Category Archives: Wisconsin

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!

Loaded Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

Football season is finally over, and that is always a bit saddening, but at the same time great as that indicates that we are closer to nicer weather. Game day was always a fun time for us. I always made some pretty comforting food, and one of the simple things I make is a simple cheese dip, or what I simply call queso. It is so basic, but everyone always loves it. Simple Velveeta cheese, yes, I go there, and a can of ro-tel. Yes, it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Seeing that we got invited to a Super Bowl party, I wanted to jazz things up a bit and create what I am calling a loaded bacon cheeseburger dip. Let me just say that I was taking a gamble on this one, but whoa was it awesome, and I know my wife, and f
riends would totally agree.

Loaded Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

It is not the prettiest of dips, but it very well could be one of the better dips I’ve created.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 lb ground chuck, cooked, fat drained
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 12 oz Nueske’s bacon, or your favorite, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 poblano chili, roasted, seeds and skin removed, chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, roasted, seeds and skin removed, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 3/4 cup of white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • Tortilla chips

Start by preparing your ingredients. Roast the chili peppers in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the skin begins to char. Once charred, place them in a sealable bag, and let them steam. Remove, then carefully peel off the exterior of the skin. Discard, then slice open, remove seeds, and chop. Set aside.
Loaded Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

When everything is cooked, add the cheeses to a large mixing bowl, and toss in the corn starch to lightly coat the cheese. This helps stabilize the sauce.

Get a medium sized pot on the stove, on medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortilla chips, and stir, cooking on a medium, to medium-low heat until the cheese is fully melted and everything is warmed through.

Loaded Bacon Cheeseburger Dip Recipe

The end result is something out of this world. It is everything, and more, of what you would expect with a loaded bacon cheeseburger, but in dip form. The danger here is once you start, it’s hard to stop eating this. Fortunately I was able to walk away from the bowl, realizing I was making this for my wife, and the party.  If you are looking for a fun dip to make, just for your friends and family, or any party, give this one a shot.

Loaded Bacon Cheeseburger Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Dips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 lb ground chuck, cooked, fat drained
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 12 oz Nueske’s bacon, or your favorite, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 poblano chili, roasted, seeds and skin removed, chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, roasted, seeds and skin removed, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • ¾ cup of white onion, diced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • Tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Start by preparing your ingredients. Roast the chili peppers in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the skin begins to char. Once charred, place them in a sealable bag, and let them steam. Remove, then carefully peel off the exterior of the skin. Discard, then slice open, remove seeds, and chop. Set aside.
  2. When everything is cooked, add the cheeses to a large mixing bowl, and toss in the corn starch to lightly coat the cheese. This helps stabilize the sauce.
  3. Get a medium sized pot on the stove, on medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortilla chips, and stir, cooking on a medium, to medium-low heat until the cheese is fully melted and everything is warmed through.
  4. The end result is something out of this world. It is everything, and more, of what you would expect with a loaded bacon cheeseburger, but in dip form. The danger here is once you start, it’s hard to stop eating this. Fortunately I was able to walk away from the bowl, realizing I was making this for my wife, and the party. If you are looking for a fun dip to make, just for your friends and family, or any party, give this one a shot.

 

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Boerewors

I love this time of year. The fall weather slowly approaches, the color of the leaves on the tree are beginning to turn color, and well, it’s comfort food season. That’s probably what I really love about this time of year! Back when our farmer’s market opened for the year, I was browsing some vegetable plants, and a lady next to me was saying that she had purchased from this one particular farmer last year, and the squash planted yielded an abundance of butternut squash. So with that said, I decided to but the plant for four dollars, and went on my merry way. Weeks later that plant began to grow in, and all over my backyard. I was cool with that, and recently after rummaging through the long grass, I also had an abundance of squash! I’ve been waiting for something to make with it for some time now, and I was giving a unique opportunity to also make something with a local sausage maker in Milwaukee.

Stuffed Squash with Boerewors

SA Braai, LLC make really amazing sausage known as Boerewors, typically known by many South Africans, but not so many Wisconsinites, well, at least not until now. This sausage is made with beef and pork and plenty of spices. Let’s just say that this husband and wife are making a really phenomenal sausage. With all of this said, I set out to create something I knew my wife would fall in love with, and hence where the stuffed butternut squash with boerewors came into play.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup of barley
  • 1/2 basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups of red chard, chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 links Boerewors Sausage, casing removed
  • 1 butternut squash, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by making the stuffing for your squash. Bring a medium-sized pot to medium-high heat. Add in the butter, and let that melt. Toss in your lentils, rice, and barley and give this a good stir. Cook, and continue to stir for a few minutes. Next add the carrots and onion. Season with salt and pepper, then toss in the red chard. Stir, then add in your chicken stock. Give another good stir, then simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the hit, and partially open the lid to prevent it from over cooking.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Once you have sliced your squash, take a knife and make score marks, about 1/2 inch down. Rub the skin with the canola oil, and place the squash onto a baking sheet, skin side up. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

During this time, heat another large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the Boerewors sausage to the preheated skillet, and cook until the sausage is fully cooked. Make sure you crumble it along the way. Add the lentil mixture to the sausage, and give a good toss and stir.

How to make stuffed squash

When the squash are done cooking, let them cool until you can handle the squash, about 10 minutes. Carefully turn the squash over, and use a spoon to remove the cooked squash, leaving the shell in tack.

Add the squash to the lentil and sausage mixture, mixing well, then add this back into the cavity of the squash. Place the stuffed squash back into a preheated 425 degree oven and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the sausage mixture gets nice an crunchy.

Plate and serve.

Stuffed Squash Recipe

The result is nothing but a truly comforting fall recipe. You get this great bite of the lentil mixture. The lentils are not overcooked so there is still a bite to them, and when paired with the chard, and carrots, you know you are in good hands. It reminds you of a warm bite of mashed potatoes, but then you get this great texture and spice of the Boerewors sausage that just brings everything together. Let’s just say my wife fell in love with this one.

Apple Crisp

Last week we decided to go on our annual apple picking adventure. We typically go later in mid-to-late October, but this year we thought we would get a jump start and be able to chose from a wider selection of apples. It was a gorgeous afternoon so we invited grandma and grandpa out for the afternoon as well. This year we decided to return to The Elegant Farmer for apples. I love The Elegant Farmer. They are known for their apple pie, but what I like is that after you pick apples, you can head into their store and have lunch, or purchase little, neat items from the grocery store. So after we spent a good couple of hours there, we came back to a big bushel full of apples. At first I thought we would be making pies, but then I decided to step it back a little bit, and go for something as comforting as pie, and create a recipe that was much easier and less time consuming, hence the apple crisp.

Apple Crisp

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the Crumble:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, lightly melted

Ingredients for the Apple Crisp:

  • 10 apples, variety (I used Granny Smith, McIntosh) stemmed and cored
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider, reduced to 1/2 cup
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 whole lemon, juiced

Start by mixing your crumble ingredients in a mixing bowl, then set it to the side.

Add the cider to a sauce pan, and cook over medium-high heat until it reduces to about a 1/2 cup.

Apple Picking

Slice your apples into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Add them to another large mixing bowl. Once your apples are in the bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Add the lemon juice and reduced cider, mix, and set aside.

Next, get a large oven proof skillet onto the stove on medium heat.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Once the skillet is heated, add the butter, and cook for a few minutes until it begins to brown. Toss in the apple mixture, scraping the bowl, and cook the apples, stirring frequently on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Once the apples just begin to soften, layer on the crumble mixture and pat it down with your spatula. Add the entire skillet into the oven, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the crumble is nice and golden.

Apple Crisp Recipe

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.

Scoop the apple crisp into your serving bowl, and serve with ice cream if you prefer. The result is the sticky, awesome mixture that is perfectly balanced with that sweet and tart that you would expect in apples. My daughter who inspired (and helped make) me to make this recipe feel in love with it, well, and so did I, and so did my wife. Don’t even get me started on the crumble topping. I now know why I always loved apple oatmeal. Yes, it’s that good. I hope you enjoy!

Apple Crisp
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the Crumble:
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of oats
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar
  • ½ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, lightly melted
  • Ingredients for the Apple Crisp:
  • 10 apples, variety (I used Granny Smith, McIntosh) stemmed and cored
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider, reduced to ½ cup
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ whole lemon, juiced
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing your crumble ingredients in a mixing bowl, then set it to the side.
  2. Add the cider to a sauce pan, and cook over medium-high heat until it reduces to about a ½ cup.
  3. Start by mixing your crumble ingredients in a mixing bowl, then set it to the side.
  4. Add the cider to a sauce pan, and cook over medium-high heat until it reduces to about a ½ cup.
  5. Slice your apples into about ½ inch thick slices. Add them to another large mixing bowl. Once your apples are in the bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Add the lemon juice and reduced cider, mix, and set aside.
  6. Next, get a large oven proof skillet onto the stove on medium heat.
  7. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  8. Once the skillet is heated, add the butter, and cook for a few minutes until it begins to brown. Toss in the apple mixture, scraping the bowl, and cook the apples, stirring frequently on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  9. Once the apples just begin to soften, layer on the crumble mixture and pat it down with your spatula. Add the entire skillet into the oven, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the crumble is nice and golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.
  11. Scoop the apple crisp into your serving bowl, and serve with ice cream if you prefer. The result is the sticky, awesome mixture that is perfectly balanced with that sweet and tart that you would expect in apples.