Crash’s Kitchen: After Recovery Ride Cheesy Baked Potatoes

You may now commence with your drooling...

You may now commence with your drooling…

There are probably a million ways to make a baked potato; THIS version will leaving you craving for more.

Total Time: 1 hr 50 min
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 1 hr 20 min
Yield: 12 to 16 servings
Level: Easy breezy

Ingredients
8 baking potatoes, washed
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup real bacon bits
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Cheddar or Jack cheese (or a mix of both), plus more for topping
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3 green onions, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Rub them with the canola oil and bake for 1 hour, making sure they’re sufficiently cooked through.

Slice the butter into pats. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the bacon bits and sour cream. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Lower the heat to 350 degrees F.

With a sharp knife, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scrape out the insides into the mixing bowl, being careful not to tear the shell. Leave a small rim of potato intact for support. Lay the hollowed out potato shells on a baking sheet.

Smash the potatoes into the butter, bacon and sour cream. Add the cheese, milk, seasoned salt, green onions and black pepper to taste and mix together well. (NOTE: If you plan to freeze the already baked potatoes, do NOT add the green onions.)

Fill the potato shells with the filling. I like to fill the shells so they look abundant and heaping. Top each potato with a little more grated cheese and pop ’em in the oven until the potato is warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve when ready and take a bow (or curtsy).

Crash

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Crash’s Kitchen: MacDuff’s Cycling Mac and Cheese

mac's mac n chesse

Kids and adults alike will love this version of a Classic American dish!

Total Time: 1 hr 10 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: 2 servings
Level: Easy breezy

Ingredients
4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven – there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes.

Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Enjoy!

Crash

Crash’s Kitchen: Normandie Shrimp, Penne and Herbed Cream Sauce

penne and shrimp

Enjoy this great combination of shrimp and penne incorporated with fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley, plus a smattering of white wine.

Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy breezy

Ingredients
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup clam juice
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine, clam juice, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp, the cooked pasta, and the remaining herbs. Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

Crash

Crash’s Kitchen: Peddlefamilia Granola Cyclin’ Bars

Forget the high-priced, store-bought stuff: whip it up and take it on two wheels!

Forget the high-priced, store-bought stuff: whip it up and take it on two wheels!

The family that peddles together, stays together.  While you’re at it, make and take your own granola for the trip!

Total Time: 4 hr 5 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive: 3 hr
Cook: 40 min
Yield:12 to 16 bars
Level: Too easy!

Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Crash

Crash’s Kitchen: Pre-cycling Baked Rigatoni

baked baby

If you love Italian like I do and if you’re physically active like I am, this is the dish for you!

Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Intermediate, but still easy breezy

rigatoni

Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and white pepper
1 cup grated fontina
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
1 pound dry rigatoni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Crash

Crash’s Kitchen: Cycling Mashed Potatoes

Cycling taters

So delicious, so filling, your Grandma would approve!

Total Time: 1 hr
Prep: 35 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield:10 servings
Level: Easy breezy

Ingredients
5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks butter
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning*
1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*Cajun Seasoning:
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. Place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all of the steam to escape.

Turn off the heat before adding the butter, cream cheese, heavy cream and Cajun Seasoning. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add the seasoning salt, salt and pepper. Mash to combine.

Place the lid on the pan to keep the potatoes warm until you are ready to serve.

Cajun Seasoning:
Combine the garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, salt and cayenne.

Enjoy!

Crash

Crash’s Kitchen: Giverny French Toast Croque Madame

French Toast Croque Madame

This is the perfect combination of sweet and salty, perfect for a post-workout with the mastery of a Monet.

Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy breezy

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish
12 slices very stale thick white bread (about 1/2-inch thick)
1 pound gruyere, grated
12 thin slices Black Forest ham (about 8 ounces)
10 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
Pure maple syrup, warm, for drizzling

Directions
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

Lay 6 slices of the bread in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish (trim if needed). Sprinkle 2 heaping tablespoons of the gruyere on top of each slice. Then top each with 2 slices of the ham, folding the ham if needed to fit on top of the bread. Place the remaining 6 slices of bread on top of the of the ham to form 6 sandwiches. Sprinkle the remaining gruyere on top and on the sides of the sandwiches. Set aside.

Whisk together 4 of the eggs, the half-and-half, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour on top of the sandwiches. Use your hands to lightly press the sandwiches down into the custard.

Spray a large piece of foil with nonstick spray. Place the foil, sprayed-side down, on top of the baking dish, crimping the sides of the foil around the dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the custard is set but still slightly jiggly, about 10 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and broil until the top is light golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Allow the casserole to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Crack 3 eggs into the pan (it’s ok if they stick together) and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites start to set, 2 to 3 minutes, and then cover and continue cooking until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 1 to 2 minutes. Place each on top of a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs.

Use a metal spatula to remove a sandwich with egg from the casserole and place on a serving plate. Serve with warm maple syrup for drizzling.

Enjoy!

Crash

Crash’s Kitchen: Celebrate National Banana Bread Day with Crash’s Cycling B-Bread

Happy National Banana Bread Day!

Happy National Banana Bread Day!

Making your own at home is the ideal way to control ingredients for a healthy, delicious bread you can enjoy daily and whole-grain banana bread is a source of essential vitamins and minerals.

Bananas are a source of carbohydrates, an essential nutrient used as fuel for mental and physical processes. Registered dietitian and nutritionist Megan Ware notes on “Medical News Today” that bananas may aid in decreasing the risk of cancers, lowering blood pressure and improving digestive health. This is due to its vitamins, including vitamins A and C; minerals, including potassium; and dietary fiber.

Although banana bread tends to be high in carbs, it can be a source of protein with the right ingredients. Protein is an essential nutrient needed for the growth, repair and recovery of muscle. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, satisfying a hungry appetite to prevent you from eating the full loaf of bread. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one 60-gram slice of banana bread can have around 3 grams of protein.

Total Time: 2 hr 20 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: 1 loaf
Level: Easy breezy!

Ingredients
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Fine salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 soft, very ripe, darkly speckled medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, pecans, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl; stir in the mashed bananas. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (it’s OK if there are some lumps).

Pour the batter into the buttered pan and lightly tap the pan on the counter to evenly distribute the batter. Bake until browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean, about 1 hour. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

To make this banana bread nut-free, just leave out the pecans and follow the rest of the recipe as written.

Enjoy!

Crash

Crash’s Kitchen: Cyclist Banana Bread

b bread

Banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s. It appeared in Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook, and later gained more acceptance with the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950.

National Banana Bread day is the 23rd of February.Bananas appeared in the US in the 1870s and it took a while for them to appear as ingredient items for desserts. The actual Banana Bread recipe began being published in cookbooks around the great depression as resourceful housewives did not wish to throw away overripe bananas (as they were still a costly item to purchase).

Total Time: 1 hr 20 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 1 hr 10 min
Yield:1 loaf
Level: Easy Breezy

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Spread slices with honey or serve with ice cream.

Slice, enjoy & take your bows!

Crash

FYI: Did you know that a speckled, slightly overripe banana is sweeter, more healthy, easier to digest and has more of the required potassium than a ripe one?

Crash’s Kitchen: Halloween Pumpkin, Thyme and Cheddar Muffins

muffins

These awesome muffins make an incredible snack. Sweet potato works quite well in this recipe too, but the resulting muffin will be a little heavier.

Ingredients

250g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 5mm cubes (to give about 175g flesh)

175g wholemeal flour

100g self-raising flour

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 medium eggs

225ml semi-skimmed milk

75ml vegetable oil

150ml natural yogurt

50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

Equipment

12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220°C, (fan 200°C), 425°F, Gas Mark 7. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases and set aside.

Put the pumpkin, flours, thyme, bicarb, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Give them a quick stir together and then make a hole in the centre. Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl, then mix in the milk, oil and yogurt until combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the centre of the dry ingredients and mix together using as few stirs as possible (otherwise you will make the muffins too dense and heavy). The mixture will be quite wet.

Divide the mixture evenly into the 12 muffin cases. Sprinkle over the grated Cheddar and bake in the centre of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool just a little as these muffins are best eaten warm.

Top Tip

The muffins do get a bit stuck to the paper when you are taking them out, but the papers are easier to remove when they are a little cooler.

Crash