Tuesday, February 26, 2008
There is a recipe for Spaguetti Verde a la Mexicana (Mexican Style Green Spaghetti). When our neighbor's 16 year old son had to cook dinner to pay off a bet, Spaguetti Verde is what he made using chile poblanos. Check it out, it will give you something different to cook when you are in a hurry.
She has a recipe for Jalisco style Pozole which I am planning on trying out soon.
If you have a sweet tooth there is also a recipe for Pastel de Nutela (Nutella Cake). Nutella is big here in Yucatan, you can buy it in any supermarket. Some of the marquesita vendors offer you a choice of Nutella and or cajeta in addition to the cheese filling. Marquesitas are a cheese waffle, the vendors pour a batter onto a hot marquesita iron, they then close the two halves to cook it. What emerges is a giant cookie, similar in taste and texture to a waffle cone. Gouda cheese is sprinkled on and it's rolled up into a tube. If you want to try to make your own, here is a recipe courtesy of Rick Bayless. When I first came to Mèrida, marquesitas were 10 pesos each, the last time I had one, they were 15 pesos. Still they are my favorite street food treat even at that price.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I think Ms Ingram is British or at least she isn't American, because some of her cooking terms confused me or at least amused me a bit. She uses African terms for things like yucca and malanga, but if you already cook with these items they are easily identified.
Unfortunately, I think her proofreader either missed a few things or isn't a cook. The Borscht recipe, for example, she specifies one large onion in the ingredients section but the next time she mentions the onion she tells you to "add the onion, fry for 2-3 minutes". Umm, shouldn't the onion be diced, chopped or sliced before you fry it? Surely, she doesn't want you to fry a whole onion? How would you do that, roll it around in the pan? I've made Borscht before so I chose to grate the onion in the food processor before frying it.
I probably would never buy this book because there aren't enough recipes included, but it is pretty and the recipes that I made were tasty including the Borscht. If you find it in your library you might give it a try, especially if you are trying to add more vegetables to your diet. If you make one of the recipes for loofas, I would be interesting in knowing how they taste.
There are a bunch of notes, so please read my notes before you make this. I made it without the ham, but I think I would dice it before I added it to the filling.
serves four to six
1 1/4 cups water
4 ounces butter or margarine*( mantequilla)
5 ounces all-purpose flour (harina de trigo)
4 ounces Gruyère or Cheddar cheese, finely diced **
1 teaspoon French mustard***(mostaza Dejon)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE FILLING
14 ounce can tomatoes **** (tomates pelado y picado)
1 tablespoon sunflower oil***** (aceite de girasol)
1/2 ounce butter or margarine* (mantequilla)
1 onion chopped (cebolla)
4 ounces white mushrooms, halved if large (champiñon)
1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets (coliflor)
sprig of thyme****** (tomillo)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) and butter a large oval ovenproof dish******Place the water and butter together in a large saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add all the flour at once. Beat will with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy. Stir in the cheese and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture around the sides of the dish, leaving a hollow in the center for the filling.
- To make the filling, purèe the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and then pour it into a measuring jug. Add enough water to make up to 1 1/4 cups of liquid.
- Heat the oil and butter in a flameproof casserole and fry the onion for about 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to be flecked with brown. Add the cauliflower florets and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato liquid, thyme and seasoning. Cook uncovered over low heat for about 5 minutes until the cauliflower is only just tender.
- Sppon the mixture in the ovenproof dish, adding all the liquid. Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, until the outer pastry is well risen and golden brown.
For a variation, ham or bacon can be added. Use about 4-5 ounces thickly sliced roast ham and add to the sauce at the end of step 5.
*I used butter, yuck, I don't use margarine, who are they kidding? If you want to use margarine you can look up the translation for yourself, but don't blame me if it doesn't work out., or tastes like plastic.
**I used Costco grated Mexican cheese blend because it has Cheddar. You can find Gruyère at Costco and most Supermarkets in Mèrida.
*** The recipe didn't specify prepared or powdered mustard, but since it said French, I assumed it was prepared mustard used Maile brand Dejon which I bought here.
**** The next time I make this I am going to just use tomato puree,I don't remember if tomato sauce is thinner NOB or not.
*****I have never seen sunflower oil here, I used canola.
******I didn't have any fresh thyme so I used a dash of ground thyme.
*******The photo shows a knife alongside a square baking dish with rounded corners, so I used a 8inch baking dish with rounded corners, next time I am using smaller dish.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
So getting back to the pizza, even after Faire ended for the season we continued the Pizza Day tradition, infact, Harry was inspired to learn to make pizza too, so I have to assume that Pizza Day lives on.
So you can start your own pizza day tradition here is the recipe for pizza dough and to start you off, I also wrote out the plain cheese pizza recipe.
Usually we topped one pizza with pesto, either store bought or homemade, and another with tomato sauce. The easiest thing to used is canned spaghetti sauce. One of the tricks to really good home made pizza is a hot oven, as hot as it will go, at least 400º, and make sure you preheat it.
1 recipe pizza dough (or frozen bread dough defrosted)
2 cups mixed Italian Cheeses (or plain Mozzarella or Queso Oaxaca) shredded
1 recipe pizza sauce or 8 oz prepared spaghetti sauce or Pesto
- Prepare Pizza dough. Press it out into a 14 inch greased pizza pan.
- preheat oven to 400º ( 205º C).
- Spread the sauce evenly over the pizza dough
- Sprinkle cheese evenly over the pizza sauce.
- Bake pizza in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until pizza dough is brown and the cheese has melted and is also browned.
- Let pizza cool. Remove pizza from pan and cut into wedges.
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon dry yeast (levadura)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon olive oil (aceite olivio)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour (harina)
- Put water in mixing bowl of heavy duty mixer. Dissolve yeast in water. Let it stand until stand a few minutes until it becomes foamy.
- As salt and oil. Mix on low speed with dough hook.
- Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and knead with dough hook until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if necessary.
- Place dough in lightly greased bowl and let it rise until double in size.
- Punch down the dough. Press it out into a greased 14 inch pizza pan.
Replace one cup of the flour with whole wheat flour (harina integral) for a whole wheat pizza.
You can also add some Italian herbs, such as oregano and basil to the flour if you want.
You can easily double or triple this recipe. If you triple it don't triple the yeast.
I use the canned spray to grease things, for this recipe I use Olive oil spray.
8 oz tomato sauce (1 small box puree de tomate )
3 teaspoons Italian herbs*
2 cloves garlic minced
Combine the ingredients in small pan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Cool.
* you can combine oregano, basil, cumin and cilantro instead. I use more oregano than the other herbs.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This is a middle eastern dish that I have adapted. In the photo I have added some more liquid because I didn't cook the garbanzos enough and they were a little hard. It should be a dry dish. The original doesn't use bacon. If you don't eat meat, leave it out and cook the vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil instead. I started with a cup of dry garbanzos and cooked them in plain water, you can use canned garbanzos instead, just rinse them first. If you are looking for garbanzos in Mèrida, they are in canned vegetable section not the canned bean section, I have noticed that some brands have sugar, so you might want to check the labels first. I buy bacon in chunks for cooking. Ask for un trozo de tosino , rebanado means sliced.
100 grams diced bacon
2 cups of cooked garbanzos
6 roma tomatoes diced
1 white onion diced
2 jalapeños diced (I also seed and devein them)
4-6 cloves garlic diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground cilantro seeds
salt to taste
pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, cook the bacon until it's done, but not crispy. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeños, ground cumino and cilantro seeds to the pan. Fry until the onion is limp but not browned. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn heat down to simmer and cook uncovered until the pan is dry.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
If you have a website or other cooking link you think I should add please let me know.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 I just added a new link! It's a website with a calculator that converts from metric to imperial (and of course from imperial to metric!) .
1 tablespoon or more of yogurt
1 liter or quart of milk
Scald the milk.
Cool the milk to about 100º or less. (I just pretend it's formula and put some on my wrist, remember those days?).
Blend the yogurt with a cup of the warm milk.
Add the blended yogurt and milk to the rest of the milk.
Place in a sterilized jar of the appropriate size. (I have a crock with a lid that is perfect).
Seal the jar and set out in a warm place overnight. Or until it becomes yogurt.
You can make more or less yogurt, if you don't want an entire liter or need more. I like whole milk because it's creamier, but you can use whatever milk you normally use. Some people thicken their yogurt with extra powdered milk, but I don't. When we had goats and made yogurt pretty regularly we lived in a much colder place, so I would put the yogurt/milk mixture in a wide mouth thermos but eventually I bought a yogurt maker at a yard sale. Actually, I bought 2 one worked and the other provided me with extra containers, I think I spent like five bucks total.
You actually don't even need the tablespoon of yogurt, anyone who has left out a glass of milk overnight in a warm climate can attest to that. Oh don't get discouraged if it doesn't come out the first time, yogurt is like that, just use the thinner yogurt in a smoothie or feed it to the chickens.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I posted two Panamanian recipes today, I haven't made either one yet, but the recipes seemed straight forward. I have eaten both things so I at least know how they are supposed to taste.
They are fried bread or hojaldre and stuffed yucca fritters or carimañolas.
- Peel yucca, cut into pieces and cook in water until slightly soft. Do not over cook.
- Grind while warm and knead with oil and salt until the batter is soft but firm.
- Form balls with the yucca, flatten it, add one tablespoon of the filling and close it, giving it an elongated form (cylinder shape).
- Heat the oil and fry the fritters until brown.
- Remove from oil and drain excess oil by placing them on a paper towel
1/4 cup oil (aceite)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions (cebollas)
2 finely chopped garlic cloves (dientes de ajo)
1 chopped bell pepper (pementòn or aji)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped hot pepper**
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (cumino molido)
1 pound ground beef (carne res molido)
2 tablespoons tomato paste*** (pasta de tomate)
1 teaspoon salt (sal)
- Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and bell pepper.
- Add the hot pepper, cumin and meat.
- Mix the mixture with a fork until the meat is loosened.
- Add the tomato paste and salt.
- remove from stove
2 1-2 cups flour ( harina)
2/3 cup milk (leche)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (aceite vegital)
1 teaspoon salt (sal)
1 tablespoon sugar (azucar)
1 teaspoon baking powder (polvo de hornear)
Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine the milk and oil and with a fork mix well into the dry mix. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic. Cover and let sit for an hour. Cut in to pieces (2" - 3") and stretch them with you hands and then fry in hot oil until brown. Sprinkle sugar on top and serve hot.
This recipe is in Spanish and English in the cookbook, the English translation leaves a bit to be desired. The hojaldres that I was served were about the thickness of pita bread and the same general shape but about half the size. I am assuming that you test the hot oil by dropping a small piece of dough in it, if it rises and browns the oil is hot enough.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
What my surfing revealed was that generally tortas ahogadas are made from a "salty" bolillo (french roll) and are stuffed with either beef or pork then either served with the sauce already drowning them or with a choice of sauces so you can drown your own. All the sources seemed to agree that you have to go to Guadelajara for the real deal.
None of these discriptions matched Mari's mouth watering version. While she also started with a roll, she didn't specify what kind. If the roll isn't already sliced, open it half way (like a hot dog bun). Fill it with beans or meat or both.Now here is where her version is different, take the sealed roll and dip it in an egg batter, like if you were making chiles rellenos. Fry the torta, again just like in chile rellenos. The battered torta is now placed on a plate and covered in a red sauce.
I'm thinking this might be a fun dish for lunch on Friday as La Muchacha is observing meatless Fridays during Lent.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I concidered taking it to the local copy shop and having it rebound in a spiral binding, but I thought that might make difficult to read some of the printing. When I was NOB, I looked for a copy in the used book stores, but didn't find one.
Yesterday, when I was looking for my errant recipe, I had a moment of inspiration. I have a binder of recipes either photocopied from library cookbooks or torn from the pages of magazines and put into a binder. Before I place them in the binder, I put them into a plastic sleeve, a page protector. Then if I use the recipe and spill something on it, I can wipe the cover clean. It's a great system, I really should use it more.
My idea was, to separate the remaining pages and place them in plastic page protectors. It took about half and hour. Now I need a better binder for them, I used a clear notebook with a clamp but the plastic is slippery and the pages are escaping, so I need to buy a ring binder when I am out and about again.
But over all I am still happy because I saved my cookbook. Now for some steamed pork buns to celebrate!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Today, I searched through my cookbooks and could not find the recipe! I think it had vinegar, but I can't remember.
What's a girl to do? In my case, I adapted my usual carrot and raisen salad recipe forgoing the raisens and using sour orange instead of lemon. Yeah, I use sugar, you can use less but honey doesn't taste the same, and I don't use artificial sweeteners. I think you can use a mix of lemon and sweet orange juice if you don't have sour oranges laying all over your yard like we do.
2 small beets (betabel)
4 carrots (zanahoria)
3 tablespoons sugar (azuacar standard)
the juice of two sour oranges (naranja agrida)
Peel the beets and carrots.
Shred them (I used the food processor).
Mix the shredded vegetables with the sugar and pour the sour orange juice over them.
ps. if your sour oranges are really juicy you may want to drain the salad before serving it.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
One of the additions to our diet I am making is fermented foods and living foods, but that will require more research.
Happily for me, Husband is an early riser, he generally makes the coffee and prepares breakfast. Sometimes, he brings me my coffee in bed (just wanted to make you all jealous). Our normal breakfast when we are home is fruit and yogurt. I buy unflavoured yogurt, nothing added, not even sugar. The plan is to start making our own yogurt again. I used to do it when we had dairy goats, so it isn't anything new. If you don't know how to make yogurt and are interested, I'll post the recipe.
I miss sourdough bread so I made sourdough bread starter Thursday night. Sourdough is another type of fermented food, I think. Anyway, I want to have bread that is a food,not just empty calories.
For such a simple thing like the starter there are so many different recipes, including potato starter. I used to have a thick paperback that had an entire chapter of starter recipes, but it is long gone now. After looking at various variations, I settled on the one using yeast, the simplist sourdough starter recipes use just water and flour and depend upon catching wild yeast to make the starter, but I opted for the certainy of yeast, even if it isn't as "pure".
So accordingly I mixed 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and enough warm water to make a thin batter, in my case enough water was almost 2 cups, but my measuring wasn't exact. All this was done in a plastic container, I left it open to the air until I noticed some little insects flying about, so I covered it with a papertowel that I clipped to one end of the container to keep it from flying off in the breeze from the overhead fan.
The hardest part for me is waiting, periodically I checked on the starter and stirred it as the liquid has a tendency to separate out.
Last night I poured 1 1/2 cups of the starter into another plastic bowl (it's important to use a non-reactive container and utensils when making sourdough), added 1 1/2cups of flour and 1 1/4 cups of warm water to this starter, covered it with a papertowel and set it aside.
The remaining original starter went into a quart size crock (I found the crock in Megabalcones, it was being sold in the salt aisle) from which I removed the plastic seal, as I am not fond of stuff exploding in my refrigerator, to this starter I added another 1 1/2 of flour and 1 1/2 cups of warm water.
Both of this batches of starter immediately bubbled up in a very gratifying manner. At least I know that my yeast is still alive!
The crock of starter is in the refrigerator between my sundried tomatoes and marinated artichoke hearts and the "primary batter" is happily bubbling away on the kitchen counter. Now the real work begins, I have to decide what to make, since this is really an experiment, I think I am going to opt for a simple white bread. I am going to add some sugar and oil to the primary batter and enough flour to make a stiff dough then knead it and let it rise.
Hopefully lunch will consist of bread and left over chilli!