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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Apple-stuffed Pork-chops with Mascato/Cranberry glaze

Apple-stuffed Pork-chops with Mascato/Cranberry Glaze
 I usually make homemade dressing, and lay 1/4-inch chops over it, and bake. But I cheated this time, and turned out great.

A boneless pork-loin roast-sliced into 1-inch chops, then butterflied
1cup mascato wine
1 package Stove-top stuffing (I used turkey)
1apple-peeled and diced small
1/4cup dried cranberries- chopped

For the glaze:
1/4cup dried cranberries
1/4cup boiling water
1/4cup Mascato wine

Marinade the chops in 1 cup mascato wine, at least a few hours, or overnight.
Make the stuffing mix according to directions, adding the diced apple and cranberries.
Stuff the chops with the dressing, and bake at 375*F. for about 1-1/2 hours, or until cooked through.
Serve drizzled with the glaze.

For the glaze, Soak the cranberries in boiling water for 5-minutes. Dump them into a blender, along with the mascato, process until pureed.  Pour the puree, into a saucepan, and cook on low a few minutes, until thickened. Use hot or cold.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Poutine- Montreal's Specialty


My sister lives in Montreal, and is married to a French-Canadian. One day, they posted a picture of their baby, on Facebook, eating this strange looking dish. Of course I had to inquire, and found that it is a widely loved dish, all over Canada, but 'Poutine' originated in Montreal. It can be found on the menu of most restaurants there, and even their local McDonald's, has a version of it. Well if it's good enough for Ronald, it's good enough for me. I was going to try it. I found there are, beef and chicken versions of the sauce. Alexandre said the chicken veloute (sauce) is best, I decided to make both.

If, like me you have never heard of Poutine, before. Basically, it's French fries, covered with cheddar cheese curds, then covered with a gravy- like sauce, which should be thin enough, to dribble between the fries, to the bottom of the plate. The fries and sauce have to be hot, to melt the cheese curds. Ideally, your going for a gooey mess. I can see from the description, this will become well loved guy-dish, in my house.See Horseshoes. 
I chose to make everything from scratch, but pre-packaged is just fine.

French Fries
Brown gravy or velouté sauce
1Lb. cheddar cheese curds or homemade cheddar cheese curds

Fry the french fries.
Make the sauce.
Warm the cheese curds, in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Top the fries, with the warm cheese, then top with the sauce. Let stand 5-minutes. Serve.
This was really good, I'd consider this a comfort dish, and preferred the beef sauce. I think it would be a great side dish, for a hamburger.

Homemade French Fries

Homemade French Fries

When I was a very little, my Dad cooked for a restaurant, that made it's own fries, and later became a large, renown, fast food chain. This is how he taught me to make restaurant-style crispy fries.

potatoes-peeled, sliced into fries
1tsp. salt
1tsp. sugar
cold water

Peel and cut the potatoes. Cover them with cold water, and let stand 30-minutes. This removes a lot of starch, which will make them more crispy. Since I'm using these for Poutine, I cut them larger.

Dump the potatoes in a colander, and rinse well. Add 1tsp. salt and 1tsp. sugar, to a bowl, add the rinsed potatoes, and cover with cold water. Give it a stir, and refrigerate. A few hours would probably be enough, but I'm soaking them overnight. I'm not sure what the purpose of the salt and sugar are, but I'm guessing it has something to do with browning. Dad made great fries, I remember his saying, the longer they soak, the better they are.

Drain them and pat dry. I let them stand about 30-minutes, then dried them again, before frying in corn oil, on a medium flame.

Velouté Sauce

Beef Velouté Sauce
 This is one of the five "Mother" sauces, used in french cooking. It's basically broth, thickened with a roux.

1/4cup real butter
1/4cup flour
2cups broth- (chicken, beef, veal, fish, etc.)

Melt the butter on a low flame, in a saucepan.
Add the flour and  cook, whisking constantly, about one minute.
Add the beef broth, and increase the flame to medium.
Whisk constantly, until the sauce thickens, and almost comes to a boil. Serve warm.

Chicken Velouté Sauce

Yucatan shrimp

Yucatan shrimp with red rice and guacamole

Yucatan shrimp
I love the flavors of  sambal oelek and  sriracha. 
These are both fiery hot sauces, but used in moderation, they add amazing flavors, to a dish.
I found this recipe at N.Y. Times ,that either of these sauces are great in.
But combine it with red rice and guacamole, Wow, each perfectly compliments, the other. I like to drizzle any leftover sauce, over the top of it, but this really kicks up the heat. If you don't mind the heat, you could add even more hot sauce. Quick and easy.

1/4cup real butter
1Tbl. minced garlic
2lbs. raw peeled shrimp
juice of two limes
2Tbl. sambal oelek or sriracha
1/2tsp. salt
1/4tsp. pepper
1tsp. dried, or 1Tbl. fresh chopped cilantro

Melt the butter, in a saucepan, stir in the garlic.Cook, stirring 2-minutes.
Add the lime juice and sriracha, salt and pepper.Turn off the heat, and let stand, while making the shrimp.
Add the shrimp, to a pot of boiling water, with a tsp. of salt, added to it. Cook until the shrimp turn bright pink.
Quickly drain the shrimp. Add them to the sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro and toss. Serve.

Easy Red Rice

This is a my quick version of Yucatan red rice.

1tsp. oil
1 diced onion
1tsp. minced garlic
1/4tsp. ground cumin
1/4tsp. oregano
1tsp. salt
1tsp ground annatto seed or achiote (This doesn't add flavor, but adds coloring)
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
10oz. can tomatoes with green chilies
1tsp. chicken bullion powder, or base
4cups instant rice
3cups boiling water

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Saute the onion, and garlic, until the onion is soft and beginning to caramelize. Cool.
In a blender, add the cooled onion mixture, and all other ingredients, except he rice and water. puree into a thin sauce.
In a 4quart pan. Heat the water to boiling, turn off the heat. Stir in the sauce and rice, cover and let stand 5-minutes. It's ready to serve.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Strawberries and Cream - Oatmeal

I really like the, almost over-ripe, taste of frozen sliced strawberries. But a few crushed, fresh strawberries are almost as good, in this. 2 Servings.

1cup old fashioned oats
1-3/4cups water
3-4Tbl. frozen sliced strawberries and juices- thawed
1/8tsp. salt
1Tbl. butter
1-2Tbl. sugar
Add everything except the milk to a pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, to taste.

Cabbage Patch Stew

Cabbage Patch Stew

I love brussel sprouts, when I was a little girl, I thought they were cute little, baby cabbages. They're not a very popular vegetable. I can't understand why, they go great with almost anything, steak dinner, Italian meatloaf, in a pot of soup.
I'm always trying to find ways, to use these little super-veggies (nutrients).
Combining brussel sprouts,and tomatoes, (Both are very high in vitamin-C) Makes this a highly nutritious meal, loaded with several anti-oxidants.

For the meatballs:
2lbs. ground chuck
1cup Italian style bread crumbs
Combine and roll into small meatballs. Drop them in boiling water for 15-minutes. Drain, set aside.

For the stew:
1tsp. oil
1 diced onion
1tsp. minced garlic
1 rib celery-diced
1 green bell pepper-diced
Two-29oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
2tsp. salt
1/4tsp. pepper
1tsp. basil
1tsp. sugar
2 bags of frozen brussel sprouts-( I cooked them whole, but I'll halve them next time.)
cooked meatballs
2cups cooked rice

Make the meatballs, drain and set aside.
Heat the oil, on medium, in a 4quart pot.
Add the onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until the onions are soft.
Add the tomatoes brussel sprouts, salt, pepper, basil,and sugar.  Simmer about 25-30 minutes, until the sprouts are tender. stir in the cooked rice, then fold in the meatballs. cook 5 minutes more, and serve.

Green Tomato Crisp- A great dessert

Most years, my tomato plants are just, plain worn out, by the time a good frost, comes along. So I don't usually have an over-abundance, of green tomatoes. This year, I have tons. What to do, with all these tomatoes...
I'm not in the mood for, fried green tomatoes. It's apple season, so why waste them on, mock apple pie. I already made chow-chow.
Then, I thought of the rhubarb recipe I'm working on. This turned out, just as good, my new favorite green tomato recipe.

4-5cups diced green tomatoes
1package strawberry jello
In an 8x8-inch baking dish, stir together the green tomatoes and dry jello. Spread the topping over it, and bake at 375* for about 45-minutes, or until, crisp and bubbly. Cool and serve.

For the topping:
1-1/2cups flour
1/2cup brown sugar
1tsp. cinnamon
3/4cup cold butter
Whisk together, the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter, with a pastry cutter, until crumbly.

Stir together, the green tomatoes and jello.
Spread the topping over it and bake 45-minutes.
The last rose of the year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trinidad Stewed Chicken - Caribbean Green Seasoning

Trinidad Stewed Chicken with Trinidad fry rice
Green seasoning is a very popular sauce, used throughout the Caribbean, for all types of meats. It has a wonderfully, unique taste, that cannot be substituted. It's reminds me of salsa verde, but much more complex. Traditionally, you should use fresh herbs, for the green seasoning, but I have used dried herbs, and it was still awesome. This is even better, if you make the green sauce, a day or two ahead, and let it blend in the fridge.
Called browning, caramelized sugar is widely used in Caribbean cooking, and adds yet another distinct flavor. If you try just one Caribbean dish, this would be my pick.

1 cut up chicken
2Tbl. oil
2Tbl. brown sugar
1Tbl. ketchup
1Tbl. soy sauce

For the green seasoning: (Exchange 1tsp.dried herb for 1Tbl. fresh.)
1/2tsp. pureed ginger
1Tbl. minced garlic
ripe hot pepper (1/2 of a scotch bonnet, if you can take the heat, or 2-jalapenos)
1/4cup sliced green onion
1 diced tomato ( I use a green tomato, if possible)
1 rib celery-sliced
1 diced onion- in addition to the green onions 
1Tbl. cilantro
1Tbl. basil
1Tbl. ketchup
1/2tsp. black pepper
1Tbl. vinegar
1Tbl olive oil
shot of spiced rum
a little water if needed
Combine everything in a blender, and pulse several times, to make a coarse sauce. I usually don't need to add water, but if it's too thick to come out of the blender, just add 1or2-Tbl.

Make the green seasoning, pour it into a large dish. Toss the chicken in it, and let it marinate, at least 2 hours. (overnight is better)
Heat a skillet on high heat, add 2Tbl. oil, and 2Tbl. brown sugar, and cook it until the sugar caramelizes, to a  deep golden brown.
Stir in 1Tbl. each of ketchup soy sauce.
Remove the chicken from the green seasoning, shaking off the excess. Reserve the green seasoning.
Add the chicken To the skillet. Turn to coat.
Lower the heat, and simmer, turning often, to keep it from sticking, and the sugar from burning, until, most of the chicken juices have evaporated, and there is a thick sauce in the bottom.
Pour off as much oil, as you can.
Add the reserved green seasoning.
Simmer 30-minutes, turning often. Serve drizzled with the sauce.

Marinate the chicken, in the green seasoning, at least a couple of hours.
Heat 2Tbl. oil and 2Tbl. brown sugar, in a skillet, on high heat.
Whisking constantly, let the sugar become a deep golden brown. It will smoke a bit. Please use caution, the worst burn I ever had, came from caramelized sugar.
Stir in the ketchup, and soy sauce. Add the chicken, and turn to coat. reduce the heat to low, and simmer until most of the juices from the chicken, have evaporated. About 1 hour, or more.
This sauce is a bit deceptive. There is a thick layer of oil, that forms over the top, making it appear that there is still a lot of liquid. When I begin to smell sugar caramelizing again. I remove the pan from the heat, and drain off as much oil as I can. What's left, is a syrupy sauce.
Stir in the reserved green seasoning, and cook an additional 30-minutes, on low heat. It's ready to serve.

Trinidad Fry Rice

Trinidad Fry Rice with Trinidad stewed chicken
I was looking for a simple Caribbean rice dish, to accompany Trinidad Stewed Chicken. This was perfect.
Although I was concerned about using that much sesame oil, it was not a bit overpowering. I will never make stewed chicken without it, again. I found the recipe at Simply Trini cooking.

1Tbl. oil
1/4tsp. pureed ginger
1Tbl. minced garlic
1 shredded carrot
1rib of celery- minced
1onion diced
1 sweet pepper-chopped (I used 1 red and one green jalapeno)
1tsp. black pepper
2Tbl. soy sauce
2Tbl. sesame oil
2 cups cold cooked rice
scallions from 2 green onions
(optional) 1/4cup frozen peas

Heat the oil, in a skillet, fry the garlic and ginger for 1-minute.
Add the celery and carrot, and fry 2-minutes
Add the onion and peppers along with the black pepper. Cook until the onion has softened.
Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, stir to coat.
Add the rice and scallions, and peas-if your using them, and toss to coat the rice, with the oil.
Stir-fry a few minutes longer, until the rice starts sticking to the pan.

Cream Cheese Kuchen

Cream Cheese Kuchen-This is the thinner version.

For the Kuchen:
1/4cup warm water
1packet dry yeast
4Tbl. butter
1/4cup milk
1tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4cup sugar
1 egg
1/4tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups (plus 1/4cup) flour
For the Filling:
2 (8 oz.) cream cheese-softened
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2cup sugar
Beat all ingredients together, until smooth.

For the topping:
3/4-cup flour
1/4cup sugar
pinch salt
4Tbl. cold butter
Whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter, with a pastry cutter, until it's looks like bread crumbs. Set aside.

You'll also need:
confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350*f
In a large bowl, whisk together the water and yeast. Let stand 15 minutes.
warm the milk and butter, just to lukewarm.
Add all Kuchen ingredients, including the milk and butter,  except the flour, Beating with an electric mixer, until well combined.
Add the 1-1/2cups flour, and beat until well combined.
Knead in another 1/4 cup of flour, or more, until you have a very soft dough that isn't too sticky.
Press into the bottom, and half way up the side, of a 13x9x2-inch pan.
Set aside to rise, while you make the filling, and topping.
Fill the kuchen, then add the topping. bake 40 minutes.

This is the thicker version, made in a 13x9-inch pan.
                     Beat the kuchen ingredients, until well combined.

Knead in another 1/4cup flour (or more, if needed) To make a very soft dough, that isn't too sticky.

Press into the bottom, and half way up the sides, of a lasagna pan. Set aside to rise, while you make the filling, and topping.

                             Beat the filling ingredients, until smooth.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, for the topping, then cut in the butter, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
         Add the filling, then the topping, to the kuchen. bake 40 minutes.

                  Once it's out of the oven, dust with confectioner's sugar.
I prefer a thinner cake, so I pressed it out on a greased cookie sheet. Folded the edges, to create a dam. added the filling and topping. Bake for 30-minutes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shanghai Braised Pork with Bok Choi and Rice

Shanghai Braised Pork with Bok Choi and Rice

I found this incredible recipe at BBC-good food I made a few adjustments, since it called for 5lbs. of pork.
I wasn't in the mood for an oily dish, so I used a pork loin. It's considerably less fatty, than pork belly or shoulder roast, typically used for this dish. Although it didn't absorb as much of the broth as the other cuts, would have.
 I love sauces, that are so perfectly blended, that you can't detect what's in it. This is one of those. I'm going to have to devise a way, to make this into a stir-fry.

2lbs. pork loin roast
8-10 bok choi-cut in half
cooked rice

For the bag of spice:
8 pieces orange peel-using a veg. peeler
2 whole star anise or 1/8tsp. ground
2 cinnamon sticks-broken
1Tbl. whole cumin seeds
3 dried bird chilies
Add spices to a cheesecloth, and tie to secure.

For the braising broth:
1-1/2cups rice wine
3cups chicken broth
3/4cup dark soy sauce
2Tbl. regular soy sauce
1/2cup sugar
1tsp. pureed ginger
1Tbl. minced garlic
6 whole green onions
1Tbl. salt
1tsp. black pepper

Blanch the pork, by simmering in boiling water, over a low/medium flame, for 30-minutes. Transfer the roast to a colander, and allow to drain.
Make the spice bag, and combine the braising broth ingredients in 4-quart pot.
Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, add the spice bag and blanched pork.
Cover the pot, and simmer about 3 hours, or until very tender.
Remove the pork from the pot. Break it up into small pieces and toss it in a little of the braising broth. Set aside.
Add the bok choi, to the braising broth. Cook a few minutes, until they are tender.
Strain the bok choi, and arrange it on a serving platter of rice, arrange the pork, over bok choi. Drizzle with a little braising sauce. Serve.

I didn't have cheesecloth , so I used 2 coffee filters and a twist tie.
Add the spice packet and blanched pork, to the braising broth. Simmer on low, until tender.

Big Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit (like Hardees)... Manna of the Gods!

Oh Ya, Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit... Manna of the Gods!

I really should stop cooking food like this...she said with biscuit crumbs flying. What is it, with me and grease lately? God these are so good, when you add the bacon egg and cheese...exactly like Hardees.
I prefer not to roll my biscuits, they are much more tender, if shaped with wet hands. 

2-1/2cups flour
2Tbl. sugar
1/2tsp. salt
1-1/2Tbl. baking powder (4-1/2tsp.)
1/2cup vegetable shortening
1cup buttermilk
1/4cup water

You'll also need:
2Tbl. melted butter, with 1/4tsp. salt stirred in.

Preheat the oven to 450*F.
Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Cut in the shortening, until crumbly.
Combine the buttermilk and water, and stir it into the flour mixture.
Knead the dough a minute or so, then shape into 6 large biscuits, with wet hands, and place them on an un-greased cookie sheet. Allow to rise 10 minutes.I set it on top of the stove, as the oven is warming.
Bake until golden brown, and brush with the salted butter.

Bacon, egg and cheese biscuit tips:
Bake the bacon
Add 1Tbl. milk to an egg and beat until well combined. Heat a little oil in a nonstick frying pan, and salt it.
Pour the beaten egg into the skillet. (It will be a thin layer) and allow it to cook undisturbed until set.
Set a slice of cheese in the center of the egg, and fold the egg over it.
Split the biscuit, add 2 slices of bacon, and the egg. My favorite breakfast food!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bananas and Cream - Oatmeal

Bananas and Cream - Oatmeal with French toast.
Even kids who don't like oatmeal, love this. It tastes like warm banana pudding, except healthier. You can make it for breakfast or dessert. The kids usually add a spoon more, of sugar.

1cup old fashioned oats
1-3/4cups water
2 mashed bananas
1/8tsp. salt
1Tbl. butter
2Tbl. sugar
Add everything except the milk to a pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, to taste.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Samoa Kiss Candy

Samoa Kiss Candy

I found a great recipe for Girl Scout Samoas,(Grouprecipes samoa cookies)doubled the caramel, to make it more like a candy. Then topped them with baking drops.

3/4cup real butter
1cup sugar
1cup corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1tsp. vanilla
a bag of coconut-toasted
Baking drops- they're about the size of a Hersey's kiss, but you don't have to remove any foil.

Spread the coconut on two cookie sheets, bake at 350*F. until golden, stirring often. Cool.
In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter over a medium/low heat.
Add the sugar and corn syrup, stirring often, bring to a boil, and cook a full 3 minutes.
Add the condensed milk, stirring constantly. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan.
Cook until it reaches about 230*F, stirring often. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.
Let it cool about 5-minutes, then drop 1Tbl. of the candy onto waxed paper and press a baking drop into the center. Continue the same way, for the rest of the candy.
Let them cool 20-minutes, and reshape by pressing in, on the edges, that have spread when it was hot.

Rose-Water Tea

Rose-Water Tea

Transforms a cup of plain brewed tea, into something really lovely.
This is one of my favorite cold weather drinks. It has a calming effect...aroma therapy in a cup.
Rose-water tastes great in iced tea too, like Persian tea.

To a cup of hot tea, add sugar and cream, if desired, add 1tsp. rose water, and stir. Garnish with rose petals.

Soft Pretzels

Kids love making homemade pretzels
 This makes anywhere from 12-24 pretzels, depending on how large you like them. The kids like them as-is, but you could dip them in mustard or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, instead of salt.

1-1/2cups warm water
1Tbl. oil
1packet dry yeast
1/4cup brown sugar
1-1/2tsp. salt
4cups flour

For the baking soda solution:
2cups warm water
2Tbl. baking soda

You'll also need:
melted butter
coarse salt

Whisk together the water, oil, yeast, sugar, and salt, until dissolved.
Add 2-cups of the flour, and beat into a batter, add the remaining flour, and stir/knead until you have a smooth dough.
Spray a bowl with cooking spray, toss the dough in it, cover and let rise 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450*F.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Stir together the baking soda and water, until dissolved. Set aside.
Pinch off a walnut size piece of the dough, and shape it into a 1/2-inch thick coil. Fold into a pretzel, dip it in the baking soda solution, and set it on the cookie sheet. Continue the same, for the remaining dough.
Let them rise 30-minutes.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or to desired color.
Brush with meted butter, then sprinkle with coarse salt. (such as sea salt)

Corn Dogs

Corn Dogs, everyone's favorite.
 This batter sticks really well, so there is no need to coat your hotdogs, with flour or cornstarch.
The batter is enough for 12-14 hotdogs.

1cup flour
1cup cornmeal
1/2tsp. salt
2Tbl. baking powder
1tsp. chicken bullion or base
1/4cup sugar
1cup milk
1 egg
12-14 hotdogs- with skewers
oil for frying

Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Whisk the milk and egg, until well combined.
Add the milk mixture, to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
Dip  the hotdogs in the batter, Putting the batter in a drinking glass makes it easier to coat them. Twirl until well coated, allow some excess batter to drip away, but letting it drip too long, will only give you a thin coating.
Fry over a low/medium flame, until golden. I prefer to make these ahead, then reheat them in the oven, they taste better, and some of the oil cooks out of them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Leprechaun Stew

Leprechaun Stew
This is a no-name dish, that my mom made occasionally. I'm guessing it's most likely German in origin, since most of the food I grew up with, was predominantly so.
To get my kids to eat cabbage, I would tell them " It's leprechauns favorite food."  and dubbed this dish 'Leprechaun Stew'...worked like a charm.
( I recently made Zombie soup, for my grandkids.)
This is similar, to a New England boiled dinner, but you use a pork roast, instead of corned beef. Besides the cabbage, you can use any vegetables you like. (turnips and carrots, work well in this)

1 pork loin roast - sliced or cubed
1tsp. garlic powder
2tsp. salt
1/4tsp. pepper
1 diced onion
1 head of cabbage-chopped
4 or 5 potatoes cubed

Put the pork, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper, in a 4-quart pot.
Fill half full of water, and boil until the pork is tender, about 1 hour for cubed pork.
Add the potatoes and enough water to cover, if necessary. Then add the cabbage. (The water will not cover the cabbage, but it will wilt, as it cooks.) Cook until the potatoes and cabbage, are tender, adding water if necessary.
Adjust seasonings, and serve.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meatball Subs with (Baked) Italian Meatballs

Meatball Subs

I prefer to bake the meatballs, instead of cooking them in the sauce, which I think, is too oily. Using slices of bread, instead of breadcrumbs, makes them very moist, and not too firm. I start the sauce, as soon as the meatballs, go into the oven, and they both are done, about the same time.

For the meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 375*F.
2lbs. ground chuck
6-slices white bread
1tsp. basil
1Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2tsp. salt
1/2tsp. garlic powder
1/2tsp. cracked fennel 
1/4tsp. nutmeg
1/4tsp. pepper
2 beaten eggs

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and knead well, to incorporate.
Roll into 1-inch balls and bake about 25-minutes, or until cooked through, and just beginning to brown.

For the sauce:
1Tbl. oil
2tsp. minced garlic
2Tbl. diced onion
1Tbl. tomato paste
29oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
1tsp. sugar
1tsp. salt
1tsp. dried parsley
1/2tsp. basil
1/2tsp. cracked fennel
1/4tsp. nutmeg
2Tbl. grated Romano cheese

You'll also need:
2Tbl. Parmesan
8oz. shredded mozzarella
Buns- we use hot dog buns
Heat the oil in a 4-quart pan. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions are transparent.
Add all other ingredients, and simmer on low, until it becomes a thick sauce. About 15-20minutes.
Loosen the meatballs from the baking pan, with a metal spatula. Using tongs, add them to the sauce, along with 2Tbl. grated Parmesan. Stir gently, to coat the meatballs. Add meatballs to a bun, top with mozzarella, and microwave, or toast them in the broiler, to melt the cheese.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


 This is white hot chocolate (or is it hot white chocolate?), whisked to create foam. I prefer not to add the sugar, but everyone else likes these very sweet.

2cups milk
1/2cup white chocolate chips
2Tbl. sugar
1tsp vanilla
Add all ingredients to a saucepan. heat over a medium flame, whisking until the chocolate melts.
Once the chocolate has melted, begin whisking vigorously, to create foam. bring almost to a boil, whisking constantly. Pour into two cups, spoon a little foam on top.

Whisk vigorously, to create foam.

Lengua Burrito Grande (Beef Tongue) The things we do for love.

Lengua Burrito Grande

Halloween is just two weeks away. What better time, to bring out my all-time scariest dish... ever. Muahahaha.

The things we do for love. My husband lived in California, for ten years, before we met. One of the things he mentioned a lot, and missed was, lengua burritos, from a roadside taqueria, he frequented. I'd curl my lip in disgust, every time he brought it up. Finally I decided to surprise him, and attempt to make them for his birthday.
 He mentioned that it had rice and cheese in a red sauce, topped with fried lengua and salsa verde. I didn't think I could duplicate it, from such vague details, but I gave it a go. I'll bet I was pretty funny, that first time I put one in a pot, I remember, having to look away, as I was washing it in the sink. Could there be anything, more disgusting looking, than a GIANT tongue? At that point I decided, I'd prefer to take a bullet, to prove my love, but since I had already started this project, I might as well finish it. I was hoping it wasn't going to be another, liver and onions fiasco, from a previous birthday. ( The smell of liver cooking, has a hurl factor of 10 to the nth power, for me.)
I had not planned to even try it, but the finished product smelled so incredible, that I couldn't resist. If you can get past the image of the tongue, these are really good. Although a lot of people have liked the taste, but still could not eat them.

1 beef tongue
3 bay leaves
1 Tbl. minced garlic
1 whole peeled onion
1tsp. salt
1/2tp. pepper
1cup of beef broth- or 2Tbl. bullion, or base
water as needed

For the rice:
2-1/2cups water
1/2tsp. salt
1/2cup taco sauce
3cups instant rice
1/2cp shredded sharp cheddar
Bring the water, salt, and taco sauce to a boil. Turn off the flame, and add the rice and cheese. Cover and let stand 5-minutes.

You'll also need:
oil for frying
a diced onion
1/2tsp. minced garlic
1/4tsp. salt
salsa verde- also called tomatillo sauce and green taco sauce
flour tortillas

Wash the tongue thoroughly, add it to a 4qt. pot, along with all other ingredients. I've been told, you should remove the layer of fat before cooking, but I don't.
Fill the pot with water, until 3/4 full. Boil for 3-4hours, or until tender, adding water as necessary. You'll know it's done when a meat fork pierces all the way through, without resistance. Remove the beef from the pot, discard the broth.
Allow to cool slightly, then peel the skin, and remove the fat, from it. If you wait until it cools too much, it's difficult to remove it, the hotter the better.
Cut or shred it into small chunks, and let it cool 30 minutes.
Heat about 1/8-inch of oil, in a skillet, until very hot. Add the beef, diced onion, 1/2tsp. minced garlic, and 1/4tsp. salt. Fry/brown it for about 5-minutes. You want it to get a bit of a crispy crust, but not too much.
Dump the beef into a colander, and let it drain, while you make the rice.
Warm a flour tortilla, on a griddle, or in the microwave. Add equal amounts of the rice mixture, and the beef, then top with a little salsa verde.
The beef also makes a great filler, for the classic-tacos and burritos.

Cook until very tender. Now doesn't that look appetizing? I told my sister, I should dress up like a zombie, and try to pass it out to, trick or treat-ers. She started singing "♪ I frenched a cow, and I liked it ♪" Ya, we've been at it all day, with the tongue jokes, most of them, too lewd to post.

Are you still there? Remove the layer of fat.

Cut it into about 4 pieces, then peel the skin, and remove any gristle fat or tissue.

Cut or shred, into small pieces.

Heat oil in a skillet until almost smoking. Add the beef, onion, garlic, and salt. Fry until somewhat crispy.

Warm a tortilla, and fill with an equal amount of beef and rice, then top with a little salsa verde