RECIPE OF THE WEEK: MEXICAN CHORIZO & GARLIC SHRIMP BURGER

Ingredients:

Fresh Mexican chorizo patty: 

  • 17.6 oz (500 grams) of ground pork shoulder, ideally 30% fat
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Mexican chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of hot paprika, or cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of tequila
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cumin

Garlic shrimps/prawns:

  • 8 large shrimps/prawns (2 for each burger), peeled and deveined
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Paprika mayo:

  • 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of yellow mustard
  • Juice of 1 juicy lime
  • 4 Sweet potato burger buns (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 heaping cup of shredded manchego cheese
  • A few thin slices of tomatoes

Instructions:

To prepare the chorizo patties: Mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or you can certainly make this the day before and keep in the fridge.

To prepare the garlic shrimp: After peeling, deveining and rinsing the shrimps/prawns, dry them really well on a clean towel. Mix evenly with the rest of the ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 30 min to 1 hour.

To prepare the paprika mayo: Mix all the ingredients together until even. Set aside.

To make the burger: Divide the chorizo-mixture into 4 equal portions, then shape into patties. It’s very important to make sure the diameter of the patties is slightly larger than the diameter of the buns! Because the patties will shrink during cooking and there’s nothing more infuriating than an “I-shaped” burger. Now, next step is a little unconventional, but I like to dust a thin layer of flour on both sides of the patties so they pan-fry into nice crusts (you can take this as optional). Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until really hot, then add a small nub of unsalted butter in there and the chorizo patties (maximum 2 patties at a time). Leave the patties to pan-fry without moving, until a nicely browned crust has formed on the bottom. Turn the patties over, then add the shredded manchego cheese on top (2~3 tbsp on each). Cover the skillet completely with a lid and keep cooking on medium-high heat for another 1~2 min (the steam will melt the cheese as well as cook the patties), just until the center of the patties is cooked through. Transfer the patties with whatever crispy cheese-bits on the side, onto a plate and let rest.

Keep the chorizo drippings in the skillet and cook the shrimps/prawns on high-heat, about 1 min on each side until just cooked through. Then set aside.

If you want to toast the buns, remove any food-solids inside the skillet with a bit of oil left, then toast the cut-sides of the buns until golden browned in the same skillet.

Apply a good layer of paprika mayo on both sides of the buns, then put 2 thinly sliced tomatoes and a chorizo patty on top. Slice the shrimps/prawns lengthwise and place over the patty. Close it off with the top bun. I warn you, it’s going to be very messy and drippy… and happy

Recipe of the Week: EGGPLANT PARMESAN PIZZA W/ CRISPY CAPERS

Ingredients:

Pizza dough:

  • 400 grams (2 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) of bread flour
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp (if let ferment in the fridge), or 1/4 tsp (if let ferment in room-temperature) of instant dry yeast
  • 328 grams ~ 340 grams (328 ml ~ 340 ml) of water

Tomato sauce:

  • 2 cans (800 grams total) of peeled Italian tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • More salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Eggplant parmesan topping:

  • 2 ~ 3 long Asian eggplants (approx 750 grams)
  • Aged Parmigiano cheese for grating
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1/3 cup of capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Chili flakes for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. To make the pizza dough: Start the night before, or at least 9 hours before serving.
  2. If you are proofing your dough in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours (starting the night before), use 1/2 tsp of instant dry yeast.
  3. If proofing at room-temperature (a “cool” room) for 18 to 24 hours, use 1/4 tsp of instant dry yeast.
  4. If proofing 9 hours before serving (in the morning on the same day), use 1/2 tsp of instant dry yeast and proof at room-temperature.
  5. Mix bread flour, sugar, and instant dry yeast evenly in a large bowl. Add 328 grams of water first, and mix together with a wooden spoon until a wet dough forms (if the dough seems dry/doesn’t come together, add another 10 grams, or 1/2 tbsp of water). Let the dough sit for 15 min for the flour to hydrate, then with your hands, pull the dough up then fold it over itself. Turn it 90 degrees and repeat for a few times. Wait for another 15 min, then repeat again. This helps to encourage elasticity of the dough without kneading.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then let proof either in the fridge or at room-temperature (as instructed above).
  7. To make the tomato sauce (can be made the day ahead): Blend the tomatoes in a blender until smoothly pureed. Set aside. Heat up extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pot over high heat, then cook the garlic and fresh thyme until lightly browned on the edges. Add the diced onion, tomato paste and salt, and cook for 5 min until the onions are soft. Add the pureed tomatoes then turn the heat down to medium-low. Partially cover the pot (or it will splatter) and cook for approx 30 min, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by almost 1/2.
  8. Taste and re-season with salt (probably need another 1/4 tsp) and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside until needed.
  9. To prepare the eggplant parmesan topping: Preheat the top-broiler on high.
  10. Remove the tips of the eggplants, then cut into very thin (1/8″, or 3mm) slices. Scatter over a parchment-lined baking sheet in roughly a single layer (some overlapping is fine). Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, then grate a thin layer of Parmigiano cheese evenly over the top, season with salt and pepper, then place 3″ under the broiler. Cook until the top surface is nicely browned, then transfer the cooked eggplants to another sheet, and repeat with the rest. Set aside until needed.
  11. To fry the capers, heat 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil over high heat. Add the chopped capers and fry for approx 5 min, until the capers are shrivelled and slightly crispy. Drain through a fine sieve, then mix 3 finely minced garlic into the frying oil (no need for further cooking). Set the capers and garlic-oil aside until needed.
  12. To assemble the pizza: Preheat the oven on 500ºF/250ºC (or higher if your oven goes), with a pizza-stone or a large inverted cast-iron skillet in the middle-rack. Preferably, allow 30 more min after the oven has reached desired temperature.
  13. From my experience, the trick of working with a sticky dough is: You want to oil your hands (no flour needed) for grabbing the dough out of the bowl. Then flour the dough, while you’re spreading it. So, place a parchment paper on the counter, larger than the size of the pizza you’re making (the recipe will make 2 large, or 3 medium pizzas). Lightly oil the surface of the parchment, as well as your hands. Gently separate a portion of the dough from the bowl and transfer onto the lightly-oiled parchment. The dough will be very wet, feeling more like a blob. Then flour the top of the dough, just enough so it doesn’t stick to your hands (dust more flour as you go, but do not over-flour it). Then gently press and spread the dough outward to make it into a thin disk, but careful not to pop the air-pockets within the dough. Think of it more like re-distributing the air-pockets.
  14. Now set the flatten dough on the side and let rest for 20 min, very loosely covered with plastic wrap. Repeat with another dough.
  15. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the dough, then a thin layer of toasted eggplants, then tear the mozzarella on top, then sprinkle evenly with crispy capers, then grate more Parmigiano cheese over, then finally, scatter some minced garlic-oil over the topping and brush the dough-edges with the oil. Slide the pizza onto a board by pulling the parchment, then transfer again onto the pizza-stone (or on top of an inverted case-iron skillet). Bake until the crusts and toppings are golden-browned and bubbly, approx 10 min (turn the oven to top-broiler for the last 5 ~ 3 min if the topping needs more heat).
  16. Sprinkle with more crispy capers, and chili flakes. Serve immediately.

Starbucks launching mobile ordering, will add beer, wine and snacks

Starbucks Corp, aiming to give cooling U.S. traffic a jolt, on Thursday announced it will add beer, wine, and evening snacks to thousands of domestic cafes, widen lunch offerings and roll out mobile ordering.

Such efforts are part of the world’s biggest coffee chain’s plan to broaden its appeal as a destination with consumers who are spending more time shopping online rather than in malls and Main Street stores.

The company, which is hosting its biennial investor meeting in Seattle, said it would lay out its five-year plans to double U.S. food revenue to over $4 billion by expanding food choices, particularly during lunch hours.

Starbucks plans to reap about $1 billion in new sales from the addition of evening menus, including beer, wine and food, at nearly 3,000 of its 11,900 cafes in the United States.

The company also will detail the launch of a new mobile ordering and payment system that it says will make getting a coffee fix even more convenient. That same technology will underpin deliveries in select U.S. markets next year.

Additionally, in coming months, it will debut express stores, coffee trucks and upscale “reserve” shops, which will offer premium specialized coffee sourced from small farms.

Starbucks’ U.S.-dominated Americas unit had a traffic gain of 1 percent in the latest quarter, versus the 5 percent jump in the year-earlier period. An increase in sales of food, such as croissants and breakfast sandwiches, has helped offset slowing traffic in the last three quarters.

Chief Executive Howard Schultz in January warned that a “seismic” shift to online shopping was taking a bite out of traffic to U.S. brick-and-mortar stores.

That, executives said, contributed to a moderate slowdown in traffic in December 2013.

Traffic softened earlier this year than last and the weakness is expected to continue through the holiday season, said Steven Barr, who leads PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer practice.

The chain, which has 21,000 shops worldwide serving 70 million customers weekly, forecast fiscal 2019 revenue of nearly $30 billion, up from $16 billion in the fiscal 2014 ended Sept. 28.

Plans for the Asia-Pacific region include doubling its cafes in China to over 3,000 by 2019.

Recipe of the Week: Blackened Shrimp, Bacon, and Green Onion Quesadilla

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ¾ pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, and patted dry with a paper towel
    Blackened seasoning to taste
  • 2 burrito size flour tortillas (at least as big as your cast iron skillet)
  • 2½ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cook bacon to crisp in a 10½ inch cast iron skillet. Remove to paper towel lined plate to drain grease, then crumble and set aside.
  3. Drain all the grease out of the skillet, but leave the brown bits at the bottom. Place a tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium-high heat and when it melts, add the shrimp in a single layer. Sprinkle to taste with the blackened seasoning.
  4. Cook until shrimp are done, stirring once or twice, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, then wipe skillet clean.
    Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the bottom of the skillet and brush it evenly over the bottom and halfway up the sides. Place one tortilla in the bottom evenly (it helps to microwave it for about 10-15 seconds to soften it). Sprinkle evenly with half the cheese, then top with the shrimp, bacon, and green onion. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, then top with the second tortilla, pressing down slightly. Brush with remaining tablespoon of butter that has been melted.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until top is crispy and golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges with a sharp knife.

A Map of the Most Googled ‘Distinct’ Thanksgiving Recipes Broken Down by State

The New York Times has a map of the United States detailing the most “distinct” Thanksgiving recipes Googled by each state. The results were compiled by Google, tossing out obvious choices like turkey and stuffing, instead focusing on unique foodstuffs, such as “frog eye salad” in the Rocky Mountain States and the “pig pickin cake” of North Carolina. The map was created in part due to fallout from a recent Thanksgiving map designed by the paper to reflect “recipes that evoke each of the 50 states.”

image via The New York Times

Recipe of the Week: Mojo Turkey

Florida’s cuisine ranges from the deep Southern cooking of the humid, citrus-scented central and northern parts of the state to the more Caribbean-inflected cuisine of the marshy lowlands of Miami and the Keys. Here, the turkey nods to what happened when Cuban culture drifted onto the Thanksgiving tables of South Florida, with a bird dressed in a marinade of sour oranges (a mixture of orange and lime juice works as well) mixed with a lot of garlic and oregano. Serve the bird with black beans and white rice on the side — and a Key lime pie for dessert.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 12- to -14- pound turkey, giblets and neck removed
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups sour orange juice, or 1 cup fresh orange juice and 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, cut into quarters
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Rinse turkey well in cold water and pat very dry with paper towels.
  2. Make the marinade: Combine garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and mash the mixture together with the back of a kitchen spoon to make a kind of paste. Stir sour orange juice (or orange and lime juices) and oil into the paste and whisk to combine. Add oregano leaves and mix again. Reserve 1/2 cup of marinade and put aside.
  3. Put turkey in a roasting pan that can fit in the refrigerator and cover with remaining marinade, making sure to get a lot of it into the turkey’s open cavity. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least a few hours. Baste a few times with marinade.
  4. When ready to cook, heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove turkey from marinade and place on a clean cutting board. Discard marinade and clean roasting pan well. Return turkey to roasting pan, tuck the tips of the wings under the bird and shower it with salt and pepper. Place orange, lime and onion quarters in the turkey’s cavity, then truss its legs together with cotton string. Roast turkey, uncovered, in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees. Baste turkey with pan juices, and add remaining marinade to the pan. Continue roasting turkey, basting every 30 minutes and tenting it with foil if the skin is turning too dark, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees, approximately 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours more. Transfer to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

What the First Thanksgiving Meal Probably Looked Like in 1621

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner usually consists of (at the very least) a turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, however, as Guardian Food points out, the very first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 looked a lot different.

The only written account says that they ate five deer and some birds, probably a swan or a duck. Wild turkeys were harder to hunt down, but shellfish were easy to find, so they probably made it into the feast. …Cranberries were around, but sugar wasn’t. …As for potatoes, they were mostly still in South America. Stuffing made kind of an appearance, but it was pretty basic.

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Recipe of the Week: Twice Baked Chicken Pot Pie Potatoes with Crispy Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup bacon, cooked, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Take a fork and poke a couple of holes around each potato. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet. Drizzle tops with 1 tablespoon olive oil, s&p. Bake for about 50 minutes or until soften. Remove from oven to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet preheated to medium-high heat, add the remaining olive oil, celery, carrots, onion, thyme, and s&p. Saute veggies until softened about 7 minutes. Turn the heat back to medium, add butter to skillet and melt. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir to combine. Next, pour the milk over the veggies and continue to stir creating a thickened sauce about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, stir in chicken, 1/2 cup mozzarella, & a dash of s&p.
  4. Once the potatoes have cooled, slice the tops open lengthwise and scoop out some of the potato. Pour some of the chicken pot pie mixture into the baked potato. Top the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. Place baking sheet back in the oven for five minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven, garnish with bacon, and serve immediately!

Gameday Recipe: Bacon Buffalo Blue Mac ‘n Cheese Rolls

Ingredients:

Mac ‘n Cheese Rolls

  • 1 box Annie’s Homegrown Shells & White Cheddar Mac ‘n Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • oil, to fry

Sauces

  • blue cheese dressing
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1 lime

Instructions:

Mac ‘n Cheese Rolls

  1. Make boxed Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar per instructions (boil water, cook pasta, drain).
  2. Instead of box instructions for adding milk and butter, add the milk, butter, Frank’s and bacon listed in this recipe.
  3. Add cornstarch and mix well.
  4. Allow mixture to cool completely. I placed in refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Heat oil to 350 F.
  6. When pasta mix has cooled, mix in blue cheese crumbles and parsley.
  7. Add a heaping tablespoon of mixture in center of egg roll wrapper and fold.
  8. Seal the last fold with egg wash and close roll well.
  9. Fry until golden. Remove to drain and cool to handle.

Sauces

  1. Mix Frank’s with sour cream and a simple squeeze of the lime well.

Finish Rolls

  1. Top fried rolls with blue cheese dressing and buffalo sauce.