Turkey and Bacon Salad Sandwich

Check out my latest Snapguide Turkey and Bacon Salad Sandwich with step by step instructions. The after Thanksgiving and Christmas “What do I do with leftover” Turkey and Bacon Salad Sandwich. This turned out wonderful.

Turkey and Bacon Salad Sandwich

You can also check out my recipe on bigoven at: Turkey and Bacon Salad Sandwich

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Simply Amazing Bourbon Flank Steak

Meet Flank. Flank is my new friend. Liquor him up, and he is the life of the party! Our party consisted of just a few friends and a wonderful night of good, ol’fashioned steak and potatoes.

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Flank Steak is one of those steaks that you have got to try. We had some friends over and they said that it was one of the best steaks that they have ever eaten. And “OH MY” the flavor is just irresistible. Have I got your mouth watering yet? Good because it should be, and I know mine is.

First of all you will have to get some bourbon. I used Ezra Brooks Bourbon Whiskey. The Liquor Shop attendant recommended it to me, as it is an inexpensive, good quality bourbon whiskey. Then, I went to the meat counter and asked for a 2 pound “trimmed” flank steak.

Be sure to give your dish some time. I recommend that you marinade this steak over night.The sides become easy to cook, and all you need to do is throw it on the grill.

Get a Ziploc bag or a Tupperware container and combine the first seven ingredients: Brown sugar, minced green onions, bourbon, soy-sauce, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire. DO NOT poke, prod, pinch, or do any thing else to tenderize the meat. Just stick it in the bag and refrigerate over night. Let the alcohol, sugar, and marinade all blend together and tenderize the meat on its own.

One day later, remove the steak, and stick it on the grill (5 minutes on each side approximately), depending on how you like your steak cooked. Add some cornstarch to the marinade and heat it up for a nice gravy. This steak was fast, easy, flavorful, pink in the middle, and moist.

Check out the recipe and remember, “Marinade, wait, and be the life of the party in a whole new way.”

Click on the links above for the recipe.

Rasta Pasta

Rasta PastaOK, so Rasta Pasta just sounds cool. This recipe is from “Fins Up! (Jimmy Buffet) Cooking Class with Leigh Ocs.” This is a wonderful addition to the Tequila-Orange Shrimp that I wrote about last week. It has an unexpected Caribbean taste. But what else should I expect, it does have Jimmy Buffet’s name attached to the top.

I would have never imagined using coconut to make a creamy pasta, but it is exquisite! While the coconut flavor does come through, I might consider adding some coconut flakes to the prepared pasta or using real coconut milk to even further enhance the flavor next time.

I heated the coconut to a boiling point and let it simmer for a little while. Then strained it into a bowl and pushed as much flavor out of the coconut that I could get with a fork. Actually it did not seem like it was working, so I picked it up and squeezed the daylights out of the flakes to get as much of the juice out as I could. After setting the Water/Coconut Milk to the side, I boiled the noodles (Penne Pasta) to an Al Dente state.

While I was waiting on the noodles, I added the red pepper flakes, oil, and garlic into a frying pan. Once heated, I added the noodles, coconut water, and  remaining ingredients. Ultimately it is not a really difficult recipe. The sauce wasn’t as thick as I had hoped for, but the flavor was excellent.

Next time, I will make some changes to the recipe. First, I will use less water when preparing the coconut mix and possibly add some fresh coconut milk. Second, I will print the recipes rather than working directly off my cell phone. I accidentally missed a step toggling between two recipes. I don’t know if adding oil to the Al Dente noodles would have made a difference or not, but I hate to do things incorrectly on my first attempt with a new recipe. These minor changes might make a delicious difference in the future.

Either way, my wife, sister-in-law, and friend all enjoyed the taste and experience. This was a worthy experiment, and I will make it again down the road. Maybe next time I could add some broccoli florets as well.

So remember, “The recipe is not always right; take some time to make it your own.” I know I will.

Tequila Orange Shrimp

Tequila Orange Shrimp“Yes, I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.” Well Jimmy Buffet sang this anyway. My Pina Coladas are generally of the virgin kind. I am not much of a drinker anymore, but I have found that alcohol can make some of the best cooked meals. For example, try roasting a pork tenderloin with a beer in a crock pot some time, and you will see what I mean. SOOOOO “Love Me Tender.”

Last Night I made for the first time Tequila Orange Shrimp. Between this and the Rasta Pasta, (coming next week) I had my hands pretty full.

I originally bought some shrimp deveined and with tails on, but didn’t think that they were big enough. If I am going to grill shrimp, then I want them to have some size to them. So I went back and got some fresh large shrimp from the meet counter at the grocery store. Then I had to figure out how to devein these things. The easiest way is to put the knife in the hole at the head of the shrimp and cut backwards. It was however a little time-consuming. I know, it seems like it should be obvious, but hey, I am still learning.

I first mixed the oil, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper, and lime zest together, and then I placed each shrimp in the marinade as it was ready. That was the easy part. Once they are in the mixture, they are supposed to set for 15 minutes to an hour. Of course it took me that long just to get them all in there, and this gave me the chance to work on the other recipe.

The hard part is the Tequila-Orange sauce. The recipe said to take the rest of the Jalapeno and garlic and mix it with the orange juice, tequila, and shallots. Bring this to a boil and cook until it is a syrupy consistency. The problem is that mine did not turn to syrup. I still don’t know what happened that it didn’t get to the right consistency, but I guess that will come with time and experimentation.

So the next time that you want to have a “Straight Tequila Night,” throw some in with some shrimp and orange juice, and you will find a tasty treat. So remember, “Stop worrying about whether ‘Tequila makes her clothes fall off;’ this dish will put a song in her step.”

You can Find the Recipe Here: Tequila Orange Shrimp.

More Than a Sidekick

Bacon Ranch Potato SaladMarriage is the spice of life, especially when it starts in the kitchen. Last week was Memorial Day, and I got to cater my first luncheon. Well I have cooked for more than 15 people before, but in some ways this was different. I got the chance to enjoy cooking with my wife, and we had a wonderful evening at the same time.

Most often I am cooking while she is entertaining the guests. On this occasion, we got to spend the time together and not be in a rush. Don’t get me wrong. It was late when we finished, but we created a night to remember.

We made Bacon Ranch Potato Salad and Broccoli Salad.

The potato salad was great when it was warm, but it seemed to have less flavor the next day after it cooled in the refrigerator. It seems like a dish that has both ranch and bacon in it would be fabulous, but the truth of the matter is that it was just alright. My wife does not like potato salads with egg in it, so I found one that she might enjoy. She would at least eat this one. It is a fair alternative if you are looking for something different.

Broccoli SaladThe Broccoli Salad on the other hand was a complete success. I am not really sure why they call it Broccoli Salad though, because it has a lot more grapes than broccoli. I guess that “Grape Salad” just does not have the same ring, particularly with  other ingredients, like the villain that broccoli can be for some people. I enjoyed this dish and had several rave reviews regarding it. This dish is easy to make. In fact, all you really do is chop a bunch of produce and stir in some saucy things. After finishing the dish, we snuck a taste. The vinager was stronger than desired, but by morning it had subsided. The flavors meshed together perfectly, and it made a great addition to the luncheon. This is a ‘Grape’ Broccoli Salad!

These are two staple dishes for BBQs and picnics, but don’t take my word for it, give them a try!

So remember, “Even an odd couple can make a SUPER dish!

Click link below for Recipe:
Bacon Ranch Potato Salad or Broccoli Salad

Pesto It’s Magic

Magic has always garnered the interest of both children and adults alike. There is David Copperfield, Houdini, or even just a dad pulling the coin out of a child’s ear. Recently I watched a friend of mine do this to another friend’s daughter, and all I heard was, “do it again.” She just couldn’t figure out how he did it. She wanted to know the secret. That is why I say Pesto is magic. Some dishes are just alright, while with other dishes we scream with glee, “Do it again, Do it again!” We are trying to figure out the secrets of great dining.

The best magic comes with great time, energy, and planning to make some of the greatest and most memorable performances that can be imagined. Most of the dishes that I have made for this blog have been fairly simple. Linguine Al Pesto Alla Moda Ligure from “A Culinary Courses Journey – Princess Cruises“, is not an easy dish to make, at least for a beginner. I think that the “talent-level” verdict is still out on this one, however, this is a delicious dish, and I am sure that there are ways to simplify it.

For instance, in following the recipe, I boiled the potatoes before adding them to the Linguine, but I don’t know that the potatoes are that necessary. I would recommend trying it both with them and without them, just to see what your taste might be. My mother-in-law enjoyed finding the potatoes as she was eating the pasta. Also make sure that you have all the ingredients before you begin. Ensure the herbs are fresh. I had to send my wife to get some things that I still needed and wait for her return. The Pesto can be prepared a day in advance, but more than that will affect the flavor.

I think that the hardest part really was handling it though. The recipe says that it serves 6, but it sure seemed like much more than that. I have a large Wok Pan that was filled to the brim. Trying to sear or cook the noodles a little bit near the end was difficult, because the wok was filled to capacity.

The best part of making pesto is that you do not have to use it for just this recipe. What about a pesto pizza, pesto tortilini, or pesto chicken? Getting creative is the best part of cooking other than getting to enjoy the meal. I say that Pesto is Magic, and you too can create enchanted meals to remember. So remember, “Any cook great or otherwise can create magic in the kitchen.”

Recipe:
Linguine Al Pesto Alla Moda Ligure <– Click here

Cinco De Mayo – Fiesta Tacos

Fiesta TacoThis has been an interesting week. It has been a while since I started this blog, and I have been enjoying all of the different dishes that I have made. There are a couple of things that I still want to talk about (a linguine dish and a potato dish), but for various reasons, I am not yet ready to report on them. I will definitely make these dishes again, because they are worthy of sharing with you.

It was Cinco De Mayo yesterday. To celebrate, I want to talk about a Mexican staple – the Taco Bowl. Well I don’t know if it is a staple, but if it isn’t it should be. Thank God for a bowl that you can eat, and an ingenious people who would think of such a wonderful thing.

I haven’t actually made a tortilla as of yet, but I have enough friends that sooner or later one would probably show me how. My focus right is just to shape the tortilla. I recently prepared a Fiesta Taco recipe that taught me how to do so.

Recently I purchased some Ramekins (custard dishes) for $1.99 each at World Market. They are small ceramic bowls that you can use to bake various delicacies. Basically, you just place the ramakins upside down on a baking sheet. Then you take some store-bought or homemade tortillas, and spray them with cooking spray. After spraying the tortillas, you place them upside down on the bowls to shape them. Cook them at 425 degrees F. until they are a golden brown, and viola, you have a bowl you can eat. LOVELY! Fill it with the stuff you like, and you have a delicious little taco salad. It’s a wonderful thing.

Just remember, “Creativity is a thing of life, and its even better when you can eat it.” Enjoy.