Dry Rub Chicken Pasta featuring SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub

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Proper and quality seasoning is the cornerstone to any stovetop recipe. So when I come across one that is a cut above the rest, my interest is immediately piqued. That was the case with SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub.

I was introduced to the owner of this fantastic product, Demond Mullen, via Facebook. A caterer, chef and creator of Sweeetheat brand, his passion and heartfelt belief in his product was resounding. He emphasized their versatility and how they were more than just spices, rubs and BBQ sauces, instead he presents them as an essential condiment to any kitchen dish. From using his BBQ sauces as a base on pizzas to giving his deviled eggs a savory pinch with his seafood spice, Demond was able to provide color to what differentiates his brand.

Allowing me to put his confidence to the test, he sent me his suite of sauces and rubs which included bottles of his Spicy Homey Honey, Sweeet St. Louis and Kansas City Classic BBQ sauces as well as his Savory Seafood Spice, Southern BBQ Blend and All Purpose Rub. The sauces and spices have become a quick go to for a number of dishes in my household, which have include using the Sweeet St. Louis sauce as a dressing for pasta salad, and seasoning my roasted vegetables with the Southern BBQ blend. Of all the SweeetHeat offerings, which will now be a mainstay in my kitchen, my go-to has been the All Purpose Rub.

 SweeetHeat’s All Purpose Rub includes a blend of sugar, Spanish paprika, sea salt, oregano and bells seasoning. Its hint of sweetness is what makes it extra special, and  Ihave found it pairs well with any meat, especially well ribs, steak and of course, chicken! Although I have made several dishes with this rub, one of my favorites was a one-pot chicken pasta made with a parmesan creme sauce.

As a child my mother would always add a little sugar to our pasta sauces, and as an adult, pasta just doesn’t seem right to me without a little sweetness. Using the SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub to season the chicken for this pasta took me back to my childhood, while getting to use these wonderful product in an unconventional way. Gathering a little inspiration from my good friend Quin, who made an awesome Cajun Chicken Pasta on her blog Butter Be Ready, certainly helped to bring this recipe to life!

Check out my recipe for Dry Rub Chicken Pasta below, and grab some SweeetHeat to upgrade your dishes!

Dry-Rub Chicken Pasta with SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Cubed)

  • 2 Tablespoons SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub

  • 1 Tblspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Tblspoon Minced Garlic

  • 2 Servings or 1/2 Box of Penne or Cavatappi Pasta (or any pasta of your choosing)

  • 1 Red and Green Bell Pepper

  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese

  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red pepper

Instruction

  1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes, and season with SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub. Place in the refrigerator to marinade for up to 1 hour.

  2. In a cast iron skillet on high heat, heat the olive oil, add in red and green peppers and cook until they begin to soften (approximately 5 minutes).

  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and add marinated chicken and garlic to skillet and cook until it is brown.

  4. While the chicken is cooking prepare the pasta  (use package instructions) and parmesan sauce (use the package instructions).

  5. To prepare the parmesan sauce, pour heavy whipping cream into a medium sized saucepan and heat on medium heat until it come to a boil. Using a whisk, stir in the parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper until it thickens.

  6. Drain and place cooked pasta into the skillet.  Pour the parmesan cheese sauce overtop of all the pasta, cooked chicken and peppers. Mix together with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are well coated.

  7. Serve in a bowl topped with additional parmesan cheese.

Happy eating!

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Fried Oreo Beignets

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When I started Geo’s Table in 2015, one of the first recipes I created for the blog were Fried Oreo Beignets. Nearly, 3 years later, and that post is the highest ranking recipe on the blog. During my trip to New Orleans, my eyes were opened to a new world of beignets that put my original recipe to shame. Getting the opportunity to partake in both savory beignets (during my Drake on Cake Demo with Joy the Baker) and classic beignets heavily coated with powdered sugar at Cafe Du Monde, I came to the realized quick that my recipe desperately needed an update.

Deciding to tackle true New Orleans Beignets was no small fete,This labor of love turned out splendidly. So much so, that my mother has made a special request to have them on the menu for Thanksgiving.

Scouring the internet for authentic recipes was a bit overwhelming (who knew there were so many ways to fry and beignet?). After pondering over a few, I found an excellent recipe from Sugar and Charm that seemed manageable and allowed me to get my feet wet with this fried delicacy.

Creating the dough from scratch, adding a hint of vanilla and folding in a “healthy” amount of crushed Oreos truly took this recipe to the next level. This recipe also gave me an excuse to christen the Chrome Gold Kitchen Aid, Mark and I got as a wedding gift (and to be honest, I don’t know how I ever baked without it).

Check out the new and improved recipe for the Fried Oreo Beignets below. Happy eating!

Fried Oreo Beignets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour

  • 1/4 cup shortening

  • 2 cups crushed Oreos

  • Corn Oil for frying

  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast and stir. Let the mixture sit for at least 10  minutes.

  2. Using a stand-alone mixer, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, pure vanilla extract and salt. Beat well until all ingredients are combined.

  3. Setting the mixer speed to low, add in the yeast mixture to the egg mixture.

  4. While still on low, mix in 3 cups of bread flour.

  5. Add the shortening and continue to mix before adding the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour. Be sure not to over mix.

  6. Knead the dough until it is smooth (not stiff). Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set the bowl in a warm area and let it rise for 2 hours.

  7. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick.  Add 2 cups of crushed oreos on top of rolled out dough. Fold in the oreos, and reroll the dough out on the service (1/4# thick)

  8. Slice into 2″ squares with a pizza cutter. Using your hands roll the squares into perfectly round balls.

  9. Heat corn oil (a dutch oven works best) until the temperature reaches 350 degrees (or very hot)

  10. Place a few beignet balls in the oil, and watch them fry. Be sure to turn them so they fry evenly.

  11. Remove from heat and set on a plated covered by a paper towel. Once all beignets have been fried, add spread the confectioners sugar on a baking sheet, and have fun coating the beignets!

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Shrimp Boil Foil Packets

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This year while many of my friends and family members hosted or attended cookouts, my husband and I celebrated our holiday by preparing a meal together. Battling the mid-week blues this July 4th holiday brought us, we decided to continue an annual summertime tradition of curating a surf and turf feast.

In exploring ways to make our dinner a little less labor intensive (as it has been in the past), I came across a  simple recipe for  foil packets made with shrimp, potatoes, hot sausage and corn on the cob. I modified the recipe to add a little "Geo flare," adding some spice and minced garlic to give the packets a more savory punch. Fortunately, they were an instant hit with the hubs and will now be a staple in our household.

We paired these with medium-rare New York strip steak, and snow crabs legs to complete our surf and turf dinner. Check out the recipe below.

Shrimp Boil Foil Packets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Raw Shrimp, Deveined
  • 2 Ears of Corn (Cut into 4 pieces each)
  • 1 pound Marble Mixed Potatoes
  • 1 Package Hot Italian Sausage (Sliced Thinly
  • 4 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

For the seasoning (yields 4 tablespoons)

  • 4 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 4 Teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoons Chili Powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 Degrees. While the oven heats, cut four sheets a foil (about 1 foot long) and divide shrimp, corn, mixed marble potatoes, and hot Italian sausage evenly among the four packets
  2. In a small bowl blend together kosher salt, paprika, chili powder, dried parsley and crushed red pepper to make the seasoning. 
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the seasoning, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic to each packet. 
  4. Fold all sides of each packet, and securely seal. Shake packets to ensure even coating of seasoning and olive oil. Place foil packets in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes* (or until potatoes are cooked through).

Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kebabs

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The deeper we dive into the warmer months, the more anxious I become about getting my tastebuds on some of my favorite summer-time cuisine. This list is quite exhaustive ranging from potato salad to cheeseburgers to fried oreos, and each year I seek out opportunities to get my a taste of each. This year is no different. 

Being a city dweller with limited access to grilling equipment - I’ve had to get a little creative when it comes to executing a few of the dishes on the list. Quick and easy, these sweet and spicy chicken kebabs were made in the oven, but would work well on a grill! Using Williams Sonoma’s BBQ spice, a little crushed red pepper and a hint of brown sugar - these babies  encompass all the flavors that make summer special.

You are bound to make these a staple on your summer bbq list! Check out the recipe below!!!!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into two inch cubes
  • 2 Small Heads of Broccoli
  • 6 Campari Tomatoes
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 3 tablespoons Williams Sonoma BBQ Spice
  • 1 tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Fresh Lime Wedges

Instructions

For this recipe I used metal skewers, which have been a life saver and much used addition to my kitchen. You can purchase some inexpensive ones here. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 12 hours before using them for this dish.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven preheats, whisk together olive oil, Williams Sonoma's BBQ spice, crushed red pepper, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed chicken to the bowl and toss, ensuring all pieces are fully coated. Set aside to marinade for 10 - 15 minutes.
  2. Cut tomatoes, onions and broccoli into bite sized slices. Once complete, you can begin to build the skewers by using the tomatoes as bookends, and alternating the broccoli, onions and chicken cubes. Each skewer should have approximately 4 cubes of chicken, 3 pieces of broccoli, 3 onion slices, and 2-3 tomatoes.
  3. Lay the kebabs on a baking rack, leaving approximately 2 inches of space in  between each. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, flipping the kebabs about halfway through baking time. (Quick tip: Prior to baking, I typically spray a light coat of cooking spray on all sides of the kebab.)
  4. Remove the kebabs from the oven and let rest for approximately 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a wedge of fresh lime. 

Enjoy! 

3 Summer Salads to Upgrade your BBQ

Although it's hard to believe, summer will be making a swift exit in the next few weeks to make way for the cool winds of Autumn.  Before we store away our grills, and cover up the patio furniture, there's still ample time to celebrate by planning an end of summer BBQ.

As  you peruse your grocery story for hotdogs and hamburgers, and check out your local farmers market for the most ripest seasonal fruit, remember that no summer soiree is complete without a summer salad! From old time favorites of the potato or pasta variety to salads that add some flare to the freshest fruits and veggies, everyone I know has their favorite they look forward to indulging in this time of year.

If you are feeling adventurous, and want to take a little excursion from your traditional summer salads,  here are three salad upgrades that are sure to win your heart.

Photo by Geo Darwin

Photo by Geo Darwin

Grilled Corn & BLACKBERRY SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGARETTE

( Recipe c/o Korena in the Kitchen )

Best when made with corn fresh off the cob, this unlikely pairing is the perfect marriage of sweet and savory. Tossed lightly in balsamic vinaigrette gives this salad and extra special punch!

Photo by Food Network

Photo by Food Network

 

 

Cous Cous Salad with Tomato and Mint

(Recipe c/o Food Network )

Pasta move to the side, Cous Cous may just be the new winner. A  simple Mediterranean salad complimented with some mint. 

 

 

 

 

Photo by My Recipes 

Photo by My Recipes 

GEORGIA Shrimp and Radish Salad

( Recipe c/o My Recipes )

For the seafood lovers looking for a bit a flare this is one to try. The radishes pairing perfectly with fresh shrimp creates an amazing texture and flavor to die for!