Friday, June 25, 2010

Tacos Pescado!


It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago there was snow on the ground...and today it's in the high 90's. There is always something that you can count on here in Salt Lake City...the strange weather. But now, the weather is doing just what it is supposed to be doing for a desert region...getting dry and hot. And I am doing just what I am supposed to do, and that is spending far less time in the hot kitchen and more time in the hot sun. This new kitchen management plan requires recipes that can be pulled off a bit quicker than the cold weather ones. (Please don't tell my husband...if he thinks for a moment that cooking is easy for me, I will lose leverage). Anyway, here is one of my personal favorite summertime flavors.
Fish Tacos! There is something about summertime that makes me crave fish tacos. The first time I had this yummy dish was on a trip to the Baja region of Mexico. this is where I discovered the taco cart....a gift from heaven. I had never eaten off a taco cart, and when I finally got passed the fear of food poisoning, I became a big fan. Now, you can find taco carts all over Salt Lake and at the Farmer's market. I absolutely love fish and this is a sassy way to serve it. The coconut gives it an island flavor and goes well with the sweet salsa. I topped it off with crisp cabbage and cilantro...it is so light and refreshing. These particular tacos, I used Costco's mango salsa. Yes, I said I used a pre-prepared product, It's not often ....but I do like this product.
The side dish is a super yummy bean dish, I call Ranch Beans. If you have the time to soak dried beans, that's my preferred method, but there is an easier method at the bottom of the recipe.

COCONUT CRUSTED HALIBUT
1 pound Halibut
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the halibut into pieces. Beat the eggs and dredge the halibut in it. In a pie dish, combine the coconut, panko, and curry powder. Salt pepper the fish and dredge again in the coconut mixture. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tender and flaky.
This same result can be achieved on the BBQ. I just preheat my BBQ to 350 degrees or medium heat. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the grill and cook the fish right on the foil. This keeps the kitchen nice and cool...and makes you neighbors hungry!

RANCH BEANS
5 cups water
1 pound dried pinto beans, picked over, rinsed
1 12-ounce bottle of dark beer
1 cup chopped onion
4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-3 Bay leaves
salt to taste
chili powder to taste
1 jalapeño chili, seeded, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chilies
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine 5 cups water and next 7 ingredients in heavy large pot. Gently simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until beans are tender and liquid is reduced enough to cover beans by 1 inch, adding more water if necessary and stirring occasionally, about 2 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
Garnish beans with cotija cheese, chopped tomato and cilantro.

QUICK METHOD:
Use 4 cans of beans. In a pan sauté the bacon, garlic, and onion until cooked through. Add the beans and warm through. Next add the spices and beer. Cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover and top with cheese. Bake an additional 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with tomatoes and cilantro and serve.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wednesday's Class

If you haven't signed up for Wednesday's class, it's not too late! Come hang out with me and other foodies for a fun and delicious night.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Put your ear up close to the screen...I want to whisper something to you.......I think summer might be here...........shhhhhhhh........the universe (with a bit of help from grandma and the kids)may be listening..................this week the universe broke my toilet.....my barbecue.....my seat belt.........4 dishes........my hairdryer......and my computer....so I don't want to have any more issues with the universe...if you get my drift. So I thought in honor of the warmest day of the year so far, and the fact that my garden is happy to have that warm sunlight to go along with all the rain we have had....we would have more cupcakes. These cupcakes actually taste a bit like sunshine with the lemon zest and lime zest and a tangy frosting. So, if you need a last minute Father's Day treat, this should do just fine.
CITRUS CUPCAKES

1 ¾ cups APF
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cups sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the vanilla, zests and sour cream and beat until smooth. Finally, sift the dry ingredients directly into the bowl and mix well on a low-medium speed. Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack. Frost with citrus frosting.

CITRUS FROSTING

3 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lime juice

With a mixer, combine 1 cup of sugar with the butter and cream cheese and beat until very smooth. Next add the rest of the sugar and the salt and beat until smooth. Finally, add the citrus juices and beat on medium speed for two minutes or so.


This is a different batch, I used a bit of coloring in the icing.
Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Message From the Desk of a Serial Killer

I am blog disabled...for real...first, I sent my camera to New York with my husband and son to document their fun trip to Cooperstown. Second, in the meantime, I have "murderized"--- brought yet another laptop to it's knees. I have decided, that I hate laptops....at least until I can afford an Apple. So, all of the great pictures I have stockpiled, are unattainable at the time, and who wants recipes without pictures? Give me a couple of days and I will have worked myself out of this conundrum.
But all is not lost, because I will be re posting a few of my favorites from the past. For those of you that have been faithful followers since the beginning (mom) I apologize. But fort the rest of you, please enjoy this blast from the past!

What do you do with leftover salmon? Well, I like to make salmon burgers. This is definitely one of my family's favorite dishes. In this recipe I serve it over fresh Foccacia with a BBQ aioli, but often times I will bypass the bread and serve it solo with a yummy sauce instead. Because you are using already cooked salmon, this makes this an absolutely time saving dish. The recipe for the yummy corn wheels is posted under Center Stage Side Dish and is definitely something you should try before corn goes out of season int the next few weeks. I would love to hear from those of you who try it out.


SALMON BURGERS
12 oz salmon, cooked
½ cup chili sauce
¼ cup onion, diced
¼ cup red pepper, diced
2 eggs
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
1 lemon, zest and juice
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves

Combine all of the ingredients together, meatloaf style. Make sure to blend everything together well. Form into patties. Spray the patties with cooking spray and then place on a hot grill. Cook until hot throughout.

HERB FOCCACIA

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
5 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F). Let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Add remaining water, flour and salt. Add garlic, oregano, rosemary and parsley, and beat until dough forms.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled. Punch dough down and knead a few times. Return to oiled bowl, cover and rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
After dough has risen the second time, press air out and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll each half into a 9 x12-inch rectangle. Place on prepared baking sheets and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Thanks to Joni Marshall and Yvette Jones for the great pictures.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It is time yet again, to wax poetic about cupcakes......

There once was a girl from Salt Lake

who truly loved to bake

so she mixed up a batter

that would make her get fatter

and called it the Oreo Cupcake

he he he he ...sometimes I crack my self up. I think there may be some sort of clinical problem with me when it comes to the subject of cupcakes. They just make me so happy. Now this cupcake, it is super special. Not only is it moist, dense, and rich....but it has Oreos in it. And to add just that little bit of excess... cream cheese frosting...........excuse me I just got a little weak in the knees.

So, if there is someone you love, you need to make these right away....or if there is someone you don't love so much....and they are on a diet....make these right away....you get the gist.


OREO CUPCAKES

½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup sour cream
1 cup milk
3 cups APF
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
Oreos

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time and mix well. Beat in the sour cream. Sift the dry ingredients directly into the bowl and mix well on a low-medium speed slowly adding the milk. In each muffin cup, break an Oreo in half and place inside. Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with paper. Bake for 18 minutes. Cool on a rack. Frost with Cream cheese Frosting and sprinkle with crushed oreos.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
½ cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cream.
1 Tablespoon vanilla

With a mixer, combine 1 cup of sugar with the butter and cream cheese and beat until very smooth. Next add the rest of the sugar and beat until smooth. Finally, add the vanilla and cream and beat on medium speed for two minutes or so. *If you need to add more cream feel free to do so.

Check out what they look like inside

Saturday, June 5, 2010

La Pasta è Una Buona Cosa

Translation: Pasta is a good thing
I love pasta. I love it because it can be elegant, rustic, sexy, and simple. I love it because, generally, it is easy to whip up. Most of the time, it can be prepared on the stove top with not much trouble. I love it, because it does not require a zillion ingredients...sometimes all it needs is a little butter and a sprinkle of cheese. Yes, pasta is our friend...now my hips will strongly disagree...but my heart...it is in love.
This recipe is a fabulous side dish, as well a as an entree. You can serve it with grilled chicken or on its own. It is a tasty go to dish-when you are in a hurry..this can be whipped up in minutes. And of course, because it is rich and cheesy, your family will love it. I am going to be sending this recipe to Reeni over at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice (great name hugh?) for her Side Dish Showdown for June
Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event

Easy Tortellini Alfredo Rosa

1/4 cup red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups half and half (milk)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
4 Tablespoons parsley
6 cups tortellini, cooked


In a heavy saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in the butter and olive oil for two minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for just about a minute, making sure to mix in well. Slowly add the white wine, stirring constantly and then the cream slowly. You can add milk to reduce the fat a bit- I even use skim. stir the white sauce until it is creamy and smooth. Next, add the tomatoes and stir well. Reduce heat to a simmer, and add the cheese and parsley. Finally, add the pasta. For best results, boil the pasta, drain it, and then add it directly to the sauce-don't rinse it! Sprinkle with a bit of fresh Parmesan...enjoy!