Beignets (pronounced benyay) a New Orleans confection. Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated.

If you’ve never had a Beignet before you’re really missing out. A Beignet is deep fried pastry similar to a choux pastry. Personally, I’d say the taste is similar to a funnel cake, but more delicate in texture. They are barely crispy on the outside, and full of holes on the inside. A traditional New Orleans Beignet is dusted with Confectioner’s Sugar, but I did half of mine dusted with a Cinnamon Sugar mixture. They are not filled, so if you’d like a fruit jam to go with them, serve on the side. Grape, Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Strawberry Jams, or Lemon Curd would be delicious! The photos are mine, but the recipe belongs to Cook’s Illustrated. Don’t be afraid to try them. Not hard at all! You don’t even need a mixer. Just a bowl and either a wooden spoon or a whisk.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Three Minute Teriyaki Dipping Sauce

Teriyaki is one of my very favorite flavors. I don’t imagine you could bring your own to a restaurant, but I might be tempted to sneak a small jar in. I’ve done worse. Like the day I brought a beagle on a chain inside the Broome County Airport. Never mind. That story is for another day. Today I’d probably get arrested for doing that.

Anyway, this Dipping Sauce is so quick to make, and I just love how thick it is. I use it on everything, including take-out. I won’t use those little packets they give you.

A few times I purchased ready-made Teriyaki Sauce in a store. Notice I said a few times? Didn’t like it.

This Sauce can be used on take-out food, Egg Rolls, Spring Rolls, Chicken Wings, or whatever strikes your fancy. It really is very good and takes just a few minutes! We had Chicken Wings today, and of course I used this recipe. Yum!

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS ½ cup
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 TBSP Cornstarch
¼ cup Honey
½ tsp Ginger Powder, or ½ tsp Ginger Root, peeled and grated
1 TBSP Mirin *
1 clove Garlic, minced or ¼ tsp Garlic Powder

PREPARATION:

In a small saucepan, whisk Water, Soy, Cornstarch. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes. It will thicken quickly, so don’t run off. It will burn.

*If you can’t find Mirin, try Rice Wine Vinegar. I bought a bottle of it a good 6 or 8 months ago. I use it a lot. Store opened bottle in the refrigerator next to your Sake. lol

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Pepperoni & Cheese Stuffed Garlic Knots

     A week or so ago I made Cheesy stuffed Garlic Knots.  They were such a hit with kids and adults alike, I decided to make them again today.  If you’ve been following me from any length of time you know that altering recipes is what I do.  I can’t help myself.  A recipe developer for years, my mind is always thinking of ways to improve a recipe (even my own). 

     The following two paragraphs are from the previously posted Cheesy stuffed Garlic Knots: I’m sure you’ve heard of Garlic Knots made from Pizza Dough.  Sure.  Everyone has.  BUT . . . have you ever heard of Cheese Stuffed Garlic Knots?  I never have.  We had a bag of Pizza Dough lurking around in the freezer.  I was making a pot of my Four Bean Chili tonight and wanted something other than Corn Bread or Italian Bread.  Garlic Knots it is!  Then, as is typical of me I had to mess with perfection by stuffing them with Cheese.  And, I couldn’t be happy stuffing with just Italian Cheeses, I had to make half of them with a Mexican Cheese Blend.  Don’t even ask me which was better.  I can’t say.  Oh, and I STILL couldn’t leave well enough alone.  I had to not only baste the tops with a Garlic/Butter/Olive Oil mixture and Seasonings, but I sprinkled the matching Cheese Blend on top of each one.  Let me just say that there is only two left out of 12. 

     It’s common to serve Garlic Knots with Marinara Sauce, or even warmed Seasoned Olive Oil.  After all the work of stuffing them, I wanted to eat them sans dipping sauce to allow the Cheesy goodness to come shining through. 

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 10 Knots

Pizza Dough, Store bought or Homemade

2 TBSP Olive Oil

3 TBSP Butter

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

2-3 oz Mexican Cheese Blend, grated

2-3 oz Italian Cheese Blend, grated

2-3 oz Cheddar Cheese Blend, grated

4” length of Pepperoni

For sprinkling:  Basil, Parsley, and leftover Cheese

NOTE:  If you’re going to make only one Cheese variety, you will need more than 2-3 oz.  Adjust accordingly.

PREPARATION:

     Preheat oven to 415° F.  Line a baking sheet with Silicone mat or Parchment paper.

     On an extra piece of Parchment paper, cut Dough into 10 equal pieces.  I use a pizza wheel and it works like a charm.

     In a small saucepan, place the Butter, Olive Oil, Garlic, and Seasonings.  Bring to a simmer over low heat.  When Butter is melted, simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and set aside.  You want this mixture to cool a bit before you baste it on your Dough.  You don’t want to hurt the Yeast in the Dough.

     Working with one piece at a time, stretch into a long strip.  (See photo).  Remember that the Gluten is going to keep pulling the dough back into itself.  Let it rest for 5 minutes, giving the Glutens time to relax, and then try again. Sprinkle cheese on top, place 5 -6 small pieces of Pepperoni on top of Cheese, and then add a little more Cheese.  Pinch the seams together.  Then roll a rope between your hands or on Parchment to about 9”.  Tie each into a knot and place on the baking sheet.

     Baste the Herbed Garlic Butter mixture on the top and sides of each Knot.  Then Sprinkle a little Cheese on top.

     Bake for 15-16 minutes or until the Knots are light golden brown to darker golden brown. (Your choice).  Remove from oven and brush with the remaining Garlic Butter mixture or use it as a Dipping Sauce.  Serve while still warm with Garlic Butter mixture or Marinara Sauce

By Chew Wanna Eat 10/26/19

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Apple Fritters

I don’t ever remember having an Apple Fritter before.  Not because they weren’t available in doughnut shops, but because I always go for Boston Cream.  Bob, on the other hand is a huge fan of Apple Fritters.  Sometimes because he does so much for me, I’ll feel extremely generous and cook or bake something that I don’t care all that much for.  Lol  So . . . let me just say that Bob is no longer the only fan of Apple Fritters.  Oh myyyyyyy!  They were so good eaten while still warm with that lovely Apple Cider Glaze.  I glazed them after about 5 minutes of cooling time, then drizzled them again about 10 minutes later, and since there was still some Glaze left, had enough to drizzle a third time.  So don’t double the recipe ingredients.  I also had Fuji Apples, so that’s what I used.  They’re sweeter than Granny Smith, but worked perfectly.

     This recipe is not mine.  It is an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.  I made a few minor changes i.e. frying them in Crisco.  I have a vague memory of my grandma making doughnuts that way.  I added extra cinnamon because of my addiction to cinnamon.  I also used salted Butter and reduced the Salt they called for down to a good half tsp instead of a full tsp. 

     All in all, I have to say that these were very fun to make, super simple, and disappeared in a flash.  I’m happy that I shot pics before people dove into them!

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS ABOUT 15 FRITTERS

FRITTERS:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼”pieces (I used Fuji) About 2 ½ – 2 ¾ cups

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup apple cider

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 cups peanut or vegetable oil (I used Crisco)

GLAZE:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup apple cider

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

PREPARATION:

       Make sure to cut the Apples in ¼” pieces.  The Fritters fry quickly, and you want to be sure that the Apples will cook.  Spread them in a single layer on paper towel–lined baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels.

         Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl. Whisk to combine.

     Whisk cider, eggs, and melted butter in medium bowl until combined. Stir apples into flour mixture. Stir in cider mixture until incorporated.

     Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat to 350 degrees. Use 1/3-cup measure to transfer 5 heaping portions of batter to oil. (I was more comfortable with 3 Fritters per batch.  Do them one at a time and immediately press the Batter with the back of a spoon to flatten.  Otherwise they rise too thickly and the centers won’t cook. Fry, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

     Transfer fritters to wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Check the temp between batches to make sure the oil stays close to 350 degrees.  Let fritters cool 5 minutes.      Meanwhile, whisk confectioners’ sugar, cider, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl until smooth. Top each fritter with 1 heaping tablespoon glaze. Let glaze set 10 minutes. Repeat with any leftover Glaze. 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Cheesy Garlic Knots

     I’m sure you’ve heard of Garlic Knots made from Pizza Dough.  Sure.  Everyone has.  BUT . . . have you ever heard of Cheese Stuffed Garlic Knots?  I never have.  We had a bag of Pizza Dough lurking around in the freezer.  I was making a pot of Chili tonight and wanted something other than Corn Bread or Italian Bread.  Garlic Knots it is!  Then, as is typical of me I had to mess with perfection by stuffing them with Cheese.  And, I couldn’t be happy stuffing with just Italian Cheeses, I had to make half of them with a Mexican Cheese Blend.  Don’t even ask me which was better.  I can’t say.  Oh, and I STILL couldn’t leave well enough alone.  I had to not only baste the tops with a Garlic/Butter/Olive Oil mixture and Seasonings, but I sprinkled the matching Cheese Blend on top of each one.  Let me just say that there is only two left out of 12. 

     It’s common to serve Garlic Knots with Marinara Sauce, or even warmed Seasoned Olive Oil.  After all the work of stuffing them, I wanted to eat them plain to allow the Cheesy goodness to come shining through. 

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 12 Knots

Pizza Dough, Store bought or Homemade

2 TBSP Olive Oil

3 TBSP Butter

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

2-3 oz Mexican Cheese Blend, grated

2-3 oz Italian Cheese Blend, grated

For sprinkling:  Basil, Parsley, Salt

PREPARATION:

     Preheat oven to 415° F.  Line a baking sheet with Silicone mat or Parchment paper.

     On an extra piece of Parchment paper, cut Dough into 12 equal pieces.  I use a pizza wheel and it works like a charm.

     In a small saucepan, place the Butter, Olive Oil, and Garlic.  Over medium low heat, stir until Butter is melted, and then cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Yu want this mixture to cool a bit before you baste it on your Dough.  You don’t want to hurt the Yeast in the Dough.

     Working with one piece at a time, stretch into a rectangle.  See photo.  Sprinkle cheese on top, pinch the seams together.  Then roll a rope between your hands or on Parchment to about 9”.  Remember that the Gluten is going to keep pulling the dough back into itself.  Let it rest for a few minutes, giving the Glutens time to relax.  Tie each into a knot and place on the baking sheet.

     Baste the Butter mixture on the top and sides of each Knot.  Sprinkle with a bit of each of the Seasonings.  Then Sprinkle a little Cheese on top.

     Bake for 13-16 minutes or until the Knots are light golden brown to darker golden brown. (Your choice).  Remove from oven and brush with the remaining Butter mixture.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Best Buffalo Chicken Dip

Best Buffalo Chicken Dip with Scallions


     I’ve had lots of Buffalo Chicken Dip at parties and most were just meh. I’ve added some additional ingredients to kick up the flavors, and although it isn’t burn your tongue off, it is nice and spicy (I’d say Medium).  This is perfect not just for parties, but as an Appetizer, Game Day Snack, Back Yard BBQ, Movie Night or Game Night at home, etc.  If you’re serving a crowd, better at least double it.  Try a plate of French Fries with this dip poured in the center.  VERY GOOD!

INGREDIENTS:    YIELDS ABOUT 3 CUPS

2 ½ cups leftover shredded Chicken (Rotisserie works great)

1 TBSP Butter

1/3 cup Celery, diced fine

3 cloves Garlic, minced

¼ cup sweet Onion, diced

¾ cup Frank’s Hot Sauce

¼ cup Water *

Black Pepper (A few dashes)

5 TBSP Cream Cheese, cut in chunks

5 TBSP Sour Cream or Prepared Ranch Dressing

1 tsp Parsley

¾ cup Shredded Cheddar or Colby Monterey Jack Cheese

1/3 +/- cup Blue Cheese, crumbled

Extra Parsley to garnish.  Thinly sliced Green Onions are very nice also.

* The water keeps the dip from becoming too thick as it cools.  Most of the water simmers out while you’re cooking.  I find that it will become thick enough to break your crackers without the water.

PREPARATION: 

     In an oven-proof skillet, melt the Butter.  Add Celery, Garlic, and Onion.  Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. 

     Add the Hot Sauce, Water, Pepper, and Chicken.  Cook until it begins to simmer.  Stir, and add the Cream Cheese, and 1 tsp Parsley.  Keep stirring, because the Cream Cheese is going to melt.  Once it is melted, remove from heat and add Sour Cream.  Stir until blended.

     Sprinkle the Shredded Cheddar on top.  Pop pan under a preheated broiler for just enough time for the cheese to melt.  It will only take a few minutes.  (Is your mouth watering yet?)

     Sprinkle about 1/3 cup Crumbly Blue Cheese on top.  You can add extra Parsley now if you wish, but not necessary and it has plenty of color.  The Blue Cheese is going to become soft and blend with the top layer of Dip.  It might be a little tacky, but I like to serve it right in my little cast iron pan (As long as children aren’t eating it.  Cast iron stays hot for a long time.  That’s why I like to serve the Dip this way.  It helps retain the heat of the Dip).

Serve with Vegetable Sticks, Assorted Crackers, Toasted Pita Chips, Melba Toast or serve over French Fries!

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

After broiling, add Blue Cheese crumbles and serve!

Walnut Roca, Toffee topped with Chocolate and Nuts

Walnut Roca, by Chew Wanna Eat?

     Of all the Christmas candy I make, I have to say that this was the favorite and makes a wonderful, impressive gift. It’s my version of the famous Almond Roca.  I made it with walnuts, and it was outstanding.  After all, what’s not to like about sweat buttery toffee topped with rich chocolate and walnuts?  Don’t worry, it’s very easy.  You MUST have a candy thermometer because the temperature of the toffee is extremely important. Best of all?  It makes over 2 lbs of candy. 

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups coarsely-chopped almonds, divided (Or pecans or walnuts)

16 oz. (2 ½ cups) Domino’s light brown sugar

1 lb. butter (4 sticks)

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ¾ cups milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

PREPARATION: 

Line an 18” x 13” half sheet with Parchment paper. Sprinkle ¾ cup chopped nuts. Set aside.

In a 2 qt. sauce pan, combine sugar and butter over medium/low heat while stirring frequently for several minutes unit bubbly and thick. As it cooks, you will begin to see the mixture foaming on the top.  Just like when you clarify butter, the milk solids are rising.  Use a candy thermometer, and do not let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan or you will get a false high reading.  (Once it reaches about 245° F, you will begin to notice the aroma.  Heavenly).  The color will begin to change to a rich amber and by the time it is finished, will be a golden brown). At 290° F remove from heat. Watch carefully toward the end to prevent it from burning. 

Add the vanilla, stirring to combine.  Pour candy evenly on top of the nuts on the cookie sheet. Let stand for a few minutes.

Melt good quality chocolate chips in microwave with a scant tsp of canola oil.  If you microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, you will end up with perfectly smooth melted chocolate.

Spoon the melted chocolate over the toffee layer, add the remaining nuts, and press lightly into the warm chocolate.

Allow to set up for a few hours.  Break into random-sized pieces using the tip of a sharp knife.  Eat a piece and prepare to say, “Oh my goodness!”

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Homemade Sauerkraut

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     If you’re like us and demand the best ingredients when preparing your food, don’t skip the homemade Sauerkraut.  Whether you’re eating Reubens, Pork and Kraut, or even Hot Dogs, you can’t beat homemade!  Cabbage is in season right now, so make enough to last you until next year.  You need just 2 ingredients – Salt and Grated Cabbage.  Couldn’t be simpler, and so well worth it.

 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 5 QUARTS

3 Medium heads of cabbage

5 TBSP Course Sea Salt or Kosher Salt (NOT IODIZED)

 

PREPARATION:

Sterilize your jars and lids.

Thinly slice the cabbage and place in a large bowl.  Don’t over fill because you need room to stir the cabbage.  You may need to do this in a few batches.  Remember not to add all the salt if you do it in batches.  You’ll need 1 TBSP Salt per quart jar.

Add 5 TBSP Salt and mix well with your hands, squeezing as you mix.  This pulls the liquid out of the cabbage and creates the brine.  We usually mix and squeeze for about five minutes.  You will see water appearing, but that’s a good thing.

If you want to add a little Caraway, you can add it now.

Pack the cabbage in sterilized jars, pushing down to make a tight fit.  Stop when you have approximately 2” at the top of the jar. (You need this space to allow for expansion during the fermentation process.  Divide the leftover brine from the bottom of the bowl evenly between the jars.  The brine must cover the cabbage, you don’t want any sticking up that isn’t under brine.  If you need to, add a little bit of water.   Bob usually uses the leftover outer leaves to lay on top of the mixture to help hold the cabbage down.  (see photo).

Close jars tightly and let sit at 64° – 72° F for five days.  Then slowly open the lid to release built-up pressure.  You must open the jars every five days for approximately three weeks.  You can taste it every time you open the lid to see if it’s to your satisfaction.  You will notice that the flavor improves every time you open the lids.

Once it is sour enough and has fermented long enough to suit your taste, place a jar in the refrigerator, keeping it tightly closed.  Store the remaining jars in a cool dark place.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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ROASTED GARLIC

Roasted Garlic (3)

Who doesn’t love Roasted Garlic?  You can eat it plain, spread it on Pizza Dough, add it to Hummus, Salsa, Mashed potatoes, spread it on Crackers, top a Baked Potato, add to Sandwiches, Vegetable Dishes, or whatever your little heart desires.  Bob loves it, and I bought him this Terra Cotta Garlic Roaster (you can find them for $16.00).  He used to use a baking sheet, but much prefers this method.  Here’s how he does it:

INGREDIENTS:

Whole garlic cloves

Olive oil

Optional Seasonings:  Salt, Pepper, Thyme (or whatever you’d like)

 

PREPARATION:

Many people cut the top off an entire head of garlic, pour a few teaspoons Olive Oil on each, cover, and roast cut side up for at 350° F for 50-60 minutes, depending on how tender you want them.  You can roast them at up to 400° F in case you have a hotter oven going and want to stick some garlic in also.

Bob sometimes likes to break the cloves apart and put in a medium/large covered bowl, and then shakes them vigorously for about 20 seconds.  Voilà!  No skins!  You may need to pick some of the skins off or shake them again.  So easy!

He places individual cloves in the Garlic Roaster, adds a bit of seasoning and Olive Oil, then bakes in the Toaster Oven at 300° F covered for 60 min, and then 20 minutes with cover removed for 20 minutes.  Again, it depends on how well you want them done.

You can store them in a glass jar with Olive Oil.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Hydroponic Garden

Most of you probably don’t know, but Bob bought me a gorgeous bird for my birthday. Since my Prissy died about 6 years ago, I’ve been birdless. I am posting a few pictures of Kiwi (Green Cheeked Conure) because I want to show you what my son Cory gave me! He has been using Aerogardens for years and just loves them. I will now have fresh herbs right next to the stove. And since birds need their herbs and fresh greens this is doubly valuable to me. Love you, Cory! (Note: Kiwi looks a little ratty right now because she is just beginning her first molt. She is 6 months old).

Aerogarden 12-2-17

Kiwi, 6 months

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017