Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tamale Ball Appetizer

This is a fairly easy and tasty appetizer recipe. In a bowl mix together 1/2 lb ground pork, 1/2 lb ground beef, 2T ground cumin, 1T each of ground cardamom, coriander, oregano and powdered garlic, 3/4C enchilada sauce and 3/4C corn meal, salt and pepper to taste. You can add heat if you wish in the form of Tabasco or red pepper flakes. At this point cook a small portion of the mix in the microwave, taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Form the mixture into 1/2" balls and simmer for one hour in 1 14 oz can of enchilada sauce, a sprig of cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve on toothpicks.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jamie's Scallops and Beans -Adapted from Jamie Oliver

This dish has become a Christmas Eve tradition at our house. Its fun because all of us can get involved in the preparation. Start by draining 2-14 oz cans of canellini beans and heating them in a sauce pan to a low simmer. Add 4 chopped anchovie fillets cayenne pepper to taste and 2 cloves minced garlic. Simmer for 5 min and then add 1/4C white wine. When the mixture regains the boil, mash the beans to a paste and keep warm. Next, quarter 8 Roma tomatoes. Drizzle them with olive oil and put them in a 450 degree oven for 15 min. About half way through the time add 4 slices of prosciutto. Finally, cook 8-12 scallops 2 minutes on a side by sauteing them in 2T very hot olive oil. Place a "puddle" of beans on the plate, arrange the tomatoes and prosciutto and 2-3 scallops and top with arugula leaves. A delicious combinations of flavors.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup - Adapted from Epicurious

This is a wonderful soup and, by the way, the third meal we prepared using our roast chicken. We used the bones to make stock and picked the meat off for the soup. If you don't want to bother, start with 6C of good quality chicken stock and 1C diced cooked chicken. While you are preparing the soup, soak a package of cellophane noodles according to package directions(or the noodles of your choice). To the stock add 6oz sliced mushrooms(we prefer to saute them before adding them), 1 seeded and diced chili pepper or what ever heat you wish, 1C coconut milk, 2C chopped fresh spinich, 2t lemon and or lime zest, 1/4C fresh lemon and or lime juice. Heat the mixture to a simmer and just before serving top with chopped cilantro. A delicious soup as spicy as you care to make it!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Chicken Curry with Chickpea Dumplings - Adapted from Carla Hall

We started this recipe with the left over roasted chicken but if you don't, start by browning 4 chicken thighs. Remove the chicken and add 1/2C each of diced celery, onion and carrot and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until softened. Add 2T curry powder and cayenne pepper(we used Penzey's hot curry and 1t cayenne pepper) to taste. Stir until fragrant and then add one 14 oz. can of chickpeas, drained, 2C chicken stock and 1C coconut milk. Stir to remove the spices and chicken bits from the pan. Add the chicken back to the pan and continue to simmer while you prepare the dumplings. Mix together 3/4C chickpea flour(optional, in our view; regular flour dumplings would be good as well and chickpea flour can be hard to find), 1t baking soda, 1t salt, 1/4C flour and 1/4C chopped cilantro. Kneed the mixture and then drop spoon fulls of the dough into the simmering liquid. Place the pan in a 350 degree oven, uncovered and cook until the chicken is fork tender, about 30 min. Delicious, if you like curry.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Eggs Baked Over Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms - Adapted from Food and Wine

This is a nice light supper dish, again from Food and Wine Magazine. Another of the favorites of thier Associated Editor Kristen Donnelly. The recipe made two servings for us. Start by cleaning and cutting a large leek into 1/4" pieces. Saute the leek in 2T olive oil until tender. Add 1T butter and 8oz. sliced mushrooms. As they begin to warm, cover and warm gently for 5 min. Remove the lid and add 1/4C dry red wine and 1T soy sauce. Heat the mixture until the liquid has reduced to 2T. Add 5oz. chopped spinach and cook until the spinach just wilts. At this point we also added 1/2C cooked crumbled bacon. Crack an egg on the mixture and place in a 350 degree oven until the eggs are done to your liking (runny yolk, firm white, about 15 min.).


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Encore - Roasted Root Vegetables

We decided to post the roasted root vegetables again to show how versatile they are. This time we served them with a simple roast chicken. They almost literally go with anything.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Beef Roast - Adapted from Food and Wine

Start by chunking up your favorite root vegetables. We used golden beets, sweet potatoes, parsley root, parsnips, celery root and turnip. Drizzle them with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until they are nicely caramelized. We used left-over Outback so the meat part was easy. Dress the vegetables with a mix of 2 parts balsamic vinegar and 1 part honey. If you choose to roast your own beef, you can add some of the drippings to the dressing. Serve the meat and vegetables on a bed of arugula. The bitterness of the arugula is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the vegetables and dressing.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tamale Bites

There aren't many appetizers on the blog but here is a good one. You can use any kind of precooked meat that you wish but we used turkey. Start by adding 1/2lb meat, 1t masa corn flour, 1t tomato paste, 1 small chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1t ground cumin, 2t dry thyme and 1 14 oz can stock to a frying pan. Heat to a low simmer and cook, uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half and the meat is fork tender. Set the meat and liquid aside. This dough can be made by hand or in a food processor. Mix 1C masa flour, 1/2t baking powder, 1/4t salt, 1/2t ground cumin and 2/3C stock ( we used the reserved cooking liquid from the meat) and mix until a crumbly mix is obtained. Add 1/2C melted shortening (we used lard - don't be put off, it imparts a wonderful flavor) and mix until the dough is smooth. Spray a mini-muffin tin with Pam and put a 2t ball of the dough in each cup. Smash the dough with your finger to make a well in the dough. Add 1/4C sour cream to the meat along with 1T fresh lime juice. Place the meat mixture into the dough cups and bake in a 350 degree over for about 20 min, until nicely browned. Serve plain or with your favorite salsa.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Gumbo - Momma Rochelle recipe in Food and Wine

This is the best gumbo recipe we have found. The key to making any gumbo is patience, take your time, especially making the roux. Also, feel free to substitute meats. Use chicken, turkey, duck, seafood, whatever you have available. Okra is hard to find around here so we didn't use it. Likewise oysters. The best place to start is with the prep. Dice one large bell pepper, one medium onion and two ribs of celery. Set them aside. Prepare the meat by slicing 1/2 lb of andouille link sausage and 2C of your choice of leftover turkey, etc. Set this aside as well.
Prepare the roux by mixing in a large pot 1/4C flour and 1/4C canola oil (don't use olive oil). Gently heat the mix until it achieves a golden brown color. Be careful not to burn it. Add the veggies and heat until softened. Add 3 cloves minced garlic, 1t dry thyme, and 1t dry oregano. Slowly add 5C of liquid. You can use stock or just plain water. Add the sausage, 2T tomato paste and 2T Worcestershire sauce. Add 2C sliced okra, if you have it. Heat the mix to a low boil and simmer for about 2 hrs. This will help bring the flavors together. Just before serving bring to a full boil and add the rest of the meat. We included 1/4 lb shelled and deveined shrimp. This is where we add the oysters. Serve with rice, file` and a crusty bread. Wonderful...


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Warm Shrimp Salad with Alternate Grains - Adapted from Food and Wine

"Alternate or heirloom" produce seems to be in vogue now. We found this recipe and decided to try it. The original used a grain called kamut but we couldn't find it in our store so we used farro. We think barley or perhaps even couscous would work as well. Touted to be the grain that fed the Roman Legions, farro has a nice nutty flavor but requires some initial preparation. We simmered 1/2C of it for about 2 hrs in 4C of vegetable stock and water. Once this was done we proceeded with rest of the preparation. Saute one large thinly sliced shallot in 1T butter until it is soft. Add 2t, or to your taste, hot chili peppers. When they are softened, add 1/2 lb raw, peeled and deveined shrimp, 2C steamed green beans and the grain which has been drained of excess liquid. Toss together and squeeze on some fresh lemon juice. Wonderful combination of flavors and a dish that goes together quickly once the grain has been prepared.