Archive for 2014
December 04, 2014
These delicious gems are so simple to make, and oh so delicious, you will serve them year round. The holidays are upon us, and it is a busy time of year – so we all need something quick and easy to prepare…and these balls make the perfect Christmas gift for friends, neighbors, and teachers. Think how quick your mail will be delivered when you hand a box of homemade bourbon balls to your mail carrier.
If you are looking for a sweet treat to serve at parties, or to give as a really fun unique hand-made gift, try these nuggets of culinary bliss. We served 300 of them at a party last night, and they were gone in a flash with rave reviews. And the best thing – they are a snap to make.
- 2 sticks soft Land O Lakes butter
- 2 pounds sifted 10X powdered sugar – that’s 2 boxes – sifted after you measure
- 1/3 cup Makers Mark (or your favorite bourbon)
- 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or Grand Marnier, or 1 teaspoon of instant espresso – depending on the flavor profile you would like to create
On a sheet pan, toast pecans in a pre-heated 350 degree for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely, and chop – leaving enough whole pecans if you choose to put them on top of the finished balls.
In a mixing bowl, add the soft butter (not melted), sifted powdered sugar, and mix on medium high speed until well blended. Do not over mix – you are not whipping here, just blending. Add Makers Mark and pecans and combine.
Let chill for at least an hour.
With a small mini ice cream scoop (they have them at most grocery stores), scoop out and roll into balls. Be careful not to over-roll for you do not want to melt the butter with your warm hands. Put the balls side by side (not touching) on a sheet pan and let cool 30 minutes in the freezer until firm.
STEP FOUR – GANACHE
Once the bourbon balls are chilled, put the chocolate chips and cream in a double boiler. Note: If you don’t have a double boiler, don’t fret, for you can put water in a small pot, to fit a glass or metal bowl on top so as not to touch the water. Once the water begins to boil, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chips and cream over the water filled pot, begin to stir until nice an smooth. If necessary, feel free to turn the heat back on until the chocolate is totally smooth.
You do not want to cook or over-heat the chocolate…all you are doing is melting the chocolate and cream to make a wonderful ganache consistency.
This same ganache can be used to top a Boston cream pie, peanut butter mousse pie, or anything you may want to adorn with this wonderful chocolate ganache.
Put the chilled balls on a rimmed sheet pan lined with a wire rack, and spoon the ganache over the balls until covered. The extra chocolate will fall through the wire rack to the sheet pan. This is enough ganache to cover about 60 to 80 balls.
Once the balls are covered in ganache, chill for about a half hour until the chocolate is firm. Gently place each ball in a mini cupcake holder. You can purchase white cupcake holders at most groceries (but they are a little big)…and nice smaller silver and gold wrappers can be found at most party stores like Party City.
Store at room temperature or chilled. Heat kills them.
There are lots of different ways to decorate these bourbon balls. Here are a few ways:
- Top with a toasted pecan half or even chopped toasted pecans – do this right after you cover the balls in ganache so they will stick
- Eliminate the ganache step altogether and roll in sifted powdered sugar or sifted cocoa powder – this give a completely different flavor
- Substitute white chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate – for a white chocolate covered bourbon ball
- If making a traditional semi-sweet chocolate covered ball, make an extra white chocolate ganache and place in a pastry bag using a fine tip and make decorative stripes as seen in picture
- If you are making white chocolate covered balls, make extra chocolate ganache and stripe with chocolate ganache
Get creative, and let me know what works for you. Enjoy.
November 13, 2014
Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite side dishes to prepare for my family and friends at Thanksgiving, or any time of year for that matter. And you will absolutely love this version, which was created by my friend Grace Borgeson. Of course, I’ve added a few of my own touches.
• 1 ½ pounds baby Brussels Sprouts
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
• 1 large Apple (Pink Lady, Gala, McIntosh – even Granny Smith will do if you like a little more tartness) – leaving peel on, chop in small to medium chunks
• 5 slices Applewood smoked bacon (including bacon fat renderings from the pan)
• 1 medium sweet onion diced small
• 1 tablespoon salted butter
• 2 tablespoons fine balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons 100% Vermont Maple Syrup
• Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper (to taste)
Pre-heat Oven to 425 degrees
After rinsing and drying your Brussels Sprouts, cut in half and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Place in pre-heated oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. See various pictures.
On medium heat, fry bacon in your favorite skillet (mine is cast iron) until it is nice and crispy, and let drain on paper towels. Toss in butter to the frying pan, add the onion and apple, stirring to get the crispy bacon bits from the bottom of the skillet to blend in with the onions and apple chunks…cook until the onion is translucent.
Combine the bacon, onion and apple mixture with the oven roasted Brussels Sprouts. Adjust the salt and pepper if necessary – drizzle with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature. It’s all good.
Prepare Brussels Sprouts as in step one including the baking. “OR” fry the halved Brussels Sprouts in vegetable oil pre-heated to 360 degrees until crispy.
Served with Lemon Sage Aioli for dipping – recipe below.
Combine and mix well:
• 1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
• 3 leaves fresh sage finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon lemon zest
• ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
November 06, 2014
My close friend Susan Merrill challenged me to make her a Limoncello cake as good as the one she sampled recently in Sarasota. The cost of that cake in Sarasota was $80 – which I thought was a bit high…but after creating a cake of my own, I can see why the cost is so high.
I decided to make a mousse and layer it with Limoncello soaked cake using a spring form pan. Well, it turned out great, and Susan said it was better than the original she had in Sarasota (it had to be different for I had never tasted the original). It is now one of Susan’s favorite cakes – mine too.
Limoncello is an extremely popular liqueur in Italy. It is mainly produced in southern Italy especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and the coast of Amalfi, and the islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri.
There are many fine Limoncello liqueurs on the market which can be found at any liquor store. However, if you are adventurous and want to make your own – it is simple to make, and you will find it well worth your efforts. I listed my recipe at the end of this recipe.
For the purposes of this cake, I use the fine quality Italian brand Villa Massa.
This is my standard “go-to” yellow cake I use for a lot of recipes…cupcakes, Boston cream pie, strawberry lush cake, caramel cake, southern coconut cake…I could go on-and-on. It can be made well in advance and frozen. I often make a few layers and freeze them for those spur of the moment occasions a dessert is needed…like always.
The butter, eggs, and milk should all be at room temperature. I leave them out for at least 4 to 6 hours.
If you are ever in a hurry, and you have forgotten to leave them out – there is a tried and true method to get them to the right temp.
Unwrap butter, place on dish and melt on one side for 10 seconds, turn it over and melt another 10 seconds. It is important to watch the butter while in the microwave for you want it soft, not melted. Depending on your microwave it may take a second or two longer or shorter.
Milk can also be warmed in the microwave, but make sure you do this in 5 to 10 second increments – you want it at room temp not warm or hot.
Lastly, place your eggs in a bowl and run hot tap water over them for about 15 seconds or so…depending on how hot your tap water is.
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 2 & 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons high quality vanilla
- 2 – 10” round cake pans
- 1 – 10” Spring Form Pan
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cake pans with pan baking spray.
In a mixer on the medium high setting, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and continue beating until light and fluffy, up to 5 minutes.
Sift the dry ingredients together. This is an important step. I use a large bowl with a fine strainer. A sifter is great if you have one. Remember too, that baking is a science, so be very precise in measuring all ingredients.
Use dry measuring spoons and cups. Never use measuring cups meant for wet ingredients for you have to tap them down to get them level and you don’t get a perfect measurement. Level the dry measures off with the flat edge of a knife.
It drives me crazy to see these TV chefs (Pioneer Women – who I love) scoop flour up and not level them off…it gives the not so talented cook the license to do the same. If you notice, Ina Garten and Martha Stewart always level their dry ingredients.
Gradually, and alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mix into the butter, sugar, and egg mixture. It is important not to over mix the flour. Doing so will activate the gluten and make the cake tough. Just lightly mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated – using your spatula to get the bottom of the bowl ingredients thoroughly combined.
Fill your cake pans evenly. I use a scale for I want as close to equal amounts in each pan as possible. You don’t want unequal amounts for the baking time will be off, and the layers will be uneven. If you don’t have a scale – use a wet measuring cup.
Once the pans are filled, tap them down and swirl, which evens out the batter and takes most of the holes out.
Place in oven and bake for at least 20 to 25 minutes. Because oven temperatures are often off, I recommend testing with an oven thermometer which can be purchased at any grocery store.
Start looking at the cake at the 20 minute mark. It should be done in 25 to 35 minutes. If the cake is separating from the edges, take it out. At this point it may be overdone. Most of the time, I will test with a toothpick at about the 25 minute mark. When sticking it into the center, if it comes out clean – it’s done. When you get more expert, you will be able to tell when a cake is done just by the feel of the cake…by lightly pressing it in the center to see if it springs back.
Once the cake is done – place on racks for exactly 10 minutes, then turn out of the pans and let cool on racks until completely cooled. If you want to freeze them, use plastic wrap, and wrap them twice. You will only need one of these layers for this Limoncello Mousse Cake…so freeze the other for future use.
If you are making the Limoncello Mousse Cake immediately, cut one of the layers in half and place half cut side up in spring form pan. Liberally brush the entire cake with straight Limoncello (close to a ½ cup per layer). It should be soaked like a rum cake.
Layer lemon mousse (recipe below) so it is a bit over an inch and a half on top of the soaked yellow cake layer…and put the other sliced yellow cake layer on top (cut side up) of the mousse and repeat. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or even better overnight. If you are in a hurry, you can place in the freezer for approximately 1.5 hours and refrigerate for an additional 3 hours – but it is always best if all the flavors have time to meld together overnight.
Decorate with fresh raspberries and white chocolate curls…or leave it alone and dig in with a fork.
Ok, screw-ups happen to us all. Some of my best creations have come from screw-ups. Here are a couple ways to fix this yellow cake if something negative happens.
OVER BAKED or FALLS ON THE COUNTER AND BREAKS APART:
Perfect for an English Trifle where you layer pieces of cake with macerated fresh berries (lightly sweetened with sugar and maybe some fine liqueur), cream filling, and topped with whipped cream in a beautiful clear glass bowl.
It can also be used for any cake using a coulis and or liqueur. Cut the over baked layers in half and liberally brush with Grand Marnier, layer with fresh sliced strawberries and top with whipped cream – keep layering. Refrigerate and serve in an hour or even the next day.
This delicious lemon curd is very different from the lemon filling I make for my lemon meringue pie which has corn starch as the thickener. This curd for the mousse uses only eggs to thicken, and it can be used in so many ways.
This recipe can also be made substituting limes for an incredible lime curd. Fill a small sterling silver bowl with the chilled curd and surround with beautiful fresh strawberries and it is perfect for a buffet table for brunch or evening.
- 4 lemons at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 stick salted butter at room temperature
- 4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 1 dash of salt – about an 1/8 teaspoon
- Double Boiler
Before they are squeezed, zest enough lemons to secure a tablespoon of lemon zest (2 to4 depending on the size of your lemons). You can use a microplane zester (which is the easiest method), or even a box grater.
Place all ingredients in your double boiler bowl and whisk until the eggs are well blended. The butter will not blend until it is warmed significantly after placing on the pre-heated double boiler.
If you do not have a double boiler, place an appropriate size stainless steel bowl over a pot with boiling water (using medium to medium high heat). Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. You want indirect heat and if boiling water touches the surface of the bowl, it is just like cooking on top or a hot burner directly.
Whisk slowly until the curd thickens so you can coat the back of a spoon. It is important not to overcook the curd for it will curdle and have a bad texture. Let cool completely. If you are in a hurry (and it seems as though I always am), ladle curd onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about 10 minute – that will cool it down fast.
I learned to make chocolate mousse when I was going to school as an undergraduate at the University of Dijon in Dijon, France. I was there to learn the language, not for cooking, but cooking (and eating) I did.
The French word mousse is translated in English to FOAM. A true French mousse should be foam like – light and airy…delicate if you will. I love mousse of any kind…key lime, Kara Kara orange, pomegranate, and even pumpkin.
Actually, a mouse is really easy to make. In addition to the ingredients, the key to a light and airy foam-like mousse is how delicately you fold in the whipped cream and the meringue to the curd. Watch the video.
- 1 ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoons high quality vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Limoncello
Place all ingredients in a chilled bowl and whip at high speed until very thick. Be careful, over mixing will make butter. I’ll teach you how to make delicious homemade butter another time.
- 4 egg whites – room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon Limoncello
Place all ingredients in a clean chilled bowl (make sure there is no fat of any kind in bowl) and whip at high speed until stiff peaks form.
Put the lemon curd in a chilled large bowl, and gently fold in the whipped cream about two cups cream at a time. You fold by carefully placing your spatula through the center turning into the sides and through the middle again until totally blended together as one.
Do the same (even more gently) with the meringue. The reason I say even more gently is this is where the foam comes from, and you do not want to deflate your egg whites as you fold them into the curd and whipped cream mixture.
After making the cake, if you have extra mousse, ladle into cups or ramekins and chill. Top with fresh raspberries.
HOMEMADE LIMONCELLO RECIPE
- 12 lemons
- 1 (750-ml) bottle high quality vodka
- 3 ½ cups water
- 2 ½ cups sugar
Remove the peel from the lemon(s) with a vegetable peeler. You just want the yellow portion with no white pith. In a 2-quart jar with a lid, combine lemon peels and vodka, cover and let sit for 4 days at room temperature.
In a saucepan combine sugar and water, stir, and place over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves (without more stirring) – about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour into lemon vodka mixture, cover and let sit for a month in the refrigerator. Strain and enjoy.
October 30, 2014
Our Black Bean Hummus with Parmesan Pita Chips is a perfect starter when guests are stopping by for drinks or even as an appetizer before dinner. And it is so easy to make too! It may not be as easy as a slab of cream cheese covered in pepper jelly served with Wheat Thins – but it is easy.
My friends Babs (as we know her) and Judge Don Evans, sent me a Facebook message asking for the recipe. I just love when people ask for our recipes, for I then know they like it enough to make it themselves.
We served our black bean hummus from the first day we opened Bailey’s in Old Hyde Park many-moons-ago, and it was always a hit…so I thought we would share it with you – and thanks to Babs for reminding me of this special treat.
You can use the same recipe substituting canned washed and drained chick peas for the traditional hummus – which I like that just as much, but the Black Bean hummus is always a different and nice touch.
Remember too that recipes are just guides. If you want this hummus a little more tart, add a bit more lemon, more spicy, add more Tabasco and cayenne…the same goes for any of the other ingredients, add more or less of anything to accomplish your desired taste. But if you want the true Bailey’s experience, stick with the recipe.
BLACK BEAN HUMMUS
- 1 Quart Black Beans (washed and drained – I use Garcia’s Black Beans)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
- 3 Tablespoons “Fresh” lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon Tahini (ground sesame seeds that looks like peanut butter, found at any grocery store)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Put all the ingredients in a Cuisinart…pulse until the desired consistency is achieved…chunky or smooth. Put in bowl and top with about a teaspoon of chopped roasted red pepper or Pimento and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita chips.
Fresh made pita chips go perfect with our black bean hummus. Of course you can go to Publix and buy a bag of Stacy’s (which are good), but why not make your own. A fresh made pita combined with the freshness of the hummus, well, it is just so darn good…go ahead and make your own.
Here are three different approaches to making a tasty pita chip.
FRIED PITA CHIPS
- 1 package round pita bread (I use Toufayan brand which can be found at most grocery stores – but use whichever kind you prefer)
- Vegetable or Canola Oil – enough to cover a sauce pan or skillet with an inch of oil – bring the oil to 350 degrees on medium high heat
- One block of parmesan cheese (I like a high quality Pamiigiano-Reggiano), or even a block of Romano.
Cut each pita round in half and each half in threes, or even in fours, depending on the size you want to serve with your hummus. Fry until golden brown on each side; and place on paper towels – dust with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
BAKED PITA CHIPS
Cut to desired size, as above. Brush both sides of the pita with extra virgin olive oil and bake on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven until golden brown. Dust with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
BUTTERED SKILLET PITA CHIPS
Ok, this is where the train goes off the tracks a bit. I just love these lightly crisp buttered pita chips. Liberally butter both sides of the pita (before you slice the round) with salted butter. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat until hot and sear both sides until tender and crisp. Slice and serve with the hummus. This is way too good for words.
October 23, 2014
As the holidays approach, the number one requested item on a buffet menu is Bailey’s Beef Tenderloin. My dad taught me how to prepare beef at an early age, and I’ve been doing it the same way all my life…since it works, why change it…right?
Last Friday, Lori Williams called at 3:00pm and asked if we could prepare dinner for 9 and have it delivered by 6:00pm… all while we were doing two parties for almost 200 that very night. Of course, for a good client, and an even better friend, I said yes.
My “go-to” meal for any rushed occasion is typically beef tenderloin…for it can be prepared quickly, and it is really tasty if done right.
So at the last minute, while preparing food for hundreds, we did a complete dinner for nine consisting of, Maine lobster bites for bar-apps, sliced beef tenderloin with creamed horseradish, oven roasted asparagus, gruyere and shallot creamed spinach, twice baked potatoes, salad, and of course our delicious moist chocolate cake served with Bailey’s homemade Madagascar Vanilla ice cream.
We got calls and texts from 4 of the nine guests with rave reviews. I love that!!!
Have the butcher at your grocery store trim a center cut “barrel” tenderloin for you. This is the tenderloin without the wings or the tail…it is just the perfect cut of the tenderloin, and make sure they trim all the silver skin away as well. Typically this is a 2 to 3 pound piece. Choice meat is a good selection.
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees
Completely cover the tenderloin with one stick of quality (I use Land O Lakes) soft butter. Liberally salt and pepper (a tablespoon each of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper) the top of the butter covered tenderloin. Place on a sheet pan that has a lip, and put in the pre-heated oven.
We grill and cook so many tenderloins that I can tell just by the feel when it is done…and done for me is rare to medium rare. Remember, you can always cook it a bit more – but you can never cook it less.
My recommendation is for you to use a meat thermometer which is sold at most all grocery stores…and stick it in the middle of one of the outer ends before placing it in the oven.
For rare the temperature will read 120 degrees, medium rare will read 125. Know too that the temperature will rise another 5 degrees after it comes out of the oven.
Once out of the oven, lightly cover the beef with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes so the juices will have time to meld within the meat. If you cut it too soon, it will bleed all over and the lovely juices will be left on the cutting board.
Slice the tenderloin to your desired thickness. For a buffet, I suggest slicing it thin, and for a small dinner party, a bit thicker up to 1/2”.
Now, the most important part of providing a succulent slice of beef tenderloin to your guest(s) is to dredge each slice in the butter and beef juices from the sheet pan. Yes, every slice. Those juices are a mixture of beef, butter, salt and pepper – and they are wonderful. You MUST dredge each slice into these juices for the perfect bite.
SAUCES & ROLLS
I am a sauce guy…I just love all kinds of sauces. Béarnaise is one of my favorites to eat with steaks and tenderloin, especially filets. When we do a holiday buffet, we typically serve sliced tenderloin with homemade potato rolls and three sauces.
These 3 sauces are a snap to make and there is something for every taste.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup heavy cream, ¼ cup prepared full strength fresh ground horseradish (course cut from Silver Springs Foods), 1 teaspoon kosher salt. You can add more or less horseradish and salt depending on your taste. Beat with either a hand mixer or your counter top mixer until consistency is that of whipped cream.
Maytag Bleu Cheese
In a Cuisinart, food processor, or blender, combine, 4 ounces Maytag Bleu Cheese (or your favorite kind), ¼ cup Hellmann’s mayo, ¼ cup Breakstone sour cream, 1 tablespoon Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ fresh cracked pepper. Blended until all combined.
Grainy Mustard Aioli
In a mixing bowl, add on jar of Grey Poupon Grainy Mustard with one cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Mix with tablespoon until well blended.
Soft Lime Butter
If you want to make sliders for the holidays – try our lime butter. It is perfect for a tenderloin slider or even a sandwich with good wheat bread. Combine one stick soft Land O Lakes butter with 2 teaspoons lime zest, and blend together with a fork.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own rolls, I find Bridgeford Parker House Rolls, and Sister Schubert’s the two best rolls which can be found at your local grocery in the frozen bread section. While I love King Hawaiian rolls (which are already prepared), they are a bit too sweet with tenderloin for my taste.
October 16, 2014
JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKES are always a huge hit during the holiday season and one of the most requested hors d’oeuvres for any event. They are simple to make, but instead of making them yourself, give me a call at (813) 254-8018 or text me at (813) 928-2210, and Bailey’s will make them for you.
We are always asked for our crab cake recipe – so here it is. Be sure to view our video below to see how they are made.
Makes 12 – 3 oz Crab Cakes which will serve 6
- One (1) Pound container of Jumbo Lump Crab Meat. Sam’s has a very good product that you can purchase for around $20 a pound.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup raw chopped onion – sauté in skillet with the melted butter until onions are translucent
- 1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Hellmann’s Mayo
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Tobasco sauce
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- oon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plain bread crumbs (or more if you want a more firm cake)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently mix with a fork until combined. Be gentle to keep the integrity of the crab meat. Once all the ingredients are combined, mold into the size balls you would like – approximately 3 ounces for each ball. You can make them bite-size as well.
Bake the crab cakes on a buttered cookie sheet in a 425 oven for around 15 minutes – or until golden brown. You may also pan sear them, but I prefer baked. Once they are done, drizzle some melted butter on top and serve with a lemon wedge and homemade cocktail sauce.
Cocktail Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup Heinz Ketchup
- 2 heaping tablespoons prepared ground horseradish
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
NOW, Watch the video…
CALL US ANYTIME FOR YOUR CATERING NEEDS
(813) 254-8018 (Office)
(813) 928-2210 (Personal Cell)
October 09, 2014
Make no bones about it – barbecue ribs are awesome!!! When we put these ribs on the menu at our restaurant – they flew out the door. It is so much fun to gather with friends and family for a weekend of celebration. Whether it is a picnic in a neighbor’s back yard, grilling on a beach, or just laying by the pool – food is always a great way to enjoy the day.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken are all super things to grill outside and serve. But if you don’t have a grill, or want a quick, easy, no hassle way to enjoy that great barbecue taste without the fuss – try our oven roasted Danish baby back ribs.
DRY RUB RECIPE
1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Long casserole or hotel pan
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix all the dry rub ingredients together until well blended. Liberally coat the ribs on both sides with the rub…and let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Place in large pan – they can lightly touch end to end but do not let lay on top of one another.
Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil – notice that I didn’t say “tin foil” – for there is no tin in aluminum foil. Place in pre-heated oven for 2 hours or until totally tender. Brush liberally with your favorite barbeque sauce. Place on a foil lined sheet pan in a 450 degree over for approximately 10 minutes.
NOTE: The ribs can be cooked on a grill instead of the oven. Or, you can place ribs on a grill for the last 10 minutes with the sauce instead of finishing them off in the oven. They will be delicious either way.
BAILEY’S TRADITIONAL SWEET & TANGY BARBEQUE SAUCE #1
1 finely chopped medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
5 cups Heinz Ketchup
1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar
1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar (or more if you want it tangy)
1⁄2 cup honey
1⁄4 cup Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Tobasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
Melt butter with olive oil in heavy bottom pot on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients and cook on top of the stove for about 20 minutes – stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn. Please feel free to adjust any of the above ingredients to your liking.
BAILEY’S CAROLINA SWEET YELLOW MUSTARD SAUCE #2
1 finely chopped medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 cups French’s Yellow Mustard
1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar
1⁄2 cup honey
1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
Put olive oil in heavy bottom pot on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients and cook on top of the stove for about 20 minutes – stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn. Please feel free to adjust any of the above ingredients to your liking.
BAILEY’S BASALMIC BARBEQUE SAUCE #3
5 cups Heinz Ketchup
2 cups Vigo basalmic vinegar
1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar
1⁄2 cup orange blossom honey
Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom pot and cook on top of the stove for about 20 minutes – stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn. Please feel free to adjust any of the above ingredients to your liking.
October 02, 2014
One bite of this delicious melt-in-your-mouth brownie will have your taste-buds throwing a party in your mouth and your tongue dancing with delight. I’ve been making these incredible brownies for over 30 years, and they are the most requested sweet treat on our Bailey Catering menu.
These brownies are good frosted, or not frosted…or even topped with a homemade caramel sauce and lightly dusted with a high quality salt like Maldon Sea Salt which you can buy at Williams Sonoma.
2 Sticks Salted Butter (room temperature)
4 Jumbo Eggs (room temperature)
1 2/3 Cups Sugar
½ Cup Hershey Cocoa
1 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon High Quality Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Liberally spray a 9” X 13” pan with baking spray.
Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, add one egg at a time, beating after each addition. Continue beating until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes after the last egg is added. Add Hershey’s Cocoa and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and flour and blend for about 30 seconds. With a spatula, make sure the batter is completely combined.
Place batter in your baking pan, spread evenly and bake for 30 minutes. Depending on your oven, humidity, the baking time may vary – so at the 30 minute time, check the brownie by pressing lightly on the middle of the brownie…you may have to bake another 3 to 5 minutes. If you have a convection oven, it may take 5 minutes less time to bake.
They will look somewhat underdone – which is the way you want them. You can bake them longer if you like a more cake texture. But I like mine soft and gooey. That’s the fun of baking – you get to keep trying (and tasting) until you get the desired results. Cool on a wire rack.
DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE FROSTING RECIPE:
½ cup Salted Butter, softened
1 cup Powdered Sugar
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ cup Hershey’s Cocoa (more if desired)
Whole milk if needed to moisten the frosting – a tablespoon at a time.
While the brownies are cooling make the frosting in a medium size bowl. Cream the butter, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla until smooth and creamy – add whole milk a tablespoon at a time if needed.
HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE:
If you want to do something a bit different and even more decadent, top these brownies homemade caramel and sea salt.
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
1 cup room temperature heavy cream
1 stick soften salted butter
If you have never made homemade caramel sauce, it can be tricky. The key to caramel sauce is that once the sugar and water begin to melt, you should never stir the mixture while cooking…for if you do, it will seize up and you will have to start all over. Trust me, I’ve been there before.
Place the sugar and water in a skillet (or sauce pan) and stir to mix completely. Heat on medium high heat until it begins to brown – but remember not to stir the mixture while heating, you can brush the sides with a water wet pastry brush to keep the sugar from crystalizing. You can also gently swirl the pan to move around.
There are various levels of brown – light, medium, or dark. Everything depends on what you like…and you can try various points to determine which you enjoy most.
Once the caramel reaches the color you want – work quickly, take off stove and add the cream…don’t worry, once the cream is added, it will bubble up – you can begin to stir (I use a wooden spoon) at this point…once the cream is stirred down, add the soft butter a tablespoon at a time, until completely mixed…stirring constantly. It may sound complicated – but once you get the hang of it – it’s a snap, and you’ll love the outcome.
Let it cool a bit, and pour the warm caramel on the brownie in the pan. After the sauce has completely cooled, lightly dust with Maldon Sea Salt (optional).
Whether you are making a plain brownie, frosted, or a salted caramel brownie, they are all awesome topped with vanilla ice cream, a dollop of homemade whipped cream, and a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce (or both) – maybe a cherry on top for a sundae – then add some candied walnuts or pecans. It’s your choice.
Or you can eat them directly from the pan like I do.
September 25, 2014
Red Beans and Rice was Louis Armstrong’s favorite dish. Louisiana Red Beans and Rice is the quintessentially classic dish of New Orleans. You will find them served in just about every restaurant and home kitchen in the Bayou.
They are good on their own served as the main course with a crusty French baguette (or skillet corn bread) and salad – or as a side dish with Bailey’s fried shrimp and slaw, or even with our smothered pork chops. OMG I am so hungry right now. There are many ways to prepare them, but this is the recipe that I have honed for years.
“It really shouldn’t be any problem at all for you to figure out my favorite dish. Red beans and rice with ham hocks is my birthmark.” – Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong
4 cups red beans (you can use red kidney beans but the small red beans are more authentic)
4 medium onions, chopped
8 scallions (green onions), chopped
1 large chopped green pepper
4 stalks celery with leaves
4 cups of sliced (on the bias) Andouille sausage
1 large ham hock
8 ounces diced ham (Smithfield is my favorite), definitely not deli sliced ham
1 tablespoon salt
3 bay leaves
5 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
15 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Chicken stock to cover
There are two ways to prep dried beans for cooking. There is a fast method of covering them with water (about 6” above the beans) in a large pot, and don’t add any salt. Bring beans to a boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and cover for one hour. Drain and begin recipe.
The other way is to soak them overnight, or for at least 8 hours without cooking. Drain and begin recipe.
In a large pot, sauté the onions, celery, green pepper, ham hock, Andouille, and diced ham until the peppers and onions are soft. Add drained soaked beans and the remaining ingredients. Add two quarts chicken stock (which adds much more flavor than water), or enough so the beans are covered at least 2 inches…stir from the bottom.
Cover and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Stir, and turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for approximately 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Stir every so often so beans do not stick to the bottom. Add chicken stock if necessary. You don’t want them soupy.
As with most beans, soups, and stews, these are best made the day before. But if you are like me, you will never be able to wait. If you can’t wait that long, let them cool, and then bring them back to temp. Cooling anything intensifies the flavor all the more. It is worth the time it takes.
Perfect White Rice:
So many people are baffled on how to cook rice. It is really easy actually…just don’t lift the lid. In a medium sauce pan, combine 1 cup long grain white rice, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon salted butter. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring a few times to make sure it does not stick. Once it boils, stir for 1 minute constantly, turn heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes exactly. Do not (I said, do not), lift the lid. It is always best to fluff with a fork as opposed to using a spoon. When I make rice for my Cuban black beans, I add a clove of chopped garlic and use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter.
I like my red beans served in a soup bowl with a scoop of white rice topped with finely chopped scallions. Serve with Tabasco sauce on the side for those who want it a bit more spicy. Let me know how you enjoyed them.
September 18, 2014
These 2 incredible hors d’oeuvres are easy to prepare and will be a hit with your family and friends every time you serve them.
PARMESAN SHRIMP CANAPE
The Parmesan Shrimp Canape is the first appetizer I ever made. It was when I was living at the Bayshore Royal in 1978 (corner of Howard and Bayshore – when they were apartments) and I decided to throw a Christmas party starting at midnight on the 23rd/24th of December. Yes, I said midnight. Actually, it was a blast – and it lasted until 5am on Christmas Eve. Oh, to be young again.
My friend Clare Robbins said it was her first “grown-up” party…and I remember that these Parmesan Shrimp Canapes were the hit with all my friends.
Toasted Canape Rounds: With a small size biscuit cutter, cut out rounds from a loaf of Pepperidge Farm white bread. If your cutter is the right size, you will get 4 rounds out of each slice of bread. Broil one side of the bread – make sure you watch the bread being toasted, for they burn quickly. Trust me, I have burnt my fair share of these little gems. Brush the un-baked side with melted garlic butter…of course using fresh garlic and real butter. The rounds can be done a day ahead.
Shrimp Topping: Put one pound of chilled cooked shrimp (peeled and deveined) in a Cuisinart (or you can finely chop them with a knife), and mince. Put in bowl and add, 2 finely chopped scallions, 3 tablespoon Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Lee and Parrens Worcestershire Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper…stir to completely blend. Can be done a day ahead.
Assembling & Finishing: Top each finished toasted garlic butter rounds with a mound of shrimp spread on the non-broiled side. Place on a cookie sheet. Liberally top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Broil in the oven until hot and bubbly. Watch so you won’t burn. Best served warm.
BASIL TOMATO CROSTINI
The Junior League of Tampa has some of the best cookbooks around. Actually, I am a fan, and a collector, of Junior League cookbooks from all around the country. On a side note, the Junior League of Tampa is a marvelous organization doing a huge amount of caring work all throughout our community.
My Basil Tomato Crostini got its origins from the Junior League of Tampa’s “Capture the Coast” cookbook. They call theirs “Mini Tomato Rounds” and you can find the recipe on page 46. Recipes to me are a guide if you will, for I am always changing up things to create a different, if not better, outcome. That’s the fun of cooking.
Crostini: Remember, the overall end flavor of any dish is directly related to the quality of ingredients. The three most important things for any recipe are: Ingredients, Ingredients, and Ingredients. So use good French baguettes for a crostini. I use my friend Kevin’s bread from Pane Rustica to make our crostini’s. He takes such great care in all his offerings – I trust him. You can use either the sourdough or regular French Baguettes. Cut thin slices off the baguette – I usually cut them on the bias (a slant cut) as opposed to straight down. Drizzle (or brush) with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, and bake on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated 400 degree oven until they are crisp.
Basil Spread: I stay pretty true to the original Junior League recipe. In a food processor, 1/4 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, 3 ounces, Philadelphia Cream Cheese (soften), 15 whole basil leaves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper. Blend until completely mixed.
Assembling & Finishing: I move off the Junior League reservation here, for we put a leaf of fresh basil on the crispy crostini – we do this because this will keep the crostini from getting soggy when the spread is placed directly on the crostini. Top the basil lined crostini with a generous amount of the basil cream cheese spread and top with half of a cherry or grape tomato. For an even prettier display, you can use half yellow and half red grape or cherry tomatoes.
We really kick it up a notch by adding a small piece of our candied Applewood thick sliced bacon. You can see how much from the picture. That is what’s great about this appetizer, you can prepare half with bacon and half without for the vegetarians at your party.
To make the bacon – layer thick sliced bacon on a rack lined baking sheet (one with a lip around all sides)…spread an even layer of brown sugar on each slice and lightly sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Bake at 350 degrees until crispy.