ABQ Breakfast Pizza
July 31, 2006
Going to New Mexico for a bushel of green chile? If you do, consider recreating my green chile masterpiece for breakfast this weekend. This pizza is variable to your diet, that is, vegan, veggie, lactose free, or carnivore. Another great thing is that there is a shortcut for the dough thanks to Whole Foods.
You will need:
- 1 package of pizza dough from Whole Foods (the pizza dough is premade in their deli section where the sandwiches and pizzas are and sells for $2.50, and you can also purchase a premade dough that is rolled out in the round for you too).
- 1 package of goat cheese (we buy Boulder HayStack Chevre)
- 5 roasted and peeled green chiles, chopped (you can use a small can of Hatch green chile or Bueno frozen green chile)
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 3 eggs, scrambled
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed (add to olive oil)
Optional: chorizo, tomatoes, breakfast sausage. If you add meat, be sure to cook the sausage first, and then add to the pizza before baking.
Step One: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (218 celsius). In a pan, cook your scrambled eggs over medium heat until cooked through. Cook any other toppings such as meat that need pre-cooking.
Step Two: Roll out your pizza dough and brush on the olive oil and crushed garlic. Sprinkle on your green chile, onions, eggs, and goat cheese. Top off with any optional ingredients. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve hot.
I recommend browning the top of this pizza for 1-2 minutes under the broiler for an added crispiness. The results of the pizza will vary depending on the pizza dough you are able to procure. I think it is excessively cumbersome to make pizza dough, so the Whole Foods option is really the way to go. And as a final note, you can also eat this pizza with a side of Pato Sauce (my roommate's favorite).
Onion and Thyme Sauce with Gnocchi
July 27, 2006
The picture unfortunately is very yellow, but I hope you get the idea and try this simple sauce out.
You will need:
- 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
- 1 small white or yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- handful of thyme, picked
- nutmeg (pinch)
- 2 c of broth, veg and chx
- chile piquin to taste
- handful of chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Step One: Saute the sliced onions, garlic, chile piquin, butter, and olive oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat with the lid on. Stir to ensure that the onions don't burn. Cook these onions for 7-10 minutes or until the onions appear slightly browned and are limp.
Step Two: Add the broth, thyme, and nutmeg. I also added a bayleaf here, but that isn't necessary for this recipe. Cover and cook for another 7 minutes. Add parsley towards the end of cooking time.
Ladle the gnocchi into the pot and coat well. Serve immediately into bowls, be sure to add broth as well. Voila! A delicious bowl of goodness.
Guacamole with Pasilla Peppers
July 24, 2006
Poblano peppers are also called pasilla peppers and are located in your grocer's produce aisle where the jalapenos and serrano peppers are. They come in a deep green color and are about the size of a small hand. They require some prep that you may want to do the day before if you plan on serving this at a BBQ or on the fly after work.
You will need:
- 2 poblano peppers
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 3 ripe avocados
- 2 key limes or 1 lime, juiced
- handful of chopped Italian parsley
- salt to taste
- 1/4 white onion, diced (optional, just mix in at the end)
- chips for dipping (I suggest blue corn)
Step One: Turn the oven to broil. Place a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and place the poblano peppers, tomatoes, and garlic cloves (with their skins still on) on top. Roast these for a few minutes and turn them so they blister on all sides. This takes only about 5-7 minutes if your oven is preheated. Remove the ingredients from the oven. Place the tomatoes and chiles in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place a dish towel around this to retain the heat. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the garlic and set aside. When chiles and tomatoes are done resting, remove the skins from the poblanos and tomatoes. Chop the tomatoes up and place them in a bowl. Remove the seeds from the chiles; chop the chiles up finely with the garlic and place in the bowl with the tomatoes. You can set this aside overnight if you want to serve this dip the next day.
Step Two: Take the avocados, cut in half and remove the pits. Scrape the flesh into the bowl with the tomato mixture. Using two spoons, gently mix the ingredients together until well incorporated and the avocado is mush. Add lime juice, italian parsley, and salt to taste. Eat this up!
This alternative recipe for guacamole had a deep smoky flavor from the roasted chiles and is especially delicious to folks (like my mom) who hate cilantro. I prefer the dip with onion, but it is not necessary here.
Simple Corn Chowder
July 20, 2006
I often go to my local bookstore and sit in the cooking section, browsing for cookbooks that I covet for my shelf of cooking wonders. I usually attend these leisurely reading sessions with pen and paper so I can jot down the ingredients to recipes that my catch my eye, or multiple recipes for the same dish so I can compare the ingredients. Recently, thumbing through the pages of the Barefoot Contessa's many cookbooks, I found a very simple recipe for corn chowder. I insisted on modifying her recipe, however, because she always adds way too much fat (butter, bacon grease, and cream) to her recipes and I just think that grease swimming at the top of your soup bowl will only bring you pesadilla and indigestion throughout your sleepless belly-aching night. I have modified what was obviously a recipe to feed a football team, and I have embellished the recipe with some of my own typical recipe touches (read garlic and fresh herbs here). Feel free to alter the recipe with the "optional" ingredients listed here, or not at all. This recipe is not gluten free, nor is it lactose free, so if you are either/or, adjust with corn starch and try a plain soy milk.
You will need:
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, cut in half, then sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 c flour
- 5 c of vegetable or chicken stock
- 6 small boiling potatoes (I used golden potatoes)
- 10 ears of fresh corn, kernals off the cob, or use 1 pkg of frozen sweet summer corn
- 1/2 c of cream or half-and-half
- 2 sprigs or 1 tsp of thyme
- optional: in lieu of olive oil, cook 6 slices of bacon or pancetta until slighlty crispy. Chop up bacon and set aside, and use 3 tbsp of reserve bacon fat for soup (I know some of you are just wincing in pain and disgust, but hey, if you see what the Barefoot Contessa actually looks like, and you still want to follow her instructions on using ALL the reserve bacon fat, more power to you)
- optional: 1 tsp of turmeric
Step One: In a large stock pot, saute the onions and garlic in the fat (whatever fat you choose above) over medium-high heat. After 7 minutes, add the flour, pepper to taste, and optional turmeric. Stir this around so the flour becomes totally incorporated into the mix and thickens into a roux, (like a paste). This takes about 5-8 minutes, depending on how often you are stirring. Add the stock and quartered boiling potatoes. Let this boil for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Step Two: Meanwhile, in a separate small pot, bring 4 c of water to a boil, then toss in the corn to blanche for 4 minutes. Drain immediately and add 1 c of this cooked corn to the stock pot with the potatoes and onions. Reserve the rest of the corn. Take the contents of the large stock pot and puree them in a blender. You may have to divide this up into two "trips" because the blender could overflow otherwise. Return the puree into the large stock pot and add reserved corn, and bacon if any. Pour in the cream and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve soup with fresh thyme. Barefoot Contessa served her soup with large handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese, but I find this combination to be vile and only suggest it if you'd like to further clog your arteries. The soup as is (minus the bacon and cheese) is like velvet with the bits of corn contributing to the overall look of the soup. I left a couple of potatoes to the side and chopped them up for more texture. Feel free to experiment with this recipe, it is very basic and yearns for your creativity.
Mussels in White Wine, Cream & Pesto
July 17, 2006
Whenever buying mussels, be sure to immediately cook them, and for goodness sake, don't kill your little guys by enclosing them in a tied plastic baggie. Bring them home, place them in a colander and scrub well under cold water. This recipe is a snap and cooks in no time, thanks to Jaime Oliver, again.
You will need (for 2 servings):
- 1 1/2 lb-2lb of mussels
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 diced white onion
- 1 c of cream
- 1 c of white wine
- chile piquin
- olive oil (about 3 tbsp)
- 1-2 tbsp of butter
- pesto or chopped italian parsley
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
Step one: After you've cleaned your mussels, place the garlic, onion, and olive oil in a pan and cook over medium-high heat. Use a large saute pan or pot. Cook until onions are translucent.
Step Two: Add the chili, throw in the cleaned mussels, the wine, and the cream. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes or until shells open.
Step Three: Open lid, throw in butter and shake the pan a bit. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt & pepper to taste. Add italian parsley.
Serve the mussels with a helping of the broth. Add pesto on top to flavor, and serve with a side of crusty french baguette. Voila!
Sort of Sicilian Cauliflower
July 14, 2006
After attending a garden party recently, I just couldn't resist asking the host for her cauliflower salad recipe. Cauliflower, that beautiful creamy floret, was bathed in a lemon parsley pesto and then dotted with sicilian green olives. While my host gave me the ingredients, I didn't ask for the exact portions, so I made them up (as usual). Feel free to tinker with this dish, serving it warm or cold, and adding different herbs if you have them.
You will need:
- 1 head of cauliflower, washed and cut into small pieces
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 chile piquin
- 1/2 bunch of Italian parsley
- 1 shallot or 1/4 white onion
- 8 large green olives for the pesto and 10 for the salad roughly chopped (I used green sicilian olives, but you can use kalamata too)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 c of olive oil
Step One: Place the cauliflower florets in a heated stock pot with 1/2 c of water and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until cauliflower softens. The texture you are looking for should be slightly crunchy as this is a salad, not a soup mush.
Remove, drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
Step Two: In a blender, combine the parsley, garlic, chile, onion, 8 olives, and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until totally incorporated.
Step Three: Bathe the cauliflower in the pesto and add the remaining olives to them. Serve warm or cold with a side of pasta or good bread and a salad.
July 12, 2006
Once again, the Jamie Oliver cookbook has rescued the rotting veg on my shelf. I had 6 vine ripened tomatoes that were too ripe to cut up and eat, but I didn't have the heart to toss them out. I didn't have all of the ingredients here, in particular the carrots and a whole onion, but it still turned out rather delicious. It is important to know that following directions regarding addition of the cream/egg mixture is very important to avoid curdling.
You will need:
- 6 vine ripened tomatoes (very ripe, don't refrigerate your tomatoes!)
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced (recipe called for whole onion, but that was excessive)
- 1 minced clove of garlic
- 1 peeled and grated carrot
- handful of basil, stalks separated and chopped finely
- olive oil (about 4 tbsp)
- 5 c of vegetable or chicken stock (I used a combo of both)
- 4 tbsp of heavy cream (recipe calls for 6, again, excessive)
- 2 egg yolks
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Step One: In a large stock pot, saute the onions, basil stems, carrot, garlic in olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes with the lid on, stirring to avoid burning or sticking.
Step Two: While vegetables saute, place tomatoes in a separate pot of boiling water (boiling!) for 4-6 minutes or until the skins begin to peel away. Drain and remove skins. Chop up the tomatoes and add them to the stock pot with the onions/olive oil. Add the stock and basil leaves. Take all of this mixture and place it in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to the stock pot and cook over medium-high heat with the lid on for 20 minutes, stirring along the way.
Step Three: While the tomato soup simmers, combine the cream and egg yolks in a bowl, whisking together. Set aside.
Step Four: When tomato puree cooks for 20 minutes, take pot off the heat and add cream/egg mixture, whisking to avoid cooking the eggs. Serve immediately, seasoning properly to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: if you don't have a lot of basil, add flat leafed Italian parsley instead.
Chickpea and Goat Cheese Salad
July 09, 2006
I can't seem to the put the Jaime Oliver essential family cookbook down lately. This is the latest creation of his that I tried and absolutely loved--especially now in the summer time with the World Cup game in play. While I prepared this dish with goat cheese (soft chevre) I recommend a hard feta unless you don't mind the creamy goat cheese giving way to the liquid of the salad. The output of this recipe is very small, so feel free to double it if you want leftovers for lunch.
You will need:
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 vine ripened tomato, diced
- juice of one lemon
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- handful of chopped fresh mint
- handful of chopped fresh basil
- large handful of crumbled feta
- chile piquin for spice, salt and pepper to taste
Just combine all of the ingredients above in a mixing bowl and let rest for 10 minutes before eating. I served these over a bed of organic lettuces. He recommends actually heaitng the chick peas in a pan and mushing about 10% of them up for a creamy texture. I didn't want a warm salad, so I decided to just toss the ingredients around like a loose salad. The result: a light, protein rich summer salad, perfect with a glass of white wine and a side of rustic french bread.
Salmon and Horseradish Potato Salad
July 05, 2006
What can you use that leftover salmon or trout for? I suggest taking leftover fish and turning it into this light potato salad. I used pomme de terre or golden table potatoes, but new potatoes work just as well. Also, I suggest using green onions or chives in this recipe, but white or red onions work for this dish as well. Finally, this dish uses dairy, so beware my fellow lactose intolerant friends. Substitute a fresh aioli, mayo, or nayonaise if you wish.
You will need:
- 1/2 lb of cooked salmon (I used leftovers from the salmon dinner), cut into pieces
- 4 small golden table potatoes, boiled and quartered
- 4 tbsp of sour cream (or substitute)
- 1/4 white onion, or 4 sprigs of green onions finely sliced
- handful of chopped flat leafed Italian parsley
- 3 tsp of horseradish (not horseradish cream!)
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- zest and juice of one lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
Step One: Boil potatoes for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and quarter. Set aside.
Step Two: In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, lemon zest & juice, onions, clove of minced garlic, parsley, olive oil, and horseradish. Mix until well blended. Add in cooked salmon and potatoes, toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a wedge of iceberg lettuce or romaine with a side of bread.
My main complaint about this salad is that it doesn't keep well overnight, so eat it up for dinner because the horseraddish really looses its flavor the next day. I also suggest adding 1 tbsp of dijon mustard, and 1 tbsp of red or white wine vinegar to this dish to bring out the horseradish flavor (or in lieu thereof).
Crusty Salmon with Aioli
July 02, 2006
I can't say enough good things about Jamie Oliver, and expecially his website. I found a fabulous way to serve up a simple salmon dinner in 30 minutes. I highly suggest using this recipe for a quick impressive dinner sure to fill your guests up. You should try to buy good quality salmon if you can, it is the centerpiece of this dish. The salmon should also be cooked toward the very end to ensure a good temperature of the fish.
This dish requires the preparation of a simple aioli. Aioli is a fancy term for a homemade mayonaise and is extremely parishable. You should make this fresh, but if you choose to prepare it the day before, store the aioli in a tupperware dish no longer than overnight. Discard after 2 days.
You will need:
- 1 1/2 pounds of fish (salmon) with the skin on one side. Have your fish monger cut them into strips for 4
- 2 c of vegetable or chicken stock (I used chicken)
- 2 bulbs of fennel, cut into large pieces
- 1/2 bag of frozen spring peas'
- 1 lb of fresh green beans, stalks removed
- handful of chopped basil and mint
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 - 3/4 c of olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Step One: Prepare the aioli by whisking egg yolk, or blending it with a mixer until thick. Add garlic, and mustard. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking so mixture thickens. Whisk in lemon juice at last. Chill the aioli until service. Feel free to add chopped dill, parsley, or basil depending on the dish you wish to serve aioli with.
Step Two: In a small pot, boil stock. When stock reaches boil, add fennel and cook covered for 4 minutes. Then add green beans, cooking covered another 4 minutes. Add peas at last, cooking covered for 4 minutes. After peas cook, leave covered and turn heat off.
Step Three: As the vegetables are cooking, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat with 3 tbsp of olive oil. When oil heats, cook the skin side down of the fish (cook them all at once) for 5 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, leaving fish in pan until service.
Step Four: Plate the dish by serving the vegetables in each plate; add chopped herbs on top. Ladle in broth over veggies and herbs. Carefully lay salmon on top and dollop with aioli. Voila! Impressive dinner in 30 minutes.
This dish goes really well with a chilled white wine. My guest brought a green grape wine from Portugal called Aveleda that was pure pleasure. The wine is slightly bubbly and has a crisp finish. Most important, it pairs well with most fish because it is not very sweet.