Friday, May 24, 2013

Park Deli Potato Salad

Park Deli was the place for the best sandwiches and salads growing up.
Their potato salad was a favorite.
It's a simple potato salad with just a few ingredients.
It's tangy and creamy and so good with a sandwich.
5 or 6 medium red potatoes
1/2 sweet onion, grated
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup good mayonnaise
Add potatoes to a large pot and fill with cold water and 1 tsp. salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes.
Let cool slightly and peel.
Grate onion into a medium size bowl.  Add water, vinegar, salt and sugar.
Whisk to combine.

Slice warm potatoes about 1/4" thick.  Place in a large bowl.
Pour onion, vinegar mixture over warm potatoes.
Let sit approximately 10 minutes so that the potatoes can absorb some of the liquid.
There will be a little liquid left.  This is what makes this salad so nice and creamy.
Add mayonnaise and stir gently so not to break up the potatoes.
Chill for at least two hours.


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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nacho Cheese Chips

Freshly fried corn tortillas make simple chips and dip or salsa extra good.

1 pkgs. corn tortillas
Nacho Spice*
Romano Cheese
Canola oil
Stack tortillas and cut into quarters.
In a medium saucepan, heat about 1/4" of canola oil.
Fry chips about 30 seconds on each side until golden brown.


Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.  While still hot, sprinkle on Nacho Seasoning.

For the second batch, I grated on some Romano Cheese.
Voila!  Doritos!
These fresh chips are totally addicting.
Make up your own spice mixture according to your taste, or just sprinkle with salt.
Serve with Pico de Gallo, salsa or queso dip.
Nacho Spice

2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. cumin
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. paprika

Combine all ingredients.  Use for chips, chili, tacos or any mexican dish.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Everything" Muffins

These muffins have everything in them except the kitchen sink.
AKA Morning Glory Muffins, this recipe is a throw back to the 60's, bringing together fruit and veg in an earthy muffin.

Dry Ingredients:

3/4 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup walnuts
2-1/4 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup Wheat Germ (optional)
Wet Ingredients:

1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and grated
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 4 oz. jars of baby food carrots(or 1-1/2 cups grated carrots)
1 cup raisans



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toast coconut and walnuts in a medium skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant; let cool.  Process coconut and walnuts until finely ground.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

Place pineapple and shredded apple in a strainer over a liquid measuring cup.
Press fruit dry until you get 1 cup of liquid.
Bring juice to a boil in the same skillet you toasted the coconut and walnuts.  Cook until reduce to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.

In same liquid measuring cup, melt butter.  Add reduced liquid and raisans.  Let cool.  This will also plump up the raisans.

When cool, whisk in 3 eggs and vanilla and carrots.  
Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until combined.
Stir in pineapple-apple mixture.

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
Bake 24-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in tin 10 minutes.



~Adapted from Cook's Country
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pupusas - Stuffed Corn Tortillas

Pupusas are a traditional dish from El Salvador.
Corn tortillas with a filling usually cheese, beans and/or
Salvadoran-style chicharron (finely ground pork).
Plus it's a fun thing to say!

Pupusas are cooked on a griddle and served with a pickled slaw called curtido.
I don't know how these two got together, but it's the perfect combination of flavors.


I first had pupusas when we took a trip to Costa Rica.  A little open air shop where all the little ladies were forming and cooking pupusas.  They allowed me to go 'backstage' so I could see how they were prepared.


There is knack to these, I won't lie, but once you have them, you'll get a craving for them again!
For the Curtido:

1/2 head small cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, grated
1/2 sweet or red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. each of oregano, red pepper flakes and brown sugar
1/4 tsp. each of cumin and coriander
1 tsp. salt

Combine the vegetables in a large bowl.  In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, water, spices, brown sugar and salt and bring to a boil.
Pour the hot pickling liquid over the vegetables.
Mix well and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
This will keep for 2-3 weeks.

Chicharron:

3 lb. pork butt, trimmed and cubed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
6 cups water
1 15 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 tsp. oregano

Season the pork with salt and pepper and place in a medium saucepan.  Add enough water to cover by 2-inches, about 6 cups.  Bring to a simmer and partially cover the pot; cook until the meat is very tender and almost all the liquid is evaporated, about 3 hours.  

I started the pork in my pressure cooker.  After an hour, I put the lid on and finished cooking it under high pressure for 40 minutes.  I did have most of the liquid left in the pot.  I drained all but one cup (which also removed most of the fat).


Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno and oregano in a blender.  Puree until smooth.  Add the tomato mixture to the pork in the saucepan.  Lower the heat and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until pork is falling apart and most of the liquid has reduced from the sauce.  The pork mixture should be very thick.  Set aside to cool.  (This makes more pork than you need for the recipe, but any leftover can be frozen or used in other recipes.  Makes a great filling for tacos, burritos or even on a sandwich mixed with some BBQ sauce).

For the Tortillas:

3-1/2 cups Masa harina
2-1/2 cups warm water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups shredded Monteray Jack cheese

Combine the masa harina with the warm water and salt.  Mix until a soft dough forms.  Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.  Stir in up to 1/4 cup of canola until the dough becomes soft but not sticky.  You may need to add a little more water.  You want the dough to be very soft.  It should be the consistency of clay or playdough.   Divide the dough into 16 golf ball size pieces.  Keep the dough covered as you work.

To form a pupusa:  Rub the palm of your hands with a little olive oil.  While holding the dough ball in one hand, press the thumb of your other hand in the middle of the ball of dough to form an indentation, then turning the dough, begin to flatten it with your fingertips into a 4-inch disk resembling a small bowl.  I tried this a few times, but found it easier to flatten the dough on my tortilla press.



  Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the pork and 1/2 tablespoon of shredded cheese.  

Bring the edges of the dough together over the filling and squeeze to form a seal.  Working gently, press the dough into a flattened disk, flattening the dough middle and edges to form a pancake about 4 inches in diameter.

Place pupusas on a heated, greased grilled or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook each side until golden brown in spots and slightly puffy, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Serve hot, with pickled cabbage on the side.


Portions of this recipe were adapted from
Emeril Lagasse

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Vidalia Onion Quiche



This in an adaption of Julia Child's Onion Quiche recipe.
There are alot of onions in this recipe.  But as you know, Vidalia onions are so sweet.
One of my Mom's favorite.

Vidalia Onion Quiche

5 cups chopped Vidalia onions
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup shredded Swiss or Fontina Cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesean Cheese
1 partially baked pie crust
Cook the onions in a heavy skillet with butter and oil over very low heat, add thyme sprig and  stir occasionally until they are extremely tender and beginning to caramelize.


Sprinkle the onions with the flour, mix well and cook slowly for 2 to 3 minutes.  Cool slightly.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with cream and seasoning until blended.  Mix in the onions and half of the Swiss or Fontina cheese.  Pour the egg mixture into the pie shell.


Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Place on a rack in the middle of the oven.  Bake until the 
quiche has
puffed and browned, 30 to 35 minutes.


Serve warm or at room temperature with a simple salad.
Spring Salad
Whisk together 4 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp. honey.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Toss vinaigrette with Spring Salad Mix and 1/2 cup
chopped toasted walnuts just before serving.

Don't forget to add a pretty flower to make the dish extra special.
I only wish this had a bit more filling.  You may want to double the ingredients, but it has plenty of onions!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Loaded Baked Potatoes with Broccoli & Cheese

Fluffy baked potatoes, topped with steamed broccoli and smothered in a tasty cheese sauce.
This could be a meal in itself.

2-3 Russet Potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Pierce potatoes two or three times on each side with a fork.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake directly on oven rack for one hour.
While potatoes are baking, make the cheese sauce.
For the Cheese Sauce:

3-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash pepper (even a pinch of cayenne pepper would be good)
1 cup milk (I used l% milk)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, add cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, pepper, milk and Worcestershire Sauce.  Bring to a boil over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.  Reduce heat to low.

Add cheddar cheese and butter and whisk until smooth.


When potatoes are done, let cool for about 5 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle.
(Or play a game of Hot Potato with the kids)
While potatoes are cooling, steam about 3 cups broccoli florets in 2 Tbsp. water.
Microwave on high 4-5 minutes.

Cut a slit down the center of the potato and make a 'X' in the center.

Squish both sides of the potato to open up the skin.


Load up your potatoes with plenty of steamed broccoli and hot cheese sauce.

Sprinkle with paprika and Enjoy!
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fried Flounder Po' Boy & Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

What's not to love about this classic Louisiana sandwich?  Po'Boys are typically made with fried shrimp or catfish and are served everywhere in Louisiana.
There is nothing better than a soft, yet crusty roll with crispy fried flounder.
Fully dressed with roasted red pepper and garlic aioli, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and dill pickles.
This Po' Boy is not going to be here for long!

1 lb. fresh flounder filets
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Canola oil for frying
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomatoes
Dill pickle slices
Fresh crusty French Rolls

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli:

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1 clove roasted garlic, diced
Salt and Pepper


Combine ingredients for Roasted Red Pepper Aioli and chill while preparing fish.  Combine cornmeal, flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a shallow plate.
Beat together egg and 1/2 cup milk.
Sprinkle fish filets lightly with salt and pepper.
Dip into egg/milk mixture and dredge in cornmeal coating.
In a skillet, heat about 1-inch of canola oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add fish fillets and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Turn carefully and brown other side. Drain on paper towel.

Slice rolls and build your Po' Boy.


Crispy flounder
Sliced Pickles
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Roasted Red Pepper Aioli






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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Peach Pocket Pies

These little pies are easy to put together and can be filled with any fruit.
When peaches are in season use fresh, but frozen works just as well in this recipe.
I was looking to use up the last of my lemon curd.  This recipe called for lemon zest and juice, which I replaced with lemon curd.

Lemon Curd Recipe
Combine:

1 cup fresh or frozen peeled and chopped peaches
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon curd
Pinch of salt

Unroll:

1 refrigerated pie crust
1 egg, beaten
Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine peaches, sugar, cornstarch, lemon curd and salt.

Unroll crust  and cut four circles using a 4-inch cutter.
I have a gadget from Pampered Chef that is an oldy, but I still think they sell something similar.
You can also just crimp with a fork.

Arrange two dough circles on prepared baking sheet.  Roll remaining dough circles to about 5 inches.

Using a slotted spoon, place 1/3 cup filling on the centers of dough circles on baking sheet.


Brush egg around edges, then top with larger dough circles and press edges together to tightly seal.  Crimp with gadget or fork.  Brush tops of pies with remaining egg and sprinkle with sugar.  Cut two or three slits in tops.

Bake pies until crusts are golden and filling bubbles, 25-30 minutes.


Let pies cool 10-15 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
This only makes two pies.  If you make your own crust, double or triple the filling recipe.

~Adapted from Cuisine At Home
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Zucchini & Mushroom Meatloaf

When you are using leaner meats for a healthier meatloaf, you need to bump up the moisture.  Besides being a healthy addition, mushrooms an...