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Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's Been A While...

Bad recipe blogger!!

A) Gluten-Free Crepes ( I used Alton Brown's crepe recipe and just substituted GF flour)
B) Crepe Enchiladas

Uh huh. 

Chicken and Avocado Crepe Enchiladas

6 crepes
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup crumbled feta
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 avocados, diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until heated through and well combined. Remove from heat.

Grease a 8x8 glass pan. Lay out crepe, spoon about 3 or 4 spoonfuls of mixture onto crepe and roll up tightly making sure to tuck in the sides. Place in pan seam down and repeat with remaining crepes. 

Top with diced tomatoes and feta. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Great Wonton Experiment

I have been told I can make a mean cashew chicken. I am pretty sure my ex-boyfriend only stayed with me because of this recipe...

Cashew Chicken

1/2 lb. chicken breast/ground chicken or turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
raw, unsalted cashews (as many as you like)
5 or 6 leaves of napa cabbage, chopped
1/4 lb. bean sprouts
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 tsp. fish sauce
salt to taste
toasted sesame oil

If you don't have a Wok, a large skillet will do. Heat about 1 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil in Wok and saute onions, garlic, mushrooms and celery together. Starting with onions and celery first, then adding garlic and mushrooms. Once onions are translucent, remove from Wok and set aside. Add more oil if need be, then brown your chicken/turkey. Once all the pink is gone, add veggies back and then add all the rest of the ingredients. Saute for a few more minutes and serve hot over rice of your choice.

No, I will not marry you.

Now, for the important part. I was home alone for a few hours Friday night, so I decided I was going to take some wonton wrappers and stuff them with whatever my little heart desired. I thought for a moment, how lame am I? Not at all actually. I could very well be a culinary genius. Here is the list:

Strawberry Banana Nutella Wontons (yes, that just happened)
Leek and Cream Cheese Wontons
Cashew Chicken Wontons

1 pkg. store bought wonton wrappers
3 or 4 strawberries, cut into 8ths
1 banana, sliced and halved
jar of nutella
1 leek, sliced and washed
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
leftovers from the cashew chicken recipe, excluding rice
1 egg, beaten
1 bottle of vegetable oil to fill large pot halfway

For the leeks, I sauteed them in some olive oil ahead of time, but you could probably use them raw also. Heat oil to medium-high heat. Make sure that the oil is heated all the way before you start dropping in the wontons. Take wrappers and start piling in fillings. making sure there is enough room to seal edges without tearing. Take your finger, dip in egg and paint edge of wrapper. Pull one corner over filling to meet opposite corner. Seal as best you can, if it doesn't seem like it will stay sealed in oil, take a fork to the edges. Drop in oil and let fry until golden brown. Let drain on a paper towel or even better, on a cooling rack above paper towels. 

Do you know what happens to a strawberry when it meets hot oil? OMG. It becomes liquid Heaven. These wontons made me do my giddy kitchen dance. Anyone who has cooked with me knows this dance and it only happens when I have done something amazing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Butcher Pleases...

I have done the half-ass cooking this week. I made prime rib for my Mom and I on Mother's Day, but it was a fully cooked one from my local grocery store. Couldn't take credit. 
Now, for Butcher's Focaccia. 


Herb Focaccia

1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 1/4 cup tepid water
2 tbs. olive oil + 2 tbs. for the pan/bread top
Approx. 7 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tbs. salt
2-3 tbs. FRESH herbs (you know how we flakes)
I used almost all italian parsley and a bit of rosemary

1) small bowl: 1/3 cup warm water + yeast...10 minute rest to bloom.
2) big bowl: 2 1/4 cup tepid water + olive oil, then add bloomed yeast.
3) Whisk in 2 cups of flour + 1 tbs. salt + herbs.

* This starts out as an extremely wet dough which is really easy to work with...but the key here is to add the rest of the flour a cup at a time. This is really easy to make without a mixer.....
It's really kinda hard to explain how to knead it....baking bread is such a can feel when the dough is right...not too sticky and not too dry...when you make it you have to just take note of your own technique! Spread the dough out on a cookie sheet that has been doused with another TBSP of Olive oil...actually if you have a sheet pan with higher sides this is ideal...this dough is so silky smooth it's easy as anything to just work it into this big funky mostly rectangular shape. Let it rise for 1 hour and then poke big fun holes all over the surface...douse is again with the last TBSP of Olive oil then let it rise for another hour. Sprinkle it with kosher salt just before you bake it. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

You must know that she lives in a different country right now and I am not much of a bread baker. You make this, you better share. I will smell it, I will sense it, I WILL FIND YOU!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What You Know Bout Some Carne Guisada??

I hate, with a passion, store bought tortillas. The only time I will use them is if I have no other choice, or if I am using them to make quesadillas (because then I just smother them in butter). I think that everyone should try to make tortillas from scratch, you will never want a store bought tortilla ever again. Here, at my grocery store, they have a flour tortilla mix (lucky me). I don't think I have seen it anywhere else, but of course that doesn't mean it isn't. Now, make this recipe and the tortillas. You will not regret it. Here is my version.

Gluten-Free Carne Guisada

2 lbs. boneless stew meat
1 can Rotel tomatoes w/ lime juice and cilantro
3 cups water or beef stock
2 tbs. seasoning salt
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour

In a large cast iron dutch oven, heat 3 tbs. oil. In a medium bowl, combine seasoning salt and flour. I like to brown my meat (giggle) in 2 batches so that it doesn't get all stuck together and the pieces have a chance to get a good browning. Take half of the stew meat and dredge in flour mixture. Drop in oil piece by piece as well as you can. Once done with the first batch, add a little bit more oil and let it heat up before you start the second batch. When all the meat is browned, pour in Rotel tomatoes and stock/water while scrapping the bottom of the pan to get all the flour and crunchy bits. Let thicken for just a few minutes. Pour all the meat back in the oven and stir. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and let cook for at least 3 hours, stirring every once in a while to make sure it's not burning on the bottom. The meat should be so tender it almost melts.

Put it on a homemade tortilla, or corn tortilla for the whole gluten-free thang.


Hump things.

The End.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eff You Sinuses!!

Uh huh, woke up Monday morning with a sore throat.

Then BAM! Head cold. FML.

This is how I take care of that.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 whole chicken
2 stalks celery, chopped (leaves included)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 yellow squash, halved and sliced
1 green squash, halved and sliced
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
5 corn tortillas, sliced into strips
oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot or slower cooker, put whole chicken, celery, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper, cumin, and oregano. Cover with water. Simmer on medium heat, high heat in slow cooker, until chicken starts to fall off the bone. Remove chicken and strip meat from the bones. Set carcass aside, it can make you come good homemade chicken stock. Return chicken meat to soup. Be sure to find the bay leaf and remove. Add bell peppers, squash and tomatoes. Simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour.

In the meantime, chop cilantro and avocado. Slice tortillas and heat about an inch of oil in a medium skillet. Drop strips in oil individually, making sure that they don't stick together. Fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Ladle soup into a bowl, top with cilantro, avocado and tortilla strips.

Say good-bye to sinus head ache. Straight up karate kick to the dome.