SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD – FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #10

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER: Our Heavenly Father, kind and good, We thank Thee for our daily food. We thank Thee for Thy love and care. Be with us Lord, and hear our prayer. Amen.

SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD
2 medium cucumbers, sliced thin
1 tablespoon KOSHER salt
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 LARGE shallots, sliced thin
1 stalk celery, FINELY diced
1 Fresno chile, halved seeded and thinly sliced
3/4 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste 
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley (optional)

  • Add cucumbers to a LARGE colander and sprinkle with KOSHER salt. Allow to drain 15-20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the sugar and vinegar into a large mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved.
  • Fold in chilies and green onions. Set aside.
  • Rinse cucumbers and pat dry.
  • Whisk sour cream into vinegar mixture.
  • Fold cucumbers into sour cream mixture tossing to coat well.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour until ready to serve.

GRILLED SPICY LIME PORK CHOPS


GRILLED SPICY LIME PORK CHOPS

4-6 bone-in pork chops
1 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup pear apple sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1 LARGE lime juiced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together all ingredients except pork chops in large bowl.
  • Place pork chops flat in large container with a lid (like a Tupperware marinader).
  • GENEROUSLY season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Pour marinade over chops and put lid on.
  • Let chops marinate over night (at least 8 hours), inverting ever couple hours if you can.
  • Pre-heat grill to medium and oil grate.
  • Remove chops from marinade.
  • Pour marinade into sauce pan and heat over medium heat to SLOW boil.
  • Let marinade boil for at least one minute then remove from heat
  • Place chops on grill and baste occasionally.
  • Grill for about 5-6 minutes per side until seared, cooked through and no longer pink.

BROKEN aka SKILLET aka C.O.R.N. LASAGNA

BROKEN aka SKILLET aka C.O.R.N. LASAGNA
12 ounces of your favorite pasta or tortellini or a combo of both
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1-2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken pieces
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, FINELY diced
3 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2 cups marinara homemade sauce (jar sauce is good in a pinch)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup FRESH grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup FRESH grated QUALITY Parmesan cheese
12-15 basil leaves, chiffonaded

  • Prepare pasta and/or tortellini per package directions.
  • In a LARGE skillet or saute pan heat the oil to sizzling.
  • Add hamburger and brown to ALMOST done.
  • Add carrots and onions, continuing to saute until browned and carrots are soft. Drain off any excess fat as necessary.
  • Add garlic and saute a minute or two more.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Add red pepper flakes.
  • Add broth, marinara sauce and chicken pieces. Simmer 10-15 minutes until the sauce slightly reduces to your desired consistency.
  • Fold in ricotta cheese, mozzarella, basil and pasta, heating through 2-3 minutes more.
  • Toss to combine.
  • Garnish with Parmesan cheese and some basil.

NOTE: This is the perfect dish to clean out your crisper drawer and/or pasta bins.

CRISPY HOT HONEY WINGS

CRISPY HOT HONEY WINGS
WINGS
2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
2 teaspoons kosher salt 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil, then place a metal rack on the pan.
  • Mix together the salt, pepper and paprika to make a dry rub.
  • Pat the wings dry, then generously sprinkle with the rub on all sides.
  • Place them on the rack, making sure they are not touching.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then pull them out.
  • Use tongs to turn them over, then put them back in the oven and bake another 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

SAUCE
1 cup QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce 
1 tablespoon Frank’s original hot sauce 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced

  • Add the honey, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, jalapenos and serranos to a small pot over low heat, stirring to combine well.
  • Bring to a simmer and continue cooking 20 minutes or so until reduced and slightly thickened. Stir regularly.
  • Remove the wings from the oven and turn the oven to broil.
  • One by one, dunk the wings in the sauce.
  • Place them back on the rack and broil for 2-3 minutes to caramelize. Watch so they don’t burn.

GARNISH (if desired)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or green onions
Bleu Cheese dressing, for serving 

  • Place the wings on a platter and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
  • Serve with a bowl of dressing for dipping.

 

ANTIPASTO SALAD ~ FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #9

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER:

Oh, the Lord is good to me. And so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need. The sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen.

ANTIPASTO SALAD adapted from Valerie Bertinelli

VINAIGRETTE
2 tablespoons QUALITY red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard  (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste, crushed red pepper flakes or sriracha 
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 
1/2 small shallot, minced 
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
3 tablespoons avocado oil 

  • Whisk the vinegar, mustard if using, chile paste, Italian seasoning, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl.
  • Gradually whisk in the avocado oil.
  • Pour into a cruet and shake.

SALAD
4 radishes, thinly sliced (watermelon OR yellow radishes if you can find them)
2 celery heart ribs, thinly sliced 
1 romaine heart, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips 
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips 
1/4 pound provolone, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1/4 pound mozzarella balls
1/4 pound Genoa salami, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
3 tablespoons sliced pickled pepperoncinis
3 tablespoons sliced pickled cherry peppers

  • Combine the radishes, celery, romaine, iceberg, provolone, salami, tomatoes, pepperoncinis and cherry peppers in a large salad bowl.
  • Toss with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.

NOTE:

  • I like to add a generous drizzle of a QUALITY balsamic glaze.
  • I also like to refer to this as a kitchen sink salad because I use up whatever is in my crisper bins and deli drawer 😀

DR. PEPPER BBQ CARAMEL CHICKEN

DR. PEPPER BBQ CARAMEL CHICKEN
12 ounces Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 cloves garlic FINELY minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3-4 pounds of your favorite chicken pieces or wings

  • In a large sauce pan whisk together the Dr. Pepper, chili sauce, vinegar, garlic and sugar over a medium high heat and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 20 minutes or so, stirring often until reduced and thickened. Set aside.

 

  • Prepare grill to medium direct heat grilling. (I use a non-stick spray).
  • Generously season the chicken with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place chicken skin side down over direct heat and sear 5 minutes.
  • Flip chicken skin side up to indirect heat. Close lid and cook 25-30 minutes until chicken is JUST about cooked through. (No blood or pink meat)
  • Generously brush chicken with sauce ever 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes more.

MACARONI POTATO SALAD

MACARONI POTATO SALAD adapted from A Spicy Perspective

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into half inch cubes
12 ounces macaroni
1/2 cup FINELY minced Vidalia onion
1 large carrot, coarsely shredded
1 can Le Suer peas, drained WELL
1 LARGE bunch green onions, minced
1 1/2 (+as needed) cups Duke’s mayonnaise
1 cup sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large stock pot.
  • Fill the pot with cold water until it is one inch over the top of the potatoes.
  • Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Once water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the macaroni noodles, stirring to combine and continue boiling for 6-8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.


  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish including juices, apple cider vinegar, mustard if using, allspice, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring until smooth.
  • Use a grater to shred the onions and carrot.

  • Drain the potatoes and macaroni in a colander and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Add in the onion, carrots, peas, and scallions.
  • Pour the dressing over the top and mix until well combined.

  • Cover the potato macaroni salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

NOTES:

  • If you have time, make the salad a day or so ahead of when you want to serve it. It tastes even better on day two!
  • Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

  • You can make this with unpeeled new potatoes for a slightly different texture. Follow the instruction as is, yet leave the potato skins on when you chop them.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CRINKLES

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CRINKLES COOKIES yields 3 dozen cookies

8 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips, about 1 1/3 cup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup JIF creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 LARGE eggs
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar for coating

  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate, butter, and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat or in microwave-safe bowl with 15 second increments. Once the butter has melted completely, remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the chocolate also melts completely and the mixture is smooth.

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and espresso powder until well combined.
  • Add the chocolate mixture, stirring until combined.
  • Stir in the flour just until it disappears. The dough will seem very, very soft. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least 3 hours or overnight so it firms up.

  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place 1 cup powdered sugar in a wide, shallow bowl.

  • Scoop out heaping teaspoon-sized portions of dough and roll into balls that are 1 1/4 inches in diameter. 
  • Place 4-6 balls of dough in the powdered sugar, then gently roll and toss the balls to coat completely DON’T DO TOO MANY AT ONCE OR THEY WILL STICK TOGETHER.
  • Shake off excess sugar, then place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 1/2 inches between each because the cookies will spread as they bake. 

  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time and if you are baking multiple cookie sheets at the same time, switch the top and bottom pans.
  • When the tops are dry and just set, remove the cookies from the oven.
  • Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


 

NOTE:

  • DO NOT use the natural peanut butter – the kind that must be refrigerated – the cookies will not bake properly!
  • The espresso powder is optional, but using it really enhances the chocolate flavor 😀

 

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE with PINK PEPPERCORN CARAMEL

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE with PINK PEPPERCORN CARAMEL adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli

CAKE
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large pineapple, skinned, cored and cut into eight or nine 3/4-inch-thick slices  OR 1 LARGE can of pineapple slices or crushed works too
3/4 cup dark brown sugar 
1/2 cup WHOLE buttermilk  (do NOT use light or reduced fat)
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Maraschino cherries 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Heat a cast iron 9-inch skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Add the slices of pineapple in a single layer and sprinkle the brown sugar over the fruit.
  • Add a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
  • Cook until the pineapple browns slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pineapple slices. Turn off the heat and keep warm.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, eggs and the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda until completely smooth. (The batter will be fairly stiff)
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple.
  • Transfer the skillet to the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a serving platter. Cooling any longer may make cake stick. If you cool too much, quickly heat the bottom of the skillet before inverting.

CARAMEL
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
Juice from 1 LARGE lime 
1/4 cup COLD water
2 teaspoons (pink) peppercorns 

  • Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, lime juice and 1/4 cup cold water in a medium stainless saucepan.
  • Stir in the pink peppercorns and bring to a gentle simmer, cooking until the sugar is dissolved, and then cooking 10 minutes more.
  • Pour through sieve to remove large pepper pieces.
  • Set aside to cool slightly.
  • After cake is inverted pour the caramel over the cake.

 

HAWAIIAN CHICKEN ~ FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #8

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER: Thank you, God, for today I had fun when I (fill in the blank). Thank you for the (fill in the blank) food. thanks you for (fill in the blank). Please help me (fill in the blank). Thank You that You love me SOOOOO much! Amen.

HAWAIIAN CHICKEN
1 LARGE can sliced pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 drop red food coloring (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
several red, yellow and orange mini peppers, sliced
Asparagus spears, sliced on the diagonal
1/3 cup flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
Jasmine rice, prepared

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice and adding enough water to make 1 1/4 cups of liquid.
  • In a medium sauce pan whisk together the pineapple juice mixture, sugar, cornstarch vinegar, liquid aminos, ginger and bouillon cube.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally.
  • Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Generously season the chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  • Sear chicken breasts on each side 3-4 minutes until JUST cooked through. Keep warm in oven.
  • Add pineapple rings and asparagus tips, peppers to skillet and saute until cooked through.
  • Plate chicken, peppers, pineapple rings and rice.
  • Ladle sauce over top and serve immediately.

PEA & BACON SALAD with FRENCH DRESSING

PEA & BACON SALAD with FRENCH DRESSING adapted from Molly Yeh DRESSING
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup champagne vinegar 
1 cup FRESH sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard  (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped 
FRESH gound sea salt

  • Blend together the ketchup, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, sugar, paprika, onion and salt to taste into a high-speed blender.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

SALAD
4 slices bacon
6 ounces sugar snap peas, stringed and cut on the bias (about 3 cups) 
2 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 SMALL head butter lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups bite size torn romaine lettuce pieces
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Italian parsley leaves
Wedge of Parmesan, for grating 

  • Put the bacon in a large cold skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.
  • Add the peas to the bacon fat, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until they get a slight color, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • Scatter the peas and herbs onto a bed of butter lettuce leaves.
  • Crumble the bacon and scatter over the pea layer.
  • Finish with a grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of dressing.
  • Serve with more dressing on the side.

NOTE: This salad is another “kitchen sink” salad that allows for substitutions, deletions or additions to clean out the crisper drawer or leftover chicken.

CHICKEN THIGH FRICASSEE

Fricassee is a weird sounding word, but it’s also a fun sounding word. It’s French and literally means to lightly brown, stew and serve a meat, especially chicken or veal in a sauce made with its own stock. I saw this recipe on an episode of Guy’s Ranch Kitchen and Aaron May made this wonderful dish. I made very few changes to his recipe.  My changes are in red. 😀

CHICKEN THIGH FRICASSEE adapted from ala Aaron May

2 tablespoons olive oil (avocado oil)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 Vidalia onion, diced
4 stalks celery hearts, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomato (grape tomatoes, halved)
1/2 cup Vermouth dry sherry
2 quarts chicken broth (I used homemade bone broth)
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
2 cups roasted red peppers, julienned
1 roasted pasilla or ancho pepper

  • Heat the avocado oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
  • Add the chicken a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides. As they brown, sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter.
  • Add the onions to the pot and cook over medium heat to soften.
  • Add the celery and garlic and cook until they turn a rich brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
  • Deglaze with dry sherry, then add the chicken broth and thyme.
  • Return the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add the roasted peppers and peppers, then cover and cook until the chicken is fork-tender and the thigh bones are loose, an additional 30 minutes.