• Team cooking is a blast!
  • It’s fun and a great way to entertain.
  • You can achieve so much more than a single cook can accomplish.
  • It takes the stress out of hosting dinner parties.
  • Prepare great meals at a fraction of the cost of restaurants.
  • Put an entire gourmet dinner together in 2-3 hours.
  • No corkage fees!!

Spanish Paella, Made Easy!

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 No comments

Paella, a dish traditionally loaded with clams, mussels, shrimp, chicken, lobster, and sausage, is an absolutely delicious meal, meant to share with a big, hungry group. To make it easier to prepare, I’ve decided to used chicken, sausage and shrimp for a pared down version of this spanish meal. Don’t skimp on the peppers though–this simplified Paella recipe is packed with flavor!

Paella2 e1346631349893 Spanish Paella, Made Easy!

Spanish Paella

SIMPLIFIED PAELLA

6 slices thick bacon, crumbled into ½” pieces
8 tablespoons Spanish olive oil, divided
2 large onions, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
8 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups medium grain rice
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 32-ounce boxes organic chicken broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 12-ounce bottle clam juice
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup red wine

24 large shrimp (U-12)
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
2 tablespoons Gary’s Rub*
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and dried
1 pound smoked sausage
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained
2 lemons, quartered

*Recipe in Cook the Part book, or use your favorite dry rub.

 

Prepare paella on the stove top.

Sauté the bacon until brown in large paella pan.
Remove from pan, crumble and reserve. Add a few tablespoons of 0live oil to the pan. Add onions and sauté until sweated.Add all the chopped peppers and garlic. Sauté a few minutes more until soft.

Add a bit more olive oil and then add the rice and salt. Stir until rice is nicely coated with the oil.

Heat the broth in a saucepan and slowly add to coated rice.

Moisten the saffron threads in some of the broth in a small cup for a few minutes before adding all to the paella pan.

Add the clam juice. Cover and cook rice for 10 minutes.

Add the ground pepper, chopped tomatoes, thyme, ground black pepper and wine and allow to cook until the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes, simmering on low. Avoid over-browning the rice on the bottom of the pan. (You may have to loosen it once or twice during cooking. “Soccarat,”a crust, will form on the pan bottom. This is a normal, natural part of your paella.)

Add the shrimp, peas and crumbled bacon. Cover completely with aluminum foil. Continue cooking until shrimp are completely cooked.

Grill chicken and sausage for paella.

Heat grill to medium. Sprinkle the chicken with Gary’s Rub. Grill chicken and smoked sausage until done and nicely browned. Cut sausage and chicken into bite-sized pieces. Remove meat to a platter, tent with foil and put into a warming drawer or oven until ready to add to the paella.

Finish paella.

Add chicken and sausage to paella pan. Cover and let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Top with the parsley and pimientos and garnish with the lemon wedges.

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Father’s Day Brunch Recipe: Tortilla Española

Friday, June 13th, 2014 No comments

Father’s day is almost here! One of my all-time favorite dishes to cook up for a Father’s Day is Tortilla Española, also offered as an appetizer in the Spanish Wine Dinner chapter of Cook the Part. This delicious dish is a staple of Spanish cuisine, consisting of egg omelette made with potatoes cooked in olive oil. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.

Tortilla Espanola 1024x682 Fathers Day Brunch Recipe: Tortilla Española

TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA

TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons Spanish olive oil, divided
  • ?4 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced very thin (Note: Use a mandolin (if available) set at 1/8”)
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt?1 onion, cut in half and sliced very thin?2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons dry grill rub or seasoning
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Roasted red pepper strips, purchased or homemade

1) Prepare potatoes for Tortilla Española, sliced about 1/8″ inch thin

2) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high flame.

3) Add potato slices and sauté for 12 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking.

4) Add another tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce flame to medium.

5) Add onions and continue cooking until onions are soft and potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.

6) ?Add crushed garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

Turn off flame and set aside.

7) ?Beat eggs with 1 teaspoon salt, rub and pepper in a large bowl.

8) Remove potatoes from skillet, add to egg mixture and let stand for 10 minutes.?Add 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet.

9) Pour egg and potato mixture into heated skillet. ?Allow eggs to set, lifting the sides of the omelet to let more egg mixture run underneath.

10) When the omelet can be lifted from the side of the pan, invert the omelet onto a plate and slide it back into the pan to cook the other side.

11) Add ground pepper to taste.?Slide the cooked omelet onto a cutting board or serving plate and cut into cubes or wedges. This can be served at room temperature. Serve with roasted red peppers strips.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Enjoy!

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Cafe Terra: Cookbook Review

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 No comments

Excerpt from “Cafe Terra” Cookbook Review:

As a food blogger it is normal to see stacks of cookbooks in every corner of your home.  With technology today, many cookbooks are enjoyed virtually.  So with your e-reader happy,  time to fill those empty spaces in your home with a new tchotchke.  So of course adding to my collection is totally normal, right?

cookt the part 1a 300x200 Cafe Terra: Cookbook Review

My hubby and I love cooking together, and we love cooking with friends.  When we are cooking with a group, we each will take on a cooking task.  It is more fun cooking with a group of friends, you can make more food, and still eat at a normal time…..

See the full story here: http://www.cafeterrablog.com/2014/06/03/cook-the-part-cookbook-review/

Get your own copy of Cook the Part here!

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The Perfect Summer Side: Recipe for Honey Cornbread

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 No comments

There’s something about cornbread that always tastes of Summer. Perhaps it’s the honey? In any case, this recipe for Honey Cornbread Mini Muffins is the perfect side dish to any BBQ this summer. Serve these with Paper Wrapped Salmon or even with some delicious bbq Baby Back Ribs.

Honey Cornbread Mini Muffins Web The Perfect Summer Side: Recipe for Honey Cornbread

Honey Cornbread Mini Muffins

HONEY CORNBREAD MINI MUFFINS

Makes 24 mini muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup plain yogurt
¾  cup milk
¼  cup honey
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 cup cooked corn
Butter for mini-muffin pans

Step 1: Mix together corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Step 2: Combine eggs, melted butter, yogurt, milk, honey, jalapeño and corn in another bowl.

Step 3: Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Refrigerate mixture until 30 to 45 minutes before baking (up to 6 hours).

Step4: Bake muffins!

Preheat oven to 400.  Butter mini-muffin pans. Bake muffins for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean.

 

Let me know what you think! 

 

 

CTPTabletop 5773 300x200 The Perfect Summer Side: Recipe for Honey Cornbread

 

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Cool Down with This Recipe for Fresh Lemonade or Homemade Margaritas

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 No comments

There really isn’t anything better than a fresh cup of lemonade–except maybe a homemade margarita. We are already beginning to feel the heat of summer here in San Diego. With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, and the weather man forecasting a warm weekend ahead, it felt like a great time to share my margarita recipe.

margarita toast Cool Down with This Recipe for Fresh Lemonade or Homemade Margaritas

A margarita toast to kick off summer!

To get started, make one pitcher (or more!) of lemonade using this simple recipe:

Fresh Lemonade

Ingredients:

1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed, or frozen if you prefer)
1 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup boiling water (this is called simple syrup—the heat allows the sugar to dissolve)

1) Mix both the lemon juice and simple syrup together in large pitcher
2) Then, add four cups of cold water and ice

To Serve: Sometimes we have the lemonade “on the rocks,” sometimes we have ½ lemonade and ½ freshly brewed ice tea for an Arnold Palmer, and sometimes we have half lemonade and ½ Pellegrino (for a lighter lemony sparkling water).

For kids, you can even dip the glass rim in sugar (the kid version of our Margarita salt).

 

Simple Homemade Margaritas

For an adult refresher, follow this recipe (thanks to Carin Canale-Theakston):

Ingredients:

Grab a 12 oz. container frozen limeade
Fill the limeade container as follows:
1 container water
1 container tequila
1 12 oz. bottle Corona beer

1) Mix all together in a large pitcher. Serve in Margarita glasses filled with ice (with or without salted rims).

It’s that easy! Want more recipes? Grab a copy of Cook the Part for $5 off today with coupon FB2014 at checkout. 

 

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Recipe of the Day: Classic Apple Tarte Tatin

Thursday, May 1st, 2014 No comments

appletartin e1397450415876 Recipe of the Day: Classic Apple Tarte Tatin

Apple Tarte Tatin

Apple Tarte Tatin has always felt like the perfect Springtime dessert. This upside-down apple tart is the perfect treat after a beautiful day enjoying the sunshine. Beautiful and delicious, serve this up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an absolute crowd pleaser. Be careful though; it’s so good, they’ll want you to make it again and again.

APPLE TARTE TATIN
1¾ cup flour
9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
12  large Granny Smith apples (6 lbs.)
2 cups sugar
9 tablespoons butter
Zest and juice of one lemon
Preheat oven to 425 F

1. Prepare crust.
In food processor, mix flour, salt and butter until crumbs are formed.  Add ice water and pulse until mixture holds together nicely.  Wrap in wax paper and chill until needed.

2. Prepare apples.
Peel, quarter, slice each quarter into three slices.  Add the lemon zest and juice to the apples.  Add ¾ cup of the sugar and stir.  Let steep for 20 to 30 minutes then drain apples.

3. Make caramel and cook apples.
Using a 12 inch iron skillet, melt butter and add remaining 1¼ cups sugar.  Stir until a brown bubbly caramel forms.
Add the apples to the caramel, arranging them in a nice pattern around the pan.  Continue to add apples in subsequent layers, filling in the empty spaces until all apples have been added to pan.  Cook about 15 minutes, covered, basting the apples with a bulb baster periodically.  When the syrup is nicely thickened, remove pan from heat.

4. Prepare and Bake.
Roll the dough out in a 13” circle.  Center the dough over the apples, forming an edge with the excess dough.  Bake 20 minutes in a preheated oven until crust is nicely browned.  Remove from oven and ensure that juices are not too thin.  If necessary, cook down juices on stove until juices are thick.

5. Flip Tarte Tatin.
Turn the pan upside down onto a serving dish.  You may need help with this as the pan is red hot and very heavy.

6. Serve. 
Cut Tarte Tatin into slices.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

This recipe is from Cook the Part. You can grab your own copy here.

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Adventures in Team Cooking

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 No comments

I’ve always felt that team cooking is a perfect metaphor for corporate life. The recipe is the same—a plan, time and resource constraints, everyone having an important part to play, and the desire to get results while having some fun.

With Cook the Part, team building has a purpose. Everyone shares equally in the success or failure of the meal (and I’ve never seen a failure). Plus, hosting a Cook the Part event takes the intimidation out of ‘ordinary’ teambuilding activities. You can do this at home—and there’s no corkage fee!

Team Building e1398131933309 Adventures in Team Cooking

Top 5 Reasons for hosting a Cook the Part dinner party:

  • Team cooking is fun and a great way to entertain
  • Get to know fellow co-workers better through cooking
  • Together, you can achieve so much more than a single cook can accomplish
  • Prepare great meals at a fraction of the cost of restaurants
  • Great excuse to drink wine and eat delicious food!

We had a fantastic Cook the Part party recently. Check out the photos of the food and fun (big thanks to the Posard Team for participating!):

Team 8 e1398134590996 Adventures in Team Cooking

Team1 e1398134528496 Adventures in Team Cooking

Team 9 e1398134557591 Adventures in Team Cooking

Team 7 e1398134607957 Adventures in Team Cooking

Team 6 e1398134626247 Adventures in Team Cooking

Team 4 e1398134646641 Adventures in Team Cooking

Get the PDF version of Cook the Part by using coupon code FB2014 at checkout.

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Luncheon Pick: Chicken Salad with Toasted Pecans and Grapes

Monday, April 14th, 2014 2 comments
Chicken salad Luncheon Pick: Chicken Salad with Toasted Pecans and Grapes

Chicken Salad

With Spring in the air, picnics and potlucks are right around the corner. One of my go-to dishes is a chicken salad. Light, creamy, and a little bit sweet, this recipe for Chicken Salad with Toasted Pecans and Grapes has always been a crowd pleaser.

Try this recipe next time you’re invited to a potluck this Spring, or even as a light appetizer for an Easter or Mother’s Day luncheon:

Chicken Salad with Toasted Pecans and Grapes

4 organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts, grilled
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 roasted red bell pepper, skinned and chopped
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Toss together all ingredients and chill for several hours. Serve with fresh baguette.

 

Want more recipes? Get $5 off your own copy of Cook the Part now. Buy yours here

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Cook The Part: Chicken Under a Brick

Monday, April 7th, 2014 No comments

This is one of our favorite recipes from Cook the Part: Delicious, Interactive and fun Team Cooking and is the main dish in the Tuscan Farmhouse Dinner. It is the perfect chicken recipe for a BBQ or a summer holiday get-together. The recipe is fun to make and not too time consuming so you can still enjoy the company of your guests. Enjoy!

CHICKEN UNDER A BRICK

Chicken Under a Brick Cook The Part: Chicken Under a Brick

Ingredients:
8 large chicken breast halves, boneless with skin on
12 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 ½ cups olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons grill rub
Canola oil spray for grilling
8 bricks wrapped in foil
Rosemary sprigs or basil leaves for garnish

Step 1: Prepare chicken.
Wash and dry chicken. Place breasts, one at a time, into a large sealable plastic bag and, using covered bricks, pound to ½” thickness. Remove from bag and repeat.

Step 2: Make marinade.
Place garlic, oregano, red pepper, rosemary and thyme in a small food processor and gradually add oil while processing.

Step 3: Marinate chicken.
Divide the marinade and prepared chicken equally between 2 large sealable plastic bags and turn until chicken is coated.
Refrigerate in marinade until ready to grill.

Step 4: Preheat grill.
Spray grill rack with canola oil. Preheat grill to medium. Wrap your 8 bricks in foil and place them on the grill to heat. Be sure to use thick gloves or pot holders to handle heated bricks.

Step 5: Grill and serve.
Remove chicken from marinade. Sprinkle with salt and rub. Place chicken skin-side down on grill. Top each breast with a covered brick and grill until skin is brown and crispy, approximately 5 minutes. Turn chicken and grill until done, another 2 minutes or so.

Remove to platter and cover with foil until ready to serve. Garnish with rosemary or basil and serve.

Let us know how you like it!

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Simple and Simply Delicious: Italian Baked Chicken

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 2 comments
Italian Baked Chicken 300x225 Simple and Simply Delicious:  Italian Baked Chicken

Italian Baked Chicken

 

Happy New Year!
This is my first post for 2014 and I was inspired by our recent week in Park City, Utah, where we always cook for our house guests, but try to keep things simple to allow plenty of ski time and time for other local activities. We decided to prepare this 25-year family favorite, which is still appreciated in 2014 as it was in the 1980’s. A few simple ingredients and easy preparation have made this a standby for so many years.

 

 

 

Italian Baked Chicken
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (preferably organic), washed, dried and cut in half
2 green peppers, seeded, washed and cut into 6 strips
1 red pepper, seeded, washed and cut into 6 strips
1 yellow pepper, seeded, washed and cut into 6 strips
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

Place all ingredients in a large roasting pan (I use a large broiler pan).

Dressing:
2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4-5 large cloves garlic, crushed

Mix dressing ingredients well.

Drizzle dressing over the chicken and vegetables. Bake uncovered, basting frequently with juices for about 1 hour.
Increase temperature to 400 and bake 15 minutes longer to brown.
Arrange on hot platter.
Serve alone or with spaghetti with a marinara sauce and grated Parmesan.

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