Duke’s Mayonnaise: Pimento Bow Ties

I recently entered my recipe for Pimento Bow Ties in the Duke’s 100th Anniversary Contest – I was a runner up to the winner who submitted Alabama White BBQ Sauce – I’m in no way sad about this! Since my recipe was a runner-up, it’s still mine, and I thought, finally, I could definitely go ahead and share my recipe you with y’all!

Pimento Bow Tie Crisps – 4 dozen
2 1/4 cups White Lily all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon diced pimentos, drained, patted dry
8 ounces Duke’s mayonnaise
1 cup grated aged white Cheddar cheese, packed
1/2 cup grated orange Cheddar cheese, packed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add the mayonnaise and pimentos, pulse until coarse in texture.

Place the flour mixture in a large bowl, add cheeses and mix until combined. Drizzle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Test dough by squeezing between fingertips, it should stick together.

Lightly flour work surface and gather the dough on it, press into a rectangle. Fold into thirds, 2 times. Wrap tightly in cling wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let it rest at room temp for 10 minutes. Cut the dough in half and return the unused half to the fridge to repeat the process later.

Lightly flour work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle 12 to 14 inches long horizontally. The dough should be about an 1/8 inch thick. Cut horizontal strips to 1 1/4 inches wide, then cut the d
ough in vertical segments to form strips that are 2 inches wide.

Place 2 inch strips on the prepared baking sheet, to create a bow tie, give each rectangle a twist.

Bake for 15-18 minutes minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet.

Serve or store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!contest


Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

WAIT! I know what you are thinking – Amanda, a casserole? I can assure this is not one your mother would have whipped up, it doesn’t involve processed “cheese-like” product. We were wanting comfort food, so I created a roux, and with the help of heavy whipping cream and shredded cheese…I made my own cheesy sauce.

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole – 6 servings
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces Kraft Triple Cheddar Cheese finely shredded (you can use whatever blend you like, this is our preference)img_0081-2
1/3 cup reduced fat milk
1 can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 cups cooked long grain white rice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broccoli, cook until lightly browned.

To make the cheese sauce melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan, whisk in the flour. Cook for about 1 minute, while continually whisking, add the cream in a steady stream. Whisk in the shredded cheese, until completely melted.

Add cheese sauce, milk, condensed soup, and rice to saute pan, combine – turn off the heat.

Pour mixture into 2-quart shallow baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let dish rest for 5 minutes, and serve.

Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!

Pork Chops with Roasted Pears and Shallots

It’s FALL y’all! My favorite season is upon us – and it’s finally “cool” (it’s 80 F today) enough to get in the kitchen.  I decided to kick things off right, with roasted pears, shallots, thick-cut pork chops and a pan sauce.

Also, a little update on me: Things have been hectic since my last post, we’ve decided to sell our home – so I don’t get the chance to get in my lovely kitchen and cook as often as I’d like during this process, which means less posts. I assure you once this miserable process is over…I’ll be back in the kitchen.

Pork Chops with Roasted Pears and Shallots – 2 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minceddscn5972
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
2 bone-in pork chops
3 shallots, peeled and quartered
2 Bosc or Anjou pears, quartered and cored
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup pear juice
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix oil, garlic, and chopped thyme in a roasting pan. Add pork, shallots, pears, and toss to coat in mixture. Remove pears. Place roasting pan over medium heat, and brown pork on all sides, turning, about 4 minutes, remove from heat.  Roast pork until thermometer inserted into center registers 145 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Place pork, shallots and pears on serving dish – cover with foil to rest.

Meanwhile melt butter in roasting pan, over medium heat, whisk in flour. Add broth, pear juice mixture to the roasting pan and boil until sauce thickens, scraping up browned bits, about 7 minutes.

Divide pork among 2 plates, garnish with shallots, pears and sauce.

Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!

Kabocha Squash and Wild Rice

Ok – so I served my casserole with roasted poussin. You too can serve this with poussin, quail, or you can stuff a cornish hen – you could also just serve it as is because it’s such a comforting dish.

The casserole dish I used, is a cast-iron enamel glazed Le Creuset. It’s safe to use on the stove top and the oven. If you don’t have something similar, you can easily get by with a deep oven safe sauté pan.

Kabocha Squash and Wild Rice – 4-6 servings
4 thick-cut slices bacon, sliced into lardons
2 cups diced Kabocha squash (aka kent/jak squash)
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced leek
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of saffron threads
1 cup wild rice
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
6 curry leaves
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts, optional
1/4 cup chopped parsley, optional

Heat a casserole dish over high heat, add the lardons and saute until golden. Add diced squash, onion, leek, garlic and spices, and sauté until softened (6-8 minutes). Stir in rice, ginger and curry leaves, add stock to cover (add a little water if necessary), stir and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover the casserole dish tightly with foil, then transfer it to the oven and bake until rice has absorbed liquid (16-18 minutes). Remove from the oven, and cover with a clean tea towel, then set aside to steam for 5 minutes.

You can garnish with pine nuts and parsley, and serve family style. If you decide to serve this along side a bird, I recommend simply dressing the bird with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Happy Cooking! Bon Apppetit!

Marinated Flank with Garden Veggies

Is your garden as prolific as mine? Tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini…oh summer!

This recipe serves 2, but you can easily double or triple the recipe.

Marinated Flank with Garden Veggies – 2 servings
2 cups Merlot (or other dry red wine)IMG_0166
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 cup mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup loosely packed basil
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove
1 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch thick
1 medium yellow squash, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch thick
1 lb flank steak
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine wine, peppercorns, fennel and bay leaf into a saucepan and bring to a boil until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Allow mixture to cool completely. Place steak in a gallon size Ziploc bag, add cooled wine mixture and refrigerate for 4 hours. Let the steak stand at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to grilling.

Combine cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Preheat your grill to high.

In your handy blender or food processor (basically whatever you use to make pesto) – combine basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pulse until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss the sliced zucchini and squash in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.

Season the steak with chile powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add steak to the grill, and grill about 8 minutes on each side (times varies on your preference). Let the steak stand for 10 minutes while you grill the zucchini and squash, about 4 minutes per side.

Toss the zucchini and squash with the basil mixture, and divide among two plates. Divide balsamic tomatoes and serve over squash and zucchini. Cut the steak into thin slices, cutting across the grain, and place over the vegetables.

Enjoy with the “leftover” merlot!

Bon Appetit! Happy Cooking!

Funfetti Sugar Cookies

So I’ll admit, we’re having a bit of a funfetti craze over here and we won’t apologize for it!

You will make the dough ahead of time, and refrigerate for 2 hours, so be sure to plan ahead. As for the sprinkles, I used nonpareils this time, but you can jimmies in the same amount.

Funfetti Sugar Cookies – about 20 cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup nonpareils (about 6 ounces)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and almond extracts, and beat on medium until thoroughly combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Once combined, add 1/4 cup sprinkles, and incorporate.

Put the remaining 1/2 cup sprinkles in a bowl. Scoop up 2 tablespoons dough and roll it into a ball. Dip the ball into the bowl of sprinkles to cover lightly and then place the ball a parchment lined large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and sprinkles and chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the chilled dough balls rearrange the dough balls, leaving about 2 inches of space between them. (If you don’t have enough space, put the remainder on a plate and return to the fridge until you are ready to bake that batch.)

Bake until the cookies have spread and are just beginning to brown around the edges, but are mostly pale and soft, about 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

You can store the cookies for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!

Roasted Veggie Lasagne

It’s so easy to assemble a lasagne the day before you have company coming into town. And a veggie lasagne is sure to please everyone, especially if you serve it with a bottle of wine and really good crusty bread!

As for the marinara, I usually have some homemade in the freezer, but it’s Spring, and we ate it all (don’t judge!). We did however get Costco’s brand of marinara try to try out – it was excellent, and you only need 1 jar for the recipe.

Roasted Veggie Lasagne – 8 servings
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise about 1/4-inch thick
3/4 pound zucchini, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise about 1/4-inch thick
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
10 (9 sheets) ounces oven-ready lasagna noodles
16 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta
10 ounces Boursin garlic-and-herb cheese, at room temperature
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 1/2 cups (about 40 ounces) marinara
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Arrange the eggplant and zucchini in single layers on prepared sheet pans. Brush veggies with the olive oil on both sides, you should use all of the oil. Sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, and roast for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees F (to bake lasagne immediately).

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the ricotta, Boursin , eggs, basil, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, salt and pepper, and mix on low.

Spread 1 cup of marinara in a 9x13x2 inch baking dish. Arrange a third of the vegetables on top, then a layer of the noodles (about 3 sheets), a third of the mozzarella, and a third of the ricotta mixture. Repeat twice, starting with the marinara. Spread the last 1 1/2 cups of marinara on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan.

Cover and refrigerate baking dish for up to 1 day, bring to room temp before baking.

Place the dish on a baking sheet (line sheet pan with parchment paper, if you desire). Cover with foil, bake for 50 minutes, remove foil, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the lasagne is browned and bubbly.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes, cut into 8 pieces and serve.
Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!