Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rosie Makes A Festive Layered Dip.

 Here's a festive, layered, Mexican-inspired dip
just in time for your Fourth of July picnic.

The bottom layer is a seasoned black bean purée.
Next is a layer of corn
followed by a zesty guacamole tier
and the topping is doctored sour cream
along with black olives, roasted red peppers,
chopped tomatoes, sliced serrano chilis,
and grated cheddar cheese.
Let's start with the guacamole.
 Rosie's Guacamole
 1 avocado
1 tomato
juice of 1 lime
 1/4 cup chopped red onion
freshly ground salt and pepper

Juice the lime and add in the avocado,
mashing with a fork and
tossing to coat with the lime juice.
The acid will not only give flavor to the guac,
it also keeps the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown.
Peel, seed, and juice the tomato.
Chop the tomato and red onion.
Add to the mixture.
Season with freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.

Looks like ice cream.
Pistachio ice cream.
 Neither the skin nor the seeds is digestible.
I get rid of them and the juice.
I only want tomato pulp.
The juice waters everything down.
 Add the chopped tomatoes and ...

 ...  that much of a red onion ...

 ...  chopped.

 Mix and mash until you get the consistency you like.

 I prefer a bit of chunk in my guac.

 Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface
of the guacamole and refrigerate.

Next up, black bean purée.
 Black Bean Purée
1 cup cooked black beans
1/4 tsp adobo seasoning
1/4 tsp fajita seasoning
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jalapeno (Remove ribs and seeds if you don't want the heat.)
3 TB vegetable oil
1 tsp Texas Pete
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

For the record, I never use canned beans.
I do not like canned beans.
And I never soak my beans overnight 
like the instructions say to do.
I simply rinse them well,
then add them to boiling, unsalted water.
Mr. Hawthorne learned from Food Network
that salting makes the skins come off.
I simmer the beans for 20 minutes,
then pour out the water,
rinse the beans well,
until the water runs clean,
and return them to boiling water
and simmer for another 20 minutes or so until done.
Rinse and drain beans.

Give the garlic and jalapeno a coarse chop
and add to a processor along with the beans
and the rest of the ingredients.
Process away until you have a nice purée.


 Evenly spread the black bean purée
in a pie dish.

 Add a layer of corn.

 Spread on the guacamole.

Now, for the doctored sour cream.
 Seasoned Sour Cream
heaping cup of sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
sprinkling of cayenne, to taste
 Mix all ingredients.

 I taste-tested and decided to add the cayenne for good measure.

 Spread the sour cream mixture over top of the guacamole.

 Now, for the toppings:
  •  sliced serrano peppers
Remove the white part and the seeds
to get rid of the heat, if you want.
And please, be sure you wash your hands.
  • peeled, seeded, juiced, and chopped tomato
  • sliced black olives

  •  chopped roasted red peppers
 Add black olives, tomatoes, roasted red peppers,
serranos, and scallions.

 Top with grated cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until nice and bubbly.

 Scoopie scoopie.

This was gone in about an hour.
Mr. Hawthorne and my Little Hawthornelets love it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rosie Offers You Her World Famous Corn Bean Tortilla Pie Just In Time For Your Fourth Of July Partay.

 I know I've posted this "recipe"
a bunch of times already,
but it's my go-to recipe whenever
I need to bring something to a neighborhood block party,
pig-pickin', or picnic.
People always remember this dish
and people expect me to bring it.
And it's always the first dish to go.

Dear Readers, I offer you Corn Bean Tortilla Pie
just in time for your Fourth of July festivities.
You may thank me later.

There is no right or wrong here.
There is no exact recipe.
You can tailor this to your own tastes
and adjust the ratios.
I'm just giving you the blueprint.

bag of large flour tortillas
can of corn, drained
equal amount of cooked black beans
(I don't like canned.)
2-3 TB each green, yellow, orange, and red peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
black olives, sliced
2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese
2-3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
2-3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
2-3 cups grated Pepper Jack cheese
1/4 stick butter, melted

I do not use canned beans and don't recommend using them. If one absolutely must, be sure to rinse all the slime off the canned beans first. And even then, they still have a metallic patina that looks like an oil spill. No. No. No! I simply won't allow you to use canned beans. Do it my way or not at all. 

Back to dried beans. Beans take about 50-60 minutes to cook. They're cheap. There's no excuse not to use real beans. Don't bother with the instructions on the packages that tell you to soak the beans overnight. That's totally unnecessary. Listen to Rosie. All I do is rinse the beans first, then add them to unsalted boiling water and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Drain the beans, rinse well, and refresh the water in the pan. Bring to boil, add beans. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender. Taste test. I like my beans al dente not mushy, so 20 more minutes is usually right for my tastes.
Salt to taste.
 Have everything ready for assembly.

 I love the colors in this.
 Mix well.

One can never have too much cheese.

Start layering.

Sprinkle on a layer of cheese,
some of the corn/bean mixture,
and a layer of cheese on a tortilla.
Top with another tortilla.
And keep on truckin'on until until you use up everything.

The cheese is the glue holding the whole thing together and when you started building the layers, the cheese is an important structural element. I use extra cheese and bean mixture around the edges to keep the layers even. If you don't build up the edges, you'll end up with a domed-shaped construction after baking.

 Keep layering until you run out of everything.
Save a bit of cheese and the corn/bean mixture 
for the topping.

 Brush top and edges with melted butter ...

... and dust with cayenne and cumin.
Top with a sprinkling of corn, beans,
cheeses, scallions, chopped jalapeno, and sliced black olives.
 Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes.
Check near the end in case you need to tent the pie.
Let rest at least ten minutes before slicing.

 Is this not beautiful?

 Make one to bring to your next get-together.
Everyone will love you for it.

Stay tuned.
Rosie has a few more recipes for your Fourth of July.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rosie Roasts A Chicken And Makes A Corn Casserole.

With two of the Hawthornelets home,
I've been trying to have "family meals."
Not an easy feat with their work shedyules.

Dau Haw and Mid Haw
were both sharing a rare day off.
I'm roasting a chicken.
What's more family than a roasted chicken?

I went downtown shopping in my freezer,
and found this hen which I'd stashed away.
(See what you learn from watching Guy Fee-yeh-dee?)

I'm making a compound butter:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (Only because I have it.)
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper
1 tsp minced dried onion
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Substitute with anything you might have.
This ain't rocket science.

Don't forget the raw, green coriander seeds
on your cilantro plants.
You must have these.
I love the citrusy pop of fresh coriander.

Work it.
Mix all together.
Be aggressive.
Get angry at it.

 You can calm down now.
Slather butter mixture between skin and meat,
being careful not to tear the skin.

Drizzle with olive oil.
Add freshly ground salt and pepper.

Truss that bird!

There's a reason for doing this.
If you leave your bird with a gaping cavity,
the heat circulates inside the bird
 and cooks the breast meat first, drying it out,
before the legs and thighs are done.

Stuff an onion or lemon or orange
in the cavity to provide more protection.

This baked at 350° for about 1 1/2 hours.
Internal temp should be around 165°
and the juices should run clear.

Always let your meat sit for about 10 minutes
before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.

I loved the flavors I stuffed between the skin and meat.
And the breast meat was juicy and tender.

Next, I'm making a corn casserole
which everyone loved.
Mr. Hawthorne declared it "the best" corn casserole.
Corn Casserole

1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients.
Bake at 350° about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Just mix it all together and ...

... pour into an 8" square baking dish
and bake away.

Isn't this pretty?

Trust Rosie on the corn casserole.
All in all, a very nice "family" dinner.
Now, if I could just do something
about that pesky family part.