Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wowzers the time is flying!

Do you ever have those days when it all of the sudden dawns on you that time is moving so quickly?  Today was one of those days, as I have mentioned before next month I am getting married, yes in a little more than two weeks I will have a "Mr Love From Scratch".  There are a million things to get done and so many details to oversee.  It is such an exciting time, I can hardly believe the wedding is almost here.  How crazy is that?

So many things to get done and it seems almost as though the time is running out.  I have been so busy trying to get everything done and accounted for, it seems like there is an endless amount of details for a wedding.  As we have been getting ready for the wedding I have been thinking of the courtship and dating that has lead up to the wedding and it has brought back so many great memories, one that I have been thinking of was one of the first meals I made for Mr. Love From Scratch.  It was a picnic and we had several different dishes, but the star of the meal was my signature cerviche.  I love cerviche and I was excited to share a favorite dish of mine with him.  This is a dish that has so many memories for me, and I hope you try it and develop memories of your own.

Love From Scratch Cerviche

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh shrimp
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup cilantro
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno
1/2 cup bell pepper diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup diced cucumbers peeled and diced.

Directions:

Pat the seafood dry and place in a glass bowl. Cover with the lime juice and let marinate until opaque, about 3 hours, refrigerated.  Add the remaining ingredients to the seafood, gently stirring to mix. Add reserved lime juice to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour, and serve chilled in a tall martini or cocktail glass 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meatless Monday- Experimental Edition!

I am always looking for healthy and delicious meatless Monday recipes, or recipes for any occasion really.  Several people have been suggesting that I look at the website www.meatlessmonday.com  I decided to give it a shot.   I really suggest taking a look at this site, they have some recipes that really do sound amazing.  The recipe that I have decided to try for the week is the Black Bean Corn Tamales, I love tamales, and maybe this will be healthier to make than the traditional tamale recipe.  Tamales are usually easier to make if you have two sets of hands, so enlist the help of a friend, or get the kids to help out on this one.

I will be trying this recipe as well this week, so let me know how it works for you and I will keep you posted on how this recipe turns out, I am crossing my fingers that it is good.

Black Bean Corn Tamales
from www.meatlessmonday.com

Ingredients:

18 corn husks, dried
3 cups corn kernels cut from the cob
or 3 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 cups masa harina*
1/2 cup vegetable broth, warmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 red onion, diced
1 32 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste

*a corn flour found in Mexican markets or the Mexican section of some grocery stores.

Place the corn husks in a bowl of water to soften for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Pat dry and set aside.

Place 2 1/2 cups of the corn kernels into a food processor. Pulse until pureed.

Place the purred corn, masa harina, warmed vegetable broth, baking powder, salt and canola oil into a large bowl. Mix together with your hands until all ingredients are evenly distributed and the mixture has a dough-like consistency.

Prepare a frying pan with a light layer of canola oil or nonstick cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, black beans and the remaining 1/2 cup of corn kernels to the pan. Season the corn black bean mixture with the chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and lightly browned.

Preheat a steamer or set a large double boiler over medium-high heat.

Place about 3 tablespoons of the masa harina mixture in the center of a corn husk. Flatten the masa harina dough with your hand to form an 1/4 inch thick disc. Place about 1 tablespoon of corn bean filling inside each disc. Fold the long side of the corn husk over the filling to cover and fold the ends together, overlapping. Tear a thin strip for one of the extra soaked corn husks. Tie the tamale together using the thin strip. Repeat 13 times, or until you are out of masa harina flour and black bean corn filling.

Layer the 14 black bean corn tamales over each other in the other in the steamer or double boiler. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and steam for about 50-60 minutes, or until the tamales are heated through. Divide into 7 servings and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Key Lime Creme Brulee

I love desserts, and I love the rich, creamy desserts especially, custards, flan, pot de creme, creme brulees are my favorites.  It always feels so indulgent when I have them, its a true treat.  So many people don't make creme brulee because they think it is to complicated or too time consuming.  Creme brulee is one of the easiest desserts that I make, yet it always impresses people, plus the child in me loves using the culinary torches, after all everyone loves fire. 

I know that I have shared creme brulee recipes before, there are just so many decadent recipes out there for creme brulee, but I do love usually key lime flavored anything so this is a real home run, try these next time that you have company, the guest will love it!

Key Lime Creme Brulee

Ingredients

3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 6 teaspoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
8 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
Garnish: lime peel or fresh mint sprigs

Directions
Preheat oven to 325ºF.   Place cream and 1/4 cup sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in lime juice. Remove bean.

Beat egg yolks and lime peel in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Divide among six 6-ounce ramekins. Place cups in large baking pan. Pour in enough hot water to come half way up sides of cups.

Bake until just edges are set custard jiggles but is not too runny, about 35 minutes. Remove from water bath and let cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar evenly over each custard. Use torch to melt and caramelize sugar, or broil about 2 minutes, watching carefully and rotating cups. Let stand until sugar hardens or chill 15 minutes to 2 hours. Garnish if desired with mint and lime slices.

What I have been reading Wednesday,..The Red Hat Society Cookbook

It is time for "What I have been reading Wednesday."  I love my cookbooks, and now that I am working on organizing my apartment and getting it ready for the move I certainly am realizing how many I have.   I love my cookbooks, each one tells a different story and opens my eyes to a whole new culinary adventure.  I have always been passionate about books of any kind, but cookbooks are a particular favorite of mine.

As a child I used to read cookbook after cookbook and study the pictures and dream of making these creations myself.  I would daydream for hours and have visions or being grown up in my own kitchen dancing in my head.  I had my kitchen planned down to the last detail, I had everything picked out, and I love that my kitchen is a place where I still love to be, it is still and always will be the heart of the home.  I used to play with my grandmothers things, her gloves, and purses, all of her pretty things.  It made me feel so grown up and elegant, though I could never be as elegant as my grandmother was.  One of the things that I love most about the Red Hat Society is that they believe in living fabulously, and enjoying every minute of it, I try to do the same thing in my own life.

The Red Hat Society Cookbook, does not disappoint, it is full of recipes for fabulous living and fabulous entertaining, the wilted spinach salad, and the creme brulee french toast are some of my favorites, the shrimp etouffe is excellent too.  The recipes in the cookbook are all easy to follow and definitely good for a novice cook or experienced cook alike.  These are all familiar favorites that will evoke lots of memories, definitely try this one out!