Maple Bourbon Potatoes with Green Peppercorns, Olives, and Scallions

bourbon-maple-potatoes

Maple Bourbon Glazed BBQ Pork Chops with Maple Bourbon Potatoes with Green Peppercorns, Olives, and Scallions

Ingredients:
4-6 medium sized “new potatoes”, Red Pontiac, Melody, or Russet, cut in bite size pieces
6-8 large pimento-stuffed Manzanilla Olives, sliced in thirds perpendicular to the pit (optional)
4 Scallions, cut in 2-3mm pieces, white separated from the greens
1 Tbsp Green Peppercorns
1/4 cup Bourbon
1/8 cup Maple Syrup
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Ground Chipotle Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp White Pepper
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, toss the Cumin, paprika, Chipotle, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Brown Sugar, Salt, and Black & White Pepper. Use a fork to mix well.
  • In a saute pan, on medium heat, add the Potatoes and cook until browned, about 7 minutes–you want a crust on them.
  • Toss in the white portion of the Scallions, Olives, Green Peppercorns, and Spice mixture, and stir while it cooks for 1 minute.
  • Remove the pan from the stove, and pour in the Bourbon. Replace the pan to the heat, mindful that the alcohol may flare up. To avoid injury, keep your body away from the pan, and do not have your face near it.
  • Drizzle in the Maple Syrup and adjust the seasonings. Let cook for 1 more minute, allowing the maple syrup to glaze over everything.
  • Plate, and garnish with the green portion of the Scallions.

Makes about: 4-6 servings

Notes: I cannot emphasize enough the need for caution when adding the Bourbon to the hot pan. The risk of flare up is decreased by removing the pan from the heat. I recommend you have a lid ready, just in case, and of course a working fire extinguisher. In general, if you remove from the heat to add the alcohol, the likelihood of it flaring up is much reduced, verses if you were to just add it while over the flames, the vapors could ignite like flash paper.

The Olives are optional–but I recommend trying it with them because they offer a flavor contrast to the spicy and sweet bbq glaze.

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Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Ingredients:
3 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, butterfly cut
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/2 – 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Blackened Seasoning
2 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Coriander Seed
3/4 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 Tsp White Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Thyme dried
1/2 tsp Oregano dried
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds dried

Grilled Fruit
1 Papaya, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1 Pineapple, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 Mangoes, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Prepare the Fruit and place on Skewers.
  • Brush with Olive Oil.
  • Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, and Cinnamon.
  • Place on a hot grill or in the Broiler for 5 minutes per side. Set to the side, or cook while you prepare the Chicken.
  • Put all of the Ingredients of the Blackened Spice Rub in a Mortar and rub with the Pestle to mix well and open up some of the spices and herbs. Place to the side.
  • Begin heating a cast-iron skillet on high with the Olive Oil. You do not need to use all of it, just enough to coat the skillet. You do not want a puddle of oil.
  • Dredge the Chicken in the melted Butter, and then coat with the Spice Rub on all sides.
  • Place in the Skillet, and cook both sides. They will blacken because of the Butter and herbs. Each side should be about 5 minutes. Because the Chicken was butterfly cut, it will cook all the way through.
  • Plate the Chicken and cover with the Grilled Fruit (on or off the skewers, your choice).

Makes 3 Servings.

NOTES: Blackening is a technique of cooking often associated with Cajun cooking. I have read some places that attribute it however to a modern chef named Paul Prudhomme (who specializes in Cajun cooking). Whether an old technique, or a modern one, it extremely flavorful. I recommend playing with the amounts of spices–some like it hot, some don’t like it as hot–but Blackened is intended to be Spicy. If you are wanting to cheat, pick up some Hot Shot instead of the various types of Peppercorns, but do not skimp on the flavors. A lot of folks seem to want to avoid using Butter in the recipe–it is essential for true Blackened food, as the milk solids are part of the Blackening process. If you want a spicy chicken on the grill with the rub, great, but it’s not truly Blackened… just spicy ;-).  

Also, just a note, this Blackened Spice Rub can be used on Fish (it’s original intention), as well as other forms of protein.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples & Sausage

Dedicated to Brian H. and Lisa W.
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples & Sausage

Ingredients:
1 Acorn Squash
1 Red Delicious, skinned, pitted, diced
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
1/2 lb Sausage
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp Caraway Seed, crushed
2 tsp Sage, cut fine
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
1 cup White Bread, crust removed, diced fine
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare the Squash: Cut the Acorn Squash in half Vertically. Scoop out the Seeds and stringy tissue using your hands and a spoon. The Squash is rounded, so you may slice a flat surface out of the skin side of the Squash to give it a base, but don’t take too much out.
  • In a skillet, brown the Sausage with the Onion.
  • Remove from the Skillet to a bowl.
  • Mix in the Spices, Maple Syrup, Bread, and Egg using your hands to fully incorporate.
  • Place the Squash in a baking dish, and fill with 1/4″ water, to assist with keeping the Squash moist while baking.
  • Spread the butter along the inside of each half of the Squash.
  • Divide the stuffing into the two halves of the Squash.
  • Cover the Dish with a lid or Aluminum Foil.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes.

Serves 2 people.

Skordalia – Σκορδαλιά – Garlic Potato Dip

Ingredients:Nut Alergy WarningVegan
Water for Boiling
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Russet Potatoes, skinned, cut into chunks
8 – 10 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1/2 cup blanched Almonds
1 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 tsp White Pepper

Directions:

  • In a large pot place the Water, Salt, and Potatoes, and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender.
  • Drain the Potatoes and add put them in a Food Processor.
  • Add the Almonds and Garlic, and pulse.
  • Drizzle in the Olive Oil, Vinegar, and Lemon Juice.
  • Add the Pepper, then Salt to taste.

NOTES: I live in Astoria, and this dish is served with several other dips as an appetizer with Pita. It is also commonly paired with fried fish and vegetables. The name is probably a pleonastic compound or combination of two languages: σκόρδο which is Greek for “garlic” and agliata which is Italian for “garlicky”. Very appropriate.

Variations:
Macedonian Skordalia: substitute Walnuts for the Almonds

Ɲ – Leave out the Nuts; this does not take away from the authenticity of the dish, as many do not include nuts in the recipe.

French Onion Dip

French Onion DipFrench Onion Dip

Ingredients
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Yellow Onion, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Salt
2 cups Sour Cream
1/4 tsp ground White Pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Beef Bouillon Cube

Directions:

  • In a skillet, on low heat, sweat the Onions and Garlic with the Olive Oil and Salt.
  • Crush the Bouillon Cube and dissolve in the Oil.
  • Add the Worcestershire Sauce, and let the liquid reduce.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Sour Cream and Onion mix until well incorporated.
  • Serve Cold.

Variations:
Blood Onion Dip
Add 1 Tbsp Red Food Coloring. This is a great way to make a Halloween themed dip, with little effort, and great taste!

Halloween Onion Dip
Divide the Dip into two bowls. In one bowl, add 1/2 Tbsp Black Food Coloring; and in the other add 1/2 Tbsp Orange Food Coloring. You can then pour the two into a third bowl… with the Orange on one side, and the black on the other.

Christmas Onion Dip
Divide the Dip into two bowls. In one bowl, add 1/2 Tbsp Green Food coloring; and in the other add 1/2 Tbsp Red Food Coloring. You can then pour the two into a third bowl…with the Red on one side, and the Green on the other.

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:Vegetarian
1 doz. Eggs, boiled, cooled, de-shelled
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp prepared Mustard (English Style)
1 Tbsp Chives, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh Dill, chopped finely
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground White Pepper

Paprika for garnish

Directions:

  • Carefully slice the Eggs in half lengthwise.
  • Place Yolks in a Medium size bowl as you go.
  • Smash the Yolks until completely crumbled.
  • Add all the ingredients except Paprika, and combine well.
  • Fill the Egg Whites with the Yolk Mixture. You can do this three ways: 1. Spoon the mixture into the Eggs; 2. Pour yolk mixture into a large freezer bag, snip the bottom corner, and pipe the Egg mixture into the Eggs; 3. Use a piping bag to do method 2.
  • Garnish by sprinkling Paprika on top. You may also choose to add some Chive pieces on top.

NOTES: When cooking the eggs, just as they begin to boil, remove them from the heat and let the residual heat continue to cook the eggs. When removing the shells, crack the eggs on the counter, and place in an ice-bath before peeling. The ice water will continue to stop the cooking of the egg, as well as help remove the shell-membrane from the Eggs. If one of the eggs gets damaged (cracked while cooking, breaks while peeling or slicing), chop it finely in a small bowl and add to the Yolk mixture. You can serve the eggs in a Deviled Egg container, but if you don’t have one, you can use a tray and place rice, beans, or split peas. This will help prevent the Eggs from falling over, also you can use the color of the bed to accentuate any themes (red for Christmas, brown for Thanksgiving, green for Spring, etc).

Aïoli

Ingredients:Vegetarian
2 Egg Yolks
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Mustard, dry
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Using a Mortar and Pestle, crush the Garlic.
  • In a large bowl, beat the Egg Yolks until creamy and thick. Add the Garlic.
  • While beating, drizzle in 1/3 cup of the Olive Oil.
  • Drizzle in the Lemon Juice.
  • Continue beating, and drizzle the remaining Olive Oil.
  • Mix in the Salt, Pepper, and Dry Mustard.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

NOTES: Matthew C. suggests roasting a whole head of Garlic, and incorporating that into the Yolks with 2 cloves of grated garlic. Sounds tasty.

Mayonnaise

Ingredients:Vegetarian
2 Egg Yolks
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Mustard, dry
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Olive Oil

Directions:

  • In mixing bowl, beat Egg Yolks until creamy and thick. Add Salt, pepper, Dry Mustard, and half of the Lemon Juice.
  • While beating, drizzle in 1/3 cup of the Olive Oil.
  • Continue beating, and add 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice, then drizzle the remaining Olive Oil
  • Judge the consistency desired. If too thick, add more Lemon Juice.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

NOTES: Mayonnaise may curdle as created. If so, beat another Yolk in a different bowl, and slowly add the curdled mixture to it. Curdling does not mean it is bad, it just means that more egg is needed to form the emulsion. White Pepper is used, because no one wants to see black specs in their Mayonnaise. This can be a base for many other dips and dressings. Lazy people can buy Hellmann’s.