Sep 16, 2011

Camping Food Volume 1: Dinner!

Recently I had the pleasure of joining some of my best friends on a camping trip to celebrate my lovin husbands birthday! I am an old pro at camping food and I knew that I wanted to do some super yummy fair rather than my usual lazy black beans and rice that I make when it's just Todd and I camping. I decided on a favorite that is something that i even make at home. I have heard this dish called a multitude of things from hobo stew to foil packets. I just call them veggie packets!

One thing about camping with friends is that I knew I wanted to make it as easy as possible and do much of the prep before we hit the campground. There are about a million ways and combinations to serve this up but here is my favorite way!

First, I prepped all of the vegetables at home. What you want to remember is that the potatoes are the base of the dish so you want to cut up more than you really think you will need. Also, I like to give people options so I packed a couple of different flavor options for the crew.

Foil Packets
(This is for a single serving, which is nice because the single servings cook faster than a multi person serving.(AND this is how I like my pockets)
1 1/2 c. sliced potatoes
sliced onions to taste
a hand full of broccoli florets, cauliflower, carrots and zucchini
1/4 pound of ground beef flattened into a hamburger patty
a tsp. chopped olives
a few slices of polska kielbasa
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
Worcestershire sauce
Once you have your ingredients all together in front of you take some heavy duty foil and pull two pieces off about twelve inches long and cross them on top of one another. Take some butter or oil (I made life easier and brought along squeeze butter.) and squirt a little on the foil the lay down a bed of potatoes and then sprinkle the rest of your veggies on top and then the burger patty on top of that. Spice to your taste (I like garlic powder, salt, pepper, worestchire sauce and onion powder.) You can also do more of a Mexican flavor with chili powder, salsa, cumin etc or Italian with tomatoes, oregano, basil and garlic.

Once you have everything compiled in your foil, wrap it up well, making sure to roll your edges, tight.

Set the foil packet on the fire out of the direct heat for 45 minutes to an hour, flipping half way through. Before you deem it ready you want to open the packet and make sure that the burger is done.
voila! And clean up??? That's as easy as tossing your foil in the trash!


Aug 14, 2011

Coconut French Toast and a Give-away!

So I have been REALLY bad about blogging this summer, I admit it but I am not ashamed...there is just too much good stuff happening! One of the best thing is a friend and I have started a little canning operation, Inappropriate Jam.  Basically we want to create slightly more exotic flavors of jam that could be used in between cake layers or as interesting ice cream mix ins or...basically not just for toast, although that's good too!
This morning SA was still sleeping like a baby and I wanted to surprise him with breakfast in bed, so this recipe was created out of what caught my eye when I opened the fridge!

Coconut French Toast with Whiskey Bitch and Fresh Blueberries
4 slices of bread
two eggs slightly whisked
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup shredded coconut (not sweetened)
1 tbsp butter

In a large skillet or griddle over medium heat melt the butter.  Add the vanilla and the cinnamon to the eggs and whisk until well combined.  Dip the bread in the egg mixture quickly and then sprinkle with coconut and toast in skillet until lightly browned and then flip (about two minutes) and do the same on the other side.  Top with jam of your choice (I used Whiskey Bitch) and fresh blueberries!

Now if you have read this far:  Go check out my friend Bekah's blog: and follow her(heck, even leave her a comment, that would be rad!)
Add Inappropriate Jam on Facebook
And of course, follow In the Kitchen With Butters (once again, comments are RAD!)
Tweet/Facebook this give away!(link IJ back to facebook please!)
Each one of these steps gets you an entry to win one jar of YOUR Choice of Inappropriate Jam either
Strawberry Wet Dream (Strawberry Lavender) or Whiskey Bitch (Bourbon Vanilla Bean Peaches) or Bals' Deep (Strawberry Balsamic).

Jul 31, 2011

Buttermilk Pie

When I was a kid family gatherings were the norm.  I am from a large very close family on my Grandma's side and a equally large but not quite as close family on my Grandpa's side.  That being said family gatherings on my Grandpa's side were quite special when they happened.  The had the same concepts as other gatherings, tons of kids running around, special family time and of course the thing that holds everyone together, GREAT FOOD!
     I remember one gathering specifically when I was about eight, surveying the dessert table and seeing a strange creamy pie.  It wasn't fruit or pecan, our standard, it was different.  It was buttermilk! 
     The pie was even more special because my Uncle Robert, my Grandpa's brother, made it.  It was delicious and utterly memorable.
    This pie I made in honor of my Uncle Robert who passed away recently.  I made it in honor of his easy grins, his honest interest in me when I was a kid, and the gentle kind man he was, not even to mention his unforgettable belly laughs.  Please try it, you wont regret it!

Buttermilk Pie
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour, plus a little for dusting
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs slightly and add sugar and flour. Then add melted butter and mix well. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix.   Dust the unbaked pie shell with a little bit of flour. Pour batter into shell, and then sprinkle a little more flour on top.
Bake at 325 degrees until the custard is set, approximately 1 hour.

Jul 17, 2011

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

      I just love Dr. Pepper and its 23 flavors.  It's my drink of choice if I am going to drink a soda, so when I was discussing BBQ sauce with a friend and she brought up Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce I was all over it! I researched a couple of recipes and modified until it set my purposes.  I think the Dr. Pepper added a sweet tang and depth to the pulled pork I made.

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons tomato paste
One 12-ounce can Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ancho or New Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
     In a saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the flavors have blended. Continue cooking until the sauce begins to thicken, 20 to 30 minutes.
     Let the sauce cool for 15 minutes and then blend with an immersion blender.

Jul 16, 2011

Pineapple Coleslaw

Dear Blog,
I am sorry that I am such a horrible writer.  I apologize for all the days I have neglected you, choosing instead to play in the summer sun, eat veggies from our CSA, go on long walks, and pick sun ripened strawberries on the vine.  I am also sorry that my work schedule has sucked so hard and made all of those things plus the basics to live on be crammed into one and sometimes two days in the week if I am lucky. 
Love, faith

Ugh.  I am a horrible blog mommy!!!  I feel like this summer is getting away from me and I am in a desperate rush to enjoy every moment of sun filled loveliness I can before it gets cold and rainy again.
This coleslaw was a delicious accoutrement to Dr. Pepper pulled pork which I will hopefully get up before the weekend is over.  I used both white cabbage and a napa cabbage that we got in our CSA and didn't find any difference. 
I love the addition of pineapple to this recipe, its a fresh alternative to a sometimes boring side dish.  Next time I would like to add a few poppy seeds to the dish to see what they might add to it.

Sorry I don't have a good picture of just the slaw but it was the best topper for this pulled pork!

Pineapple Coleslaw
5 cups of shredded cabbage
2 cups of fresh pineapple cut into pieces
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup of mayo
1/3 cup sugar(next time I want to use agave!)
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Mix cabbage and pineapple and then mix half and half, mayo, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix cream mixture with pineapples and cabbage and store in refrigerator for 5-6 hours before serving.

Jun 30, 2011

Blogiversary and a late daring bakers challenge!

One year ago I embarked on a culinary journey and honestly, had no idea where the year would bring me. Sure, before I blogged I cooked, but blogging has allowed me to flex my culinary muscle and do things I never thought I would be able to!  I joined some cooking groups along the way and have met some amazing people that I feel like my life is richer for knowing. I have chronicled the past year of dishes even though it has been one of the hardest (work wise) years of my life, and I don't plan on stopping now!!!
So if you haven't gotten sick of me waxing poetic on the last year, here is my severely late June Daring Bakers Challenge.
When I made this recipe I was knee deep in strawberries for jam and that served as my inspiration for this project.  Sadly, I only completed one component of the challenge and totally punked out on making my own phyllo dough.  This will however, be completed in the future!
I think this turned into a very creative non traditional approach to a very traditional dessert.

Strawberry Baklava
6 ounces blanched almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
 1 pound phyllo dough
8 ounces clarified unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 350.  Place the blanched almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not creamy.

In a 9x13 pan brush the sides and bottom with butter and then lay out a layer of phyllo dough.  Brush with more butter and repeat this 9 times for a total of ten.  Top with one third of the nut mix spread thinly.  Top with six more layers of phyllo and butter and then remaining nuts. Eight more layers after that and then brush the top with butter.  Bake in the oven for 30  minutes and then remove and cut into squares.  Return to oven for another 30 minutes and then remove from oven and allow to cool for two hours. While it is cooling make your syrup.

1/2 cup strawberry puree
1 1/4 cups honey
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
Combine strawberry puree, honey, water and sugar in a pan over medium heat and boil for ten minutes.

After the baklava has cooled for 2 hours, re-cut the entire pan following the same lines as before. Pour the hot syrup evenly over the top of the baklava, allowing it to run into the cuts and around the edges of the pan. Allow the pan to sit, uncovered until completely cool. Cover and store at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to overnight before serving. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Blog-checking lines: Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Jun 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Ugh, I am a bad bad blogger!!! But in my defense it has been a very busy couple of weeks!! We have been down a manager at work so I have been working crazy weird shifts several times out of the week  and also it was my birthday! (Hopefully I will have a fatty post on that later this week considering we made a FEAST!) And also to add to my list of sad excuses, its spring! Which is a magical time here in the valley! I got my first CSA farm share (spinach, two kinds of lettuce, radishes, and strawberry spread) and finally the strawberries are in SEASON! My oh my.  Today SA and I went to a u-pick place and scored some beautiful berries.  Red, juicy, and ORGANIC.  They taste amazing! This recipe is something that one of my friends and I threw together after hearing about a trader Joe's recipe.  They are delicious and even addictive. I recommend that if you make them you make them for a group so you aren't eating them all by yourself.
please forgive me, I semi-ho'd it!

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls
peanut butter cream cheese frosting
two pieces of bacon cooked until crispy and crumbled

Cook Cinnamon Rolls according to directions and spread peanut butter cream cheese over top while still hot.  Sprinkle with bacon and cinnamon to taste!

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 -3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Mix peanut butter and cream cheese together until smooth and add vanilla and powdered sugar one cup at a time until spreading consistency.

May 27, 2011

Chocolate Marquise : You're fancy, huh?

When I first read about the Daring Bakers Challenge I was flabbergasted.  There were so many steps! So many places to falter and so many ingredients! I'm not going to lie, it took me several days to wrap my head around this recipe in all its egg glory, but once I did, lord help me I have been covering EVERYTHING in rum caramel sauce. (Don't stand still too long I might cover you in it next!)

Dark Chocolate Marquise with raspberry coulis, vanilla bean meringue, rum caramel and lemon scented spiced almonds

Please go to for the recipe.  The only changes I made was add vanilla beans to the meringue, and rum instead of tequila in the marquise and the caramel.
I served this dish after gumbo and my friends proceeded to make themselves pretty much ill on it.  It was so rich and some of them *might* have eaten two servings.  I wasn't sure what to expect with the marquise but the best way I could describe it is a really rich frozen boozy chocolate pudding. Even after serving double desserts to 6 people and two half people (aka kids) I had a whole pan of the marquise goodness in my freezer and the next week I played around with the leftovers.

This was my take on a rocky road marquise! Toasted Marshmallow, rum caramel, toasted coconut, dark chocolate marquise and peanuts and mini chocolate chips.  SA said the toasted marshmallow was weird but I enjoyed the chewy texture!
Thanks again to Emma and Jenny! This was a fantastic challenge and one I am sure I will keep in the back of my mind when I need a bit fancier of a dessert!
Blog-checking lines: The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

the marquise massacre!

May 18, 2011

Creamy Chicken

Warning, my language skills kind of fell apart for this post and there is a bit of cussing, so if you don't like that, please read a different post!!!
When I was making this I was formulating what I would say in my blog opener about it.  I thought about telling a heart warming story about how my Grandpa used to make SOS, aka shit on a shingle, when I was a kid, and how this recipe reminded me of SOS, only it was chicken-shit on a shingle (CSOS?) but then all sorts of things started going wrong.  SA decided it was the perfect time to take out the recyclables, our other cat Wall-E attacked the tomatillo plant I got today and then the piece de resistance, our dishwasher started sounding like a dying animal. SHIT SHIT SHIT! It had been such a great day:

the biggest green apples I have ever seen at a local farmers market

beautiful day in the valley!

Now you KNOW I bought some of this!!! How could I not

Our handsome dog, Curry enjoying the sun(We all got sunburns!)
Needless to say I might of lost track of things and the creamy gravy might of separated a bit, the green beans boiled almost all their liquid out and my salad ended up consisting of apples and lettuce and a homemade mandarin orange vinaigrette.  I forgot to put other ingredients in it, even the left over spicy almonds from this month's daring baker's challenge.
All in all though it was still pretty tasty!!!!

forgive the picture of entree+ sides.  SA had already made his plate and so had I so...all of it you get!
 Creamed Chicken adapted from Sherri Bailey
1 Onion chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups diced chicken
2 cups Milk
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
paprika for the dusting
Mashed Potatoes

In a large skillet melt butter and add onions, cooking over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Sprinkle with flour and stir in milk. Allow mixture to thicken slightly and stir in diced chicken, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through(Mine took about 20 minutes.)  Serve over mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika for a little extra kick!

May 16, 2011

Grilled Twice Cooked Potatoes

Yesterday we grilled out for one of the first times of the season.  It was heavenly.  It might of only been burgers and SA might have cooked them a little past my desired pinkness but it was wonderful! I wanted a different than normal side and for some reason couldn't get twice baked potatoes out of my head.  I decided to go ahead and make them, but for an added bonus round I finished them off on the grill. Oh good night and good morning.  These bad boys were amazing.  SA took them with him to work today and in his normal strange way said they were even good cold!

twice cooked potatoes (oven+grill)
4 large russet potatoes scrubbed and poked with a fork
1 tbsp butter
2 pieces of bacon cut in 1/4 inch strips and fried till crispy
1/4 cup Colby-jack cheese
Greek yogurt(or sour cream)
salt and pepper

Bake potatoes in oven at 400 until soft and allow to cool slightly. Cut in half and hollow out each side, leaving a bit of potato to hold up the skins(at this stage I also cut off a bit of each end of the potato so the halves would stand by themselves.. In a small bowl combine the potato that you hollow out, butter, salt and pepper and mash with a fork, until butter is melted and smooth.  Stuff butter and potato mixture back into potato halves and sprinkle the top with cheese. Place gently on a medium high grill and cook until the outside is charred to your liking and the cheese is melted.  Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, bacon bits and a sprinkling of paprika.  Chives would of also been wonderful on these but I didn't think to go raid my plant!

May 15, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Bars

This weekend I bought my first SURE sign of summer, fresh organic strawberries! While it is still a little early for local fruit, these tasted amazing and I couldnt wait to try this recipe I had been eyeing...and of course change it. Ultimatley I added a bit more cream, changed it to bars and drizzed the whole bad mama with some white chocolate.  I think if I would of left the recipe alone it would of made a great breakfast bar.

Strawberry Shortcake Bars
modified from Martha Stewart
2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter grated
2/3 cup heavy cream + 2 Tablespoons

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
Press into a greased 9x11 square pan and bake 35-40 minutes.  (Mine took 35ish). Drizzle with melted white chocolate and pink sugar.

May 13, 2011

File Gumbo--May Daring Cooks Challenge

For this months Daring cooks challenge we were challenged to make a gumbo that included a roux.  This wasn't my first time making gumbo and I'm sure it wont be my last.  While this recipe turned out really good and everyone seemed to like it, I still don't love gumbo.  It was my first time to use file powder and even my first time to use okra and that was exciting, but I think its the flavor combinations that I cant be down with. 

Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Minimally adapted from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh
Serves 10-12
1 cup rendered chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, diced
1 chicken cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices or store-bought Creole spice blend
2 pounds spicy smoked sausage, sliced ½ inch thick
2 stalks celery, diced
2 green bell peppers seeded and diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 quarts Basic Chicken Stock
bay leaves
6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
2 cups sliced fresh okra, ½ -inch  thick slices (or frozen, if fresh is not available)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Filé powder, to taste
Tabasco, to taste
4-6 cups cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice

In a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan, heat the chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil – it will start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate, and continue whisking until the roux becomes deep brown in color, about 15 minutes Add the onions. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the onions into the roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue stirring until the roux becomes a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.

 Add the chicken to the pot; raise the heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until slightly browned, about 10 minutes.Add the sliced smoked sausage and stir for about a minute.  Add the celery, bell peppers, tomato, and garlic, and continue stirring for about 3 minutes.  Add the thyme, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, skimming off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
Add the chopped andouille, okra, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper, several dashes of filé powder, and Tabasco, all to taste.
Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat from the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice. Pass more filé powder at the table if desired.

Blog-checking lines: Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

May 8, 2011

Tomatisallad (Cucumber and Tomato Salad)

Summer has become my litany.  I can't want for it.  I can't bear putting on another hoodie.  I am so done with heavy meaty foods.  I want fresh.  I want my CSA to start!!!! I want warm tomatoes fresh from my garden to make this recipe with, Summer, I want you! This recipe is really good.  It will be even better with Summer tomatoes!

modified from Scandinavian Cooking by Beatrice Okakangas
6 medium tomatoes
4 green onions with tops sliced
2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed allspice
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp salt
1/4 c veg oil
1 8 inch cucumber sliced paper thin
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Thinly slice tomatoes and arrange on a dish or platter with sides.  Top with cucumber and green onions.  In a small bowl combine sugar, allspice, white pepper, salt and red or white wine vinegar. Slowly pour in oil, mixing with a whisk and then pour over tomatoes, cucumber and green onions.  Refrigerate before serving, and cover in chopped fresh parsley.

May 3, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Poundcake with Lemon Glaze

When life gives you lemons, make lemon blueberry pound cake! I keep seeing lemon blueberry cakes around the blogosphere and I developed a serious craving! I found and modified this recipe but in the end it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. Deliciously crumby and richly butter filled it satisfied my taste craving however, not my texture craving.  I wanted a moist rich heavy pound cake with a deep lemon flavor and studs of blueberries.  I am going to keep trying but know if you try this recipe, you wont be disappointed by the taste.

Lemon Blueberry Pound cake with Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour +1Tbsp.
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
11/2 cup sugar +1 Tbsp.
4 eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6 cup bundt pan with Pam with flour or a similar product. In a medium bowl, combine 11/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment cream the butter. Add 11/2 cup of the sugar and mix. With the mixer running at low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add the almond extract.
Working in alternating batches, and mixing after each addition, add the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice to the butter mixture. Mix until just smooth.
In a small bowl combine blueberries and remaining sugar and flour and stir until berries are coated.  Gently fold into batter and pour mixture into prepared pan bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out dry and almost clean 50-60 minutes.
For a glaze I took 1/3 cup lemon juice and mixed it with confectioner's sugar till it was a thick glaze and poured it over the cooled cake.

Arugula Ravioli in Creamy Tarragon Sauce with Fresh English Peas and Pancetta

On Sunday I ran into the store for fresh ravioli and spotted some that were Arugula and fresh Parmesan. Oh man I had to buy them.  I took those sweeties home and then was kind of stumped with what kind of sauce to put on them.  Brown Butter and Sage sounded so good, however I wasn't sure that the sage would taste very good with the arugula but then I remembered this recipe that I wanted to try that calls for ham originally, but I thought pancetta would be a nice addition.  Turns out it was!!

Arugula Ravioli in Creamy Tarragon Sauce with Fresh English Peas and Pancetta
slightly adapted from
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Shallots
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 ounces of pancetta in small cubes
2 Tbsp Tarragon
2 cups heavy cream
1 pound of fresh ravioli (I used Arugula, however I think I would of liked this with cheese ravioli) cooked
1 cup of fresh English peas, shelled
salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add shallots and saute until softened about three minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost all the liquid is gone.  Add the pancetta, tarragon and cream and simmer over medium heat until thickened slightly about ten minutes.
Drain the tortellini and transfer to the cream sauce, stir in the peas and cook for one minute. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Ole! Stacked Chicken Enchilidas with Fire Roasted Corn deconstructed Guacomole

So who out there is ready for Cinco De Mayo? Apparently this girl!!! This meal was conceived over leftover roasted chicken and a love of the term deconstructed.  Yup, I am just a big old dork, but I love the idea of deconstructed dishes.

natty light! (And I am not talking about Beer!)

Stacked Chicken Enchiladas with deconstructed Fire Roasted Corn-Guacamole
For enchilada sauce go HERE
and simply layer the tortillas with sauce, chopped chicken, cheese, sauce, etc until you have a good stack going (I did three tortillas). Cover top with cheese(I used Monterrey Jack) and bake in the oven @ 350 for 20 minutes uncovered.

Fire Roasted-Corn deconstructed Guacamole
2 Avocados chopped
1/2 onion finely minced
1 jalapeno de-seeded and finely minced
1 tomato chopped
1/2 cup fire roasted corn(<--Trader Joe's makes some bomb fire roasted corn, but you can use regular..or fire roast your own!)
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp lime
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Agave Nectar
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup Olive Oil

In a medium size bowl combine avocado, onion, jalapeno, tomato and fire-roasted corn and gently mix.  In a small bowl combine chopped cilantro, cumin, lime, garlic powder, honey and balsamic vinegar and mix with a whisk.  Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking to combine.  Pour vinaigrette over avocado mixture and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Apr 27, 2011

Daring Bakers April 2011--Edible Containers

Sigh. I know I am posting this on May first, however in my defense I have kind of had a lot going on!  I whipped this recipe together one night and was pretty thrilled with the results. I topped my "edible container" with a Kahlua mousse and a sunflower brittle and a bit of Himalayan Pink salt to finish it off and add that bit of saltiness that overly sweet desserts just seem to call for.  It was a dangerously good dessert!

the brush down the middle is a cinnamon ganache. YUM!

Oatmeal Cookie Cups

3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 sticks butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 c. Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; add to butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats untill well blended. Press cookie dough into lightly greased muffin tins and depress the center slightly to make a cup. Cook 10-12 minutes or until firm in the middle.

Blog-checking lines: The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at!

Apr 26, 2011

Klapsakkaa--- Buttered Potato Soup

Velvetty, creamy potato deliciousness! This soup was one of the Scandinavian dishes we prepared on Sunday in celebration of our Swedish friend Matt's birthday.   Looking at the ingredients I didn't expect to like this soup as much as I did, but it had a depth that my potato soup recipe seems to lack and was so easy to make.  Whats not to love? PLUS I know I cant be the only one who hates left over mashed potatoes.

Buttered Potato Soup
modified from Scandinavian Cooking by Beatrice Okakangas
2 cups mashed potatoes
4 cups Milk
2 cups half and half
salt and pepper to taste
dash of ground allspice
 In a medium saucepan beat potatoes and milk with a whisk till smooth. Stir in half and half and let come to  barely a boil.  Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with a dash of allspice.  Garnish each serving with parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of butter.

We added a little bacon and some cheese to the leftovers and it was even better if that is possible!

Apr 25, 2011

Ginger Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Ginger

It's amazing to me how a recipe can grow in my head and become much more complex than it has to be.  Our neighborly buddies birthday is this past week and we decided to have a get together at our house for Easter. Neighbor buddy (NB) wanted a carrot cake for his cake and I started over thinking it immediately. Carrot cake with raisins and coconut, Carrot cake with cinnamon swirl, carrot cake with maple mousse (OK that last part might of been me thinking about another project.) In the end I found a nice simple recipe and went with it.  I think it was a good choice.  The cake incredibly moist and flavorful and the icing... oh man the icing.... I could of eaten it all with a spoon!

even on a paper plate it was so good!!!

Ginger Carrot Cake
modified from Martha Stewart
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 pound large carrots, peeled
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 and grease and flour two round pans. Using the smallest holes (less than 1/4 inch in diameter) of a box grater, grate carrots, yielding 2 1/2 cups(or stick them in your food processor). Place carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil, and ginger in a large bowl; whisk until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until combined. Divide batter between the two cake pans, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middles comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove pans from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
3 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch of salt
Place butter in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add sugar, orange zest, ginger, vanilla, orange juice and salt, and beat for 2 minutes.

Evie isn't sure if she likes the fondant.(Turns out she does!)
Birthday boy and Evie cute Father/daughter bonding moment over cake!

Apr 22, 2011

breakfast burritos

SA and I love breakfast for dinner, lunch, brunch or breakfast, and one of our favorite meals is breakfast burritos.
I don't really think this requires a recipe because they are so versatile, but more of a list of the ingredients we like to put in them!
These particular burritos included
--black beans
--cheddar cheese
--scrambled eggs
However SA and I like to also do black beans, sausage, cheese and eggs with onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Apr 17, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Crepes ----Daring Cooks April

The theme for this months daring cooks was edible containers, and for once I was completely stumped and out of time.  Finally this past week I thought crepes! For me the Daring Cooks is all about cooking things that I have never made before and while there were great recipes for eggs in cups and polenta cups those are old game for me.  I think I was stirring the polenta for my Dad when I was about eleven. Also, SA and I spent a whole afternoon going through the kitchen getting rid of things that were out of date or we wouldn't use so I am trying my HARDEST to only make things from items I had in the kitchen/pantry.  The pictures do not do this recipe ANY justice.  It was really good, and really filling and the best part was after dinner I mixed the left over chicken with the left over sauce and combined it with some left over pasta from the ghetto pesto and SA and I had great lunches then next day!
Making crepes was awesome too.  Before I started I sternly told the batter that it would NOT act like pancake batter did for me, and I guess I scared it or something because my crepes ALL came out beautifully with out tearing or being ugly or under/over cooked.  I was quite proud!

why must brown/cream things always look so ugly when photographed even if they were delish???

Chicken "Cordon Bleu" Crepes
For Crepe recipe please visit Alton
Chicken Filling:
1 Tbsp Butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 chicken breasts cut into small chunks
1/4 tsp. tarragon
1/4 c. diced ham
1/8 tsp black pepper
Melt the butter over medium heat and add onion and garlic and cook until slightly translucent.  Add chicken , tarragon and pepper and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Add ham and cook another two to three minutes or until the ham is warmed through.

Bechamel Sauce
2 cups milk
1 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Pinch nutmeg

Scald the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Keep on low heat stirring occasionally.
Melt the butter in a separate saucepan over low heat. When it's bubbling, add the flour and whisk three or four minutes or until a golden paste has formed.
Whisking constantly, add the hot milk steadily. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 8 minutes.
Whisk in the nutmeg and the cheese, and pour over filled crepes.

Blog checking lines:
Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at!

Apr 12, 2011

Ghetto Pesto

     I tend to use the term ghetto very loosely.  It's a fault I admit, however I consider the word to be so very versatile.  Sure, sure, I get it: "ghetto is a section of a city occupied by a group who live there especially because of social, economic, or legal pressure." Yada, Yada, Yada. To me ghetto is more descriptive.  Like, damn that girl is ghetto over there in her shawty shorts with "Bootylicious" on the butt, or this pesto is so ghetto because I semi-ho'd it(frozen basil=crazy time!).  (Oh yeah, I went there, take that Sandra Lee!) Now keep in mind, ghetto is not necessarily bad. In fact, tonight it was damn good!
     A couple of months ago I impulsively bought a package of frozen basil at Trader Joe's and it was chillin' in the freezer, begging me with it beguiling red packaging to use it every time I opened the door.  Since there is no fresh basil to be found in the store right now (COME ON SUMMMMMMMMER!) I decided to bust it out tonight and make "ghetto pesto."
It really couldn't of been easier, I popped the frozen little nuggets of basil goodness out of their individual cubes and let them thaw in my mini food chopper(which is being held together by tape and a prayer right now, literally.) Once they were thawed, throwing together the rest of dinner took almost less time than it did to boil the water for the pasta!

Ghetto Pesto
14 basil cubes thawed
1/2 cup of almonds (when I break the rules I break all of them! pinenuts=blech!)
3 large cloves of garlic
a pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 c. olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (or mini chopper, or blender) and pulse several times.  If it is too dry and chunky add a bit more olive oil.
I like to toss mine when the pasta is still hot so that it coats the pasta well, however I have heard of some people adding a ladle full of pasta water in with the pesto so it makes it a bit more saucy!

Oh and if you were bursting with curiosity, the chicken on top was simply a chicken breast that I coated with some toasted bread crumbs that had been seasoned with garlic, rosemary, salt and black pepper and then pan fried in about a teaspoon (seriously) of olive oil until done and crisp on the outside!

p.s. I guess I should add that the dorot people didn't pay me or give me free product or anything.  It was simply curiosity that lead me to buy the product and then use it in random ways!

Apr 10, 2011

Egg Bake

Some days are just meant for comfort food.  Today SA and I spent the entire day (almost) going through cabinets in the kitchen and reorganizing, cleaning and throwing out expired food.  I am pretty embarrassed to say that we threw away food that EXPIRED in 2007 today.  I really don't understand how we still had it because we did this last year! While I was cleaning I was trying to figure out what the heck I was going to make for dinner.  I am not going to lie we are in a pretty bad place when it comes to groceries but I didn't want to stop mid project and go grocery shopping.  This recipe is one that I got from my best friend who has at times fed 9 kids with it.  Yes, I said 9 kids, and no she didn't birth them all! Seven are step kids, and not all of them live at the same place, but needless to say this recipe feeds a ton! So know in advance, these amounts make enough for one casserole to freeze and one to serve, or in her case enough for 9 kids! For SA and I, I halved it and there was still plenty leftovers for lunches tomorrow and then some!

SA prefers his with a little of our favorite green cilantro sauce on top!

Egg Bake
4 1/2 c. Seasoned croutons
1 c. Shredded cheese
1 medium onion chopped
1/4 c green pepper
1/4 c. mushrooms
8 eggs
4 c. milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 bacon strips cooked and crumbled

Sprinkle croutons, cheese onion, peppers and mushrooms into two greased pans or one large 9x11 pan. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, mustard and pepper and pour over veggies.  Top with bacon and more cheese and bake uncovered @350 for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. great recipe, but here are the changes I made ;) I added chopped spinach to the onions and croutons, plus a little garlic.  I omitted the peppers and mushrooms and added a bit more black pepper and a little bit of paprika for a little flavor and then I topped mine with cheese and stuck it back under the broiler to get a little color on it once it was cooked.

lol my plate looked a little artistic with the grape jelly smears!

Apr 8, 2011

Hearts of Palm, Black Bean, Red Onion and Corn Salad

When we got to potlucks I always like to bring something different.  This salad usually fits the bill for me and is one of my favorites.  The only complaint I have about it is that it can be expensive to make, so I usually only make it every once and awhile (or when I need to impress some  vegetarians!). We even made a huge dish of this to serve at our diy wedding!

Hearts of Palm, Black Bean, Red Onion and Corn Salad
delightfully borrowed from Emeril Lagasse
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cane vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon freshly chopped chives
1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed and minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm, drained
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked corn
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced bias cut green onions
Mixed greens, if desired, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, herbs, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Slice the hearts of palm on an angle, about 1/2-inch thick. Combine the hearts of palm, red onions, black beans, corn, bell pepper, and green onions in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Arrange on a platter or individual salad plates, over greens, if desired, and drizzle with the dressing

*sorry about the funk picture! I really wanted to share this recipe and the only pic I had was one when we were headed to a potluck!

Apr 7, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Risotto with Spicy Sausage, Tomatos and Basil

Oh man, I am trying so hard not to dwell on it but I am REALLY ready for spring.  Today the sun decided to show its glorious face for a few moments and I was ready for it.  I stopped my spring cleaning and rushed out of  our door with Curry (aka the hotdog bandit) to enjoy it for a few moments and when I came back I decided that we needed to have a bit of color for dinner.  Since I haven't gone grocery shopping I decided to make a risotto that was basically born from the little bits of left over stuff we had in our fridge...and it was delicious!

Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Risotto with Spicy Sausage, Tomatos and Basil
1/4 c. Onion finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 C. Arborio Rice
3 C. Chicken Stock
1/2 c. Roasted Asparagus*
2 cloves of roasted garlic
1/4 pound of spicy sausage cooked and crumbled
1 tsp basil
1 small tomato chopped
2 TBSP salted butter
1/3 c Parmesan Cheese (Please use some quality here, folks, none of the fake stuff in the green container!)

Heat chicken stock in a pot on stove on medium heat. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for five or so minutes until the onions are no longer crunchy. Add rice into pan and stir for a minute, coating in olive oil. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Keep the burner just high enough to barely simmer the stock and risotto. You must pay attention, and stir it more than occasionally, but you don't have to be a slave to the stove top.
 Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm. Once it is done, take it off the burner and stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, spicy sausage, roasted asparagus and garlic and chopped tomato. Salt to taste.

*to roast asparagus and garlic: clean and cut into 1/2 inch diagonals and spread onto a cookie sheet. sprinkle with olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste and broil for roughly five minutes.  Make sure you watch it! When it starts to blacken it goes quick!

Mar 31, 2011

Shredded Pork Tostados

I stinkin love Mexican food. I think it might be because I was raised on it, or maybe it was because it was the last thing that my Mom ate before she birthed me.  Regardless I LOVE IT! I made this dish from a pork shoulder that I slow cooked and made hawaiian bbq pork out of the first night and then soaked in orange juice and chipolte peppers the second day.  It was delicious.  The tangy orange juice was a nice partner to the spicy chipolte and then I topped it with finely chopped onion, chopped cilantro and avocado, queso fresco and a ton of lime. So really no recipe, except for the pork shoulder:

Kalua Pork
delightfully borrowed from melskitchencafe
10-12 pounds pork shoulder butt roast (don’t substitute a leaner cut of pork or it will be dry)
1 bottle liquid smoke
2 tablespoons sea salt (or hula salt if you can find it)
1 1/2 cups water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Trim roast of large pockets of fat (but leave some fat on there to help the pork stay tender while cooking). Place pork in large roasting pan (the aluminum, deep roasting pans you can buy at the grocery store work great if you don’t own a heavy-duty roasting pan). Rub 2-3 tablespoons of sea salt into pork. Pour the bottle of liquid smoke over and around the pork. Pour the water around the pork. Cover roasting pan TIGHTLY with two layers of aluminum foil.
Bake for 5-7 hours

Mar 29, 2011

Ahhh Summmmmer (March Dessert Wars Challenge)

I personally think that March in the Pac Northwest is hell.  It's cold.  It's rainy.  Sometimes it snows.  It is particularly difficult for me when I see pictures of all my friends in Texas. It seems like as soon as February rolls around everyone is posting pictures of beach time, gardens and talking about how they are getting sunburns. Things I can only dream about. 
This cake is the result of my frustrations and while it didn't make it any warmer or even make the sun come out it was wonderful and tasted like my favorite Summer drink a mojito!

This is my submission for the March edition of Dessert Wars, which had a great twist to it.  We were given two columns of ingredients to choose from, one traditional and one not so much.  I choose to include avocado from the "not so much" column and lime and mint from the traditional.

Mojito Pound Cake
recipe modified from joythebaker
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup rum
flesh of 1 1/2 ripe avocados, just over a cup of avocado, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pant.
In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. Set the four eggs out on the counter to come to room temperature while you beat the butter and sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until softened and pliable. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the avocado and beat another minute to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after the addition of each egg. Beat in vanilla extract.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour mixture. Beat just until combined.
Divide the dough between the two loaf pans and place in the oven. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. I checked my cakes every ten minutes or so after the 30 minute mark. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Lime Glaze
3 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
8 tablespoons fresh lime juice plus 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest (about 6 limes total)
Sift confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl. Add lime juice; stir until smooth. Stir in lime zest. Use glaze immediately.

Candied Mint Leaves
Mint leaves
egg white
granulated sugar
1 tsp. water
Gently wash flowers and leaves in cool water and blot dry on paper towels.
mix the water with egg white and beat slightly.Carefully dip mint into egg white. Gently dredge with sugar and dry on waxed paper 12 hours or more before using.

March's prize package includes:
Whisk and cupcake necklace from Moon & Star Designs
The Smartshopper Electronic Grocery List Organizer
Lenox Personalized Musical Cupcake
1,000 ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes
Endless Vanilla and Cinnamon Extract
Unlimited Layers: A Recipe for Turning Your Passion into Profits
50 $ Gift certificate to organic valley
Organic Prairie $50 Gift Certificate
Theme Kitchen $50 Gift Certificate
Crepe Pan

Mar 21, 2011

Spicy Grits Bowls

     "I like my grits gritty."  I don't really know why but I growled this at SA yesterday before preparing this new delightful dish to add to my repertoire, but it started an epiphany. 
     Do you ever just look in your fridge and feel slightly uninspired by the ingredients you have before making a trip to the grocery store? I do it ALL the time, and I am the queen of the last minute call to pick up ingredients on the way home. I am however, trying to turn over a new leaf and use my pantry so this recipe is a result of trying to be both frugal and use ingredients I had on hand (and almost always have on hand.)

Spicy Grit Bowls
Two servings of grits prepared
2 cups of black beans
1/2 pound of spicy sausage cooked and crumbled
1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c. green salsa
1 avocado chopped
sour cream
cilantro to taste
      So basically layer the the toppings on top of the prepared grits and then mix them up if you want  to or not :) Delicious and feeds two.

Mar 19, 2011

Pappas Rellenas and Sopa de Lima (March Daring Cooks Challenge)

I was on a mission as soon as I read the recipe for the March Daring Cooks challenge.  I was going to find some Purple Peruvian potatoes! Alas I went to every grocery store in the area to no avail.  Finally I went to Seattle for work and got a chance to visit the Pikes Place Market (WHICH I LOVED!!!) In the market I barely had to look, there were my little purple gems. 
Due to being sick with what I am going to refer to as the plague for the last week I just got a chance to perform the challenge tonight for SA and our friends Tiff and Matt. It was fantastic! I used a mixture of spicy sausage, onions,garlic, olives and cheese.

Pappas Rellenas
For the dough:
2¼ lb (1 kg) russet potatoes
1 large egg
For the filling:
2 tablespoon (30 ml) of a light flavored oil
½ lb spicy sausage
6 black olives, pitted and chopped (use more if you love olives)
2 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup (240 ml))
1 finely diced aji pepper (ok to sub jalapeño or other pepper – if you are shy about heat, use less)
2 cloves garlic, minced or passed through a press (if you love garlic, add more) 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) (1/8 oz) ground cumin (use more if you like cumin)
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) (2 gm) (1/16 oz) sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
For the final preparation:
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash salt
1 cup dry (240 ml) (110 gm) (4 oz) or fresh (240 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) bread crumbs (you can use regular, panko, make your own or use store-bought)
Oil for frying (enough for 2” (50 mm) in a heavy pan like a medium sized dutch oven)
In order to save time, you can boil the potatoes, and while they are cooling, you can make the filling. While that is cooling, you can make the potato “dough.” In this way, little time is spent waiting for anything to cool.
For the dough:
Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and cool.
Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them and mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).
Add egg, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.
Forming and frying the papas:
Use three small bowls to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt. In the second, a beaten egg with a tiny bit of water. Put bread crumbs in the third
Flour your hands and scoop up 1/6 of the total dough to make a round pancake with your hands. Make a slight indentation in the middle for the filling.
Spoon a generous amount of filling into the center and then roll the potato closed, forming a smooth, potato-shaped casing around the filling. Repeat with all dough (you should have about 6 papas).
Heat 1 ½ - 2 inches (4 – 5 cm) of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F (175 - 190°C).
Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread crumbs.
Fry the papas (in batches if necessary) about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip once in the middle of frying to brown both sides.
Drain on paper towel and store in a 200ºF (95ºC) (gas mark ¼) oven if frying in batches.
Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately.

I served the Pappas Rellenas with Sopa de Lima:

Sopa de Lima (Tortilla Soup with Lime)
delightfully borrowed from Home Sick Texan
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
10 cloves garlic
2 quarts of chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1 cup chopped cilantro, divided
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
Crushed tortilla chips
2 jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, diced
1 avocado, pitted and peeled, cubed
1 lime, cut into slices

Place the quartered onion and 10 cloves of garlic under the broiler. Cook until blackened, about 10 minutes, turning once. Place the cooked onion and garlic into the blender, along with 1 cup of the broth. Pour into a large pot.
Add the rest of the chicken broth to the pot, and stir in the allspice, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, cayenne, 1/2 cup of the chopped cilantro and lime zest. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and cook for 5 more minutes. Taste and add salt and black pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings, and then stir in the lime juice.
Serve with Monterrey Jack, crushed tortilla chips, diced jalapeños, remaining 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, avocado and lime slices.
Blog Checking Lines:
Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.