Thirsty Thursday… Watermelon Beer

We know it’s not technically watermelon season yet, but the watermelon in the store looked so good it was hard to pass up. We got a quarter of a watermelon and trekked over to the beer section to find the perfect one to go with the watermelon; enter Shock Top Wheat Beer. Both the watermelon and the beer complement each other really well, and one doesn’t outshine the other. This is the perfect drink for a hot day after work when you just need a drink (or two) to unwind.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 watermelon, cut up into chunks
  • 2-4 White Beers or Wheat Beers, we used Shock Top

Instructions:

  1. Place the watermelon chunks in your blender. Puree until smooth, then pour into a sifter over a bowl. Strain until only the juice is left and there is no pulp -chill for at least an hour. Fill a glass with the beer and pour the watermelon juice on top. Serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week: Meatloaf with Sriracha BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Sriracha Barbecue Sauce

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, ketchup, breadcrumbs and eggs together in a bowl. Use your hands to mix well.
  3. Form into a large loaf. Carefully move to a baking sheet. Reform into a loaf if needed. Top with 1/3 of the Sriracha BBQ sauce. Bake in preheated oven 45 – 60 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with 1/3 more of the Sriracha BBQ sauce.
  4. Slice and serve alongside remaining Sriracha BBQ sauce.

Recipe of the Week: SLOPPY JOE TATER TOT CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained
  • 1 can (24 oz.) Sloppy Joe sauce
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 32 oz. frozen tater tots
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Over medium high heat, brown beef until cooked. Drain any fat and remove and set aside
  2. In the same pan, saute onions and garlic until translucent
  3. Add red bell pepper and corn and cook until soft
  4. Add beef, Sloppy Joe sauce, cream cheese, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine
  5. Simmer over medium low heat for 5 minutes
  6. Pour the beef mixture in a 9×13 baking dish and spread evenly
  7. Top with a layer of 1 cup of cheese
  8. Arrange tater tots and sprinkle with remaining cheese
  9. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the tater tots are crispy and golden
  10. Dish and serve hot

It’s Friday… Relax with Grapefruit Mojitos

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 large pink grapefruits
  • 2-3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3-4 ounces white rum
  • a handful of mint leave
  • sparking water
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Squeeze the juice out of the grapefruits and limes. Filter through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp. Stir the honey in with the juices until dissolved (sometimes I give the mixture a few seconds in the microwave to get the honey really incorporated, otherwise it clumps together when you add the ice).
  2. For one drink, vigorously shake the following in a cocktail shaker: a handful of ice, half of the rum, and half of the juice mixture which should be about ⅔ cup of juice, and several torn mint leaves. If you don’t have a shaker, use a jar with a tight fitting lid or just stir it all up in a glass.
  3. Pour the drink into the glass with or without the ice (your call! we leave the ice in). Give it all a good stir to get the mint leaves going and top it off with sparking water.

Recipe of the Week: Popcorn Chicken Fried Steak

Ingredients
  • 4 cubed steaks (top sirloin or top round)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated onion
  • ¾ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or half and half)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • vegetable oil for frying
For sausage gravy
  • ½ pound hot Italian sausage (or 2 links casings removed)
  • ½ a yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the cubed steaks into small pieces (bite-sized cubes) and place in a bowl or on platter. Season with salt, black pepper, paprika, granulated garlic and onion, and Old Bay seasoning. Toss to evenly coat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and ½ a teaspoon of each of the seasonings from the steak. To dredge the steak pieces, run a few pieces through the flour first, then into the eggs and once again in the flour. Shake excess and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Continue dredging until all are fully coated.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with enough vegetable oil to fill half of the skillet. Once hot, carefully drop in a few pieces of the dredged steak pieces at a time. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the cooked pieces to a separate wire rack set over a baking sheet. Continue frying until all the pieces are done. While the popcorn steak is hot, season with a bit of salt and Old Bay. To keep warm, place the baking sheet in a 250℉ until ready to serve.
  4. To make the gravy, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking it down with a wooden spoon. Add the onions and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and allow to cook for a few seconds. Slowly stir in the milk, stirring until evenly incorporated. Lower the heat and bring to a simmer, allowing the gravy to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Serve the popcorn chicken fried steak warm with the gravy on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

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.

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.

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!