Food Mash Up: Banana Split Ice Cream Sanwich

Tonight I’m doing something a bit different for a Food Mash Up, normally I combined two foods that are not normally thought of together, instead of that, tonight I’m going to make it easier for those of you who have a hard time choosing between an Ice Cream Sandwich and a Banana Split, enjoy!

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Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwich

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We have two radically different desserts here to combine:

 

Banana Split: A concoction of a banana sliced in half, placed in a dish and covered with ice cream, chocolate sauce and topped with a maraschino cherry.

Ice Cream Sandwich: Two cookies placed around a slab of ice cream, which allows for a spoon free, yet not as messy way to enjoy ice cream.

 

The key is to stay as true to each as possible, while incorporating the best part of each. This is a lot easier than might be expected. There are several other attempts at creating such a delight, but the ones I’ve seen all miss the point of being self contained.

The history of each of these items are blurred to say the least, no one knows who exactly invented either dessert, but suffice to say they are both well loved.

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What you need:

Bananas – sliced the easy way (into circles)

Ice cream -softened but not melted

Large ice cream sandwich cookies – the lager the better.

Maraschino cherries – optional – chopped

Shredded coconut

Good quality chocolate bar – grated

Whipped cream -optional-

Melted chocolate, beginning to cool.

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Building a better sandwich:

 

Take one cookie and put a thin coating of ice cream on it, maybe 1/4″ thick, depending on how thick you want the final sandwich to be.

After spreading your ice cream, place a layer of sliced banana on it, make sure to squeeze as many slices as possible on it without too much over lapping. Next spread another thin layer of ice cream over the bananas, being careful to cover all the bananas.

On top of the second layer of ice cream, sprinkle your coconut and chocolate, you want to make sure there is enough of each, however do not cover all of your ice cream, other wise your sandwich may not stay in one piece.

Add a third layer of ice cream. On top of your third layer of ice cream, add your chopped maraschino cherries, again making sure not to cover quite all of the ice cream below.

Add a fourth layer of ice cream or use whipped cream if you’d prefer, top with another cookie.

Freeze the banana spit sandwich until firm, then dip the edges in the melted chocolate and refreeze for half an hour and enjoy.

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There you have it, a new treat for a hot summer day, I hope you enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading!

Food mash-ups: Chicken Cordon Bleu Chimichanga

Tonight I’m combining a Chimichanga with Chicken Cordon Bleu, it’s an interesting experiment and I hope you enjoy it!

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Chimichangas

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Tonight we have Chicken Cordon bleu from… somewhere  and Chimichangas from… well the origin of both of these foods depends on the story you wish to believe, more on that in a bit.

 

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Histories

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Chicken Cordon Bleu:

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu at first glance seems likely to be from France, however it most likely is an American invention, or it was corrupted from various European dishes.

There are two dishes that are very similar to Chicken Cordon Bleu: Chicken Kiev (from the Ukraine) and Veal Cordon Bleu (from Switzerland).

 

Chimichanga:

 

The humble Chimichanga has several origin stories, each one seeming at least semi possible.

Several restauranteurs in the Tucson Arizona area lay claim to the invention of the Chimichanga, mostly in the 1940s, with stories varying from wanting to keep burritos longer, to accidents and swearing.

Another legend says that the chimichanga comes from Sonora, Mexico and have been eaten since the early 1900s.

An interesting and strange origin idea springs from that legend and goes further to claim that the chimichanga was a Chinese invention translated into Mexican food.

 

More on these rumors can be found on the following sites:

http://www.ocweekly.com/restaurants/was-the-chimichanga-invented-by-chinese-in-mexico-6624206

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimichanga

 

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What they are:

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Chicken Cordon Bleu is a dish consisting of a flattened, boneless, skinless chicken breast wrapped around a slice of ham, which is wrapped around a slice of cheese. The cheese varies from recipe to recipe, but it is normally Swiss, mozzarella or a similar cheese.

 

Chimichangas are at the most basic a deep-fried burrito.

They often consisting of shredded meat instead of ground and seldom if ever have refried beans inside them. Sometimes shredded cheese may be added inside if they are going to be eaten unsmothered.

Chimichangas are often smothered in green chili, cheese and sour cream.

 

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Now that we have learned a bit about the histories behind our two foods, along with the basics of them, let’s get done to the cooking of our new dish!

 

What you need:

Flour tortillas

Ham (thin slices or diced)

Cooked chicken (Thinly sliced or diced, leftover chicken works well)

Cheese (Cheddar, Swiss or mozzarella. Or all three if you want.)

 

These are very simple to make, just take a tortilla and add roughly equal parts of chicken and ham, add a bit of cheese, taking care to evenly distribute everything and keep it in a neat row all while leaving roughly two inches at each end.

To fold up the tortilla start with one end, then the other followed by the sides. Use cooking toothpicks to hold them together, normally one at each end will suffice.

Now all that’s left to do is to fry them until they are crisp. You can either deep fry them or use a skillet if you prefer.

 

Finishing touches:

 

There are a few more things that you can do to top off your Cordon Bleu Chimichangas:

  • Serve covered in Hollandaise sauce with a chili pepper sliced on top.
  • Serve covered in green chili with a dollop of sour cream.
  • Serve with a bowl of guacamole sauce on the side for dipping.
  • If smothering with sauce, add more cheese.
  • Eat it as is.

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There you have it, Chicken Cordon Bleu Chimichangas. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Food mash-ups: Swedish Meatball Pot Pie

Tonight I thought I’d combine two well liked meals into one, I think you’ll enjoy this: Swedish Meatball Pot Pie!

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Swedish Meatball Pot Pie

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Tonight we have meatballs from Sweden and Pot Pie from… well  ancient times is about as close as I can get.

Can these things be combined to form something interesting? Of course they can and I’m going to show you how! First a bit of history:

 

Pot Pies:

Pot pies are one of the oldest foods around, having been recorded as far back as Ancient Rome and most likely long before that.

Pot pies were basically a way to keep the filling moist while it cooked, the crust keeping in the heat and steam. Now however we tend to leave off most of the crust, often only putting it on the top and ignoring the bottom, instead relying on out pans.

An interesting site that has more facts than you’ll ever want to know about pies:

https://sliceoflifesunday.wordpress.com/the-history-of-pie/

 

Swedish Meatballs:

Originating in the Scandinavian countries, Swedish meatballs have proven very popular over the years.

A few sources I found claim that as beef was hard to come by, meatballs were prized treats.

Swedish meatballs are considerably smaller than most other kinds of meatballs.

Unfortunately little is know about how or when the first of what we know as Swedish meatballs were invented.

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Now that we have a bit of history, let’s get on to the actual cooking:

 

The first thing you need is a pan, of course. It should be nice and deep so you can fill it with lots of meatballs.

As this is a mash-up, I’d like to start with the crust. You need a flaky pie crust for the top, use whatever recipe you are comfortable with, as there are numerous recipes for pie crusts, I suggest you try a few until you find what works for you.

I suggest adding a little bit of garlic or onion powder to your pie crust, just a tiny bit, it shouldn’t throw off your recipe in the slightest, but it’ll give the crust a nice taste.

Next I’d like to take a moment and talk about the pasta. Swedish meatballs always are served with egg noodles, or should be anyway. As this is a pot pie and the filling is going to be meatballs and gravy, we have to get a little creative with the pasta. I suggest taking your cooked egg noodles or lasagna noodles and lining the bottom of your pie pan, you might want to back it for a few minutes to dry the noodles out just a bit so they form a better crust.

Next we need to get the meatballs ready. There are many recipes out there for Swedish meatballs, if you have one you enjoy, go ahead and use that one, otherwise consider the following:

 

1/2 pound Ground beef

1/2 pound Ground Pork

2/3 cup bread crumbs, soaked in heavy cream

1 Egg

1 finely chopped onion

1 tsp ground Allspice

Salt, pepper to taste

 

Mix all ingredients together and form meatballs, broil them until brown and mostly cooked, they do not have to be completely cooked as they will finish cooking when the pot pie is baking.

 

Next make a gravy out of flour, beef broth and seasoning, normally the same seasonings are used, however you can add others as well, dill and garlic are popular, however some recipes even call for ginger among other spices.

Once you have your gravy and meatballs made, you can start to put your pot pie together. There are two methods:

  1.  Place all your meatballs into the pie pan and pour the gravy over them.
  2. Place a single layer of meatball in the bottom of the pan and cover with gravy before placing a second layer on top, repeat until pie pan is full.

There is another variation of this recipe you can try as well:

Instead of making a bottom crust out of egg noodles, place a small amount of mostly cooked egg noodles on the bottom, cover with a layer of meatballs and gravy, than add another layer of egg noodles before adding more meatballs and gravy, repeat until pan is full, making sure to top with gravy and meatballs.

 

Once you have your pie pan (or casserole pan if you want to make an extra-large batch) full, top with the pie dough. It’s normally placed on top in one piece, however if you want to make it more interesting and have the time, go ahead and weave it as you would an apple pie.

Bake at 350° for about forty-five minutes to an hour and enjoy!

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There you have it, Swedish Meatball Pot Pie. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Food Mash-ups: Corn beef tacos

It’s time for another food mash-up! It’s been a while since I did one of these, but I thought this week would be fitting as St. Patrick’s day was only a few days ago, many of you may have some leftover corned beef sitting around that you’re wondering what to do with, I have the answer!

While there are dozens of recipes out there for Corned Beef tacos, I think my new creations are much better!

 

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Corned Beef Tacos

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Tonight we have foods from Ireland and Mexico being thrown together.

From Ireland we have Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.

From Mexico we have Tacos, tortillas and salsa.

Can these things be combined to form something interesting? Of course they can and I’m going to show you how! First a bit of history:

 

Corned beef:

Corned beef is an old meat, the origins of which appear uncertain.

The best guess of why it’s called Corned Beef is that large grains of salt were used in curing the beef, the grains of salt were called corns and hence the name, or so the rumor goes, some sources say the grains of salt were the size of corn kernels.

Yet while normally thought of as an Irish food, Corned beef was seldom eaten by the Irish in Ireland, however they did produce and export it for quite a while.

Tacos:

The word ‘Taco’ is Spanish in origin, from what I can learn it means ‘plug’ or ‘wad’, which might mean that some one some time long in the past wanted to shut some one up and ‘plugged’ their mouth with a taco, but that’s just my guess.

A taco is at its most basic a filling inside a folded tortilla, or inside a taco shell, which is not much more than a corn tortilla that’s been baked or fired into its shape.

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Now that we have a bit of history, let’s get on to the actual cooking:

There are several different ways you can go about making your Corned beef tacos, it mainly depends on the amount of time you have and how much work you want to go to.

First off you need to decide if you want soft tacos or hard tacos. If you want hard tacos, just use regular taco shells, if you want soft tacos, I suggest making your own tortillas.

As there are many tortilla recipes out there, I won’t go in detail, however I do have a few ideas for your homemade tortillas:

  • Green color: While you can just use food coloring, why not use spinach or cabbage? It adds a bit of flavor and also reminds everyone that St. Patrick’s day isn’t too long ago. If you’d rather not use cabbage or spinach, see if you have any leftover green beer and use that in place of the liquid.
  • A hint of mustard powder: Everyone puts mustard on corned beef, adding it to your tortillas can be interesting. If anyone complains, just say you wanted to ruin them.
  •   Have a lot of time? Try cutting your tortillas into shamrock shapes, they might not be the easiest to work with, but it’ll be fun!

Filling and Assembly:

Now that you have your taco shells or tortillas ready, it’s time to move on to the filling.

Shred your corned beef, add it to a pan with just a bit of liquid and warm it up. This is a great time to add some onions, garlic and peppers.

Next take some mashed potatoes and warm them up.

Chop some cabbage while you’re waiting for everything to heat up, you want your cabbage a nice small size for easy eating, think shredded lettuce.

When everything is ready, you can begin to assemble your tacos:

In the center of your tortilla (assuming you went with soft tacos, otherwise in the bottom of the taco shell) spread a small amount of mashed potatoes as you normally would beans. Add your shredded corned beef on top, put a  bit of  cabbage over that  and  add   a  spoonful of  your favorite salsa, add salt if desired.

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There you have it, corned beef tacos. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

 

Food Mash-ups: Sauerkraut Stir fry

Welcome to the third installment of my newest series: Food Mash-ups! I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the mash-ups so far.

This will be a continuing series of posts, I just haven’t decided how often I should mash-up two distinct foods into one, I’d enjoy knowing what you think, let me know in the comments if you have an opinion.

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Sauerkraut Stir Fry

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The food culture of Germany and China are thrown together in tonight’s mash-up. From Germany, we have Sauerkraut and German sausage. From China, the stir frying technique! Can such widely different styles of food and cooking successfully be mashed together in to one meal? Read on to find out! First a brief history of both:

 

Stir frying:

Stir frying is a technique of cooking that embraces cooking with a small amount of very hot oil for a brief time. The wok was created first, researchers claim, for drying grain around 200 B.C. Unfortunately there are no concrete records of just when the wok was first used for stir frying.

The secret of stir frying is in the high heat and quick movement of the food being fried. It is commonly agreed that stir frying seals in the flavor and texture of the food being cooked, at least if done correctly.

 

Sauerkraut:

Sauerkraut is basically salted cabbage that is allowed to ferment for a period of time. The salt removes some of the liquid from the cabbage and forms the liquid that brine’s the cabbage as it ferments.

Oddly enough, a bit of research shows that while sauerkraut is German in origin, there was likely a similar type of dish that the Chinese workers who built the Great Wall of China ate, only theirs was fermented with rice wine instead of salt.

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Now that we have a bit of history, let’s get on to the actual cooking:

 

Tonight we’re going to add German sausage to out dish, while not necessary, it does add a bit of texture.

Start with links of German sausage, remove the casing and slice the sausage thinly enough that it cooks quickly, but thick enough so that it holds together, this will depend on the sausage you use, some may be packed looser than others. If your sausage is too loosely packed, you may need to cook it quickly before slicing it.

Next thinly slice two or three onions, along with a few cloves of garlic.

Heat up your wok or frying pan, when it’s hot, add enough oil to coat the onions and garlic. Add the onions and garlic. If you didn’t have to precook your sausage, add that as well. Now is also the time to add a hot pepper, one of those small thin red peppers is perfect, these have a variety of names, from Thai hot to bird pepper and many others. If you don’t have one of these, add a Habanero (which fits as its Latin name is Capsicum Chinese), I prefer slicing it thinly, however most stir fries leave the pepper whole. Consider at least slicing it in two to allow more flavor to mingle into your dish.

Once the onions are well wilted and the sausage (if added) is fully cooked judging by the color, add in a nice amount of oyster sauce and a spoonful or two of a nice mustard. If you precooked your sausage, add it now as well.

Serve on a bed of fried rice with soy sauce and pepper to taste.

 

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There you have it, Stir fried Sauerkraut. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

 

Two into one: Foods that shouldn’t go together

Tonight I’m going to try something a bit different, tonight we’re going to take two main course meals and combine them into something completely new.

Don’t worry though, my ‘How to Ruin any Food’ posts will return starting in February when I’ll have several new foods to ruin.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s post, if you have any ideas for a good title for future posts like this, please let me know in the comments.

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General Tao’s Chicken Fried Steak

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Tonight we’re going to combine to dishes, General Tao’s Chicken and Chicken Fried Steak into one. First a tiny bit of history before each dish:

 

General Tao’s Chicken:

The history behind this dish is very interesting, mostly because the  general it’s named after is died long before the dish was created. It’s also known by several variants of the name: General Tso’s Chicken, General Gau’s chicken, General Cho’s chicken and many others. Another translation of the name means something more like ‘ancestral meeting hall chicken’.

There are also many people who are claimed to have invented the dish, these are too many to list tonight.

This dish is made with chicken that is cut into bite sized chunks and dipped into a cornstarch batter before being deep-fried. It is served with a soy sauce based sauce.

 

Chicken Fried Steak:

This dish is also an interesting one, mostly because of how it could be related to several other dishes from around the world, such as:

  • Wiener Schnitzel (Germany/Austria)
  • Milanesa(Italy)
  • Scotch collops (Scotland)

There may be even more dishes similar, however my brief research only turned these up.

This dish is normally made from a pork or beef steak, which has been tenderized. The methods of tenderizing are varied, from pounding to grinding. After which it is normally dipped in egg,  breaded, and fried. It is also served with gravy.

 

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Now that we know the basics of each dish, let’s look at how we can combine them. The first thing is to realize that it’s going to end up being more like one or them other, there is no getting around this fact, however we’ll do our best to even it out.

Meat mixture:

The first this to do is to get your meats ready. I suggest using an equal part of ground chicken, ground pork and ground beef or buffalo. That way you get the chicken and the steak, plus the ground pork will ease the transition between the two, however you can leave it out if you so desire.

Next season your meats, use chili peppers, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and some soy sauce. Mix well and shape into patties about one inch wide by four inches long, give or take. Once you have your patties made, set aside while you get your flour mixture ready.

While you can make your flour mixture first, it doesn’t hurt for your meat patties to sit for a few minutes, it may actually help them hold their shape.

Flour Mixture:

For this you’ll need some flour, enough to fully coat your meat patties in. Add a bit of salt, some black pepper, garlic powder and a dash of paprika, mix well.

Dipping:

You’ll also need an egg, slightly beaten. I suggest playing a game of poker with your eggs, you’ll win as it’s well know that eggs tend to get beaten.

Dip your meat patties into the egg mixture, fully coating them, then roll each patty in the flour mixture.

Deep fry the patties until done, this should only take a few minutes if your oil is hot enough, test with a meat thermometer.

 

The Sauce:

This is the most interesting part of the dish, blending a sauce and a gravy.

Start with a sauce pan with a few tablespoons of butter, melt the butter until you can whisk in some flour,  stir the flour around until it starts to brown, but add water before it burns.

When you have added water enough to make the proper amount of sauce/gravy, add the following to taste:

  • Minced fresh garlic
  • Freshly chopped chives
  • Soy sauce (at least two tablespoons, depending on the amount of sauce)
  • White wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • A pinch of sugar (more or less, depending on your taste.)

You’ll likely notice that your sauce is fairly thin, that’s to be expected, so don’t panic.

Take a small bowl with some water and a tablespoon or two of cornstarch, again depending upon how much sauce you’re making you may need a bit more cornstarch or a bit less. Mix the cornstarch into the water until it’s fully dissolved and add to your boiling sauce, stirring rapidly until it begins to thicken. Turn off heat and serve at once.

I suggest serving either rise or mashed potatoes  with this meal.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading!