Roasted Corn with Bacon Butter and Smoky Parmesan Cheese

Summer is in full force here in the south and with that comes barbecues  and corn. That’s right, fresh corn on the cob! Growing up, I loved eating fresh corn in the summer with just a pinch of salt and butter, I could have eaten it everyday, but I’m sure my mom would’ve not approve of that.

One thing I like to do is is grill corn or in this case roast it. Roasting it enhances the sweetness and keeps it juicy and tender. It’s the perfect side dish and it will quickly become a family favorite!

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start by shucking 6 ears of corn, placing  each one on a square piece of aluminum foil. If you prefer to  grill the corn instead, go ahead and fire up the grill. If you prefer to grill the corn with the husk on by all means do it! It can be a bit messy to remove afterwards but who cares? It’s all about family, food and fun!

Next, brush each ear of corn with a  some olive oil… OK, just slather it on already… because guys it’s the right thing to do, or is it just me? Now, sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Then wrap each ear of corn in the aluminum foil squares and place them on a tray and take them to the grill or in this case place them on a sheet pan and into the oven they go!

If you decided to grill them, place them on the grill, cover them and turn and rotating them every 5 minutes. If you roast them, give them about 20 minutes or until they are tender. If you grill them, give them about 25-30 minutes.

Now, to get to my favorite part. Take 2-4 strips of thick cut bacon and render them down until all the fat is melted and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and dry them crispy strips of heaven with paper towels

Next, chop 1/4 cup of green onions, and chop the bacon into pieces. Set them aside. NOw you will need 4 ounces of smoky Parmesan cheese, set these ingredient to the side. Once your corn is cooked, remove them from the grill or oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Because they are wrapped in aluminum foil, they will retain their heat. Go ahead and melt some butter. Once melted add in the chopped bacon and I like to add in a little of the bacon fat.  Flavor is everything you guys.

Brush some bacon butter on each ear of corn, then roll the corn in the cheese. Sprinkle on the green onion and and additional bacon piece if you prefer, I know  I do!

Now serve those babies! It’s a beautiful and delicious dish! This dish will definitely make you the star of the barbecue!

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Strips of thick cut bacon, fried and chopped into small pieces
  • 4 oz smoky Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of green onions

If you make this dish please hashtag #cookingwithpleshette. I would love to see your dishes. As always, thanks for stopping by and enjoy!

 

 

 

Spring Pasta with Peas & Fresh Herbs

Spring is here and with spring comes flowers and spring veggies. One of my favorite dishes include two of my favorite ingredients… pasta and spring peas. Its just something about seeing that bright green yummy goodness tossed in with the pasta, ricotta cheese and fresh herbs.

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So a few days ago I had the pleasure of being a guest chef on a local morning show called Talk of Alabama.  Since it was my first time on this show, I wanted to prepare a dish that was simple yet delicious. What better than a spring peas pasta salad. It was the perfect choice. I think we all shared a mutual love for this dish. It  was an honor and pleasure seeing the staff and the camera crew eat this little tasty creation. To see snippets of the show, use this link: http://abc3340.com/station/talk-of-alabama/talk-of-alabama-040616-chef-pleshette.

After the show, I received lots of calls, emails and messages about this recipe and the dessert I prepared. So I listed the ingredients and steps below.This is such a quick dish. Literally you can dinner on the table within 30 minutes. It’s also versatile enough that you can add in grilled chicken or shrimp with your choice of fresh herbs… but keep it simple! Simplicity is the key to marrying the wonderful flavors in this spring pasta.

As always, let me know if you enjoy this recipe. Feel free to message me or email @ chefpleshette@yahoo.com. I would love to see your dishes, so hashtag pleshetteskitchen so I can see them. Remember to bloom where you areplanted happy spring!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @chefpleshette. You can also follow me on Snapchat @thechefp. Like my Facebook page, Chef Pleshette – for more updates of what’s going on with me, recipes, entertaining tips, videos and giveaways.

 

Spring Pasta Salad

1/4 cup Kosher salt

8 oz penne pasta

12 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed and strings removed

12 oz  frozen sweet peas, thawed

8 oz ricotta cheese

3/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

2 Tbs salted butter

2 Tbs fresh chives

2 Tbs fresh tarragon

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add 1/4 cup of salt to the water, return to boil Add in pasta and boil, stirring occasionally until the pasta is al dente or about 8 minutes. Stir in sugar snap peas and cook about  3 minutes. stir in sweet peas and cook about 2 minutes. Drain pasta and pea mixture, reserving about a half cup of the cooked water.

Return mixture to pot. Add  ricotta, butter, parsley, chives, tarragon and reserved cooked water, stir to coat and mix well,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brussels Sprouts and Cam Newton….Really

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and all I can think about is Brussels sprouts and Cam Newton… Not a likely combination, I know… But I have sprouts I need to cook and Cam Newton to swoon over. I’m not into football that much. Crazy huh? Given the fact that I live in a football city, state… And if you don’t watch college football  you will not understand our love for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide… Roll Tide Roll! The Tide won The National Championship for the 2015 college football season…again.  Great victory for the University of Alabama, Coach Nick Saban and of course the players, coaches and staff. They earned it!

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And I know what you’re thinking, Cam played college ball for Auburn University and that’s one of our big rivals in the state.. Right, he did and  they are, but that’s  not important.  #rolltide  *photo courtesy of Instagram*

What does any of this have to do with Brussels sprouts?….Absolutely nothing! It’s Super Bowl Sunday, Cam the cutie is quarter backing for the Carolina Panthers and I just need to cook these Brussels sprouts.

Well if you haven’t figured out by now.. Maybe I have a crush on Cam.. Just maybe. I mean he does have a lot in common with the Brussels sprouts… well maybe not. But for those of you who actually want a comparison, here you go. Brussels sprouts are healthy and good for you. They are an excellent source of vitamins b1, b6, c and k. They are packed with lots of nutrients such as folate and potassium to name a few.  Cam the cutie does a lot in the community, he’s handsome and he has style… I guess that means he is good for us too…..Ladies you can relate, no?…. yes?….maybe?…. Ok, tried. Just sit there and look at this picture and thank me later.. I mean football is a great sport! Go Cam.. Oops I mean panthers! *Photo courtesy of his Instagram @cameron1newton*

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Okay… So now that I’ve gotten your attention, back to the sprouts. I’ve recently found a new love for these little green goddesses. I like them steamed, oven roasted and my favorite, pan roasted with bacon and balsamic vinegar, specifically my new found love espresso flavored balsamic vinegar that I picked up from Simply Infused. If you haven’t read my post about my visit there, please do so!

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I rinsed and dried the Brussels sprouts. I prepped the other ingredients which were green onions, chopped garlic clove, and I chopped up about 4 strips of thick cut bacon and some other yummy goodies. I reserved a little of the bacon grease… And then the magic happened … The birth of pan roasted sprouts with bacon and espresso balsamic vinegar. That first bite… I’m just saying… O.M.G.!

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Well now that you know about my perfectly healthy (no pun intended) crush on Cam and my perfectly healthy love for Brussels  sprouts, I hope you find the humor in all of this, I know I did!  Enjoy Cam, I mean the super bowl and add in some Brussels sprouts to your all star party foods line up. As always follow me on Instagram and  Twitter @chefpleshette and on Snapchat @thechefp.

Family, food and fun–Enjoy them all ❤️

Ingredients:

4 strips thick cut bacon

reserved bacon fat

1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup of dried cranberries, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a  large skillet using medium to high heat until it is crispy. Place cooked bacon on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the grease. Reserving some of the fat in the pan. Then rough chop the bacon. Add the butter to the pan an melt over high heat.

Add  to the pan the onions, garlic and Brussels sprouts and cook stirring occasionally. Then drizzle the espresso balsamic vinegar , reduce heat slightly, cooking the Brussels sprouts until they are golden to dark brown in color or about  8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add in the chopped cranberries and bacon, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve them family style on your favorite platter or individually as appetizers with toothpicks or skewers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Love for Oils and Balsamaics

As a chef, flavor is everything to me. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a tasting at Simply Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Room situated in the town of Mt Laurel, in Birmingham Alabama. It was love at first site!… Literally. Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner I decided to profess my love (did I just say that?)… or at least unleash my inner foodie about how much I love this place!

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The staff was super friendly and very knowledgeable about the olive oils and balsamic vinegars. In fact, I had so much fun with them, learning and tasting that I was there almost 2 hours!.. and I could’ve stayed longer… Let me tell you, if you are a chef, a home cook, foodie or just love trying different flavors, you absolutely need to go visit and shop..now… well after reading the this blog, you should go check them out! Did I mention I love this place?…

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They have over 50 variety of oils and balsamics to taste,  and trust me I tried everyone, with an exception of maybe a couple of them and that’s a BIG maybe. They offer a variety of single varietal oils, special gourmet oils, fused and infused oils, dark balsamics and white balsamics. The oils comes from different regions in the southern hemisphere, such as South Africa, Australia, and different peaks of the year such as spring,when the Italian, Greek and Spanish oils are abundant or the freshest.

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After tasting several blends, I chose to pair together an olive oil from South Africa, a single varietal FS-17 and a dark balsamic vinegar in the flavor  of Espresso. The FS-17 oil is is an extra virgin oil that is very herbaceous, robust and spicy. It is full of antioxidants. So not only do you get lots of flavor, you get lots of health benefits.  The Espresso Balsamic vinegar is a rich, sweet dark coffee flavor that adds a huge burst of  flavor to chicken, pork and beef. It will also be a great addition to stews and desserts.

I decided to make Espresso Balsamic Flank Steak with Sauteed Green Beans and Potatoes. It was so delicious and full of flavor… I mean I can still taste that espresso flavor paired with the steak. I marinated the steaks using  the FS-17 Olive Oil and the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar. Once grilled and served, they were a hit… at least there were no left overs… at all!

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and then after the magic happens……………….

 

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See, this is what you can create with these flavorful and herbaceous oils and balsamics. The possibilities are endless… Stop in and check them out, you will not be disappointed. They also offer cooking classes and tastings. Contact Cheryl Harper the owner or anyone of the staff members at 205-408-4231 or on Facebook SimplyInfusedMtLaurel.  I hope to see you there. Happy Cooking!

Espresso Balsamic Flank Steak

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves. minced or chopped

1 tbsp ginger, minced

1 tbsp, shallots

3 oz, Espresso Balsamic Vinegar

3 oz FS-17 Olive Oil

16 oz Flank Steak

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp sea salt

2 tbsp ground black pepper

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients to make a marinade, reserve some for sauce to drizzle.

Place steak inside freezer bag along with the marinade and marinate 4-6 hours.

Remove from freezer bag, and place the steak on the grill. about 3-5 minutes each side (or longer based on your preference).

Remove steak from grill. Let it rest covered for about 20 minutes before slicing.

While the steak is resting, take  he reserve marinade and put it in a small sauce pan, reduce until the sauce thickens.

Cut the meat on the bias, drizzle sauce on top and serve with your favorite sides.

 

 

 

 

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

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Chicken salad is one of those salads that you can eat as a meal, as a snack or serve it in individual dishes and serve as an appetizer. I like to eat it with bread, crackers, a fork… ok, you get my point ( foodie problems). It’s also versatile in that you can almost add anything you want to it for flavor. I like using left over chicken or rotisserie chicken which makes the salad savory and flavorful.

In the summer, I like adding grapes and pecans to give it a balance of sweet and crunchy. You can add other ingredients such as apples, apricots, cranberries, cherries, mandarin oranges or lots of fresh herbs and vegetables.  Everyone likes chicken salad prepared different ways. This recipe is so delicious, one of the best… well I can’t  say the best technically because chicken salad is just one of those magical foods to me ( I did say magical), and every time I make it and I add something new, I think that recipe is the best too.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can add ingredients or steps or take away ingredients or steps, whatever your heart desires.So go ahead and jump right in and get creative with this magical food, I mean chicken salad.

Enjoy!

Chicken Salad

1/2 cup of mayonnaise ( light or regular)

1/2 cup of sour cream ( light or regular

1 tbsp of lemon juice (fresh)

1 tsp of salt ( or to taste)

1/2 tsp of pepper ( or to taste)

2-3 lbs of cooked chicken breast chopped, skinned and boned

1 celery stalk, cut into small dice (optional)

2 green onions.stems, chopped small (optional)

1 1/2 tsp of finely chopped chives

3 cups of red and white seedless grapes, chopped

1 cup of chopped pecans, toasted

lettuce, grapes or lemon wedges for garnish

Combine together the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add in the chopped chicken, celery, green onions and grapes. toss gently, just enough to combine all of the ingredients. Chill the salad mixture for at least one hour. stir in pecans just before serving and sprinkle chives on top. Serve.

Just Peachy!

This summer if you are on you are on I-65 on your way to the beach.  how about making a sweet stop in peach country. Chilton county, located in Clanton Alabama, offers the best farm fresh peaches with different varieties to choose from. I live in Alabama and I have passed this exit on I-65, exit 205 to be exact, several times… So how come I’ve never made a stop in peach heaven? I’m just gonna leave that question right there. Every year during the last week of June, the Clanton Lions club host a peach festival. It is a week long event that includes a pageant, parade and other activities. If for some reason you miss the peach festival, you can stop by Clanton all summer long and enjoy these delicious sweet peaches and other fruits and vegetables at the local farms or at Peach Park. Peach Park is similar to a farmers market. It features a fruit and vegetable stand, homemade peach ice cream, cobblers, fried fruit pies, bbq and a gift shop. I had you at fried pies.. I know!

Enjoy!

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Locally grown peaches

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Fresh fruits and vegetables

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Peach preserves and peach sauces

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Homemade peach ice cream

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Berry cobbler

Cheesy Potatoes and Onions

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When I think of comfort foods, I immediately think  cozy, warm and delicious. It’s something about coming home from a long hard day at work or cold wintry weather that sparks this feeling. You know  that feeling….the need for something that is hearty and good. So what’s better than potatoes? Potatoes with cheese and onions, duh???

This is a simple recipe, I literally used ingredients from my fridge and pantry, mixed and baked. That’s it! The simple things in life like reading or just hanging out with my daughters,  make me so happy… well this dish is right up there with that!  What I like about this dish is, it can be prepared the night before and baked the next day. I like to add in left over ham or chicken to make it a meal in one.

The next time you have a gathering with family and friends, make this dish, add a mixed green salad and set the table family style. There’s something about good food bringing everyone together. This yummy awesomeness will quickly become a comfort food staple in your family.

Like the dish? Or did you put your own spin on it? Tag me on Instagram @chefpleshette hashtag #pleshetteskitchen and let me see.

Yields 12-14 servings

Ingredients:

6-8 thinly sliced medium potatoes (can use red potatoes)

1 large thinly sliced onion ( rings separated)

6-8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese ( can use cheese slices),  plus 8 oz

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cracked or ground black pepper

dash of paprika

1/4 cup of butter

1/4 cup of all purpose flower

3 cups of warm milk

Finely chopped chives for garnish

Layer about a one-third of the potatoes, one-third of the onion rings and one-third of the cheese in a lightly greased 13×9 baking pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a a dash of paprika. Repeat layers twice  with remaining potatoes, onions, cheese, salt, pepper and paprika. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Melt butter in a small sauce pan over low heat, add in the flour and whisk until smooth for about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk until its smooth. Remove mixture from heat and pour over the potato mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for -45 minutes oruntil potatoes are tender and or golden brown, Let the dish stand for 10-12 minutes, then serve.

Note: If adding meat, make sure the meat is cooked  before hand.