Saturday, December 06, 2008
It seems that lil' bird is so busy with work also her and her sweet bunky are readying up to attend the Inauguration in January.....how cool is that.
My sweet sister Moon is now our resident juror being called up to perform her civic duty one more time as well as getting ready for the Christmas celebration that is just around the corner.
And me well, my sweet hunky husband and I are managing a Christmas tree lot and right now I do not have a moment to eat let alone cook!!!
So please forgive us for not holding up our PBE duties. If in fact that we do get a chance to cook something or even share a tid bit we'll pass it along.
As I always say.............stay tuna'd!!!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thanksgiving is a universal, one size fits all, no present required, small effort holiday. What is not to love about that! For our family it's also a movable feast. To accommodate the odd schedules we shift it around a bit and this year it landed the Saturday before the traditional date. This works on a number of levels. No crowds at the market before the event. All the store are stocked with all the appropriate items and they are super fresh. Why not?
We had three together to cook the day before; a great idea. Doodles, step-mom Mary, and myself chopped and mixed and baked up a storm leaving the turkey for the actual day. You must have that wonderful roast turkey smell awaiting the guests. Our guests this year were Pat and Frank, Mary's sister and brother-in-law. We must do the prep early as it is our tradition to drink Mimosas on Thanksgiving.
This year we had the traditional Thanksgiving fare. A wonderful fresh Foster Farms turkey from Costco. It was the tastiest bird I've had in a long while. Sometimes the turkey can taste something like a big chicken but this bird had flavor. We didn't brine it because I sort of ran out of energy but you would have thought we did. It was so juicy even the wings were tender.
Everyone has their own favorite way to roast a turkey and I give it a blast of high heat for about fifteen minutes, then cover the breast with heavy foil and reduce the heat to 325 for a good long time. The last thirty to forty minutes I remove the foil to crisp up the skin. The thighs get done without the breast drying out and it was amazing. Also, don't try this without a meat thermometer and let it rest a good thirty minutes before carving. Don't forget it give it a nice foil blanky to keep it warm. If in doubt, go to the Butterball Turkey website. It has all sorts of tips and roasting times.
Not anything new except a wonderful cranberry relish from lil bird. Maybe she'll share that recipe. I will put a link to our must have broccoli casserole.
Oh, and Christmas this year, a day or two after. Like I said, "It's the people, not the day."
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Mushrooms: left the small ones whole and quartered the larger ones. Sauteed them in butter and olive oil, some salt and pepper and at the last 30 seconds tossed in a few cloves of chopped garlic. Damn, that smells good. Removed to a dish.
Chicken breast: sliced them across the grain and flattened the slices. Dredged these in seasoned flour and sauteed in mushroom pan with a bit more olive oil; quickly removing when each was lightly browned.
Cooked some linguine in boiling water until just cooked; drained. Always save a bit of the pasta water. Some restaurants call that "profit."
Finish: deglazed the pan with a bit of chicken broth, added chicken and mushrooms back to pan along with 1/4 cup of creme fraiche, fresh chopped thyme and a good splash of Spanish Sherry. This simmered for a few minutes to blend the flavors. To this add the hot, drained linguine and a bit of the pasta water if the sauce needs thinning.
Serving: into the hot dish I tossed about a half cup of grated Parmesan and topped with chopped fresh Italian parsley and a bit of salt.
I love these flavors together. Chicken, thyme, garlic and sherry. The creme fraiche just makes the sauce milder and very rich. Dredging the chicken in flour adds a bit of thickness to the sauce as well. This dish is loaded with flavors and it is easy to overlook the salt. I feel you really must taste before serving because salt seems to tie all the flavors together.
Question: Do you plan your meals? If so, how far ahead?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I happened to get my Cooking Light magazine about the same time I was given the green chiles I have been raving about in previous posts.
The recipe featured fresh roasted Anaheim chiles, which are moderately spicy. Spike it with hot sauce, if you like more fire.
I might also say that there are many, many variations of this dish........I just found this recipe quite nice.
6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
- 12 Anaheim chiles, halved and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds) I used the much raved about Denver chiles
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
1. Preheat broiler or use your BBQ
2. Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 4 minutes. Peel and chop.
3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, pork, and garlic to pan; sauté minutes or until pork is browned. Add chopped chiles, chicken broth, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until pork is tender. Stir in hominy; cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Nutritional Information............Calories: 243 (28% from fat) Fat: 7.5g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.9g)Protein: 24.8g Carbohydrate: 20gFiber: 3.3g Cholesterol: 56mg Iron: 2.4mg Sodium: 389mg Calcium: 51mg
Sunday, October 12, 2008
i'm not emeril's biggest fan, he's a bit overdramatic for me. case in point, he calls this dish "clam chowder of love." that being said, this soup is so good i have to make up a word, it is fantabulous. probably the best chowder i've ever had. the leeks and the bacon totally make this dish, giving it layers of flavor. it's definitely not low fat, but it tastes sooo good. you could probably make it with half and half or even milk, but why?
here are the ingredients...
- 1/2 pound bacon, medium dice
- 1 cup chopped leeks (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots, peeled
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 pound white potatoes, peeled and medium diced
- 4 cups clam juice (i used 5)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 pounds littleneck clams, shucked, chopped (i used 3 cans of chopped clams and drained the juice to make up the clam juice - could've used 4 cans)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
In a heavy stock pot, over medium-high heat, render the bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the leeks, onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for about 2 minutes or until the vegetables start to wilt.
Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and thyme. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes.
Stir in the clam juice. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are fork tender, about 12 minutes.
Add the cream and bring up to simmer. Add the clams and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Some of my time was spent getting ready for a small twenty person reception after the Christening of our little Princess. I received much help from sister Doodles and daughter lil bird. I know it would not have been a success without them.
Doodles and I had great fun planning the menu and I have to say all of the food was a big hit. Some was bought pre-made, others we made ourselves. The menu was Asian, as per the request of the parents of the princess. Both Doodles and myself were a bit dumbfounded when one item stood out above the rest, Radish with Garlic Ginger Cream Cheese. People could not stay away from them.
Here's how we developed the recipe. I had an extra package of cream cheese, we had loads of garlic, ginger, and chives, and we found a way to transport all of this to a mouth; the radish. We literaly needed something else cold and started adding flavors. Our first choice was daikon but it lacked the color and punch.
To 8 oz of softened cream cheese add:
- about 1 tablespoon each of grated ginger and pressed garlic
- a bit of milk to loosen the cheese
- pinch of salt
- few tablespoons of minced chives
Slice large radishes in thirds, small ones in half and dry. Pipe cream cheese on top and serve immediately. I made the cheese mixture the day before and put it in the piping bag already to go the next day. Doodles dried the radish and piped them on the serving plate. Very efficient. Like I said, easy and everyone was popping these little gems like crazy.
Asian Meatballs with Hoisin sauce
Shrimp Tempura (pre-made from Costco)
Chicken Teriyaki (pre-made from Costco)
Pineapple sausage (Costco)
Chinese chicken salad
Pork pot stickers dipping sauce (Trader Joes)
Wings with lime dipping sauce
Tofu satay with p-nut sauce
Radish with spiced cream cheese
Fresh pineapple and strawberries skewers
Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Banana orange punch
I will get some additional photos and recipes up in the coming days; oh sure, how about weeks that sounds more like me.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
never heard of them???...........neither had I, until a local farmer bring me some the other day.
Right now Mr Doodles and I are residing in South West Colorado.......read about that here if you care to.
A few weeks ago this fellow came in on his way back to his farm to talk about storing his boat on property here at the RV park for the winter. I happened to be reading a cooking magazine at the time. "Ya like to cook"? he says.........ha I sure do and am always looking for local foods to use. "Do you ever cook with chiles"? O you betcha I do!!! "Well I grow chiles on a little plot of land on my farm they are called Denver green chiles and they taste a lot like New Mexico Hatch chiles. I will be roasting some around the beginning of September and I'll bring you some". Now when someone says that I'm always a tad skeptical.....BUT.......two days ago this fellow, my new best friend, walked in with TEN pounds of these magnificent chiles. My teeny brain just started spinning for recipes immediately thought of green chile quesadillas and chile verde......oh my word!!!!!!!! Now I googled freezing chiles.......don't ya just love Google, any way I found a site that tells how to prepare chiles for freezing. Unfortunately fresh roasted chiles cannot be kept in the fridge for more that a few days because they will mold. So sister moon and niece lil' bird will be getting some fresh frozen chiles when I arrive soon.
Let me get to the very simple method of a chicken, green chile quesadilla that I made last nite.
2 flour tortillas
grated cheese of your choice
chicken or steak.........leftovers a great for this if no sauce was used green chile cilantro
If I had some caramelized onions I would have added those
Method place your first flour tortilla in a skillet, start layering your ingredients, I start with cheese, then the meat, the chiles, cilantro a bit more cheese and top that off with the other flour tortilla. Turn the heat to med to low, place a lid on and carefully watch so as not to burn the tortillas but the cheese melts nicely and the inside heats the meat. Once one side is a bit toasty turn over with a wide spatula and continue for another minute or two till the contents are warmed thru and the cheese is well melted. I serve with a fresh salsa as well as sour cream mixed with some green sauce and extra cilantro.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
here's how we'll do it. first, the list is long and posting all three of our lists would be very long indeed. second, i thought it'd be cool to do a little cross promotion of our individual blogs (so you can see what we've been up to lately, as it has obviously not been food blogging). so, we're posting the original list first. then, immediately below will be a hyperlink to each of our three lists on our individual blogs. click to see how we all fared on vgt's omnivore's 100.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini - many dirty, filthy vodka martinis, actually
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
63. Kaolin - isn't this clay?!
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
doodles' omnivore's 100
maltese parakeet's omnivore's 100
mooncrazy's omnivore's 100
we hope you'll post your own omnivore's 100. if you do, please put a link in the comments.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
This was served after a killer meal of smoked pork, broccoli salad, baked beans, and a few great appetizers. All will appear on future posts but lets get at that peach cobbler, shall we?
It says it serves 6-8 but I doubled it and served 8; maybe we're pigs.
4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon brown sugar, for topping.
Preheat over 425 degrees.
Butter a 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish. Place the sliced peaches in the dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and flour. Mix gently and spread evenly again. Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile combine all dry ingredients for cobbler crust in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or you fingers, to make the texture like course crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir to form a soft dough.
Remove fruit from oven and drop rounded spoons full of dough on top. Sprinkle with last tablespoon of brown sugar and return to oven. Bake until fruit is bubbly and crust topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Cooking the peaches for ten minutes before putting on the topping made it so very light and I think kept it from being "doughy" underneath. It was a little bit of heaven floating down to my kitchen.
Last picture? Only one piece left.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
update - because joanna asked so nicely and she is such a good friend of the blog, here's the recipe. p.s., sorry, j, this won't ever be entered for consideration on the heart of the matter! anyway, here it is...
auntie lil bird's n'awlins red beans and rice
(adapted from emeril's red beans and rice from his louisiana real and rustic cookbook)
1 lb dried small red beans, rinsed and sorted, soaked overnight and drained
2 tbsp canola oil
1 c chopped onions
1/2 c chopped bell pepper
1/2 c chopped celery
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 lb boiled ham, cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 smoked ham hock (skin scored crosswise)
8 oz smoked sausage, cut in half then into 1/4 in slices (half moons, if you will)
3 tbsp chopped garlic
8 - 10 c water
steamed white rice
bust out your large heavy pot (le creuset or similar works best) and saute the trinity (onions, peppers, celery) and spices for about 5 mins over med-high heat. add the bay leaves, ham and ham hock and saute for an additional 5 or so minutes. (note, i did not say to add the sausage yet. simon says, back to the beginning!) add the garlic and saute until you start to smell it but before it burns. add the beans and then enough water to cover all ingredients. bring to a boil, then reduce heat. simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. add more water, if things start to get too dry and thick. at about the 2 hour mark, take your spoon and start mashing the beans against the side of the pot until you've mashed about 1/2 of the beans. (tip from auntie, do this on the side of the pot that is facing the back of the stove, in case you push the pot, it won't fall off the stove and spill boiling beans all over you!) this is the critical step as this is what gives the dish its creamy texture. now stir in your cut up sausage pieces and continue to stir for another 1 1/2 hours or so until mixture is creamy and beans are soft. feel free to add more water, the texture should be liquid but not watery, ifyaknowwhutimean. before serving, remove the bay leaves and the ham hock, salvage any of the non-fatty meat from the hock and return it to the pot. serve over steamed white rice with plenty of crystal hot sauce and an ice cold abita amber beer.
as a bit of history - red beans and rice is still typically served on mondays in new orleans. the reason: monday was wash day and a pot of red beans was easy to cook as it could be left relatively unattended while the lady of the house was busy all day in the yard with the laundry.
Friday, August 29, 2008
With the long weekend here and yes, another bbq, I hope to have one new recipe to post on Tuesday but until then, ponder this.
As the days get shorter I'm starting to think of trying something new in the kitchen. I've been toying with a list of recipes I've always wanted to try and before it becomes a novel I should start ticking off a few.
These are by no mean all of my list or in any particular order:
Angel food cake
Low-fat dishes that are tasty
More outdoor dutch oven cooking
More smoked meats
Real sourdough bread from my own starter
The list is growing and maybe when the thermometer dips a bit in the coming months I can tackle something new.
How did your summer go?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Please, no one turn up their noses at the canned biscuits used in this tasty treat. I've made it from scratch and to be honest, I like the texture of the Pillsbury biscuits better. Some recipes call for dipping each piece of dough in butter then rolling in sugar. Takes too much time and, again, not much different in the final product.
4 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits, ten in the can. I buy 4 wrapped together in their "value pack"
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon (sometimes I throw in a bit of fresh nutmeg, too)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 stick unsalted butter (do not use margarine)
Grease the sides of a tube/bundt pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon together and put in a bag.
Open cans one at a time and cut each biscuit into four pieces. Put all of the one can's cut biscuits into the bag with the cinnamon sugar and shake to coat the pieces.
Start layering the biscuits into the prepared pan. If you desire, you can add chopped nuts or raisins with each layer. Do each can then set aside as you make the syrup.
Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil and cook for about two minutes stirring continuously. Pour over biscuits in prepared pan.
Bake in 350 oven for about 30-40 minutes until they biscuits are golden and puffed. Don't over bake. Let cool for about 10/15 minutes or so; if not, all the monkeys fall out. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn upside down on a plate.
Serve warm or cold. Use a fork to separate a piece, cutting can be difficult unless it's cold.
I'd like to show a photo but every time I make this I'm rushing out the door.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
One morning laying on the sofa trying to rid myself of a crummy sinus headache......what better way to take your mind off of your ills than by watching someone cook on TV, just seems to take me elsewhere. Well I ran across an older spot by Giada De Laurentis...........sounded so easy I knew I had to try it..........cause it had all the ingredients we like.
Couple of comments about the following recipe....
- don't overpower the rigatoni with too much of the bread crumbs
- I used my own red peppers that I roasted on the BBQ......you can use jarred red peppers but make sure they are packed in water and not oil
- I also added a bit more garlic cloves while pulsing the croûtons
- Also when toasting your almonds..careful not to burn them.......med heat, five minutes. Keep shaking the pan to move the almonds around.
- use rigatoni as with the little ridges it hold the bread crumb mixture.
1 pound rigatoni pasta
3 cups purchased garlic-flavored croûtons, (about 5 ounces)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (about 1 ounce), toasted
1 cup julienned roasted red bell peppers
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.
Place the extra garlic, croutons and the almonds in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes the texture of bread crumbs. Add the mixture to the hot pasta. Add the peppers and the olive oil. Toss to combine and serve.Now if you are someone who likes to have tomato sauce on your pasta.........this dish is not for you. My sweet husband is a purist and likes tomato sauce on his pasta, so I took a big chance with this dish, but he LOVED it.........the man never ceases to amaze me.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
- I need baking powder
- baking powder comes in a round can
- baking soda comes in a square box
- I'm in such a hurry
Fast forward to last week when I got out the ingredients for biscuits and actually read the can. Yikes! I'd used baking soda instead of baking powder. I don't know about you but I'm a very graphic person and relied on my memory of what the can looked like and failed to read the label.
Laura Rebecca, because you were as smart as I was and thought the can looked like baking powder I'm sending you a homemade felt lapel pin. Just contact me with a mailing address via e-mail.
Everyone else, be wary of just grabbing something to use before you read the label. I know I shall not make that mistake again.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Who can tell us: what's this product?
One comment said Baking Powder. Who thinks this is Baking Powder? Go look at your's in the cupboard.
Post a comment with your guess. If no one can answer I'll post a hint, tomorrow. I might even have a prize but just the knowledge that you are smarter than Moon is worth a lot. Wait, there are many smarter than Moon. I should give a prize.
Click the comments, all comments welcome. If you are a "nonny mouse" include your e-mail.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
lemon pepper papardelle with sundried tomato alfredo sauce
Originally uploaded by lornababy
i made this lemon pepper papardelle with sundried tomato alfredo sauce and grilled chicken for my grandmother's recent visit. it was a perfect summer afternoon meal and we enjoyed the meal and each other's company with a nice rex goliath pinot grigio.
here's the tj's shopping list:
sundried tomatoes (the dry ones, not the ones in oil)
kosher chicken breasts
lemon pepper papardelle
grill chicken and cut into slices. chop sundried tomatoes into strips and simmer with one or two smashed cloves of garlic in some of the wine until soft. add jar of alfredo sauce and simmer until flavors blend. meanwhile, boil the papardelle until al dente. drain pasta, add to sauce and heat over low for a few minutes so the pasta finishes cooking and soaks up some of the sauce. plate pasta and put the grilled chicken on top. garnish with grated parmesan cheese, basil ribbons and lemon zest. enjoy with a glass of the wine!
Friday, August 08, 2008
The whole trick to this is instead of making a normal pizza dough with yeast you make a dough with beer. Because you don't need it to rise you can roll it out and slap it in the skillet. I wanted to have them ready to go so I rolled them out and slapped them between two pieces of waxed paper and slapped them in the refrigerator. I love slapping things.
When it came time to fix them I oiled my non-stick pan and cooked the first side. When it's nice and crispy flip it over, load on the toppings and cover until the bottom is crisp and the chees is melty. This is all similar to the pizza on the grill, another America Test Kitchen recipe, that is fun, but a lot more work. I cut them into bit sized pieces and served them hot. Six adults when through three nine-inch pizzas quickly and if I didn't already have dinner cooked I might have made more.
Photo editor's note: Before I slid the last pizza out on the cutting board, plastic; I set down the pan to take a snap. When I lifted the pan, the cutting board came with it. Glad this was my last pizza. Just a little calamity in the kitchen, when it all cooled it was easy to scrap the melted plastic off the skillet bottom but the board, not so lucky. I was happy to see it bore the little recycle triangle so at least it could be made into something else.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
When Doodle's won the recipe contest in the September issue of Cook's Country I, of course, picked up the magazine. I do enjoy this magazine because they have no ads only good recipes and a few hints and product reviews. I was not disappointed with this issue and tried a number of recipes for a dinner this weekend.
Often, when going to a potluck or planning an informal dinner get-together, I want a simple dessert that's portable. There is nothing more difficult than trying to get a fancy dessert on the road. I'd rather be a roadie for a rock band than have to transport something with whipped cream. This unbelievably light lemon sheet cake answered both those requests, and did I mention, it was easy and delicious.
I did not change this recipe one bit but my cake texture was not as dense as the picture in the magazine. Mine turned out very fluffy with lots of crumbs. I might have beat mine longer but it didn't seem to affect the flavor. The sugar and zest combo on the top was great. The topping gave a bit of crunch to the, other wise, tender cake.
Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temp
3 tablespoons grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 3 large lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks of softened unsalted butter
3 large eggs plus 1 yolk, room temp
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons buttermilk
For the cake: heat oven 325 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9 baking pan. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla.
With electric mixer on medium speed, beat granulated sugar and lemon zest until moist and fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer 1/4 cup sugar mixture to small bowl, cover, and reserve. Add butter to remaining sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time, until incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk mixture, and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Scrape batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until cake is golden brown and tooth pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Transfer cake pan to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
For the glaze: Whisk confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and buttermilk until smooth. Gently spread glaze over warm cake and sprinkle evenly with reserved sugar mixture. Cool completely, two hours. Serve.
Monday, July 28, 2008
La Luz del Dia
1 Olivera Street
Los Angeles, CA 91024
Growing up in the Los Angeles area and working downtown LA, I've been to Olivera St. more times than I can count; so I know the food. My usual haunt is Cielito Lindo's at the opposite end of the street but my dad's favorite was La Luz so this week I decided to have lunch.
First off they've replaced the abuelita (grandmother) slapping masa into fresh tortillas with two women mashing the dough with a tortilla press. Not the same texture at all. When I asked one of the owners why he honestly told me it just got too expensive and he knew it wasn't as good but, what can ya do?
The whole meal was just average but nothing like it use to be. My tamale was tender as was the meat in my soft taco but the sauce flat and uninteresting. The fresh salsa was as mild as you could get it. The missing chilies seemed to be replaced with onion.
Their cafeteria style of service does move quickly and it was quite busy because it's tourist season there on the calle. I was glad to see they still have the vieja señoras to take your tray of food to a table and it's quite funny to see tourist try to wrestle away that tray. They are very insistent and frown upon anyone saving a table before your food is ready. Their system has worked for 49 years so don't muck it up. I just wish they hadn't mucked up the food.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Edited to add the original post of the recipe
Cook's Country is from the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine and the TV cooking show, America's Test Kitchen. Also in this issue they talk about their new show coming to Public Television. That would be very cool if they made Doodle's salad on the show.
Message from Doodles: Boy that would have been way cool … maybe since they are starting a new show they will highlight winners recipes from their past contests. Oh am I a dreamer HA!!!
When Moon called to tell me I had won, well let's just say, I was over the top with JOY. Funny they don't let you know prior to publication they let ya sweat it out until the magazine hits the stands. I have never won anything like this in my life; thrilled beyond imagination.
OK, now a little plug for the magazine … it's quite nice and NO ads, none, nada. They do have a few "tearouts" for their magazine subscriptions. The magazine layout is quite good and handy to keep as a reference guide for future use as is their other publication Cook's Illustrated. As you can see I am quite fond of the magazines and no they didn't pay me to say this however I did win $1,000 Wooooo Hooo!!!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
6 c. shredded red & green cabbage and carrots
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
this slaw is good and good for you. it's lite on the mayo so it's only about 80 calories for a cup of slaw. that cup, however has tons of vitamins, as cabbage, especially red cabbage, has tons of vitamin c and carrots have even more vitamin a. so mix up this slaw and enjoy your vitamins!
Friday, July 18, 2008
My task for Thursday, though it's more of a joy, was to cook dinner for our darling friend Sandi and her husband Mike. She's mid-way through her chemo treatment and her friends have insisted we help and she's finally acquiesced. My contribution for dinner was:
Chicken Stir-fry with Bok Choy and Steamed Rice
Baby Broccoli with Lemon Garlic Sauce
Pineapple Buttermilk Meringue Pie (posted by Nicole @ Baking Bites)
I added a very light chicken soup with fresh homemade egg noodles just in case she wanted something less spicy.
I called to make sure they were ready for dinner and my beloved and I made a quick delivery. Sandi called later to thank us and I told her it was done for the "love of it." I wish I could do more, she is a dear sweet lady who is going through a very rough time but she believes in prayer and I think there is someone out there praying for her.
Gotta say something about this pie. It is so easy and so damn good you can't imagine. I always seem to have buttermilk left over from some other recipe and don't know what to do with it. Now I know I'll whip up this beauty. Visit Baking Bites for the recipe and especially the recipe for cooked meringue. Fantastic!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Sweet husband wanted some ice cream one nite, no ice cream on hand but I did have some vanilla yogurt in the freezer, let's see if I can pull this off, cause ya see husband says "I don't eat yogurt"!!! Oh OK no problem....hahahaha!!!
I get out my little food processor and thaw/whip up the vanilla yogurt, while melting some chocolate chips in the microwave, After the chips are melted I fold them into the the vanilla yogurt added some toasted chopped pecans I had on hand and there ya go.
No I never told him it was yogurt and you better never tell him either OK!! Oh and his comment was "this is nice and smooth, what kind is it"? Never did say but I did mention I think it's a new brand I found at the market.
What else can you do with yogurt, I think it's endless where and how. Any ideas leave me an email and I'll post them and credit your creativity.
I have mixed in some salsa and a good amount of cilantro and used that for a baked potato instead of sour cream.
No I didn't get a photo, the man likes his ice cream.......maybe next time.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Call it whatever you want, but I call it versatile. A friend reminded me that I hadn't made this in awhile.
1 15 0z. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained well
3 - 4 cloves whole garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
splash of lemon juice
fresh ground pepper
Place the beans in the food processor make sure they are thoroughly drained, peel and mash the garlic with the wide blade of your knife, add the garlic to to bean mixture along with the splash of lemon juice and salt to taste. While whirring the bean mixture in your processor slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Let it go until it was all smooth. Put well blended mixture in a bowl, add lots of fresh ground pepper.
Now I have been known to do the following with this basic mixture...........
- add a tbls of chipotle sauce to the mixture
- add a small can of chopped green chiles after adding the olive oil
- use the mixture instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches or wraps
- use roasted garlic instead of fresh
- smoky paprika is a good addition
- I bet you could make this with black beans
- add caramelized onions
- I would put cilantro in just about anything
Monday, July 14, 2008
I've been reading lots of bbq blogs lately and next time a smoke a brisket I will try wrapping it in foil mid-way through the cooking. I believe mine dried out a bit for my taste though everyone that had eaten it said it was great. I'm going for a moister texture to the meat. I'll get there. I do think the smoking takes place in the first four or five hours so there shouldn't be a problem with the foil wrap.
What I did come up with was a great rub and I not only used it for the brisket but a few steaks I threw on the grill the other night. Mix this up to have on hand much better than the rubs you buy at the store. Those seem to be too salty for my taste.
2 tablespoons course cracked pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon powdered onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon powered ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Spanish Paprika
3 teaspoons powdered garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Mix this together and store in an airtight container. Rub this into your meat before you bbq. The longer it sets on the meat the better it is. If it's more than a few minutes, rub and wrap it in plastic and keep refrigerated until you are ready to cook it.
Now you can fuss with this to suit you tastes and though I didn't think I'd like the sugar on the steaks it really gave them a nice crust.
Pork ribs are next!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I just saw this on my local NPR Saturday morning cooking shows.
Take an apple must be one that will hold up to cook for one and a half hour approx.
Remove the core but do not cut thru the bottom as you are going to stuff the apple with the following:
a spoonful of apricot jam
a spoonful of cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
a spoonful of brown sugar
and finish off with a healthy (HA!!) pat of butter
Make a ring out of foil to hold the apple off the grate of the BBQ. Add apple chips if you happen to have any..........cook for an hour to and hour and a half.
VOILE!!! a baked apple with a twist. I bet you could do this while smoking something else. Try is cause I know y'all like baked apples.
Has anyone else done this - sure sounds tasty!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Tired of feeling like you can't do anything? Here's a great way to get started in your own kitchen, What you can do. I also love their Top Five Low Carbon Diet Tips and a cool little search page for local, sustainable food in your area. Eat Well Guide. And finally, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a pocket seafood guide so you know what fish is ocean-friendly and safe to eat. Don't forget to ask restaurants where their seafood was caught or raised and don't buy seafood that has to be flown in buy frozen when caught. Shipping fish uses less energy than flying it into your market, fresh-caught. If you can't see the ocean don't buy fresh-caught.
If you have some good ideas to lower your carbon diet, let's hear about them.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
My dear husband and sweet husband of sister's loves salmon. Unfortunately my sweet sister Moon is allergic to all kinds of fishy. This would be great for sister to make for her beloved.
I topped it off with some mayo mixed with some chipotle sauce..gives the pattie a zing. Served with a coleslaw and there ya go. I must also add I have not made these in many, many years and had forgotten how tasty they are.
- 1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, undrained and flaked
- 1 slice of bread, shredded
- 2 chopped green onion, including the green parts
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- half of a red bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
- pepper fresh ground
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 In a large bowl, gently mix together the salmon, bread, green onion, garlic, bell pepper, flour, egg, paprika, salt and pepper. Form into patties; each about 1/2 inch thick.
2 Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Cook the patties until nicely browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
First I must apologize for being absent from PBE the last few weeks. We are in an area that is not close to any stores so my creative juices kinda dried up. But I must tell you a Farmers Market is starting up Saturday and every Saturday thru September. Really excited about that........so I'll be sure to have my creative juices stimulated.
Came home from work the other day to discover I had taken a package of chicken thighs out of the freezer but we were going to dinner with friends, OK they’d keep a day. Now it’s the next day and what the heck do I do with those thighs, something different? Sister woulda put those babies in the smoker that she just recently acquired. BBQ’d was not at the top of my list cause the weather was iffy and blowy. Then I remembered a recipe I saw on one of my favorite food sites Pioneer Woman. If y’all haven’t been there go and check Pdub out she’s a a very funny writer and a pretty darn good cook. Her link is over in the left column.
OK I fire up the computer and go look for the recipe and my WiFi is down. Dang!!! let me see if I can recreate this from memory.
Here is the original recipe with my attempt at recreation in red.
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
I used 4 thighs
1/2 to 1 medium Onion, chopped
Did not remember the onion in this recipe DUH!!!
2 to 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
used 3 fat cloves of garlic
1/2 cup White Wine (or Chicken Broth)
I used 1 cup of beef broth not only because beef broth was all I had but I think beef broth lends a good flavor to the crushed tomatoes
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
I used 1 can of Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes
Pinch of Sugar
Didn’t remember the sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped Fresh Parsley
No parsley on hand
8 large fresh Basil leaves,
Had 4 fat basil leaves
1 package Linguine noodles, cooked
Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated, in abundance
Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Cook linguine noodles until al dente.
Heat olive oil in a hot skillet, then add diced chicken thighs in single layer. Don’t stir around; just let them brown on one side. Flip over with spatula, allow to brown, then remove to separate plate. In same pan, over medium heat, add onions and garlic and stir to combine. Pour in wine (or broth) then scrape bottom of pan with whisk to loosen brown bits. Next, pour in crushed tomatoes, add salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar, then simmer for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes, throw in all the cooked chicken, including its juice from the plate. Allow to simmer for fifteen more minutes. Add chopped fresh herbs at the end, then pour over cooked linguine in large bowl or platter. Top with lots fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
I do agree with Pdub for the fondness of chicken thighs, love them. All in all my memory served me well and the meal turned out quite tasty. Added a nice lite tossed salad with garlic toast.
Check out my blog to see where we are and what we have been up to.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
My first impression of using this smoker is how much smoke it put out. Yikes, I'd neglected to mention to my neighbors my plans and when I filled the neighborhood with smoke I quickly found one or two to assure them we neither cooking crack nor burning down our house. It does tame down after a while, whew, a relief. Here is something I learned later, wait until the smoke changes color before putting on the meat. Thanks to Jeff at Shifty Squirrel's BBQ for that one.
So what did I cook? I looked at three stores for a pork butt but all I could find was a 7 lb pork shoulder. I think they are pretty much the same thing. I'd promised daughter Maltese Parakeet, lil bird, and her beloved pulled pork sandwiches for dinner and I was aiming for that end. I'd also added a few chicken thighs just because I have two levels of grilling.
The pork roast was rubbed and it rested in the refrigerator overnight wrapped in plastic. My rub might have been a tad bit salty for my taste so I'll adjust next time. Rubs are a matter of personal taste. I did trim off some of the heavier layers of fat. After the fire got going I put the pork on the bottom grill and spent the next nine hours adjusting the fire. Only once did it get under 200 and not for long. I was like an old mother hen watching that thermometer.
Editors note: A remote thermometer was my birthday give from lil bird so I don't have to run outside so often to check, cool.
Chicken was the first out and after they cooled they went into the fridge for another meal. I used the same rub I'd used on the pork but I also brined the thighs for about two hours. They only cooked about four house and were very tasty.
The pork never got to that fall-off-the-bone stage I was looking for but when sliced it had a wonderful smoke ring, was tender and very tasty though I couldn't tell if it was smoky enough since I'd been breathing the smoke for nine hours. The family did agree it was smoky and quite good. I even gave my son-in-law a care package to take home.
Our menu was pork sandwiches with a coleslaw, I'll add that recipe at a different post because I thought it delicious, and baked beans. The bbq sauce was Rudy's, an import from Texas that lil bird picked up while in San Antonio. I've used their rub before, too and it's very tasty.
All in all I believe it was a success but I'll make some adjustments next time. I was very good not to lift the lid so I don't think that was the problem.
Things I did wrong:
- not enough coals in the beginning
- maybe a bit hotter temp
- cooled hot coals too quickly
- maybe longer cooking time
- different cut of pork
What's next? I love smoked turkey and can't wait to try it in my new smoker. So look for another post coming soon. Did I give up on the outdoor dutch oven? Nope. I just wanted to branch out a bit. I'm looking forward to my next project, outdoor biscuits.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What should I do with this scrumptious little pile of onions? This is not a contest, I'd just like some ideas. How do you use red onions? Raw, cooked, creamed or blanched. Maybe you never use them and I bet that's a good story. Give me suggestions, either e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comments. I'd love to recreate that juciy little mountain of chop with my razor sharp Santoku.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Some people's hobbies can be annoying, you know collecting soda bottles or famous people's hair but mine, Outdoor Dutch Oven Cooking, is more than a hobby, it's turned into an obsession. Every time I fix a meal I try to figure out how long it would take to prepare outside? How can I convert that recipe. I must get help but until then here is my latest, Twenty-four hour sourdough bread.
Good ol' reliable Alton Brown actually had an episode on Outdoor Dutch Oven cooking. I'll not put in the recipe, it's called Knead Not Sourdough and can be found on Food TV's site. What I will talk about it the method. You mix flour, salt, a tiny 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, and water and let it set 20 hours, covered, on your counter. Then you do that normal punch down, turn around, and let rise another two hours thing to the dough. What could be easier, other than going to the bakery.
While the second rise is almost done it's outside to heat up the iron. Then toss your formed loaf into a pretty hot dutch oven to bake for 45 minutes. I'm all about the coals so I had what he suggested which I thought was way too many for the bottom. We are still in the experimental part of my obsession so I loaded on the coals.
After 30 minutes you could smell the bread, a good sign but I feared too early. The lid got lifted at 35 minutes and I gasped, yes literally, because it look so beautiful. This is food porn, folks. The temperature was in the range suggested so I hoisted it from the fire. Letting it cool for a few moments I then got some hand protection to remove the loaf. Now here's where it gets funny. It was somehow welded to the bottom of the pan. Would not budge. After I finally grunted and groaned and freed it from the iron it was pretty burnt on the bottom and the bread, though not a total loss, was still a bit doughy in the center. Alton never turned his loaf over, now that I think of it.
I now know I should have gone with my instincts and had less coals on the bottom and that would have slowed down the baking. It was also a bit saltier than I thought it needed to be so I'd cut the salt in half. Someone more experienced at bread baking might have sliced the top a few places before baking. I have no idea what that does but it always looks good.
Other than that it would be great to cook up a loaf of bread while camping. Imagine that lovely smell drifting through the campground. Hmmmm. Just bring me some butter.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
There's a whole long list of reasons why I want him to stay healthy and happy so I've been tinkering with a baked apple dessert. What I came up with wasn't even a dessert, it was breakfast but I'd serve this anytime; an apple pancake.
First of all you'll need an iron skillet or a pan you can use on the top of the stove and in the oven. It calls for bread flour but you can use all purpose. The high protein bread flour helps the pancake to rise.
Baked Apple Pancake
2 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten and room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup milk, room temperature ( I used non-fat)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 425° F. Place oven rack on the middle rack of your oven.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, salt, flour, milk, and vanilla extract; beat until batter is smooth (the batter will be thin, but very smooth and creamy); set aside.
In a large heavy oven-proof frying pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter, tilting pan to cover sides. Add apples and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Stir and let cook for 5 to 7 minutes to slightly cook the apple slices; remove from heat.
Pour prepared batter over apples into pan. Place pan in preheated oven and bake approximately 20 minutes or until puffed above sides of the pan and lightly browned (it may puff irregularly in the center); remove from oven.
Remove pancake from the baking pan by flipping upside down onto a serving platter (apples and cinnamon will be on top). Once out of the oven, the pancake will begin to deflate. To serve, cut into serving-size wedges and transfer to individual serving plates. Makes 2 to 4 servings.
If you use egg-beaters and non-fat milk this is getting in the range of a healthy breakfast treat. It's the caramelized apples that make this so tasty.
Another healthy aspect of cast iron cookware is it leaches small amounts of iron into the food. There's a lot of discussion to whether anemics can benefit from this but a little boost of iron couldn't hurt most of us. Those with excess iron issues (for example, people with hemochromatosis) may suffer negative effects.Here's a breakdown of the calories/fat. I got three servings out of this recipe but the count even less if you'd cut in into four servings. We were sort of pigs that morning.
- With non-fat milk, egg beaters and butter= 396 calories/19.6 fat grams per serving.
- With non-fat milk, regular eggs and butter= 440 calories/24.5 fat grams per serving.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
The Dutch I'm speak about is my new found love, Dutch Oven cooking. This is not that chic little Mario Batali number they sell at Crate and Barrel, nope it's the original outdoor cooking pot. They say the West would not have been settled without it. Since we do a lot of camping I decided I'd give it a try.
This will be a method much more than a recipe.
For hardware you need:
- Outdoor Dutch Oven with a flanged lid and bottom legs that allow you to place your coals
- Heavy gloves
- Charcoal and a way to light it, I used the chimney
- Long tongs
- A lid lifter; my darling made mine
- and all the other normal cooking tools
Here's the software:
- three chicken thighs
- three chicken Italian sausages
- fresh thyme
- chopped onion, celery, and garlic
- 1 cup of raw rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
I did remove the skin from the chicken thighs as it gets rubbery when cooked. After adding the chicken broth and bringing it to a boil I then redistributed the coals.
When you bake you want more on top than the bottom so 14 on top and 7 on the bottom should keep the pot at about 325/50 degrees.
Now to keep everything from burning I gave the lid a quarter turn each fifteen minutes and the pot every 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I lifted the lid and gave everything a stir. It was boiling, not simmer so I removed the lid to vent a bit of the heat. After it stopped boiling I replaced the lid for another 15 minutes. After 45 minutes I removed all the coals and let it set while I finished the rest of my dinner. Cast iron retains heat quite well so it stayed nice and warm.
Because I cooked the rice too hot it blew apart and was a bit mushy. I might cut back on the broth, too. Less coals is what was needed and more checking. There is a fine line with the checking; too much and you lose heat.
Chicken, rice and sausage, what was I thinking. It did need a little color and next time I'd add some red pepper or mushrooms and definitely some chopped parsley for a better presentation.
There is a lot of ash from the coals and I should have had a little whisk brush to get rid of them. I'll add that to my list. Also, lifting the lid must be done with care as not to add the ash to dinner. I never tasted any in this go around.
All in all, it was fun and I plan to take it with us next time we go out in the tear drop. I think I'll need more practice before I try making biscuits or rolls or maybe cornbread, though. When camping there were many who tried cakes and desserts. Some were good and other, well I'll have to try before I criticize.