September 10, 2014

Eggs Benedict
 with Hot Hollandaise


Ingredients:

For hollandaise sauce:
3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon cold water
3 tablespoons Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1⁄2 cup hot melted butter

For serving:
8 eggs, poached

4 English muffins, toasted
8 slices Canadian bacon

To make the hollandaise, place the egg yolks, water, and Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce in a blender and cover. Blend until the mixture is frothy, about 30 seconds. Remove the center insert of the blender cover, and, while the machine is running, stream in the butter very slowly. Continue to blend until a thick sauce forms, about 3 minutes.

To poach the eggs bring a pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of white vinegar, and crack your eggs, one at a time into the boiling water. Let cook for 6 minutes. Alternatively, you can try using silicone poach pods. Spray the pads with cooking spray, then add the eggs and float them in a small, covered saucepan of boiling water for about 6 minutes.

Using 4 plates, place 2 halves of each English muffin on each plate, cut side up. Place the Canadian bacon in a dry skillet and cook over low heat 1–2 minutes or until warmed through. Place a slice of Canadian bacon on each of the 8 English muffin halves on plates. Top each with a poached egg. Drizzle with hollandaise. Serve immediately.






My thoughts:
I'm excited to share this recipe with you all because it comes from my latest cookbook, Cooking with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Delicious Recipes That Bring the Heat! I spent the better part of a year developing 65 new recipes for this cookbook using a variety of Frank's sauces.
I wanted it to be a book beyond just wings (although it includes Classic Buffalo Wings, Baked Hot Wings, Mexican Beer Wings with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce, Atomic Wings and Sweet Thai Wings!) so there is a breakfast chapter that includes this recipe among others. There are also lunch recipes like Spicy Ranch Chicken Salad with Gorgonzola and Beer-Battered Chicken Sandwiches; dips and sauces such as Ultimate Hot Baltimore Crab Dip and Hot and Spicy Cocktail Sauce; dinner-worthy recipes like Red Hot Sopes with Slow Cooker Carnitas and Chili Pie; side dishes like Mexican Street Corn Off the Cob and Blue Cheese Pecan Broccoli Slaw and there is even a sweets chapter with Hot Nuts Brittle and Honeyed Beer–Hot Sauce Ice Cream.

Cooking with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Delicious Recipes That Bring the Heat is available for Amazon in both hardback and for the Kindle, and is coming soon to a bookstore near you!



Until then, enjoy this sneak peek!

 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg

September 08, 2014

Beet & Blue Salad


Ingredients:
for the salad:
3 large beets
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese*
1/4 cup toasted pecans

dressing:
1 shallot, grated
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon orange zest


Directions:
Peel, quarter and roast the beets for 60 minutes at 350 or until easily pierced with a fork. Place in a small bowl. Add cheese and pecans. Set aside.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle with dressing when ready to serve.

Yield: about 4 side servings

*I actually used Ädelost, a Swedish blue cheese but Stilon or Gorgonzola would work as well.


My thoughts:
I came up with this simple salad to use up beets I got in my last Green Grocer box using pecans, blue cheese and dressing ingredients I had on hand. I was a little skeptical something so easy would be tasty but I was pleasantly surprised! The sharp blue cheese was the perfect foil for earthy beets and the honeyed dressing added a touch of sweetness. A great salad to ease you toward colder days.

 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg

September 05, 2014

Cookie Studded Buttermilk Chocolate Bundt Cake


Ingredients:
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 3.5-oz package Bahlsen Waffeletten Dark Chocolate cookies

for the glaze
1/4 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Spray with baking spray or grease and flour one Bundt pan. Set aside.

Place the cookies in a resealable bag. Use your hands to crunch them into coarse crumbs (as pictured above). Set aside

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla paste until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa. With the mixer running, stream in the dry ingredients and beat until well-incorporated. Fold in 1/2 cup cookie crumbs. Scrape into prepared Bundt pan.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a thin knife inserted in the cake comes out with just a few damp crumbs.

Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle cake with glaze then sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

*I use buttermilk my milkman delivers straight from the farm. It is very thick. If using store-bought buttermilk, you may need to add additional confectioners sugar to get to glaze consistency.




My thoughts:
German-based (but widely available here in the US)  Bahlsen recently invited me to enter their “Let the Good Times Roll” contest. I was invited to use their chocolate-dipped Waffeletten cookies to make a festive, easy-to-make birthday cake to celebrate the 125th birthday of Bahlsen. My own birthday just passed and I had been thinking a lot of about the birthday cakes I've had over years and thought it would be fun to try my hand at a cake incorporating cookies that I already loved.

To me birthday cakes are a simple, homemade affair. Growing up we always had a from-scratch chocolate or hot milk cake (who wants a cake mix cake for their birthday? Blah.) that my mom would often top with whatever toy we were into at the moment. I remember one pink cake topped with small My Little Pony "flutter pony" figures that I loved. No fancy, over-the-top icing or decorations and certainly no yucky fondant. I wanted to recapture that homey, free, happy feeling with this cake. I skipped My Little Pony toppers this time, but I created a cookie-studded cake so easy a kid could make it. Bundt cakes are my go-to for simple cakes these days because they don't need to iced, plain or with a basic glaze is perfection. The cookies "melt" inside but provide a burst of chocolate flavor when you bite into them. The result: a moist, chocolate-y cake that is special enough for any birthday but doesn't require a culinary degree to make!



 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg

Full disclosure: Bahlsen sent me two boxes of cookies to experient with and I hear I will also receive a Tiffany cake plate for my efforts at some point in the future. 

September 03, 2014

Mississippi Comeback Sauce


Ingredients:
3/4 cup cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce (like Heinz)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours prior to serving.



My thoughts:
This sauce is a classic from, you guessed it, Mississippi. It is said to have been the invention of a Greek restaurant in Jackson called The Rotisserie but I've found versions of it all over the South.

It is sort of like tomato-y remoulade which makes it great for dipping fried seafood (especially catfish!) in, but it is also great with fries. I've heard you can also use it like salad dressing a la Thousand Island but I personally haven't tried that.

 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg

September 01, 2014

Watermelonade (now on Parade.com)



Just in case you missed it, I posted a new recipe for Watermelonade over on Parade.com. Check it out here!
 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg

August 25, 2014

Grilled Habanero Peach Sauce

Ingredients:
2 cups halved fresh habaneros
2 fresh anaheim or poblano peppers, halved
2 1/2 lb peaches, peeled and quartered
8 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon powdered roasted ginger
salt and pepper

Directions:
Toss the peppers with a bit of olive oil. Prepare grill. Grill until blackened. Simmer the remaining ingredients in a large pot for 10 minutes. Add the peppers and cook an additional 10 minutes. Pour into a blender and puree until very smooth. Pour into jars. Refrigerate and use within 6 weeks.

Yield: about 4 quarts

Note: do the use of low-acid foods I do not recommend water bath canning.

My thoughts:
SweetPreservation.com asked me to be a Canbassador this year and sent me what seemed like a literal ton of peaches. We've wanted to make a spicy peach sauce for a while now so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. We had the grill going so we grilled the peppers and loved the smoky flavor they gave the final product. Think of the sauce as sort of a cross between hot sauce and barbecue sauce. So far we marinated then grilled chicken using it and I plan to make a killer pulled pork with it tomorrow.

 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg

August 18, 2014

Dill Pickled Mexican Sour Gherkins


Ingredients:
1 lb Mexican Sour Gherkins
1/2 Anaheim chile, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon dill seed
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3/4 cup water
3/4 apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt or sea salt


Directions:

Whisk together the water, vinegar and salt until the salt is dissolved. (If you simmer the mixture as you whisk, the salt may dissolve more quickly but this isn't necessary) Allow to cool to room temperature. Evenly divide all of the dill, spices, gherkins and peppers between 2 pint jars.

Pour in the vinegar mixture. Close the jars. Refrigerate. Allow to sit 1 week before eating. Refrigerate and keep up to 6 weeks.

Yield: 2 pints

My thoughts:
I had read about Mexican Sour Gherkins, also known as sandita, several times before but I could never find them. Then my friend Olga told me about her produce delivery boxes that she loved. She is based near DC and tweeted them how jealous I was that they didn't deliver to Baltimore. Well, they tweeted back and it turns out they do! I signed up for a box and noticed that you could add items on to you delivery beyond what comes in the box. Imagine my delight when I found they had Mexican Gherkins! I, of course, ordered a pound. They look like little baby watermelons (mine were about 1/2-3/4 inch long) but taste similarly a tart cucumber and have a cucumber-like interior. They are a bit crunchy so I thought they'd be perfect as bite-sized pickles. I made them into refrigerator pickles (although they are safe to water bath can) to make sure they kept that crunch. They are perfect as it, on a salad and I'd bet as a cocktail (or mocktail!) garnish.


Want to know more about this vegetable? Check out this article in Modern Farmer.

 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg