Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese

Kale chips are one of those awesome snacks, that amazingly enough, that all of my kids eat. I’ve always been surprised that my kids love them, probably because it has the word chip in it, and trust me, my kids love chips. As I normally bake the standard curly kale, especially when it is on sale, I decided to try something different this time around. When I went to my farmer’s market last weekend and visit with my favorite farmer’s, they had a bunch of lacinto kale, commonly known as dinosaur kale, and it looked really good. When I asked them about the kale, they really came out with excitement and stated it was their favorite and that it was less bitter. I was sold, and that night I decided to make these baked kale chips with parmesan cheese as an appetizer for the family.

Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese
Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese

These were so good, and if you are not a kale fan I dare you to try them, that they were instantly gone. I kind of wished I would have bought two heads of the lacianto kale, but maybe I’ll do that this weekend instead.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of lacianto kale, rib removed from each leaf
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Simple stuff, and that’s what I love about these. The farmer’s had it right, these kale chips were slightly less bitter than the standard kale, and now I’m a total fan. I always thought that because the lacianto kale was a bit thicker that it would not make for a great kale chip, but now I know I was wrong the whole time, and that’s a darn shame.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

During this time, prepare your kale, and make sure you remove the leaves from the ribs. Place these into a bowl, and drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt. Use kitchen latex gloves for easier cleanup if you have them, and lightly toss the kale, ensuring that all of the leaves are lightly coated.

How to make kale and parmesan chips
How to make kale and parmesan chips

If you have parchment paper, go ahead and use it and line a baking sheet with it. If not, don’t worry. Line your kale leaves onto the sheet, being careful not to overlap them. You can bake these in batches.

Place them into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or so, until they are nice and lightly crisp. Once they are lightly crisp, take a bit of the parmesan cheese and sprinkle onto the kale chips.

Bake another few minutes, then remove from the oven and serve. Repeat with all remaining kale.

The kale itself was awesome. No kidding. I know everyone is tired of hearing about kale, but not only am I a fan, but I’m totally sold on this lacianto kale. These are a must make, especially with the grated, and lightly melted parmesan cheese. Hope you enjoy!

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Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds

This past weekend I had to go to one of our local grocery stores, and typically on the weekend, there are always vendors pushing their local products. I’m somewhat a fan of that, and I always sample their products, and about half of the time purchase their products, only to support local. My first encounter was an older lady pushing her cheese curds. She had a few to choose from, and when my first question was ‘how fresh are they?’, she immediately said she pulled them this morning. You can always tell a fresh cheese curd from that first bite. It should be squeaky, soft, and lightly salty. These were everything that, and more. I loved them.

As my daughter has been asking, A LOT, lately ‘when are we going to make those cheese curds again?’, I decided that this was the time, and a perfect time because the curds from Malcore Foods were really good, especially the garlic and dill cheese curds. I picked up some regular cheddar, as well as the garlic dill, and headed home to show them to my daughter.

Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds
Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds

When I opened the bag, I was a bit skeptical if she, or my boys would like them, after all they had green specs of dill on them! They liked them, a lot. I’ve never fried these type of curds, so I was excited to see how they would turn out. Let’s just say they were gone in a matter of minutes!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz bag of fresh cheese curds, garlic and dill, room temperature
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • 12 oz of lager beer
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt

Add the oil to a medium pot, and bring to a medium-high heat. In the meantime you can prepare the batter. In one bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add in the beer. Mix. Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture to form your batter. Make sure you mix well to get any lumps out of the flour.

Once your oil is heated through, carefully dip a handful of the curds into your batter. Once they are golden brown, this only takes a few minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, and place onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil. Repeat.

How to make garlic and dill fried cheese curds
How to make garlic and dill fried cheese curds

Serve immediately. Again, this bag of cheese curds were gone in a matter of minutes, and all of my kids wanted more! I thought one bag was enough, especially that we are going to the annual State Fair. If you ever wanted something from Wisconsin, and especially our State Fair, well, cheese curds would be the ticket. I’m sure we will get plenty more, and hopefully they have the garlic and dill fried cheese curds as that subtle garlic and tang from the dill really made these cheese curds that much better. Hope you enjoy!

Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 12 oz bag of fresh cheese curds, garlic and dill, room temperature
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • 12 oz of lager beer
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Add the oil to a medium pot, and bring to a medium-high heat. In the meantime you can prepare the batter. In one bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add in the beer. Mix. Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture to form your batter. Make sure you mix well to get any lumps out of the flour.
  2. Once your oil is heated through, carefully dip a handful of the curds into your batter. Once they are golden brown, this only takes a few minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, and place onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil. Repeat. Serve immediately.

 

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Roasted Shishito Peppers

I’ve always been a fan of roasted peppers. There’s something about eating peppers raw (which I love by the way, especially Thai bird chilies), and eating them roasted. One of my favorite roasted peppers, and I am always a fan when eating Latino food and they plop one on my plate, is chiles toreados.  Chiles toreados is a roasted whole jalapeno pepper that is lightly oiled and salted, and when bitten into just screams deliciousness. The great thing about these roasted chiles is they may be a bit mild, medium, or pack a heck of a punch. Roasted shishito peppers is basically the same, however these are more on the milder side, allowing you to eat them as a snack.

Roasted Shishito Peppers
Roasted Shishito Peppers

Upon wandering around my grocery store this week, I noticed they had shishito peppers in bulk. Was I stoked? Heck yes. No one really carries shishito peppers around here, so I decided to grab a handful and check out the quality before purchasing them in bulk.

I took them home and roasted them. Were they good? No, they were excellent.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of shishito peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp koshers salt, to taste

Start by heating a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, and let it stay on the burner for a few minutes, or until it starts to lightly smoke.

During this time, add the shishito peppers to a bowl, add in the oil and salt, and give it a good toss.

Add these to the hot skillet, and stir around. They will blister really quickly, and get a nice char in only a matter of a few minutes.

Roasted Shishito Peppers
Roasted Shishito Peppers

Once these are lightly charred, remove and serve immediately.

Gosh these things are great. Perfect to serve as an appetizer, along with some cold beer, these are seriously a real delight. Pick them up by the stem, and pluck the sucker in your mouth. Chomp and remove the stem. The fun part is that you may get a spicier one, but with that said, these are not too spicy, so don’t be afraid.

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Pizza Style Hot Dogs

Are you the type, like my family, where every couple of weeks you kind of have a typical dinner menu? There seems to be a bit of consistency with my family where every couple of weeks we are making homemade pizzas, or making some sort of riff on hot dogs. With that said, this was one of those weeks. I made a handful of pizzas for the kids, and a couple of days later we were eating Nueske’s smoked wieners. Both of these yielded some leftovers, and that’s when the idea sparked to do a take on a pizza style hot dog! Was this good? Yes, it was pretty darn good and underneath the melted cheese and sauce was this wonderful (and I think one of the best) smoked wiener.

Pizza Style Hot Dog Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cooked wiener, or hot dog
  • 6 slices of pepperoni
  • 1 hot dog bun
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

This is pretty simple. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Add the wiener to the bun, and tuck in three slices of pepperoni on each side of the wiener. Place the wiener and bun onto a baking sheet, and place in the oven, just to warm up the wiener, and slightly crisp up the bun and pepperoni.  Crisping up the bun holds well with the melted cheese and sauce.

How to make a pizza style hot dog

 

When the bun is slightly toasted, about 4-6 minutes, remove it from the oven, and top with the mozzarella cheese, the sauce, and top with the Italian seasoning.

Place this bag into the oven, and bake until the cheese is nice and melted. Once melted, remove from the oven, and get ready for an adventure.

Your first bite is quite the surprise! You get the slightly crunch from the bun, almost like a nice and crisp pizza crust, then the common flavors of pizza, and then that awesome snap of the Nueske’s wiener. Is this thing worth making?

Pizza Style Hot Dog Recipe

ABSOLUTELY! Would I make this again? OF COURSE. This pizza style hot dog kind of blew my mind, and to me, that’s always a great thing. So the next time you have any pizza leftovers, and some wieners or hot dogs in the refrigerator, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy, and have a great 4th of July!

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