Super Bowl Snacks Prt Deux

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Another delicious (and surprisingly easy) Super Bowl snack.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1 cup of Bacon
  • 5 oz of Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 5 oz of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Egg, 2 Tbls milk or water ¬†(for egg wash)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Finely chop Broccoli, Bacon, and Cheese. (Neaux La Gal tip: Use a food processor. You want the broccoli, bacon and cheese small they they stick together easily.)
  2. Mix broccoli, bacon and cheese together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Grab a handful of mixture and roll back and forth in hands until you create a smooth round ball.
  4. Place balls into freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, take out broccoli balls and roll into flour, dip in egg wash, and roll into bread crumbs.
  6. Fry in shortening at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Not So Sloppy, Sloppy Joes

On cold nights (much like the ones we have had recently) bumming on the sofa watching a scary movie with my sister is the way to go. But there is one thing missing… some delicious comfort food. ¬†But a lot of the times when you think of the phrase “comfort food” you think unhealthy. ¬†I am not a big believer in diets, I believe in eating what you want in moderation while maintaing an overall healthy lifestyle. So with that said, if I want a sloppy joe, I’m going to eat a sloppy joe.¬†¬†This “Not So Sloppy, Sloppy Joe” does not contain a lot of high fat. ¬†Instead of adding olive oil and ketchup like many¬†sloppy joe recipes, I simply stuck with the basics.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Bell Pepper (I’d suggest red, yellow or orange.)
  • 1/2 Purple Onion
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Steak Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¬†1 Tomato Paste (You’ll need at least three tablespoons)
  • 1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Steak Seasoning

What To Do:

  1. In a medium temp. skillet brown ground beef. Once finished, take off heat and place to the side.
  2. Chop Bell Pepper, Onion, and Garlic.  Once chopped put into skillet with browned ground beef. Place back onto the stove at a high heat.
  3. After adding vegetables, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, steak sauce, steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. While cooking add extra tomato paste if it becomes too “soupy.”
  5. Cook until vegetables are no longer crunchy (30-45 minutes), and flavors begin blend completely.
  6. Serve on buns and enjoy! (Get rid of unnecessary calories with wheat bread.  Simply carve the inside of the bread out so it forms a boat shape!)

Sicilian Pizza

Being from Sicily, my grandpaw has tons of recipes kept not only in his head but also his heart. ¬†Getting together and sharing recipes always seems to capture lots of laughs, good eats and memories to share for a life time. ¬†Although there are tons of variations of sicilian pizza, this is the pizza my grandfather grew up on. ¬†Since my grandfather has his secret Sicilian Pizza Dough¬†recipe tucked away, here is a delicious recipe that I’ve used before.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can sardines
  • 1 onion
  • Italian sausage
  • Italian herbs
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven 450
  • After making your dough…put tomatoes in food processor. After processing tomatoes, set sauce aside.
  • Grab a pizza pan. ¬†Sicilian pizzas are usually rectangular shape. ¬†Or as my grandfather would say “It’s sicilian. ¬†It’s not supposed to look perfect.” ¬†We stuck with a round shaped pan ¬†instead. ¬†Oil pan with Olive Oil and spread dough onto pan.
  • Lightly drizzle Olive Oil on dough.
  • After adding Olive Oil, top dough with sardines and Italian sausage.
  • Add onions and Italian herbs (Since I love onions, I added a ton!)
  • Top with tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
  • Put in oven for 450 for about 15 minutes, or until done.

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Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup.

New Fall Favorite. Getting lost on Pinterest¬†for hours is without doubt an easy task. ¬†While scrolling through the cooking section the other day, I found myself drooling over this Sweet Potato, Chicken and Quinoa soup from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. ¬†If you like sweet potatoes, you will have to make this immediately.

The recipe was easy and perfect for those days when you have a ton of errands to do. ¬†Simply place all ingredients (found on Chelsea’s Messy Apron) into a slow cooker and then a few hours later you’re ready to serve. ¬†Add a bit of parsley for presentation and taste.

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Made Quick

October is in full swing, which means everything and anything that is scented or edible now comes in pumpkin. ¬†But hey! I’m certainly not complaining. Williams- Sonoma’s Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread is now one of my fall favorites. ¬†The recipe (which comes on the back of the bag) is quick, easy and delicious. ¬†Perfect for an impromptu fall get together.

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Ingredients for Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread: 

  • 1 Bag of Williams-Sonoma Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Pecans
  • 1 Stick of Unsalted melted Butter

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting: 8 oz. Cream Cheese, 2/3 Cup of Sugar, 3 Tbs. of Unsalted Butter, 3/4 Vanilla Extract

           Directions  

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬į Grease loaf pan so bread will not stick
  2. In a large bowl mix together Quick Bread Mix, eggs, water, and melted butter.
  3. The recipe on the bag does not call for extra pecans, I added 1/2 a cup of pecans into the mix.
  4. Pour mixture into loaf pan and leave in oven for about 55 minutes.
  5. While waiting for bread to bake, in a large electric mixing bowl mix together cream cheese, unsalted butter, sugar and vanilla extract for about 5 minutes.
  6. Once bread is done and completely cooled off, spread frosting over bread.  I also added pecans on top of frosting. Enjoy!

Homemade Croutons

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Homemade Croutons: the perfect pairing from soup to salad. I’ve always said if I could eat one thing for the rest of my life it would have to be salad (and pizza of course!) I turned into a salad junkie young thanks to Monday nights at my grandmother’s house. ¬†She would place a huge bowl of lettuce with tiny bowls filled with any and every topping you could imagine. ¬†One ingredient that always made it to my plate were croutons. ¬†Now whenever making a huge salad, homemade croutons are a must. ¬†They elevate any salad (try them in tomato basil soup too) to a new level.

Ingredients:

  • French Bread
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Italian seasoning

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grab your french bread and cut into slices. Then cut slices into cubes.
  3. Drizzle Olive oil, salt, pepper, and italian seasonings on bread and mix.
  4. Spread bread onto a baking pan and bake until golden brown.

Tip:

  • French bread consistency may be¬†different. The french bread that I used from a local bakery only took about 6 minutes to bake, but other breads may differ. Just watch croutons until turning golden brown (shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes.)

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

Last Saturday I went to a local bar with some friends to grab a few beers and get some delicious eats. I shared a portobello mushroom sandwich and sweet potato fries with my friends and have been craving this sandwich since then. I changed the recipe up a bit, but kept it pretty simple.

What you’ll need: (serves 4)

  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 Red bell peppers
  • 4 Ciabatta bread rolls
  • Worcester sauce
  • Butter
  • Italian seasoning
  • Basil Pesto
  • Swiss Cheese¬†DSC_2358

1. One hour before you start cooking, begin to clean and marinate the mushroom caps.  The best way for me to clean mushroom caps is to damp a paper towel and clean off the top and bottom of the portobello mushrooms.  If you just run the mushrooms through the water, they can become soaked. DSC_2364

2. After cleaning your mushroom caps, make a combination of butter, worcester sauce and italian seasoning.  I added about two tablespoons of butter and 4 table spoons of worcester sauce, then one tablespoon of italian seasoning.  Microwave your mixture for about 15 seconds or until melted.  Also cut red bell peppers longways into medium size slices.

3. Grab a large ZIp-lock freezer bag to put the mushroom caps in along with your marinate. Place in refrigerator for about an hour.

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4. Once you are ready to start cooking, take your portobello mushroom caps out of the fridge and place them in a high heat pan. Let mushrooms cook for about five minutes on high, while pouring leftover marinate throughout the cooking process.  After five minutes, turn the mushroom caps over and lower heat.  Add red bell pepper once heat is low.  ( I add the bell peppers towards the end  at a low heat so that they are still a bit crunchy when done.)

5. While your red bell peppers and mushroom caps are cooking, time to prepare your actual sandwich.  Heat your oven at about 350 and place your ciabatta bread onto a sheet of foil.  Slightly drizzle olive oil over the bread and place in oven to heat up. After this step take your portobello mushroom caps and red bell peppers off the pan to sit. Place mushrooms on a paper towel and plate so mushrooms can get rid of excess juice.

6. After bread is heated, spread basil pesto generously on both sides of the bread. (You can make your own pesto from scratch or just grab a pre made pesto at the groceries to cut down time.) Then add one portobello mushroom cap, red bell peppers, a slice of swiss cheese.

Add as much cheese or bell peppers as you would like, when it comes to sandwiches the messier they better right!

Three Cheese Fried Ravioli

DSC_2022Once I started Neaux La Gal, I immediately knew I wanted to include recipes not only from places that I love, but also my family’s recipes. Growing up food¬†has always been a huge part of my¬†family’s gatherings. ¬†There’s just something about sitting around a table together and sharing a meal. ¬†Every Sunday my dad will cook all afternoon so we can have a meal together that night. ¬†These Three Cheese Fried Raviolis are my all time favorite. I suggest cooking these when you have a good amount of time since, there it is a bit of a process (but a process that is definitely worth it!)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • Italian Seasoning (to taste)

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1. In an electric mixer, combine flour and salt together.  Slowly add one egg at a time while electric mixer is still on.  After adding the eggs, drizzle in olive oil.

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2. Once dough is completely combined, place the dough on a clean surface sprinkled with flour.  Knead the dough until it becomes flexible and smooth.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let sit for about 30 minutes.

3. While dough is resting, it is time to make the three-cheese filling.  Add 1/2 cup of mozzarella,  1/2 cup of ricotta, and  1/4 cup of parmesan together.  In a food processor, blend cheeses together. Add Italian seasoning to taste.  Place cheese filling in fridge.

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4. After 30 minutes cut dough in half.  Once again you want to cover your workspace in flour so that the dough will not stick. Shape dough into a rectangular shape so that it will be easy to roll through the pasta machine.

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Start the pasta machine setting at the widest setting.  Slowly guide the dough through the machine twice.  Now as you guide the pasta through the machine, you want to reduce the settings until you get to the smallest setting.  Once you are done, the dough should be paper thin.  Repeat this step to your other half of dough.

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5. Now that your dough is ready, it is time to form the raviolis.  We have a ravioli tray (similar to this.) Take your dough that you rolled out and place it over the ravioli tray.  Then add your three-cheese mixture in the middle of each ravioli square.  Next simply place your second half of dough on top.

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6. Take a rolling pin and starting from the middle of the tray roll up and then down so that the ravioli dough is formed.  From the bottom, carefully push out raviolis.

7. Press ravioli sides to make sure they are completely closed. Add raviolis to boiling water for about 6 minutes.  Then transfer raviolis to an egg wash mixture.

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8. Cover raviolis in bread crumbs, then place in fryer until golden brown.  Just be careful not to overcrowd the fryer. I put two to three raviolis at a time.

9. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestion: I served the raviolis with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  For a dipping sauce I added Alfredo sauce and Tomato Basil Sauce on the side.  If you are eating this as a meal you can drizzle one of the sauces over the raviolis or if you are serving them as appetizers you can put them on toothpicks and have side dipping sauces!

Pickling 101

 After picking up some homegrown cucumbers from the Farmers Market, I immediately knew I wanted to try out pickling.  My dad and I came up with this really simple, but amazing recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • ¬†2 Sprigs of Fresh Dill
  • 2 Cups of White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Medium-sized ¬†Onion
  • 1 Large Cucumber

Here is how:

1. Cut your yellow bell pepper and onion into large pieces.  Place yellow bell pepper, onion, and fresh dill into glass jar.  Slice cucumber and place into jar.

2. Boil the white wine vinegar, sugar, and salt for about ten minutes until sugar and salt is completely dissolved.

3.  Pour hot vinegar liquid into jar with ingredients.  Place into fridge overnight.

4. Serve the next day.

***There are no preservatives.  Pickles will stay good for about 7 days.

Like spicy?  Try adding a little bit of cayenne pepper or seafood boil seasonings to add a kick!

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Sweet As (mini) BlueBerry Pies

 With the 4th of July on Friday, I wanted to make one of my all-time favorite sweets, blueberry pie.  Now I have done a lot of eating blueberry pie, but not much cooking.  Cooking is one of my favorites things to do, but baking not so much.  Instead of making one large blueberry pie, I decided to make mini blueberry pies. I took a shot at it and it ended up being delicious and surprisingly easy.

What you’ll need for the pie crust: ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Serves: 4 mini blueberry pies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

What you’ll need for the pie filling:

  • 24 oz. pack of BlueBerries
  • ¬†2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of Cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

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Here’s how:

  • I never made pie crust before, so I wanted to use a recipe. I used this simple pie crust¬†recipe. The only thing I did differently in the recipe is step 3. ¬†After separating the pie crusts to make mini pies, I rolled them into small balls and put them in the fridge (instead of flattening them the dough out.)
  • While my crust dough was in the refrigerator, I started making the pie filling. ¬†In a medium hot pot, I added my blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and corn starch. ¬†Mix all ingredients together, and smash some of the blueberries while stirring. ¬†Leave the filling on a low heat until ingredients are thoroughly¬†combined and have a pie filling-like texture.
  • After one hour take out your pie crust from the fridge. ¬†Remember we’re making mini blueberry pies…so instead of using a large pie pan, use a cupcake pan (if you can find a large tin cupcake pan.)
  • Butter the cupcake tin so that the blueberry crust will easily come out after baking. ¬†Place the crust dough into the tins¬†and let bake for 20 minutes on 350.
  • Once the dough is cooked thoroughly carefully take the crust from the tins.
  • Carefully spoon the pie filling onto the pie crust. Lightly sprinkle sugar on top of blueberry filling.
  • Serve and Enjoy!

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