Friday, August 9, 2013

Ellise Pierce / Cowgirl Chef. Texas Cooking with a French Accent




I recently took a class at our local Central Market . The class was Hatch Chiles with a French Accent , taught by Ellise Pierce. She is the author of  Cowgirl Chef, Texas Cooking with a French Accent.
I purchased her book several months ago and was pleased to see that she was teaching at Central Market. The class was so educational, fun and Ellise made it a memorable experience.

The menu included the following dishes:

Green Chile Gougeres
Southwest Gazpacho with Green Chile Granita
Green Chile Granita
Roasted Corn, Yellow Squash and Green Chile Galettes with Avocado-Jicama Salsa and Margarita Shrimp
Avocado-Jicama Salsa
Fig and Green Chile Tartlettes
Margarita Shrimp
Buttermilk Ice CreamCroustade Dough

I don't feel that it's appropriate to post the class recipes
You can certainly purchase her book.

Ellise is very personable and her class is fun.
I would definitely take another class with her.

I've included some photographs from the class, photographs of some of the dishes and her book that she autographed for me.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Green Chile Cheese Gougeres



Croustade Crust for a Fig and Green Chile Tartlette
served with Buttermilk Ice Cream

Roasted Corn, Yellow Squash and Green Chile Galettes
Avocado-Jicama Salsa
This was served with Margarita Shrimp , as a vegetarian, I passed on the Shrimp.








Thursday, August 8, 2013

Roasted Hatch Chile and Corn Bites

Roasted Hatch Chile and Corn Bites:
I created this recipe for a cooking competition that I've entered for many years. I've been a finalist several times.

1 1/2 C Creamed Corn
1/3 C Flour
1/3 C Cornmeal
2 Roasted Hatch Chiles, diced ( or 1 4oz. can of Diced Green Chiles)
1 Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 TBS Sugar
Juice of 1 Lime
1 TBS Adobo Seasoning
1/3 C Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 C Shredded Hatch Jack Cheese ( or Pepper Jack Cheese)

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
Divide the batter among a 12 cup ( sprayed with a vegetable spray) Muffin Tin.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 - 40  minutes or until golden brown.

Cool before releasing
Serve with Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa or your favorite Salsa!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday's Taste section in the Dallas Morning News



There wasn't much to choose from today. There were recipes for Pimento Cheese which they've already written about and I posted the recipe that I thought was the best and it turned out to be true. So I've re posted that recipe.
The next recipe I liked was a Gazpacho and I've already posted my favorite version of that recipe too. I liked the one in todays section which was from a restaurant in Paris, but honestly, I didn't feel they got it right so I'm reposting my favorite one.
I hope you like them.


Classic Pimento Cheese Spread:

3 C sharp cheddar cheese ( room temperature)
8 oz. cream cheese ( room temperature)
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/3 C pimento peppers from a jar, well drained and chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Mix just until well blended.
Best if brought back to to room temperature before serving.
Makes about 3 cups.

Of course I would double or triple the recipe for a family picnic.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



This one is a cool recipe from the 60's.
It was so upbeat and different for the time man.

Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Green Bell Peppers,seeded and cut into pieces
1 Cucumber, peeled and divided: 3/4 sliced and 1/4 of it diced for garnish
2 lbs. Tomatoes cut into pieces
1 Onion quartered, 1/4 of it diced for garnish
1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
2 TBS Vinegar
2 TBS Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Croutons for garnish

Put the following ingredients in a blender:
Lemon Juice
Bell Peppers
Cucumber slices
Tomatoes
3/4's of the Onion
Garlic Salt
Vinegar
Olive Oil
Pulse to blend, keeping it chunky

Season with Salt and Pepper
Refrigerate until chilled

Serve topped with Diced Onion , Diced Cucumber and Croutons.


Enjoy! Peace in the Kitchen!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm Nuts about Nuts

I'm Nuts about Nuts!

Crispy Brined Pecans:

These are so interesting and different than most spiced nuts.
They're not sweet and hot, they're not sugary and cinnamony, they're not sweet and made with egg whites.....they're amazing!
I've posted recipes for other roasted and spiced nuts that I also love.
Check out all of them and decide for yourself.
I just liked the fact that these are so different than all of the others.

The process is long, but the results are worth it.
I began soaking them at 10pm.
They were done soaking at 6am.
I put them in the oven and roasted them until 6pm.

I doubled the original recipe and this is my adaptation.

8 C pecan halves
8 tsp sea salt
12 - 1" pieces of cinnamon sticks
2 tsp nutmeg
12 whole cloves
8 pieces of 1"X3" orange peel
6 C boiling water

Place water in a large bowl ( it will eventually accommodate the pecans too).
Add all ingredients except the pecans.

Cool to luke warm.
Stir well.

Add pecans and soak for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
With a slotted spoon, remove only the pecans and spread them out onto 2 full sized baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper.

Roast the pecans for 12 hours.
Store in sealed jars.






Texas Pecans:

2 TBS butter
1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce ( I use a vegetarian version)
1 TBS Ketchup
2 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
4 C pecan halves
salt

in a saucepan, melt butter and add:
Worcestershire Sauce
Ketchup
Tabasco

Stir in pecans
Pour into a glass baking dish in a single layer
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
Stir often
Pour onto Paper Towels
Sprinkle with salt.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Honey Spiced Nuts:

2 TBS olive oil
6 C nuts
1/3 C honey (I used a Lavender Honey from France)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS salt
4 TBS sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Heat a large Saute Pan on Medium High. When it gets hot, add the oil.
Add the Nuts and stir for 1 minute.
Reduce heat to low and continue to saute the nuts for 7 minutes, stirring often.
Add:
honey
spices
salt
sesame seeds
Stir Well

Spread on a sheet pan.
Dry them in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes.
Cool before moving to a sealed container.
As soon as they're cooled you will need to scrape the nuts from the pan with a strong metal spatula and break up the nuts as you remove them.
I kept some small clusters.
They are absolutely delicious.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pecans:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
1 - Jelly Roll Pan, heavily buttered on the bottom and up the sides.

I wanted to show a Jelly Roll Pan because it's
different than a Sheet Pan. You need a pan with sides
for this recipe.
I recommend this pan whenever you're baking Spiced Nuts.


4 C Pecan Halves
1 Large Egg White
1 TBS Vanilla
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 tsp Salt


In a large bowl with a Hand Mixer:
Egg White
Vanilla
Beat until Frothy.
Add:
Pecans
Fold by hand to coat well.

In a Large Zip Lock Bag:
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Salt
Shake to mix well.

Add:
Pecans
Shake vigorously until the Pecans are completely coated.
Pour onto the pan in a single layer.
Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and spread onto Parchment Paper, in a single layer to dry.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




These are from the Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House in Oregon. They shared the recipe in the Dallas Morning News.

Bar Nuts

1 1/4 pounds of Almonds
1/4 C Molasses
1 TBS Sea Salt
1/2 Pound Brown Sugar ( divided in half)
1 1/4 pounds of Roasted Salted Cashews

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine Almonds with Molasses, Sea Salt and half of the Brown Sugar.

Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir the hot Almonds into the remaining Brown Sugar in the bowl.
Spread the nuts out on the baking sheet and set them aside to cool.

Toss the cooled Almonds with the Cashews into the bowl.

Store covered in a cool dry place in a plastic or glass container.

Makes about 10 cups.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



I have many recipes for flavored nuts. There are several posted on the blog.
Here's another favorite.

Texas Pecans:

2 TBS butter
1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce ( I use a vegetarian version)
1 TBS Ketchup
2 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
4 C pecan halves
salt

in a saucepan, melt butter and add:
Worcestershire Sauce
Ketchup
Tabasco

Stir in pecans
Pour into a glass baking dish in a single layer
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
Stir often
Pour onto Paper Towels
Sprinkle with salt.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Here is another favorite recipe.
On the right side in parenthesis are the amounts for a larger quantity.

Fire and Ice Nuts:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees

1 1/2 C Cashews               (4 1/4 C)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper     (3/4 TBS)
1 TBS Soy Sauce              (3 TBS)
1 TBS Honey                    (3 TBS)
1/4 C Maple Syrup            (3/4 C)
1 1/2 tsp Butter, melted      (4 TBS)
2 C Pecan Halves              (6 C) = (1 1/2 lbs)  

Cashew Preparation:
Line a baking sheet with foil, coated with a vegetable spray, set aside

In a Food Processor:
Place 1/2 C of the Cashews and process until finely ground
In a small bowl, mix together ground Cashews and Cayenne Pepper
Set Aside

In a larger bowl:
Combine,
Soy Sauce
Honey
Remaining Cashews
Toss to coat completely
Stir in ground Cashew mixture
Spread out on the baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, stir once
Remove from oven and cool completely


Pecans Preparation:
Line a separate baking sheet with foil, coated with vegetable spray, set aside

In a bowl:
Combine,
Maple Syrup
ButterPecans
Toss to coat completely

Spread out on the baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, stir twice
Remove from the oven and cool completely
Break into chunks

Combine Cashews and Pecans in a bowl to serve
Store in airtight jars

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


I'm not really a football fan and that's OK, not everyone is.

However, I know there are fans that are "nuts" about football
and especially the Superbowl.
Any Superbowl Party I've attended has always had a bowl or two, or three of just plain nuts, these would have been nicer to snack on!

I know Texans love spiced nuts and I've done the homework for you and here are two of the best versions of spiced nuts that I could find.
I still believe that the recipe I published earlier for the Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts are also some of the best I've ever had.

I have to give credit to Martha Stewart for these two recipes.

As I researched spiced nuts, these two recipes came up often and they all gave credit where credit was due......... thank you Martha!

Chile Lime Cashews:

2 1/2 tsp coarse salt...... like Sel de Mer, or Sea Salt..... use the regular stuff if you need to!
1 tsp finely grated lime zest ( a rasp works well)
2 TBS Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 large Egg ( white part only)
3 C Whole Raw unsalted Cashews

1 rimmed baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon or a muddler ( I thought I'd use that word to sound like a fancy food blogger) but seriously, use a muddler and
grind the salt and the lime zest together.

Add Sugar, Pepper Flakes and Egg White.
Whisk together until frothy.
Add the nuts and toss to coat well.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Bake 20 minutes

Separate the nuts, break them up and allow to cool completely.
You can move them to another paper lined sheet pan to do this, if you have another one.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Orange Spiced Cashews:

3 C Whole Raw unsalted Raw Cashews
1/4 C Light Corn Syrup
1/2 tsp Coarse Salt
1 1/2 tsp finely grated Orange Zest.... use the rasp again!
3/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
A pinch...... just a pinch of Cayenne Pepper

2 rimmed baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper

In a medium bowl, mix Nuts with Corn Syrup until evenly coated, set aside!
In another bowl, combine Salt, Zest, Ginger, Coriander, Cumin and Cayenne
Sprinkle this mixture over the nuts and stir until evenly coated.

Spread the nuts in a single layer onto one of the sheet pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Transfer the nuts to the second sheet pan, separate them and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Fall Candied Pecans:
I have 2 versions of these Pecans.

#1
2 C Pecan halves
1/2 C granulated Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 C Water

In a medium mixing bowl:
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
Whisk well.

In a small measuring cup:
Vanilla
Water

In a Saucepan on medium high heat:
Pecans
Sugar/Cinnamon
Vanilla/Water
Stir to coat the Pecans.

Stir constantly to a boil.
Continue stirring until it begins to thicken.

Pour on to a nonstick Sheet Pan or a Sheet Pan lined with Silpat or Foil.
Spread out into a single layer.
Allow to cool completely.
Break into pieces to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

#2
2 C Pecan halves
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Vanilla

In a Saucepan on medium high heat:
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Cook until melted.
Add Pecans and stir until well coated.
Add Vanilla and stir to combine well.
Heat to a boil and remove from the heat.
Transfer the Pecans to a nonstick Sheet Pan or a Sheet Pan lined with Silpat or Foil.
Spread into a single layer.
Sprinkle with Cinnamon.
Allow to cool completely.
Break into pieces to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Spiced Mixed Nuts from Sur la Table:

4 C Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Pecans, Cashews, Pistachios)
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 TBS Chile Powder
2 tsp  Cinnamon
1/2 tsp All Spice
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Large Egg White

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
A rimmed Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper.

In a small bowl:
Sugar
Salt
Spices
Whisk well.

In a large bowl:
Whisk Egg White until frothy and dry.
Add Nuts and Spiced Sugar Mix.
Toss well.

Spread in a single layer.
Bake , stirring with a wooden spoon 1/2 way through 40 minutes.
They should be light brown.
Remove the pan to a rack , cool completely.
Stir occasionally.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen.


Chipotle Chile Candied Pecans:

8 TBS  (1 stick) Butter
1 tsp Chipotle Chile Powder
1 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Large Egg White, room temperature.
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 pound of Large, Jumbo Pecan halves.

This recipe can easily be doubled.
Use 2 sheet pans with 8 TBS of Butter on each pan and make a double batch of the meringue, in a Stand Mixer.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Preferably non-stick for easy clean up.

In the oven:
Melt Butter in the sheet pan.
Remove and set aside.

In a mixing bowl:
Chile Powder
Brown Sugar
Whisk well.
Pour the Vanilla over this mixture, do not stir.
Set aside.

In a Stand Mixer with a Whisk attachment:
Egg Whites on medium speed, until foamy.
Add 1/4 tsp Salt and continue to beat until soft peak.
Add the Sugar Mixture, 2 TBS at a time, beating on high to get a shiny thick meringue.

Remove the bowl and fold in the Pecans gently by hand, until well coated.
Tip the Sheet Pan to swirl the Butter to coat the pan.

Spread the Pecans over the Butter in a single layer.
Bake 20 minutes.
Remove the pan, stir the Pecans.
Bake an additional 15 minutes.
Stir again.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt.
Continue baking and stirring every 15 minutes for 45- minutes to 1- hour.
Line the counter with a long sheet of Foil, spread out the Pecans and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Spiced Pecans:
3 C Pecan Halves
2 TBS Butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Chile Poeder
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar

Cool all ingredients in a Cast Iron Skillet over medium High heat.
Boil off the Vinegar
Place in a 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet and bake until browned.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Crock Pot Cinnamon Almonds:


Ingredients:

1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 Egg White
2 tsp. vanilla
3 Cups Almonds
1/4 C. Water

Directions:
In a medium sized bowl, mix together sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another medium sized bowl, whisk the egg white and vanilla until it’s a little frothy. Add almonds. Make sure the almonds are thoroughly coated in the egg white mixture. Add cinnamon mixture to the almonds and toss until coated.

Thoroughly spray with the stoneware of your crock pot with non-stick cooking spray and add the mixture of almonds and sugars.

Cook on low ( with the lid on) 3-4 hours stirring every 20 minutes. In the last hour, add the 1/4 C. of water and stir well. This ensures a crunchy yummy coating. (*make sure after you’ve added the water that you continue to cook the nuts for another 45 minutes to an hour.)

You have to stir really well, especially as it gets later in the cooking process.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the almonds flat to cool. The almonds will be sticky at this point, so make sure you separate them a little and have no large mounds.



Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!











Monday, August 5, 2013

Pesto made easy!


Here's a breakdown of how to create a variety of Pesto:

There are 6 steps to making a great Pesto.

We just returned from California where we frequented a restaurant that specializes in Tartines.
A Tartine is a slice of bread, plain or toasted, with various Spreads, Vegetables , thinly sliced Meats or Salmon.

I've previously posted my personal best recipe for a Basil Pesto, I've included it at the end of this post. I've included another recipe for Mint Pistachio Pesto.

Here are 6 steps to creating amazing Pesto!

A Green Herb, Cheese, Roasted Nuts, Garlic, Oil, Salt = Pesto

You need a Mortar & Pestle or a Food Processor

1 . Make a Paste out of 1 clove of Garlic, in the Mortar or Processor.
2 . Add about a handful of some type of Roasted Nuts, ( Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Almonds, or a combination )
3 . Add a handful of Grated Cheese, Parmesan, Asiago, Pecorino, or a combination) Blend well .
4 . Add some Green Herbs to create a thick paste, Basil, Parsley, Mint, Arugula, or a combination. Blend to a thick paste. Scrape the sides.
5 . Drizzle in some Oil , a bit of Lemon Zest and a splash of Lemon or Lime Juice. Mis until desired consistency.
6 . Season to taste with Salt.

Variations:
To make a creamier version, add some Goat Cheese or Avocado. It makes a great Sandwich Spread.


 Homemade Mint - Pistachio Pesto:

1 C Mint Leaves
1/3 C Roasted Pistachios
1 Clove of Garlic
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 C Olive Oil
Juice of 1/4 Lime

Prepare as stated above.


Homemade Basil Pesto:

2 C loosely packed Basil leaves
2 cloves of Garlic
1/3 C Pine Nuts
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 C grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese ( hold the salt if using Romano, it's a salty cheese)
Olive Oil

In a Food Processor:
Add Basil and Garlic
Puree until incorporated
Add Cheese and Pine Nuts and process to a thick paste
Gradually drizzle in Olive Oil until desired consistency
Season with Salt 

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cider

We travel to France often. We've tasted the Cider in Normandy and it is the best Cider we've ever tasted. The region is know for Apples , which includes Tarte Tatin, Cider and Calvados.

We've been searching for a comparable Cider in the States. I realize we don't live in an area know for growing apples so it's difficult to find a Cider that we like as well as the ones in Normandy.

Clos des Ducs is it!
It's the best Cider we've had in the States.
This one is Pear but it comes in Apple too.
If you're looking for a great Cider, this is the one I recommend.


Vacation!

We just returned from our road trip to California from Dallas.
We went to visit our son in Venice Beach. He showed us more than we could have seen on our own. California is beautiful and the weather was perfect. We had great food and I posted some pictures of it. Now that I'm back, I will start posting new recipes.
I'm cooking and baking today to try some recipes for the Central Market Hatch Chile Contest that is coming soon.
I won't post them until I find out if they get accepted. It's a difficult contest to get into as a finalist. I've been a finalist once and I feel privileged to have made it that far.
I'll keep everyone posted here on the blog and then I'll post the recipes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!