Tag Archives: savory

Texas Style Jalapeno Sausage Kolaches

If you live in the great state of Texas, you can now forgo your local (albeit delish) donut shop drive-thru and make your own southern state staple!

Now yes, I am quite aware that these are also referred to as klobasnek’s/klobasniky’s and were brought to our beautiful USA from equally wonderful Czech immigrants.   I am also grateful that once they settled here, they turned the traditionally sweet pastry into a savory one…and eventually we added that kick of jalapeno!

Lastly, friends, let’s not confuse these with the so-so, flavorless aspects of a “pig-in-a-blanket”…oh no, no, noooo.  No matter where I have purchased one: many a donut shop, a gas station, a quaint mom & pop restaurant or even in West, Texas (THE self-proclaimed “Kolache Capitol” of the state) they are so much more!  The dough is baked with the most pillowy interior, the sausages are just that..sausage..no Oscar Myer hot dogs here and then a layer of gooey cheese and slightly spicy, pickled jalapenos.  Get.In.My.Mouth.  THIS is the (my) breakfast of champions!

*Feel free to omit the jalapenos for your little ones.  I usually make my batch half & half!

** Line your baking sheets with foil, parchment paper or a silpat sheet.  The cheese will inevitably ooze some of its way out and this will help with clean-up! 🙂

 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg highly active yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups  AP flour
  • 1 pckg of Lil Smokies sausages
  • Cheddar or American cheese slices, cut in half
  • Jalapeno slices, pickled 
  • 1 egg + splash water, beaten

    I like to prepare the dough the night before we’ll  be enjoying these for breakfast.

    So we’ll start this by mixing the yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.

    Meanwhile, melt the butter with the milk in a small pot.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, to the slightly cooled milk, careful not to scramble.  Add this milk mixture to the yeast.  Add in the flour and salt.  Mix it together with a dough hook until it forms a ball. Put this mixture into a large greased bowl and let it rise, covered, for an hour in a warm spot.  Finally, place in the refrigerator, still covered, overnight.

    Rise and shine!!!   The next morning, set the dough out on the counter for at least 30 minutes.  Once it is no longer cold to the touch, turn it out onto a well floured countertop and roll the dough out (using more flour if necessary) to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut into 14 equal pieces (I use my pizza cutter or bench scraper).  Lay a few jalapeno slices down the center lengthwise of each rectangular piece of dough and then a thin slice of your preferred cheese.  Lay 2 of the sausages down the center.  Fold the sides of the dough over the filling (you may have to press the dough out a bit with your fingers..it’s easy, really).  Place them seam side down on a sheet pan. Lay additional jalapeno slices on top to show which Kolaches are “spicy”.  Let them rise in a warm spot, covered loosely with a tea-towel for 30-45 minutes.

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk the egg with some water and brush the tops of each kolache with the egg wash. Bake them for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough is done all the way through and the tops are browned.  *My previous oven’s temperature was always off and this took more like 45 minutes, so just watch for the golden brown hue/toothpic test if needed. 

    Kolache6Kolache7

Turkey and Brie Quesadillas w/ a Roasted Apple Pico de Gallo

Whether you’re hosting a ladies brunch, a dinner party or would just like to elevate your weeknight dinner with an EASY, yet impressive meal…this recipe will do the trick!  

The sweet and savory flavors are just outstanding!  You also have creaminess from the brie, sweetness from the roasted grapes and cranberries, freshness from the spinach and a nice crunch from the apples, pecans and browned tortilla.  Flavor sensation bliss!

…And don’t you dare say that you “cannot cook” or it sounds “too hard” or “too fancy”.  You can and it’s neither!  This entire recipe will take less than an hour to prepare whether you use it for a meal or an hors d’oeuvre.p at your next get together…and who can’t slap together a flipping quesadilla, because that’s exactly what it is!

*the Pico de Gallo can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until use.

*I recommend the best, quality deli roasted turkey.  My local grocer here in Texas, HEB, actually rotisserie’s whole turkeys and I have them slice up one pound on a number 2 setting.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb quality deli turkey, sliced thin
  • 8 oz wheel brie cheese, sliced
  • 4 10″ flour tortillas 
  • 1 1/2 cups Spinach leaves, fresh
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Butter, 1 /2 stick, divided

Roasted Apple Pico de Gallo

  • 1 large honey crisp apple, sliced and chopped
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh (frozen is fine)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp honey, divided 1:1
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, divided

Begin this simple, but oh so fancy tasting recipe by preparing the sweet pico de gallo…preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a small baking sheet with foil.

While the oven is preheating you’ll begin to caramelize the onions.  In a sauté pan over medium low heat, place the sliced onions and 3 tbsp butter (plus a pinch of salt and sugar) and allow to cook down till soft and that beautiful caramel color.  Meanwhile….


In a large bowl, gently fold together the grapes, cranberries (again, completely frozen here is just fine), 1 tablespoon of the honey,  1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon.  Pour onto the baking sheet in a single layer.  Place in the oven and allow to roast for 20 minutes.

Once finished, pour the roasted grapes and cranberries, plus juices, back into the large bowl and allow to cool.  Remember, you’re still cooking down those onions…

To the cooled, roasted fruit:  add the apples (I like to chop right before to avoid browning), green onions, pecans, jalapeño (optional) and remaining 1 Tbsp of honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon.  Toss gently to coat together. 


In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard and the honey.

Assembly time!!  Preheat a large skillet to medium heat and add 1 tbsp of butter to melt.  On each tortilla, spread 1 Tbsp of the Dijon-honey mixture on one side and lay (uncoated side down) into the hot pan.  Top half of the tortilla with the sliced turkey, spinach, brie slices and the caramelized onions.  Fold in half and allow to brown; flip to brown the other side.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Makes 4 filling quesadillas.

Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes and using a pizza cutter, slice each browned quesadilla into 4 triangles.  Place the slices on a large platter along with a bowl of the Roasted Apple Pico de Gallo for garnishing…enjoy!!  

BBQ Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Being creative has its perks!  Like when you can’t decide between spicy Mexican food or a warm bbq sandwich for dinner..decisions, decisions!

Now one my think this sounds crazy, but it’s oh so not!  The slightly spicy pulled-pork mimics south of the border carnitas and instead of the flavor of a cornbread side, you’re replacing it with corn tortillas.  Finally, the marriage of enchilada sauce with a slightly tangy and spicy bbq sauce is a winner!  Hell, I know in the near future I’ll be re-concocting this sauce for some barbecue sandwiches!  It has a great flavor that I know no one will be able to pinpoint..unless they read this of course. 😉

*You can use left over pulled pork or even shredded chicken if so inclined. 

*I prefer a thinner, spicy and tangy BBQ sauce here.  Leave the Sweet Baby Rays for your ribs, as these enchiladas need a bit of a kick..NOT sweetness.  My opinion..but believe me!

*When I was planning on preparing  this meal, I knew that I had a busy weekend ahead.  So on Saturday, before we ventured out for a full day of baseball, I slowcooked the pork.  When returning home that evening, I shredded it and placed the meat and the juices in an airtight container in the refridgerator.  The next day for dinner, I simply had to assemble and bake the enchiladas (as pork was cooked) and it took less than an hour to hit the dinner table!

*If you’re not into making your own pulled pork, you can pick up a tub from your favorite restaurant.

The Starting Lineup

Simple Pulled Pork (Slowcooker)

  • 3lb Pork butt/shoulder
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (your choice)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 rounded tsp of chicken bullion 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Enchiladas 

  • Corn tortillas
  • Pulled Pork (cooked)
  • 1 red onion, chopped (3/4 for filling/1/4 for garnish)
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 3/4 cup bbq sauce (I prefer a thinner, spicy one..not too sweet here folks!)
  • 2-3 cups Mexican-blend cheese
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Garnish (Optional)

  • Red onion, chopped
  • Jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream 

Alright!  Now, again, you can pre-cook the pulled pork the day before (like I did) so that this is an easy, quickly assembled homemade dinner OR you can just as easily start the slow cooked pork on a Sunday morning and have this on the table by dinner time no problem!

So either way you choose, you’ll always start with the pulled pork..and its simple!  In your non-stick sprayed crockpot, place in the quartered onions followed by that pork butt!  Next, add all of the seasonings and the cup of bbq sauce.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours! (*Once finished, continue on to assemble the enchiladas OR shred and store in an airtight container, remember to ladle in a bit of those juices too!

Enchilada time!!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

In a large pan over medium heat, add in the vege oil.  Follow that with the 3/4 cup of chopped red onions, green chiles, cumin and smoked paprika.  Saute for 3-5 minutes.  Then in goes the cooked and shredded pulled pork, cook till mixed throughly together.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the can of enchilada sauce and the bbq sauce.  Make sure to taste as you can add more BBQ sauce if desired..I think I did add a bit more?? Haha. 

Warm the corn tortillas (in a tortilla warmer OR on a plate with a damp paper towel over top for a few seconds.)
One by one, spoon a good amount of the spiced pulled pork onto the middle of each tortilla and roll up.  Place seam side down into your baking dish.  Repeat until full.  *One or two may slightly crack..dont you worry!  They’ll be covered by sauce and cheese and will taste the EXACT same..no one will be the wiser! 😉

Pour the BBQ enchilada sauce evenly over the filled tortillas and top with all that glorious cheese!

 

Place (uncovered) in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges are browned.  Remove and let sit for a few minutes as the cheese will be molten hot!!

Serve up with the garnishes of your choice and unlike the normal Mexican cerveza you’d enjoy with enchiladas..we’re actually tasting BBQ flavors here!  So we like ours with a cold good ol Texas beer and a shot of bourbon!  Enjoy!!  

YUMMMMMMMM……..

Chorizo & Sweet Potato Breakfast Tacos (w/ Lime Crema)

I grew up in a city where Breakfast Burritos was the quintessential  breakfast..Now here in Texas, it’s quite similar, but it’s Breakfast TACOS instead that reign supreme.  …I’m also totally ok with that!!

So below is a fantastic version of my own that has spice, sweetness, savoriness, tanginess..need I go on??  Also, if there are leftovers, than simply throw them in an airtight Tupperware and reheat for the next days breakfast..or dinner 😉

*Gluten Free as well.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1-2 links Mexican chorizo sausage, about 8oz
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin, divided
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • Kosher salt & black pepper
  • 6 large eggs, plus a splash of milk
  • Corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup of sour cream w/ the juice of 1 lime
  • Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa (red or green)
  • Jalapeño slices
  • Lime wedges 

Let’s begin!!  In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, lime juice and a 1/4 tsp of cumin;  cover and refrigerate.

Next up, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chorizo until browned (7-8 minutes) and transfer to a paper towel lined dish with a slotted spoon.  Keep that slightly spicy chorizo grease in the pan please!!

 Now you will add the cubed sweet potatoes along with the chili powder, remaining cumin, cayenne powder and a pinch of salt & pepper to the same hot skillet and cook until the edges are crisp and the center is soft.

  

  While the sweet potatoes are doing their thing, whisk the eggs and milk together before pouring them into a buttered non-stick skillet.  Cook, stirring and folding occasionally, over medium heat.  Once the eggs are ALMOST done and set, fold in the cooked chorizo and set aside.

  

    *If you can really multitask, I like to warm my tortillas a bit first before adding all of the goodies 😉

 Finally!!!  On your (warmed) tortillas, fill with the slightly charred sweet potatoes followed by the chorizo & egg mix.  Top each taco with your lime crema, salsa, cilantro, cheese & Jalapeños!!  Enjoy!!!….if it’s Sunday brunch then serve with a cerveza! 😉

Grilled Meatloaf Sandwich with a Bourbon Bacon Jam

Ok, I made this treat of a dinner tonight just for myself.  Yes, I made an entire 2 lb+ meatloaf and a jar of bacon jam for MY dinner.  Do you want to know why??  Because quite frankly it’s delicious and it only gets better after the next day or two, especially that Bourbon Bacon Jam!!  Which is why it’s a great “leftovers” type of meal!

Let’s say you made the traditional meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner one night and you’re not wanting the same darn thing the next..Well, simply add the Bacon Jam and garnishes to a meatloaf sandwich and you’ve taken repurposing to an entire new level!
*This jam is good off a plain spoon, but spread it on a warm slice of toast or English muffin topped off with a fried egg.  Now THATS a rave worthy breakfast!

The Starting Lineup

Bourbon Bacon Jam

  • 1 pckg (12-16oz) bacon, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced, plus 1 tbsp sauce
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 apple cider vinegar
  • 4oz Bourbon (2 shots, optional)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • Pinch of kosher salt & ground pepper

Meatloaf

  • 2lbs ground (I do 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 ground pork)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced
  • 1/2-1 whole jalapeño, seeded & finely diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk….*soak the above Panko^^ in the milk
  • 1 packet low-sodium meatloaf seasoning packet (or seasoning blend of choice)
  • Hefty pinch or two of kosher salt & pepper for the top of the meatloaf

Garnish

  • Hearty/crusty white bread slices
  • Mayonaisse
  • Thick sliced ripe tomatoes, seasoned with kosher salt & pepper
  • Havarti cheese slices (or another great melty cheese)  

As I stated earlier, this can all be made ahead of time or at seperate times if using as a “leftover” meatloaf meal…but let’s pretend that you’re doing what I did…let us start from the beginning!

Bourbon Bacon Jam time my friends!  Start by chopping, dicing and mincing the bacon, sweet onion & garlic.  In a large sauce pan (*if not nonstick, add a tbsp of EVOO), cook your chopped bacon until slightly crisp.  Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined dish and set aside. 

   

In that same pan with the reserved bacon grease, add in the chopped onions and cook down for about 10-15 minutes.  Add the minced garlic to the onions and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Now to the onion-garlic mix, add in all of the remaining ingredients (diced chipotle pepper & sauce, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, bourbon, smoked paprika, cumin, salt & pepper and the cooked bacon) and stir to combine.  Bring to a low boil and then down to a simmer.  Let stand uncovered and do its thing while stirring occasionally.  *I like to leave it on the stove top on low for a good 2-3 hours and carefully drain the liquid from the pot about once an hour.  It’ll really thicken up!  Once done you can either transfer to a food processor to thin or leave as is.  I, myself, prefer it chunky for texture and leave it as is.  Keep in a mason jar or Tupperware container in your refridgerator, it’ll be gone FAST! 


 
 So while that Bourbon Bacon Jam is rendering away, we’ll begin the meatloaf.  Now this is a basic meatloaf recipe, and if you have a personal favorite then please feel free to use it!

*Ok, ok..I can hear you now.  “Carly, why does there have to be chipotles/jalapeño in the meatloaf??”  1.Because  2. Why not?  3. My 2 & 4 year old boys eat it and have no idea, it’s NOT really spicy 4. You need to finish off that can of Chipotles anyway and 5.  Your combining it with a SWEET bacon jam. You NEED the contrasting flavors.  It’s the little things that make food great!

Now back to the task at hand.  Meatloaf.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get whatever pan you use to cook your meatloaf in out and greased if not non-stick.

In a large bowl, combine ALL of the meatloaf ingredients together and gently mix with your hands.  Transfer the mix to your baking pan and again, gently, pack into meatloaf shape.  Crack some more black pepper and salt over top and place into the preheated oven for about 1 hour, uncovered.  

   Remember, while the meatloaf is baking your Bourbon Bacon Jam is still rendering away and smelling devine!  I dare you to tell me your haven’t inhaled a few spoonfuls already….

Now that the meatloaf has finished cooking, it’s assembly time!  Have 1-2 saute pans heating on the stove top.  

In one pan, lay thick slices of meatloaf down and slightly cook each side, as to create a bit of a ‘crust’. 

 Lightly coat each slice of bread (on both sides) with a thin spread of mayonaisse.  Then add a good helping of the warm Bourbon Bacon Jam to one slice. 

Transfer the mayo’ed slice to your second hot pan, top with the Caramelized meatloaf slices, tomatoes seasoned with a pinch of kosher salt & pepper, cheese slices and top it off with the second slice of bacon jam coated bread.  Cook each side for about 2 minutes, till cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown in color. 

   
Cut on the bias and serve warm, enjoy!  

Brown Sugar Bacon Greens

For whatever reason, greens have been a love of mine since a youngster AND a top pregnancy craving with my first child.  I couldn’t always make this exact recipe in a pinch when my hormones requested, so I’d often buy the most “quality” can, pry open and pour Tabasco sauce straight into it.  All I needed was a fork!  Well..my fingers would have sufficed, but that’s just uncivilized.. 😉

Now THIS recipe is light years better than ANY canned greens.  I know that sounds obvious, but I just can’t believe I force fed myself that stuff now.  I was a junkie!..

My recipe has a subtle sweetness from the brown sugar but a bit of heat with the hot sauce and chili flake…it’s divine!  Can you say “divine” regarding a greens side dish???  It’s true whatever the answer!

*I prefer a thicker Franks style vs a Tabasco style hot sauce in the cooking process.  There is already enough of a vinegar taste with the apple cider vinegar.  However, you can use Tabasco as a garnish if you’d like…just trust me here.

*For even more flavor, you can still add in a Tbsp of chicken bouillon even if you use the broth. 

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 large bunches greens from produce section (I used both collard and turnip)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (to taste) hot sauce (I used Franks style flavor)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or water with 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon)
  • Pinch of red chili flake
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste  

To start this southern side dish staple, begin by rinsing the greens under water.  Make sure to rub any dirt off the leaves and then remove each side of the leaf from its ‘rib’ and give another rinse in the colander. 

Pat the leaves dry and then roll a bunch together (kind of ‘cigar’ like) and give a rough 1″ section chop to it.  You can also tear the leaves if you’d prefer and set aside.  You can now dice up the onion and mince that garlic!

 Next, dice the bacon into bite size pieces while heating up a large pot (I prefer my enameled cast-iron dutch oven) with a Tbsp of oil.  Add the bacon to the oil and cook until just browned on the edges.  *TIP:  You do not want your bacon crispy in this dish and it will continue to cook later in the recipe. 
 In that same pot with the warm bacon & fat, add in the onions and cook till just translucent on medium heat (about 5 minutes). 

Then add in the garlic, brown sugar, Franks hot sauce, red chili flake, salt & pepper and cook for 1 minute while stirring.  Next, pour in the 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and simmer until reduced by half. 

   Finally add the chicken broth (or water with bouillon) to the mix along with the cut up greens.  Give a good toss in the hot flavorful liquid.  They’ll start wilting quick! 

 Bring the pot to a low simmer, cover this savory side dish with a lid and walk away (stirring occasionally) until supper time!!  Serve with extra vinegar or hot sauce if desired, enjoy! 

 

Thanksgiving Waffles

For real…THIS IS GOOOODD!  When you’re at a loss for what to do on the next after-holiday-morning, have very little desire to cook again and have 2 pounds of stuffing or dressing leftover…I ask you to please give this a try!  It’s so easy and yummy that it’s become a tradition in our home and we’ll often make it more than once!

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily adaptable to most palates.  Now of course I’m using my cornbread stuffing here, but that goes with sweet OR heat!  So slather on the syrup or the hot sauce..it’s a win-win!!

The Starting Lineup

Optional

  • Syrup (for sweet lovers)
  • Hot Sauce (for savory lovers)
  • Cranberry sauce & turkey (for the purists)  

As stated above, this easy-peasy breakfast or brunch recipe has become a tradition in our home after a prior busy holiday day!  Like, it’s really, REALLY good!!!

Heat your waffle iron to about mid-temp and place a few spoonfuls of your stuffing/dressing onto each waffle inlay.  Close and allow to do its magic! 

 While the ‘stuffing waffles’ are cooking, cook the eggs to your taste.  *We prefer ours over-hard, but to each their own!  I imagine a runny yolk would be good over this if desired, even scrambled!  …while also crisping up your bacon side!

Once the waffles have crisped up, layer your eggs on top with the garnish of your choice!  We often like a bit of sliced green onions and Louisiana style hot sauce!  Mmmm….when’s brunch again?? 

 


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