Texas Twisted

Elegant cheesy croissant:


2 rolls of croissant dough (pre-cut)
1 cup Blue cheese spread (see below)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay out individual croissant roll flat. Spread approximately 1 teaspoon of Blue cheese spread across entire surface (one side) of the croissant.
Roll into Croissant as normal, with the cheese on the inside.
Place rolls on to pre-greased baking sheet, bout 1 1/2 - 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Enjoy with Your favorite non pasta Italian; such as Chicken Piccata or Chicken Parmesan. 

Blue cheese spread:


1/3 cup natural Blue cheese crumbles
2/3 cup plain cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon


In a food processor blend all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.  Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 cup.

Texas style Cordon Bleu

4 chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz smoked Gouda cheese, sliced into 1" squares about 1/8" thick
20 strips of hickory smoked bacon
1 egg, beaten
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (these items will just be a dusting)
4 slices deli style sliced smoked turkey breast
Pam cooking spray

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Clean and trim chicken breasts of all excess fat. Wash, then pat dry breasts. Place breasts on flat surface and using a sharp knife, cut into the breast parallel to the flat surface, making a pocket in the breast. Make the pocket large enough to hold the Gouda and turkey.  Lightly season breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Take 3 slices of smoked Gouda and wrap them in one slice of smoked turkey breast. Place the gouda and turkey wrap into the pocket in the chicken breast. Lay out 5 strips of bacon side by side, then lay stuffed breast on one end of bacon strips and roll up the breast in the bacon. Repeat this process with each breast. Baste breast/bacon with beaten egg.
In a large mixing bowl, blend Panko and Parmesan cheese.  Coat the breasts with Panko by rolling and covering with breadcrumbs.  Place coated breasts into a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Place in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until no pink juice comes from breast.
Makes 8 servings when each breast is cut in half cross ways.

I cut into the breast on the large side, and keep my other hand on top of the breast. You can feel where the knife is inside of the breast, and if the knife is sharp enough, guide it where it needs to go. You don't really need to worry, with this recipe, about going to far with the pocket because the bacon and breading will hold it together.  This will be good practice for filleting those fish you catch over the summer.
I use so much pepper, garlic and opinion powder that I have a special home made blend of equal parts salt, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder that I use religiously. Keep the empty containers from your store bought seasonings and start blending your own spices.  Make sure you label them though, I have had too many sneezing fits smelling the unlabeled containers. LOL.

Healthier variations of this recipe can be made: use regular breadcrumbs to cut down on sodium; use low fat cheese in place of the gouda; use turkey bacon in place of the regular to cut down on fat.

Brisket Tacos

1 1/2 lbs. cooked, chopped brisket meat( you can substitute any left over beef, or pork or chicken here.)
8 white corn tortillas
2 cups lettuce of choice, shredded
1 cup cheese of choice, shredded
1 Tbsp dark chili powder (get it in the hispanic section of your market)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsps unsalted butter
Plenty of your favorite Salsa
dash of Cumin (cumin is so powerful, to give a measurement to how much is actually used is not possible, maybe a 1/16th of a tsp. or less)

Pre-Heat 10" skillet on medium heat, then add butter to skillet. Add meat to melted butter, and begin to saute. Add all seasonings and mix thoroughly. The meat is already cooked, so you are looking to only heat it up not re-cook it.  Place Tortillas in a tortilla warmer, and heat in Microwave for 30 seconds on high.   Using a Tablespoon, place 2 heaping spoons onto each tortilla. Cover meat with lettuce, then sprinkle cheese on top. Add a generous portion of your favorite salsa.
Makes 8 Tacos.

If you are not using a smoked meat, during the saute process add a couple of DROPS of artificial smoke. Artificial smoke is very concentrated, so be careful not to use too much.
Sauteing is a quick way to cook food if you use high heat, and a very quick way to heat up already cooked food: continually stirring the food while maintaining the medium heat will have this portion of meat heated in about 3-4 minutes.

Baked Alfredo with Shrimp, Chicken and Bacon
1/2 lb cooked, peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 cup cooked and drained Pancetta(or thick cut smoked bacon)
1/2 lb cubed sautéed boneless chicken breast (sautéed with a dash of salt and pepper, and 1clove minced garlic)
2 1/2 cups uncooked Penne pasta
4 cups water
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
12 oz. Light Alfredo sauce( from below)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped Basil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
In a 5 qt sauce pan bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil.  Add Penne paste and continue to boil until pasta is al dente.
Remove from heat and drain.
In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, shrimp, chicken, Pancetta(or bacon), fresh ground pepper and Light Alfredo sauce and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour mixture in to a Pam sprayed baking dish. Cover with mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Home Made Croutons

I love croutons, but very rarely have I found store bought ones that make me go 'Wow'. I don't know why, it did not seem hard at all to make my own, with the flavors that I wanted. I guess when you are selling a national product it does get hard to please everyone. Well, now that I know I can make my own, I will not purchase another bag of croutons from a store. If you have a bread maker this works perfect for you because you are saving money twice, and get to pick what type of bread you want to make your croutons out of. For this recipe I chose Sourdough, and it went really well with the Artichoke and Avocado salad.

You can start with the amount of cubed bread you want, just remember to calculate all of your other ingredients to match.

3 cups cubed(1 inch) sourdough bread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1Tblsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning


Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.
Place cubed bread in mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil onto bread while flipping the mixture.
Once all of the cubes apper to have some oil drizzle, add the Mrs. Dash and the salt and flip the ingredients again until you see all cubes coated with seasoning.
Place seasoned cubes onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown.(approx. 10-15 minutes)
Store extra croutons in your pantry in a sealed air tight tupper ware type container.

(flipping is a trick you see the chefs do with a saute pan when they have their hands full and need to stir the ingredients: grab the bowl by the rim and in one quick move push it away from you about 3 inches and then pull back towards you the same distance. The ingredients slide up the far wall of the bowl and into the air, and your motion catches them as they fall. Try it the first time over the sink, otherwise you will be cleaning the floor of the ingredients that were in the bowl.)


If you have a recipe that calls for breadcrumbs, you can make your croutons ahead of time and crush them to the disired consistancy for your bread crumbs. This, again, will allow you to control tha amout of salt and fat that goes in to your cooking; not to meantion the lack of preservatives and other chemicals you will miss out on.

Happy cooking!