Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Crispy Baked Spicy Fries

Baked Fries Oozing with Jalapeño Ketchup

Thickly sliced potato wedges, olive oil and a hefty amount of spice make these one our family favorites. This recipe stands on its own as a savory and crunchy treat  but will pair well with burgers, dogs, grilled chicken and almost any grilled protein.  We enjoyed lamb burgers alongside the fries that were equally scrumptious.


4 large baking potatoes
4 Tbsp  olive oil
Fresh Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp. Szego Hot Paprika

1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Cut potato into wedges. Mix olive oil, paprika, garlic salt, chili powder and cayenne together. Coat potatoes      with oil/spice mixture and place on a baking sheet.

3. Bake for 30 minutes

4. Remove from oven, turn all "fries" with a set of tongs and return to oven

5. Bake for an additional 15 minutes and serve with your favorite burgers, dogs or whatever makes you smile!

Buon Apetito!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Best Ever Turkey Sausage Casserole

Crispy, Creamy, Deliciousness oozing with sweet and savory flavors!

This is the best use of leftover turkey you will ever find!  Inspiration comes from one of my favorite cookbooks of all time: Marlene Sorosky's Year Round Holiday Cookbook, given to my wife and me in 1983!  Over the years we've made nearly every recipe and most are fabulous.  Our version of Marlene's recipe has evolved and her book is out of print but  I urge you to find a copy and buy it!

Handwritten notes on the pages of this 1983 Classic

Turkey Sausage Casserole


1 Pound Italian Sausage (mild or hot are both fine)
1/4 pound butter
3/4 Pound Mushrooms sliced
1 Large Shallot finely minced
4 Tbs all purpose flour
1/2 Cup Riesling Wine
1 1/2 Cups Chicken or Turkey Broth
1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
1 tspn Kosher Salt
4 Cups Cooked Turkey cut into bite sized chunks
2 Cups leftover stuffing or one package Stove-Top

Sauté sausage over medium heat and add about a 1/4 cup of water making it easier to break up the meat into bite sized chunks.  When done, drain the pan, add to a large mixing bowl where all ingredients will be mixed later.   

In a large saucepan melt 4 Tbs. butter add shallots and  for sauté a minute.  Add mushrooms stirring regularly.  When mushrooms are almost done, turn heat to medium high, add Riesling and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low and add flour stirring constantly until a roux forms.  Add broth and stir constantly until all lumps are gone.  Add heavy cream and dijon mustard while continuing to stir and bring to a low boil for one minute.  

Lovin' those shallots...

 Mushrooms make this dish mildly addictive...

Add grated cheese, salt, pepper and turkey mixture to mixing bowl with sausage and toss together. 

Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish and cover with stuffing mixture.  I break up the stuffing with my hands, no other method works better.  Sprinkle stuffing over top of casserole and place a few pats of butter over top.

A little butter never hurt anyone.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Yum... goes well with leftover mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, corn pudding and cranberry sauce.

The Finished Product fresh out of the oven

Utterly scrumptious, a real crowd pleaser and best consumed over the weekend after Thanksgiving and prior to the Monday dieting routine.

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

BBQ Brick Chicken

                                                   BBQ BRICK CHICKEN

Seriously Tender and Juicy
Every once in awhile I pick up an idea for a great dish from Guy Fieri.  The dude is crazy and wacky but he sure can cook.  I watched him make a variation of this on the Today Show and modified it to suit my tastes.  I give him full credit for the inspiration and Brick Chicken is now a family favorite.


  • For The Brine:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 cups ice
  • One 5- to 7-pound whole chicken

  • For The Sauce:
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 4 Tbsp Prickly Pear Jelly
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • For dry rub:
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp plus Szego Hot Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Lemon, juiced


Place the whole chicken, breast-side down, on cutting board. Using and electrice knife, serrated knife or kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting up from the tailbone to the neck on both sides. 

For the brine:

To a small saucepan, add 1 cup water, the salt, sugar, bay leaves and garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the salt and sugar. Once at a simmer, turn off the heat and add the ice. Once the liquid is cool, place into a resealable bag over a bowl and add the chicken to the brine, making sure it is completely submersed. Allow to brine in the fridge for at least an 60 mimutes but preferably several hours

Make the  sauce:

In a small pot over medium-low heat, combine orange juice, prickly pear jelly, soy sauce and sherry vinegar. When liquid simmers, whisk in the brown sugar and ginger. Simmer until  it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes or so.  Remove from the heat and let stand .

Needless to say, I like locally sourced ingredients and this is really good prickly pear jelly!

Preheat grill to medium

Rub the bird:

Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Thoroughly mix herbs together in a small bowl and coat the chicken with the dry rub, making sure to sprinkle the bird liberally inside and out.

Hit The Grill:

Place chicken, breast side down first, for 7 to 8 minutes on a hot grill. Place a heavy weight (like a foil-wrapped brick) on top and press down firmly to flatten the chicken. Turn once and continue to grill, bone-side down for another 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium as it cooks if it starts to burn - this will allow the chicken to cook through.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken as it cooks and the skin gets browned and crispy. Remove brick and with a silicone pastry brush, glaze the chicken with the Cactus Jelly Sauce during the last 5 minutes. The chicken is doen when an instant-read thermometer tucked under the breast will read 165 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest for 6 to 8 minutes.

Carve and Serve:

Carve the chicken into breasts, thighs and wings. Arrange on a large serving dish alongside the sauce.

Buon Appetito!!