Monday, May 26, 2008

Green Salsa

Our family friends/relatives from Palos Verdes introduced this Strange Green Stuff to our family. I do not have the correct recipe, but this is my concoction with ingredients I vaguely remember from my childhood. I remember the Green Salsa as I lovingly referred to it. This green stuff scared me a bit. It looked weird and one of the ingredients just seemed plain wrong to eat. I would not actually scoop some of the dip onto my Dorito. Instead I would dunk it to get some of the juice which was tasty, but I was afraid of the chunky stuff. Here is my recipe. I still won't get the chunky stuff on my chip. Whatever! Everyone else can scoop the chunks, I choose to dunk. Thank you.

Jamie's Green Salsa

One 16 oz jar Herdez Salsa Verde
One 16 oz jar Napales (I usually only use half of it and refrigerate the other half for the next time I make green salsa) Yep, this is cactus!
Half of one large white onion chopped
4 Green onions sliced
One avocado
a few shakes cumin
half of one bunch cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 of lemon or lime to squeeze the juice from

I usually make two containers of this Green Salsa. One with avocado and one for Robby without. Divvy up the Salsa Verde into one or two containers, depending on your desire to cater to those avocado haters.

Remove napales from jar. Rinse the napales if your jar says to do so. Chop napales into small bite size pieces and add to the salsa verde. Add your chopped onions and stir. Halve the avocado, remove seed and make slices horizontally and vertically into the skin of avacado. Remove avo (that is how Ella refers to it) from the skin with a spoon and stir into the onion/salsa verde mixture.

Rinse and dry cilanto. Pick leaves off of stem and then chop. Add the cilantro to salsa and stir. Shake cumin to taste as well as salt and pepper. Stir and then squeeze the fresh lime or lemon juice into salsa and stir. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with Dorito Nacho cheese chips. Dip or scoop your chip however you choose. Enjoy the verdent salsa.

Red, White and Blue Dessert

Patriotic. Yes! Appropriate for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, any day you feel PROUD to be an American! I love those pre-made graham cracker crusts. Can you tell? I also love cool whip and fresh fruit. My Gramma John used to make this really yummy creamy raspberry shortbread frozen dessert. I could not find the recipe but this concoction I made today reminded me of it. It was so quick and easy to make. I didn't even mess up the kitchen much. (:

Red, White and Blue Dessert

One pre-made graham cracker crust
8 oz 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese
1 8 oz tub Extra Creamy cool-whip
1/4 cup sugar
5-6 large strawberries cleaned and quartered (save 5 quarters for decoration)
15-20 blueberries (12 extra for decoration)
15-20 rasberries (8 extra for decoration)

In a mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and mix. With a spatula scoop 2/3 of the Cool-Whip out of the container and mix until all three white ingredients are incorporated. Set the remaining 1/3 of the cool whip aside.

Add strawberries, blueberries and raspberries to white mixture. With the spatula, carefully mix berries into creamy mixture. Spoon Red, White and Blue mix into the pre-made pie crust.

Take a small zip loc bag. Cut a corner off the bag. Take an icing tip and fix it to your zip loc bag. Put remaining 1/3 of the Cool whip into bag and pipe the Cool whip around the side of dessert. Alternate the decorative berries... a blueberry and then rasberry around and fix it into the Cool whip. In the center of the dessert, take 5 of the strawberries and form a star. Take the remaining 4 blueberries and place them in the center of the star. Cover and place dessert in the freezer.

Pull from freezer 15 minutes prior to serving time. Cut slices and wait for the rave reviews. This dessert passed with flying colors from my Dad and my little sister said it did remind her of Gramma John's. Mission accomplished.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mmm MMMonte Cristo Sandwich

The first time I had one of these sandwiches was on my 29 4ever Birthday celebration at the Blue Bayou restaurant at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. It was freaking AMAZING! As my friend Kandy Johnston would say it was a Food Orga_m! Holy Moly! Simply amazing combinations of sweet and savory and cheesy and crunchy. They served this culinary masterpiece with a delicious lettuce salad with sweetened crunchy pecans, cranberries, crumbly cheese, and a sweet vinaigrette! Curly noodled pasta salad and a side of boysenberry jam to spread on the Monte Cristo.

What is the Monte Cristo exactly? Black Forest Ham, Turkey, and Swiss Cheese, battered and fried, then sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sounds a bit weird. But OMG! You gotta get one.

Locally there is one restaurant in the SCV that serves one of these sandwiches. Eggs and Things. They are open for breakfast and lunch. Their sandwich is quite good. They serve theirs with maple syrup and Marion blackberry preserves.

My dear friend Amy, says that the Black Cow in Montrose, Ca has a mean Monte Cristo. I have yet to dine there with Amy. Not for lack of trying to plan a lunch/shopping date. I'll let you know about the experience shall I ever get there.

Tonight I'm hungry. Robby came home and had already eaten dinner with one of his friends. A little bummed. I opened the 'frige and remembered I bought turkey and black forest ham! Yippee. I had bread and three kinds of sliced cheese. So below you will find the recipe for my very own Monte Cristo Sandwich at 28413!

28413 Monte Cristo Sandwich

This recipe will serve 2

4 slices wheat bread
8 slices shaved black forest ham
8 slices oven baked turkey
2 slices mozzarella cheese
2 slices tillamook cheddar cheese
2 slices pepper jack cheese

1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup beer

Oil for frying (I used canola oil)

Powdered sugar
any kind of jam you like
real maple syrup

Heat oil to 365 degrees F. While oil is heated mix batter. In a medium sized bowl mix flour, cinnamon and beer. Stir. Set aside

Take two pieces of the bread. Top each with one slice of mozzarella. Then place 4 slices of Black forest ham on top of mozzarella on each sandwich. Now place a slice of cheddar on the two sandwiches. Layer the slices of turkey on each. Top that with the pepper jack cheese and other two pieces of bread. Put both sandwiches on a plate and nuke for 30-45 seconds.

Remove sandwiches from microwave. Cut the sandwiches into 4 triangle pieces. Pierce each quarter with toothpick to hold it together. Dunk sandwich piece into batter. Use a spoon and cover all sides with batter. Place in hot oil and fry. Remove toothpick and use tongs to flip sandwich. Fry until all sides are golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately with syrup or jam.

ENJOY! I know I did! (:

Easy Microwave Rice

Yep, it's easy. It might be a bit weird for you rice people who cook your rice in a steamer or on the stove. This way is simple, gets a pot off the stove, one less appliance to store, and its just easy!

Easy Microwave Rice

1 1/2 cup Rice (white, brown, Trader Joe's Basmati Rice Medley)
olive oil
3 cups water or broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a microwave safe glass bowl, dump rice and add a tablespoon or so olive oil. Stir. Heat your water or broth. Pour heated liquid over rice and stir. Place bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 20 minutes. When rice is done. Fluff and set aside. After about 5 minutes serve.

To make
Spanish Style Microwave Rice

1 1/2 cup Rice (white, brown, Trader Joe's Basmati Rice Medley)
olive oil
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
1/4 cup frozen corn
1 3/4 cup water or broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a microwave safe bowl, dump rice and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Stir. Add can of Rotel and corn. Stir. Heat broth or water and add. Stir rice mixture. Season. Microwave for 20 minutes on high. When rice is done, fluff with fork. Cool for about 5 minutes and serve.

Flautas! ! !

What exactly is a flauta? A flauta is much like a taquito, except the fillings differ a bit. My sister Jessica first found this amazing recipe while working at Lucky's Supermarkets which over the years have turned into Albertson's Supermarkets. When she worked at the market she would always hear about amazing foods. I will never forget the day when she bought the ingredients, came home, slaved in the kitchen and created for us, one of the best dinners ever! To this day, our entire family loves them and will painstakingly stand in the kitchen for hours and make them. The ingredients are simple but they do require prep work and assembly.

The original recipe calls for Pace Picante Sauce, any flavor will do. I recently tried Herdez Salsa Verde and it was amazing!

Chicken Flautas

36 corn tortillas softened in heated oil set aside on paper towels
3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 (16 oz) jar Herdez Salsa Verde (use whatever you like)
2 cups Tillamook Pepper Jack cheese shredded (use whichever cheese you like)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl combine, chicken, cheese and salsa. Stir. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the chicken mix onto the corn tortilla. Roll the tortilla and fix it with a toothpick. Keep rolling and tooth picking until all of your ingredients are used up.

Bake on cookie sheets for 15-20 or until flautas are browned and crispy. Allow to cool a bit and serve with guacamole and or sour cream. We double and triple this recipe. (Uncooked flautas can be frozen. I did this and sprayed some with oil spray and cooked them. They were perfect)
Refrigerate leftover flautas. They are fabulous nuked in the micro for 15 seconds.

Make it a combo meal and serve flautas with Spanish rice and beans. YUMMMMM

PLEASE NOTE: If you freeze your flautas they will take more time to cook. Maybe double the time. Just bake them until the ends are crispy and centers are warmed through.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Chocolate Butterfinger Cheesecake

So I've made Cheesecake many times using the Cheesecake recipe from my previous post. Everyone really seems to enjoy it. Last night I made a new version of the Cheesecake recipe. I wanted to try a few new things, so here goes.

I'll let you know how they like it at Sunday Family Dinner at Rob's Dad's house!

Chocolate Butterfinger Cheesecake

One Graham Ready Crust

2 Butterfinger Candy Bars

One package cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2-3 Tablespoons Varona Cocoa

1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic top from your Ready Crust. Break one butterfinger into pieces and sprinkle on the bottom of the crust. Set aside.

Put cream cheese in mixing bowl. Mix until fluffy. Add sugar, mix. Add flour, mix. Add cocoa, mix. Add cinnamon and Vanilla mix. Add egg and mix until blended.

Pour batter over broken Butterfinger pieces. Break up other butterfinger and sprinkle over batter. Push pieces into batter with toothpick.

Bake 20 minutes or until set. Refrigerate!

Whip up some fresh whipping cream and serve on top of your decadent slice of chocolate cheesecake. Maybe make some chocolate curls off of a Hershey bar. Make it look real pretty. Enjoy.

I'll let you know how they like it!