Thursday, March 11, 2010

Adopt a blogger part II

I am excited to share with you a yummy dish straight from my mentor’s web site, Eat this. Please check out her website. It is sure to be one of your regular bookmarks. I especially like the tutorials on grains, like all about quinoa, or all about millet. Everything I tried on the website was flavorful and fun. I really appreciate her message that playing with your food can be fun! Don’t just stay with the same old grains try something new (and at the same time, something ancient). Last night we had the sausage and millet stuffed peppers. Big hit with the very picky family.

Thanks to the Dine and Dish “adopt-a-blogger “event and thank you to my generous mentor, Katie.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Adopt A Blogger #4

Adopt A Blogger #4

I am a brand new blogger. I started in October of last year and have a long way to go before I am ready for prime time. That is why I feel so lucky to have been adopted by a really innovative blogger, Katie, at Eat this. She is so knowledgeable about everything to do with grains. I really need to learn about grains. I still use white rice and regular pasta. To show you how clueless I am, I went shopping for her latest post on a Chicken chile casserole with millet crust recipe and I came home with Millet flour! This needs to change and getting Katie as a mentor is my first step. I find myself spending time on her blog just learning about various grains and seeds. For you gluten-free folks, this is a must have resource. I love the way she experiments with new grains then shares her findings so we can benefit from the good and the bad (just like a true scientist). I am trying lots of yummy recipes from her site and I am going to post one of them as soon as I decide which one.

Frito Chili Pie

Frito Chili Pie

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Rebecca Rather, better known as the “Pastry Queen”. If you don’t own any of her 3 cookbooks you should order one right now then come back and read the recipe. She is a Texan and I guess I feel a kindred spirit because I am a Californian. We love our Mex-Tex food. I love her tortilla soup and this is a really good authentic chili. It is typically served in the opened frito bag which is fun for kids but I find the inside of the bag is a little metallic. I did not have to feed an army so I halved the recipe.

This is from The Pastry Queen Christmas.


2 Slices applewood smoked bacon

4 individual size frito pakages

1 pound ground sirloin

1 and 1/2 cups beef stock

15 oz. can tomato puree

1 small onion diced

4 cloves garlic mined

1 and 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into medium pieces

1 poblano chili

1 dried Anaheim Chili

1 chipolte chili, dried

2 tblsp chili powder

1 tsp oregano, dried

1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp red pepper flakes

tabasco sauce, 1/4 tsp

1 tblsp masa harina plus water to form a paste

for garnish: diced red onion, cheddar cheese shredded, and sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet, place the three peppers and bake for 10 mins. Remove and take off stems and take out seeds. Place in food processor and grind peppers.

Using a large heavy bottomed saute pan, cook the bacon until it renders most of its fat.

Next add the onion and garlic and cook with the bacon until soft, about 10 mins. Now remove the bacon slices. (keep for some other yummy dish...only the bacon fat is needed for this dish). Now add the beef and brown. Remove excess grease and add

everything but the tomato puree, stock, and masa harina. Stir until all of the spices are incorporated . Now add the tomato puree and the beef stock. simmer uncovered for at least one hour. When ready to serve, add the masa harina paste and simmer for 10 mins. Serve over fristos (in or out of the bag) and top with red onions, cheddar cheese and sour cream.


My family really loves this chicken. It is Ina’s recipe and I adapted it to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I think it would be even better with whole pieces of chicken with skin. I served it this time with our “favorite rice” but I like serving it with roasted carrots and sticky white rice even better.

Tequila Lime Chicken

Ina Garten


1/2 cup gold tequila 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 to 6 limes) 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges) 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (1 pepper seeded) 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves) 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 whole (6 split) boneless chicken breasts, skin on


Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight.

Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. Cover tightly and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Favorite Rice

This is an easy recipe that I grew up eating. It is a homemade rice- a -roni and it is a little kid pleaser.


2-4 cups chicken stock or broth

1 stick butter

1 cup minute rice

1/4-1/2 package of vermicelli noodles, broken up into small pieces


Melt the butter in an electric skillet over medium heat. Add the vermicelli noodles, stir until lightly browned. Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds. Add the broth, about a cup or two at a time. Cover and reduce the heat for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally and adding more broth as it gets absorbed. When the ingredients are soft and fully cooked, serve immediately or keep on warm setting until ready to serve.

Chicken Goulash

I love stroganoffs and goulashes. This is a very hearty but light version using ground chicken and lite sour cream. Great for a cold winter’s night. It is from Rachel Ray with minor alterations.

Chicken and Mushroom Goulash with Noodles

Modified From Rachael Ray


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken

1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons hot paprika,

Salt and pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup chicken stock

1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)

1 pint sour cream or reduced fat sour cream

Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley

wide egg noodles


Heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken. Brown the meat 3 to 4 minutes, take off heat on a plate and set aside. Add mushrooms, garlic, onions and peppers to the the pan. Cook the vegetables 10 minutes then mix them together with chicken and season with paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in stock and tomato sauce and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 7 minutes then stir in sour cream and turn off heat. . Adjust seasonings, to your taste.

While chicken goulash cooks, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt boiling water and cook noodles until done. Drain and add some butter and parsley and toss then add to chicken just after you stir in the sour cream.


This was my last ditch effort to use up the summer tomatoes. This soup is really good. It is from Michael Chiarello . The garlic croutons really make it memorable.

* 12 large (about 4 pounds) tomatoes, stemmed and quartered

* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

* 1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar

* 12 large garlic cloves, peeled

* Salt

* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 1 cup chopped yellow onions

* 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus few leaves torn for garnish

* 4 cups vegetable stock

For the bruschetta:

* 1 loaf country-style bread

* Extra-virgin olive oil

* Salt

1 garlic clove to rub on toasted breadPreheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Prepare the tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the oil, the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper, to taste. Spread the tomatoes out on a non-reactive baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until very dark in spots, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a bit.

Prepare the bruschetta. Cut the bread crosswise into slices about 1-inch thick pieces (you will need 8 slices). Lightly brush the slices on both sides with oil and season with salt. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until the bruschetta are golden brown and just beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes. then rub with one clove of garlic

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 2 cups basil leaves and saute with the onions for about 1 minute.

Add the roasted tomatoes and stock to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Puree the tomato mixture in a blender. Start the motor at a slow speed and increase gradually. Alternatively you can use an immersion blender right in the pot. The mixture should be very smooth. You should have about 8 cups. You can prepare the soup to this point and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, pour the soup into a medium saucepan and bring it to a slow simmer over medium heat.

Serve the soup. Place 1 bruschetta in the center of each shallow soup bowl. Pour the soup around each bruschetta. Garnish with torn basil leaves. drizzle with olive oil

Best Way To Eat A Bagel

Adding a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds to a bagel with cream cheese is delightful.

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw

These are quite satisfying, and of course vegetarian. I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetite.

* 2- 15-ounce can black beans, drained

* 1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 serano chili

* 2 teaspoons olive oil

vegetable oil for frying tacos

* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

* 1 package coleslaw mix

* 2 green onions, chopped

* 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

* 10 white or yellow corn tortillas

* 1tbsp finely crumbled feta cheese

* Bottled chipotle hot sauce or other hot sauce

guacamole as desired


Place beans ,cumin , garlic powder and chili in small saucepan partially mash and heat gently then turn off heat. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add coleslaw, green onions,feta and cilantro and toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper.


Heat 3 tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer. Spoon 2 tsbps of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Fill tacos with slaw. Pass hot sauce and guacamole alongside.


I have been wanting some chicken and dumplings. This is the third recipe that I have tried over the past 1 or 2 years. I liked it the most, I think because the dumplings are thin and not too gooey. It is Emeril ‘s
take on this classic from foodnetwork. His dumplings are strips of dough.
Just basic stuff, Chicken stock made while cooking the chicken, strain the broth, make the dumpling dough, then put it all together.


Farmer’s market , Pumpkin muffins, leaves falling to the ground. Yummy muffins recipe from

Tonight cornflake chicken, creamed corn, and salad with roasted tomato salad dressing. It is a good day when you get to cook.


After days of being unable to cook, it felt good to put the old apron back on. I made two new recipes : brisket and cauliflower-potato gratin. Loved both. Both were Food network recipes which I will post. The Brisket was from Tyler Florence with small changes.

Beef Brisket

4 garlic• cloves, smashed

•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

•4 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles striped from the stem and chopped

•1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

•1 (4 pound) beef brisket, first-cut

•Coarsely ground black pepper


• 4 large carrots, cut in large chunks

••3 celery stalks, cut in large pieces

•4 large onions, halved

•2 cups dry red wine

•1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed

•1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

•2 bay leaves


•1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Mash the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt together with the flat-side of a knife into a paste. Add the rosemary and continue to mash until incorporated. Put the garlic-rosemary paste in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil; stir to combine.

Season both sides of the brisket with a fair amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high flame and coat with the remaining olive oil. Put the brisket in the roasting pan and sear to form a nice brown crust on both sides. Lay the vegetables all around the brisket and pour the rosemary paste over the whole thing. Add the wine and tomatoes; toss in the parsley and bay leaves. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 3 to 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the roasting pan and onto a platter, cover to keep warm. Pour out some of the excess fat, and put the roasting pan with the pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat. Boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced by 1/2. (If you want a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of wine or water and blend into the gravy).

Slice the brisket across the grain (the muscle lines) at a slight diagonal.

Cauliflower potato gratin from Claire Robinson

•2 cups creme fraiche

•1/2 cup whipping cream

•3 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into thin slices with a mandolin

•Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

•2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish

•4 cups fresh cauliflower, cut into mini florets

Place the oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk creme fraiche and whipping cream until combined.

In a large baking dish, approximately 9 by 13-inches, arrange 1/3 of potato slices, overlapping slightly. Generously season with salt, pepper, and some fresh thyme leaves. Drop 1/3 of the cream mixture in dollops over potatoes, and spread evenly, (layer will be very thin). Repeat with another layer. Layer for a 3rd and last time, covering the top of the potatoes with the cream mixture, then mini cauliflower florets, and generously season with salt, pepper, and remaining thyme.

Bake 30 minutes and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake until top is golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.


This blog is my attempt to get exposure to everyone’s thoughts on the issues that surround the food we eat. First and foremost, I am an eater. If it doesn’t taste good, just forget the solution. I like to try new recipes which explains the fact that I order a new cookbook or 2 or 3 from Amazon every week (cookbooks are such a good value for all of those recipes). So, like most food blogs, it’s all about the food. Period.

But to get good food, everyday ,is a challenge. Our lifestyles, our tastes, our bad habits, and inadequate venues providing local food all conspire to alienate us from good food. If we don’t find some solutions to these problems, the goal of good food will always be elusive.