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.

Cheese Fondue Day

Wasn’t it in the 70s when cheese fondue was fashionable? Whether you remember the 70s or not today is Cheese Fondue Day. Below is a recipe for Spicy Pepper Fondue from Celebrations.com.

I made a few adjustments to keep with my Ketogenic diet like using almond flour and Guar Gum instead of the flour. Also, so it was not the consistency of pudding, I used 2 cups of milk instead of 1 ½. I did not use as many peppers as the recipe listed but believe you can without it being too spicy. The peppers didn’t seem as hot once they were put in the fondue. Depending on how spicy you like it, you can add all 4 peppers if you like. We found that this fondue is also very good on baked potatoes. Enjoy!

4 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. almond flour
1 Tbsp. Guar Gum
2 c. milk
8 oz. Colby Jack cheese, shredded
1 large Poblano pepper, finely diced
2 Jalapenos, finely diced
1 Habanero pepper, finely diced
Salt & pepper to taste

 

 

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until the butter has absorbed all the flour. Add the milk and bring the mixture to a low simmer (bubbles will start to form around the edges). Reduce the heat to low and add the shred cheese, whisking until all the cheese has melted. Stir in the peppers, salt and pepper.

Remove the fondue from the pan and transfer to either a fondue pan or a serving bowl. Serve with fruit, vegetables, bread or crackers for dipping.

If you want to make this fondue ahead of time, do not make it any more than 24 hours in advance.

Keto Hamburger Pizza

As you know, we have been doing the Ketogenic diet for well over a year. The food I miss most is pizza. I made a pizza with hamburger, onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Here is a Keto Pizza crust recipe which is from “the ketogenic cookbook” by Jimmy Moore and Maria Emmerich.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a lasagna pan or 12” cast-iron skillet.

Whip 6 egg whites and ½ teaspoon cream of tartar until very stiff. Slowly sift in ½ cup unflavored whey protein while the mixer is on low speed. Using a spatula, gently fold the 3 ounces of softened cream cheese into the whites.

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Spoon the dough mixture into the prepared pan and prebake the crust for 18 minutes.

 

 

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Remove the crust from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

 

 

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Top with the sauce and hamburger mixture, tomato, olives and cheese and return to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and starts to brown about 5 minutes.

 

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Snacks for Super Bowl

This year for Super Bowl, I’ll be having crackers and 2 or 3 dips.  Found this cracker recipe from FatHead. This is a great low-carb cracker that is easy to make and has the taste and texture of flat bread or pita.

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4 cups shredded/grated cheese mozzarella
3/4 cup
almond meal/flour
2
tbsp cream cheese
1
egg
salt to taste
to taste
½
tsp flavorings of choice
( I used onion powder)

 

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Mix the shredded/grated cheese and almond flour/meal in a microwaveable bowl. Add the cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.

 

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Stir then microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds.

 

 

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Add the egg, salt, and flavorings, mix gently.

 

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On a piece of parchment paper place the dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Roll with a rolling pin to flatten to make about the size of a cookie sheet.

 

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Cut the dough into small bite size pieces.

 

 

 

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Bake at 425F for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned on both side and crisp.

 

 

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Cool on a wire rack and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. IF the weather is cool, you may store the container on your pantry for up to 3 days.

Pizza

One of my favorite foods is pizza.  But since being on the Ketogenic diet, I have tried several types of pizza that do not have the traditional crust.  The most recent I saw on-line was taking sliced hard salami, with a little sauce and cheese.  When I made these, I took canned tomato sauce & warmed it up with a few spices.  Then I put sliced pepperoncini, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.  You place them in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbly.  This are more of a pizza appetizer than a meal but you have the flavors of a pizza which is what I like.sausage-pizza-3

National Cheese Lovers Day

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Being on a Ketogenic Diet means I do not eat breads, tortillas or taco shells because they are high in carbohydrates. To celebrate Cheese Lovers Day, I found a way to make tacos. First grate cheddar cheese. Then place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.

Bake them at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove them when they are completely melted and start getting brown around the edges. Let them cool until you can handle them, 30 seconds to a minute. Then place on a spoon for a regular taco shell or a bbq tool to make a flat bottom taco shell.

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cheddar-cheese-taco-shells-11Ta-Da!!  Breakfast Tacos.

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*Don’t feel bleu, throw a feta or act capricious. January 20th is a gouda day to kummin over and have some cheddar or asiago or fontina! It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day.

There is no firm evidence on how cheese making was discovered, but legend tells us it was likely chance that the first cheese was created. Thousands of years ago, milk was transported and stored in sheep stomachs. Left to sit a few days the proteins would separate into curds and whey.

From there, preserving the solids with salt may have seemed a logical next step. Salt was a highly valued preservative in ancient times.

The earliest record of cheese making dates back to 5,500 BCE in what is now Poland. Today there are over 1,400 varieties of cheese.

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The basic principles behind making cheese are quite simple. Let the milk sour (or scientifically, coagulating the casein protein). Then separate the curds (solids) from the whey (liquid). The curds are then salted and left to age.

Bacteria, enzymes or fungi may be added at various stages. These along with the type of milk, temperature, time and moisture are all controlled to produced the desired taste, color and texture. Herbs and spices may also be added.

The nutritional value of cheese varies depending on the variety. Cottage and mozzarella cheese are at the lower end of fat and calories per serving while mascarpone and cream cheese pack it on.

 

 

*http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-cheese-lovers-day-january-20/

Ketogenic Breakfast with Zucchini Hash Browns

It is so simple to make a Ketogenic Breakfast. All you need is some sausage or bacon and eggs. Then you can make some zucchini hash browns which is a great substitute for the traditional potato hash browns. Just place the fried eggs on the top of the hash browns to get the ooey gooey yolk running over the hash browns. We fried up sausage links and served with our Keto Ketchup. Below is the recipe for Zucchini Hash Browns. Enjoy!Keto Breakfast_2 (1)

4 c. shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
2 tsp. Fine sea salt
1 large egg, beaten
¾ c. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 oz)
2 Tbsp. Chopped green onion
½ tsp. Cayenne pepper
¼ c. coconut oil or bacon fat, for frying

Place the zucchini in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the salt, Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze out any moisture and discard the liquid.

Add the egg, Parmesan, green onion and cayenne. Mix well to combine.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using your hands, form the zucchini mixture into 4 cakes about 2 ½ inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Place in the hot pan and fry for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove and place on a cooling rack (if you place them on a paper towel they will get soggy).

 

Recipe from “the ketogenic cookbook” (sic) by Jimmy Moore and Maria Emmerich