Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#69 - Lomo Saltado

We found this recipe in Food & Wine magazine for something called Peruvian Steak and Potato Stir-Fry. But Johnny had this once at our local Mexican place Azúcar, and we know it's really called Lomo saltado.

Lomo Saltado

From Food & Wine Lomo saltado is steak and french fries cooked together with some tomato, onions, and peppers. No wonder Johnny ordered it at Azúcar - the fries are just mixed in with everything else! The first thing you need to do is marinate the meat, so you slice up some skirt steak, chop some onions, and mix it with the marinade of olive oil, cumin, coriander, and garlic. Then while that's getting ready, it's time to cook up your french fries. This part is ridiculously dangerous, because the recipe didn't say to put them in a deep fryer, and putting frozen fries in hot oil leads to crazy bubbling and popping. (Frozen = ice = water = hot oil's enemy.) Once the steak and onions have marinated for awhile, you start stir-frying that with some pickled jalapeños. Then you gradually add the tomatoes, the fries, and some cilantro, and keep stirring everything together. And then you're done. Oooh! This was surprisingly good. It came out really well, and except for the scary french fry frying wasn't too difficult to make.

You really taste the cilantro/coriander flavor, and even though cumin is a spice that isn't usually associated with Latino cuisine, it added a nice layer to the dish. The whole thing was really good and a fun alternative to your usual Tex-Mex kind of meal. If you're in the steak and potatoes mood, but want to head south of the border, take a stab at this.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 lb skirt steak
  • 1 red onion, halved and slivered
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 oz frozen french fries
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  1. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, cumin, coriander, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Cut the steak into 4-inch pieces, then slice the steaks across the grain 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Add steak and onions to the bowl, and let marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering over high heat.
  5. Add the french fries and fry until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes.
  6. Drain cooked fries on paper towels.
  7. Heat a large griddle until very hot.
  8. Add the steak, onions, and pickled jalapeños, and stir-fry over high heat until the meat and onion are cooked through and lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Add the tomato and cook until softened and beginning to char, about 1 minute.
  10. Add the french fries and cilantro and flip with a spatula to combine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#68 - Carrot Cupcakes

Cooking new fish meals is nice and everything, but sometimes you just need more desserts.

Carrot Cupcakes

From Take 5 Urban Market These are going to be carrot cake cupcakes, so you're going to need to have carrots, a lot of sugar and spice, and then some ingredients for the cream cheese frosting. This was a super easy recipe to make, so the hardest part may of been peeling and shredding all the carrots. Once you have your carrots all ready to go, you mix some dry ingredients, mix some wet ingredients, combine the two, and fold in the carrots. Then you plop them into cupcake liners, and put them in the oven. Oh my goodness. Carrot cake is delicious. And carrot cupcakes are the perfect way of having your carrot cake in a reasonable portion with the right amount of frosting. Yum and yum. We will definitely be making these again. You should probably make these:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line 14 muffin tin cups with paper liners and spray with vegetable-oil spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the canola oil.
  5. Gradually beat in the sugar at medium-high speed and beat until thick, about 3 minutes.
  6. Beat in the vanilla.
  7. Fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula and then fold in the carrots.
  8. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  10. Let cool slightly, then transfer the cupcakes to the freezer to chill.
  11. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the cream cheese until smooth.
  12. Beat in the vanilla and confectioners' sugar, then beat at high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  13. Fill a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain tip with the frosting and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes or use a knife to spread.

Monday, September 19, 2011

#67 - Salmon with Red Wine-Balsamic Sauce

This hundred recipe challenge is all about cooking new things, and since we didn't cook too much fish before, that was one of our major focuses this year. Here's another:

Salmon with Red Wine-Balsamic Sauce

From Food & Wine This is actually a pretty straight-forward recipe. You make a sauce with red wine and balsamic vinegar, you cook your salmon, and you put it together. So, naturally, you're going to need salmon, red wine, and balsamic. And then you also need some olive oil, butter, cream, and a few other things. We didn't take too many pictures with this recipe, but you'll get the idea. You start out by chopping some shallots, and sauteing that in the olive oil. Then you add some other ingredients along with the red wine and the balsamic and you reduce it down to a thick sauce. You add some cream and salt and pepper, and then once that's all done, you cook the fish, and serve. For being very simple, this dish came out very elegant. You have feel like you're on a cooking competition show when you get to say that you made a balsamic reduction. And it comes out being a tasty way to get your salmon. If you want a different way to have a tasty fish dinner, try this one.
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 thyme sprig
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 6-oz skinless salmon fillets
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1/2 Tbs of the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the thyme sprig, black pepper, red wine, and balsamic vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced to 1 Tbs, about 12 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream and then the butter, one Tbs at a time.
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  6. Strain into a bowl and keep warm.
  7. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbs of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.
  8. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skinned side up.
  9. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes.
  10. Turn the salmon and cook until the fish is just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes longer.
  11. Transfer fish to plates, spoon the sauce over the salmon, and garnish with ground black pepper.
  12. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#66 - Sorrel Soup

Our friends at Star Hollow Farm are responsible for this one. In our box of produce this week, we got this leafy vegetable called sorrel and a recipe for what to do with it. Here it is.

Sorrel Soup

From Star Hollow Farm Not only did Farmer Randy give us the recipe, but he also gave us practically all the ingredients. We ordered the "Sorrel Soup Pack" and it came with the sorrel, the potatoes, and the onion. Not bad. So this recipe is a really simple vegetable soup. You saute some onions. Add the potatoes, sorrel, and chicken stock. And then puree it in a blender or food processor. This was a pretty tasty soup. It's weird because it was pretty much just blended up vegetables, but it was surprisingly good. The sorrel kind of tastes like spinach, so we'd say that this is like a potato-spinach soup, but we've never had potato-spinach soup, so we're not exactly sure. Either way, it was tasty, and you should try it next time you have any loose sorrel lying around.
  • 1 1/2 Tbs butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups tightly-packed sorrel, stemmed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice
  1. In a large heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, and saute until soft but now brown.
  3. Add potatoes, sorrel and 3 cups chicken stock.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are very soft.
  5. Cool soup and puree until smooth in a blender or food processor.
  6. Add sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
  7. If needed, heat through without boiling, or chill and serve cold.

Monday, September 5, 2011

#65 - Mamu's Apple Salad

There is a recipe for a delicious apple-custardy thing that is sweet and tasty and a perfect side dish for any pork meal. According to the Great Mu, that recipe is called "Apple Salad." Don't be tricked into thinking this resembles salad in any way. There are no vegetables, there's no dressing, and the whole thing is baked in the oven. This is not your typical apple salad.

Mamu's Apple Salad

From The Great Mu As already mentioned, there are no vegetables in this recipe. It's basically just apples and butter. And it's really easy to make. All you do is peel and slice the apples, and then add in the sugar, flour, milk, and eggs. Then you plop it in the oven for half an hour, let it cool, and dig in.

And boy is it tasty. It is by far the tastiest non-salad-salad you'll ever eat. And it goes perfectly with Open-Faced Cuban Sandwich Sliders. You should try this next time you're making pork or are just in the need of a sweet side dish.
  • 6 medium apples
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 4 Tbs butter, plus additional for greasing bowl
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Butter a large oven-proof bowl.
  3. Peel and slice the apples and put in the buttered bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
  5. Add sugar and mix well.
  6. Add flour 1 Tbs at a time, mixing with each addition.
  7. Add milk and mix.
  8. Pour milk and egg mixture over the apples, covering apples well.
  9. Dot the top of the apples with butter.
  10. Cover bowl with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until set.

#64 - Open-Faced Cuban Sandwich Sliders

Cuban sandwiches are tasty pork, ham, cheese, mustard and pickle sandwiches. Open-faced sandwiches are sandwiches with only one piece of bread. Sliders are miniature versions of normal-sized sandwiches. Put it all together, and you get this amazing little treat.

Open-Faced Cuban Sandwich Sliders

From Peppi and Kristen Limarzi Since these are Cubans, you need the usual ingredients - pork tenderloin, ham, mustard, mayo, and pickles. The cheese is Muenster, and for the bread, we're using a French baguette. We've had these mini-sandwiches a bunch of times before at cookouts at Pep's or Nonno's house, but we've never cooked them ourselves. You can cook the pork outside on a grill, but it's easier to cook it consistently by searing it on the stove, and then putting it in the oven. After it's rested, you cut the pork, and start layering up the baguette slices. These are pretty tasty little sandwiches, but we already knew that. What we didn't know was that for all the different components, they aren't that difficult to make. And having never cooked pork tenderloin before, that stuff is delicious on its own. With the sandwich - extra delicious.

You can eat these sliders as an appetizer or as one of several tapas at a barbecue or, as we did tonight, as a main course on their own. You just need to eat a few of them. These are good. Make them if you like pork.
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 2 lbs
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 baguette
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 lb sliced black forest ham
  • 1/4 lb sliced Muenster cheese
  • Whole kosher dill pickles, sliced
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Refrigerate sauce for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a medium-sized oven-proof pan over high heat.
  5. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook meat until golden brown on each side, turning every 2 minutes for all four sides.
  7. Put the whole pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.
  8. Place meat on a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes.
  9. Cut the baguette into slices.
  10. Put bread on a baking sheet and brush top side with olive oil.
  11. Toast bread in the oven for about 5 minutes, making sure not to burn.
  12. Turn oven on to broiler.
  13. Layer pork, ham slice, and cheese slice on bread and broil until cheese melts.
  14. Spoon some sauce onto sliders and top with a pickle slice.

#63 - Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Back before we were married, four of Emily's cousins gave us The Joy of Cooking as a present for our wedding shower. But along with the 4,500 recipes from Irma S. Rombauer, we got an extra four recipes courtesy the Renda ladies. A couple years later, here's the first one we're trying.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

From Celina Renda This coffee cake is a really easy recipe, and it calls for your usual baking ingredients - flour, sugar, butter, salt, and egg.

The recipe didn't specify what kind of brown sugar to use, and as you can see from the picture, we used dark brown. That's fine, but we only used it because it's what we had. We'd probably recommend light brown sugar if you have it. So this is super easy. All you do is mix together practically all the ingredients and pour them in a greased dish. Then you sprinkle a mixture of the brown sugar and cinnamon on top, and drizzle some melted butter on top too. Oh wow. We knew that Celina made tasty treats from her brownies at Christmastime, but this was crazy good. The cake was nice and dense, the crumble on top was sweet and delicious, and the whole thing made breakfast a joy. Don't wait two years to make this:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.
  3. Mix together the flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt, egg, and milk in a large bowl with a spoon until well-blended.
  4. Pour batter in prepared baking dish.
  5. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan.
  6. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle mixture over batter in baking dish.
  7. Pour melted butter over entire cake.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  9. Cut cake into squares and remove from baking dish.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

#62 - Whoopie Pies with Mint Filling and Chocolate Ganache

You ever heard of whoopie pies? Well, we hadn't until we started watching Top Chef: Just Desserts and they talk about them all the time. Now that the second season has just started, we figured it was about time for us to try and make our own.

Whoopie Pies with Mint Filling and Chocolate Ganache

From Bon Appetit A whoopie pie is basically a big cakey Oreo. This one has got a mint chocolate filling, so you can see all the ingredients for the chocolate cakes, the mint whipped cream, and the chocolate ganache. So all you do is make the cookie cakes, Make the ganache, Make the mint filling, And put it all together. What to say about these? We think they came out as they were supposed to, but we're still not sold on them yet. They were different, they were good, but we wouldn't say they were great. The whole cakey cookie thing was a little weird to us, and since Johnny's not a big mint fan, the mint-chocolate cookie was not his favorite. That may not have been the most glowing recommendation, but if you want to impress Hubert Keller, go ahead and make these.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 5 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  1. Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 375.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat shortening, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beating until blended after each addition.
  6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between cookies.
  7. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are slightly puffed and spread but still soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Cool on sheets for 10 minutes.

Mint Filling
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, room temperature.
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 3 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 large eggs)
  • Salt
  • 3 to 4 drops green food coloring
  1. Using electric mixer, beat shortening, peppermint extract, and vanilla in a large metal bowl until blended.
  2. Add powdered sugar, egg whites, and a pinch of salt, and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add food coloring drop by drop for desired shade of green, and beat until well-blended.

Chocolate Ganache
  • 3 Tbs heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and remove from heat.
  2. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cool until lukewarm but spreadable, about 15 minutes.

Whoopie Pies
  1. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spoon 1 tsp ganache onto bottom (flat side) of half of the cookies and place, ganache side up, on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Spoon mint filling into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip.
  4. Starting at outer edge of bottom (flat side) of remaining cookies and working toward center, pipe mint filling in a spiral.
  5. Place 1 mint-filled cookie, mint side down, atop each ganache-topped cookie, pressing slightly to adhere.