Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon

Who doesn’t love a great piece of chicken, crispy bacon coupled with creamy sharp cheddar cheese. As you know I love taking ingredients we use everyday in the kitchen and create something fresh, new, and absolutely delicious! Juicy chicken thighs and a tangy honey mustard marinade will make this recipe a keeper for your family! Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Marinade-

Chicken-

  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 ½ C. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 2 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whip until blended, about 30 seconds.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a zip lock bag and pour 2/3 of the marinade over the meat, seal and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Place the remaining marinade in a container and place in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove from the chicken from the marinade solution and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Place an oven proof skillet on the stove top and heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil over medium high heat.
  6. Sear the chicken in the pan until golden brown on each side, 4 minutes each depending on heat.
  7. Remove the PAN from the heat and brush the chicken thighs with the RESERVED  honey mustard marinade.
  8. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  9. In a separate pan, heat 2 Tbsp of butter and sauté the sliced mushrooms.
  10. Top each chicken thigh with equal portions crumbled bacon.
  11. Top each chicken thigh with equal portions of saute mushrooms.
  12. Divide the sharp cheddar cheese and place on top of each chicken thigh.
  13. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
  14. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parsley garnish and serve.
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Sugar Crusted Popovers

If you’re like me you’re always looking for something a little different when it comes to cooking.  I will be the first to admit I’m not a huge bread fan, but when I do make bread, biscuits, or rolls, I like to go outside of the box and look for unique.  I started playing with popovers  changing the texture and taste and of course experimenting on my family 🙂

Popovers are basically dinner roles that “POP OVER” the baking pan. The batter will be very thin, almost liquid like, but I promise you this recipe will work out perfectly.  After several batches, I decided it needed a touch of sugar in the batter for my taste.  Keep in mind, this recipe is PERFECT as a sweet OR savory bread.  There are two important tips to creating perfect popovers:  First,  use a POPOVER pan to create this delicious treat. The pan is high on the sides, deep, and allows air to flow properly so the bread will rise. You can use a muffin tin, but you may not experience the same height.

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 Second PRE-HEAT the popover tin, BEFORE you fill the tins with the batter. This will ensure a beautifully tall popover!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, warmed in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes before cracking
  • 1 ½ C. milk (skim, low-fat, or full-fat), lukewarm
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ C. all purpose flour
  • Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Position a rack on a lower shelf. The top of the fully risen popovers should be about midway up the oven.
  2.  Grease the pan thoroughly, covering the area between the cups as well as the cups themselves. Make sure the oven is up to temperature before you begin to make the popover batter.
  3. Place the tin in the oven to get it warm.
  4.  Use an immersion blender OR use a blender to beat together the eggs, milk, sugar and salt until well combined, with no streaks of yolk showing.
  5.  Add the flour all at once, and beat until frothy; there shouldn’t be any large lumps in the batter, but smaller lumps are OK.
  6.  Stir in the melted butter, combining quickly.

  7. Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling them to  3/4 full.

  8.  Make absolutely certain your oven is at 450°F. Place the pan on a lower shelf of the oven .

  9. Bake the popovers for 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Reduce the heat to 350°F (again without opening the door), and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re a deep, golden brown. If the popovers seem to be browning too quickly, position an oven rack at the very top of the oven, and put a cookie sheet on it, to shield the popovers’ tops from direct heat.

  10. If you plan on serving the popovers immediately, remove them from the oven, and stick the tip of a knife into the top of each, to release steam and help prevent soggy rolls.

  11.  If you want the popovers to hold their shape longer without deflating and settling quite as much, bake them for an additional 5 minutes (for a total of 40 minutes) IF you can do so without them becoming too dark. This will make them a bit sturdier, and able to hold their “popped” shape a bit longer.

  12. Mix the extra 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  13. Toss each popover in the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat and serve.

Traditional Kimchi

As an Army brat, I grew up with an extremely diverse group of friends and a lot of exposure to international cuisine.  My love of Korean food stems from my cousin and her husband who is biracial and part Korean. So one day they decided to take us out to dinner to a Korean grocery store that was also a restaurant (insert side glare). Needless to say, I was SCARED! That was the day I fell in LOVE! From bim bim bap(vegetables over rice with a sunny side up eggs)  to bulgogi (marinaded beef or pork), I love it all. I usually gather my goodies from our local Asian market. I’m there so much, I should know how to speak the language, but alas I’m stuck with pointing and googling titles 🙂

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My natural progression was to try my hand at making Kimchi and it was much easier than I thought! Kimchi is fermented vegetables with a variety of seasons. I will say there are many recipes for kimchi, but I prefer to make mine with more of a sauce versus a slurry. The slurry mixture makes the mixture a bit more thick, I prefer the sauce because I like to use my kimchi several different ways. It can be used as a side dish, stirred into fried rice, or added to make a kimchi pancake(kimchijeon)! I know trying new foods is a bit scary, but step out of the box with me and give it a try.

Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 grated daikon radish*
  • 1 C carrots, julienned
  • 1 C water
  • ¼ C salted shrimp*
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Korean Red Pepper Powder
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 grated asian pear*
  • ¼ C. salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 canning jars

*These items can be found in your local Asian market; however, I have found the asian pear and daikon radish in local markets.

Directions:

  1. Cut the napa cabbage and quarter it length wise keeping the base in tact.
  2. Make sure the leaves are still connected at the base, gently separate the leaves and sprinkle salt between each section placing more salt close to the base than the tip of the leaf.
  3. Place the quartered napa cabbage in a container that’s deep enough to cover the cabbage with water.
  4. Place a heavy object on top of the cabbage and let the cabbage sit for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
  5. Next combine all of the sauce ingredients in very large bowl.
  6. Once the cabbage is brined, rinse, drain, and chop the cabbage.
  7. Toss the cabbage with the sauce mixture until coated.
  8. Place the mixture into the  fermenting vessels and cover with lid.
  9. Make sure not to over pack the jars, leaving at least 1″ of space at the top. If you pack your jar too full you will have a very stinky kitchen.
  10. Let the jars sit on the counter top for at least a day and then place into the refrigerator.
  11. Use the kimchi within 2 weeks. After that you will want to discard it because it will get too strong for use.

The Classic Meatball

I though I knew meatballs until 3 years ago. Typically, meatballs of my past were overworked, dry, and flavorless. Any hope of a delicious meatball would be to drown it in some sort of sauce and hope for the best.  You’ll find the texture is light with fantastic flavors of fennel and oregano that’s sure to make you rethink the meatball.  During the busy workweek or prepping for a party you can’t get much easier that tossing them in the oven to cook!

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Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 c. ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp canola oil

½ c. italian seasoned bread crumbs

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. fennel, ground

2 minced garlic cloves

1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

5 c. crushed tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan with canola oil
  2. Combine the grounded beef, ricotta, eggs, italian bread crumbs, parsley, oregano salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and fennel in a large bowl and mix by hand until blended.
  3. Shape the meat into 1½ inch sized firmly packed golf ball sized meatballs.
  4. Placed the meatballs into the prepared baking dish so that they fit tightly so that they are touching both in  rows and columns.
  5. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees from the center of the meatball.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking, heat the crushed tomatoes, fresh minced garlic, and fresh basil in a sauce pan to heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Drain the cooked meatballs of any excess grease and add the heated tomato sauce.
  8. Return the meatballs and sauce to the oven and continue roasted for another 15 minutes.

Yields 2 dozen

Adapted by The Meatball Company

Bacon and Eggs

On a recent trip to Nashville, the legend of the “pork belly” was made alive for me like never before. The meat was tender AND crispy, then add to the flavors a creamy poached egg and I was in heaven. Me being me, I had to recreate this dish with my own twist and voila…Bacon & Eggs!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork bell, uncut slab
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 1 bunch turnip greens, washed and torn

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. Clean the pork belly by placing it under cold water to wash. Score the fatty side of the pork belly by creating diagonal markings in one direction and then the opposition direction to create diamonds.
  3. Rub the fatty side of the meat with olive oil and then rub the kosher salt into the diamonds on the fat.
  4. Season the rest of the pork belly and place the pork belly fat side up in a foil “boat” by bringing all of the edges of the foil around the meat leaving only the top of the pork belly exposed.
  5. Roast the meat for 3 hours. DO NOT baste the pork belly skin.
  6. After 3 hours, reduce the heat to 275 degrees and cook for an additional hour.
  7. Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest while preparing the rest of the meal.
  8. Add the pan juices from the pork belly to saute pan on medium-high.
  9. Place the turnip greens in the pan with the juices and saute for 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a raging boil. Gently add the eggs and cook for 6-8 minutes.  The longer the eggs cook the more solid the yolk will be.
  11. Placed the cooked eggs under cold water to cool then remove shell.
  12. Prior to serving, place the rested pork belly back in the oven on 425 for 15-20 minutes to create a crackling crust.
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
  14. Remove, serve, and enjoy!

Seared Sesame Tuna with Garlic Roasted Radishes

Several years ago, I finally got brave enough to get out of my comfort zone of canned tuna and radishes from a bag. Typically, I’d eat canned tuna or tuna in the form of sushi and my extensive knowledge of radishes is pretty much limited to a salad, so imagine my surprise when I tasted an everyday radish transformed by roasting it! Yes, it’s unusual, yes it’s beautiful and it takes about 30-35 minutes tops!  Before you pass by this recipe, give it some reconsideration, all of the ingredients work well together to give you a “party” in your mouth.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of radishes, cut in half
  • ¼ c. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, base removed from each piece, but keep the garlic skin on the clove
  • 2 pieces tuna fillets
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut the radishes in half and toss with garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Bake the radish and garlic mixture for 30 minutes or until fork tender
  4. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium high and add measured olive oil
  5. Season the tuna with desired salt and pepper
  6. Press the seasoned tuna in the sesame seeds, coating both sides
  7. Sear the tuna for a minimum of 1 minute on each side
  8. Depending on the thickness of the tuna, you may cook it longer
  9. Let the tuna rest for 2 minutes, and slice
  10. Remove the radishes from the oven and remove the garlic from the skins and mash
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper and coating the radishes with the mashed garlic
  12. Place the sliced tuna on the radish mixture and top with sliced red onions and pomegranate seeds and serve

Juicy Bacon Burger

I love sports, especially football, so it is with great sadness that I acknowledge the end of football season with this Sunday’s exhibition of the Super Bowl. In honor of the final match (although it would be better if GREENBAY were playing)  I figure why not go out with a BANG and introduce you to the Juicy Bacon Burger!  I don’t know if you know this Super Bowl “factoid”, but all foods consumed on Super Bowl Sunday are CALORIE FREE 🙂 with that being said here is a bit of  heaven on a bun, kinda…

I don’t always eat burgers, but when I do it’s the Juicy Bacon Burger!  This burger is one of the juiciest, most decadent hamburgers I’ve ever eaten or made in my life. How can any sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon be wrong? To help you get to know me better, I’m not a fan of sandwiches or hamburgers so to endorse this hamburger is a BIG DEAL. This recipe does come with a warning: you will need several napkins and a nice cold beer to enjoy the ultimate burger experience! photo-001

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz ground Short Ribs*
  • 8 oz ground Sirloin*
  • 8 oz ground Chuck*
  • 8 slices smoked bacon, thick cut
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 4 large eggs, fried
  • ½ c Red Onions, pickled
  • 4 dill pickles, thin sliced
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • spicy ketchup (¼ c ketchup combined with ¼ c sriracha, add cayenne pepper to taste)

*If you don’t own a Kitchen Aide mixer with the meat grinding attachment, have your grocery store butcher grind the meats for you.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the stovetop grill pan and cook the bacon on medium-high until brown and crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towels while reserving the fat of the bacon in the pan and return it to the stovetop.
  2. Combine the ground meats in a bowl and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Shape into patties that are a bit larger than the English muffins.  Place the burgers in the hot skillet containing the bacon fat and  cook the burgers 3 minutes on each side for doneness that is  medium rare. Cook an additional 2 minutes on each side for a well done burger.
  3. Place the sliced cheddar cheese on top of the flipped burger during the final minutes of cooking.  While the burgers are resting (the resting step is VERY important because this is what makes the burgers JUICY), lightly grill the English muffins for 1 minute. Pan fry each egg to your level of doneness (I prefer the yolk to run to add to the “juiciness”).
  4. Rest a patty on each of the bottom layers of the English muffins, followed by sliced pickles, red onions, fried egg, spicy ketchup and ENJOY!

adapted from Michael Symon