Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lincoln County Biscuits

I've talked many times about how I love Santa Fe, but recently we decided to visit a different part of New Mexico.  We went to Ruidoso for the weekend and it was a great getaway.  It's located in the mountains and it was the perfect break from the summer heat of Oklahoma.  We stayed in the most precious little cabin overlooking the Ruidoso River (which is more of a babbling brook) and even had two massive elk right outside our door.  The town has some great shopping and art galleries and we even did a wine tasting or two.  If you don't know, Ruidoso is located in Lincoln County.  That might sound familiar to you from history.  The Lincoln County War was a conflict between two different factions that included such notable wild west figures as: Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett.  The famous battle made Billy the Kid not only a household name, but a fugitive.  In fact just 25 minutes from Ruidoso is Lincoln, New Mexico.  In the spring of 1881,  Billy was taken to the Lincoln County Courthouse where he was scheduled to be hanged.  Billy escaped, killing two guards in the process.  He was eventually shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garret in Fort Sumner, NM.  I've always loved history, especially the history of the wild west.  And I've always been intrigued by Billy the Kid.  Maybe it's my love for the movie, Young Guns, or maybe it's because my dad's name is Billy.  Either way I fell in love with Lincoln County and enjoyed it as much as I do my visits to Santa Fe.  On our last morning in Ruidoso we went to a small diner for breakfast.  The menu listed something called Lincoln County Biscuits, described as biscuits made with sausage and green chilies, topped with cheese and served with gravy.  You simply cannot go to New Mexico and not eat green chilies.  Especially at breakfast.  (The day before I had enchiladas and eggs for breakfast, topped with green chile sauce and served with refried beans.  No bran muffins for me.)  I ordered the Lincoln County Biscuits and I was surprised when they came to the table.  I was expecting a regular biscuit stuffed with a sausage patty and some green chiles.  What I got was the most delightful presentation of a "pinwheel" made with flaky biscuit dough, spicy pork sausage, flavorful green chiles.  Topped with melted cheese and served with gravy.   It's safe to say I had the best breakfast at the table.  I immediately came home and set out to recreate it for you.  We've already eaten this twice.  The biscuits are individually frozen so you can bake as many as you need.  I sure hope Billy the Kid enjoyed these biscuits back in his day.  A true taste of New Mexico!

My version of New Mexico's
Lincoln County Biscuits
Flaky biscuit pinwheels filled with
pork sausage, cheese and green chiles...
Serve topped with gravy...
Here are the biscuits I had in New Mexico.
The inspiration for this recipe.
Lincoln, New Mexico hosts a Billy the Kid Festival
every August, featuring re-enactments and
all kinds of fun.  I'm definitely going back for this.
The infamous Lincoln County Courthouse where
Billy the Kid made his escape.
Sadly, he killed two deputies in the process.
I highly recommend you rent the movie
Young Guns.  It will help you
brush up on your Billy the Kid history.
Check out the beautiful
wildlife right outside our cabin.
Two of these majestic guys were
almost close enough to touch!
If you can't make it to Ruidoso anytime soon,
I think my re-creation of the Lincoln County Biscuits
is spot on.  The perfect taste of New Mexico!

Lincoln County Biscuits

4 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pats
3 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained
1 (1 pound) package hot pork sausage
1 (1 pound) package mild pork sausage
1 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese

white gravy for serving (Do not tell my mother, but I used a gravy mix from a package.  That's a huge Southern no-no.)

In a large bowl combine the baking mix and milk.  Cut in the butter pieces with a pastry cutter until a smooth dough has formed.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the sausage, green chiles and cheese in a large bowl.  Let this mixture stand at room temperature while the dough chills. (This will make it much easier to spread if it is room temperature.)

Remove 1/2 of the dough mixture from the refrigerator.  On a floured surface, roll into a rectangle that is approximately 10-12 inches long, 7-8 inches wide and about 1/2 inch thick.  Spread half of the sausage mixture over the dough.  Roll as for a jelly roll.  You'll should have a nice, neat log that is approximately 10-12 inches long.  Wrap this in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for exactly 1 hour.  Repeat with the other half of the dough and sausage mixture. 

After one hour, remove the logs from the freezer and unwrap.  Place on a cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch slices.  (They will look kind of like a cinnamon roll.)  At this point you can either bake the individual biscuits or freeze until ready to use.  (I placed them on a cookie sheet until they were frozen solid and then stuck them all in a freezer bag.) 

When you are ready to bake the biscuits place the frozen slices on a well-greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Serve with gravy and enjoy.

NOTE:  This will make approximately 20-30 biscuits and we found that 2-3 is a nice portion.  I love that the rest freeze well and you can bake them from frozen.  You don't even have to thaw them out.  The sausage wants to stick to the pan even if it's well-greased so you'll need to be patient and carefully remove them with a spatula.

Prep Time:  Approximately 2 hours (need to chill)  Cook Time:  Approximately 25 minutes

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Raspberry Champagne Floats

Desserts that combine alcohol and ice cream intrigue me.  A few years back we were in San Francisco and decided to pop into Hubert Keller's Burger Bar.  When the elevator door opened there was a giant picture of Hubert, and I said, "I wish he was really here." We had stopped in for dessert and a drink. Interestingly enough the restaurant combined the two.  My husband ordered the Irish Sweetness which was a float made with Irish Stout and coffee ice cream, topped with whipped cream.  I had a Berry Float which combined Berry Lambic, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  Truthfully I do not remember what I ordered.  I had to look it up on the Burger Bar menu for this blog post.  And I'll tell you why I couldn't remember.  It WAS NOT because the dessert wasn't memorable.  It was because Hubert Keller himself walked into the restaurant while we were there.  If you aren't familiar with Chef Keller, he's an award-winning French chef with world-renowned restaurants.  He's been on Top Chef Masters and many other cooking shows.  He's published cook books, consulted on all kinds of restaurants.  Cooked at the White House.  You get it.  He's like the Rolling Stones of cooking.  Normally I would not be star-struck and fall off my bar stool, but I'm a food nerd and meeting Chef Hubert was one of the coolest experiences in my life.  And yes I asked for his autograph because I'm a total dork.  He was very gracious and very French and very awesome. He influences chefs everywhere and he even motivates little 'ol homecook me.   Inspired by Chef Keller's grown up floats, I decided to create my own version at home.  Raspberry Champagne Floats feature vanilla ice cream, champagne, fresh raspberries and my yummy homemade Raspberry Coulis.  You won't be disappointed with this bubbly, sweet adult treat!
Raspberry Champagne Floats...
Inspired by Burger Bar
Add Raspberry Coulis to a glass. 
Top with ice cream.
Pour champagne over all.
Garnish with fresh raspberries and more sauce.
Such a pretty dessert.
And perfect in my OU wine glasses...
Enjoy a grown up treat!
What kind of dork asks a Top Chef Master
for their autograph?  Me.  That's who.

Raspberry Champagne Floats

Vanilla Ice Cream (we used Breyer's)
1 Bottle Good Quality Champagne or Prosecco
Fresh Raspberries
1 (10 ounce) Bag Frozen Raspberries, thawed
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

To Make the Raspberry Coulis:

Combine the package of thawed raspberries and granulated sugar in a blender.  Process until smooth.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  You'll have a thick, delicious sauce.  This sauce is fantastic over ice cream, chocolate cake, brownies or anything else you can think of. 

To Make the Raspberry Champagne Floats:

Place 1-2 tablespoons raspberry coulis in the bottom of a glass.  Top with two generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.  Spoon on some more raspberry coulis and pour champagne over all.  Garnish with fresh raspberries.

NOTE:  I didn't want to break my champagne flutes by trying to eat the ice cream with a spoon, so I made the floats in some larger wine glasses.  I added a GENEROUS amount of champagne to fill the glasses for the photographs.  How much you use is up to you!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Homemade Runzas

When Little Devil was truly little, we lived in Omaha, Nebraska.  There's a restaurant chain local to that area called Runza.  In fact, the first one opened in Lincoln in 1949.  What is a Runza you ask?  Well it's ground beef, cabbage and onions, seasoned and baked inside fresh bread.  In other places I've heard them referred to as Bierocks, but I prefer the name Runza and I'll tell you why.  When Little Devil was truly little, she talked like Elmer Fudd.  Ls and Rs were pronounced like Ws.  Bunny Rabbit was Bunny Wabbit.  Barbecue Ribs were Wibs.  And Runza was Wunza.  Every time we drove by a Runza Restaurant she would say, "Wunza!" only she didn't eat the sandwich.  She only liked the krinkle fries.  Now we're back home in Oklahoma and I'm pleased to report Little Devil no longer talks like Elmer Fudd.  (She'd better not, she's a college senior...)  Sadly there are no Runza Restaurants this far south, so I decided to make my own.  They turned out great and I'm thinking of introducing them to Sooner fans this football season at our tailgates.  I know the Husker fans enjoy them, because every time we're on campus in Lincoln, someone kindly offers us a homemade Runza.  Whether you refer to them as Bierocks or Wunzas,  and whether you live North or South, you can make them too!

Homemade Runzas, or as we call them, "Wunzas."

Roll two balls of dough into equal size ovals
(approximately 5-6 inches long)
Add the filling on one of the ovals
Top with the other section of dough and allow to rise.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Enjoy this yummy sandwich filled with seasoned
beef, onions and cabbage.
(Trust me they are so good!)
Just like Nebraska!

Homemade Runzas

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped white onion
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
hot sauce to taste (I used Crystal's)
1 package Rhode's frozen dinner rolls, thawed

In a large skillet with a lid brown the ground beef and onion until done.  Drain off any grease.  Add the shredded cabbage, garlic powder, salt, pepper, butter, water and hot sauce.  Stir well.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Take two of the balls of dinner roll dough and roll into ovals as pictured above.  Place about 1/4-1/3 cup ground beef filling onto one of the ovals and top with the other oval of dough.  Continue this until you are out of filling.  Place the filled ovals onto a greased cookie sheet.  Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

NOTE:  I did not add any cheese but per my husband's request I will do so the next time I make them!

Prep Time:  Approximately 50 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 20 minutes

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

San Francisco S'mores

I love San Francisco.  It's my second favorite city after Santa Fe.  I could spend days and days there.  The atmosphere, the architecture, the history.  THE CHOCOLATE.  In case you didn't know, San Francisco is the home of  Ghirardelli Chocolate.  The company started there more than 160 years ago, making them America's oldest continuously operating chocolate maker and my personal hero :)  When you visit Ghirardelli Square, the original chocolate manufactory, they give you a square of Ghirardelli chocolate upon your entrance.  You can buy any and all things chocolate-related there.  I have their cookbook and a big tote bag.  If sampling the candy isn't enough for you, they have a soda fountain where you can enjoy all kinds of treats.  My favorite is the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Chocolate.  It is rich and amazing and sprinkled with sea salt and of course one of their signature chocolates with caramel filling is served on the side.  Their Monterey, California location in Cannery Row has a balcony that overlooks the bay.  Sitting outside watching the waves and sipping on that hot chocolate is one of my favorite memories.  Another way we love to reminisce about our San Francisco vacations is enjoying some San Francisco S'Mores.  If you can't make it to Ghirardelli Square, at least you can enjoy a little taste at home! 
A S'more unlike any other.
Quick! Follow that sign!
Ghirardelli Square
San Francisco, California
Here's the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa
I was telling you about.
Here's me at one of the happiest places on earth.
Here's Mr. DD's chocolate shake.
I think he was pretty happy too!
Enjoy a taste of San Francisco at home!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

How To Make Canned Enchilada Sauce Taste Like A Restaurant's

I'm all about shortcuts in the kitchen IF they don't taste like a shortcut.  While I do enjoy preparing a lot of things from scratch, sometimes it just isn't feasible to soak dried chiles to make a sauce when we're craving enchiladas.  My pal Michaela over at An Affair From the Heart has a great blog post on How To Make Canned Refried Beans Taste Like A Restaurant's.  In fact it's one of her most popular posts, which tells me everyone appreciates tasty shortcuts.  A while back we made this sauce for some chicken enchiladas and it was fabulous.  You would never know the recipe starts with a can of prepared enchilada sauce.  Don't get me wrong, canned enchilada sauce tastes just fine.  But it doesn't have the depth or richness you'll find in a restaurant's sauce.  Between this sauce, and Michaela's Refried Beans, you'll have a restaurant quality Mexican meal in minutes!

This tastes just like a restaurant!
I'm in love with my Cherry Red Le Creuset Saucier pan.
It's perfect for making this sauce...
Don't forget to serve the
Refried Beans from An Affair of the Heart
with your enchiladas!

Just like a restaurant's and ready in minutes.

How To Make Canned Enchilada Sauce Taste Like A Restaurant's

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
1 cup chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a saucepan over medium-high heat melt the butter until it becomes foamy.  Add the flour and stir constantly for one minute.  Stir in the canned enchilada sauce, chicken broth and salt and pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened.  (Approximately 10-15 minutes.)  Keep warm over low heat until ready to assemble enchiladas.

Prep Time:  Approximately 5 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 20 minutes

Thursday, July 21, 2016

{CopyCat} Torchy's Queso

Today is National Junk Food Day.  Last night Mr. Devilish and I had a debate as to whether chips and queso were junk food.  I say junk food.  He maintains they are Mexican food.  He said, "Junk food is stuff like Oreos or potato chips."  To which I replied, "I don't have any Oreo or potato chip recipes to share." So queso it is.  Torchy's Queso to be exact.  Not all of you may be familiar with Torchy's Tacos as they started in Austin, Texas and are regional to Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma.  Their motto is, "Damn Good" and that is the truth.  They have some unusual combinations like the Trailer Park Taco featuring fried chicken.  If unusual isn't your thing, don't worry.  You can get something mainstream like green chile pork or beef fajita.  One thing everyone can agree on is the queso.  It's topped off with guacamole, queso fresco, fresh cilantro and Torchy's Diablo Sauce.  I had seen several copycat recipes for their queso and we decided to give it a try.  Mr. Devilish Dish is more of a queso connoisseur than I am.  He said this was pretty spot on.  All I know is it was Damn Good. 

Damn Good!
The famous Diablo Sauce.
If you don't have a Torchy's nearby,
use a good quality hot sauce like Cholula.
Just wait until you stir it all together!
Just like Torchy's.
Grab some chips and a cold beer and you will be so happy.

{CopyCat} Torchy's Queso

1 cup fire roasted salsa (We used Brother's)
1 (4 ounce) can Hatch chopped green chiles
1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
2.5 tablespoons heavy cream
Torchy's Diablo Sauce (or other hot sauce like Cholula or Valentina's)
guacamole (our recipe)
1-2 tablespoons Queso Fresco cheese
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped Roma tomato

Combine the salsa, green chiles, Velveeta and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently until cheese is melted and hot.  Pour queso into serving dish.  Drizzle generously with hot sauce.  Top with a big dollop of guacamole.  Sprinkle with crumbled Queso Fresco cheese, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and tomato.  When you're ready to eat, stir everything together, grab some chips and enjoy!

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 15 minutes

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cookies for Cops {With LARGE BATCH Dishpan Cookies}

I once saw a documentary about a beached whale.  A hysterical woman ran up to the camera and said, "I didn't know what to do so I made sandwiches."  As funny as her comment was, I'm exactly like that woman.  Maybe it's my Southern roots.  When someone has a baby you take food.  When there's a death in the family or some other tragedy, you take food.  I'm like Annelle in Steel Magnolias.  If someone I know is suffering, then I look for something in the "freezes beautifully section of my cookbook."  Without getting into a political discussion, in light of what is happening around the country I felt compelled to do something for our police department.  While I live in a good-sized town, it hasn't always been this big.  It's grown a lot since I was a kid.  But it still feels like a small town and we treat each other with good 'ol Oklahoma kindness.  I wasn't sure what to do, so like the woman in the whale documentary I decided to make sandwiches.  Only not sandwiches.  I decided to make cookies.  And when I say I made cookies, I made cookies.  This recipe makes a HUGE batch of cookies.  So many that I'm taking a big platter to our local police department and a big platter to our local sheriff's department.  Now Little Devil's BFF's Dad is a police chief, so I asked if it was alright if I took cookies to the office.  He said yes.  Mr. Devilish Dish is acquainted with the sheriff through golf so I simply called him and told him who I was and that I would like to bring cookies to his office if that was okay with him.  He said sure.  If you aren't up to making something homemade, then use my FREE PRINTABLE SIGNS and take some store-bought cookies.  I saw a Facebook post today where a mother and daughter took a basket full of everything blue (Cool Ranch Doritos, Oreos, etc...) to a police station. Take a card.  Say a prayer.  Let them know you appreciate them.  At the end of the day they are husbands and wives and fathers and mothers.  And right now they need to know my family supports them. 

I didn't know what to do so I made cookies lol.
Golden brown oatmeal cookies full of M&Ms and
chocolate chips!

18 cups of oats.
I told you that you needed a big bowl.
Here's the creamed ingredients.
I have a big mixer.

Tons of cookie dough!

This was only one side of the counter.
I have a lot of cookie sheets.

I found these cute blue platters at Dollar Tree.

And I made a little sign to attach to the cookies.
Don't they look yummy?
I wish I could have had just blue M&Ms.
All ready to go!
I've included the FREE PRINTABLE signs
for you to use too.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.

Here's a single version of the sign.
This one includes the ingredients in case
there are any food allergies.

These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.
Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.
-Dalai Lama

Cookies for Cops (LARGE BATCH Dishpan Cookies)
*NOTE: This recipe makes approximately 20 DOZEN cookies.  You could easily halve the recipe and still have tons to share.  You'll need a very large bowl, dishpan or large soup pot to mix them.

2 pounds brown sugar
4 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks margarine, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
12 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 teaspoons white corn syrup
1 (3-pound) jar peanut butter
8 teaspoons baking soda
18 cups old-fashioned oats
1 (16 ounce) package chocolate chips (I used a variety of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate chips)
1 (16 ounce) package plain M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  If you have a large stand mixer, you can cream the first few ingredients in it.  (My mixer is 7 quarts and it was pretty full.)  Cream together the brown sugar and granulated sugar with the softened margarine and butter.  Add the eggs.  Combine until creamy.  Add the vanilla and corn syrup.  Add all of the peanut butter and mix until it is very creamy.  (If you're doing this by hand you'll need some elbow grease.)  Finally add in the baking soda until well combined.  Place the oats in a very large bowl.  Add the creamed mixture and stir really well until combined.  The dough will be pretty sticky.  Finally mix in the chocolate chips and M&Ms.  Place tablespoon-sized scoops of dough onto greased cookie sheets.  (Grease them well because they tend to stick a tiny bit where the M&Ms melt to the pan.) Flatten slightly. Bake approximately 10-12 minutes until puffy and golden.  (They will sink a little as they cool.)  Cool on the pan at least 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Bake Time:  Approximately 12 minutes (times 20 pans full)

NOTE-  Any negative, derogatory or political comments left on this post will be deleted.  If you don't want to make Cookies for Cops, then feel free to skip this post and check out my Southwestern Pasta Salad.  Remember what Thumper says:
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