Monday, June 29, 2009

Not your Grandma's pie

This pie is so versatile and tastes good too. Always looking for different recipes and anything that includes tortillas go to the top of the must try list.

Layers of roasted pork, fresh tomatoes, grated cheese. roasted green chiles, beans, and the ever popular cilantro.

Found this recipe over on Simply Recipes and Elise has never failed when it comes to Mexican food. She calls this comfort food and I can readily agree.

For the beans I used a can of pinto beans that I cooked in some tomatillo sauce I had on hand. Buttering the tortillas is also the key to crispiness.

I made two and shared one with friends, when the pie plate was returned I was asked if I was gonna make another one of these.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How we do it: Green Chilies

There is really only one way to peel green chilies; roast them. I use a lot of the Anaheim long green chilies. The flavor is milder than say a jalapeno but it still has some bite and a terrific flavor.

Usually to roast them I rub a bit of oil on the skins and drop them on the BBQ grill while I'm cooking something else. You just turn them until they are equally charred on all sides and put them in a plastic bag. Their heat will cause them to steam a bit loosening the charred skin. When cooled the charred skin slips right off. Slice open one side and remove the seeds. I always snip off a piece to assess their hotness. If they are too hot for you remove the veins on the inside. That is where the heat is. Wear gloves if you are the least bit sensitive to the chili oil and whatever you do, don't touch your nose or eyes. That goes for any other chili you are handling.

When I only want one or two I turn on the gas burner and roast them there. It's quick and I love the smell in the kitchen of roasting chilies. Just remember to turn them carefully so all areas gets charred. Those odd shaped ones are difficult to keep on the burner so make sure to buy long straight ones at the market.

Cook them the same as above and remember when you are peeling off the skins and removing the seeds, don't do it under running water, it dilutes the flavor but do give them a quick rinse. I like to leave just a bit of the char on some of the chili to add some additional flavor.

We've posted a number of recipes with green chilies. Here are just a few.

Green Chili Quiche
Doodles Chili Verde

Friday, June 12, 2009

When in doubt

make two desserts I say. Recently hosted a small gathering for a dear friends birthday celebration. Small gathering meaning only about a dozen adults. Menu was going to be a BBQ of hot dogs , hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans and a broccolini salad I concocted. More about that later this is all about desserts.

Just realized sister moon and I have been doing a lot of desserts lately, must walk off those extra pounds next week.

So back to the two desserts one of which is red velvet cupcakes. I chose cupcakes because birthday sparkle candles look cute on cupcakes. The texture of the cupcakes are moist and delish. No fancy frosting just a buttercream that is my favorite. No need to post the recipe but here is the link to the original, which I might add is one of my very favorite sites for recipes. Know that Elise does not fail to come thru.

The second dessert is one I found over of P'Dub's blog. Pioneer Woman comes up with some fine concoctions and the desserts are usually butter laden. Pita apple crisp with a sweet cream sauce does not disappoint.

Click here for the recipe
. No I did not use the wheat germ or the apple brandy. And when Miss P'dub says proceed with caution she ain't kiddin'. Wonderful desert for a crowd. I made the sauce that she posted and also made my Mommas sauce she used to make for her apple dumplings. Trust me folks eith one will get ya huge praises.

Sauce for Apple Crisp

1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon Karo syrup
1/2 cup apple sauce

Combine above ingredients, heat over medium heat till thickened, spoon warm sauce over apple crisp.

Might I tell you that the birthday girl took home the two cupcakes that were remaining and the husband of the guest of honor was quite disappointed there wasn't more apple crisp to take home...............guess everyone was happy. Glad I made two desserts.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Where the egg whites came from

Choux Pastry has always fascinated me. So light, so delicate and filled with all the wonderful things I like. So when I ended up with more Fat Free half and half than I could use in the next week I thought I'd give this recipe a try. It's from a lovely little book entitled, Vanilla. Yum. Though Yum isn't in the title, it should be.

First the Cremé Patissiére.
(I used all fat-free half and half for all the liquid)
2/3 cup milk
2/3 heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks - room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Put milk and cream into a medium, heavy-bottom pan. Use the tip of a small sharp knife to score the vanilla bean lengthwise through the center. Add it to the pan and bring the milk to a boil. Remove from heat and let it infuse for 20 minutes.

Bean together the egg yolks, sugar, and flour until smooth. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk, scrap out the seeds with the tip of a knife, and return the seed to the milk. Pour the milk over the egg mixture, beating well.

Don't discard the bean, rinse and dry it and put it in a container with sugar. In a week you'll have the most delicisoso sugar.

Return the custard to the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stiffing constantly with a wooden spoon, for 4-5 minutes until it is thick and smooth. Turn the custard into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool before use.

Now for the Choux pastry.
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla ( I love paste vanilla)

Lightly grease a large cookie sheet and sprinkle with water. Sift the flour onto a sheet of waxed paper. Cut the butter into pieces and melt in a medium pan with 2/3 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat.

Tip in the flour and beat until the mixture forms a ball that comes away from the side of the pan. I did this with a wooden spoon. Let cool for 2 minutes then gradually beat in the eggs until mixture is smooth and glossy. Add the vanilla.

Place 12 even-size spoonfuls of the mixture, space well apart, on the prepared cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree over for about 22-25 minutes until they are well risen and golden. Make a slit around the middle of each puff and return them to the oven for 3 more minutes to dry out the centers. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Open each puff and fill with the pastry cream. I placed three banana slices on the bottom, then the cream and finally the top. Dust with confectioners' sugar and store them in a cool place until ready to serve.

They were tasty but my pastry cream was not set as much as I'd wanted so they were a bit difficult to eat, too runny. It was either I didn't cook it long enough or, as I suspect, the fat-free half and half. Next time, the hell with the calories, I'll use regular half and half.

You can be as creative as you want. I've made these with chicken salad for a luncheon buffet and
were very good. Just remember to assemble at the last minute so they puffs stay crispy.