Category Archives: Appetizers

How to Make Homemade Butter

Homemade butter? Yes, and trust me on this that it might change your take on butter. My oldest kid uses butter on a regular basis to sear up ham and buns, yep, he is into that and I don’t mind as he is exploring in the kitchen and cooking on his own. After watching a recent Vimeo video of this guy’s passion of making bread and butter, I decided that I was going to make my own butter. If you have never made butter before, try it. It was super simple, and you know what you are getting when you are making it yourself, and that is the beauty of it all.

Homemade Butter Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints of Organic Heavy Cream
  • KitchenAid with Whisk attachment or a large mason jar with lid
  • 2 cups of ice cold water
  • Salt, optional
  • Cheese Cloth, optional

Yep, that’s how butter is made. Way to simple.

I used a KitchenAid, however rumor has it that you can shake the crap out of the cream in a large mason jar. I support KitchenAid, so I went that route.

Start by adding the heavy cream to the KitchenAid bowl. Place in the mixer, and spin on medium to medium-high spin for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it along the way.

After about 10 minutes, possibly sooner, the cream begins to curdle and separate. It’s cool, it’s really cool. Once it separates, turn off the mixer. Strain the liquid from the solid. You can reserve the liquid should you desire. Once the liquid has been strained, return the solids back to the mixer. Add in the ice cold water, and continue to mix until you have a tight, solid mixture. Drain the excess water.

how-to-make-homemade-butter-ingredients

Once you think the liquid has been strained, it has not. Use a large wooden spoon and press the butter against the bowl. Lots of liquid will come out, trust me. Continue until you know that all of the liquid has been removed. I ensured this by placing the butter into some cheese cloth and tightening it until all of the liquid was removed.

Now you can add salt if you desire. I added about half of a tablespoon of course Kosher salt. You could add Sriracha salt as well. Give a gentle stir, and save in a sealed tight container, in the refrigerator.

The end result is a great, really great butter. I haven’t seen my wife spread butter on a bagel in some time, and she was all over that. We spread it on corn, as well as seared up some ham sandwiches. Give this a shot if you want some really good product, and remember, use organic, I think that makes a huge difference.

Feta Cheese and Mint Dip

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to one of the family’s annual pool party. With that said, I needed to come up with something to make. I normally do a spin on one of my taco dips, but this year I wanted to make something different. That’s when I immediately turned to all of the mint growing in my garden. Let me just say this, I have a TON of mint. I normally use the mint in dishes such as larb, or give handfuls to my daughter when she picks fresh raspberries from the backyard, but here I wanted to make a dip, using mint, and that is when I came up with a feta cheese and mint dip. It was great.

Feta Cheese and Mint Dip

The great thing about this dip, besides all of the wonderful flavor, is that you can serve it with pretzels or chips, or better yet, some nice garden vegetables.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Pita chips

This recipe is super quick to make, so lets get busy.

Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add in one tablespoon of the olive oil.  Once heated through, toss in the onions, and cook just until they begin to caramelize. Remove from the heat and set to the side.

To a mixing bowl, add in the cheese, lemon juice and zest, mint, dill weed, and cracked black pepper. Using a fork, begin mashing all of the ingredients.

Slowly add in the olive oil, and half of the cooked onions.  Stir until you have a lightly creamy texture.  Scoop the mixture into a serving dish, and garnish with the remaining cooked onions.

How to make Feta Cheese and Mint Dip

Serve with pita chips and fresh cut vegetables.

The result is a well balanced dip that has that great punch of feta cheese, while the mint just takes it into a whole other direction. Give this one a shot if you are looking for something other than a taco dip to bring to a party, especially if you love feta cheese. I wish I would have made more as this would probably be great on a grilled burger. Hope you enjoy!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza

It was not too long ago when some friends of ours said they were heading up north Wisconsin to visit some friends and that there was some cheese, the best cheese, in Wisconsin there. They had asked if I wanted some to bring back, and I said sure, get me twenty dollars worth of cheese, a mixture of a creamy blue, and some cheddar. I love soft blue cheese. I truly do. About a week later, I met up with them at our kids baseball game, and she forked over a bag of cheese, as promised, and she also threw in a blended cheese called Jamaican Jerk. They were not too pleased with the blend, however she said that I could probably make something out of it. I did. This pizza.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza

At first bite, I really did not care for the cheese to be quiet honest with you, however I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. I figured I was going to make a queso fundido out of it, and then it sparked of how much I love Jamaican jerk chicken, that I would make a pizza out of it as I already had made a batch of pizza dough for the family.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough, rolled or tossed to your desire
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 1/2 cups of Jamaican Jerk cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite pizza sauce

That’s it. Pretty simple. The Jamaican Jerk cheese is actually a blend of a mozzarella style jack cheese so it went perfect when melted.

Start  by preheating your oven to the highest temperature, mine only goes to 500. If you have a pizza stone, preheat that as well.

Next, get your dough tossed or rolled out to your desired thickness. I went a bit on the thinner side on this pizza.

Spread a thin amount of pizza sauce on the pizza. Top with the Jamaican jerk cheese, and then add the shredded chicken. If you have some cheese left over, sprinkle it onto the chicken.

How to make a Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza

Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden and the cheese is nice and melted.

I’ll admit, the result was pretty darn good. The cheese did still have some of the funk that it had when eaten by itself, but the pizza sauce, along with the chicken somewhat balanced it out.

Have you ever tried Jamaican jerk cheese? What are your thoughts? Hope you enjoy!

Son-in-Law Eggs

I’ve told you before, but I will mention it again, I am a big fan of hard boiled eggs. They are so simple to make and provide a quick energy boost when you have a busy schedule. I have been hooked on the 8 minute eggs, but then again I am always thinking of other creative ideas such as these Son-in-Law eggs. If you have never heard of Son-in-Law eggs, don’t worry, that’s why I am here to tell you about them, and after you make them, you can thank me. Trust me, these are wickedly awesome.

I’m not too sure of the naming of this recipe, but it probably has something to do with having a man’s mother-in-law inflict a bit of fear into the man, that if you do not treat her daughter with respect and love, well, she will indeed inflect some fear into you and well, you probably get the point. But there is something beyond this, and something so amazing about the combination of flavor and texture that really makes this dish shine.

Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe

This is a perfect use of hard boiled eggs, and believe it or not, the eggs are deep fried. Yep, deep fried. Who would have thought?

The sauce has this great sourness and spice that when paired with the creamy deep fried egg and shallots, just blows ones mind. Again, trust me. You will probably want to use the sauce on things like fried chicken or fish. It’s awesome.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole eggs, cooked to your hard boil liking (I go with 8 minutes for a creamy, yet set yolk)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (you could use light brown sugar as well)
  • 4 tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, smashed
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 3 cups of cooking oil for deep frying
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Start by making your sauce.

Add the one tablespoon of cooking oil to a small pot. Bring to medium heat, then add in your garlic. Cook for about a minute, then toss in the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind, and chili pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and set it to the side.

Peel your hard boiled eggs.

How to make Son-in-Law Eggs

Heat another pot with the cooking oil on medium heat. After a few minutes, add in the thinly sliced shallots, and cook for about 5 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set them on to some paper towel to drain.

Bring the oil back to about 350 degrees, then carefully add the peeled hard boiled eggs. Cook for about 8 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned. You can go longer if you want, but I always think they are going to explode. Once lightly browned, remove with the slotted spoon and let them drain on the paper towel, lightly patting.

Slice the eggs in half and add them to a serving plate. Shower the eggs with the fried shallots, then pour the sauce over the eggs. Shower with fresh cilantro and dig in. Feel free to serve with cooked jasmine rice if you desire.

Again, the flavor combination is out of this world. Thai food at it’s best in terms of texture, and flavor. Hope you enjoy!