Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Cranberry Relish

November 26, 2008

1 12oz package whole cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp kosher salt
2-3 tbs orange liqueur
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

Combine sugar, water, salt, liqueur, zest, and ginger. Bring to a boil and add cranberries.  Bring back to a boil, the lid and reduce the heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally until all the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens a little. (Approx 15 minutes)  Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until needed.

Papas y Carne

November 14, 2008

This dish is something prepared by little Mexican grandmothers across Texas and Mexico. It uses a tougher cut of meat, a handful of spices, and potatoes to make a lovely gooey tastey mess of comfort food for little cash. This is a dish that you throw together in the morning, and then back-burner all day until it just falls apart.  I serve it wrapped up in fresh tortillas.  You should make a pretty big mess eating this. Also, be forwarned that there’s no way to make just a little.  Make this stuff when you have a football team to feed.

2 lbs beef, cubed (I use round steak or sometimes chuck)
2-4 tbs olive oil
2 large white onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 large russet poatoes, cubed (I didn’t bother to peel them today)
1- 16oz can tomato sauce
3 tbs cumin
1 tbs chili powder
2 bay leaves
kosher salt/ fresh pepper to taste

Cut the round steaks into approximately ½ inch cubes. This is far easier to accomplish if the meat is still partially frozen.  Toss some kosher salt and cracked pepper with the meat.  Heat olive oil to medium high in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Barely brown the cubed steak and then remove it from th pan, reserving any juice that has formed.  Add a little more olive oil to the pan and then cook the onions until just soft. Add the garlic to soften, then add back the meat. Stir in remaining ingredients and add water until the mixture is just barely covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer all day until the potatoes fall apart and the meat is tender. This should be a fairly thick, mush like consistency that can be spooned into tortillas and eaten as tacos.

Vegan Blackeyed Peas

November 8, 2008

I served this with stewed cabbage, though it isn’t New Years.  I love blackeyed peas, but I’ve always found it difficult to get them nice and savory without a giant hunk of yummy dead pig floating in the middle of them.  The coffee seemed to do nicely here, giving the broth a little depth.

1 lb dried blackeyed peas, soaked overnight
4 tbs olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
1 cup white wine
1 cup black coffee
kosher salt
½ tbs cumin
½ tbs chili powder
hot water

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil.  Add onions and celery, mixing to coat with the oil.  Clamp the lid on and allow to cook until softened, stirring occasionally.  Add peppers, garlic, and ginger and saute until just tender.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine, add coffee, beans and seasonings.  Cover with water by two or three inches.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer until the peas soften.  Taste the broth and re-season as needed.  If you must add water to the pot while it simmers, make certain it is near boiling. Cold water will cause the beans to split an the broth to muddy.

Delicate Crab Cakes

October 19, 2008

A friend was talking about salmon patties the other day and I got a serious jones for them.  They’re pretty high in the calorie department though, and canned salmon is always a bit iffy in my book.  Instead, I spent a rather ridiculous amount of bank on some good crab meat and came up with these crab cakes. They are not at all bready. Instead, they are very tender, full of crab, quite light, and extremely delicate.  I used MUCH care in moving them around, and they still very nearly fell apart, so don’t try this if you feel impatient.

It’s rare that something turns out exactly as I originally envisioned it, but this recipe did the trick.  Make sure to use the half and half mixture of lump/claw meat.  The lump is the more flavorful, sweet tasting type of crab meat, but using only that, the cakes would never stay together. The stringier claw meat provides more cohesion to them. Also, the vegetables and herbs were minced tiny tiny tiny. Don’t use a food processor though, or they’ll be too watery. I served the crab cakes with a dollop of the creamy dill dressing I’ve posted before.

½ pound lump crab meat
½ pound crab claw meat
½ small red onion, minced
½ red bell pepper, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped green onion
3 tbs prepared brown mustard
1 tbs mayo
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tsp paprika
Kosher salt/ Cracked Pepper
1 tsp red chile flakes
1 roasting pan with rack. Cover the rack with tin foil and poke lots of holes in it with a fork.

Combine all the ingredients, using a fork, into a barely cohesive mixture. Be careful not to completly break up the lump crab.  In a big cast iron skillet, heat to medium enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan plus a tad (maybe ¼ cup). Form each patty with your hands, packing them well, then place them on a metal spatula and slide them into the oil.  Allow the cake to fry about 1-2 minutes, flip, then fry another 1-2 minutes.  They will just brown in the oil.  Very carefully remove them from the skillet and slide them, using another spatula, onto a cutting board lined with paper towel.  Place the covered roasting rack upside down on the lightly fried cakes. Invert the cutting board so that the cakes are now resting on the rack, remove the board and peel off the paper towel. Place the rack with the crab cakes on the roasting pan.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to them to cool for about 5 minutes before you try to serve them.

Scallop and Brown Rice Bowl

October 17, 2008

I just tossed this together in one pan and ate it in a big bowl.  Cast iron skillets are the perfect tool to make great meals for just one or two people.  I love to buy bags of frozen brown rice from Whole Foods to add to single serving meals like this.  Quinoa or any other rice or grain would have done just as well.

Spray olive oil
2 large sea scallops, fresh
1 scant cup Crimini mushrooms, sliced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced (I used a left-over grilled one)
2 tbs green onion, chopped
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup brown rice (I used whole grain, frozen. Quinoa would be good too)

Spray scallops with olive oil, then season with kosher salt and cracked pepper.  Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat, then spray with additional olive oil.  Sear scallops, chop them into bite sized pieces,  and set aside.  Spray more oil into skillet and add the mushrooms. Add 1 or 2 tbs of water to the pan if necessary to keep from sticking.  Add cracked pepper to taste.  Add bell pepper, zest, herbs, and lemon juice.  Toss to combine.  Add brown rice and heat through adding a few tbs of water if necessary to keep from burning.  Add back scallops and toss with other ingredients just to combine.  Serve in a large bowl topped with a dollop of thick Greek yogurt (or Dill Yogurt Dressing) and a pinch of grated Parmesan cheese.

Ragweed Pollen

September 30, 2008

It’s of the devil. The only thing worse is probably cedar season or millions of paper cuts and a boil at the same time.

Hot Toddy:
Equal parts bourbon, water, and fresh lemon juice. Cinnamon and lemon zest for flavor. Maple syrup to sweeten.  Hold it under your nose till it clears up a little.

Green Chilé Beef Stew

September 27, 2008

This is probably the last chilé recipe for a while because it used the rest of my frozen store of the magical Hatch. It’s based heavily on a recipe sent to me by Allysa, the supplier of my stash of chilé. Her husband, Edward made a version of this with a brisket, corn relish, and hatch salsa.  I intentionally made mine just a bit more watery, and used fresh corn instead of relish. I served it in whole wheat tortillas with Greek yogurt to cool it off a little.  However, I used mainly the mild peppers, so it was not so hot I couldn’t have eaten a bowl full. Instead, the stew was smokey from the peppers prepared over charcoal and a little sweet from fresh corn.

1 lb tenderized round steak, cubed
1 tbs olive oil
2 sm white onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 hot hatch green chilé, chopped, roasted, skins and seeds removed
8 mild hatch green chilé, chopped, roasted, skins and seeds removed
½ cup black coffee
½-1 cup Bloody Mary Mix (I used the lesser amount to keep it thicker)
8 small tomatoes (I was using campari)
1 ear sweet corn, removed from the cob
1 can black beans, lightly drained
1 tsp cumino
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat the oil on high in a cast iron dutch oven or other heavy vessel.  Toss in round steak, seasoned with salt and pepper and brown.  Remove the steak from pan.  Place onions in the drippings with a touch more oil if necessary and cook until browned and softened.  Add garlic and heat until softened being careful not to let it burn.  Add chilés and stir into the onions and garlic.  Deglaze the pan with the black coffee.  Add remaining ingredients, then cover and let simmer on low until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes.

If I’d had about double the amount of the mild chilés I think I would have left off the beans and let this be just a chilé stew.

Tapioca pudding

September 25, 2008

I started with the tapioca recipe from 101 cookbooks.com.  http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/tapioca-pudding-recipe.html This I essentially doubled and flavored to suit my whim.

2/3 cup small pearl tapioca
5 cups milk (I used 2%. Whole would have been nicely decadent.)
1 cup coconut milk
4 egg yolks, fork beaten
5 tbs sugar
dash kosher salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
dash fresh nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla (A scraped vanilla bean would have been better, but the HEB was out)

1 cup pecan halves
Spray olive oil
dash kosher salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar

Soak the tapioca pearls in 1 1/2 cup of milk for about 30 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining milk, coconut milk, egg, sugar cardamom, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a bare simmer.  Stir constantly until the tapioca softens and becomes translucent, and the custard thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl, spray the pecans with a bit of olive oil. (or melted butter) Toss with the seasonings and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until toasted. Pay close attention to the nuts to assure they don’t burn.  Chop and fold into the pudding.

Tonight’s salad

September 25, 2008

I’m a big fan of tomato and cucumber salads with a balsamic vinegrette, but the Dude doesn’t seem to enjoy the balsamic.  I did this one with cider vinegar and fresh herbs instead.  It’s pretty darn tasty and will be better in a few hours.

Toss Together:
6-8 small globe tomatoes, large dice
5 small cucumbers, thickly sliced
1 small shallot, slice extra thin
2 tbs fresh chives, chopped
2 tbs fresh mint leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Dressing:
Whisk together 1/3 cup cider vinegar with about 1 tbs maple syrup.  Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil while whisking.

Toss the dressing with the salad and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Pour off any excess dressing before serving.

I typically make my vinaigrette 1:1 when it’s just me, but I like things quite sour.  When I’m making salads for other people I go just a little less oily than the traditional 1:2 vinegar to oil ratio.  Instead of 1/3 cup vinegar to 2/3 cup oil, I use about a 1/2 cup oil.

Buttermilk Biscuits

September 21, 2008

Each time I make biscuits I have to go look up proportions of flour to butter and I never get it the same twice.  These were delicious.  They weren’t puffy or light at all, but rather they were flaky, tender, and very buttery.  Eating just one was a huge challenge. (Which I failed when I ate another)  The key to biscuits is to keep the butter from melting, so work quickly and never use your hands if you can help it.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp of kosher salt (I may have used more like two… I never measure salt.)

1 stick of chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and re-chilled
3/4 cup of chilled buttermilk, give or take

Without ever touching the butter or the batter with your hands: Drop the butter cubes into the flour mixture and toss with a fork to coat and separate.  With a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you have very small beads of butter mixed throughout the flour.  Pour in the buttermilk a little at a time and mix it with the flour/butter mixture until all the flour is worked in.  The dough should still be very crumbly.  Add additional buttermilk by the tablespoon if necessary.

Turn the crumbly batter onto a floured board and quickly pat into a square. I know most prefer round biscuits, but this reduces waste!  Using as few passes as possible, thin the dough to about an inch thick with a rolling pin.  It should just barely hold together at this point.  Cut the dough into squares and carefully transfer them to a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.