Friday, May 31, 2013

The Wedge

Memorial Day passed this last week, and though it is not technically summer yet, it sure feels like it! Kids are off of school, the weather is heating up, and most importantly Mikey and I are getting a really nice tan. We love our summers in Venice because it is a time when we get to see people that we don’t get to see all the time. It seems that there is no lack of things to do and people coming through at all times, and in that case you need to be prepared with something that is not only super quick to make, but is light, crisp, and really refreshing.

A wedge salad has a very traditional way it can be made, but who says you need to stick to tradition! It is like getting that fabulous tan that will make you feel all new. This wedge that Michael and I created has a nod to tradition, but has some summer flavors that we love, such as fresh sweet corn and roasted cherry tomatoes. You can make the tomatoes and the dressing in advance (even the pancetta) and have them stored up to 4 days so you can have them on hand. Enjoy and stay prepared for the friends that drop in!

*Allow 2 hours for roasting the tomatoes. 

Ingredients: serves 2-4 depending on hunger

1 head iceberg lettuce
5 cherry tomatoes (the bigger the better)
2 ears yellow sweet corn
1 Tablespoon thyme
½ cup pancetta diced
½ cup gorgonzola
1 ½  cup half and half
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice your tomatoes in half and toss in olive oil and thyme. Lay on baking sheet seed side up, and place in oven for 2 hours.
Next we are going to render the pancetta, if it is not already diced do so. Place in sauté pan and cook for about 10 minutes on medium high heat until you reach the crispiness you want. Lay on a paper towel to absorb the remaining fat. Set aside.

The dressing is really simple, and we actually made two versions of it; one really thick and one thinner. Take all the ingredients, but set aside a ½ cup of the half and half. Blend all of the other ingredients until nice and smooth. Take about a ¼ of that mix and blend with the other ½ cup of half and half. Set both aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to use both.

For the corn, shuck it, and using a knife, run it down away from you cutting off the little kernels and set aside. Next cut the iceberg lettuce in half, and then into quarters depending on how many people you are planning on serving.
Once the tomatoes are down, take out and let cool.

To assemble the salad, lay down a wedge of lettuce, cover with the thinner salad dressing. Lay the tomatoes around the plate. Put a dollop of thick dressing, and now sprinkle with pancetta and corn.
Cut in to it!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Food Nasty: cupcakes!

We have officially had a year since our first post! So this is Food Nasty’s 1st Birthday!

 A lot has happened this year, many great and fun things, and we are happy that you have been a part of it! We hope to grow even more and share many more things with you in our second year!

So enjoy these birthday cupcakes we have made for you after you get a look at some of Food Nasty's best recipes of our first year!

 Happy Birthday Food Nasty!
Going clockwise and starting top left:
1. Low Calorie Breakfast Sandwich
2. Rainy Day Chipotle, Chorizo, and Beef Chili!
3. Heat Wave Popsicles
4. Cinnamon Crumble Apple Muffin
5. Detox Slaw
6. Meyer Lemon Cake with Coconut Frosting
Cinnamon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Ingredients: makes 12
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt                                      
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup raspberry jam (seedless)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake tray with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl place vanilla extract in milk.
In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Beat adding one egg at a time. Add half of the dry mix, and beat, then add milk, then finishing off with the rest of the dry mix. Do not over beat.

Using an ice cream scooper if you have one, and fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
Pull out and cool until they are cooled all the way through before you put frosting on.

To make frosting mix half the cream cheese and half the butter together with all of the sugar. Beat until mixed completely, add jam. Add the remainder of cream cheese and butter slowly as to not make runny frosting.
Set in fridge and cool for 20 minutes to let set.

If you don't have an actual piping bag, place frosting in sandwich bag, and cut tip off and pipe!
Enjoy these delicious food nasty birthday cupcakes!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother’s Day! Michael and I are lucky to have very loving and caring mothers. My mother Nancy loves crepes, and Michael’s mother Shira loves a specific kind of crepe known as crepe Suzette. This type of crepe is boozy, sweet, and perfect for that woman you love to call Mom.

Crepe Suzette is a crepe that is typically flambéed with either Grand Marnier, or in our case Triple Sec. It is a sweet crepe served in a thick citrus sauce with a little bit of rind, some like to serve it with vanilla ice cream, but I like it as is.

Happy Mother’s Day!
Ingredients: serves 4

Crepe Batter:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Triple Sec
Extra butter for pan

Tangerine Butter Sauce:
3 large tangerines
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
10 tbsp. sugar
½ cup Triple Sec

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Two Tacos for Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!! This day is widely celebrated in the states and regionally in Mexico, most people think it is a Mexican holiday. It celebrates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory against the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 under General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. What is so interesting about this battle is that it was believed that Napoleon was going to give aid the south Confederacy during the Civil War, and it was this great victory that helped prevent the French from splitting America in two!!

What we have for you today is a mango margarita, a pork taco with salsa verde, and a chicken taco with what we like to call lazy mole! So when you are enjoying your Mexican beer and your Mexican fare, don’t forget to cheers General Ignacio!

Ingredients: makes 10 tacos

10 corn tortillas
3 skinless chicken breast
3 Tablespoons old bay seasoning
1 ½  Lb pork
2/3 cup pomi or any plain tomato sauce
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
2 ears of sweet yellow corn
1 green Chile
5 tomatillos
Cabbage for topping
Sour cream for topping
Salt and pepper to taste

Margarita: serves about 5

¼ cup grand marnier
¼ cup tequila
10 limes
2 mangos
½ cup limeade

Make the margaritas first so you can have one while you are cooking, and then chill the rest. Simply place all liquid ingredients in blender, then juice the 10 limes, and then cut the meat out of the two mangoes, and blend! Yay!

To start the tacos you will want to get your meat going first. Heat a grill pan on medium high heat, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken with old bay seasoning, and season pork with salt and pepper. Place both meats on grill pan to get some nice grill marks, about 5 minutes each side. Next place in oven and cook chicken and pork for about another 25 minutes, or until both internal temperatures are a 160 degrees. Be sure to check the internal temperature with a thermometer, because not all ovens run the same heat, mine can be a bit hot! Or shall I say caliente!

While those are cooking shuck your corn and take all the kernels off my holding it by one end, and using a knife, run it down away from your, cutting the kernels off. Set aside.

Next, peel all the leaves off the outside of the tomatillos, and roast them. You can roast them as simply as turning the flame on your stove and using tongs, hold tomatillo in the flame and turn, until it browns all around. Let cool. Cut top of Chile and remove seeds, then roasting the same way. Let cool. Once all cooled, blend in blender with a pinch of salt.

Now for the lazy mole, my favorite part. In a sauce pan heat the tomato sauce, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and paprika until it simmers. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, then adding corn and heavy cream, stir and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

Your meat should be done about now. Remove from oven, and place on cutting board and let rest for about 7 minutes. Next slice both meats in thin strips.

Place tortillas in oven for about 4 minutes to heat.

Serve all your components on separate plates, along with cabbage and sour cream, so everyone can have a margarita and put together their own tacos! Have a blast, and Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Deconstruct to Reconstruct Picnic Sandwich!

In honor of National Picnic Day which was last week and the gorgeous weather we have been having here we have made the perfect picnic sandwich which has been deconstructed…so that when you get to your picnic…you can reconstruct! Avoid gross soggy bread, and bring your components to your next picnic. Your friends will not only be impressed, but they can make their sandwich their own way, and hey, maybe you can compare tupperware.

What we have made for you today is a grilled chicken sandwich on sourdough, with a bit of arugula, gouda cheese, pickled onions, and a roasted artichoke aioli. Picnic away!

*Requires a grill pan, or grill if you feel up to it!

Ingredients: serves 2

1 loaf sourdough bread

2 skinless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Pickled Onion:
1 small yellow onion
½ cup vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 star anise
3 juniper berries
2 cloves

Grilled artichoke aioli:
2 artichokes
1 egg
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup grape seed oil
Salt to taste