Chilies in Walnut Sauce (Chili en Nogada)

A stunning flavor packed entre that tastes good and looks good. There were no leftovers.

Ingredients

Filling

1 onion chopped

5 garlic cloves minced

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 pound ground turkey breast/ chicken*

2 pears diced

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

5 T cilantro chopped

2 T currants

2 T blanched almonds minced

Chilies

6 poblano chilies

Sauce

1/2 C walnut halves

3/4 C milk

1/2 C crime fraiche

1/4 C feta

1 T sugar

Directions

Walnut Sauce

Place walnuts in bowl of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Discard water and peel brown skin from the nuts. Place walnuts in small bowl cover with milk and soak for  4-6 hours

Drain the walnuts and reserve couple tablespoons of soaking milk. Place nuts in blender and add creme fraiche, Feta, reserved milk and sugar. Blend and refrigerate

Roast peppers

Place on foil lined baking sheet. Broil turning them once until skin blackened and place in covered bowl for 5-10 minutes. Remove as much blackened skin as possible and make a lengthwise slit and remove seeds and membrane. Set aside.

Filling

In large skill bring olive oil up to heat and add onions and cook for couple minutes and the add garlic. Cook until garlic fragrant. A meat and cook until brown. add tomatoes, cilantro, and pear and cook 10 minutes until mixture is thick. Add currants and almonds

Topping

1/2 C pomegranate seeds

Assemble

Place chilies on serving tray. Add stuffing without tearing the chili. Cover them with Walnut sauce and dress with pomegranate seeds.

Serve with a Mexican rice and a simple tomato avacado salad.

Notes

*Beef or pork can be substituted in place of turkey. We used chicken or turkey instead of pork, did not use all fruit, and did not deep fry them.

This is an adapted version of Chili en Nogada. I had the original recipe in Mexico City and it was one of my favorite dinners.

 

Meatballs with Stuffing in Sauce Over Pasta

Stuffed low fat meatballs with spinach and carrots for family members who are not fans of spinach or cheese. Actually they asked for more vegetables in the stuffing and less cheese.

Ingredients

1/2 pound ground beef(85% ground)

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

1/2  C Italian bread crumbs

1 egg

1 t Italian seasoning

Stuffing

1/2 C cream cheese

3/4 C died provolone

1/2 C chopped spinach

1/2 C diced carrots*

1 garlic clove minced

1 t thyme

Salt and pepper

Serve

1/4 C Parmesan

Compouund Butter

1/4 pound butter cold diced

3 T herbs chopped

Chop the herb leaves and place in small blender. Pulse 2-4 times. Add chunked cold butter and pulse until combined. Remove and place on sheet of plastic wrap and roll into log. Ready to use or refrigerate and use on favorite dishes.

Directions

Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, and seasoning in medium bowl.

Combine cheese,vegetables, and seasoning in small bowl.

Divide meat into 12 balls using cookie scoop. On parchment paper press the balls flat and add a teaspoon of stuffing and seal the meat around the stuffing.

Add 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter(I use herbed compound butter*) over medium high heat. Brown the meatballs. Add tomato sauce and cook for 12 minutes.

Add 4 quarts of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook following package directions. Pour sauce and meatballs on pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan and serve.

Note:

*Carrots were microwaved for 1 minute

Tarte Pizza with 4 Cheese Artichoke Hearts and Sun-dried Tomato

IMG_2805

An easy to make 4 cheese pizza with delicious toppings. It is a no yeast pizza dough that cooks up crispy in 10 minutes or less.

Ingredients

Dough

1 1/4 C flour

3 T cano;a oil

1/4 t salt

5 T water

Sauce

2/3 C creme fraische

2/3 C fromage blanc(can substitute sour cream)

1/4 t nutmeg

Topping

2 artichoke hearts chopped

1/4 C thin sliced red onion

2 sun-dried tomatoes thin sliced

Handful of chopped spinach leaves

3/4- 1  C mozzarella shredded. Apply

1-2 slices provolone diced

3 T grated Parmesan

1/4 C feta crumbles

Salt and pepper

Directions

Oven temperature 550º F Baking sheet 13″ by 18″ lined with parhment paper Appetizer or serves 2

Mix flour,salt and oil until crumbly. Add water until dough comes together. Knead until smooth. COver and rest for 1 hour.

Sauce: Mix in small bowl and set aside

ssemble

Roll  and pat dough until paper thin.  Spread sauce, half of the mozzarella and provolone. Add onions, artichokes, tomatoes. Top with remaining cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_2802

Bake about 10 minutes on lowest rack in oven.. Remove, slice and eat. Serve with green salad

White Bean Chili with Rotisserie Chicken and Orzo

IMG_2799

Ingredients

A delcious comfort food with a good balance of spice and especially acidity. This is a great food with a piece of olive bread or corn bread on a drizzly cold day.

4 tomatillos quartered*

2 shallots chopped

1 jalapeno diced

1 rotisserie chicken breat chopped*

4-5 C chicken broth

1 C orzo

2 14.5 ounce cans of white beans drained and washed

1 can of green chilis

1/2 t cayenne

1/2 t Mexican oregano*

1 T cumin

1/4 C chopped cilantro

1/4 C Mexican crema or creme frasiche

Directions

In medium pot add tomatillos, shallots, diced jalapeño, chicken, and broth. Cook about 30 minutes until tomatillos are soft and chicken can be shredded. Shred chicken and smash tomatillos.

Add orzo and cook for about 9 minutes additional broth if needed . Add beans, chilis, and seasoning.

Serve with chopped cilantro, crema, and generous slices of artisan bread and a green salad.

Notes:

* The tomatiilos add a nice acidity to the soup. Canned tomatillos and very green tomatoes with juice of half lime can be used as a substitute for the  fresh tomatillos.

*We use left over roasted chicken as we eat alot of chicken and have leftovers. Fresh chicken breast can add an hour plus to cooking time

*Dried marjoram is substitute for Mexican oregano.

Arugula Salad With Watermelon and Blueberries with Lime Dressing

IMG_2797

A salad full of flavorful textures. It looks good and tastes even better with spicy arugula and pecans with sweet watermelon and blueberries.

Salad Ingredients

5 ounces arugula

3 C watermelon diced

1 C blueberries, rinsed and dried

1/2 C blue cheese crumbled

1/3 C spiced pecans, recipe below

Lime Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/2 C olive oil

1/4 C  lime juiced

1/2 C fromage Blanca or sour cream

4 t maple syrup or honey

1/2 t cumin

1/4 t red pepper flakes(optional)

Salt and pepper

Spiced Pecans Ingredients

8 ounces pecan halves

4 T sugar

1/4 – 1/2 t cayenne pepper

2 T butter, melted

Directions

Set over temperature to 350º.

Mix vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread pecans out on baking sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Melt butter and mix sugar and cayenne. Remove pecans from oven and toss with melted butter and dry mixture. Let the coated pecans cool. Store in an air tight container.

In large bowl, add arugula, watermelon, blueberries, cheese, and sliced pecans. Drizzle with lime vinaigrette. Toss and serve.

Note:

This salad goes well with grilled salmon, especially sockeye(red) or chinook(king). We love this in the summer when the salmon are running.

 

Candied Ginger Cookies

IMG_2789

An easy to make delicate cake cookie bursting with ginger flavor with a lemon cream cheese icing.

Ingredients

1/4 C butter soft

1/2 C sugar

1 egg

1/2 C unsulphered  molasses

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 C warm water

2 C all purpose flour

1 t ginger

1/2 t nutmeg

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t cloves

1/4 t allspice

1/2 C diced candied ginger with extra 1/8 C for topping

Icing

1/4 C  whipped  cream cheese

1/4 C confectioners sugar

1/2 small lemon juiced

Directions 

Oven temperature 375º F  Baking sheet with parchment paper

In small bowl add flour, salt, and spices mix and set aside.

Dissolve baking soda in warm water and set aside

In medium bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat. Blend in molasses. Add soda water and mix. Stir in dry ingredients and candied ginger. Chill for 1 hour.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.

Frosting

In medium bowl beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and lemon juice until smooth.

Assembly

When cookies cool frost and add candied ginger topping.

Note:

Do not over bake.

I cheated using the whipped cream cheese but it worked.

They are good rolled in sifted confectioners sugar or plain also.

These are so good with a cup of tea.

 

 

 

Roast Chicken with Crispy Skin and Juicy Meat Is Possible

Beer can or vertically roasted chicken never fails in delivering crispy skin and juicy meat with a hint of herbs and garlic.  You can eat your beer and drink it too.

Ingredients (Preparing the chicken)

1 roaster/fryer chicken

2 t chopped rosemary

2 garlic cloves minced

3 T melted butter

Salt and pepper

Vertical roaster ingredients*

Half can of beer

Half of lemon

4 rosemary sprigs

4 garlic cloves halved

Brine ingredients

1/2 C kosher salt

1/2 C sugar

2 star anise

10 juniper berries

8 pepper corns

2 sprigs oregano

4 sprigs thyme

1/2 head garlic

1/2 lime

Directions

Oven temperature 375º F

1. Brine the chicken.

Add salt and sugar into 2-3 cups on water in sauce pan and bring to boil. Place boiled mixture into large container and fill with three quarts of cold water. Add in remaining ingredients and stir. If present, remove fat and giblets from chicken and rinse in cold water.

Place chicken in brine solution and refrigerate for three to four hours. I use a large Zip Lock bag.  I place the bad in a large bowl since a bag may leak.  Brining can also be done in a bowl or other large container with a lid.

2. Roast the chicken

Assemble the vertical roaster.  Add wine or beer to half-filled level in vertical roaster tube or beer can.  Then add garlic, rosemary, and lemon into the liquid. Place in a 8 inch by 8 inch pan with edges since the chicken releases juices while cooking.

Remove chicken from brine solution and dry.  Place chicken on a clean surface.  Season inside of chicken with salt and pepper. Place on vertical holder or can.  A beer can may be a tight fit.

Finish preparing the chicken by applying a seasoning rub under the skin and butter on the outside of the chicken.  Mix chopped rosemary, minced garlic, 1 T butter and 1/2 t salt to create the rub. Gently lift skin of chicken and rub the mixture on the breast and thighs–this is under the chicken skin. Rub remaining 2 T of butter on top of the chicken skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  This treatment is important for flavoring the skin as it cooks.

Place in oven, Roast to 165º F. Remove from assembly and let rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board. Slice and serve.

Contents in vertical tube or beer can are disposed.

Notes:

*Beer or soda cans can be used in place of vertical roaster.  For a wide beer can, use a bigger chicken For smaller chickens or birds, use a smaller can.

I use a vertical roaster and a glass baking dish.  The vertical roaster is stainless steel and has a built-in tube.  Both go in the dishwasher for easy clean-up.

The front and back of the chicken is always a beautiful golden color so when carved everyone gets some crispy skin and juicy flavorful meat.

My Favorite Pancakes

 

An easy to make breakfast dish from scratch that lets you enhance flavors with any number of fillings or toppings.

Ingredients 

1 C all purpose flour *

1 1/4 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1 T sugar

1/2 C sour cream

1/2 C milk

1- 2 eggs **

2 T butter melted

Canola oil

Directions

Makes 6 pan cakes.

In medium bowl, mix dry ingredients and set aside.

In small bowl add sour cream, milk, and eggs whisk until combined.

Melt butter. (I use the microwave and 20 – 30 seconds.  Better to use less time and couple rounds of microwaving to melt.)

Add wet ingredients and butter to flour mixture and gently stir. Do not over stir or you will have flat pan cakes. Dough should be lumpy. ***

Heat skillet on medium high. Lightly oil skillet with pastry brush with canola oil.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles form. Turn and finish cooking.  (If your pancakes are browning too fast, lower the heat.)

Wipe the pan between batches and coat pan with a little butter or light layer of vegetable oil.  This keeps pancakes from blackening.

Repeat process until completed.

Serve immediately with warm maple syrup* with fresh berries on the side.

Notes:

* Can add couple tablespoons of what germ or flax seed, 1/2 – 1 C blueberries, apples and cinnamon, peanut butter or Nutella, choclate chips

** 2 egg batter will taste more eggy.

*** Dough is very thick.

Managing the pan during cooking helps to avoid overly dark or blackened pancakes.  Strategies to try include remove pan from heat and let pan cool. Clean the pan between batches and redcoat pan with butter or vegetable oil.  Lowe the heat and let pancakes cook a little longer.

My preference is real maple syrup or whipped cream and strawberries.  The family also loves blueberry and chocolate chips.

 

Roquefort Grape Spiced Walnut Salad

IMG_2591

Roquefort with sweet grapes, salty bacon, and spicy nuts in a green salad provide the pallet with a balance of flavors and textures

Ingredients

1 head baby romaine

1 head of butter lettuce

30 – 36  red seedless globe grapes halved

4 slices of bacon crumbled(optional)*

2/3 – 1 C Roquefort crumbled(Point Reyes Bay Blue)

2/3 C spiced walnuts*

Lemon garlic vinegarette

Directions

Serve 6

In large salad bowl rip romaine and butter lettuce into large pices. Add grapes, Roquefort, bacon, and walnuts.

Dress with lemon garlic vinegarette and serve.

Served with potato leek soup and olive bread.

Notes

*We used turkey bacon for less fat content

*Spiced walnuts or spiced pecans

Grapes went well with this Roquefort as it is creamy with a very mild blue cheese taste.

 

 

 

Kid-Loving Pizza

IMG_2763
Pepperoni Tarte

Replace your pizza crust with a tarte dough to make the best thin crust pizza.  Lightly layered pepperoni and your favorite cheseses create an amazing kid-loving pizza.

Ingredients

Part 1. Tarte Thin Crust

1 1/4 C all purpose flour

3 T canola oil

5 T water

1/4 t salt

Part 2. Toppings

1/3 C pizza sauce or pesto

1 1/2 – 2 C pizza cheese

20 pepperoni slices

1/2 C sliced olives

Directions

Oven 550º F Dough recipe is for 1 tarte. 1 baking sheet [13″ by 18″] with parchment paper cut to size.  You need high heat, but don’t confuse this with the broiler.  The broiler will sear your pizza to inedible blackness.

Mix flour, salt and oil together until it is crumbly. Add water gradually until dough comes together. Knead until smooth about 5 minutes. Cover and rest for 1 hour.

Assemble tarte

Placed dough ball on baking sheet and roll and patt out dough until papaer thin, Spread sauce choice on dough. Add cheese then pepperoni and olives. Top with cheese.. Baked for about 10 minutes on lowest shelf in oven.

Remove, cut, and serve. Served with carrot sticks, pepper sticks, and snow peas.

Note

Tarte flambe is also known as flammekueche

This is a non traditional way to serve this dish but it was an alternative choice for the younger set.

We used turkey pepperoni