Friday, January 30, 2009

Hot Bean Dip

This is a quick and easy recipe from Miss Sally. If you want to make it less caloric, buy canned pinto beans and drain them. Cook them in a little olive oil with onion and garlic and mash them. Flavor them with cumin,chili powder, and salsa, and proceed with the recipe.

1 can refried beans w/ sausage
1 can Hormel chili with no beans
1/2 chopped onion
1-2 tbl chopped jalapeno (or to taste)
1 chopped tomato
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 tbl sour cream
chopped green onion for garnish

Stir all in a saucepan over low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Garnish with green onion. Serve hot with tortilla chips or fritos.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Miss Sally's Buffalo Wings

This recipe is from my friend Sally who is an incredible cook. These are spicy and delicious, but easier than traditional recipes because they aren't fried. Don't think for a moment that they are low cal! They are fattening and addictive.

4 lbs chicken wings, halved (I also cut off the wing tip and keep to make stock.)
2 eggs
1 cup peanut oil
3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbl salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4-6 tbl hot sauce

Beat eggs with oil and add remaining ingredients. Let marinate at least 6 hours. Drain & reserve marinade. Bake at 500 25-35 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.

Bleu Cheese Dressing

1/4 lb blue cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
2 scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tbl white vinegar
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
pinch sugar
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

Mix all together and serve with wings & celery sticks


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chicken Flautas

This is from my dear friend Sally who lives in Massachusetts now. These are SOOOO good. Everyone loves them. I like to cool them and freeze them. Then reheat on cookie sheets in a 450 oven for about 15 minutes or until hot and crispy. Serve with a good salsa that you add some fresh cilantro to.

1 C. chicken stock
3 chicken breast halves
l T. cooking oil
1 C. finely chopped peeled tomatoes
½ C. finely chopped onion
1 or 2 finely chopped jalapeno
2 ½ T. ground cumin
1 T minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
oil (for deep frying)
*small corn tortillas (I used Mission brand (I think) sold at Krogers with the other Mexican foodstuffs. They are not frozen and come in a bag of about 36 or more.) At the Krogers on Northshore they have a counter of just Mexican foods between the produce dept. and breads, etc.

Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add chicken. Cover and reduce to low heat. Cook about 20 min. Drain and reserve 1 C. stock. Skin and bone chicken. Chop finely.
Heat l T. oil. Add tomatoes and onion and jalapenos. Saute over medium heat for 5 min. Add chicken stock , cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Simmer about 25 min. or until liquid has evaporated. Cool.
Heat oil to 375 degrees for frying. Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in damp paper towels & heat in microwave on high until soft (5 take about l min.) Place 1 T. chicken mixture on a tortilla and roll tightly. Secure with a toothpick and fry until crisp and drain on paper towels. Keep tortillas warm or it will be difficult to roll them without splitting.

Serve as a main course or appetizers. These freeze well. Reheat 15 min at 450.

Shrimp Piri-piri

I don't remember where I found this recipe, but it is very good. Don't serve it to people who don't like spicy food.

Serves 6
3-1/2"red hot chile peppers, seeded & minced (Bird's eye peppers or sub 1 jalapeƱo)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 sticks butter
1 Tbl paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/3 C fresh lime juice
3 1/4 lb.s shrimp, shelled
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Saffron rice

Chop chiles & garlic in food processor. Add butter, spices, & 2 tbls lime juice.
Mix well. Arrange shrimp in large skillet in 1 layer and sprinkle with remaining lime juice. Spread butter mixture over the shrimp and let stand 5 minutes. Cook on top of the stove until shrimp is just done, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Easy Apple Crisp

This is my number 1 fast and easy winter dessert.

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 350

For apple mixture:
2 cans sliced apples (not apple pie filling), drained
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
Juice of 1 lemon

For topping:
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened

Vanilla or Pralines & Cream ice cream (optional)

Spray pam in a an ovenproof baking dish. Stir together all ingredients for apple filling and place in baking dish.

Mix dry ingredients for topping together. Rub or cut in butter until lumpy and incorporated. Pour onto apples.

Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool 5 or 10 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream of pralines & cream ice cream.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enchiladas Suizas

I had these in Sanborn's in Mexico City when I was 18. I thought that they were phenomenal--creamy and cheesy, but balanced by the acidic and slightly picante green salsa. You can use a rotisserie chicken to eliminate one step, and you can use canned tomatillos or even a good green salsa seasoned with some cilantro to eliminate another. Be careful--inferior ingredients leads to inferior dishes.

To make these slightly less caloric, you can soften the corn tortillas in the microwave rather than in oil, but these are not ever going to be diet food. They are, however, delicious.

Serves 8-10

2 tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic,chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 chicken breasts, or 1 whole chicken
2 cans chicken stock + water

Place chicken in a pot with stock & water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer & cook til done--about 15 minutes for chicken breast, about 45 for a whole chicken. Remove from stock and let cool. Take meat off the bone and reserve. In a skillet saute the onion & garlic in olive oil. When onion is translucent, add chicken, salt & pepper, stir and remove from heat.

Green Salsa
1 cloves garlic,chopped
1 onion,chopped
1/2-1 fresh jalapeno,chopped
2 large cans tomatillos,drained or 20 fresh,chopped
1/2 - 1 cup chicken stock
big handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Saute garlic and onion with a sprinkle of salt in olive oil. Add jalapeno & tomatillos to onions & garlic. Add some water or chicken stock and let simmer for 20 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste, and add water or chicken stock if it's too thick. Remove from heat.
Stir cilantro into sauce.

Enchilada Sauce
 2 poblano chiles, Roasted, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
3/4 of the green salsa
1 can media crema or 1 cup heavy cream
Puree chiles in food processor or blender and add the green salsa and crema.

To Assemble Enchiladas
Preheat oven to 350

16-20 corn tortillas
corn oil or virgin olive oil (not extra virgin)
12 oz Manchego or Chihuahua cheese, grated

Spray Pam on a rectangular pyrex dish. Pour a little enchilada sauce in your grease baking pan before proceeding.

Heat oil in a skillet & soften tortillas in it by frying them one at a time for a few seconds. (Or wrap 6 tortillas in damp paper towel and heat in microwave for 60 seconds on high.) The tortillas should not get brown and crispy, just soft and pliable. Remove from grease and set on paper towels to drain, and then immediately  dip the tortilla into the enchilada sauce and fill with some chicken. Place seam down in an ovenproof baking dish. When you've used all your tortillas, pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.  Top with the cheese.

Bake covered about 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with green salsa, chopped cilantro, and chopped red onion to garnish.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Red Wine Stewed Chicken

This is from Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. If you don't have the time or inclination to cut up a whole chicken, buy one already cut into serving pieces. We ate this with a green salad and french bread to sop up the sauce, but it would be good with pasta or potatoes as well. I'm going to use the leftovers to make a chickpea soup (Take chicken off the bone, add chickpeas, and chicken stock.).

Serves 4

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion,chopped
2 tbl fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbl parsley, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 chicken, cut into 6-10 pieces
salt & pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine, I used a Rhone red, but the original recipe calls for a Brunello di Montalcino or a Rosso di Montalcino
2 cups pureed canned plum tomatoes
1/4-1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put chicken pieces in a 4-quart, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Saute until brown, and remove excess fat. Add the vegetables & herbs and saute a few minutes.

Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and evaporate the wine. Add the tomato puree, season with salt, pepper, and chili. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook,uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Add a little water if the sauce appears too dry.

Lentil Soup

This is from my new cookbook Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. This was very easy, and made a delicious weekend lunch. Lentils are so small that even though dry, they cook quickly.

Serves 4-6

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, plus more to garnish
1 carrot, peeled and minced
1 red onion, minced
1 leek, cleaned,trimmed, and minced (I substitute a bunch of green onions)
1 celery rib, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
salt & pepper

Save some of the chopped green tops from the leek or green onions for garnish. Heat oil and saute veg until golden. Add lentils, 5 cups of water, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add an extra cup of water if the soup is too dry. Taste and correct seasonings. Turn off heat and let soup rest for 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and reserved leek.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Italian Vegetable Medley

I made this last night to eat with our take-out pizza. It was so good that I think that I could add some fresh or canned tomatoes and serve it on pasta as a main course. Change this recipe according to your mood and what you have on hand.

2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4-5 slices prosciutto, chopped
2 fat garlic gloves, chopped
handful or more of baby carrots, whole
stems from a small bunch of brocolli, sliced
flowerets from the brocolli
stems from about a quarter cauliflower, sliced
flowerets from cauliflower
1 yellow squash, diced
1/2 cup or so of chicken stock or water
1/4 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano
salt & pepper

Saute onion and prosciutto over mediume high heat until onion is translucent. Add garlic, carrots, brocolli stems, and cauliflower stems. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add flowerets and squash and stock or water. Cover and let steam for about 10 minutes. Uncover and add cheese, salt & pepper to taste.