Tuesday, September 22, 2020

BRAISED PORK POSOLE + WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT

Pozole or Posole can be prepared in many ways, but all variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Hominy is produced from dried maize (corn) kernels.

Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base. The traditional spelling with the “z” is the Mexican spelling and the Americanized spelling is usually with the “s”.

The three main types of pozole are white, green and red. White pozole is the preparation without any additional green or red sauce. Green pozole adds a rich sauce based on green ingredients including tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeños or pipits. Red pozole is made by adding a red sauce made from a combination of chiles like ancho, piquin or guajillos.

BRAISED PORK POSOLE + WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
2 teaspoons FRESH ground sea salt
1 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 7-8 pieces
2 tablespoons avocado oil
8 cups chicken broth (I like homemade bone broth)
7-8 Chiles de Arbol, stemmed (seeded if you like)
1 large white onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 large can white hominy, chopped (you don’t have to chop this if you like the large pieces – we don’t though so I chop them smaller)
1-2 cans white shopeg corn

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the cumin, oregano and sea salt.
  • Rub pork with seasoning mix, pressing into the meat.
  • In a large dutch oven (cast iron if you have it), heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.
  • Sear pork on all sides until browned.
  • Add 1 cup of the broth.
  • Cover and bake 2 hours.

 

  • Remove pork from broth and strain liquid, discarding solids and skimming fat from the top.
  • Shred pork with 2 forks.
  • Add chiles to the now empty pan and cook over medium heat until they puff up.
  • Transfer chiles to blender and add 2 cups of broth. Process until smooth.

 

  • Add remaining oil to the pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until tender.
  • Add pork, reserved cooking broth, pureed chiles, tomatoes, shoepeg corn, chopped hominy and remaining broth.
  • Simmer 45-60 minutes.
  • Garnish as desired.

GARNISHES:
chopped avocado
shredded cheese
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions
sour cream

WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT

  • Substitute the pork for shredded rotisserie chicken. This step saves 2 1/2 hours!
  • Substitute the individual spices for a Taco Bell Pork Carnitas or Carne Asada seasoning package.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

RUSTIC CHICKEN with GARLIC GRAVY

 

RUSTIC CHICKEN with GARLIC GRAVY adapted from Seasons And Suppers
A SUPER delicious one-pan meal served over mashed potatoes or pasta.

CHICKEN
2 Tbsp cooking oil vegetable, canola etc
6 pieces skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs, washed and dried
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
20 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme leaves
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Heat the oven to 400°.
In a large cast iron skillet heat the oil over medium high heat.
  • Generously season chicken pieces with salt and the pepper.
  • Sear the chicken until golden, turning regularly, for about 8 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a platter, keeping warm.
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
  • Add onions and sauce 30 seconds or so.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook, stirring regularly, until it is starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic and stir until combined.
  • Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and put it on a burner.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the pot to platter.
  • Over medium-high heat, whisk in the wine and simmer for 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the broth, thyme and a bit more salt and pepper, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until sauce thickens.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the butter.
  • Taste sauce and adjust seasoning.
  • Add the chicken back to the pot coating each piece with the sauce.
  • Serve spooned over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta

Saturday, September 19, 2020

PARMESAN HERB MUSHROOM CHICKEN

 

PARMESAN HERB MUSHROOM CHICKEN adapted from Cafe Delites

CHICKEN
2 tablespoons butter
6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs*
PINCH of garlic powder, to taste
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Generously season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add butter. When melted sear chicken thighs 2-3 minutes on each side (skin side down last) until golden and crispy.
  • Transfer chicken pan to the oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
Transfer to a warm plate and set aside.

SAUCE
2 green onions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (I like to substitute beech mushrooms for a nuttier flavor)
1 tablespoon FRESH minced basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped Flat Leaf Parsely
1½ cups Half and Half
2 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese , divided
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 KNORR chicken bullion cube, crushed
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with
2 tablespoons Half and Half
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley for garnish

  • Drain all but 2 tablespoons of some of the excess fat from the skillet.
  • Return skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and garlic a minute or so in the pan juices until fragrant.
  • Add the mushrooms, herbs and 2 teaspoons of parsley, sautéing until mushrooms begin to soften.
  • Reduce heat to low-medium heat, add the half and half and bring to a SLOW simmer, stirring occasionally, and being careful NOT to boil.
  • Add in the bullion cube powder and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • 
Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons half and half.
  • Add cornstarch mixture to the center of the pan, and continue to simmer while quickly stirring the mixture through until the sauce thickens.
  • Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese; allow sauce to simmer for another minute until cheese melts through the sauce.
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes in the cream sauce.
  • Taste test and adjust seasoning, if desired.
  • Fold in spinach leaves, stirring to coat and cooking JUST until they wilt.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.


NOTES – To substitute chicken breasts for the thighs there is no need to bake them. After adding the breasts back into the pan, continue simmering in the sauce until completely cooked through.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

GRANNY SMTH APPLE BREAD

 

GRANNY SMITH APPLE BREAD
BREAD
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1 teaspoon sea salt
2 LARGE eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Tillamook old fashioned vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
2/3 cup avocado oil
2 GRANNY SMITH apples
Juice of 1 lemon

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In one bowl sift together the flour, apple pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl mix together the eggs and sugar, beating until fluffy.
  • Add yogurt and vanilla, beating to incorporate.
  • Gradually beat in the avocado oil, beating until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides until well mixed.
  • Peel and core apples.
  • Slice one half of an apple into thin slices. Small dice the remaining apples.
  • Fold all but 1/2 cup of small diced apples into the batter.
  • Spread batter in loaf pan.
  • Bake 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan 15 minutes and then transfer to rack to cool completely.
  • Toss remaining 1/2 cup apple pieces with lemon juice. Drain off juice and reserve for glaze.

GLAZE
4 PACKED tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 teaspoons heavy cream

  • Heat brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts.
  • Add cream and salt.
  • Bring to a SLOW simmer.
  • Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.
  • Fold in reserved apple pieces.
  • Drizzle over bread and serve immediately.
  • Store any remaining bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

ORANGE BRAISED CHICKEN

 

ORANGE BRAISED CHICKEN
2 bone-in chicken legs
2 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup sliced fennel
1 small red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Bragg’s amino acids
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 navel orange, half juiced – other half sliced into half moons
Fennel feathers for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Heat coconut oil in oven proof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sear chicken pieces 8-10 pieces until golden on all sides.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to platter and keep warm.
  • Add onions and fennel to sauteing 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add orange juice to pan and deglaze.
  • Add amino acids and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add chicken pieces and orange slices and coat well.
  • Place pan in oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes or white rice.
  • Garnish with fennel feathers.

CHEESE & POTATO STUFFED PORK CHOPS

CHEESE & POTATO STUFFED PORK CHOPS serves 4
adapted from Bake At Midnite

4 center cut bone-in pork chops (about ¾-inch thick)
2 medium potatoes, sliced VERY thinly (See note)
4 green onions, sliced thin
½ cup shredded Fontina cheese
4 slices Gruyere cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
4-6 sprigs FRESH thyme

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  • Make a “pocket” in the chops to hold the filling.
  • Peel the potatoes if you wish.
  • Slice the potatoes ULTRA thin…so you can read through them.
  • Place potatoes in a medium bowl.
  • Add green onion pieces, the cheeses, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  • Stuff each chop with a quarter of the potato-cheese mixture.
  • Heat butter over medium-high heat.
  • Quickly sear each side of chops and then place them in prepared pan.
  • Brush with remaining melted butter.
  • Top with thyme sprigs.
  • Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes.

NOTES: You may also substitute 2 cups frozen shredded potatoes that are thawed and dried of ALL moisture if you don’t want to bother with the thin slicing.

SLOW COOKER METHOD:

  • Proceed as above except place chops in a 5-7 Quart slow cooker. Try to angle the chops with the stuffed pocket angled upward.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hrs.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

For the life of me I cannot remember where I adapted this recipe from, but it is a serious home run! It's actually more sugar than I can tolerate and hubby said it was good, but felt we could go without the fudge layer completely and that it would still be great. I had also added a thin layer of blackberry jam that I will omit next time.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

This recipe uses 1 batter 2 ways (vanilla and chocolate) swirled with a fudge ripple to create a simply delicious layer cake topped with a fudgy buttercream frosting. This was a scratch recipe that I’ve adapted to use weights trying for a more exact baking science.

VANILLA CAKE BATTER
3 cups all-purpose flour or 390 grams by weight
3 cups granulated sugar or 600 grams by weight
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 10 grams by weight
1 teaspoon salt or 5 grams by weight
1 cup butter or 225 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons or 10 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites or 245 grams by weight - about 6 LARGE egg whites
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or 360 grams by weight, at room temperature
1/8 cup vegetable oil or 30 grams by weight

  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  • Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.
  • Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  • Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour half of the batter (950 GRAMS) into a separate bowl and set aside.

CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER
1/3 cup or 35 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/4 cup or 50 grams by weight granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 2 grams by weight baking powder
1/4 teaspoon or 1 gram by weight salt
1/4 cup egg whites or 60 grams by weight (about 2 egg whites)
1/4 cup or 45 grams by weight buttermilk

  • Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, 1/4 salt, and baking powder into the remaining batter.
  • Add the egg whites and buttermilk, mixing on a low speed until smooth.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SWIRL
1 cup or 150 grams by weight MINI semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup or 55 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup or 60 grams by weight heavy cream, room temperature

  • Combine the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream into a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat in microwave for two 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Allow the mixture to cool 1 minute, then stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

CAKE PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line three 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper AND grease with non-stick baking spray.
  • Alternate spoonfuls of vanilla cake batter with the chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pans, filling them roughly one inch high with batter.
  • Randomly add small dollops about one inch in diameter of fudge swirl on top of the vanilla and chocolate cake batter.
  • Drag an offset spatula or butter knife through the batter in horizontal and vertical lines to create a marbled pattern.
  • Bake for 33-35 minutes until tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  • Level the cakes with a serrated knife as necessary once they're fully cooled.

FUDGE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING - if simply icing without fancy decoration halve this recipe.

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter or 325 grams by weight (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
5 1/2 cups or 685 grams powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 3 grams by weight salt
1/4 cup or 30 grams by weight heavy cream
1 tablespoon or 15 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup or 40 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup or 90 grams by weight semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

  • Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and salt on a low speed.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with cream.
  • Mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add in more cream 1 tablespoon at a time or if frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Mix in baking cocoa powder and the melted chocolate chips.
  • Place half of the buttercream into a separate bowl.

CAKE ASSEMBLY

  • Stack the cake layers on a grease proof cake round or large serving plate.
  • Spread a thin dab of buttercream on the center of the board, to help your cake layer stay in place.
  • Next, center the first cake layer the cake board.
  • Spread an even layer of buttercream onto the cake layer with an offset spatula.
  • Repeat with remaining cake layers.
  • Place the top cake layer upside down.
  • Cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting, and smooth using a bench scraper.
  • Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  • At this point you can get creative with your decorating or add a final layer of buttercream smoothing as you go.

NOTES

  • You can make the parts in advance and freeze them to make the process A LOT less tedious.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to stir it well to smooth the consistency.
  • You can add a marmalade or berry layer on top of each buttercream layer for a bit of an added oomph!
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious! If you cut into the cake and have any leftovers, you can use remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

ALTERNATE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
8 ounces cream cheese - 1 brick, 226 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter - 1 stick, 113 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar - 455 grams by weight, sifted
3 tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and blend until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt on low until combined.
  • Beat on high 3-4 minutes until smooth, light, and creamy.
  • Decorate as desired.