Homemade Garlic Cheese Bagels + Healthy (er) Cajun Fries

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I have always wanted to try making my own bagels. It just always seemed like it would be such a long process. Last week I had extra time before work so I stopped by a local bagel shop to pick up coffee and a fresh french toast bagel. Something about that smooth crispy texture with the soft bread just wins me over every time. I decided I was going to make my own savory version as soon as possible. “P” and I love breakfast sandwiches on the weekends. We were brainstorming different flavors when I remembered a smoked gouda I still had in the fridge. Then it was born- the garlic gouda bagel.

 

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The recipe is simple. If you have a bread maker then you can whip these up with only 10 minutes of hands on time.

What you need:

Bagels-

3 1/2 cups of bread flour

1/4 tsp fine salt

3 heaping tsp sugar

2 packs of dry active yeast

1 egg white

1 1/4 cups warm water

Shredded Smoked Gouda

Garlic Powder

Sea Salt

Pepper

Fries-

2 Large Russet Potatoes

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Cajun Seasoning

How to make them:

   2 hours before you plan on serving mix together your dough. I used a bread machine on my dough setting. You can also use a mixer with dough attachment. In my bread machine I started with the sugar, water, and yeast. The warm water and sugar is going to activate your yeast. You would start this way in a mixer as well. Let the yeast sit for about 2 minutes or so. You can smell the yeast once it starts to activate. Add in your flour, egg white, and salt. I always put my salt in last because you never want it to directly touch the yeast. In a mixture you would just mix until combined, form a ball then let sit covered to rise. In the bread machine you just leave on the dough setting until it runs the cycle. My machine mixes the dough, lets it rise, kneads the dough, then lets it rise again. Your dough will have doubled by the end of two hours. Preheat your oven to 350. Drop onto a floured surface and make 6 evenly proportioned balls of dough. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. While the dough is resting bring a pot of water to a boil. I used a deep 12 inch sautee pan and it worked perfect. Poke your thumb though each ball creating a 2 inch opening. Turn your water down to a rolling simmer and drop in your dough. I did 3 at a time. It is important to only boil for 40-45 seconds. 20 on each side. Any longer and you start to get a tough exterior. They will start to firm up instantly. Place them on a baking pan and sprinkle your cheese and seasoning on each one.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes until the exterior is lightly golden. Put bagels on a cooling rack and turn the oven up to 425. Cut your potatoes in halves then in wedges or strips. Laying them out on your baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Liberally season

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Bake for about 20 minutes depending on your desired crisp level.

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Serve your bagels with your desired filling. We used eggs, bacon, spicy bbq sauce, tomato and cheese.

Enjoy!!!!

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  • Bagel tip- if your bagels are too hard after baking store them in a Tupperware while still warm. The steam will soften them dramatically.
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Tortilla Free Burritos + Garlic Fries





This dish was a total accident. I originally was going to make salad, but the longer my day was the more I craved a burrito. The problem with burritos in our house is we love choices. I try to only buy the 100 calories tortillas, but how much can you really fit in there? So burrito bowl it is.
Somehow by the time I started cooking fries appeared on the menu. My boyfriend stayed in California for a while and obsessed over the food trucks that served burritos stuffed with French fries. I discovered this one night when I made fajitas and he insisted I make fries as well.
Crispy potatoes covered in burrito toppings is definitely the greatest combination discovery this year. 
This recipe is really easy to make healthy as well. I actually almost forgot to shred cheese on top after I started assembling because the plate was so full and colorful. 

This sauce is the star of the show. If you do not like spicy you can skip this, but I love spicy. This sauce is a thin vinegar with tons of pepper. If you google gunshot sauce you can find a list of retailers. I buy mine from the hot sauce store at our local mall. 

I hope you enjoy this creation inspired by California food trucks 🙂
What you need:
2 chicken breasts 
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 ripe avocado 
1/2 cup shredded cheese 
1 cup black beans rinsed 
1 vine ripened tomato 
2 cups steak fries (or russet potatoes sliced thick)
Garlic powder
Pepper
Salt 
Jalepenos optional
Sour cream optional 
How to make it: 
Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare grill. 
I pound my chicken until it is about 1/2 thick then leave on the cutting board until I am ready to grill. 
Rinse beans and heat up on the stove. Set to the side. Chop tomato and shred cheese of your choice. (I used extra sharp cheddar) 
I had a bag of steak fries hiding in my freezer, but you can definitely make your own.  I spread mine out on a baking tray and liberally coated with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes until crispy. 
Season the chicken with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Grill for 3 minutes on each side then use a pastry brush to lather either side of the chicken with the gunshot sauce. Cover and cook until internal temperature is 165. 
For the avocado, you can eat as is or drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for 3-5 minutes. I love grilling my avocado! 
The assembly- 
Start with fries then layer chicken, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, sour cream and jalepenos. I drizzled a little more gunshot sauce on top too!

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Ricotta Meatballs





Meatballs are a classic dish in Italian homes. My mom always made the best homemade meatballs when I was growing up. The whole house would smell like garlic and sausage. 
Ricotta and I have a love hate relationship. I hate the texture, but when it is mixed into meats and sauces I love the moisture it adds. These meatballs are sure to satisfy any Italian craving.
What you need:
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground sirloin 
1 egg
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes 
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
Olive oil 
A sauté pan with lid.
Directions:
Heat pan over medium heat. Add in oil. Enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. Mix all ingredients and shape into equal size balls. You can use a cookie scoop here. Drop all the meatballs carefully in the oil and cook until brown on all sides. About 5 minutes each side. Lower heat to medium low and add tomatoes to the pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Serve with pasta or alone and enjoy!

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Redneck Nachos

 

Sometimes you just really need a cheat day. I tracked my diet and excersize using the fitness pal app this week. It was a really easy way to count my calories and monitor my fat/protein/carb intake. To reward my hard work throughout the week I decided to do a cheat meal tonight. I did make a few changes to the original recipe to slightly lighten it up, but my no means is this a healthy dinner.

If you need to satify that need for fat steak fries, hot gooey cheeses, tangy pulled pork and spicy jalepeno overload then look no further!

 

Redneck Nachos
( inspired by Atlanta’s Pig & Chick Restaurants )
What you need :
Steak cut fries (homemade or frozen)
Shredded cheese (I used cheddar and monterey jack)*
Pulled pork**
Your favorite BBQ sauce
Pickled jalapeños
Sour cream ***
Preheat oven to 400.
Bake or fry your steak fries until they are crispy on the outside, but still tender on the inside. Drain on paper towel and lightly season with salt and pepper. Fill your pan with the fries. I used my cuisinart 5 1/2 quart sautée pan. This is my all time favorite oven safe pan!
Cover the fries with the shredded cheeses, pork, bbq sauce and jalapeños.
Heat in the oven until all the cheese has melted and starts to bubble.
Serve with sour cream, hot sauce and extra BBQ sauce!
* feel free to substitute with 2% cheeses
** I will link my favorite pulled pork recipe. I prefer to use a loin to cut out all the extra fat usually found in pork shoulder
http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2013/06/12/slow-cooker-pulled-pork/
*** fat free sour cream works here!

 

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