perfectlyedible.com http://perfectlyedible.com Mon, 14 Feb 2011 04:15:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.15 Beer Braised Pulled Pork & Crunchy Slaw Sliders http://perfectlyedible.com/2011/01/beer-braised-pulled-pork-crunchy-slaw-sliders/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2011/01/beer-braised-pulled-pork-crunchy-slaw-sliders/#comments Tue, 18 Jan 2011 23:10:32 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2364 pulled_pork_slider

Life’s been busy, but I wanted to get this recipe up in time for the Super Bowl, in case someone is looking to step up their party game to something other than cocktail weenies with ketchup.  Though, if that’s your Super Bowl tradition, go for it.

I wouldn’t mind munching on these pulled pork sandwiches instead, however. I came up with this recipe after eating the most delicious pulled pork sliders at The Tipsy Pig. I think I captured (copied?!) the fantastic combination of sweet, tangy and crunchy.

When it comes to pulled pork, I’m not a fan of barbeque sauce and I don’t like it too sweet.  This recipe uses no ketchup (!) – instead, beer, brown sugar, vinegar, and chopped tomatoes form the base of the sauce (which, I suppose, is my version of homemade ketchup). I cooked the pork shoulder in a slow cooker so I didn’t have to tend to it, but you could also cook it on low heat in a dutch oven on top of the stove. Or, for that matter, in a low oven. (If anyone tries these other cooking methods, please let me know how it comes out.)

The crowning touches on this dish are the soft Hawaiian sweet rolls and the tangy, crunchy cole slaw. Yum.  I like using the mini dinner rolls – they look cute and are easy finger/party food. One serving is about two sliders.

Beer Braised Pulled Pork & Crunchy Slaw Sliders

Makes about 24 sliders (12 servings)

Pulled Pork
2 T canola oil
3.5-4 lb boneless (or with minimal bones) pork shoulder
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/3 c cider vinegar
1 c Chimay beer
½ c dark brown sugar, packed
2 c chopped canned tomatoes, with juice
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t dry English mustard
Salt and pepper

24 Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls (like King’s Hawaiian)

Cole Slaw
3 ½-4 c shredded cabbage
1 c shredded carrot
2 green onions, sliced
2T mayonnaise
2 t sugar (to taste)
8-9 t cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

To make the pulled pork: In a dutch oven on the stove top (medium high heat), brown the pork shoulder in the canola oil until browned on all sides. Then place in the slow cooker.

In a bowl, combine onions through salt and pepper and then pour over the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Put on the lid and set to cook (I did 6 hours).

When the meat is falling off the bone/shreddable, remove the pork shoulder from the slow cooker. Cool sauce slightly and then pour into a blender (make sure there are no rogue bones) and blend til smooth.  Pour into a sauce pan on the stove top and simmer until reduced and slightly thick. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

With two forks, shred the pork shoulder meat. In a bowl, combine shredded meat and sauce.

To make cole slaw: Mix all ingredients in a bowl! Done.

To assemble: Toast the rolls slightly. Layer on pulled pork, cole slaw and the top of the roll.

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Multigrain Buttermilk Pancakes http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/09/multigrain-buttermilk-pancakes/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/09/multigrain-buttermilk-pancakes/#comments Wed, 22 Sep 2010 09:00:16 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2346 pancakes1

Obviously I have a bit of a sweet tooth lately, with carb-o-rific posts of cupcakes and ice cream. And I need more recipes to use up the buttermilk that only seems to come in large cartons.

One day I will again post a recipe including some vegetables and meat, I promise. But for now, pancakes.

Pancakes hold a soft spot in my heart, as I grew up with “pancake Sunday” breakfasts, a specialty of my parents, particularly my dad. As a result, I rarely order pancakes at a restaurant, much preferring the homemade kind. Of course, this usually requires work on my part, but making pancakes from scratch is really easy and so much tastier than what you get out of a box (even with a name like Krusteaz — brings back memories of skiing in Tahoe).

In an effort to bulk up the original family pancake recipe – to make it more filling and healthier – I added several different whole grains (whole wheat, oatmeal and cornmeal for crunch) and buttermilk to keep things moist.

As with a lot of what I cook, I like contrasting textures, so I typically add fruit and nuts to my pancakes, most often a classic banana and walnut combination.  To prevent your additions from burning on the griddle (way better than a frying pan, get one if you don’t have one), cover them with an extra dollop of batter before flipping.

Multigrain Buttermilk Pancakes
-Serves about 4-

1 c flour
½ c whole wheat flour
¼ c corn meal
1 c oatmeal
1 scant teaspoon salt
3 T sugar
6 t baking powder
2 eggs
6 T canola oil
1 cup milk
½ cup buttermilk

Preheat griddle to 350 degrees F.  Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs together and then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Let sit for 5 minutes, until batter gets a little bubbly.

When griddle is hot, use a ladle to scoop pancake batter – if you are adding bits of nuts or slices of fruit, make the pancake slightly smaller than you want. When you add additional batter on top of your “additions,” this will cause the pancake to grow. (Fare warning re: accidentally creating humungous pancakes and not having enough to go around.)

Cook pancakes on one side until air bubbles pop on top and you can see that the side that’s down is turning toasty brown. Flip. Cook another few minutes – tap pancakes with your spatula. When done, they should sound sort of hollow.

Serve with maple syrup or quick fruit sauce* (like strawberry sauce).

* For a quick fruit sauce, put chopped fruit (frozen or fresh) into a saucepan. Add water just to barely cover. Turn burner to medium high heat; when warm, add sugar to taste and stir to dissolve. In a separate bowl, mix about a tablespoon of cornstarch with some cold water, to make a watery slurry. When your sauce is simmering, add in some of the cornstarch slurry, a little at a time. Stir in and keep adding periodically until the consistency is to your liking. If you add too much, thin with a little more water or fruit juice. Serve warm. Also a good sauce for ice cream!

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Soy Waffles with Raspberries http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/09/soy-waffles-with-raspberries/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/09/soy-waffles-with-raspberries/#comments Tue, 14 Sep 2010 05:16:00 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2336 Soy Waffles with Raspberries

When Rourke and I decided to start a family, I was blissfully ignorant of the myriad of issues that could crop up during pregnancy. Sure, my organs would get a little squished to make room for a baby. But really, humans have been producing offspring for quite some time now. This is what we were made to do, right? And how many stories have you heard of women giving birth with no idea that they were pregnant leading up to it?

One health problem that can pop up during pregnancy is gestational diabetes, and guess who has it? When I was first diagnosed, I wasn’t thoroughly shocked. Among the risk factors of gestational diabetes is a family history of diabetes, being of Asian descent, and being older than 25 while pregnant. Check, check, and check. I’ve been able to manage the diabetes with diet and exercise and truth be told, for the most part I haven’t had to modify my diet too much. Fewer carbs, more protein, and more vegetables. Relatively easy to do when you cook your meals at home.

The one meal that I was a bit concerned about, though, was Sunday breakfast. I wrote a while back that Rourke generally makes breakfast for me on Sundays. The problem is, most of those breakfasts depend on things like french toast, waffles, or some kind of delicious baked good. All things that would send my blood sugar skyrocketing. Never fear, though, because with the internet at your fingertips anything is possible.

Screen shot 2010-09-13 at 9.42.33 PMOne site that has been indispensable is livestrong.com. The cool thing is that if you input a recipe, it spits out the nutrition facts. After a bit of research and experimentation, Rourke was able to put together a waffle recipe that not only tasted good, but was safe for me to eat. Take a look at the nutrition facts to the right.

If you’re used to making waffles, you’ll see a few major differences in this recipe. Primarily, the use of soy flour instead of all-purpose flour, and the high ratio of eggs to flour. Both things help to increase the protein and cut the carb content in the waffle.

Rourke’s normal waffles are crisp on the outside and light on the inside. I won’t lie to you; these waffles don’t have that wonderful texture. But topped with a cup of raspberries for a touch of sweetness, I’ll make it through this pregnancy just fine.

Soy Waffles with Raspberries
- makes (4) 7 inch round waffles -

6 oz. soy flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
6 tbsp water
1/2 cup club soda

1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

2. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.

3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

4. Pour 1 cup of the batter into an oiled and heated waffle iron and cook until done, approximately 4 minutes.

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Chocolate Cinnamon Buttermilk Cupcakes http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/09/chocolate-cinnamon-buttermilk-cupcakes/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/09/chocolate-cinnamon-buttermilk-cupcakes/#comments Tue, 07 Sep 2010 09:00:41 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2296 cupcake

Or should I call them “chocolate and cassia cupcakes?” What I always thought of as cinnamon apparently is not as it seems. Why is food so tricky? Remember what I found out about currants?

“Ceylon” or “true” cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree, originated in Sri Lanka and is the type of cinnamon commonly used in Mexico, India and Europe.  “Cassia” cinnamon comes from the bark of a related tree and is what we are used to in the U.S., but also is popular in China. The latter is supposed to have a more pungent, less nuanced flavor. One of these days I’ll have to do a head-to-head taste test of canela vs. cassia.

Back to the chocolate. For a party, I made (way too many) cupcakes. So for now, I’ve taken a break from my ice cream eating and have switched it up to chocolate cupcakes. Not a bad deal. I was looking for something decadent but interesting, and these fit the bill. I think the addition of buttermilk is what keeps the cake nice and moist. I also thought that there might be too many flavors going on — chocolate, cinnamon and almond (in the buttercream frosting) — but they all work together well. You don’t taste the coffee — it just serves to enhance the chocolatey-ness. Bittersweet chocolate chips are a fabulous surprise when you bite into one.

This cake recipe would also be good for making a regular-sized cake — it’s one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had.

Chocolate Cinnamon Buttermilk Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream Frosting
- makes about 30 -

Adapted from Epicurious.com

2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups freshly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (such as Ghirardelli), chopped into small pieces

30 cupcake liners

Almond Buttercream Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
5 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour through baking soda.  In a mixer, beat eggs and sugar. Add in coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat until blended. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in dry ingredients. When mixed, stir in chocolate chips. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Pour in about 1/4 cup batter to each liner. Bake about 20 minutes or until the center is just firm to the touch (springs back a bit). Don’t overcook! Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
To make frosting: In a mixer, beat butter until soft. Turn down mixer speed and slowly beat in powdered sugar. Add cream and extracts. Beat until well combined (check for lumps). Refrigerate until use. To soften again, leave out at room temperature or zap in the microwave for a few seconds and stir, until it’s the consistency you want.

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More Granola http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/more-granola/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/more-granola/#comments Mon, 30 Aug 2010 09:00:37 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2288 More Granola

I’ve always loved granola. Chewy granola bars, crunchy granola bars, the granola that’s used in yogurt parfaits — I’m an equal opportunity granola eater. While not exactly low calorie, the majority of the fat found in a nutty granola is unsaturated so you don’t have to feel too guilty about eating it. As with most things, just don’t go crazy.

I made a batch of a tried and true recipe from Emeril Lagasse (BAM!) that I’ve used for years. And then after I made it Jenn reminded me that Margot had posted this master granola recipe a few months back. And you know what? They’re pretty similar! I think it just goes to show that great minds think alike :)

Anyway, this is one of those loose granola recipes — the kind best suited for a yogurt parfait or eaten in a bowl of milk, like cereal. Or sprinkled over ice cream. I like to think of it as the little black dress of granolas — a yummy, all-purpose granola that’s suitable for a variety of things. The recipe says it’ll keep for up to a week at room temperature in an airtight container, but I’ve kept it in the fridge for two weeks without any problems.

Granola
Adapted from Emeril Live
- makes 6 cups -

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup combination of dried cranberries and blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring. Add vanilla and pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined well.

4. On a large baking sheet, spread the granola evenly in a thin layer. Bake, stirring as necessary to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Do not overbake; the granola will crisp more when cooled.

5. Cool the granola on the pan on top of the stove and stir in dried fruits.

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Blueberry Ginger Snap Ice Cream http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/blueberry-ginger-snap-ice-cream/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/blueberry-ginger-snap-ice-cream/#comments Thu, 19 Aug 2010 09:00:25 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2273 ice_cream-scoop

It turns out that California and Texas have something in common other than historically belonging to Mexico. The residents of these two states have good taste… maybe not in fashion or political candidates, but at least when it comes to summertime dessert.

Or maybe they just have more cows than anyone else.

California and Texas produce more ice cream than any other states in the nation. This summer, I have been contributing significantly to California’s economy by purchasing (and yes, eating) a lot of this product. But last weekend, we decided to save our pennies and try to capture the summer flavor of blueberries (which seem to be coming from Canada right now, by the way) with our own frozen concoction.

I love ice cream. It is especially drool-worthy when chock-full of fruit, crunchy cookies or nuts. Swathed in hot fudge. Dripping onto warm pie. Solo in a cone or in a cup. Dipped in Jimmies. Layered and frozen with cake.

Not surprisingly, something this good goes way back in history. However, after doing a little (superficial) research into the origins of ice cream, I was more confused than enlightened. Who came up with this treat of rich, creamy, frozen goodness? Was it the Chinese? Italians? French? British?

Shrouded in darkness. Cloaked in mystery. Maybe it’s that recipes were so carefully guarded over the centuries that the story has become “the myth.”

Anyways, through trial and error, I’ve found it’s important to cook the milk and cream, even if you make an ice cream without eggs – otherwise you get an ice cream that tastes greasy on the tongue. For this recipe, to intensify the blueberry flavor, I cheated a bit and added some wild blueberry preserves – which gives the finished product a good color, too.

Ice_cream-dish

Blueberry Ginger Snap Ice Cream

1 pint heavy cream
1 c. milk
2/3 c. sugar
1t vanilla extract
2 c. blueberries
3T wild blueberry preserves (like Bonne Maman)
12 ginger snaps

Freeze ice cream “freezer bowl” at least overnight, or according to your machine’s directions. The machine I used holds up to 1½ quarts.

Pulse blueberries in a food processor, set aside. Scald milk, cream and sugar (heat over medium heat in a saucepan until just before boiling). Stir to make sure sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat. Add half of the chunky blueberry puree to the hot cream mixture. To the other half, stir in the blueberry preserves.

When cream mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the reserved blueberry mixture and chill further in the refrigerator until cold.  Pour mixture into ice cream maker and make according to your machine’s directions.

While the ice cream churns, break ginger snaps by hand into small pieces or smash in a plastic bag with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Just before turning off the ice cream maker, add in cookie pieces and mix until incorporated.  Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze for at least a few hours, or until firm.

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Baked Salmon with Dill and Butter http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/baked-salmon-with-dill-and-butter/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/baked-salmon-with-dill-and-butter/#comments Mon, 16 Aug 2010 09:00:30 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2267 Baked Salmon with Dill and Butter

I confess that I generally prefer my salmon raw, with a dab of wasabi. Perhaps with a little droplet of soy sauce. This whole pregnancy thing, though, has put a major damper on my sushi habit so for the time being, cooked salmon it is. The origin of this recipe is a little weird — it’s something I remember my mom doing. Normally not so weird, except that she exclusively cooked Cantonese food except for this and italian sausage and pasta, both of which she made pretty sparingly. Weird, right?

Whole Foods had some fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, a best choice according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list, when I cruised by the seafood counter today. I asked the fishmonger for a 5 oz. portion from the tail end of a fillet and into the basket it went. I prefer the tail end because it’s typically a little fattier and the bonus is that it cooks faster because it’s a touch thinner.

Anyway, this recipe is a cinch and perfect for a night when you really don’t feel like cooking. 10 minutes in the oven (for well-done salmon, per conservative American guidelines for pregnant women) and you’re done. You could eat it as/is, dress it up with a mustard-thyme vinaigrette, or use it in a sandwich. The possibilities are endless!

Baked Salmon with Dill and Butter
- serves 1 -

1 – 5 oz. portion of salmon, skin on
2 Tbs unsalted butter
Dried Dill
kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Rinse and pat the salmon dry, and place the salmon skin side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Season the salmon with a pinch or so of salt. Divide the butter into 4 equal pats and dot the salmon with the butter. Sprinkle approximately a teaspoon and a half or so of dill on the salmon.

3. Put the salmon in the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes for well-done. If you prefer yours medium rare, I would start checking it at around 8 minutes.

4. Let the salmon rest for about a minute once you pull it out of the oven and move the meat onto a plate using a spatula. You’ll find that some of the skin may stick to the foil, so leaving it on the fillet and lifting the meat from the skin after it’s cooked makes your life easier because you don’t have to worry about meat sticking to the foil.

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The Other Tortilla http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/the-other-tortilla/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/the-other-tortilla/#comments Tue, 10 Aug 2010 09:00:52 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2254
Tortilla española with sauteed brocollini and tomatoes.

Tortilla española with sauteed brocollini and tomatoes.


With one kind of tortilla, you can make chilaquiles or huevos a la mexicana. But there’s a different sort of eggs and tortilla altogether. The tortilla española is Spain’s version of the French omelet or the Italian fritatta.

Preparing the tortilla.  I used some shallots instead of onion.

Preparing the tortilla. I used some shallots instead of onion.


The traditional tortilla has potatoes and onions, but you can add just about anything you have on hand, like any other omelet. In Spain, wedges of a large tortilla are served as tapas, usually at room temperature. In other words, if you have any extra, it makes great leftovers. I’ve scaled this recipe back to make an easy dinner for two, but you can make a bigger version.

Tortilla Española
– serves 2 –

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (roughly 3/4 lb)
1/2 medium onion
3 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs

Peel the potatoes, then quarter length-wise and slice about 1/8″ thick. Thinly slice the onions.

In a small bowl, stir the potatoes, onions, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt until the potatoes and onions are thoroughly coated with the oil and none of the pieces of potato are sticking together.

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the potato-onion mixture, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Stir the potatoes ever 5 minutes or so. It will take about 20 minutes to cook through.

Crack the eggs into bowl you used for the potatoes and onions. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and whisk lightly. You don’t need to whip any air in or completely combine the whites and yolks.

When the potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl with the eggs and toss to combine. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of olive oil to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. You can also use spray oil if you want to use a little bit less oil, but it’s important to coat the skillet evenly. Add the potato-egg mixture to the skillet and shake the pan for 10-15 seconds to even everything out. Cook for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan every 30 seconds or so.

Now it’s time to flip the tortilla. Run a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen the tortilla from the skillet. Place a large plate upside down over the skillet. Carefully turn the whole thing over, so the tortilla comes out onto the plate. Gently slide the tortilla back into the skillet. You can smooth out any rough edges with the spatula. The top should be lightly browned, at most. Traditionally, it’s not browned at all, but I prefer a little bit of color.

Cook for another minute or two to set the other side. Use the spatula to loosen the tortilla again, then slide it out onto a plate. Serve hot out of the skillet, at room temperature, or cold.

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More Mexican Eats: Chilaquiles http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/more-mexican-eats-chilaquiles/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/more-mexican-eats-chilaquiles/#comments Thu, 05 Aug 2010 09:00:57 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2229 chilaquiles

The Mexican food fairy visited last weekend and left delectable chilaquiles in our refrigerator. This act of kindness occurred even after we had subjected her to days of hard labor, which she effortlessly completed with sweeps of her magic wand (I want one of those).

Chilaquiles are yet another Mexican dish to love and cherish. They taste good any time of day. They are easy to serve to large groups. Also, I hear (from a very reliable source) that they are good for curing hangovers.

From what I understand, chilaquiles is like what meatloaf is to Midwesterners: a staple of the family repertoire, with no two recipes alike. Thank God it tastes nothing like meatloaf.

According to the encyclopedic cookbook, El Gran Libro de la Cocina Mexicana by Susanna Palazuelos, a version of chilaquiles was made in prehispanic times. The word “chilaquiles” derives from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs: “chilli” (chile) and quilitil (edible herb). Guess what’s in the recipe?

The Mexican food fairy makes chilaquiles with green sauce (salsa verde), though red sauce could be substituted. She says you can make the chicken and salsa days ahead of time – or even freeze them (cooked) weeks ahead of time so they are ready when you want to make this dish.

Serve with a side of black beans and a fried egg on top, if you wish.

Chilaquiles
- serves 8 -

For the salsa verde
10 tomatillos, husked
¼ of a white onion
small handful of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
1-2 serrano chiles (taste to see how hot they are to see how many you want)*
Chicken bullion cube (like the soft Knorr cubes that make 2 cups broth)

For the chicken
2 large chicken breasts
1 large clove garlic
¼ of a white onion
small handful of fresh cilantro
Salt
Water

For assembly
About 8 oz. (half to three-quarters of a bag) thick, yellow corn tortilla chips (Mexican “restaurant style,” NOT Tostitos)
½ white onion, sliced and rinsed
1 cup Mexican crema (like Cacique brand); if you can’t get crema, thin some sour cream with a little milk to a slightly creamy liquid consistency
Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

To make the chicken: In a small stock pot, put raw chicken, onion, garlic, cilantro and just cover with cold water. Season with salt. Heat on medium-high until chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from water to cool; reserve cooking liquid. When chicken is cooler, use two forks to shred it.

To make the salsa verde: In a dry sauté pan, roast the tomatillos, chili, onion and garlic until golden.  Cut tomatillos in half and roughly chop the onion, garlic and cilantro. Put all in a blender with the bullion cube and some of the cooking liquid from the chicken. Blend until you get a smooth sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed.

To assemble the chilaquiles: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a 9×12” glass Pyrex, spread a thin layer of salsa verde. Add the tortilla chips. Top with shredded chicken then the rest of the salsa verde, crema, cheese and sliced onion. Bake about 15 minutes, or until all is heated through. Broil to just brown the top, 3-5 minutes.

chilaquiles_process

Serve warm as-is, or top each portion with a fried egg, with a side of black beans.

* You can keep whole serrano chiles wrapped in plastic in the freezer for weeks.

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Oven-Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Garlic http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/oven-roasted-tomatoes-with-thyme-and-garlic/ http://perfectlyedible.com/2010/08/oven-roasted-tomatoes-with-thyme-and-garlic/#comments Mon, 02 Aug 2010 09:00:33 +0000 http://perfectlyedible.com/?p=2217 Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Garlic

I know it’s a bit of a cliche for a food blog to have a post about roasted tomatoes, but I don’t care. I’ve had a batch of tomatoes roasting in the oven for about 6 hours now and the smell is driving me crazy. I have nothing else on the brain but those tomatoes…how many I’m just going to pluck off the sheet and eat, how many I might have on a toasted rustic deli roll from Acme Bread Company, how many I’ll try to save for a creamy pasta sauce, and how many will vanish every time Rourke cruises by the tray as it’s cooling. Argh, WHY must they take so long to cook?!?!

The first summer I tackled roasted tomatoes I was overwhelmed by the number of blog posts about it. I imagine it’s only gotten worse. Everyone has their own favorite method — cut side up or cut side down? 200 degrees F for 8 hours? 175 degrees F for 12 hours? 350 degrees for 4 hours? what herbs and seasonings?

After some trial and error of my own last summer, I’ve settled on my preferences:

  • I like San Marzano tomatoes.
  • For the most part, you need to use a roma-type tomato, i.e. one that is fleshier than it is juicy. Otherwise the juice in the tomato will take forever to evaporate.
  • I’ve tried cherry tomatoes and they don’t work as well for me. Too much skin or something.
  • I roast them cut side up.
  • Seems like if you roast them cut side down, some like to call this tomato confit. I didn’t bother trying this method because if you do it this way, you’re supposed to slip the roasted tomatoes out of their skin after you pull them out of the oven. That is too much work for me. Messy-sounding, too.
  • I use whole peeled garlic cloves, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. Then drizzle olive oil all over it — a few tablespoons worth. If you intend to store any of these tomatoes I would drizzle a little more, since you can use the oil to cover the tomatoes in the jar.
  • I roast them in the oven at 225 degrees F until they look like the below picture. Usually about 7 hours or so. If I start to get impatient, I crank the oven up to 300 degrees F around the 6 hour mark. I would love to try the 175 degrees F for 12 hour thing, but I just don’t have the patience for that. Some folks put it in the oven at night before they go to sleep and deal with it that way, but I’m just a big wimp when it comes to fire safety and won’t leave the oven on like that overnight.

Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Garlic2

  • Always use a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not use aluminum foil.
  • Rimmed baking sheet so that your olive oil doesn’t run all over the place, and
  • Do not use aluminum foil, as it will react unfavorably with the acid in the tomato. I’ve never tried this myself to test this theory; it’s one of those things that I’ll just trust. I would cry many, many tears if after 7 hours of roasting tomatoes they tasted bitter.
  • To store, discard the thyme sprigs and put the roasted tomatoes and any garlic cloves in an airtight, glass container. Add enough olive oil to cover. Allegedly, it will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, but they’ve always found their way into someone’s belly before that. Keep in mind that in a day or two the oil will solidify. It’ll liquefy again if you put the container out at room temperature.

Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Garlic3

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