Saturday, August 31, 2013

Do You Have A Labor Day Partay To Go To? Here's What To Take: Rosie's Corn Bean Tortilla Pie.

It's Labor Day Weekend and PartayTime
Today, the Hawthornes will be going to
the annual neighborhood pig pickin'
and it's good times all around.
I always make my Corn Bean Tortilla Pie.
It is expected every year.
If I didn't bring this dish,
I would not be invited next year.
So I'm warning you in advance.
If you take this to a picnic or party,
you will be required to bring it again.
Every time.

Here's what you need:
pack of large flour tortillas
1 package Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 package cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup dried black beans, cooked
1 can corn, drained
1 can black olives, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes with chilies
2 TB butter, melted
cayenne powder
ground cumin
If you're a regular reader of my blog,
you know I don't like canned beans.
I prefer cooking dried beans.

All instructions for beans tell you to soak overnight.
I never soak beans.
When I want beans, I want them today, not tomorrow.
I rinse my beans well,
bring a pot of water to a boil,
then add in the beans and simmer for 20 minutes.
I do not salt the water
because Mr. Hawthorne told me 
salting makes the skins come off
and we wouldn't want nekkid beans in a dish.
After 20 minutes,
I rinse off the beans until the water runs clear,
refresh the water in the pan,
bring to a boil again,
add in the beans and cook another 20-25 minutes
until al dente.

I got that rinse and refresh idea
from Julia herself.
She says this procedure
aids in "reducing intestinal motility."

Rinse beans and let cool.

I grated this much of each cheese
and ended up grating the rest of the cheese.
One really can't have too much cheese.

Ready for assembly.
I've mixed my corn and black beans together.
My Rotel tomatoes and chilies are ready.
Sliced black olives are ready.

 Why not some chopped red onion?

Let's assemble.
Start layering.
The grated cheese is your glue.
Don't skimp.
I put a layer of cheese on the tortilla,
then add the corn, beans, and olives
and top with more cheese.

Keep layering until you almost run out of fillings and cheeses.
Save some for the top tortilla layer.

Rosie Tip #367:
Build up more around the edges.
When you layer the next tortilla,
press down in the middle.
This helps against "doming" when you bake the pie.

I ended up using all the cheese.
And I used 7 tortillas layers.
When almost all the ingredients are used up,
brush melted butter on top and sides.

Sprinkle cumin and cayenne on top and sides.
The easiest way to do this 
without clumping too much spice in one place
is to sprinkle small amounts 
of the cumin and cayenne in your palm,
then swish it over the top and along the sides.

Add remaining cheese, corn, beans, and olives on top.

Mr. Hawthorne was slow-cooking baby back ribs
in a 275° oven.
I shared his oven and cooked this for an hour.

Usually I'd go with a 350° oven for about 45 minutes.
Check near the end
and tent with foil if necessary.

Isn't this pretty?

 See what I mean about the doming?

Let it sit for a while before slicing.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Whenever I need a dish to take to a picnic,
a pig pickin', or whatever,
this is my go-to dish.
Everybody loves it.
And then ...  it's gone.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rosie Is Published.

Please check out Rosie's latest column in the Outer Banks Voice.

Rosie Makes A Simple Salad.

 Rosie is making a simple salad for lunch today.
Iceberg lettuce wedge,
little bits of bacon,
lemon-thyme croutons,
and bleu cheese dressing.

Please join Rosie in her kitchen.
I promise we'll have fun.

I'm starting with the lemon-thyme croutons.

 I zested 1/2 of the lemon.
I love that little Zyliss peeler.
I can peel a tomato with it.

 I covered the peel in water and ...
 ...  brought it to a boil.
Refresh with cold water and repeat twice.

 I tore a small loaf of French bread into pieces.

 I minced the lemon zest and six sprigs worth of thyme leaves.

 Melt 5 TB butter in a medium skillet
and add in torn bread, thyme, and zest.

 Toss to coat.
 Cook until golden brown and crisp.
Season with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
NOTE: This one is a keeper.
Loved the croutons.

 Fry up some bacon bits.
Drain and set aside.

On to the dressing.
 Bleu Cheese Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 TB red wine vinegar
1 ounce bleu cheese
 Kosher salt

Combine all ingredients except salt in a blender
and purée until very smooth.
Season with salt to taste.

 I'm using my Magic Bullet.
And Rosie can be messy.
Just ask Mr. Hawthorne.
 Now, here comes the fun part -
my iSi Brushed Stainless Steel Gourmet Whip Plus.

I'd previously used this for
for siphon battered onion rings, mushrooms, and green beans.
See the post here.
The bleu cheese dressing is just fine by itself.
Just crumble the cheese into the other ingredients,
taste-testing for salt.
It doesn't need to be puréed and foamed,
but since we have a new toy,
I'm going to purée and foam away.
Insert an N
O cartridge.

 Well, that was anti-climactic.

So I recharged my siphon with another cartridge and continued.
What fun!

Rosie has mastered bleu cheese foam.

Think of a bleu cheese cloud.
The lemon/thyme croutons pair perfectly
with the dressing.

And the bacon?
Well, it's bacon.
Life is better with bacon.
And the more bacon the better.

We love our new toy.
I'm making fun food!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Time For Clams.

  The Hawthornes are having clams for lunch.
My plan is to steam them a bit in wine until they open,
 top them with a little bacon, melted butter, 
some herbs, Parmesan cheese, and Panko bread crumbs
and then run them under the broiler.

 I rinsed them well.

For some reason,
Mr. Hawthorne started shucking the clams.

 He made it through two clams before he threw in the towel.

 In the meantime,
I put the rest of the clams in a pot 
and added some nice chardonnay.
 Cover and steam for a few minutes
until the clams start to open.
 Set aside while you work on the toppings.

 1/2 stick unsalted butter
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 small garlic cloves
1/2 large shallot
fresh parsley
fresh oregano
Parmesan, grated
Panko bread crumbs
AND ...
I scissored four strips of bacon and fried them up.

 Mince the garlic, shallot, and ...

 ...  herbs.

 Put the butter, zest, shallot, garlic, and herbs in a small sauce pan
and melt the butter.

 Time to bring it all together.
I have the clams,
butter mixture, bacon, Parmesan in grater,
Panko, and some cayenne for a little pop.
 Spoon the butter mixture over each clam.

 Add some bacon bits.

 Panko lovin'.

Grate Parmesan cheese
and sprinkle cayenne over top.
 Run the clams under the broiler
until the topping is slightly browned.

Rosie Tip #299:
Whenever you broil something,
turn the light on in the oven
or keep the door slightly open
and take the time to WATCH it.
Do not let it burn.
Usually, by the time you can smell it,
it's too late.