb. True Aussie ground beef 
  • 26 oz. bag frozen hash browns 
  • 1 cup Boston style baked beans (your recipe or canned)
  • 12 oz. package bacon
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6-8 pretzel slider rolls
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil spray
Steps:
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the frozen hash browns and the baked beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix with your hands until combined and form 6-8 slider size patties.  Place them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper and place it in the freezer for about 1 hour. 
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the shredded cheese, heavy cream and garlic powder.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir on medium heat until a thick, creamy cheese sauce is formed.  Keep warm until ready to serve.  Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon on medium high heat until crispy.  Remove from the drippings with a slotted spoon and chop the bacon into small pieces. Reserve the drippings and set aside. Stir the bacon pieces into the cheese sauce just before serving to maintain crispiness.
  4. Keep the bacon drippings heated on medium high heat.  Add the hash brown patties 3-4 at a time and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and heated through.
  5. Form 6-8 small slider size patties with the beef. Handle the beef as little as possible to maintain tenderness. Sprinkle both sides of the sliders with salt and pepper. 
  6. Spray a grill with olive oil spray and heat to medium-high heat. Cook the sliders for about 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping only once and then allowing them to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  7. Remove the pretzel rolls and place them on a cookie sheet or place them in the toaster oven.  Heat on 300 degrees for about 5 minutes before serving. 
  8. To build the sliders: Place the bottoms of the warm pretzel rolls on a serving dish. Place a slider on top of the pretzel roll. Place a hash brown patty on top of each slider.  Stir the bacon into the cheese sauce and spoon some of the sauce on top of each of the hash brown patties.  Place the top of the pretzel rolls on the sliders and serve!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

3TV Phoenix: Turn Your Favorite Weekend Meals into Easy Weeknight Soups

Chicken Alfredo Soup


Well, the holidays are over, school's back in session, sports are starting back up and our normal, busy lives are back in full swing.  WAAAAAAHHH!!!!

It's back to weekend warrior meals and quick, easy fixes for the weeknights.  These are a few of my favorite weekend meals that usually take time to cook, layer, bake, etc. But I turned them into rich, hearty comfort food soups, that work PERFECTLY as a cure for the weeknight woes!



Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

Prep Time: 10 mins. / Cook Time: 30 mins. / Servings:  6-8

Ingredients:
Green Chile Enchilada Soup

  • 2 cans (15.5 oz. each) white kidney beans (aka Cannellini beans)
  • 32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 16 oz. Del Real Shredded Chicken
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut in half, then sliced into 1/2” strips
  • 28 oz. green chile enchilada sauce (I use Las Palmas)

Steps:

  1. In a large pot, combine the beans, chicken broth, shredded chicken, green pepper, onion, garlic and enchilada sauce.  Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft and flavors are combined.  
  2. Stir in the tortilla strips and cook for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Optional toppings include: sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, crumbled queso fresco, or crispy tortilla strips!



Italian Sausage Lasagna Soup

Prep Time:10 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
Italian Sausage Lasagna Soup

  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 6-8 large lasagna noodles
  • 24oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh basil leaves (for garnish)

Steps:

  1. In a large dutch oven, add the sausage, chopped peppers, garlic, rosemary, onions and mushrooms.    Cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes until the sausage browns and the veggies are soft.   Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour in the red wine and beef broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot.  Stir in the marinara sauce and brown sugar. 
  3. Break up the lasagna noodles into large and small pieces, add to the pot and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally until the noodles are soft.
  4. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese and garnish with fresh basil.



Chicken Alfredo Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 20 minutes / Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
Chicken Alfredo Soup

  • 24 oz. Alfredo Sauce
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 lb. chicken breast cubes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. penne noodles
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 oz. cooked bacon crumbles
  • salt and pepper
Steps:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the chicken.  Brown the chicken on all sides and stir in the Alfredo sauce and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and stir in the penne noodles.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until noodles are soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese.  
  3. Allow the soup to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with broccoli florets, bacon crumbles and the remaining shredded cheese.






Tuesday, December 27, 2016

9 Quick and Easy Amazing Appetizers for your New Year's Eve Bash

Caprese and Olive Rosemary Skewers

Let's face it...for most of us, New Year's Eve is more about consuming a few (too many) cocktails.  If you're hosting a party, you're probably more concerned about what kind of bubbly to serve at midnight than you are about the appetizers being passed around on trays. 

Get some food in those bellies before the clock strikes!  Here are 9 quick and easy amazing appetizers for your New Years Eve Bash! Each of these is ready in just about 30 minutes or less, so you won't spend too much time at the store or stove!


Gorgonzola Stuffed Figs in a Blanket with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes / Servings 20-24 pieces
Gorgonzola Stuffed Figs in a Blanket
with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:
  • 10-12 fresh, Black Mission figs
  • 4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced Prosciutto
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • a pinch of garlic powder
  • a pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 2 scallions, green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 bottle of your favorite red wine
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the hard tips off the figs and cut them in half lengthwise down the middle. 
  3. Stuff a large chunk of Gorgonzola cheese into the middle of each fig half. 
  4. Tear the prosciutto into thin, uneven strips and wrap it around the stuffed figs. Don't worry about being neat or even, some of them will have more than others.
  5. Place the figs on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Be careful not to over cook them, the cheese will melt and leak out if they're cooked for too long.  Just get the prosciutto warm and a little bit crisp.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. For the glaze, combine the honey, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk until smooth and combined.  Add in about 3/4 of the chopped scallions and stir.
  7. To serve: Transfer the figs to a serving dish and transfer the glaze to a small serving bowl.  Drizzle some of the glaze over the figs with a spoon and garnish the figs with the rest of the scallions. 



Raw Cashew & Lemon Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Servings: 12 mushrooms
Raw Cashew & Lemon Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms


Ingredients:
  • 10 oz. whole Crimini mushrooms, center stems removed 
  • 15-20 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews (plus a few for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 
Steps:
  1. In a food processor or blender combine basil, parsley, scallion, garlic, lemon juice and cashews.  Season with salt and pepper and pulse food processor until roughly chopped.
  2. Scrape ingredients down into the bottom of the food processor and blend the ingredients again, streaming the olive oil in slowly. Blend for about 30 seconds until the pesto is smooth and creamy.
  3. Place the mushroom caps open side up on a serving dish.  Spoon the pesto into the mushroom caps.  Top with lemon zest and garnish with a whole cashew.




Raspberry Chipotle Cheese Spread with Fresh Baked Pita Chips

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes / Servings: 4

Ingredients:
Raspberry Chipotle Cheese Spread with
Fresh Baked Pita Chips
  • 3-4 slices pita bread
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • salt/pepper
  • cooking spray

Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Use a pizza cutter to cut each of the pita bread pieces into 8 triangles.
  3. Place the triangles onto a cookie sheet.  Brush or drizzle each of the triangles with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until crispy.  Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving.
  4. While the chips are baking, combine the cream cheese and goat cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir to combine.  Stir in the dried cranberries and walnuts until combined.
  5. Spray a 4"x2" ramekin with cooking spray and spoon the cheese spread into the ramekin, flattening out the top.  Place the cheese spread in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to cool and set.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the raspberry jam and chipotle powder.  Add 1 tbsp. water and mix until smooth and combined.
  7. To Serve: Turn the ramekin with the cheese spread upside down on a serving platter, releasing the set cheese spread.  Spoon the raspberry chipotle sauce on top of the cheese spread and arrange the pita chips on the platter next to the cheese spread.


Bacon and Avocado Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 20 minutes / Servings: 12 

Ingredients:
Bacon and Avocado Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks
  • 12 frozen, pre-cooked Mozzarella Sticks
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, sliced into 12 pieces
  • 12 slices of pre-cooked bacon
  • 12 tbsp. black bean and corn salsa
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Allow the cheese stick to sit out and thaw for about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Lay the strips of bacon out horizontally onto a cookie sheet.  Place a frozen mozzarella stick vertically on top of each piece of bacon.  Lay a slice of avocado on top of each mozzarella stick.
  4. Wrap the bacon around the mozzarella sticks and bacon.  Push a toothpick through the center to secure 
  5. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes
  6. To Serve:  Spoon a tablespoon of the black bean salsa into a 2 oz. shot glass.  Place one of the bacon wrapped cheese sticks in each shot glass with the salsa.




Balsamic Peach, Baby Arugula and Burrata Crostini
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Servings: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
Balsamic Peach, Baby Arugula
and Burrata Crostini

  • 1 loaf freshly baked Italian bread, cut into 12, 1" thick slices 
  • 16oz. bag of frozen peaches 
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 cups baby arugula 
  • 8 oz. Burrata cheese 
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • salt and pepper 

Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. In a large skillet, combine the balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat on medium heat until sugar is melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in the peaches and allow the mixture to simmer and reduce, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before serving. 
  3. Brush both sides of the bread with extra virgin olive oil. Season one side with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  4. Place the bread slices on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until toasted and golden. Allow them to cool slightly before handling. 
  5. Spread about a tbsp. of the burrata cheese onto each of the toasted bread slices. Top with a few leaves of the baby arugula and place 2-3 of the balsamic peach slices on top of the arugula. Serve with white wine and enjoy! 



Caprese & Olive Rosemary Skewers

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Servings: 12

Ingredients:
Caprese & Olive Rosemary Skewers

  • 12 rosemary sticks 
  • 24 cherry tomatoes 
  • 24 small mozzarella balls 
  • 12 large, pitted kalamata olives 
  • 24 small basil leaves 

Steps:
  1. Peel leaves off each rosemary stick, leaving about 1/2 " of the leaves on the top. 
  2. Cut the base of the stick so that it comes to a point. 
  3. Use the stick as a skewer and place a cherry tomato, a basil leaf, a mozzarella ball and an olive onto the stick. If there's still room on the stick, follow up with a final cherry tomato, basil leaf and a mozzarella ball. 
  4. Place on a tray and serve! 


Mini Bacon & Avocado Nacho Cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 5 minutes / Servings: 12

Ingredients:
Mini Bacon & Avocado Nacho Cups
  • 12 Tostitos Scoops chips
  • 3 slices pre-cooked bacon
  • 1/2 fresh avocado, chopped
  • 12 tsp. spicy nacho cheese dip
  • 6 tsp. black bean and corn salsa
Steps:
  1. Heat the bacon in a small skillet on high heat for 3-5 minutes, turning once.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool  Chop into small bits and set aside.
  2. Place a tsp. of the nacho cheese dip into the center of each of the chips (you can heat it for about 30 seconds if you wish).
  3. Place a couple of pieces of the chopped avocado into each of the cups.  Sprinkle with the chopped bacon and top with 1/2 tsp. of the salsa.  Serve immediately.


Mediterranean Phyllo Cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 5 minutes / Servings: 12

Ingredients:
Mediterranean Phyllo Cups
  • 12 frozen mini Phyllo cups
  • 12 tsp. spinach dip
  • 2-3 artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2-3 black or green olives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. dry Italian salami, chopped

Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Place a tsp. of the spinach dip into the center of each of the phyllo cups and place them on a cookie sheet.  Heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the dip is warm and the cups are golden brown.
  2. Chop all the other ingredients and combine them in a mixing bowl.  Spoon a bit of the mixture into the center of each of the warm Phyllo cups.  Serve immediately.


Caramel Pecan Donut Pops

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Servings: 12

Ingredients:
Caramel Pecan Donut Pops
  • 12 plain or glazed donut holes
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup praline pecans, finely chopped or crushed

Steps:
  1. Roll the donut holes in the caramel sauce one at a time, then roll them in the crushed pralines.
  2. Place them on a serving tray and push a lollipop stick into each of the donut holes.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.









Monday, November 28, 2016

Bakers vs. Fakers Bacon Apple Mini Pies!

Bacon Apple Mini Pies

These are the little winners that brought home $15,000 on Bakers vs. Fakers!  They're easy to make, look fantastic and taste even better!

Don't let your holiday pies get BO-RING!!!!!

Bacon Apple Mini Pies

Ingredients for the Apples: 
  • 3 Red Delicious Apples 
  • 5 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans 
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar 
  • 2 tbsp. flour 
  • 3 tbsp. butter 
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 3 mint sprigs for garnish 
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Heat a skillet to high heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook until crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon, dry on a paper towel and transfer to a large mixing bowl. RESERVE ABOUT 1 TBSP. OF THE BACON FOR PLATING. 
  3. Cut the apples in half vertically and cut out the core and the insides with a melon baller (leave about 1/4” around the sides). Discard the core, but reserve the rest of the insides, chop and transfer to the mixing bowl with the bacon. Add the chopped pecans, cinnamon, sugar, flour and salt. Stir to combine and spoon the mixture into the hollowed out apples. Top each filled apple with 1/2 tbsp. butter (two 1/4tbsp. cubes). Place the apples on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 
Ingredients for the Pie Crust Leaves:
Bacon Apple Mini Pies,
photo courtesy of Food Network

  • 5 oz. All Purpose Flour 
  • 3.5 oz lard 
  • 1.5 oz. cold water 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 tbsp. milk 
Steps:
  1. Add the salt to the cold water to dissolve. 
  2. Add the lard and flour in a large bowl and mix with your hands until the lard is the size of peas or hazlenuts. 
  3. Add the water and mix just until the water is absorbed. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. 
  4. Remove the dough from the freezer and lightly flour a flat surface. Roll the dough out to 1/4” thickness and use a small, leaf shaped cookie cutter to shape small leaves. Coat with an egg wash (1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp. milk) and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes until golden. 
Ingredients for the Vanilla Swiss Meringue:
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste 
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar 
Steps:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the egg whites and sugar. Whisk on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Add in the vanilla bean paste, and mix again to combine. 
To build and plate the dish:

Place a stuffed apple pie into the center of a serving dish. Pipe or spoon about 1/4 cup of the meringue on top of the apples. Quickly toast the meringue with a butane torch. Place 1-2 of the pie crust leaves in the meringue. Sprinkle with a bit of the remaining bacon. Garnish the top of each apple with a mint sprig and serve.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

3TV Phoenix: Easy Dinners for Busy Nights!


Creamy Pesto and Sausage Penne

Getting the kids ready for back to school can be a struggle with school supply purchases, schedule adjustments and sports activities starting up again.  Dinner sometimes tends to take a back seat to microwaves and take out!  Don't do that!  Keep a few pre-made ingredients on hand and find some good, wholesome brands of pre-cooked items that can help you get through the next few weeks!

I always keep some par-boiled pasta on hand and a BIG bowl of pre-cooked brown rice in the refrigerator. These can be super easy side dishes in a pinch, or they can be the base for a quick and easy recipe!


Creamy Pesto and Sausage Penne


Ingredients:
Creamy Pesto and Sausage Penne

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 16 oz. pre-cooked Penne noodles
  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pine nuts, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice and zest.  Pulse all ingredients until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour in the heavy cream and mix until combined.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium heat.  Add the sausage.  Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the sausage as it cooks for about 7 minutes, until sausage is browned and cooked through.
  4. In a large casserole dish combine the pre-cooked pasta, cooked sausage, remaining Parmesan cheese and creamy pesto.  Stir with a large spoon until combined.  
  5. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Spicy Chicken Tacos

Del Real Shredded Chicken is a STAPLE in my house!  We love to go camping, so this stuff REALLY comes in handy while traveling, for dinners in a pinch, or if my kiddo is just craving his FAVORITE meal!  You can find this stuff at any grocery store, and Costco carries it in a double pack.


Ingredients:
Optional toppings:
  • Salsa Fresca
  • Avocado Slices
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
Steps:
  1. Combine chicken, rice, taco seasoning and beans in a large skillet.  Stir until combined and heat on medium heat until all ingredients are hot.
  2. Warm the tortillas in the microwave and place them on a serving dish.  Spoon the chicken mixture evenly into the center of the tacos.  Top with any and/or all of the optional toppings and serve immediately.


Garlic Bread Meatball Sliders

I don't know about you, but I am LOVING all the cute little one minute videos that feature delicious and easy looking recipes!  This one is one of my favorites...who doesn't LOVE a good meatball slider?!  To simplify, you can use pre-mixed and shaped, raw meatballs (Kroger stores carry these), or use your favorite frozen meatballs that are just re-heated with the marinara (they can also easily be microwaved).  For the garlic butter, Kerrygold makes a really tasty pre-mixed garlic & herb butter that can be easily melted and brushed on top of the slider buns!