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Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

I have to admit it. The Butcher and I are going to the World Series game tonight and it is all I can do to concentrate mmon this blog. We are heading to Cleveland early to drink in all the atmosphere. It should be a glorious day and evening. We are dressing for a football game but going to a baseball game–such is baseball in October.

This dish will warm you from the inside out and is perfect anytime. Time to finish this blog and put on my Indians gear!

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

16 oz. Michael’s smoked ham, diced (available at your local butcher shop)
1/2 sweet onion dicedphoto (4)
3 Tablespoons of butter
16 oz. to 24 oz. of grated Mexican cheese
5 unpeeled potatoes, washed
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Teaspoons of Ham flavored soup base (available at your local meat market

Put 5 potatoes in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid, turn to simmer and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain the potatoes, and reserve 3 cups of the water used to boil the potatoes. Mix the 2 teaspoons of the Ham flavored soup base in the water, mix and set aside. Allow potatoes to cool for 10 minutes. Cut Potatoes in 1/2 inch slices.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Get an oven safe casserole with a lid or pan with a lid. Butter the bottom and sides of the dish. Place 1/3 of the potato slices in the dish, sprinkle with pepper, put 1 Tablespoon of butter, 1/3 of the diced onion, 1/3 of the ham and 1/3 of the cheese on top of the potatoes, repeat this process 2 more times. Pour the Ham photo (5)Base soup mixture over the potato mixture and cover with a lid. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes. You can add additional cheese if you really want this to be cheesy.

I will be enjoying a bowl of this tomorrow when we stay home to watch the 2nd game of the World Series.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table. Go Tribe!!

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Loaded Porktato!

I am moving a little slow today. Those of you that know me know that 9:30 maybe 10:00 is a typical bedtime for me.Mauri-1 Well, not so last night. We went to see the Cleveland Indians. Due to Mother Nature the game didn’t even start until 9:30. Of course I had to stay for the entire game (which was a dandy) and the fireworks to boot. The Indians won and the fireworks were spectacular. Getting to bed at 2:30 a.m. was not so good. I am sharing a recipe with you that can be made with leftovers and will get you a 9.5 rating. No one will guess you are operating on zero sleep. I hope you enjoy this.  Go Tribe!

Loaded Porktato

4 to 5 Yukon Gold potatoes
16 oz. pulled pork (previously cooked, and frozen is a great choice)FullSizeRender (10)
16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
6 TBLS butter
6 TBLS sour cream
12 oz. bacon (fried crisp and crumbled)
5 TBLS diced chives
salt and pepper to taste
Barbecue Sauce

Wash the potatoes and coat with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. You can also use leftover baked potatoes. Scoop out the inside of the baked potatoes and mash with the butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and chives. Put the “mashed loaded baked potatoes”  into the potato shells and place in an oven proof dish. Put the crumbled bacon on top of the potatoes. Add the cheese. Put the pulled pork on top of the cheese. Drizzle Barbecue Sauce over the pork. Put the “Porktatos”  in an oven preheated to 375 degrees and allow to heat up for 10 to 15 Porktato 2minutes. I put extra cheese on top of the barbecue sauce since the Butcher is fond of cheese.

Leftovers can be microwaved for a quick and delicious dinner.

Enjoy! Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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The Dinner of a Champion–Chicken and Shrimp Pasta with Carbonara Sauce

The Cleveland Cavaliers brought the NBA championship to Cleveland. That 4 plus minutes in the 4th quarter whenMauri-1 neither team scored was almost more than I could take.  I watched every minute. When Kyrie Irving swished the 3 point shot I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to believe it but it was so hard. Wasn’t that what the other team always did to us. Then when LeBron James got clobbered, it looked like he was done. Being the true champion that he is, he got up, made a foul shot and defended to bring the championship to Cleveland. What an exciting night!

My blog for today had to be about this great moment! I went online to see what LeBron’s favorite meal is. According to The Daily Meal, LeBron’s favorite food is cereal. Among his absolute favorites are Trix and Honey Oat Granola. There isn’t much of a recipe needed for that–add milk and eat.

LeBron’s personal chef, Glenn Lyman states that James’ favorite pregame meal is chicken and shrimp pasta. I’m going to share a recipe for this meal. Enjoy, and when you eat it–remember, it is the dinner of a champion!

Chicken and Shrimp Pasta with Carbonara Sauce

8 ounces of chicken tenders, cut in strips (available at your local butcher shop)Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
2 teaspoons water
6 oz. shrimp
12 oz. pasta of your choice
2 oz. of lean bacon (available at your local meat market)
2 cloves fresh chopped garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg beaten (optional)

In bowl 1 combine panko, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a bowl, mix well. In bowl 2 combine egg and 2 teaspoons of water and mix well.

Put chicken strips through the dry breading mix, then put them through the egg wash, put them back through the dry breading mix and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before cooking.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of Sunflower oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken fingers and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is browned and cooked thoroughly. Set the chicken aside. Cook the shrimp in a small pot of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. The shrimp will be pink when done.

Cook the Pasta according to package directions and set aside.

Carbonara Sauce

Put the butter and bacon in a skillet and cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Add garlic and red bell pepper. Saute pepper and the bacon until the bacon is cooked through. Remove bacon from pan and dice. Return bacon to the pan and add heavy cream to the skillet with Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. When the cheese is melted add cooked pasta, remove from heat. If desired, add 1 beaten egg and stir quickly. (the warm pasta will cook the egg)

To serve, place pasta and sauce on the plate. Add a few pieces of chicken tenders and shrimp to each serving. You can garnish with additional cheese and red pepper if desired.

You are going to feel like a championship when you eat this meal! Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

Adapted from CopyKat recipes.

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Easy Carrot Cake

For those of you that know me, you know I have an obsession about carrot cake. I love carrot cake but I can seldomMauri-1 find one good enough to eat when I am out. I try out a lot of carrot cake recipes. The one I am sharing with you today is not only healthy it is very quick and easy to make. I like to add nuts and raisins. You can omit them to make this the way your family likes it. You could add coconut and pineapple for a tasty tropical variety.  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (or honey)
1 Tbsp. orange zest
juice from one orange
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (coconut flour can be substituted for part of the flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. ground cinnamon (or more if you like a lot of cinnamon)carrot cake 2
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. grease a 13 X 9 baking dish. Whisk together eggs, applesauce, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla until combined. Whisk in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, soda, salt until combined. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes on a center rack. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when the cake is done.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
3 Tbsp. softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix together cream cheese and butter, beat with a mixer until well blended. Gradually add in the powdered sugar. Ice carrot cake when it is completely cooled.

You could also make these into cupcakes and reduce baking time to 28 minutes.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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