Wednesday, January 28, 2009

another reason I am in a bad mood

I just cannot shake the aching back, and seem to be extra cranky, then I read this news story, another that will never be headline news, but just drive home my theory that every big corporation has the ability to cause market prices to climb for no apparant seems like the grower of tomatoes gained no added profit, just the middlemen and buyers, while the unknowing consumer paid extra money for more processed food that just adds to my fervant desire to do away with processed food!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I finally made good enchiladas!

friday lunch this is a mistake gone right type of dish.....completely cucina povera, saving food from the trash heap of mistakes by an inattentive cook (above photo is before it baked in the oven, I failed to get photos of the yummy onion cooking and the chicken and green chile addition, it looked yummy though) this dish began as garlic flavored ricotta, on monday.....the inattention of moi let the milk boil over and the cheese never did curdle, so I decided I had a scalded milk bath of 9 cloves of grated garlic, garlic it for pasta sauce during the week, used some to make a ranch dressing, super yummy, then hubby decided to take me out for our anniversary, I was to make shrimp garlic alfredo with it, but alas twist my wrist, lol......we had some chicken left from monday, well lots of chicken actually, so I asked hubby last night, pasta or what for lunch? he said enchiladas.......little does he know this is the best enchilada i have ever made.....I am calling it Garlic Suiza Verde chicken mushroom Enchiladas I am sure I could never duplicate it, but for those willing to try, lol: make lots of mistakes! Begin 4 days earlier than you want to cook it, measure 2 cups whole milk and 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, pour into heavy bottomed pan, then with a microplane carefully grate 9 cloves of garlic into it and stir and in an attempt to make ricotta, overheat it, ignore it and let it scald and boil over making a huge mess on your stove......with the remaining milky mess in the pan, think posiitive and let it cool on a trivet for about an hour, then try to strain it through a colander lined with cheesecloth, curse every bad word you know when the whole thing except the garlic chunks end up in the bowl under the colander........feel tired and lazily funnel all this into a canning jar then scrape the poor garlic into the jar to swim with the milky mess, put on top shelf of fridge and let it get frozen and weird, so that when you decide to make ranch dressing you have to chip through the ice to get the whey....act surprised when the bottom of the jar kind of looks like cheese and the top is yellow and whey like, with optimism strain on day 3 and then curse again with the whole mess going through the cheesecloth, dump it all back in and scrape the garlic back into it's icy bath and keep in the fridge.......refuse to throw it out because It is 2 cups of milk, well it was 2 cups of milk! Begin the enchiladas (with the knowledge that you make crappy enchiladas and assume this will have to be eaten with chips like a dip) ingredients the above mentioned milk mess 3/4 cup cooked shredded off whole roasted chicken dark meat(legs) 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 can black olives (about 14) 1/2 onion (sliced roughly into wormy strings) 6 sliced mushrooms 1 tablespoon butter handful of chopped cilantro 6 flour tortillas 1 can verde enchilada sauce (10 ounce) small size salt pepper In large saute pan put butter and onions and let them soften and caramelize then add mushrooms, let them brown a little, add chicken and stir them around until it looks like it is well incorporated, then add can of verde enchilada sauce, stir it to coat the chicken and then add the milk mess, the thinner whey stuff save the thicker cheese like lumps for the final sauce......let this bubble and toil on a low heat for about 5 minutes, making sure all the stuff is coated equally taste and add seasoning as you need it I added a little cracked black pepper but found it plenty salty, then lay the 6 flour tortillas on top of the pan to soften and let the bottom one get wet with the sauce, flip tortilla pile and using wet one put it in a buttered casserole dish wet side up, with a large slotted spoon get about 1/3 cup of the meat/onion and let the sauce strain off, put a handful of cheese on the tortilla, then the meat mixture, roll and put seam side down in the pan, repeat....when pan is full and all the meat mixture is strained out, turn the heat up a little and add the cilantro and that clump of garlic creamy milk and stir to incorporate into the already cooked sauce, try to scrape everything off the pan and make sure it gets in the about 3 minutes you should have a nice pourable smooth sauce..taste it and see if you need salt or this point i added a little sea salt.....pour this over the enchiladas then top with the last handful of cheese and the sliced olives, bake in a 350 degree oven for 40ish minutes, I let mine go an hour but did turn the temp down to 260 as I was timing hubby coming home for lunch, and he was late.....i served them topped with avocado and raw diced onions, quite yummy and not too spicy, I am not a fan of huge spice but they are very garlicky and that I love!

Monday, January 19, 2009

new day dawning

I feel it in my bones, I feel a change is hoping it is all for the better

Friday, January 16, 2009

I made cheese!

I have wanted to try making cheese and yogurt for a few years and today I did it, first try, no rennet, just lemon juice and a great recipe from "these days in french life" link at left......1 liter of milk yielded 1 cup of ricotta.......I messed up the recipe because I had a toddler under foot and was distracted, but I found a way to make it work and it did! I was so excited, made calzones with it tonight, then made my hubby make cheese after dinner, and his flopped, no curds at all, so we are trying to salvage this liter by reheating it longer......wonder if my original misstep made it work, if so, maybe our altitude is playing havoc with the recipe derived at sea level! anyway I am so thrilled it worked the first time I am going to make it work again and again and again....yummy and fun! this weekend if our travels lead to reno we are finding cultures so I can made cheddar and jack!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday dinner

Monthly Mingle Healthy Family Dinner
Tuesday dinner, originally uploaded by glitzypursegirl.

I was craving stuffed squash, but overcooked the squash in the oven, so i turned this into a rice casserole with a squash layer, super yummy and healthy, served with a salad on the side. INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup brown long grain rice
  • 1 bunch of carrots (yes those with the green leafy tops...i put the tops into my vegi stock)
  • 4 crimini mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sweet mama squash
  • 2 leeks
  • 1/2 white onion
  • approz 1 1/2 cups browned ground beef-but turkey would work too, we just had ground beef leftover
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely grated cheese (i used gouda-we had some, but parmesean would be great too!) it kind of needs to be a harder drier cheese to not make the rice gooey

I roasted my sweet mama squash at 375 degrees for 45 minutes on a cookie sheet with the squash skin facing up and filled the pan with water to kind of steam it, removed it from the oven and it was left to cool but since the skin seemed to fall apart I opted to layer the rice with the squash flesh in a casserole pan instead of stuffing the squash for fear it would leak! I browned the onion in the butter on top of the stove and after the onion carmelized I added the white sections of the leeks, thinly sliced, then let them cook about 5 minutes and then added the garlic thinly sliced with the mushrooms and let them meld together while the rice was steamed with just plain water and a basket of carrot sliced steamed above the rice, when all was done I layered 1/2 the rice, all the beef and onion into a large bowl and mixed it with the remainder of the rice and 1/2 the carrots to get it all incorporated then I put about 1/3 in a round casserole dish and spread a layer of squash over it then another layer of rice mixture then the cheese was grated with a microplane over the rice and the remaining rice was added, i baked it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and served with a salad of green organic lettuce, steamed carrots, slice mushrooms and croutons in annie's shitake mushroom vinagrette dressing...YUMMY!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

obsession # 1 of the new year

I tend to get obsessed with things, and currently am with big huge labs fd flickr toys, been perusing old (40+ year old) photos and playing with the toys and tools with new photos of my son, amazing the similar poses and photos we take of him, he looks so much like me, lucky me cause he is soooo darn cute! family resemblance?