Monday, August 13, 2018

Peach Strawberry Crisp

After a while you learn to have a few "go-to" dishes that you can count on to save the day!! When it comes to last minute dessert, cakes and pies take too much time. But crisps and crumbles are perfect--so easy your fifth-graders can make them in very little time. Of course it always helps to have a few basic ingredients on hand. During the summer we always  have peaches and strawberries in the fridge. During the fall and winter months substitute with apple or pears and cranberries.

Peach Strawberry Crisp Recipe
Serves 6-8
4-5 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
1-2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch, kosher salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Chef Belinda Turkish Coffee Spice Mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine peaches, strawberries, cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, extract and salt. Toss thoroughly to combine and spoon into prepared dish.

Make the topping by combining all ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle, evenly, over the top of the fruit mixture. Bake  for 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

(Thanks to Lodge Cast Iron for the perfect baking and serving dish!)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sweet Peach Dough Balls

When you have an abundance of fresh-picked peaches straight from the orchard, why not experiment?

Sweet Peach Dough Balls Recipe
Makes 2 dozen
Dough Batter
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Chef Belinda Moroccan Coffee Spice Mix
1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup chopped ripe peaches
Canola oil, for frying 
Confectioner’s sugar

In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour and the remainder of dry ingredients. In a 2-cup measuring cup whisk together the milk, egg and butter. Pour into the dry mixture and stir until combined. Add the peaches and thoroughly combine. Add remaining flour a little at a time until batter is thick enough to scoop.

Into a deep skillet, pour 1-inch of oil and bring to 350F. Using a scoop or spoon, drop dough balls into hot oil. Work in batches of 5-6 balls at a time. Dough balls should be about 1-1/2-inch in diameter—it is okay if they are not perfectly round. (I used a #60 spring scoop; and it was the perfect size.) Cook for 2-3 minutes until brown on first side. Most of the dough balls will flip over by themselves as they brown. If not, use a spatula to turn; and cook 2-3 minutes on other side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet to cool. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Black & Bloody Mary Cocktail

I love Sunday mornings! Nothing like a Bloody Mary to start a lazy day.

Black and Bloody Mary Cocktail
Serves 6
24 ounces tomato juice
Juice of 2 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup) strained
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Chef Belinda Blackened Spice Blend
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
12 ounces peppered vodka (Absolut Peppar or Stolichnaya Jalapeño)
Pickled asparagus, green beans or okra, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Olives, for garnish

In a medium pitcher mix tomato juice, lemon juice, horseradish, spice blend and Worcestershire sauce. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve add ice to glasses and 1-2 ounces of vodka; top with tomato mix. Garnish with your choice of vegetable, lemon wedge and olive.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Grains of Paradise Encrusted Steak

Steak, like chicken, can get boring if you eat a lot of it. I eat my share of steak!! Let’s face it, what’s not to love? While any steak in a storm will do, I prefer the taste of thick, juicy (and let’s not forget fatty) ribeyes—you can’t beat the flavor. So once in a while I spice it up. This is extremely easy—nothing complicated about it—just five ingredients. Spicy, not fiery.

1 tablespoon Grains of Paradise, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
Kosher salt
1 ribeye or your favorite cut
Harissa olive oil

In a small bowl mix grains of paradise, chipotle powder and salt. Rub mix into each side of the steak. Wrap steak tightly in plastic film and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

Remove steak from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling and sprinkle both sides with the olive oil. Preheat grill. Cook 4-5 minutes on one side until well-charred; flip and cook until temperature, on an instant-read thermometer, reaches 125F for medium-rare, 135F for medium and 145F for well-done. Transfer to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with slices of herb butter.

Whisky Herb Butter, Optional
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon shallots, minced
2 tablespoons Jack Daniels
½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and scoop onto a large piece of plastic film. Roll up into a log, securing ends, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Slice and serve.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Sautéed Shrimp

This spicy coconut pumpkin soup is so delicious, warming and filling on a chilly night. The sriracha-flavored pepitas add just the right amount of "kick!" Easily substitute the pumpkin   with butternut squash  or sweet potatoes.

Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Sautéed Shrimp
Serves 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons Chef Belinda Moroccan Spice Blend
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
3 cups pumpkin puree
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
4 cups vegetable stock
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
18 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Chef Belinda Seafood Spice Blend
Olive oil
Sriracha flavored pepitas (pumpkin seeds), garnish
Fresh chopped cilantro, garnish

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and stir for 1 minute. Stir in curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in pumpkin puree and brown sugar; then add vegetable stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth. (If using a stand blender, puree in batches.) Return to pot and bring to a simmer.  Add coconut milk and stir, until hot and thoroughly incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning.
In a medium bowl, season shrimp with spice blend and toss with olive oil. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté shrimp for 2 minutes on each side. Ladle soup into bowls and top with 3 shrimp; garnish with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.