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!

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

Baked Potato Soup Recipe..

I need to try this:

From:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Potato-Soup/Detail.aspx

Looks tasty…

Baked Potato Soup

By: Kristi Teague
“‘A good friend who runs a bed-and-breakfast game me this creamy potato soup recipe that’s become a winter favorite,’ recalls Kristi Teague of Southside, Tennessee. ‘A dash of hot sauce a little basil give it special flavor.'”

This Kitchen Approved Recipe has an average star rating of 4.7 Rate/Review | Read Reviews (1,543)

73,693 people have saved this | 39 custom versions

Prep Time:
10 Min
Cook Time:
20 Min
Ready In:
30 Min

Servings  (Help)

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Original Recipe Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.
Maybe I’ll add some beer..

5 Ingredient Fix | Claire’s Spinach Carbonara

Originally from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/claires-spinach-carbonara-recipe/index.html

We still need to try this.  You can’t go wrong with pasta, cheese, and bacon…  and spinach is good for you.

Prep 15 min
Cook 15 min
Total: 30 min

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound fresh or dried spinach fettuccine
  • 1 whole large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat and salt generously.

Put the bacon in a large high-sided skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve bacon in the pan.

When the bacon is about halfway cooked, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook about 4 minutes for fresh or according to the package instructions if using dried.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg and yolks, 1 cup cheese and pepper together in a small bowl.

When the pasta is ready, return the skillet with the bacon to medium heat. Using a ladle, slowly whisk about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water into the egg and cheese mixture until loosened. Reserve some additional cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.

While tossing continually, slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the pasta until it is completely coated. Add more cooking water if pasta seems dry. Add the spinach leaves to the pan and toss until combined. Transfer the carbonara to a serving bowl and serve immediately with more cheese sprinkled over the top.

Cook’s Note: The key to perfect carbonara is working while everything is piping hot; this assures the egg will cook and produce a silky, creamy sauce that sticks to the pasta.

Looks easy enough!

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.

Meatloaf with a surprise…

This is all from a post on my other blog:  So, I made a meatloaf last night.


I was hungry for meatloaf, so the other day I asked my wife to pick up some ground meat and croutons at the store, and last night I decided I was in the mood to cook.

Every time I make meatloaf, I think of my mom & grandma telling me how my grandpap used to make it with hard boiled eggs in the middle. I always thought that would be fun to try… but something pushed me into finally doing it. A look at Wikipedia seems to indicate that the eggs-in-the-middle is a Hungarian, Phillipino, Bulgarian or Czech thing… Thanks for the help, Wikipedia. As far as I know, that side of the family is mostly German & Irish… so who knows where it came from? Not like people couldn’t come up with this stuff independently… but I like to read useless information.

Whenever I make meatloaf, I never use a set recipe. I always end up googling something like “How long and at what temperature do I cook a 2 lb. Meatloaf?” or going to Cooks.com and simply searching for “Meatloaf” right before I start. This time was no exception. I also usually end up calling my mom, to see what she would do as far as time/temperature.

I’m amazed at how many things you can do to meatloaf. I’m gonna try shredded carrots some time. And maybe I’ll even try soaking bread crumbs or croutons in milk before mixing them in. I have used just chunks of bread, crumbled crackers, bread crumbs, and even mashed potato flakes… but too many bread crumbs or crackers and the meatloaf is just gross… more loaf than meat, and that’s certainly not a good thing.

This time though, I kept it pretty simple… except for the eggs, I guess… and the bacon…

Here’s what went into it…

  • About 2 lbs. ground chuck… I think it was the 90/10 stuff.
  • 2 handfuls of “seasoned” croutons… one crumbled, one not…
  • 1 egg (raw)
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • assorted spices… minced garlic, fresh ground black pepper, whatever else I grabbed out of the cupboard… no real discernible measurements here. I think I even popped in a little ketchup, A1, and Parmesan cheese…

All that got mixed together, well, without the hard-boiled eggs… then I formed the bottom of the loaf in a glass pan, on top of 3 slices of white bread… made spots for the eggs, placed them gently in the raw ground goodness, and covered them over with the rest.

Eggs in meatloaf mixture, on top of the bread slices...
Eggs in meatloaf mixture, on top of the bread slices...

I picked up the meatloaf on top of slices of bread trick from my dad. It serves a double purpose, it prevents the bottom of the loaf from burning, and soaks up any extra grease… I needed a loaf rather than a few slices for this one, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Grandma used to usually put ketchup on the top of her meatloaf. My mom said that my grandpap used to sometimes top his with some mashed potatoes & brown them for a potato frosting. My meatloaf needed something on top… my signature, if you will.

This is where we cross from odd into ridiculous. I couldn’t decide, so I made a triple topping. Typically I go with a glaze on top that’s a mixture of Ketchup, whatever honey mustard, and A1. But the eggs in the middle told me to do something goofy… so I got out some shredded cheddar jack cheese… Then the eggs reminded me of bacon… so I got that out too.

So for the top of the meatloaf we had…

  • Heinz Ketchup
  • Frech’s Honey Mustard
  • A1 Steak Sauce
  • shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • Bacon

The glaze is probably about 2/3 ketchup, 1/6 mustard, and 1/6 A1. How much of each? I dunno. I eyed it & mixed it in a coffee mug. I put that on top of the meatloaf. It looked pretty good. Then I sprinkled the cheese on top of that… Still lookin’ OK, albeit a little brighter.

Meatloaf + Cheese & ketchup/mustard/A1 glaze...
Meatloaf + Cheese & ketchup/mustard/A1 glaze...

Then the “aaaaaaaaah”/choir of angels moment… BACON.

I’ve used bacon-bits in meatloaf and chili before, but I’ve never wrapped anything in bacon. There’s a first time for everything, right? Of course, I had to top the bacon with more fresh ground pepper.

After reviewing a bunch of stuff on line, and talking to my mom… I decided to cook it for about an hour and a half and make sure the meat thermometer reached 160° F. I had it covered in foil for about an hour, the last half letting it go uncovered to get the bacon nice & brown… maybe a little too brown this time, but oh well.

I realize this isn’t the most healthy meal in the world, but I seemed to offend the senses of some and become a champion of sorts to others simply by posting photos in photobucket and sharing the link on facebook.

Its... BACON!
It's... BACON!

My sister-in-law asked how many calories it was, and while I know it was in jest, it got me wondering, so I asked Yahoo!.

The finished product!
The finished product!

This is the meal of a carnivore, as it has stuff from three different animals… although one didn’t have to die in the process of harvesting its delicious nutrition.

Next time, I may not use so much bacon… because it made a pool of grease at the bottom of the baking dish that wasn’t all that appealing.

The eggs are a neat surprise, and a good way to stretch it I suppose… but I doubt I’ll do every meatloaf like this from now on. But, at least I can say I’ve done it, and I know what it looks and tastes like.

I hope you enjoyed my tale of meaty decadence… and I hope to hear others recipes/ideas/surprise ingredients!

Eric’s Decadent Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

This past Christmas when we had the family over for a holiday dinner, I decided to try & make some scalloped potatoes.  I found a ton of recopies online, and took what I liked from some & what I liked from others and put them all together… leaving out the stuff I didn’t like.  They turned out really well, to the compliments of everyone.  The only problem is that I didn’t write down what I did… so I had no idea when I went to make them again for an Easter  dinner yesterday.  Last time, like everyone in the kitchen, I kept adding stuff until the sauce looked & tasted just right.

Friday night, I pulled out the same printed recipes from last time…. made sure we had most of the stuff here & popped what I needed on to the grocery list.  This time I wrote down what went into it, but I may have the portions off… Where I have “cup” or “Tablespoon”, I may have just dumped some stuff in by eye.

People have asked how I made them, so I’ll try writing it out coherently here.  I’ll add that  my wife, Bethany, washed & cut the potatoes while I made the sauce… which was invaluable… because the sauce needed to be watched, and cut potatoes that sit for any period of time get all brown.  I guess I could have cut them & put them in some cold water to halt the browning if I absolutely had to… but we get along well in the kitchen, and it’s nice to cook together sometimes.  (I offered for her to do the sauce & to put me on potato duty, but she declined in case the cause didn’t turn out well, the blame could go solely on me.)

Eric’s Decadent Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb. bag of russet potatoes
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I buy the stuff in bags, this is 1 small bag.)
  • 2 cups shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese (The store brand was 2 bags for $5 I think.)
  • 1 pint (2 cups / 16 fl. oz.) heavy cream
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 4 Tbsp. corn starch
  • Salt/Pepper/Season All to taste
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (I used the stuff minced & put in olive oil, in little jars)
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Miracle Whip or mayonnaise… (or 1 Tbsp. Each!)
  • 1 sm. bag bacon bits
  • bread crumbs (or crackers)

Stuff:

  • potato scrubber
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish
  • sauce pan
  • spoon and/or wisk
  • large bowl (if you’re gonna soak the potatoes)
  • measuring cup & spoons
  • aluminum foil
  • hot pads
  • oven
  • stove top

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Wash & slice the potatoes, store in cold water if you have to so they don’t brown… or have someone do that while you…
  3. Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with the stick of butter.  Melt the rest of the butter on medium heat in a saucepan.
  4. Add the flour & corn starch to the butter to make a roux.
  5. Turn it down to low heat, & slowly stir in the cream, buttermilk, sour cream,  & mayo/Miracle Whip.  Stir like a madman.
  6. Add the bacon bits, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and salt/pepper/spices to taste.  Don’t forget to stir.
  7. Add about half of each kind of shredded cheese to the mix, keep stirring like a madman.
  8. Pull the sauce from the heat, keep stirring… add a little to the bottom of the baking dish.
  9. Later potatoes, sauce, & remaining shredded cheese… saving a nice amount of shredded cheese for the top.
  10. Cover with foil, bake at 350° for an hour.
  11. Pull it out, uncover, top with bread crumbs or crumbled up crackers, add some additional seasoning if so inclined, and pop it back in for another 15 minutes.

Well, there you have it.  Pretty simple, and nothing makes me happier than cheese & potatoes.  I noticed a lot of scalloped potato recipes don’t have cheese, but really… where’s the fun in that?  Some also used a cream of chicken or cream of potato soup… makes it too much like White Trash ‘Taters for me.  You may want to skip the breading, use chips or those crispy canned fried onions.  Everyone has their own thing that they dig.  Yukon Gold potatoes would make this really nice, probably wouldn’t need to cook as long…red potatoes might make it bitey…  A mix may be nice.  As far as the spices, I used coarse ground black pepper, I think some dry mustard, paprika, and some McKormick Season All.