Author Archives: Larry

Queso Blanco

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups real whole milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch ground black pepper
10 ounces (about 4 cups) shredded white American cheese
1 tablespoon diced canned green chiles or jalapeños (optional)
To garnish:

Fresh pico de gallo
Chopped cilantro
Sliced jalapeño peppers

Make the roux: In a 3-quart saucepan (preferably one with sloping sides) melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is completely melted, sprinkle the flour over it and whisk the two together until a very loose paste forms. Cook the roux for 1 minute.

Make a béchamel sauce: Pour the milk into the roux in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Adding the milk to the roux slowly helps avoid clumps.

Add the spices: Once all of the milk has been whisked into the pot, add the cumin, garlic, salt, onion powder, and black pepper. Whisk the spices in completely while bringing the milk up to a simmer.

Thicken the sauce: Whisk the milk sauce frequently until small bubbles appear on the surface. This should take 3-5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the milk sauce should thicken to the consistency of a bisque or soup.

Gradually whisk in the shredded cheese: Once the milk sauce has thickened, decrease the heat to the lowest setting. Whisk in the shredded cheese a heavy pinch at a time, adding the next batch of cheese only when the previous batch has melted completely.

Stir in the chiles: Once all of the cheese has been whisked in, add the diced green chiles to the queso blanco. Taste the sauce, adding more salt if needed.

Adjust the consistency: When first prepared, the sauce will be slightly thin. This is to allow the queso to thicken properly as it cools. If you find your queso is too thick, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Keep warm over very low heat: If you plan to serve the queso blanco over the span of a couple of hours, keep the dip warm over very low heat. Stir every 10 minutes to keep it smooth. If the top of the dip starts to firm up, simply stir to replenish its creamy consistency.

Source: Queso Blanco Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves, crushed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup fish stock (or chicken stock)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 pound shell-on shrimp
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Hot crusty French bread, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the cayenne, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika, and bay leaves.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter over medium-high until melted and sizzling. Add the garlic, spices, wine, fish stock, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes; shake the pan as it cooks to help bring the sauce together.
Add the shrimp, reduce the heat to low, and cook, turning once, until the shrimp turn pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the shrimp with parsley and serve immediately from the skillet with hot French bread to soak up the sauce. Eat with your hands.

Source: Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp From Toni Tipton-Martin & B. Smith Recipe on Food52

Rotisserie Chicken Alfredo

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 ounces fettuccine
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup reserved pasta water
Fresh parsley, garnish

Boil a pot of water: Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Salt liberally.

Add the butter, cream, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg to small or medium-sized sauce pan. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a slight simmer. Then turn heat down to low and simmer the sauce, stirring regularly to prevent scalding, until the sauce thickens slightly, enough to coat the back of a spoon easily.

Cook the pasta: Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it’s al dente, according to package. When pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain pasta.

Finish the alfredo: Return the cooked pasta to the pot and add the alfredo sauce and shredded chicken. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly to combine ingredients. Add cheese and continue to stir.

Sauce will thicken as you stir it with the pasta. If sauce seems too thick or gloopy, add reserved pasta water by the 1/4 cup to thin out the sauce slightly. You might not need any pasta water or you might need a good amount of it.

LEFTOVERS! Leftover chicken alfredo will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat the alfredo gently in a pot over low heat with a splash of water. Do not microwave.

Source: Rotisserie Chicken Alfredo Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Skillet Chicken and Rice

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into slices 1/2-inch thick and 2-3 inches long
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed well
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen sweet peas

Cook the chicken: Season your sliced chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large (at least 12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes per side, getting a decent sear on both sides. It’s okay at this point if your chicken isn’t cooked all the way through.

Cook the onions: Remove chicken from the skillet and add onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, softening veggies. Add dried oregano and basil to the skillet and stir together.

Assemble the skillet and simmer: Stir in the rinsed white rice and nestle chicken pieces back in the skillet. Then add 3 cups of the chicken stock and stir gently to make sure chicken stock is evenly distributed. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Check the rice: After 15 minutes, check the skillet. If the rice is tender and the skillet is dry, then the dish is ready to serve. If the rice isn’t quite done and the skillet is dry, add another 1/2 cup of broth, re-cover the skillet, and continue to simmer for a few minutes. If the rice is cooked but there is still some stock in the skillet, uncover the pan and let the extra stock cook off for a few minutes.

When the rice seems just about done, add the frozen peas to the skillet. They will thaw quickly!

Source: Skillet Chicken and Rice Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups chopped pecans

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugars and beat to combine, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one, and the vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture gradually until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans, mixing until just combined.

For large cookies, drop a hefty 1/4 cup of dough onto the baking sheets for each cookie, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, then rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for an additional 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely. For smaller cookies, use 2 tablespoons dough per cookie and bake for 15 to 18 minutes total, rotating the baking sheets midway through. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for several days. May be frozen.

Source: Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies – The Washington Post