Indian Coconut Soup

Not too long ago, I had asked my wife if she was interested in going out to lunch. Obviously she was ecstatic (I think), and then I gave her a couple of choices. I was leaning very heavily on Indian food, and while I never thought my wife to be all that interested in Indian cuisine, she happily agreed. We checked out this local place called India Garden in Milwaukee. The restaurant was hidden back in a strange area just off a busy street, but the exterior looked nice, and there were plenty of cars in the lot which is most likely a good sign. Upon entering, the interior was super clean and nice, and the service from the start was awesome. Good signs.

This place was packed with natives, which to me, is always a great sign. We took a look at their buffet, and it looked really, really good.

Indian Coconut Soup Recipe

After we devoured pretty much everything they had to offer (and what they offered was probably the best I have had in Milwaukee), my wife said she wanted to try to the coconut soup. Coconut soup? She was in heaven, and insisted I had to try it. So, as a good husband would, I did, and only did because I knew that I would be making this for her in the very near future. That’s when I did, and she was, again, back in love.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 14 oz can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of salt

I know… It’s a bit sweet, and strange (in a good way) to say the least, and that’s what makes this one pretty exciting. Think of it as a soup dessert, and a perfect way to end a meal. I also thought that this would be great served chilled (and it was), and blended up with some ice, almost like a Mexican horchata.

This is super easy to make and can be served immediately.

Start by heating a sauce pan on medium heat. Add in the butter, and let it melt.

Once melted, add in the shredded coconut, and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring it around for about 4 minutes or so.

How to make Indian coconut soup

 

Next add in the cardamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and give another good stir. Lightly toast all of this for about a minute, then pour in the coconut milk, and regular milk. Throw in the pinch of salt, stir, and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes.

Now you are ready to serve.

Ladle in the Indian coconut soup into a small soup bowl, and dig in.

Sweet and delicious, this Indian coconut soup is a total surprise and is a perfect finish to practically any meal. Did I mention how awesome cardamon was? If you have never tried it, just let me tell you it goes very, very well with cinnamon and nutmeg, and has this perfect citrus and floral note that will definitely get your taste buds moving. Hope you enjoy!

Indian Coconut Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 14 oz can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of milk
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. know… It’s a bit sweet, and strange (in a good way) to say the least, and that’s what makes this one pretty exciting. Think of it as a soup dessert, and a perfect way to end a meal. I also thought that this would be great served chilled (and it was), and blended up with some ice, almost like a Mexican horchata.
  2. This is super easy to make and can be served immediately.
  3. Start by heating a sauce pan on medium heat. Add in the butter, and let it melt.
  4. Once melted, add in the shredded coconut, and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring it around for about 4 minutes or so.
  5. Next add in the cardamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and give another good stir. Lightly toast all of this for about a minute, then pour in the coconut milk, and regular milk. Throw in the pinch of salt, stir, and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes.
  6. Now you are ready to serve.
  7. Ladle in the Indian coconut soup into a small soup bowl, and dig in.

 

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Crispy Waffle Nachos

It was taco Thursday the other night. I know, I know. Typically you have that whole taco Tuesday thing going on, but let’s be honest, sometimes we never hit that mark due to schedules, etc, and who could not eat nachos any day of the week, right? As my kids typically would yell out their go to dinner idea (bacon burger, hot dogs, steak), my wife always leans towards nachos. So nachos it was. I’m the one who loads those nachos up. My kids are typically meat and cheese, and I force them to go for the lettuce or avocado, and my wife is pretty good at loading her’s up with the exception of things like olives and jalapeños. With that said, I had some nacho ingredients left over, and the following day my expectation was to use those up for breakfast.

Waffle Nachos Recipe

As I had set out the leftovers in the morning, my initial thought was to scramble everything up into some sort of nacho omelette, but that’s when the idea sparked, and hence came the crispy waffle nachos!

Talk about the best breakfast, possibly ever. You get the sweetness from the crips waffle, and the savoriness from all of the leftover nacho ingredients. Did I mention bacon?

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the Waffle:

  • 1 cup of Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Complete pancake mix
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Now I am going to let you decide on how you want to load up your nachos, as this becomes a personal preference by many. Regardless, here is what I used to give you some sort of roadmap in building your own.

Ingredients for the Nachos:

  • 1 cup of shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup of cooked corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked ground seasoned ground beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (reserve some of the bacon grease and keep the skillet)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 whole Jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • your favorite hot sauce, to your liking
  • waffle iron

Now if you want to take the easy route and use up frozen Eggo brand waffles, so be it, but if you have a waffle iron, then make your own. They are better, and better is good.

Start by mixing your waffle ingredients, and mix until everything is incorporated. Add in half of the cooked and crumbled bacon, and all of the minced garlic, and give another mix. Let this rest for about 5 minutes.

Next, heat your waffle iron, on high heat. Spray just a bit of cooking spray onto eat of the griddles.

Prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Ladle in the waffle batter, close and let the waffle cook. The addition of the melted butter will get these waffle nice and golden crisp.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

How to make waffle nachos

 

Once the waffle is fully cooked, and crisp, remove it from the waffle iron, and place into the skillet with some of the reserved bacon grease. We are going to finish this in the oven to get the cheese, and other ingredients nice and warmed through.

Start building your waffle nachos.

Add most of the the cheese to the top of the waffle, along with the ground beef, red onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, corn, and remaining bacon. Top with any remaining cheese to hold everything together, and place into the preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.

Remember, use your hot mit to remove the skillet from the oven. Mentally it’s easy to just think you can grab the handle of the skillet, but do not do that!

Once removed, slide the waffle onto your serving plate, and finish with the green onions, fresh cilantro, and the hot sauce.

Crispy Waffle Nachos

 

Time to dig in! Talk about a masterpiece in nacho town, this thing was awesome. I’m kind of glad no one was around at the time because I tore into this thing. You get the crispy waffle and everything you love about the nacho, but the sweetness of the waffle itself really set this one apart from the others. This would be a perfect brunch idea as well. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Crispy Waffle Nachos
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers, Brunch
Cuisine: Nachos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the Waffle:
  • 1 cup of Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Complete pancake mix
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • Ingredients for the Nachos:
  • 1 cup of shredded colby jack cheese
  • ¼ cup of cooked corn kernels
  • ¼ cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup cooked ground seasoned ground beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (reserve some of the bacon grease and keep the skillet)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ whole Jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • your favorite hot sauce, to your liking
  • waffle iron
Instructions
  1. Now if you want to take the easy route and use up frozen Eggo brand waffles, so be it, but if you have a waffle iron, then make your own. They are better, and better is good.
  2. Start by mixing your waffle ingredients, and mix until everything is incorporated. Add in half of the cooked and crumbled bacon, and all of the minced garlic, and give another mix. Let this rest for about 5 minutes.
  3. Next, heat your waffle iron, on high heat. Spray just a bit of cooking spray onto eat of the griddles.
  4. Prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  5. Ladle in the waffle batter, close and let the waffle cook. The addition of the melted butter will get these waffles nice and golden crisp.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Once the waffle is fully cooked, and crisp, remove it from the waffle iron, and place into the skillet with some of the reserved bacon grease. We are going to finish this in the oven to get the cheese, and other ingredients nice and warmed through.
  8. Start building your waffle nachos.
  9. Add most of the the cheese to the top of the waffle, along with the ground beef, red onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, corn, and remaining bacon. Top with any remaining cheese to hold everything together, and place into the preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.
  10. Remember, use your hot mit to remove the skillet from the oven. Mentally it’s easy to just think you can grab the handle of the skillet, but do not do that!
  11. Once removed, slide the waffle onto your serving plate, and finish with the green onions, fresh cilantro, and the hot sauce.

 

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Puttanesca Pizza

Pizza is a big deal in my house. I honestly do not remember the last time I threw a frozen pizza in the oven, maybe it was weeks ago for a quick dinner for my kids, but typically I am making my own dough and using the outdoor Kettle Pizza that my wife got me last year for Father’s Day.  I love the Kettle Pizza, and have been knocking out great pizzas in a matter of minutes. This one was no exception.

Every couple of weeks, I make pizzas, and I typically have the kids build their own pizzas. Typically the standard is pepperoni, a sausage, and a cheese and onion. My wife may get a little crazy and ask for a mushroom and onion, but me, I always leave some dough for a new creation. This is when the puttanesca pizza came into play.

Puttanesca Pizza Recipe

Puttanesca is typically done with pasta, however the sauce is the golden ticket, and what a better way to use it than with pizza.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 fillets of anchovy, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese

Start by making the sauce. Remember, it’s all about the sauce.

To a skillet, on medium heat, add the oil and let that come to temperature.

Add the garlic, chili flakes, anchovies, kalamata olives, and salt and pepper. Give a good stir.

Puttanesca Pizza Ingredients

Once the garlic begins to turn color, add in the sauce, and give another good stir. Then add in the capers, and let this sauce cook, on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Next, form your pizza dough. Sprinkle the dough with the Italian seasoning. Ladle on the puttanesca sauce on top of the dough, then top with the mozzarella cheese.

Place into a very hot oven on a preheated pizza stone (or use your grill and Kettle Pizza if you have one), and cook until the dough is nice and crisp and the cheese is nice and melted.

Puttanesca Pizza

 

The end result is awesome! The sauce, if you have never had it, is packed full of flavor. It’s spicy, briney, garlicy, and just down right delicious, and when put on a pizza, well heck, it just gets even better. Hope you enjoy!

Puttanesca Pizza
Recipe type: Pizza
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 fillets of anchovy, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Start by making the sauce. Remember, it’s all about the sauce.
  2. To a skillet, on medium heat, add the oil and let that come to temperature.
  3. Add the garlic, chili flakes, anchovies, kalamata olives, and salt and pepper. Give a good stir.
  4. Once the garlic begins to turn color, add in the sauce, and give another good stir. Then add in the capers, and let this sauce cook, on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Next, form your pizza dough. Sprinkle the dough with the Italian seasoning. Ladle on the puttanesca sauce on top of the dough, then top with the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Place into a very hot oven on a preheated pizza stone (or use your grill and Kettle Pizza if you have one), and cook until the dough is nice and crisp and the cheese is nice and melted.
  7. The end result is awesome! The sauce, if you have never had it, is packed full of flavor. It’s spicy, briney, garlicy, and just down right delicious, and when put on a pizza, well heck, it just gets even better. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Spicy Fried Chicken

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, fried chicken is probably my favorite meal. It has been since I was a youngster, and it still is to this day. I’ve made plenty of varieties of fried chicken, but this one may have sealed the deal when it came to the juicy interior, and crispy exterior. It has plenty of spice as well, but not too overwhelming as my kids did not complain about the heat. I took a different approach on this one, dunking it into a wet mixture before applying the spiced flour, and I think that is what made this  spicy fried chicken the real deal.

Spicy Fried Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fryer chicken, cut into its various pieces
  • canola oil for frying
  • your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • crispy waffles, optional
  • pickles, optional

Ingredients for the wet mixture:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt

Ingredients for the dry mixture:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

I know, sounds like a lot, right? It’s not too bad, and it actually goes pretty fast as for the most part you dump the ingredients into some bowls and mix, then fry to your hearts content.

Start by making the wet mixture. To a large mixing bowl, add all of the wet ingredients, and mix to combine. Using some cooking latex gloves if you have them, and add the chicken pieces, massaging into the wet mixture. Once all of the chicken pieces have been coated, add the bowl to the refrigerator, and chill for about 20 minutes.

During this time, make the dry mixture. To another large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients, and stir to mix well.

Now, heat up a large cast iron skillet, enough to hold the chicken pieces, and add the canola oil, heating on medium heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees.

How to make spicy fried chicken.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, and taking a piece out at at time, add them to the dry mixture, tossing to coat, then add the coated chicken to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Let the dry mixture set on the chicken on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Once the oil is heated, carefully add the chicken to the heated oil. Tongs work well in this case. I like to add the breasts to the center, then thighs, wings, and drumsticks.

Keep an eye on the temperature, maintaining that 350 degrees. This is important.

After about 10 minutes, or so, turn the chicken pieces with tongs, being careful not to splash the oil. Cook for about another 10 minutes, then check the temperature of the thickest part of the breast. You want the temperature to reach 165 degrees, then you know you can pull the remaining chicken pieces to serve.

Place on a paper bag, or paper towel to let any excess oil drain prior to serving.

I cannot serve fried chicken without serving them with crispy waffles. My kids are now hooked, so that’s how I serve them. Lay a waffle, then top with your favorite part of the chicken. I go breast. I drizzled a bunch of extra hot sauce on mine, along with some pickles. Who knew pickles, and waffles would pair so nicely with spicy fried chicken!?

The result was nothing short of amazing. Super juicy on the inside, and perfectly crisp and spicy from all of the spices in the wet and dry mix. I’m glad I tried going the wet route with this recipe. It was a game changer. Hope you enjoy!

 

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