This turned out pretty well. The bacon made that a foregone conclusion but the Parmesan was an experiment gone good. I simmered potato pieces in chicken broth until they were soft and then pureed everything in the pot with an immersion blender. The bacon crisped up in a separate pan and was added after the blender did its job – save a little for garnishing at the table. There’s some milk in there to thin it, lots of grated Parmesan and some cheddar I had leftover from burritos. Seasonings include dried thyme, oregano, fresh ground black pepper and salt. I used the same microplane grater I grated the Parm with on a little bit of carrot that you can see in the photo if you look hard.Since I am lunatic I took the chance to add a little color to the plate with a healthy slug of my hot sauce. It was good but I wouldn’t let the lack of it dissuade me from demolishing a future bowl of this soup.
This is another one of those doughs that stayed out on the counter all night – two cups of bread flour, a quarter teaspoon of yeast, one cup of water, a wee pinch of salt and a sprinkle of sugar. I massaged it into place in my pizza pan and let it rise there for another hour then par baked it at 425 for five minutes. There isn’t a real sauce, per se, just some roasted grape tomatoes that I made last summer and then froze just for something like this. It also has bacon, thin sliced coppa, some ham, a caramelized onion, mozzarella, and some nice Parmesan grated over it at the table.
I’ll just pop these leftover slices into the freezer just like this and then seal the individual slices in vacuum bags, they make great grab-‘em-and-go lunches for Mrs J when she heads out to the shelter.
I started the dough for this yesterday, 2 cups of bread flour, one cup water, 1/4t tsp yeast, a pinch of sugar and a dash of salt. It was pretty well inflated by noon, I dumped it into a pizza pan and massaged it into shape while the oven preheated to 425-ish. It par-baked for eight minutes and then I pulled it to furnish with toppings. I had some leftover roasted plum tomatoes that went on first in lieu of a sauce, sprinkled on shredded mozzarella, sparingly, and then piled on the meats. Italian sausage, already browned and drained, crispy bacon pieces, fried ham, and prosciutto that was tossed in the bacon grease to brown a bit.
Mrs J’s side got pickled onion rings, I added mushrooms and chopped ripe olives. I gave it another sprinkle of mozz and slid it back into the oven, it needed another ten minutes or so. It must have been better than usual because Mrs J went on and on about how good it was. I thought it one of my better efforts – she wasn’t just blowing smoke.
Not much to this dish. We had the butterbeans and cornbread leftover from the other day. A quick saute of some kale in bacon grease and chicken stock and this was a done thing. We cooked a half dozen slices of bacon and set them aside to drain, then added a couple of minced garlic cloves and a little diced onion to the fat, gave them a minute to flavor the pan, and then dumped in the kale. Separate the tough stems and rough chop or tear the leaves. I tossed the greens a little to coat them with the bacon and then added a half cup of chicken stock and covered the pan. Let the kale tenderize in the steam for five minutes then uncover and toss until the liquids evaporates. I ladled the warmed over beans onto a bed of the kale and crumbled the crisp bacon and the cornbread over them. I squeezed a lemon into the kale to add a bright note but that is optional.
A cool front came through and dropped the temps from the 90s yesterday into the 70s today. When I saw the forecast yesterday I knew that soup would work great for the menus today. I soaked these large lima beans overnight and started them simmering in a big pot this morning. I sifted through the results on a quick search and settled on this recipe to work with. Turned out pretty good! I departed from the recipe only slightly, using water and chicken seasoning paste instead of stock. The teaspoon of Creole seasoning wasn’t something that I would have thought of for this dish but it worked nicely in there. I went with a bacon and jalapeno corn bread using the recipe off the corn meal box and preheated the cast iron skillet to get that nice crust. It spent 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
for the garden to produce a fat juicy ripe tomato to slice for a BLT.I suppose we could have gone with the grape or cherry tomatoes that are coming ripe but they are not the same. We have a few tomatoes from Kroger’s that are closing in on their use by date. That is a commercial blend of Creole seasoning sprinkled on the sammy.
Since the 4th of July is barreling toward us, I thought I should get some ideas together. This is absolutely my favorite holiday. Food, fireworks and friends, what could be better? So let’s jump right into the food portion of our festivities.
These are quick and easy ribs if you don’t want to do the smoke for the whole day style, the citrus glaze is the star of this recipe: Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze (recipe here).
Buttermilk Pie (click here) will get all the ooo’s and aaahhh’s, until the fireworks anyway. As pretty as it is tasty.
JeffreyW makes a Classic Orange/Lemon Shakeup (pictured above and recipe here)
And for a different take on cucumber salad, how about Minted Cucumbers, (recipe here).
Hopefully that will give you some ideas for your own July 4th celebration. What’s on your menu for this weekend and for the holiday? What are your favorite recipes for the celebration? We always have to leave room for the funnel cake at the fireworks. Hit the comments to share your recipes and what you like to do on the 4th.
Tonight’s featured recipe is one I made a few years ago on a whim, inspired by a recipe I didn’t follow for various reasons, and I get requests for it every July 4th now. Because it’s a kabob style, it’s a bit labor intensive, but you can prepare all of it the day before. If you want your chicken even drunker, you can soak it in the extra bourbon overnight.
Grilled Bourbon Chicken Appetizers
- 1- 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Bourbon whisky (how much you use and what you do with the leftover is between you and your bottle)
- 8 oz pineapple chunks
- 12 strips of sliced bacon (should be a pound)
- 12 short wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before assembling and grilling*
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch x 2-inch cubes, you should have 36 pieces (you can soak in bourbon if you like)
Mix together Chipotle peppers, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and add enough whisky and pineapple juice to make a thick sauce. Cover chicken cubes on all side with sauce and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
To assemble: Start with a pineapple chunk, add one end of full bacon strip, add chicken cube, then wrap bacon around the top of the cube and skewer, add another cube of chicken, wrap bacon around the bottom of that piece of chicken, then skewer, add a third and repeat with the bacon strip, you’re creating a ribbon with the bacon. Finish with a pineapple chunk.
(And I wish I had a photo of that step for you, but we got so busy doing them, I forgot to get the camera out. When I make them this year, I’ll remember, promise. I barely got a finished picture, had to grab someone’s plate before they started munching).
Grill over medium high heat (if using coals, start over hot coals, then move away from direct heat for the remainder of cooking time), turning frequently. Cook until chicken is 160-165 degrees. Shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, don’t overcook or you’ll have dry, rubbery appetizers. Serve hot.
*please don’t forget this step or all you’ll have for appetizers is flaming skewers.
That’s it for this week. There won’t be a recipe exchange next week. And if you missed it, this week’s complete dinner menu and shop list is Pork Stir-fry and Tangy Lemon Pie (click here). Have a safe and happy 4th! – TaMara