Flatbread with Zucchini Smoked Bacon and Mascarpone Cheese

fresh from the oven Flatbread with Zucchini Smoked Bacon and Mascarpone CheeseThe recipe we are featuring is made with a smoked bacon, a “Apple-Bourbon Smoked Bacon” to be exact. Yummy!!

Have you ever thought how flavors are smoked into the bacon? According to Bacon Wikia, smoked bacon is prepared using different types of wood chips or sawdust for different flavors, such as applewood gives the bacon a mild, fruity flavor. Oak and hickory wood produces a stronger, heartier flavor.

The apple-bourbon smoked bacon is made with applewood sawdust, bourbon whiskey, and brown sugar or coconut palm sugar.

smoking bacon

Photo Credit: Bacon Wikia

Turning our attention to Bacon Wikia again, they explain how you can smoke bacon at home, and I would say it is similar on a grander scale at a smoke house.

They say, “We like to cold-smoke the meat at a low temperature over a long period of time. This ensures that you get the maximum smoke penetration and gives you a rich color on the meat. Try to keep the temperature of the smoker between 80F and 100F. When you start going above this the surface of the meat will start to seal and the smoke will no longer penetrate the meat. Smoke the meat for about 8 hours, or until you are happy with the color” (BaconWiki).

Now for our featured recipe: FlatBread with Zucchini Smoked Bacon and Mascarpone Cheese. We got our inspiration from a recipe we pinned to our Vegetable Recipe Ideas board on Pinterest (Link here to view our boards – Delectable Foods on Pinterest). But we made modifications to fit our taste. The original recipe does not include bacon, and requires a smoked paprika which we omitted. The original recipe requires to make a flatbread from scratch, but to save time we bought a ready made whole wheat flatbread from the Whole Foods Market.

Here is what you will need.

2 whole wheat flatbreads, roughly 7 3/4 inches X 10 1/4 inches

5 ounces mascarpone cheese

2 small shallot, finely minced

2 small zucchini, washed and patted dry

1/2 pound apple-bourbon smoked bacon

extra virgin olive oil

parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

prepared uncooked Flatbread with Zucchini Smoked Bacon and Mascarpone CheeseCook bacon in a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon only until half done, about 3 to 4 minutes. remove from heat, and let cool. Using a knife or kitchen shears cut bacon into 1 inch slices.

In a medium bowl, mix the minced shallots with the mascarpone cheese. Place the flatbread on a cookie sheet, and spread the cheese mixture over the top of the bread, trying to get every square inch of the bread surface.

Next using a vegetable peeler, scatter ribbons over the top of the cheese mixture, covering the entire area. Next divide the cut bacon over the top of each flatbread.

Lightly drizzle with some olive oil, and  grate some parmesan cheese over the top. Grate as much or as little as you want.prepared uncooked close up of Flatbread with Flatbread with Zucchini Smoked Bacon and Mascarpone CheesePut the cookie sheet in the heated oven, and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Flatbread with Zucchini Smoked Bacon and Mascarpone CheeseRemove from the oven, and let cool for 3 minutes. Move flatbreads to a cutting board, and using a pizza slicer, slice each flatbread into 4 equal pieces. Plate and serve. The preparation will serve 2 to 4 persons. Just double the recipe to make more servings.

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Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce

Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce

All squash varieties are members of the Curcurbita family. They come in varying colors, textures, shapes, sizes, and a range of flavors.

The three main categories of the Curcurbita family are:
Curcurbita pepo– include but not limited too zucchini, summer squashes, acorn, and spaghetti squash
Curcurbita maxima– includes but not limited too: banana squash, and pumpkin
Curcurbita moschata– includes but not limited too: butternut squash, and calabaza

Squash is a low carbohydrate food, including a low glycemic index food, between 0 and 35. The low number indicates no spiking of insulin in the blood stream. Most squash have small amounts of vitamins A, C, E and K, and including the B-vitamins. They also contain trace minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and copper.

Squash is great for heart health and every muscle of the body. Magnesium is great to help the muscles relax, preventing what is called charlie-horse or cramping of the muscles.

As for potassium, one half cup serving of Grey Squash as an example has 603 mg, raw zucchini has 459 mg, cooked has 194 mg, and baked Butternut squash has 289 mg.

Mexican Grey SquashThe squash we are using in our featured recipe is a hybrid of the zucchini squash, and is referred to in Mexico as the Mexican squash or the grey squash.

The grey squash has the same texture and flavor as the zucchini. Unlike the zucchini when harvested at a larger size, the grey squash tends to still have a tender skin.

Now for our featured recipe: Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce. The recipe is simple and easy, as it contains 3 ingredients as follows…

principle ingredients for Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat SauceYou can use any type of spaghetti sauce, but we chose to use a tomato base with cream and vodka included, 2 cups.

One pound of organic pork chorizo, which we purchased on sale at the Whole Foods Market, and 3 Mexican squash, which will make about 2 to 3 servings. Here we have a larger harvested Mexican squash given to us from a friends organic home garden.

makng squash pasta with a julienne peelerUsing a julienne peeler, run it from top to bottom all around the squash until you arrive to the seeds in the center. Set the squash pasta aside.

Pork ChorizoHeat a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of pastured unsalted butter, and when melted add the pork, and cook until done, about 10 minutes. remove from heat, and set aside.

cooking squash pasta in skillet In a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. When heated, add the stringed squash and cook for about 5 minutes. You want the oil to cling to the squash strings. If the oil clings then in turn the spaghetti sauce will cling to the squash pasta. Do not over cook the squash, you want a little crunch, and at the same time you want a fork to twirl it, the same as is done with traditional pasta.

sauce and chorizoRemove skillet from heat and transfer squash past to a serving platter. Return the skillet to the heat and add the spaghetti sauce and cooked pork chorizo, and mix together. Allow the heat to warm the meat sauce.

Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce - 2

Remove meat sauce from heat and pour it over the squash pasta arranged on a serving platter. Serve with grated Italian cheese, and enjoy.

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Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto Chipotle Sauce

Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto
Using Italian ingredients makes for a delectable meal, and pasta orecchiette is no exception. Orecchiette according to Recipes Wikia, is a pasta typical of the Apulia (Italian: Puglia) region of Southern Italy.
Orecchiette Pasta - uncooked

The shape of the pasta is what gives it, its name. The pasta resembles a small ear.

In Italian, the word “orecchio” means “ear”, and the suffix ‘etto’ means ‘small’. The pronunciation of Orecchiette is : ohr-ay-KYEHT-ee.

In another article we noted that Andouille Sausage is thanks to French cuisine. The sausage is double smoked pork, that is once the meat is prepared it is smoked, then put into a sausage casing and smoked again.

Our featured recipe is actually a mix of two pasta recipes, which are Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Gluten Free Creamy Pesto Fettuccine (click links to view recipes).

Now for our featured recipe Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto Chipotle Sauce, and here is what you will need.

16 ounces of cooked orecchiette

2 Andouille sausage links, about ½ pound, sliced

3/4 cup fresh basil pesto (link here for recipe – History of Pesto Sauce)

2 teaspoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

15 symphony cherry tomatoes (about), sliced in half to measure 1 cup

1 pound green beans, trimmed, cut in half

Prepare basil pesto, and add the 2 teaspoons of adobe sauce to one cup of the pesto (get ingredients by following link above). Or if you are using your favorite store bought brand (preferably in a jar) remove one cup and mix in the adobe sauce. Set prepared pesto aside.

If you have any left over basil pesto sauce, store in a glass jar and pour a thin layer of olive oil over top of pesto to keep it from browning, and place a lid on jar and tighten. The pesto should keep in cooler for 7 to 10 days. Pesto sauce makes a great spread for sandwiches as well.

fresh green beans and cherry tomatoesPrepare green beans and symphony of cherry tomatoes and set aside.

adding greens beans to pot of  boiling water with Orecchiette pastaCook pasta according to package instructions. Last three minutes of cooking time for pasta, add prepared green beans.

cooked Orecchiette and green beansDrain, but do not rinse. Set aside.

adding Andouille to pastaSlice sausage into 1/2 inch slices. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, add meat and move about until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

In the same large skillet, add the pasta green bean mix, the cup of pesto, sausage, and mix until coated with pesto chipotle sauce.

Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto

Plate and serve.

 

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Basil Pesto Linguine

Basil Pesto Linguine - plated

This recipe uses an Andouille sausage, which has its origins in Brittany, France. It is a smoked meat using pork. It is a sausage that is used in the Louisiana Creole culture. It is a sausage much like the Mexican or Spanish chorizo, as some Andouille sausage makers also use the gastrointestinal system of the pig,

Andouille is made from smoked pork, garlic, pepper, onions, wine, and seasonings. Most Andouille is made from a Boston Butt roast. The sausage is doubled smoked, as once the casing is stuffed, it is smoked again. Andouille is not a high fat sausage, with lots of pepper flavor, though it has a slight heat to it.

We used an all organic Andouille, fresh stuffed casing, purchased at our local Whole Foods Market. Let’s get started with preparing our featured recipe: Basil Pesto Linguine and here is what you will need.

16 ounces of cooked linguine

1 lb. of chicken breasts, about 2, skinless and boneless

2 Andouille sausage links, about ½ pounds

½ cup fresh basil pesto (link here for recipe – History of Pesto Sauce)

15 cherry tomatoes (about), sliced in half to measure 1 cup

Cook linguine according to package instructions.

Meantime, slice chicken breasts horizontally 2 to 3 times, depending on thickness of the breast meat. Cut slices into 1-inch chunks, set aside.

cooking andouille sausage

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Next slice links down the middle and remove meat and place into pan and start moving meat around with a spatula, so meat falls apart into small chunks.

sausage, chicken meat with basil pesto

Now add chicken, and continue to cook, until both meats are cooked, and chicken is no longer pink, but oblique. Next add basil and mix in.

meats and cheery tomatoes

Now add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes skins start to wrinkle, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Basil Pesto Linguine - close up

Add cooked linguine and mix meat and pasta together.

Basil Pesto Linguine - plated

Place pasta onto a serving platter, then plate and serve.

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Preparing a Natural All Organic Meal

Preparing a Natural All Organic Meal - header image

Many recipes humans have prepared for generations, have withstood the test of time, and not simple because the ingredients taste good together, but are enjoyed because they are more nutritious together than they are on their own.

Many who know basics of cooking have learned the spices and herbs that go well with certain foods to complement their flavors, making the dish more desirable and palatable.

The first private cooking school to open in the United States was in 1877 and was named the Boston Cooking School. The most notable was the creation of The Culinary Institute of America in 1946. Culinary schools educate future culinary professionals, teaching them the theory behind cooking, baking, and why certain foods go well together over others.

In this article we want to present the preparation of a natural all organic meal, using flavorings that are not traditionally used in preparing a meal, that includes a leafy green or side dishes and including a meat.

Garlic and Thyme Mashed PotatoesLet’s start to the right of the plated food with the Garlic and Thyme Mashed Potatoes, and here is what you will need.

1½ pounds medium red or Yukon Gold potatoes (3 or 4)

½ cup milk, use full fat milk

2 cloves garlic, smashed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ tablespoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Peel potatoes and cut them in half. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 18 to 22 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and mash the garlic, set aside.

milk-butter mix for - Garlic and Thyme Mashed PotatoesAdd the milk, salt, butter, thyme, and garlic to a medium sauce pan over medium heat, and bring to a soft boil. Turn heat off and let sit until the potatoes are cooled.

cooling potatoes for - Garlic and Thyme Mashed PotatoesWhen the potatoes are cooked, place a colander in the sink and drain the potatoes, do not rinse. Let them sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Return them to the same saucepan, and mash them, then add the liquid and mash in till well incorporated.

If needed, add a little more milk for a creamier consistency.

Now, let’s look at the center bottom of the plate in the header image and we will not the Orange Ginger and Rainbow Carrot’s. The simple ingredients used in this dish make it worth preparing. Here is what you will need.

Orange Ginger and Rainbow Carrot's1 bunch of rainbow carrots, washed and sliced

1/8 cup ginger syrup (can be purchased at your local health food store, such as Whole Foods Market, or Natural Grocers)

1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest

Cook carrots in a steamer until just tender. Remove and place into a vegetable serving bowl and add ginger syrup and orange zest and mix in.

 

 

Chopped Kale with Drizzled Maple SyrupNow let’s look to the upper left side of the plate and we will see the Chopped Kale with Drizzled Maple Syrup. This is what you will need.

1 bunch of kale, washed and leaves trimmed from steams

1/8 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 cup of real maple syrup

Chop leaves and set aside. To start add 1/8 cup each of the olive oil and syrup to the bottom of a salad bowl.

Add chopped greens and toss. After tossing, fork some greens to see if the oil and syrup ratio fit your needs, it not add a little more oil and syrup till it is just right.

At the top of the plate sits some thin cut boneless pork chops, that were rubbed with a Mayan Coffee Rub, that we purchased at the Whole foods Market. The rub also includes Mayan chocolate and other spices. Rub both sides of the chops, and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Place a large ceramic coated frying pan over medium-low heat, add 4 to 5 tablespoons of Irish Butter (or any butter churned from grass fed cow’s). Let melt, and when warmed add chops and slow cook, turn chops every 5 minutes, and cook till the internal meat temperature is 160 degrees.

Preparing a Natural All Organic Meal - footer image

Plate your food and enjoy. Remember, all of the ingredients used were all organic natural foods. With the natural flavors, not only will your palate  thank you, but so will your health.

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Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

When your hungry but to tired to make a big deal about preparing something to eat can be discouraging. But isn’t it great when you just go looking through the refrigerator to see what you have, and you come up with a simple idea. That’s what happened here with our Sweet Pork and apple Wrap.

homemade tortillas

 

The day before we thawed out some pork loin pieces. But by dinner time I was just too tired. So we just boiled the pork in water with some garlic and cooled it down and put it away in the refrigerator. That same day some home made tortillas were made.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what I came up with, our featured recipe: -Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap- and here is what you will need:

ingredients for Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

The amount of ingredients for the wrap depends on the number of wraps you want to make. The recipe we are preparing makes about 5 to 6 wraps.

1 cup cooked pork loin pieces, thin sliced, about 1 -inch

1/4 lb. snap peas

1 red apple, cored, sliced 1/2 inch thick, do not peel

1/3 cup avocado oil

1 teaspoon Maya Coffee Rub (bought at Whole Foods Market)*

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

* If you don’t have a Whole Foods Market near by, here is a similar if not the same recipe you can use for the coffee rub spices…

⅓ cup fresh ground coffee (dark french or Italian roast)

¼ cup cocoa powder (dark Dutch cocoa)

⅓ cup dark brown sugar

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.

mixing oil and spices for Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

In a large mixing bowl, add and combine well, the oil, vinegar, and coffee rub. Next add the cooked meat, vegetable, and fruit, and mix with the wet coffee rub until meat and produce are well coated. Keep in mind we are not marinading the meat and produce, as the meat is already cooked. The coffee rub is going to give the meat mix a great flavor.

cooking Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Next add avocado oil to a large frying pan over med-high heat. In the Splendid Recipes kitchen, we always use ceramic coated pans (link here on some good reading about ceramic coated pans verses Teflon or non-stick pans).

When the oil is heated, add the meat mix and cook until the snap peas turn a brighter green, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Once meat mixture is warmed, remove from heat. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls of mixture on to an open tortilla in the center. Fold tortilla up into a wrap or burrito.

Plate and serve, 2 wraps per person.

We want to add, if you let the cooked meat mixture set awhile, the apples seem to have a sweet onion taste. That is how Splendid Recipes came up with Sweet Pork and Apple Wraps. If you like these wraps you might like our Oriental Chicken Wraps.

 

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