Monday, February 22, 2010

I just made 2 coffee cakes last night. You can read about my disasters in todays blog update:
I have to say though that this recipe is very good and also very easy. It was given Last night just wasn't a good baking night!

Jewish Coffee Cake
1 stick of margarine, creamed
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 ts. baking soda
1/4 ts salt
1 ts. baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 ts vanilla

Mix together:
1/2 cup chopped nuts such as walnuts
1 ts. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

Mix all of the cake ingredients together beating well. Put 1/2 of the batter into an ungreased tube pan. Spread 1/2 of the topping on that. Then pour the rest of the batter in top of that and finish with the rest of the topping mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 F. Let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Alyssa and I had this for lunch today and LOVED it!. I actually threw it together on Sunday so today was easy. The first time I made it I thought it was way too hot. This time I didn't use the szechuan sauce and just added about 1/4 cup of a low salt Chinese stir fry sauce that I had in the fridge. I'm always substituting! I also used leftover chicken so I just diced the chicken and added it to the veggies and spices. That made it real easy. So today, I just heated up some and then we rolled it in lettuce leaves like egg rolls. It was so good and also healthy.

Spicy Szechuan Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo Jr.
6 servings

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup shredded daikon radish
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 cup bean sprouts
3 stalks (1/2 cup) scallions
1/4 cup Szechuan sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, for frying
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, juiced
1 head Bibb lettuce leaves
Split boneless chicken in half. If too thick, pound out to make thinner.
In a medium bowl, mix together radish, carrots, bean sprouts, and scallions. Add Szechuan sauce.
In a small bowl, mix together five-spice, cayenne, salt and pepper. Season chicken breasts lightly with rub. Cut the chicken into strips.
In a large skillet over high heat, add the grapeseed oil. Once hot, sear the chicken breasts for 4 minutes on each side. Add butter and lemon to pan and baste the chicken for another minute. Remove chicken to a platter to let cool. Once cooled, dice or shred the chicken.
Place a spoonful of the vegetable mixture and the shredded chicken onto each leaf of lettuce. Roll and serve.

Monday, February 8, 2010


In honor of The New Orlean's Saints playing in last night's SuperBowl, we decided to support them by having Shrimp PoBoys for dinner. They were delicious! Alyssa even commented that "these taste better than the ones we had in New Orlean's"! I don't know about that but hey, i'll take the compliment! The recipe is from Tyler Florence. It calls for Shrimp AND oysters but we passed on the oysters. We also had the Sweet Potato Matchsticks on the side. That recipe is also below. I did all of the prep work before the game. At 1/2 time, I made the shrimp and matchsticks.

Shrimp and Oyster Po' Boys
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Tyler's UltimateEpisode: Ultimate Po Boys
Rated: 5 stars out of 5

4 to 6 servings

24 medium-sized oysters, shucked
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons hot sauce, plus more for sandwich
2 cups fine ground cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Pinch cayenne
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
Kosher salt
2 soft sub or hoagie rolls
Creole Mayonnaise, recipe follows
Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
Tomato slices
Lemon wedges

In a large bowl, soak the oysters and shrimp in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce for 20 to 30 minutes. In a shallow dish, whisk, together the cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne.
In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375 degrees F.
Drain the oysters and shrimp and toss them in the seasoned cornmeal. Working in batches, fry the oysters and shrimp until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt, to taste.
Split the rolls and smear with Creole mayonnaise. Line with plenty of shredded lettuce and tomato slices. Top with fried oysters and shrimp. Cut each roll into 2 to 3 pieces. Serve with hot sauce and a wedge of lemon.

Creole Mayonnaise (Remoulade): (I cut in half which was still too much!)
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup roughly chopped cornichons
1 tablespoon creole mustard
2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients well in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: about 3 cups

Sweet Potato Matchsticks
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Tyler's UltimateEpisode: Ultimate Po Boys
Rated: 5 stars out of 5Rate itRead users' reviews (2)
Cook Time:
15 min
4 to 6 servings

Peanut or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
3 to 4 sprigs rosemary
3 to 4 sprigs fresh sage
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 to 6 cloves garlic, separated but unpeeled
2 to 3 large sweet potatoes
Cajun Seasoning, recipe follows

Begin by putting the oil, herbs and garlic in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Bring the oil up to 365 degrees F, then remove the herbs and garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. They should be nice and crackly at this stage. Reserve for garnish.
Using a mandoline, cut the sweet potatoes into matchsticks. Put in a large bowl of ice water to remove any starch. Soak for a few minutes and rinse with fresh cold water until it runs clear. Drain the matchsticks and pat dry in a kitchen towel, to remove as much water as possible. Fry in 365 degree F oil, in small batches, until crispy and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper cones, resting in cups, and season with Cajun spice mix. Peel the garlic cloves and sprinkle over the matchsticks along with the fried herbs before serving.
Cajun Seasoning:
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Today I decided to make my favorite Tomatillo Sauce. I could just eat this by the spoonful! I use it for when I make my Chicken Enchilada's in Tomatillo Sauce. To make my life easier, I make the sauce one day, the chicken another day (sometimes using leftover chicken) and throw it all together on the day I want to serve it. The sauce freezes very well also. So today is all about the sauce. I will post the enchilada recipe at the bottom though even though it's already on the blog, but hard to find.
We start with one of my favorite fruits, the Tomatillo. It's related to the cape gooseberry and NOT the tomato like it sounds. It has a husk, which must be removed before cooking. I roast the tomatillo's, onions, garlic, jalapeno's and I also add some red peppers.

When it's finished roasting, I throw all of the veggies and the juice that came out of them into a food processor. I then all the rest of the sauce ingredients and I end up with a beautiful, tasty and HEALTHY sauce!

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:
1 pound tomatillos, husked
1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
4 garlic cloves
2 jalapenos
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock, storebought
Chopped cilantro leaves
1 deli roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), boned, meat shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
10 large flour tortillas
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups sour cream
Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the salsa:
On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.
Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.