Friday, August 12, 2011
Annie's original recipe called for 2 large vine tomatoes and 1 can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes. Since we have more tomatoes in our garden than we know what to do with, I just used a bunch of tomatoes, maybe 8-12 or so, depending on size. If the batch seems like it might be too spicy, I add in another tomato or two. I usually quarter the tomatoes and add about 6-8 full tomatoes to the food processor, then I remove the "guts" of the others so the salsa isn't too watery. If your food processor is getting a little full, you can always process the tomatoes separately then stir everything together at the end.
The Best Salsa
adapted slightly from Annie's Eats
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and very coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, halved
8-12 large vine-ripened tomatoes, OR 2 tomatoes and 1-28oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped (I have also used red onion, or half red and half yellow)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (more if you really like cilantro)
juice of one lime
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the jalapenos and garlic. Process until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
2. Add all other ingredients to the food processor. Pulse in very brief pulses until the vegetables have reached the size you desire (it does not take many pulses so don’t overdo it).
3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I came across a reference to Olga bread in the meal-plan of one of the blogs I follow. I knew I had to look up a recipe! With bacon and lettuce on hand and fresh tomatoes from the garden, dinner was planned.
The recipe below makes 16 pitas, but I cut it in half for the two of us (made 8 medium sized pitas). I used about half of the pita bread to make Olga's snackers - Just cut the pita into trianges, spray with some olive oil, sprinkle with spices of your choosing and bake at 375F for about 5 minutes (maybe less) - that aren't supposed to be crisp, just baked a little more.
I thought this bread was really good and tasted a lot like the Olga bread I remember. And its really pretty easy to make. I'm already planning to make this again soon! But first, I need to find a recipe for their cheesy snacker dip...
Imitation Olga Bread
source: buddhabelly on Food.com
1 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg.)
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups flour, divided
1. Scald milk, remove to large bowl. Add honey, margarine and salt to milk, stir until margarine is melted. Set aside to cool until lukewarm.
2. Combine yeast, warm water and sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour to lukewarm milk mixture and beat well. (I used the dough hook on my Kitchenaid for this.) Mix in egg and yeast mixture. Add remaining flour, a little at a time, until sticky dough is formed.
4. Turn out on a floured surface, knead about two minutes. Dough will be sticky, but don’t add more flour. (I had to add just a little more flour, it was really sticky! They still turned out fine!)
5. Place dough in oiled bowl, turning once to oil whole surface of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until doubled in bulk. (I left mine for about 90 minutes.)
6. Punch down dough; divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a thin rough circle about 8-1o inches in diameter (mine were a little smaller; don't worry too much about a perfect circle, she shape is distorted a little when you transfer to the pan).
7. Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat; do not use any oil. Bake 15-20 seconds, flip and bake about 15 seconds on other side, until mottled brown spots appear. Cool and store in a plastic bag.
For the BLTS, I just spread a little mayo on the Olga, and topped with 3 pieces of bacon, some tomato slices, and lettuce. Very easy!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
recipe from Annie's Eats, originally from Everyday Food
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1. Combine the rice, 2 cups water and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stir briefly, cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and rice is fluffy and tender, 16-18 minutes. (Cooking time and directions can vary depending on the brand of rice. Check the package directions.)
2. While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir the mixture into the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.
Grilled Chicken Fajitas
from Annie's Eats, originally from Cook's Illustrated
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1½ tsp. brown sugar
1 jalapeño, seeded, ribbed and diced
1½ tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pepper
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1½ lbs., pounded to an even thickness
1 large red onion, sliced into ½-inch thick slices
2 large bell peppers, sliced
8-12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade; set aside. Place the chicken breast halves in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat grill, and grill the chicken until it is well browned, 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken and continue grilling until it is no longer pink inside (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160˚ F.)
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet and saute onions and peppers over medium heat until soft. Season with salt and pepper and toss with 2 Tbsp. of the reserved marinade just as they are done.
4. When the chicken and vegetables are done, transfer them to a large plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
In 2 or 3 batches, transfer the tortillas in a single layer to the now empty grill over low heat. Cook until warm and lightly browned, about 20 seconds per side. When the tortillas are done, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or foil.
5. Slice the chicken into ¼-inch strips and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of reserved marinade in another bowl. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a large platter with the warmed tortillas and serve with sour cream, lime wedges, or other toppings of your choosing.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Maybe I'll get around to posting every now and then, who knows. In the mean time, I thought I would jump in around where I left off and share these amazing cupcakes I made last year to celebrate March 17th and everything Irish and green. Whats better than a sweet treat with the alcohol included (most of it bakes off, yes, but that frosting is potent and delicious!)? Enjoy!
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
*Note: This name is not meant to offend anyone, it is in reference to a drink. If you find it offensive, please call them Guinness Cupcakes.
Recipe from: Smitten Kitchen
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness) *Hubby loves that this leaves at least a half can of Guinness for him!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional, I used more like a Tablespoon.. or a little more)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)
*I made a double batch of the frosting, and used 3 of the mini-bottles of Baileys.. I didn't measure, but I know I added more than is listed here
Make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely. (Yes, I made mini-cupcakes because I thought the bite size-ness would work better for the party we were going to. No, I do not remember how long I bakes them, but it was less than 17 minutes.)
Make the filling:
4. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined. If you add the whiskey to a very hot mixture, some of the alcohol will evaporate. Wait until it cools a little if you want a more potent filling.
Fill the cupcakes:
5. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using a small knife or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. I did not put the removed cake back on top of the filling, I just frosted right over it.
Make the frosting:
6. Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
8. Ice and decorate the cupcakes. [I used a similar method as here, I painted stripes of orange and green gel food coloring up the insides of the piping bag, and then slowing swirled the cupcakes as I was frosting them.]
REVIEW: Awesome. These are so good! You can easily adjust the amount of whiskey and Baileys to suit the tastes of your crowd. I thought the cupcakes were really moist and I was extremely pleased with how they turned out. Plus, they were quite the topic of conversation!