Monthly Archives: January 2010

Spicy Fideo and Black Bean Pie

Other food blogs are a constant source of new recipes for me – it’s amazing how many recipes that are on regular rotation in my household either come directly from or are inspired by other bloggers. This one is extremely filling, and is easily made with ingredients I usually have on hand. What are your favorite weeknight recipes?

Spicy Fideo and Black Bean Pie

Spicy Fideos with Ground Beef and Black Beans
recipe from What Geeks Eat

1 pack age of fideos
1 pound ground beef
1 onion diced
¼ cup Penzeys spicy taco seasoning
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
1 jar canned tomato puree
1 can black beans drained
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded

Brown the ground beef in the skillet. Drain it if necessary. Add the onion and let it cook for a few minutes. Add the fideos and stir to combine. Add the seasonings, water and tomatoes and stir to mix it up. Let this bubble and cook for 10 minutes. The liquid should be mostly absorbed by the fideos. Add the black beans. Preheat the oven to broil. Top the fideos with the cheese and stick the pan under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese. Serve with a salad alongside.

Pots de Creme

I first saw this recipe in Food Network Magazine a few months ago. Once in a while I get an intense craving for chocolate, and this is the perfect cure – highly chocolatey, super creamy, and so easy to make that even a dolt with egg-based recipes like me can keep from screwing it up.

Pots de Creme

Chocolate Pots de Creme
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

9 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons granulated sugar (add an extra tablespoon if using bitter chocolate)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Place the chocolate in a blender. Whisk the milk, 1 cup cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula and almost boiling, 5 to 6 minutes.

Immediately pour the milk mixture over the chocolate in the blender. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among ramekins or small cups and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the confectioners’ sugar with a mixer or in the blender until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pots de creme with whipped cream.

October 2009 Roundup

In savory recipes, A1 Beef Stew from $5 Dinners, Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew from A Dash of Sass, Golden Mushroom Soup with Creme Fraiche & Crispy Shallots from A Feast for the Eyes, Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash, Spinach and Goat Cheese from A Food Coma, Brioche from A Series of Kitchen Experiments, Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole and Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Creamy Tomato and Onion Gravy from A Taste of Home Cooking, Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup from Adventures in My Freezer, Puerco Pibil from Adventures in Shaw, Prosciutto-Stuffed Gorgonzola Chicken and Really Gouda Cauliflower Soup from The Alchemist Chef, Mexican Chicken Kiev from All That Splatters, Claypot Chicken Rice with Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage) from Almost Bourdain, Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup) from Always Order Dessert, Welsh Rarebit Souffle from Amuse Bouche, Rocket Risotto with Scallops and Crispy Ham from Antics of a Cycling Cook, Za’atar Chicken from Around Britain with a Paunch, Beet Risotto from Bay Area Foodie, Salsify Cream Sauce from< Beyond Salmon, Queso Fundido with Beer from Big, Bold, Beautiful Food, Kuih Bom (Fried Sesame Balls) from Bites and Pieces, Pizza Muffins from Bread & Wine, Tuna Tartare Tower from BrokeAss Gourmet, Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage, Walnuts and Brown Butter from Cafe Johnsonia, Parmesan Knots and Chicken Cacciatore Risotto from Cassie Craves, Shrimp Monterey from Cheat Day Cafe, Creamy Mushroom Soup from Cherry on a Cake, Pumpkin Risotto with Shrimp and Pancetta from Chi-town Cooking Creations, Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella with a Roasted Marinara Dipping Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage from Closet Cooking, Sun Dried Tomato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Quiche from Cooking and Eating in the Windy City, Chili Rellenos Casserole from Cooking My Way, Mom’s Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole from The Crispy Cook, Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole from Cucina di Harwood, Fig and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Maple Butter and Eggplant Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Pine Nut Sauce from The Culinary Chase, Goat Cheese-Manchego Ravioli with Chipotle Cream Sauce from Cupcake Muffin, Braised Pork with Caramelized Leeks and Apple Cider and Squash Risotto with Blue Cheese and Crispy Sage from Daily Unadventures in Cooking, Linguine with Creamy White Clam Sauce from The Days are Just Packed!, Chap Chae (Korean Mixed Vegetables with Beef and Cellophane Noodles from Deep South Dish, Honey-Glazed Cipollini Onions from Dine O Mite!, Roast Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad, St. John Style from Dinner Diary, Enchiladas Potosinas from the dough ball, Miso Shortribs from [eatingclub] vancouver, Sofrito Rice Soup with a Vegetable Soup from Eric Rivera’s Cooking Blog, Alton Brown’s Eggplant Pasta from Ezra Pound Cake, Simply Great Chicken from Food for a Hungry Soul, Loaded Baked Potato Casserole from Foodie with a Little Thyme!, St. Andre and Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from Hugging the Coast, Ricota Gnocchi, Succotash with Bacon and Heirloom Tomato from Immaeatchu, Weiner Schnitzel, Spatzle, and Apple Fritter from Kitchen Inferno, Meatloaf with Herbed Cream Sauce from Life’s Ambrosia, Tyler’s Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, Mexican Chicken Kiev from Mmm…Cafe, Orchard Apple Salad from More than Burnt Toast, Cambozola & Taleggio Potato Bake from Morsels & Musings, Blue Cheese and Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes from My Kitchen Cafe, Rao’s Meatballs from Rao’s Recipes, Turkey Meatballs from real life foodie adventures, Lobster Risotto from REC(ession)IPES, Meatballs with Sour Cream and Mushrooms from Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking, Porter House’s Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Glaze from Restaurant Girl, Sweet and Tangy Oven-Barbecued Chicken with Individual Potato Gratins from The Review Lady, Shrimp and Corn Chowder from Sass & Veracity, Lentil Sausage Ragout, The Fake Shack Burger and Chinese Chicken Salad from Serious Eats, Soft Pretzels from The Sisters’ Cafe, Healthier Ramen Noodles and Vegetable Fried Rice from Slashfood, Jalapeno Cheddar Scones from Smitten Kitchen, Risotto with Fresh Chanterelle Mushroom and Shaved Black Truffle from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Bay & Onion Creamy Tomato Gravy, Creamed Chicken with Gnocchi Dumplings and CrockPot Orange Chicken from SweetTea in Texas, Mexican Chicken Pie from Tulip’s Kitchen, Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Rosemary from Two Peas and Their Pod, Brown Rice with Black Beans and Cilantro from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, Pasta with Brown Butter and Butternut Squash Sauce from Whining ‘N Dining, White Bean and Ham Soup from Wives with Knives, and Parmesan Cauliflower Fritters from words to eat by.

In sweet recipes, Lemon Custard Tart with Gingersnap Crust from 28 Cooks, Fruit Custard Kheer from 365 Days of Pure Vegetarian, Southern Praline Apple Bread from A Bountiful Kitchen, Baked Apple Pancake from A Homemaker’s Habitat, Date Nut Bread from All That Splatters, Caramel Apple Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars from Anne Strawberry, Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie from Annie’s Eats, Brown Butter Ice Cream from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Sweet Potato Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Baking Bites, Cannoli Bites from Big Red Kitchen, Maple Pecan Ice Cream and Sweet Potato Pecan Pie from Closet Cooking, Apple & Ricotta Tartlets from Confessions of a Tart, Raspberry and White Chocolate Cupcakes from Cook Sister!, Whole Wheat Apple Muffins from Cooking for Seven, White Russian Cupcakes from Cute and Delicious, Chambord Candy Apple Martini from Eat. Drink. Memory., Pista Katli from Few Minute Wonders, Grilled Peaches in Butter Rum Sauce from The Garden Apartment, Apple and Hazelnut Clafoutis from La Tartine Gourmande, Chocolate Hazelnut-Banana Stuffed Wontons from Live.Love.Eat, The Best Apple Cake Ever from Lynda’s Recipe Box, Graham Apple Crumb Layer Cake and Grapenuts Ice Cream from My Tasty Treasures, Grand Marnier French Toast from Pastry Heaven, Fleur de Sel Caramel Apples from Savoring Time in the Kitchen, Lancashire Hot Pot from Seasonal Ontario Food, Paczki (Polish Doughnuts) from Serious Eats, Pumpkin Poppers (Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnut Holes) from sophistimom, Butternut Squash Dumplings with Brown Butter and Sage from The Sporadic Cook, 5 Minute Amaretto Chocolate Cheesecake in a Mug from ::steph chows::, Bananas Foster Tartelettes from Tartelette, Nutella Swirl Pound Cake from Taste & See, Apple-Cinnamon Bundt Cake and Apple Cider Doughnuts from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod, Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon-Cider Cream Cheese Glaze from Vanilla Sugar, Stuffed Mushrooms with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, Nutella Bottom Cupcakes with Tiramisu Frosting from What’s Cooking, Chicago?, and Date Nut Spice Bread from Wives with Knives.

Chile Relleno Casserole

I really love chiles rellenos, but hate the amount of work that goes into making traditional ones. The few times I’ve attempted it, I’ve had trouble with the batter staying on the peppers. I saw this recipe on another blog, and gave it a try. It has all the flavor of the original, with a fraction of potential for error.

Chile Relleno Casserole

The part that makes it great is the sauce, so don’t skimp on that part. Next time around, I’m thinking of filling half the peppers with cheese, and the other half with the meat mixture, to give it a little variety.

Chile Relleno Casserole (plated)

Chile Relleno Casserole
recipe from Simply Recipes

8 poblano chiles
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
1 pound Mexican chorizo (or other spicy sausage)
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
12 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat broiler. Lay chiles in a single layer on a broiling pan (not a baking sheet that will warp in the heat of the broiler) or on a rack in a roasting pan. Position the the chilies one to two inches from the broiler element. Cook until chiles are blistering and black, a few minutes on all sides. Turn chiles over and broil until blistering and black all over. Alternatively, you can blacken the chilies directly over a gas burner. Put chilies in a paper bag or thick plastic bag. Let sit 15 minutes.

While the chilies are cooling, heat olive oil in a large sautée pan, on medium. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes (break up any whole tomatoes before adding to the pan). Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Carefully peel and discard the blackened skin off of the chilies. Cut off the stem ends, remove the seeds and discard. Set chiles aside on a layer of paper towels to dry.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook chorizo, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8×12 inch baking dish (the tomato sauce should be the consistency of a thin spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little water).

In a large bowl, mix chorizo, cotija, and oregano. Stuff chiles with sausage mixture and lay them on top of the tomato sauce in the pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle chiles with half of the jack or cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over chiles and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.

Serves 8.

September 2009 Roundup

Finally, we get to the recipes that are at least somewhat seasonal. The stone fruits are long gone, but there is definitely still apples and squash and citrus to be had.

In savory recipes, Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash from 101 Cookbooks, Beef Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce and Fresh Peach Salsa from A Bountiful Kitchen, Inside Out Buffalo Hot Wings from A Dash of Sass, Easy Crispy Skinned Chicken a l’Orange from A Feast for the Eyes, Stuffed Maple Burger with Spicy Apple Bacon Compote from A Good Appetite, Chorizo, Vegetable, and Pasta Bake from A Pot of Tea and a Biscuit, Chicken Braised with Garlic and White Wine from A Series of Kitchen Experiments, Garlic Lemon Shrimp and Orzo with Broccoli from A Taste of Home Cooking, Spanikopita Pasta Salad and Caprese Spring Rolls with Pesto Dipping Sauce from A Year in the Kitchen, Corn Potato Chowder with Sausage from A2eatwrite, Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu from Adventures with the Woods, Zuppa di Farro from Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino, Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie from All That Splatters, Everything But the Kitchen Sink Spanish Tortilla from Ambrosia and Nectar, German Meatloaf (Falscher Hase) from Angie’s Recipes, Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from Anissa’s Kitchen, Chicken with Maple-Mustard Pan Sauce and Frittata with Zucchini and Goat Cheese from Apple a Day, Stuffed Mushrooms from The Arugula Files, Bacon Macaroni and Cheese with Bechamel Sauce and Cheddar French Fried Onion Crust, Bacon and Wasabi Potato Salad, and Tilapia with Balsamic Browned Butter and Creamy Farfalle with Bacon, Tomatoes and Peas from The Bacon Show, Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Biggest Diabetic Loser, Currywurst Noodles, Zucchini, White Bean & Leek Soup, Pressure Cooker Pork Ragu and Bacon, Blue Cheese & Jalapeno Twice Baked Potatoes from bitchincamero, Cuban Pork Shoulder from Bless Us O Lord, Meatballs Braised in Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto from Blog Well Done, Pan-Fried Fish with Broccoli Linguini and a Balsamic Browned Butter Sauce from Bread + Butter, Italian Sausage, Red Pepper and Mushroom Risotto from Brown Eyed Baker, Chicken and Shrimp Paella from Cafe Munchkin, Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup from Caviar & Codfish, Porcini Risotto from Chew On That, Chicken Satays with Peanut Sauce from Chocolate & Croissants, Moroccan-Inspired Nectarine and Plum Chicken from Christie’s Corner, Gruyere Chive Saison Beer Bread from Cincinnati Nomerati, Ntomatokeftedes (Greek Tomato and Feta Fritters) and Fried Green Tomato BLT from Closet Cooking, Green Bean Risotto and Pork with Oyster Mushrooms from Coconut & Lime, Chicken Tagine with Rice from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, Sage & Gorgonzola Cauliflower Soup from Cookin’ Canuck, Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini from Cooking for Comfort, Steak and eggs with Hollandaise Sauce from Culinary Cory, Ribeye Steak with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary, Orzo in Creamy Kabocha Squash Sauce from Delectable Victuals, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew from Dinner Diary, Monte Cubanos from Dishing Up Delights, Salsa Risotto from Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Wheat, Chicken and Rice and Chinese Stuffed Pancakes with Potato & Garlic Chive Filling from [eatingclub] vancouver, Mushroom, Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts from Evil Shenanigans, Pan Crisped Devilled Eggs on Baby Romaine from Feeding Groom, Bloody Mary Tomato Salad and Italian Burger from Food O’ Del Mundo, Salisbury Steaks with Rich Brown Gravy and Horseradish Smashed Potatoes and Crabmeat Stuffed Filet of Flounder from The Food of Love, Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Basil & Italian Sausage from The Garden of Eating, Slow Cooked Spiced Lamb Shanks with Dates from Girl Interrupted Eating, Red Wine Braised Leg of Lamb with Carrot and Sweet Potato Mash from Hot off the Garlic Press, Corn Chowder from Hungrywoolf’s Food Blog, Rice Cooker Seafood Paella from, Sweet Corn and Bacon Empanadas with Roasted Chiles from Just a Taste, Rigatoni with (Buffalo) Meatballs from Kahakai Kitchen, Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups from Kalyn’s Kitchen, Sun-dried Tomato Bread from Kitchen Doorknobs, Stuffed Peppers from koko’s corner, Risotto-Style Farro with Winter Squash and Aged Goat Cheese from Lemonbasil, Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes from Love and Olive Oil, Crockpot Burrito Soup from Lovetoeat’s Weblog, Corn and Potato Chowder with Butternut Squash and Ham from Lynda’s Recipe Box, Gnocchi with Burnt Butter, Mushrooms, Sage and Truffle Oil from masak-masak, Tomato, Bacon and Corn Pasta and Garlic Cheese Creamed Corn from Meal in Progress, Pan Seared Chicken Cutlets with Orange Balsamic Glaze and Pork Chops with Oozy Gorgonzola, Honey and Toasted Pecans from The Meat and Potatoes Foodie, Reeni’s Apple Cheddar Smashed Potatoes from Megans Munchies, Pork and Vermicelli from Missy’s Recipes, Chicken Tikka Masala from Mmm…Cafe, Loaded Baked Potato Salad from more bread and cheese, please!, Spicy Tomato Tortellini with Chorizo Sauce from More Than Words, Smoked Gouda-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Apple-Onion Compote and Angel Hair with Scallops in White Wine Butter from MyGourmetConnection, Kimchi Pork Belly Pasta from No Recipes, Joey Campanaro’s Meatball Sliders from Perrys’ Plate, Scallop Picatta from Proud Italian Cook, Caramelized Chicken Ga Kho from Ravenous Couple: Cooking Up Life, Spicy Lamb and Lentil Stew from Restaurant Widow, Bacon and Leek Lentils from Sarah’s Cucina Bella, Korean Vegetable Pancakes from Seasonal Ontario Food, Cauliflower with Bacon and Mushrooms and Summer Lobster Sandwiches with Zucchini Frites and Heirloom Tomato Salad from Serious Eats, Tomatillo Chicken Stew from Simply Recipes, Chicken Pasta in Garlic Wine Sauce from Skinny Food by Amy, Ropa Vieja from Slashfood, Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles y Calabacitas (Chicken and Rice with Beans & Zucchini) from The Spiced Life, Mar-A-Lago Turkey Burgers from Stylish Cuisine, Melissa d’Arabian’s Crispy Skinned Chicken a l’Orange from Sugar & Spice by Celeste, Croquetas de Jamon from Tamarind and Thyme, Orange Panna Cotta and Jammy Doughnut Muffins from Tea and Wheaten Bread, Braised Rabbit with Marsala Wine and Wild Mushrooms from Tigers & Strawberries, Halloumi Salad with Balsamic Tomatoes from Tinned Tomatoes, Spinach-Tomato-Feta Fritatta from The Unconfidential Cook, Rick Bayless’ Black Mole with Chicken from Vegas Musings, What Do I Want to Cook Today? from What Do I Want to Cook Today?, Succulent Lobster & Creamy Chevre Grits from What We’re Eating, Old Bay Fish Tacos, Cordon Bleu Croquettes and Prime Rib Sliders from What’s Cookin, Chicago?, Paella from What’s Gaby Cooking?, Duck Ragu from Wino Sapien, Chicken Tomatillo Stew, Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons and Cheddar Zucchini Scones from Wives with Knives, Spinach Fettuccine with Wild Mushrooms from Yogurtsoda, and Acorn Squash Pizza with Bacon, Shallot, Taleggio, Arugula & Aged Balsamic and Bucatini all’Amatriciana from Zen Can Cook.

In sweet recipes, Chocolate Chip Raspberry Pancakes – Healthified from $5 Dinners, Martha Giddens Nesbit’s Peach Pound Cake from A Yankee in a Southern Kitchen, Raspberry Crumb Bars from Annie’s Eats, French Toast with Smoky Bacon, Berries and Maple Syrup from The Bacon Show, Macadamia Nut Pancakes with Bananas from Baking Bites, Peach Crumb Bars from Brown Eyed Baker, Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake from Burghilicious, Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Late Summer Fruits from Cafe Johnsonia, Zucchini Casserole from Cassie Craves, Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake from Confessions of a Serial Baker, Pink Lemonade Cupcakes from Cooking for Comfort, Apple Cider Doughnus from Delicious Dishings, Apple Bacon Fritters with Maple Bourbon Glaze and Peach Upside-Down Cake from Evil Shenanigans, Snickerdoodle Blondies from The Fearless Chef, Raspberry Peaches & Cream Pie from Food o’ del Mundo, Almond Peach Tart from Hopie’s Kitchen, French Cruller Doughnuts from How to Eat a Cupcake, Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Crunch Glaze from Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings and Rants!, Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins from Kate in the Kitchen, Bananas and Cream Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze from Lynda’s Recipe Box, Peach Semifreddo from :pastry studio:, Coconut Macaroon Pancakes from Perrys’ Plate, Caramelized Apple Tart in a Browned Butter Custard from The Recipe Girl, Apple Cider Muffins from Sweet Basil, Strawberry Frangipane Tartlets from Technicolor Kitchen, and Oaty Raspberry Muffins from Teen Baker.

Rarebit Risotto

Even though summer is well behind us, I still find risotto to be a quick and easy meal that is appropriate for any time of year. Although tomatoes are kind of sad right now (is there anything worse than a January tomatoes? Really?), there are some fairly decent Romas to be had which work perfectly in this dish. I really love the flavor profile of the cheddar/beer/Dijon combo.

Rarebit Risotto

Rarebit Risotto
adapted from Recipezaar

4 cups mushroom broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
12 ounces beer (I prefer a lager or ale)
3 cups chopped cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups chopped roma tomatoes
salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a gentle simmer. In a medium dutch oven (or large sauce pan), heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add rice and stir till well coated and golden. Add beer and stir till rice has absorbed all the liquid.

Ladle in a cup or so of the stock and continue stirring till liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Repeat till all broth has been absorbed (stirring constantly).

While risotto is cooking, steam cauliflower until just tender.

When the last of the broth is absorbed, add mustard and cheese and stir till cheese is melted and well combined with risotto. Stir in broccoli and tomatoes and sever immediately. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

August 2009 Roundup

Whew, finally starting to make a dent (albeit it a small one) in the backlog. And finally starting to get these roundups out. I know the recipes are asking for ingredients that aren’t in season at the moment, but it’ll give those of us in the Northern Hemisphere something to look forward to, and my friends in the Southern Hemisphere exactly what they’re looking for this time of year. 🙂

In savory recipes, Grilled Eggplant Panini with Rosemary-Garlic Aioli from $5 Dinners, Farro Salad with Green Beans and Corn from A Homemaker’s Habit, Courgette Pakoras in Spicy Tomato Sauce from Allotment 2 Kitchen, Sausage and Sage Stuffed Squash from Ambrosia and Nectar, Slow Cooker Risotto from An Empty Stomach is the Best Cook, Ina’s Greek Panzanella from Anne Strawberry, Honey Chipotle Glazed Chicken and Summer Peach Carpaccio from Artichoke Heart, Hungarian Egg Noodle, Sauerkraut and Gypsy Bacon Soup from The Bacon Show, Ravioli with Spinach and Tomatoes from The Bake-Off Flunkie, Hot Pepper Jelly from Baking Buddies, Bleu Cheese and Mushroom Risotto from Bowl of Berries, Shallot & Pomegranate Infused Duck Breast from Bren’s FlaNboyant Eats, Zucchini-Tomato Gratin from “…but where do you get your protein?”, Accidental Chicken Curry from Cafe Munchkin, Balsamic-Maple Glazed Pork Chops from Carrie’s Sweet Life, Mozzarella-Studded Chicken Parmesan Meatballs and Ultimate Creamed Corn from Cassie Craves, Ricotta Gnocchi with Chanterelles, Sweet Corn, and Sage Brown Butter from Caviar and Codfish, Zucchini Cheese Scones from Ciao Chow Linda, Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas from Closet Cooking, Fried Eggplant Balls with Melted Mozzarella Centers (Polpette di Melanzane) from Cookin’ Canuck, Baked Penne with Zucchini, Corn and Basil from Cooking with Cristine, Eggplant Foccacia from Culinary in the Country, Chive Risotto Cakes from Cupcake Rehab, Sauteed Tilapia with a Lemon Shallot Cream Sauce from Dalla Mia Cucina, Creamy Tarragon Chicken with Leek Risotto from Dragon Musings, Fresh Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Quiche from The Feast Within, BLT Pie from feeding maybelle, Shrimp and Grits with a Roasted Tomatillo and Heirloom Tomato Salsa from The Garden Apartment, Zucchini Quesadillas and Frittata from Heights Eats, Garden Zucchini and Italian Sausage Penne from Hold the Onions, Roland’s Prize Winning Bacon Loaded Pierogies from Hungrywoolf’s Food Blog, Cheddar BLT Burgers with Tarragon Russian Dressing from Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings and Rants!, Pan Fried Tilapia with Edamame Succotash from Just a Taste, Mexican Lasagna from Liesl’s Confection Dissection, Creamy Salsa Chicken from Lovestoeat’s Weblog, Cauliflower Gratin with Tillamook Aged Cheddar, Caramelized Onions & Applewood-Smoked Bacon from LunaCafe, Crab Macaroni and Cheese from Lynsey Lou’s, Don’t Kiss Me Garlic Burgers from Michelle Cooks Everyday, Pseudo-Posole (Crock Pot Chicken Tomatillo Stew) and Tuna Ceviche in an Avocado Half from Missy’s Recipes, Sweet Potato Quesadillas, Penne Gorgonzola Chicken and Chicken a’l’Orange from Mmm, Tasty!, Crispy Corn Fritters from Ms. Glaze’s Pommes d’Amour, Blue Cheese Chive Stuffed Potatoes from MyGourmetConnection, Greek Nachos from Not Without Salt, Rich and Hearty Oxtail Ragu from Rainy Days and Sundays, Garlic Scape and White Bean Dip from Real Good Taste, Blue Cheese Scones from Salutetosanity, Spicy Black-Eyed Peas from Sassafras Cafe, Fresh Summer Potato Gnocchi from Scrumptious Street, Louisville Hot Brown Sandwich from Serious Eats, Flank Steak with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce from sjgourmet, Chicken with Apple Cider Sauce and Rice Pilaf from Something Sweet by Karen, Spinach Feta Burgers from ::steph chows::, New Potato Salad and Curried Chicken Salad from Stylish Cuisine, Chicken Breasts with Mushroomsand Cream and Athenian Orzo from Sugar & Spice by Celeste, Seared Scallop Salad and Nectarine Salad with Blue Cheese from Sugarlaws, Spicy Shrimp, Sausage, & Spinach Fetuccine from SweetTea in Texas, Braised Short Ribs with Pappardelle from ToastPoint, Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, Black Bean Carnitas Stew from Trader Joe’s Fan, Conchiglioni Rigati Stuffed with a Ragu Bolognese and Parma Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Apricots and Served with Stilton Sauce from What Do I Want to Cook Today?, and Mexican Chop Salad with a Cilantro Vinaigrette from What’s Gaby Cooking?

In sweet recipes, Harvey Wallbanger Cupcakes from 52 Cupcakes, Grandma’s Orange Cake from A Year in the Kitchen, Berry Cherry Smoothie from Ahaar, Sour Cream Peach Pecan Pie from Cassie Craves, Bacon Fat Spice Cookies from Dine O Mite!, Neapolitan Cheesecake from Genesis of a Cook, Vanilla Yogurt Pancakes from Gluten Free in Cleveland, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Duo from Kids Cuisine, Rice Pudding Two Ways from Mexican Chocolate Lore and More, Blueberry Panna Cotta and Raspberry Gelatin from The Missing Flavor, Berry Lemonade from Oven Love, Baked Apple Donuts from Stylish Cuisine, Strawberry Blue Custard Cart from Temecula Food News and Reviews, and Amaretto Cheesecake from The Way the Cookie Crumbles.

Breaking in the Pizza Oven

About that pizza oven I was talking about the other day….

One of the upgrades that we had budgeted for, before the crap hit the wind with regards to Paul’s employment, was for a backyard pizza oven. I had fallen in love with Bill Yerkes’ wood fried pizzas at BonoPizza, and went into contract for him to build us one for our backyard kitchen. Lucky for us, part of the purchase price included a hands on demonstration by Bill himself, back in the summer.

You really wouldn’t believe how hot this thing gets. A brand new pizza oven requires a considerable breaking in period, where you start out building small fires, and over the course of a week or two, build progressively bigger fires that burn for longer and longer. On this particular day, the oven had been going strong pretty much all day, and was so hot that it pretty much singes the hair off your arm if you get within a foot or so from the opening. Occupational hazard, I suppose.

So here’s the first pizza in the oven, a simple pizza with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil, and mushrooms. Less is more when it comes to making pizza – weigh it down too much and it won’t cook correctly.

1st Pizza in the Oven

And it does cook quickly – this is about 30 seconds in, on the first turn, and you can already see the crust starting to puff up and lightly brown. There’s a pretty big learning curve, too – I’m still trying to get the hang of it.

Turning the Pizza

Doesn’t it look great? There’s not anything else quite like cooking your own pizza. I mean, we’ve made grill pizza, but that’s not nearly the same.

Kielbasa, Mushroom, Cheese and Basil Pizza

Here’s Bill posing with the oven. We’re planning on building up a permanent enclosure this summer, so it blends in better with the backyard and insulates it some.

Bill with Pizza and Oven

I really can’t wait until it warms up enough for us to use it again.

Backyard Pizza Oven and Pizza

One of the funnest things about that evening was making up topping combinations with stuff we had in the house. One of my favorite combinations was pesto, fresh mozzarella, and heirloom tomatoes.

Pesto, Tomato and Cheese Pizza

One of things I wanted to pull off last summer was a “bring your own topping” pizza party for some local friends and acquaintances, but unfortunately I ran out of time to pull it all together. I’m hoping to be able to do it this year, and hope some of you will be able to come. What combinations would you put on a pizza?

If you want to build a pizza oven of your own, Bill Yerkes is the person to see. If anyone is interested, email me at columbusfoodieATgmailDOTcom, and I’ll get Bill’s information to you so he can give you a quote. Even if I don’t get daily (or even weekly) use out of it, it’s a fantastic addition to my outdoor kitchen.

Mighty Migas

I think I have a love-hate affair with Rachael Ray recipes. So many of them sound great in theory, but when it comes to execution, some aspect is lacking, and requires many changes to make them edible, let alone good. This is one of the notable exceptions. It is one of my favorite ways to use up corn tortillas after a taco night.

Mighty Migas

Mighty Migas
recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 lb. raw Mexican chorizo, casings removed
5 6-inch corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
5 tomatillos, husked and diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
8 eggs, whisked together
Hot sauce, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 avocado, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack chese
1/2 c. sour cream

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tbsp. Add the chorizo to the pa and continue to cook until the chorizo begins to get crispy, 4-5 minutes. Add the torn tortillas to the pan and cook until crispy and golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Add the onion, jalapeno, tomatillos and garlic to the pan and cook until the veggies begin to get tender, 5-6 minutes.

Once the veggies are tender, add the eggs and hot sauce to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are close to your desired doneness. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and stir in the tomatoes, avocado, lime juice, and cheese. Continue cooking until the eggs are finished scrambling. Portion the migas into serving bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream.