Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BOTR: They Can't All Be Winners....

Sure, it looks tasty, doesn't it? But is it? No, no it's not, as matter of fact it's far from it. In case you haven't figured it out B.O.T.R. stands for Beware Of This Recipe or better yet run don't walk, the other direction if you come in contact with this recipe. This recipe lured me in with it's tasty name "Tropical Bars in a Butter Coconut Crust" and when I made it I was further seduced by it's killer aroma and oh so appealing filling and crust. But just like the Sirens in the Odyssey who lured Sailors with their sweet song and sexy bodies only to turn on them once the Sailors had given in, so did these bars reveal their not so sweet and not so tasty self to me once they cooled and were ready for consumption.

The only way I could describe the taste is like this; they tasted like I left limes out in the sun for weeks. And once the rind had gained the texture of leather gone arye I decided to pop them in my mouth all at once. Yeah.... it tasted like that! I have to admit I'm partially to blame. I am a strong advocate of "if the recipe doesn't sound right or it just doesn't make common sense, don't do it". However, when it comes to baking I am a little hesitant to get jiggy wit' it, as the kids say, because baking is so freakin' temperamental and in hind sight I realize the change wouldn't have effected the finished product negatively, I mean they seriously couldn't have tasted any worse.

So the recipe called for "3 limes quartered". Quartered?!?! Not segmented, not zested, not sliced, quartered!? So against my better judgement and common sense I quartered them, took the seeds out and tossed them in the food processor. Thinking of it now gives me the willies. The only saving grace was the crust, the crust was fabu. But there is only enough crust you can munch on before it gets old and the remnants of the filling where still there and therefore not worth keeping. It broke my heart tossing food and time away but I had no choice it was just very not tasty :(

Here's the recipe to prove I'm not making it up and I even searched all over the internets looking for a different variation hoping someone had mistyped the recipe but it was all in vain. It was written the same way everywhere.

Tropical Bars in a Butter Coconut Crust
1 C. coconut
1 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
Combine all ingredients and press onto bottom of 9x9 square pan. Bake 15 min at 350° F.

3 limes, quartered
2 1/4 C. sugar
4 eggs
1/2 C. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 T. plus 1 t. vanilla
Put all filling ingredients in the food processor and process until pureed.
Pour over the baked crust and bake at 350° F. for 20-25 minutes.
Cut only after cooling and sprinkle with powdered sugar and toasted coconut flakes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Product Rave: McCormicks Grillmates Cinnamon Chipotle Rub

This stuff is a little taste of awesome, I kid' you not. It has a creole taste to it, which you might not expect given it has chipotle wich is most commonly associated with Mexican or SouthWest cooking. But the chipotle flavor is very mild adding more of a smoky flavor than a spicy flavor. The cinnamon is what gives it that creole taste. I've sprinkled this little fairy dust on shrimp and tossed them on the grill -to die! And just recently used it today or should I say Mom used it today, in what will now be my new favorite way to have this -on baby back ribs!!! Oh my lawd was it good!

She just rubbed it on the ribs added a some salt, though we both agreed it really didn't need it, it made the ribs a little too salty. But I like salty so that was good by me but I think it would have been too salty for the average bear. Anywho, run out and get you some of this stuff and make you some of these:

P.S. For those of you bright ones keeping score. Yes, we did end up having an impromptu feast of roasted chicken, ribs and cauliflower. The ribs weren't part of the original plan but we were starving when we arrived at the grocery store and....well..... the rest is fatty history :)

Don't call it a comeback...

*See closeup of cauliflower at the end of the post, it's to die!

I've been here for years! Well not in the blogasphere but most definately representin' in the real world. It occured to me today that I've been neglecting my poor blog and, well, that had to change. So I dusted off my apron, along with an old recipe, and here I am ready to get down to business.

Now, I know there is enough Rachel Ray hatin' going around to fill a giant"GB" but sometimes the ol' girl has a good recipe and even a good idea here and there and this is one of them. The first and only time I tried this recipe I was still a bachelorette in an 8 year relationship without any prospects of marriage in the horizon, so what better "motivation" for my man to marry me than for me to show him I could be a good wife in the kitchen? -Wow, I just lost the feminist vote but who cares! It's true! The way to a man's heart is his stomach, so suck it feminist!

But I digress......I should say the real way to a man's heart is through his stomach via bacon wrapped anything, which brings us to our recipe. It's not only easy, it's affordable and did I mention easy? It's also.....wait for it....."wrapped" in BACON!!!!

The recipe calls for a 3.5 pound chicken but I used a 5 pounder and therefor had to cook it longer. I didn't realize this until I had already added the cauliflower at the 1/2 way point as called for in the recipe. So my cauliflower ended up roasting for an extra half hour. It didn't turn out mushy but it didn't turn out crunchy like I like it either. Had I paid more attention I would have added the cauliflower in the last half hour because my chicken was bigger. But whatev' you live, you learn and I ain't no pro.

Boy am I chatty after a hiatus, I'll wrap it up. This recipe is a must try and totally awesome for such little effort, so big ups to RR!!! I'll write it as I made it and as I will make it next time.

Bacon "Stuffed" Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower
by: Rachel Ray

1 -5 pound whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
4 -bacon strips
Salt & Freshly ground pepper
1 -Head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets
1 -Head of garlic, cloves peeled
1 1/2 Tablespoons EVOO (I had to represent for RR)

1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Loosen the skin of the chicken breast, drumsticks & thighs with your fingers and slide the bacon in. I did 1 slice per breast and 1 slice per drumstick/thigh area. Season the outside with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan with a rack and roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes lower the temperature to 400ยบ and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower, garlic and oil together in a bowl and season with salt & pepper to taste. After the chicken has cooked for an hour, remove the chicken and rack from the roasting pan and add the vegetables to the perimeter of the pan. Return chicken (without rack) to the middle of the roasting pan (breast up) and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and tent the chicken with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.