I looked in the pantry and there was no BBQ sauce for my meatballs. Panic! I’m taking meatballs to a birthday party tomorrow and wanted to get a head start.   So, I decided that I would try a new type of meatball sauce similar to one I found on BigOven.  This recipe is a twist on the grape jelly meatball sauce where cranberry sauce is used instead.  It was changed it up in a big way to make it my own and get the taste I wanted.  The only thing I didn’t do was make it a “Drunkin” dish.  It was posted on BigOven just now.  Visit there to see more of my recipes and those of many others.  The cooked meatballs are now marinating in the thick sauce in the fridge.  Into the crockpot they will go tomorrow to finish up for a few hours before the party.

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Ingredients

12 ounces Cranberry Sauce; or Cranberry Jelly 2 tablespoons Chili powder
16 ounces Tomato sauce 1 teaspoon Chili Spice; Carroll Shelby’s
1 tablespoon Sugar 1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 tablespoon Honey 1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Dark Corn Syrup 1/4 teaspoon Pepper

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in mediums size saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened and smooth. If you are using leftover Cranberry Sauce instead of jelly, then use a masher to reduce the size of the berries. Pour hot sauce over pre-cooked meatballs in a crockpot. Stir occasionally to coat. Keep warm on low until ready to serve.

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

I thought it would be awhile before I came up with a new original recipe but here is one finally. It was everything that I expected and was a great beginning to a tasty New Years Eve Dinner party.  Welcome to a New Year 2015.  Click here for the recipe.

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I must admit though this is tagged under vegetarian.  I am not I must admit.  This salad was a starter for a smoked ribs eye roast served medium rare then accompanied  with mushroom & almond sautéed green beans and  then parsley pan fried red potatoes.  Oh.. food is as much a passion for me as photography.  Maybe more.   I love inventing new recipes.  Most of mine include what I call as “drunkin” recipes.  This does not include any alcohol so you are safe.  It was exactly what I expected.  Please give it a try and do enjoy.

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

We had eight of our closest friends at our home to celebrate and ring in the New Year.  Cocktail and appetizer hour started at 7pm and dinner was ready to serve an hour and half later.  The twice baked potatoes were prepared the day prior and were ready to place in the oven for the final baking one hour before dinner.  The tenderloin smoked for 1 hour, grill seared for 15 minutes and then slow cooked in the oven (on and off) for the balance of the day before carving to serve at a delicious medium-rare.

Oh how I wish I were better at remembering to take pictures.  The appetizer table was adorned with so many good foods brought by our friends to share while we enjoyed each others company.  There was a splendid crudités platter.  I just learned this phrase when my friend who just returned home from living in Italy asked if she should bring crudités or humus and chips.  I had to asked what crudités was and learned that it’s vegetable tray.  Another friend brought smoked salmon served with several very tasty spreads and toasted French baguette.   We provided a cheese platter, beef and salami slices and an assortment of crackers for additional noshing.

The table was preset so that it was easier for serving buffet style and so that I was not so rushed at last-minute.  I’ve found that this makes life much easier, less stressful and then I’m able to enjoy the company of my friends without looking frazzled when they arrive.

Again, I forgot to take pictures of the food as it was set out  but did remember to snap on quick photo of my own dinner plate with the perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and twice baked potato served along with sautéed green beans seasoned with chipotle pepper and praline pecans.  The green bean dish was a quick change-up from my standard sautéed green beans with mushrooms and slivered almonds.  I’m still not sure which I prefer to serve.  The chipotle dish was a hot and sweet dish while the other is savory.

Beef Tenderloin:

Let the tenderloin set out on the counter until it comes to room temperature.  Remove all fat and sinew from the outside of the beef with a sharp knife.  Turn the small end of the tenderloin under and then tie the meat so that it cooks evenly.  Season the tenderloin liberally with a robust rub like the A1-Bold or Barbarian’s Steak Rub.  Liberally add ground salt and ground pepper.  Make sure to cover all the surface of the beef (top, bottom, side and ends).  Place in smoker uncovered at 225 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from smoker and place on hot BBQ grill at 500 degrees and sear top and bottom for around 7-8 minutes per side.

Next, remove from grill and place in a 175 degree pre-heated oven to slow cook for 3-4 hours uncovered.  This will ensure that the tenderloin cooks to a rare – medium rare inside temperature.  If you want the meat to be rare then remove from oven at 130 degrees and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before carving.  If you want it at medium rare then remove from oven at 140 degrees.  The tender loin will continue to cook while it rests and then be perfect when carving.

Cooking Tip:  I had to keep turning my oven on and off  to make sure it didn’t over cook.  This did lead to the crust of the beef becoming a little soft instead of the normal crusty.  If this occurs (check it before serving) then place your oven on high broil and crust up the outside again before removing from the oven.

Entertaining Tips: 

  1. Set the table the day before if you will be having a large number of people.  This can take more time than you think and will cut into your cooking time if saved to the day of the party.
  2. Set up your cocktail bar the day before.  Place a plastic table cloth under any fabric cloth to protect the furniture’s surface if it could be damaged by the drinks or ice.  Set out a few bottles of tonic water, tomato juice, fruit juice and club soda for mixers.
  3. Prepare a cooler filled with soda pop and plenty of water.  Add ice the day of the party around 3 hours before the begin time.
  4. If serving the food buffet style you can set up the buffet table and serving dishes.
  5. Do any decorating and set out centerpieces and/or candles.
  6. Prepare cheese platters, meat platters and condiments for the appetizer table in their serving dishes, cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Set up your appetizer table with any table clothes and decorations.  Prepare cracker platters, cover and set on appetizer table.
  8. Make sure your champagne is in the refrigerator the day before so that it is chilled to perfection.  One bottle of champagne pours 5-6 glasses.
  9. Figuring out how much meat to buy; 1/2 pound per person to ensure there is plenty.  Allows for second servings and ample leftovers.
  10. Figuring out how many pounds of fresh vegetables; 1/4 – 1/3  pound per person.
  11. Use 1 extra-large baking potato for every two people.  Add 2 extra for those that like more or especially when making twice baked.  Often, many of your guests will share a baked potato or a large twice baked.  Bake in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  If making twice baked allow to cool before handling.

 

If you like this recipe and entertaining ideas from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes for entertainment.

Chipotle Shrimp on the Grill
Chipotle Shrimp on the Grill

Who would have thought that I would still be grilling outdoors in the middle of December!  It wouldn’t surprise me as much but we are again at Ironworks and the temperature was a brisk 45 degrees outside when I put the shrimps on the grill.  I cook year round at our home in the Valley of the Sun but never dreamed it would be the same here.  I did not serve the shrimp as a surf and turf which what I first thought of doing.  Instead we enjoyed them as an appetizer before dinner along with a sun-dried tomato artichoke dip and crackers.  Hope you enjoy the shrimp recipe and the cooking tips that follow for grilling times.  Non-vegetarians there is a section for grilling steak along with for a Surf and Turf.

Grilled chipotle shrimp

Dozen jumbo shrimp raw
1/4 c chipotle mayo spicy
couple of shakes of chili powder or chili spice (or more if desired)
couple of shakes of chipotle pepper spice (or more if desired)
2-3 twists ground pepper in marinade
fresh ground pepper at the grill

Place shrimp and chipotle spicy mayo sauce in baggy and mix up.

Let shrimp rest in fridge for 15-30 min then gingerly place on hot grill.

Carefully grill until shrimp turns pink turning once while cooking.  I like to add a little more ground pepper while on the grill to jazz up the warmth a bit.  Place the shrimp carefully on the grill so that they don’t fall through.  Grill on hot flame quickly — 1-2 minutes per side.  Place in foil container that can be also topped with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.  Can be a surf and turf or a pleasant yet spicy appetizer.

Grilling shrimp time table
3-5 min per side jumbo
2.5-4 min per side large
2-3 per side med 

Can pan grill if necessary.  Remove shrimp from grill  and place in fresh foil. Seal foil around shrimp to keep hot until ready to serve.

VEGETARIANS – STOP HERE!!

Sorry for the vegetarians, but I love to serve this shrimp with seasoned grilled beef tenderloin with fresh ground pepper and salt. Add a robust beef rub like A1 bold or Barbarians steak rub from Barbarian’s Steak House  in Toronto, Canada.  You can contact them direct to order.  I love it!  Let the steak come to room temperature while you marinate the shrimp.

Barbarian's Steakhouse
Barbarian’s Steakhouse Ribeye

Remove shrimp from grill and keep warm while grilling sirloin, tenderloin or other steaks for surf and turf.  If your steak is 1″ or less they will cook quickly. 2-3 min per side for medium (or if larger use the grilling table below) turning to score in patchwork pattern before flipping to the other side.

Grilling Tenderloin
2″ thick time table
Rare 3-4 min per side
Medium Rare 4-5 per side
Med 5-6 per side
Well-Done 6-7 per side
Plus standing time of 3-5 min depending on how large of cut

 

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

Food.  I do love food.  Cooking, smelling the aroma as flavors blend, tasting as it cooks and then enjoying the finished dish.

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It’s been awhile since you’ve seen a new recipe from me so I’m sharing one of my favorite holiday side dishes.  Sautéed Green Beans with Almonds and Mushrooms.2013-12-01T18-34-25_0

It’s not the typical holiday green beans with mushroom soup and crunchy onions as that’s never been one that I could really dig into.  This one keeps the flavor and taste of the vegetable at the top of the palate and enhanced with sautéed mushrooms and nutty almonds.  Cook them al dente so that the flavors still compliment each other and do not turn into a limp blend of soggy beans. 

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh green beans; ends trimmed
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 cup Fresh mushrooms; sliced
3 tablespoons Almonds; slivered
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cavendar’s Greek Spice; Can substitute other spice mix
1/2 cup Chicken broth; Can substitute vegetable broth

Preparation:

Wash and trim green beans.  Try to pick a young slender beans around 5 – 6 inches long.  If you choose a more mature bean then cut beans into 3 – 4 inch lengths.

Add olive oil and butter to medium size fry pan and bring to medium heat.  Add sliced mushrooms to the melted butter and olive oil.  Sauté mushrooms until they begin to soften.   Add beans and continue to sauté at medium low heat.  Add and stir in raw slivered almonds, salt and Cavendar’s spice and continue to cook until almonds begin to brown and beans begin to soften slightly.

Add chicken broth or vegetable broth (I prefer Knorr’s Homestyle Stock) and continue to simmer over low heat until beans reach desired doneness.   Cook  the beans cooked al dente which is where the cooked bean begins to bend in half but is not limp.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Recipe updated 9/22/2014: I wanted to make a fun party size Ceviche to take to a Halloween party. The picture of the Halloween version is so creepy that I hesitate to show it. But, alas here it is anyway. Don’t let it freak you out!

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Creepy Seafood Ceviche
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Serve with mini cup size Tostitos.

This ceviche is made with medium size shrimp and imitation crab that makes up a 4 quart party size batch. It yields enough to serve 30 or more guests depending on how many appetizers are served along with it.  I never thought I would stop chopping and it was time consuming.  2 hours of slicing, dicing and sneaking bits and bites of shrimp and tomato as I diced along.

2 pounds Medium shrimp; each piece of shrimp quartered
2 medium English Cucumbers; peeled and chopped
5 large Tomatoes; diced
10 ounces Crab Meat; Imitation or real, diced
2 tablespoons sea salt
4 large Fresh lemons; Reserve 1
1/2 cup Clamato juice
1/2 cup +/- Catsup to thicken
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
8 medium Fresh Limes; Reserve 1
2 teaspoons Cilantro; dried, or 1 cup fresh
3-4 tablespoons horseradish

Preparation

Start by squeezing 3 large lemons and 7 medium lines into a large bowl. Add salt. Dice the Mahi Mahi and add to the juice so that it will begin to process (cook in the juice).  I’ve removed the Mahi Mahi from the ingredients list because I found it to be too fishy for my taste.  Add it if you like??

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Mahi Mahi in lemon-lime juice
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Lemons and limes quartered to juice

I used pre-cooked shrimp but you could also use raw shrimp and let it “cook” in the lemon/lime juice.  However, you would need to double the lemons and limes to have enough fresh juice to cover this large amount of shrimp. When using fresh fish, allow it to rest in the juice, refrigerated for 3 hours.

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Quartering the shrimp

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If you are short on time you can slightly cook the diced Mahi Mahi over medium low heat for a few minutes then cool and add to the juice. Since I was short on time as usual, I had to pre-cook the Mahi Mahi and use pre-cooked shrimp. It was still 2 hours in prep time using this method but was worth the time. I started with 2 pounds of shrimp less the few that I ate while prepping. I was hungry!

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Imitation Crab legs
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Chopping up the legs
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English cucumber is the best
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Chopped up cucumbers

Mix remaining diced ingredients as they are prepared and toss as you add the batches. Prepare the tomatoes last to keep their shape. When adding the tomatoes lift them away from the excess tomato juice before adding to the mixture. Discard the excess tomato juice and seeds.

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Couldn’t resist sneaking a few bites of tomato
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Diced tomato

Lastly, mix in the Clamato juice, catsup, tabasco, horseradish and cilantro, then add any additional salt or pepper to your preference.  Add enough catsup so that you get the thickness that you desire otherwise it may be too soupy.  Garnish with final lemon and lime. Halved and then sliced.

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Slicing lemon and lime for garnish
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Serve with mini cup size Tostitos.

One of the pictures that I took of this dish was for Halloween. The lemon and lime slices were eye-brows and Halloween style eye-ball ice cubes were added for a eerie look.

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Very creepy version

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.