Tag Archive for Garlic

Hasselback Potatoes with Bacon

Hasselback Potatoes with Bacon

I made these hasselback potatoes with bacon as part of a “back to school” dinner celebration. Little did I know how absolutely amazing they would be. Normally I would prepare one per person. However, depending on the size of the potato, you might want to make two per person. They really are JUST that good!! 

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 2 1/2 hours

Ingredients for 4 people (2 each):

6 pieces of thick cut bacon, cut into pieces about an inch thick

8 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

1 stick butter, divided

Kosher salt and ground pepper

2 T. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Pastry Brush

Preparing Hasselback Potatoes with Bacon:

1. Put the bacon pieces on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes. 

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while also bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. 

3. Using a sharp knife, make horizontal slits in each potato, about 1/8 inch apart and making sure you do not cut all the way through the potato. 

4. Gently place the potatoes in the boiling water and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Pat the potatoes dry. Insert 3-4 pieces of bacon in the cuts of each potato, trying to space the bacon evenly (the bacon will poke out of the top of the slits). Melt half of the butter and brush generously over the potatoes. Reserve any extra butter for basting. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

5. Place the potatoes in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the outside of the potatoes start to brown. Make sure you baste with the reserved melted butter halfway through cooking. 

6. Right before you take the potatoes out of the oven, melt the other half of the butter. Mix in the parsley and garlic. After the potatoes are done and on a serving tray, spoon the butter mixture over the potatoes. Serve hot!! 



Bruschetta and Goat Cheese Crostini

We’ve been making versions of bruschetta for nice and summer like appetizers for a long, long time. So, when we were asked to do a cooking demonstration at a local farmer’s market in Atlanta, this was a natural choice.

We wanted to showcase local produce vendors and thought this would be a great way to do so. We researched other vendors at the market and decided that Will’s Farm, Capra Gia Cheese Company and Sweetwater Growers were perfect fits for our tomatoes, goat cheese and basil ingredients, super fresh and super delicious!

The bruschetta was a huge hit, even with a couple of Italian women who know what good bruschetta is all about. We were so excited! We hope you enjoy the Bruschetta and Goat Cheese Crostini too.

Now, we currently only sell the McNack’s Six-C Spice Blend at farmer’s markets. Reach out to us if you are interested! If not, just leave that part out and add some salt and pepper to taste. It’s not the same but is very good.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 10 min


4-6 Ripe Tomatoes
10-12 Leaves of Basil
6 Cloves of Garlic
1T McNack’s Six-C Spice Blend ©
6oz Goat Cheese
2 T Olive Oil
2T Balsamic Vinegar
1T Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil for crostini

How to make Bruschetta and Goat Cheese Crostini:

Make a vinaigrette with the olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar. Whisk together.

Dice the tomatoes in a small dice. Mince the garlic. Cut the basil into a chiffonade. Add the McNack’s Six-C Spice Blend ©. Set in refrigerator for an hour or more to let the flavors blend together.

Slice the baguette on a bias into ¼” thick slices. Brush with olive oil and place on a grill or in a 400 degree oven until toasted but not hard.

Let the goat cheese come to room temperature. Smear goat cheese on the crostini and top with the bruschetta.

Important Tips:

Fresh quality ingredients are the key!! Fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden and amazing goat cheese will turn this ‘simple’ every day dish into something your friends are begging for!


There are lots of ways to make this different and amazing. Subscribe to McNack’s and you’ll find some great ideas.

Got Leftovers?:

This is great with pasta. Just cook your favorite pasta shape, sauté some of the bruschetta and toss with the warm, cooked pasta for a great dish. Add parmesan and olive oil as needed.

Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Prosciutto

Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Prosciutto

I made this Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Prosciutto for Cheesefest. In a word…AMAZING!  The pan juices that I poured on top were fantastic! The preparation was a little more labor intensive than the dishes I usually make (remember…I’m not Melissa), but it was well worth it for sure! I would do again in a heartbeat for any “big event” or holiday!! Note: This recipe was adapted from one I saw on Allrecipes.com.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 1 1/4 hours; Rest Time – 20 min.


2 1/2 pound pork loin

2/3 c. panko breadcrumbs

1/3 c. shredded fontina cheese

3 cloves crushed garlic

1 T. fresh sage, chopped

4 slices prosciutto

Salt and Pepper

Preparing Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Prosciutto:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic and sage. Stand pork loin on one end of cutting board. Using a sharp, thin blade knife, make a cut down the center and through the other side. Use your index finger to make the hole a bit larger for stuffing. Carefully pack the breadcrumb mixture into the hole from both ends.

Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Prosciutto

Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the prosciutto slices on top of the pork loin and place in shallow roasting pan. 

Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Prosciutto

Roast for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 Degrees. Let sit for 20 minutes before slicing. Arrange on a platter and pour the pan juices over the pork. Serve. 

Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Prosciutto

Important Tips:

When you are making the slit, take your time. You don’t want it to wide, but you also don’t want it too small. 

I was never a Beavis and Butthead fan but I can so hear them in my head as you give these instructions on how to stuff the pork loin. ~Melissa 

Oh I was asked on Saturday night to give a demonstration. Things got a little nutty when…..Never mind. We are a family friend blog. ~Densie

Fire Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa

Filet topped with tomatillo chimichuri

I made this fire roasted tomatillo and poblano salsa as part of our one dish, two ways entire meal on the grill series. Wow! What a versatile little recipe. I’ve already eaten it three different ways!! This was a fantastic accompaniment to my Mexican themed meal to top the steak like a different type of chimichuri. 

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 5min; Cook Time – 10 min


6 tomatillos

2 onions

1 bunch of cilantro

1 large poblano pepper

6 cloves of garlic

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Blender or Food Processor (or what Denise calls a Cuisinart as if that’s the only appliance Cuisinart makes!!)

How to make fire roasted tomatillo and poblano salsa:

Get the grill going and then prep your ingredients. Peel the tomatillos and cut in half. Cut the onion in quarters. You can leave the cloves of garlic together so they won’t fall through the grill grate. Throw all of this and the big poblano on the grill. Let them char and turn a couple of times.

roasted salsa

Maybe 5-7 minutes and it should be ready. Dump all of it into the food processor (if you don’t want this too hot, remove the seeds from the poblano first), add salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and the cilantro leaves (avoid as many stems as possible without picking each leaf off).

Give the food processor a whirl and blend until the consistency of a salsa. Taste. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Roasted salsa


I deseeded the poblano and this salsa was not spicy at all. Next time, I might add a jalapeno too to help pick up the heat.

Got Leftovers?:

Eat as a salsa with chips, top a steak as a chimichuri, make a salad dressing, endless possibilities!

Do you see what I put up with? I bet 9 out of 10 people think of “food processor” when you say “Cuisinart”. -Denise

Really? You’re going with mob rule? ~Melissa

Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce

Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce caught my eye for a couple of reasons. The first reason being obvious. Wine. The second is that it is a lower calorie meal which I found in the Cooking Light magazine about a year ago. It’s really not that hard to make, but it does require several steps. It’s not the kind of dish that you can just pop in the oven and walk away. It requires a little TLC, but it’s worth it! Think of it this way, stirring only requires one hand so your other will be free to drink some of the white wine that you bought for the meal!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 25 minutes

Ingredients for 4 servings (only 350 Calories each):

4 oz. uncooked wide egg noodles

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 T. all purpose flour, divided

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 T. olive oil, divided

1 T. minced garlic

8 oz. exotic mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, and oyster)

1/2 c. white wine

1/2 c. fat free chicken broth

1 tsp. freshly chopped tarragon

1 oz. shaved parmesan cheese

Preparing Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce:

Cook noodles according to package, omitting any salt and fat. Drain and keep warm. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces and place in a shallow dish. Combine 1 T. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle flour mixture over chicken. Toss to coat.

Heat a large non skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 T. oil to the pan. Swirl to coat. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 1 T. of oil to pan. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Add wine  and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining 1 T. flour, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper and cook until slightly thick, stirring frequently. 

Return chicken to pan; cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. Stir in noodles and tarragon; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Place 1 1/2 cups of chicken mixture on each plate; top with 1 T. parmesan cheese. 

Chicken with Pasta and Mushrooms

Meal Ideas:

Serve with a simple salad like arugula with parmesan to round out the meal. 

How to Roast Garlic

Roasted GarlicHave you ever been to a restaurant that served delicious roasted garlic and just wished you knew how they did it? Well, wish no further. It really is very easy. But in case you doubt us, we made a fun video on just how to do it. Check it out here.

Here is a step by step, no fail way to roast garlic to perfection every time.

1) Cut off the end, peel away the outer layers and place in ovenproof dish

2) Pour olive oil over the head of garlic and cover with foil

3) Cook for 45 minutes in a 325 Degree oven

4) Squeeze or scoop the garlic out of the cloves

Roasted garlic is good just like it is and served with crostini or French bread. It is also used as a great addition to many everyday recipes such as mashed potatoes, soups, and salad dressings.

Sauteed Collard Greens with Garlic (and how to prepare collards)

Sauteed greens with bacon

I’m a true Southerner through and through. As much as I like fresh, steamed or roasted vegetables, I also love some of my vegetables braised for many hours. One of those is collard greens!

I eat collards a handful of times a year and I ALWAYS eat them on New Year’s Day, ALWAYS!! I cook them in stock with smoked turkey wings, vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes. They are delicious! But as I was ‘harvesting’ our winter urban garden and was bringing in the collard greens, I thought there had to be another way. Why would they have to braised for hours? Why couldn’t I treat them like I would a more delicate green like spinach?

Sauteed collard greens

So with that, I decided to do a light sauté on the chopped greens with olive oil, bacon and TONS OF GARLIC!!!! Mmmmmmm!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10min; Cook Time – 10min


1 bunch of collard greens
4 T extra virgin olive oil
3 strips of bacon, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper

How to remove stems from collard greens:

collard greens

Fresh collards from the garden

The first thing you need to do if you buy whole collard greens is to remove the tough center vein. This is easily done by lightly folding the leaf in half and cutting out that inner vein. (Feeling advanced in your knife skills, you can stack the leaves perfectly on top of each other and roll up and cut as a chiffonade, and when you get to the center of the stack, just cut out the center stems of the entire stack)

Sauteed collard greens

Remove the stiff center vein

Sauteed collard greens

Collards with vein removed

How to prepare sautéed collard greens with garlic

Once the center vein is removed on all the large leaves, stack the leaves on top of each other and roll up into what is called a chiffonade. Then chop into strips about 1/4 inch thick.

Sauteed collard greens

Chiffonade of collard greens

Once you make it through the chiffonade, cut the entire chiffonade down the middle for more bite sized pieces.

Chopped collard greens

Chopped Collard Greens

Put the olive oil, minced garlic and chopped bacon into a skillet, preferably cast iron, and sauté over medium heat until the bacon is cooked through. Add the chopped collard greens and sauté, stirring frequently until the collards are bright green and delicious. Add salt and pepper to taste remembering there is a lot of salt in bacon so be careful not to over salt. That’s it! Great side dish to most anything.

Sauteed Collard Greens

Bacon and garlic rendering down

Meal Ideas:

Shown here with California BBQ’d Tri-tip of beef, grilled green onions and hasselback potato.

how to saute collards

Got Leftovers?:

I did not do this but I bet it would be great as some greens in a quiche with more bacon and some cheese like Gruyere.

Did somebody say garlic??? -Denise