lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kaiser Rolls

Kaiser RollsI have made a couple of different sandwich rolls before. There have been hamburger rolls and honey wheat sandwich rolls, but I have always loved Kaiser rolls.  And I have always been too scared to make them.  They shape was intimidating.  Enter the bread machine.  It makes everything easier.  These rolls were just perfect paired with Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork.  Don't these rolls looks so much better than the ones I picked up from the store in that post?  And they taste about 10 times better! 
Kaiser Rolls for the Bread Machine

¾ cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
Sesame seeds

Set machine on dough cycle. Add all ingredients per your machine’s instructions. Run the cycle. Remove the dough from the machine and divide into eight equal pieces. Form each piece into a rope, tie in a knot and tuck the ends under. Place on a baking sheet lined with cornmeal. Cover with towel and let rise about 45 minutes in a warm place. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush tops with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Adapted from Taste of Home
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tequila Lime Shrimp and Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken and ShrimpI served this as the main course for my Foodbuzz 24x24 party. The shrimp and chicken get such a nice flavor from the limes. The recipe is loosely based on Ina Garten's Tequila Lime Chicken, but since we don't have a grill and I wasn't interested in smoking out my guests using my cast iron grill pan, I decided to bake it instead. The chicken was so moist from the marinade, I will use it again to make fajitas, it would be amazing wrapped up in a tortilla.  My only issue is I overbought limes, they were 15 for a dollar at Foodarama.  Guess I can use them with the leftover tequila to make margaritas.
Tequila Lime Chicken and Shrimp

6 chicken breasts, halved
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup gold tequila
1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Reserve 2 cups of the tequila lime mixture and store in the refrigerator in a separate container. Add the chicken breasts to the large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set the chicken in a greased large oven proof dish. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, until browned and the chicken is cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, roast the shrimp in a large ovenproof dish for 5 minutes, basting with reserved tequila lime sauce.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

White Wine Peach Sangria

white wine peach sangriaIt wasn't long ago that I made a batch of Sparkling Sangria for my Foodbuzz 24x24 party. The real reason behind making it was to do a trial run for a baby shower I was hosting. Both bottles of champagne exploded all over the kitchen floor, so I thought it best to try a sangria without the explosion potential. When I saw the recipe on An Apple a Day for White Wine Sangria, I knew that it would be perfect for the shower. And it was! Though, it wasn't without a struggle. The lovely drink dispenser just stopped working after 30 minutes or so. I transferred the Sangria to a punch bowl and the guests were able to scoop the fruit into their glasses, so it worked out for the best anyhow.
White Wine Peach Sangria

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 bottles white wine (I use Walgreen's Southern Point Chardonnay, it's ~$3 and has a great light taste)
¼ cup brandy
1 can peach nectar
2 large peaches, sliced
5 strawberries, halved

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat to make a simple syrup. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a large pitcher combine wine, brandy, nectar and simple syrup. Stir to combine. Add peaches and strawberries. Serve over ice.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Migas Casserole

Migas CasseroleI don't really care for breakfast foods, I would rather eat a slice of pizza or some other dinner item. And breakfast for dinner, why? Seems like such a waste of a good dinner. There are two exceptions: crab cakes Benedict and Mexican breakfast. One of the best Mexican breakfasts I ever ate was at a small taco stand in San Antonio while visiting my best friend, Heather. The salsa set your tongue on fire and made the eggs worth eating. I made this casserole to mimic those flavors, but in an easy prepare ahead dish for my Thursday morning playgroup. I was originally going to add the tortilla strips on top, but I worried they might get burned by the time the eggs were set, I will experiment with it the next time I make it.
Migas Casserole

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ orange bell pepper, diced
½ small onion, diced
½ jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tomatillos, husked and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
¾ cup tortilla chip strips
9 eggs
½ cup cream
1 ½ cups grated Mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the bell peppers, onion and jalapeno for 3 minutes, until soft. Grease a 9x9 glass baking dish. Add the sautéed vegetables, tomatoes and tortilla chips to the prepared dish. Whisk the eggs, cream and ¾ cup of the cheese in a separate bowl. Pour the egg mixture in the prepared dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until eggs are set.  Serve with warm tortillas and fresh salsa.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shredded Beef Tacos

shredded beef tacos for the crockpotAnother success for the crockpot, at least in my eyes. C would still prefer ground beef and a packet of taco seasoning, but it is well established that he knows nothing about good food. I made up this one on my own and I was very impressed with the results. It is sort of a combination of Crockpot Chicken Tacos and Crockpot Pork Carnitas.  The meat is so tender, it shreds so easily. Of course it helped that I had leftover creamy jalapeno from Chuy's to top the tacos with, that stuff is so addictive.  I used a Coors Light, because it was what was down in our fridge and I know I won't drink it, but any light beer would work great.
Shredded Beef Tacos for the Crockpot

1 ½ pounds beef roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
½ jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 can of beer
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred the meat, return to the crockpot and cook for 20 minutes more. Serve on tortillas with Colby jack cheese, salsa, creamy jalapeno and fresh cilantro.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Triple Berry Smoothie

Triple Berry SmoothieI make this smoothie a couple of times a week for breakfast. Miss F probably drinks more than I do, she loves the smoothie. I am tearing through my frozen stash of Froberg Farms strawberries, it is going to be a sad day when they are all gone. Spring is so far away and I am already wanting to pick strawberries again.

Triple Berry Smoothie

¾ cup frozen strawberries
¼ cup blueberries
¼ cup blackberries
½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
Small handful of ice
2 teaspoons of honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Recipe Swap: Peach and Blueberry Crisp

Peach and Blueberry CrumbleThis week's recipe swap was dessert. I submitted my mom's chocolate cheesecake recipe, which is probably my most favorite dessert. I got Peach Blueberry Crisp from The Cookaholic Wife, which I was super excited for. I did change the original recipe by using fresh peaches and blueberries. Texas peaches are at their peak right now, which made it a bit more work, but it was totally worth it. I used the trick I learned while making Miss F's baby food, you boil the peach for 30 seconds and the skin peels right off, so much easier than using a knife to peel it. I sent the crisp and a gallon of ice cream to work with C and he said everyone enjoyed it. This is such a lovely summer dessert.
Peach Blueberry Crisp
Peach-Blueberry Mixture Ingredients:
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
5 large peaches
1 pint blueberries
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crisp topping (recipe follows)
vanilla ice cream (optional)

Crisp Topping Mixture Ingredients:
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with butter. Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil. Boil each peach for 30 seconds, let cool. Peel the peaches and slice. Combine the peaches, blueberries, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Toss well to mix. Transfer the fruit to the baking dish. Place the baking dish on a foil lined cookie sheet to catch any juices that might bubble over.

Combine all of the crisp topping ingredients in a large bowl and using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread the crisp mixture on top of the fruit and bake until crisp is browned on top and the juices have thickened around the edges, about 55 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Garden Tomatoes with Cilantro Pesto

Garden Tomatoes with Cilantro PestoI wanted a light salad for my Foodbuzz 24x24 dinner, A Gathering of Girlfriends, and this salad was perfect. The tomatoes came from my in-laws garden, they have so many varieties, which made this salad amazing. I think this was the last batch from there garden for the summer, which makes me quite sad.  The cilantro pesto recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay, but it would be delicious on a multitude of things, not just tomatoes.
Garden Tomatoes with Cilantro Pesto

2 cups chopped cilantro leaves, plus ¼ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Cojita cheese
6 large tomatoes, sliced

Place cilantro and garlic in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the oil and process until smooth. Add the cheese and process until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over sliced tomatoes.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Banana Oat Bread

Banana Oat BreadWith a fickle toddler, we always have bananas in various states of ripeness hanging around our house. I often throw the super ripe ones in the freezer for banana bread, banana peanut butter oat muffins or banana applesauce oat muffins.  Obviously, the toddler loves the banana oat combo, so I decided to try it out in a bread version.  I served it at our playgroup and every slice was devoured.  Apparently, the banana oat combo is a huge hit among all toddlers, not just my own.  The recipe is from The Motherload and next time, I am going to add extra oats on the top like she did, it looks so nice.
Banana Oat Bread

1 ½ cups flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for about 15 minutes (I left mine in longer and it was fine). Remove the bread from the pan after 15 minutes and cool thoroughly on the rack.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas

Roasted Tomatillo EnchiladasWhen I saw that this week's theme for the recipe swap was Mexican, I knew I needed to participate. Since moving to Houston, I have learned that Mexican food is one of my most favorite foods, specifically, TexMex. I submitted my Baked Chimichangas with Deluxe Tomatillo Sauce and I was lucky to get a tomatillo recipe back in exchange, Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas from Christine's Kitchen Chronicles.  I will admit that I was intimidated by using fresh tomatillos, but it was so much easier than I thought it would be.  I doubt I will ever use canned again.  These enchiladas had all the flavors that I love and they did not disappoint.  Be sure to check out A Taste of Home Cooking for the Mexican recipe swap roundup in the future.
Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas

For the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1/3 bunch of cilantro,
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice - added about an hour before cooking

For the enchiladas:
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
¾ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
8 corn tortillas, warmed

Creamy Roasted Tomatillo Sauce :
10 small/medium tomatillos; remove husks and wash; cut into halves or quarters
2 jalapenos, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Olive oil
1 cup cilantro, thoroughly washed
1/2 cup sour cream
Dash of salt

Combine chicken with marinade ingredients (except lime juice) in a large bag or bowl. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, adding the lime juice during the last hour. After removing the chicken from the marinade, sauté it until golden brown on all sides. Shred the chicken, or chop it up into rough cubes. In a bowl, combine cooked chicken, tomato, avocado, and ¼ cup Mexican blend cheese. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with some of the tomatillo sauce. Take a tortilla shell, dip both sides in the tomatillo sauce, then add some of the chicken mixture. Roll it and put into the baking dish, seam side down. Continue until you have filled the casserole dish, making sure the enchiladas are tightly packed together (but not overlapping). Spoon the tomatillo sauce over the enchiladas, and finish with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Cover and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

For the Creamy Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a baking dish. Roast on 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until tomatillos are tender. In a pot, add roasted veggies, cilantro, and the salt. Mix everything together and then puree using an immersion or regular blender. Add the sour cream and stir thoroughly. Let lightly simmer until you are ready to assemble your enchiladas, stirring occasionally.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Corn Blinis with Chipolte Cream

Corn Blinis with Chipolte CreamI first made these blinis for a dinner party years back. The recipe has been stored on my computer for years and I have not a clue where it came from, some random Google search I am sure. While I have made the blinis before, I hadn't served them with the Chipolte cream prior. Just a note, the cream is spicy, but I love the heat when paired with the mild corn blini. When I have made them in the past, I just served them with plain sour cream and a cilantro garnish, which works well for people who don't like the spice of the adobo. This recipe is perfect for the summer, especially if you are able to use fresh corn. I miss Silver Queen corn from Maryland so much, the Texas corn is good, but it isn't as delicious as the corn from my home state.
Corn Blinis with Chipolte Cream

1 cup sour cream
4 to 5 chipolte peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup flour
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for the skillet
1 cup of corn kernels

Combine the sour cream and chipoltes in a small bowl, set aside.

Combine the cornmeal, salt and sugar in a medium bowl and gradually add the boiling water, stirring to combine. Sift the flour over the mixture and mix to form a firm paste. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool. Add the eggs one at a time, then the milk. Add the melted butter, stirring, and mix well. Add the corn, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium to medium-high heat. When it is hot, add a little butter and swirl it around to coat the griddle, being careful not to burn the butter. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to make each blini (should be about 2 ½ inches wide) and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly puffed and crisp on the bottom. When they are lightly browned on one side, turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.

To serve, place the blini on a plate. Smear them lightly with the chipolte cream. Serve immediately.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Raspberry Chocolate Cake

Raspberry Chocolate CakePer the request of my Foodbuzz 24x24 party guest, Marianne, I am posting this recipe for her. I used the never fail recipe for Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Cake. I also attempted the frosting for these cupcakes at Cate's World Kitchen.  Problem is, it is hot in Houston, so hot that the ganache never set up enough.  I ended up chilling it for about 30 minutes and beating in a half cup of powdered sugar, which worked just fine.  I frosted it and transported it to our refrigerator in our garage.  Which is down a flight of stairs from our kitchen.  Turns out, the cake got a little wobbly with the soft frosting.  The cake was foreshadowing the party events.  My friend Cara got a little wobbly walking down the stairs from our roof deck.  A broken champagne glass, a cut finger and a bruised bottom...the pain was eased with a slice of cake.
Chocolate Raspberry Ganache

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces butter, melted
2 cup fresh raspberries, pureed and strained (about 2/3 cup puree), at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 pint raspberries, for topping the cake.

Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the butter until smooth. Stir in the raspberry puree and mix until smooth. Transfer to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium high until the mixture is room temperature. Pour in the heavy cream and continue whipping until stiff enough to pipe.  Frost the layer cake and top with the fresh raspberries.

Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Fill two greased 8” rounds full with batter. Bake 25-28 minutes.
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