March 31, 2012
For me, spontaneous homemade soup is hard pressed to satisfy ultimately. It is usually good right away, but always tastes better the second or third day. Where is the spontaneity in that? Regardless, you have to make the soup before the flavors can hang out together and can get better. When I make soup it is usually pretty good, but I look forward to tasting it the next day!
I called this dish dancing vegetable soup because it made me dance when I made it. I was in a rush and pureed the soup while it was still over the heat. I have done this before and did not think twice about doing it this time, but I failed to turn the heat down. Having the heat on is fine, but having it too high is downright dangerous. Oops! When the soup was half pureed some bubbles rose from the bottom (trying to get away from all that heat underneath it). The evil bubbles splashed steaming hot soup onto my left thumb where I was holding the pot and also the bottom of the wrist of my right hand that was holding the stick blender. I popped back away from the stove and did a twisty spin while flailing my arms about as I headed to the sink. The soup was thick and clung to my skin. It really hurt. As I ran cold water on my hand and wrist I did a kind of jogging side step, then lunged for the freezer to get a cold pack. As the cold pack cooled off my hot skin Little B woke up from her nap, crying from a bad dream, so on the way to the bedroom to soothe her I was balancing the pack between my left hand and the bottom of my right wrist. It was slippery. After I got Little B calmed down she asked me what the cold pack was for. I told her I burned myself and showed here where it happened. She kissed my burn spots and they felt a lot better.
This soup is high in fiber, low fat and is good hot or cold. I usually only eat about a cup along with a sandwich or salad because it is pretty filling.
Dancing Vegetable Soup
1 cup broccoli, chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
½ onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp ground sage
2 tsp dried parsley leaves
2 tsp salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
Heat oil at medium high in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, cooking them until they sweat and sear a bit. Add remaining vegetables and stir to spread onions and garlic throughout. Add broth, salt and spices. Cover and simmer until vegetables are cooked soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Puree soup with a stick blender until smooth. Return to heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve hot or cold.
March 29, 2012
I have seen this method of preparing cheesy bread all over the place online, but had not tried it myself. We had a dinner party the other night and I thought it a perfect time to make some. It is an ooey gooey alternative to plain sliced bread. Besides making the whole house smell heavenly it was a hit with our guests. I cannot tell you anything about how leftovers keep because there were none.
Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread
1 unsliced loaf whole grain bread
1 cup muenster cheese, grated
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Slice the bread loaf lengthwise then crosswise, but leave the bottom crust intact, creating 1 inch squares. Using your hands (a messy method, but the best way I have found to keep the bread from tearing off of the bottom crust) spread butter between bread squares. Drop garlic between squares. Sprinkle cheese over top of bread, encouraging some to drop down in between some of the squares. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
March 27, 2012
In my family there is always a fight over drumsticks. We like dark chicken meat and negotiate who gets what dark parts. I know they would look funny, but if anyone ever came up with a four or five-legged chicken I would so be in front of the line to buy some fryers, genetic distortions notwithstanding. Legs are good hot or cold, with beans or salad or slaw, and are mobile while being much easier to hold than those clumsy breasts. In recent years I have noticed more and more that packages filled with about ten legs are sold in the stores. They fit great in a crock pot or a baking dish and whenever I make them they are scarfed down. These days the bulk chicken leg packages are cheaper than the ‘buffalo wings’ that are getting more and more expensive. Quite a deal at fifty cents each at restaurants – really? Really? Not.
Chicken drumsticks always make me feel like a kid. I have been at fancy parties and felt obligated to eat them with a fork and knife, but when in more casual company I pick them up with my fingers and dig in, ready with a napkin nearby. Little B really likes them and I hope she ties many a childhood memory to hanging on to a leg while enjoying fun company.
This recipe was inspired by what I already had on hand in the kitchen, so next time I make it the recipe will probably look and taste different. I wanted sticky and sweet and a bit hot. It worked out pretty well, but I am really looking forward to having an even cooking broiler at our next place. I just can’t get this one to work the way I want. Serve them with some tangy coleslaw and dig in!
Spicy Honey Chicken
½ cup honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ small onion, finely diced
Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl mix together all ingredients except chicken. Dip each leg into the sauce, making sure each leg is covered. Place end to end in 9×13 baking dish. Pour no more than ½ cup of remaining sauce over legs, making sure the small ends get covered too (not a worry if you got yourself a little sticky while initially dipping the legs in the sauce). Bake in oven for about 25 minutes. The glaze may smoke a bit, but should not burn. If the glaze does not brown you can turn on the broiler for a bit to finish them off. A little caramelizing is wonderful.
March 25, 2012
You will want to eat more than one, but you may not be able to! These cookies are rich rich rich. Have some milk handy to help wash them down. I came across the recipe for these flourless cookies here. The batter was almost that of a cake batter instead of doughy and sticky like it says in the recipe. The results I got are also less cake-y than those I saw on the blog, and they came out with almost a brownie-type shininess to them. I don’t know if it was just some random altitude thing, the fact that one of the egg whites was cold, or slightly less cocoa ended up in the batter than was prescribed in the recipe, but I don’t actually care. The results were wonderful.
While we were adding ingredients Little B carefully cracked the third room temperature egg, missed the bowl and proceeded to drop it on the floor between the counter and her learning tower, which meant I added a third egg white cold, straight from the fridge. It may also have been the fact that Little B was helping me start and stop the Kitchen Aid mixer, and at one point turned it on high when we had just added the cocoa – a cloud of chocolate dust rose from the blender and gently settled on the mixer, me, Little B and everything else within 18 inches of the bowl. Next time she started the mixer Little B covered her nose and mouth, waiting for another explosion, which did not happen. Adventures when practicing fine motor skills! I will definitely try the recipe again, and will eagerly await the results. I bet next time they will again be deliciously rich, delicate and powerful treats.
Flourless Double Chocolate Cookies
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1½ cups powdered sugar
¾ cups cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Preheat oven to 350˚. In a kitchen stand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes). Beat in ½ cup of powdered sugar until mixture is well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining sugar, and beat until well blended. Dough will be stiff and sticky. Using a greased spoon or hands, drop balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes; cool on a cooling rack.
March 23, 2012
I was about eight when I first remember eating an artichoke. My parents steamed a few. They set them up on plates with small bowls of mayonnaise and melted butter for dipping. Here I was at the kitchen counter looking at this beautiful, yet also ugly green thing with little spikes on the ends of the leaves. I was supposed to eat it? Mom and dad had a rule about food. You had to try everything. You don’t have to like it – liver, creamed turkey, coconut – but you gotta try it. They showed me and my brother how to hold the prickly end and use our lower front teeth to scrape the meat off the tender end. I fell in love for the very first time. The meat had a gentle flavor, almost overwhelmed by the the dipping options of mayo and butter. The closer to the heart we got the more tender and sweet the meat. Dad then showed us how to carefully scrape off the bristly choke to reveal succulent mouthfuls of the heart. The meat was not very filling and it took a bit of effort to get every bite, but what a treat!
Time warp forward about 12 years. My brother and I are sitting at his kitchen table in Austin. He had cooked about a half dozen artichokes in the back yard smoker. The leaf tips were brown and wrinkled, but the meat inside each leaf was soft, having been tickled with flavor from the smoking process. We spent what must have been hours catching up with each others lives and scraping the meat off every single artichoke leaf. The result was a lovely afternoon, an impressive pile of meat and hearts, and plans to make soup. The soup was simple – with all our efforts of the afternoon, all we had left to do was add garlic, cream and butter, then simmer for a bit. We continued talking while relishing every spoonful of soup. The cream of artichoke soup became yet another fond memory of mine closely tied to food.
Here is a simple method for preparing an artichoke on the stove top and enjoying it with some pleasant conversation. Each bite of artichoke never takes up so much room that you cannot talk with your mouth full!
1 large or 2 small artichokes
4 – 6 cups water
3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp plus ½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
Cut off stem of artichoke just below the leaves until it sits level. Chop off the pointed tip of the artichoke and use kitchen scissors to clip off the tips of the larger, lower, tougher leaves that have pulled away from the artichoke. In a deep pot with steamer basket add the water (it should come right to the bottom of where the steamer basket will sit), 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of the salt and all the black pepper. Bring water to a boil and add steamer basket, placing artichokes stem down in the basket, and cover. If artichokes cannot stand upright there are two alternatives: 1) they can be steamed laying on the side, but should be flipped half way through cooking, or 2) place the artichoke stem down, but use foil to cover and seal in the steam instead of the pot top. Turn down heat to medium-low, but make sure the water continues to gently boil. Steam for 30 – 45 minutes. You will need less time if the artichokes are smaller. The artichoke is ready when the center of the stem gives easily to a knife.
In a small pot add butter, 1 Tbsp lemon, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Melt over medium-low heat until butter is melted and bubbly. In a small bowl stir together 1 tsp lemon juice with the mayonnaise. Serve artichokes along with the two dipping sauces.
To eat the artichokes peel off leaves, dip them in your sauce of choice, and use your lower front teeth to scrape meat off then inside of each leaf. It helps to have an empty bowl nearby to collect the leaves when you finish with them. As you get closer to the heart the leaves will become smaller and more tender. You will be able to eat most of the leaf, carefully avoiding the prickly tips. When you finally get to the bristly choke, take a spoon and scrape off the bristles, revealing the heart. Scoop the heart out of the base and cut it into bite-size pieces. Dip and enjoy!
March 21, 2012
Posted by ladybug under avocado
, Mom's Kitchen
, wheat free Leave a Comment
Is it French or Swiss in origin? I don’t know. The evolution in America of fondue is such a different animal compared to the simple cheese fondue I found to be served in Europe. Way back in the ’80s my family would join forces with other families and have fondue parties. At the time it was a throwback to the 1960s, when my parents stocked up on fondue sets. Regardless of when it peaked in popularity or where it first happened, it is still a fun time with abundant and delicious food.
I learned a number of things from those fondue parties when I was growing up. The first was you must commit to any dip you take with your loaded fondue forks, for double dipping in a pot of cheese or chocolate is frowned on in the fondue world. If you do such a thing there may be nothing said, but the vibes of the fondue tribe may change toward you. Those fondue forks can be lethal when stabbed into a hand guilty of double dipping! The second thing I learned was there is never enough room on the little divided plates for all the sauces. With divided fondue plates you need to commit to, like, four of the ten or so available sauces. Another option is to do a lot of dollop dropping on individual pieces you cook. The third thing was that it took a while to get full from fondue, and since the process took a while to cook and eat and reload and cook and eat…there was plenty of time to talk and sip wine and laugh and, especially, try and sneak other people’s forks when they are not looking so you get to double up on your pile of cooked bites. The trick to sneaking forks is to not have any of your own on your plate. Have your own forks cooking away before stealthily stealing your neighbor’s fork while they are gesturing dramatically during the telling of a story. Don’t forget to reload their fork with the same stuff. A bonus is their quizzical look when they check their fork and wonder why the chicken is still raw after their story about Uncle Festus at the family reunion.
Although it may take a while to fill up on fondue that full stomach will sneak up on you. Before the chocolate fondue is served you wonder if you have any room left in your belly. But it is just fruit, right? There is always room for fruit! Maybe not fruit covered with chocolate, but it is very much worth trying. And it will fit!
For our fondue feast we did a sample of four different fondues – cheese, oil, broth and chocolate. In the future I will probably limit myself to one fondue for a meal, surrounding it with non-fondue dishes. This particular meal was a chaotic mess of food and fun, and a great way to sample the different fondue types. Everyone had a blast.
The following recipes account for feeding seven people, since our fondue party included as many guests. After digging through the closets mom found four – count ‘em – four fondue pots. We chose not to use the small one from France meant for chocolate fondue, but only because the sheer number of people, all that dipping would have overwhelmed the little thing. The meal called for a lot of preparation, but it can be spaced out in small chunks, mostly as early as the day before, and makes for quick set up when it is actually time to eat. I pulled everything out of the refrigerator (yes, even the meats) about 45 minutes to an hour before serving so things were cool but not chilly.
Everyone should scour their parents’ pantry, estate sales and thrift stores for fondue sets and be ready to pull them out for some fun eats. If you are short of cash the fondue feast can be turned into a pot luck where everyone brings a little bit but eats a lot. Have fun with it and be sure to make a mess!
I served the cheese fondue when people were first arriving and standing around in the kitchen, then served the oil and broth fondues at the table with all the sauces. In addition to the sauces I made, shown in the recipes below, I provided tartar sauce, BBQ sauce and creamy horseradish, all served simply in their pre-made states in bottles from the grocery. I did not even start preparing and melting the chocolate fondue until the table was cleared of the oil and broth. It was quick to do and a fun dessert. I remembered a lot of the recipes from when I was younger, but found a lot of helpful reminders here.
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
1 cup dry white wine
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
8 ounces Havarti cheese, shredded
2 ounces Dubliner cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp Kirsch or brandy
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp paprika
Black Pepper (optional)
Handful of Cubed bread per person
Vegetables also used with Broth Fondue
The measurements for wine and cheese should be enough, but you may want to have a little more on hand to adjust the consistency if needed. Add more cheese if it’s too liquid, add more wine if it’s too thick. I have found that if you mix the cheese fondue on the stove top or electric fondue pot about an hour before serving, then turn it off, but then start to reheat about ½ hour before serving it makes for quick set up when guests first arrive. To begin preparation, rub the garlic inside the fondue pot then discard. Pour the white wine and lemon juice into the pot and turn on the burner. Let the wine and lemon juice warm up without boiling. Reduce heat and add the shredded cheese. With a wooden spoon, mix well and stir regularly. Dilute the cornstarch in the Kirsch or brandy, and add remaining ingredients to the pot. Add pepper to taste. Adjust consistency with additional wine or cheese. Dip bite size pieces of bread or vegetables. Let the freshly dipped pieces cool off for a few seconds before enjoying. You may have to twirl the cheesy bits on your fondue fork until it cools and stops drizzling long strings of cheese before you eat them. Also, extra liquid may be needed after the fondue is half gone because it thickens as time passes.
Hot Oil Fondue
2 – 4 cups peanut or canola oil
4 ounces beef per person, cut in bite-sized cubes
2 – 4 ounces chicken breast per person, cut into thin strips
2 ounces per person medium size shrimp (cooked or uncooked), tails intact
Heat oil to 325 – 350F, either in the fondue pot if electric, which is best for oil, or on the stove top for flame pots. If using a flame pot carefully transfer the hot oil to the fondue pot. Do not fill the pot more than 2/3 full, to reduce splashing over the rim of the pot while cooking. Pierce the raw meat or seafood with fondue forks and submerge in hot oil for about a minute. Remove and let cool briefly before dipping.
4 – 6 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp dry white wine
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 Tbsp Worcestershire or soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 – 4 mushrooms per person, whole or halved, depending on size
4 – 6 broccoli crowns per person, blanched
2 – 4 cauliflower crowns per person, blanched
4 – 6 snow peas per person, blanched
2 – 3 mini carrots per person, blanched
Combine all ingredients (salt and pepper optional) into electric fondue pot or on a stove top pot if using flame pot. Bring liquid to a simmer (liquid is moving and steam coming off surface) and begin dipping. For flame pots bring liquid to a boil on the stove then carefully transfer to the flame fondue pot. Dip vegetables into broth until cooked to your liking, warm but still crisp, or soft and mushy. If you really want the vegetables cooked quickly, I recommend blanching all the vegetables (drop them for 2 – 5 minutes in boiling water, then stop the cooking process by dropping them in cold water, then drain) before cooking them in the broth. The blanching can be done in advance and then refrigerated until serving time.
½ pound semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup Light Cream
1/8 cup brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Butter
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Combine all ingredients in pot on stove top or in a microwave-proof glass bowl. Melt on low heat until liquid and well combined. If using the microwave heat for 30 seconds and stir until mostly melted, then stir until all lumps are gone. Whether prepared on the stove top or in the microwave, transfer to fondue pot for serving and dip dip dip (but don’t double dip!).
Lemon Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 cup Sugar
2 tbs Lemon Juice
Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove top. Heat until ingredients come to a boil. Let cool.
4 oz Butter
2 Egg Yolks
1 tbs Lemon Juice
1 tbs Water
1/4 tsp salt
Melt butter and let cool briefly. While butter is cooling mix the rest of ingredients in a blender but do not blend them yet. When butter has cooled a bit spoon out the foamy, bubbly top from butter, leaving the clear, yellow clarified portion. Begin blending the mixed ingredients and gradually and steadily add the butter. Let blend for about a minute. Leave at room temperature until served.
Spicy Oriental Sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
1 4.5 ounce can mild green chiles
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp Sesame Oil
Combine all ingredients in tall bowl. With hand blender combine ingredients to a uniform, slightly thick texture. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Garlic Lemon Dip
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp garlic, crushed
½ tsp hot sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients until well blended. Keep refrigerated until served.
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp ground curry
1 ½ tsp lime juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate until served.
1 ½ cup low fat sour cream
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp dill, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients well. Refrigerate until served.
1 rip avocado, mashed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup plain low fat yogurt
½ cup low fat sour cream
¼ cup finely chopped pine nuts, walnuts or pecans
1 leek, white and light green part finely chopped
½ tsp hot sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix the avocado flesh with the lemon juice. Mix avocado mixture with the rest of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. If prepared ahead of time of serving, keep refrigerated.
March 19, 2012
As promised to Big D weeks and weeks ago, I am trying out a spicy curry dish. He is usually the one that cooks dishes with curry sauces, but I am going to take a stab at it. His favorite is a chicken spinach concoction with curry sauce he first discovered in Anchorage, Alaska, at a little Indian restaurant. I am not going to try and copy it, since he does such a good job doing it himself, so I will aim for beefy. Trying new things is good, right? I also think my concoction went very well over saffron rice, which I was craving lately. My in-laws took a trip to Greece last summer and brought back some wonderfully strong saffron for me. Saffron is a flavor that does not go with just anything, and can actually make some foods almost sour, but I think it will be very complimentary to the beef and curry, while softening the bite of the chili. When Big D took his first bite I was sitting across the table from him – he smiled and his eyes got big as he quickly reached for his beer. I think I got it spicy enough for him!
10-12 ounces tender cut beef steak, sliced into bite size strips
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
½ yellow onion, cut julienne
1 pound broccoli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp dried chili flakes
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup long grain parboiled rice
2 ¼ cups chicken broth
1 ½ tsp salt
10-15 strands saffron
Combine broth, 1 tsp salt and saffron in a medium pot over high heat on the stove. Bring it to a boil and add rice. Cook for 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Let sit for about ten minutes before serving. While rice is cooking you can prepare the meat and vegetables. Add oil to electric or stove top wok on medium high heat. When oil is hot add chili flakes and garlic. As garlic begins to brown add onions and sauté until they are transparent. Add lemon juice, curry, ginger and ½ tsp salt. The spices will soak up all the oil and juice pretty quickly. Cook until the color of the mixture changes to a dark brown. If you are convinced the dish will not be hot enough for you, do what I did and stir in a squirt (about 1 Tbsp) of Sriracha hot chile sauce. Move onions to the outer edges of the wok. Add beef into the well and toss just until it begins to brown. Toss onion mixture with meat. Add milk and stir until combined. Add broccoli and cover, lower the heat and let mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. It is ready when the sauce is hot and the broccoli just tender but still bright green. Serve on top of the saffron rice.
March 17, 2012
I began the month of March with potatoes and cabbage, now I end my mostly Irish theme here on St. Patrick’s Day with the same. How can I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America without corned beef and cabbage? I guess I can, but I won’t! Boil, boil and boil some more! I included directions for doing the cabbage separately (boiling or sauteing) because as usual it does not fit with the meat and veggies in the crock pot. You would think a 6 quart crock pot would be big enough, but not for us! We like our cabbage in bulk! I will return now to my celebration with family and friends. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
“May the road rise to meet you and the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of your hand.”
Corned Beef and Cabbage
4 pounds corned beef
2 cups mini carrots or large carrots roughly chopped
5-7 small potatoes, halved
4 cups water
1 Tbsp pickling spices
1 head cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour water and spices into 5-6 quart crock pot. Add beef and cook on high for two hours, then turn to low. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for 4 to 6 more hours until vegetables are soft. Cut cabbage in half and remove core. Slice had lengthwise into wedges – enough to fit in one layer in a large pan with cover.
To boil cabbage: about 45 minutes before meat is done pour enough water in the pan until it is about ½ inch deep. Add some salt and bring to a boil. Place cabbage wedges in the water, lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes until tender. Gently remove from pan with a long spatula, trying to keep the wedges intact. Salt and pepper to taste.
To saute cabbage: about 30 minutes before meat is done heat large pan to medium high and add about 3 Tbsp butter. When melted spread it around the pan. Place wedges in pan and cook until browning begins. Flip wedges gently and let brown again. Cover pan and lower heat until cabbage is soft. Gently remove from pan to a serving dish, trying to keep the wedges intact. If they fall apart just go with the flow and make a pile. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the corned beef and vegetables with spicy brown mustard, creamy horseradish and dense, crusty bread.
March 15, 2012
I have found the point where my intention of exploring Irish food takes a turn. And you are here to share it with me! Okay, so salsa verde is not an authentic Irish dish, but it is green, right? It will be fun! After boiling and sauteing Irish foods lately I felt the need to have something spicy on crunchy tortilla chips. The tomatillos at the store were looking good, so they led to a logical conclusion – green sauce! I did not really get much salsa verde until I started traveling to New Mexico about ten years ago. Each restaurant served the sauce with varying levels of heat, from mild and sweet and almost dessert-like to an addictive spiciness that leads to consuming many a chip and drinking margaritas much too fast. Out there it is usually heavier on the peppers than my version, but I dug into my tex-mex roots for this recipe and used only one jalapeno. The tomatillos were nice and tangy and the onion a bit sweet so this batch needed no sugar or salt at all. Yummy! I could not find my written recipe, so found this one, which most closely matched what I have done in the past…
Salsa Verde with Tomatillos
1 pound fresh tomatillos
1 small yellow onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lime, juiced with meat
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Pinches of Sugar and Salt to taste
Remove husks from tomatillos, wash well and cut in half. Remove dry layers from onion and cut it in half. Cut jalapeno in half. Remove seeds and discard if you want a milder salsa, but I leave them in. Set oven to high broil. Place tomatillos, jalapeno and onion on foil covered broiling pan, skin side up. The onion and jalapeno pieces should be on the outer edges, with the tomatillos in the center. Place under broiler and roast until tomatillo skins begin to blacken, at least 5 minutes and possibly up to 10, depending on the power of your broiler. Rotate the pan and broil longer if needed to maximize blackening*. Let vegetables cool. Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse to desired texture, or use a molcajete and break it up the old fashioned way. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but ideally overnight. Add additional salt to taste if needed before serving.
*Recently my mother in law was making a tomatillo sauce with avocados and I encouraged her to roast the tomatillos and peppers. She did, but…just…could…not let them get really black. The result was delicious, but we will never know how truly blackened tomatillos would have changed the flavor. I know the urge will be strong to take the pan out before the skins are truly black and smoking, but it really expands the flavor of the results if you control yourself and let them go black.
March 13, 2012
I enjoy the addictive nature of salty and sweet. Is there a better combination than popcorn and candy coated chocolate? Not. A lovely boyfriend in my past introduced me to mixing popcorn and peanut M&Ms as a snack. It works in a movie theater, at home or on a hiking trail. The flavors bring back so many diverse memories I can get overwhelmed, so I actually avoid it. The plus is not getting overwhelmed by memories and also not accumulating fat and calories that damage any nutritious benefit of popcorn.
When I was collecting ingredients I discovered something. In my quest to make a St. Patty’s Day treat I purchased a standard bag of candy coated chocolate, intending to pull out the green factions. There were not as many as I expected, and would make the recipe lacking in the sweet category, so I pondered what other color would accentuate the March holiday. Tossing popcorn, corn chips and white chocolate together is pleasant as is, but there is a whole world of colors, depending on the holiday, that can be added. With the looming March celebrations I pondered. I decided to be retrospective. I used orange along with the green.
If there are thoughts of Ireland connected with St. Patrick’s Day they may wander, very logically, to the conflict between Protestants and Catholics, Irish and English. Ireland and Northern Ireland are still distinct countries with distinct preferences religiously. Without going deeply into the religious, political and dynamic contrasts of the two sides there can be a general agreement of how they are traditionally represented, as on the Irish flag – with green for the Catholic/Irish and orange for Protestant/English, relying on white to keep them neutral. At least that is generally – and with no intention for animosity – what I understand as the reason the flag of Ireland is set up as it is. Although I understand that Protestants do no celebrate saints to the extent Catholics do, I still feel obligated to recognize the whole of the island. I know it is a simple sweet treat, but colors are often not something to laugh at but to recognize.
My guinea pigs (a.k.a. Big D and friends) decided that the results were salty, sweet and addictive, this recipe definitely needs more corn chips. Like, twice as many corn chips. I will consider doing so in the next batch. I relied on the recipe (and hilarious lead in) here.
White Chocolate Frito Popcorn
8 cups popped popcorn
16 ounces white chocolate or almond bark
2 cups corn chips, crushed
1 cup M&M’s
Pop corn according to package directions. Put popped corn and crushed corn chips into a large bowl. Make sure to get all of the unpopped kernels (“grannies”) out or someone will break their tooth. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Pour melted chocolate over popcorn mixture and stir to coat completely. Pour onto a wax paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with M&Ms. Allow to cool and dry.
Next Page »