Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mmmm, Cake and Goo! Mocha Pudding Cake

Eric with a C was nice enough to invite me down his place for a casual dinner earlier this month. I thought it was a nice gesture as he know I was flying solo for a while with J the BF traveling on business most of the month. When I got there, I realized he just wanted to show off his amazing Chicken Pot Pie with this pulse-raising pastry crust (dude better be posting that recipe!)

I volunteered to bring dessert so I reverted back to an old standby I used to make all the time when I lived in Atlanta, but fell out of my repertoire - Mocha Pudding Cake. You can mix it up in 10 minutes and it's out of the oven in half an hour. The result, a spongy decadent cake floating atop a rich fudgey warm pudding that screams for a good scoop of ice cream. Since it's a Cooking Light Recipe, maybe frozen yogurt is more "appro-po".

Flu fighting - Spicy Chicken Broth with Tortillas, Avocado and Lime

J the BF has been spending way too much time on planes this month. He called me before getting on a plane home from San Francisco to warn me that he'd be coming home with a touch of flu. I decided to have a steaming pot of chicken soup waiting for him on arrival.

At some point, I ripped out a recipe for Spicy Chicken Broth with Tortillas, Avocado and Lime from an issue of the now defunct Cargo Magazine (a bible for male consumerism - Rest In Peace Cargo - Men's Vogue is just not an acceptable replacement - who would admit to reading "Men's Vogue" anyway?). Despite the use of 2 jalapeños, the heat is very mild in this sunny alternative to regular chicken soup.

Though Cargo is dead, you can find the recipe posted here on the hbomb blog. Use a mesquite seasoned rotisserie chicken to shave off some prep time and get a little smoky flavor into the soup.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Im Off My Rocker Betty Crocker

Too busy working to post the latest news from my kitchen, so instead I'm going to post a video that proves that even potty-mouth Teen boys love Betty Crocker.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Spicy Turkey Tacos - Making do with what I've got

I had originally planned to pick up dinner on the way home so that I could focus my time on working on some overdue projects rather than spilling what's left of my daily life force into a skillet. Knowing that I had some 2 month old ground turkey that I had been thawing from suspended animation in my fridge for the last 2 days, I realized I had better get that stuff cooked up before it crossed over.

I originally planned to make Chili, but I had that on Sunday at a friend's house. Desparate, I raided my pantry and found a can of El Pato Chile Fresco de arbol (spicy mexican style tomato sauce), some corn tortillas, and a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Taco night? Why not - here's the recipe:

1lb Lean Ground Turkey
1 can El Pato Chile Fresco de Arbol
1 14.75 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (Muir Glenn are my favorite) - Drained
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Mexican Hot Chile Powder
1 tsp Cumin

20 Corn Tortillas
Chopped fresh baby spinach or arugula
Reduced fat shredded mexican blend cheese (cheddar, jack, asadero)
Fresh chopped onion and cilantro if desired.

1) Brown the meat well for about 6 - 8 minutes in large non-stick saute pan at medium-high heat stirring frequently. When half-done, sprinkle with salt, oregano, chile powder and cumin.
2) When all pink is cooked out of meat, drain on paper towels
3) Return meat to hot skillet. Add tomatoes and chile fresco. Stir and reduce heat to low medium - simmer for 6 - 8 minutes stirring frequently.
4) Heat Tortillas according to package directions - keep warm
5) Pile one tortilla on top of a second warmed tortilla. Spoon in turkey filling and top with fresh greens, cheese or other toppings as desired.

Makes 8 - 10 hearty tacos. Be sure to double stack the torillas - unless you like juicy bits of turkey and tomato sauce dripping down your arms.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mango Batida - Cachaça your fruit, folks.

Mango Batida, originally uploaded by Samer Farha.

Stumbled onto this through an image on TasteSpotting (gotta give props).

I love mango cocktails - especially sweet spicy one's like my beloved Mango Mariachi Margarita from Bar Abilene. This one (Mango Batida) looks good as well. If you don't stock Cachaça in your bar, you should.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Recipes that feel you?

Ran across this tidbit in my Springwise email:

This site Cookthink has yet another way to search and serve up recipes - by how you feelin' and what your cravin'. Right now I'm haggard and quickly loosing motivation to keep working tonight - what does Cookthink suggest?

Well, I browsed some tag clouds based on mood and selected "energizing, restorative, decadent and pampering" and got: "Spicy Penne with Shrimp and Mint"

The scary thing is, that sounds really good to me - and I think I have everything at home to make it. Maybe there is something to this . . .

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Giving up on Hazan's Salmoriglio

While sailing in the Bahamas over the winter vacation, I was wedded to a beat-up September issue of Food & Wine that was all about Italian. My neighbor has been re-gifting her issues of Food & Wine as well as her Bon Apetite mags to me under the thinly guised hope that I'll cook and invite her over to feast on my labor - hasn't happened quite yet but it's just a matter of time . . .

While several items piqued my curiosity, I was most eager to try a simple treatment for fish courtesy of Marcella Hazan (who is supposedly THE expert on Italian cooking in the US - I've frankly never heard of her, but what do I know?)

This Marinated Fish with Salmoriglio Sauce sounded really good and absurdly simple. Just salt the fish and sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice and bread crumbs. Then make a basic sauce with fresh herbs, lemon juice, butter and olive oil. After two failed attempts, I've determined that the recipe is flawed in several ways (softened butter will not combine with lemon juice in a mini food processor on it's own for one).

Although with some fight, I was able to pulse in the olive oil and get an acceptable sauce, it occurred to me that this "Salmoriglio" sauce is just butter and olive oil - which separates into this gross grease when poured over hot fish. It's a big fat mess so I did something that is rare for me - I threw the recipe away. I'm moving on to the Gianduja Mousse from that same issue as soon as I can get the time to make it . . . I'm betting for an experience to reignite my passion for Italian.