Tri-tip Steaks with Anchovy Caper Butter

July 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Posted in Beef, Bread | 40 Comments
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Every time I look at this photo, it reminds me of a billboard we saw somewhere in the middle of Kansas along I-70 advertising steak at a restaurant called Montana Mike’s. It’s simply a ridiculously huge closeup shot of steak that fills the entire billboard. We LOL’d and thought it looked like Kansas’s had invented the Red Cliffs of Dover rather than offering up a good steak. Of course when you’re in the middle of Kansas on I-70 you’re easily amused.

What’s all the fuss about anchovies? 

Continue Reading Tri-tip Steaks with Anchovy Caper Butter…

Sunday Brunch Menu

April 11, 2011 at 11:07 am | Posted in Bread, Breakfast, pork, Potatoes | 48 Comments
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After a full meal with many delicious offerings Bob and I enjoy a ritual of asking “what was the best thing on the plate?” 99% of the time we’ll agree that the potatoes, no matter how they were prepared, win the contest.  

Stephanie with lil' Chili

 

This Sunday Brunch post mortem ended up with quite a different scenario. 

Our God Daughter Stephanie came over presenting a perfect opportunity to try out new recipes on my favorite little guinea pig. Stephanie lives in Ft. Collins, about an hour North of Denver.

She attends Colorado State University, majoring in Communications with a minor in Political Science. She graduates in December and we couldn’t be prouder.

Let’s take a look at what I cooked up for brunch and find out what won the “best on the plate” contest.

Take a close look at the bacon. See that shiny glaze? A mixture of brown sugar, cayenne and black pepper turns an over-the-top delicious slice of bacon into a dog fight for second helpings.

Simple to make, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out one pound of thick-sliced bacon, single layer on a sheet pan. In a small bowl, mix together 1 packed T. brown sugar, 1/4 t. cayenne pepper, 1/2 t. black pepper. In our case the 1/4 t. of cayenne turned into 1/4 heaping teaspoon. Bake the bacon until it looks like it’s about 3/4 done. Remove from oven, drain grease, turn and sprinkle each piece with the sugar mixture. Return to oven and watch carefully until it looks done.

Everyone loved this, however, not the “best on the plate” winner.

Next up, the quiche. Going forward, the combination of ingredients for the base of this recipe will be my go-to for quiche. I believe the texture and the creaminess offers a great canvas for about any variety of vegetables and seasonings. The name of the recipe is Three Cheese Baked Eggs With Roasted Red Pepper and Scallions. I can picture Three Cheese with asparagus and scallions or jalapeno with adobo sauce or mushroom and chives….aren’t there always so many possibilities for quiche?

Next time I make it I am going to substitute the grated cheddar with gruyere cheese and see how it turns out. You’ll find the recipe below.  Delicious, but not the winner.

The potatoes on the plate really couldn’t be in the contest since I simply opened up a bag of Oreida Hash Browns, salt and peppered and browned in olive oil until golden.  Always a simple, easy and delicious side for any brunch.

Not being dessert people, for the first time in the history of “what was best on the plate”,  sweet beat out savory. This is a combination of ideas and recipes offered up by two of my favorite bloggers.  Kirstin, over at My Kitchen In the Rockies posted this quick cinnamon bun recipe at about the same time Larry over at Big Dudes Ramblings was frying up pecan bread and wishing he had some Butter Pecan Ice cream to melt over the top. I haven’t been the same since I read that, and knew I was going to have some sort of warm ice cream topped breakfast type bread on Sunday.

I followed Kirsten’s recipe and added about 1/2 cups of pecans to the topping mix. I served it warm from the oven with a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream drizzling itself down the sides. This is one of those flavors that once the spoons of warm pastry and cool ice cream hits the inside of your mouth, you’re momentarily paralyzed by its outstanding combination of textures and flavors.

Now if I can just wrangle Bev’s Pecan Bread recipe out of Larry before the ice cream is gone, I’d love to try his original combination. 

Spicy Bacon, Three Cheese Quiche, Hash Browns and Cinnamon Pecan Bread with Butter Pecan Ice Cream…It’s What’s for Brunch.

One Year Ago:  Tangy Pineapple Chicken

Three Cheese Baked Eggs with Roasted Pepper

  • 3 medium red bell peppers (I used jarred roasted red bell peppers)
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    9 large eggs
    3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
    1 1/2 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 oz)
    1 cup whole-milk ricotta (8 oz)
    1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 oz)
    3 scallions, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

Roast peppers on racks of gas burners over high heat, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened, 10 to 12 minutes. (Or broil peppers on a broiler pan about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.) Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then let stand 20 minutes.

2. When cool enough to handle, peel peppers, discarding stems and seeds, and cut into 1/3-inch dice.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

4. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder into a small bowl.

5. Beat eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Add butter, flour mixture, and cheeses and mix well at low speed, then stir in peppers and scallions.

6. Pour into a buttered 10-inch (6-cup) glass pie plate and bake in middle of oven (or lower third of oven if baking with bacon) until top is golden brown and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Linda’s Moist and Delicious Corn Bread

February 8, 2011 at 8:08 am | Posted in Bread | 45 Comments
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When I was growing up, my father’s signature dish was his Chili Soup. On cold dark windy evenings in the middle of Kansas he would combine fried hamburger meat and chopped onion, pinto beans, tomatoes and seasonings of cumin, chili powder and oregano into a delicious bowl of soup. Simply topped with hand-crushed saltine crackers, it was certainly a treat.

Over the years I’ve enjoyed it with flour tortillas, corn tortilla chips, topped with cheese, sour cream or chopped green onions, even chocolate shavings and more recently served with corn bread. Chili seems to be a welcome canvas for so many toppings but to this day my favorite way to eat it is with crushed saltines or corn tortilla chips. How do you take your Chili Soup?

My love affair with corn bread got off to a very long, dry, grainy, stick in the throat start. Jiffy, Marie Calendar’s, and even homemade found me wondering what the attraction was. I’m very well aware that any of my friends that are from Texas, live in Texas, or even are married to a Texan wouldn’t hear of having a bowl of  chili soup without it, so started my search for a good corn bread recipe.

One day, out of the blue,  my good friend Linda, who is married to David from Texas, unwittingly brought over a pan of the most delicious and moist cornbread that I have ever tasted. I was an instant fan and finally understood what all the fuss was about. I’ve made her recipe several times and served it this past Sunday with my big pot of chili for our Superbowl Party. Let’s take a look.

Linda and Z

Linda’s Corn Bread

1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs — beaten
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbs canola oil
1 can corn — drained
1 cup shredded cheese — mexican mix
3 Tbs pickled jalapenos — diced

1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil. Gently fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until a batter is formed. Fold in the corn, cheese, and pickled jalapenos.

2. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is light-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the heat and let cool a few minutes.

Servings: 12

I’ve had several of you ask me what the “Z” stands for in the title of my blog. Zia is our little Yorkie, whose name, soon after joining our family, was abbreviated to simply Z.  Zia hails from New Mexico, and as her sun symbol name implies, is a ray of sunshine in our life. This photo is Linda holding puppy Zia the day LeRoy delivered all 2 pounds of her to Colorado.

Linda’s Corn Bread…It’s What to Serve with Chili.

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