Entertaining

Bar-Brew-Q Steak

There is something about local businesses that I just adore. I love the passion the owners have for their products, I love the way the employees strive to produce consistent, quality products for their consumers, and finally, I just love the sense of hominess and togetherness they bring to a community. Recently, a coffee company by the name of Brewklyn Grind began following me on Twitter. The adorable and clever name grasped my attention right away, so I just had to explore this business further.  Craig from Brewklyn Grind was kind enough to send me two bags of their deliciously unique coffee blends titled, Guatemala Antigua Los Volcanes and Ethiopia Sidamo Oroma Cooperative. After tasting both beans, not only was I impressed by their extremely unique flavors, I was inspired to utilize them in a recipe.  The Guatemala Antigua beans do not just taste like coffee, they taste like a beautiful blend of all the different spices you would find at a Moroccan spice market.  I often add coffee to my chocolate desserts to enhance the flavor, but the spiciness and earthiness of these beans are a match made in heaven for meat.  I created a delicious spice rub by simply using my nose.  I smelled as many spices as I could find in my cabinet, until I found a blend that worked organically with the scent of the coffee beans. The final product was unlike anything I had ever created, in the best way possible. The coffee beans have such a smoky flavor from the roasting process that when they come together with the paprika and cayenne, the meat actually tastes like it has been smoked for several hours…amazing!   The Coffee Honey BBQ Sauce brings some extra moisture to the dish, and really brings out the flavors of the spice rub even more.  If you do not eat red meat, you can put this rub and BBQ sauce on pork loin, pork ribs, or even chicken wings!  I promise you, you will be licking your fingers! Be sure to follow Brewklyn Grind on twitter @Brewklyngrind and check out their website at http://brewklyngrind.com/

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Recipe Feeds About 4-5 People

Ingredients-

 Coffee Spice Rub-

  1. 1.5 lbs Sirloin Steak (or flank steak)
  2. ½ Cup of Roasted Coffee Beans- My favorite type to use is Brewklyn Grind’s Guatemala Antigua Roast
  3. 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  4. ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  5. ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  6. ½ Teaspoon Mustard Powder
  7. 1 Teaspoon Black Ground Pepper
  8. 1 ½ Teaspoons Kosher or Sea Salt
  9. ½ Teaspoon Whole Coriander Seeds
  10. ½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  11. 2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar

Coffee Honey BBQ Sauce-

  1. 3 Shallots Minced
  2. 1 ½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
  3. ¾ Cup Water
  4. ¼ Cup of the Dry Rub (see above)
  5. 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  6. 1 Teaspoon Siracha (Optional for a little extra heat)
  7. 2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  8. ½ Cup Ketchup
  9. 4 Teaspoons Worchestire                  
  10. 1 Tablespoon plus  1 Teaspoon Honey 

Steps-

Coffee Spice Rubbed Steak (Bar-Brew-Q Steak)-

  1. Place all spice rub ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the coffee beans are finely ground, and the spices are fully incorporated.
  2. Measure out ¼ Cup of the spice rub and set it aside in a bowl.
  3. Massage the remaining contents of the spice rub all over the steak (both sides).  You want to make sure it is fully covered for maximum flavor!
  4. Cover the steak with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight (I let mine marinate in the rub for about 4 hours).  This will let the flavors soak into the meat.
  5. Heat up a grill pan or outdoor grill on medium heat.
  6. Brush a small amount of the BBQ sauce (recipe below) onto both sides of the steak.
  7. Grill the steak on both sides to your preferred temperature. I prefer it medium rare-medium.
  8. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes so it retains its juices.
  9. Slice the Steak into thin slices.
  10. Serve with the Coffee Honey BBQ Sauce. I served mine with grilled veggies, garlic bread, and roasted potatoes.

Coffee Honey BBQ Sauce-

  1. In a medium saucepan place the Olive Oil and Shallot on medium/low heat.  Cook the shallots until they start to get translucent and soft and have a wonderful aroma.
  2. Pour the water in and stir.
  3. Pour in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. 
  4. Let the mixture simmer and reduce down until it is a thick BBQ Sauce-like consistency. Make sure you are stirring occasionally so the sauce doesn’t burn.
  5. When the mixture thickens remove it from the stove and strain it so there are no chunks of onion or large coffee grounds in it.  You want it to be completely smooth throughout.
  6. Allow to cool in the refrigerator.

 

Fall-Apart, Melt in your Mouth, Lemon, White Wine Chicken

Many have stated, "this is THE BEST chicken I have ever had!"

At the age of 23, I am very lucky to have all four of my grandparents still living…and all in NY for that matter!  My grandparents taught me a lot about life, love, hard work and of course FOOD. Some of my fondest memories are of my family sitting shoulder to shoulder at the dinner table, listening to beautiful stories from my grandparent’s past.  My grandmother Anita will not only shower you with kisses and compliments, she will shower you with some of the most delicious food you will ever consume!  Since my family lived just 12 minutes away from their house, we would often have “meals on wheels,” (as my Grandma Anita called it).  If my parents were working late, you better believe Grandma Anita was waiting for us at the house with a stove full of food.  A scent that will forever remind me of my amazing Grandmother is the smell of Chicken Picata; butter, lemon, and herbs cooking down slowly into a sauce that may as well be liquid gold.  Since I have watched my Grandma Anita and my mother cook this dish countless times over the past 23 years, I have decided to put my own twist on the family recipe, and share it with my readers of course. The most common phrase that comes out of my friend’s mouths when I make this dish for them is “this is THE BEST chicken I have ever had in my life”…so you really can’t go wrong!

 

Feeds 2-3 People

Ingredients- 

  1. 1.75 Pounds of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (If they are super Thick, butterfly them (cut them in half )
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. Seasoned Breadcrumbs (I love 4C brand) (You should only need about 2 cups or so)
  4. 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. 3 Tablespoons of Shallots (chopped)
  6. 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced (medium size) (about 2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic but you should use fresh)
  7. 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  8. 1.5 Packets of Instant Chicken Bouillon (Herb Ox is my favorite brand) If you can’t find the powder use 1½ Chicken Bouillon Cubes   
  9. 1.5 Cups of very hot water or boiling water
  10. The juice of 1.5 lemons
  11. ½ Cup White Wine (Any dry white wine)
  12. ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  13. A pinch of salt (if necessary! The bouillon is salty so do not over salt..taste it first!)
  14. 3 Tablespoons of Fresh Parsley Chopped

Steps-

  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour the breadcrumbs in a separate dish
  2. Dip the chicken cutlets in the egg and then the breadcrumbs and make sure they are fully coated.
  3. Put the Olive Oil in a deep nonstick skillet (about 3 inches high or so) (or a ceramic dutch oven) on the stove and heat on medium heat.
  4. When the oil is hot and sizzles if you drop a piece of breadcrumb in it, fry each piece of chicken on each side just until they are golden brown.  You do not want to cook them all the way through, but you do want to create a nice crust on the outside.  Once the chicken is browned remove from the pan and set aside on the counter. (click the picture to see the chicken at this stage)
  5. Put the butter in the same pan where the chicken was and let it melt on medium/low heat. (do not wash the pan, you want the chicken drippings in it)
  6. Put the chopped shallots and garlic in the pan with the butter and sauté until they soften and get slightly translucent.
  7. Place the chicken back in the pan with the shallot mixture.
  8. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the 1.5 cups of boiling water, and stir the chicken bouillon into it so that it dissolves and turns into a chicken stock.
  9. Pour the stock over the chicken.
  10. Pour the lemon juice and wine in with the chicken
  11. Sprinkle in the black pepper and half of the parsley
  12. Cover the pan and let the chicken simmer on low heat for about 1 to 1 ½  hours. You want the chicken to stew in the liquid until it breaks apart easily with a fork...no knives needed!
  13. Remove the lid and reduce the liquid down until it is thick like a turkey gravy.  You will  reduce the liquid by about half or a little more.
  14. Once it is reduced down, sprinkle the remaining chopped parsley over the top and you are ready to eat!
  15. Serve with pureed cauliflower (mock-mashed potatoes), mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes and a green vegetable of your choice.

Tropical Shrimp & Mango Stuffed Avocados

I won’t lie, I love rich, butter-filled dishes, but sometimes you just need something light, fresh and full of nutrients!  One of my favorite ingredients to cook with is avocados, because when they are ripe, they have such a wonderful creaminess that can add so much flavor and richness to a dish.  Shrimp is a healthy protein choice when cooking because it is filling but very low in calories. Shrimp is like a blank canvas, in that will absorb the flavors and colors of the marinade you put on it.  The fun part about this recipe is that the avocado also acts as the serving dish.  It is such a beautiful & colorful presentation that will take your guests on a trip to the tropics any time of year! Got Room For More?  Follow Got Room For More on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram! I would love to hear your comments and recipe requests!

Recipe Feeds 3 people

Ingredients-

  1. 25-30 Raw Deveined Shrimp (Small/medium shrimp…not rock shrimp because those are too small) (You want about 8-10 shrimp per person)
  2. 2 Ripe Avocados
  3. ½ Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  4. 2 Teaspoons Honey
  5. ½ Teaspoon Salt
  6. ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  7. A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  8. A dash of Coriander
  9. 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  10. 1/4 Teaspoon Ginger Paste (Comes in a small jar or use fresh grated)
  11. ½ Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  12. 2 Teaspoons Chopped Cilantro (If you do not like Cilantro then use Parsley)
  13. 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Red Onion
  14. ¼ Cup Fresh Diced Tomato (I used some red and some yellow)
  15. ½ a Very Ripe Mango Diced in Small Pieces
  16. Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt (I use Greek Yogurt b/c it is low in fat and a similar texture)

Steps-

  1. Stir together the Orange Juice, Mango, Honey, Salt, Pepper, Coriander, Red Pepper, Vinegar, Ginger, Garlic, Cilantro and Red Onion.
  2. Pour 3/4 of the mixture on top of the shrimp in a separate bowl and set the rest of the marinade aside. Put the shrimp in the fridge and let it marinate for about 15-20 minutes
  3. Remove the shrimp from the fridge and grill them on a grill pan or outdoor grill for a few minutes on each side or until they turn slightly orange and are fully cooked.
  4. Set the shrimp aside
  5. Cut the avocados in half vertically and remove the pit.  Leave the skin on!
  6. Scoop out about half of the flesh of each avocado, so that you create nice little hollow avocado bowls. Chop up whatever you remove and add with to the shrimp. Each person should receive one half of an avocado. Since this recipe is for 3 people, scoop out the 4th half completely, and dice it up.  Throw the scooped out/diced flesh into the bowl with the grilled shrimp.
  7. Toss the diced tomatoes in with the shrimp and pour the remaining marinade over the mixture.
  8. Toss it all up so that everything is fully coated in the sauce.
  9. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the semi-scooped out avocado halves and then put a nice helping of the shrimp salad in each one as if it were a serving bowl.
  10. Put a small dollop of sour cream or Greek Yogurt on each stuffed avocado and then garnish with cilantro or parsley.
  11. Serve with Corn, red cabbage slaw, a salad or just by itself! You can even use tortilla chips to scoop it out!

New Zealand Clams with Orange & White Wine

When visiting my family back home on Long Island, my mom and I took a trip to one of our favorite specialty grocery stores.  We were thrilled to find a bin of live lobsters priced at $5.99 per pound…amazing! We decided to make succulent steamed lobsters with the traditional corn on the cob and baked potato side dishes, but we needed the perfect appetizer to start the meal.  My mom decided to add to the seafood theme by making her New Zealand Clam recipe, that is both simple and incredibly flavorful.   The fresh squeezed orange juice brightens up the dish with its fresh, tangy flavor and the white wine and garlic just go together organically, especially with clams.  Serve each guest a nice big bowl of clams with enough broth so that you can enjoy some with each bite and soak up the rest with bread.

 Recipe Feeds about 4 People

Ingredients-

  1. 2.5 Lbs of New Zealand Clams (They are about the size of a quarter)
  2. 4 Cloves of Garlic Minced
  3. ¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  4. 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
  5. 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  6. 1 Tablespoon Butter
  7. ¾ Cup Dry White Wine
  8. ½ Cup Clam Juice
  9. The Juice of 1 Large Orange
  10. ½ Teaspoon Freshly Grated Orange Zest
  11. Dash of Black Pepper
  12. 1 Loaf of Bread (Italian Bread, French Baguette or Ciabata) 

Steps-

  1. Thoroughly clean each clam under cold water using a potato brush or paper towel to make sure there is no sand on them. Put them aside.
  2. Pour the Olive Oil into a large pot on medium low heat and heat it up slightly.
  3. Add the butter and allow it to melt.
  4. Put the garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes into the pot with the oil and sauté them until the garlic starts to brown slightly. (Do not let the garlic get to dark in color, this will give the dish a bitter taste)
  5. Once the garlic becomes very aromatic and browns slightly, add the clam juice, wine, orange juice, zest and pinch of pepper.
  6. Put the clams in the juice and cover the pot
  7. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook the clams until they pop open on their own.  This should take about 5 minutes.
  8. Once the clams open, gently stir them around in the broth so they absorb the flavors of the juice.
  9. While the clams are cooking, toast and slice the bread the way you like it.
  10. Spoon a nice helping of the clams into each serving bowl and pour a nice ladleful of broth over the clams.
  11. Serve with a piece of the toasted bread to soak up all the juices
  12. Sit back and listen to the “slurps” around you! Enjoy!

Got Room For More? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @gotroomformore.

Guacamole with Honey & Cumin

When it is warm outside, the foods that come to my mind are barbecued foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, slaws and salads, fresh fruits and of course lots of yummy dips.  Everyone loves a good dip whether it is buffalo chicken, French onion, taco, spinach, or my personal favorite, homemade guacamole.  After researching recipes and making and eating several variations of this classic Mexican dish, I finally developed the perfect recipe.  This recipe is creamy, refreshing, savory and sweet, all in one!  The secret ingredients, honey and Cumin Seeds take this guac to a whole new level. Shout out to my Lebanese Best Friend, Chris for showing me how versatile cumin can be!   I serve this guacamole with the traditional tortilla chips, with quesadillas, or on top of a beef or turkey burger. 

Tip- Leave the avocado pit in the center of the guacamole until you serve it. This will delay the browning process.

(Makes 1 medium size bowl)

Ingredients-

  1. 2 Avocados (make sure they are ripe)
  2. 1 small lime
  3. 3  Tablespoons Red Onion (finely chopped)
  4. 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  5. Dash of Black Pepper
  6.  ¼ Cup Tomato (diced small)
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Cilantro or Parsley (minced)
  8. 1 Teaspoon of Honey
  9. 1/4 Teaspoon Toasted Cumin Seeds (you may like more so taste and add accordingly)
  10. 1/2 Teaspoon-1 Teaspoon of finely chopped Jalapeno Peppers (pickled or fresh...I used pickled)

Steps-

  1. First, cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. 
  2. Mash up the avocados until they are a nice and creamy/slightly chunky texture.
  3.  Next, squeeze the juice of the lime on top of the avocado, and stir it up right away to prevent it from turning brown. 
  4. Stir in the onion, salt, pepper, tomato, cilantro and honey until it is all evenly distributed.  
  5. Serve in a nice bowl next to some chips and salsa, put it on top of your burger, dip your quesadillas in it, or just eat it with a spoon! ENJOY!!!

 

Watermelon, Arugula Salad with Goat Feta & Heirloom Tomatoes

Who doesn't love juicy, bright summer fruits on a warm, sunny day?  This salad is super simple to make, but the flavors and presentation are incredibly impressive and eye-catching. The earthy, peppery taste of the arugula and olive oil mixed with the natural sweetness of the watermelon and the briny bite from the Goat feta cheese is simply perfection. Forget about that bland, mixed green salad or that boring Caesar, and give this a try!  Like what you see? Like what you taste?  #GotRoomForMore on Twitter and send me a pic of the Got Room For More recipes you try!

 

Ingredients

  1. 2.5 ounces of Baby Arugula
  2. 1.5 lbs Seedless Watermelon cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  5. .25 lbs Goat Feta cut into small cubes (about ¼ inch thick)
  6. 1 Cup of Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes (orange, yellow, green and red to bring out color)
  7. Salt and Pepper

 

Steps

  1. Cut tomatoes in half if they're very small and quarter them if they are on the larger side, and put them into a large bowl
  2. Put the balsamic in a small nonstick pan on the stove on medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until it bubbles and turns into the consistency of chocolate syrup.
  3. Set aside to cool slightly while to do the next steps
  4. Toss together the arugula, watermelon, and feta in the bowl with the tomatoes
  5. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top to taste
  6. Drizzle 3 or so tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the top and toss with salad tongs (you may want more or less..eyeball it. The juice from the melon also acts as part of the dressing so you do not want to over dress it).
  7. Drizzle the balsamic over the top and toss lightly
  8. Serve on its own or as a side or starter course

"Po-Yo" (Potato Salad made with Greek Yogurt)

There is one ingredient that is used in many popular recipes that people either love or DESPISE…mayonnaise.  Personally, I love the stuff, on sandwiches, in tuna salad or on a juicy hamburger, but it just isn't the healthiest of condiments.  When making a side dish to bring on a trip to rural Pennsylvania, I started to think of fresh, new ways to concoct popular summer sides such as potato salad and macaroni salad.  As I was strolling through the dairy isle I came across one of my favorite things, Greek Yogurt.  I used the yogurt in this recipe as if it were mayo, and to my surprise, it was simply delicious!  If you are a health nut or just not a fan of mayonnaise, I promise you, you will love this creamy, tangy, spicy potato salad recipe.

(Feeds 6-8 people)

Ingredients

  1. 3 lb bag of baby red potatoes washed and quartered (keep skin on
  2. 1 cup of 2% Greek Plain Yogurt (I prefer Fage or Chobani)
  3. 2 ½ Tablespoons Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
  4.  1 ½ Tablespoons Honey
  5. The Juice of half a medium size lemon
  6. Dash of salt and pepper
  7.  1 Tablespoon White Distilled Vinegar
  8.  3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Dill
  9.  1/2 a medium red onion diced very small
  10.  1/3 Cup chopped celery
  11. 3 Hard boiled eggs chopped (If you are super healthy conscious remove the yolks)

Steps

  1. Place the quartered red potatoes into a medium size pot and fill it with cold water until the water is about 2 inches above the potatoes.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook them until they are tender and can be easily pricked with a fork (but still maintain their shape).  Do not overcook the potatoes or the texture of the potato salad will be sticky and starchy.
  3. Drain the potatoes, put them in a bowl with a paper towel on top and place them in the refrigerator.  The potatoes must be fully cooled before you dress them.
  4. In a medium bowl mix together all of the remaining ingredients except for the eggs.
  5. Remove the potatoes from the fridge and gently stir in the chopped eggs
  6. Pour the yogurt mixture over the potatoes a little bit at a time until each potato is fully coated.  You may use all of the dressing but some people may prefer it on the dryer side.  
  7. Serve next to burgers, roasted pork, sausage, hot dogs, chicken…the possibilities are endless!

Loaded Brussel Sprouts

When planning a dinner party for some of my closest friends, I didn’t want to serve them your ordinary chips, dips, cocktail weenies etc.  I wanted to come up with something unique and delicious to impress my gang and have them screaming “we’ve GOT ROOM FOR MORE!”  My friends Jon and Chris and my sister Christiana are all huge Brussel sprout fans, but my boyfriend Daniel is not the biggest fan.  After serving this savory, sweet, creamy, crunchy appetizer, you better believe everyone turned into a Brussel believer!

Ingredients

    1. 1 container of fresh whole brussel sprouts ( about 2 cups)
    2. Herbed chevre goat cheese (About 4 ounces)
    3. Thick cut bacon cooked until crispy and cut into small bits (about 1/3 cup of bacon bits)            
    4. Extra virgin olive oil
    5. Good quality balsamic vinegar
    6. Sea salt & Black Pepper

    (Serves 4-6 people)

    Steps

    1. Cut the ends off the Brussel Sprouts and slice each one in half vertically.
    2. Thoroughly clean them under warm water in a colander
    3. Preheat the oven to 375 F
    4. Put the Brussel Sprouts in a pot and cover with water (about an inch above the brussels)
    5. Bring to a boil and cook until the Brussel Sprouts are slightly tender (can be pricked with a fork)
    6. use a slotted spoon to strain the Brussels out of the water (be gentle so they don’t fall apart).
    7. Place them onto paper towels and gently pat them dry.
    8. With a small spoon or knife dig a small circular dent into the center of each Brussel Sprouts with the cut side facing up.
    9. Place them cut side up onto a cookie sheet pan and baste them with olive oil
    10. Sprinkle with sea-salt and ground black pepper
    11. Place under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes until they start to get browned
    12. Remove from the oven
    13. Roll small balls of goat cheese using your fingers (wet your fingers lightly if they stick) about the size of a shelled hazelnut, and press them into each indent inside each Brussel Sprout.
    14. Place a bacon crumble or two on top of the goat cheese
    15. Place back in the oven for a moment until the cheese starts to melt slightly  and become one with the Brussel Sprouts
    16. Right before you serve these delicious hors d’oeuvres pour about 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar into a small non-stick frying pan.
    17. Cook it over medium heat until it starts to bubble and reduce down into a thick syrup.
    18. Drizzle a little of the balsamic reduction onto each stuffed brussel sprout using a small spoon.
    19. Serve on a nice serving dish with our without toothpicks…I believe your hands are the best tool!

    Now sit back and watch your guests pop these in their mouths faster than you can say #gotroomformore?