Friday, October 30, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Nasturtiums apparently love this cool weather
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 Tablespoons sugar
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mixture
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl.I used my kitchen aide bowl. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add four cups of the flour as well as the salt and mix with a spoon. With the dough hook, add the remaining cup and a half a few tablespoons at a time(if you don't have an upright mixer, you will have to knead this with your own hands as you work). Knead for 8 minutes...yup...you will not have to go to the gym to work out your upper body today. Your kitchen aide may not be able to handle the bulk. Towards the end of you kneading, flatten out the dough so it is the size of a large plate and sprinkle with the cherries, raisins, and cinnamon sugar (I kind of pour the sugar in lines instead of sprinkle so that there will be streaks of cinnamon sugar). Finally, roll the dough in one direction (as if making cinnamon rolls) and then shape into a ball.
Spray the bowl with cooking spray and place the dough back in. Spray the top of the dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot for an hour or so until dough doubles in size. Punch down the dough and then gather into a large ball. Cut the ball in half-the halves in half- and then finally the quarters into thirds...got that?
Roll the pieces into nice smooth balls, and then poke a hole in the center, all the way through. Place on a greased baking sheet and spray the top again with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the bagels in a warm spot to warm up and rise for 30 minutes. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil. I added a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the water-some recipes call for salt. Carefully, place the bagels in the water (three at a time) and let boil for a minute-turning after 30 seconds. Remove from the water very carefully, and place on a wire rack-at this point, I put a cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl and pressed the top side of the bagel gently in. Place the bagels on a parchment lined baking sheet-six to a sheet. I also sprinkled cornmeal on the pan-I like them crunchy on the bottom, otherwise, I would suggest spraying it with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes and cool on a wire rack for ten minutes before eating.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I love the farmer's market. The market in the city I live in has been rated one of the top in the country. I love the mood, the fresh produce, the art booths, the smells, and the people. I love to be in the environment where it seems that all those people in that space are looking to make the world a greener more wholesome place. This past weekend was the season's final farmer's market and the place was just bursting at the seams with people-and it was a beautiful morning. The booths were packed with squashes, and Indian corn, pumpkins, crisp apples, and late season beans. I always pack the kids and their little red wagon.
I always stop first at the cherry farmer's booth and either get frozen tart cherries or dried ones. Next it's Volkers bakery's booth for Cranberry walnut bread and my favorite Jalapeno asiago bread...so soft (they must use potato flakes or someting) and oooh so good, my tummy is grumbling for it right now! And then the cute old apple farmer from Alpine. I love his apples, but I just love to see his cute little face and his family all helping out. At Thanksgiving we go down to his property and cut our own Christmas tree down. And then I always stop by the Rockin' E truck for the best green beans in town.
Part of the fun is the local and international flavors like African, Middle Eastern, and German food booths. Saturday we stopped by the "taco stand" where we could purchase carnitas, tamales, or carne asada. My son had never had a carne asada taco from a taco stand before, so we each got a taco, that we topped with condiments like fire roasted onions and jalapenos, cabbage slaw, and lime vinaigrette. The flavors were so clean and simple, he just loved it and has craved it since!
So that leads us to his dinner that he prepared with a little help from his mamacita!
Bo's Carne Asada Tacos
1 1/2 lb. sirloin steak
juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic
4 jalapenos , cut in half and seeded
1 large onion, cut into1 inch pieces
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cups seeded, diced tomatoes
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon diced jalapenos
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 large ripe avocado
Salt and pepper
With a meat mallet, pound the meat out until thin and tender. Rub with the garlic, salt and pepper and marinate with a few tablespoons vegetable oil and the juice of a lime. Set aside for about a half of an hour. On a stove top grill, saute the onions with just a bit of oil over medium heat. Cook the onions until browned and sweet. Place the jalapenos on the same grill and cook until tender and browned.
Combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mash the avocado with a dash of salt and pepper and a twist of lime.
Remove the onions and jalapenos from the grill and set aside. Turn up heat to medium high heat. Cook the meat for 2-3 minutes on each side and remove from heat. Let rest for two minutes and then slice the meat thinly against the grain. Squeeze the second lime over the meat. Heat the tortillas on the same grill until crispy (you can add a bit of oil to the grill).
Top the tortillas with the meat and onions. Serve the pico de gallo (salsa mix), cabbage, and guacamole on the side.
So get out and support the local farmer's market, before the season runs out. If you are local to me, the Murray farmer's market is still on for two more weekends.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tonight's dinner began with the craving for fresh corn bread with honey and butter and progressed to a delicious soupy stew thing. My family debated that this couldn't be called taco soup, because it was chunky and oh so filling. So, it was dubbed Taco Stew. And although some of the ingredients you wouldn't find in a taco, you would find them in a stew. It took only minutes to throw into the pot...a few hours to meld those fabulous flavors together...and wha...la...comfort food! Make it soon, and let me know how it turned out.
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, chunked
4 celery stalks, chunked
1 small can kidney beans
1 small can pinto beans
1 cup black olives
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
1 large can green enchilada sauce
4 cups beef broth
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef/ground bison
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
In a heavy pot, cook bison with the onion and garlic. When browned, add the remaining ingredients....now wasn't that tough??? Simmer for at least a half of an hour (I simmered it for 2 hours), or crock pot it on low all day. Be careful with the salt because the enchilada sauce is a bit salty. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Bear with me for one more salute to Asian Food Grocer (see below post). So last night's dinner was so delish that I still had the need for food with an Asian flair. I still had some of the great products that I received from Asian Food Grocer. Tonight I used the Jasmine rice, and water chestnuts. I whipped up a batch of Cashew Chicken. This dish is comfort food to me. A dear friend gave me this recipe and it is so simple and super delicious. I am not always comfortable with posting Asian style recipes, I just figure that since I don't have an ounce of Asian in me, I really don't know what I am talking about. Besides, we all know that it always tastes better in a restaurant...when someone else makes it for me. But every now and then I fall upon a recipe that gives me some legitimacy with the Asian cooking thing...and if it doesn't .....I don't want to hear about it :)
Try it...love it...tell me about it.....and check out Asian Food Grocer...it ROCKS!
1 lb chicken, cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon ginger
1 cup onion
1 cup celery
1 can water chestnuts
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup cashews
Marinate the first five ingredients for about an hour. Heat a skillet (or wok) to medium heat and add the oil, garlic, ginger, and chicken with marinade slowly until just about cooked through. Then add the onion, celery, water chestnuts and broth and cook for 10 minutes or so. Add the cashews and serve over rice.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Through Foodbuzz, I was offered a great opportunity to recieve some products from Asian Food Grocer - an online store with a wide array of asian food products. The catch...was to come up with recipes that included AFG products. I checked out their website and thought it was clean and easy to use. I also noticed what great deals they offered- Most items were cheaper than what I would pay at the grocery store (if I could even find those products at a regular store). I placed my order, and was amazed that I received it just 48 hours later! I was pleased to find how well packaged the items were. The packages were clean and undamaged. I could barely wait to get cooking.
So I had a beautiful tuna steak and some romaine lettuce. We have all had a Chinese chicken salad but have you had a Sesame Tuna Caesar Salad? Well, I set out to make one and paired it with some fresh sushi. Although I used a pretty traditional Caesar recipe, instead of anchovies i used oyster sauce. I substituted Parmesan with wasabi peas and the croutons with fried won ton. My husband's 85 year old grandma lives with us, and this particular menu wasn't quite up her alley, so I conjured up Panko crusted chicken tenders with a ginger peach dipping sauce for her. To finish up the meal, I made these delightful little Pear won tons with cinnamon caramel. All of the ingredients that I received from AFG were easy to use and delicious, you just have to try these recipes to find out.
I have one confession, however, I didn't use the Pokey or candy in any of my recipes. I just ordered them so I could munch on them while blogging about my fantastic dinner! If you haven't had Pocky before you need to check out AFG and order some...it's so yummy!
mandarin oranges, nori, waterchesnuts, chopsticks
oyster sauce, sushi vinegar, sesame oil
jasmine rice, and sushi rice
Panko bread crumbs, wasabi peas, wasabi paste
Pocky!! and candy
Each bottle was wrapped carefully
Look at how well packed the items came.
Place the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 2o minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serve with sauce of your choice. I combined 1 cup home made peach jam with 2 teaspoons ginger to make my dipping sauce.
WARNING.....I DO NOT REALLY KNOW HOW TO MAKE SUSHI!!
SESAME TUNA CAESAR SALAD
6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
¼ cup wasabi peas
6 won ton wraps, cut into fourths
4 large pears, diced
1 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 package won ton wraps
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups sugar
6 Tablespoons water
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. In a skillet, combine the butter and sugar and melt together. Add the raisins and pears and sauté for just a minute or two. Add the vanilla and five spice. Cool completely. Fill the wraps with the cooled mixture and fry for three minutes. Drain on a paper towel for a moment and the toss in the remaining cinnamon, five spice and sugar.
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and begins to become amber colored. Carefully add the cream and cook stirring until a caramel sauce forms. Add the cinnamon and serve.
So this is what it looked like when I was finished:
SESAME TUNA CAESAR SALAD WITH SUSHI