BEER CHEESE SPREAD

kmi1284

Ingredients

1 (2-lb.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (12-oz.) bottle amber beer, at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: thyme sprig

Directions:

Beat together first 5 ingredients at low speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Gradually add beer, beating until blended after each addition. Beat at medium-high speed 1 minute or until blended and creamy.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours. Garnish, if desired. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

This recipe makes a great deal, about 4 10oz. containers. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to a month.

BRINE THAT BIRD

kmi1283

Ingredients

2 gallons cold water
2 cups Sea Salt or Kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon each of rosemary, sage and thyme.
A few dried bay leaves crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation:

Fill a pot or container with about enough of the brine mixture to completely cover the turkey. Rule of thumb is a gallon of water, a cup of salt, about 1/2 cup brown or granulated sugar, a teaspoon of crushed garlic (I use a tablesoon), the herbs and the pepper.

Put the turkey in the brine, weight it down a heavy plate or some other utensil that will be able to keep the turkey submerged. Put a large can (Any can will do. I always use a big can of chili beans) on that to hold the turkey under the brine. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Before roasting, rinse the turkey well and pat dry. Roast without added salt following your favorite recipe.

BACON WRAPPED VENISON RACK

kmi1282

Ingredients

One 1 1/2-pound rack of venison
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)
6 thin slices of maple smoked bacon (3 ounces)
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

Place the venison in a glass or ceramic baking dish and rub with the smashed garlic. Pour the olive oil over the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Transfer the venison to a plate; discard the garlic and reserve the oil. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil until shimmering. Season the venison with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer to a plate to cool. Wipe out the skillet.
Press 1/2 cup of the cilantro onto the meaty top of the venison. Wrap the bacon around the meat, between the rib bones, overlapping slightly. Using cotton string, tie up the rack at 1/2-inch intervals to secure the bacon. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil in the skillet until shimmering. Set the venison in the skillet, bacon side down, and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Turn the rack bacon side up and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 115° to 120°. Transfer the venison to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Pour off the fat from the skillet. Add the chicken stock and boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro.

Carve the venison into 4 thick chops and transfer to plates. Spoon the pan sauce over the chops.

MAKE AHEAD The venison can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for 6 hours; bring to room temperature before cooking.

Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake

kmi1281

Ingredients

6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Directions

1In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute or until melted. Stir together until combined. Add crispy rice cereal and stir well to coat.
2Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. You could use a pie pan but I’ve found that a springform pan is much easier when it comes to removing slices. Place in the freezer to chill while you make the filling (about 10 minutes).
3In a large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
4Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined.
5Gently fold in the whipped topping. Pour filling into the prepared crust.
6Heat fudge and peanut butter in two small separate bowls for 20-30 seconds or until warm. Drizzle over filling.
7Freeze for 4-6 hours or until pie is firm. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving to make cutting easier. Garnish with peanut butter

CHICKEN & DUMPLIN CASSEROLE

kmi1280

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded ( I use a store bought rotisserie chicken)
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups Bisquick
2 cups whole milk
1 can cream of chicken soup (the herbed cream of chicken soup if you can find it)
3 teaspoons of chicken granules (I use Wylers)
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt or more to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer 1 – In 9 x 13 casserole dish, melt 1/2 stick of butter. Spread shredded chicken over butter. Sprinkle black pepper and dried sage over this layer. Do not stir.

Layer 2 – In small bowl, mix milk and Bisquick. Slowly pour all over chicken. Do not stir.

Layer 3 – In medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of chicken broth, chicken granules and soup. Once blended, slowly pour over the Bisquick layer. Do not Stir.

Bake casserole for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown

SLOW COOKER – COQ A VIN

kmi1279

Ingredients

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 (12-ounce) package white or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 large sprigs fresh thyme

Directions:

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on all sides. Dust the chicken with flour; set aside.

Cook bacon until just crisp in a skillet. Drain on paper towels and set aside. If using pre-cooked microwave bacon, cook according to package directions until just crisp. Discard drippings and wipe out skillet with paper towels. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and set aside again.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook until edges begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, garlic and salt and cook until vegetables just begin to soften. Transfer vegetables and broth to crock pot. Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle bacon over chicken. Add wine and thyme sprigs. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with your favorite side dishes!