Monday, September 28, 2009

Garlic Steak Fries

Thick and hearty potato wedges roasted with lots and lots of garlic. A very easy side-dish that could also pose as a hot snack.

Serves 1.5
15 minutes prep + 60 minutes baking
- large baking pan or cookie sheet
- Al foil
- spatula

2 large russet potatoes
6 garlic cloves
1 large shallot
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
[1/2 c. favorite cheese, grated -- optional]

0. Spread a sheet of Al foil over the baking pan. Preheat oven to 400 F.
1. Wash potatoes and cut in half lengthwise, then in half again long-wise (into 4 quarters, perpendicular to the first cut). Slice each quarter lengthwise into 4 wedge-like pieces. Peel garlic and shallots, discard ends, then coarsely dice.
2. Place potato wedges on the aluminum-coated baking pan. Try to arrange them all with peels facing downward, resting on the foil.
3. Place into 400 F pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and carefully rub down with butter. Let butter completely melt and coat the wedges. Lay the potatoes out, but this time with an inside 'face' resting on the foil. Spread the diced garlic and shallot pieces out over the top.
5. Place back in to the oven and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. Check frequently near the end to avoid burning. Remove before the garlic singes.
6. Let the browned wedges cook for 5 minutes.
You might need a spatula to scrape the wedges from the foil. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper; toss a little to mix. Eat warm, perhaps with a little bit of cheese melted on top.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Pretty good cake-- slightly on the dry side, but soft like white velvet. It is heavy, but, hey, it's a damn pound cake! Perfect, in my opinion, to soak up homemade strawberry or peach syrup drizzled over the top.
Another non-original; I picked it up from here.

Makes 1 shallow bundt cake
Preheat 310 F
- large mixing bowl
- handheld beater
- spatula

1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
5.3333 oz. regular cream cheese* (2/3rds of an 8 oz. container), softened
2 c. white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour
2 heaping tsp. xanthan gum

*Kraft Philly cream cheese is GF (Tofutti cream cheese is also GF and does well in baked goods)

0. Preheat oven to 310 F. Grease a large bundt cake pan.
1. Let butter and cream cheese sit at room temperature for an hour, until quite soft.
2. Place butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat until soft and creamy, about a minute or so.
3. Add in the white sugar. Stir in till no longer powdery, then beat with mixer for about 30 seconds. Will look like paste.
4. Crack in the 4 eggs. Pour in the vanilla extract. Beat with mixer for a minute, until a uniform color. Batter should look like a thick custard.
5. Spoon in the flour, stirring with a heavy spoon or spatula. Also mix in the xanthan gum. The batter will get thicker, but should still have alot of 'body'-- much like dense whipped topping.
6. Scoop into waiting bundt cake pan (it definitely shouldn't pour!). Smooth top of the cake with the spatula.
7. Bake in middle of preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Top will turn a nice golden-brown and crack a little. Toothpick inserted in the top should come out dry.
Enjoy this warm with ice cream or homemade fruit syrup. Cake freezes remarkably well, actually.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Salsa Risotto

More risotto; creamy rice with a salsa kick. This is suppost to be rather spicy-- don't be shy about leaving the jalapeno seeds in when you dice the peppers!
Sorry about the sparse updates. Work has been hectic lately...hasn't left me much time to write things up.

Serves 2
35 minutes
- large saucepan with deep sides -or- large pot

6 large green onions
2 cloves garlic
2 large jalapenos
1/2 of a large green bell pepper
1/2 of a large red bell pepper
1 Tbsp. corn oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 large tomatoes
1/2 of a large bunch of fresh cilantro
[1 large ear of fresh yellow corn-- optional]
1 c. aborio rice
1 tsp. corn oil
ground cumin
2 c. chicken -or- vegetable broth*
1/2. monterey jack cheese

*Swanson 14 oz. canned Natural Goodness chicken (and veggie) broths are GF, and hold about 2 cups of liquid

1. Wash and remove dangling root ends from green onion. Slice up the whole green onion, separating the white and green parts. Peel and dice the garlic. Remove stem from the jalapeno and dice it up, leaving in the seeds for extra heat. De-seed the bell peppers and chop into small pieces. Cut tomato up into 1" cubes (don't bother peeling tomatoes). Wash and cut up the cilantro. [Husk corn and rinse, set aside.]
2. Pour rice into the pan with the white parts of the green onion, 1/2 of the diced garlic and all of the diced jalapeno. Add in the corn oil and cook over medium-high heat until crackling, about 2 minutes; season with lots of cumin (~1 tsp).
3. When the rice has developed a tiny, opaque starch spot in the middle, add in 1/2 c. of chicken broth and stir. Reduce heat to medium.
4. Wait until broth is almost all absorbed-- about 5 minutes-- then add in another 1/2 c. of broth. Stir.
5. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then add in another 1/2 c. of broth plus the red and green bell pepper bits. Stir, again.
6. Let cook for another 5 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Throw in the remaining broth, tomatoes, and cilantro. [Cut the fresh corn straight into the pan.] Stir well.
7. Cook till broth is almost all boiled off and tomatoes are just starting to fall apart. Rice should be soft and creamy, but not mushy. Remove from heat and fold in plenty of monterey jack cheese. Eat warm.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tex Mex Chicken Tenders

Very yummy, flavorful tex mex chicken strips. These turned out very very tender!! Needs more heat, though, so I added some here from the original recipe (it was so good I didn't have to change much else!). I did, however, cook them in a saucepan with the rest of the marinade instead of grilling.

Serves 2
20 minutes sauce prep + 1.5 hour marinate + 20 minutes cooking (2 hours and 10 minutes total)
- 2 heavy duty quart sized freezer bags (ziplock or similar brand)
[- meat mallet for pounding chicken breasts]
- large saucepan

2 cloves garlic
2 green onions
1/2 of a clump of fresh cilantro (um, about 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh)
1/4. c. corn oil
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
juice of one large lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper (for some heat!)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 lb. thin chicken tenders [-or- pounded chicken breasts]
1 cup precooked white rice

*Lea and Perrins original Worcestershire sauce is gluten free

0. Open up a heavy-duty quart sized freezer bag and slip it inside the second heavy-duty freezer bag.
1. Peel and cut the tough end off of the garlic. Mince the garlic. Remove the root tips and finely dice up both the white and green part of the green onions. Pull off the cilantro leaves and finely chop them, almost into a paste. If you have a food processor, give it all a whirl before placing the pulp into the waiting hefty freezer bags. (I just diced everything up and it was fine!)
2. Pour in the corn oil and Worcestershire sauce. Split the lime and squeeze in as much juice as you can.
3. Add in the spices (cumin, chili powder, paprika and black pepper). Swirl to mix. Add in the brown sugar. Shake the bag well, and kneed with your fingers to break up any sugar clumps.
4. Rinse off the chicken tenders and place into the bag. [If you have chicken breasts, make sure you pound them down with a meat mallet to 1/4th inch thick and slice into moderately small chicken strips.] Close the bags tightly then squish the chicken around inside the bags, shaking and kneading to coat the breasts well. Lay the bag flat out in the fridge, making sure all the tenders are equally soaking up the marinade.
5. Marinate in the fridge for an hour and a half.
6. Pull out the bag and pour it's contents into the large saucepan, marinade and all. Arrange the tenders in the pan, forming a single uniform layer.
7. Cook chicken over medium heat, flipping after 10 minutes. Let cook 20 minutes total, or until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the chicken.
This was really really good served with regular, plain white rice or alongside some Salsa Risotto: