Category Archives: TaMara
I’m a romantic. I love picnics – you know the fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans and tasty dessert kind of picnic. So I decided to put together some recipes for a nice picnic or your Memorial Day cookout. Picnic basket is optional.
The featured recipes tonight are an easy fried chicken and spiced up baked beans. What goes great with fried chicken and spicy baked beans? How about some salads?
Italian Potato Salad (recipe here)
JeffreyW makes a bunch of picnic sides, including Red Potato Salad and a Tomato, Black Olive and Mozzarella Salad (recipes and great photos here)
And then for dessert? A simple pie that looks amazing and tastes pretty good, too.
Buttermilk Pie (pictured above and recipe here)
Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite picnic/cookout foods? Do you have anything that’s different and unexpected? Don’t hold out, share in the comments.
Now about that fried chicken and my very favorite sweet and spicy baked beans that use unexpected ingredients:
Easy Fried Chicken
(adapted from Cook’s Country)
- 1-1/4 cups buttermilk (use 5 tbsp buttermilk powder and 1-1/4 cup water)
- 1/4 tsp hot sauce
- 3 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder (this works better than fresh)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or a mix – go with your favorites. With breasts cut them in half to make them equal size with the thighs, so they all cook evenly)
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 3/4cups vegetable oil
Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp paprika, and pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon paprika, and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mixture onto pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.
Heat oil in 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 for legs and thighs, 15 to 20 minutes. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Remove pieces from oven as they reach -correct temperature.) Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.
I’ve stolen this baked bean recipe from friends who wowed me with it years ago. Amazingly simple, it takes ordinary canned baked beans up a notch. Go for good quality beans and sausage and real maple syrup and it’s a can’t miss. Sit back and accept all the compliments that will come your way.
Nita’s Baked Beans
- ½ lb spicy Italian sausage
- 28 oz can favorite baked beans
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
In saucepan, brown Italian sausage, drain well and crumble. Add beans and syrup, let simmer for 15 minutes to heat through and let flavors blend together.
Probably should think about doubling this recipe, because the leftovers are even better.
I’ve been holding onto this photo for a while, trying to think of the perfect caption. I think I nailed it.
This is a Pallas’s Cat, not a domestic kitty gone bad.
Quick note: I’ve been playing with the layout of the blog, so it may change several more times over the weekend. Please standby.
JeffreyW has been teasing with some impressive looking South of the Border treats lately, so I thought it would be a good night to focus on them. The featured recipe is an enchilada pie. It is kid friendly and a breeze to put together. Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
JeffreyW makes a similar dish, called Enchiladas Montadas (recipe here), which is pictured above.
Also from JeffreyW, a quick and easy Chicken Enchiladas (click here), including his terrific photos.
From frequent visitor, Joshua De Mers (you may know his as Yutsano), his Pork Enchiladas (recipe here).
All of that should give you an idea how to create your own enchilada to satisfy your tastes. Hit the comments and share some of your favorite enchilada, nacho, burrito or other favorites. And if you need more inspiration, click here for a complete photo gallery of JeffreyW’s enchilada creations.
Finally, tonight’s featured recipe:
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ large onion, chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 20 oz. enchilada sauce
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 10 corn tortillas
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
skillet & 8×8 glass baking dish, lightly oiled
Add beef and onion to skillet and cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Add spices and sauces; let simmer while you prep tortillas. Tear tortillas into strips and use some to cover the bottom of a well-oiled casserole dish. Layer a portion of the beef mixture and cheese on top, then repeat (tortillas, beef, cheese) to fill up casserole; finish with layer of cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350°
(originally posted 4/26/13 – I’ll post another recipe tonight, too)
These were fun. Not as much effort as it looks. Although I save them for special occasions. The steak can be prepped the day before, just wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Makes it great for a date night, anniversary or small dinner party. I pan-seared and finished in the oven because with the cheese, I thought grilling them wouldn’t work as well. The reward was great pan drippings when I was finished, which I drizzled over the potatoes before serving.
If you’d like something with a bit less work, how about a Spicy Grilled Flank Steak? (Recipe here)
JeffreyW works his magic on Flat Iron Steak with various recipes and lots of pictures. (click here)
How about you? When you want to make an impression, either for a special dinner for two or a small dinner party, what’s your go-to recipe? What’s more important, foolproof or dazzling on the plate? Hit the comments with your ideas.
Now tonight’s featured recipe:
Flank Steak Pinwheels
- 1 large flank steak, butterflied
- salt and pepper
- crushed garlic (at least 2 cloves)
- 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
- 1 bunch washed and dried spinach leaves
- 8 wooden skewers
- olive oil
Cast iron or oven proof skillet
You can ask the butcher to butterfly your flank steak, which is what I did. But it’s fairly easy to butterfly. You want the grain running up and down in front of you and then you’ll slice it in half, NOT slicing all the way through. When you’re done you’ll lay it open, flat, basically making a larger, thinner steak.
Once you have it laid out flat in front of you with the grain running left to right, you’ll want to tenderize it, pounding it flat. I use my pronged tenderizer, so I add the spices first and use the tenderizer to help infuse the meat.
If you haven’t already, once it’s pounded, add salt, pepper and garlic evenly over the meat. Layer the spinach over the meat. You want it to be several leaves thick, because it will reduce as it cooks.
Next layer the provolone cheese slices, two to three slices thick, over the meat.
Now it’s time to roll. Roll tightly in the direction of the grain. Add a skewer every 2 inches and then slice between the skewers, so you have 2-inch thick pinwheels.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil in large skillet, reduce heat to med-high and add pinwheels, flat-side down. After a minute, using the skewer (you may also need a metal spatula to get all the cheesy goodness) flip over, sear additional minute. The usual method of waiting until the meat moves easily to flip will not work with this because the cheese is sticky. So just do one minute each side, it will be fine.
Place the skillet in the oven, turn the oven off and let the steak finish for 10-15 minutes for medium rare. These are thin and don’t need a lot of cooking time and you don’t want the cheese to burn.
Remove to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes. You can then use the great juices in the skillet to make a gravy if desired. I just drizzled them over the steak and potatoes right before serving.
My steak made 4 pinwheels. If you have more, you may need to finish cooking on a baking sheet after searing them in groups.
I loved this video so I had to share. Meanwhile in the kitchen I’m working on Friday’s recipe exchange.
Watch it in HD if you can. I love the music. There is something comforting about the whole thing. No matter what, the sun keeps turning. The original link to all the information is here.