January 31, 2009
January 25, 2009
These cookies were easy to make and very yummy. A good spin on our old favorites. Plus, I love cinnamon. We made these for Andy's housewarming party. It's originally from Martha Stewart's Cookies.
January 21, 2009
Living in Mexico, this was easily one of my top five dishes to order, and as far as I'm concerned, enchiladas suizas are without a doubt the best enchiladas out there. Creamy, cheesy chicken and green chile sauce? Yes, please. And just so you know, it would be nearly sacrilegious to make enchiladas with flour tortillas. (In fact, corn is always best, in my not-so-humble opinion.)
This recipe is a variation on one I found about five years ago in the San Francisco Chronicle Food Section. The woman who wrote it got the recipe from the family running the bed and breakfast where she stayed. The original version calls for making the salsa verde from scratch, but I didn't want to spend all day on this and just used canned green enchilada sauce. Some brands are better than others, and while I've yet to do a brand by brand taste test, I know that El Pato, Las Palmas and La Victoria are decent.
(If you are wondering, the word suiza, surprisingly enough, means Swiss. Apparently Swiss immigrants in Mexico often ended up making cheeses and other dairy products, like the crema Mexicana in this dish.)
- 2 chicken breasts (It called for bone and skin, but we used boneless/skinless.)
- 1/4 of a white onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 quart chicken broth
- Rinse chicken and put in a 4 quart pot with the onion quarter and garlic. Add broth. If the chicken is not completely covered, add water until covered. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let chicken cool in broth for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and when cool, shred it.
- Save the broth for use in any recipe calling for chicken broth. (We used it to make tortilla soup.)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 10 large corn tortillas
- 4 cups (or more) green chile enchilada sauce (spicy, if you like!)
- Shredded chicken from above
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion (optional)
- 3 cups grated manchego or Monterey Jack Cheese (We used cheddar and it was fine.)
- 3/4 cup crema Mexicana (We had to substitute sour cream; it's definitely not as good as the real stuff.)
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a wide skillet and fry the tortillas (1-2 at a time) to soften them, turning once--about 20 seconds on each side. Stack them as you finish. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Use 1 teaspoon oil (I used a spray instead) to coat a 12x9 inch (or so) baking dish. Spread 1 cup of green sauce over the bottom of the dish.
- Moisten the shredded chicken with 3/4 cup of the green sauce.
- For each enchilada, spoon some of the chicken, some chopped onions and some shredded cheese down the middle of a tortilla. Roll it up and place seam side down in the dish.
- When all of the enchiladas are in the dish, spread 1 tablespoon of crema over each one. Pour 2 cups (or more as desired) of the green sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinke more grated cheese all over the top.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. Pass the remaining salsa verde at the table.
January 15, 2009
I love tortilla soup, but I'd never attempted to make it. I figured that it's so delicious that it must be really complicated, right? Well, I have seen a number of versions ranging from the ridiculously complex and time consuming (from my Dona Tomas cookbook) to the surely too simple to be authentic. Here's my variation on one from Simply Recipes (and before that from a Muir Glen can of tomatoes) that struck me as better than most, yet still remarkably easy.
Even after I started making this recipe, I wasn't sure it would turn out like I wanted it to, but in the in end it was pretty spot on. I'm sure the intense, all day version from Dona Tomas is much more authentic and probably tastier, but this was super quick and ended up just like I imagined it should. Comfort food at its finest.
- 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup canola oil (for frying)
- In a small skillet with high sides, heat canola oil over medium high heat.
- Cut tortillas in half. Then cut the halves into 1/4" to 1/2" strips--cut strips that are 3" or shorter--i.e. cut the strips width-wise rather than lengthwise).
- Once it it hot (350 degrees), add tortilla strips and fry for a couple of minutes on each side, until they are golden and crispy.
- Use a couple of extra tortillas to fry tortilla chips (for snacking--believe me, you'll want some), when fry the strips(for the soup. Let drain on a paper towel.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium Anaheim, poblano or jalapeño chile, seeded, veins removed, chopped (We put one Anaheim and two jalapeños--nice and spicy!)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced fire-roasted tomatoes, un-drained (I found Safeway brand.)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 ripe medium avocado, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (we used cheddar, but whatever you like)
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (I have lime juicer, one of my favorite gadgets! Get one.)
- Heat a little of the remaining oil (from frying strips) in a saucepan on medium-high. Saute your onion for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and chilies, cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the chicken broth, the whole can of tomatoes and the salt. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cooked chicken. Let it simmer until the chicken is hot.
- Divide half of the tortilla strips among the bowls you'll be eating from. Ladle soup on top of the tortillas. Top with shredded cheese, remaining tortilla strips, cilantro and avocado. Drizzle with lime juice.
January 13, 2009
January 12, 2009
For some reason, when I tried to make the recipe as posted on the site, it came out very crumbly and dry. It couldn't have been my fault, since I bake perfectly. It may have been that I used a hand electric mixer instead of a real one with the paddle attachment. So, I tweaked it a bit, and if your dough comes out too dry, just add some more butter. I had to add another half stick to mine. These guys were absolutely incredible! I've been obsessed with thumbprint cookies these days, and since I don't eat jam with my toast, I can always justify a few batches with the fancy jam still sitting in my fridge. This time, I had some extra coconut flakes which lead me to this wonderful creation:
1.5 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
3.5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam
Yields 16 cookies.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.
January 9, 2009
This is from a co-worker's vegan cookbook called "Eat, Drink & Be Vegan". Apparently these are unbelievably rich, but I won't know until Sunday afternoon when Michelle and I make them (before having to count our store's inventory till midnight).
January 8, 2009
Every time I go, I order the vegan mezze platter--which last for at least two meals. It includes falafel and hummus, all you can eat pita, a garbanzo dish, tabouleh and more. It's all delicious, but I'm really just looking for that huge puddle of tahini. One dip with a chunk of fresh, hot pita and I'm completely, utterly satisfied. The long wait for a table? Worth it for that one bite.
Here is a recipe I decided to try, since I can't afford to eat out much any more. It's from my trusty original Moosewood Cookbook--copyright 1977. This turned out very well--and far outshined the falafels (from a mix--next time from scratch!) we also attempted. I'm fairly certain it's as close as I'm going to get without the secret recipe from Nicholas' kitchen.
- 1 1/2 cups tahini (sesame seed paste--found near the peanut butter in the supermarket)
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 medium clove crushed garlic (I love my jar from Trader Joe's!)
- 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (around 3 lemons)
- 1/4 cup chopped (or finely-minced if mixing by hand) scallions (I used regular onions.)
- 1/4 cup chopped (or finely-minced if mixing by hand) parsley
- Salt to taste
- 1 or 2 dashes cayenne
- 1 or 2 dashes paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin (or more, to taste--I'm a huge fan of this spice...)
- 1 or 2 dashes of tamari
- Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy and smooth. (You can also use a wisk or an electric mixer.) Sample the mixture and add ingredients to suit your taste.
January 3, 2009
Chilaquiles come in many forms: red sauce or green sauce, with eggs without eggs, with chicken or other meat or vegetarian. But my favorite remains the way I originally experienced them: with green sauce, chicken and no eggs. Traveling throughout Mexico, I'd always order them when I found the right combo. The other versions are not bad by any means, but with the green sauce they're transcendent.
Awhile ago, Mark and I made a version of chilaquiles with shrimp roughly adapted from my Dona Tomas cookbook. We used homemade totopos, tortilla chips, from the same. It may have been the best version I've ever had--and that's saying something. (NOTE: There are delicious chilaquiles offered at La Bamba on SE 49th and Division in Portland.)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 cups (or so) chile verde enchilada sauce
- 10 ounces corn tortilla chips
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (Monterey Jack is recommended, but we used cheddar)
- 1/4 thinly sliced white onions
- 1/3 cup crumbed Cotija cheese (worth getting for authenticity's sake)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup crema or sour cream
- Add the oil to a skillet over high heat.
- Add about 2 cups of green sauce. Bring to a boil, then add tortilla chips. Saute the chips in the sauce for about 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until the chips absorb the sauce.
- Continue to add sauce until all the chips are well coated but not soupy. You may not need all of the sauce.
- Add the grated cheese and stir once or twice util barely melted. Transfer to a serving plate or individual plates.
- Sprinkle with onion, Cotija and cilantro. Drizzle with crema. Top with shrimp or chicken. Die of happiness.
- 1/2 white onion, sliced
- 1 pound frozen shrimp
- 2 tablespoons unslated butter
- 1 jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add the oil and onion--quickly stir 2-3 times. Add the shrimp and a few dashes of salt. Saute for a minute.
- Add the butter, jalapeno and garlic. Saute for a minute, until butter melts and the garlic releases it's aroma and shrimp are done.
- Serve on top of your chilaquiles.
January 1, 2009
two tablespoons oil or margarine
2 large onions, chopped fine
5 cloves (or an entire bulb) garlic, minced
3 cups raw cashews
1 1/2 cups bread
1 cup soup stock (or water)
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups bread cubes, toasted
two tablespoons margarine, melted but not hot
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely-chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon sage
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt to taste
(From the first list:) Cook the onion and garlic in the oil or margarine until tender, and remove from the heat.
Chop the cashews by hand or in a food processor; cut up the bread as well. Add the cashews and bread to the onion, then add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Put half of this mixture into a small, non-stick loaf pan (or line a regular loaf pan with parchment paper if a non-stick pan is unavailable).
Mix together all the ingredients from the second list. Put the mixture on top of the stuff in the loaf pan, and add the rest of the first mixture so that there are three layers of food in the pan.
Place the pan on a baking sheet or in a larger loaf pan (in case it overflows while cooking), and bake at 400 degrees F for half an hour. The top should be browned.
Let the roast cool for a few minutes, then turn the pan over and serve the roast on a plate (or simply serve it out of the pan). Serve with gravy if desired, keeping in mind that it is a very rich dish.
The roast will take about an hour to prepare.
The stuffing works well on its own -- and I often make extra!
The roast refrigerates well and can be frozen for a few months and microwaved back to life.
As shown, recipe makes roughly six servings.
Vegetable stock is often available in concentrate or as bouillon cubes, in health-food stores and in general grocery stores. If you really can't find it, use water.