CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017


CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017

CFE International Salt Fish Recipe Challenge 2017

BacalaRico Pollock Fillets with Grilled Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Tarragon-Dill Buttermilk Dressing and Blue Cheese Crumbles

This summer fresh dish is grilled to perfection utilizing my hybrid smoker/grill, adding a depth of smoky flavor to the flaky texture of the grilled BacalaRico-Pollock Fillets. Once platted, the dish is doused with a creamy-herbed buttermilk dressing, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and crumbled blue cheese. The recipe can be served as a side dish in the form of a chopped salad or plated over long slices of grilled romaine lettuce for a more dramatic effect. 

Special thanks to the folks at CFE International for sending me a generous sample of their fine products to test. I was pleasantly surprised at the mild flavor of the salted fish and how well it withstood the heat of cooking. 

BacalaRico Chopped Salad

CFE International carries six varieties of salted and cured fish as well as, on the plank, oven and grill ready entrees. I chose the BacalaRico Alaskan Pollock Fillets for the challenge.

BacalaRico brand salted Pollock products, are exclusively sourced premium Pollock from the cold waters of the North Pacific. These products must meet CFE International’s strict quality standards and the finished product is inspected for quality, moisture and salt content to ensure that product specifications are always being met.

CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017Rehydrating the salted fillets is easy work but requires 24 hours of water bathing, rinsing, and a final rest in milk. The milk bath isn’t necessary when rehydrating the fillets however, it gives the fish a delicate-sweet flavor and further reduces the saltiness of the preserved fish. 

BacalaRico Pollock Fillets

Rehydrated Pollock Fillets

bacalarico recipe

BalacaRico Pollock Fillets with Grilled Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Tarragon-Dill Buttermilk Dressing and Blue Cheese Crumbles
Serves 4
CFE International Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017
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For the Fillets
  1. 1 package BacalaRico Alaskan Pollock Fillets (package comes with 3 pre-sealed packets, use just one for this recipe)
  2. 2 cups water (just enough to cover fillets)
  3. 2 cups whole milk (just enough to cover fillets)
  4. 1 large shallot, minced
  5. 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  6. 1 tablespoons lemon infused olive oil
  7. 1 bunch fresh tarragon, divided
  8. 1 bunch fresh dill, divided
  9. Pepper to taste
For the Vegetables
  1. 2 heads romaine lettuce, sliced in quarters, lengthwise
  2. 1 bunch whole baby carrots, with tops
  3. 1 bunch fresh asparagus (optional)
  4. 1 bunch spring onions, sliced lengthwise
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
For The Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  2. 1/2 cup sour cream
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  5. 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  7. 2 cloves garlic, smashed
For the Fillets
  1. Rehydrate fillets by placing 1 pouch of salted fish into a air tight plastic container. Add just enough tap water to submerge fillets. Rest fish for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Pour off water and repeat this process 2 times more. For the final rehydration, pour 2 cups whole milk over fillets or just enough to cover the fish. let fillets rest in the milk bath overnight. Before cooking, discard milk and gently rinse fillets. Drain on paper towel.
  2. Season the bottom of a grill style roasting pan with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 of the minced shallot, and cracked black pepper. Arrange fillets evenly in the pan. Sprinkle tops with black pepper to taste, remaining minced shallot, cherry tomatoes, and fresh springs of tarragon and dill.
  3. Cut romaine lettuce into fourths lengthwise and place in a large shallow baking dish. Using a vegetables peeler, remove butter skin from carrots and place in the shallow dish with lettuce, spring onions and asparagus. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat vegetables evenly.
  4. Heat grill/smoker to highest heat. Place roasting pan with fillets in the middle of the grill rack. Arrange lettuce, cut side down on grill with remaining vegetables. Close the grill lid and cook lettuce for 3 minutes or until charred but not wilted. This keeps the inner part nice and crisp. Remove lettuce to shallow dish and continue cooking the other vegetables until they are al dente and set in the shallow pan until ready to plate. Continue cooking the fillets until they are hot all the way through and tomatoes are wired (about 7 -10 minutes total)
For the Dressing
  1. Process all 7 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Notes
  1. Garnish dish with
  2. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  3. 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  4. Cracked black pepper
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
CFE International Salt Fish Blogger Recipe Challenge 2017

For more information about CFE International and their products follow them on social media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BacalaoCFE/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bacalaoCFE
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bacalaocfe/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bacalao_cfe/

Find CFE International products at these local groceries: Cardenas, H-Mart, Jetro, North Gate Markets, Safeway




2016 World Food Championships Blogger Summit NEWS!

2016 World Food Championships Blogger Summit NEWS!

WFC Blogger Summit 2016

From Left: Kim Banick, Denise Romeo, Suzanne Clark, Debbie Reid, Veronica Callaghan, Lisa Keys, Rebecka Evans

This year at the World Food Championships 2016 Blogger Summit, Bloggers were treated to the WORKS in Orange Beach, Alabama!  

Blogger Summit’s Amy Green, Staff and Mike McCloud owner of MMA Creative, showered fifty Food, Style and Travel Bloggers to luxury accommodations at the TURQUOISE PLACE. Located on some of the most pristine white-sugar, sand beaches in the area. Our accommodations were over-the-top luxury, three bedroom 2400 sq. ft. condominiums, complete with beautiful ocean front views, living room, gourmet kitchen, washer and dryer, outdoor cooking area and hot tub. The master suite was as large as some people’s homes not to mention, the opulent master bath and walk-in closet. Wonderful accommodations, perfect for Family reunions, and holiday travel, left us all feeling very pampered!

Turquoise Place

Blogger Summit 2016

Sand, Sun and a whole lot of fun!!

DAY ONE

Intensive training with Kay Maghan, Public Relations Manager, Gulf Shore, Orange Beach Tourism, Dr. Bill Walton (“Dr. Oyster”) Auburn University Shellfish Lab as well as, Hydrogen Power Project, renewable energy study with President Ted Wampler, Jr. Wampler’s Farm Sausage. We were also treated to a stellar demo by Hormel Chili’s “BroTorch Boys” cooking two dozen hotdogs with a 50 foot flame thrower in the new food trend “Brotorching!” We all got a chance to fire up the Brotorch which was quite exhilarating. Hormel and the Brotorch Boys gifted all the bloggers with their own blow torch! Thanks Hormel! 

Michael Sewall, renowned UK photographer shared tips for food photography. Our final challenge of the day, create a tailgate sandwich with WFC 2016 Food Sponsors, Saucy Mama and Wickles Pickles then photograph our delicious creations. I made an Orange Habanero Pesto Italiano Wrap, it was a giant sandwich, delicious and well received by my fellow bloggers. 

Orange Habanero Pesto Italiano

My scrumptious Orange Habanero Pesto Italiano

Brotorch Blogger Summt 2016

Brotorch Blogger Summt 2016

Then this happened….Luxury Coffee Break with Chef Brian David Scott and his cup of luxury hand-picked, hand wash, hand roasted coffee. This 5-star cup of coffee cost $1200 per pound. I was quite sure that this coffee was none other than Kopi Luwak aka cat poop coffee however, I was unable to get an answer to the origin of the coffee blend. Needless to say, it was very tasty and a treat but I’d be hard set to pay $1200 per pound to experience it again. Special thanks to Amy Green for this delicious indulgence!!

$1200 per pound coffee

Luxury coffee break-$1200 per pound coffee

Wickles Pickles by Rebecka Evans

My photo shoot of Wickles Pickles

DAY TWO

We had a full day tour of beautiful beautiful Bayou La Batre, Alabama; Murder Point Oyster Farm, the Olympic Shellfish crabmeat processing plant and the Graham Shrimp Company.  That same day we enjoyed some sweet southern hospitality at a Low Country Boil, hosted by Graham Shrimp Company and members of Organized Seafood. We ate piles of fresh oysters, fried and steamed shrimp, potato salad corn and all the fixings, plus homemade banana pudding for dessert. It was some kinda delicious!

Stuffed to the gills, we all rolled back on the bus headed for the Homeport Marina and one of Alabama’s favorite restaurants, LuLu’s. Lucy Buffet is sister to the renowned singer-song writer, Jimmy Buffett and owner of this very popular tourist destination. I honestly didn’t think I could put another bite of food in my mouth after eating that amazing Lowcountry boil but once I tasted the red snapper, I was done for! We learned that the red snapper was the fresh catch of the day and to prove it, all we had to do was check out the FISH TRAX app.

Fish Trax™, an electronic fishery information platform that helps industry, marketers, and fishery managers collect, analyze, and share information that is critical for the success of their fishery.

Developed initially by a collaboration of fishermen and scientists for managing fisheries in near-real time, the Fish Trax™ system has evolved to become an important tool for consumers who want to know more about the seafood they eat –including the origin and harvest area of a particular fish.

Needless to say, we ate some of the freshest fish a restaurant can produce! I’m hoping the idea catches on in other coastal regions.

DAY THREE

Blogger summit was all about World Food Championships 2016. We attended the media kick off in the morning where we met the Mayor and listened to three Experts share their knowledge. Suzanne Clark, owner of Living a Creative Life , award-winning home cook and two-time 10 K winner of the Pasta World Food Championships as well as, TV personality. Suzanne shared insight on what it takes to be a TV personality, and award winning competitive cook. I love that she’s a star and my friend too!! Donna Bennar, owner of SWOON Talent spoke about her agency and shared her tips on how to become a successful blogger and tv personality. We also heard from Darie Loretta O’Connor owner of Try The DisH Radio which airs 9PM CST Saturday’s out of St. Louis on 1380ThePulse!

The Blogger Summit finale was ripe with a food champ judging class and the honor of judging the first round of World Food Championships Dessert category. I’m now a gold card holding E. A. T. certificated judge! EAT™ methodology, the scoring system that allows any WFC entry to be judged consistently using three key criteria: Execution, Appearance and Taste. I’m thrilled to be a certified food judge but I can honestly say that I’d rather be a food competitor than a judge; judging is entirely more stressful! 

At the end of the day, the WFC Blogger Summit 2016 was another wonderful event thanks to Mike McCloud and his staff.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017. 

Sunset from Orange Beach Alabama

 

 




Garlic Goat Cheese and Bacon Soufflés: WINS Gilroy Garlic CROWN

The Great Gilroy Garlic Cook-off 2016 Winner Rebecka Evans

The Gilroy Garlic Cook-off 2016 Winner-Rebecka Evans Photo by Lisa Keys

PRESS RELEASE:

2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off Winner

30 Jul 2016 by Jason
Rebecka Evans Wins Top Honors in 2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off!

Amateur chef Rebecka Evans from Danville, CA claimed the coveted garlic crown – and a $5,000 cash prize – as winner of the 2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off at the 2016 Gilroy Garlic Festival on Saturday, July 30, in Gilroy, CA.

Gilroy Garlic Cook-off 2016 Winner

Photo by Lisa Keys

Evans beat out seven other finalists from around the country with her original recipe, “Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce”.

Second place (and a $2,500 prize) was awarded to Veronica Callaghan for her Roasted Garlic Pizza with Spicy Rosemary Caramelized Onions, Figs and Bacon. Third place (and $1,000) was awarded to Kelly Velasco for her Garlic Risotto Stuffed Mussels with Garlic Herb Toast. The remaining contestants each received $100. All contestants prepared their own original recipes containing at least six cloves of garlic. Source: gilroygarlicfestival.com 

 

The Garlic Court

The Queens of Garlic Court and Winners Great Garlic Cook-off 2016 3Rd Place Kelly Velasco, 1St Place Rebecka Evans, 2ND Place Veronica Callaghan Photo by Lisa Keys

Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé Rebecka Evans

1St Place Winner: Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé Photo Courtesy of Chef Jason Gronlund 

Covering the Great Garlic Cook-off in 2015 (see the article and past winners here) from the perspective of a blog writer was a pleasure but as a food competitor, not so much! I was itching on the insides to be cooking on that stage and knew at that moment, I had to create a winning recipe for the 38th Annual, 2016 Great Garlic Cook-off

This year, I not only garnered a place as one of the top eight finalists with my recipe, I won the coveted Gilroy Garlic Crown! You could have blown me over with a feather when they announced my name! Thank you esteemed judges, Gilroy Garlic Staff and assistants. I’m honored to be added to the list of Great Garlic Cook-Off Winners

The Great Garlic Cook-Off offers the best set-up I’ve ever seen at a food competition stage.

  • A large stadium with covered seating is beautifully decorated and complete with a Jumbotron so guests don’t miss any of the cooking action
  • A working sink (with hot and cold running water) is situated between an awesome four(4) burner gas range with a full size oven
  • Two large prep stations offer ample room to cook with ease 

Gilroy’s generosity goes even further, offering each food competitor their own personal chaperone/sous! This group of talented men and woman can wait several years to be chosen as a Cook-Off chaperone. Each Chaperone is eager to offer their undivided attention and “stay calm” presence to the contestant. They are willing to carry heavy boxes of food and cooking paraphernalia to and from the stage, help with food prep, clean up our mess and other miscellaneous jobs, too numerous to count. They even wash all your dishes when your done!! After seeing them in action, I can attest that they are the backbone of the show!

Gilroy Garlic Festival Barbara Orth

Gilroy Garlic Festival Barbara Orth Photo by Lisa Keys

Special thanks to my “Chaperone” Barbara Orth! She was a rock star behind the scenes, super chill under pressure and a blessing from above! I have a new friend and cooking partner for life! xoxo

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Barbara Orth and Rebecka Evans Photo by Lisa Keys 

Gilroy Garlic Festival Barbara Orth Rebecka Evans Photo by Lisa Keys

Mimosas to start the day off right CHEERS! Photo by Lisa Keys

My favorite aspects of Food Sport (besides winning of course) are making new friends, meeting new people, and competing and visiting with friends from across the country.

Meeting my long time Facebook friend, Veronica Callaghan for the first time and sharing top honors in the cook-off was the delightful! Despite our competitive natures and intent to win, we will be… “forever” friends.

Two longtime Facebook friends were also in attendance: Mary Edwards from Long Beach, CA cooked her dynamite dish for the judges: Lamb Tenderloin with Sweet Pea Risotto and Garlic Demi-Glace and Michaela Mercer Rosenthal, previous Great Garlic Cook-Off finalist. I’m so pleased to finally meet them both!!

Veronica Callaghan

Veronica Callaghan

I met Chef Jason Gronlund, Executive Chef and culinary strategist, Vice President of Culinary for Smokey Bones & Fire Grill and Judge for the Great Garlic Cook-off not to mention, Master of Ceremonies for several Gilroy Food Stage events.

Chef Jason was gracious enough to share his professional insights and advice as well as, offer his friendship to our group. He made fast friends with my husband Blake (pretty sure they are now drinking buddies for life) and offered to share his chef wisdom in the future. Believe me, I will be taking him up on the offer!

Last but not least, Lisa Keys, Owner of Good Grief Cook, Winner of Chopped Mother’s Day Edition and my dear friend, attended the Cook-off with media credentials. She covered the event with expertise and was my personal photographer for the day.  

Gilroy Garlic Festival Chef Gronlund and Friends

Veronica Callaghan, Chef Jason Gronlund, Rebecka Evans, Lisa Keys Photo by Blake Evans

The list of other contenders and their delicious recipes (not in any specific order) 

Andre Alban (Coconut Creek, FL)
Black Butter Skirt Steaks with Herb Garlic Mushrooms and Potatoes

Gloria Bradley (Naperville, IL)
Veggie Eggplant Mushroom Stacks, Green Chili Garlic Adobo & Peppadew Vinaigrette

Mary Edwards (Long Beach, CA)
Lamb Tenderloin with Sweet Pea Risotto and Garlic Demi-Glace

Greg Fontenot (The Woodlands, TX)
Beef Short Ribs in Garlic Balsamic Cherry Sauce

Betty Hass (Sanibel, FL)
Wasabi-Glazed Garlic Stuffed Shrimp with Sweet Garlic Rice Crisps

A resounding thank you to my sweet husband Blake, for supporting me in my Food Sport journey, and to my family and friends, for your love and encouragement and eating my mistakes! 

Finally…my winning recipe!! 

Garlic & Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflés with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce and Blistered Garlic Plum Tomatoes
Serves 6
Decedent goat cheese souffles served with creamy garlic mustard sauce and blistered garlic grape tomatoes is satisfying and delicious.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for buttering ramekins
  2. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  4. 3 ounces mild fresh goat cheese
  5. 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  7. 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  8. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  9. ¼ cup bread crumbs (for dusting ramekins)
  10. 4 large eggs, separated
  11. Boiling water
  12. 4 heads garlic (about 35 cloves) peeled and separated
  13. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  14. ½ pound bacon, drippings reserved
  15. 1/2 cups heavy cream
  16. 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  17. 2 tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
  18. 1 tablespoon honey
  19. 1 8-ounce package red and yellow grape tomatoes
  20. Salt and white pepper to taste
  21. 1 bunch Mache or baby greens
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter six 1/2-cup ramekins, dust buttered ramekins with bread crumbs, removing any excess by gently tipping upside down, and set them in a large roasting pan.
  2. Make garlic paste: To a small sauce pan, add about 30 cloves garlic and about 1 tablespoon water. Cook over medium high heat until all water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and continue to cook until garlic is caramelized/roasted. Transfer garlic to a food processor. Add ½ tablespoon chopped thyme and a pinch of salt. Process until very smooth. Makes about 4 tablespoons paste. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Chop bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon from grease and set aside. Turn off the heat and keep pan with reserved bacon grease. Cool bacon slightly and chop fine. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves and set aside until ready to fry. Mince 2 remaining garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to make blistered tomatoes.
For the Soufflés
  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook over moderate heat until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer over low heat, whisking constantly, until the white sauce is thick and has lost its floury taste, about 4 minutes. Mixture will be thick and creamy. Stir in the goat cheese, Parmesan, chives, thyme, 2 tablespoons garlic paste and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time.
  2. In another bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until firm peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the white sauce to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Add about ½ teaspoon crumbled bacon to the bottom of each prepared ramekin. Pour the soufflé mixture into the ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden and firm. Remove the soufflés from the roasting pan using tongs
For the Sauce and Tomatoes
  1. Re-heat the pan with bacon grease to medium high. Fry the thinly sliced garlic until golden brown. Remove garlic to a small bowl to garnish soufflés leaving bacon grease in pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to hot pan. Add tomatoes to hot pan and blister for 1-2 minutes, shaking pan to keep them moving. Add minced garlic and continue to cook for additional 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant but not browned. Remove tomatoes to a bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup hot water. Add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoon remaining garlic puree, and whisk until incorporated. If using Bourbon…add 2 tablespoons and flame the liquor. When flame subsides, add 2 tablespoon butter and continue whisking until butter is melted. Pour in ½ cup heavy cream and whisk to combine. Add remaining crumbled bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes, and taste for salt. Add more if necessary. Turn off the heat and keep in the pan until ready to use. If sauce becomes too thick, add 1 tablespoon hot water
To Plate
  1. Run a thin sharp knife around the rims of the ramekins and gently remove soufflés, carefully transfer the soufflés to plates. Pour Garlic Mustard sauce over each soufflé and serve blistered tomatoes alongside the soufflés.
Garnish
  1. Top each soufflé with fried garlic chips and Mache or other mini greens. Serve immediately
Notes
  1. You will need six 1/2-cup ramekins and one large shallow roasting pan.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

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Mother’s Day Favorite Recipes

Oyster Stew Rebecka Evans

It’s Mothers Day, and what a perfect opportunity for me to share some delicious food memories with you by recreating three of my mother’s favorite dishes. 

Oyster Stew, Homemade Oyster Crackers and Divinity. 

Mom aka Anne, was a masterful home cook. She was always eager to try new and unusual foods, way before they were popular or trendy. Garden to table, her recipes were inventive and delicious. I still remember her fried squash blossoms with a fresh-cut garden salad, sweet hand-picked cherry tomatoes tossed with tender blue sorrel blossoms and spicy chives, all dressed in sweet vinaigrette. The main dish served with this tasty garden salad was her sumptuous oyster stew. At first, I was a fearful to try the oysters so I just ate the savory broth with a big helping of oyster crackers. A few years later, I finally master the eating of the slippery bivalve mollusks, floating around in the hot broth; they were delicious.

For dessert, mom made Divinity. I loved all that pillowy sweetness and still make them for my family to enjoy. Surprisingly, they are a cinch to make. Generally classified as a candy, fudge and sometimes used in a candy roll, Divinity is similar to nougat but lighter in texture; a cloud of soft sweetness with a pecan crunch. I guarantee this easy made candy will satisfy your biggest sweet tooth!

Retired from the kitchen, mom has left preparation of holiday and big family meals to me and my three brothers; a torch I’m happy to share with future generations.

Oyster Stew

Oyster Crackers
Yields 12
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Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
  5. 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  6. 1 tablespoons cold water
  7. 1/4 cup plus 3-4 tablespoons cold milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and cold butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and pulse until well combined. Mixture will look like coarse sand
  3. In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon cold water. Add yeast and stir slightly with a wooden spoon. Rest mixture for 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining 1/4 cup milk and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and blend until dough forms a ball. Allow the dough to rest 15 minutes at room temperature
  5. Roll dough out onto a well floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, cut rounds using the large pastry tip or other small circular cutter
  6. Cover ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper, place dough rounds 1/4 - 1/8 inch apart.
  7. Bake crackers for 10-15 minutes checking for doneness at 10 minutes. Gently shake the cookie sheet to flip crackers for even browning, sprinkle with additional sea salt to taste and continue cooking until lightly golden browned.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/


Oyster Stew

Mom's Oyster Stew
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Ingredients
  1. 2-8 ounce cans premium oysters in water or 1-1/2 dozen fresh oysters
  2. 1/2 cup white onion chopped
  3. 1/2 cup celery chopped
  4. 3 cups half and half
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1/4 cup sherry
  7. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  8. Butter
  9. 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium heavy bottom sauce pan heat olive oil, add chopped onion and celery and cook until onions are translucent
  2. Add oysters and liqueur to saucepan and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Reduce heat slightly and add half and half, stir to combine
  4. Gently cook stew for 20 minutes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle a small amount of sherry over each bowl of stew and garnish with parsley, a dollop of butter
  7. Serve with oyster crackers
Notes
  1. Optional: add the oyster liquid, half and half and water to cooked onion and celery, reserve oysters and set aside until ready to use. Cook broth on medium heat to a soft boil. In small batches, purée the liquid and vegetables until smooth. Return liquid to stock pot, add oysters and heat to soft boil.
Adapted from Anne Stone
Adapted from Anne Stone
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Finally for dessert; my mother’s favorite…Divinity

Divinity Recipe

Divinity
Yields 1
Generally classified as a candy, fudge and sometimes used in a candy roll, Divinity is similar to nougat but lighter in texture; a cloud of soft sweetness with a pecan crunch. I guarantee this simply made candy will satisfy your biggest sweet tooth!
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Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups granulated sugar
  2. 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  3. 2/3 cup warm water
  4. 2 egg whites
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  7. 1 cup chopped pecans or almonds
Instructions
  1. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spraying the paper with cooking spray
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
  3. Continue cooking without stirring until the mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, firm ball stage.
  4. While sugar mixture is cooking, beat egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Slowly pour about half of the sugar mixture into the egg whites constantly beating on low spread
  5. Place saucepan back on burner and continue cooking until it reaches 270 degrees, soft crack stage
  6. Stream remaining mixture into egg whites constantly beating on low spread until all the mixture is incorporated.
  7. Scrape sides of bowl and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture holds it's shape
  8. mix in vanilla and almond extracts and nuts until well combined
  9. Use 2 teaspoons, one to push the mixture from the other. Drop teaspoonful onto cookie sheet, let cool
  10. Divinity can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks
Notes
  1. Divinity is a bit tricky when attempted in damp condition. Save this recipe for a sunny dry day.
Adapted from Anne Stone
Adapted from Anne Stone
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Mom, thank you for teaching me how to eat and cook well and for all you’ve done for our family over the years! Love you♥Happy Mother’s Day!!
Please take a moment and stop by Roti n Rice for my recipes and guest post. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!!

 




Polish Zapiekanka-Saucy Mama’s 2016 Recipe Contest: RECIPE #1

Polish Zapiekanka-Saucy Mama’s 2016 Recipe Contest: RECIPE #1

Polish Zapiekanka1

Saucy Mama 2016

The Submission Window is now OPEN for the Saucy Mama’s 2016 Recipe Contest. Hosted by Barhyte foods a PREFERRED QUALIFYING EVENT for the World Food Championships.

Pendleton, Ore. (March 3, 2016)- Barhyte Specialty Foods is excited to announce the creation of “Team Saucy Mama”, which will be competing at the 2016 World Food Championships (WFC) in November in Orange Beach, Alabama. The team is made up of some of the most extraordinary home cooks in the US, and each one is striving to compete in the Final Table at WFC, where one person is crowned World Food Champion and receives a $100,000 grand prize.

Saucy Mama has offered three competitor spots on the team. Two of these spots are already claimed, as last year’s WFC Saucy Mama competitors earned their way to the Top 10 round and were prequalified to compete again this year.

Only one spot remains on Team Saucy Mama with 25 of the Sauciest home-cooks are vying for coveted LAST SPOT! 

Thank you TEAM SAUCY MAMA for choosing me I as one of the 25 to compete for the LAST SPOT!!!

So what does the Saucy Mama Recipe Contest champion win?

  • A World Food Championship Golden Ticket: WFC registration and entry fees paid for 2016 WFC
  • $1000 Travel Stipend: for WFC expenses (Nov. 8-15)
  • $200 Spending Cash: to have FUN in Orange Beach Alabama

Most importantly…a First Place win with Team Saucy Mama offers home-cooks like myself, the ability to vie for cash prize(s) to offset the cost associated with Food Sport. Thank goodness for Sponsors that offer WFC Preferred Qualifier Contests!!

In addition to competing for a place on Team Saucy MamaTeam Just A Pinch has invited me to return to represent them at the 2016 Bacon World Food Championships, in Orange Beach, AL.  They have offered to pay my entry fees as a result of my 4th place win in last years competition ($300.00). Thank you Just A Pinch!! Since I’m competing in the Bacon Category again this November, you’ll notice a BACON recipe theme throughout all of my WFC Contest recipe submissions. 

Polish Zapiekanka3

My first recipe submission for the coveted LAST SPOT on Team Saucy Mama…

Polish Zapiekanka. Category BACON

A zapiekanka (Polish pronunciation: [zapʲɛˈkaŋka]; plural: zapiekanki, pronounced [zapʲɛˈkaŋkʲi]) is an open-face sandwich made of half of a baguette or other long roll of bread, topped with sautéed white mushrooms, cheese and sometimes other ingredients, and toasted until the cheese melts. Served hot with ketchup, it is a popular street food in Poland. With its origin dating back to the 1970s, the zapiekanka is associated with the austere times of Poland’s Communist regime, but it has enjoyed renewed demand in the 21st century, which has also brought a wider range of varieties. SOURCE: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This SUPER-SAUCY sandwich showcases two delicious Saucy Mama products and a heap of crispy smoked BACON!  My family loved testing this meal and it’s become a regular on our weekly family menu. The versatility of the dish is what makes it so appealing for family dinners, and parties. Zapiekanka is like pizza in that, the toppings can be adjusted to fit your mood. All veggie Zapiekanka, or all meat style…it’s entirely up to you. 

The Spicy Ketchup made with Saucy Mama’s ALL NATURAL Cracked Pepper Marinade  is fiery and sweet; the cracked black pepper mixed with sweet ketchup and mayonnaise makes the sandwich sing in your mouth! The mushrooms get the “Saucy Mama treatment” too, with a big helping of the Champagne Honey Mustard (my new favorite SM mustard to date).

This delicious and historical Polish street food sandwich, is elevated to restaurant quality meal with the addition of Saucy Mama’s All Natural Mustard’s and Marinades!!

PolishZapiekanka2

Polish Zapiekanka/Mushroom Toast
Serves 4
Polish Street Food served the Saucy Mama way!!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  2. 2 small French baguettes, cut in half lengthwise
  3. 4-6 cups baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced (substitute with any mushroom)
  4. 1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
  5. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  9. 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  10. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  11. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  12. 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  13. 1/4-1/2 cup hot water
  14. 1/4-1/2 cup wine, white or red
  15. 2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Champagne Honey Mustard
  16. 2 teaspoons cream or milk
  17. 1 teaspoon flour
  18. 8 slices or 2 cups grated gouda or Dutch Edam cheese
  19. Salt and Pepper to taste
  20. 1 cup ketchup
  21. 2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Cracked Pepper Marinade
  22. 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
To prepare the mushroom base
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high
  2. cooked bacon until crisp, remove bacon from pan and crumble.
  3. Set bacon aside until ready to make sandwich
  4. Remove all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from pan
  5. Add chopped shallots/onions, to hot bacon grease and cook till translucent, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add chopped mushrooms, reducing the heat to medium-low as this process will extract the water content in the mushrooms but not dry them out.
  7. Sauté until mushrooms start feeling tender and drastically decrease in size, about 20 minutes. If mushrooms appear dry, add some of the hot water and continue to sauté.
  8. Once the mushrooms have softened add all the spices and herbs, and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. the chili is optional if you prefer some heat. after the spices have been well absorbed, add the wine, Saucy Mama Champagne Honey Mustard, water and cook for an additional 5 minutes, remembering to add extra hot water if they look dry to create a slight sauce texture.
  9. After the liquid is well absorbed and the mushrooms are fragrant. the mixture should be thick yet still wet. Thicken the sauce by making a paste from flour, cold water, and cream; gradually stir into the mushroom mixture. Cook this mixture for an additional 5 minutes.
To prepare the Zapiekanka
  1. Preheat oven to 400f degrees
  2. On each half baguette pile several spoonsful of the cooked mushrooms, pressing the mixture down with the spoon.
  3. Place the prepared baguettes on a baking dish and top with cheese and crumbled bacon.
Notes
  1. This recipe is just a versatile as pizza! Try adding your favorite ingredients to make delicious new combinations of Zapiekanka.
Adapted from Polish Street Food
Adapted from Polish Street Food
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/




Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015 – The Great Garlic Cook-Off

The Great Garlic Cook-Off

The Great Garlic Cook-Off Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

The Gilroy Garlic Festival just celebrated its 37 year with the third annual Great Garlic Cook-Off.  I had the pleasure of attending the event where I met up with several of my foodie friends for the very first time. It was the most competitive garlic cook off  the event has ever seen.

Eight home cooks vied for the coveted title, Garlic Queen/King, cooking some very impressive dishes for the five celebrity judges; Jason Gronlund, Executive Chef, Smokey Bones BBQ, Jason Lavinsky, Executive Chef, Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf, Adam Sanchez – The Milias Restaurant, Bryan Martinez, Executive Chef, Raley’s, and Carl Stewart, Executive Chef, Raley’s. Master of Ceremonies: Dan Green, Kate Callaghan & Wendy Brodie, HAAC, Executive Chef.

Contestants, Jodi Taffel, Lauren Katz, Tresa Hargrove, Merry Graham, Sherri Williams, Gloria Bradley, Loanne Chiu and Margee Berry, wowed the audience and judges with their garlic infused recipes. The outdoor stage was set with two jumbo-trons giving spectators a birds-eye view of all the cooking action. The air was filled with mouthwatering aromas of charred meats and my favorite kitchen staple, garlic.  Once the smoke settled, the judges crowned Jodi Taffel, first place for her stunning breakfast dish, Shashuka with Deep Fried Garlic. Second place went to Lauren Katz with her Glazed Garlic-Buttermilk Fried chicken and Savory Waffled grits. Third Place went to Tresa Hargrove for her, Chipotle Cilantro Chimichurri Steak on Enchiladas with Roasted Salsa Verde.

I became friends with Tresa, Sherri and Merry, five years ago over our shared interest in food competitions, and Facebook groups. What a pleasure for me to finally meet them all in person as well as, the other competitors. Making new friends and sharing this special day with my fellow foodies was a true blessing.

The day was made more enjoyable hanging out with my dear friend Nancy Judd, winner of the 2013 World Food Championships, Dessert category, and contestant on Chopped Grandma’s.  She and I cooked together in my home during the Real Women of Philadelphia-Cooks Across America-Colorado Cooks video promotion. To see more from that event, watch our Youtube video HERE and HERE.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t chosen to compete with my Benedict Florentine with Roasted Garlic Hollandaise and Garlic Basil Oil this year, but I hope to be on stage at next years competition, cooking alongside my friends. 

Gilroy Garlic Festival Eggs Benedict

 

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri and Nancy

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri Williams, Rebecka Evans, Nancy Judd, Jodi Taffel, Merry Graham and Lauren Katz

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Lady Nann and her man

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

THE WINNER! Jodi Taffel

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

The top THREE Jodi, Lauren and Tresa

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Waiting for the big announcement

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Selfies with Nancy and Rebecka

Winner Circle

Gilroy Garlic Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri Williams and Merry Graham

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Rebecka Evans, The Garlic Man, Nancy Judd