Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunset. November 29, 2010. Colington Harbour.

One should always share a sunset, a sunrise, or just share the view. I give you my views, from the other evening.
Enjoy. JTLYK (That's HipCyberSpeak for "JustToLetYouKnow." It's gonna be right up there with LOL and ROFLMAO. Only a matter of time.), tooooomoooorrrrow, Rosie will be recapping her Thanksgiving meal, which covered two days what with the Julia thing, and one in which she gave profuse thanks and cursed at the same time. Rosie will blog her Thanksgiving Experience tomorrow and make two pies in the interim - a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. For Middle Hawthorne's birthday. He always requests pies, not cakes. I hope you'll stay with me and experience exquisite pies. Along with a Thankful and Peaceful Thanksgiving. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH! Stay tuned. Well ... like ... that's the plan.

Rosie Makes Salsa Verde And Salsa Roja.

On our trip across the country, I learned at Mexican restaurants when asked if you want a red sauce or a green sauce to just say "Christmas!" if you wanted both, as I always did. Being the bon vivant I am, I always responded with a hearty, "Navidad!" Even before being asked. Here are my renditions of Salsa Verde and Salsa Roja.
First, the Salsa Verde.
The tomatillo is a plant of the tomato family, related to the gooseberry, and is the key ingredient in fresh and cooked green sauces. To prepare, remove the husks and rinse the tomatillo in water. Slice in half.
Place cut side down in a dry iron skillet over medium-low heat and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Turn over and cook the other side 5-7 minutes.
When cool, transfer to a processor and puree.
Add in chopped onions.
Juice of 1 lime.
About a teaspoon of sugar.
Minced jalapenos to taste.
And enjoy.
For my tomato salsa:
I had four tomatoes from the garden and two store-bought. Drop into boiling water for about 20 seconds to release the skin. After the immersion in boiling water, the skin is easily peeled off. Slice the tomato in half, insert fingers in the jelly pockets, and squeeze with the other hand to seed and juice the tomatoes.
Chop the tomatoes finely. Add some minced red onion, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and minced red jalapenos. (I left the seeds in the jalapenos for extra heat.)
Chop up some cilantro and add that. If you're a cilantro-hater, use parsley. If you're a parsley-hater, then there's no hope for you.
Bon appetit.

Rosie Makes Puffy Navajo Tacos! Whoot!

Rosie had new taste experiences in her travels across the country - the Navajo Taco and the Puffy Taco. I had already attempted Puffy Tacos before after seeing a throw down between Bobby Flay and Diana Barrios Trevino, and the results were less than spectacular. Sooooo, today I'm attempting Navajo Tacos.
My ingredients: 3 cups flour 3 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 2 TB shortening warm water
First I mixed the dry ingredients.
Then I cut in the shortening.
Add warm water, a little bit at a time, until you have a nice, soft dough. I probably used about 1 cup water.
When the dough is no longer sticky, it's ready to be rolled out.
I'm only using half the dough today.
Lightly flour your work surface and start rolling out the dough. Flip over and roll the other side. Flip back, flour-sprinkling as you roll it.
When my dough was about 1/8 inch thick ...
... I cut it into triangles. What I could have done, was pinch off balls from the original dough and roll those out individually and get proper round tacos, but I decided to go with the triangles.
This is a very nice, pliable, elastic dough.
I heated my oil and put the first piece in. Try to swish some hot oil over top of the dough.
Would you lookey here?!!? It's a Puffy Navajo Taco!
Drain on paper towels. By swishing hot oil over the top, you get more bubbles.
These are lovely. Now for my toppings:
First I sauteed some onions in buttah and added my Cobanero Top Round Shredded Beef.
Heat through. For my second topping:
I sauteed some onions and cubed turkey.
Seasoned it with oregano ...
... cayenne pepper ...
... and cumin.
That would be the cobanero shredded beef on the left, the seasoned turkey on the right, and turkey stock simmering in the middle.
And here's my spread. Puffy Navaho Tacos with shredded beef and seasoned turkey, with Creme Fraiche, Tomato Salsa, Tomatilla Salsa, and Guacamole.
And the Little Hawthornes ate. Happily. Stay tuned for my Salsa Recipes.

Crock Pot Top Round Roast With Cobanero Peppers.

I have something in mind here. Stick with me. It was a few days before Thanksgiving and all the little Hawthornes would be returning to the nest and I wanted to have something quick, easy, and different to serve them. And I wanted it to have a Mexican flair. I started out with a top round roast which had been languishing in my freezer for some time. I wanted shreddable beef. Hence the crock pot. I put the roast in the crock pot with some beef broth to cover and set it on high for about 4 hours.
I pulled out my bag of Chiles Cobanero, a gift from my friend Zzzadig from the care package he sent me a while back.
A couple handfuls of the cobaneros went in ...
... along with some more broth, some carrots, and some potatoes. I turned the crockpot to low and let it crock away all night. The next morning, I was greeted with lovely, tender, cabanero-infused, shreddable beef. I had a bit of this for lunch. Mashed the carrots and potatoes with some butter and poured some gravy over top. Complex flavors with heat that sneaks up on you from behind. And I have something in mind for the rest of the meat.
Stay tuned for my next post - Navaho Tacos!

I Must Have More Oysters.

These are the oysters I had in New Orleans. I complained about them because they were overpowered by the toppings. The toppings are not all that attractive to begin with and the flavors did nothing for the oysters except mask the oysters. Here are the oysters I made:
It's my version of Oysters Rockefeller.
I started out with a small onion, chopped and a pound of spinach, chopped.
Saute in butter until the spinach wilts.
Action shot!
When the spinach is wilted, I add in a little more butter and let it melt.
Then a tablespoon or two of flour. Cook for a minute to get the raw out.
Then add in a little milk ...
... and a little cream. I like to finish it off with a splash of sherry ...
... and some freshly grated nutmeg.
Top each oyster with a little of the spinach mixture. Remember, you want to be able to taste oyster.
For a special little kick, place a drop of Texas Pete or Tabasco, or your favorite hot sauce on top.
Add a small piece of Brie ...
... and then I crushed some Ritz crackers over top. You could use Panko, but I was out. GASP! Watch the Ritz carefully, since they have a tendency to burn easily because of their butteryness.
And they're ready for the broiler.
I have an extremely hot broiler so I set the temp at 300 degrees and put the pans about 6 inches from the broiler. Broil for about 3 minutes and they're ready.
The toppings accentuate and complement the oyster. And you still have the full oyster flavor.
Now that's an oyster.