Saturday, May 30, 2009


This may not be authentic, but it is delicious. If you make this ahead, cover it with plastic wrap that you put right down on the guacamole so that no air gets to it.

1 large avocado, mashed with the back of a fork
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime and 1-2 tbl orange juice
1/2 - 1 fresh serrano or jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2-3 tbls fresh cilantro, chopped
salt, pepper, & pinch of sugar

Mash the avocado with the fork. I like it to stay a little chunky. Add the lime juice and all other ingredients. Taste & correct seasonings.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Enchiladas Suizas-quick & easy

Here's a quick and easy version of Enchiladas Suizas. You can assemble it ahead and refrigerate it until you're ready to bake it. A rotisserie chicken makes this even easier.

Serves 4

1 whole chicken breast
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 jars Pace Green Salsa
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, deseeded, and pureed in blender
big handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 can Nestle media crema
1 package flour or corn tortillas
1/2-1 cup monterrey jack cheese

Fresh salsa

Cook the chicken breast with some of the salsa and the chicken stock until it shreds easily and most of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool and shred chicken.

Spray an ovenproof casserole with Pam & Add poblano chiles, cilantro, and media cream to salsa, and pour some  in. Heat the tortillas a 6 at a time in damp paper towels in the microwave (about 60 sec on high). Put a little chicken in each, roll up, and place seam side down in the casserole dish. When your casserole is full, top with salsa, then add the cheese.

Bake covered at 350 for about 50 minutes, then uncover and cook 5 minutes more. Let cool about 10 minutes. Serve with fresh salsa.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Grilled Flatbreads with Caramelized Onions, Sausage, and Manchego Cheese from Bon Appetit

This sounds wonderful! I think that I'll try it with Boboli crusts since I have no idea where to get fresh pizza dough. Also, it will be much easier.


* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 large red onions (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds), halved, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup dry red wine (such as Zinfandel)
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausages (about 4 links), casings removed
* Pizza Dough Rounds or 1 pound purchased fresh pizza dough
* Nonstick olive oil spray
* 2 cups (packed) coarsely shredded Manchego cheese,* divided


Heat vegetable oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and deep golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine, vinegar, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. Cool.
Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Add sausage; sauté until cooked through and browned, breaking up with back of fork, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Cool. DO AHEAD Onions and sausage can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Lightly flour 2 rimless baking sheets. Divide purchased pizza dough in half (if using). Working with 1 dough round or dough half at a time, roll out on lightly floured surface to 12x8-inch oval. Transfer to baking sheets. Spray top of flatbreads with nonstick spray.
Invert flatbreads, sprayed side down, onto grill. Cook until grill marks appear and sides of bread are dry, 3 to 5 minutes. Return to same baking sheets, grilled side down. Spray uncooked side with nonstick spray. Turn flatbreads over on baking sheets, grilled side up. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over each flatbread. Sprinkle onions, then sausage, over flatbreads, dividing equally. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over, dividing equally. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Transfer flatbreads, topping side up, to grill. Cover and cook until crusts are crisp and cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Cut into rectangles and serve.

Chile-Corn Custard Squares from Bon Appetit

This was in Bon Appetit's June issue, and it sounds very good. I think it might be great for a tailgate as well.

It's 10/01 and Mom tried this recipe yesterday, and here's what I think you should do to make this worth making. First, if you're making this for a party, double the recipe because it doesn't make very much. I've added cumin, cayenne, and green chiles. I've changed the Mexican cheese to extra sharp cheddar, and I've removed the jalapeño.
Serves 6

Preheat oven to 350°F.

* 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* Nonstick vegetable oil spray
* 1/4 cup all purpose flour
* 1/4 cup cornmeal
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
**1/4 teaspoon cumin
**1/4 teaspoon cayenne
* 1 large egg
* 2/3 cup extra sharp cheddar, 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese mixed with 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco, divided
* 1/2 cup sour cream plus additional for garnish
* 1/2 cup canned creamed corn
* 4 tablespoons canned green chiles, drained well and minced finely
* Tomato salsa (for garnish)


Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add finely chopped onion and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Cool.
Spray 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Whisk egg, 1/3 cup cheese blend, 1/2 cup sour cream, creamed corn, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Add flour mixture; stir to blend. Stir in jalapeño and caramelized onions. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup cheese blend over.
Bake until puffed and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely. DO AHEAD Custard squares can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Cut into 1-inch squares. Place on platter. Top each square with dollop of sour cream, then small spoonful of salsa.

Ama B's Creamed Onion Casserole

This is Ama B's recipe that she makes for Thanksgiving. It's delicious and easy. You can do it ahead and freeze it (without breadcrumbs) if you'd like.
Serves 6

Preheat oven to 350

2 lbs frozen pearl onions or fresh
6 tbl butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 1/2 tbl flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

If using fresh onions, boil for 1 minute, drain and cool. Trim and slip off skins. Cut an X 1/8" deep in root end of onions and simmer in water to cover for 15-20 minutes.

Remove onions from water & reduce liquid to 1 cup. Melt 2/3 of the butter in a saucepan and saute chopped onions over medium high heat for 7 minutes. Add flour and cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring. Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, and cream. Stirring constantly cook for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg. Add onions and simmer 3-4 minutes.

Place all in a buttered 2 quart baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Dot with remaining butter. Bake on top shelf of onion for 15-20 minutes.

Ama B's Chutney

1 pkg dried apricots, chopped fine
3-5 firm pears, cubed
1 cup raisins
1/2 lemon, seeded and chopped fine (including rind)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp garlic, finely minced
1 tbl fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg or mace
fresh ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer gently about 1 hour or until thickened. Cool and refrigerate. Serve with chicken curry.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chicken Fricassee

This is a fattening, but delicious recipe. It's another great recipe from Cajon Creole Cooking. You can reduce the calories by using only 2-3 tbls fat and 4-6 tbl of flour. You can add some cornstarch dissolved in stock at the end to thicken the sauce more. It's not as good, but, otherwise, it's just too fattening to eat very often. That being said, I would make the full fat version first.

This is good with plain white rice and green beans with tomatoes.

6 servings

1 cup Crisco or vegetable oil

2 1 1/2- 2 lb chickens, cut up
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

1 cup flour
5 medium onions, halved & sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp group black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 1/2 tsps fresh
3 cups chicken stock
6 green onions, chopped

Heat oil in a heavy 14 inch skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, & cayenne. When fat is hot, add chicken & brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Add flour to fat & cook, whisking constantly, until peanut butter-colored--about 25 minutes. Stir in onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp black pepper, and thyme. Cook, stirring, until onions are transparent, about 10 minutes. Slowly stir in stock. Return chicken to skillet; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Before serving, stir in green onions.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Seafood Sticky Rice Risotto

This recipe came from my good friend,Mary Beth Browder. She made this for a dinner party, and it was super good. She substituted orzo for the sticky rice, and bacon for the pancetta. If you use the orzo, just cook it according to package instructions, but leave it a little undercooked; drain, cool and proceed with the recipe.

Serves 4-6

2 cups Japanese sushi rice
4 oz pancetta in 1/4 inch slices
8 oz large shrimp, shelled & deveined (or cooked lobster)
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tbl chopped shallots
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken or fish stock
4 tbl grated parmesean or Asiago cheese
2 tsp chopped parsley
salt & black pepper to taste

1. Sock rice 2-3 hours in warm water. Drain & rinse in cold water.
2. Wrap rice in cheeseclot & place in steamer. Cover tightly and cook for 25 minutes; Unwrap & cool. Set aside in bowl.
3. Dice the pancetta into cubes. Cook until crisp. Set aside.
4. Steam shrimp in steamer for 8 minutes. Set aside.
5. Break rice up.
6. Heat a large, deep saute pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and saute the shallots. Add the rice, cream, and half the stock. Reduce the mixture, stirring occasionally. Keep adding stock until all the liquid is absorbed. Add the cheese and cook until creamy.
7. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp, pancetta, & parsley. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately.