Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mexican Hot Chocolate

4 cups whole milk
1 (3.1-ounce) disc Mexican chocolate*
*Can be found in Hispanic and gourmet grocery stores

In a heavy sauce pot, over medium-high heat, bring the milk and chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, whiskingconstantly until the mixture is frothy and the chocolate has dissolved completely. Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately.

Source: Mexican Made Easy, Foodnetwork

Lemon Chicken Soup with Spaghetti

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 dried bay leaf
1 (2-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind, optional
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces, *see Cook's Note
2 cups diced cooked rotisserie chicken, preferably breast meat
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt

In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth, lemon juice, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind, if using, to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add the carrots and simmer until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the broken pasta and cook until the pasta is tender, for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and heat through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and the Parmesan rind and discard. Stir in 1/2 of the cheese and the parsley. Season with salt, to taste. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

*Cook's Note: You can use any short pasta from your pantry as a substitute for spaghetti

Source: Giada at Home, Foodnetwork

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cowboy Beans

2 cups pinto beans, cleaned, soaked overnight in a non-reactive bowl and drained; liquid discarded
1 ham hock
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 whole jalapeno chile
5 cups water
2/3 cup finely chopped white onion,
2 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
4 ounces pork chorizo, casing removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, bring the soaked beans, ham hock, bay leaf, garlic, jalapeno, and 5 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender. If the beans absorb too much water, add 1 cup of water after 1 hour and continue cooking (Beans mixture should remain soupy while cooking). Turn off the heat.

Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 10 minutes. Add onion and cook for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Transfer bacon and onion mixture to the pot with the beans. Wipe pan clean. In same pan cook chorizo over medium heat until crisp, about 1 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo and drain on paper towels. Add to the beans. Season lightly with salt, if necessary. Stir the beans over medium-high heat until heated through. Remove the bay leaf and ham hock and discard. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Cook's Note: In place of soaking the beans, you can use 3 (15-ounce) cans rinsed and drained pinto beans. Proceed as above but reduce the cooking time to 1 hour.

Source: mexican made easy

Corn and Cheese Stuffed Crepes with Poblano Creme


Butter for greasing the baking dish

Crepe batter

3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 poblano chiles, charred, peeled, diced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups finely grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 ear of corn)
1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish with butter. Set aside.

For the crepe batter: Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Let the batter stand for 30 minutes to allow any bubbles to settle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the poblano chiles and cook for 1 minute to blend flavors. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until reduced and the cream coats back of spoon, about 6 minutes. Cool mixture slightly then transfer to blender and process until smooth. Season the poblano sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Return the sauce to the same skillet and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Heat a 10-inch-diameter non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with oil (or spray with non-stick cooking spray). Add scant 1/4 cupful batter to the skillet; tilt to coat the bottom of the pan with an even layer of batter. Cook for about 30 to 45 seconds until golden on the bottom, adjusting the heat, as necessary, to prevent burning, Using a spatula, turn the crepe over and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Stuff each crepe with 1/4 cup of grated cheese and transfer to the prepared backing dish, fitting them snugly into dish. Cove the pan with foil and bake until cheese melts, about 15 minutes.

To serve: Arrange the crepes on a platter and pout the sauce on top. Garnish with corn kernels, Mexican crema and chopped cilantro.

Source: Mexican Made Easy

Best Bok Choy

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 1/2 cups green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
2 cups cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, halved and sliced
3 baby bok choy, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
Freshly cracked black pepper

In a wok or large saute pan, add the grapeseed oil and when almost smoking, add the onions and bell peppers. Saute, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the green beans and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the bok choy, garlic, soy sauce, and fish sauce and saute until just wilted. Add pepper, to taste, and serve immediately.

Source: Guy Fieri - Food Network

Wasabi and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 head garlic, whole
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, such as red bliss, quartered
4 teaspoons wasabi powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon water
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Trim off the top 1/2-inch of the garlic bulb with a sharp knife to expose some of the clove ends. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap loosely in aluminum foil, and place on a small baking sheet. Roast until the bulb is soft and fragrant, 45 to 55 minutes. Squeeze the cloves from the skins and set aside in a small bowl until ready to use.

Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer until a fork inserted into a potato releases easily, about 20 minutes.

In a small glass bowl, mix the wasabi powder with 1/2 teaspoon of water to start, adding any additional water by drops until a thick paste is created. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to bloom, at least 5 minutes.

Drain water from the potatoes and return the potatoes to the pot, allowing excess water to evaporate. In a small saucepan or in the microwave, warm the butter and heavy cream. Add the mixture to the potatoes, along with the wasabi and roasted garlic cloves, and mash until smooth and fluffy. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve warm.

Source: Guy Fieri - Food Network

Asian Style Mahi Mahi

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, sliced into coins
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and minced
1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil, chiffonade
4 (6-ounce) portions mahi mahi
1 leek, white part only, cleaned and julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
1 lime, sliced into rings, plus 1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Special Equipment:
4 (8 by 10-inch) pieces parchment paper
4 (12-inch) pieces kitchen string
In an ovenproof non-glass baking dish (11 by 8-inch), combine the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, serrano, garlic, cilantro, and Thai basil. Add the fish, turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the fish from the marinade and reserve. Add the vegetables to a small ovenproof dish and cover with the marinade. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the vegetables are cooked, drain the marinade/cooking liquid into a small saucepot and place over medium-low heat to reduce.

Pat the fish dry and strain as much liquid from the vegetables without damaging them. In the center of a piece of parchment, place 1/4 of the vegetables, top with 1 portion fish, and 1 slice fresh lime and fold the parchment around the fish and vegetables like a package. Secure with the kitchen string and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the packets to individual serving plates, cut open to reveal, and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime.

SourceL Guy Fieri - Food Network