asparagus in phyllo dough

From Lynn on Google+:

Lynn Warren – I wrap asparagus in phyllo dough that’s been brushed with melted butter and parmasean cheese, you wrap the asparagus with it and bake. very easy, and can be eaten at room temp, etc.

Sounds ridiculously excellent & easy.  If you’re a fan of asparagus, you may enjoy it steamed, grilled, roasted, or even nuked.  I love the stuff if it’s prepared well.  This sounds like it would go over quite well.  Parmesan cheese is always a win.  Maybe some Romano… and I may add garlic.  If we wanted to get really nuts, we could wrap ’em in bacon & and the dough.

Found a recipe from Paula Deen that says to bake at 375° for 15-18 minutesGoogle for ideas!

Crock pot cheese dip…

From my friend Jack (or John) on Google+:

John Washabaughcheese dip in the crock pot. I make 1 lb of taco meat, usually ground turkey, two pound blocks of velveeta, 1 jar of ragu double cheddar sauce, 2 cans of chili (whatever your preference is) and a bag of mexican blend shredded cheese. Just melt everything together in the crockpot, and take a couple bags of tortilla chips.

Mike Hype used to make “Dion Dogs”… I think it was just Velveeta and Hormel Chili… mixed in a crock pot & slathered on top of unsuspecting hot dogs.  It was also almost always guaranteed to cause gastrointestinal distress.
At any rate… this is a reminder that:
(pretty much) anything + cheese + Crock❦Pot = awesome.

Goofy noodles, fancy bacon, & squash? I’m in.

Bought some Campanelle because boxes of pasta were cheap, and it looked neat.

I looked for a campanelle recipe online, & this popped up:

http://www.barillaus.com/Recipes/Campanelle-with-Butternut-Squash-Crispy-Italian-Pancetta-and-Balsamic-Vinegar.aspx

I love all of these ingredients, but I may lose the onion or substitute garlic…
Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 BOX Barilla Campanelle
  • 1/3 CUP Italian Pancetta, Julienne
  • 1/4 CUP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 CUP White Onion, Chopped
  • 1 POUND Butternut Squash, Peeled, Cubed
  • TO TASTE Salt
  • TO TASTE Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
  • 1 SPRIG Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 CUP Chicken Broth
  • TO TASTE Balsamic Vinegar

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. SAUTÉ pancetta in a large skillet over medium- high heat until crispy. Drain excess fat.Set aside.
  2. HEAT olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onions and rosemary, sauté until golden.
  3. ADD the butternut squash and the chicken broth. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the squash gets soft.
  4. DISCARD the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Process half of the sauce in the blender until smooth. Thin sauce with more chicken broth if desired. Return sauce to pan.
  5. COOK pasta according to directions and toss with the sauce.
  6. TOP the pasta with pancetta , drizzle with Balsamic vinegar.

Visit BarillaUS.com for more delicious Italian recipe ideas.
©2010 Barilla. All Rights reserved.

Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar
Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar

Mock Taco Salad Recipe | CopyKat Recipes | Copycat Recipes | Restaurant Recipes

I saw this on Twitter, and had to post.  My aunt makes a version of this that she picked up from her ex-in-laws.  It always shows up at family picnics, and is generally always a crowd-pleaser.  The version we get is most definitely the Catalina dressing, not French… and Doritoes instead of Fritos.  If I were making this, I may substitute taco sauce for salsa, and I’d cut out the onions.  And… if you’re buying shredded cheese, why go for cheddar when you could get Colby-Jack, “taco cheese” with seasonings, or “four cheese Mexican” (whatever that is)?

Recipe from: Mock Taco Salad Recipe | CopyKat Recipes | Copycat Recipes | Restaurant Recipes.

Mock Taco Salad Recipe

Mock Taco Salad

Serves 8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package or 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 head of lettuce shredded
  • 1 cups of Fritos or other brand of corn chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (you can add more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1/4 cup Kraft Catalina Dressing you could also use a French dressing
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • sliced olives (optional)

In a skillet over medium heat brown ground beef, when almost done drain fat, and add taco seasoning mix. If you are using a package of taco seasoning mix add the amount of water recommended on that package. If you are using the Copykat taco seasoning mix add about 1/3 cup of water, and let the meat simmer until fully cooked. Once meat is fully cooked turn off the heat, and allow the meat to cool slightly.

Prepare salad toss together lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, shredded cheese, and corn chips. In a small bowl prepare salad dressing by mixing together prepared salad dressing and the salsa, mix well. Toss together the seasoned beef, salad dressing along with the lettuce. Garnish with sliced black olives if you desire. Serve immediately. This salad does not hold well, so be prepared to eat in one setting.

Chili à la AiXeLsyD

Originally from a post at PittsburghBeat.com, here’s a few consolidated chili recipe/methods…


I’ve never made chili before, and in researching, I came across 50 billion recipes. So, this morning I made my own in the crock pot…

  • 2 cans of condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 packet of chili mix
  • about ½ cup of water
  • 1 tsp. of beef bullion
  • 1 can light red kidney beans
  • however much ground meat was leftover from last night
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • a dash of paprika
  • a dash of garlic

…and I slapped it into the crock pot on low for 8 hours.

Hope it tastes good when I get home. I’ve got shredded cheddar cheese for the top of it, & Super-Pretzels to go along with it. They always served pretzels & chili in my elementary school cafeteria so they belong together in my warped mind.

…Most of them use tomato paste, soup, sauce, juice, or diced tomatoes as a base… I even saw one that called for Spicy hot V8… and I think my mom always used soup. Tomato paste is usually bitter, so I figured the tomato soup would counteract it. All of the spices should be rockin’. I like my chili thick.

Oh yeah, about 1/2 the ground meat was cooked w/ some seasoning salt & A1.


Here’s what basically went into my chili. I’ll probably eventually make a blog about it with a narrative so I can remember what I did this time for next time… to see what I wanna change or what I wanna do again.

CannedStuff.jpg

ChiliSeasoningPackets.jpg

Spices.jpg

Peppers.jpg

Peppers-Diced.jpg

RedHot.jpg

groundbeef-inpackage.jpg

groundbeef-MEAT.jpg

groundbeef-littlepan-raw.jpg

groundbeef-bothpansonstove.jpg

groundbeef-bigpan-cooked.jpg

chili-pre-cooked-incrockpot-lidoff.jpg

chili-pre-cooked-incrockpot-lidon.jpg

crockpot-overflowingmaybe.jpg

crockpot-fatontop.jpg

crockpot-fatskimmedoff.jpg

I ended up only using the one can of diced tomatoes (the one with jalapeños) and still kind’ve overflowed the pot by a small amount. So, next time I may cut out one can of tomato soup or a can of beans. Also, I want to try garbanzo beans in my next batch… and I’ve heard chocolate powder goes good in chili some times… so I wanna try that one day too.

I also tossed in 2 slices of Velveeta ripped apart, a dash of spicy brown mustard, and a drop or 2 of A1 Cracked Peppercorn Steak Sauce.

I think the meat that I used was too fatty or I didn’t drain enough fat (…even though I got a about ⅔ of a regular sized plastic cup full of fat out of it). I had to skim some excess grease off of the top when I popped it open this morning.

I’ll let you know the general consensus after it’s been consumed.

Hot Dog How To

I did an article a while ago on my other blog called More than 6 ways to cook a hot dog.  It’s a nice general guide to several ways of cooking an old standard.

Here’s a reprint…

A while ago, I blogged about stumbling on to an article listing 6 ways too cook a hot dog.  We all know there’s more.  Here’s a much better list.  OK, maybe not better… but bigger. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions submissions here and on Facebook, I hope to include them all here.

Oh well, on to the list…

  1. Grill ‘em. The general consensus seems to be that if you’re going to cook a hot dog, it needs to be grilled.  I would agree with this.  I usually don’t break out hot dogs unless I’m already grilling burgers.  They’re there for those weird non-burger people, or a topping for your burger.
    • Charcoal Grill – This is old school grilling, get it hot let the flames & coals cook the dog with some nice grill lines or looking like the victim of a flame-thrower accident.  There are good instructions on grilling w/ gas & charcoal here (as if you need them).
    • Propane Grill – It’s a little easier to control the heat, & you’re less likely to produce the same flame-thrower victim effect if you keep an eye on ‘em. There are also good instructions on grilling w/ gas & charcoal here (again, as if you need them).
    • Foreman Grill – Or any of the imitators & whatever they’re called.  I’ve seen a Hamilton Beach one, I’ve seen them called electric grills, counter-top grills, whatever… you know what I’m talking about.  I’ve had little success with the Foreman Grill & hot dogs… which is odd, because it cooks other stuff quite easily.  Here’s a video on how to cook ‘em on the Foreman Grill, …because I can’t find good text for it anywhere.  They don’t list a time for hot dogs in the book that comes with it.  Maybe they assume their grill is for convenience, and it’s more convenient to nuke or boil your dogs.  If anyone has $99 to spare, I’ll take the USB iGrill from Think Geek.
    • Infrared Grill – I know nothing about this newfangled contraption.  It looks like you can burn a hot dog in 0.5 seconds on one.  Learn about infrared grills at Wikipedia.
    • Griddle/Flattop Grill – If you have one in your house, you are awesome.  You can certainly cook a hot dog on one, and don’t need me to tell you how.
  2. Open Flame. Who doesn’t love hot dogs (or anything really) cooked over a campfire? …Or a bonfire, trash barrel fire, or while the neighbor’s house is burning down? With these methods, You can also wrap the dog with biscuit or croissant dough from those creepy popping tubes, and it will cook nicely over an open flame.  If you want to get really crazy, slice it down the middle & stuff cheese in it, or wrap some cheese around it before the dough.
    • Skewer – We use roasting forks or or just sticks.  You can get the forks at any sporting goods or camping store, in a store that has a camping section, or in a store near your camping site.  You can get sticks in the woods, or from a lone, sad tree.  You can also get inventive, like this guy.  Be careful choosing sticks and being inventive… you don’t want anything that will poison your hot dog… like toxic wood, metal treated or painted with anything, and of course plastic.  I can’t seem to find a guide online of safe & unsafe tree branches to use when cooking over a fire.  Anyone have a boy scout handbook?  (I asked Yahoo!, apparently nothing out there will kill you, but stick with a non-sappy wood.) With this method, get your fire going, and hold the hot dog over it… but not in the flame unless you like black crispy possibly carcinogen-laced hot dogs.  If using a store-bought fork, it’s up to you if you want to put the dog on long-ways, or double/triple ‘em up the forks.
    • Pie Iron – If you’ve camped with me, you’ve cooked with a pie iron… or you’ve watched me cook with one.  My favorites include pizza ones, and Reubens… but I’m sure you could stuff a hot dog into one.  They also have ones that are shaped to cook hot dogs.  This would most likely result in a nicely cooked dog without the singe marks, maybe flavored with some onions (gross!) or sauerkraut.  If you’re buying  a pie iron, buy one made of… iron.  This sounds dumb, but they make aluminum ones, and I have melted them with no problem.  I don’t think you want aluminum flavored hot dogs.
    • The Cage – Burger basket, grill basket, vegetable basket – all different names for a similar utensil.  I’d use it like I would a fork for hot-dog cooking… may be sort of useless unless you have a burger in it too.
    • The Rack – If you can find some sort of rack or grate that you can secure safely over the fire that’s also safe to cook on, you can cook like it’s a charcoal grill if you’re more comfortable with that.  Just make sure the flame isn’t eating your hot dog before you do.
    • Foil Pack – You could use the bread dough & any toppings/sides here as well.  Wrap the dog & even the bun in foil, and place it on a grate over the flames, or in the coals around the bottom of the fire like you would with a baked potato.
    • Oven Burner – That’s right.  Pit it on a fork or roasting fork, and hold it over the flame on your stove top.  This might not be safe, but I bet it would be fun.
  3. Boiled – I’m sure you’ve all had ‘em like this.  I think it even suggests to heat ‘em this way on the pack.  I’m not a fan of boiling anything any more, unless it’s soup or pasta.  It just seems like a lot of flavor goes into the water… and where hot dogs are concerned, it’s not like you have a lot to work with to begin with.  I’d suggest boiling hot dogs in beer, even though I’ve never tried it… it sounds pretty awesome.  You can even get crazy with beer, ketchup, and brown sugar.  Maybe some beef broth or bullion would be cool here too… but that may make ‘em to salty?  I dunno.  Boil at your own risk.
  4. Nuke ‘em – I guess that besides grilling, this would seem to be the most obvious method of cooking hot dogs.  On the last pack we bought, this method was featured larger than the other methods.  Just 30 – 40 seconds in the microwave … wrapped in a paper towel?  I never use the paper towel.  Is that to hold in moisture, prevent explosions, or what?  Apparetly there’s an art to this, because I have found the articles How to Cook a Hot Dog in a Microwave and the possible passive-aggressive How to Cook a Hot Dog in the Microwave Without Exploding the Ends.  As I write this, I have an urge to make some hot dogs explode in the microwave.  I may be developing a disorder.
  5. Lovin’ from the Oven – You can certainly cook hot dogs in the oven, you may split ‘em open or poke them with a fork first.  This method would be ideal for the croissant-wrapped hot dogs, smothered in some awesome cheese.  Just make sure if you use the 1st linked method, that you put the foil in the oven before you heat it up (like they so diligently mentioned)… or don’t do that, burn yourself, and stay off of the internet.
  6. Deep Fried – They call these Rippers in New Jersey, no?  I don’t have a fryer… but I suppose I could do this in a pot on the stove, or in my turkey fryer.  I’ve never had one, but I’d imagine it’s a pretty good thing.  Corn dogs could be lumped in here too, I guess.
  7. Steamed – This seems to be a popular method, but I know I’ve never done it, or really seen it done.  I guess there are commercial steam cabinets for hot dogs… but I bet you could steam it like you do with vegetables if you have a steamer.  Perhaps, like boiling… you could steam it with beer…?
  8. In the Skillet. – Or frying pan.  Just fry it on the stove top with a little bit of oil.  I guess you could slice it open first if you wanted to, so it doesn’t pop on you.  Or, you can elevate it to an art form.
  9. Crock PotPop ‘em in the crock pot with some sauerkraut (maybe along with some beer), and you’re good to go.
  10. Car EngineWhy not?
  11. In Stuff – Okay this isn’t one specific method, but I didn’t feel like all of these should have their own #’s on the list.  You know you’ve chopped ‘em up and added them to baked beans, mac n’ cheese, or even done a hot dog & potato bake.  Here I’ll also inject that I once got the SpaghettiOs with hot dogs.  They were inexplicably gross.  This is your final warning.
  12. Goofy Single-Purpose Appliances – I have hot dogs only occasionally.  I can’t imagine getting one of these hot dog cookers that serves only one purpose.  Our counter-space is quite limited.. and I can’t see that breaking one of these things out would be worth the novelty after more than a few uses…
    • The Hot Dog Toaster – Besides looking creepy, these also apparently cook hot dogs.  It looks to be just a toaster with hot dog-shaped holes and bun-shaped holes.  I wonder if it really cooks the thing through very well?  May be quite convenient.
    • Solar Hot Dog Cooker – This might be fun for campers or science geeks.  Solar ovens are pretty awesome, this one and this one are especially geared for hot dogs… this one might work.
    • The Roller – These apparently come in several varieties, but all look to be the same concept… Cooked on rollers like the ones you see at the convenience stores.  Brookstone makes one, there are a bunch of professional ones, and Nostalgia Electrics offers the Roller & “Ferris Wheel” varieties.
    • The “Roast My Weenie” guy – More of an accessory, this really just needs to be seen.
    • Electrocute it – My cousin told me a tale via Facebook of a hot dog cooker for electric chair, taser, and Tesla enthusiasts… called the Presto Hot Dogger.  Mad scientists can try it at home with a few things from around the house.  This actually looks pretty awesome.  This vintage one looks like a torture device.

Well, those are all the methods I can think of right now.  Well, other than going to Sheetz or Dormont Dogs… you should be able to get your hot dog fix by one of the methods described here.  If you have another technique, please list it in the comments below!

If you need more info… check out the list of hot dog variations.

Also up for discussion… now that you know how to cook one, what do you want on your hot dog?