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Triple Crown season is upon us and it kicks off with the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.  When I watch horse racing,  I am simply amazed by the power these animals possess. Twice in my life did I ride a horse.  First, at a pony farm in Gettysburg when I was 8 years old and the second time in the arcade at the ESPN Zone.  Neither scenario was ideal for a variety of reasons, but I love to watch horses race.  Two years ago, “I’ll Have Another”, was my favorite horse going into the Derby.  No explanation needed.  “I’ll Have Another” had racing and non-racing fans cheering at the top of their lungs with the unbelievable finishes that took place during the Kentucky Derby and The Preakness. Sadly, I’ll Have Another, was pulled from the Belmont Stakes due to an injury. No triple crown. No one buying the next round.

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 So I’ve done my research for the 2014 Derby and  California Chrome is the favorite. Let’s break the name down…. California Shines and my nickname CACr or bling worthy. As a science teacher, I can talk to you about the Bling…Bling of Chrome.  I won’t go into the logistics of why chrome is used, but the goods are protected.  CACr was a $10,000 purchase and now worth millions. BLING BLING I would say.  But big money doesn’t stop at Chruchill Downs this Saturday in May,  Floyd Mayweather, Jr. a.k.a Pretty Boy Money (I’m thinking about changing my twitter handle) will be going head to head and pound for pound against Marcos Maidana . Pretty Boy is boxing royalty. Fans pay some pretty money to Pay-Per-View for Mayweather. To date, Mayweather is undefeated. Probably one of the main reasons he’s such a big drawn. Another reason for some of us could be his nickname. I mean he is pretty.

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And last but not least, there is all kind of NBA and MBL action going on.  What a day for the bookies..

Because there are so many sporting events happening today, I’ve added a variety of dishes to make any party a hit…

Artichoke Dip with fried Pizza Bites

spinache dip

Ingredients

– 1 16oz can of  artichokes (not marinated)

– 8 oz of cream cheese (softened)

– 1/2 cup mayonnaise

– 1 cup Parmesan cheese

– 2 tsp old bay seasoning

– vegetable oil for frying

– 2 cans of store-bought pizza dough(thin crust)

– mixture of  equal parts dried basil, parsley, oregano, and garlic salt (about 2 tbsp of each)

Directions

1. Drain can of artichoke and chop the pieces.  After chopping the artichoke, mix with cream cheese, mayonnaise, old bay, Parmesan Cheese.  Place in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

2. While baking dip, roll out pizza dough on a floured surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut into bit size pieces. Fry in vegetable oil over medium heat or 350 degrees, until golden brown. Sprinkle with herb/garlic mixture.

3. Serve with dip.

Fruit Bites

Kentucky derby 1

 

Ingredients

– 4-6 oz softened cream cheese

– 16 oz whipped topping

– confectioners sugar

– 1 to 2 tsp of vanilla

– milk

– graham crackers

– fresh fruit sliced

Directions

1. In medium sized bowl with a hand blender,  cream together the cream cheese, whipped topping, vanilla, and I start with a cup of confectioners sugar.

You work through the texture and sweetness as you go. You want a texture that can be spread on the graham crackers.

2. Once the texture is what you desire, spread on graham crackers and top with fruit.

Southwest Slider….

south west slider

My new favorite slider…..

Ingredients

– 1/2 lb ground sirlon

– 1/2 lb ground chorizo

– Sriracha

– Mayonnaise

– Ketchup

– Lettuce sliced very thin

– Pickled Jalapenos

– dinner rolls

– salt

– pepper

– chili powder

– melted butter

Directions

1. In a food processor and at room temperature,  blend sirloin and chorizo.  It’s important to make sure the meats have the same consistency.

2. Form meat into small balls, and shape into burgers.

3. Pre-heat stove top grill over medium and butter, sprinkle with salt and chili powder, and  grill burgers for 3-4  minutes per side. Because there is pork you want to make sure they are cook to medium well.

4. While grilling burgers, mix mayo, ketchup, and Sriracha in parts to your liking. This you must play with.

5. Thinly slice lettuce.  Cut dinner rolls, butter,  and place on a flat top griddle to brown. While browning, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt and chili powder as well.

6. Plate the burger with your mayo, jalapenos, and lettuce… delicious  )

Chicken Caesar Slider…..

Chicken parm slider

This is cool twist on Chicken Caesar Salad….

Ingredients

– 1 lbs of ground chicken

– 2 tbsp Caesar dressing

– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

– 1/4 breadcrumbs

– 1 tsp lemon zest

– salt and pepper

– dinner rolls

– melted butter

– romaine lettuce

Directions 

1. Mix chicken, Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumb, lemon zest, and dash of salt/pepper. Form into small burgers.

2. Pre-heat stove top grill over medium and butter,  grill burgers  3-4 minutes per side.

3. While sliders are cooking, cut dinner rolls and place on a flat top griddle to brown  and chop romaine lettuce.

4. Platting…brush each browned dinner roll with some Caesar dressing. Place lettuce leaves, and add burger. I also brush the top of my buns with butter before serving.

Panko Crusted Halibut

Fish and Strips

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Ingredients

– 2 lbs of Halibut

– 2 cups all-purpose flour

– 3 eggs

– 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

– vegetable oil

– 2 tbs ancho chili powder (divided)

– 2 tbs garlic salt (divided)

– 2 tbs cumin (divided)

– salt and pepper

-lettuce

-slider rolls

Spicy Mayo

– 1 jalapeno pepper chopped (remove seeds)

– 1 Serrano pepper chopped (remove seeds)

– 1 red onion

-3 minced garlic cloves

– olive oil

-salt/pepper

– cup store bought mayonnaise

Tortilla Strips

– 8- 6″ corn tortillas

– salt and pepper

Directions

1. Over medium heat, saute onions, jalapenos, and Serrano. Midway through the saute, add minced garlic. Saute until translucent. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to cool. Once cooled, in small food processor blend mixture with mayonnaise. Place in refrigerator. Best if done 24 hours in advance.

2. Pre- heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Cut corn tortillas into strips. Fry until crisp. Place on paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Remove heat as you will use the same oil to fry fish. (Never fry fish first) 

3. 2 lbs of Halibut should provide 14-16 mini fillets for your sliders. Cut of the skin of the fish and remove bones. Cut fillets in half (basically butterfly the fish). Cut each piece 4-6 pieces.

4. Place oil back over medium heat. Set up dredging station. Place flour in a ziplock bag and season with half of the seasonings. Cumin, Chili powder, and garlic salt. In a shallow dish, whisk eggs, and in another large ziplock bag add panko and season with the remaining cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt. When ready to dredge, put fish pieces in the flour coat, place in egg, and finally the panko. Repeat process until all pieces are coated. Allow the fish to rest for a 5 minutes. Fry fish over medium heat (350 degrees) about 2 minutes per-side. After frying, place on paper towel lined plate and season with a little salt.

5. When building the sandwich, layer both sides of the bun with the mayo and add some lettuce and top with crispy fish. Plate and side with tortilla strips.

Potato-Corn- Cheese Croquettes with Spicy Sour Cream 

Of course I had to fry something…..

Ingredients

– 2 cups of  mashed potatoes…I use left overs after a large meal

– 1/2  to 2/3 cup of  sweet corn

– 1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese

– 2 cups of flour

– 2 eggs whisked

– 3 cups Italian Panko bread crumbs

– 2 cups sour cream

– 2 tbsp Sriracha hot chili sauce

– vegetable oil for frying

Directions

1. In large bowl mix…mashed potatoes, corn, and cheese.  Using large tablespoon, make a bowl of the mixture and flatten into patties. Refrigerate for 20 minutes

2. Pre-heat oil in frying pan to 350 degrees

3. Prepare dredging station…a bowl of flour, bowl of whisked eggs, and a bowl of panko bread crumbs.

4. Fry the patties until golden brown. Don’t flip to early as they will break apart.

Sloppy Joe’s with Mambo Sauce, Cheddar Cheese, and Onion Rings….

Yes…I love my mambo sauce…so messy and delicious

Great food!!!

Remember……. Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!!

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