Tag Archives: Say Aaah!

Say Aaah!

24 Jun

Speaking of filler posts in order to bide myself more time in creating original blog posts, here’s another edition of Say Aaah! where I showcase awesomely delicious meals that Mr. Mondoo and I create and devour.  In case you have forgotten, I used my pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  Now, I’m using new baby sleep and time deprivation as an excuse for NOT dieting like I promised I would and instead feasting on meals like Long Boy Cheeseburgers and Crispy Bacon-Cheddar Potato Skins.  The two good things about this:  1)  I got to eat everything in the following picture.  2)  I get to share them with you!

Long Boy Cheeseburgers (Serves 4)

Never heard of a Long Boy Burger?  Me either.  Apparently (so says the preceding article in Cook’s Country Magazine where this recipe was retrieved) this sandwich was the 1960s promotional brainchild of Kellogg’s and Sego/Pet evaporated milk companies.  It’s one part cheeseburger, one part meatloaf, and one part amazingness.

Ingredients:

2 (6-inch) sub rolls split in half lengthwise
1-1/4 cups cornflakes, crushed
1/2 small onion, minced
1/3 cup whole or lowfat milk
6 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper
1-1/2 pounds 90 percent lean ground beef
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Toast Rolls – Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake rolls, cut side up, on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.

2. Make Meat Mix – Combine cornflakes, onion, milk, 4 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, garlic powder, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Add meat and knead gently until well combined.

3. Bake Burgers – Top toasted rolls evenly with meat mixture, spreading meat to edges of rolls. Brush top of meat mixture evenly with remaining ketchup and bake until meat registers 160 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes. Top burgers with cheese and continue to bake until cheese melts, 3 to 4 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

(Source:  Cook’s Country Magazine February/March 2010)

Crispy Bacon-Cheddar Potato Skins (Makes 8-16 skins*)

Ingredients:

4 russet potatoes, scrubbed

6 slices bacon, chopped

salt and pepper

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

1.  Microwave Potatoes: Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.  Set rimmed baking sheet inside oven.  Prick potatoes all over with fork, place on paper towel, and microwave until tender, 10 to 15 minutes, turning potatoes over after 5 minutes.

2.  Fry Bacon: Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.  Reserve 2 teaspoons bacon fat, then transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate.  Blot bacon with paper towels to remove grease.

3.  Crisp Skins: (*Note:  the recipe says to quarter the potatoes.  Mondoos recommend just cutting them in half for ease of adding the filling later on).  Quarter potatoes lengthwise, let cool 5 minutes and then scoop out most of the flesh, leaving 1/4 inch layer of potato flesh.  Brush exterior of potatoes with reserved bacon fat and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer potatoes, skin-side down, to preheated baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes.

4.  Fill Skins: Combine cheeses, cornstarch, half of bacon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.  Remove potato shells from oven and top with cheese mixture.  Return to oven and bake until cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes.  Transfer skins to paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with remaining bacon.  Serve (preferably with scallions and sour cream-yum).

(Source:  Cook’s Country Magazine February/March 2009)

Say Aaah!

19 May

I know what you’re thinking:  “What’s so special about BBQ chicken pizza?”  Well, this particular recipe has so many different but complimentary flavors going on, it’s pretty easy to get excited about it.  Plus, the freshness of the cilantro/sour cream/lime juice sauce make it especially summery, which is perfect during this time of year.  I love associating the food that I’m eating with the time of year (pork chops with spiced apples = fall, soups/stews = winter, corn-on-the-cob (oooo can’t wait!) = summer).  As usual, if you decide to try this recipe out, let me know how it turns out!  Unless you hate it, then keep your comments to yourself.  No one likes a hater.

First, some of Mondoo’s notes about the recipe, because you know I love to give my opinion on things, warranted or not:

Recipe Notes:

– A tip that I read somewhere about rising dough:  Take some olive oil and dab some onto a paper towel and rub onto the inside of a large mixing bowl.  Then place the dough inside to rise.  The olive oil prevents the dough from sticking to the bowl while it’s rising.

–  The recipe suggests using store bought pizza dough from the refrigerated section.  Some pizza places will let you buy raw dough, so consider that, too.  We prefer to make our own dough.  Here’s the recipe that we use for many of our pizza creations:  Mitch’s Basic Pizza Dough (makes enough dough for two pizzas).

–  The recipe also suggests using a ready-to-go rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  We did that this time.  It makes the whole dinner process super easy but it’s not necessary.  You could easily grill up some chicken breasts and use them instead.  We’ve done that before.

– The recipe further suggests that you bake this pizza in the oven.  You can also bake it on the grill.  Gives it a nice “brick oven fired” feeling.  Plus, Mr. Mondoo loves to fire up the grill for whatever reason, even a pizza.

– You can use your favorite BBQ sauce for this recipe but we like to make our own (how pretentious, right?)  Here’s the recipe for the basic pantry BBQ sauce that we use specifically for this pizza:

Pantry Barbecue Sauce (makes about 2 cups)

1 ½ cups ketchup

½ cup molasses

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

Salt and pepper

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.  The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.

(Source: Best Grilling Recipes)

Now, the actual pizza recipe:

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe (apparently it serves 4 but in our case, it served a nine-month pregnant woman and her big husband a total of 8 pieces)

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)

½ cup barbecue sauce

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

½ red onion, sliced thin

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 (1 pound) ball pizza dough

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions:

1)  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.  Combine chicken, barbecue sauce, and 2 tablespoons cilantro in a medium bowl.  Toss onion, 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in small bowl.

2)  Brush additional 2 tablespoons oil all over rimmed baking sheet.  On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 16-by-9 oval (about ¼ inch thick) and transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Brush dough with remaining oil and bake until dough begins to brown and bubble, about 6 minutes.

3)  Scatter chicken mixture over dough and top with onion mixture.  Bake until onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle cheese over pizza and bake until melted, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to cutting board.  Whisk sour cream, lime juice, and remaining cilantro in small bowl, then drizzle over pizza.  Slice and serve, passing sauce at table.

(Source:  Cook’s Country Magazine June/July 2009)

Say Aaah!

11 May

The topic of food used to dominate this blog, now all I seemingly talk about is my pregnancy and writer’s block, sorry about that.  Well, my good friend Kristina gave me the idea to start these recurring posts about the different kinds of food that Mr. Mondoo and I make.  It’s really a great idea.  We like to cook, try different kinds of foods, and then brag about how awesome they turn out.  Sounds like a blog post to me!

So, let’s get started on this first “Say Aaah!” post, shall we?  I know that these posts won’t hold the same amount of sarcasm and wit but some of you may enjoy the recipes and the “food porn” pictures.  Oh and I don’t promise that any of these recipes will be healthy or easy to make.  They may be, but more often than not, they are just going to be simply delicious.  So, try ’em out!

This past weekend, the Mondoo’s celebrated both Mother’s Day and my birthday.  At nine months pregnant, all I really wanted for these special days was good food, and by George, that’s what I got!  Baby brain prevented me from taking pictures of all of the wonderful food that was made in our house this past weekend so I’ll just focus on the dessert (which we still have plenty of, fortunately for me!)

Tres Leche Cake

According to Wikipedia, tres leche cake is a “sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.”

Mr. Mondoo and I were introduced to tres leche cake by Alton Brown via The Food Network on his  Good Eats episode “Milk Made.”  Sure, Alton Brown is a little fussy when it comes to exact measurements (he uses weight, kind of a pain) but the man makes a great cake.  Don’t believe me?   Try it out for yourself!

A couple of notes:

– Although it needs to be made a day in advance so that the cake has time to absorb the milk, it’s worth the wait.

– This is also a perfect cake for the upcoming summer months as it is kept and served cold.

– Some of you may be reluctant to make this cake because of an intolerance to lactose.  My advice?   Take a Lactaid and get to eating.

– Although I’ve made this cake a few times before, it is important to note that Mr.  Mondoo made it this time.  One helluva guy!

– If you decide to take my advice and make this fabulous cake (or any recipes that appear in future “Say Aaah!” posts), please leave a comment and let me know how they turned out!

Tres Leche Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

For the cake:

Vegetable oil

6 3/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pan

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces sugar

5 whole eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze:

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup half-and-half

For the topping:

2 cups heavy cream

8 ounces sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

The cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 13 by 9-inch metal pan and set aside.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. This will appear to be a very small amount of batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.

Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

The glaze:

Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half in a 1-quart measuring cup. Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.

The topping:

Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on high until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

(Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/tres-leche-cake-recipe/index.html)