Category Archives: cooking

Mohito + Mole + Taco + Salsa(s) + Mohito + Guacamole + … mmm…smiley.

Recipe Time, Pueblo-Quesnel Style!

Chicken Mole

  • 4 pc Chicken Breast
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Tex Mex Spice

Put oil in pan and get hot, hot hot!  Put onion and chopped garlic in pan, saute. Drink Mohito(recipe below). Add chicken pieces, 4 breasts cut into 4 pieces each.  Saute in medium fry pan, covered for approx 15 minutes or until no longer pink.  Remove onion and chicken mixture from pan and reserve.  Check out next list of ingredients for mole gravy.

  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c flour (we used gluten free flour mixture)
  • 1/4 c chili powder
  • 2tbsp Tex Mex spice.
  • 1 cup diced tomato and juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bouillon cubes dissolved in above water
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oil and then add flour a bit at a time, letting it brown slightly.  (Essentially, you’re making a roux).  Once roux is made, add the chili powder, the tex mex spice and the tomato juice.  Stir in the water w/ bouillon cubes dissolved.  Drink mohito, do not add to sauce. You should get a thick gravy. Add peanut butter and chocolate chips, stir until smooth.  Drink Mohito. Simmer for 10 minutes and add the reserved chicken mixture, simmer for 10 or so more minutes.

Consume w/ rice or flatbread.

Fish Taco

  • 2 Basa Fillet
  • 1 tsp Tex Mex Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • Fresh Salsa (Recipe Below)
  • Fresh Guacamole (Recipe Below)
  • Kraft Coleslaw Dressing
  • Some sort of flatbread

Make a rub of the spices and coat the fish pieces.  Roast under a low broiler until fish is tender flaky, about 20 minutes.  Finish under high broiler for 5 minutes until crispy.

Make a taco with the fish, the fresh cabbage, salsa and guacamole and some dressing.  Super Tasty!  Drink Mohito.

me-Homie…Homito….MOHITO!

  • 1 pppphhhhhhht of sugar
  • 1 psshhhhhht of lime
  • 1 chuckchuckachucka fresh mint
  • 1 glurpaglurpaglurp of spiced rum
  • 1 pwwwoooosh club soda

Top with ice and Serve.  Made by the glass was too slow, we found a better version was to sextuple the ingredients and fill  a rubbermaid jug. (w/ hand plunger, very important!)

Fresh Salsa

  • 2 large tomato, dice
  • 5 assorted coloured peppers, dice
  • 1/2 large (giant) red onion, dice
  • 0 cloves garlic (fail, too many mohitos)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 0 assorted hot peppers (pablano, thai chili, jalapeno….oops)
  • Fresh Herbs. Diced.  Cilantro, Oregeno, Basil and Thyme

Mix and Serve.

Fresh Guacamole

  • 4 avacado, pitted, mashed
  • 2 clove garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Mix, Mash, Moosh, Squoosh, Dip, Eat, Serve, Drink Yummy yummy mohito. Yum.

Fresh Fruit (not vegetable) Salsa

  • too many fresh blueberries (use 1 pint, we used 2)
  • Mmmm…mohito.
  • 3 banana chopped, diced, whatever. It’s all good.
  • 1 Mango, diced-ish
  • 3 Peaches, peaches for me.  Diced
  • GlurpaGlurpaGlurp spiced Rum
  • We used cinnamon and nutmeg – meh.  Suggest fresh mint and basil instead.
  • Mmm..mohito.

Chop, Mix and serve.  We’re also going to saute for topping on desert crepe later.

As you may be able to tell, the mohitos were an integral part of the meal.  The difficulty in typing this post is largely due to to the amount of alcohol consumed in the drink mohito steps listed above.  This post brought to you by the letter M and the number More. (Which rhymes with four….teen.)

Good night Captain Morgan, Good Night to you!

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BBQ Sauce I made tonight….

Lexington Vinegar Barbecue Sauce (From Cooks Illustrated No. 102)

  • 1 Cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (maybe do 1 tsp. or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in bowl and whisk.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of defatted pork drippings – sounds like a good idea but I preferred it w/o the drippings – a stronger and more bold sauce.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce (From Cooks Illustrated No. 102)

  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I’d add a tiny bit more next time)
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

Same as above.  Combine and whisk.  Again, preferred w/o pork drippings, but in this one it’s better than the last.

Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce (From Cooks Illustrated No. 102)

  • 1  1/2 cups ketchup (I’d use a tiny bit less next time)
  • 1/4 cup light or mild molasses (I used fancy)
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Same as both above.  Pork drippings in this one are pretty ok.  I prefer a tangy and bold bottled bbq sauce for a “saucy” one like this, but it could be made better with a little less ketchup, a little more molasses and worcestershire sauce, and maybe a bit more hot sauce and some red pepper flakes.  At that point though, I’ve remade the recipe – so here it as as we made it.

Linguine Alfredo w/ Pan Seared Asparagus & Zucchini

Dinner tonight was phenomenal, thanks to a mistake I made when asking Samantha to pick up ingredients.

I’d asked her to get me corn starch – in my mind I went…

‘Hmmm, Alfredo.  That means I need a roux.  Oh wait, no.  Sauce.   I’ll need to thicken it.’  I paused. “Ok Hon, I need Corn Starch, Whipping Cream and fresh Parmesan.”

Oops.  I know that you make Alfredo with a roux, I just botched it.

So, I looked high and low through our temporary home (House 1.5)  to find flour, but wasn’t able to.  A little quick googling on our part later, and I had a plan.  Here’s my method and ingredient list in case you (or I) want to re-create this awesome meal in the future.

Veggie Side – Pan Seared Asparagus & Zucchini

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Med. Zucchini
  • Finely Diced Onion – 2 Tbsp
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Generic “Italian Spice Blend”

Cut or snap woody ends off of Asparagus.  Slice Zucchini into meddalions and then cut the stack of medallions in half.  Heat Olive Oil in pan with pepper and some Italian Spice.  Add Zucchini and fry for a minute until they just start to soften.  Add onion and stir.  Add Asparagus (I cut mine in half) and stir-fry until desired texture is reached, about 5 minutes.

Main – Linguine Alfredo

  • Fresh Noodles (Linguine this time)
  • Whipping Cream  – about 250 mL
  • Corn Starch – 2 tsp.
  • Finely Diced Onion – 2 Tbsp
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese  (About 4 Tbsp.)
  • Olive Oil – 2 tsp.
  • Butter – 2 Tbsp.
  • Pepper
  • Generic “Italian Spice Blend”

Start pot w/ boiling water for noodles.  If using dried noodles start them now before sauce, if using fresh, ignore this step.

Melt Butter w/ Olive Oil in small saucepan.  Add onion and simmer for a minute or two until softened.  Add pepper and Italian Spices

Make slurry of Corn Starch and 2 Tbsp cold water, add Whipping cream to slurry and set aside.

Add noodles to water (if using fresh) and stir while they boil.

When ready to prepare, add Whipping Cream mixture slowly to Oil and whisk.   Heat over medium heat until sauce starts to thicken.  Add Parmesan Cheese and continue to whisk.  If sauce gets too thick you can add some more cream to thin it out.

Plate Noodles beside Veggies with about 5 or so Tbsp. of sauce on top.  Sprinkle fresh Parmesan on top and plate some veggies beside it.

Bon Appetit!

Just a note – my original Alfredo recipe is very similiar – the only difference is that I add about 4 tbsp of flour to the oil & butter when simmering to make a roux.  Stir and cook for a minute to give the flour some taste.  Then slowly add the whipping cream (without additives this time) all the while whisking briskly.  It should come together and make a nice thick sauce.  This normally is my preferred method, but this new one actually made a better sauce.

We all scream for…

How to Make Ice Cream

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Have you ever had a really bad craving for ice cream? Instead of running down to the store for an ice cream fix, check your cupboards. If you have access to things like salt, ice, milk, sugar, and plastic bags, consider yourself in business. This article will cover several different methods for making ice cream at home. This is also a great activity to do with children of any age and makes for an engaging classroom activity when learning about the states of matter – it shows a liquid changing to a solid by freezing, and then while they’re eating it, the solid changes back to a liquid by melting.

Ingredients

Makes one serving:

  • 1/2 cup milk(any type), cream or half & half
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract or chocolate syrup
  • lots of ice
  • rock salt

Steps

Plastic Bag Method
This is good for making individual servings of ice cream to be eaten promptly after making. The video below shows a slightly different recipe but still instructs on how to make ice cream with a sandwich bag.

  1. Mix sugar, milk or half & half, and flavoring in a bowl, then seal it in a quart-sized plastic bag.
  2. Take roughly two quarts of ice (crushed if possible) and place it into the gallon-sized bag with rock salt. Ideally, the gallon bag will be roughly half full with the ice and salt mixture.
  3. Place the sealed quart-sized bag with the ingredients into the gallon-sized bag. Make sure the bags stay sealed! Do not allow the contents to mix at any time. If the bags don’t seal sufficiently, use duct tape to seal the top of both bags to ensure they don’t open during shaking.
  4. Gently agitate, massage, and shake the bags for about ten to fifteen minutes. In this amount of time the contents of the quart (smaller) bag should start to turn into solid ice cream.As you agitate the two bags, it is important that you are mixing the contents of the inner bag, but you don’t want to be so aggressive that you burst the inner bag or cut it on the ice (double-bagging should prevent this).If your hands get uncomfortably cold, use a towel or an old t-shirt to hold the bags as you massage them; they will be quite cold and might become slippery with accumulated condensation. Consider using gloves or massaging while holding onto the top seal if a towel or similar cloth is not available.
  5. Remove the small bag from the large bag. Scoop the ice cream from the small bag and enjoy!

Pot-Freezer Method
This is how ice cream was typically made before modern refrigeration, using ice cut from lakes and ponds. Hand-cranked ice cream machines are a variation of the sorbtierre (a covered pail with a handle attached to the lid) which is a French adaptation of the pot-freezer method.

  1. Put the ice cream ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Put the bowl in a tub filled with ice and salt. Make sure the ice and salt mixture doesn’t spill over the edges or into the bowl.
  3. Mix the ingredients of the bowl vigorously. The salty ice water will absorb heat from the mixture, bringing it below the freezing point of water and turning the mixture into ice cream.[1] It’s important to mix as thoroughly as you can to prevent the formation of ice crystals. If you can, use a whisk or better yet, a hand-held mixer.

Freezer Method[2]
This method works best with a custard-based recipe, because the result will be much smoother. Since it involves a good bit of waiting, however, it may not be the most immediately gratifying for kids.

  1. Pour the ice cream mixture into a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer.
  2. Put it in the freezer for 45 minutes.
  3. Check the mixture. When it starts to freeze at the edges, take it out and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk until all the ice crystals are broken up. If you can, use a whisk or a hand-held mixer.
  4. Check and stir every 30 minutes until the mixture turns into ice cream. This might take 2-3 hours.

Coffee Can Method
This is very similar to the bag method, except instead of using two bags, you use two coffee cans, one bigger than the other.

  1. Put the ice cream mixture in the smaller coffee can. Seal tightly.
  2. Put the smaller coffee can in the big coffee can along with ice and rock salt. Seal the large can tightly.
  3. Shake the large can vigorously for about 10 minutes. Kids can roll or throw it around, but make sure the cans are sealed well and do it outside, just in case. Check the small to see if the mixture has turned into ice cream yet. If you see ice crystals forming, stir or whisk. Continue shaking, rolling, or throwing until ice cream is formed.

Ball Method[3]
This can only be done with a commercial product that mixes ice cream within a specially made ball with two chambers.

  1. Fill the ice end with with ice and 1/2 cup of rock salt (3/4 cup if using the larger size ball) and close by hand.
    • Standard ice cubes may not fit. You might need crushed ice.
    • You’ll probably need at least 10 ice trays’ worth of ice.
  2. Pour the ice cream mixture into the end with a metal cylinder. Leave an inch (2.5cm) at the top for expansion and close by hand.
  3. Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 10-15 minutes. The ball will probably be heavier than you expect.
  4. Open the ice cream end with the plastic wrench that comes with the ball. Scrape the sides of the cylinder with a plastic or wooden spoon (metal will scrape the cylinder). Close the lid by hand.
    • Since the chamber is narrow and deep, stirring the ice cream might be difficult. If necessary, use the wooden handle of a spoon or spatula.
  5. Check the ice end. Open the lid with the plastic wrench. Pour out any water and add more ice and up to 1/3 cup of rock salt. Close the lid by hand.
  6. Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Check the ice cream. Repeat the above steps as needed, or eat the ice cream as is.
    • When you pour the ice cream out, be careful that it doesn’t spill into the raised decorative ledges and tight crevices; these may be very difficult to clean later on, especially if you use chocolate chips.
    • The ice cream tends to be “soupy” in the middle and solid along the edges.

Tips

  • For older students, have them connect the ice cream making process to colligative properties.[4]
  • If you can, use larger salt crystals (e.g. rock salt). Larger salt crystals take more time to dissolve in the water around the ice, which allows for even cooling of the ice cream.
  • If you prefer a lower calorie ice cream that is not as rich, use milk instead of heavy cream and artificial sweetener instead of sugar. You can also experiment with other types of milk.
  • Flavor combinations are almost limitless. Chocolate syrup is a basic option. Don’t be afraid to add your favorite fruits or nuts! Various flavor extracts that are available in your grocery store’s baking section can lead to more exotic variations. Try combining mint extract with chocolate, or adding small chocolate chips.
  • If you use blueberries, crush them first. Whole blueberries will become little rocks rather than mixing nicely with the ice cream.
  • For large groups, mix several quarts of ice cream mix and divide it into bags, rather than having each individual child mix their own (that gets messy).

Things You’ll Need

  • spatula, whisk, or hand-held mixer
  • bag method: one gallon-size zip bag and one quart-size zip bag
  • pot-freezer method: bowl and tub or hand-cranked ice cream maker
  • freezer method: deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer
  • coffee can method: two coffee cans, one fitting loosely into the other
  • ball method: ice cream ball

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream
  2. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/07/making_ice_crea_1.html
  3. http://icecreamrevolution.com/howtouse.html
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colligative_property

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Ice Cream. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Yum-O!

Sam and I are culinary geeks.  We have some credentials to start with, nothing fancy, but we’ve both worked in different types of kitchens making and serving different types of foods.  We love food, and we love making it.

Both of us are good cooks, and both of us cook differently.  I tend to cook from my tastes and memory.  I know what things taste like, feel like, and I can somehow predict how they’ll combine to create an end result.  I bake from a recipe – strictly.  I sift my flour and measure everything.

Sam grew up in a home that always was feeding lots of people.  She’s great at combining pre-made ingredients to make awesome meals.  Where I might look down my nose at a can of cream of mushroom soup as a sauce, she’ll embrace it, and have me going to the pot for seconds.  And thirds, much to the dismay of my waist.

Sam bakes from memory – she knows how her favourite recipes work and she does it with cookbook open beside her, barely looking at it.  She doesn’t bother with precise measurements, cause she somehow knows that it’ll work out.

We’re pretty demanding on our kitchen tools.  We want strong long lasting pots and pans, good knives and we both like gadgets.  The pride of my collection is my knife Scott bought me in Japan.  It’s hand made by a family that’s been making knives for centuries (since 1560 )- it’s spectacularly sharp and keeps it’s edge a long time.  And it has my name on it in Japanese.

We’ve been looking at new pots for a while.  We have an orange kitchen, and we found that Rachael Ray has a pot/pan set out with orange handles, we got a bit excited.  We haven’t found an excuse to buy a set yet, but we’re working on it.  Today I hit up Rachael’s site, and found a couple of nifty things.

1) A set of Rachael Ray knives that I might like to add to my collection.  They have orange handles, and look pretty awesome – though I don’t think they can compare to my Aritsugu.

2) The pot set we want to get is this one – there is an all orange version, but it’s inferior in quality, though it is cheaper.

3) Yum-O!  This is Rachael Ray’s no profit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking.  It looks like a neat organization, and their website has some great tools on it, like a pantry organizing list that you can fill out and print to take shopping with you.

Yeah, I know the whole post sounds like a bit endorsement of Ms. Ray.  But really, there is some great stuff out there with her name on it, and as someone who appreciates the colour orange and her style of cooking, it’s a natural for me to point some of it out.

I’ll put more up about other celebrity cooks and chefs sometime probably.  Or not.  Either way, that knife set looks rockin. ;)