Friday, November 27, 2015

Pecan Whiskey Fudge

I didn't get to do a cheesecake for Thanksgiving this year so I decided to make fudge! I had a recipe for Jack Daniels Fudge so I decided to modify that recipe slightly and use some Pecan Whiskey my husband brought home.  Definitely not suitable for the kiddos but a rather tasty adult treat!

5 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup whole milk(don't sub skim or reduced fat)
1 TB pure vanilla extract
6.5 oz mini marshmallows (or large ones, torn up)
10 oz  60% cacao chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup Pecan flavored Whiskey (I used Revel Stoke, Pie Hole would be good too)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Foil and butter a 15x10 rimmed baking sheet (for thicker slices you can go to a 9 x 13 baking dish if you like)

Whisk together whiskey and powdered sugar, set aside

In a large heavy bottomed pot combine white sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.

Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly until it is all melted together. When it reaches a boil clip a candy thermometer to the side and boil and stir until it reaches 237 degrees (about 2 mins 45 seconds from my timer)

Remove from heat,  add in chocolate chips and marshmallows and stir until fully melted and no lumps remain.

Stir 3 minutes until it starts to just slightly thicken.

Add in whiskey/sugar and pecans if using and stir until just combined.  (I like my fudge smooth so I skipped the pecans)

Pour into prepared sheet.

Chill completely in the fridge. Allow 24 hours before slicing.

Lift from the pan by the foil and peel back.

Slice into squares, I got 60 squares with the 15 x10 pan

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cheesy Ham and Chicken Casserole

A few weeks ago I was looking for a make ahead casserole so I could pop it in the oven after soccer practice. I made up a casserole that turned out better than I could have imagined. I didn't get any pictures for the blog but I knew I had to make it again ASAP to get on here!

12 slices quality sourdough bread

1 cup diced ham
1 small chicken breast, cooked and shredded

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar

1 recipe(or can) condensed cream of celery soup (homemade is best!)
1 cup sour cream
1 small green bell pepper*, chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

* I used 3/4 cup frozen mixed color bell peppers because on pulling my ingredients out I discovered my green bell was bad

Slice the bread into 1 inch cubes and spread on a baking sheets. Bake in and oven set to its lowest setting until the outsides are crunchy but the insides are still soft. Time will depend on your heat setting. My lowest is 170 and it took about 30 minutes, turning them often,

When the bread is done grease a baking dish and spread half the bread, half the cheeses and the ham.

Mix the soup, sour cream, pepper and onion. Mix well.

Spread half of the soup mixture over the ham and bread.

Repeat the layer of bread, add chicken, cheese and soup mixture.

You can make it to this point and refrigerate it until you are ready to cook. Take it out 15 minutes before you want to bake it.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes until it is hot and bubbly.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pizza Di Pollo Squisito

Exquisite Chicken Pizza!!
I got this idea from the newest Chicken Sandwich from Red Robin. It sounded delicious so I decided to put it into a pizza form!

Telera Roll Crust:
1 tsp yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 TB honey
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Sun Dried Tomato Aioli:
1.5 ounces sun dried tomatoes
2 TB olive oil
6 oz plain greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
pinch of cayenne

Other Toppings:
Grilled Chicken* , sliced
Peppered Bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
Fontina Cheese**
Baby Arugula

*You can buy premade grilled chicken slices or you can grill your own, I kept it very simple on seasonings, just some salt and pepper with a touch of garlic and onion powder.

**Provolone is a fine substitute if you can't find Fontina, I had a heck of a time finding it and it was pretty darn pricey, but well worth the hunt!

For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350

In the bowl of a mixer add yeast, warm water and honey. Allow to proof until foamy.

Add salt and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Mix well. Switch to a dough blade.

Add remaining 1/2 cup of flour a few TB at a time until it is soft but not sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled.

Punch down and spread over a greased pizza pan(mine is 15 inch)

Par bake the crust for 10 minutes

Set aside to cool

For the Aioli:
Place Sun Dried Tomatoes and garlic in a high powered blender and chop them into bits. Add in olive oil while the blades are running to chop more. Add in greek yogurt and process until it is mixed thoroughly, puree if you like but I prefer leaving some chunk.

Spread Aioli over cooled crust

Top with chicken slices, then sprinkle with cheese and top with bacon pieces.

Bake 15 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the edges are browning nicely.

Slice , top with baby arugula and Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dutch Apple Pie with Pecan Graham Cracker Crust

My husband said he had a yen for some apple pie. I didn't want to do a regular crust and I had pecans sitting here so I decided to use them up!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (GF graham crackers are awesome!)
1 cup very finely chopped pecans
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB melted butter
water as needed

3 medium-large sized apples, cored and sliced thin (peeled if you like, I keep them on. I used a fuji, a red delicious and a granny smith for a mixed flavor!)
1 TB lemon juice
3 TB flour(gluten free mixes work fine!)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of cardamom (optional)

1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup flour (again GF is fine)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter

1 egg, beaten (optional)

Preheat oven to 350

In a food processor (ok you can do it by hand but the processor is easier!) combine the crumbs, pecans, sugar and butter, process until everything just starts holding together...adding water a few drops at a time if it is too dry.

Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until it is starting to brown, remove from oven and allow to cool

While the crust is baking/ cooling toss together all the filling ingredients and set aside.

Make the topping as well. Combine all the ingredients with a pastry cutter or 2 forks until it is crumbly .

When the crust is cooled if you are using the egg,  brush crust with beaten egg and bake 5 minutes more. (this just helps "seal" the crust a bit against the filling, it is not 100% necessary but your crust may be a bit softer/crumblier in the finished product)

Pour filling ingredients into baked crust, press in gently.

Carefully spoon topping over the apple filling , covering it evenly.

Bake 50  minutes until bubbly and browned.

Cool a bit before slicing, but its best served warm with a little ice cream or whipped cream!