Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños with Crabmeat

Bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos with crab meatThese are very messy to eat, even though considered finger-food, your hands will be filled with cheese!

A “re-invention” from a recipe I had tried at a friend’s house, these stuffed jalapeños are a huge hit. Make sure to use high quality ingredients especially for the blue cheese, crab meat and bacon. Try to get smoked bacon. Here in Wisconsin I buy Nueske Bacon.

INGREDIENTS

8 jalapeños
6oz crab meat
1/2 cup blue cheese
8oz salmon cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
8 slices of smoked bacon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make a longitudinal cut only on one side of each jalapeño.
  2. Remove all seeds from the jalapeños.
  3. In a bowl mix crab meat, blue cheese, cream cheese and shredded mozzarella.
  4. Stuff each jalapeño with the mixture.
  5. Wrap each stuffed jalapeño with a slice of bacon and put them in a oven safe deep dish.
  6. Put them in the oven at low broil for about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve while hot.

Goat cheese with olives, lemon zest and thyme

Goat cheese with olives, lemon zest and thymeHave you ever learned a new recipe and you like it so very much that you will find every excuse to repeat it over and over again? Meanwhile your family is getting real tired of it, yet you keep on doing it. Well this is it.

This recipe was actually one I decided to test mostly because goat cheese is not my favorite (unless mixed in salad or disguised some other way). Lo and behold… I got hooked, right from the very first bite and could not stope eating it. And since my lack of choice with crackers, the rice ones actually are perfect for such delicacy.

 

Portuguese Meat Croquettes

Portuguese meat croquetsSo you’ve just finished dinner and have some steak leftover, or that huge amount of turkey after the holidays, well… you get the idea. Re-use it! Freeze the leftover meats until you have enough. And make sure to keep all of its juices, gravy or whatever else that was with the meat.

Once you have enough different types of leftover meats, you can finally put them to good use by making these croquettes. As you will see the measurements were from the meats I had in the freezer. The main idea to to create a similar ratio of beef/poultry/pork.

And a big thank you to my Dancer who decorated the plates so beautifully!

INGREDIENTS

3 cups of ground presunto / prosciutto or some type of salt cured meat
4 cups beef leftovers
5 cups of smoked turkey leftovers
4 cups of chicken leftovers
6 cups of pork leftovers
2 large onions
8 cloves garlic
For the Béchamel
2 bars of salted butter
4 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour
10 cups of milk
For frying
3 to 5 eggs
fine gluten-free breadcrumbs
oil to fry

DIRECTIONS

  1. Thaw all of the meats them grind them.
  2. Make the Béchamel sauce by first melting the butter in a large pot, then adding the flour and mixing well until attaining a smooth paste. Add the milk a cup at the time so to blend it all nicely, and stir constantly until you create a nice smooth cream.
  3. Add the meats and adjust with seasonings to taste.
  4. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove it from heat, let it cool then place it in the fridge overnight.
  6. Next day in the first bowl beat the eggs, in the second add the breadcrumbs.
  7. Create “tubes” with the meat paste, then pass them through eggs then the breadcrumbs and place them neatly in a tray to freeze them for an hour or so.
  8. Once frozen, you can immediately fry them, or put them in freezer bags to be fried at a later date.

Bacon Jam from Leite’s Culinaria

Bacon JamI made this recipe yesterday to find out how it would come out by cooking it in the crockpot. I used a 16oz. crockpot. I must say… it was torture to deal with the smell coming out from the kitchen while we were waiting for it to be made!

As you can see this recipe is extremely easy to make and follow. Much as suggested, I believe to just go ahead and double the recipe right away as you will not be disappointed, and well you can give some as gifts and will forever have a troupe of friends drooling over this jam!

To eat this jam for the first time I decided to make crepes and add a thin layer of the jam, them fold them into triangles and coat them with powdered sugar. Smart move if I may say myself. Even Izzy, the dog loved it as Princess would drop a few pieces onto the floor. I tell you though, three crepes with the jam and you will be filled for quite a few hours!

Crepes with Bacon Jam
Prince eating crepes with bacon jam

Lettuce Soup

Lettuce SoupThis is one of my GrandMother’s favorite soups. So simple yet the taste is amazing and very delicate and just as good hot as cold for a warm summer day. If we ever have leftovers, the Dancer will go to the fridge first thing in the morning, grab  and drink it cold for breakfast!

INGREDIENTS

1 large iceberg lettuce head or 2 small ones (if you are to use other ones adjust their taste with a little extra sugar)
1 medium onion
2 tbsp of butter
1.5 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you are vegetarian)
1 cup of milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp of heavy cream OR Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1tsp of sugar
salt , pepper
1 cup of croutons (if desired)
a small bunch of parsley to decorate (if desired)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill a medium pan with water and salt, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Wash the lettuce leaves, slice them up into strips and put them for about 5 minutes in the boiling water.
  3. Remove them from the water and pass them through cold water.
  4. Mince the onions.
  5. In a medium size pan melt the butter add the onions and stir until they are translucent.
  6. Add 3/4 of the lettuce strips and add the stock and let it simmer in medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and the sugar.
  8. Stir for about 2 to 3 minutes then remove from heat.
  9. Put it in a blender to create a nice smooth cream.
  10. Add the milk then bring it back to a low boil for about 5 minutes.
  11. In a bowl beat the egg yolks and heavy cream, then slowly add a few spoons of the soup while mixing well.
  12. Add the whole thing to the soup and stir continuously until the the soup thickness up.
  13. Prior to serving add the leftover lettuce strips.
SUGGESTIONS
You can also add a few croutons, parsley leaves and a touch of heavy cream prior to serving.

Fried Smelts

Fried SmeltsEver had these little things? I love love them and so does everyone at home. They are real cheap, usually you can find them frozen at supermarkets, fish monger or at Asian markets. I usually buy the whole fish, so head included. I scares people at first to see those tiny eyes, but they are so very fried that you barely notice them anyways.

What do they taste like? Well crunchy fried fish! They are a perfect snack and the best part is that you can do them ahead of time as they are awesome to eat cold. So once your guests arrive the house no longer smells of fried food!

INGREDIENTS

A bunch of smelts (with or without heads!)

Salt

All purpose flour (I used rice flour which is nice and thin, this way it still sticks well to the fish, but is not packed with flour)

DIRECTIONS

Princess eating smelts

  1. Run then smelts through water, then place them in a bowl with cold water and some salt for about 1 hour.
  2. Remove the water and dry them nicely.
  3. Heat your deep fryer to 375 degrees or if making on top of the stove, fill a pan with oil and bring it to the same temperature.
  4. Place the smelts in a colander then sprinkle the flour all over them in such a way they are all nicely covered but without clunks of flour.
  5. Start frying them in small batches so they do not touch each other for about 5 minutes, or until nice and golden.
  6. Place them over some paper towel, or even better re-use those brown paper bags from grocery stores.
  7. Place them on a plate and start enjoyed them!

Fried Smelts