Culinary Confessional

Just a girl in the world...of culinary adventures! I'm beginning culinary academy in the fall, but will be doing a LOT of work before then to get myself ready for this. _____________________

This is a blog of my journey to change my life.
Cherry Limeade

    
4 maraschino cherries
1/4 cup maraschino cherry syrup
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
12 oz Sprite
1 cup crushed ice

    

Place the cherries and 1 lime wedge on the bottom of a glass, followed by the crushed ice. 

Add the Sprite, cherry liquid, and the juice squeezed from rest of the lime.  Stir, then serve.

   

 
Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/sonic-cherry-limeade-79542

Cherry Limeade

    

4 maraschino cherries

1/4 cup maraschino cherry syrup

1/2 lime, cut into wedges

12 oz Sprite

1 cup crushed ice

    

Place the cherries and 1 lime wedge on the bottom of a glass, followed by the crushed ice. 

Add the Sprite, cherry liquid, and the juice squeezed from rest of the lime.  Stir, then serve.

   

 

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/sonic-cherry-limeade-79542

Cooking Tip: How to Cook Quinoa

Easy Chicken Chilaquiles

    
1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1-1/2 cups salsa
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
4 cups tortilla chips (divided)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (divided)
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (divided)

   

Preheat oven to 350-deg.

In a saucepan, combine the salsa and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Add the chicken and simmer until the chicken is warmed through, then stir in the sour cream.

In a deep casserole dish, layer half of the tortilla chips, half of the chicken mixture, half of the cilantro, and half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortilla chips, chicken, cilantro, and cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then serve.

  

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/chilaquiles-with-chicken-67921

Easy Chicken Chilaquiles

    

1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded

1-1/2 cups salsa

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup sour cream

4 cups tortilla chips (divided)

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (divided)

2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (divided)

   

Preheat oven to 350-deg.

In a saucepan, combine the salsa and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Add the chicken and simmer until the chicken is warmed through, then stir in the sour cream.

In a deep casserole dish, layer half of the tortilla chips, half of the chicken mixture, half of the cilantro, and half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortilla chips, chicken, cilantro, and cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then serve.

  

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/chilaquiles-with-chicken-67921

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

   

2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled

2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp curry powder

     

Preheat oven to 450-deg.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/4” thick strips, then toss in the sesame oil until coated.

Spread the potatoes out on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and curry powder.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through, until browned.

   

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/spicy-sweet-potato-fries-82668

Banana-Nutella Croissants

   

6 croissants

12 tbsp Nutella

2 large bananas, sliced into rounds

3 tbsp butter

1 pinch salt

      

Spread the Nutella over the bottom half of each croissant, then arrange the banana slices over the Nutella and sandwich with the top croissant half.

In a skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter with the salt until browned.   Add the croissants to the pan and cook until crispy on both sides and the Nutella is melted, gently pushing down (similar to how you make a grilled cheese).  Serve immediately.

  

  

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-healthy-banana-peanut-butter-nutella-sandwich-snacks-325517

Cooking Tip: Know Your Knife Skills

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Mushrooms

        
2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, boiling
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup half and half  
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 lb fettuccine pasta  
Salt and pepper to taste

   

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the mushrooms and garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes, then add the sun-dried tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.

Add the chicken stock and wine to the skillet until it reduces slightly, about 10 minutes.  Then stir in the half and half and the heavy cream.  Bring to boil, then add the parmesan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes over low-medium heat or until the cheese melts.  Add the basil, taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Cook the fettuccine in a large pot of boiling, salted water.  Once al dente, add the fettuccine and continue over medium heat for 5 minutes, then serve.

    

    
Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/pasta-with-mushrooms-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-pine-nuts-320122

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Mushrooms

        

2 tbsp olive oil

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 oz sun-dried tomatoes, diced

1-1/2 cups chicken stock, boiling

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup half and half  

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 lb fettuccine pasta  

Salt and pepper to taste

   

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the mushrooms and garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes, then add the sun-dried tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.

Add the chicken stock and wine to the skillet until it reduces slightly, about 10 minutes.  Then stir in the half and half and the heavy cream.  Bring to boil, then add the parmesan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes over low-medium heat or until the cheese melts.  Add the basil, taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Cook the fettuccine in a large pot of boiling, salted water.  Once al dente, add the fettuccine and continue over medium heat for 5 minutes, then serve.

    

    

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/pasta-with-mushrooms-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-pine-nuts-320122

Homemade BBQ Sweet Potato Chips

      

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tbsp garlic salt

1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tbsp salt

1/2 tbsp black pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

     

In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the oil to 365-deg.  Lower heat if necessary to sustain the temperature.

In a bowl, combine the paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, garlic salt, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes paper thin.  Working in batches, add the sliced potatoes to the hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes, using a large slotted spoon to turn the chips over halfway through.

Once the chips are golden and crispy, use the slotted spoon to remove from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate to dry.  Let dry for 30 seconds, then sprinkle with the seasoning blend and toss well to coat.

Spread the chips in an even layer on a baking sheet and let cool completely, then serve. 

    

  

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/the-realtors-baked-sweet-potato-chips-437159

Snickers Brownie Bites

For the Brownie Bites:

3/4 cups butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1 tbsp vanilla paste

2-1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp cornstarch

48 mini snickers bars

Non-stick cooking spray

        

For the icing and caramel:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup Crisco shortening

2 cups confectioners sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1/8 cup smooth peanut butter

1-2 tbsp water

3/4 cup caramel sauce

    

Preheat oven to 350-deg.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a flat paddle, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the milk, egg, and vanilla, beating until well combined. 

Into a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa, and cornstarch, then gradually add to the mixer.  Beat until well combined. 

Coat a mini muffin tin with the non-stick spray, then press 2 tsp of the batter into the bottom of each cup.  Press an indentation in the center, then bake for 8-9 minutes.

Remove the brownie bites from the oven and press the mini Snickers into the indentations.  Let cool for 3-4 minutes in the muffin tin, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

To make the icing, use a hand mixer to beat the butter and shortening together until smooth, then add the confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth.

Add the peanut butter and cocoa and mix until smooth, followed by the water until the frosting reaches the right spreading consistency.

Top the brownie bites with the icing, followed by a drizzle of caramel sauce.

 

 

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/snicker-brownies-293551

Cooking Tip: Know Your Coffee

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers

    
4 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
2 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
1/2 red onion, sliced into rounds
4 oz Swiss cheese, sliced thin
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
Non-stick cooking spray

   

In a large bowl, whisk together the Worcestershire, soy sauce, olive oil, rosemary, and Montreal steak seasoning.  Place the portobello caps in the bowl and toss, using a spoon to coat with the marinade.

Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning over every 5 minutes.

Preheat a grill (or grill pan) to medium.  When hot, coat with the non-stick spray and grill the portobellos—cap-side down.  Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, frequently brushing with marinade.

Top the mushrooms with the Swiss and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  At the same time, place the onion slices on the grill and cook for 1 minute per side.  Then place the buns on the grill and cook until toasted.

To finish, arrange the spinach and grilled portobellos on the buns, then top with the grilled onions, sliced tomato, and avocado.  Serve immediately.

   

   

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/portobello-mushroom-burgers-403717

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers

    

4 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp rosemary, chopped

2 tsp Montreal steak seasoning

1/2 red onion, sliced into rounds

4 oz Swiss cheese, sliced thin

1 tomato, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced thin

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

4 whole wheat hamburger buns

Non-stick cooking spray

   

In a large bowl, whisk together the Worcestershire, soy sauce, olive oil, rosemary, and Montreal steak seasoning.  Place the portobello caps in the bowl and toss, using a spoon to coat with the marinade.

Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning over every 5 minutes.

Preheat a grill (or grill pan) to medium.  When hot, coat with the non-stick spray and grill the portobellos—cap-side down.  Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, frequently brushing with marinade.

Top the mushrooms with the Swiss and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  At the same time, place the onion slices on the grill and cook for 1 minute per side.  Then place the buns on the grill and cook until toasted.

To finish, arrange the spinach and grilled portobellos on the buns, then top with the grilled onions, sliced tomato, and avocado.  Serve immediately.

   

   

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/portobello-mushroom-burgers-403717

Lemon Orzo Salad with Almonds, Spinach and Goat Cheese

   

1 cup orzo pasta

1/2 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup packed fresh spinach

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons

1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup slivered almonds

Salt and pepper to taste

    

In a large pot of boiled salted water, cook the orzo according to package directions, then drain and set aside.

In a small saucepan, saute the garlic in the olive oil.  Stir in the spinach and lemon zest, then cook for 4-5 minutes or until the spinach wilts.

In a large serving bowl, combine the orzo, red onion, and spinach. Drizzle in the lemon juice and stir, then season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the goat cheese and almonds on top, then serve.

   

Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/orzo-with-spinach-tomatoes-and-lemon-404291

So many apologies for being MIA for so long, friends. I’ve been working a series of 12+ hour days, so my basic schedule has been wake up, smash the snooze button for 20 minutes, attempt to look like a human being, commute, work, commute, crash, then rinse and repeat.

As you can see, cooking time has been non-existent for a while now.

But I’m working as fast as I can to stuff the queue today to bring you more tips and tricks as well as some recipes we’ve played around with in class. So hold tight to your spatulas, friends. Culinary Confessional is BACK.

Cooking Tip: What the World Eats for Breakfast

(via thatnerdychef)

Cooking Tip: Pizza and Wine Pairings, for the classiest of all of us

(via inkystars)