Jalapeno Poppers

I really like a good jalapeno popper.  So I tried making them with Queso Fresco cheese and bacon.  Not a complete success but on the right track.  First I took some jalapenos and cut off the top and removed the seeds.  I did wear gloves because every time I work with hot peppers I either blow my nose with a tissue or scratch my eye and then I have a burning sensation.  Not this time – I got smart.

 

Then I stuffed them with the cheese and placed them in the refrigerator while cooking the rest of dinner.

 

 

About 15 minutes before dinner, I took them out and wrapped them in bacon. I buy pieces and ends of bacon because it is cheaper.  In this application, you should have strips of bacon and not pieces.  I used a toothpick to secure the bacon which then makes it hard to brown all sides of the bacon.  Next time probably will deep fry them. Now when frying I just used a little bacon grease in an iron skillet and fried the poppers.

Although very tasty, they were not completely successful but I learned several things.  First char and remove the skin from the peppers.  This will make them cook a little faster and won’t be so crunchy after frying. Once the skin is removed you could probably even coat them with a beer batter before frying and it would stay in tack.  Will have to give this a try. Secondly, I think the type of cheese is pretty important.  Queso Fresco does not seem to melt as quickly as say cheddar or mozzarella.  Which means it won’t all ooze out when being cooked. Next, make sure your bacon is nice long pieces that wrap completely around each popper. This ensures that the whole popper is covered and will cook through more evenly.  Last, is the way they are cooked.  If deep fryed, you won’t have uneven cooking even with the toothpicks inserted to keep the bacon on.

If anyone has any other suggestions, I would love to hear them.  This is a great appetizer and not too time consuming to make.  Can even be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to fry.  I’ll give you an update next time I make Jalapeno Poppers.

Steak & Shrimp Fajitas

Have you ever had a craving for something? That’s what happened this weekend. For some reason I wanted fajitas. Even though we don’t eat tortillas, the meat & vegetables in the fajitas will suffice. So I picked up some top sirloin that was on sale, and red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. I was going to get a fajita seasoning packet but decided that I already had the main seasonings (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano) at the house. I had purchased a small package of shrimp a couple of days before so I included them in this meal.

When it was time to eat, I cut the top sirloin, peppers and an onion into strips. Using the same amount of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano I seasoned the meat and placed a skillet. Then seasoned the peppers and onions and added them to the skillet with the steak. I threw the shrimp in just a minute before the veggies were tender-crisp, . The fajitas were served over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro.

It was delicious. Next time you get a craving, I strongly suggest you act upon it and enjoy!

Rotisserie Chicken Day

We have a rotisserie on our grill. This is the best way to cook a whole chicken or even a small turkey. I usually rub Montreal Chicken by McCormick Grill Mates all over the bird after attaching it to the spit. You would think all the juice would drain out of the bird but surprisingly it actually stays very moist. Even the breast. If you do not have a rotisserie, I think it would be a great attachment for your grill. Click here for a delicious video.

Vegetable Lasagna

This recipe is is relatively easy to make and much lighter than regular lasagna with pasta noodles.

3 zucchini, washed, ends cut
Oil
2 Tbsp. Pork rinds, crumbled
15 oz. Can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Italian seasonings
1 egg
½ tsp. Garlic salt
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
¼ c. chopped green pepper
¼ c. chopped green onions
2 ½ oz. Can sliced mushrooms, drained
15 oz. Can artichoke hearts, drained, sliced
1 Tbsp. Chopped basil or 1 tsp. Dry
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 c. Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut each zucchini lengthwise into ¼: slices. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Beat egg with garlic salt. Add Ricotta cheese.

 

 

Oil a 7 x 11” baking dish, then sprinkle with pork rinds. Arrange zucchini in dish. Spoon half of sauce on zucchini. Spread half the Ricotta mixture over sauce, half the green pepper, green onions, mushrooms, artichokes and basil. Sprinkle with half the Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat layers ending with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F. about 30 minutes until heated through, cheese is melted and vegetables are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Hamburger Day

There are many ways to make a hamburger. I have made them in my Hershey’s Kiss silicone baking pan,

as cupcakes and of course free form in the skillet. I think one of my favorite burgers is this Peanut Butter Bacon Cheese Burger. I know it sounds sort of weird but it is amazing how the salty and sweet flavors work together. Enjoy!

1 lb. Ground beef
½ tsp. Onion powder
½ tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. Cayenne pepper
6 slices bacon
1 whole sliced tomatoes
4 lettuce leaves
1 c. peanut butter
1 tbsp. Maple syrup
1 ½ c. sharp cheddar cheese

Place the ground beef in a mixing bowl and, using your hands, combine gently with onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt, Worcestershire and cayenne.

Make beef into 4 patties. Ensure the patties are the same thickness on the edges as the middle. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

 

While burgers are chilling, cook bacon until crispy over medium heat in a skillet. The crunch adds a nice texture to the burger.

In same skillet, cook burgers to medium doneness or until the middle of the burger is 168 degrees F, about 4 min. on each side. Add cheese to each burger a minute or two before they are done.

 

While burgers are cooking, place peanut butter and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl. Stir together and warm in microwave for about 25 seconds. Stir again. It should be slightly runny.

 

 

 

 

Remove burgers from skillet. Place bacon and peanut butter mix on burger.

 

 

 

To finish top with tomatoes and lettuce.

Keto Pancakes

With the holiday weekend upon us, here is a ketogenic pancake recipe.  There are only 4 ingredients and easy to make.  Remember that in ketogenic cooking there are no grains used and usually involves eggs.  This recipe is from “the ketogenic cookbook” written by Jimmy Moore and Maria Emmerich.

3 large eggs
2 Tbsp. whey protein powder
1 tsp. vanilla, almond or maple extract
1 tsp. stevia glycerite

Whip the egg whites in a clean, dry, nonreactive metal bowl for a few minutes, until very stiff. Blend in the yolks, whey, extract and stevia.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles when added to the pan. Once it is hot, scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and using a spoon, form it into a circle. Fry the pancake until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes er side.

Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding a little more oil between pancakes if needed. Top with syrup and serve.

National Walnut Day

Here is a great recipe to celebrate National Walnut Day.  We buy our walnuts at Costco as you can tell by the picture.

Spicy Cajun Walnuts

2 egg whites
1 tbsp. Water
2 tsp. Ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Dried parsley
1 tsp. Dried oregano
1 tsp. Dried basil
3 tsp. Garlic salt
2 tsp. Paprika
4 c. walnut halves (1 lb)

Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. Coat a large, shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, place egg whites, water, cayenne, herbs, garlic salt and paprika. Beat with a whisk until blended. Add walnuts and toss until evenly coated. Spread evenly in baking pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until nuts look dry and toasted, stirring once halfway through, 18-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Store in airtight container.