Asian Chicken Wings with Sesame

chicken wings

4lbs buffalo-style chicken wings
3T hoisin sauce
¼C sesame oil
2t garlic powder
2T brown sugar
2T raw honey
¼C sweet vermouth
¼C light soy sauce

Preheat oven to 425 F with a large, flat, Teflon coated pan (not aluminum) to heat up. The hot pan will help to sear wings before they cook.

Rinse meat thoroughly and dry with a paper towel.

In a large bowl, combine chicken with hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, brown sugar, raw honey, sweet vermouth and light soy sauce and toss until chicken is covered.

chicken wings

Remove pan from oven and place the wings on pan and spread apart so they are not touching.  They should all fit on one pan, so that they have room to cook and carmelize in the pan.

Cook for 30 mins, then remove from oven and turn the wings over and replace in the oven for another 15 minutes.

chicken wings

Serve warm.  You can also make them ahead and reheat when they need to be served.

Pineapple, Jalapeno and Red Pepper Dover Sole

dover sole

2 6 oz Dover Sole filets
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, sliced thin
¼ cup of dry vermouth
1 tablespoon pineapple jalapeno sauce
Salt to taste

It’s always good to keep fish in your freezer. There are many variations to make it and it’s an easy thing to make for dinner after a long day. You can take it out of the freezer in the morning and have it ready by the end of the day to prepare and cook.

Preheat a flat skillet pan over medium heat and add in oil.

When oil is hot, add in the pepper. Then after about a minute add in garlic.

Cook for another minute then add fish and season with salt. Over high heat sear the fish on either side, about 2-3 minutes on either side.

Reduce heat and deglaze pan with dry vermouth and add pineapple jalapeno sauce. Stir with peppers and vermouth and serve.

Roasted Beet Salad

8-10 medium striped beets
1 medium red onion
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 teaspoon of Maldon salt
1/4 cup of walnut oil
1/4 cup of sweet vermouth

For this salad, I used striped beets also known as candy cane beets.

striped beets

Peel and clean all of the beets and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice one of the beets, so that you can see the beauty of the color variations. Dice the beets into 1 inch pieces, but you can also cut them into different sizes depending upon how you like your beets. The different sizes will give you a variety of looks after roasting.

Place the beets into a roasting pan. Add 1 sliced medium red onion and 1 sprig of fresh rosemary. Break the rosemary apart and sprinkle over the vegetables. Also add 3 cloves of whole garlic, 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and 1 teaspoon of Maldon salt. Drizzle with ¼ cup of walnut oil and toss together to coat all of the vegetables. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees.

beets in roasting pan

After 45 minutes add the sweet vermouth and place back in the oven for the remaining time.

Cover with foil until ready to serve.

Mexican Lasanga

lasagna whole
8 Chorizo links (Goya brand)

Cook chorizo in a pan over medium heat until all sides are browned.
Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of dry vermouth. Add 3 Tbl of maple syrup and 1 tsp of fennel seeds, and pout mixture into a food processor.

Pulse until mixture is a small crumble, then remove and place into a bowl.

Roast 2 polano peppers over a flame (grill or gas stovetop). This will help to remove skin and intensify the flavor. Place the pepper right over the flame until all sides are covered with brown blisters.

peppers

Remove from heat, and place into a brown paper bag to help “sweat” off their skin.

Once cool, peel the blistered skin from the pepper and finely dice the pepper. Add 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tsp of salt to the peppers and reserve for cheese sauce.

In a small sauce pan simmer 1 cup of half and half or heavy cream over low heat.

In order to help thicken the liquid, take 1/2 C of warm half and half in a small bowl and wisk in 1 tsp cornstarch and 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper.

Once incorporated, add the liquid back to the pot and continue wisking.
Add diced polanos and 3/4 cup shredded asaigo cheese and wisk until cheese is melted into the milk mixture.

Remove from heat and place the sauce in a container and into the refrigerator.

Using Doritos or another tortilla chip, pulse in food processor to make about 2 cups worth of crumbs.

Finely dice 2 Spanish onion and place in a pan with oil to caramelize
Add ½ tsp salt
¼ c sweet vermouth to deglaze

Caramelize 2 leeks in a pan with sweet vermouth and ½ tsp of salt

Using pre-made crepes, layer the ingredients in a springform pan.

This is how I layered my Mexican lasagna, but you can try different layer combinations.

Crepe
Onion
Crepe
Chorizo
Crepe
Poblano cheese sauce
Doritos
Crepe
Shredded cheese
Chorizo
Onion
Crepe
Poblano cheese sauce
Doritos
Leeks
Chorizo
Crepe
Top with cheese

Cook at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes prior to removing springform pan and serving.

lasagna cut

Banana Stuffed Crepes

This a quick dessert that looks like it took lots of prep time. You can easily assemble this while having people congregate in the kitchen, because flambing can be quite a show!

Cut 2 bananas into 2 inch pieces. The firmer the banana, the better.

Dip each piece in egg whites and roll in the granola crumble left over from french toast. Chill in the refrigerator prior to cooking.

Melt 1/2 stick of salted butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Place the chilled banana pieces in the pan and brown on all sides.

bananas

Once browned, add 1 oz of brandy to flambe the bananas. *Be careful of the fire.*

flambe

Mix together 1 cup of mascarpone cheese with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a bowl.

Take a pre-made crepe and spoon 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture onto the crepe and add a couple of pieces of banana. Fold the crepe over and serve.

Sausage Bake

sausage bake cut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a casserole pan approx 11×13, butter the bottom and sides. Using 2 Pillsbury crescent rolls (I used the reduced fat type), unroll and lay out the dough flat against the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in the dough using a fork to help it from puffing up with baking. Pre-bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

1lb italian sausage- mild or spicy depending on taste
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 oz sherry
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flake
¼ c maple syrup

Brown sausage in a pan with casing on over medium-high heat. You don’t really need any oil in the pan, because the fat will render from meat for it to cook in. When the sausage is almost done browning, add fennel seeds.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of sherry, then place the sausage with any liquids in the food processor. Pulse until the sausage is in a medium crumble, then add the red pepper flake and maple syrup and pulse to combine.

In a medium sized bowl, wisk together:

2 whole eggs
1 C egg whites (liquid)
2 C half and half or heavy cream
2 C cheese (reserve 1/2 C to top casserole) You can use cheddar, mexican blend, provolone, gruyere, or any type of cheese you have in your refrigerator.

Once browned, remove the pan from the oven and place the sausage crumble on top of the flat crescent rolls. Then pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

sausage bake

Return the casserole back into the oven for an additional 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let the casserole set and cool and bit prior to serving. The casserole can be cut into little breakfast squares or be cut into larger pieces.

Granola Crusted Challah French Toast

french toast final

12 oz Bob’s Red mill honey oat granola (you cab use any granola that you like)
12 oz corn flakes or special k cereal
1 tsp cinnamon
½ C light brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt

Pulse in a food processor until small crumble forms. You don’t want it to be too fine, you still want to be able to see oats.

Reserve 1 cup of the crumble for other dishes, I will be using it for my banana crepe dessert.

1 loaf of challah bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices (The bread can be cut into triangles, if the pieces are too large)

bread cut

Break 6 whole eggs into a large bowl.
Wisk eggs together with 4 cups of half and half or heavy cream, 1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Starting on high heat, melt 1 stick of salted butter in a cast iron pan.

Dip bread into egg mixture and then dip into the crumble. Don’t leave the bread in the egg mixture for more than a few seconds on each side, because the bread will get too soft and tear.

Place the french toast in the pan. Be careful not to burn outer crust/granola, cook either side on high to sear and create a crust on either side, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

french toast cooking

When cooked through and browned on either side, remove from pan and place on a paper towel or brown paper to remove excess butter.

Add butter as needed for additional batches of french toast as needed.

This french toast can be made a few hours in advance and be kept warm on a pan in the oven on low heat prior to serving.

For serving a larger group, you can have multiple pans going to cook the french toast quicker, rather than doing many batches in the same pan.

I am all about speedy cooking and efficiency. I want things to go smoothly and this tip will help. This keeps things moving, so you aren’t waiting for things to brown.

Serve the french toast with powdered sugar and berries.

Tip: If you don’t have a sifter, you can use a slotted spoon to dust the french toast with powdered sugar.

Roasted Fennel, Parsnip and Turnip Soup

soup

This soup was created after I was looking to make something with the assorted vegetables I purchased at the grocery store.  I had purchased fennel, parsnip, turnips and garlic, and was looking to create something for lunch on a cold winter’s day.

5 parsnips
6 turnips
1 medium fennel
1/2 C olive oil
1 Tbl salt
1 Tbl pumpkin oil
1/4 C raw pumpkin seeds
2 garlic bulbs
1 tsp garlic
1 Tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbl dry vermouth
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 C vegetable broth

Peel parsnips, cut into large pieces and place into a roasting pan. Wash and halve the turnips and add them to the pan. Cut the entire fennel, including the greens and add it as well. Toss the vegetables in 1/2 C olive oil and 1 Tbl salt.

Cut the bottoms off of the garlic bulbs (this is the part with the roots) and slightly break apart each bulb and place into a piece of aluminum foil Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and 1 tsp of salt. Pinch the foil almost closed and add it into the roasting pan. This way you can roast two things at once.

roasted turnips

Place the pan in the oven and roast for 1 hour at 400 F.

I created a quick vegetable broth to use as a base for my soup, but you can easily use just packaged broth. I used leftover leek greens and onions skins and covered them in water in a medium sized stock pot. I covered the mixture and simmered it for about an hour, then removed the leeks and onions.

When the vegetables were finished roasting, I removed them from the pan in small batches to puree in the food processor. Take the garlic bulbs out of the foil and remove the cloves from the bulb and add it into the food processor to be blended in with the vegetables. You may need to use a little vegetable broth to help blend up the vegetables. Once pureed, add into the stock pot. If you didn’t make your own broth, just add it to the pot now.

Once all of the roasted vegetables are pureed and added to the broth, add 1 Tbl of olive oil, garlic powder, pumpkin pie spice, dry vermouth and cayenne pepper.

For serving, garnish with pumpkin oil and raw pumpkin seeds.

Caramelized Eggplant Caponata

2 medium white eggplant (you can also use Japanese eggplant)
1 leek
1 Spanish onion
4 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl red hot pepper sauce
1 C sweet vermouth
1 Tbl garlic powder
1 pint roasted cherry tomatoes (cut in half, season with salt, cook for 1 hour at 200 F)
1/2 C marinated green pitted olives
2 Tbl caramelized peppers ( I used jarred peppers)
Salt

Dice the eggplant into small pieces and place in a strainer. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and place a heavy dish on top of the eggplant to weigh it down. This will help to remove some of the liquid from the eggplant.

Thinly slice the leek (only the white and light green part) and onion. Leeks need to be soaked in a bowl of water to remove any sand or dirt that may be between the layers of the leek.

In a preheated, cast iron pan, saute the leek and onion with 2 Tbl of olive oil over high heat. After 1 minute, reduce the heat and add a pinch of salt.

Once the onion and leek start to caramelized, add the pepper sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Deglaze with 1/2 C of sweet vermouth, let the liquid cook out a bit, then remove from heat and place the leeks and onions in a separate bowl.

Add the remaining 2 Tbl of olive oil back into the pan and add the eggplant and cook over medium-high heat. Add garlic powder, roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, and leek and onion mixture. Deglaze with remaining sweet vermouth and reduce heat to low, until liquid evaporates.

This dish is great to serve with toast and crackers, like pita chips or to be used as a topping.

Sweet Orange Beet Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

orange beets

I decided to try roasting orange beets instead of the traditional red beets for this sweet and earthy salad.  They were a great alternative and gave they salad a great, summery color.

Preheat the oven at 375 F.

Rinse the beets and place in a cast iron pan and coat with olive oil.  Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast for about 2 hours.

Remove from oven and uncover.  When cool to the touch, peel the skin off each beet and dice.

Place diced pieces into a bowl and add the following:

1/2 tsp Manuka honey
1 Tbl fig infused, white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp raw pumpkin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl blood orange oil olive

Toss the beets in the dressing to combine and serve warm or cold.