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Bloody Mary Chili

Bloody Mary Chili

When I woke up this morning the temperature was in the single digits. As I stayed snuggled under the covers I thought about what we would have for dinner. I found the answer when I opened the Parade magazine in the newspaper.  Food Network Chopped judge Maneet Chauhan’s Slow-cooker Bloody Mary Chili was in the “What America Eats Celebrity Kitchen” section. I made it this evening and it is delicious! I love the addition of fresh grated ginger in the recipe. The ginger gives it a bit of an Asian twist which may account for the slightly sweet taste of the chili. I added the entire small can (6 ounces) of tomato paste because I end up throwing out the rest of the can if I don’t use it all in a recipe. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy this winter:

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Slow-Cooker Bloody Mary Chili

By MANEET CHAUHAN

  • SERVES 6
  • ACTIVE TIME 20 min.
  • TOTAL TIME 4 hr. 20 min.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1½ lb ground turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (I used the whole can)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32-oz) bottle Bloody Mary mix (I used Mr. and Mrs. T’s Bold and Spicy)
  • 1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can black or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped green onion, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if desired, this is my addition)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper and celery; cook 4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add turkey; cook 5 minutes, stirring with a spoon to crumble. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Stir in ginger, tomato paste and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker. Stir in Bloody Mary mix, beans, green onion, cilantro, paprika and cumin. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or until thickened. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve garnished with cheese, additional green onion, cilantro and lime wedges.
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Sparkling Holiday Champagne Dinner

man wearing black dress shirt holding a flute glass and black wine bottle

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Champagne Thought Of The Day ~ The Whisper Of Love

The sound of air slowly releasing from the Champagne bottle when de-corked is called ‘the whisper of love’. To hear this noise, place your thumb on the muselet, the wire cage that fits over a bottle of Champagne, and gently turn the bottle left. (Under pressure, the longer a cork stays in the bottle, the smaller and more narrow it becomes.)

Sparkling Holiday Champagne Dinner

I love small plate dinners especially during the holidays. Wine pairing is easy with tiny bites of flavorful foods and no one gets overstuffed with huge portions. Here’s my recent menu from a festive champagne small plate dinner with friends.

We greeted our guests with Charles de Cazanove 2000 Stradivarius Brut Champagne. I served the champagne with delicate Boursin cheese palmliers. These cheese pastries are easy to make, light and airy that compliment champagne.

Boursin Cheese Palmiers

The palmiers can be prepared a day ahead of the party.  Prepare the palmiers, do not bake,  place them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable spray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Bake them just before service.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/2 (5.2 ounce package) package Boursin herb and garlic cheese

1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (Mozzarella and Provolone, Parmesan,Fontina, Romano and Asiago)

Melted butter

Place puff pastry sheet on a cutting board that has been dusted with flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13-inches square. Spread the puff pastry sheet evenly with the Boursin cheese.  Sprinkle the Italian blend cheese over the Boursin cheese. Roll each short end to the center of the pastry, making sure to roll tightly and evenly. Freeze rolled log for 20 minutes, until very firm but not frozen. Slice crosswise into 3/8-inch slices. Place the palmiers on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable spray. Brush tops of palmiers with melted butter. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 6 to 10 minutes or until nicely browned. (Watch carefully so that they do not burn.)

champagne lobster

Our first course was Lobster Mashed Potatoes in a cocktail spoon paired with Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne. The lobster mash is super easy to prepare. Marinate lobster tails in Sprite or ginger ale and sprinkle the meat side of the lobster generously with Old Bay seasoning in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight. Broil or grill the lobster until the meat starts to pull away from the shell. Cool the lobster the remove the lobster meat from the shells and chop it into little pieces. Mix a little whipping cream into deli mashed potatoes, place a dollop of the mashed potatoes in appetizer spoon, top with chopped lobster meat, melted butter and chopped fresh chives. Broil until bubbly. Let the spoons cool a little before serving so they will not be too hot to handle. I bought two small lobster tails to serve 14 spoons (2 for each guest) along with 1/2 pound mashed potatoes from the Fresh Market deli.

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Our second course was Braised Pork Ragout With Pearl Onions And Mushrooms.  The recipe is in the Roanoker Magazine Blog and here’s the link:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/how-the-french-warm-up-in-winter-ragout/

We paired the ragout with Isiri Barolo.

Our third course was mini shrimp and grits and fourth course was mini cheeseburger sliders with caramelized onions paired with Silver Oak Alexander Valley.

Pre-dessert is to dessert as amuse bouche is to hors d’oeuvre.  A small dessert-like course served before the main dessert. I served a tiny almond cake with espresso topped with sweetened whipped cream. I found both the cakes and the espresso coffee beans at Fresh Market.
The presentation is a metal electrical box I bought at Lowes covered with decoupage paper.

dessert

And the grand finale…Flourless Chocolate Cake with Sweetened Whipped Cream and Amarena cherries paired with 2004 Haut Charmes Sauternes. Here’s the recipe for this lovely cake. The cherries are available at Tinnell’s Finer Foods in Roanoke or on-line. 

https://bakerbynature.com/flourless-chocolate-fudge-cake/

The next day we had a 14 inch snow. Our cats were fascinated when snow fell off the roof!

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For Bourbon Lovers On Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving gives us the  opportunity to use earthy, rich, spicy flavors in our food and cocktails. Think smokey, honey, cherry, bourbon and a twist of winter citrus in front of a roaring fire.

alcohol bar black background close up

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First, the appetizer…

mushrooms

Spicy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms With Aged Gouda Cheese Sauce

Makes 10 appetizer servings (2 stuffed mushroom caps per serving)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1/2 pound mild pork sausage

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons minced red onion

Place vegetable oil in a frying pan.  Place pan over medium heat and add sausage. Brown sausage and crumble in pan.  Add red onion and cook over medium-low heat until onion is soft and transparent.  Remove from heat.

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 egg

Add panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese to sausage. Stir to combine all ingredients. Whisk egg into sausage mixture. Make sure all ingredients are well combined.

 20 baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed and center (stem side) hollowed out with a spoon.

Stuff  mushrooms with sausage mixture, gently pressing sausage mixture into the hollowed out stem end of the mushroom and mound the mixture on top of the mushroom.  Place stuffed mushrooms in a shallow baking pan. Bake stuffed mushrooms in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes.

While stuffed mushrooms are baking, prepare Aged Gouda Cheese Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/4 pound aged Gouda cheese, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon medium Peri-Peri Sauce or your favorite hot sauce (more may be added to taste – but add carefully…more can always be added, but once it’s in the sauce it cannot be removed!)

Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour.  Whisk in one half of the milk.  Add red chili flakes, aged Gouda cheese, Peri-Peri Sauce and the rest of the milk. Stir to combine all ingredients.  Continue to heat over medium low heat and stir until cheese melts. Once the cheese melts remove from heat.

Once the mushrooms have finished baking, remove from oven. Place mushrooms in individual ramekins.  Pour aged Gouda cheese sauce over the mushrooms. Place ramekins under the broiler until the cheese sauce is lightly browned and bubbly.  Serve immediately.

Old Fashioned

It is so easy and delicious to mix a cocktail with hand-crafted Bittermilk Cocktail Mixes (available on-line or at Fresh Market).  We’ve invited friends to Thanksgiving who love Whiskey Sours so I am going to surprise them with Bittermilk Smoked Honey Whiskey Sours served over an ice sphere with  Fabbri Amarena Cherries. These cherries are a dark red variety with a sweet and slightly bitter flavor that are preserved in a rich syrup made from the juice of the same fruit. They are sold in a decorative pottery jar on-line or locally (Roanoke, VA) at Tinnell’s Finer Foods. Seriously delicious!

We’ve revived this old classic by smoking honey over bourbon barrel staves. Bitter orange peel and lemon make for a slightly tart and smoky cocktail. Honey adds a nice frothy head when shaken vigorously. Mixes best with bourbon but swap it out for tequila to make a slightly smoky Honey Margarita. Shake equal parts Bittermilk No.3 + Whiskey with heavy amounts of ice. Fresh Lemon Juice, Water, Bourbon Barrel Smoked Georgia Honey, Florida Golden Cane Sugar, Fresh Orange Peel

food cherries fruits sour

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Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Maharajah Curry Red Lentil Sausage Pepper Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + a little extra for frying sausage
  • 3 teaspoons Seasonality Seasonings Maharajah Curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 19 ounces mild Italian sausage
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or more if needed)

Directions

Put olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add onion and peppers. Stir and saute for 4 – 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the peppers are cooked.  Add curry powder and salt.  Stir and remove from heat.

Pour a little olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the sausage (any casings removed) and fry until the sausage is completely cooked. If there is a lot of fat in the sausage, drain the fat.  Add the sausage to the onion and peppers mixture in the large pot.  Add the petite diced tomatoes and stir. Add the red lentils and stir. Return to medium heat and add chicken broth. Stir and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add more chicken broth if needed if a lot of the stock is absorbed during the cooking process.

 

lentil soup in bowl

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Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

photography of fruits on a tray

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Today I picked the last of my summer herbs out of my garden since a frost is coming tonight and they will be long gone by morning. I chopped the herbs. Then I mixed chives, oregano, and parsley into fresh creamery butter and added black pepper, a dash of salt and some  Nanomi Togarashi (Japanese hot spice available in Asian markets) to make herb butter to go with my bacon and Gruyère biscuits.

Optimized-magnolia bloom

To make my biscuits I used the Magnolia Table Bacon And Gruyère Biscuit recipe from the cookbook Magnolia Table, a collection of recipes for gathering. I tried making the biscuits in the shape of spoons in a new spoon cookie tray I recently purchased.  I was not too crazy about the shape of the biscuits but the taste was delicious! The biscuits are buttery, savory and crispy. You will love serving these on your holiday table!

 

Bacon And Gruyère Biscuits

1/2 pound thick-sliced peppered bacon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, but into cubes

3/4 cup milk

8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2.  Arrange the bacon slices on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels and transfer the bacon to the paper towels to drain.  Set aside.
  3. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, salt, and white pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter on top of the flour and pulse until the dough resembles coarse pebbles.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the milk and Gruyère. Crumble the bacon into the bowl. Mix with your hands just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  6. Use a 4 ounce ice cream scoop to drop uniform biscuit mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges are crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  7. Biscuits are best the day they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Warm in a preheated 300 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Note: To make smaller drop biscuits to serve as hors’doeuvres, use a 2 ounce scoop and bake them for the same amount of time as instructed above.

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Lemon Pots de Crème With Almond Brittle Sprinkle

lemon pots de creme

Viva La Local! Please visit the Roanoker Magazine Behind the Page blog:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/viva-la-local/

to find new Virginia products offered in local Roanoke grocery stores.  Love supporting local!

sliced of citrus lemons

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Lemon Pots de Crème is one of my favorite desserts because I can make them the day ahead, refrigerate the ramekins, then garnish the desserts right before serving. This recipe is from Fine Cooking magazine with my additions of the sweetened whipped cream (add a little powdered sugar to the cream) and almond brittle sprinkle.

Ingredients

  • Finely grated zest of 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved (or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract)
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  • Candied citrus peel or candied flowers, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

  • Put a large pot of water on to boil for the water bath. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Put eight 6-oz. ramekins in a large roasting pan or baking dish with high sides.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest, juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla seeds and pod (if you’re using vanilla extract, don’t add it yet) and bring to just below boiling. Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Gently whisk a ladleful of the hot cream into the yolks and then whisk the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon syrup and strain immediately through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. If you’re using vanilla extract, stir it in now.
  • Divide the mixture among the ramekins in the roasting pan. Pull out the oven shelf, put the roasting pan on it (be sure it’s stable), and pour enough boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the ramekins with a sheet of foil (simply lay the sheet on top, don’t crimp the edges) and bake for 25 to 45 minutes—start checking early—until the custards are set about 1/4 inch in from the sides, the centers respond with a firm jiggle (not a wavelike motion) when you nudge the ramekins, and the centers of the custards register 150° to 155°F on an instant-read thermometer (the hole left by the thermometer will close up as the custards firm). Let the custards cool to room temperature in their water bath. Remove the custards from the bath, cover them with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Garnish with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and candied zest or flowers, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips

Custards may be baked up to two days ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic.

Garnish

Lemon Zest

Almond Brittle:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons sugar

Slice butter into several slices and place it on a baking sheet (with sides so butter won’t run off sheet).  Place in oven and allow the butter to melt.  Remove the baking sheet from oven and sprinkle the almonds on the butter. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the almonds.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 3 – 5 minutes. Watch carefully because the almonds will burn easily. Remove from oven and stir the almonds. Return to oven for more toasting if needed.  When the almonds are toasted remove from oven and allow to cool.

Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each  pots de crème and sprinkle with crumbled almond brittle.  Sprinkle a little lemon zest over the almond brittle. Serve chilled.

close up dark drop of water droplet

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Time To Tailgate With Bloody Marys ~ Yellow and Red!

It’s Time To Tailgate!

…and that means it’s time for Bloody Marys! 

River and Rail bloody mary

A Virginia Favorite! 

Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix

Available locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar

$7.99 a bottle

For Real Bloody Mary Drinkers!

I love this Bloody Mary mix, tastes like a fresh tomato with just the right amount of spice.

https://www.texasbeachbloodymary.com/

Texas Bloody Mary Mix was created by three friends from Richmond, Virginia. While Working in the industry as bartenders, they realized there was an immediate need for a mix with all the good stuff already in the bottle. So we set out on the long journey to create the tasty, authentic and responsibly produced Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix.

The name Texas Beach comes from our favorite part of the James River located in lovely Richmond, Virginia at the end of Texas Avenue. Cheers!

bloody mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

I found this recipe for Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary in Bon Appétit Magazine. Fresh and delicious.  It’s always fun to garnish Bloody Mary cocktails ~ I chose celery stalks, golden cherry tomatoes, pimiento stuffed olives, crispy bacon and pickled green and purple beans.

Recipe from the August, 2018 issue of Bon Appétit. Recipe by Molly Baz.

Bruised tomatoes dripping with juice are tailor-made for a fresh Bloody Mary. They might not be on display at the farmers’ market—beauty queens, they’re not—but they’re often there if you ask.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb. very ripe yellow tomatoes, cored, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped, plus celery heart stalks with leaves for serving
  • 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Castelvetrano olive brine, plus olives for serving
  • ¼ cup finely grated peeled horseradish
  • 3 Tbsp. hot sauce (preferably Cholula)
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 6 oz. gin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. mild red pepper flakes
  • Sun Gold tomatoes (for serving)

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Blend yellow tomatoes and chopped celery in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a large pitcher, pressing on solids to extract as much juice as possible. Whisk in lemon juice, olive brine, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and 3 tsp. salt. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

  • Combine black pepper, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a shallow bowl.

  • To make each cocktail, rub the rim of a 12-oz. glass with a lemon wedge, then dip into spicy salt. Fill glass with ice and pour in 1½ oz. gin. Top with 5 oz. Bloody Mary mix; garnish with cherry tomatoes, celery heart stalks, and olives.

    If you are not a gin fan, try making this cocktail with Plymouth Gin. Plymouth does not have a strong juniper flavor. It is smooth with just the right amount of floral notes.

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