Mason Jars for Sangria
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Mason Jars for Sangria
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
There's this Pie Truck.
It's based out of Alameda.
You order a pie off the website, and dude delivers them to you.
This dude is quite obviously a genius.
Why don't y'all go order some pies. http://pietruck.wordpress.com/
About Pie Truck
Pie Truck makes delicious pies and brings them to you! Place an order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
As promised! Peach pie number 2! Am I tired of peach pie? Nope. If you have another recipe you'd like to share, send it on and I promise to tackle it.
I'll admit, perhaps I did go a bit overboard with 5 lbs of peaches from Frog Hollow Farms. It's easy to get carried away there. I have big plans to jar another few pounds before they start to disappear from the farmer's market. Peaches into the winter!
I recommend being particularly decadent and eating this one in bed (never mind the crumbs) while watching what has become my newest addiction, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. It's impossible to watch this insanely wonderful travel/food show without a dish of something at your side, otherwise you might find yourself drooling all over the remote.
Cardamom Peach Pie
adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2009
for the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp ice water
for the filling:
2 1/2 lbs peaches, peeled, halved, pitted and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)
1 tbsp sugar for top of the pie
Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and combine with your hands (you could also use a food processor, but that just seems unnecessary and messy) till there are no pieces of butter larger than a pea. The dough should be shaggy. Drizzle the ice water over the dough and just combine till it forms a ball. Turn the dough onto your silpat or lightly floured surface and knead briefly to distribute the butter (4-5 turns of the dough). Flatten the dough into two disks, wrap each in plastic and chill in the freezer for at least half an hour.
When the dough has chilled,prepare a baking sheet lined in floured parchment paper. Remove and roll out on the parchment into a 13 inch round. Using a 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch round, scalloped or star shaped cookie cutter, cut out shapes from the dough. If necessary, combine the scraps and roll out again for a total of about 20. Chill on a baking sheet while preparing filling.
Preheat the oven to 400. In a medium bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and toss. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Arrange the dough cutouts in concentric circles on top of the filling, starting at the edges and working towards the center until the filling is completely covered. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sugar.
Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling and thick. Cool for at least half an hour.
- A Mandoline Slicer - Why don't I already have one of these? It's ridiculous! I'm obsessed with presentation and slicing everything just so. I. Need. This.
- Kitchen Thermometer - Obvious. Hard to procure? No. And still, I go without.
- Pepper Mill - Mine is broken. It's been suggested that I get it fixed. I say, how about someone gift me a new one?
- VeggiChop - WANT!
- Mortar and Pestle - Instead of buying ground cardamom for the peach cardamom pie this weekend, I could have just ground the seeds I already had. Need.
- Random, Beautiful Dishes for Presentation - The entire kitchen catalogue of Anthropologie? Yes please.
Is that really so much to ask?
Now. Where's my VeggiChop????
Monday, July 27, 2009
This Sunday I did the unthinkable. I took on the unfathomable, the completely ridiculous and totally overboard task of making two peach pies. Not two of the same. Two different recipes. Why, you might reasonably ask? To which I reply, well, why not?
Bourbon makes this pie.
adapted from Gourmet, July 2009
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Sunday, July 26, 2009
It's true. You can never have too much potato salad. Well, maybe that's not true for one sitting, and perhaps more to the point, what I really mean is, you can never have too many versions of potato salad. You might end up finding your own personal definitive version of the classic, but of course that doesn't mean that you won't try the version that shows up at this barbecue, or that potluck. There's always room for variations on the theme.
I am of the mind that there is also always room on the table in the summer for a side of it. Which is why a few weeks ago, when Leah and I found ourselves with a feast of three salads, grilled shrimp and squid, grilled corn and bread, she quite reasonably asked me, "We don't need potato salad as well, do we?"
Au contraire. Yes. Yes, we do.
And so she decided to experiment, and make it quick and easy. The result was an absolutely delicious potato salad with an asian twist, that would make a positively noble splash at any summer gathering. She graciously provided the recipe. I could eat this stuff for days.
I suppose you could make your own miso dressing from scratch, if you wanted to be fancy about it. You could also just buy a bottle at the grocery store and toss it together with a few things. These days, it's all about ease.
Easy Japanese Miso Potato Salad - Courtesy of Leah
2 lbs potatoes (I like purple potatoes, fingerlings, or any of the other small organic varieties)
½ lb Chinese long beans sliced at an angle in about ½” pieces (you can also use green or wax beans)
½ cup Japanese miso salad dressing (I used Red Shell brand which you can find in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods, or Berkeley Bowl --- I have even seen it at Safeway.)
3Tbl unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2Tbl toasted sesame seeds (I used both black and white ones because I had them and they look pretty)
1 green onion – green and white parts sliced thinly
Boil potatoes in a large pot in salted water (water should cover the potatoes by at least 1inch) until tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain in a large colander. Cut the potatoes into small, bite size wedges.
Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon or pair of tongs keeping the water in the pot. Use the potato water to cook the beans. Blanch the beans in the salted water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse the beans with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Cut the potatoes into small, bite size wedges.
Combine the Miso dressing, vinegar, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add warm potatoes and beans, mix to combine.
Garnish with green onion
Salad may be made up to 2 days ahead. Serve cold.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
While it isn’t confirmed, I always suspected that my grandmother Louise might have had a love affair with Jacques Pepin. I am not sure if she ever met Jacques in person, but I do know, at the very least, that she was very much in love with his cooking. Of course, he’s not too bad looking either and I’m sure his wife of 40+ years, Gloria, thinks so too.
I have no real evidence of a love affair. It’s not like I ever caught them whisk deep in the béarnaise or anything, but she often referenced him when showing me the proper way to cut a chicken or temper chocolate. While Louise wasn’t exactly a woman who waxes poetic, she did have a way of looking at you that conveyed “there is more to this story, and rest assured it is a little tawdry.”
Louise was a risk taker. She loved to ski, (even after breaking many bones) she traveled the world, and drove a red Corvette. But mostly, she loved to cook. She loved taking dishes from her travels and eating experiences and re-creating them in her kitchen at home. With her grandchildren, Louise was generous and patient. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen “playing” and creating meals to share with our loved ones. She always put as much into a breakfast after a sleepover as she did for a family holiday… well -- as much love, if not effort. Besides her chocolate cake, German pancake, mazzoball soup, and a plethora of other dishes, I loved her Clafoutis.
Clafoutis (cla-fou-tee) is a custard-like French dessert typically made by baking fresh fruit (traditionally cherries) and a batter somewhat similar to pancake batter, in a baking dish. It can be served for dessert or breakfast, but my personal favorite is around 4pm after a long day of swimming and playing in the backyard. (Oh man, my sense memory is going crazy!) It's also a great way to use slightly over ripened fruit.
Also, in case you were wondering, I am working on my “there is more to this story, and rest assured it is a little tawdry” side-glance.
Louise’s Fresh Fruit Clafoutis
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup sugar + more for ramekin
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2-ish cups fresh fruit cut into small pieces (berries, peaches, plums, cherries, strawberries, whatever you desire)
• Heat oven to 400°F. Butter four 3 ½ - inch ramekins and dust with sugar.
• Whisk egg until frothy and add sugar, half and half and vanilla extract; mix to combine.
• Add the all purpose flour and whisk very well.
• Divide the fruit into the ramekins and pour the batter over the fruit.
Bake for 25-50 minutes until golden brown and the middle is set.
The custard will soufflé up and then when you take it out of the oven it will fall back down.
Serve the Clafoutis warm or room temperature either inside or removed from the ramekins.
I found my definitive salsa on my Sister's porch in Ashland while visiting several years ago. I'd brought some friends along, and we were enjoying the sun and munching on chips when Erika decided to whip together this salsa. One taste and we were sold! I don't feel much of a need to keep searching anymore. This is it for me. Though once again, it's one of those dishes that really only makes sense when all the ingredients are at their peak, and the outside temperature is above 80 degrees.
I made this last night alongside my favorite fish tacos. I don't want to brag, but the person who shared alongside them said something along the lines of "These might be the best fish tacos I have ever had." They also moaned a bit upon tasting the salsa. I highly suggest running out to the store and making them both at your earliest convenience. A perfect summer dinner.
Erika's Homemade Salsa
4-5 good heirloom tomatoes, chopped (I mixed in cherry tomatoes as well)
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 sweet onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or diced
1 jalapeno pepper (seeds removed and diced)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and a little bit of sugar to taste
Mix everything together and serve with chips, in tacos or whatever you like.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside in a bowl.
I must admit, I am something of a tomato snob. In the summer, they become the main focus of almost every dish I cook. But during the other months of the year, they remain mostly neglected. Tomatoes just aren't the same in the Fall, Winter and Spring. I wait, every year, with great anticipation for the first heirlooms to arrive so that I can finally make my favorite dish, tomato and basil pasta, which I make at least once a week during the summer. A big batch of it sits nearly constantly in my fridge. I crave it almost always and make it every chance I get. It's the most requested recipe amongst my friends, and it's one I'll share soon.
But for now, a cooking by feel recipe. Amber was coming for dinner and I was recreating the coconut curried shrimp dish, but I also had some beautiful tomatoes resting on the counter and fresh greek feta. I was dying for some kind of pasta. Curried shrimp with pasta on the side doesn't make much sense, admittedly, but luckily Amber was willing to overlook that.
Not quite so luckily, she happened to lock her keys inside her car with the engine running right outside my apartment. Never fear. She called AAA, I poured us some rhubarb gin & tonic's and got to work on grilling the shrimp. We chatted, sipped and grilled while keeping an eye out for AAA. Crisis averted and dinner served!
This is one of those cooking by feel recipes for me. I basically took my Mother's tried and true french vinaigrette, mixed it with chopped basil and mint and poured it over the pasta, feta and veggies.
Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes, Corn, Feta and Kalmata Olives
Orzo (1 package cooked according to directions)
2 ears of corn
6 small vine tomatoes
6 ounces greek feta, chopped
8 ounces kalmata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 jar roasted red peppers
3 tbsp basil
2 tbsp mint
6 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper
Heat the oven to 350. Chop the tomatoes and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, the dried oregano and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Meanwhile, Scrape the corn off the cobs with a knife, set aside in a bowl. Add the chopped feta, olives, red pepper and tomatoes when done. Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Toss with the cheese and veggies.
Mix the mint, basil, 4 tbsp olive oil, lemon, minced garlic, mustard and salt & pepper. Dress the pasta mixture with the dressing. Taste for salt and pepper and season accordingly. Serve warm, at room temperature or even cold.
Monday, July 20, 2009
- Maple Creek Winery
- Lazy Creek Vineyards
- Navarro Vineyards
- Husch Vineyards
- Toulouse Vineyards
- Phillips Hill Estates
- Scharffenberger Cellars
Tasting in the Anderson Valley is a very different experience than a Napa or Sonoma trip. In comparison, the wineries in Anderson Valley feel practically undiscovered. You never have to wait for a spot to taste, and in two occasions, we were the only people tasting at the time. No fighting traffic, and we hardly ever encountered a tasting fee. It's a bit further to go, but it's well worth it.Our favorite visit was Toulouse Vineyards. Every wine we tasted there was fantastic, but their 2007 Pinot Noir was truly exceptional. We were in heaven with the first sip, but then the tasting rep gave us each a piece of mild black licorice, then asked us to taste again. The combination was incredible, bringing out even more flavors and notes in the wine. It was a spontaneous find for us, and truly the best part of our trip. I highly recommend doing a tasting at Toulouse, or ordering a bottle.
More on cooking over a campfire adventures later!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Summer has a way of being terribly distracting. It's so difficult to go about the day to day business of work, errands and chores when outside the temperature is above 85, the sun is shinning and there is a river nearby practically begging to be floated upon. Lately I live for the 5pm hour, and for those hours falling between Friday at 5pm and Sunday at midnight. I do my best to squeeze every possible spare minute into a summer activity. Last night was the outdoor movie night at Pizzaiolo in Oakland. Slices of summer squash, rapini and housemade sausage pizza with blackened and blistered crust and full glasses of red wine to accompany Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. Now that is a mighty fine summer combination if I've ever seen one. Have I mentioned my affinity and undying love for Paul Newman? He is, in my mind, it.
Lucky for me, Pizzaiolo seems to agree. For the next several weeks they'll be showing a Paul Newman film on Wednesday nights at 8:30pm in their courtyard. Pizza slices, wine and housemade oreos are available while you watch. So many of my favorite things together! It's almost too good to be true.
Oh summer. You are so good to me.
Leah and I fired up her grill last week for an evening feast. We whipped together several summery salads, this being one of our favorites:
Watermelon, Corn & Feta Sald with Mint
Leah and I both agree that a mild feta with a firm texture works best here. Greek or American. Serves 4-6.
1 small watermelon
2 ears fresh corn
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I've notice a trend amongst food-bloggers. It seems at some point in their youth, everyone went to France and since then, food has taken center stage in the daily fantasies. Thinking about that first lick of gelato which made store-bought ice cream seem like a cruel punishment, the bread which made all other bread taste like cardboard, the pastries (oh the pastries) the cheese (oh GOD, the cheese!) and, in my case, the champagne that accompanied breakfast.
My French exchange Father served me my first taste of champagne at my arrival dinner, the night I realized champagne and I were made for each other. He delighted in seeing my face after that first sip and thought it was quite funny. While we were on vacation in Corsica, he always poured a small glass with my morning orange juice. He would laugh and tell me I was meant for the good life in France. I couldn't have agreed more. Needless to say, we got along like gangbusters.
Another regular on the table in Corsica was the melon wrapped in prosciutto. A French classic. It's the perfect blend of sweet and salty. One I like to try and re-create again and again during the summer, desperately tyring to make it taste as I remember it that summer in Corsica when I was 16. Sadly, it never tastes quite as good, but that's true of just about everything that's not in France.
I stumbled across this recipe on Design Sponge, and it reminded me of that sweet and salty combination I love so much. The saltiness comes from the haloumi (one of my favorite cheeses) and it adds mint and avocado. The haloumi is a perfect replacement when you want something vegetarian. I adapted it slightly by adding more lime
Haloumi, Melon, and Avocado salad with lime-mint dressing
adapted from Melina Hammer of Design Sponge
2 blocks of haloumi (8 ounces each)
1/4 cup chopped mint
juice from 2 limes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Mix mint, olive oil and the juice of 1 lime together. Set aside.
Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out its seeds. Use a larger size melon ball tool to hollow out spheres from its flesh. Do the same with the avocados, using the smaller size of the melon baller. Dress the avocado balls in the juice of the 1 remaining lime to keep it from turing brown.
Slice the haloumi into 1/2 inch slices. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil into a skillet and heat over medium high. When the oil is hot, add the haloumi and sear until brown on each side. The second side will take less time than the first.
Place the cheese in a serving dish. Top with melon and avocado balls and dress with the mint-lime dressing. Serve while hot.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Because it moves so fast. Time seems to speed immeasurably as we grow older. It's a breathless, frenzied weight to hold onto it all.
I wonder how other people handle these thoughts. Do they struggle to hold on and remember? Do they keep physical reminders? Do they return again and again to the places they hold dear in a kind of gravitational pull? I always say that the old places feel somewhat haunted by the events of the past. It's such a bittersweet feeling. I wonder if it feels better or worse to not remember at all?
I'm thankful there are so many good memories to hold onto, and for the friends who hold onto them as well. I don't want to lose any of them.
Kaffir Lime Gin & Tonics (in honor of Ilsa's 30th)
For the Kaffir Lime Symple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
7 kaffir lime leaves, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup lime juice
Boil the syrup ingredients together, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes more. The syrup will be very fragrent. Remove from heat and strain into a glass container. Put the mixture into the refrigerator to cool
For the Gin & Tonics
3 ounces gin
5 ounces tonic
2 tbsp kaffir lime symple syrup
1 slice lime
2 mint leaves
Pour over ice and serve.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The most difficult part of vacation is ending it. Tearing yourself away from the shores of Lake Tahoe in exchange for mountains of laundry is enough to make you want to go on strike. In Tahoe.
Long live the three day weekend and give thanks for vacation days.
I plan to try and extend this summer as long as possible. Oh, to be in school again. Whatever happened to a real summer? Sprinklers, pools and 90 days of uninterrupted bliss...
But this weekend was pretty blissful itself. We celebrated Ilsa's 30 Birthday in a rustic cabin on the Nevada side of Tahoe, complete with a nearly private beach, beautiful deck to take in the sun and an extremely well-stocked refrigerator. We cooked up a storm (the famous nutella cake even made an appearance) of wood-fire grilled shrimp with coconut curry sauce, haloumi with melon and avocado in a mint-lime dressing, Mediterranean chopped salad, heirloom tomato and basil pasta, and, what is sure to become a staple in our group, the kaffir lime gin & tonics. There were no growling stomachs this weekend. We did our best to return home with an empty cooler. Success!
So those recipes and more, coming. For now it's back to laundry and a bowl of quick cold sesame noodles (courtesy of Mark Bittman himself) enjoy!
Cold Sesame Noodles
adapted from Mark Bittman
12 ounces linguine (I used whole wheat, but soba and plain would work well also)
1 cucumber (peeled and sliced into thin ribbons)
1/2 cup tahini (or peanut butter)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp minced ginger
tabasco sauce to taste
salt & pepper to taste
sesame seeds for garnish (about 1 tbsp)
Cook the pasta. When cooked, drain and run under cold water until cool. Meanwhile, slice the cucumber in half and remove the seeds. Slice thinly in long strips.
Whisk together the tahini, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and tabasco. Add 1/4 cup hot water to the mixture and continue to stir until well blended. The mixture should look creamy. Toss with the cucumber and noodles. Add sesame seeds and serve.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
So check back in Monday! Till then, happy Friday and happy weekend to you all!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Local chefs are invited to come up with their own menu. They cover the cost of the ingredients and that's it. The rest is up to them, and you (as the oh-so-adventurous diner) get to reap the benefits of their creations. Proceeds from each dinner go to benefit a different cause; past recipients have included Meals on Wheels, 826 Valencia and Oakland Food Connection. The Campaign for Better Nutrition benefited the Thursday I attended.
The theme was "McMission," a re-imagined menu of McDonald's standards, presented by California Academy of Science's Moss Room Chefs, Ben Koe, Blake Kutner and Angela Gong. The menu was as follows:
- Fresh Corn Nuts - with fried cilantro, adobo and lime
- McShaker Salad - with sunflower seeds, watermelon and jicama
- Smoked Tofu McNuggets - with ancho-barbecue sauce and tequila and agave mustard
- Cactus Fries - with habenero-lime ketchup
- Filet of Bacalao Fish - with coriander cayenne slaw
- McRib Sandwich - pork belly and smoky St. Louis rib roulade, cipollinis and ancho cress
- Mac Grande - shredded short rib and chuck patty with "government cheese" and spicy zucchini relish
- Dulce De Leche Sundae - with hot Mexican fudge and chile cocoa pepitas
- Granny Smith Apple Pie - a la mode with malted vanilla
- Bing Cherry Pie - a la mode with malted vanilla
- Mission Cookie Box
All I have to say is, McDonald's never tasted so good. We weren't able to try it all, but the favorites among our group were the McRib, the Mac Grande and the Tofu McNuggets. I only wish my camera would have cooperated in the dark light of the re-imagined Lung Shan.
Just another thing to add to my "things I love about the Bay Area" list. It's growing all the time.
There are no reservations, show up early on Thursdays for first come first serve and put your name on the host's list. Bring a party of 3-4, and enjoy! Visit their website here.
Mission Street Food
@ Lung Shan Restaurant
2234 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Do you know what it is to have a friend who can cook like nobody's business? I am lucky enough to be able to say that I do. So it is, that when Leah makes Mexican food, she doesn't just make the best Chili Rellanos you've ever tasted, she doesn't just have ice cold pacifico's waiting in the fridge, nor does she just teach you to make tortillas by hand. No. When Leah makes Mexican food, she goes all out. She even makes Escabeche, that little dish of pickled somethings that arrives on the side of a good authentic dish.
Oh my. It. Was. Delicious.
Right now It seems like canning is all the rage. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Happy Girl Kitchen cabbage and man are those pickled beets de-lish! But, to be honest, I am so much more of an instant gratification girl. I think that's why I cook and don't make pottery (all that waiting, and leaving it alone kills me!) I want to be the kind of person who can pick a bunch of Ollieberries and make copious jars of jam for winter gifts or set cucumbers in a brine for weeks until they emerge all perfect and ready for a sandwich. But I am just not. I seem to always be looking for a short cut or at least a way to enjoy the fruits of my labor NOW.
Which is why I am sharing with you two recipes for one of my favorite side dishes, Spicy Carrot and Radish Escabeche. One is the quick eat it NOW version and the other is the "Save for Later" 5 hour soak. Both are equally delicious, but of course, the longer one (the one that takes a little more patience --which is a virtue, they tell me) is a little rounder in flavor. The longer version can also be stored for about 3 months, and so you end up being able to stretch out the enjoyment as well as the process.
Spicy Carrot and Radish Escabeche
These pickled carrots and radishes, which are often found in Mexican restaurants, are great as a side dish but I also love to put these carrots and radishes inside sandwiches for a little texture and flavor kick. You can make them as spicy as you want by adjusting the jalapeno amount.
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced on an angle
1 bunch radishes, washed and sliced into rounds
1-2 large jalapenos, quartered
1 cup champagne vinegar (or any vinegar you like, but NOT balsamic)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
4 whole bay leaves
1 star anise pod
(optional: 2 cups of ice)
1. The Eat NOW Version:
Bring the Water, Vinegar, Salt to a boil in a sauce pan when the salt dissolves bring the heat down to a simmer.
Add the Oregano, Bay, and Star Anise. Simmer for one minute.
Add Carrots, Radish, and Jalapenos.
Turn the heat off and cover for 5 minutes.
Add ice to the carrots etc. to cool mixture down.
When carrots, radishes, and jalapenos are cold drain the liquid out.
Discard the bay leaves and star anise.
Serve cold and enjoy.
2. The Save for Later Version:
Toss together the carrots, radishes and jalapenos and fit into a large glass container (with a lid)
In a large sauce pan, combine the vinegar, water, salt, oregano, bay, and star anise. Bring to a simmer for two minutes.
Carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the carrot mixture until it covers all the vegetables, and allow to cool on the counter top. (Leftover liquid should be discarded) When cool, cap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.
Serve cold and Enjoy!
Can be kept for up to three months.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Rellenos. Tortillas. Cerveza. Ay Dios Mio.
It could be because I am from LA? (Don’t hate) Or, maybe it’s on account of the warm weather? Perhaps, as my mother likes to tell me, it’s a result of all the salsa she put on everything while she was pregnant with me? But, anyway you look at it, I love Mexican Food. From a late night burrito in the Mission, a plate of carnitas at Doña Tomas, or my favorite: Sea Bass with Lime Caper Mole at Tlapazola in Los Angeles. Mmmmm, Lime Caper Mole… I dream that some day I will be able to re-create that sauce….
But, I digress. The thing is that it just seemed like a good evening for Chili Rellenos. While I don’t often shy away from frying, I like to bake these little babies especially when the ingredients are in the height of their season.
I had some Pasilla (aka Anaheim) Peppers from the farmer’s market that were waiting to be used as well as some left over grilled corn and a couple of Pacifico's in the back of the fridge that were just asking to be consumed. So, I called some friends to join me for dinner and headed to Mi Tierra Foods for a few more ingredients. My recipe is definitely not traditional, but it is one of my favorite things to eat.
I like to serve the Rellenos with sliced Avocado, Lime Crema and homemade Corn Tortillas (or if I am simply not feeling it, I buy the “homemade corn tortillas” from Trader Joes or Primavera and pretend like I made them at home… sssshhhh!)
Baked Chili Rellenos
6 Fresh Pasilla Peppers (same as Anaheim’s or Poblano’s)
3 Ears of Corn – Roasted and cut off the cob (can use Frozen white corn)
¼ - ½ Cup Cherry Tomatoes – cut into quarters
¼ lb Queso Oaxaca - Shredded. it is a like a sharp mozzarella (you can use mozzarella or goat cheese)
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
¼ cup Cilantro – Chopped
2 TBL Olive Oil
Heat the oven to 350*F and grease a 9x13” baking dish.
Roast the peppers to remove the skin. Try to not rip the flesh of the peppers, they are very delicate. (But if you do, don’t worry, they will still be delicious. ) Cut a slit in the pepper from stem to tip and carefully remove the seeds.
All of the other ingredients should be chopped/cut so they are all about the same size and shape. Combine all of them together.
Very carefully fill the peppers with the corn mixture and place them in the baking dish.
If the peppers rip open, just spoon some of the mixture on top and try to fold over the pepper on top of the mixture.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until all the cheese is melted.
½ Cup Sour Cream
Zest and Juice of one Lime (it’s easier if you zest the lime before you juice it)
Pinch of Salt
Combine all ingredients
1 1/2 cups Masa Harina
2 tsp Salt
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 1/4 +/- cups warm Water
Combine the Masa Harina, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the oil then the water a little at a time and stir until smooth. The dough should be slightly sticky and form a ball when pressed together. To test, flatten a small ball of dough between your palms. If the edges crack, add water to the dough, a tablespoon at a time, until a test piece does not crack.
Place a piece of plastic wrap onto each side of a tortilla press.
Form a 1 1/2-inch ball of dough and place it in the center of the press, and push the lever down to form the tortilla. (If you don’t have a tortilla press, the dough balls can be rolled between plastic sheets with a rolling pin.) Open the press and carefully peel the tortilla off the bottom plastic and set aside.
Thanks to Leah for dinner and the post!