SweetJamz Tastes! Episode #008: Burger Tour LA 2017

Ever wanted to know the BEST fast food burger in LA? Here we go —->

Julie

SweetJamz Cooks! Episode #007: Snowfall Chicken Parm!

We were snuggled up in Big Bear with some friends & our pups & decided to make this very tasty Snowfall Chicken Parmesan —>

The “secret sauce” in this is mind-blowingly good. The sun-dried pesto sauce itself would be amazing as a spread for baked bread.

SWEETJAMZ SNOWFALL CHICKEN PARM (Recipe download here —> sweetjamz-snowfall-chicken-parm

INGREDIENTS:

4-5 THIN chicken breasts
1 tablespoon + olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup chopped onions
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon EACH Italian seasoning AND red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper + ¼ cup water
4 slices mozzarella cheese (or 1 cup shredded)

Sun-dried tomato pesto ingredients:
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer NOT in oil)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoons salt + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pinch red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Optional:

chopped parsley or basil for garnish
pasta

DIRECTIONS:

– Boil water & cook pasta according to package
– Begin “Secret Sauce:”
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor (NOT an old blender) except the olive oil. Start the food processor and drizzle in the olive oil slowly while still mixing. Stop the machine, scrape down the sides, and adjust salt & pepper to liking.
– For Chicken:
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Add salt & peppered chicken to pan. Cook until no longer pink, flipping once. (Note, totally overcooked our chicken due to the pieces being so thick – thin pieces are the ultimate way to go here.)
– Preheat the oven on the broiler setting
– Finish tomato sauce:
Sauté’ the onions in a pan on medium heat until soft. Add garlic & let cook 1-3 minutes (enjoy the aroma).
Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, dried basil, & entire pesto mixture (note, the original recipe only asked for 1 Tbsp. of pesto mixture – we used it all & it was a dream.) Stir to combine. When the sauce reaches a simmer, add a ¼ cup of water, lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
– Official assembly:
Place chicken on top of pasta, top with a spoonful of sauce & then mozzarella.
Broil 1-2 minutes until cheese is bubbly & just melts. Add additional sauce on sides if desired.
– Garnish with chopped parsley or basil.

Voila! You’ve got yourself another SWEETJAMZ.

This recipe was inspired by Littlespicejar.com

Featured wine: Whalebone Winery – Bob Wine 2011

julie

SweetJamz Cooks! Episode #006 – “Not So Philly” Cheesesteak!

If you can believe it, I was once in Philly & had a terrible cheesesteak! Shouldn’t that be illegal? This recipe was fun & really pretty easy. Boneless short rib, provolone, onions & peppas – a tremendous combo for our “Not So Philly” cheesesteak sandwich. Watch us make it here:

not-so-philly-cheese-steak

SWEETJAMZ “NOT SO PHILLY” CHEESESTEAK
(A printable version here—> not-so-philly-cheesesteak)
(Makes 3-4 hearty sandwiches)

Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless short rib
Bread: baguette, hoagie rolls, or whatever floats your boat
6 slices of Provolone Cheese
1 red & 1 green bell pepper
½ Onion
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Place unwrapped meat in pan lined with parchment paper in the freezer for 40 mins.
-After 40 mins – slice the meat thin
-Slice the onions & peppers
-Sauté’ the onions to start with some olive oil in a pan
-Then add the peppers to the onions – cook until softened (we liked them a little crispy)
-Preheat the cast iron & cook the meat with some olive oil – making sure the meat is not overlapping & occasionally flipping it until done
-Add Provolone slices and place lid on to let the cheese melt
-Cut the bread into individual sandwich sizes and half them down the side
-Heat bread in the oven on 350 for a few minutes
-Place heated bread on foil & start assembly with meat/cheese & then onion/peppers
-Wrap sandwich up in foil for a few minutes to let it keep melting
-Unwrap & dig in

Recipe source: Bon Appétit

Voila – you’ve got yourself another great SweetJamz – A Slater/Friday Production.

julie

Is There A Taco Tuesday Addiction Club? (Asking for a friend.)

Hello. Our names are Julie & Jason. And we are Taco-holics. Do we eat tacos a little too often? Define often?!!

Let me tell you about this little game changer, though. Move over taco shell, it’s Guerrero Tostadas to the rescue: 

guerrero-tostadas

I prefer a hard shell over a tortilla any day, but I find most taco shells go stale or are stale when you open the package. These tostadas lasted so long and were so crunchy & amazing.

It’s fun to change the meat on these – turkey, beef or ground tofu. I recently started mixing in a refried bean to the meat (after the taco mix) & it’s perfect for these. Add your favorite toppings & voila!

guerrero-tostadas-2

With just two of us, the 22 count tostada packaging makes for an extended Taco Tuesday (hello, Taco Wednesday, Thursday & Friday) but who’s complaining? 

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production.

julie

I Love This Dish So Much, I Want to Marry-nade it!

Fresh Ginger & Pear, oh my! We made this delicious Bulgogi recipe:

bulgogi-time-1

Who doesn’t love a good marinade. And we found it with this Bon Appétit Basic Bulgogi recipe <—click here.

We used a beef for stir fry that was already cut in strips, but the idea here is to get very thin strips to allow the meat to absorb the hot-sweet-salty marinade in minutes, not hours.
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Bulgogi Recipe: (Printable version here – basic-bulgogi)

INGREDIENTS:
4 SERVINGS
¼ pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (<– we used this)
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed hanger steak, boneless short rib, or skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Kosher salt
Sliced scallions (for serving)
PREP:
Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru, ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.
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We served this over brown rice (cooked with coconut milk instead of water), topped with scallions…along with our tasty sautéed shishitos as a side.

More fun marinade recipes here!

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production.

julie

If Pizza On Fridays Is Wrong – I Don’t Want To be Right!

Looking for a low-budget fun Friday night date? Making pizza at home does the trick. Every. Time.

friday-pizza

When I was a kid, my Dad did a lot of the cooking. And every once in a while around 10pm, suddenly, out of nowhere, the most beautiful scent would be in the air: a sweet tomato sauce & a fresh baking crust. Dad was making pizza – yippee! My Dad totally had a leg up on the fourth meal concept. And what kid doesn’t absolutely love pizza.

Now, it’s time for another confession. He would make the pizza from this:

chef-boyardee

Not kidding. And sure, it wasn’t great, but it was pizza for heaven’s sake. (We rarely got the take out pizza treat – take out pizza was for fancy nights!) Oddly enough, did you know you can STILL buy this Chef Boyardee mix? Hilarious. And yes, my old coworker, Josh, bought me one. Jason & I made it. And yes. It’s terrible. 🙂

So, no, I’m not suggesting you buy the box. I went rogue a couple years ago and went so far as growing my own yeast (a How-To guide is here). It’s quite tedious – you literally have to care for it weekly. We did end up getting one or two great pizza crusts from it, but it was definitely hit or miss. I couldn’t rely on it working out. But when it did. Wow.

This time we went super easy. We bought Fleishmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast:

fleishmann

We also bought a can of pizza sauce & our favorite toppings (mushrooms, mozzarella cheese & basil). The nice thing about this crust is there’s no waiting time for the dough to rise. You mix it up, knead it for four minutes, roll it out, add sauce & toppings & voila you’ve got a pizza ready for the oven.

There’s something so fun about making pizza with someone. And pizza just always brings me back to the joy of being a kid.

I’d like to work on making the bottom of the crust more crisp, but this really was delicious. Give it a try.

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production.

julie

Dear Shishitos: I Love You!

Some girls like to snuggle up to a good romance novel, I prefer to romance my taste buds with tasty Shishito peppers:

shishitos

I’m not sure why this took me so long, but Shishitos are an easy, light, delicious snack. I just pan fry them with olive oil & add some sea salt. I like them to get a little charred. Jason & I also love dipping these in soy sauce.

I came across four great recipes for Shishitos here. There’s Pan-Seared Shishitos with Sesame Seeds (that sounds yummy), Char-Grilled Shishitos, Shrimp, Shishito & Pineapple Skewers (woah) & Shishito Tempura.

The heat in the Shishitos range from mild to super hot, so be careful. And if you see a slight orange/red hue, that one is most likely hotter. But, again, I’m not a super spice-hot person & I absolutely love them.

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production.

julie