Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tuna Espana

For nearly a year, I've longed for atun as done in Espana. I loved my cans of tuna that I ate while sitting under a tree. while farmers tended to their fields and animals grazed nearby.

Tuna in Spain is either sold plain in HUGE cans or as individual meals that were "enhanced" with oils and vegetables. Not finding recipes that matched my memory I experimented today and "think I found it"!

3 oz can of light tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup frozen corn thawed
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1-2 teaspoons garlic and herb (thyme and rosemary) olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch garlic powder
sprinkle of Spanish paprika (smoky)

Mix all of the ingredients above and grab your fork. Crakers are a nice touch, but weren't needed to complete the meal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Whipped Cream

Whipped Cream

Easy and perfect this one is. Thank you Betty Crocker!

Think ahead - place your mixing bowl in the freezer with your mixer's beaters. When frosty, you may begin.

For 1 cup of whipped cream:
Beat 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

If they're lazy peaks, keep going. When they stick around, you're done. Stop. If you keep going you'll find yourself in butterland.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Another winner from Desert Culinary!
(Adapted from Eating Well)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine flours, yeast, salt, and sugar in a food processor - (yay!); pulse to mix. Combine warm water and oil in a measuring cup. With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.

Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling.

*If you want to knead by hand feel free - knead for about 10 minutes. As made, this recipe makes about 1 pound of dough. If you would like to make about 12 ounces of dough, here is the ingredient list to follow - the directions to prepare the dough is the same.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour2
1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (may need slightly more)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Oil the pizza stone slightly, place the rolled out dough on it. Make a little side ridge. Top as you like. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

T-Lime Pie

T-Lime Pie has a story! It was my friend's birthday and his favorite food on earth is Key Lime Pie. My personal mission was to create the very best in all the land for him. No Key Limes were to be found in the desert valley. Trying to make the best out of a very sad situation, I created T-Lime Pie. And now that the birthday boy and his wife have ravaged the pie pan (and cleaned and returned it) and having lavished many praises upon it, I will share it with you.

T-Lime Pie
(A little bit Cooking Light, a little bit Teri)

2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon grated lime rind (zest before juicing) + some for garnish
1/2 cup hand squeezed "regular" lime juice (about 8-10 small limes, 3-4 larger ones)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 graham cracker pie crust, homemade (best) or store bought
Whipped cream, homemade (best) or store bought, artifically manufactured, non-dairy, boring, whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350°.

Zest the lime rind. Slice and juice the limes. Strain and measure. Measure and freeze additional juice.
Beat eggs and egg whites at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Gradually add juice, rind, and milk to egg mixture, beating until well-blended. Spoon mixture into crust, and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until almost set (the center will not be firm but will set up as it chills).

Cool pie on a wire rack. Cover loosely, and chill 4 hours.

Spread whipped cream evenly over filling and lighty sprinkle with zested rind for color.

Praline Apple Bread

Praline Apple Bread
Yet ANOTHER Desert Culinary "Gimme More" Recipe!
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about one large apple)
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined (about two minutes). Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in apples and toasted pecans.

Scoop the mixture into a 9" x 5" loaf pan coated with nonstick spray - scatter the top with the regular pecans and gently press into the batter. (Use the big loaf pan - or two much smaller pans - the medium pan "muffin topped" for me.)

Bake until a toothpick placed in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 50 to 60 minutes - if the bread looks like it is getting very browned on top, cover it with foil during the last 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.While the loaf is cooling, in a small sauce pan, combine butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil - reduce heat and gently boil, stirring, for 1 minute.

Turn the bread out onto the rack and drizzle the top with the brown sugar mixture.

I used (on purpose) salted butter and it made for a wonderful salty/sweet flavor!

Matthew says "more apples would be even better!" Two apples would give you abou 2 1/2 cups of apples. I'd say about an apple and a half. Eat the leftover half while you're waiting for the bread to cook and cool!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lemonade Pie

Lemonade Pie

This 15 minute summer treasure is a favorite at our house. Using store purchased crusts makes this a snap.

2 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened (does not have to be a high-end brand nor vanilla bean)
12 oz lemonade concentrate, thawed

Make (cool) or open package of crusts.

In a large bowl ix ice cream and lemonade concentrate until smooth. Pour half of the mixture into each of the pie crusts. Freeze.

Serve frozen. Slice into six or eight pieces to serve.

Graham Cracker Crust

Graham Cracker Crust

For 9 inch pie pan

1-1/2 cups honey graham cracker crumbs (1 wrapped packet or 1/3 of 14.4 oz box forced to be crumbs in a food processor.
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4-1/3 Cup (1/2+ stick) unsalted butter, melted
pinch salt

Note - I used 1/4 cup the first time I made this (new bifocals). Because the ultimate use of it was for the lemonade pie, the lesser amount of butter was fine. Experiment and see what works for you.

In a medium bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Add melted butter. Mix. Press into pie pan with patience making sure you've pressed it into the areas between the bottom and sides.

If you need a pre-baked crust, bake 6-8 minutes at 375 degrees. If not (use more butter) and chill.

Base ingredients: food.

Teri's Fresh Tomato-Basil Pizza

Teri's Fresh Tomato Basil Pizza

1/4 Cup tomato sauce
1 -2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
Pinch sugar
Garlic olive oil
Fresh basil leaves, 8-12
Halved cherry tomatoes (about half a bag/container)
8 oz fresh mozerella, sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

While the dough is rising, combine tomato sauce, basalmic vinegar, italian seasoning and sugar together in a small saucepan and heat until ready to boil, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Set aside to cool.

While the dough is resting, before rolling it out, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Slice cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise. Pick, rinse and dry basil leaves.

Lightly oil the pizza stone with some of the garlic olive oil. Roll out the pizza dough and shape on pizza stone. Brush pizza lightly with garlic olive oil. Brush tomato sauce on pizza. Place cheese pieces randomly over pizza. Place basil leaves on cheese slices. Place tomatoes, cut side up between cheese slices. Sparingly sprinkle pizza with sea salt and grind pepper over surface.

Admire masterpiece. Place in oven. Cook 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted, dough is cooked and you can't wait any longer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Curry Chicken Salad

This recipe is mostly mine. The recipe I started with called for chicken, coconut milk, pistachios and curry. It didn't leave me mmmmm-ing. Hmmm. What to do? What to do? First thing run to Penzey's and get their sweet curry (powder) and then come back. Ahh better. I think this would be good with some red grapes in it. The original recipe did not call for raisins, but my tastebuds insisted on something "grape".

Curry Chicken Salad
(Adapted from Whole Foods Market Recipe)

Creamy, spicy, fragrant and mildly sweet, the flavors of this tropical chicken salad are sure to delight and surprise. Leftover baked, broiled, grilled or rotisserie chicken works perfectly in this recipe. Use any remaining chicken salad for tasty sandwiches or wraps.

Serves four or more.

11 ounces coconut milk (not light coconut milk), divided
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder (use good curry powder - I implore you )
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 cups cooked shredded chicken, dark or white meat (I prefer white, chicken tenders)
(1/4 cup orange juice)
1/2 cup roughly chopped dates, divided
1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios, divided (I'm going to try cashews next time - I think the flavors will be more complex)
1/4 cup raisins or 1/2 cups red grapes sliced lengthwise
(6 cups chopped romaine lettuce)
1/4 cup finely shredded coconut

Measure 3/4 cup coconut milk into a bowl and stir in curry powder, onion powder, salt, mustard seeds, cilantro, raisins or grapes and shredded chicken. Toss to coat well.

Pour remaining 2/3 cup coconut milk into a blender with orange juice, 1/4 cup dates and 1/4 cup pistachios. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour dressing over romaine lettuce and toss to coat. (I skipped this entirely - I was looking for a chicken salad recipe - not so much a salad dressing, lettuce solution).

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add shredded coconut and toast, stirring often until golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, enjoy a scoop of chicken salad. Garnish with toasted coconut and remaining chopped dates and pistachios. Serve immediately.

Note: if raisins are used this freezes well. Place scoops of salad in muffin tin (I saved a plastic muffin package from a store purchase) and freeze. Store the "scoops" in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag. Thaw briefly in the microwave (don't let it get too warm) or in the refrigerator and serve.

My favorite way is on a small (very small) baguette!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Persian Walnut Pomegranate Chicken

Persian Walnut Pomegranate Chicken
(Cooking Light, April 2008)

This is absolutly fabulous!!

Based on the Persian dish fesenjan, this streamlined entrée features a sweet-tart sauce of pomegranate juice thickened with ground walnuts. After toasting, cool the nuts completely before grinding.

1 cup walnuts, toasted
8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I prefer chicken tenders)
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup pomegranate juice (I could only find a 16 oz bottle - I froze half for another time/recipe)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (love the tubes)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (a souvenir from Spain)
Dash of ground cinnamon
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Place walnuts in a food processor; process until finely ground (add a teaspoon of flour or you'll get walnut butter before you get "finely ground"). Set aside.
2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground walnuts, broth, and the remaining ingredients except cilantro, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.
8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and about 3 tablespoons sauce or about two tenders) at 299 calories per serving.

Eight servings was way to much for me and halving the reduction sauce was a lot of work (is half a dash a smidgen?) so I made half the chicken and the whole sauce recipe. Before the sauce was fully reduced I took away half of it, freezing it for later use. When I use it, I'll finish the reduction with the chicken.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Honey BBQ Sandwiches

From: Penzey's One

Honey Barbeque Sandwiches

6 lbs. pork or a mix of pork and beef (inexpensive cuts like pork butt and chuck roast are great) 1 1/2 Cups water

1 Cup ketchup (we used 1/2 Cup ketchup and 1/2 Cup Frank's Hot Sauce, a medium-hot, thick sauce). Don't be afraid of the pepper. The sweet will carry it just fine.
1 Cup Classic Coke
1 Cup honey
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. aleppo pepper (sub 4 parts sweet paprika and 1 part cayenne if necessary)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place the meat and the water in a crock pot and cook until the meat falls from the bone, about 5 hours on high. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and any fat or juice in the crock pot. Place the meat back in the crock pot. Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Heat on low, stirring to blend all the flavors. When warm, pour the sauce over the meat and heat thoroughly, about 30 minutes. Serve on hard rolls. I bought mini "hard roles" to keep the bread amount down - and piled it with this yummy mixture.
Prep. time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 5 hours, 30 minutes Serves: 8-10

I had a smaller roast. I made the full recipe of sauce and froze it for a "quick fix" next time.

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

When my husband and I were dating, I made my spaghetti sauce for him. I was so proud of it, especially when he told me it was better than his mother's.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

I understand his logic, but he'd be better of with picking another thing to say I was better at. Anything, but this.

I made it today and let it simmer in the crock pot. We had a good and memorable meal.

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

2 28 oz cans Italian Canned Crushed Tomatoes
1-2 lbs Italian Sausage
1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (easy on the salt until you know what the tomatoes brought to the pot)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 bay leaves

In duch oven, brown sausage links (cook them if uncooked), Drain fat and cut links into chunks (I use kitchen shears). Brown hamburger in olive oil. (Mom's recipe said to salt and pepper the hamburger - I prefer to wait until everything is in.). Drain hamburger. Return to pot, adding the sausage, tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, oregano and bay leaves. Cook for several hours at very low heat, uncovered. If it gets too thick, cover the pot for awhile. Stirt to keep from sticking to bottom of the pot. (Or put it all in the crockpot and let it simmer without worry!)