Friday, May 21, 2010

Recipe Corner: Grilled Cheese With Twist

Continuing in my quest to bring comfort food with a twist, this week I unveil one of my Grilled Cheese recipes.  Most people I know have more than two.  Trust me on this.  This is really easy, simple and has two options depending on how gooey you want your cheese.

Grilled Cheese With Twist

8 pieces white bread
1 stick of butter or margarine
4 tomato slices
8 long pieces of bacon
1 package (16 ounces) yellow American cheese
8 slices of mozzarella or provolone cheese
4 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
A touch of cinnamon, ginger, and parsley

The trick here is to get white bread that is pretty large and a griddle big enough to cook all four sandwiches at once.  This will keep your heat even.  Pretty self explanatory deal here.  Make your sandwich how you want.  Cook the bacon separately just a bit but make sure its not all the way done (has to be about 3/4 done).  Eyeball it.  Stack sandwich together then put a pat of butter on each half that you will cut diagonally.  Slap a little bit of butter on the griddle or PAM if you are really brave.  Cook until brown on each side.  If you have an electric griddle...set it to about 350...takes a couple minutes on each side.


For something fun you can try a white alfredo sauce on top.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove heavy garlic
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve. 

What you will do is very lightly top the inside of your sandwiches with this sauce then put the top piece of bread as you are cooking it (do make sure you turned it over on the griddle first).  It makes for a nice little twist on a normally mundane sandwich.  Serves 4.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chris Needs Your Help....

Aide-moi!  Okay that is help me in French.  In all seriousness, this is a short plea for anyone out there with some good recipes that we can use on this blog.  It is always fun to get recipes from other people in different walks of life.

So if you have any to spare, do not be hesitant to put them in the comments section.  And do not forget to check out Friday's Recipe Of The Week.  I hear its really good!


Chris Wassel

Iron Chef Moo

Friday, May 14, 2010

Comfort Food: Old Fashioned Mac And Cheese

Sometimes there really is nothing like a simple comfort food dish.  This is one of those such dishes....a good old classic Macaroni And Cheese recipe that is very easy but it does take a little time.  A little patience and it goes a long way to a dinner that is truly comforting and tasty.

Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni And Cheese

2 tbsp margarine or butter
1 tbsp of flour
3/4 tsp of salt
2 cups of milk
1/2 bar sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 bar mild cheddar cheese
2 cups of macaroni

Boil water and cook macaroni elbows as instructed.  Melt the butter slowly then mix the flour in very gradually.  Slowly drizzle your salt in but remember to keep your heat a bit low at first.  You do not want too much glop.  Very very easily add your milk in.  You want to get any glop out and turn it to a thick liquid so heat on medium-low.  Do not go any higher because the milk will boil.  Keep stirring and add more milk bit by bit until all the milk is gone.  Then slowly cut up your cheese so it can melt in the mixture.  Mixture must be pretty thick so you can add the cheese.  Let the cheese melt and keep your heat at medium-low.  Eventually when you cheese is done.

Now grease your small casserole dish with butter or margarine.  It is important not to miss too many spots.  Pour the macaroni in when done and then your cheese sauce mix.  Stir it around and plenty.  You will want to cook this at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Serves 4-5 people.

Some optional notes:  You can use ziti in this as well...also I spice mine up occasionally by adding a little lemon zest and ginger.  Test it out...experiment and see what you can come up with.

Recipe Corner: Baked Ziti

There was a hush over the crowd as the Iron Chef Moo returned at long last.  The drought was over and here is today's recipe of the day.....a good old fashioned Baked Ziti dish you will want to serve to the kids as well as the adults.

Baked Ziti

6 cups (16 ox.) box of Cut Ziti uncooked
32 ounces of spaghetti sauce
2 cups (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 - 3/4 lbs of ground meat

Boil water for ziti.  Then cook meat first, drain, and leave off to the side.  Cook ziti according to directions (real simple) for about 10-11 minutes once the water boils.  In a very large bowl, combine cooked ziti, 1 1/2 cups sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, ground meat, parsley, egg, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper.  In a 3 quart casserole dish, pour a half cup of spaghetti sauce into the bottom and spread it around to get a coating.  Then spread the ziti mixture into the casserole dish.  Top with the remaining sauce then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Baked covered at 375 for about 30-35 minutes then put on trivet and uncover to let it cool.

Serves about 8.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It Is Time.....

It is time simply to bring this blog back.  Simply the itch to cook and post recipes is here once again!  I hope everyone enjoys this.



Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Damn It Has Been Awhile.....

Sometimes I don't realize that time flies by. I really have been taking a look at all sorts of options up here. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes within the next year I will have to make a job or career change. It is a question of when more than if at this point. As I slowly gain experience with all sorts of different recipes and ways to cook things...I feel like I am improving. My problem is that rate of improvement satisfactory enough to be able to excel as a cook...I don't know just yet.

Going thru school and taking a few courses has made me see how hard it really is to juggle things and now I know I can do it. I know the time will come sooner rather than later as far as making a decision. I can see a scenario in my life where cooking and even sports journalism can play an equal role. With culinary of course being a bit principal at times....I will enjoy it more that way.

Realistically I know with finances, I will have to take time off from school (how long I do not know) but the passion is not diminished. It is pretty funny when you can make a meat, potato, and cheese casserole look restaurant quality out of next to nothing. So to me, it is a matter of presentation and more learning. You never ever stop learning...the day you do that is the day you should stop cooking. It goes with anything in life...keep working at it.

My one simple thing is to never give up at it. So you may not have the most conventional things to cook with...but if you stick with never really lose it. I cook at home 2-3 times a week because of work but I feel at peace the most at those times. Always remember that folks!

Next week: I will have a recipe for those playoff hockey gatherings...till then...enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chicken Stuffing Bake

10 ounces Arnold's Bread Crumbs
1 stalk celery
4 ounces sausage
1/2 stick margarine
1 2/3 cups water
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut in 1 inch chunks or close to it)
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 tbsp of Philly Cream Cheese
16-20 ounces of mixed vegetables, drained
Sprinkle Lemon + Herb seasoning and Italian seasoning to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put celery and sausage in food processor...blend heavy. Heat up water and margarine to a boil then add bread crumbs. Render the sausage and drain. The sausage and celery can be put in after the stuffing is stirred and fluffed. Set aside. Combine all the ingredients (except for stuffing) in a 13 x 9 or 15 x 10 casserole dish. Oil the dish with spray and/or olive oil. Sir the ingredients around well and spread the chicken liberally. Then spread the stuffing mix over the top. Add shredded cheese optionally if you want. Season the top with lemon and Italian seasonings. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way thru. Serves 6-8 people or 4 Iron Chef Moo's.