Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Candied Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Y'all!


I missed my stepfather's birthday this year. Yeah, I know - I'm the worst. But trust me, I have an excellent excuse. I had his birthday saved in my old phone on the calendar, but it got lost when my stepfather gave me a new phone for Christmas. So, if you think about it . . . it's really all his fault. To make up for it, I decided to make him a treat because he's almost sixty and can pretty much buy anything he actually wants.


You will need:
Cookie Dough:
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 2 sticks of soft butter
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
 Candied Pecans:
  • 1 cup pecans, whole or chopped
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP butter
Preheat your oven to 375.

Get a large bowl and mix up the white sugar, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until it's creamy. Add the eggs in one at a time and make sure you mix them in all the way. Otherwise, you could get scrumptious chunks of cooked egg in your cookies.

In a small bowl, combine salt, flour, and baking soda. Spill some of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and mix it real well. Continue adding the flour mixture a little bit at a time making sure it's incorporated completely it has become some tasty-delicious cookie dough.







Next add the chocolate chips and we can move on to the star of this cookie show!


THE CANDIED PECANS.

This is so serious y'all. Pecans are a big deal in the South, but they're just as tasty up here in the slowly-thawing North.




Get a small frying pan, preferably, set it on medium and start melting that butter. Drop in one pecan at a time until the butter starts sizzling, then dump in the rest of the nuts and brown sugar. Use a spatula to mix it all around in the pan and really get those pecans coated in the butter and sugar.


Let them simmer for 5-8 minutes on medium and then remove it from heat completely. I left mine on the stove and the sugar caramelized onto the bottom of the pan, womp, womp.

Stir the candied pecans into the cookie dough. Roll the cookie dough into about the size of a golf ball and set up nine on a cookie sheet. Make sure they're spread evenly apart, unless you like twin cookies. Bake them for 9-12 minutes. I made three pans worth of cookies, nine each which makes twenty-seven cookies all together.


I don't know if my stepfather likes them. I haven't heard from him since I gave him the cookies so I assume his mouth is too jammed full to speak.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Slow Cooker Pot Roast a la Liz





     One of the keys to a great relationship is keeping both tummy happy and full. At least this is the case in MY relationships. If I'm hungry, I'm not happy and so is the case with my boo!
     It may be an old adage, but meat and potatoes are the best thing in the world, end of discussion. You've heard it a million times, I know. That's why you can never go wrong with pot roast! Celery, onions, potatoes, carrots and meat all cooking in meat juice? UH, yes, please.




You will need:
  • 1 onion, peeled and quarted
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut into 2-inch segments
  • 2 cups beef broth, or 2 beef bouillon cubes diluted in 2 cups of water
  • 1-2 lb. beef pot roast
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt & pepper
 
     Heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Meanwhile, salt and pepper both sides of the roast. When the oil gets hot, CAREFULLY place the roast in on a flat side. I say carefully because you WILL get hurt if you slam that piece of meat down and a spritz of hot oil gets on your arms. Take it from me, oil burn scars are not cute. Brown each side of the roast for 5-8 minutes each. Try to brown it.


     Layer the vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. I like to put some of them on top of the roast for firmer vegetables. Pour the beef broth in the slow cooker and then top it off with roast. Place the cover, set the heat on low, and leave it alone for 6-8 hours. The longer the better, guys.







     All that's left is too make a big batch of mashed potatoes to soak up all the beef juice! Enjoy,
folks!

Love,

Liz

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Korean Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry

     Yesterday, I was in a tight spot. I had $40 to cover my groceries and it was my turn to cook dinner that night. I went through a lot of options but I settled on something that had lots of inexpensive vegetables, to make up the bulk of the dish, and a inexpensive cut of meat preferably on sale. Also, more important than anything else - it HAD to be good.
     For the first time EVER, I'm faced with a beau who can produce more in the kitchen than fried eggs. The first meal this guy made me was muscles in a tomato-white wine sauce. What the Hell?! Nobody does that in real life! He's amazing so I can't just slap down some tacos seasoned from a packet anymore.
     Given the circumstances and budget, the fact that he likes Asian cuisine, I picked stir-fry. I am SO GLAD I DID! Needless to say, my beau contributed a lot to this recipe. We used one of his woks, because of course he has more than one! I might have prepped but he had a hand in a lot of the cooking process due to his stir-fry history.

You will need:
  • 1 lb. chicken strips OR chicken breasts, cut into thumb-sized chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into semi-circles
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 small broccoli floret, chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, diced
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • fresh ginger, one-inch piece, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled into strips
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Tsang's Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce, I like the low sodium kind
  • 1 cup par-boiled rice
  • 2 cups water
      Grab a small, resealable plastic bag and put in the chicken chunks, garlic, ginger, 1/2 cup Tsang's Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce, and 1/2 cup soy sauce. Before you seal the bag, try to get out all of the air that you can, then toss it in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the chicken is speed-marinating, this is the time to prepare your vegetables and rice.
     My beau introduced me to par-boiled rice. It's nice and tender and I LOVE IT! Get your water boiling and then break up the bouillon cube in the water, then add the rice and cover. Let the rice boil for about 30-60 seconds then reduce the heat to low. Stir once or twice for the next 15 minutes then turn off the heat and stir. If there's rice sticking to the bottom just put the cover back on for about five minutes then stir. The moisture should lift the rice up off the bottom of the pot.
   
     

Heat the vegetable oil in your wok or frying pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot carefully pour in the chicken mixture, try to get whatever is leftover in the bag out into the pan. Cook the chicken for a about 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetables and the rest of the Tsang's Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce and soy sauce.
    

   

     Remember: KEEP STIRRING, that's the point of stir-fry. The vegetables should be cooked but still crisp. Stir every 30 seconds or so for the next 10-13 minutes then you're done!
     I like to plate the rice first and then layer on the goodness so the rice soaks up the run off sauces. Scrumpty!

Love,

Liz