Happy Tuesday, everyone!
Today I have a really yummy treat for everyone. I’m originally from the south (Miami, Florida!) so I love good “down home” cooking. With parents from the Caribbean I am very used to full hearty meals that leave you feeling full for days. One of my favorite treats is honey cornbread. I can be eaten with dinner as a dessert or as breakfast with tea. Before I get to the main event, here is our hearty, healthy meal for the week:
Breakfast: Honey Cornbread
Lunch: Prosciutto and Melon Salad
Snack: Salted Dark Chocolate Almonds
Dinner: Standing Rib Roast with Cognac Sauce
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Sift dry ingredients.
- Mix remaining ingredients, then add to dry ingredients. Beat until smooth.
- Pour into greased and floured 8-inch square baking pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve with butters and jams. It’s also excellent with spicy dishes.
Voila! Serve with butter with tea and it is an amazing breakfast and a great way to start a Tuesday. Enjoy!
Today’s Menu (Sunday, November 28th 2010) right after the long Thanksgiving weekend, we have to take it easy and try to use as many left overs as possible. Here is the meal plan for the day:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Fruit and Nuts
Snack1: Whole Grain Toast with Nutella
Lunch: Go Out Eat (you deserve it) My restaurant reviews coming soon
Snack2: Trail Mix
Dinner: Suppli al Telefono
Dessert: Brazo Gitano
Today’s recipe: Suppli al Telefono
This is nothing but rice balls stuffed with Mozzarella cheese. It’s super simple and easy to do and the kids love making them and eating them. Use whatever rice you might have in the fridge. However I’m starting the recipe from scratch just in case you don’t have any left over rice.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes (if you have rice left over) or 45 minutes if you are starting from scratch.
- 1 pound rice – (400 gr) – that will make 20 supplies
- 300 gr tomato sauce
- 2 spoons ground beef (already cooked)
- 200 gr mozzarella
- 33 oz broth
- 3 large eggs
- 80 gr parmigiano cheese
- 4 large spoons flour (see great coupon)
- 2 oz beer (yes beer)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 50 gr onions
- 30 gr butter
- 2 cup of vegetable oil (see coupon)
- We’ll be making the typical rissotto. So first put the broth to boil. After boiling bring the fire level down.
- Add the oil, onions and rice in a large pot. Move it for about 2 minutes.
- When you can see the onions get some color, add the tomato sauce and the broth with a ladle (one spoon at a time)
- Add the broth every time the water level goes down. The water should never cover all the rice. The ideal risotto has the water and rice always at the same level until it’s finally cooked. Move it every 5 minutes for a total of 4 times. Every time you add broth, you should move it.
- Once the rice is cooked (by cooked I mean al dente), let the water dry a little. Usually until the wooden spoon can stand in the middle without falling to the side. Add the butter at that point, add an egg, the parmiggiano, move it well and let it cool off.
- While the rice gets cold, you need to prepare the pastela. So take a separate bowl and add 3 spoons of flower, the remaining egg, add the beer and some salt.
- On a flat plate, you need to add the breadcrumb
- When the rice is cold, take a spoon full of rice, give it the suppli shape, add a square of mozzarella, then deep it in the pastella and then on the breadcrumb.
- Repeat step #8 for every suppli and heat abundant vegetable oil in a frying pan.
So just remember the two secrets for this recipe. First to cook the risotto al dente. That way when you fry it there will be less risk to destroy the rice (into a pure). Second to use the pastella with the beer before you pass it by the breadcrumb. This will give it that nice crispy texture to make your guests feel in a trattoria romana.
November ’10 – Week 3
Breakfast: Fill Your Own Popovers
Morning Snack: Banana Bread and Mango Lassi
Lunch: Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Slaw
Afternoon Snack: Fresh Fruit with String Cheese
Dinner: Slow Cooker Jambalaya
Dessert: Rice Pudding
Recipe of the Day:
My mom used to make these all the time- she still knows the recipe by heart! They’re perfect with a dollop of butter and jam inside, sophisticated with a smear of Nutella, or satisfying with a poached egg! They really can be filled with just about everything, and their huge bubbles and nooks and pockets are an open invitation for yumminess. (*Orange text indicates easy steps that kids can do!)
1 C Flour
1 C Milk
1/2 t Salt
Preheat oven to 450°. Grease and flour a muffin or popover tin.
In a medium bowl beat eggs lightly, then beat in flour, milk and salt until just smooth, being careful not to over-beat.
Fill cups halfway. Bake for 20 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350° and bake for 20 minutes more. Serve immediately with different fillings- here’s some ideas:
Peanut butter and jelly.
Butter and cinnamon sugar.
Cream cheese and ham.
Poached eggs and hollandaise.
October ’10 – Week 2 – Snack (S, T, W, T, F, S.)
Hummus is another one of those super sneaky ways to get protein into your kids. Hummus (yum-mus!) is a Levantine Arabic dish made of ground chickpeas, garlic, lemon, tahini, olive oil and salt. That’s it! There are many ways to dress it up, however, including adding roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, or extra garlic to the pureeing process. Serve with pita chips (recipe as follows) or with sliced veggies. I like mine with pickled carrots or fresh cucumber! (*Orange text highlights easy steps that kids can do.)
1 16 oz Can of Chickpeas, 1/4 C Liquid reserved aside
4 T Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 T Tahini
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 t Salt
2 T Olive Oil
Puree all ingredients together in a food processor or use an immersion blender. Taste for saltiness and adjust accordingly. Serve with Pita Chips, recipe below:
1 Package Pita Pockets, flavor of your choice
Preheat oven to 350°.
Using a sharp knife, slice pita up into triangles. Brush each with olive oil and scatter garlic powder and salt over the tops, to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake until browned, about 18 minutes.
September ’10 – Week 4 – Friday Snack
I will eat just about anything if you serve it in a lettuce cup. It’s fun and accessible, fresh, crunchy, and better for you than just slapping the filling du jour on a roll made of refined white flour! This crab salad recipe is a blend of a few of my favorites, and it eliminates the heavy mayonnaise, but it’s so good!
1 lb Lump Crabmeat (use Imitation if you’re so inclined!)
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Vinegar (I like Rice Wine.)
Fresh Lemon Juice, to taste
1 T Fresh Parsley, chopped
Several Gherkin Pickles, diced
1/3 C Red Onion, diced finely
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Iceburg or Boston Lettuce leaves
Mix all ingredients except for the lettuce together in a bowl and refrigerate for no less than two hours, but as much as overnight, allowing flavors to develop. Serve scoops of salad on lettuce leaves. Fold up to eat, just like a taco!
September ’10 – Week 4 – Thursday Dinner/Dessert
Dulce de Naranja, literally sweetness of oranges, has roots all over the Latin community, but this particular recipe is Cuban. This dessert is what happens when you make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. This is a great way to use up orange rinds from oranges that have been juiced that day! Taking peeled orange halves after the insides have been eaten and the membranes removed, boil them in sugar water until candied and eat on toast, crackers, or with a delicious salty cheese. You could even dice them and use them in holiday baking in place of other candied fruits. If you like the dry sweetness and delicately bitter tang of marmalade, you’ll love these. Because they take up to 4 hours to make, I have adapted this recipe for the slow cooker.
10-12 Fresh oranges, peeled of JUST the orange part, leaving white pith behind, halved, with pulp and juice removed
A few peels, reserved
4 C Sugar
Place oranges and sugar, along with a few of the peels, in the slow cooker and fill with enough water to cover orange halves. Allow to cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, or until oranges are yellowy-orange and translucent.
Slice and serve any way you like, save aside cooking syrup for use in cooking, drizzle over ice cream or sweeten tea with it.
Note that this can be done with any citrus fruit!
September ’10 – Week 4 – Tuesday Lunch
When most Americans hear the word ‘tortilla’ they typically think immediately of the thin, flour-and-lard-based flatbread used in Mexican cuisine. But in Spain, a tortilla is something altogether different. For American children, this recipe is a bit like homefries and scrambled eggs layered together, so don’t be shy to offer it to the picky kids with ketchup- it doesn’t taste half bad! This recipe calls for the use of an ovenproof skillet, such as cast iron or stainless steel, so that the tortilla can easily be moved to the oven for browning, however, if you don’t have one, you can easily flip the tortilla in the pan by turning it out onto a plate and then gently sliding it back into the pan upside down.
1 3/4 C Olive Oil
1 3/4 lb Low-Starch Potatoes, (such as Yukon Gold) peeled, sliced thin and salted
2 Onions, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Fry the potatoes, turning gently occasionally. Try not to break them up too much. When the potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes, transfer them from the oil onto paper towels to drain.
Put onions and garlic into pan next, cooking until garlic is golden and onions are translucent, adjusting heat if necessary. Once they have finished cooking, transfer them alongside the potatoes so that they too may drain.
Drain remaining oil from the pan and wipe out with a paper towel.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Gently add in potatoes, onions and garlic, mixing gently to combine.
Re-heat skillet to med-high heat, adding in a small amount of fresh oil. Let heat before pouring in egg and potato mixture. Let cook until crisp around the edges, then turn heat down to med-low, allowing tortilla to cook until almost set at the center, 8-10 minutes.
If your skillet is oven-proof, place it under a low broiler until tortilla is set at the center and the top is golden brown and crisp. If not, turn tortilla out onto a plate by first loosening the edges with a knife, then covering the skillet with the plate and flipping everything over at once. Gently lift skillet off the plate, then slide tortilla off the plate back into the skillet to finish cooking.
Let cool before serving.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Wednesday Lunch
This recipe is the best thing to do with leftover chicken, second only to my chicken salad recipe! These remind me so much of living in Arizona, and the food we used to snack on up in Sedona when we needed a break from all the walking around. This recipe is a little bit Americanized, if only for ease of cooking. These come together fast with the use of store-bought pie crusts.
3 C Chicken, chopped
8oz (1 package) Shredded “Mexican” or “Fiesta” blend cheese
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 C Red Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 T Cumin, ground
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 package refrigerated Pie Crusts
Preheat oven to 400° and grease a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cheese, cream cheese, red pepper, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper.
Unroll piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrust, re-rolling as needed, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water.
Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and filling. These can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month.
Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Wednesday Dinner/Entree
This recipe reminds me of Swedish food, where salmon is king. This is a delicious winter soup, and if your family enjoys exploring and celebrating different Christmas holidays from different cultures, as mine does, you might serve it on December 13 for St. Lucia’s day.
1 T Butter
1 C White Mushrooms, sliced
1 T Flour
3 C Milk
1 Slice of Onion
1 Can of Salmon (about 16 oz)
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and mushrooms together until mushrooms are dark, fragrant and tender. Add flour and stir continuously, creating a roux. In a separate saucepan, scald milk with onion tossed in. Once hot and fragrant, remove onion and add hot milk to the roux, whisking continuously.
Open salmon, and look it over, removing any bones. Add salmon to the soup, season with salt and pepper, and allow to cook until thick and creamy. Serve hot.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Tuesday Breakfast
Crepemaking doesn’t have to be rocket science, though I’m sure it feels that way for most people the first several times. Crepes are definitely on my list of things that intimidate me in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try, because the results are delicious enough to warrant the risk. Start these the night before to allow your batter plenty of time to rest so that your crepes don’t tear during cooking.
3/4 C Milk
1/2 C Water
1 C Flour
3 T Melted Butter
Cream Cheese (with or without chives)
Thinly Sliced Ham (or Smoked Salmon!)
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine smoothly. Allow to sit in refrigeration overnight, or at least for an hour.
Heat a small-to-medium sized pan over medium heat. Grease well with butter. Pour about 1 oz of batter into the center and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook for about half a minute before flipping and cooking 15 seconds more. Turn out onto a plate or cutting board to allow to cool flat. Repeat until all the batter is used.
Fill by spreading cream cheese (I prefer mine with chives) and thinly sliced ham, and roll up to eat. For a more adult-inclined version, try smoked salmon in place of the ham!