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Easy Eats: Beer Can Chicken

August 30, 2015

Beer Can Chicken

Easy Eats: Beer Can ChickenSo I did it, I made my first ever Beer Can Chicken. I have to admit, I did not want to do it. I generally prefer my meat in pieces and strips and not in whole form, so I was not excited. But it wasn’t too bad after all.

All you have to do for this Easy Eats Recipe is mix the spices, which I’m sure many of them you already have
on hand, or just do any kind of spice that you prefer and rub it on the chicken after you have loosened the skin and oiled it up with some Olive Oil. Drink half a can of beer, and place the chicken on the can.

I did not have one of those fancy beer chicken holders and that was okay. I did had a small grilling pan that I set the beer and chicken on, and it held it up nicely. The grill just did its thing and I didn’t have to worry about Easy Eats: Beer Can Chickenwatching it or flipping it. I just turned it on and let it cook.

The end result was a delicious moist chicken. A lot of times chicken on the grill ends up dry and the skin can be hard to cut through. But this beer chicken tastes like a warm, moist, delicious rotisserie chicken.

So after all of my pouting and resentment to try this Easy Eats Recipe, I am glad I did. What a great way to feed an entire family without much work.

Try it and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

Easy Eats: Beer Can Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine onion powder, salt, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and brown sugar and mix into a small bowl.
  2. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling (350-450 degrees). Pour out half of the beer or drink it if you choose to. Poke additional holes in top of the can with a can opener.
  3. Gently loosen skin from the chicken. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of spice mixture into the cavity, then rub the remaining spice mixture all over the chicken.
  4. Holding the chicken with legs pointed down, lower chicken over the can so it fills the body cavity. You can get special beer can chicken holders for this that make it a bit easier.
  5. Place chicken over drip pan; grill, covered over indirect medium heat for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees.
  6. Remove chicken from grill; cover and let stand for 10 minutes before removing from beer can and cutting up.

 

Ultimate Baked Beans: Featuring Four Brother Bacon

August 26, 2015

Ultimate Baked Beans Featuring: Four Brothers Bacon

It’s almost fall! This means the days get shorter and our lives get busier. Here is a great recipe that will compliment your busy lifestyles and also give a fun spin on an already easy recipe.

To begin, I purchased 2 packs of Four Brothers smoked bacon along with my other ingredients. The Ultimate Baked Beans: Featuring Four Brothers Baconbacon comes in 12-ounce packages, and since this recipe calls for 1 pound I had plenty of leftovers for a family breakfast later on in the week. I cooked and prepared the bacon to my liking and prepped all of my other ingredients by measuring out the correct amounts. Once my sauces were measured and my onions were chopped I emptied the 2 cans of Bush’s Baked Beans into the crock-pot and then added in the ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and brown sugar.

Next I chopped up the bacon into pieces. Instead of chopping the bacon pieces up with a knife, I opted to use a heavy-duty kitchen scissors. I found this to be easier because the grease from the bacon can make cutting a little tricky and it was also a quicker option. Once the bacon is added, simply stir the ingredients thoroughly together in the crock-pot and then put the lid on the pot while it cooks.

This dish is great and is made so simple because it can be cooked in a crock-pot on medium heat for an hour or so with very little maintenance. I personally love anything that has been prepared in a crock-pot, and it’s even easier way to haul this side dish to a tailgating party and to keep it warm prior to it being served. However, this dish can also be prepared by cooking it in the oven in a large oven safe dish. They can then be baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until warmed throughout.

Kids and adults alike will love this recipe- who could resist barbecue sauce and bacon? And now you have a fun and tasty alternative to an age-old side dish.

I hope you were fond of this fun recipe and that your transition from summer to fall is a smooth one! Enjoy!

Ultimate Baked Beans
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir.
  2. Cook in slow cooker on high for about 30 minutes or until cooked throughout.
  3. Reduce heat to low or warm, while serving.
Notes
Alternate cooking method:
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Combine all ingredients in a large oven safe dish and stir.
Bake in 400°F oven for 30 minutes or until cooked throughout.

Easy Eats: Chipotle-Raspberry Pork Chops

August 23, 2015

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New sauces and dressings are always exciting to introduce around the family dinner table. These Chipotle-Raspberry Pork Chops are a deliciously spicy twist on a traditional meal. The recipe is surprisingly quick and simple, which saves you lots of preparation time and gets you back spending time with your loved ones rather than making meals.

To start, we created our Chipotle-Raspberry sauce. We began by finely slicing the chipotle pepper and adding the small slices to ½ cup of the raspberry preserve. The recipe calls for only one pepper, and that was the perfect amount of spice for our taste buds. However, if you are an extreme spice lover, feel free to add a second pepper along with the ½ cup raspberry preserve. In a saucepan, cook the mixture over a medium temperature until it is heated up. While the sauce is heating, sprinkle your pork chops with salt and then brush ¼ of the warm sauce over your pork chops.

IMG_9601

Grill your pork chops until they are cooked through and serve with the remainder of your Chipotle-Raspberry sauce. We decided to serve this dish with a mixture of lettuce greens along with an Asian toasted sesame dressing. The contrasting dressing flavor complimented the Chipotle-Raspberry taste wonderfully.

We honestly cannot believe how simple this recipe was. It is the perfect way to mix up your grilling routine and add a little zest into your meal for some end-of-summer fun!

 

Happy grilling!

Easy Eats: Chipotle-Raspberry Pork Chops
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, cook and stir preserves and Chipotle Adobo Pepper over medium heat until heated through. Reserve ¼ cup for serving.
  2. Sprinkle pork chop with salt; brush with remaining raspberry sauce.
  3. Lightly grease a grill or broiler pan rack. Grill chops, covered, over medium heat or broil for 4 inches from heat 4-5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
  4. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with reserved sauce.

 

No-Bake Twix Whip Salad

August 19, 2015

No-Bake Twix Whip Salad - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com

August is here and it is getting hot! Who wants to turn on the oven? Not I. So when I needed to make a dessert for a get together I decided to make something quick, easy and no-bake.

This recipe is a spin on the classic “Snicker Salad”, except you use Twix instead! Although you could use Snickers if you so choose, but I decided to try the Twix and I loved it. One of the cool things about this salad is the use of the new Twix Unwrwapped Bites. No need to unwrap all of the fun sized bars anymore. No sir, these are dump and chop, and it makes them easier to snack as well!

This recipe is incredibly simple and super delicious. I was actually surprised how well it held up too. I was enjoying this salad 4 days after I made it!

I hope you enjoy it too! Comment with photos of your Twix Whip Salad Creations!

No-Bake Twix Whip Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 3.2 Oz. Box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 12 Oz. Kraft Cool Whip
  • 2-3 Granny Smith Apples, chopped
  • 2 – 7 Oz. Bags Twix Unwrapped Bites, halved
  • Caramel Sauce
Instructions
  1. Mix instant vanilla pudding powder with ½ cup milk. (Package directions call for more, only add ½ cup)
  2. Immediately after mixing pudding, add entire container of Cool Whip.
  3. Add 2-3 chopped Granny Smith Apples to pudding mixture.
  4. Add halved Twix bars to pudding mixture.
  5. Optional: Drizzle caramel sauce over top of salad.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Notes
Add more or less Granny Smith Apples and/or Twix candy bars to your liking.

 

Easy Eats: Greek Kabob Salad

August 16, 2015

Greek Kabob Salad - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com

When I think of Greek food I often think of the ingredients in this salad: olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. The combination is absolutely delicious, so I was excited to try this recipe.

This salad was super easy; you just need to remember to marinade the steak before hand. You could prep the meat in the morning, come back from work and then grill up and make this salad for dinner. It is very flavorful, fresh and delicious.

Greek Skewers - cobornsdeliversblog.comWhile I was preparing for this blog and taking pictures of the salad, I had some spare ingredients, so I decided to do a little snacking. I said to my co-worker, hey this is really good! If you just put one of each of these in your mouth, it tastes like the salad. Thus was born the Greek Skewers. Like I said, I made it out of my left over ingredients. Simply skewer a half a cherry tomato, chunk of meat, chunk of cucumber, an olive and that’s it. Arrange however you want with more of your favorite ingredients to make these delicious Greek Skewers. After I skewered these tasty apps, I drizzled some of the Greek dressing to finish it off. I am definitely going to remember this recipe for my next get together.

One of the many benefits of blogging about food is… of course, eating the food! I laid the salad and skewers out for my co-workers and in minutes everything was gone! Obviously a crowd favorite, and it will be a great addition to your next party.

Enjoy!

Easy Eats: Greek Kabob Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place beef cubes in 1 gallon resealable plastic bag, add ½ cup of the dressing.
  2. Seal bag; turn to coat.
  3. Refrigerate 1-2 hours to marinate.
  4. Heat Grill.
  5. Thread beef onto four 10" metal skewers; discard marinade.
  6. Place kabobs on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 - 6 inches from medium-high coals.
  7. Cook 9-11 minutes until beef has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, turning once.
  8. Meanwhile, divide lettuce into individual serving plates.
  9. Top each evenly with cucumber, olives, tomatoes and cheese.
  10. Drizzle with remaining ½ cup salad dressing.
  11. Top with cooked beef.

 

Layered Taco Dip

August 12, 2015

Layered Taco Dip - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com

As I am writing this blog, it is a Friday (sorry, don’t mean to rub it in) and I am ready for the weekend. It’s been another long week of work and I am ready to relax. But we have a potluck to go to tonight. You know I love a good potluck, but I’m burnt out and need an easy recipe. I’m not burnt out enough to just buy something premade, so I decided to make a taco dip. It’s easy, quick, you don’t need a lot of ingredients and it’s always a hit.

In my recipe I simply top my sour cream, cream cheese, taco seasoning mixture with shredded lettuce, green onions, chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese. That is only because I have a picky family, you could add many more ingredients to this for added flavor. For example: sliced black olives, black beans, chopped jalapenos, sliced avocado, salsa, taco sauce, diced chilies, etc. You get the idea. So be creative, add what you like and serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Enjoy!


Layered Taco Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 2 - 1 Oz. Packages Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • 16 Oz. Cream Cheese
  • 16 Oz. Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup Tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 Green Onions, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix together cream cheese and sour cream. Use electric mixer to obtain a less lumpy texture, or stir by hand to create a cottage cheese texture.
  2. Add both packages of taco seasoning mix.
  3. Spread evenly onto a serving platter.
  4. Evenly layer shredded lettuce, onions, cheese and tomatoes on top of cheese mixture.
Notes
Add more layers by using black olives, black beans, chopped jalapenos, sliced avocado, salsa, taco sauce, diced chilies, etc.
You can also season the top of the dip with a Mexican seasoning mix.

 

Easy Eats: Pesto and Mozzarella Chicken Burgers

August 9, 2015

Pesto & Mozzarella Chicken Burger #EasyEats - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com

I don’t feel that chicken patties have a good reputation. When I used to think of chicken patties, I would think of the breaded chicken patties on a cheap bun with bulk mayonnaise and a leaf of iceberg lettuce like we used to get in school lunches. This chicken patty sandwich is the complete opposite, starting with the patty.

The Gold’n Plump Original Chicken Patties have great flavor and are 50% less fat than regular ground beef. They are packaged to seal in flavor and are simple to grab and cook, no thawing required. Not to mention, Gold’n Plump is a local company and the chicken is raised on local family farms, can’t beat that.

This chicken sandwich is made with a freshly baked Ciabatta roll. They are Take & Bake, so make sure you remember to bake them first. I’ve forgotten to bake them before, let’s just say that I won’t make that mistake again. It’s simple, just throw them in the oven for a few minutes, and they are fresh and warm. No cheap bun that comes in a pack of 24 here, these Ciabatta rolls have a nice crisp crust that isn’t difficult to bite into, and features a nice soft texture inside.

Once you have baked your rolls and grilled your chicken patties, all you do is top with a slice of mozzarella, pesto and cracked pepper and you are done. This sandwich is a huge upgrade from those school lunches and is a great sandwich to serve on the deck with lemonade and a fresh Caesar salad. There you have it, a simple gourmet sandwich that is sure to become a family favorite.


Easy Eats: Pesto and Mozzarella Chicken Burgers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Gold'n Plump Chicken Patties, Original Flavor
  • 3 Ciabatta Rolls, halved horizontally
  • ⅓ Cup Prepared Pesto Sauce
  • To Taste Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 3 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Place frozen chicken patties on greased grill rack.
  3. Cook about 7 minutes per side or until browned and no longer pink in center.
  4. Meanwhile, heat Ciabatta rolls as directed on package.
  5. To assemble each burger, place grilled chicken patty on bottom half of bun.
  6. Layer slice of mozzarella cheese, pesto and cracked pepper on top.
  7. Top with second half of roll.

 

Does the type of Wine Glass really matter?

August 5, 2015

Does the type of Wine Glass really matter? - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com

Years ago when I was approached with the concept of wine glassware training I was very hesitant. At the time it just seemed like another way to be “sold” something. When it was all said and done all I could say was “Wow, what a difference the right glassware makes!”

As I’ve learned in the dozen years or so since my introduction to proper glassware it is not so much the brand but it is the science behind the glass itself. There are two primary factors in proper glass making that makes a difference. First, the shape of the glass opening, and the thickness of the glass is what place’s the wine on the appropriate place on your tongue. An acidic wine like a Sauvignon Blanc should hit your tongue further back to deliver the best impression of the wine. Likewise a fruit driven wine, like some Red Blends, should hit the tip of your tongue first to emphasize that fruit and create a stronger impression. Secondly, the size and shape of the bowl can control and enhance the wines aroma. A big wine, like Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon, in a small bowl will come off as sharp and harsh, but in a large bowled glass the aromas can expand and match the wines style.

My training was presented by Riedel and my friends at The Wine Company. Riedel is likely the most well known and has done exhaustive research, but Spiegelau also makes some fine glassware. I mix and match the two brands in what I use at home. For instance I think Riedel makes phenomenal Cabernet/Bordeaux glasses while Spiegelau makes fantastic Champagne glasses. For me the bottom line is to take advantage of these companies research and find glasses that suit the wine I am drinking. One other innovation that a clumsy person like me can appreciate is stemless wine glasses. Once getting past the idea that a wine glass should have a stem these glasses are far more durable and deliver the same science.

Until next time – Cheers!

Mike
CobornsDelivers Wine Expert

Patio Chicken with Cherry Tomato Chutney

August 2, 2015

Patio Chicken with Cherry Tomato Chutney - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com #EasyEats

Grilled Gold'n Plump Chicken - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com #EasyEatsIn preparation for this blog we ran out of propane for our grill. So I decided to head over to my aunt’s house and volunteer to make her and her family dinner with the stipulation that I can use her grill. She makes great dinners that I enjoy often, so it was a nice payback as well. She agreed and I was on my way. While gathering my ingredients at home I could not find the ginger root I bought so I substituted ground ginger. If you are going to do that in this recipe, you will only use 1/8 teaspoon.

Do your taste buds a favor

Cherry Tomato Chutney - www.cobornsdeliversblog.com #EasyEatsThis is not a simple, open the bag, dump in the ingredients and mix kind of recipe. But don’t let that discourage you. This recipe is absolutely delicious. My aunt and all of her family loved it! We could not stop talking about how delicious it was, we went on and on. After dinner I was talking to my cousin and said, “that was restaurant quality.” He replied, “that was better than gourmet restaurant quality.”

When I make this recipe again I will probably make more of the chutney because you can also eat it as a side dish as well as a topping to your chicken. The Gold’n Plump grilled chicken was moist and delicious; the marinade was a nice subtle addition of flavor, no bad things to say.

For the good of your taste buds, try this recipe. The flavors mix wonderfully together and it is just delicious.

Patio Chicken with Cherry Tomato Chutney
Author: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grate peel from lemon; squeeze juice into small dish.
  3. Mix lemon peel, 2 T. lemon juice (reserve the rest for tomatoes), and garlic in medium bowl or plastic resealable bag.
  4. Add chicken; turn pieces to coat with marinade.
  5. Marinate chicken for 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mix tomatoes, raisins, sugar, ginger, and red pepper in medium saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Cook and stir about 15 minutes or until tomatoes are very tender and saucy.
  8. Stir in remaining fresh lemon juice and green onions.
  9. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade)
  10. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  11. Grill about 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in center.
  12. Serve with tomato chutney.
Notes
Serve this saucy chicken with a large spoonful of soft polenta, spiked with fresh corn kernels. If you prefer to use fresh chives from your garden, you can easily replace the onions with chives in your chutney.

 

 

3 ways to prepare Sweet Corn

July 29, 2015

3 ways to prepare Sweet Corn - www.cobornsdeliversblog.comCan you believe that July is almost over? This summer is flying by, so make sure to indulge in some of the best foods of the summer, like sweet corn. Did you know that corn is Minnesota’s largest crop? Probably not hard to imagine, it seems whenever you can make it out of the city, it’s corn crops and lakes as far as the eye can see. So there is plenty sweet corn out there for you to enjoy, but how do you prepare it?

While you can eat it raw, it is actually pretty good, you should try it. There are three common ways to prepare it: grilling, microwaving and boiling. In this blog I have laid out these ways for you as a quick reference. I hope you find it helpful.

GRILLING Sweet Corn

  • Peel husk down to about 2 inches from bottom of cob, remove silk & pull husk back up.
    OPTIONAL- Tie string around cob to hold husk in place
  • Soak cob in cold water for about an hour before grilling.
  • Place on heated grill for about 20 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes or so. Corn will appear done earlier; leave on as it will take that long to be done. Take off grill, and enjoy.

MICROWAVING Sweet Corn

  • Husk off all leaves and silk.
  • Place in microwave safe bowl or tray and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Microwave on high for 7 minutes for two ears of corn.
  • Carefully remove plastic and you are ready to eat.

BOILING Sweet Corn

  • Fill pot half full of water and turn on high.
  • Husk and peel corn.
  • Place corn in pot of rapidly boiling water.
  • Bring water back to a boil (about 20 minutes).
  • Using tongs, carefully remove hot corn from pot. Let cool for a moment or so, and enjoy.

Sweet corn has only about 125 calories per ear of corn. What you decide to put on that corn is up to you. Some favorites of mine are salt and butter, but if you are watching your health and/or calorie intake, just plain old corn is delicious too.

We have waited for this season. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Mike
CobornsDelivers Produce Expert