Celeb’s Flipped Out Tamales, Jan 15-Jan 21, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

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Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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Quick Bites – The phrase Oldies But Goodies takes on a whole new meaning with these 25 Indulgent Depression-Era Desserts. Think – Sugar Cream Pie, Potato Donuts, Shoo Fly Pie, Chocolate Mayo Cake, Poor Man’s Cookies, Frozen Fruit Salad, Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy, and all the rest that could keep the sweet tooth happy even in the leanest of times.    Insomnia? Could your midnight snack be the perp? Clean Plates indicts these Worst Foods to Eat Before Bedtime    Well this could be a fun project for the news year. “Michelin-star chefs share 7 easy dinners that take almost no prep.” All the perks are right in the title.

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Shopping Finds – Came across this book on the way to something else on Amazon. “A Year Without the A Year Without the Grocery Store: A Step by Step Guide to Acquiring, Organizing, and Cooking Food StorageGrocery Store: A Step-by-Step Guide to Acquiring, Organizing, and Cooking Food Storage.” OK, title seems somehow odd, but the promise is quite appealing – knowing “you will always have plenty of food” {shopped in advance?} with this technique they say can be accomplished in 15 minutes a day or less. It rates 4 1/2 stars.   Care and coziness and convenience! Dennis Weaver at Prepared Pantry says this about slice and bake cookies – “You can make up three or four different batches, form the “logs” and put them in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. When friends come over {or to deliver to someone who’s quarantined}, slice up a half log and bake them. You’ll have warm cookies in 15 minutes.” Click the link to see their offerings.

Also, CS Designed, Zazzle-crafted  “Ice Cream Ice Cream Ice Cream/everything else” mug {with ice cream cones right in the words} – see it on the Zazzle page or preview on our CS page

{also see our ice cream tip just below}

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Kitchen Talk – All it took was a package of pine nuts {purchased for the butternut/polenta feature} to take me back to one of the best and most simple pasta dishes I’ve ever had, taught by an old school grandma, owner of a house-style Italian restaurant in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. It’s just this – cooked pasta, diced fresh tomatoes, raisins, pine nuts, and a last minute addition of broccoli florets, all tossed in garlic butter. And here it is.    And came across something that immediately moved into a high spot on the to-make list – sweet potato bread pudding with pecan praline sauce, found in Eating Well magazine. Report to follow.    Oh, oh, you’re ready for the ice cream and it’s like a concrete building block? Saw this in Cooks Illustrated – warm a sharp knife under hot water and make cuts both ways across the surface, then serve up with a scoop that’s likewise been warmed. Voila!

   On the Table  

Feature – Trisha Yearwood’s Deconstructed Tamales – pulled pork & cheese grits & more

Yearwood’s work ethic is more like a “play ethic.” And maybe one of the reasons her dishes are so satisfying is that she clearly has so much fun making them. This tamale makeover is a perfect example.

It starts with fried cheesy grits cakes. Then Mexi-seasoned pulled pork. And then on with the corn salsa, sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

Now in the demo that accompanies the recipe, when the dish is served Trisha tells her guest to be sure to get some of everything on the fork. That prompted me to think a little differently about the “assembly.”

First, the thick and creamy grits right from the pot rather than chilling and frying, which lets them spread out on the plate. Then the pork in a thinner layer {though her piled high version is definitely more Instagram-ish}, then the toppings strewn far and wide.

Do you see how this works? Fork at the perimeter, glide path to the center, and voila! an “everything” bite. And I’m very glad she said this because you really do want all those flavors and textures to arrive as a tasty team.

Recipe Notes – Given the high heat, I added the garlic for about the last minute of cooking. Also, did not use oil in the second step of cooking the pork, though it indeed might give the seasonings a little extra kick. Avocados make a great accompaniment. And, any leftover pulled pork makes a mighty fine sandwich or tortilla wrap.

Substitutions if needed – I’ve used all different kinds of cheese in grits with good results, and in this case stirred in cheddar jack.

Next week – No-bake chocolate peanut butter cheesecake

Recipe    Trisha Yearwood Cookbooks

Have a cuppa in Alexa’s room – recipes & more

You don’t have to have an Amazon Echo Show to tap into the particular tidbits we’ve linked below, drawn from its vast culinary bounty.

Just pour a cup and let’s talk food with Alexa. We also show the actual requests for those who are Echo owners, who should also note that in many cases she guides you step by step through the recipes.

Alexa says request: How do I make Upside Down Banana Bread? Oh my, this steals a march from pineapple upside down cake to bring a new dimension to realm of banana bread. Butter and brown sugar join forces to make caramel which goes in the bottom of the pan. Then banana slices. The banana-intensive banana bread. Bake, flip, dive in. Think this recipe from Tasty could be a keeper.

Alexa says request: How do I make General Tso’s Chicken? If you’re like me you are quite intrigued by this rather sassy mix of ingredients that deliver sweet and sour,  spicy and mild, soft and crunchy. I’ve yet to ever venture making this dish, but given the ratings for the particular recipe from Epicurious, it just might be time.

Alexa says request: How do I make scalloped potatoes? I’m guessing most of us already have a recipe for this dish. But when it came up on the screen, it sure as heck didn’t look like any of the preps I’d seen, though the title told us why – this was a Scalloped Potato Loaf. A whole lot of other groceries got in on the act, including onions, ground beef, tomatoes, mozzarella, and seasonings. Demo too. This sure looks to be another winner from Tasty.

And an unexpected thing we found that Alexa can do – take photos

Would you like your own Echo Show?

Boundless information, music, movies, tv shows, videos, health tips & news, entertainment news, national news, local news, sports, weather, timer, alarm, reminders, Amazon delivery notifications, alerts, security camera connection . . .  and food, food, food, all on an interactive screen.

You can browse all the styles here on this Amazon page

   Cocktail Hour Buzz   

Sundowner snacks, drinks, talk – whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

   What a cool {hot!} idea. Thanks to Eating Well magazine for this bit of perfection for the Valentine table – a “Boozy Hot Chocolate Board.” They even serve up a recipe for the hot chocolate, with an optional spike of Kahlua or Bailey’s. Then what makes it holiday-special is the Board, holding such toppings as candy, cookies, marshmallows, cinnamon sticks and more. The rest of the story right here {note site shows as not secure}.

   Nothing wrong with a classic martini, in fact well made it’s a mixology work of art. But those who have already ventured a bit beyond tradition with say a dirty tini might like to kick things up with my new addiction – peppertinis, best with jalapeno juice but also good with a splash from pepperoncinis or sport peppers.

   Still have some turkey in the freezer? Celeb chef Charlie Palmer suggests creating a hardy game day party snack by turning it into a birdy version of the classic French sandwich, croque monsieur, tucking in turkey instead of ham {though kinda looks like ham in the pic unless that’s smoked turkey}. He also colored outside the lines by adding a layer of pickles, though the shine on the bread would indicate he retained the traditional béchamel sauce. Extra points for topping with a fried egg and thus transforming it into a croque madame.

   Tasty repurposing. CooksSalon Tasting Panel member Debbie Vinson had a cup of cider vinegar glaze left over from the salmon recipe we’d featured {10.30.20 Salon} and used it in a happy merger with pork butt. After browning the meat in oil in a heavy skillet over high heat she added a bit of water, then the glaze, and let it all simmer for a couple of hours. When the pork was meltingly tender, she removed it from the pan, pulled it apart, then poured over the cidery juices. “It was wonderful.”

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Click here to email your comments, questions, links to fave recipes, or?

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Favorite Recipes from CS 2020, Jan 8-Jan 14, 2021

New Salon every Friday – c’mon in

CS friends, and help yourself to tasty resources

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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To see the full details for each dish, including recipe, context, recipe notes and any relevant substitutions click the opening link with the date – to see the recipe only click the closing link

07.17.20, Food Tips for Our Times  Fruit Pizza There’s a good chance there might be some extra fruit, fresh and canned, in the house these days, after stocking up for baking, dressing up a holiday table, received as gifts. A fun and colorful way to put it to good use is a fruit pizza. And at the same time show off your artistic skills! Just layer different colors of fruit and jam on a baked pizza crust spread with soft cream cheese and voila! a work of art. And so pretty! Here are some other suggestions for fruit pizzas that google found.

05.13.20, Featured Recipe  Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan  Just looking at the name tells you it’s a pretty good bet it tastes pretty darn good. And it does! This chicken pepperoni parm is already a plate of flavor. But in fact I did add some Italian seasonings to the tomato sauce or you could certainly use a jarred marinara. I also sautéed the chicken as is in butter/olive oil instead of breading it. Add crusty bread and a green salad and it’s done and yum. More good news – it all bakes on a sheet pan.  Recipe 

04.03.20, My Week  “Potato Snow”  What a fun and festive way to play with taters. See the pic? – that’s “potato snow,” and oh so easy too! Per the recipe, simply push boiled, peeled, towel-dried potatoes through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon letting them “pile high into a snowy mountain slope.” Or do that several times to make a “range.” Another recipe I found {on an unsecured site}, suggested adding onion salt and garlic salt to the cooking water rather than trying to mix it in afterward. The prep I used is from The Secret Garden Cookbook.

10.23.20, Featured Recipe  Bobby Flay’s Cheesy Bacon & Tater Quesadilla  This is a perfect example of Chef Flay’s passionate take on southwest cuisine. The title foodstuffs join onion and peppers in a tasty tortilla stack, topped with a nice fried egg, fresh tomato salsa, and chopped chives. A perfect way to start the day. Especially a day with a late and lazy start. Bloody Marys anyone? The recipe is on the Food Network site.  Recipe

07.17.20, Featured Recipe  Ice Cream Bread  Wow, the unique flavor of ice cream right in your bread? And just 3 ingredients. In the original sojourn I used French vanilla, then played with some variations. The result is sweeter than bread, less sweet than cake, with a texture kind of between French bread and pound cake. Those subsequent variations  – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough {08.07.20}, Chocolate Brownie {10.30.20} Each good as is, but also happily welcome toppings.

10.02.20, Featured Recipe  Knife & Fork Bacon Cheeseburgers  This is one satisfying plateful, a happy gathering of onion, tomato, pickle, bacon, burgers, buns, plus a condiment mashup, and savory cheese sauce. And this is nice. Lots of the elements can be prepped in advance. To make life even easier, use store-bought burgers if there are some you like, and fill out the plate with deli-supplied or pantry & fridge ready side dishes. Might also like to take a look at these google-found alternatives for burger sauces.

06.19.20, Featured Recipe  Bacon Peanut Butter Corn Muffins  One bite and you’ll see why these goodies took a top award in a Taste of Home contest. Yowza are they good. And happily the come together with ingredients likely already in residence in your pantry and fridge. Great as is for breakfast. Or with the caramel ice cream topping, Poof! Dessert! Or go all in for dessert with the suggested alternate of chocolate chips and chocolate syrup. And you know what, thinking this topping would be just as happy on a regular pan of cornbread or even pancakes, French toast, regular toast. Recipe 

11.20.20, Cocktail Hour Buzz  Baked Mini Ham & Cheese Sandwiches  This hearty snack actually was part of a reply when we invited “Alexa” into CHB and asked her for cocktail snacks made with cheese. These minis sounded so good, and then tasted as good as they sounded. Pretty easy too. One of the others that’s now high up on our to-make list is the Filled Parmesan Baskets, and then maybe the Stuffed Artichoke Hearts. If you would like to see the other snacks and their recipe links, just click on the 11.20.20 above. All are from AllRecipes, and there’s demos too. Recipe

09.18.20, Featured Recipe  Cheese Ravioli Soup  A big bowl of good, and thank you Taste of Home. Despite the long-ish ingredient list, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. 1} brown the ground beef, then add the sauce ingredients. 2} cook the ravioli, combine with the sauce and heat through. 3} stir in parm, top with parsley. Done! So what brought its rating down to 3 1/2 stars. Not the flavors. Nope, instead critics said it was more like an entree than soup – and we couldn’t agree more! Thick, hearty and satisfying.  Recipe 

10.09.20, Featured Recipe  Nanaimo Bars {and “Plan B”}  For at least seven decades these rich bars have been on celebratory tables in Canada. Rich, yeah! A chocolately, nutty, graham cracker crust, topped with amped up butter cream frosting, topped with a kind of ganache where the cream is replaced by butter. Indulgent! Even so, I played with an alternate, “NaNaNo Bars,” – a bit less complicated, a bit less crumbly, and a bit less sweet, maybe more creamy. You can see details of this version if you want in the 10.09.20 Salon. Recipe

Our Featured Recipe when we return to regular Salons Jan 11: a full of flavor tamale makeover

Find t-shirts, mugs, dvds, gift collections, plus top chef items including cookbooks

CS Marketplace Directory

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CooksSalon is free to everybody – appreciate anytime you click through to these affiliate partners

     Zazzle                    

Looking for something in CS?

Scroll & check previews  OR use Search OR contact me at bjnosek@gmail.com, subject=CooksSalon

Note

All transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

All pages ©2021 CooksSalon.com

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