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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gorditas

You know...I don't give this blog enough attention....I publish blog posts on Keith's Space and Escapades almost everyday...and only write this one maybe once a week.... I keep saying that I'm going to cut down on those two blogs too, but I haven't...

Okay...got that out of my system....I'm here with a new and exotic dish....What you say are Gorditas??  I didn't know either until yesterday when somebody on Twitter brought it to my attention..

Crisp on the outside and soft within, these savory corn cakes are a great base for all types of toppings, from pulled pork to shredded chicken — an easy way to serve a variety of appetizers with little fuss. For a more luscious gordita, fry the dough in lard or butter instead of oil.

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 cup(s) masa harina, preferably Bob's Red Mill
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) water
  • 1/4 cup(s) vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • Shredded chicken, for serving
  • Salsa, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Cotija cheese, for serving
DIRECTIONS:


  1. In a large bowl, mix the masa harina with the water and the 1/4 cup of oil. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 10-inch log; cut into 10 pieces. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, mold the pieces into flat disks a scant 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Heat a large griddle or comal (a round, flat griddle). Add the gorditas and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes per side. Using the back of a spoon, lightly press an indentation in the center of each gordita.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. Add the gorditas and fry over high heat until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side; drain on paper towels. Top the indentations with chicken, salsa, sour cream, and cheese and serve hot.
Serve with a nice red wine...or sangria!










Enjoy!  Eat Well My friends!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

West Bank Wings







Super Bowl season is at hand....Trying to think of something to serve to the crowd that is coming over your house to watch the game on your wide screen flat TV...Yeah right? Well here is a recipe for West Bank Wings...A New Orleans treat! (And another shameless free plug for Zatarains!)



INGREDIENTS:


3 pounds chicken wing pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ZATARAIN'S® Creole Seasoning
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup cane syrup or molasses
1/4 cup ZATARAIN'S® Creole Mustard
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce, such as Thai Kitchen®
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sesame seeds


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss chicken wings with oil and Creole Seasoning in large bowl. Arrange wings in single layer on foil-lined large shallow baking pan.

2. Bake 35 minutes or until wings are cooked through and skin is crisp.

3. Mix remaining ingredients, except cilantro and sesame seeds, in large skillet. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer about 15 minutes or until sauce is reduced by a third and is a "syrup" consistency. Add wings; toss to coat with sauce. Transfer wings to serving platter. Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Serves: Makes 10 appetizer servings.


Enjoy! Eat Well My Friends!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops

MMM, doesn't that look great??  Yes indeed....I know that I tend to favor Steak...But there is something to be said for Pork Chops...

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The glaze on these chops is irresistible thanks to a combination of flavor notes from sweet to spicy to smokey...


INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 (1/2 inch thick; 1 pound total) smoked bone-in pork rib chops
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon(s) bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon(s) safflower oil
DIRECTIONS:


  1. Place pork chops on a paper-towel-lined tray, and pat dry. Combine mustard and cayenne pepper, and evenly season chops. Stir together sugar, bourbon, and 2 tablespoons water.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear pork chops in batches until browned, about 2 minutes on each side (turn heat down if necessary to keep browned bits from burning). Remove chops from pan, and lower heat. Add bourbon mixture, scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon, and cook for 30 seconds, until reduced to a glaze. Return chops to pan, and cook, flipping, until chops are warmed through and completely glazed, about 1 minute.
Enjoy tonight! (I am) Eat well my friends!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Huevos Motuleños


I know you're probably asking- WHAT?  ...This is actually a breakfast dish...I should tell you that not everybody eats a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast...This dish...Huevos Motulenos.. is a hearty Mexican favorite, this breakfast dish originated in the Yucatán Peninsula and consists of two eggs on a fried tostada with tomatoes, ham, peas, plátanos maduros, queso fresco, and, oftentimes, black beans.


INGREDIENTS:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced button or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups of refried black beans
  • 6 fresh epazote leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 pound chorizo Mexican sausage (out of casing)
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 serrano chile with seeds, minced (stem discarded)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 plantain
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 4 to 8 eggs, depending on how many eggs people want
Garnishes:
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced
  • 4 ounces of queso fresco, crumbled
  • Small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and sliced mushrooms. Cook until onions are translucent, but not browned, and the mushrooms have given up some of their moisture, about 5 minutes. Stir in the refried beans and epazote (if using). Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from pan into a bowl, set aside.

2. While onions and mushrooms are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in another, smaller sauté pan or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the chorizo (out of its casing), breaking it up into chunks. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.

3. In a blender, blend together the chopped tomato, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 serrano chile, 1/2 cup of water, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and cook on medium high heat until cooked through, bubbly and thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and put into a small bowl, set aside.

4. Peel the plantain, slice it on the diagonal in 1/4 inch thick slices. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Line the pan with the plantain slices. Brown on one side, then flip and brown on the other side. Remove the plantain slices to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the oil in the pan.

5. Continue heating the oil on medium high heat. One at a time, cook the tortillas. Place a tortilla in the pan and cook until lightly browned and bubbles are forming in the tortilla. Flip over and cook until lightly browned on the other side too. Continue to cook until the tortilla is somewhat stiff. Use tongs to remove to a paper towel lined plate and continue the same process with the other tortillas. You will need to add more oil, make sure it heats up before adding another tortilla to the pan.

6. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a stick-free sauté pan (cast iron will work fine). Crack the eggs into the pan and cook, sunny side up, until egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still a little runny.

7. Assemble the dish. Place a cooked tortilla (tostada) on a large serving plate. Spread some beans over the tostada. Place a fried egg or two over the beans. Line the outside of the tostada with fried plantain, some chorizo. Put some salsa over the egg. Put sliced avocado on top of that. Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco over every thing. Sprinkle everything with fresh chopped cilantro.

Serves about four people....Serve with Tequila!



Enjoy....Eat well my friends.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chicken & Rice Skillet with Cranberries

Doesn't that look appetizing?  Here I am with yet another Chicken dish....Chicken and Yellow Rice with cranberries...Once again, this is a free (and shameless) plug for Zatarains....My favorite New Orleans style rice.

It is my opinion that one-skillet dinners like this one I am proposing are weeknight favorites for working moms .. and single childless folk. This flavorful chicken and rice recipe starts with Zatarain's® Creole Seasoning and Yellow Rice.



Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
2 teaspoons ZATARAIN'S® Creole Seasoning(Shameless plug)
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups water
1 package ZATARAIN'S® Yellow Rice(Just shameless)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
Toasted slivered almonds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Sprinkle chicken with Creole Seasoning. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from skillet; keep warm.

 2. Stir water, Rice Mix, cranberries, celery and onion into skillet. Bring to boil. Place chicken over rice mixture. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and rice is tender.

 3. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds, if desired.

Serve with a nice salad-






Enjoy!   Eat well in the New Year My Friends!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chicken in Pineapple Sauce

Just when you think that there are no new things you can do with a chicken, I ask around and I find out that indeed you can....

Here is a recipe out of Cuba. Imagine enjoying a platter of chicken in a sweet, tangy glaze with your family and friends?


INGREDIENTS:


  • 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into eight pieces
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon(s) sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 cup(s) dry white wine
  • 1 cup(s) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup(s) pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup(s) lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Steamed white rice, for serving
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and sprinkle with the paprika. Dredge the chicken in the flour, tapping off the excess.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once or twice, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet.
  3. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, 5 minutes. Add the stock, pineapple juice, lime juice and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
  4. Nestle the chicken in the skillet and add any accumulated juices. Cover and cook over very low heat, turning the chicken once, until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat until the sauce is thickened and glossy, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and serve the chicken with rice, spooning the sauce on top.
Serve with a Red Wine....





 Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Beef Pot Roast



Hey Folks...So what to fix for a brisk cold winter afternoon? Why not try a nice Beef Pot Roast?

Using a slow cooker or croc pot Get a head start on dinner with this fresh take on a slow-simmered, all-in-one meal that makes cleanup a breeze. 


INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
  • 8 medium carrots, cut into thirds
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  • 2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Worcestershire sauce.
DIRECTIONS:

  1. In slow cooker, stir together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Add carrots and onions; season with salt and pepper, and toss.
  2. Sprinkle roast with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; place on top of vegetables, and drizzle with Worcestershire. Cover; cook on high, 6 hours (or on low, 10 hours).
  3. Transfer roast to a cutting board; thinly slice against the grain. Place vegetables in a serving dish; pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve, if desired. Serve roast with vegetables and pan juices.
Serve with Cooked carrots and green peas.... Enjoy! Eat well my friends.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bring On The New Years Brunch!!!!






Happy New Years Everybody!!! Before you start fixing your Black Eyed Peas ,Greens and Cornbread....You start fixing your New Years Day Brunch....And I've got a dilly of a new brunch item for you....Cinnamon Oats Pancakes!

Rolled oats give these pancakes a hearty, nutty flavor. Serve them with butter and maple syrup or powdered sugar and bananas.

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 2 cup(s) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cup(s) milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup(s) vegetable oil, plus more for skillet


DIRECTIONS:


  1. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and 1 cup oats and pulse a few times to coarsely grind oats. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and oil. Add dry ingredients and 1 cup oats and whisk just until moistened.
  2. Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Lightly oil skillet. Using 2 to 3 tablespoons for each pancake, drop batter in skillet and cook until a few bubbles have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until browned on undersides, 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat with more oil and batter.
Of course, you serve this with Bacon or Sausage and a tall glass of milk!






Enjoy!  Eat well in the New Year My Friends!


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household