Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crispy Bacon Jalapeño Popper Stuffed French Toast with Blackberry Syrup

  Initially when I developed this recipe, it was for a contest to win a year's supply of eggs from our local Hickman's Farm eggs.  I have teenage boys, so I thought it would be a good fit. I actually got really  busy with work and didn't ever send in the recipe but I decided that with the changes in my life and things happening so quickly around here to launch a cafe, that this would be a good recipe to add to the menu.  What do you think?  Mind you, I really won't give the full recipe for the menu here on the blog. I have to have some secrets. However...I think that sharing this will make a few of you hopefully think about coming down to see us! Seriously, until we get our permits, I can't share the menu at all! 

This is a savory stuffed French Toast sandwich. If you can, use bread made from our simple recipe for  No Knead 4 Ingredient Overnight Bread Anyone Can Make.  Between two slices of thin French bread there is a remarkably savory filling made with cream cheese, bacon and jalapeno with a hint of garlic and sharp cheddar cheese. The sandwich is dipped in a savory egg coating and then covered with a crispy cornflake-Parmesan layer. When the sandwich is pan-fried it is remarkable. Warm and crispy from the pan and oozing with the jalapeno-bacon and cheese mixture,  it is drizzled with a savory-sweet blackberry black-pepper syrup. I think it is probably the best breakfast sandwich on earth. 
Crispy Bacon Jalapeño Popper Stuffed French Toast with Blackberry Syrup
2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup seeded, minced, fresh jalapeno
1 cup bacon crumbles
1T fresh minced garlic

Savory Egg batter:
4 Hickman's jumbo eggs, cracked and whisked
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
½ tsp fine minced garlic
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cumin

1 cup corn-flake crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Tangy-sweet Blackberry Syrup:
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup seedless blackberry jam
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

You will also need 12 slices thin sliced sourdough French Bread (depending on how large the slices, usually about 4 inches by 4 inches). 

Mix the filling ingredients.
 Fill slices of bread generously with filling, enough to make approximately 6 sandwiches. 
One for my family to share. The rest for me. 
In a container the size of the sandwiches, combine the cornflakes and the Parmesan. 
In a separate container combine the ingredients for the egg coating. set up a dipping station.  
Dip the sandwich in the egg mixture and coat well. Then coat with the corn flake mixture.  Continue until all the sandwiches are coated. 
 In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the sandwich in a few Tablespoons of bacon fat or vegetable oil. 
 Prepare the blackberry syrup by combining all the syrup ingredients and stirring until smooth.  Drizzle over the warm toast.

There you go my darlings.
More amazing ideas to come. 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sweet and Hot Slow Cooked Spanish Pork

We've made it to another Freezer Friday! Hooray! It's not just any Friday, mind you, but Labor Day weekend Friday! It's going to be a really nice four days to get together with family and friends. I may just relax and snooze. Tonight is "girl's night out"...and I'm going to leave dinner with the kids and a sitter. So, I thought I'd share one of my favorite freezer meals that also doubles as an amazing meal to serve to guests, neighbors, friends...or the babysitter. Good news, it's also gluten free and dairy free (if you don't top it with sour cream).

Sweet and hot is a weird combination. It's like a gorgeous drop-dead-to-look-at mom who can also bake brownies. Hmm. I'm not going to point fingers at anyone in particular. My mom says I totally fit that description. To the rest of you, you know who you are. I'm just saying, it's a hard balance to keep. Apply the sweet and hot combination to a dinner that can also double as a freezer meal for just about any Mexican filled entree...and you will be ready to cry tears of joy. Then and only then will you understand what it feels like to truly achieve dinner zen. Ohhhmmm. You love me already...Ohhmmmm. You can't wait to try this.
I've been goofing around with this recipe for quite a while. I hope when you have it, you will experience all the combined wisdom several different recipes. Call me crazy. What I wanted was a recipe that had fairly few ingredients, without using a jar or packaged item of to "count" as an ingredient. I also wanted the meal to be satisfying. I wanted them to love it! So much love...that I would hear a lot of general moans of adoration for my skills as a chef. I'm selfish that way. I like praise. Doesn't everyone?

Tess' Sweet and Hot Slow Cooked Spanish Pork

3 lb boneless pork carnitias (or a boneless pork loin, cut into cubes)
2 tsp dry ancho chile,
2 tsp dry Mexican oregano
1 tsp whole cumin,
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup lime juice plus zest of one lime
1/2 cup Homemade sundried tomatoes or store purchased sun dried tomato julienne
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
salsa and sour cream (optional)

Directions: In a spice mill, combine the ancho chile,
and cumin seed.

Grind until a fine powder is achieved.

Spread the spice mixture over the carnitas (pork). Drizzle with honey.
Add the lime and sun dried tomato.

I cooked mine in my solar oven (350 degrees) for 4 hours, but you can put it in the crock pot on low 5-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.

Meat will be very tender. Thanks to the tomato and lime juice for the acid that breaks down the meat to make it so divine. You can leave it in chunks or shred it, depending on your preference. It's so tender it easily shreds with a fork.

Serve as a taco filling. I like to add fresh chopped cilantro and green onion and top it with some avocado yogurt cream and some of my Home canned Salsa.

Yields 6 3/4 cup servings. Recipe is okay to double or triple as needed for freezer meal purposes. To freeze, place 3 cups of the meat and juice mixture in a quart size bag along with fresh chopped cilantro and green onion. Label clearly with date and reheat instructions:

"To serve, defrost overnight in the fridge or remove bag and defrost in the freezer. Shred the pork. Heat 5-7 minutes in the microwave or 8-10 minutes on the stove top. Be sure to keep the juice with the meat. Salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot as a taco filling, taco salad base, enchilada or burrito filling."

Lay bag flat in fridge. When cool, transfer to the freezer. Freeze solid and place in your freezer file.

Last note.
My sweet friend Andee Andee Farnsworth Bergeron sent me this wonderful recipe that would also work wonderfully!
Costa Vida Sweet PorkPork Roast (4-5 lbs), thawed if frozen
3 c. Dr. Pepper
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. (packed) brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. powdered garlic
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 (smallish) Serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
Cut away any obvious fat portions from the roast. Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 6-7 hours.
Remove pork to cutting board.
Add an additional 1/2 c. granulated sugar and 1 cup Coke to the liquid in the crock pot. Stir.
Shred the pork, removing excess fat and bones, and add back to the crock pot. Stir.
Reduce to low and cook an additional 3 hours.
There you go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess