Stupid Good Summer School Week 10: Red Onion Vinaigrette

Have you ever looked on the back of a store-bought salad dressing bottle? Sodium. Fat. Sodium. Calories. Not real ingredients that come from the ground. You can save a bunch of money and a bunch of fake chemicals by making your own dressing. This recipe would typically call for diced shallots, but that’s a fancy onion variety that is expensive so red onions work in a similar way. Try your own salad dressing varieties with different acids like lime juice or vinegars! Also, you can sub the olive oil for vegetable or canola oils but I wouldn’t really recommend it.  Check out the video for how to make salad dressing here.

salad-dressing

Red Onion Vinaigrette

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bottle or mason jar.
  2. Let stand for 5 minutes, to let the harsh bite of the onion mellow out a bit.
  3. Cover and shake the bottle right before pouring over fresh greens. Enjoy!

Stupid-good-summer-schoolThanks for a great Stupid Good Summer School! This is the last week in the series, but look out Summer 2015.

 

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Stupid Good Summer School Week 9: Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans

A warm, out of the oven cookie is my everything. I’m kind of an asshole, I really don’t care for second-day cookies and I really hate crunchy cookies. That’s some absurd nonsense. They need to be pillowy and melty and chocolately and everything. Growing up, cookies were comfort food. My mom was known for her chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and gets requests for batches all the time. She seems to have the recipe in her head and I’ve always admired her for the gift of giving something delicious to people she loves. This is my spin on her cookies, they are nothing like hers but it’s similar to the idea that I want to share  what I love with you. D’aww mushy crap. Check out the video for how to make cookies here.

cookies

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Pecans

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks butter, one salted and one unsalted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • Sea salt
  1. In a mixing bowl, add sugars, butter and vanilla. Beat on high with a handheld mixer or if you’re so lucky, a KitchenAid. If not, get a sturdy whisk and get ready for a workout. Beat the sugar and butter on high speed until you get a white, fluffy consistency. This is super important for light, airy cookies and will take a good 5 minutes, but is very worth it.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda.
  3. Turn down your speed to low and incorporate the eggs.
  4. Slowly add the flour/baking soda mixture. When the mixture is on the verge of incorporating, throw in the pecans and chocolate chips to finish off the batter. Do not over mix, the key is the fluffy dough.
  5. If you have time, chill the dough for 30 minutes. You can avoid flat, crunchy, sad cookies with this trick. It seems super lame, but I promise serves quite a purpose.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrage  2″ balls of cookies onto the sheet, with about 2″ of room in between each ball of dough. Sprinkle a small amount of sea salt onto the tops.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for next week’s Stupid Good Summer School!

Stupid-good-summer-school

School may be out for the summer, but it’s time to get your kitchen game onto the honor roll! ‘Stupid Good Summer School’ features a technique every Tuesday, and a recipe using that technique every Thursday. 

Stupid Good Summer School Week 8: Gin Mint Lemonade

The idea of being known for a cocktail is pretty cool. I served these at my Stupid Good Tasting Event and people went bonkers. Super fresh, fizzy and clean- you can barely taste the gin, which is dangerous but serves its purpose. This drink is the ideal for the end of summer, even if the weather doesn’t know it yet. Plus, you don’t have to squeeze fresh lemons for this. That is pure nonsense, just get some grocery store lemon juice and call it a night. Check out the video for this cocktail here.

gin mint lemonade

Gin Mint Lemonade

This recipe includes simple syrup, which is essentially equal parts sugar and water, simmered until the sugar dissolves. For awesome flavor, I steep mine with mint leaves overnight in the fridge.

  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • Fizzy water of choice
  • Ice
  1. In your glass, stir together simple syrup, gin and lemon juice.
  2. Tear up the mint leaves, put them in the glass and muddle with a wooden spoon. Or if you’re fancy, a muddler. I’m clearly not that fancy.
  3. Add ice. Top with fizzy water of choice! Enjoy! A few…

Stay tuned for next week’s Stupid Good Summer School!

Stupid-good-summer-school

School may be out for the summer, but it’s time to get your kitchen game onto the honor roll! ‘Stupid Good Summer School’ features a technique every Tuesday, and a recipe using that technique every Thursday. 

Stupid Good Summer School Week 7: Pimento Grilled Cheese

I think I live in the real south now. Florida, it doesn’t count. Even Tallahassee is pushing near-Georgia status, but Birmingham, AL is where sweet tea flows through most water fountains and my accent is weird. There a few things I am still getting used to, but there is one thing I am finding easier to love than others: pimento cheese. For those who aren’t familiar, pimento cheese spread is essentially peanut butter to Southerners in terms of familiarity and versatility. It starts with shredded cheddar cheese and is then introduced to mayo and pimento peppers. Mine also incorporates cream cheese, which most would scoff at, but I promise it’s all for the sake of the melty, gooey cheese sandwich. Hooked? Read on.

grilled-cheese

Pimento Grilled Cheese

DISCLAIMER: I am aware this isn’t your normal pimento cheese spread! A lot of these ratios and ingredients are for the sake of gooey grilled cheese so please don’t judge me too hard, Birmingham natives! Makes: 2 sandwiches

  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbs mayo
  • 1 tbs chopped pimento peppers
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 slices of good bread
  • Butter
  • 2 slices of tomato
  1. In a bowl, combine cheddar, cream cheese, pimentos, paprika and cayenne. Work the spread with a spoon; it’s going to be difficult to completely incorporate everything, but that’s ok! Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low. Butter one side of the bread slices and spread cheese on unbuttered size. Top with another slice of bread, butter side up.
  3. Place sandwiches into the pan and cover with a lid to steam-melt the cheese. Once the bread has browned and the cheese has melted, take your sandwich out of the pan. As soon as it is cool enough to touch, take off the top bread and place the tomato inside. Once you return the bread, you have a beautiful, decadent, southern-style sandwich!

Stay tuned for next week’s Stupid Good Summer School!

Stupid-good-summer-school

School may be out for the summer, but it’s time to get your kitchen game onto the honor roll! ‘Stupid Good Summer School’ features a technique every Tuesday, and a recipe using that technique every Thursday.