Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birthday Cake!

I'm so freaking excited - me and dad's birthday is a week away so this post is premature, but this year I'm making our birthday dessert from SCRATCH!
Homemade semisweet chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, topped with a fresh raspberry compote!
I can't waaaaait! Recipes and pictures coming soon!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tortilla Soup and Jalapeno Pepper Jack Scones

Best meal ever! I've been dying to make Tortilla Soup forrrrrever, and I finally found a recipe that seemed simple, delicious and authentic enough. I played around with Emeril's recipe I found online to make it the soup that my taste buds have been craving by adding corn, black beans, a stronger tomato flavor (by upping the tomato paste), but keeping that subtle spicy zest! This soup was utterly delicious; I will definitely be making it again and again. I served it with Jalapeno Pepper Jack Scones that were equally as scrumptious. I found this recipe off of a new blog I discovered called Joy the Baker - might be my favorite of all time! I loved the scones, the only thing I would do differently next time is not remove as many seeds from the jalapenos. The scones could've used a bit more zip! I think I scared myself away from the seeds after one too many overly spicy pico de gallo catastrophes - I've gone from one extreme to the other!
Writing and thinking about jalapenos make me think of a funny memory from mine and Eric's Guatemala trip. After a week or so, both of our stomachs were already doomed from the food, so we decided to forego the advice of not eating street food, and we bought the makings of pico de gallo from vendors on the street. We found makeshift tortilla "chips" and brought everything back to our hostel to whip up. I, of course, elected myself dicer and chopper of all things vegetables and after the tomatoes and onions were all perfectly and evenly chopped, it was time to attack the jalapeno. Little did I know this would be the hottest jalapeno in alllll the lands! Do they make them spicier South of the Border?! A few minutes after my fingers had time to absorb the juices and extract from the seeds, they starting burning and didn't stop for three or four days straight. My fingers, and especially under my fingernails, were ON FIRE! I can't tell you how many times I washed my hands and tried to scrub away the burn. Nothing worked! NOTHING! Then try taking out and putting back in your contacts! DOESN'T WORK EITHER! Damn you jalapenos!!!!!!!

Tortilla Soup (adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Favorite Tortilla Soup recipe):

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 poblano pepper and 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
(Also eyeballed black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and oregano.)
1 small can tomato paste
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups chicken broth
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded (seasoned with cajun seasoning)
1 cup sweet yellow corn
1 can black beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 avocado, for garnish
sour cream, for garnish
crushed tortilla chips, for garnish

In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, cumin and other spices for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and broth and bring to a simmer. Simmered for several hours. Add the chicken and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Jalapeno Pepper Jack Scones (taken from Joy the Baker's blog):

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (plus more for brushing the tops of the scones)
1/4 pound pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
2 medium jalapenos, some seeds removed, diced small
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

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

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small saute pan and cook diced jalapenos until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Let the diced peppers cool and them mix with the diced cheese. Toss mixture in 1 tablespoon of flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Work in the cold butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Some butter pieces will be the size of peas and the flour will be nice and crumbly.

Whisk together 2 eggs and heavy cream. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients, fold together with a fork until almost fully incorporated. Add the jalapeno and cheese mixture to the shaggy dough and work together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds. Form into a disk about 8 inches around and 2 inches thick. Cut disk into six wedges and refrigerate for 10 minutes before baking.

When ready to bake, place chilled scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and delicious. These are best served the day they’re made.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

A few weeks ago we had a cold rainy day in Seattle and I was sitting at work looking out the window at the miserable day and knew I had to go home and make chili and cornbread. I love my parents version of chili, and will also continue to make their recipe, but this time I wanted to make a meatless chili, and one that was loaded with vegetables and beans. After scouring the internet, I found the perfect vegetarian chili recipe and it is a MUST share!

Vegetarian Chili
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
2 cups fresh corn kernels (I used sweet frozen corn)
1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespooon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used 2 cans of whole tomatoes)
3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained (I used 2 cans of organic tri-beans: black, chili and kidney)
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable stock, or water

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a few hours.

Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve with cheese, avocado, sour cream, crackers, etc.

Thank you Emeril Lagasse, you are a GOD in the kitchen!!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...