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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Potato Make Ahead Appetizers

 By Christine Szalay Kudra


It is hard to beat easy party appetizers when you are planning a party. Whether sponsoring an event or hosting a small gathering, you will be glad to know that there are many recipes for make ahead appetizers. When trying to work out those last-minute details, it is good to know that the appetizers have already been taken care of. Some can be made the day before, and others can be prepared and frozen, ready to thaw or warm for serving when needed.

Some of the most delightful appetizers include popular foods like potato and chicken. The combination of chicken and potato blend into an incredible taste that wakens the taste buds, especially when accompanied with an accent of seasoned salt or sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. Toss in an additional bit of garlic and onion to bring the flavor into greater focus and create one of the best and most requested appetizers you may ever create.

Potato wedges are an extremely popular type of appetizer and you will be surprised to find the number of different ways to create them. All sorts of meats, cheeses, and vegetables can be included in the mixture, and the assortment of spices is unlimited. A hint of white pepper can oftentimes be the secret ingredient that sets your appetizers apart from those created by others. It is always best to make appetizers by following the recipe exactly the first time you create it. Make notes on things you would like to add or change, and next time, experiment a little.

Make Ahead Potato Wedges

Russet potatoes are often on sale and make one of the best potatoes used for many recipes, including wedge appetizers. The earthy brown of the skin bakes nicely, making an attractive bottom layer or bowl for the ingredients on top or inside. Because of its strength it can hold a layered topping or a complete filling. Cheese of any type always goes with potato and the ability to reheat the appetizer in the oven or microwave makes it a popular item to have at any occasion. Appetizers that include potatoes are very attractive without garnishment or you can choose to add a dash of paprika or sprinkle of golden cheddar cheese or bit of chives or parsley.

When browsing through appetizer recipes, be alert for recipes to make dips. Dips are a valuable accompaniment to many appetizers, such as fresh or fried vegetables, pretzels, chips, and meats. One of the most requested dips is ranch dressing, which can be made from a packaged mix or found in the salad dressings section at your local grocery. Why not look for a recipe and see how you can put an extra kick in this already delicious item?

Sour cream is another basic that can be used to create dips. Because of the thicker consistency, it is a favorite basic starter, as well. You can add various liquids to make it creamier for easier dipping. It really depends on what type of appetizers you are serving on the platter. Sour cream also adds a flavor to deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, and cheese fillings. When adjusting the amount in a recipe, do so in gradual stages until you find the perfect amount for your taste.

Practice makes perfect, so feel free to create appetizers when the mood strikes. Every day is cause for celebration and make ahead appetizers are the perfect way to acknowledge that fact.

Sausage and mushrooms are popular in easy party appetizers as well as in special holiday appetizers. If you enjoy cooking with meats, vegetables, spices and more, why not try out some easy make ahead appetizers? - You Make the Appetizers, We Help You Make Them Delicious

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Homemade Salsa And Flautas Recipe

Taquitos are a Mexican dish that is also known as flautas. They feature a rolled-up tortilla and a filling. The tortillas are then fried until they are crisp. Corn tortillas are generally used to make them. These Mexican flautas are usually very thin and are ordinarily around 6 inches long. Traditionally, they are topped with sour cream, red or green chili salsa, cabbage, guacamole, and Mexican cheese. Queso Fresco is most often served with this.
Traditional taquitos are often filled with beef, chicken, pork, potatoes, cheese, or vegetables. The fillings depend upon what region the dish is actually from. They are generally served with salsa and guacamole. In Mexico, these can be made filled with potatoes and are served with eggs. In the United States, they are very popular as a frozen food item. You can even find them at certain convenience stores served in a variety of flavors.
This recipe makes 8 servings but can double to serve up to 12. If you double the recipe, a 5 pound brisket will still be enough 12 servings. Any leftover brisket can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. When serving, top with shredded lettuce, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, chopped tomatoes and salsa.

What You Need:
  • 1 5-pound beef brisket
  • 1 medium onion, unpeeled
  • 1 garlic bulb, unpeeled
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 20 8-inch tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
How To Make It:
Trim fat from beef brisket and place in a Dutch oven. Add water to cover. Add in onion, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 4 to 5 hours or until tender. Be sure to add more water to Dutch oven as needed.
Remove brisket from Dutch oven, discarding vegetables and chill. Shred brisket with a fork and set aside.
Combine sour cream and whipping cream. Chill.
Heat tortillas according to package directions and keep warm.
Spoon 1/2 cup shredded brisket down the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place, seam side down, in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover and keep warm.
Cook tortillas, seam side down, in hot oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Serve flautas warm with sour cream mixture and desired toppings.
Homemade Salsa
This recipe goes really well with your flautas and can be served together. Be sure to make this recipe well before you start your taquitos since salsa is better served chilled.
What You Need:
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 large jalapeno
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt
  • pepper
How To Make It:
Finely dice onion.
Place garlic and jalapeno in food processor and chop. Add in cilantro and lime juice and process. Place in medium bowl. Add in diced tomatoes. Mix in diced onion, salt and pepper. Place in refrigerator and allow to chill for several hours or even overnight.

Sometimes, all you need is the right salsa recipe to accompany your favorite traditional Mexican food. When it has to be Real Authentic Mexican Food
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Monday, March 21, 2011

An Authentic Mexican Recipe - Mole Sauce Recreated

By KC Kudra


Anyone who has ever attempted to make a mole sauce probably gave it up as a bad idea. An authentic mole has around 17 ingredients, and is a long, drawn our process. That explains why it is rarely offered on restaurant menus.
A trip to the store will reveal some magical philtres such as Abuelita Chocolate and Doña Maria Mole Paste.
Mole is traditionally made with chocolate and cinnamon, in a savory blend of ground seeds and spices and oil. Doña Maria takes much of the work out, and makes a fairly good product, but for some reason, they have left out the chocolate.
A good fix is the addition of some Abuelita Chocolate. Mexican chocolate comes in a pressed block divided into 8 sections. It is infused with cinnamon, and is not overly sweet.
To dress up jarred Mole sauce, first, measure out the amount you need into a saucepan, then to that add chicken broth, four parts broth to one part paste according to the package directions. Add the broth slowly so it does not lump up. Once you have the base of the mole ready, grab a wedge (one section of the disk) of the Abuelita. There may be other brands on the market, but this is the most common. You can recognize it by the octagonal shaped package with a picture of someone's sweet smiling grandmother on the front. Grate the chocolate into the mole sauce. About a third of a wedge should be enough for two servings of mole.
Heat the sauce over low heat, stirring almost constantly. Once it is on a simmer, give a taste. If you want a more pronounced flavor, you can add another grating of chocolate. A pinch of extra cinnamon or even cardamom may be to your taste. Keep the sauce on a very low heat for at least 15 minutes.
Mole sauce was served for years over sliced turkey, the way Americans use gravy. It also goes very well on grilled chicken breast.
You can also make up the entire jar of sauce (one small jar of Doña Maria's makes 8 servings) and keep it in the fridge. It will keep a week once it is prepared. In the jar, opened, it can last for up to six months.
One good use for mole sauce is with stuffed chicken breasts. These are easy to prepare on a countertop grill like a George Foreman, or they can be cooked in the oven or on the stove.
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
What You Need:
  • Two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • four ounces fresh goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 8 slices of thinly sliced cooked bacon, or 4 pieces of prosciutto
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • grill spray, like Pam
How to Make It:
Cut the chicken breasts in half. Place one piece between two sheets of plastic wrap or inside a large plastic bag. Pound out with a mallet or the bottom of a pan until they are of uniform thinness, large and flat. Open the plastic. Sprinkle the chicken with lemon pepper seasoning. Put down two pieces of bacon or one of the prosciutto. You may need to trim the pork so it only takes up half of the surface of the chicken. Place one ounce of goat cheese in the center. Fold the pounded chicken in burrito fashion, folding the ends up, and then folding the sides over. Do not fold tightly, but do not leave any gaps if you can help it. Escaping cheese is not pretty.
Heat the grill, and cook the chicken bundles until done. You can check them with an instant read thermometer. 163° F is considered done for chicken. However, if you bring it to that temperature on the grill at one time, it will come out dry and tough. Instead, bring it up to between 145° and 150° F, and then allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
Serve with mole sauce and rice.
To make authentic Mexican recipes it is not always necessary to spend hours in the kitchen, once you figure out how to make easily available items work and how to adapt other Mexican recipes to your liking you will find this an easy way of making a quality dinner for your family. When it has to be Real Authentic Mexican Food

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How To Make Mixed Wild Mushrooms Asparagus With Rosemary Butter Appetizers

 By Christine Szalay Kudra


Experimenting with different types of appetizer recipes can be fun as well as tasty. For instance, you can make this appetizer recipe for mixed wild mushrooms and asparagus with rosemary butter. Some of the mixed mushrooms you might consider using are morels, shitakes and chanterelles as well as several others.
Recipe for Mixed Wild Mushrooms Asparagus with Rosemary Butter Appetizers
What You Need
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary
  • 2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • ½ cup chopped blanched spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped basil
  • 2 large lightly beaten eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 phyllo dough leaves
  • 1 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 4 peeled blanched asparagus stalks
  • Toasted bread crumbs
How to Make It
Using a small mixing bowl you will make the rosemary mayonnaise by adding the mayonnaise, whipping cream, orange juice, thawed orange juice concentrate, grated orange rind and freshly chopped rosemary and mix to blend well. Place this mixture in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving. You can make about 1 ¼ cups of rosemary mayonnaise while using this particular recipe.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will need to cook the mixed wild mushrooms by grilling, smoking or pan frying them to achieve brown edges after cooking. If you will be pan frying them you will need a large skillet over a high heat to melt 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine. Add the mixed mushrooms; stir while cooking while browning the edges. Remove from heat and allow for cooling. Chop the cooked mushrooms into small pieces. add the mushrooms to the dry bread crumbs, grated orange rind, chopped blanched spinach, toasted pine nuts, chopped basil, eggs, parmesan cheese, crushed garlic clove, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
Place one of the phyllo dough leaves onto the counter while covering the others to reduce drying out of the dough while you work with the dough on the counter. Brush generously with melted butter or margarine and then sprinkle with dry bread crumbs. Repeat layering until you have used all the phyllo dough.
Next you will add the mushroom mixture by spooning it into a narrow row along the length of the phyllo dough. Add the asparagus and then add some more of the mushroom mixture. Roll these up tightly and then transfer them seam side down onto a jelly roll pan. Brush liberally with melted butter or margarine. Place in the preheated oven to bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until done. After removing from the oven, cut into slightly diagonal squares or bars. Top with rosemary mayonnaise before serving.
These are some easy party appetizers with a delicious savory flavor. If you are in the mood for something sweet, you might like to make some mouthwatering marshmallow fluff fruit dip. Whether you like savory or sweet, we have the appetizer recipe you need. Visit our website today to find even more! - You Make the Appetizers, We Help You Make Them Delicious

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cauliflower Recipe Ideas

 By Tom Lingle


It is no wonder that hundreds of recipes call for cauliflower since it has been utilized in cooking for centuries. The white florets moved from Asia Minor to Italy, then on to France before they made their way to North America in the late 1600s. Traveling the world over, cauliflower has been combined with many other foods to create a variety of flavorful dishes.
The easiest way to prepare cauliflower is to rinse it thoroughly, cut it into florets, and serve it with a dip made of mayonnaise, sour cream, minced onion, dill weed, parsley and other seasonings. It can also be blanched and marinated in vinaigrette made of extra virgin olive oil, Champagne vinegar, minced shallots, capers and parsley. Marinated cauliflower can be served as an appetizer or it can be used to dress up a salad. Another delicious way to serve cauliflower is to coat it in a batter, deep-fry the florets, and serve with a marinade, ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce.
Cauliflower soup is always a great treat that can be served as a starter or a full meal. Creamy cauliflower soup starts with a chicken stock base and combines ingredients like butter, leek, onion, carrots and cauliflower with milk, heavy whipping cream and spices such as tarragon and thyme. The ingredients are cooked together and then pureed in the blender or food processor to produce a smooth consistency. For a chunky soup, chopped cauliflower, potato, celery, carrots and onions are added to a base of butter, flour and milk and cooked until tender. Just before serving, a handful of cheddar or Swiss cheese can be stirred in until melted.
Stir-fries make a quick, flavorful meal. Fry vegetables like bell peppers, cabbage, onion and cauliflower in a combination of oyster and teriyaki sauces. For the last two minutes of cooking time, add orange sections and a tablespoon of orange zest for a sweet and savory delight. Tomato sauce can be dressed up with the addition of an Italian vegetable blend consisting of cauliflower, bell peppers, onions and carrots. Cauliflower gratin makes a great brunch, lunch or dinner dish. Cauliflower is blended with butter, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions and eggs. Ham, turkey or bacon pieces are folded in, and the entire mixture is placed in a casserole dish, topped with cheddar cheese, and baked until golden brown.
Cauliflower can be served any time of the day as appetizer, brunch, lunch, dinner or just a quick snack. There are many ways to prepare it and endless recipes that call for call for its almost nutty flavor. The nutritional value in cauliflower makes it not only a tasty but also a healthy addition to a daily eating plan.
Delicious and nutritious cauliflower can be eaten raw or prepared and served in a variety of dishes. Search through our collection of the best taste-tested cauliflower recipes for the perfect appetizer, salad, soup, side dish, or main entrée.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chicken Salad Recipes: How To Make An Oriental Chicken Salad

 By KC Kudra


If you are ever in the mood for eating Chinese, but you do not want to get out and go to a restaurant, you can learn how to make all sorts of great tasting oriental food. For instance, here is a delicious recipe for oriental chicken salad that you and your family might enjoy making and eating. If you have a craving for chicken and various types of oriental flavorings and ingredients, you will enjoy this type of salad you can make at home for yourself. After getting the meat and vegetables ready for cooking, it only takes a few minutes to complete the dish and have it ready to eat.
Recipe for Oriental Chicken Salad
What You Need
  • 2 thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 pints chick broth
  • 1 chopped fresh ginger 2 inch
  • 4 diced garlic cloves
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 12 thinly sliced snow peas
  • 1 ½ cup bean shoots
  • 1 small thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 6 baby corn shoots
  • 1 medium grated carrot
  • 1 package fine egg noodles 8 ounce
  • 2 Tablespoons light soy
  • 2 Tablespoons kecap manis
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 thinly sliced red chili peppers
  • ½ cup shredded coriander leaves
How to Make It
Before preparing this recipe you will need to rinse the vegetables, remove any veins and seeds and then chop, dice or slice the vegetables separately and then set aside until needed.
Combine the baby bok choy, thinly sliced snow peas, bean shoots, thinly sliced red bell pepper, baby corn shoots, and grated carrot in a large serving bowl and toss. Add enough cold ice water to cover the vegetables and then set aside until needed.
Using a large wok, saucepan or skillet you will add the chicken broth, chopped fresh ginger, diced garlic cloves, 2 inch strips of shallots and star anise. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and allow the mixture to simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. Stir gently while cooking. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for several minutes. If you are using a smaller wok, saucepan or skillet you can do this step in two sets if you like.
After cooking the chicken, strain the chicken broth and return to the pan. After cooling the chicken, reheat the chicken broth and then add the egg noodles and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove egg noodles from broth and rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly.
Using a large glass serving bowl you will add the prepared ingredients for the oriental chicken salad and the shredded coriander leaves. Toss well to combine. Using a small mixing bowl you will add the light soy, kecap manis and Chinese cooking wine. Mix well and then pour this dressing mixture over the entire chicken salad and toss once more to blend well.
Garnish with the thinly sliced red chili peppers. Serve immediately to family, friends, or dinner guests.
If you enjoy this dish you might be interested in some of our chicken salad recipes. However, we also want to share our favorite baked chicken rice recipe with you too. Visit our website today to find some good eats and treats. - Chicken so delightfully moist, you can almost smell it through your monitor.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gypsy Chicken - A Feast Without a Star

By Rich Ursini


Gypsy Chicken a.k.a Chicken Zingara (pronounced, Chicken Zinga-duh)
This is a wonderful dish for when you need to serve a bunch of people, but you are limited in the ingredients that you have on hand. You can and should freestyle with these ingredients you can make the dish your own. Below is my version.
- 2 Chicken Breasts, Boneless, Whole, Split Down the Middle and cut into Strips/Chunks
- 3-4 Italian Sausages
- 1 Box of Crimini Mushrooms, Quartered
- 3 Peppers - green, red or both -cut into Wide Strips
- 1/2 Cup Pickled Peppers, chopped (optional)
- 4 White Potatoes cut into chunks
- 1 Large Can Of Whole Tomatoes (Squeeze Tomatoes, Reserve the Liquid)
- 2 Large White Onions, cut into wide strips
- 4-6 Garlic Cloves cut into 3 pieces each
- Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
- 1 Cup Red Wind
1. Place the sausage in a large frying pan. Puncture all over with a fork. Place ¼ inches of water in the pan then put the heat on high. The water will poach the sausage and render a large amount of the fat. Ultimately, the water will completely evaporate and the sausage will Brown. After the sausage has browned, turn off the heat and place them on some paper towel to cool. Once cooled, cut the sausage into ¼ inch rounds then set aside.
2. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are halfway done. Remove from the water and set aside
3. In a Large Dutch Oven, On High Heat-heat up 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces and set aside. Deglaze the Dutch oven with red wine
4. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Dutch oven and sauté the Peppers, Onions And Garlic until they are softened.
5. Add the mushrooms and cook until done
6. Add the sausage, chicken, potatoes and the tomatoes which have been squeezed (and all the liquid reserved)
7. And the tomato liquid, salt and pepper to the Dutch Oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until everything is cooked and softened.
8. When done, mix in seesome chopped parsley and basil in this
Definitely serve with Italian Bread and a glass of wine.
There are a lot of places where you can make substitutions. For example, substitute macaroni or rice for potatoes. I once prepared this entire meal in a large foil pan on my barbecue grill.
You can do this. It is really easy and Delicious.
Thank You Very Much For Reading My Article. I hope you enjoyed it.
Would you like to know more about Big Italian Cooking? Grab a free, Recipe Loaded chapter from my Cookbook, "Big Italian Tight Budget" at:
(Free Chapter at bottom left and another Free Recipe on the right side of the website)
Love Italian Food and Love Life
Thank You,
Rich Ursini