Friday, May 30, 2008

Northern Italy #2

For dinner tonight, I made another Northern Italian dish. My sister, Becky, is visiting and she's a vegetarian. I was going to make the ragout with pancetta, but I used Cannelini beans instead to appease Beck. Enjoy!

Mushroom Ragout with Parmesan Polenta
Grilled Radicchio and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

2 c. water
2 c. skim milk
1 1/2 c. fine ground cornmeal
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c. fresh grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

Mushroom Ragout:
2 tbsp. EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 c. mushrooms sliced (cremini, shittake, and porcini)
1 c. dry red wine
1 c. crushed tomatoes
1 can cannelini beans, drained
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated parmesan

1 head of radicchio, quartered
2 c. arugula
3 slices of goat cheese
3 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette

Polenta: Bring water and milk to a gentle boil, whisk in cornmeal, turn heat to low and season. Stir every 5-10 minutes for half an hour. Stir in the parmesan right before serving.
Ragout: In a nonstick skillet, heat EVOO on medium-low heat. Add garlic and onions, season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Add red wine, turn heat to high and reduce by half. Add tomatoes, beans, spices, stir and turn to low.
Salad: Turn grill pan on high. Spray with nonstick spray, grill radicchio for 2-3 minutes. Plate over arugula, top with goat cheese and dressing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chipotle night meets Pizza night!

For dinner tonight, I was in the mood for Chipotle, but didn't want to go out. I took all my favorite elements of Chipotle, and made it into a pizza. It was interesting, but reall good!

TexMex Pizza

1 pizza crust (TJ's herbed)
1/2 c. cilantro pesto, recipe below
1/2 c. salsa, any kind
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 c. black beans
1 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. frozen corn
1/4 c. chopped scallions
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. corriander

1 c. cilantro leaves
1/2 c. parsley
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough, top with pesto, dollop with salsa, top with peppers, onion, beans, and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, until crispy and brown.
Mix corn, tomatoes, salt, cumin, corriander, and scallions.
Top pizza with tomato/corn salsa.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dinner at Lolita!

For my birthday, my sister and brother-in-law took me to Lolita, one of Chef Michael Symon's restaurants in Cleveland. I am a huge fan of his, so I was very excited to go there! I love how he has such a positive attitude in the kitchen, and he seems to really have fun with cooking! Our dinner there was delicious! We each got something different and tried eachothers. I highly recommend Lolita!

(Our server let me keep a menu!)

Bread and Olive Oil, standard!
Their alcohol isn't too expensive, either, $5 for a Guiness

Our appetizers, Flatbread with Ricotta Dip, Zucchini Keftedes (Fritters)JJ's dinner - Macaroni and Cheese, the chef's specialty

Shredded chicken with Macaroni in a Goat Cheese and Rosemary Sauce
Kristine's dinner, our favorite, Gnocci with a Pork Ragout, I will definitely be re-creating this one in the near future!
My dinner - Wild Mushroom Flabread Pizza with Tallegio, Arugula, and perfectly cooked tender mushrooms

Dan's dinner - Meatballs with Mascarpone Polenta

Birthday Cake for Dave! And Irish Car Bombs for Me!

It's become sort of a tradition for me to try to perfect Dave's birthday cake of choice - Mandarin Orange filled cake. Last year I went with wilton's butter cake and butter cream recipe, but it was dry and not so good. This year I tried out the ATK Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake, and the cake was wonderful! I used my basic buttercream to ice it, but thinned it out to make it more of a glaze and filled the middle with mandarin orange segments.
I was prepared to decorate this with twigs of orange blossoms, but thanks to my sister taking me for drinks to celebrate my birthday, I was not capable of decorating the cake...
So here is the recipe for the Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake courtesy of ATK
Makes two 9-inch cake layers
2 1/2 cups cake flour , plus extra for dusting pans
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk , room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks , room temperature
3 large egg whites , room temperature
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar together in large bowl. In 4-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and yolks.
2. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks just form, 30 to 60 seconds (whites should hold peak but mixture should appear moist). Transfer to bowl and set aside.
3. Add flour mixture to now-empty mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.
4. Using rubber spatula, stir 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Lightly tap pans against counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles.
5. Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, then invert onto greased wire rack and peel off parchment. Invert cakes again and cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

And here is the drinking that led to the not-exactly-as-planned decorating....
Irish Car Bomb, recipe from Katie!
1 pint Guiness
1/2 shot Bailey's Irish Creme
1/2 shot Irish Whiskey
Drop the shot in the beer and chug. Repeat...

TWD #14

This week's TWD recipe is Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. Since I had the other half of my brioche sitting in the freezer, I made this a few weeks ago to use it up! They were SO good. Here is my original post about them, and here's the picture of them after we ate a few and i realized I hadn't yet photographed them!

For my new niece!

My sister and brother-in-law welcomed a new pup into their family this week, so I had to bring her a present! I wrote this recipe down months ago and had been meaning to make it, but never got around to it. I knew this is what I should make for Zoe! I also made some treats for their friends' dog as well as my parents dog. Cutting the letters... not so fun, but very cute! I think the dogs liked them, they seem to be smiling!

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

1/2 c. natural peanut butter
3/4 c. skim milk
1 tsp. baking powder
2 c. whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 400. Mix pb and milk until smooth, add baking powder, then flour a bit at a time, more or less until it's no longer sticky and can be rolled out.
Cut out and bake for 12 minutes. Let cool on a drying rack and do not seal in an air-tight bag or they will get moldy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The New Food Pyramid!

Ahhh, muffins! What could be better? Hearty, a little sweet, filled with sweet berries... yum! Katie had been raving about her dad's muffin recipe, so I gave it a try 2 weeks ago, but we ate all the muffins before I could take a photo! Oops! I had to make them again! The first time I used her recipe exactly, but this time I didn't have all the ingredients so I changed it a little.
Thanks, Katie's dad, for the most fantastic muffin recipe EVER!!!
PS - To my ladies, this is the new food pyramid that will be used for Carbfest '08 :)

Katie's Daddy's Famous Bluberry Muffins!

4 1/4 c. flour (1 1/3 c. oat four, 1 c. whole wheat, 2 c. all purpose)
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 pint blueberries fresh frozen (I used raspberries this time)
1 1/2 c. water
3 heaping Tbsp yogurt (I used part skim ricotta)
1 Tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 Tbsp oil
3 eggs (2 whites, one with yolk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp dried orange zest (I used lemon)
sprinkle sugar on top
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a nonstick muffin tin with baking spray.
-In medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.
-Set aside.-In blender (or, if you're me...your stand mixer) add yogurt, water, butter, oil, eggs, vanilla, orange zest and sugar and blend until completely combined.
-Pour wet ingredients into a large bowl (or just keep them in the stand mixer bowl).
-Add blueberries to dry ingredients and toss to combine.
-Slowly fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients with a large wooden spoon until just combined (there will be small bits of flour still present).
-Spoon batter into muffin tins, dividing evenly (you are filling these all the way up. Almost OVER full. Trust me, they are big, but they won't spill over if your baking powder is good.)
-Sprinkle sugar over tops of each muffin (about 1 tsp per 6 muffins)
-Reduce oven temp to 375 and bake until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, about 20-23 minutes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Simple Summer Dinner

About 2 weeks ago, I was at Sam’s Club and found giant clamshells of heirloom tomatoes. I already had my menu for the week planned, so I didn’t buy them, but put them on next week’s menu. Well, I went to Sam’s over the weekend to get them, and they were out! I tried a few other places, and no one had them, so I had to get regular tomatoes on the vine, but they’re smaller and sweeter. This Panzanella salad is a mixture of a few different ones I’ve seen made, catered to my personal tastes.
I wanted to make a small side with some protein. I was browsing through a few magazines and saw bacon wrapped asparagus. To keep with my Italian theme, I decided to sub prosciutto for the bacon. I hope you enjoy this light, delicious, easy and fresh meal.

Panzanella and Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus

1 loaf of slightly old bread, cubed (4 cups)
2 cups of tomatoes, chunked
1 can of artichoke hearts, quartered
1 heaping scoop of olive tapenade
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ c. red wine vinegar
¼ c. EVOO
Salt and pepper
Minced herbs, such as basil, parsley, and tarragon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium-low, add garlic and sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add bread cubes, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Cut tomatoes in half, squeeze out seeds, and chop. Add to a bowl. Add artichokes and tapenade. Mix to combine. Add all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
Add cooled bread to bowl, toss with tomatoes and add dressing, toss to combine. Serve at room temperature, refrigerate leftovers, it gets better as it sits!

1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
Prosciutto, sliced thin
Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes, remove from water and shock in an ice bath.
Wrap bundles of asparagus, or one at a time, in slices of prosciutto. Season with salt and pepper, bake at 400 for 5 minutes.
(I put it in this bowl just for you, Katie!)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie #13

This week for TWD, Madeleines were chosen by Tara. I couldn't be happier that these were chosen. It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I tried my first madeleine. I was working at Starbucks, and one of my favorite regulars bought a pack of them every day with her coffee. I asked her one day what they were, and she said I had to try one. So my coworker and I 'accidently damaged' a pack, and sampled them. OHMYGOSH I had been missing them my whole life!!! I took the next few months to make up for the 18 Madeleine-less years of my life.
I have since been on a mission to make the perfect Madeleine, and try them where ever I find them. Dorie's recipe is wonderful, without the lemon. When I first got this cookbook I made them with, then this time I made them without, and liked them much better.
I got the idea for chocolate chips from the Madeleines I had in France at Epcot. I liked them with chocolate chips, but plain was much better.
I encourage you to buy a Madeleine pan, and try out these wonderful cookie-cakes. You will not be sorry!!!

Traditional Madeleines

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon (omitted)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)
GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don’t worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven’s heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.
Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.
Makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies
Serving: Serve the cookies when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature, with tea or espresso.
Storing: Although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they’ll keep for up to 2 months.
*I added 1 tbsp. mini chocolate chips to half the batter

Country Challenge #12 - Nepal

For this week, I chose to research and make a dish from Nepal. Since my mother was a young girl, she had wanted to go to Mt. Everest. My entire life, I've always heard my mom talk about Nepal and going to Base Camp 1, so I've always paid more attention to anything I'd hear about Nepal or Mt. Everest.
I encourage you to read about Nepal, it's a very interesting country with a beautiful climate and land. Nepal is also the only country in the world with Hinduism as the national religion.
Please read further about Nepal here!

Country Challenge winner: Nepal

For dinner tonight, I chose to make Dal Bhat and Terkari, a traditional meal from Nepal. I read that Nepalese serve each dish seperately, and don't mix the different parts of the meal. I also found an abundant amount of lentil recipes in the cookbooks and resources I found. I used a brown fair-trade basmati rice, but any will do. I also used brown lentils, but any can be used as well.
I hope you enjoy this traditional recipe found here, given to the author by a Nepali housewife.

Dal Bhat and Terkari
(Lentils with Rice and Curry Vegetables)

Ingredients Needed:
To make Dahl (lentils)
3/4 cups lentils
3-4 cups water
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped (to taste)
1/2 table spoon of ginger
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped(optional)
1-2 chili peppers (to taste
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of salt (to taste)

To make baht (rice)
1 1/2 cups of Basmati rice
3 cups of water

To make a traditional Terkari (curry)
4-5 large potatoes, peeled
1 large bunch cauliower
1 onion, chopped
3-4 tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped (to taste)
1 1/2 table spoon of ginger
1 bunch fresh cilantro (optional)
1-2 chili peppers (to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
_ teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tea spoons of graham masala curry powder
(or other curry powder)
_ teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
Plus anything else you might add to be creative!
Suggestions include: spring onion, green beans, peas,
or carrot

Cooking Instructions:
First you need to start making the dahl:
1. Wash lentils, Bring water to boil.
2. Add lentils and turmeric.
3. Boil about 1 hour, stir occasionally.
4. About 30 minutes into cooking the dhal, you can start cooking the rice and the curry (see
5. While lentils are boiling, separately fry the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, salt, cilantro and
chili peppers.
6. When lentils start to dissolve or are no longer hard, add fried mixture and serve with rice and

To make Terkari:
1. Start by boiling the potatoes and then set aside.
2. Fry chopped onion, ginger, garlic (in Nepal you can never use too much garlic or ginger
because it's good for your health), and chili peppers until the onion starts to carmelize, stir
3. Then add cauli ower and cumin seeds. Stir. Cook for 5-6 minutes. (Add any other vegetables
you choose from suggestions at this time).
4. Once the cauli ower is cooked, add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, curry powder, turmeric,
and cilantro. Mix.
5. After tomatoes have lique-ed, add the cooked potatoes and cook until the curry is warm and

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weekly Menu 5.17-5.23

This week's County Challenge Winner: Nepal

On the menu this week:
Lentils, Curry Vegetables and Basmati Rice
Asian Veggie Salad with Chicken Potstickers and Ginger Soy Dressing
Lemon Pepper Pappardelle with Artichokes and Roasted Garlic Sausage
Sausage and Pepper Subs with Sundried Tomato Pesto
Heirloom Panzanella, Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Tex-Mex Pizza

(Plain and Chocolate Chip)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TWD - #11

This week's TWD recipe is Florida Pie. I describe it as a Key Lime Pie and a Coconut Creme Pie and a Lemon Meringue Pie have a threesome. I brought the pie to my parent's house this past weekend, so I received a lot of feedback. Pretty much the whole family scraped off the meringue, as did I. We're not meringue people, I suppose! The key lime layer was very good, but I would add more zest next time, because the flavor wasn't strong or tart enough for me. I liked the coconut layer, but I felt like the whole pie didn't marry well. It was an interesting pie, but overall, not my favorite.
Next week will be Madeleines, my favorite cookie!

Florida Pie

1 9-inch graham cracker crust fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, seperated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 cup of sugar
Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment of a silicone mat.
Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl beat the egg yolks at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the reaming juice, again mixing until it is blended. Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.
Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.
To Finish the Pie with Meringue:
Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer in a large bowl, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you've got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue.) Return the pie to the freezer for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Very Berry Fro Yo

This frozen yogurt is so good. It's sweet and tart, healthy and satisfying, and full of berries! The original recipe was in the recipe book that came with my ice cream maker, but I changed it a bit to make it healthier. Enjoy!

Very Berry Fro Yo

1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c. sugar
5 c. fat free vanilla yogurt
1 c. frozen mixed berries
1 c. finely diced strawberries
1 tsp. almond extract

Whisk milk and sugar in a mixing bowl for a minute. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well. Add to ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes. I like to eat it as is, a bit soft. Keep in the freezer for 2 hours to harden.

I love Watermelon!

I had watermelon italian ice a few years ago, and hadn't seen it since. I knew as soon as I got the ice cream maker I'd have to make watermelon sorbet. This was just as good as I had hoped it would be! Extremely refreshing and delicious!

Watermelon Sorbet

1/2 c. sugar
1 c. water
6 c. pureed watermelon
1 tbsp. corn syrup
Juice of 1 lime

In a small saucepan, boil water and sugar until dissolved. Mix all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and chill for 2 hours.
Add to ice cream maker mixing bowl and mix for 25 minutes.
I eat this right out of the ice cream maker, but it's good frozen long as well.

Too much chocolate?

My wonderful husband finally got me a great birthday present - an Ice Cream Maker! My birthday isn't until Wednesday, but he was too excited to give it to me. This sorbet was in the recipe book that came with the ice cream maker. It's VERY chocolate-y, but still delicious!

Dark Chocolate Sorbet

4 c. water
1 2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 c. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine water and sugars in a saucepan over medium heat. Summer for 2 minutes until sugars dissolve. Transfer to a mixing bowl, stir in vanilla and chill for 2 hours.
Turn on ice cream maker, add mixture to mixing bowl, churn for 25 minutes.
Freeze for 2 hours, or eat as it comes out if you like it softer.

Weekly Menu 5.12-5.16

This week is going to be a bit short because of Mother's Day at home in Cincinnati, and my birthday, but here is what's on the menu:
Justa Fad Copycat Pizza
Caprese Burgers with Zucchini Sticks
Mamie's Chicken with Mushrooms, Creole Risotto (Guadalupe)
JJ Cooks Birthday Dinner!
Scholar's Inn Restaurant Review

Also on the Menu:
Florida Pie
Katie's Daddy's Blueberry Muffins

From the Ice Cream Maker:
Watermelon Sorbet
Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Mixed Berry Fro Yo
Cannoli Fro Yo

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mexico - #6

Thanks to my sister, Kristine, for some of tonight's commentary:

Para la cena esta noche, combiné algunas cosas para hacer mi propia versión de Huevos Divorciadazos. La comida se derive de Huevos Rancheros pero parece más interesante. Espero que te disfrutes esta comida divertida y deliciosa por lo cual se puede servir como desayuno, almuerzo o cena. La escritora de esas frases españoles es mi hermana Kristine, quien es una mujer muy bonita e inteligente.

For dinner tonight, I’m combining a few things to make my own version of Huevos Divorciadazos. This meal is derived from Huevos Rancheros, but looks, and tastes, a little more interesting! Huevos rancheros is traditionally fried eggs on top of a tortilla, covered with salsa, then served with refried beans and rice. What makes the eggs “divorced” is they are separated on the plate, and topped with different salsas, and divided by the rice and/or beans. The two salsas used are a traditional tomato salsa, and a tomatillo salsa. I added peppers and onions to this dish too, so I’d have more vegetables. I chose poblanos to go with the tomatillo salsa, and red bell peppers to go with the tomato salsa. I roasted the peppers, peeled them, and sliced them. For the rice, I made cilantro-lime rice, one of my favorite ingredients at Chipotle. I used plain black beans rather than refried, since I had those last night. I hope you enjoy this fun and festive dish, which can be a great brunch, lunch, or dinner!

Huevos Divorciadazos

½ c. tomato salsa (jarred or homemade)

½ c. tomatillo salsa (jarred or homemade)

4 eggs4 corn tortillas

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

¼ c. chicken stock

1 cup of prepared white rice

1 tbsp. minced cilantro

1 lime, juiced

2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced

2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced

Tomato Salsa:

6 roma tomatoes, blanched and peeled

1 small onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

2 jalapenos, chopped

1 lime, juiced

Salt Pepper

Add garlic, jalapenos, and onion to a food processor, pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients, pulse until it reaches desired consistency.

For the Tomatillo Salsa:

6 tomatillos, washed

1 small red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped



Juice of 1 lime

In a food processor, chop onions and garlic, add tomatillos and pulse until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze in lime juice.

Combine beans, stock, salt and cumin in a small pot set on low, cover and bring to heat.

Fry up eggs in a pan to desired doneness (no runny center for us!)

In 2 other small pans, heat salsas over low.

Plate rice and beans across the middle of the plate.

Warm tortillas, and place one on either side.

Plate one egg on each, then top with strips of peppers, and finally salsas.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mexico #5

When I think of Mexican desserts, I think of flan, which i've made, and Mexican Wedding Cookies. I absolutely love these cookies, but I've never made them before. They're so simple and delicious! One thing I will mention, is to make sure all of the flour gets mixed in, even if you think you're overmixing a bit, if the flour isn't all mixed in, the balls will not hold their shape and will get a bit flat (which happened to a few of mine).

Mexican Wedding Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup confectioner's sugar, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. fine salt
3/4 cup chopped pistachos, pecans, walnuts, or any other nut

Beat butter, lemon zest, and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a stand mixer for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, mix. Stir in the flour, salt and nuts. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll the dough into 1" balls, place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then roll in remaining sugar while still warm. Place on a cooling rack.

Baja! Cooking on the Edge, Deborah M Schneider.

TWD - #10

This week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe was chosen by my friend, Elizabeth. At first I wasn't going to make it because I had no one to make it for or give it to, but her threats didn't stop! So I made it. I did make a few changes to make it lower in fat/sugar/calories, like substituting chocolate graham crackers for oreos, using half as much peanuts and chocolate (for the ganache) and cool whip for the cream (and I used no additional sugar). I did have to keep the pie frozen though, but I actually really liked it frozen, it was like an ice cream cake. I haven't received the recipe typed up yet, but when I do I'll post it. This recipe is DELICIOUS, and I highly recommend it for a summer dessert!

Peanut Butter Torte

1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

½ c. mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)

24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender

½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Small pinch of salt

2 ½ c. heavy cream

1 ¼ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)

2 tablespoons whole milk

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

Getting ready: center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch Springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Crape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (do not wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Scrape the mouse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

To Finish The Torte: put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Bring the remaining ½ cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and , working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining ½ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the Springform pan; it’s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mexico #3

When reading through the mexican cookbooks I found in the library, I found this recipe. The author writes that this soup, or a version of it, is found on almost every restaurant's menu in Mexico. Because my goal of the country challenge is to try traditional and common recipes, I thought I'd make this one.

Sopa Azteca

3 garlic cloves
1/2 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
3 ripe tomatoes
8 cups chicken stock
black pepper
4 ancho chiles
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
10 stale corn tortillas
oil for frying (I baked mine)
2 cups mexican cheese, cubed
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded chicken
3 limes, halved

Saute' garlic, onions, and tomatoes for a few minutes. Puree with 1 cup of chicken stock.
Pour back into pot with remaining chicken stock. Bring to a low boil, add salt and pepper.
Cut chile stems off, slice into rings.
Stack tortillas, cut and fry.
Ladle the soup into a bowl, add the garnishes and serve with a lime, which should be squeezed on top right before eating.

A Cook's Tour of Mexico, Nancy Zaslavsky. St. Martin's Press: New York, 1995.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Appetizer turned Pizza!

One of my favorite appetizers is spinach and artichoke dip. I’ve made it slimmed down here, but I wanted to make a meal out of it. I decided to try to make it into a pizza for tonight! I used goat cheese as the base sauce in a few pizzas, and loved it. I figured I’d use that as the base, then layer on the spinach and artichokes. Whenever we get it out, it’s usually served with diced fresh tomatoes on top. I served it with a side salad, and also made a chicken sausage for JJ .

Spin Dip Pizza

1 pizza dough ball or premade crust
1 4oz. log of herbed goat cheese
1 red onion, sliced
10 oz. fresh spinach
1 can of artichokes in water, quartered
¼ cup grated italian blend cheese
Tomatoes, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll pizza dough out into sheet pan sprinkled with corn meal. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until almost cooked.
While crust cooks, wilt spinach in a large nonstick pan over medium heat.
In another pan, caramelize onion in a tbsp. of EVOO over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove crust from the oven, crumble with goat cheese, then use a spatula to smear it all over. Top with onions, then spinach, artichokes, and finally cheese. Bake for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove, sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and tomatoes.