Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hot Cheese Dip for September Tapa's Night

A few years ago I met the following recipe and bowed down to it.   It had the most incredible taste, and was one of those recipes that made it hard to stop eating it.    Well, the lady who brought it was kinda cagy about the recipe but finally divulged it.  And I've kept it ever since, and served it from time to time and watched people go a little nuts over it as well.   And last Saturday night was no exception.  I think there was maybe a quarter cup of the dip left at the end of the night.  However, despite the fact that it tasted wonderful, I was a little dismayed at the amount of  'oil' that was on top of the dip.  I just wonder if it's because I used a really good swiss cheese and some mature cheddar cheese?  At any rate, while good, I would say it wasn't one of my best efforts.
Hot Cheese Dip
Cheese Dip and baguettes
Eggplant Crostini with cheese dip in back.

  I also made a nice mushroom pate, which was very tasty, and extremely rich.    Here's the link to the recipe I used as a basis for mine.Bite my Cake.   I got the original recipe from the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen site.

Saturday night was our monthly get together and as usual, people brought some fun stuff.  Everything from an incredible fruit salad, some wonderful smoked fish dips, a curry/apple dip, homemade pimento cheese, homemade hummus, some totally awesome eggplant crostini, buffalo wings, and a puff pastry roll with cheese and ham inside, and of course my hot cheese dip and mushroom pate.
Clockwise: Cantaloupe wedges with prosciutto, puff pastry roll and hot wings, french bread and Mushroom pate.
Fruit bowl in back, then the cantaloupe, pimento cheese, puff pastry and wings, bread, naan and mushroom pate. 
 We also had some habanero sauce on some cream cheese, the curry apple/chicken salad and crackers, hummus and some incredible smoked fish dips.  There was a crab dip, a grouper dip and my personal favorite, a mullet dip.   I just wish I hadn't filled up on some of the other stuff, I could have made a meal on the fish dips.   
I had made some sausages as well, but they ended up in the garbage, they'd been frozen, and tasted slightly 'off', so I chucked them.   (I did say I was going to tell you not only the good stuff, but also the bad, sigh.)

Next month is Halloween and I can't wait to make a few fun things, giggle.   I love Halloween, dressing up, making fun and funky foods, it's just one of my favorite holidays. 

I'm going to leave you with the recipe for the Hot Cheese Dip and the Mushroom Pate.

Hot Cheese Dip
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 onion, finely minced
Mix together and place in an oven safe container and bake at 325 deg. for about 55 minutes.   Serve with crackers, fresh baguettes or your carb of choice.

Mushroom Pate
1 lb. Fresh Mushrooms, roughly chopped or sliced
1 small onion, minced
1-2 cloves garlic
2-4 tbsp. olive oil for frying
1-2 tbsp. butter
1/4-1/2 cup white wine

Saute mushrooms in 1-2 tbsp. olive oil til the juice is released and they start to brown.  Remove from pan and add another 1-2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan, saute onion and garlic in  olive oil til translucent, but not browned.   Swirl in the white wine, and let cook for just a minute or so to reduce a little.  Then add the mushrooms back to the pan and turn off the heat.   Let cool for just a few minutes and place in a food processor, reserving a few slices of mushroom for garnishing later on.   Whirl it together until the whole mass has processed to a consistency you like.  Add the butter at the end and let it blend in.   Heap into a dish and place in the fridge or serve right away.  This tastes awesome warm, at room temperature or cold.  Do serve with a good bread, and enjoy.    (I also had the thought that this would be wonderful, smeared on the outside of a nice tenderloin, then wrapped in puff pastry for a  Beef Wellington, hmmmm.)

In the meantime, I'll be thinking of some fun Halloween nibbles.  Maybe some cheesy Witches Fingers, some Bloody Eyeballs, some Crow's feet, the possibilities are going to be endlessly fun and flavorful.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cooking demo this month - Coq au Vin

I love compliments, who doesn't?   And I received a great one yesterday, gave me a lovely warm glow.   I attended the monthly cooking demonstration last night at the restaurant I had the cooking demo at in August.  One of the attendees told me that they'd tried my recipe for Frikadeller  at home and had really liked it.   I think the next time I burn something, or over season a dish, and feel really discouraged, I'm going to try to remember that compliment.    And that brings me to this.   

This month's cooking demonstration was a "Classic Country French Dinner"  and  the guest chef was   Gaye Lass.  And I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.  And now have another recipe I can make.   This is a fussy meal in that it does consist of a lot of little steps, but the end result, well worth it.   And even though there is some prep involved, once that's done, you can go do something else while the chicken cooks.  

Coq au Vin used to be made out of the old rooster or laying hen, which was considered too tough to eat in any other way, other than by stewing it for a long time.   The older the bird, the longer the cook time, but the flavour was incredible. 

The meal consisted of Coq au Vin, Haricot Verts and Potatoes Boulangerie.

Here is the recipe for the Coq au Vin  with the appropriate illustrations.

Coq au Vin

1/2 lb. Slab bacon cut into 1/2 inch lardons   (cut each strip of bacon into about 6 pieces)
1 (6 lb.) chicken cut into 8 pieces
1 Bouquet Garni;  3 Bay Leaves, 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, 1 spring Rosemary, 6 sprigs Parsley.  Tie the herbs together into a bundle or bouquet with some kitchen twine or thread.
15 small pearl onions, (pierced on the root end with a sharp knife in a cross cut, keeps the onions whole during the cooking process).
1 pound button or baby portobello mushrooms
3 Ribs celery cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 onion cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup tomato paste
Olive oil as needed
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt as needed
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
3 Cups full-bodied dry red wine, Burgundy or Pinot Noir
4-6 cups rich chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 pinches freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Cut bacon and chicken into required size pieces.   Tie Bouquet Garni herbs together.   Dice the onion and celery ribs.  Bring a pan of water to a boil and drop in the pearl onions, let boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes.  Remove onions from boiling water and plunge them into a bowl of cold water, peel them.   Pierce a deep cross cut in the root end of the onion with a small knife, this keeps the onions whole during cooking.

2.  Coat a large Dutch oven or Rondeau with olive oil and bring to a medium high heat.   Pat the chicken dry and season generously with salt to taste.  Working in small batches, coat the chicken gently with flour and put immediately in the hot oil.   Only flour chicken that is to be immediately put in the hot oil.  No premature flouring.   Premature flouring will result in doughy, gritty meal chicken rather than crispy. Brown on all sides, then remove from pan to paper towels to drain.   Remove any excess oil from the pan.
Gaye Lass, ready to cook

3.  Add the bacon lardons to the pan with a tiny splash of new olive oil.   Cook the bacon until it's brown and crispy.  Add the diced celery and onion and season to taste.    Cook over medium heat until the veggies are starting to soften, and are aromatic, about 7-8 minutes.    Add the garlic and cook one minute.   Add the mushrooms next and cook until they start to give off their juices.  Carefully pour in the cognac and ignite with a match or flame from the burner.   Shake the pan back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.

4.  Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.  The mixture will become very thick.   Stir in the wine and bring the mixture to a boil, and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Return the chicken legs and thighs to the pan.  Stir in enough chicken stock until the chicken parts are partially covered by the stock.   Add the Bouquet Garni and nutmeg, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.    Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.   Add the pearl onions, partially cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

5.  After the chicken has simmered for 20 minutes, turn the legs and thighs over and and add the chicken breasts.  Check the liquid and add more stock, in order to keep 3/4 of the chicken under the liquid.    Partially cover the pan and simmer for another 15 minutes.   Remove the Bouquet Garni.

6.  Remove the chicken, onions, mushrooms and bacon bits from the pot and arrange on a serving platter, and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.   If the sauce is on the thin side, reduce it down until it becomes a thicker sauce.    It can also be thickened quickly with a roux made of 1 tbls. butter and 1 tbls. flour stirred together and whisked into the sauce.    Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring and deglazing the pot for 2 minutes until the sauce is thickened.  Pour the sauce over the chicken, mushroom and onions, garnish with parsley and serve.

This meal was wonderful and I'll share the Potato recipe another day, as well as the Haricots Verts and I'm not forgetting the Poached Pears in Wine that was served for dessert.

All in all,  a fun evening, with great food and best of all, I got a new recipe to try.  

* June 2012   I would like to add to this post.   Last weekend Gaye passed away.   She was far too young, and leaves behind 2 children and many friends.     She will long be remembered in our area as a fantastic cook, and I know I will miss trying her many dishes.     Rest in Peace Gaye.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beef Stroganoff, my way

I love pasta, well, pretty much anything to do with pasta.   And when a friend mentioned they were making Beef Stroganoff for dinner the other night, my heart went pitter patter, and I 'knew' what was coming up in my menu rotation.   As it happened I had a couple of small sirloin steaks in the freezer, they were part of a larger package I'd purchased that were, to put it politely, TOUGH.     So I put the remainder in the freezer and thought I would save them to marinate or make into soup or ...   Well, that proverbial light bulb went off again when Karen mentioned Beef Stroganoff, and I knew what I could use those little steaks for.

I do cook for two people most of the time, and sometimes it's a challenge scaling down a recipe, but with the way I make this, you can expand the amount of meat and mushrooms or do as I did, make enough for two.

To start with I sliced the mushrooms in thirds, approximately, I like a thicker slice for this dish, it seems to call for it.  (by the way, adding some sliced portobello mushrooms and some crimini's instead of the meat, you've got a lovely vegetarian dish, just saying).

Chop up about a third of a large onion and set that aside.

I then took the two lonely little 'tough' sirloin steaks and sliced them thin, on an angle.  I wanted to make sure that they would brown quickly, and by cutting them at an angle, you also cut across some of the muscle fibers that toughen the meat.   But don't worry if you don't do it this way, you will still simmer this for over an hour to help tenderize the meat.

Add some butter to a pan, and get it nice and hot.  Drizzle in a little olive oil if you like to keep it from getting too 'brown'.   Add your mushrooms and let them cook a little, getting them brown,  and as soon as they start releasing their moisture, dump them into another pan and let sit while you quick saute the onions in a little more butter.

You just want them to be translucent and starting to brown, then dump them into the mushrooms and set aside.   (I do this all in one pan, I like the layers of flavour that the different veggies and meat get).

Add some olive oil  or some coconut oil to the pan, and quick saute a little of the meat at a time.  Just get it brown on one side and then turn and brown on the other side.

Don't crowd the pan, please.   As soon as the meat is browned, place in with the mushrooms and onions, and continue browning the meat till it's all browned.  Then deglaze the pan with a little beef stock, about a cup to a cup and a half or so and put the veggies and meat back into the pan.

Well, actually that's a misdirection, I very rarely have beef stock on hand so I make a 'quick and dirty' stock out of Au Jus mix, and yesterday I used about a half packet to about 1 1/2 cups of water.   This way I don't add salt either, there seems to be sufficient salt in the Au Jus mix for our taste.    Put the lid on the pan and let simmer for an hour or two.   I simmered for about 1 1/2 hours and the meat was lovely and tender by that time.   Remove the meat and veggies from the pan and set aside while you prepare the sauce.   There should be about 1-2 cups of juice left in the pan, if you like you can add a little more water, but I would advise  against it.

Add a little of the pan juice to the sour cream you have out and ready and waiting.
This measuring cup looks a little rocky, but I've had and used it for over 15 years

You want to 'temper' the sour cream a little before adding it to the pan.  Otherwise it curdles and looks yucky.   And just before you add the 'tempered' sour cream mixture to the pan, stir in about 2 ounces of cream cheese.

This helps to thicken the sauce and really adds to the tang of the gravy.     Stir it all together and add back the meat/mushroom mixture and let it come up to temperature.   Serve with egg noodles and enjoy.   And by all means, don't forget the parsley you chopped up earlier and forgot to sprinkle on top to 'pretty' it up.
We like a little sauce with our beef, as you can see here.
Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

8 oz. Fresh Mushrooms, sliced into thirds
1/2 Cup Diced Onion (about 1/3 of a large onion)
8 oz. Sirloin Steak, sliced against the grain
1/2 package dry Au Jus Mix
1 1/2 cup Water + more if needed.
8 oz. Sour Cream
2-3 oz. Cream Cheese

Saute the mushrooms and onions, set aside.  Saute the beef in small batches, when done, add the mushrooms, onions, Au Jus mix and water to the pot.  Simmer over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.  Add more water if  it is too dry.  Then take out 1/ 2 cup of sauce, add the sour cream to it, this 'tempers' the cream so that it does not curdle.  Stir the cream cheese into the meat/mushroom mixture and then add the tempered sour cream.  Let it come up to temperature, and serve with some buttered noodles. 
I won't say this is a traditional Stroganoff, but I have to say, it's very good, and suits our tastes just fine.   The dogs liked the leftover noodles as well.  I always cook too many noodles.  sigh. 

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Breakfast Salad

Salad, not just for dinner anymore. 

 I couldn't resist that one, so pardon me.   I've been intrigued with seeing people posting about salad for breakfast for a few months now, but just didn't get my act together to try it til today.  And that's only because I had a huge tub of Spring Mix or Mesclun salad mix in the fridge and if I didn't eat it soon it was going to go all slimy and yucky.  I've already had two dinners out of it and really don't want to throw it away, so....   I thought I would try to make this.   And of course I decided to do this at the last minute, so didn't even try to look up where I'd seen the original postings, so I winged it.
And here's the result.
Breakfast Salad

First off, I got the water going for the poached egg.  I wanted some kind of croutons to go with the salad and remembered how much I like them on Ruby Tuesday's salad bar and then the light bulb went on and it about blinded me, lol.
Spring mix or Mesclun

I had some rye bread that was begging to be eaten so I buttered a slice of my homemade Rye Bread, on both sides and fried it with a couple of thinly sliced mushrooms.  I got them all nice and brown, both for the flavor and because they looked pretty. 

I poached the egg, and while it was cooking,

cut the bread into chunks, and placed them on the salad, along with the mushrooms.
Breakfast Salad ready for the egg

Then I whipped up a simple vinaigrette, olive oil, cider vinegar, salt and fresh ground pepper.   Got the egg out of the pan,
Breakfast Salad with a poached egg on top

placed it on top of the salad and drizzled the vinaigrette over top and cut into it.
Breakfast Salad with a poached egg

And have to say, I'm having Breakfast Salad again, it was very flavorful, satisfying and yet not heavy.   In fact I think it could be a really lovely light dinner as well.   And it's also vegetarian, which is always nice.
   Next time though, I'm going to add some mustard to the vinaigrette and maybe some chives and parsley.  And I'm not going to cook the egg so long.   I think it would have been much better if the egg had been a little less cooked. 

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boat Club for September

It was Boat Club this week again.   And as usual, there were a variety of dishes.   I've said this before and I'll say it again, we have some incredibly talented cooks in this neck of the woods.  And luckily they like to share their talents at events like our monthly potluck.
Before I get to the food offerings, I wanted to show you how pretty it is here.  So I took a couple of snapshots outside before heading in to the building.

There was a little confusion this month, the start time went from 7pm to 6pm, so some people came in a little later, and I didn't get pictures of their dishes.   However, as usual, we ran the gamut from appetizers, to main dishes, side dishes and desserts.   And this is all a totally uncoordinated effort.   We just bring what we feel like bringing.  And it always works out.
To start with, a perennial favorite, chips and salsa.

Next up a chicken and rice dish, which was lovely and spicy.   (Which I failed to get a picture of.)
I brought some Chile Verde and Chips

Then there were some lovely deep fried Pork Chops.  ( I do live in the south and fried is how a lot of food is prepared).

Next up, a Cornbread dressing, and I have to say, I finally found a Cornbread Dressing I like.

A lovely fresh fruit salad, which was really yummy, and last but not least a Lemon Meringue pie.
And one of our people brought a sample of southern stemware, and we all fell in love with it. I wish the picture was a little clearer, but basically it's a mason jar on a glass candlestick.    I have to get one of these for myself, it is too cute.

See, I told you it ran the gamut.   And then the stuff I didn't get a picture of, there were some hot wings, a fresh fruit and cheese plate, a chocolate pie and I'm sure I missed some other stuff, but hey, I was off duty, and was too busy enjoying my plate.  
Pork Chop, cornbread dressing, fruit salad, chicken and rice and chip and salsa and Chile Verde in the bowl. 

You know, potlucks are a lot of fun.   And I'm so glad I live in an area where we do potlucks on a regular basis.  There's just something about getting together with friends that's priceless. 

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vintage recipes, Fruitcake Recipe

I'm not sure just when I became enamoured of old recipes, but somewhere along the way I started collecting recipe books that pre-dated 1960.  That's my arbitrary cut off date, why, I don't know.   I do know that many of the modern cookbooks don't have the variety of recipes, methods or interesting list of ingredients that the older cookbooks have.   So, I thought I would start sharing some of the older recipes that I think are really interesting.     And some of these, I've even made.   And when I do make them, I'll include the pictures, and any comments and procedures and failures here.  

The first one is actually a fruit cake recipe I found hand written on the inside frontispiece of cookbook I purchased at auction a couple of years ago.  It's a Boston Cooking School Cookbook, published in 1937, and was a present to a young woman for Christmas in 1938.   


There are actually two fruit cake recipes, on the left is the following:

6 cups plain flour
1 doz. Eggs
1 lb. Butter
1 small orange extract
1 lemon extract medium or Large
1 tablespoon Mace
1 lb. Candied Pineapple
1 1/2 lbs. Candied Cherries
1/2 lb. Citron
5 cups nuts
1 lbs walnuts, the rest pecans
Bake 2 1/2 hours at 250 degrees.
and penciled in below,
1lb. light-brown sugar
1lb. white raisins.

Then below that is this note from the author of the recipe on the right side of the frontispiece.
This recipe adapted from an old English recipe used by your Great Grandmother Catherine Pierson Bancroft and has been used by the women in the family for over a hundred years.

Now for the recipe on the right side.
To Kathy (Kitty?) from Mother   Christmas 1938
My Fruit Cake
1 lb. Dates
¾ lb. Figs
¼ lb. Citron peel
¼ lb. Lemon peel
¼ lb. Orange peel
1 tbsp. Ginger
2 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Allspice
1 tbsp. Mace
2 lbs. Whole raisins
1 lb. Seeded raisins
1 lb. Seedless raisins
1 lb. Blanched almonds
1 lb. pecans
½ lb. Black walnuts
½ lb. English walnuts
1 lb. Candied pineapple
1 lb. Candied cherries
(Save a few nuts and fruits to garnish).
3 lbs. Flour
3 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 lb. Sugar
½ lb. Butter or Crisco
1 tbsp. Vanilla
1 tbsp. Lemon
Enough eggs and whisky to mix a sticky dough. (usually about 8 eggs- 1 cup whiskey)
With hands, mix Flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and butter together dry – add spices,
chopped fruits and nuts, mixing thoroughly – add eggs and whiskey, flavouring extracts
to a thick paste – pack in greased funnel pans lined with brown paper – bake slowly in
cold oven 4-6 hours. Dunk in wine, brandy or whiskey to keep moist.

Makes 18 lbs.

* I wanted to add a postscript to this.   By sharing the recipe here,  hopefully I've ensured that Catherine Pierson Bancroft's recipe will live on, even though her great-great granddaughter wasn't able to keep the cookbook with the recipe, maybe someone will make a note and keep it.  

I thought I would start with the Fruit cake recipe since it's almost time to make Fruitcake so it can be 'ripe' enough to serve at Christmas. 

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Lovely Blog and some useless? facts about me.

I got such a lovely start to the week when I got the following email. (actually the week got away from me, and this actually happened last week).

"You have received a Lovely Blog Award. The reason is you inspire me and do such an amazing job with your blog. I enjoy your Danish recipes and it helps me stay in contact with my roots. Thank you.  "
Gitte from My Danish Kitchen sent it to me.     

Well, you can imagine my surprise and pleasure to receive that acknowledgement of my efforts.   *giggle*  Someone's actually reading this blog and likes it, gosh.   
I know I enjoy Gitte's posts, and if you look at my blog roll to the left, you can see she's one of the blogs that I have there.   Her Danish recipes  are wonderful and they in turn inspire me to try making some of the many foods I grew up with.    I don't really follow that many blogs, so I had to go out and look for some, and guess what I found.   Get the impression I'm kinda into Danish food?  But I also like humor and the offbeat as well. 
Now there are some rules to this and here they are:

1. Post a link back to the person that gave you the award.
2. Share 7 random things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to 15 recently discovered blogs.
4. Drop them a note and tell them about it.

The seven random things about me, hmmm....
  1. I'm actually quite shy, hard to believe, I know, but something I've actually worked on to be more comfortable with my whole life.
  2. I'm very proud of my Danish heritage, and will share it with you at any time, whether you want me to or not.
  3. I love to get on public transport in a new city and just ride around and see where the bus line goes.  A great way to explore a city without going to the local tourist spots. 
  4. I'm hooked on museums, and go to them every chance I get.   I love to see how people used to live, especially the kitchens.   Makes me very grateful for all the modern conveniences I have and enjoy.
  5. Can't imagine my life without my dogs, even when they get under my feet as I'm cooking.  On the other hand, they're great at picking up spilled food. 
  6. Hate to waste food, but don't hesitate to throw food away if it's been in the fridge longer than my three day rule.   Trust me, food poisoning is no fun at all.  
  7. Never, ever thought I would be/could be a food blogger, but having a blast doing it.

First for the 15 recently discovered blogs, hmmmm. that required some thought, I don't actually have that many I follow.     One of my interests is collecting old recipe books, predating 1960.   Just an arbitrary year, actually I have cookbooks dating from 1912 to just a few years ago.   It's just the old ones have such an incredible array of recipes that the new 'modern' cookbooks don't have.  The oldest books I have are ones my mom had, and as I said date back to 1912.  And they're in Danish as well.  But that's OK, I can read Danish.   

And then there are a couple others that I follow because they've got some Danish recipes on them, and more than that, they're also interesting.   And of course, everyone needs a good laugh now and then, and Wendy Aarons tickles my funny bone. 
  1. Eating in Denmark
  2. Nami-Nami 
  3. Culinaria Kitchen 
  4. The Old Foodie
  5. Sweetopia
  6. Homesick Texan
  7. Wendy Aarons
  8. Changeable Table.
  9. Isabelle at home
  10. Cookin Canuck
  11. A Neurotic Glamour Girl
  12. lostpastremembered
  13. Island Vittles
  14. Mad med hjertet
  15. LasVegas Food Adventures
Again, thanks Gitte for the Lovely Blog Award, it really means a lot to me.  

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Beef Enchilada's ala Ree

I'll be posting about the Lovely Blog award I received last week from a fellow blogger soon.   I'm still working on the post though.  So stay tuned...
For now though, here's what I made for dinner the other night.

I made some Beef Enchilada's the other day after catching Ree Drummond on an episode of Paula Deen's show.   If you're not familiar with Ree Drummond, check out her Pioneer Woman website.   She also has a cooking show on Foodnetwork for the next few weeks.  I'm a big fan of her and check out what's new with her almost daily. 

I followed her Beef Enchilada's recipe, well, mostly.   I did make a couple of modifications to the enchilada sauce recipe, but that's only because I tasted it and decided that I wanted to make it more something to our taste.   And when I served it, it was decided that while it was very good, my DH preferred an old family recipe called Enchilada Casserole over the Beef Enchilada's.   However, the enchilada sauce was over the top good.    So, guess I'll be augmenting enchilada sauce this way from now on. 

Here's the recipe, but first the pictures.   And ummm, taking pictures while your hands are gooped up with rolling these, well, it isn't easy, believe you me.    However, I persevered, and learned a new trick along the way.
Brown meat with the onions.

Add the canned green chile's.

Fried and dipped in Enchilada Sauce Corn Tortilla.

Meat on tortilla, (notice the pan it's in)

Sprinkled with green onions

Add a generous handful of cheese. (this was taken before I realized that the sauce would go all over the place, the rest was prepared in the pan, and it made for an easier cleanup.

All rolled up and ready for another one to join it.

And here it is, the star of the show. 

   I did make a couple of modifications to the recipe.   I used some of my Very Spicy chicken stock from last week in the sauce, and WOW, was that good.   I have to say, using the chicken stock not only stretches the enchilada sauce, but adds a wonderful new layer of flavor.   I also found I needed a little bit more roux, the sauce was too thin otherwise.   But other than that, this was a great recipe.  

Beef  Enchiladas
Recipe courtesy Ree Drummond

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose Flour
One 28 oz. can Red Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper

1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground beef - I use 90/10 
1 medium onion, chopped, about 3/4 cup
2- 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon salt, (opt)
10-14 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 cup chopped green onions
4 cups shredded Colby Jack Cheese, divided in two

Sauce:     Make a roux out of the flour and tablespoon of oil, cook over medium heat and let it cook for about a minute or so.  This takes the 'raw' taste out, then add the chicken stock and whisk together and let it cook a couple more minutes, then add the enchilada sauce.  Taste and add the salt and pepper if you like.   I don't usually add the salt, as the enchilada sauce and chicken stock have enough salt already. 
Meat:  In a large pan/skillet heat the oil, add the chopped onion, let it sweat a minute or so, then add the meat and brown the meat.   Drain the fat from the meat if you want, then add the green chiles and heat through.   Take off the heat and set aside for a few minutes while you get the tortillas' together.  
Heat the oil in a pan and lightly fry the corn tortilla's.   You don't want them crisp, just cooked a little.  Drain on some paper towels.   Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread about a cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Dip each of the fried tortillas in the sauce, then place on a plate.  Add some of the meat mixture onto the tortilla, add some of the Colby Jack Cheese, and a little of the chopped black olives and green onions.    Roll up, and place on top of the enchilada sauce in the pan, seam side down.  Continue filling and rolling until you either run out of tortillas or meat mixture.  
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top, and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes or so, until bubbly. 
Serve with rice and beans if you like. 

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Butter from leftover whipping cream

I was cleaning out my fridge the other day and castigating myself because I'd forgotten some kale tucked behind some other veggies in the veggie drawer, and it was way past its use by date, all yellow and shriveled looking, yuck.  So I chucked it.  But as I worked my way up the fridge I found the rest of the quart of heavy whipping cream I'd purchased for the Layer Cake I made for my birthday.   I had tucked it behind some juice and thought I would make some kind of dessert with it a little later.   Then I looked at the date and it was almost ready to give up and die, OK it was ready to expire in a couple of days.    I really hated to waste that on top of the kale I'd thrown away so, I got out my Kitchenaid and made Butter.

Home Made Butter

Do you have any idea how ridiculously easy it is to make butter?  I mean, you let the machines do the work.   Just keep an eye on it and be ready to grab it when it becomes butter.   Beats the heck out of the old way of making butter, and yes, I've tried making it in a butter churn.  My arm's still sore. 

Whip the cream, just the way you would if you were going to use it for something luscious and decadent.   Then when it reaches this point you know you're just moments away from your own sweet, home made butter.
See how grainy it looks?  If you're like me, you've done this accidentally once or twice in the past.
Now just keep going.

  See the butter?  That's those yellow clumps, and the white stuff is the buttermilk, well, the whey that's left.

 At this point I change from the whisk to the beater, and pour off some of the liquid that's collected and keep the beater going just a couple minutes longer. But keep that liquid, it's great for baking.  Oh and it freezes beautifully as well.

You want to expel as much of the liquid from the butter as possible.   I usually add some salt at this point and taste it.
Home made Buttermilk

Liquid expelled from the butter, aka buttermilk.  Use it in any recipe that calls for Buttermilk. It freezes beautifully by the way. 

Home Made Butter
You now have butter.  And you made it all yourself.    I have to say, this isn't cost effective, but oh so worth it when you can put this on the table with some of your own fresh made bread.    If I'm not going to use it up within a couple of days, I will freeze the remainder.   But, you do need to keep it refrigerated, except when you're spreading it on nice hot piece of bread or a biscuit fresh out of the oven or ...

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