Tag Archives: Hot & Spicy

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso #SundaySupper

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Welcome to #SundaySupper, where our wonderful theme this week is… Football Food!!! Very near and dear to my heart – in fact, I happily watched Houston beat OU yesterday, woohoo! (I hate OU. It’s a Texas thing).

Anywho, when I think of football food, a spicy, Tex-Mex-y, cheesy dip is pretty much the ONLY thing that comes to mind. Growing up in Texas, obviously football was huge, there was always a game on every weekend, and to my young, impressionable mind, it was like queso = watching football in the den. Period. So, of course I have to make a queso for today’s Sunday Supper, right?

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

This particular queso is amazing, addictive, awesome, and incredibly spicy as written. You start by roasting jalapenos at a very high oven heat (recipe instructs roasting at 500 F, but if that makes your smoke alarm go off too, you can totally roast them at 450 F with no problems). Then you brown lovely, fatty, flavorful chorizo in a cast-iron skillet, add some onion, then you add the roasted jalapenos, some canned diced tomatoes and melty processed cheese product (no real cheese here, people. It just won’t do.) Once the “cheese” is melted (ha! Sorry!) you dice up an entire fresh jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all, and add it to the queso once you’ve turned off the heat. Yeah, it’s freakin’ spicy! But sooooo delicious. And if you want, you can totally leave off that last step with the fresh chile to tame the spice level. It’ll still be amazing!

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Enjoy this perfect football-watching queso dip! And be sure you check out the rest of my Sunday Supper crew!

Source: slightly adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

Ingredients:
6 large jalapenos, divided
1 tbs olive oil
½ lb. fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
¾ cup diced onion
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, with juices
1 lb. processed cheese product, such as Velveeta
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:
Preheat your oven as high as it will go without angering your smoke detector – up to 500 F but 450 F is fine too.
Halve and seed 5 of the jalapenos. Toss with olive oil in a bowl to coat, then arrange on a small, foil-lined baking sheet, skin-side up. Roast until blistering and getting dark, about 15 minutes. Cool until you can handle them, then thinly slice or chop, discarding the stems. Set aside. Finely mince the remaining raw jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all. Set aside.
In a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet* cook the chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until browned and no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, with their juices, and the roasted jalapenos. Then add the Velveeta. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until the “cheese” melts, 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the raw jalapeno and stir until mixture is perfectly smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.
*I made this twice, once using a 12” skillet and the other time using a 10” skillet. It really doesn’t matter which one you use. The 12” is easier during the cooking process (more room) but the queso cools much faster this way after you serve it. With the 10” you have to be more careful while you stir during cooking (less space) but it’s better for serving. Your choice.

Appetizers

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where we might be featuring my favorite theme yet: Spice is Nice and Some Like it Hot!!! All my readers know I’m a huge spice fiend and chile-head, so this really couldn’t be more perfect for me.

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

I had so much trouble deciding what to make – so many choices! – but seeing as our Northeast spring weather has been incredibly rainy, overcast, cold, and generally grouch-inducing, I figured this was a great opportunity to make one more pot of chili before the weather (eventually) warms up.

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

I’d actually made this chili a couple years ago, but didn’t get pictures of it for the blog; I figured today’s theme was an ideal time to share it, seeing as it stands out as one of the hottest things I’ve ever eaten. You know how most chili recipes call for canned tomatoes or tomato sauce? Well, this chili doesn’t. No, you puree two cans of chipotle chiles in adobo, and use that instead of any tomatoes. Yeah. And we’re not stopping there, oh no. In addition to all that chipotle, there’s a quarter cup of cayenne, plus a habanero! As Matt says, “this chili doesn’t mess around.”

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

He’s right. This is brow-sweating, eyes watering, nose running, fan your mouth and chug your beer chili that you actually can’t stop eating because it’s so delicious and tastes absolutely wonderful. If you like things hot and spicy, this is up your alley – be brave and try it!

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Michael Symon’s Carnivore by Michael Symon

Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil
3 lbs. ground chicken or turkey, make sure it’s NOT extra-lean
Kosher salt, to taste
1 large red onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced or coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
¼ cup cayenne pepper
¼ cup ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs tomato paste
2 (12 oz.) bottles of beer, preferably IPA
2 (7 oz.) cans of chipotle in adobo, pureed with sauce
1 habanero chile, slit down the side
Garnishes of your choice: sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro or scallion, etc…

Directions:
Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground chicken. Cook, breaking it up with a spoon or potato masher, until browned and no traces of pink remain. Season with a large pinch of salt. Now add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and another pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cayenne, cumin, coriander, and paprika and cook another 30 seconds or so, stirring to evenly coat the chicken and veggies. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine, cooking another 30 seconds.
Deglaze the pot with the beer, being sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the chipotle puree and habanero, stirring to incorporate. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours, or until it reaches a thick, hearty consistency.
Remove the habanero before serving with garnishes of your choice.

Make sure you check out the rest of my Sunday Supper crew!

Aromatic Appetizers

Distinctive Drinks

Daring Desserts

Masterful Mains

Seasoned Sides

Plus Homemade Ginger Ale and Spice is Nice Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! Eight amazing sponsors are helping us host a GIVEAWAY of some incredible prizes for multiple winners. CLICK HERE to enter!

This is my first time participating in Brunch Week, so thank you for accepting me into the group! I’m thrilled to be here. We have some lovely sponsors for the week, including the one I’m highlighting today: Cabot Cheese.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

But, and I say this with one hundred percent seriousness, I had already committed to the idea of sharing a version of shrimp and grits even before finding out about Cabot’s participation. I absolutely adore shrimp and grits, in pretty much any form. Except maybe the overcooked shrimp versions. Those we can all do without. Anywho…

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

There are about as many variations on shrimp and grits as there are fiends for the dish, and while I have zero complaints about a well-executed stripped down version, for Brunch Week I decided it had to be a bit more complex and special. This particular recipe features spicy Andouille sausage mingling with the shrimp which forms a bit of a saucy topping for the firmer-yet-luscious grits, and then it’s drizzled with an even spicier yet creamy actual sauce on top.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

This was so delicious, so special and completely perfect to kick start Brunch Week. Stay tuned, there is much excitement to come! Enjoy!

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

Source: slightly adapted from Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp and Grits by Nathalie Dupree

Ingredients:

CREAM SAUCE:
1/3 cup green vinegar-based hot sauce, such as green Tabasco
¼ cup dry white wine
1 shallot, chopped
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and black pepper, to taste

SHRIMP:
Drizzle of olive oil, plus more as needed
8 oz. raw Andouille sausage, casings removed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ cup minced onion, such as Vidalia
4 tsp chopped garlic
30 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

GRITS:
5 cups water
3 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
8 tbs unsalted butter
2 cups coarse grits, not instant
8 oz. sharp white Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Start with the CREAM SAUCE: combine the green hot sauce, wine, shallot, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium-sized saucepan. Boil over medium heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Set aside.

Now make the SHRIMP: heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and crumble it with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook, stirring frequently, until no traces of pink remain. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic and saute until veggies are tender. Add the shrimp, tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, and Old Bay seasoning. Saute, stirring, until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Be aware of how much salt your Cajun and Old Bay seasonings may already have. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Now make the GRITS: bring the water, milk, cream and butter to a simmer in a medium-to-large stockpot. Gradually whisk in the grits. Stir frequently, until the grits are soft and thickened. This will take at least 15 minutes, and up to 1 hour depending on what brand of grits you are using. When the grits are ready, turn the heat to low and stir in the shredded cheese until it melts. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.

To serve, rewarm the cream sauce and shrimp. Spoon the grits into bowls and top with the shrimp and andouille sauce. Now top with the hot pepper cream sauce and serve immediately.

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Check out my fellow #BrunchWeek bloggers! Some very tasty recipes here!

BrunchWeek Beverages:

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

BrunchWeek Desserts:

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Thai-Indian Beef Lettuce Cups #SundaySupper

Thai-Indian Beef Lettuce Cups

Welcome to another Sunday Supper, where we are having Finger Foods for Dinner! I think we’d all agree that our inner children rejoice at any opportunity to not have to pick up a fork, right? I chose to make lettuce cups, one of my new favorite foods, and helpful that it’s lighter fare made delicious, too.

Thai-Indian Beef Lettuce Cups

Certainly not always, but lettuce cups are often of the Asian persuasion, and this one fuses the heat and ginger of Thailand with the curry of India for one delicious and SPICY hand-held meal. Spicy enough, in fact, that you should not congratulate yourself on eating low-carb until AFTER you’ve managed to get through this without guzzling a beer to cool off your burning lips and tongue. I deserve absolutely zero back pats on this front.

Thai-Indian Beef Lettuce Cups

But, it’s wickedly delicious, with incredible and complex flavor and the perfect texture. Oh, and you can totally back off on the heat level if you want. Combining lean beef (which I’d highly recommend for this purpose) and a drizzle of sesame oil at the end makes for the perfect pleasantly oily texture to complement the heft of the ground beef and soft lettuce leaves. This is one of my few repeat meals. Enjoy!

Thai-Indian Beef Lettuce Cups

And make sure you check out all the fun Finger Foods brought to you by my fellow Sunday Supper bloggers!

Source: Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet by Padma Lakshmi

Ingredients:
2 heads butter lettuce, or Boston lettuce
3 tbs canola oil
1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
4 serrano chiles, or 20 green Thai chiles, chopped (you can seed the serranos if desired)
1-2 tbs soy sauce
1 generous tsp curry powder
1 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder), optional
1 cup rough chopped fresh mint
1 cup rough chopped fresh basil
1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste if needed
1 tbs toasted sesame oil

Directions:
Separate the lettuce leaves, discarding any that have browned or wilted. The inner leaves tend to be sturdier and better suited for lettuce cups. Dry the leaves well if needed and set aside.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the beef, crumbling and cooking until no traces of pink remain. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chiles. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
Now add the soy sauce, curry powder, and amchoor if using. Stir to combine then turn the heat to low and let it simmer very gently for a few minutes to let the flavors marry well.
Stir in the mint, basil and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
To serve, spoon the mixture into the prepared lettuce cups and lightly drizzle sesame oil over each cup. Serve immediately.

Pinky Appetizers

Manual Mains

Digit Desserts

Plus Bite-sized Pavlovas and More Finger Food Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Nashville Hot Chicken

Nashville Hot Chicken

I promise you I’ve done tons of cooking and baking the past week, but for some reason writer’s block has struck hard. I think partially because I’d been so excited to share this recipe with you, but researching this dish’s origins isn’t a completely pretty undertaking. Let’s just say the word “segregation” came up a lot, and served as a reminder of some of our country’s uglier moments in history.

Nashville Hot Chicken

However it may have gotten here, Nashville Hot Chicken is all the rage right now, and people of all colors and stripes flock to its city of origin to try it. Well, the brave ones with iron stomachs do, anyways. It seems this isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. One that leaves most sweating, panting, and cursing all the while asking for more. From what I read, it’s not just me and Matt who behaved that way.

Nashville Hot Chicken

The “Hot” in the title is most definitely not lying. Yikes. I’m a big chile-head, I’ve eaten both my and your shares of hot and spicy stuff, but this knocked me on my heels a bit. And yet – it’s frickin’ delicious. Make sure there’s plenty of beer and ice cream on hand to tame the flames that inevitably rise in your mouth, but this chicken is some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. (And I’d highly prefer you didn’t ask me how much fried chicken I’ve had in my lifetime.)

Nashville Hot Chicken

If you like your foods hot and fiery, you’ve just got to try this icon. Basically, you’ve got your usual fried chicken, but then you whisk some of the frying oil into a mixture of spices which is mostly cayenne pepper, and then toss the fried chicken pieces in it. Serve with a pickle to “help” tame the heat, and a slice of white bread to soak up some juices. Unbelievable. Enjoy!

Nashville Hot Chicken

Source: Epicurious

Ingredients:
3 1/2-4-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces (breasts halved)
1/2 tbs freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs plus 2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or whole milk
1 tbs vinegar-based hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Texas Pete
2 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
3 tbs cayenne pepper
1 tbs dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
White bread and pickles*, for serving

Directions:
Toss chicken with black pepper and 1 tbs salt in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining 2 tsp salt in another large bowl.
Fit a Dutch oven with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2″. Alternatively, heat your deep fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°. Pat chicken dry. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet.
Working in 4 batches and returning oil to 325° between batches, fry chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of pieces registers 160° for white meat and 165° for dark, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.
Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1/2 cup frying oil. Gently toss fried chicken with spicy oil. Serve immediately with bread and pickles.
*In Nashville, it’s customary to serve this dish with crinkle-cut sliced pickles. My favorite brand only makes spears, so spears is what I used. Still tasty!

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

I’m guessing you read the title of this recipe post and thought some of the same things Matt and I said aloud as we were eating this meal. Things like whaaaattttt???? And maybe, insane! Deranged, perhaps. And, this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

It’s all true. Equally true though, is how unbelievably delicious this breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner if you wish) is. I made it out of sheer morbid curiosity – like, what the hell is Tabasco slurry and how does that work?? – but this ended up being surprisingly addictive and caused much swooning, in between wiping sweat off the brow.

Though it is quite hot and spicy, not for the faint of heart, I will highly recommend this to all y’all Cajun food lovers and chile-heads. The shrimp itself isn’t terribly spicy, but assertive and perfectly plump, folded into a lacy-edged, thin yet rich omelet, and then that Tabasco slurry really makes the whole thing.

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

It’s very sweet yet very hot, and it serves to balance out the dish yet simultaneously add an enormous punch. Even though it made my eyes water, I seriously couldn’t get enough. This recipe definitely falls into the category of Just Crazy Enough to Work, and if you like things spicy, then I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Creole Shrimp Omelet with Tabasco Slurry

Source: adapted from Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton

Ingredients:
12 large to jumbo shrimp, about ½ lb, peeled and deveined, including taking the tails off
1 tbs Creole seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tbs unsalted butter, divided
4 large eggs, divided
2 tbs heavy cream, divided
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbs Tabasco

Directions:
Place the shrimp in a medium to large mixing bowl, then add the Creole seasoning plus kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat well.
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbs butter over medium-high heat. When it melts, add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until opaque and cooked through. Remove to a plate. Shut off the heat and wipe out the skillet.
Beat 2 eggs in a small bowl with 1 tbs heavy cream, plus salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tbs butter to the same skillet and place over medium-low to medium heat (somewhere in between is ideal). When the butter melts, pour in the eggs. Use a rubber spatula to lightly and gently stir the top of the eggs – don’t scrape the sides or bottom of the skillet. Once the sides have set, use the spatula to gently lift them up and let the runny egg in the middle run under the firmer sides. Just before the last bit of the top of the eggs have set, place 3 shrimp on one half of the eggs. Carefully flip the other half over the shrimp. Let sit a few seconds, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs, 1 tbs heavy cream, and 1 tbs butter.
To make the slurry, briskly whisk the sugar and the Tabasco sauce until smooth.
To serve, place 1 omelet on a serving plate, then top with 3 more shrimp. Drizzle half of the Tabasco slurry over top. Repeat with the other omelet and serve immediately.

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans “Barbecue” Butter

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans "Barbecue" Butter

New Jersey is nicknamed The Garden State, and until moving to the NYC region, I never knew (or cared – gotta be totally frank here) why. You know why? It’s because of all the gorgeous summer produce those farmers spin out every year! I am suddenly feeling rather lucky to live here and have access to all of this – the tomatoes! The peaches! The corn!

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans "Barbecue" Butter

Once you taste this Jersey sweet corn, you have to take back every single bad thing you’ve ever said about this state. I’m serious. (And if you’re not originally from here and you’ve lived in New York for the past ten years, you *might* (cough, cough) have said something bad about the ol’ NJ).

This corn is so perfect that all it really needs is salt and maybe a pat of butter after grilling it. But that’s a hideously dull “recipe” to blog. And since I try my hardest to keep this space from being the culinary equivalent of watching paint dry, we have to jazz up that corn somehow.

corn on the cob with New Orleans "barbecue" butter

I chose to try out a corn recipe that is reminiscent of New Orleans barbecued shrimp, a classic dish which involves no actual barbecue sauce, but rather spices and an utterly obscene amount of butter. Since corn loves butter, and since the sweetness of corn can take on the very assertive spices of New Orleans quite nicely, this is actually a genius idea. One I didn’t think of myself, I’ll freely admit. Go America’s Test Kitchen!

The cooking method used here is also pretty genius. You’ll need a 9 by 13-inch aluminum roasting pan, and a grill surface large enough to accommodate it. Indoor or outdoor grill, either is perfectly fine as long as it’s big enough. This may be my new favorite corn on the cob recipe. I hope you love it too!

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans "Barbecue" Butter

Source: America’s Test Kitchen Special Collector’s Edition: Best Ingredients, Best Recipes

Ingredients:
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp tomato paste
½ tsp minced fresh rosemary
½ tsp minced fresh thyme
½ tsp cayenne pepper
8 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
2 tbs canola or vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, use a fork to thoroughly combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne.
In a 9 by 13-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan, place the butter all over the bottom of the pan, in small spoonfuls. Set aside at room temperature.
Brush the corn evenly with the canola oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill the corn over medium-high to high heat (indoor or outdoor grill is fine), until lightly charred on all sides, 5 to 9 minutes. Transfer corn the aluminum roasting pan and cover tightly with foil.
Place the roasting pan on the grill and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until butter is sizzling, about 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the grill and carefully remove the foil, allowing steam to escape away from your face. Serve the corn immediately, spooning the excess butter in the pan over the individual ears.

Fresh Ginger Ice Cream

Fresh Ginger Ice Cream

Happy Thursday, all! I know my posting has been a bit sporadic lately, and well, it’s not going to get much better in the very near future. Basically today, I’m popping in to tell you I’m popping right back out for a week and a half. It’s vacation time for Matt and me, and we’ve decided to really go off the grid, old-school style.

Fresh Ginger Ice Cream

This is partly our deliberate choice, but the choice was partly made for us because we’re staying on a fairly remote Caribbean island that is, according to TripAdvisor reviewers, predictable for having spotty and quite unpredictable Wi-Fi access. It seems that these days, most people who take a trip or vacation ending up taking social media and blogs with them – I’ve certainly done it. But not this trip, we (and the little island) decided. So, the blog will be very quiet for the next week and a half, but I will still see and read (and very much appreciate!) any comments you make.

ginger for ice cream

In the meantime, I will leave you with this delicious, creamy, spicy ice cream. Ginger can be an acquired taste, I know it was for me, and I still struggle a bit with crystallized ginger – it’s not my favorite. I also usually pass on the pickled ginger that comes with your sushi. I do use both fresh and ground ginger in my cooking, but there it’s usually one flavor of many and doesn’t stick out. It sticks out here. I was a tad apprehensive about using the ginger so prominently, but yeah. It really works. It’s so balanced – just the right amount of pungency and bite. Oh, and it’s *spectacular* with a glass of chilled, white dessert wine, if you so desire.

fresh ginger ice cream

I hope y’all will enjoy it. And have a wonderful week, I’ll see you again in May!

Fresh Ginger Ice Cream

{Two Years Ago: Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches}

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:
3 oz. unpeeled fresh ginger
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
5 large egg yolks

Directions:
Cut the ginger in half lengthwise, then cut into thin slices across. Place the ginger in a medium, nonreactive saucepan. Add enough water to cover the ginger by about ½ an inch and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain, discarding the liquid.
Return the blanched ginger slices to the saucepan. Add the milk, 1 cup cream, sugar, and salt. Warm the mixture, but do not bring to a boil – you just want to see bubbles forming on the edges, then shut off the heat. Cover the pan and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Rewarm the mixture – again, just until scalding, where you see bubbles just beginning to form at the edges. Remove the ginger slices with a slotted spoon and discard. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl with a fine-mesh strainer set on top.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour about ½ cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Now slowly pour the tempered egg yolks into the remaining warm milk mixture in the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom of the pot as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. This takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the custard through the strainer into the large bowl with the heavy cream. Stir to combine, then cool to room temperature. You can speed this process with an ice bath. Make sure you stir at somewhat frequent intervals as it’s cooling, otherwise it will develop a skin on top.
Once cooled to room temperature, chill the custard thoroughly in the refrigerator, at least 4 hours. Then churn it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container and let it firm up in the freezer about 2 hours before serving.

Middle Eastern Chicken with Green Harissa #SundaySupper

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

Welcome to a special April Fool’s Day edition of Sunday Supper! Seeing as my family or origin were definitely pranksters, April Fool’s Day was quite up our alley. I’ve detailed our shenanigans in this post. However, my childhood experiences didn’t really help me in coming up with a recipe to share today, because things like putting cat food under scrambled eggs, or possibly putting um, “dietary supplements” in brownies, were not what Sunday Supper had in mind.

making green harissa

My first idea was something I randomly pulled on Matt, my English-pea-hating husband, a few years ago. This one is kinda cool: you take thawed frozen, or fresh blanched peas and place them on a pizza dough round with some minced garlic and olive oil. Then cover it with shredded cheese and pepperoni slices. Bake it off, and when you take that bad boy out of the oven, no one sees the peas. It just looks like a pepperoni pizza, so it would be an awesome, perfectly edible recipe to share today! But Matt was somehow less than enthused about repeating that experience (no, I didn’t tell him the peas were there before he took his first bite), so I decided to spare him the misery and brainstorm further.

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

I came up with this gem of a recipe, and the April-Fool’s-appropriate part is the green harissa. It looks mostly like pesto, but doesn’t taste a thing like it. It really is harissa paste that happens to be green, so I thought that worked for April Fool’s Day.

And this chicken, plus that homemade harissa, is really outstanding, with those deep, sharp flavors from garlic and za’atar spice blend and the piquant spiciness of the harissa. Fairly easy to pull off, too. So I hope y’all will enjoy it, on April Fool’s or whenever the mood strikes you. And be sure you check out the April Fool’s-worthy dishes my Sunday Supper gang has brought to the table today!

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

{One Year Ago: Shaved Asparagus and Spinach Salad; Veal Oscar}
{Two Years Ago: Cajun Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Tartar Sauce; Slow Cooker Refried Beans}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:

CHICKEN:
1 large clove garlic, minced
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
Leaves from 1 large sprig of rosemary, minced
1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs.), spatchcocked (also called butterflied)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Za’atar spice blend
Olive oil, for drizzling

GREEN HARISSA:
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small bunch of spinach leaves
2 fresh serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and rough chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the minced garlic, softened butter, lemon zest, and rosemary. Carefully loosen the skin over the chicken breasts and insert the softened butter mixture in between the breast skin and flesh. Season the skin side of the bird generously with salt and pepper, then place the chicken in a baking dish or large cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle liberally with za’atar. Drizzle with olive oil and rub it in to coat the chicken evenly.
Roast the chicken at 425 F for 15 minutes, to crisp up the skin; then lower the oven heat to 350 F and continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a breast reads 165 F, about an hour longer.
Meanwhile, make the harissa. Add the cilantro, spinach, chiles, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, plus salt and pepper to taste to the bowl of your food processor. Process until everything is minced and mostly uniform. With the machine still running, remove the feed tube and stream in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside until time to serve.
Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle with a dash more za’atar, then transfer to a cutting board and let rest for a good 5-10 minutes.
Carve the chicken and serve with the harissa.

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Short-Cut Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Harissa

Short-Cut Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Harissa

Though in many ways we grew up in very different circumstances, we share one aspect of childhood very much in common: both my husband and I were raised in households with parents who insisted we eat healthfully and get our fair share of vegetables. Not only was there a side serving of veggies present at most dinners, we were both exposed to a nice variety of fruits and vegetables – it wasn’t the same few produce items at every meal. Now, not gonna lie here – both of us as children had a pretty decent laundry list of vegetables we didn’t *want* to eat, but both of our respective parents toed a fairly firm line of “eat it anyway, they’re good for you.”

roasted broccoli rabe

So, you’d think at least one of us would have entered adulthood knowing what broccoli rabe was. Nope. Didn’t happen. It’s only been in the last year or so that we’ve started eating it when its early spring season rolls around. This year we’ve been playing around with the more traditional method of cooking it – boiling it to reduce its inherent bitterness, then sautéing in a cast iron skillet and dousing it with a dressing or sauce. Quite tasty.

short cut pasta with broccoli rabe and harissa

And then I ran across a different method of preparing it in an older issue of Food & Wine – roasting it in the oven. I haven’t ever seen that method for broccoli rabe before (which isn’t to say it’s not out there – like I said above, I’m fairly new to the world of this veggie).

Short-Cut Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Harissa

But, I was very intrigued to try it, so try it I did, and I found it quite lovely, so I had to share it with you. Broccoli rabe is quite tasty prepared this way, and here’s a plus if you have a smaller kitchen – roasting it in the oven dirties up fewer dishes overall than boiling-then-sautéing will. I will add that you lose less of the bitterness by roasting, but I found it a pleasant bitterness – not at all overpowering, and it played very well with the chewy, mild pasta and the spicy flavors going on in this recipe. Fantastic vegetarian dinner option. Enjoy!

Short-Cut Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Harissa

{One Year Ago: Shaved Asparagus Pizza; Homemade Pizza Sauce}
{Two Years Ago: Penne alla Puttanesca}

Source: Food & Wine Magazine, August 2013

Ingredients:
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
¼ cup olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno or Fresno chile, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tsp harissa
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 lb. short cut pasta, such as gemelli, penne, cavatappi, cavatelli, or whatever you prefer
Grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 large handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli rabe with 2 tbs olive oil plus salt and pepper to taste. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats, then arrange the broccoli rabe on the 2 baking sheets in as even a layer as possible. Roast for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender. Remove to a cutting board and chop into bite-size pieces.
In a large (12-inch) deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbs oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, chile and harissa and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the garlic and chile are tender.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously, then cook the pasta according to package directions, just to al dente. When done, drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta, cooking water, and about ¼ cup parmesan to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the pasta is coated in a thick sauce, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mint and parsley, and more cheese if desired. Serve immediately with more cheese for garnish, if preferred.