Thursday, May 24, 2018

New York Cheesecake

   Ingredients
 For the crust
85g butter melted, plus extra for tin
140g digestive biscuit, made into fine crumbs
1 tbsp sugar, granulated or golden caster
 For the cheesecake filling
3 x 300g/11oz pack Philadelphia cheese or other full-fat soft cheese
250g golden caster sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
1½ tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
1½ tsp lemon juice
3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
284ml carton soured cream
 For the soured cream topping
142ml carton soured cream
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice


   1. Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper. For the crust, melt the butter in a medium pan. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar so the mixture is evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.
   2. For the filling, increase the oven temperature to fan 200C/conventional 240C/gas 9. In a table top mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, then the flour and a pinch of salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle twice.
   3. Swap the paddle attachment for the whisk. Continue by adding the vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, scraping the bowl and whisk at least twice. Stir the 284ml carton of soured cream until smooth, then measure 200ml/7fl oz (just over 3⁄4 of the carton). Continue on low speed as you add the measured soured cream (reserve the rest). Whisk to blend, but dont over beat. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy.
   4. Brush the sides of the springform tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet. Pour in the filling - if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to fan 90C/conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4 and bake for 25 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake thats creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.
   5. Combine the reserved soured cream with the 142ml carton, the sugar and lemon juice for the topping. Spread over the cheesecake right to the edges. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
   6. Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges. Unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Basic Yankee Bread Stuffing

   Ingredients
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 tablespoon butter
6 stalks chopped celery
2 onions, chopped
2 (1 pound) loaves day old white bread, torn into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons sage seasoning mixture
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chicken broth



   1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
   2. Place pork sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.
   3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place the celery and onions in the saucepan and slowly cook and stir until tender.
   4. Mix together the sausage, celery, onions, bread, sage, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
   5. Pour the eggs and chicken broth into the mixture. Use more broth if needed. The stuffing should be moist, not mushy.
   6. Press the mixture into the baking dish. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven or until the top is brown and crisp.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Funeral Potatoes

   Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
One 28- to 32-ounce bag frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
2 cups kettle cooked potato chips
1/4 cup grated Parmesan



   1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Take the potatoes out of the freezer while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.
   2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, then melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in it. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to incorporate. Cook for a minute or 2 to cook out the raw flour, but do not let it color. Whisk in the milk, making sure to get out all the lumps. Add the broth and whisk again if there are still lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the Monterey Jack, sour cream and Cheddar. Add the hash brown potatoes and mix everything together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
   3. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small pan. Put the potato chips and Parmesan in a bowl and crush the potato chips. Pour in the melted butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the potatoes.
   4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges, about 15 minutes more. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Goat Cheese Arugula Penne

   Ingredients
5 1/2 ounces goat cheese
2 cups coarsely chopped arugula, stems included
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces penne pasta


   1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
   2. Crumble goat cheese into a large serving bowl. Add arugula, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper.
   3. Drain pasta, and toss with goat cheese mixture.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dakotas Texas Style Chili

   Ingredients
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons paprika
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
4 pounds boneless beef chuck or rump, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 3/4 cups water1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer
4 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons cornmeal


   1. In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Drain off excess grease, leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions and garlic, cook and stir until the onions are tender. Season with oregano, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Cook and stir for about 30 seconds to toast the spices.
   2. Stir in the beef, water, beer, chipotle peppers and cornmeal, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until beef is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Baked Nashville Hot Chicken Breasts

   Ingredients
 Brine:
1 quart water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup hot sauce
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
 Coating:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 Sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
cooking spray


   1. Mix water, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar and hot sauce together in a large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved into the brine. Place chicken pieces in the brine and refrigerate, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Pour brine from the bowl.
   2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a baking rack onto a baking sheet and coat rack with cooking spray.
   3. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and black pepper in a shallow bowl until coating is well mixed. Press chicken pieces into the coating until both sides are evenly coated, place on the prepared rack.
   4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Spray each chicken piece with cooking spray, flip and spray the other side. Continue baking until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
   5. Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat until shimmering. Mix 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder together in a bowl, add to oil and cook for 30 seconds. Brush oil mixture onto cooked chicken, adding more layers for extra heat.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ashleys African Peanut Soup

   Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups sliced carrots
4 cups chicken broth or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup brown rice1 cup crunchy peanut butter


   1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken breasts on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Place the chicken breasts into a slow cooker. Cook the onion, red bell peppers and garlic in the hot skillet until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, transfer the cooked vegetables into the slow cooker.
   2. Stir the crushed tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, curry powder, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon and black pepper into the slow cooker. Set the cooker to High and cook for 5 to 6 hours or cook on Low for 10 hours. Stir in additional chicken broth throughout the cooking time if needed.
   3. Mix in the brown rice 3 hours before serving and mix in the peanut butter at least 1 hour before serving. Shred chicken meat and serve hot.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Portuguese Steamed Clams

   Ingredients
5 pounds clams in shell, scrubbed1
1/2 pounds chorizo, sliced into chunks
1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups white wine
1/4 cup olive oil


   1. Wash clams well in a sink of cold water. Discard any clams that are already opened.
   2. In a large stock pot with a tight fitting lid, place the cleaned clams. Add the sausage, onion, tomatoes and wine. Cover and set over high heat. Steam until all the clams open up. Be sure to shake the pan often to insure even heat.
   3. Drizzle olive oil over the cooked clams. Evenly divide all the ingredients into warm soup plates. Divide the broth into side cups for dipping.