Category Archives: Recipes

Turkey Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

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I know that there is no way to have a post today that is anywhere near as pretty or as exciting as Saturday’s Orange Tian from The Daring Baker’s Challenge, so I will not even try!

I will, however, make many friends and neighbors (and hopefully others!) happy by posting an incredibly delicious recipe for something simple and healthy that can be whipped up in almost no time for dinner!

I will tell you (and you certainly may already know this)…I am not a turkey burger girl! Where’s the beef? That’s what I want to know! I think ground turkey is a total bore (even in chili). I have tried and tried to make it tasty, but I am always less than impressed. My take on food is, if it’s not worth the calories, then I am not eating it! That is generally how I feel about the gobbler burger!

I decided to take a peek on line (because I know there are so many wonderful cooks out there that post recipes), to see if I had missed something. I did find a recipe from The Neelys (Food Network) that uses Pepper Jack Cheese in the middle of the turkey burgers. Maybe now we were talking!

I know that they used some onion and garlic in the ground turkey, so I did that. Then I added some of our leftover Country Bob’s Regular All Purpose Sauce. I knew I wanted to try it in ground meat and I will tell you…it was the absolute best turkey burger I have ever had. It was moist and delicious. I must admit, that sauce is really yummy and I am so excited that I was sent a few bottles to test it out!

If you do not have or cannot find the sauce, you should try a barbecue sauce that you like (with some hot and sweet) or A-1 sauce and add some heat (maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes). The incredible flavors were achieved with the addition of that one ingredient. It also created the moistness in the burger. Be sure to cook these burgers inside and not on the grill. They will stay together better if they are sautรฉed in a pan. They will also be juicier. (I highlighted this because I have had some readers ask about cooking the burgers on an outdoor grill. I advise that you cook them inside in a pan. They will not be moist and sometimes fall apart when cooked outdoors. They are sooo much better when browned in a little olive oil!).)

In addition to the burger, I oven roasted some sweet potato fries. Oh, my gosh! I sprinkled them with Za’atar, which is Middle Eastern spice that is normally used to top pita bread (or it can be used in various dishes). Forget the pita and top these fries! This was such an incredible, simple dinner! It was low-fat and healthy. I even used 80 calorie whole wheat buns from Sara Lee. Shocking, I know!

Turkey Burgers
Makes 3

20 oz. ground turkey (white and dark meat)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (a bit more than a pinch!)
1/4 cup Country Bob’s Regular All Purpose Sauce (substitute your favorite barbecue sauce or A-1)
Slices of Pepper Jack Cheese
Additional sauce, warmed to top cooked burger
Olive oil

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape ground turkey into 6 thin patties. Fold cheese slices into small squares (I used 1/2 slice per burger) or cut slices from a block of cheese. Place in the middle of the burgers. Top with another patty. Be sure there is enough room all around the sides to seal the burger well (you do not want all the tasty cheese oozing out while it cooks!). Repeat this 2 more times to make 3 burgers.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat (preferably a griddle pan, if you have one). Brown burgers on one side (about 5 minutes). Flip the burgers and brown on the other side (another 4-5 minutes). Check to be sure the turkey is cooked.

Place cooked burgers on a bun and top with warm Country Bob’s Sauce (or substitute), lettuce and any other burger condiment you like. That’s it! It is soooo good!

Sweet Potato Fries
Serves 2-3

2 large sweet potatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Za’atar seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degree. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Cut into large slices (do not make them too thin or they will burn). They should be the size of homestyle potatoes. Toss them with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place on a nonstick baking sheet.

Cook them in the oven for 15 minutes and then flip over. They should be crispy and brown in about another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the sheet and sprinkle generously with Za’atar seasoning.

This is the perfect quick and easy dinner that still has tons of awesome flavors! I have finally found something to make me want to eat turkey in a burger and not just have sliced turkey breast meat for Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ™‚

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19 Comments

Filed under Cheese, Country Bob's, Entrees, Healthy, Low-fat, Recipes, Sweet Potato Fries, Turkey Burgers, Za'atar

Orange Tian – My First Daring Bakers Challenge!

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The challenge for March was hosted by Jennifer from Chocolate Shavings. This recipe is based on the one she prepared at the Alain Ducasse Cooking School in Paris, France. As Jennifer said, this is a “scrumptious” dessert and it truly is!

With this being my first Daring Baker’s Challenge, I must admit that when I checked in at the end of February to get my “orders” for the challenge, I rather felt like Jim Phelps (played by Peter Graves) from the original Mission Impossible! If you are much younger (and you just might be!), you probably can relate to Tom Cruise in the updated version of the movie. The Daring Bakers Challenge is supposed to be a secret until the “reveal” a month later. In other words, I did not utter a word to anyone about this dessert and kept it totally under wraps (at least to anyone that would know or care!) until now. Shhhhh……

I was excited about my first challenge, but not so sure about a dessert with oranges. I love citrus desserts made with lemons (especially Meyer lemons!), but this, well…oranges are just not my favorite fruit. I still remember way too many doses of orange penicillin when I was a kid, so I always relate anything that includes orange to that nasty stuff. Anyway, I was willing to give it a try! There’s always Mikey if I don’t eat it!

There were quite a few steps and this was done over a two-day period, but the results were phenomenal. The Tian was just divine (oranges and all!). I have thoroughly enjoyed having the leftover homemade orange marmalade as well. It was fabulous and nothing like the goop that you purchase in the store. Just forget about that junk and make this recipe for orange marmalade! That recipe alone was worth participating in this month’s challenge.

I offered to bring dessert to a neighbor’s dinner party the day these were prepared, so the guests were oh so fortunate to be able to enjoy this lovely treat. The only thing I wish I had done differently was to add a layer of dark chocolate to a few of the molds (on the pastry circles) to see how that might have tasted! I will have to try that next time!

Orange Tian

For the Pate Sablee:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
granulated sugar 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon; 2.8 oz; 80 grams
vanilla extract ยฝ teaspoon
Unsalted butter ยผ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams ice cold, cubed
Salt 1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams
All-purpose flour 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 grams

Directions:
Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor.

Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogenous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ยผ inch thick circle.

Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

For the Marmalade:

Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
Freshly pressed orange juice ยผ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices
pectin 5 grams
granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked

Finely slice the orange.

Place the orange slices in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, discard the water, re-fill with cold water and blanch the oranges for another 10 minutes.

Blanch the orange slices 3 times. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel, so it is essential to use a new batch of cold water every time when you blanch the slices.

Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool.

Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor).

Weigh the slices and use the same amount of granulated sugar . If you donโ€™t have a scale, you can place the slices in a cup measurer and use the same amount of sugar.

In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).

Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

For the Orange Segments:

For this step you will need 8 oranges.

Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.

For the Caramel:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
orange juice 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams

Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.

Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments.

Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture in a small bowl โ€” you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.

[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel โ€” if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you donโ€™t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]

For the Whipped Cream:

Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
heavy whipping cream 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 tsp Gelatine
1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
orange marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon

In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]

Assembling the Dessert:

Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer.

Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.

Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.

Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.

Arrange the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange them as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.

Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle.

Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough.

Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact.

Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.

Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently place your serving plate on top of a dessert (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the cookie cutter. Add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately.

Add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately.

An elegant, impressive dessert!

29 Comments

Filed under Caramel Sauce, Daring Bakers Challenge, Desserts, French, Orange Tian, Oranges, Recipes

Remembering Spain with a Pan of Paella!

I have been thinking a lot lately about the trip we took to France and Spain last October. We had never been to Spain before, but we absolutely feel in love with the places we saw! Barcelona was my favorite spot, but Valencia is where I had what I would consider to be authentic paella.

Now, I know there are probably as many versions of paella as Imelda Marcos has shoes. Paella can be prepared many ways and it depends on where you are as to what you are going to get! I saw paella cooked with rice and with pasta (think spaghetti). With pasta it is called fideua. That is traditionally served in Barcelona. Both versions (rice and pasta) can be prepared with pork, chicken and sausage as well as all types of fish and seafood. Some dishes combine a little of each.

I do have to say that they know to serve the stuff up right in Barcelona! We saw the beginnings of a major paella party cranking up outside the Cathedral Sagrada Familia when we were visiting. Here is a picture of what happens when they get to whipping up a big ole batch of the stuff!

Now that's some paella!

I personally prefer the chicken and shrimp version with rice (Valencian paella). I opt out of the whole other seafood thing because you are never really sure what you are going to get (especially when you do not understand much Spanish). I saw some really creepy looking fish in those markets in Spain and the last thing I wanted was some of that stuff in my paella. They call certain seafood “monsters” for a reason! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have a recipe for paella that I loved to cook before I went to Spain. It was as good as anything I had here in the states and frankly, it was pretty easy and quick. Well, of course, that trip ruined things for me, so now, I prefer the really long version and it is sooooo worth it! That recipe I was using just does not have the depth of flavors that this more authentic version has. This new recipe tastes about as close as I can get to what I had in Valencia. I have made it a few times and it always turn out perfect.

The paella I had in Valencia had chicken and shrimp and some chorizo. This recipe I have found has the same ingredients. My hubby would rather have more seafood than what I care for and since I will not allow “monsters” in my food or anything resembling them, I throw a few Cherrystone Clams in for his benefit!

Not only is this paella authentic…we ate at traditional Spanish dining hours Saturday night! I was languishing on our back deck, enjoying the warm temperatures and a glass of wine with my hubby when I suddenly realized I needed to marinate the chicken and shrimp. Yikes! Dinner at 10 pm. When you plan to make this dish, be sure to plan ahead!

This recipe is adapted from Things Cooks Love by Marie Simmons (the book is available at Sur La Table – my hangout in the ATL)

Chicken, Shrimp, and Chorizo Paella
Serves 6-8

8 bone-in chicken thighs, or 1 large chicken cut into 10 pieces (cut the breast in half, so everything cooks evenly)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
18 large shrimp, peeled, with shells reserved, and deveined (I used 1 lb.)
10 Cherrystone clams
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, bruised, plus 2 tsp. minced
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish (if you wish)
5-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson’s Organic)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. saffron threads
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 (3-oz.) chorizos, casings removed and cut into 1/4 dice (Spanish chorizo if possible, which is cured, not fresh)
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes with the juices
1 1/2 cups Spanish rice (medium grain)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 lg. lemon, cut into 6-8 wedges, for garnish

1. Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a large bowl or large resealable plastic bag. Add the shrimp, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the bruised garlic, and the chopped rosemary. Cover the bowl, or seal the bag, and refrigerate 2 hours or up to overnight.

2. In an 2 1/2 to 3 quart saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and cover to keep hot.

3. in a 10-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until they turn dark red. Add 1 tsp. of the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Add the shrimp mixture to the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, re-cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Set a strainer over a clean saucepan and strain the broth. Discard the shells. Keep broth warm over low heat.

4. Crush the saffron in a mortar with a pestle, or place in a small cup and crush with the back of a spoon. Transfer to a small bowl and add a ladleful of the simmering broth. Cover and let stand until ready to use.

5. When ready to cook the paella, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them on a plate. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-14 inch paella pan (set over 2 burners if necessary) or an extra-large skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle the chicken. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook the other side for 5 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Return the chicken to a plate. *A splatter screen comes in handy for this sauteing!

6. Add the bell pepper, onion, chorizos, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula, for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are browned.

Add the paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until the juices boil off and the tomato is dry. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the chicken broth to a boil and pour 4 cups of it over the rice. Add the reserved broth (with saffron) and stir into the other ingredients. Arrange the chicken pieces around the outer edges of the pan.

7. Cook uncovered over medium heat, without stirring, for 15 minutes, or until most of the broth has been absorbed by the rice. Taste the rice and add more salt if needed.

8. Tuck the shrimp down into the partially cooked rice, concentrating them in the center area of the pan. Ladle 1 cup of the simmering broth over the rice and cook 5 minutes more. As the rice cooks, it will continue to absorb the broth. Add more broth as needed, tasting the rice each time. It should be tender, but firm. If you run our of broth before the rice is ready, use boiling water.

9. Sprinkle the peas on top. Tuck the clams into the rice and the broth. Lay a piece of extra-wide aluminum foil over the paella for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove from the heat and let the paella stand covered for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.



When you serve your paella, you should have a browned bottom that looks like this. No, you have not burned your paella! This is called socarrat and this just means you have properly prepared your dish. You actually want the rice and all the yummy juices to do this!

The important things you get to bring home with you from vacations are your memories, your photos, and perhaps some souvenirs. I always enjoy coming home and trying to recreate some of the fabulous dishes I had while I was traveling!

Buen apetito!

22 Comments

Filed under Chicken, Entrees, Paella, Recipes, Rice, Shrimp, Spanish, Valencia

Simple and Delicious Sirloin Tip Roast and the Giveaway Winners!

This past week was incredibly hectic. I do not know how the days managed to get away from me, but they did! It was a very nice week, however, in that I received my first blogging award, The Sunshine Award. I also have “met” many wonderful food blogger friends on the new Food Blog Forum. It is such a great site with tons of incredible info. I just need to find the time to get into some of the forums and see what people are saying.

I also had my first giveaway which was fun. The recipe I created was featured on Tasty Kitchen on Thursday (that was 2 features on Tasty Kitchen in a week – yeah!) and it now will be on Country Bob’s website next week. To top things off, I received an email from Foodista last night telling me that my Meyer Lemon Sorbet is a finalist in their cookbook contest! You can still vote (if you would like to), by clicking on this link.

Since I was insanely busy all week with oodles of things to do, my hubby was incredibly sweet and stepped into the kitchen to make a mess cook dinner for me several evenings. I had doctor’s appointments, photography class, other commitments, blah, blah, blah and was just too exhausted to get cooking.

Thursday evening we picked up a little (2 lb.) sirloin tip roast and my hubby decided he would cook it up for us, since Bunky that usually cooks was totally wiped out! I must admit that he is an excellent cook (one of the reasons we would be together! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and I thoroughly enjoy the evenings he takes over and tears up the kitchen makes dinner for us.

Here is very simple recipe for his version of roast boeuf!

Sirloin Tip Roast
Serves 4

1 Sirloin Tip Roast (2 lb.)
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 whole garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, partially melted
4-6 springs fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bring roast to room temperature. Pierce the meat all over with a large fork to tenderize the roast. Slice any silver skin or side muscle on the roast. Cut 4 slits in roast and plug with garlic cloves. Rub roast all over with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Pour partially melted butter over top of roast. Place thyme sprigs on top. Place the remaining tablespoon of butter on top of the thyme.

Cook at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, cover roast with aluminum foil. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes (checking temp at 20 minutes). We like ours at 135 degrees (medium rare), so ours was done at this point. If you prefer your roast to be medium (150 degrees), you will need to cook it longer. It will depend on your oven, but probably it will take an additional 10-15 minutes.

If you are not pressed for time (like we were), you could also marinate the roast with a little red wine before cooking it to tenderize it further.

My hubby took a few pics of the dinner with a point and shoot. No fussy photography, but it was soooo good, we wanted to show you (even if the pics aren’t awesome)!

Now to the real meat of the post (ha ha) and what many of you may have come here for…the winners of the Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce giveaway were:

#10 Rustic Garden Bistro

#20 Arlene Feix

There were a total of 24 eligible comments. Thank you everyone for participating! Check back soon because I will have another really awesome giveaway with a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT (big to me anyway!). ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great weekend!

6 Comments

Filed under Beef, Country Bob's, Entrees, Recipes, Roasting

Bailey’s Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings – Happy St. Patty’s Day!


This post is a bit late in making it for St. Patty’s Day, but after all, this is dessert, so it should be getting to you at about the right hour (if you are on the West Coast). I had a little post I had to do earlier in the day for the Sunshine Award (thanks again, Denise), so I am behind in all things (as usual).

I have to admit something…after making this ice cream, I am not sure I will ever want to eat another bite of ice cream out of a supermarket pre-packaged container again. I do not care who makes it or how much it costs…there is just no comparison to homemade ice cream! Besides, they don’t have the big boozy flavor that this one has! ๐Ÿ˜‰ How can you go wrong with Bailey’s Irish Cream and dark chocolate??? Besides, with a little green whipped cream, this one is soooo perfect to end your dinner of green beer (oh, yuck!) and Irish Stew for St. Patty’s Day!

As with most recipes for homemade ice cream, this one is simple. I always like to make the base for ice creams or sorbet a day ahead so it is well chilled. Other than that, piece of cake (no – ice cream!).

Anyway, I was going to just make the Bailey’s ice cream just straight up (ha ha), however, there was this bar of dark Valrhona chocolate just dying to get mixed up in that bucket of ice cream, so naturally, I had to comply!

Bailey’s Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings
Makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cups Bailey’s liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
3 lg. egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk (why skimp now??)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla (the really good stuff)
1/2 cup dark chocolate shavings (something semi-sweet) from a block of dark chocolate (I shaved the chocolate with a veggie peeler.)

Bring the Bailey’s to a simmer in a small, heavy saucepan and continue to simmer over medium heat. Cook until the liqueur is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Mine took about 15 minutes. The liqueur will be thicker and slightly syrupy. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the sugar into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and the sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. (Be careful not to let it boil or you will have scrambled eggs on your hands (and not custard). I usually check to see if the mixture slightly coats the back of a spoon. If it does, you are done!).

Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Add the heavy cream, vanilla and reduced Bailey’ Irish Cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Stir the chilled mixture and then place in your ice cream freezer and freeze (according to your own machine’s directions). When the ice cream is semi-frozen, toss in the chocolate shavings and freeze until firm.

This stuff will not become totally frozen due to the amount of Bailey’s, so I put it in the freezer overnight to help firm it up a bit.


Wow…it it so rich and creamy and chocolaty! And if that wasn’t enough…I topped it with a little sweetened whipped cream with just a hint of green. Even though there is something scary about eating/drinking things that are not meant to be green…I just had to do it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You will not, however, be seeing that picture….

Hope you had a Happy St. Patty’s Day!

6 Comments

Filed under Bailey's Irish Cream, Chocolate, Desserts, Holidays, Ice Cream, Irish, Recipes, St. Patrick's Day

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp and My First Giveaway!

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a small company by the name of Country Bob’s. They wanted to know if I would be willing to give their All Purpose Sauces a try and let them know what I thought. Well, of course, we all like to get food goodies delivered to our door, so I said bring it on! Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauces arrived, as promised, in both the regular and spicy version.

This is a link to Country Bob’s website. Their products are sold in over 3000 stores in the United States, but honestly, I had never heard of them, so I was excited to give this stuff a try! I do know that they try to get the word out about their sauces by getting some bloggers to do posts. It is a great way to get noticed.

This is the information about their business and the All Purpose Sauce from their website:

In 1968 Country Bob perfected the sauce of his dreams. After years of giving the sauce to friends and family he began to sell it in 1977. The reaction was overwhelming just as it is today. Almost everyone who tries Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce becomes a lifelong user. And why not, it is the perfect complement to practically any meal set on your table.

It was actually October of 1982 when Country Bob, Inc. became the company, which remains today. Bob Edson,Terry Edson, Al Malekovic and Reed Malekovic formed a corporation with equal ownership. Since that time Country Bob’s distribution has magnified regionally in all directions from our corporate office located in Centralia, Illinois. Even with the tremendous growth we have not forgotten where we came from, continuing in our relentless pursuit of product excellence.

Along with our All Purpose Sauce we have expanded our product line to include BBQ Sauce, Seasoning Salt and Spicy All Purpose Sauce.With our fully automated bottling line we also have the capability of producing Private Label products for stores or restaurants.

Well, of course, you know which sauce I tried first (the spicy one!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was hot and spicy with a bit of sweetness, so my mind started racing, thinking…I decided that we could do better than just a little review. We could whip up a few pounds of shrimp with that sauce! We don’t mess around when it comes to food in this house! (I told you I started thinking…and we all know that can be dangerous!)

I wanted to create a shrimp dish with a little barbecue flavor…maybe served on rice…kind of creole style…I can tell you one thing, don’t ever let your man hear the word barbecue because after that, I had more hands than I could count in my kitchen tossing in everything but the actual physical bottle of Country Bob’s sauce! Before I knew it, after tasting the final marinade, I was in Thailand and not in Louisiana! So, we altered the plating and enjoyed a little Thai shrimp!

I have to say, this is one awesome shrimp dish! It is spicy hot with a bit of sweet and tangy twist to it! I couldn’t get enough of the sauce with the rice. It was also great as a sopping sauce with crusty french bread! It’s messy, but that’s half the fun of eating shrimp!


This would also be a fabulous appetizer. Serve the shrimp skewered (as we did in the photo at the top of the post) and your guests will love it! I like the fact that this is a versatile recipe. It just depends how many shrimp you want to eat….! We wanted to eat lots (because it was soooo good), therefore, appetizer portions were not on our menu! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp
Serves 8-10 as an appetizer
Serves 3-4 as an entree

2 pounds unpeeled, extra-large, fresh shrimp (We tried to find the ones with the heads on because they look so cool, but they were not available. If you do use them, you will need about 3 lbs. of shrimp.)

For marinade:
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 cup Country Bobโ€™s Spicy All Purpose Sauce
1/4 cup Thai Chili Sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Mix all ingredients. Add shrimp and toss thoroughly with the marinade. Place in a non-reactive, covered dish and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Periodically turn the shrimp over to marinate evenly.

To a large skillet add:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup Country Bobโ€™s Spicy All Purpose Sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning

Garnish for finished dish – lemon slices and chopped parsley (*or cilantro)

Melt butter over medium low heat and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Add marinated shrimp and raise heat to medium high. Stir to fully cover shrimp. (The higher heat is required to compensate for the cold shrimp when placed in the skillet.) Cook 2-3 minutes then turn shrimp to cook other side and cook another 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium low. Shrimp should be fully cooked in a total time of 5-6 minutes (depending on the size of your shrimp). Check often so as not to over cook.

* Since I was originally thinking Louisiana barbecued shrimp, I had lemon and parsley to serve with the dish. With the Thai flavors, I think a little squeeze of fresh lime juice would be nice at the end along with some cilantro to garnish the dish.

We also had a taste test with the regular All Purpose Sauce and tried it on grilled steaks. I would prefer to use a little of the sauce in ground meat and then cook it. I am sure mixing the meat with the sauce would give burgers (beef or turkey) an awesome flavor! These sauces have so much character, I like the idea of using them in dishes, rather than on top of them.

So, now that you have some idea what to do with this sauce, how would you like to have 2 bottles of Country Bob’s show up at your door in a little food goodie box??? Thanks to Al at Country Bob’s, we are giving away 2 sets of 2 bottles each of their All Purpose Sauce (one regular and one spicy).

The question is – How can I enter to win the sauces???

This is how you do it:

Leave a comment on this post telling me what you might cook with Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce. Be sure to have your name/blog somewhere on the comment that I can contact you if you are a winner.

Extra Entries:

Here are four additional ways that you can enter.

1. Follow @bunkycooks on Twitter. Leave a comment here indicating that you are now a follower. If you are already a follower, you can leave a comment saying you are.

2. Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment here with a link to your tweet.

3. Become a fan of Bunkycooks on Facebook. Leave a comment here indicating you are now a fan. If you are already a fan, you can leave a comment saying you are.

4. Subscribe to Bunkycooks by RSS feed or email. Leave a comment saying you are now a subscriber. If you are already a subscriber, you can leave a comment saying you are.

You have to play to win (and you can play one time or five times!) The more times you leave a comment, the more chances you have to win! I will be using random.org (or my dog) to pick a winner (just kidding about the dog)! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The contest is only open to those of you in the US or Canada (I know, I know…bummer!)

This giveaway ends at 5 pm EST on Friday, March 19th.

Country Bob’s will be mailing the sauces direct to the winners, so I will need to hear back from the winners within 48 hours after notification to get your shipping info, otherwise, random.org will choose another winner.

GOOD LUCK!

Sweet and Spicy Thai Shrimp on Foodista

38 Comments

Filed under Country Bob's, Entrees, Recipes, Rice, Shrimp, Thai

Gaelic Steak Flambe – This recipe could bring the house down!

I thought that I would go ahead and do a blog post for St. Patty’s Day before the actual holiday since I cooked Valentine’s Dinner on Valentine’s Day and I guess that really is too late if you are interested in trying this recipe yourself! We did have quite the flame that evening and torching food is always fun, so this is a really cool recipe (especially if you are in the mood to impress someone with your culinary talents!). ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wanted to prepare a good traditional Irish dish, but was not going with what everyone knows – Corned Beef and Cabbage, Bangers and Mash or Irish Stew. No…..I had to find something different (because I am just that kind of gal)! My hubby found this recipe online. The Gaelic Steak Flambe is served with Sean’s Irish Champ (betcha never heard of that!), which is a fancy name for smashed potatoes with scallions and a big, fat pat of butter. Yes, I said full fat, salted butter! I was also lucky to find a beautiful bunch of rapini which I served with the filet and potatoes. So, after much photography and time cooking this dinner, we had a lovely, Irish steak dinner!

This really was an awesome recipe for the steak and the potatoes. I changed the recipe for the steak quite a bit, so I will give you my version. The one thing that is the same is the Irish Whiskey! You cannot have a St. Patty’s Day dinner without including that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have made a few changes to the potato recipe as well.

Gaelic Steak Flambe

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, chopped
3 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
2 8 oz. filets
Freshly ground coarse black pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Have filets at room temperature. Coat completely in black pepper.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet. Saute shallots for a minute or two, then add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are slightly brown and the shallots are soft. Remove and set aside.

3. Turn the heat up in the pan. Saute the steaks quickly on both sides (this should take between 2-5 minutes each side).

The steaks should be nicely seared.

Put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes to finish.

Mine took about 7 minutes. The filets were a little over 1 inch thick. The temperature was 145 degrees at the center for medium. Remove the steaks from the oven and put on a plate.

4. Melt the other tablespoon of butter in another pan over low heat. (I chose a copper oval fry pan because of how quickly and evenly it heats.). Add the steaks. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Pour the whiskey over the steaks and ignite!

When the flames die down, turn the steaks over for about 30 seconds. Remove and tent the steaks on a warm plate.
5. Add the shallots and mushrooms back to the pan with the whiskey and slowly add half and half. Turn up the temperature a bit.

Add Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste. Stir and cook a few minutes to thicken sauce and pour over steaks.

Looking for handouts!

Irish Camp

2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 c. whole milk
Salt and pepper
Half and half to finish
Pats of salted butter

1. Boil potatoes in salted water, until tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Drain and return to pan. Stir and cook the potatoes over low heat until dry.
3. Heat the milk with the scallions in a small saucepan to almost boiling.
4. Mash the potatoes (I like leaving them a little rustic and chunky – it felt more Irish that way!)
5. Add milk, scallions and salt and pepper to taste to potatoes. I threw in a few tablespoons of half and half for a richer taste.

5. Keep warm until ready to serve.
6. Serve with a big pat of butter (yes, that’s right!) on top of each serving.

Sauteed Rapini

Enough rapini for 2 servings
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Good Olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling.
2. Add rapini and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove and place in an ice bath. Then, drain until ready to use.
3. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet. Add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes (do not brown).
4. Add rapini and saute with red pepper flakes until hot enough to serve. Season with salt and pepper.

I would say Bon Appetit in Irish, but it would certainly not make sense to most of us (you would not believe what the translation looked like!). Instead, I chose something we are probably more familiar with – Erin Go Bragh!


Oh, and do not forget a great bottle of wine to serve with dinner. I think we deserved it after all of the time spent in the kitchen! Pride Mountain is a traditional California Merlot that is velvety smooth and has deep flavors of blackberry and dark fruit with hints of herbs and cocoa. It was an incredible bottle of wine and complimented the dinner perfectly!

14 Comments

Filed under Beef, Entrees, Irish, Irish Whiskey, Potatoes, Rapini, Recipes, St. Patrick's Day