|bon appetit March, 2013|
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Regular gentle readers may recall that while I have zero interest in football, I absolutely LOVE SuperBowl Sunday, ’Mericker's second-eating-est day of the year after Thanksgiving. Every year I look forward to preparing a hot, cheesy, gooey, delicious dip. And whereas on Thanksgiving you don't really want to take too many risks with trying a new recipe, it's really kind of hard to go wrong with any hot-gooey-cheese-and-mayonnaise-based concoction, so I like to switch it up and try a new one every year. The 2013 SuperBowl champion, as far as I'm concerned, is Buffalo Chicken Dip.
This is a delicious mix of all the flavors in buffalo wings, without any of the extra physical exertion of having to tear the meat off the bones with your teeth. Plus you get to skip the empty calories that come with those pesky carrot and celery sticks. Perfect for SuperBowl Sunday, obvi!
There are a lot of recipes for it online, of varying degrees of ewww-ness (who knew chicken even came in a can?). As I often do, I perused several and then came up with my own based on my research. This is SUPER easy to throw together. I guess you could make it even easier by buying pre-shredded cooked chicken instead of cooking and shredding it yourself, but I would totally judge you if you did that.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Gentle reader, if you are broke, learn to bake. Whenever you need a stocking stuffer or hostess gift, you can produce a lovely homemade goodie that makes it look like you were super thoughtful when in fact you just couldn’t afford to buy a real present. (I kid, I kid, family members for whom I baked this bread—the two are not mutually exclusive!)
This is a lovely bread for breakfast/brunch or afternoon tea; four of my relatives received a loaf in their stockings this Christmas. It’s pretty simple for a novice baker to whip up and takes less than two hours including baking time. I used the bread in this recipe as a starting point and switched it up. Yes, baking is a science, but once you’ve got some practice under your belt, you should feel emboldened to experiment with tweaking recipes to make them your own!
You can skip the caramel glaze if you like, and the bread would still be pretty darn delicious. I also made an unglazed version using lemon zest and a pint of coarsely chopped fresh blackberries (and no orange juice), all four loaves of which I gave to my grandmother. Grandparents genuinely do prefer stuff you made yourself to real presents—go figure.
A word of warning: If you DO make the caramel, PLEASE be careful since it gets INSANELY hot and will bond to any surface—such as, say, human flesh—instantly. I learned this the hard way and now have a hideous scar on my forearm where a blob of caramel spattered and seared it. Turns out there’s a reason chef coats have long sleeves.
And now, if that little cautionary tale didn’t completely ruin your appetite, here’s the recipe!
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Everyone knows the Interwebs have revolutionized the life of the home cook, thanks to their bajillions of recipe indexes, how-to-videos, and dime-a-dozen food blogs by pretentious people from Brooklyn who have nothing better to do than take pictures of their meals and tweet about them. But recently, gentle reader, I found yet another way the Interwebs can be a boon to the home cook!
For some reason, The Rob had gone to the Met Foods and brought home three cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. I immediately had an overwhelming urge to pour one of those cans over something in a casserole dish, scatter bread crumbs over that something, and bake it. Then I remembered this awesome chicken dish I once watched his aunt make with boneless skinless chicken breasts and slices of Swiss cheese slathered in Campbell’s cream soup mix, which was DUH-licious and super moist. I posted on her Facebook page asking how she made it and her daughter/Rob’s cousin Sara right away snapped a photo of the recipe page in the cookbook and uploaded it to me. See? Awesome use of the Interwebs—and thanks, ladies!
The original recipe is called Company Chicken. It serves 8 and actually calls for cream of chicken, not mushroom, soup; you mix that with 1/2 cup wine white and pour it over the Swiss-topped chicken, then cover with stuffing mix and drizzle with butter before baking. I opted to soup up the recipe (“soup up”—bwaahahahaha! SWIDT?!*), not least because I had the wrong kind of soup. Here is what I came up with—which takes like 10 minutes to assemble! This would probably serve 4… though, ironically, we didn’t actually have company, so we had leftovers.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Hello and welcome to another installment of Ignorant American Fusion, in which I make up dishes that bear a slight resemblance to an uninformed ’Merickan’s image of a quote-unquote “ethnic” dish. In this case, I made an egg-cheese-tortilla bake that was sort of like a Mexican version of a strata, assuming of course that you are an ignorant American. It works to easily feed a group for a brunch, lunch or dinner. I’m still trying to come up with a good name for this, so if you think of one, please share in the comments.
So this entrée was invented the last time it was my turn to host
wine book group. The way our book group works is, we meet monthly (there are usually 6 to 10 of us); everyone brings a bottle of wine; and the hostess provides the food and gets to pick the next book. A fair number of our members are vegetarians, so I wanted to do a hearty veggie main that could be prepped in advance and easily reheated. Since I was “hosting” at my friend Karen’s apartment due to renovations in progress at my own, I also needed something I could transport easily. This is what I came up with. (I also served black bean empanadas as an app, but that’s a whole nother post.)
I bought a package of 8-inch soft corn tortillas (I think 10 count), a jar of Goya sofrito (you could also use salsa), a block of Jack cheese, a block of what my Met Foods calls “queso de freir”—a melty cheese—plus a dozen eggs, and the kind of disposable aluminum roasting dish you might get to cook a turkey or lasagna in.
After preheating the oven to 375°, I greased the bottom and sides of the dish with butter. Then I cut the tortillas into wedge shapes and arranged a layer across the bottom of the pan.
Monday, October 8, 2012
When you want to really chop the crap out of some garlic cloves so they form a paste or a fine mince, sprinkle the peeled cloves on the cutting board with some coarse salt. The grains will help break down the garlic and keep the bits from flying around the cutting board as you chop.
When I’m making a marinade with chipotle in adobo along with garlic, as I did tonight, I like to add the chipotle on top of the garlic/salt mix and mince it all together; again it makes the chopping easier to handle, and the flavors will become more mingled. It would be nice to be able to say that the salt serves as a buffer to keep your cutting board from getting stained by the chipotle, but alas, in my experience, any difference in the level of orange-tint saturation is of an almost imperceptible degree.