Potato-Egg-Prosciutto Pizza

Potato-Egg-Prosciutto Pizza

The thing is, I rarely ever have any true vested interest with the Super Bowl. Because although my beloved Vikings may be full of heart, we don’t seem to be able to get our act together to make a showing in the big game.

Well, not since the 70’s at least. Ughh…..

Potato-Egg-Prosciutto Pizza

But that’s not to say that I don’t love to partake in all the Super Bowl festivities.

And by festivities, I mean gluttonous food and adult beverages. Hey, it would be un-American not too!

My loved ones and I typically like to get our Super Bowl parties started early so we can have a full day of indulgence. To kick-off the AM shenanigans, I wanted to come up with something that married the spirit of brunch and football. And what does that better than gorgeous eggs and pizza?!

Potato-Egg-Prosciutto Pizza

Which is fantastic because I’ve been tapped this year to be one of the twelve ambassadors for Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen and thought it was the perfect time to whip up a few recipes featuring their delicious and all natural pasteurized eggs.

I’ve sung their praises before but you can rest easy when using their eggs since their pasteurization process eliminates salmonella. Check out more healthful info about their eggs here.

Potato-Egg-Prosciutto Pizza

In my opinion, this pizza really does have all the necessary components for a savory brunch.

Cheese? CHECK!

Potatoes? CHECK!

Runny eggs? CHECK!

Pork? CHECK!

It even has some greens to make us feel a little better.

A Win-NGUYEN for sure….even if my Vikings don’t. Bleh….

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Potato-Egg-Prosciutto Pizza
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 whole garlic head
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup thinly sliced new potatoes
½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 ounces fresh pizza dough, rested and at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon corn meal
2 large Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 thin slices prosciutto, torn into small pieces
2 ounces goat cheese
1 cup fresh arugula leaves

Prepare the garlic paste by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and discard the outer skin from the garlic head. Cut off the very top part of the garlic head so that the cloves are just barely exposed. Place the garlic head on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over it. Bunch the foil together to cover the garlic and roast for about 30 minutes until the cloves are golden brown. Once cooled, squeeze the cloves out of their skins into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash up the garlic so that it becomes a paste. Set aside.

While the garlic roasts, mix the potato slices, rosemary, pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Once the garlic has roasted and has been removed from the oven, turn up the oven heat to 500 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven while it preheats.

Take the pizza dough and flatten it with your hands on a floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the crust about 1/8 of an inch. Transfer the rolled out dough to a pizza paddle or lightly floured cutting board. Spread a thin layer of the roasted garlic over the entire pizza dough. Place the potato slices, slightly overlapped, over the top of the pizza. You’ll want to leave two small spaces uncovered where the eggs will rest.

Carefully remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Slide the pizza onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Take the pizza from oven and crack 1 egg into each of the predetermined spots. Place the pizza back into the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the eggs have set and the crust has become golden brown.

Slide the pizza onto a large cutting board and season with the remaining kosher salt and black pepper. Top with the prosciutto pieces, goat cheese and arugula. Serve immediately.

*DISCLOSURE: As a brand ambassador for the Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen, I was compensated for the creation of this recipe and post. However, as always, all opinions are my own.*

 

Clams with Ginger and Lemongrass

Clams with Ginger and Lemongrass

Does anyone else pretend like they’re on a cooking show when you’re in the kitchen?

You know, talk out loud as if you’re narrating your own show….

Or try to race against the clock to cook/bake something in 5 minutes….

Just me???

Oh…..ok.

Well, if you did ever time yourself, these Clams with Ginger and Lemongrass would be the perfect dish because they’re done in flash! You can easily be in and out of the kitchen in less than 15 minutes—even faster if you have your fishmonger clean your clams for you.

And for the record, I not only time myself when making this dish but also talk to my puggle as if she was the audience in my live cooking show. She thinks I’m hilarious.

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Clams with Ginger and Lemongrass
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, tender inner white bulbs only, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 Thai Bird chilies, sliced
½ cup dry white wine
½ tablespoon fish sauce
2 scallions, cut into 1″ pieces (more for garnish)
1½ pounds little-neck or Manila clams, scrubbed and cleaned
cilantro

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger, and chilies–stir-fry for 30 seconds. Carefully stir in the wine, fish sauce, and scallions.

Add in the clams, stir the contents, and cover with a lid. Allow the clams to cook for 4-5 minutes or until the shells have opened. Plate the clams and garnish with scallions and cilantro. .

 

Poblano-Avocado-Yogurt Dip >> #MadeWithChobani

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

Have you heard of the #MadeByChobani challenge that’s going around the food blogisphere?

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

The task is fairly simple really– come up with a healthy recipe using Chobani® yogurt. But if you’ve been to my site before, you’re fully aware that I have never claimed to write “healthy” recipes. Remember the Holy Trinity of my kitchen?

Bacon, Butter, and Booze!

But it’s a new year and even I can try something new. So……….

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to whip up a healthier appetizer to go along with all of those buffalo wings and pizza that will be consumed. And the recipe is incredibly easy too!

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

I grabbed a poblano pepper (sometimes sold in the US as “pasilla”) and charred the exterior. Once peeled, I threw it in a food processor along with some avocados that are rich in potassium, fiber, and monounsaturated fat (“good fat”). Non-fat Plain Chobani® Greek Yogurt, cilantro, garlic and a few spices like cumin were also added to the party. The latter has been known to help with building your immunity and digestion.

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

The end results?

A wonderfully creamy, beautifully rich, totally satisfying dip. Deeply flavored from the charred poblano and cumin & luscious from the yogurt and avocado.

I chose to serve this healthier dip with tortilla chips (all about balance, right?) but it would be great with sliced veggies or as a spread in sandwiches.

DEE-LISH!

But…I’ll get back to creating some kind of bourbon-bacon dip so y’all know it’s still me.

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Poblano-Avocado-Yogurt Dip
Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 large poblano pepper
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large ripe avocados, roughly diced (about 3 cups)
5 ounces Non-fat Plain Chobani® Greek Yogurt, or other plain Greek yogurt of our choice
½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
tortilla chips or veggie sticks of your choice

On your stove top range, char the poblano pepper on all sides. This can also be done under your oven broiler. Once charred, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. This will help the skin loosen from the pepper. Once cooled, peel the skin from the pepper and discard along with the stem and seeds. Roughly chop the roasted pepper and place into the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse the poblano until it becomes fairly smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and add additional kosher salt as needed. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies of your choice.

Enjoy!

 

Pan-Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs

Pan-Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs

The thing is, I’m kind of obsessed with rosemary.

Nearly every time I pass by a bunch at the market, I always stop to smell them. If I come across a rosemary bush during my walks with Bella, I always brush my hand across the top so that the oils will release and the scent will stay with me.

I’ve got issues, I know.

Pan-Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs

At the farmers market last Saturday, I grabbed a huge bunch and decided that my meals for the week would all feature rosemary. I marinated prawns in them to top some pizzas, roasted some pistachios with chopped rosemary and garlic, brined some pork chops with rosemary and lemon, bottled some rosemary infused olive oil, and made a huge batch of pan-roasted rosemary chicken thighs in my cast iron skillet.

This recipe is a nod to all of those delicious spots that make European-style rotisserie chicken. A whole chicken is marinated in fresh herbs (yep-rosemary!) and garlic, which are then slowly spun and roasted. Extra bonus? The establishments that place a tray of new potatoes underneath the spinning chicken so that all of those spectacularly flavored juices fall down and infuse the potatoes.

I’m drooling.

Pan-Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs

Since I don’t happen to own a rotisserie (ahem…birthday is in May folks!), I decided to turn to my trusty cast irons to sear and render down some chicken before roasting them in the oven. But before any of that happened, I marinated the chicken (I prefer chicken thighs) in an obscene amount of fresh rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and a few other spices overnight. If you don’t have that kind of time, you could do it for about 6 hours but overnight is best. After the chicken has roasted, the skillet is quickly deglazed with wine and stock for a light sauce.

The end results? Perfectly moist and aromatic chicken.

If you prefer white meat, you could substitute with chicken breast. But do yourself a favor and make sure you use bone-in. You’ll get SO much more flavor and the meat tends to be more moist.

Now excuse me as I go enroll myself in a Rosemary Addiction Group.

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Pan-Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
½ cup chopped rosemary
¼ cup minced garlic
zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 pounds chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, red chili flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place the chicken in a large shallow dish or gallon sized resealable bags. Pour the herb mixture over the chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or other oven proof skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, take each chicken thigh and wipe off any excess marinade. Carefully lay each piece into the skillet, skin side down. Allow the skin to crisp and become golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, turn each chicken thigh over. Since a good amount of the fat would have rendered out of the chicken, carefully spoon out and discard. Transfer the skillet to the oven.

Roast the chicken for an additional 10-15 minutes depending on the size. If pierced with the tip of a knife, the juices should run clear or use a thermometer and roast until internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees F.

Pull the skillet from the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover with foil. Return the skillet to the stove and over medium-high heat, pour in the chicken stock and white wine. Use a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the skillet to release all the brown bits. Allow the liquids to come to a boil and reduce for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the butter (optional). Adjust with additional kosher salt or pepper as needed.

Place the chicken back into the skillet and serve. Alternatively, you can spoon the pan sauce over chicken thighs and serve.

Enjoy!

 

Ring in the New Year with Earl Grey Macarons

Earl Grey Macarons

Whether you’re at a large gala, intimate gathering or a cozy night at home — your New Year’s Eve countdown absolutely must have bubbly.

#MyFav

Earl Grey Macarons

And you know what is the perfect accompaniment to bubbly?

Parisian Macarons of course! The sweet little gems are a wonderful pairing to the dry sparkling wine. An absolute match made in heaven.

 

Earl Grey Macarons

Ever since I started baking macarons, my seester T had been trying to convince me to make an Earl Grey version — an homage to her favorite macarons from Bottega Louie in LA.

This past summer, I finally was able to get the proportions down and they even made an appearance at my seester P’s baby shower. The shells have a great floral scent with a bit of spice–stemming from the bergamot of the tea. The little specks of tea with a sprinkle of disco dust add to the charm to the shells as well.

Earl Grey Macarons

I know I have a propensity towards filling almost all of my macarons with chocolate ganache, but I promise, it really is the perfect filling for the Earl Grey flavor. But if you prefer a non-chocolate approach (which is both strange and crazy to me), I’d recommend a myer lemon curd or even an Earl Grey Buttercream.

Earl Grey Macarons

However you choose to fill it, you must have these little beauties for your countdown to 2015. What better way to ring in the year than with the perfect little sweet treat.

And with that dear friends, Happy New Year!!!

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Earl Grey Macarons filled with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

 

Macaron Shells:
110 grams almond meal or blanched almonds
15 grams loose Earl Grey tea leaves (about 2 tea bags)
170 grams confectioner’s sugar
100 grams egg whites, aged at room temperature for 24 hours
40 grams granulated sugar
powdered food color (optional)
edible glitter (optional)

If using blanched almonds, pulse the almonds in a food processor until it becomes finely ground. In a spice grinder, grind the tea leaves into a fine powder. In a bowl, sift together the ground almonds (or almond meal), tea powder and the confectioner’s sugar. Set aside.

In a mixing stand fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until frothy. Slowly add granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Carefully begin incorporating the dry mixture into the meringue, gently folding until all items have been integrated and a smooth batter has been formed. Optional: Halfway through the folding, add in the food color.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe small rounds of the mixture onto baking sheets lined with silicon mats. Rounds should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter. Once the baking sheets are filled, carefully tap the sheets on the counter to remove any possible air pockets. Let the macaron shells sit on the counter for 45-60 minutes to harden the outer shell before baking. Humidity will affect how long it takes for the “skin” to form but the shells should not be sticky when you gently touch them. Optional: If you choose to use edible glitter, sprinkle on the shells after it’s dried for 15 minutes.

Bake the shells at 290 degrees F for 18-20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before removing shells. Macarons shells can be made up to 24 hours in advance before filling and should be stored in airtight containers.

Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream just to a boil. Remove and pour the scalded cream through a fine-meshed sieve directly into the bowl of the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 1 to 2 minutes and then gently whisk until the ganache is smooth and glossy. Allow the ganache to sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature until it becomes thick enough to pipe.

Fill the flat side of a macaron shell with ganache and sandwich with another shell. Filled macarons can be kept up to 2 days in airtight containers.

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I know, I know.

It’s kind of silly that I’m even posting this recipe as it’s a near no-brainer.

But if any of you are like me and have been running around like crazy with holiday errands, festivities, tasks, etc —then you know how clutch it is to have a “set it and forget it” kind of meal in your back pocket.

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

And that’s where slow cookers are my saving grace.

I got up pretty darn early this past Saturday with coffee in hand and a heavy to-do list that needed to be tackled. But before I dashed out of the house, I threw some chicken, aromatics and a couple of glugs of BBQ sauce in the slow cooker pot, flipped the switch on and let it do its magic while I battled crazy holiday shoppers.

I’m still sporting the wounds from some ‘bows being thrown at the toy store.

Scawie.

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

But my quick 5 minute prep in the morning was rewarded when I got home to a pot of delicious chicken ready to be piled on to some soft Kings Hawaiian buns.

So tender, so tangy, so delicious and so dang easy.

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Slow cooker pulled chicken is definitely one of those fab dishes that you can add or omit whatever you may have handy in your pantry or fridge. Crushed tomatoes, canned chili, cream of mushroom soup, bell peppers, root veggies—whatever goes! But if you do opt for the BBQ sauce route, don’t skip the liquid smoke. It adds that wonderful smokey element you can’t get if you don’t use a smoker or outdoor grill.

This time around, I topped the chicken with lightly pickled onions and shredded lettuce. But definitely use whatever toppings you like. Or in my case, whatever I managed to scrounge up from the fridge.

And with that dear friends, let me wish you and your loved ones a very, very….

Happy Hanukkah!
Joyous Kwanzaa!
Merry Christmas!
Cheerful Winter Solstice!

and a Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us!!!

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Serves approximately 8

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ tablespoon kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ small white onion, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 dried bay leaves
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
2 cups BBQ sauce, divided (homemade or bottled)
4-5 dashes liquid smoke
8 large hamburger buns/rolls
optional: cole slaw, pickles, cheese, shredded lettuce, pickled onions, avocado, etc.

Season the chicken with kosher salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Place in the slow cooker and top with the onions, garlic and bay leaves. Pour in the can of chiles and 1 cup of the BBQ sauce. Cover the pot and cook on low for about 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

Once done, carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on a platter or large dish. Use two forks to shred the meat into bite sized pieces. Spoon the onions, garlic and chiles from the slow cooker over the chicken. Pour the remaining BBQ sauce over the meat and stir in the liquid smoke. Taste and season with additional salt as needed.

Assemble each sandwich by placing a large mound of the pulled chicken and sauce on top of each bun/roll. Serve with additional toppings/condiments as desired.

 

Chocolate Crinkles with Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses

Chocolate Crinkles with Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses

Okay, okay….someone was a bit behind this year on their holiday baking.

And that “someone” may be a certain 5’2″ Vietnamese gal we all know and love….

Okay- FINE!

Five foot, 1 inch AND three quarters….

Sheesh!

Chocolate Crinkles with Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses

But let’s not get stuck in the minutia of things because I’ve got cookies.

Some SERIOUS cookies that will rock your jingle-jangle, holiday socks off. When I saw these crinkle cookies from the Recipe Girl, I knew I had to have them!

Chocolate + Mint = THE BEST PAIRING EVER!!!!!!!

I hadn’t even known that Hershey made these magical little confections in the form of Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses. These little beauties are, to date — my FAVORITE of the Hershey Kisses.

Truth.

Chocolate Crinkles with Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses

As for the base cookie, Recipe Girl is completely on point. The cookie is moist, chewy, fudgy and somewhat brownie-like. The only change I made was a splash of additional vanilla extract when the mint extract goes in.

Mo’ flava, mo’ betta!

And the kiss, the KISS just sends things over the top and seals the deal. So if you plan on leaving the Big Guy a plate of cookies next Wednesday night, do yourself a solid and whip up a batch of these beauties because I’m pretty darn sure that it’ll flip you to the “nice” list in a jiffy.

Want the original recipe? It can be found here.

ps. Two quick notes on the recipe. First, you really MUST chill the dough before rolling them out or you’ll have a hot mess on your hands. And second, if you want the cute little point of the kiss to stay intact, definitely chill the cookies on the sheet immediately after you take them out of the oven.

pps. HAPPY BAKE COOKIES DAY!!!!!!!