Iron Chef Mommy

The journey of a mother and wife in her very own kitchen stadium

Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

Superbowl (of food) Sunday…

Posted by ironchefmommy on February 10, 2010

Well, I’m a bit behind, of course. As noted in my last post, things are going to be changing around here in the next few weeks, so I’d ask those of you that do read to hang in there until they’re all finished. Posting is probably going to be slightly limited, only because I am one person and only have so many hours in a day to get shit done. I’ll do my best to have things go smoothly, but that’s never a sure thing with me. Ha.

So, Superbowl Sunday. My take on it? I usually don’t watch football during the season. I did in college because I would probably have been thrown out of my house if I wasn’t cheering for the resident team, our NY Giants (or Cattie’s Steelers). So, my Sunday’s in college consisted of beer and food, and whatever game happened to be on tv. We’re pretty much a baseball house. But, if an NY team happens to make it to the playoffs, will I watch? Maybe. Brett’s stepdad is a Giants fan as well, so if we’re up there on a Sunday, chances are that game is on.

Now, one of my closest, dearest, best friends is a New Orleans native. We have gone back and forth over the 10 years we’re friends, I should move south, she should move north… neither is likely, especially now that we have 2 feet of snow dumped on us and she’s what you would call a “tropical people.” I was glued to the tv during Katrina and the storms that have hit since, worrying about her and her family – since we’re friends we’ve been through quite a bit, husbands, children, and a whole lotta crap. I love her dearly. Anyway, her Saints made (and have since won, in case you’ve been living under a rock) the Superbowl. Of course I was happy for her – and my dad, who lived in NO for quite a few years, was beyond thrilled. Plus, I’m an Emeril fan. So we set out to cheer on the Saints and watch the game. Brett’s friend moved back into PA about a week or so ago from AZ, and it was an understatement that Brett was happy to have him back. So he came up for dinner (I made my Shepherd’s Pie at Brett’s request) and we enjoyed some snacks. I didn’t go overboard since Brett’s trying to eat a little healthier since we’ve started working out together. I made my famous 7 layer taco dip (more healthy than the other option, buffalo chicken dip) and I made wings. Baked, not fried, so slightly better, but I left the skin on. Yum. So, if you’re throwing a party, these are easy and yummy. Enjoy!

7 layer taco dip

You need:

9″ or 10″ pie plate
taco sauce or salsa 2-3 tablespoons
refried beans (1 can)
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
taco seasoning envelope
chopped tomatoes
chopped scallions
sliced olives
cheddar/jack cheeses

Mix one can refried beans with 2-3 tablespoons of salsa or taco sauce and spread into bottom of pie plate. In a seperate dish, stir together sour cream and mayo. Spread on top of bean mixture. Layer 1/2 envelope of taco seasoning. Cover dish with shredded cheddar/jack cheese and top with chopped scallions, tomatoes, and olives. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Homemade buffalo wings

First get:
30 chicken wings
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup hot sauce (like RedHot)

Then:
Take flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and mix in large ziploc bag. Drop wings into bag and shake to coat. Remove wings. On large baking sheet, place tinfoil then spray with cooking spray. Place wings on cooking sheet and refrigerate for one hour.

Remove wings from fridge. In small saucepan, combine butter and hot sauce. Add tabasco if needed. I added some honey and 2 tbs brown sugar because I thought it needed a little zing. Coat wings in sauce and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, turning wings halfway through.

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Posted in Appetizer, Baking, Chicken, Dinner, Holiday, Meat, Miscellaneous, Quick, Vegetables | 1 Comment »

Happy 2010!

Posted by ironchefmommy on January 2, 2010

Happy New Year (and new decade, for that matter!). It’s been a whirlwind of a week here and I have so much to do, but I did want to share a few things to start the new year in a great (tasting) way!

A little back story on the first dish, well, dessert. As some of you know, my husband has an amazing palate. He can taste such minuscule differences in dishes and is very picky about flavors. I knew that when I wanted to get better at cooking and baking, he would be my biggest supporter – and toughest critic. I knew impressing him would be hard…call it part of the challenge I guess.

Brett’s favorite cake in the whole world is angel food cake. I got the idea back in September when deciding what to do for his birthday. He decided he wanted to go out to a favorite restaurant of ours, Gregory’s, for a yummy dinner and then come home for cake and presents. Brett declared that he wanted angel food cake. I could have just searched online, but my dear friend Marilla from Cupcake Rehab has always posted delicious recipes so I figured I’d ask her first. Sure thing, she got back to me immediately with one. This cake is AMAZEBALLS. It’s light, airy, with that small hint of almond-y taste that the best angel food cakes have. It’s also surprisingly easy to make. It’s become my go-to recipe anytime Brett requests one (which is usually once a month). He was stuck on a roof all day on Wednesday in 45 mph winds and freezing weather so I thought this would be a nice thing for him to come home to. It came out the best it has so far… absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
12 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Note: For those not use to making angel food cakes Don’t get any yoke in the whites, if you do throw out and start over. Separate the egg in a glass first. Then if no yoke pour into measuring container.
DO NOT GREASE PAN.
Heat oven to 375°.
Sift the cake flour and 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar; set aside.
Combine the extracts in a small bowl; set aside.
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until it forms peaks.
Add the other 3/4 cup of sugar slowly, then beat on high until stiff peaks form.
(If you have a mixing guard for your mixer bowl now would be a good time to attach it.)
Beating on LOW, add flour mixture and extracts slowly.
Make sure you fold in the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl.
Spoon into an angel food cake pan.
Move a knife through batter to remove air pockets.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly with finger. It will feel more dry than sticky.
Invert pan onto a tin funnel to cool completely.
To remove the cake from your pan run a knife around the rim of the cake pan just to get the ‘crust’ away from the pan. Then firmly spank the sides of your pan. You could use a knife but this sometime tears the sides of the cake. Invert onto your serve plate then take the knife to the now top which was the bottom of your pan and gently cut cake away from the pan insert. No need to cut around the center tube as you just give the cake a gently but firm tap or downward shake on to the plate. Or you can pick up plate while holding onto the pan insert with your thumbs and firmly strike the bottom of the plate onto a folded towel. (Just give it a slam down on the towel/table).

*Another Note – use at least the middle rack of the oven, if not one higher. This will prevent the top of the cake (which bakes as the bottom) from becoming too browned.

On we go to New Years Eve… we had planned a night in since Brett was on call until midnight, and we’re not really big New Years people. I made one of our favorites – buffalo chicken dip. Be warned – it’s delicious and you will have NO problem eating the whole plate of it yourself with a bag of Tostitos. It’s nothing fancy, but utterly delicious.
Use a 9 or 10″ pie plate
Preheat oven to 350.
Layer the following in order:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 can 12 oz chunk white meat chicken breast (or fresh cooked chicken breasts if you prefer)
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup hot sauce (Red Hot)
Shredded cheddar cheese to cover dish
Bake it for 25 minutes. (I find putting it on the top oven rack for 35 minutes is better. It’s cooked all the way through to the middle)

Hope you enjoy these recipes! I have one for the double chocolate chocolate chip cookies I baked for New Years that came out amazing as well. Stay tuned!

Posted in Appetizer, Baking, Cheese, Chicken, Cooking, Dessert, Holiday | 6 Comments »