Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strawberry Cake Jelly Shots

Strawberry Cake Jelly Shots

Jello Shots are very popular and really bothersome to eat. You have to sick your finger into the container to release the yummy messy jello treat.  Jelly Shots are the solution to the problem The techniques described here come from this excelent site The Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

When this is ready you can pick them up and pop them into your mouth whole or nibble without sticky or stained fingers. They are jiggly without being messy.

I used a silicone mini brownie mold which came from Michaels arts and crafts they make 24 1.5 by 1.5inch shots.

1 box (0.60oz) Strawberry Jello
1 cup water
2 envelopes plain Knox gelatin
1 cup cake flavored vodka (or vanilla vodka with 2 tsp amaretto)

Prepare molds with a quick spray of cooking oil, and then wipe clean with a paper towel. This leaves a slight film to aid in removal without affecting the appearance or taste of your jelly shots.
Pour water into a medium saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin. Allow gelatin to soak for a minute or two. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the vodka.

Fill molds with the mixture, and refrigerate for until firm, about 1 hour.

To serve, remove from molds.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Marinated Tri-Tip: 2 Ways

Marinaded Tri-Tip

by Sabina Mohr and John Rayer

I usually use some kind of beer (helps tenderize the meat), but the wheat beers give it some extra kick. Dark beers are fun too. I sprinkle a little dried Valencia orange peel in with the liquid smoke, thats why I thought that Shocktop would be good, it has orange peel and coriander.

Tri-tip, one half was marinated in teryaki, the other half was stuffed with garlic and rubbed in liquid smoke and then finished marinating in Shock Top beer....partnered with sweet peppers,corn on the cob, baked beans with bacon in the house along with tri-color pasta salad...ah may zing!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Potato Soup

Comfort Food: Potato Soup

by Chistina Burgess

Sometimes there are foods that we quite literally grow up on. Meals, that on any given occasion, we expect. Some people just know that Thanksgiving will bring their Aunt Cindy’s perfect apple pie. Others know that on Wednesday Dad will make spaghetti – your favorite meal in the world. These are comfort foods. This short blog is about one of mine.

Family knows what you like. For instance, I like eggs but my family would never serve me eggs with those weird white streaks inside. Yuck. Don’t bother offering me seafood either... it’s just gross.

My mom did make one thing that I truly miss after she passed. I loved her Potato Soup. I was 26 when I first tried to make it for myself. It wasn’t right. No worries though, there are only so many ingredients and only a few variations, right? Right?!? *sigh*

Maybe changing the milk? No. Maybe cream? Nope. Maybe celery? Not.

Ok, so I tried many variations over the years and I still could not get that same deliciousness in a bowl. I tried and I failed over and over and over. Don’t misunderstand, they were good but not nearly what I remembered when engrossing myself in my mothers warm bowl of love. Some of the flavors just were not the same. Maybe it was just my mom’s love mixed into pot….(Silly Christina)

One day I was asked to taste yet another Potato Soup. And *POOF* there is it was. THIS WAS IT! After all this time my mom’s recipe was FINALLY right there in front of me. After all this time, it was brought to my attention that I really was missing a very key ingredient. One simple element that I would have never thought of, and never would have considered was missing... CLAMS!!!   :{ 

She had been feeding me Clam Chowder my whole trusting, comfort food eating childhood and called it Potato Soup! No wonder I couldn't get it right! least it was made with love, just as all food should be made.  Thanks Mom. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pork Kababs with Peanut Butter Marinade

1 cup peanut butter (Old fashioned peanut butter smooth or crunchy stirred well to incorporate the oil back into the mixture)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 yellow onions (finely chopped)
4 tbsps prepared mustard 
4 tbsps soy sauce
3 tbsps worchestershire sauce
2 tsps hot sauce (Cholulla or Tapatio) 

1.) Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.
2.) Place pureed ingredients into a small sauce pan.
3.) Bring to a slow boil then reduce heat and simmer  for 9-10 min.
4.) Cool to room temperature.

Cut Pork Loin into 1 - 1.5 inch square pieces. Combine your peanut butter marinade and the pork into a gallon size pastic bag. Place in refrigerator or cooler for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours). Turn bag over to ensure even coverage. (Bags that zip at the top are preferred to prevent spilling in your fridge.)

Remove from bag and place on your pork squares on scewers, aternating with you favorite vegetables. If using wooden skewers, they should be soaked in water 1 hour before use so they don't catch on fire while on the grill.

Grill approximately 4 minutes per side. At the 12 minute cooking mark, the kabobs should be done but still juicy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vodka Boston Cream Minis

I first posted my version of the on Facebook and passed them around to my tasters. I didn't think they looked anything like I had seen them on other blogs, including the one that gave the recipe. BTW, that recipe was not close to complete. The first in-person comment was that they were too big. They were. The next was the chocolate was too thick. Boy was it.

So, I am doing this again. You really can't tell but this recipe has been updated several times so that you can do this right the first time.

Cake1:  Yellow cake mix (standard size box - about 18 oz)then mix according to the boxes instructions.

Preheat oven as directed.  Spread the cake batter in a greased and floured 12”x15”  Jelly Roll pan.  Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until golden brown. The bigger the pan the thinner the cake will be.

Remove from oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and invert on a cooling rack until completely cool. 

1 cup heavy cream
1 12 oz bag dark chocolate chips (2 cups of chocolate chips)

Heat the cream on the stove, or in microwave, until hot but not boiling.  Pour in the chocolate chips.  Stir until chocolate has fully melted and the mixture is thick and glossy.  Set aside.

Filling 1:  5.1 oz box vanilla pudding mix (the cook and serve variety)
1 envelope Knox gelatin (2 tsp gelatin powder)
1 ½ cups heavy cream or half and half
1 cup vanilla vodka

Combine pudding mix and gelatin in saucepan on the stove.  Pour in the cream and allow to soak for a minute or two.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.  Mix in the vodka, a 1/4 cup at a time, stirring fully to incorporate.  Refrigerate until the mixture thickens (about 30 minutes).  Remove from refrigerator and stir fully.
Level the cake with a long serrated knife.  Next, cut the cake into 1 1/2 or 2 inch rounds with a biscuit or cookie cutter.  Split each cake round in half. 
Drop about a tablespoon of the filling on each bottom layer, replace the top layer.  Place the filled rounds on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (this will catch any drips from the ganache.)  Refrigerate the filled rounds for about 20 minutes until the cake feels slightly chilled. 
Drizzle with ganache, and return to refrigerator so the ganache will set. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Like Magic

A great dish is like magic. Once you know the secret it will always look easy.
French food is like technology. Even if you can comprehend all the mysteries, you probably don't have the tools.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rainy Day Grilled Chicken

A couple of weeks ago I had a craving for BBQ (grilled) Chicken. I walked out to my patio and saw raindrops dancing on the lid of my Weber Charcaol Grill. <<sad face>>

Okay so really there is no such thing as barbecued chicken , only grilled or lightly smoked. So grilled was still an option, besides a rainy day is just as good of an excuse for a cold Corona and as hot day. I just needed an indoor grill.  I gave away my cast iron, grill which fit over two burners because it was to hard to clean. I got a lighter non-stick model, but it warped. Trash.

Soooo....  I found my Calphalon Panini Pan. This cost me $55.00 and I've really loved it.

So here is how I did this.

I took the chicken, in my case legs (large) and over Medium High heat set the legs in. You don't need to press them, just let them lay. Turn them every 5-6 minutes. Legs will turn 4 times. If you are doing breast or thighs turn the heat lower and turn after 10 minutes. The math comes to 20 minutes. The internal temp should come to a little over 100 degrees.

Sauce the chicken well, we are trying to caramelize the sugars in the sauce, then place under your broiler.

First, you are only going to turn the chicken once, keep that in mind. If you are using the broiler at the top of your oven as I did. place the pan 6-8 inches from the heat. If you are using the broiler at the bottom of your stove, then completely remove the dip pan so that the Panini Pan can sit on the bottom. DO NOT CLOSE THE DOOR. Everyone makes that mistake. Don't.

After about 3-5 minutes turn the chicken. After another 3-5 minutes the internal temp should be 170-180. Remove the pan from the heat and walk away for 10 minutes. Done.

*Broiling tip: Whatever you are broiling do not wait until you see  a golden brown color because when you remove it from the heat source you will find that its already burnt.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Let's Get Cooking

Welcome!  You have discovered my first food blog..."Look What Caz Made!"

Who am I you ask? Am I a chef you ask? Nope. Now my father on the other hand, Eugene Cazenave, was a world class chef. Partnered with my mother who had the best homemade comfort food for her family 3 times a day 365 days a year until Chef Dad retired. I have three GREAT kids and I am a Grandpa to 5! My sister Bonita Malone is one of the loveliest, most creative people I know. As you can see, I define myself by the wonderful family that I was blessed with.

I am not a chef. I do not own a restaurant. I do not cater professionally. What I am is a man who loves to cook and share it with those close to me. Now, I am branching out to the web. I can't keep all this goodness hidden for ever you know?!?

You will find recipes coupled with photos and videos of food that I've found and fell in love with. (That is what cooking is all about after all) Sometimes my choices will be based on suggestions, sometimes based on items I've found on the net. If you have a favorite recipe, food, or technique please share it here and take a picture if you can! This blog isn't all about what I make. Its about what you think along with what you create. A foodie community if you will!

I AM looking for contributors to show what YOU made.

Not every post will have a recipe, perhaps just some advice.  Welcome to my blog and lets get cooking!