Mouthfools Mardi Gras King Cheesecake

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Mouthfools Mardi Gras King Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Filling:
3 packages cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon liqueur
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs (room temp)
Food coloring
6 tsps sugar (for topping)

Crust:
1 package cinnamon graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crumble the graham crackers. Mix together crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven on.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large separate bowl until smooth. Then add Greek yogurt, Bailey’s, cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat eggs into mixture one at a time.

Separate filling equally into 3 bowls. Add food coloring to make one green, one purple, and one gold.

Pour filling into prepped crust as 3 different layers.

Bake for 1 hour with water bath placed beneath. (I just fill a pie tin with water)

At 1-hour mark turn off oven, but leave the cake inside with door cracked open for another hour.

Cool cheesecake in the refrigerator for a few hours before attainment of bliss.

After cheesecake has cooled, put 2 teaspoons sugar in a cup along with green food coloring and mix to color sugar. Sprinkle as topping. Repeat process with purple and gold.

HAPPY MARDI GRAS!

Mouthfools Chicken Shawarmas

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Mouthfools Chicken Shawarmas

If we had a food truck, this is what we would sling. If we had a restaurant, this is what would be on the menu. If there is a single recipe I would call my own, it is this one. Here’s the story…

Back in the early 90s, a young Mr. Mouthfools spent a year in Saudi Arabia. My dad got a job there and so my family crossed the ocean to live in the capital of Saudi, Riyadh. It was there I was introduced to the chicken shawarma. Now, some of you may feel you already know what this is, or maybe you’ve even tried one, however that is unlikely. See, that would be like saying you’ve had a cheeseburger before, so you already know what a Big Mac tastes like. Or that you’ve had pizza before, so you know what Chicago-style pizza tastes like. This is a very specific variety of shawarma, that I’ve never yet found prepared in this way by anyone selling what they call shawarmas.

Upon my return to the states, my mom developed a recipe for making them at home, without access to the necessary ingredients and equipment, and it is from this recipe I have continued to evolve and experiment with over the years. This is where the recipe is at right now, and each detail is very important, however seemingly small a detail it may be.

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds chicken (preferably a mix of both white and dark meat, like say 4 thighs and 2 breasts)
1 bulb fresh garlic (this recipe is heavy on the garlic and a garlic press works wonders)
1 medium white or yellow onion (diced)
1 bag frozen shoestring french fries (or if you really want to nail this, fresh McDonald’s fries)
Diced crunchy dill pickles (spicy dill is better, spicy garlic dill is even better yet)
Mayo (don’t you dare try to substitute Miracle Whip)
Your choice of wrap (I recommend fajita style flour tortillas, or Flatout brand flat bread)
Tabasco sauce (it must be Tabasco brand – it was even Tabasco in Riyadh)
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Butter
Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to temp for whatever fries you are using.

2) In a skillet pan set on medium heat, drizzle some olive oil and cook up your chicken. I like to either use cubed chicken if raw, or shredded chicken if using leftovers.

3) When chicken is about halfway cooked through, add diced onion, 4-6 cloves of crushed garlic, and about 2 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper towards the end.

4) When chicken is cooked to the point of beginning to shred apart naturally, lower temp to low.

5) Prepare fries according to directions. This usually takes around 10 minutes. If you’re just going to use McDonald’s fries, congratulations on being awesome and skipping this step.

6) Add half a cup of mayo to a bowl. Stir in 1-2 cloves crushed garlic.

7) To prepare shawarmas, cover your flatbread or tortilla with a solid layer of garlic mayo.

8) Add the chicken filling in a thick line down the center like you would a burrito.

9) Top with hot french fries and chopped pickles.

10) Liberally cover everything with Tabasco sauce.

11) Roll up and pretend you’re in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

12) Prepare to cry tears of joy.

Creole French Toast

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Creole French Toast

Ingredients:
French brioche bread
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 shot spiced rum
1 Tbsp milk or cream
1 tsp cinnamon
Brown sugar
Maple syrup
Molasses

Directions:

1) Mix the egg with the rum, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

2) Dip the slices of brioche into the egg mixture soaking each side and place slices into medium temp skillet.

3) Cook until golden brown on each side. Remove from pan.

4) Top with brown sugar, maple syrup, and a light drizzle of molasses.

Chicken Marsala

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After purchasing basically a lifetime supply of chicken thighs from Cosco, we decided to make Chicken Marsala. I wanted to avoid a thick, sauce using flour and opted for something more light. The result was the best Chicken Marsala recipe I’ve ever tasted! 

Chicken Marsala w/Kale and Spaghetti

2 pounds chicken thighs, with skin (can be substituted for the breast if you prefer white meat)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
3/4 cup Marsala
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups of trimmed kale
6 servings of spaghetti

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Cook until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated and scraping up any browned bits that might be stuck to the pan. Add kale. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

Simmer mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Toss in spaghetti. Place chicken a top pasta.

Inspired by: http://theredspoon.com/2011/02/chicken-and-mushroom-marsala/

Pan-Seared Salmon with a Dill Yogurt Sauce and Swiss Chard

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Pan-Seared Salmon with a Dill Yogurt Sauce and Swiss Chard

Pan – Seared Salmon

Ingredients:

  • thick cut salmon fillets, skin in place
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

       Dill Sauce

  • 4 tbsp (low-fat) Greek yogurt
  • fresh dill, chopped + more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt & white pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine yogurt, dill, and garlic into a small bowl and mix well. Season with salt & pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over a med-high heat. Season both sides of the salmon with salt & pepper.
  3. When oil is hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down.
  4. Turn fish over once skin is well-browned & crispy but not burnt. This should take 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Continue to sear, flesh-side down, for about another 3 minutes. This will give you a fillet that is med-rare to medium internally. Cook more or less depending upon your own preferences.
  6. Serve immediately  garnished with chopped dill and accompanied with dill sauce and lemon wedges.

Swiss Chard

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 4 small cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Rinse chard; separate stems from leaves. Cut stems into 2-inch pieces; cut leaves crosswise into 1-inch strips. To a saucepan add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add stems, garlic and red pepper flakes to pan; saute about 5 minutes. Add leaves; cook another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Mound in center of serving plate and drizzle with  lemon juice.

Butter Chicken Curry Naan Pizzas

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Butter Chicken Curry Naan Pizzas

Ingredients:
Butter Chicken Curry (we recommend Shan Butter Chicken Curry Mix)
Naan bread
Mozzarella
Goat cheese
Diced tomato

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Bake naan bread on cookie sheet for 12 minutes.
3) Remove naan bread from oven and cover it with butter chicken, then mozzarella, goat cheese crumbles, and diced tomatoes.
4) Return pizzas to oven for another 12 minutes.
5) When done, cut into halves or quarters and serve.

Quick and Easy Cronuts

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Quick and Easy Cronuts

Ingredients:
Pillsbury crescent roll dough
Creamed honey
Cooking oil of your preference

Directions:
1) Roll crescent roll dough and shape into rings.
2) Drop donuts into hot oil
3) Fry on each side until golden brown
4) Remove from oil and cool on paper towels to soak up excess grease
5) Glaze with creamed honey

Commentary: Cronuts are super hard to find, so I just wanted to come up with a quickie recipe similar to what we previously did with our Mini King Cakes. I don’t know if it gets much more quick or easy than this.