Search Results for “cayenne”
Friday, November 6
I have fallen in love with cayenne pepper.
I must inform you all that until a few months ago I was a total wimp when it came to spicy (as in hot) food. I always bought mild or medium salsa. If I saw the little pepper symbol on a Chinese food menu, I wouldn’t even consider the dish as an option.
That is until we discovered Back-A-Yard, the Caribbean restaurant I told you about a few months ago. Their jerk chicken is pretty spicy, but of course I had to try it, it’s their thing. Boy am I glad I did. Since that day my tolerance for spicy food has increased 10 fold. I’m not scared anymore! I embrace the spice! In fact, at the BlogHer Food after party, there were these chicken kabobs that everyone was saying were too spicy…and they didn’t even phase me. I have officially numbed my taste buds and boy am I proud. I’m not your typical gringo anymore!
Which is why I’m in love with cayenne pepper. It’s such a great spice for kicking up the flavor. And it’s really so beautiful. I just love opening the lid to find this:
As always, if you have any favorite spicy recipes to share, please do! We’re looking for some HEAT today!
Tuesday, February 2
Last week I traveled to Minneapolis to visit the General Mills headquarters, where I had the chance to meet with the director of sustainability at General Mills as well as participate in a small group Q&A with the president of cereal (at which point I asked waaaay too many questions). It was a great visit and I learned a lot, much of which I will share later. But today I have to tell you about the birth of Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares.
During the visit they had all the visiting food bloggers participate in a recipe challenge with Justin Warner (winner of Next Food Network Star Season 8). We had to create a recipe within 1 hour incorporating a General Mills cereal along with at least 2 items from the list of natural ingredients used for flavoring and coloring their cereals. (Over 75% of Big G cereals no longer use artificial colors or flavors and they are on track for almost 100% within the year.)
Me being all serious about the challenge that wasn’t even being judged.
I have zero desire to ever be on a competitive cooking TV show, so when they told us what we were going to be doing, I was not excited. But I put my thinking cap on and got to work. With General Mills professional cook Mary Kaye at my side (I wanted to take her home with me!), I created the dessert I’m sharing with you today. I decided to use Cocoa Puffs, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
Justin giving his stamp of approval for the chocolate mousse technique I stole from Nigella Lawson; Mary Kaye and I writing up the recipe
I ended up with a delicious layered dessert using the following layers. Layer 1: Cocoa Puffs crust with a hint of cinnamon (the crust had great flavor). Layer 2: Sweetened, whipped cream cheese. Layer 3: Chocolate mousse spiced with cayenne pepper. Layer 4: Unsweetened whipped cream, sprinkled lightly with cocoa powder and cayenne pepper. The final product tasted great, with a subtle heat that builds over time.The richness of the chocolate and the spice of the cayenne is counterbalanced by the almost sour flavor of the cream cheese, and all that creaminess goes perfectly with the crunchy crust. Plus, the layers look really pretty on the serving plate.
I made the recipe again last night just to be sure I had all the measurements where I wanted them. Once again I enjoyed it thoroughly. Nate had a chance to sample it as well and said that it is really good, but that I might have hyped it up too much. I told him it was a hit in Minnesota so whatever.
So, here you go! Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares! Maybe I should put cooking competition shows on my to-do list after all. Actually, no. Never going to happen. One hour with a helper and no judges was already too much pressure! 😉 (Side note: I totally stole the chocolate mousse technique from Nigella Lawson and it works beautifully. Click here for Nigella’s instant chocolate mousse recipe and save it to your recipe box.)
One more thing! We had the opportunity to work in the photo studio to photograph our recipes. We had a professional prop stylist, food stylists and photographers all there to help, along with more beautiful props than you can imagine. This is the first time I shot a recipe with artificial light. Until I have this set up in my house, I probably won’t do it again…but it sure was fun!
Me acting all serious again.Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse SquaresPrep timeTotal timeAuthor: Jane MaynardServes: 16Ingredients
- 3 cups Cocoa Puffs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons butter, divided, softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla, divided
- 1½ cups mini marshmallows
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for dusting
- cocoa powder for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Place 3 cups Cocoa Puffs in a zip-top plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the cereal until it is in crumbs, with no large pieces remaining. Pour crushed cereal into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add 6 tablespoons of the butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the cereal, combine well with a fork or pastry blender.
- Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of an 8" x 8" baking dish. If crust is sticking to your hands, wet your fingers lightly with water.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set on counter to cool completely. While the crust is baking and cooling, make the cream cheese, chocolate mousse and whipped cream layers as described below.
- For chocolate mousse layer: In a heavy medium saucepan, melt bittersweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of hot water over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the mini marshmallows and cook until marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
- While chocolate is cooling, in a medium mixing bowl, mix together ½ cup of the cream, ½ teaspoon of the vanilla and ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne pepper. Whip with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Fold chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, carefully mixing until there are no more white streaks.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes (not longer). If you are still prepping other layers at the 30 minute mark, remove the mousse from the fridge and set aside until ready to assemble the dessert.
- For the cream cheese layer: Using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, ½ cup of the cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Start out at low speed until ingredients are mixed evenly together, then slowly increase speed to medium-high. Beat for about 1 minute, until very well blended. Set aside until ready to assemble dessert. Do not refrigerate before assembling - this will make it easier to spread.
- For the whipped cream layer: Beat 1 cup of the whipped cream in a large mixing bowl until thick but still spreadable. You do not want stiff peaks to form, but it should be thicker than soft peaks.
- To assemble the dessert: Once the crust is completely cooled, spread the cream cheese layer first directly on the crust, spreading evenly. Next add the chocolate mousse layer, spooning the mousse onto the cream cheese layer in several spoonfuls around the dish, then carefully spreading to all the edges. Finish with the straight whipped cream, spreading evenly on top and using a frosting spreader or knife to smooth out the top.
- To dust the dessert with cocoa and cayenne: Using a mesh sieve, over the sink spoon some cocoa powder into the sieve carefully. Hold the sieve over the dessert and tap it with a finger to sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder over the entire top surface. Repeat the process with cayenne pepper, making sure to sprinkle just a very light layer.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve cut into 16 squares.
Thursday, September 17
Today’s recipe has been a long time coming. It’s been in my head forEVER and today I finally took it out of my head and made it reality. And boy-oh-boy am I glad I did. I never say “boy-oh-boy,” so that should tell you how good this recipe is.
For quite some time I’ve been thinking that Indian food would be good filler for a burrito. After all, flour tortillas are a really excellent blank canvas for all kinds of flavors. Including Indian flavors.
I used my homemade tandoori chicken as the base for the burrito, then just piled on all kinds of other wonderful ingredients. The result was delectable. In fact, I had an Indian burrito for lunch today and then couldn’t wait to have it again for dinner.
If I wanted to start a food truck (which I don’t), this burrito is what I would serve. Since I’m never going to start a food truck, I’ll just spill all my secrets.
In case you are wondering, our kids ate their burritos, although they each had a different variation, from Owen with just tandoori chicken and rice to Anna who used about half of the ingredients to Cate who went for the whole enchilada, or burrito, actually!
I think it’s time to get right down to the recipe. Enjoy!
Indian BurritosIf Mexican food is good in a burrito, why wouldn't Indian food be good, too? The answer: it is!Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- Large flour tortillas
- Tandoori chicken (click here for recipe)
- Grilled onions
- Grilled bell peppers
- Jasmine or basmati rice, cooked in salted water
- Canned chickpeas
- Masala sauce (see recipe below)
- Raita sauce (see recipe below)
- Lentils (you can look for a recipe for "dal" online, or just buy the boxed, cooked lentils at Trader Joe's!)
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Make sure your tandoori chicken, onions, peppers, rice, chickpeas and masala sauce are all warm/hot.
- Warm the tortilla on both side on the stove in a large, dry frying pan.
- Pile on all of the ingredients above and wrap the tortilla up burrito style!
Masala SaucePrep timeCook timeTotal timeThis chunky tomato-based masala sauce is a perfect topper for Indian burritos!Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1 clove fresh garlic, pressed through a garlic press
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, most of the fluid drained off
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- In a small sauce pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add garlic, stir and cook about 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium low, maintaining a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Blend about ⅔ of the mixture in a blender, then add back into the pan and stir. Serve warm.
Raita Sauce (Indian Yogurt Sauce)Prep timeTotal timeBasic recipe for raita, an Indian yogurt-based sauce with cucumber.Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- 1 cup plain yogurt (you can use whatever kind of yogurt you want - if you use Greek, the sauce will be thicker)
- ½ cup shredded cucumber (peel and core the cucumber before shredding)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 shakes cardamom
- Mix everything together! Serve cold.
Wednesday, February 4
When we were in New Hampshire for New Year’s Eve, Nate’s mom made some chicken tenders with coconut mixed into the breadcrumbs that were scrumptious.
I’ve made the same thing a couple times since and I think I finally have these chicken tenders perfected, with just the right amount of salty and sweet and a bit of heat surrounding perfectly tender chicken. And, of course, coconut. I love anything savory with coconut involved. So good.
There are a few steps to the recipe, but I promise it’s an easy recipe nonetheless. Also, I highly recommend pounding the chicken. You can skip the pounding, but it’s way better when you do it.
Coconut Chicken TendersPrep timeCook timeTotal timeWith a little bit of sweet and a little bit of heat, these oh-so-tender chicken tenders are coconut perfection!Author: Jane MaynardServes: 4 servingsIngredients
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- ¼ cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (divided into ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup sweetened coconut
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (with ¼ teaspoon it's just a HINT of heat, ½ teaspoon has more heat but isn't crazy spicy)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Pound chicken tenders thin.
- Mix together flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and pour onto a plate.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl and whisk in the soy sauce.
- Mix together the panko bread crumbs, coconut, ½ teaspoon of the salt, cayenne pepper, and sugar together in a medium bowl.
- Heat butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Depending on the size of your pan and whether or not you are doubling the recipe, if you need to cook the chicken in batches, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan for each batch of chicken you cook.
- Dip each chicken tender in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken tenders in the heated pan and cook chicken tenders on both sides until golden brown and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
- Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to allow some of the oil to drip off.
- Serve hot. Sweet chili sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for this chicken! We used honey mustard dipping sauce as well and that was good, too!
Tuesday, October 7
The first time Nate and I tasted mole sauce was at a Mexican restaurant in Arlington, MA when we were in college. My roommate and best college friend Estela was from Juárez and was always educating me on what good Mexican food was. One such dish was mole, which she described as a savory “chocolate” sauce served over chicken. When Nate and I spotted it on the menu that night so long ago we knew we had to try it, and we loved it. Sadly, we’ve hardly eaten mole since then. It’s not a dish you generally find served in Mexican restaurants in the U.S. and we had no idea how to make it…until now! (If you live in the Bay Area, Lulu’s serves both green and red mole and they are both divine.)
I finally sat down to figure out how to make a red mole sauce on my own and it turned out so so so good. This recipe is great for about a million reasons, but I’ll just share a few. It’s a crockpot recipe, making it very hands off. You just blend most of the ingredients together, dump it over chicken in the crockpot and let it cook. Easy peasy! Traditional mole sauces can take days to prepare, but the crockpot actually helps speed up the process. (That’s probably the first time a crockpot meal has been described as speedy!) This red mole sauce is quite rich and full of flavor, but not too spicy, so kids can enjoy it, too. However, you can definitely add cayenne pepper for more heat. Heat is good. And the richness from the unsweetened chocolate counterbalances the heat of the peppers beautifully. Lastly, this recipe for chicken mole rojo is healthy! I originally developed it for Disney and had to follow strict dietary guidelines, all of which I met in this recipe.
And, if you have kids, just tell them they are eating mud and they will eat every bite of their dinner. It’s like magic.
Friday, July 11
Happy Friday! Just a few fun links today and then I’ll be out of your hair! 😉 As always, please share your own stuff in the comments, too! I love seeing what you’re up to/what caught your eye during the week/all of it!
Okay, so I really loved writing my Babble post about making fondue with kids this week. We put it all together with our extended family here in New Jersey and had a blast! The cooking was fun, the eating was fun and everything tasted wonderful. Plus, there are lots of cute photos and two great recipes in the post. So, you know, be sure to check it all out!
And here are some fun posts on Cosmo this week!
Tuesday, May 20
I was recently hired by The Salmon Council to develop a salmon recipe. I was trying to decide between salmon tacos or salmon with a balsamic glaze and just couldn’t settle on which recipe to pursue. I took the dilemma to Facebook (as one does) and the votes overwhelmingly came in for salmon tacos, so I decided to give them a whirl!
The Salmon Council did not hire me to do a blog post, but this recipe turned out so yummy I had to share it with you! Holy smokes, folks. Deeeeeeeeeeelicious. Seriously, this salmon was flavored beautifully, with a nice balance of salty, spicy and sweet. The texture of the fish was perfect and it paired wonderfully with the slaw on the tacos. Basically just super duper yummy food going on here.
Without further ado, the recipe!
Wednesday, February 19
Confession: Our family hardly ever eats fish. I cook it once every few years or so and that’s about it. There are a few reasons for this. First, Nate does not like fish, which is shocking since he comes from a long line of seafood-loving New Englanders. The second reason is I just don’t know the best ways to prepare seafood since I never do it. Practice makes perfect and there just isn’t any practice going on in my kitchen!
The Salmon Council reached out to me recently about doing a salmon recipe in support of American Heart Month (which is right now!) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some fish going on in our house. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fish because it’s a good source of protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is at the top of their fish list and the AHA recommends eating two servings of heart-healthy fish TWICE A WEEK, which can reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack by up to one-third. I guess my twice a decade isn’t quite up to snuff!
I decided it would be fun to throw together a simple and delicious salmon recipe, in the hopes that my kids would go for it. As I was making dinner last night, Cate walked in and asked what we were having. I told her salmon, to which she replied, “I don’t like fish.” I asked her, “Well, what fish have you had?” She didn’t have an answer, so she said she would give it a try and as soon as the salmon came out of the oven, she asked for a bite. She was immediately converted. In fact she had three servings for dinner and exclaimed that it was “AWESOME.” She also said that the “salmon people” would be happy with my blog post because I could tell everyone kids love it. It was super, duper, crazy cute. She also asked if we can have salmon more often. Success! Anna wasn’t quite as enthusiastic, but she did like dinner and cleared her plate no problem! Nate is still on the fence – he said the recipe is good, but…you know, fish. But he promised he would never voice those opinions out loud in front of the kids since they like are really liking fish and it’s so healthy!
This recipe is so incredibly simple it’s surprising. Even if you’ve never cooked fish before you’ll have success! The leftovers were pretty good, but honestly, when the salmon is fresh out of the oven it is IRRESISTIBLE. So flavorful and moist with great texture, Cate and I were swooning!
Also, Cate told me I should take a picture of she and Anna enjoying their salmon. I obliged. How could I not?
In celebration of American Heart Month, the Salmon Council is giving away a fun salmon starter package! One randomly-selected winner will receive a $30 Visa gift card (to get your salmon!), a Hooked on Salmon Thermo-tote, and 1 pack of Weber Firespice cedar planks (visit Weber.com for recipes and tips including this step-by-step guide for perfect salmon planking). Here’s how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday 2/25. Winner must have a U.S. address.) Leave a comment on this post – any comment! Easy peasy! Bonus entry: Leave an additional comment with your favorite salmon recipe (either share the recipe or a link!) Bonus entry: Follow The Salmon Council on Facebook! (leave a separate comment indicating you’ve done so) Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook! (leave a separate comment indicating you’ve done so)
The giveaway winner was comment #77, Natahsa P. Congratulations, Natasha!
Without further ado, the super easy, even more scrumptious recipe for Maple Soy Glazed Salmon!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 11:59 am 118 Comments
Categories: featured recipes, healthy eats, main dishes, Recipes Tags: easy dinner recipes, fish, iheartsalmon, salmon, seafood, sponsored, the salmon council |
Wednesday, January 8
I wish you all could have known Gram Maynard. She was one of those truly good people that you only come across a few times in your life and I am grateful every day that I had the chance to know her. Gram didn’t cook very much, but, despite that fact, some of my favorite recipes and kitchen tips came from her. Today I’m going to share one of those recipes because we had it on New Year’s Eve and, along with inspiring fond memories, it is simple and delicious and needs to be shared!
This is one of those recipes that almost isn’t a recipe because it is THAT EASY. These meatballs are perfect for parties and for watching football games. Or, in Gram’s case, Red Sox games!Gram's Super Easy Sweet and Sour MeatballsFrom Barbara “Gram” MaynardAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main Dish, BeefIngredients
- 1 package frozen cooked meatballs (between 20-30 ounces)
- 1 12-ounce jar Heinz chili sauce
- 12 ounces grape jelly (yeah, I know, it maybe sounds weird, but it tastes amazing!)
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- In a large sauce pan, mix together the chili sauce and grape jelly. Place over medium-high heat and add meatballs. Bring to an almost boil (will be spluttering, so you will need to stir regularly), then reduce heat to a simmer (medium or medium-low) and cook until meatballs are hot.
- Gram never did this, but if you’d like a bit more heat to the meatballs, sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper in at the end to taste.
- See Comment #3 below for crockpot directions!
Thursday, May 16
Apparently I have a problem. I don’t update my spices regularly enough!
Today I have another example of my problem! Cayenne pepper. For months I’ve been thinking that we were out of cayenne pepper. Every time I’d go to use it I’d look around the cupboard, only to realize AGAIN that we were out. Well, I finally remembered to buy some last week. The next day I went to use it and, much to my surprise, I found TWO bottles of cayenne pepper in the cupboard! Only one of them didn’t look so much like cayenne pepper anymore.
I find it funny that I actually picked the cayenne pepper up countless times looking for cayenne pepper but not even bothering to read the label because it looked nothing like cayenne pepper! I mean, it’s BROWN.
So, I have a question for you today. Do you update your spices regularly? Do you have a good system for doing so? Or are you like me and forget about your spices until you actually need them and find they are totally useless?!?!
If you happen to do a good job of keeping your spices up to date, please share tips, resources with info that you like, or anything you’ve got about keeping the spice cupboard fresh!