Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pumpkin Roll


Cake:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Filling:
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
6 Tbsp butter softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions For Cake:
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 15x10 in cookie sheet; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a clean thin cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Bake for 13-15 min. or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

Directions For Filling:
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts before serving, if desired.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crepes

I'm just giving you a basic crepe recipe and you can stuff your crepes however you want.
The picture above is ice cream filled crepes which is one of our favorite desserts. All you do is scoop some ice cream toward the edge of the crepe, add your favorite fruit, whipped cream, favorite ice cream topper and fold. Then sprinkle some powdered sugar on the top.
***
INGREDIENTS:
2 c milk
1 1/2 c flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
3 tbsp butter or margarine
***
Mix all ingredients in the blender and then pour on hot griddle or pan. Crepes should be thin, so use a crepe spreader if you have one if not move your pan around for the batter to spread. I had my handy dandy husband make me a crepe spreader which works great! They are super easy to make.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Poblano Peppers)

You will need Poblano peppers for this recipe, do not substitute the pepper because the results will definitely not be the same. I explained and described these peppers in detail in the post: Creamy Poblano Rice, if you want to read that section. Pretty much, these peppers are big, long and dark green in color. They are mild in taste although sometimes you might end up with one or two that are a little spicy. The particular peppers I used for this recipe, I found at Walmart and they were not as big as they usually are, but they still work just fine. Also, there are a few variations of chiles rellenos out there, some are stuffed with meat, others with cheese. My very favorite (and my husbands) are the ones stuffed with Mexican fresh cheese (Queso Fresco).


Ingredients :
Poblano Peppers

Mexican Fresh Cheese

5 eggs (separate the whites with the yolks)

salt

corn starch or flour

toothpicks

oil to fry

1 onion (cut in half and then slice)

Sauce Ingredients:
4 tomatoes or 1 can of whole tomatoes

2 guajillo peppers

4 whole pepper kernels
1 garlic clove


Instructions for peppers:


If you have a gas stove, place the peppers over the burner, if not you can use a gas or electric grill. You will need to rotate them as soon as one side is ready (the pepper skin will turn dark, almost black). Make sure you watch the peppers because you can easily overcook them.


Once you have grilled your peppers all around, cover them with a kitchen towel and stick the towel inside a plastic bag, then tie a knot on the bag to prevent the steam to release. You do this so that the warm steam helps to loosen the skin of the peppers.


After about 10 minutes, remove the peppers one by one out of the bag and start peeling them. Peel as much of the skin as possible. When you are done, you need to cut a slit on the side of the pepper and then pull the seeds and veins out (you should wear a latex glove so you don't irritate your skin). Be careful with the peppers as they can easily tear at this point, especially if you overcooked them.


When you are done cleaning the peppers, crumb the cheese and stuff the peppers generously, then close pepper using a toothpick.


Whip egg whites until stiff and then add yolks and salt to taste.Rub the stuffed peppers with corn starch or flour. This process will help the egg stick to the peppers.

Dip the peppers in the egg batter and transfer immediately to hot frying oil.


Fry peppers all around until they get a golden brown color. This process will not take long at all. Also, make sure the oil is not super hot, medium heat is just fine.

When the egg has gotten a golden brown color, transfer pepper on a dish with paper towels to eliminate excess oil. Let sit for a while and then turn over so that the paper towels can absorb the oil from the other side.

Instructions for Sauce:
Place tomatoes and guajillo peppers in a saucepan and boil. When ready, transfer to blender along with the whole peppers, garlic clove and salt. Blend well. Use a colander to transfer sauce onto the pan where you'll finish cooking the stuffed peppers (This step is similar to the sauce for Sopa de Albondigas/Mexican Meatball Soup...also on a previous post if you need to refer to it). You will probably have to add more water to the sauce because you want the sauce to be soupy. Add more salt if necessary. Add stuffed peppers and onion slices and cook for about 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!
Let me know if you have any questions or the instructions were unclear.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Zucchini Lasagna


So, you've turned out a major zucchini crop this year and are drowning in it. What to do? Zucchini Lasagna!! You don't even have to like zucchini to like this one, folks!

I altered this recipe from a blog--the blogger's mother was from Italy. I've made it a few times and tried to record how I altered it...and now it's been so long I can't decipher my notes. So I'll include the original recipe below and add my notes in blue. The pictures are mine.

Angela's Zucchini Lasagna
3 pounds large zucchini, scrubbed. I don't know how many pounds I used, I just used one honking huge one from my sister's garden.
1 quart spaghetti sauce or thick tomato sauce. I got into the habit a long time ago of making my own tomato sauce, I've included a sort of recipe below. I really, really dislike canned tomato sauce, almost all of it has too much sugar and just tastes weird.
1 cup bread crumbs *
1 pound ricotta cheese (or more, if you like - the original recipe calls for 2 pounds) I actually used half cottage cheese, some provolone slices that weren't going to last much longer and a little shredded mozzarella and blended them all together.


4 eggs, lightly beaten I've got a wonky note here, seems I used more and less a few times. I think less was a mistake, but I'm not positive.
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil. I upped this to a full teaspoon each. I think it made a HUGE difference.
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. I only used half a cup of Parmesan, the powdery kind in a can.
1 pound mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated


Slice zucchini into long slices.

Cook in boiling water just until limp, about 5 minutes. I remember mine taking a little longer. Drain on paper towels.

Combine ricotta, eggs, parsley, seasoning and half of the parmesan cheese and half of the bread crumbs in a bowl. Set aside.

In a 9x13 pan, spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a quarter of the bread crumbs. Arrange layer of zucchini over this.
Spoon half of the reserved ricotta mixture on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese. Arrange the rest of the zucchini over this, layer more tomato sauce and the rest of the bread crumbs and top with remaining ricotta mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan. I actually did a few layers of zucchini, cheese mixture, and sauce instead of just two. It tasted more lasagna-y.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until top is brown. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting.


* When using bread crumbs, try making your own. Take any kind of bread you like, even leftover stale bread that you may want to throw away, and place in your food processor and grind until fine. Keep in a plastic container in the fridge and they will last a long time. Fresh bread crumbs are superior to what you can buy in the grocery store.
I totally support this one. I used some old wheat hamburger buns and threw them in the blender. Easy Peasy and yummy!

Here's my tomato sauce "recipe" for this lasagna, it turned out really well!

12 oz tomato paste
2/3 cup onions
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1T Parsley
1/3 c fresh basil (I had this on hand from my sis)
2 t oregano
2 cloves garlic
1 T brown sugar
splash of balsamic vinegrette
1 1/2- 2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste.

This meal was/is the hubby's absolute favorite, he raved and raved about it (and he doesn't even like zucchini!) The first time I made it, I didn't skimp on the cheese (and didn't write anything down) and it was the best. The second time it was still good, but skimpy cheese, sauce, and eggs. The third time was a gift, so I don't know how it turned out. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli


4-5 lbs broccoli
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
6 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
Optional: 3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Directions:

1 Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks.
2 Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets.
3 Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.
4 Toss the garlic over the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
5 Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
6 Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 11/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Triple Berry Biscuit Shortcakes



2 Pillsbury Grands!® frozen southern-style biscuits (from 25-oz bag)
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped



1. In medium bowl, combine water and sugar, mix in berries. Let sit while cooking biscuits.


2. Heat oven to 375°F. Bake biscuits as directed on bag. Place on plate. Cool uncovered in refrigerator 10 minutes.

3. To serve, split biscuits. Layer biscuit bottom, berries, whipped cream, biscuit top, berries and top with whipped cream.

Scalloped Corn





Melt 1/2 stick of butter or margarine in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Mix in 1 can of cream style corn,
1 can whole kernal corn (including the juice),
1-8 oz carton of sour cream,
1 box jiffy corn bread mix
optional: 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. This is good with or without the cheese.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sopa de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)




Ingredients:

Meatballs:
1 lb Ground beef
1/2-1 c of uncooked rice
1-2 tomatoes (finely diced)
1/2-1 onion (finely chopped)
oregano
1 egg
salt

Mix all ingredients and form meatballs, set aside.




Sauce:
1 Guajillo Pepper (dry peppers found in the Latin section of most grocery stores)
3-4 tomatoes
1 garlic clove
salt

In a saucepan boil tomatoes and guajillo pepper.
When ready, pout in blender along with garlic and salt, blend. Use a strainer when pouring the sauce into a pot and add more water.

Sauce should be soupy (you want to fill the pot about half-way with the sauce). Add meatballs and diced potatoes and carrots. The sauce may look too watery at first because of the extra water you will add, but it will thicken later.
Cook until meatballs and vegetables are cooked.



Note: This is what the dry guajillo pepper looks like. It's long and dark red almost black in color. It's not really spicy, it's more for the color.