Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

More from the Kitchen Daily site. This looks too good to be true. Hello heart attack!


INGREDIENTS

SHRIMP

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing2 tsp finely grated lemon zest¼ cup fresh lemon juice6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced6 small jarred or dried Calabrian chiles, minced20 jumbo shrimp, shelled with tails intact10 slices of bacon, cut in half crosswise

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the shrimp in a large baking dish, whisk the 1/2 cup of oil with the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and chiles. Wrap each shrimp with a piece of bacon and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour; turn the shrimp halfway through marinating.
  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; brush with oil. Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until the bacon is browned and the shrimp is just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve with the cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.
e-roc's twist: since I have no idea what Calabrian chiles are, I would recommend using red chili pepper flakes. If you have a sweet-tooth, I would imagine that a melted brown sugar + butter + ketchup + Worcestershire dipping sauce would be a nice compliment. Bon appetit!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

I saw this on The Kitchen (one of my new favorite shows on the Food Network - great cast, great food, fun way to spend an hour), and I modified it for simplicity and healthiness.. I did a Google search and found this recipe which is the closest version I could find to what I did.



(props to SkinnyTaste.com for the picture and the recipe... lots of delicious, healthy recipes throughout the site)...

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Servings: 6 • Size: about 1 cup cauliflower • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 119.4 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 4 g • Carb: 21.4 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 0.2 g
Sodium: 1172 mg

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 22 oz (6 1/2 cups) cauliflower florets
  • 3/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.
  • Combine the water, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and butter in a small bowl.
  • Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.

e-roc's twist: I didn't use flour or butter in my version and the hot sauce sticks just fine. I will probably add unsalted butter the next go-round. If you're making this as a dinner appetizer, Skinnytaste recommends a side of celery and dressing, which sounds quite delicious. Also, if you can't find cauliflower florets in your grocery store, chopping up a head of cauliflower the old fashioned way isn't the end of the world. I'm always looking for a good reason to pull out the butcher knife... Bon appetit!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - Steamed Mussels

I've only ever tried to make mussels once and haven't done it more frequently primarily because of the lack of really great fresh seafood in central Ohio.. It's also a lot of work to debeard these damn things...


Serve over pasta for extra nom nom nom nom... 
  • 2 lb live mussels
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic

Preparation:

Scrub and debeard the mussels. The "beard" is the fibrous hairy thing hanging from one side of the tasty bivalve. Pull it off with a side-to-side motion.
In case you are wondering, a mussel is alive if it reacts. Its shell should be closed. If it is open, sit the mussel on the kitchen counter for a bit. It may close when you are not looking.
Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large, wide-bottomed pot with a lid; I use a Dutch oven. Saute the shallot until it is soft but not browned. Add the garlic and the white wine (I'd suggest a chenin blanc or something crisp, but you can use any decent white), and bring it to a boil. Add the mussels in one layer if possible.
Cover the pot and let the mussels steam for 3-8 minutes. After three minutes, check the mussels; many should be open. You want them all open, but some will do this faster than others.
Turn off the heat and cover for a minute while you prepare bowls and plates.
Spoon out plenty of mussels and broth, which should be briny enough to not need any more salt. Throw out any mussels that did not open.
Serve with crusty bread, more white wine -- and an extra bowl for the shells.
e-roc's twist: for the lazier chef, grab a small bottle of pre-chopped garlic in olive oil, it'll save you a lot of time and money (unused garlic goes to waste quickly)... Also, always cook with wine that you would drink. Other things you can add to this recipe include: shrimp, scallops, and diced tomatoes...Bon appetit!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - White Chicken Chili

For the 2nd day in a row, the RotD...

Today's recipe of the day (from Foodnetwork.com):


Ingredients: (Serves 8)

  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white corn
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can of chopped green chilies
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in a 4 quart slow cooker.
  2. Top with beans and corn.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, chiles, condensed soup, and chicken broth. Pour over top of ingredients in the crock pot.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  5. Before serving, stir gently to break up chicken, then stir in the sour cream.


e-roc's twist: Instead of using an envelope of taco seasoning, I usually make my own taco mix (less salt, more heat).  I add in a 4 1/2oz can of chopped jalapeno's for heat and use frozen corn instead of canned corn and I'm always heavy with the amount of corn I use. Perfect sides for this chili include: Fritos scoops and cornbread. Bon appetit!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD)

I'm a foodie with distant unattainable cooking aspirations. I love watching the Food Network and Top Chef. The food they prepare is amazing to me.  The best I can do at the moment and be an above average home chef who knows how to make good scrambled eggs, pan seared salmon, and chicken & chorizo paella.

It hit me this morning that I should start to post/share a Recipe of the Day, if for at a minimum, my own benefit. Hopefully this will still be something I do in January 2015...

Today's recipe of the day (from KitchenDaily.com):


INGREDIENTSvegetable cooking spray4 cup cooked cut green beans1 can (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)½ cup milk1 can (2.8 ounces) French's® French Fried Onions (about 1 1/3 cups)1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese32 oz refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits (16 biscuits, or 2 packages)DIRECTIONS
  • Heat the oven to 375°F.  Spray 16 (2 1/2-inch) muffin-pan cups with the cooking spray.  Stir the green beans, soup, milk, 1 cup cheese and 2/3 cup onions in a large bowl.
  • Roll each biscuit into a 4-inch circle.  Press the biscuit circles into the bottoms and up the sides of the muffin-pan cups.  Divide the green bean mixture among the biscuit cups.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the biscuit cups are golden brown.  Stir the remaining cheese and onions in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over the green bean mixture.
  • Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Let the minis cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.
e-roc's twist: I would swap out the buttermilk biscuits for cornbread mix. Cornbread mix is very tacky and the casserole mixture should hold inside the cornbread without getting too messy. Don't forget the cooking spray. I would also skip the cheddar cheese. I don't put cheese on my large green bean casseroles, so I can't imagine wanting them on the mini version. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

2013 Mock Draft (updated 3/15)


This mock draft has been updated for your mockery.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, OT (TAMU) - So they traded for Alex Smith... While I don't believe that he's any better than the incumbent Matt Cassel, Joeckel might actually give Alex Smith some more time to stand in the pocket... and eventually get sacked or throw the ball in the dirt.
  2. Arizona Cardinals (trade w/JAX) - Geno Smith, QB (WVU) -  Four names that Larry Fitzgerald has nightmares about. Kolb, Skelton, Lindley, Drew Stanton. 
  3. Oakland Raiders - Dion Jordan, DE  (Oregon) - RIP Al Davis, but I'm confident that the Raiders won't let me down here and will take a guy who had great measurables at the combine. 
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (trade from JAX) - Eric Fisher, OT (WMU) - If the Eagles draft any player besides an OL, I'll be shocked and appalled... And consequently, I would expect Chip Kelly to be gone within two years.
  5. Detroit Lions - Dee Milliner, CB (Bama) - I watched the Detroit Lions lose more games by giving up huge 3rd down passing conversions. Spivey will hopefully return from IR to shore up the safety position. 
  6. Cleveland Browns - Cordarelle Patterson, WR (UT) - With Paul Kruger signed at the OLB spot and the team focusing on FA defensive backs, they need to fill the gaping hole on offense called Wide Receiver. 
  7. Jacksonville Jags (trade w/AZ) - Jarvis Jones, LB (UGA) - QUICK! Name one outside linebacker on the Jaguars' roster. Couldn't do it huh? They need a huge upgrade at LB and could easily trade further down and still make this pick. 
  8. Buffalo Bills - Matt Barkley QB (USC) - This draft pick is one of need. He's going to be another USC-alumni QB bust in the NFL. Geno is gone and the Bills are terribly desperate; terrible and desperate.
  9. NY Jets - Keenan Allen, WR (CAL) - Sanchez has no one to throw the ball to. Here's a guy in the mold of TO who can get it done. 
  10. Tennessee Titans - Shariff Floyd, DT (UF) - He's the best player available and fits the Titans 4-3 scheme.
  11. San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson, OT (OU) - Red rover, red rover, send a friggin' offensive lineman right over. As a fantasy owner of Phillip Rivers, I watched #17 running for his life and throwing off his ass every weekend.
  12. Miami Dolphins - Xavier Rhodes, DB (FSU) - With Mike Wallace signed and Hartline extended, I expect the Fins to address a Swiss-cheese like secondary.
  13. Tampa Bay Bucs - Bjoern Werner, DE (FSU) - I have no idea who any of the TB defensive ends are, so I know they can't be very good. Bucs will need to address secondary in the next couple rounds. The Bucs personnel coordinator should follow up a solid 2012 draft with an equally solid 2013 draft.
  14. Carolina Panthers - Barkevious Mingo, LB (LSU) - First of all, this guy sounds like he came off Key & Peele's All-Star game roster. Second of all, putting Mingo next to Kuechly is reminiscent of the Panthers' glory days with Dan Morgan and Will Witherspoon. 
  15. New Orleans Saints - Johnathan Hankins, DT (OSU) - This is more or less a homer pick, but I think the Saints like defensive players from Ohio State (see: Malcolm Jenkins & Will Smith). 
  16. St. Louis Rams - Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah) - Maybe a reach? If the Rams come to terms with Jake Long (scUM), I think it makes sense that they address the defense..
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Johnathan Banks, DB (MissSt) - Steelers could take another offensive lineman or a linebacker here, but my guess is they'll try to clean up some of the mess in the back four first..
  18. Dallas Cowboys - Chance Warmack, OG (Bama) - O-line or linebacker. I'm pretty sure this guy will be the next best player available. Jerry Jones might do (and will do) something stupid so I won't be surprised if he drafts Collin Klein.
  19. NY Giants - Manti T'eo, ILB (ND) - I hear the Giants need a new linebacker.... Defense looked like a shell of itself in 2012. I wonder how many catfish live in NYC?
  20. Chicago Bears - Johnathan Cooper, OG (UNC) - see SD Chargers above. Jay Cutler needs someone to protect him from Suh.
  21. Baltimore Ravens (trade from STL) - Eric Reid, SS (LSU) - We all know how important Ed Reed is to the Baltimore defense... Sounds too easy to just bring in another Reid, right?
  22. Minnesota Vikings - Desmond Trufant, DB (Wash) - Another Swiss-cheese secondary. Vikes are making moves in the FA market, but that also included releasing cornerstone (pun intended) Antoine Winfield.
  23. Cincinnati Bengals - Kenny Vaccaro, S (Texas) - 1st round is too high to draft a RB or any of the remaining OTs... maybe they can trade down and reach for one late. 
  24. Indianapolis Colts - Datone Jones, DE (UCLA) - Lots of holes on the defensive side of the ball... Can Jones be the next Dwight Freeney?
  25. Seattle Seahawks - Sheldon Richardson, DT (Mizzou) - He goes here due to a major oversight on my part.. and the Seahawks DEF gets even better.
  26. St. Louis Rams (trade from BAL)- Alec Olgetree, LB (UGA) - This is the Rams 2nd pick in the first round... Olgetree would be a nice addition to go with Little Animal. 
  27. Green Bay Packers - Barrett Jones, C (Bama) - It's time for Jeff Saturday to retire. Bye bye.
  28. SF 49ers - Matt Elam, FS (UF) - because the rich get richer. It's what happens. Not sure what other pieces the 49ers really need... and they have a TON of picks.
  29. Houston Texans - Jonathan Cooper, OG (UNC) - I watched Arian Foster run great on one side of the ball and crappy on the other.. That only means one thing... 
  30. NE Patriots - Robert Woods, WR (USC) - Bill B. is a draft day enigma or a 100-sided die... I'm going to say WR for fun. 
  31. Denver Broncos - Kawaan Short, DT (Purdue) - I know Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller.... and that's about it.
  32. Atlanta Falcons - Kevin Minter, LB (LSU) - Akeem Dent plays MLB now and had 42 solo tackles on the year. That's pretty pathetic...
Dart throwing predictions...
Offensive Rook of the Year: Geno Smith
Defensive Rook of the Year: Barkevious Mingo

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 NFL Mock (me) Draft

Keeping up with tradition, I've decided to take a wild swing at the upcoming (April) 2013 NFL draft. Mock me, please.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs - Geno Smith, QB (WVU) - If the Chiefs draft anything but a QB (unless they pick up someone via FA), we might as well go ahead and slot them here for the 2014 draft as well. Obviously Matt Cassell and Brady Quinn can't get the job done. Helen Keller could make this pick. 
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (trade from JAX) - Luke Joeckel, OT (TAMU) - The greatest position of need (by far) and the Eagles can't afford to miss out on him. Other mock drafts indicate a good amount of draft depth at this position, but franchise LTs don't come along every year. 
  3. Oakland Raiders - Bjoern Werner, DE  (FSU) - RIP Al Davis, but I'm confident that the Raiders won't let me down here and will take a guy who should have great measurables at the combine. He's the next JJ Watt. 
  4. Jacksonville Jags (trade from PHI) - Jarvis Jones, LB (UGA) - QUICK! Name one outside linebacker on the Jaguars' roster. Couldn't do it huh? They need a huge upgrade at LB and could easily trade down and still make this pick. 
  5. Detroit Lions - Dee Milliner, CB (Bama) - I watched the Detroit Lions lose more games by giving up huge 3rd down passing conversions. Spivey will hopefully return from IR to shore up the safety position. 
  6. Cleveland Browns - Tavon Austin, WR (WVU) It's too bad there isn't a true Top 10 WR available (i.e. Julio Jones or AJ Green) because the glaring lack of playmakers on this offense is the biggest area of need. The defense proved it can hold its own when it needs to. New management stretches to fill the spot (Austin will probably run a 4.28).. and hopefully it works out.
  7. Arizona Cardinals - Tyler Wilson, QB (ARK) - Three names that Larry Fitzgerald has nightmares about. Kolb, Skelton, Lindley.  IMO Wilson is a better prospect than Barkley...
  8. Buffalo Bills - Damontre Moore, DE (TAMU) - I honestly don't know much about this guy, but what I do know, is that Mario Williams and the Bills DEF were both MIA in 2012. The Bills wait until the 2nd Round to draft a QB from their backyard (Ryan Nassib, Syracuse).
  9. NY Jets - Keenan Allen, WR (CAL) - Sanchez has no one to throw the ball to. Here's a guy in the mold of TO who can get it done. Defense looks even better with Revis back from injury island. 
  10. Tennessee Titans - Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah) - I saw this man child eat up the 4 & 5 star USC OL on national TV. I presume that he'll be able to do the same in the pros, that is, if he doesn't take plays off. Plays with a tremendous motor (and emotion) but conditioning might be the main issue at 350lbs. 
  11. San Diego Chargers - Jake Matthews, OT (TAMU) - Red rover, red rover, send a friggin' offensive lineman right over. As an owner of Phillip Rivers, I constantly watched #17 running for his life and throwing off his ass.
  12. Miami Dolphins - Xavier Rhodes, DB (FSU) - With Allen and Austin both off the board, I expect the Fins to fix a Swiss-cheese like secondary.
  13. Tampa Bay Bucs - Manti Te'o, LB (ND) - I have no idea who Mason Foster is, but I know he's not very good. Bucs will need to address secondary in the next couple rounds. The Bucs personnel coordinator should follow up a solid 2012 draft with an equally solid 2013 draft.
  14. Carolina Panthers - Barkevious Mingo, LB (LSU) - First of all, this guy sounds like he came off Key & Peele's All-Star game roster. Second of all, putting Mingo next to Kuechly is reminiscent of the Panthers' glory days with Dan Morgan and Will Witherspoon. 
  15. New Orleans Saints - Johnathan Hankins, DT (OSU) - This is more or less a homer pick, but I think the Saints like defensive players from Ohio State (see: Malcolm Jenkins & Will Smith). 
  16. St. Louis Rams - Taylor Lewan, OT (scUM) - I watched Lewan get pwned by Jadeveon Clowney on New Year's Day, but somehow this pick still make sense. Sam Bradford should be a happy camper this summer.
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Johnathan Banks, DB (MissSt) - Steelers could take another offensive lineman or a linebacker here, but my guess is they'll try to clean up some of the mess in the back four first..
  18. Dallas Cowboys - Chance Warmack, OG (Bama) - O-line or linebacker. I'm pretty sure this guy will be the next best player available. Jerry Jones might do (and will do) something stupid so I won't be surprised if he drafts Collin Klein.
  19. NY Giants - Khaseem Green, OLB (Rutgers) - I hear the Giants need a new linebacker.... Defense looked like a shell of itself in 2012.
  20. Chicago Bears - Eric Fisher, OT (Central Michigan) - see SD Chargers above. Jay Cutler needs someone to protect him from Suh.
  21. Baltimore Ravens (trade from STL) - Eric Reid, SS (LSU) - We all know how important Ed Reed is to the Baltimore defense... Sounds too easy to just bring in another Reid, right?
  22. Minnesota Vikings - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Tenn) - I've read three mock drafts that all have Patterson going to the Vikings. I'm going to play copy-cat here.
  23. Cincinnati Bengals - Ezekiel Ansah, DE (BYU) - Mike Brown is a cheapskate who won't resign FA Michael Johnson even though he had a tremendous year. This kid is relentless.
  24. Indianapolis Colts - Matt Elam, SS (UF) - if he can be the next Bob Sanders, sans injury bug, Pagano will have his leader in the secondary for years to come.
  25. Seattle Seahawks - Sheldon Richardson, DT (Mizzou) - He goes here due to a major oversight on my part.. and the Seahawks DEF gets even better.
  26. St. Louis Rams (trade from BAL)- Arthur Brown, LB (K-State) - This is the Rams 2nd pick in the first round... Brown would be a nice addition to go with Little Animal. 
  27. Green Bay Packers - Barrett Jones, C (Bama) - It's time for Jeff Saturday to retire. Bye bye.
  28. SF 49ers - Sharrif Floyd, DT (UF) - because the rich get richer. It's what happens. Not sure what other pieces the 49ers really need.
  29. Houston Texans - Jonathan Cooper, OG (UNC) - I watched Arian Foster run great on one side of the ball and crappy on the other.. That only means one thing... 
  30. NE Patriots - Robert Woods, WR (USC) - Bill B. is a draft day enigma or a 100-sided die... I'm going to say WR for fun. 
  31. Denver Broncos - Jesse Williams, DT (Bama) - I know Elvis Dumervil.... and that's about it.
  32. Atlanta Falcons - Kevin Minter, LB (LSU) - Akeem Dent plays MLB now and had 42 solo tackles on the year. That's pretty pathetic...
Dart throwing predictions...
Offensive Rook of the Year: Geno Smith
Defensive Rook of the Year: Barkevious Mingo