Picnics

Cowboy BBQ Beer Brisket

July 27, 2011

Cowboy BBQ Beer Brisket

INGREDIENTS

3 ½ Pounds Boneless Beef Brisket

1 Cup BBQ Sauce

1 Cup Beer

Rub:

3 Tablespoons Chili Powder

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

3 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

To make the rub combine the chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.  Press evenly onto the beef brisket and put brisket, fat side up, into a stockpot.  Combine the BBQ sauce and beer in a small bowl.  Pour around the brisket and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and cover with a tight lid.  Simmer for 3 ½ hours until brisket is fork tender.  Remove and keep warm.  Skim the fat from the liquid and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup.  Stir occasionally.  Trim the fat from the brisket and carve diagonally across the grain into thin slices.  Serve with the sauce.  Serves 6 hungry cowboys

Summer Melon Salsa

July 25, 2011

Summer Melon Salsa

This salsa recipe is refreshing and light.  Serve it with tortilla chips, over grilled chicken or fish or just serve it as a fresh fruit salad.

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Cubed Seedless Cantaloupe, Watermelon and/or Honeydew

1 Cup Chopped Seedless Cucumber

½ Cup Chopped Orange Bell Pepper

½ Cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper

½ Cup Fresh Corn Cut From The Cob

4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Red Onion

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon Honey

In a medium bowl combine the melon, cucumber, peppers, corn, cilantro and onion.  In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice and honey and toss with the melon mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serves 4

Victoria’s Mojo Burritos

July 19, 2011

Victoria’s Mojo Burritos

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Ground Sirloin

1 Large Chopped Onion

1 Small Chopped Green Sweet Pepper

1 Clove Minced Garlic

¼ Cup Beer

1 Tablespoon Hot Chili Powder

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Cup Cooked Rice

4 Ounce Can Diced Green Chile Peppers Drain or

4 Ounces Fresh Diced Green Chile Peppers

1 Large Chopped Tomato

8 Ten Inch Flour Tortillas

2 Cups Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese

2 Cups Shredded Lettuce

Guacamole

Salsa

For the filling: In a large skillet cook the ground sirloin, onion, sweet pepper and garlic until the meat is brown and the onion is tender.  Drain off the fat.  Stir in the beer, chili powder, cumin and salt.  Cook for 5 minutes until most of the beer has evaporated.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and chile peppers.  Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas tightly in foil.  Heat a preheated 350° F oven for 10 minutes to soften.  When you are ready to fill the tortillas, remove only half of them from the oven at a time.  Keep the remaining tortillas warm in the oven.  Spoon about ½ cup filling onto each tortilla just below the center.  Top the filling with cheese and tomato.  Fold the bottom edge of each tortilla up and over the filling.  Fold the opposite sides in and over filling.  Roll up the bottom and secure with wooden toothpicks if needed.  Makes 8 delicious Mojo Burritos!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

July 7, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I love homemade ice cream and vanilla has to be my favorite. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Pint Whipping Cream

1 Pint Half & Half

1 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

Mix all ingredients until the sugar dissolves.  Cover and chill until ready to use.  Follow manufacturer’s directions to churn and freeze the ice cream.  Place in your freezer until ready to eat.  Your homemade ice cream will taste so much better than store bought.  Serves 8

Strawberry Shortcake

July 5, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

This history of strawberry shortcake began around 1847 in the U.S.  The first found recipe was in Miss Leslie’s Ladies New Receipt Book for “Strawberry Cake.” 

The “Strawberry Cake” is very similar to what is known, today, as “Strawberry Shortcake.”  Forget using the store bought sponge cakes for your Strawberry Shortcake.  It is so much better to bake your own!

INGREDIENTS

Biscuits:

½ Teaspoon Salt

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Stick Chilled Butter

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

2/3 Half & Half

Filling:

1 Quart Strawberries

1/3 Cup Sugar

Topping:

1 ½ Cups Real Whipping Cream

Rinse the berries under cold water and drain well.  Hull and slice the berries and place in a bowl.  Sprinkle with the sugar and cover.  Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.  Whip the cream and sweeten with 3 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form.  Cover the whipped cream and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Preheat the oven to 425° F.  Move rack to the center.  In a food processor combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Pulse to mix.  Cut butter into 8 pieces and add to the mixture.  Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, but with a few pea sized chucks of the butter left in the mixture.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center.  With a for stir in the cream just until the doug his moist.  Be very careful not to overwork the dough as the dough doesn’t have to hold together well at this point.  Let the dough stand for 1 minute.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold the dough over on itself.  Knead 3 times until it is holding together and is less sticky.  Gently pat the dough into a 6×12 inch rectangle about ¾ inch thick.  Cut into 8 (3 inch) biscuits with a floured round cutter.   Transfer to a buttered parchment lined cookie sheet.  Brush on a little half & half and sprinkle the tops with a bit of sugar.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until risen and golden brown.  Remove to a platter and split each biscuit horizontally with a serrated knife.  Butter the hot biscuits and then top with 1/3 cup of strawberry mixture.  Replace the tops and top with 1 tablespoon strawberries.  Serve with chipped cream for the topping.  Serves 8

Victoria’s Classic Potato Salad

July 4, 2011

Victoria’s Classic Potato Salad

There are many versions of potato salad both family varieties and ethnic varieties.  Potato salad recipes were introduced to America by European settlers who adapted traditional foods to local ingredients.  This accounts for regional potato salad variations in the U.S.  Potato salad became popular in the second half of the 19th century.  Cold potato salads evolved from British and French Recipes.  Warm potato salads followed the German preference for hot vinegar and bacon dressings served over potatoes. 

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Peeled & Diced Potatoes

½ Cup Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar or Malt Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Finely Diced Celery

½ Cup Finely Chopped Onions

½ Cup Chopped Hard Boiled Eggs

2 Tablespoons Freshly Chopped Chives

Place the potatoes in a large pot of water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes until they are tender.  Drain the potatoes and set aside.  In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Add the potatoes, celery, onions, hard boiled eggs and chives.  Toss and coat thoroughly.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Serves 6

Southern Fried Chicken

July 2, 2011

Southern Fried Chicken

Before World War II, the only times most families had chicken were special occasions like holidays and Sunday dinners.  Fried chicken used to be an expensive treat only eaten a couple of times a year.  Due to the creation of large scale chicken farms chicken has become much more affordable.  As a child I remember eating fresh killed chicken at my grandmother’s house in Nebraska.  She had a special tree stump that she used as her chopping block.

INGREDIENTS

4 Pounds of Chicken Pieces

1 ½ Cups Whole Milk or Buttermilk

2 Large Eggs

2 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 Cups Vegetable Oil

Rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces.  Set aside.  Combine the milk and eggs in a medium sized bowl and mix well.  In a large zip lock bag combine the flour, salt and pepper.  One at a time dip the chicken pieces in the milk mixture and let the excess drip off into the bowl.  Put one or a few of the chicken pieces in the zip lock bag with the flour and shake lightly to coat thoroughly.  Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.  In a fryer or in a heavy skillet heat the oil to 350° F.  Fry a few pieces of the chicken at a time for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.  The breasts should take a bit less time than the other pieces.  Test with a fork to see if the juices run clear to check for doneness.  Remove to a plate covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil.  Sprinkle with additional salt if you like.  Serves 4

Snickerdoodles

June 30, 2011

Snickerdoodles

I love Snickerdoodles!  It is a tie between Peanut Butter Cookies and Snickerdoodles.  Here is a super easy recipe. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Softened Butter

1 Cup Sugar

¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1 Large Egg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Beat until combined and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir in any remaining flour.  Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon.  Shape the dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.  Place 2 inches apart a baking sheet line with parchment paper.  Bake 10 minutes or until edges are golden.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Makes approximately 36 cookies

Fettuccine Alfredo

June 20, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

Named by Alfredo de Lelio at his restaurant, Alfredo, on the via Scrofa in Rome in 1914 as a variation of fettuccine al burro (fettuccine with butter).  The dish became famous when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped in and fell in love with the dish while on their honeymoon in 1927.  To express their gratitude, they gave him a golden fork and spoon along with a photo of them eating in his restaurant.  Alfredo proudly displayed the photo on the wall.  Pickford and Fairbanks served his dish to their friends and associates when they returned to Hollywood.  Word about the new dish quickly spread.  In 1938 di Lelio retired and sold his restaurant.  The new owner kept the restaurant’s name, menu, traditional recipes, photos on the wall and everything else.  As of 2011 the restaurant is still in business under the name Alfredo alla Scrofa. 

INGREDIENTS

12 Ounces Dried Egg Fettuccine

½ Cup Butter (1 Stick) Plus 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

½ Cup (4 Ounces) Grated Parmigiano- Reggiano Plus Additional For Sprinkling

2/3 Cup Heavy Cream

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Cook the fettuccine in an 8 quart pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water and then drain the pasta in a colander.  Do not rinse the pasta.  Melt 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter in a 3 quart flameproof gratin dish over low heat.  Next, add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.  Add the cheese, reserved cooking water, cream, salt, pepper and the remaining 3 tablespoons thinly sliced butter. Toss to combine well.  Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve immediately.  Serves 4

Beantown Baked Beans

June 17, 2011

Beantown Baked Beans

This recipe is so easy.  All you need is simmering time!

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Dried Navy Beans

2 Chopped Onions

1 Cup Water

½ Pound Diced Bacon

½ Cup Brown Sugar

1/3 Cup Ketchup

¼ Cup Molasses

5 Cloves Crushed Garlic

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 ½ Teaspoons Dry Mustard

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Soak the beans in enough water to cover plus three inches over night.  Drain the beans and place in a large pot.  Bring to a boil for 15 minutes.  Turn heat down to simmer and add onions, water, bacon, brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, garlic, salt, dry mustard & black pepper.  Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 hours.  After cooking for some time add water as needed.  Serve hot as a side dish.  Serves 6

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