S’mores Bars

S’mores Bars

It’s hard to let go of summer, but these rich, gooey, great-tasting s’mores will ease the pain of sweet campfire memories with no fire or sticks needed. All you need are tasty layers of graham crust, gooey dark chocolate brownie center, and a toasted homemade marshmallow topping. To add that toasty flavor, use a kitchen torch or broiler to “toast” the marshmallow.

Graham Cracker Crust
¾ cup melted unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for the pan
4 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Line a 9×9” pan with foil allowing extra foil to hang over the sides for easy removal. Butter the foil.

In a large bowl, Stir together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt until well-combined. Press into the bottom of the pan then bake for 8 minutes, remove, and cool slightly while you make the chocolate center. Drop the oven temperature down to 300˚F.

Chocolate Center
¾ cup unsalted butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
¾ cups dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup confectioners sugar
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup all-purpose flour

Place the butter with the semi-sweet chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. In a large saucepan, bring water to a simmer and place the bowl of chocolate and butter over the hot water, being careful not let the bowl touch the water. Stir every few minutes until melted; remove and set aside to slightly cool.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, confectioners sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Slowly add the chocolate to the egg mixture in small amounts to temper the chocolate into the eggs. When thoroughly mixed, whisk in the flour. Pour the batter over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or when small bits still stick to a cake tester when you check for doneness. Remove and cool completely.

Marshmallow Topping
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Soften gelatin in ¾ cup water, set aside. In a small saucepan combine ¾ cup water with sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and cook to 238˚F on candy thermometer to make a hot syrup. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the gelatin mixture on high while slowly streaming in the hot syrup into the bowl with the gelatin. Then add the salt and extract and beat until stiff peaks form about 15 minutes. Using a greased spatula, spread the marshmallow over the cooled brownies. Cool completely then refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. Remove using the foil and then, using an oiled knife, cut into 36 pieces.

Optional: When ready to serve, place the cut s’mores on a cookie sheet. Use a kitchen torch or place under the broiler to brown the marshmallow top. Makes 16.

Grilled Spicy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Onions, Lemon Cream Sauce, and Smoked Potatoes & Corn Salad

Grilled Spicy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Onions, Lemon Cream Sauce, and Smoked Potatoes & Corn Salad

Loaded with farm fresh vegetables, spicy honey chicken thighs, and a delicious creamy lemon sauce, you can’t beat this tasty late summer dinner recipe. If you missed us at the Kentucky State Fair on the Gourmet Garden Food Stage this past Sunday, check out our farm fresh recipe!

Cold-smoked Potatoes and Corn
1 pound small potatoes
2 ears of corn, shucked and silks removed, broken in half
1-pint small cherry tomatoes

Add the potatoes to a saucepan and cover with water. Turn the burner on medium-high and bring the water to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pan with a lid. Cook the potatoes in gently simmering water until tender, about 15 minutes or until a small knife passes easily through one of the larger potatoes. Drain and dry completely.

Fill a large saucepan about ¾ full of water and bring to a boil. Add the ears of corn to the boiling water, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the corn cook in hot water until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove and let the corn dry completely.

Add a rack in a deep roasting pan. Place the potatoes, corn, and tomatoes on the rack. Cover tightly with foil. Smoke twice with a smoking gun filled with mesquite chips. Cover tightly and keep covered until the smoke dissipates into the vegetables. Slice the corn off the cob and serve with the potatoes and tomatoes.

Lemon Cream Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup chicken broth
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro

Add all the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

Grilled Spicy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Onions
Prepare the Chicken Thighs
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
6 chicken thighs
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Combine the olive oil, coriander, garlic powder, salt, cumin, and smoked paprika to make a paste. Rub the chicken thighs all over with the paste and place in a dish. Cover and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.

The next day in a small bowl, whisk together the honey, cider vinegar, and ancho chili powder. Set aside.

Heat a grill to high. Place the chicken thighs on the grill and cook for 5 minutes per side. Brush with the honey mixture. Cook for another minute, brush again and remove from the grill.

Prepare the Peppers and Onions
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 orange pepper, cut into ½ “ pieces
1 yellow pepper, cut into ½ “ pieces
1 anaheim pepper, cut into ½ “ pieces
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro

Heat a grill to high. Toss the peppers and onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil and the salt. Place vegetables on the grill, and cook until lightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove and toss in the remaining olive oil. Top with fresh cilantro.

Serves 6

Oven-Roasted Vidalia Onion Dip

Oven-Roasted Vidalia Onion Dip

An original 1970’s throwback staple, the dried-onion-soup-package-with-sour-cream dip was a special treat served at sleepovers and parties. Oven-roasting the onions, and stirring in fresh green onions, gives this updated dish a deliciously deep onion flavor. While we dig the ‘70’s vibe eating this dip with potato chips, the platter can also be updated and shared with some seasonal fresh raw vegetables such as cucumber, celery, carrots, radishes, baby peppers, cauliflower and more.

In this recipe, you let the oven do all the work; roasting the onions to caramelized sweetness before combining them with the remaining ingredients.

6 medium Vidalia onions, Papery parts peeled, cut into ⅛“ rings
¼ cup olive oil
kosher salt
2 cups sour cream, divided
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
dash hot sauce, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts

potato chips
seasonal fresh veggies: cucumber, celery, carrots, radishes, baby peppers, cauliflower

Heat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl toss the raw onion slices with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, then pour on to a baking sheet. Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until soft, darkened, and caramelized, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Strain off any excess oil and cool.

Add the cooled roasted onions to the work bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth. Add 1 cup of sour cream, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and purée again until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, very thinly slice the green onions. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the dark green parts, then stir the rest into the remaining 1 cup of sour cream with a ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt. Transfer the onion dip to a serving bowl, top with the sour cream/green onion mixture and gently swirl into the onion dip. Try not to over mix; you want the mixture to be swirled together. Add the remaining green onions on top and serve with fresh vegetables, potato chips, or both. Serves 8-10.

Summer BBQ Nachos

Summer BBQ Nachos

Create these tasty nachos using up any shredded leftover BBQ meat – chicken, pork, or beef. Just toss the meat with your favorite sweet BBQ sauce and top over tortilla chips. Add lots of cheese, green onions, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, and fresh grilled or roasted corn off the cob.

1 cup grilled chicken, pork or beef
½ cup sweet BBQ sauce (we like Williams Sonoma Sweet Onion Applewood)
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced white and green parts
1 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
½ cup roasted corn on the cob, removed from cob
4 cups tortilla chips, we like the homemade version at Lucky’s
1 8-ounce package of Mexican Mix shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
Juice of ½ lime
Zest of one lime
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

Shred the meat with two forks, add the BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly. Thinly slice the green onions and jalapeno, cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters, and removed the grilled corn from the cob; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In an oven-proof pan or cast iron comal pan add a layer of tortilla chips. Top the chips with 1/3 of the cheese, chicken, green onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, and corn. Repeat with two more layers of chips, cheese, and toppings. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

While the nachos bake, whisk together the sour cream with the lime juice. Place in a serving bowl then top with the lime zest. Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the fresh chopped cilantro. Serve the sour cream with the warm nachos.

Makes 4 servings.