Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Deviled Chicken Thighs

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup crushed cornflakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed

Preheat oven to 475ºF. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a shallow bowl, combine mustard and Worcestershire sauce. In a second bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cornflakes, parsley, salt and pepper.

Using a pastry brush, brush the mustard mixture all over the chicken thighs. Dredge in crumb mixture to coat and place on the baking sheet. Pop the sheet in the oven and bake at 475 for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs with a tongs and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Serves 4.

Salsa Verde

adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 jalapeno peppers
2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and tomatillos washed
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place cumin seeds in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, and cook 2 minutes or until toasted. Transfer seeds to a spice or coffee grinder, and process until finely ground.

Cut 1/4 inch off stem ends of peppers; discard stem ends. Using the tip of a paring knife, carefully remove and discard membranes and seeds, leaving peppers intact.

Using an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan, place tomatillos and peppers on the grill over medium-high heat. Cook until charred on all sides- about 15 minutes. Put grilled tomatillos and peppers in a small bowl to catch juices.

Transfer the tomatillos and peppers to a blender, and puree until smooth. Add the onion, and pulse 5 times or until blended. Pour pepper mixture into a medium bowl. Stir in cumin, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sober Barrachos

Adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

16 ounces dry pinto beans
8 ounces Mexican chorizo,crumbled
8 slices thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large white onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Rinse the beans thoroughly and scoop into a dutch oven. Add about 8 cups of water (covering the beans by 1/2 inch), removing any beans that float. Ad the crumbled chorizo and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and very gently simmer, partially covered, until the beans are thoroughly tender, about 2 hours. You'll need to gently stir the beans regularly and add water as necessary to keep the liquid 1/2 inch above the level of the beans.

In a medium skillet, fry the bacon, stirring regularly, until crisp, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, leaving behind the drippings. Add the onions and chilies to the bacon grease and fry until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Scrape the onion mixture into the beans, then taste and season it all with salt and pepper. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

If the beans seem quite soup, boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the consistency of a nice brothy soup.

Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and serve in warm bowls topped with the crumbled bacon.

Makes about 8 cups of beans- serves 8 people as a main dish, about 12 as a side dish.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Classic Banana Bundt Cake

from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a 9 to 10 inch bundt pan. (If you've got a silicon pan, there's no need to butter it.) Don't place the pan on a baking sheet- you want the oven's heat to circulate through the Bundt's inner tube.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don't be disturbed when the batter curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to de-bubble the batter and smooth the top.

Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after 30 minutes- if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.

If you've got the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving- it's even better the next day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Autumn Pear Pudding Cake

4 medium pears or apples -- peeled,cored,sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter -- softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup hot tap water

There are two parts to this recipe, the cake and the topping.

To make the cake: Lightly grease an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan, place this pan onto a baking sheet to catch drips.

Place the fruit in the pan, and sprinkle it with the lemon juice.

In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, baking powder, spice, and salt until smooth.

Beat in the egg, then add the flour alternately with the milk (1/2 cup flour, the milk, remaining 1/2 cup flour), beating well after each addition.

Spoon the batter over the fruit in the pan, spreading it to mostly cover.

To make the topping: Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and spice.

Sprinkle this mixture over the batter, then carefully pour the hot water over the whole thing.

Bake the cake in a preheated 375°F oven for about 60 minutes, until it’s nicely browned on the top.

Remove it from the oven, and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes about 8 servings and is also delicious at room temperature.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wild Rice and Cheddar Chowder

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound bacon -- chopped
1 onion -- diced
2 cloves garlic -- minced
2 cups chopped mushrooms
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary -- (or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup diced potatoes
1/2 cup wild rice -- rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese -- white cheddar, preferred
salt and pepper -- to taste
2 cups cooked chicken -- optional

In a large stock pot, bring olive oil to medium-high heat. Add bacon. Cook the chopped bacon until crispy and rendered-remove the bacon from the grease with a slotted spoon and place in a small bowl, set aside. Turn the heat down to medium-low.

Add onions to the bacon grease and saute until the onions just begin to brown- about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms just begin to brown, about another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add about 1 cup of the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits. Add the remaining broth, rosemary, thyme, potatoes, and wild rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for another 30-50 minutes, or until the wild rice has split its skins and is tender.

In a small bowl, combine the flour with the milk, whisking to combine. Gently, stir the milk mixture into the soup and return to a simmer. Stir in the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and cooked chicken if using. Stir well until all the cheese is Incorporated into the broth. Serve immediately, or hold in the pot, covered, on low until ready to serve.

Per Serving: 372 Calories; 19g Fat (47.3% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 67mg Cholesterol; 999mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Spicy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1 pound rotini -- or other twisty-shaped pasta
1/2 cup kalamata olives -- coarsely chopped
1 cucumber -- peeled,halved & sliced(seeds removed if desired)
1 small red onion -- thinly sliced
2 cups spinach leaves -- coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper -- cut into strips
1/4 cup banana peppers -- coarsely chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes -- halved
2 cups cooked chicken -- roughly chopped
4 ounces feta cheese -- drained & crumbled
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic -- finely minced
salt & pepper -- to taste

Boil pasta according to directions; drain and rinse with cool water.

In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients and set aside. Alternately, place dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.

In a large bowl mix pasta with prepared vegetables, toss and then add crumbled feta cheese.

Add the dressing and toss gently to combine.

Best if allowed to refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Salad will keep for 2-3 days if kept refrigerated.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 436 Calories; 16g Fat (33.9% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 51g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 42mg Cholesterol; 435mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Corn Muffins

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal (yellow, white or blue)
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vegetable oil. When combined, add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir together just until combined- do not overmix.

Scoop batter into the muffin tin and bake in a 425ºF oven for about 15 minutes. The edges should just be starting to appear golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and serve while still warm.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pickled Peppers- No Salt

Yield: 8 pints

8 quarts peppers (red, green, yellow, banana, cherry, and hot)
1/4 cup sugar
8 cups white vinegar
2 cups cold water
16 cloves garlic

Wash the peppers. (Remember to wear rubber gloves when washing and handling hot peppers to prevent your hands from burning.)

If using small whole peppers, cut two small slits in each pepper to allow for complete pickling. When using larger peppers, cut the stems off, take out the seeds and cut in fourths or eighths.

Combine all the ingredients in a kettle except for the garlic; simmer for 15 minutes.

Pack the peppers and 2 garlic cloves into each clean, hot pint jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process pints 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Salatet Kousa (Zucchini Salad)

from Street Food
by Tom Kime

Serves 4-6

2 1/4 lb small zucchini, ends trimmed (they should be not much longer than a man's index finger)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp lemon juice
30 flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cut the zucchini into quarters lengthwise. (Do not use zucchini that are too thick because the inside will not be firm, but rather full of watery seeds. If small zucchini are not available, cut the outside flesh away from the central core of the zucchini and discard the central core of seeds.)

2. Heat a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a little oil and cook the zucchini in batches until golden brown on both sides. (Cooking in batches helps ensure that the temperature of the pan does not drop, which would result in the vegetables steaming or boiling in their own juices. Also, do not overcook, otherwise the zucchini will be soggy.)

3. Meanwhile, crush the garlic with a little salt and combine with the spices, the remaining olive oil, and the lemon juice. Place the cooked zucchini in a bowl, and cover with the dressing. Let sit for 1 hour to blend flavors before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, then garnish with the parsley. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or as part of a selection of mezze to start the meal.

Thai Style BBQ Beef

3 pounds beef ribs
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup green onion -- chopped
4 cloves garlic -- minced
1/2 cup ketchup, low sodium
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Heat oil over medium heat. Add green onions, saute until tender. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute.

Stir in ketchup through pepper sauce. Cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Bake ribs in BBQ sauce, low and slow at 325ºF, basting throughout.

**I like to bake the ribs in a covered dish until tender- about 1 hour depending on the size of you beef pieces. For extra carmalization, the ribs can be finished on a grill.