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August 08, 2018

GROUND CHOURICO GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

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Full-bodied Portuguese ground chourico with melted cheddar and American cheese in perfectly grilled slices of bread makes a simple but killer sandwich.

Ground Chourico Grilled Cheese Sandwich
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Once when my daughter was about 6 years old, she asked me to make a grilled cheese sandwich the way my mom made it after one of my parent's visits from Arizona. Until then, I never realized my grilled cheese was subpar. A revelation quickly came upon me. The reason why my daughter like Mom's version so much was because she grilled both sides of the bread so that it was crunchy throughout.

For the sake of saving time Do to laziness, I don't usually do what my mama does when it comes to making grilled cheese. I often grill only the outside of my sandwich. My daughter taught me a lesson then and there: even a child knows the difference between a regular and a superior grilled cheese sandwich!


I used Mom's old trick to make these scrumptious babies. The bread is buttery and crispy on both sides. The filling has a nice contrast between the meaty, salty ground chourico and the sweet onion. Everything is bound together with hot, melted, gooey cheddar and American Cheese.

Chourico (pronounced shoor-reese in my neck of the woods) is a full-bodied smoked Portuguese sausage that is garlicky and is liberally seasoned with paprika. It is available in mild as well as hot. Its counterpart, linguica, is a perfect substitute. They are interchangeable and equally delicious! The brand I use offers them in link and ground forms. If the regular links is all you have, they absolutely work too! Peel off the casing, cut into thin slices or small dices and you're good to go!


I realize not everybody has access to these sausages locally, so why not get them online? It's so easy and convenient. This is a grilled cheese sandwich you need to try!! Gaspar's is my favorite place for Portuguese sausages and they ship (I am not compensated by Gaspar's in any way). While you're at it, make it worth your while and order extra. They freeze beautifully! Try making these Cheesy Linguica and Potato bake with your excess ground chourico or linguica. It's a family favorite!

The filling is a simple mixture of onion, garlic, and chourico. Because the chourico and cheese have a good amount of salt, do not add any extra salt. Using lower sodium American cheese is highly recommended. It prevents the sandwich from being too salty, especially if you like to overstuff. If you are not able to obtain low sodium cheese, reduce the amount of filling and cheese to maintain a balance between the salty filling-cheese to bread ratio.

Try this version first, then switch it up with your own twist. I use American cheese for a smooth and creamy melt and cheddar for its sharpness. Swap out the cheese for your favorite kind. Banana peppers are going into my next batch!



GROUND CHOURICO GRILLED 
CHEESE SANDWICH    

GROUND CHOURICO GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH


INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground chourcio
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic
cold butter for grilling bread
10-12 slices of bread
10-12 slices lower sodium American cheese
2 1/2 to 3 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese



INSTRUCITONS:

Preheat a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add ground chourico, using a wooden spatula to break into crumbles. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until chourico is piping hot. Shut off heat.

Preheat a griddle (or skillet) on medium heat. Rub on a thin coating of butter. Grill two slices of bread until golden brown or until brown charred marks develop. Remove from the griddle. Face one slice, grilled side up, on a work surface. Cover with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Top with 1/2 cup of chourico filling. Break 2 pieces of American cheese into chunks and tuck into chourico mixture. Spread 1/4 cup cheddar over the top. Cover with the second slice of bread, grilled side down. 

Reapply butter to skillet, grill sandwich on medium to medium low heat. Loosely cover with aluminum foil to trap heat to melt the cheese. When when brown charred marks develop, reapply butter and grill the second side. Repeat until all sandwiches are made.
Serve immediately.

Makes 5-6 sandwiches depending on how much filling is used per sandwich.





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August 02, 2018

ZUCCHINI CRUMB CAKE

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This Zucchini Crumb Cake is aromatic and has a sweet, buttery, and crunchy crumb topping. Not only does it fill the house with a wonderful aroma during baking, but it is also a perfect use of surplus summer zucchini. 

Zucchini Crumb Cake
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I have been enjoying garden fresh zucchini lately, thanks to a coworker and friend who supplied me with some from her backyard. This is the first year she and her husband planted a garden (from seedlings might I add), and they have done a phenomenal job! Their zucchinis are ginormous and delicious!

One of the things I have been making is this Zucchini Crumb Cake. I'll be the first to admit that dessert is not the best way to eat your veggies, but if you can get a non-zucchini loving person to like it, then it's a keeper. Right? 

July 25, 2018

POPPY SEED STRAWBERRY POKE CAKE WITH PINK LEMONADE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

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This poppy seed cake with strawberry pie filling and pink lemonade whipped cream frosting is a super easy to make summertime dessert. It is a great recipe to have when a delicious treat with little effort is in order.

POPPY SEED STRAWBERRY POKE CAKE WITH PINK LEMONADE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
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This cake might not make the cover of any magazine, but don't let that take away from all of its glory. It is an ideal treat to make when you don't want to invest too much energy into a dessert. The poppy seed cake base is infused with a layer of sweet strawberry pie filling and topped with a sweet/tart lemony whipped cream frosting. It is a delightfully light tasting cake, perfect for any summer feast. 

July 12, 2018

STEAK AND CHEESE FRIED DOUGH

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Fried dough stuffed with shaved steak and gooey American cheese is fried dough like you have never had. It takes a little bit of work but it's so worth it!

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I first published this post in August of 2013 and have been wanting to update the photos for the longest time. I FINALLY got around to it (better late than never)! One thing for sure, my family was glad I did, because they never pass up the opportunity to eat a fresh batch of Steak and Cheese Fried Dough. It is one of their favorite recipes on the blog. Make some, and you will see why!

Below is the original post with new images. It was the final post of a four-part series on fried dough.

If you like fried dough as much as I do, check out my Apple Pie Fried Dough, Banana Stuffed Fried Dough, Almond Joy Fried Dough, or Birthday Party Fried Dough.

July 05, 2018

SHEET PAN HOME FRIES WITH STEAK AND EGGS

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These steak home fries, topped with sunny-side up eggs, and drizzled with a lemon garlic sauce is a hearty breakfast to start the day. It is also perfect as breakfast for dinner, and it's all baked in sheet pans.

Sheet Pan Home Fries with Steak and Eggs
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Dinner is my favorite meal of the day, followed by lunch. As for breakfast, my appetite doesn't usually kick in until I have been awake for a while. For this reason, I usually pass on breakfast, and when I eat, it is something small.

From time to time, I will get a hankering for breakfast and it's the sinfully big ones that I enjoy most. A large stack of pancakes with sausage and bacon, a bed of waffles piled high with fruit and whipped cream, a loaded breakfast sandwich with a side of bacon are all my kind of a morning meal. Oh yeah, there's also corn beef hash. I love myself a good corned beef hash!!


Sheet Pan Home Fries with Steak and Eggs


Then there is home fries. My perfect home fries are ones that are loaded with good stuff. This Sheet Pan Home Fries with Steak and Eggs is what I'm talking about! The tender chunks of potatoes, the bite of green pepper, the sweetness of red pepper and onion, and the beefy chunks of the steak is a flavor blast in your mouth. But I'm not done yet! What makes these home fries special is the lemon garlic sauce. It brightens and adds suppleness to what is already a perfectly delicious dish.

Sheet Pan Home Fries with Steak and Eggs

Finally, my favorite part of this—the runny egg! I don't know about you, but every time I look at a picture of food and see a runny egg yolk, I swoon. That's because a runny yolk makes everything better, much like butter makes everything better! And in these home fries, it is sublime! 

Sheet Pan Home Fries with Steak and Eggs

With something this good, why restrict yourself to eating it just for breakfast or brunch? Breakfast for dinner is sometimes the best way to end they day. These lip-smaking home fries are going to make you want breakfast for dinner all the time!


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SHEET PAN HOME FRIES WITH 
STEAK AND EGGS    

Sheet Pan Home Fries with Steak and Eggs


INGREDIENTS:


For The Home Fries:

2 pounds red bliss potatoes, diced 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
tablespoons olive oil 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 eggs
extra oil for greasing sheet pan


For The Lemon Garlic Sauce:

5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup reduce sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


For The Steak:

1 lb. London broil or flank steak (or any grilling steak), sliced at angle and cut into 
       1/2-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder



INSTRUCITONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

For the home fries:

Generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray or oil. Alternatively, line sheet pan with lightly greased parchment paper (recommended). Use two baking sheets if necessary to allow room to place a single layer of home fries.

In a large bowl, combine all the home fries ingredients, working in the seasoning. Transfer in a single layer onto baking sheet(s). Bake for 12 minutes in the lower half of oven. After 12 minutes, turn over home fries mixture for even browning. Bake for 6 additional minutes. Push together hash brown to form a solid base for the eggs to sit. Crack eggs and place on hash brown. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are slightly jiggly.

While the home fries bakes, prepare the sauce. Add garlic and 2 tablespoon butter to a small saucepan over medium-medium low heat. Melt butter. Add flour, whisking continuously for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice. Allow to come to a boil and slightly thicken on medium heat, stirring frequently. Shut off heat. Remove pan from burner. Add the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring continuously in incorporate. Adjust seasoning to taste. Return to the burner (with heat shut off) to keep warm. 

When the home fries are done, remove from oven. Turn oven to high broil. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray or oil. Season steak cubes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Spread on baking sheet. Broil 4 inches away from the heating element until the steak is seared, about 2-3 minutes.

To plate: place steak on bottom, add a drizzle of sauce, cover with home fries and egg, top with another drizzling of sauce.

Makes 4 servings.






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