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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Winter Squash and Short-Rib Enchiladas

Don't let the title fool you...You can still eat this in the spring..

Caramelized onions and poblano peppers would be delicious and will lighten up the filling.

INGREDIENTS:

Sauce and Filling

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 7 guajillo chiles, seeds removed
  • 2 ancho chiles, seeds removed
  • 5 morita chiles
  • 4½ cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed Mexican or Italian oregano
  • 1 medium red kuri squash or sugar pumpkin, halved, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds English-style bone-in beef short ribs
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 bay leaves

    Assembly

    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 8 6-inch white corn tortillas
    • 8 ounces Oaxaca cheese or salted fresh mozzarella, grated
    • ½ cup unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), coarsely chopped
    • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped marjoram or oregano
    • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
    • Kosher salt
    •  
      • ½ onion, thinly sliced
      • Lime wedges (for serving)

      Special Equipment

      • A spice mill or a mortar and pestle
DIRECTIONS:

Sauce and Filling

Toast coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, swirling pan often and adding cumin seeds during the last 30 seconds of cooking, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in spice mill or with mortar and pestle.
Bring guajillo, ancho, and morita chiles and 4 cups stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes to let chiles soften.
Transfer chile mixture to a blender and add toasted spices, garlic, tomato paste, and oregano and purée until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Preheat oven to 250°. Place squash, cut side down, in a 13x9" baking dish and bake until very tender, 2–2½ hours. Let cool slightly, then remove skin and discard.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium heavy pot over medium-high. Season beef with salt and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10–12 minutes. Pour off excess oil and carefully add chile purée (it may bubble vigorously) and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven, next to squash. Braise beef until it shreds easily, 2–2½ hours; season with salt.
Skim excess fat from chile sauce and transfer meat, leaving bones behind, to a baking sheet. Remove bones and bay leaves from sauce. Let beef cool slightly, then shred with 2 forks, discarding any cartilage or silver skin.
Blend sauce, 2 cups roasted squash, and remaining ½ cup stock in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds; season with salt. Mix ½ cup squash-chile sauce into shredded beef and season with salt. Set remaining sauce aside.
Do Ahead: Short ribs can be braised and squash can be roasted 3 days ahead. Let meat cool in chile sauce (do not shred); cover and chill ribs and squash separately.

Assembly

Preheat oven to 425°. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high until it bubbles immediately when edge of tortilla touches the surface.

Working one at a time, fry tortillas until just starting to brown and crisp, about 10 seconds per side (they should still be somewhat pliable). Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Dip both sides of each tortilla in squash-chile sauce just to coat and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Spread 1 cup sauce down the length of a 13x9" baking dish. Spoon ¼ cup beef mixture across the center of a tortilla. Fold one side over filling, then continue to roll up tortilla.

Place seam side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat with more sauce and remaining tortillas (enchiladas should be nestled right up against each other in pan). Top with cheese and remaining sauce. Bake enchiladas until sauce is bubbling and cheese is beginning to brown, 15–20 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss pumpkin seeds, marjoram, and mint in a small bowl; season with salt.
Top enchiladas with onion and pumpkin seed mixture. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

(Special Thanks to Rick Martinez of Bon Appetit' for this recipe) 

 Enjoy with a nice red wine!

Eat and Drink well my friends!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Instant Pot Vegatable Soup


Everybody likes a nice bowl of soup....I don't care what time of year it is....

The stovetop works just as well for the vegetable soup , but the Instant Pot is even more hands off. Saute the onion and garlic, then throw in the frozen vegetables, along with vegetable broth and diced tomatoes. Set the pressure on the Instant Pot and walk away. Couldn’t be easier.
This is a great soup to keep on hand for light lunches. If you want to add some protein, throw in some cooked chicken or beans.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp dried thyme
  • 12 oz. Simple Truth Frozen Organic Mixed Vegetables
  • 12 oz. Simple Truth Frozen Organic Green Beans
  • 1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2¾ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS:

 For Instant Pot:
  1. Set Instant Pot to the saute setting. Add the olive oil and allow to heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano and thyme, and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the frozen mix vegetables, frozen green beans, petite diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, close the steam vent and set to HIGH pressure using the manual setting. Decrease the time to 4 minutes.
  4. Once the time is expired, wait for 5 minutes, then carefully use the quick release valve to release the steam. Stir in the parsley. Season to taste. Serve.
For the Stovetop:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano and thyme, and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
Don't Sweat The Technique:
Cook time includes the pressurization time for the Instant Pot. To decrease this time, bring the vegetable broth to a boil before adding to the Instant Pot.

Andt here you have it...Enjoy!   Eat Well My Friends

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Best Burger You May Eat



I got this recipe from  June  2011 issue of Food and Wine....I wanted to share it with you since it is starting to get warm...

Griddled Burger! The hands down winner...

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/4 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
  • Half a white onion, sliced into rings
  • 4 slices yellow American cheese (Adam uses cheddar, we prefer American)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 or 4 bakery fresh potato buns (we used kaiser buns from Fresh Market – you want a chewy bun)
So, if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, go out and buy one. Just do it. You know you’ve been meaning to. There’s no excuse. You can find one at Target or Walmart, already seasoned, for around $40 bucks – and it will last you a lifetime.


DIRECTIONS:

I should tell you... ground chuck burgers cooked in a cast iron skillet smoke a lot.  You have some options here: 1) Take the batteries out of your smoke alarm, 2) Use a good vent hood or 3) Cook outside on one of these or on your grill.

It's very important that you set all of your ingredients out... because these burgers are done in 5 1/2 minutes from start to finish.  Divide the beef into four loosely formed balls (five ounces each).  Don’t compress the beef a whole lot – handle it as little as possible.  Slice your onions into rings and separate them.  Have your cheese slices, salt, and pepper handy as well, and your buns sliced.  If you like a toasted bun, do that before you start the burgers.  You’ll also need a lid to cover your skillet for the last portion of the cook.

Heat your skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke.  Place two of the meatballs on the skillet with equal spacing between them and the sides of the skillet.

 Allow the meatballs to sear for 30 seconds, then flatten each into a 5″ diameter patty using a heavy-duty spatula.  After flattening, let them cook for 2 minutes.

 While the burgers are cooking on this first side for 2 minutes, season them with salt and pepper, and press into them some of the sliced onion rings.

When the 2 minutes have elapsed, carefully flip the burgers so that the onions end up underneath the patties.  Add the cheese and cook for 2 more minutes.  Then add the lid and cook for 1 more minute to completely melt the cheese.

  5 1/2 minutes and dinner is ready.  We chose to serve these up as a double-stack.  Oh, and don’t worry about additional condiments – you won’t need them.


Juicy, tender, and rich in flavor, these old-school style griddle burgers are good to the last bite.
Do yourself a favor and try these burgers – I promise you , you won’t be sorry.  And you may never go back to grilled burgers again.

ENJOY!  Eat well my friends!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Carrot Cake Banana Bread


This is, what it says it is...Something Sweet and Good you can have this Easter Sunday....

Carrot Cake Banana Bread!

Let's just get right to it..

INGREDIENTS:


For the Banana Bread
  • Cooking spray, for pan
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c. grated carrots
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans, plus more for garnish
For the cream cheese frosting
  • 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º, then grease a 9"-x-5” loaf pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together butter and sugars until combined. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg and stir until completely incorporated. Gently fold in mashed bananas, grated carrots and pecans and mix until fully combined.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick has moist crumbs, about 1 hour, then let cool.
  4. Make frosting: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla, salt and powdered sugar until fluffy.
  5. Once cool, frost bread and garnish with pecans.
Chase this down with Hot Coffee-
or Cold Milk-
 Mmmmmm Enjoy!  Eat and Drink Well my friends!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Skillet Pumpkin Cornbread


Doesn't that look good ? (See photo above)

Here is a cornbread dish you won't be able to stop munching on....Pumpkin Spice Cornbread..Check out the recipe-

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 c. cornmeal
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Grease 10" cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon butter, set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk, egg, brown sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter. Pour in cornmeal mixture and whisk together. Transfer to skillet and bake 25 to 30 minutes. (Test doneness by pricking center with a toothpick—it should come out clean.) Immediately spread remaining tablespoon butter all over.
Mmmmmmm, Enjoy!   Eat well my good friends!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fettucine Alfredo with Sun Dried Tomatoes

This dish has loads of vegatables and a sprinkling of Lemon Zest breathe new life into a traditionally rich and heavy dish.

The best thing is...It only takes about 15 minutes, give or take to make...Let's get started...Shall we?

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 ounces dried fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 4 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • milk
  • finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peels
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding dried tomatoes the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to saucepan; keep warm.
  2. <2i class="recipe__direction"> 
    <2i class="recipe__direction">2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.
    <3i class="recipe__direction">3. In same skillet melt remaining butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Gently stir in pasta and vegetables. Stir in additional milk to reach desired consistency. Sprinkle with lemon peel and additional shredded Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 (1-1/2 cup) servings.
And there it is...Doesn't it look good? Enjoy!  Eat Well 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