Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I Want Wednesday

A bit late, but my internet is out at home. :)

I really could use a cake platter! My cats (bad cats that they are) will eat any food left out on the countertops (cookies, bread, cake, etc). But I don't think they could figure out how to get the top of a cake plate. Maybe they will just sit and stare into the dome and drool.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Orange

I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, the last issue. I was a bit skeptical of the orange flavor, but this was EXCELLENT. I very highly recommend it! I would also recommend not using tomato/spinach pasta (like I did) and just use egg pasta. Even though it looks pretty. I will be making this again!

Kosher salt
12 oz. fettuccine (preferably fresh, but can use dried)
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1" pieces
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto; sauté until browned, about 3 minutes.

Add reserved pasta water, orange juice, half of zest, and cream; bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and divide among warm bowls. Sprinkle remaining orange zest over pasta.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Going Organic

The Environmental Working Group has a great website. On the site, there is a link for their guidelines on pesticides in your food.

The worst offenders:

sweet bell peppers
greens (kale and collards)

The best non-organic options:

sweet corn
sweet peas
sweet potatoes

Locally grown, organic options from your farmers market is always the best option, in my opinion! The freshest you can buy, and it supports the local economy. Or if you have a yard, plant a garden! Even a small one can have huge yields. If you are new to gardening, pick easy plants to start with like beans, herbs, or squash.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crab cakes

I'm baaaccckkk! Done with the test. For better or for worse!

So, growing up in Georgia (and now living in TX!), crab cakes were not on the menu very often (or, ever). And if they were, they often had alot of "filler" like breadcrumbs, etc instead of just crab. These crab cakes are true crab cakes. Mostly just crab with a bit of binder to hold them all together. The only downside to this method is that it can get a bit pricey. P requests only the large lump meat, and not the claw meat. If you mix the larger lump meat with claw meat it can be a beat more cost effective, but can also have shell in there sometimes. No fun to bite into shell! 

Sometimes we serve just 1 cake each with a small piece of fish. This time we just had crab cakes. I tried to sneak in the claw meat, but wasn't sneaky enough. He totally caught on. :)

Crabby Crab Cakes-makes 6 cakes
1/4 c soft breadcrumbs
1 t baking powder
1 t dried parsley
1 t mustard powder
2 t Old Bay Seasoning
1 T mayo
2 T melted butter
1 t Worcestershire sauce
2 egg
1 lb crab meat

Preheat broiler. Combine seasonings. Whisk together mayo, Worcestershire, eggs, butter until smooth. Fold in crab, then fold in breadcrumbs. Shape into cakes on pan sprayed with cooking spray.

 nicely used baking sheet, right?

Broil 4-5 minutes, until browned. Flip (carefully!), broil 4-5 minutes on other side. Serve!

the finished plate


What I Want Wednesday

I want to adopt an olive tree at Nudo. When you adopt a tree, you get a package in the spring with olive oil pressed from your tree (and it's neighbors) and in the fall you get flavored oils. So fun!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chicken Taquitos

Countdown to my test has definitely begun. I fly out tomorrow, test is Sunday. Yikes. Can't wait for this to be over! Last minute I come!

I made these babies last week. This was my first attempt at taquitos. They were fun to make, and fun to eat! I highly recommend guac or salsa to dip them in.

Chicken Taquitos, adapted from Blissfully Delicious

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup your favorite salsa
1.2 lime, juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 t garlic salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs chopped scallions
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Kosher salt
Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425 degree F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with a cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the following items together: cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, cayenne, onion powder, garlic salt, cilantro, and scallions. Add the chicken and cheeses, mix until combine.

Next, warm up the corn tortilla for easier handling: dampen two pieces of paper towel, and place 6 pieces of corn tortillas between the two dampened towels.  Microwave for 30 seconds. This really is important, don't skip this step!

Working quickly (while still warm!), place 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Line them up on a baking sheet with seam sides down. Fill the rest of the tortillas with the remaining filling.

Spray the filled taquitos with cooking spray lightly, sprinkle with salt. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with with your favorite sides (salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I Want Wednesday

I would love to have a couple chickens in the backyard in one of these cute coops! Must have yard first....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cherry Buttermilk Pancakes

On Memorial Day weekend, I went to Magnolia Cafe in Austin for the first time. This place is somewhat "famous" for having been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I've been wanting to try the breakfast there for awhile. The day we went, they had Cherry Buttermilk pancakes as the special of the day. I had never had cherries in pancakes before, so I gave it a try. Delicious. So I decided to try to recreate them at home. Score! Perfect cherry pancakes!

Cherry Buttermilk Pancakes, makes 4 cakes

2 T unsalted butter
1 c all-purpose flour
1/8 cup sugar
1-1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
Cooking spray

Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently, add the melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Fold in cherries. Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle or skillet.

Heat a griddle or a skillet over medium heat (or set an electric griddle to 375°F) until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. 

Optional: serve with maple syrup and/or butter.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Steak and Pepper Sandwiches

P has a very particular idea of what a Philly Cheesesteak should be. And I have yet to be able to duplicate this at home. Mostly because he makes them sound terrible for you. Meat the quality of a Steak-umm, and lots of grease. I can't bring myself to purchase steak-umms, so we make this version. P will not call it a cheesesteak, it is just a Steak and Pepper sandwich. I think they are delicious. If you want more sauce for your sandwich (make it all drippy) just add more sherry and Worcestershire sauce.

Steak and Pepper Sandwiches

Cooking Spray
8 oz-1 lb (depending on how meaty you want the sandwiches! 8 oz was plenty for us!) strip steak, sliced thinly
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thick
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
½ cup sherry
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 rolls, we used ciabatta, but sub rolls would also work
4 slices pepper jack cheese (optional)

Season steak with salt and pepper. Spray saute pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add steak. Brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes each side. Until desired pink. Remove to plate.

Add 1 T butter, onions, garlic, green peppers, and red peppers and  and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until relatively soft (but not flimsy.) Remove to a clean plate. Set aside.

Melt 1 add’l tablespoon butter in pan. Add sliced mushrooms and stir. Pour in sherry, then add Worcestershire. Cook over medium-high heat for five minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

Add in meat and vegetables, stirring to combine. Cook a couple minutes to reheat.

Toast halved  rolls under broiler or toaster oven. Spoon meat/veggie mixture on the lower half of the bun. Top with cheese (if desired) and broil for a minute or two, until the cheese is melted.

The leftovers were also very good in tortillas (we ran out of rolls!)


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I Want Wednesday

The second installment of What I Want Wednesday.

If anyone can tell me how to create an html "button", I would love to create one!

This week:

A cast iron skillet. I've wanted one FOREVER. Time to get one!

Happy Birthday to Me!