Monday, September 24, 2012

Love with Food: September

Love with Food: September

Last month, I learned about this wonderful program called Love with Food. Love with Food is a program where its members receive a box every month with about 8 deluxe samples of gourmet goodies. It's only $10/month and for each box that Love with Food sells, it donates a meal to a food bank. So not only do you get a box of wonderful treats, your money goes to help fight hunger here in America.

This is now the second month that I've been participating in this program. The theme this month is Back in Skinny Jeans. I received several healthy snacks that were absolutely delicious.

Here is what I received this month from Love with Food:
  • Sensible Foods Crunch Dried Snacks: Tropical Blend Crunch Dried Fruit and Roasted Edamame Crunch Dried Snack. These were both low fat and gluten-free. They were great snacks and the fruit were especially delicious.
  • San Franola Granola. I took these to work for a mid-morning snack. The granola was so yummy, I loved the molasses flavor it had to it.
  • Barney Butter: Almond Butter. I haven't tried this yet,but it looks yummy.
  • Bonne Maman: Muscat Jelly.I haven't tried this one either. This will probably be paired with the almond butter on a tortilla in the near future!
  • GourmeMist Baslamic Vinegar. I received three packets in three different flavors: original, pomegranate, and strawberry. I mixed this in with some olive oil and topped strawberry spinach salads I made with this. Made for some great lunches last week!
  • Teecino. These were my favorite part of the box! I received three individual packets and another for a pot for more than one serving. These are herbal teas that taste like coffee and have no caffeine. Caffeine and I don't get along very well, so I miss having coffee. They come out really dark, but are more mild in flavor. I loved these!
If you'd like to participate in this fun and cause-worthy program, please head over to Love with Food for more information.

Note: I did not receive any money from this article. I'm a paying member who loves the idea of this program that in turn helps communities!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Calabacitas and Steak Hash Pile-Up

Calabacitas and Steak Hash Pile-Up

You all know that I don't like leftovers. Most of the times leftovers just seem like a sub-par version of the original (of course with exceptions, like spaghetti and soups, etc.). Now, I will also say that I've gotten a lot better. One of the perks of having someone to share meals with is that I don't have a barrage of leftovers for a week. Leftovers now mean only one meal of leftovers, which I love! Also, now being so constrained for time, leftovers are somewhat a lifesaver. Heat up dinner, eat, and on with studying!

 Leftovers remixed into a new meal are also great ways to use up leftovers. We had leftover calabacitas and steak hash for dinner the other night and I was thinking of what I could with with them. Something that's fast that could jazz them up a little bit. A pile-up! All I'd need to do is fry up a couple eggs, throw on some cheese, chile, and hot sauce then we're in business!

I made these twice in the past two weeks with the leftovers from the calabacitas and steak hash. The first time I forgot the corn in the calabacitas (hence the pictures without corn), so I remade them again with the corn the next week. And oooh.... these were good! The addition of eggs and cheese made them even more comforting and rich (a welcome for fall season knocking at our door). I'm a huge fan on pile-ups and their versatility. I'm sure there will be many more recipes with hash and pile-ups!

Calabacitas and Steak Hash Pile-Up
A Tortillas and Honey original recipe

1/2 recipe of Calabacitas and Steak Hash
4 eggs, prepared over easy (or any way you like)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. fire roasted New Mexico green chile (or use red chile if you have it... or use both!), optional
hot sauce, for drizzling (I like Cholula), optional
2 tortillas to serve on the side, toasted (I heat them up on top of a gas stove until there are brown marks, careful not to burn!)

To assemble:

On two plates, equally distribute the ingredients. First add the calabacitas and steak hash, then top with the fried eggs. Sprinkle the cheese on top, then smother with green/red chile. If the cheese doesn't melt, pop the plate into the microwave for 20-30 seconds until the cheese melts. Drizzle with hot sauce, if you'd like, and sop up any goodie with a tortilla.


Makes 2 large servings

Friday, September 14, 2012

Calabacitas and Steak Hash

Calabacitas and Steak Hash

I usually go to the grocery store with a list in hand and recipes laid out. This other week, I had my grocery list for everything I needed to prepare for a party, but I didn't have the foresight to plan for meals for the week ahead. So I stood in the produce section of Smith's staring at the the vegetables wondering what I could make. (And trying to remember recipes I've pinned onto Pinterest.) I happened to be in front of the squash and potatoes when they announced on the intercom that they had a new shipment of hot and mild green chiles. Then I had a great thought about making a hash with calabacitas. (While calabacitas refers to squash in Spanish, in New Mexico we refer to calabacitas as a traditional dish with sauteed corn, squash, zucchini, and green chile.) I had a package of frozen green chile my gandma had given me, so I picked up potatoes, zucchini, and squash. Then as I passed through the meat section, I picked up some sirloin thinking that would make a great addition as well.

When I get to making the meal, I'm so excited thinking of all the great flavors this hash would make. I prepared some of my Grandma's Famous Fried Potatoes, then started preparing the calabacitas. I was praying the calabacitas would come out because I'd never actually made it before and just prepared it the way I thought it should be prepared. Shouldn't be that hard, right?

Well, we sat down at the dinner table and started talking. Joe mentioned something about corn and I stared at the hash and told Joe, "I totally forgot to put corn in the calabacitas, didn't I? Really, how did I forget that?"

So guess what? I made it again for dinner this week. With the corn, thank you very much! So you'll see pictures of the hash with and without corn. Yes, I forgot the corn. Yes, I know corn is one of the main ingredients for calabacitas. I got a lot on my mind these days! But it tasted good with and without the corn. :-)

In the next few days, I'm also going to be posting a recipe for a remixed version of the New Mexico Pile-Up... a Calabacitas Hash Pile-Up that I made with the leftovers. (That post will have pictures without corn because I didn't want to take pictures again when I made this the second time for dinner, haha.)

Our wine with dinner! A New Mexico white wine.

Calabacitas and Steak Hash
a Tortillas and Honey original recipe

canola oil
3 large Idaho potatoes, cut into quarters and sliced to 1/4 inch slices
1-2 Tbs. butter (or Smart Balance)
1/2 large onion, diced
pinch of sugar
1 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. powdered garlic
2/3 - 3/4 c. chopped, roasted New Mexico green chile
1 c. frozen or fresh corn kernels
8-10 oz. steak (NY strip, rib eye, or other sirloin), sliced into bite sized pieces

For the potatoes:
Rinse potatoes twice with cold water. Heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet. Add potatoes, then cover the skillet with its lid. Every now and then, check potatoes and flip over with a spatula, adding more oil if necessary. Cook 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and starting to brown (the best part!). Add a couple tablespoons of butter or Smart Balance and recover with a lid until the butter/Smart Balance melts. Season well with salt.

For the calabacitas:
Heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, then add a couple pinches of sugar and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Add zucchini and squash, then continue cooking until the vegetables are soft and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). Add the minced garlic and garlic powder. Then add the corn and green chile and continue cooking for about another 5 minutes until the corn and green chile are warm. Season with salt and pepper.

For the steak:
Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then season all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a medium/large skillet with a couple tablespoons of canola oil over medium high heat, then add steak. (I use the same pan as the calabacitas after they finish cooking.) Cook steak for a couple minutes on each side until cooked through or cooked to your liking.

For assembly:
Combine fried potatoes, calabacitas, and steak (I also include any juices accumulated from the steak as well) into a large serving bowl and mix thoroughly. Serve on large plates or bowls and add more seasoning, if necessary.

Makes about 4 servings! (Make it for two and save the leftovers for a calabacitas pile-up, recipe coming soon!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Biscochito Tiramisu (and feature in Albuquerque the Magazine)

Biscochito Tiramisu

This is a very special post that I'm sharing with you today! I was extremely fortunate to have been contacted by the editor-in-chief of Albuquerque the Magazine last month to be featured for the "My Favorite Recipe" section in their September 2012 issue! He originally loved the idea of the New Mexico Pile-Up that I posted a couple months ago, but I was afraid readers wouldn't think of it as being very creative, so he asked if I had another recipe that I thought would fit. I suggested my biscochito tiramisu recipe and he loved the idea! The magazine came out the first week in September and I've been so excited and honored to be a part of the magazine this month. Everyone that I've had contact with who are part of the magazine have been so nice and helpful, it's been a great experience.

Also, there was a typo in the tiramisu recipe-- it should be 1 Tablespoon of sugar, NOT 1 cup in the mascarpone filling! So, please, if you see the magazine, only use 1 Tbs of sugar! This is corrected in the photos I've uploaded (thank you, Photoshop) and in the recipe reflected below. There should also be a correction in the October issue of Albuquerque the Magazine. :-)

Several years ago, I basically combined both my grandma's biscochito  recipe (which is a traditional New Mexican cookie and actually the official state cookie of New Mexico!) and my mom's tiramisu recipe for this beautiful and scrumptious delight. I've made it several times throughout the years and have even made it for my family's "Iron Chef" challenge that we used to do every Christmas. I typically make it around the holidays when I do my Christmas baking, but I've also made it for special occasions including a Super Bowl party.

This is one of the desserts that I'm most proud of, and I love sharing it with others. New Mexicans, who have a big fondness for biscochitos, are always very excited when I share this dish with them. It's a nice twist on a decadent dessert, New Mexican style!

This is a very rich dessert. For one 9x9 baking dish or medium sized serving dish, this has two containers of mascarpone cheese and between 2 to 3 dozen cookies! Once prepared, this dish has a little bit of heft to it! You can also double the recipe to fit in a larger serving dish or a 10x13 baking dish. I've also made them into individual servings in little mini trifle glasses or other individual serving dishes. You can see by the photos that I'm sharing with you, there's photos of the 9x9 dish and individual trifle glasses in the magazine. There are also photos of other individual servings and a 10x13 baking dish that I've prepared. You can definitely adapt this to how you want to serve this to your family or friends, it's very forgiving. 

I hope that you enjoy this recipe!

Cover of the 2012 September issue of Albuquerque the Magazine

Featured story (click to enlarge!)

Biscochito and Biscochito Tiramisu recipes (click to enlarge!)

Me with my magazine!!

Whipped egg whites for the mascarpone filling

Ingredients for the mascarpone filling, excluding egg whites

Mascarpone filling for the tiramisu complete!

Ready to assemble the tiramisu

Layer two of the tiramisu

Kahlua and coffee soaked bisochitos

The finished product! (This is a double recipe in a 10x13 dish)

This served nearly 30 people, a very rich dessert!

Close-up of the layers

Individual servings prepared in individual dishes

Individual serving for myself!

Biscochito Tiramisu
A Tortillas and Honey original recipe
For mascarpone filling:
3 eggs, separated
2 c. mascarpone cheese, room temperature (2 8-oz. containers)
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 Tbs. sugar (NOTE! This amount is incorrect in the magazine!)

For the coffee mixture:
3/4 c. strong coffee, chilled
1/2 c. Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur

Biscochitos (2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on size)
Cinnamon or cinnamon sugar to garnish

For the mascarpone filling:
1. Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl (preferably glass or stainless steel) and, with an electric
mixer, beat until glossy and stiff peaks form.
2. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together mascarpone, vanilla, sugar, and egg yolks until
3. Gently fold egg whites into the mascarpone mixture until well-combined. It should look smooth
and velvety. (This may take a little bit of patience, so don't give up.)
4. Place a couple spoonfuls of the filling on the bottom of a large serving bowl.

For the coffee mixture:
1. In another smaller bowl, combine the coffee and the liqueur.

To assemble:
1. Place 1/3 of the mascarpone filling on the bottom of a large serving bowl.
2. Quickly dip half of the biscochitos individually in the coffee mixture and layer on top of the
mascarpone filling. I like my cookie layer a little more juicy, so I dip the cookies a little longer
but you don’t want them in there so long that they start to disintegrate. (Sometimes I also like to
spoon a little of the coffee mixture over the cookie layer too.) Also, it’s okay if the cookies aren’t
in a single layer.
3. Spread another 1/3 of the mascarpone filling on top of the biscochito layer.
4. Using the remaining biscochitos, repeat the process of dipping them in the coffee mixture and
layer them over the mascarpone filling.
5. Spread the last 1/3 of the remaining mascarpone filling over the bisochitos.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon or cinnamon sugar on top for garnish.
7. Chill the biscochito tiramisu in the fridge until ready to serve and store any leftovers in the fridge.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shrimp Boil Kabobs (Kabob Week Day 5)

Shrimp Boil Kabobs

Happy Friday and welcome to the grand finale of Kabob Week. I hope you've enjoyed it! I am starting off and ending the week with my two favorites. We also took a bit of a culinary tour around the world! We had Filipino, Italian, Asian, Greek, and now American Southern! If you missed part of Kabob Week, here's what we ate this week:

- Filipino BBQ Pork Kabobs
- Michael Symon's Grilled Italian Pork Kabobs
- Asian Tofu Kabobs
- Chicken Souvlaki Salad

We're ending Kabob Week with Shrimp Boil Kabobs-- it's all the flavors of a shrimp boil in a kabob! We've got corn, kielbasa (I prefer it over andouille), shrimp, and potatoes basted in a mixture of butter, Old Bay, and hot sauce. That's it! So easy and so flavorful, my pictures don't do it justice.

Also, I'm not a leftover person. We had the leftovers and I was in love all over again. :-) And I have plans on remixing this-- I'm thinking maybe trying a shrimp boil stuffed baked potato?

Also, I doubled the original recipe (which is reflected below); the original recipe said it was for two servings, which I don't think it correct. I've also tripled the recipe and cut the skewers in half for a party, which gave me a total of 36 skewers. So you can definitely play with the portions of the recipe.

You need to taste the recipe, that's all I have to say. Over and over again.

Shrimp Boil Kabobs
slighted adapted from Cook au Vin, originally from Everyday Food, June 2011

1 lb small new potatoes (the grocery store didn't have these, so I used Red potatoes, either cut in half or in quarters, depending on size)
4 small ears corn, cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds
1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1 inch rounds (I used Kielbasa)
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 stick butter, melted (I've also used Smart Balance for those that had dairy allergies and worked out fine)
8 teaspoons Tabasco
4 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

Boil the potatoes in salted water over medium-high heat for about 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.   Drain and rinse under cold water.

For the corn, I placed them in the microwave (with their husks on) with a damp paper towel. Then microwaved them on high for 4 minutes per side. Then let them cool for a minute, removed the husks, and cut into small rounds. This also helps to skewer the corn a little bit more easily too.

Thread potatoes, corn, andouille and shrimp onto skewers.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, Tabasco and Old Bay.

Heat grill to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil the grill.  Grill kebabs turning and brushing with butter mixture occasionally until the shrimp are cooked through and corn in starting to char, about 8 minutes.  (The butter mixture does cause flare ups with the grill, so make sure you work from the back of the grill towards you as you're basting the skewers. That way you don't burn your hand! I also made sure I used all the mixture for basting-- it gave so much flavor!)

Serve with lemon wedges.


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