Monthly Archives: October 2019

Chili – cook off contest

IMG_4804
So I signed up for another local cook off contest. This one was a chili cook off and my family loves the chili I make so why not! However there were 6 surprise ingredients (see above) that I had to incorporate into my chili recipe or come up with a new one. If you want to make this chili without the secret ingredients, you will not be disappointed. 

IMG_4808.JPGWhen I picked up my “secret” ingredients I thought it was so funny that black garlic was one of the ingredients. This is my second contest ever and both had black garlic in the basket. Luckily my daughter first introduced me to black garlic a couple of years ago. My son, who also competed in the last cooking contest found out that he does not like the taste of black garlic. He tossed one of his sauces he came up with because he hated the taste. After he tossed it he wondered if it was just him. Guess we’ll never know!
IMG_4805.JPGA little information on black garlic for those who haven’t seen or used it. It is made when regular heads of garlic are aged under specialized conditions until the cloves turn inky black and develop a sticky date-like texture and the taste is sweet, earthy, minus the heat. You can use the cloves as you would roasted garlic: Purée them with oil, then smear the paste on crostini, incorporate it into dressings, or rub it onto chicken or fish before roasting. If you google it, you will probably see a lot of recipes for black garlic butter; which is what I made for my last contest. That won’t work this time. I will be adding the black garlic as well as regular garlic to my chili.

Chili
Serves 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  3. 2 medium onions, diced
  4. 1 green pepper, diced
  5. 2 cups chopped celery
  6. 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  7. 2 cans rotel
  8. 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  9. 2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  10. 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 large can bush's original baked beans (optional)
  12. 1 medium bulb black garlic, peeled (1 of 6 secret ingredients)
  13. 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  14. 1/2 cup Moroccan tomato onion relish (2 of 6 secret ingredients)
  15. 1 teaspoon cherry wood smoked white Himalayan sea salt (3 of 6 secret ingredients)
  16. 1/4 cup no salt Contoocook chili powder (4 of 6 secret ingredients)
  17. 2 tablespoons Madagascar black peppercorn infused olive oil (5 of 6 secret ingredients)
  18. 2 tablespoons dark chocolate balsamic vinegar (6 of 6 secret ingredients)
  19. 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot brown hamburger and sausage, drain and remove and set aside.
  2. Add olive oil to stock pot, saute onions, celery, green pepper till soft 4-6 minutes. add both garlics and continue sauteing for another minute. add the chili powder, and both salts.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and the rotel along with the Moroccan tomato onion relish
  4. Add the beans and the browned beef. partially cover and let it simmer for 4 hours
  5. Add the balsamic vinegar and taste for seasoning add salt as needed
  6. serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

I started writing this the other day, today is Saturday and the contest was earlier today. My Chili; this chili recipe listed came in 2nd. There were six contestants and everyone of them tasted completely different; all were really good but totally different even though all of us had to incorporate those six ingredients. I had a great time and met some great people. I especially enjoyed getting to know my tablemate. I feel bad that they La La Land her. They mistakenly said she came in 2nd place then said that it was actually me.
My tablemate and I speak the same language when it comes to food; I think our paths will cross again; at least I hope so!

lemon garlic rosemary chicken quarters

IMG_4799

Lemon * Garlic * Rosemary * Olive Oil * Salt and Pepper

How far ahead in the day or week do you start thinking about what to make for dinner? Sometimes I plan a week’s worth of meals, and sometimes I just wing it! We have been super busy the last couple of months, so when I or my daughter ran to the store it has been just to pick up the usual suspects. Milk, eggs, bread, Hamburger or Hot dog rolls ya know just the essentials. Well, yesterday I made a list and had a plan of attack.
IMG_4800I need a plan when I do a major shopping because one of my stores is 45 minutes away. I bring a cooler for the cold items I am picking up. KP you were thinking it was for something else didn’t you? wink wink. I also make my list out for all the stops I plan on making and my grocery shopping list is made out by how the store is laid out. You might be thinking that I am a little crazy by now and you are probably a little right. But I am very efficient!!!
IMG_4801Before I headed out for the 5 hour trek, and that was only 6 stops plus a car wash. I had taken out a few chicken quarters and decided to add some flavor to them so when I got home I could just put them in the oven while I put everything away. It worked out perfectly and if you are planning a shopping day or just heading out to work. Take 5 minutes before you leave and add a few of your favorite flavorings to your protein and dinner can be homemade, delicious and on the table within an hour and mostly hands off.

IMG_4803.JPG

it was delicious and so easy!

Lemon garlic rosemary chicken quarters
Easy, Flavorful, Fast and Delicious
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 chicken leg quarters
  2. 2 lemons, washed and sliced
  3. 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  4. 1 large sprig rosemary, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup olive oil
  6. kosher salt and black pepper
Instructions
  1. Season the leg quarters liberally with salt and pepper
  2. add everything into a zip log bag and make sure everything is distributed around.
  3. pre-heat oven to 400'F
  4. place leg quarters onto a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven
  5. bake for 45-50 minutes, until cooked through.
Notes
  1. use your favorite ways to add flavor. Thyme, limes, hot sauce don't forget the salt and pepper
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Roasted Lemon Shrimp with Linguine

IMG_4762
IMG_4763
This is one of those recipes that speaks to me; no not literally but it pretty much has everything my family love in it. Pasta, Garlic, Lemon and Shrimp how bad could it be?
IMG_4748The 5 peeps around that table last night when I made it are on board with me writing about it. I will confess that at first glance you might “pass” on making it but there is a method to the madness and this one is a keeper. I will definitely make it again.
IMG_4752IMG_4753

I found the recipe in one of my favorite magazines, Fine Cooking. Some magazines I just tear out the recipe; I have stacks and stacks of them; Fine Cooking I will not destroy that beautiful magazine. I use those post it page markers and sometimes there are SO many recipes I want to make and most of the time I do!
IMG_4758IMG_4759

roasted lemon shrimp with linguine
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 1 medium lemon,washed ends trimmed and halved
  3. 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  5. 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  6. kosher salt
  7. 1 pound box linguine
  8. 2 cups frozen peas
  9. 2 pound extra large or jumbo shrimp,shelled and deveined
  10. 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  11. 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  12. 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  13. 1 teaspoon chili pepper paste
  14. 1/4 cup dry white wine
Instructions
  1. position a rack in the center of your oven, heat to 450'F
  2. lightly brush a small foil lined rimmed baking sheet with oil. placed the lemons; flesh side up and close together. Brush the tops of the lemons with a little oil. Roast unto the lemon is puffy and just beginning to brown on the edges. The foil under the lemons will turn dark brown and syrupy. roughly 25 minutes.
  3. Turn the lemon halves over with tongs and rub the flesh over the dark spots on the foil to loosen the caramelized bits. Squeeze the juice and pulp from the lemon into a small bowl, remove the seeds, and set aside. Mince the peel of one lemon half, and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the parsley, cheese, granulated garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining lemon half to a large pot of well salted water. Bring the water to a boil and add the pasta, cook according to the package directions minus 2 minute till al dente. Remove the lemon and a cup of the pasta water. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain the linguine and peas and return to the pot.
  5. Dry the shrimp with paper towels. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt.In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil and the butter over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about a minute. Add the garlic and pepper and cook, stirring frequently for about 30 seconds. Add the wine, stirring frequently for about 21/2 minutes.
  6. Pour the ingredients from the skillet into the pasta pot along with the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, if needed.
  7. Season to taste with more salt, granulated garlic, and pepper paste. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, top with the parsley mixture and serve immediately
Adapted from Fine Cooking - Samantha Seneviratne
Adapted from Fine Cooking - Samantha Seneviratne
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
IMG_4760IMG_4761

Coffee Creme Cake

IMG_4269.jpg
How many kitchen items do you have that doesn’t exactly get a lot of use but you just can’t or won’t part with?  I am scared to even count and the thought hasn’t even really crossed my mind. Well it might have crossed it but it was dismissed almost immediately.

IMG_4264I am sitting here trying to remember why I even bought my bundt pan. I believe it was right around the time the kids were born so close to 30 years ago; damn I’m old. I mean damn that pan is old. I also believe I bought it after someone brought into work a sour cream coffee cake that I still have the same recipe for; though I haven’t made it for quite some time. Maybe that oldie but goodie needs to make a re-appearance.
IMG_4266Anyway, I saw this recipe on the cover of one of my favorite magazines Fine Cooking and I knew immediately I would be breaking out my old bundt pan and giving it a try. While I definitely should have adjusted the cooking time for my dark bundt pan; I left it in the oven probably 3-5 minutes too long and was too dry for us. Though I will be making this again. It has great flavor and it looks awesome. The only ingredient I have never been able to find is Instant espresso powder. I have needed it before for other desserts and I should just order it online; but I still haven’t. I substituted it for some dark roast instant coffee I found and it worked out just fine
IMG_4267
IMG_4268

Coffee Creme Bundt Cake
Serves 10
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature, plus a little more for the pan
  2. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for the pan
  3. 2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 3 tablespoon instant espresso powder, or dark roast
  8. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  9. 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  10. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  11. 3 large eggs, room temperature
  12. 3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  13. Glaze
  14. 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  15. 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  16. 1 large egg yolk
  17. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  18. 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder, or dark roast
  19. 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. preheat the oven to 350' F. butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, salt and soda.
  3. in a large mixing bowl, combine the coffee and vanilla. Add the sugars and butter and beat with an electric mixer on medium until fluffy. about 4 minutes. beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined.
  4. reduce speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and the sour cream. Ending with the flour and mix just till combined.
  5. Add the batter to the pan and smooth the top.
  6. Bake until the cake is puffed up and test with a skewer in the center, remove it from the oven when the skewer comes out clean. 45-55 minutes. Check it at 40 minutes if using a dark pan.
  7. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip the cake onto the rack to cool completely.
Prepare the Glaze
  1. in a small saucepan, heat the condensed milk, butter, egg yolk, salt and coffee over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. about 4 minutes. drizzle while warm over the cooled cake. top with chopped walnuts.
  2. serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Fine Cooking - Samantha Seneviratne
Adapted from Fine Cooking - Samantha Seneviratne
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/