Friday, November 22, 2013

New Mexico Cheesesteak Sandwiches



New Mexico Cheesesteak Sandwiches

This post was sponsored by Cacique cheese and Latina Bloggers Connect but, as always, the recipe and opinions contained in the post are entirely my own.

You know how Philadelphia has their Philly Cheesesteaks? I've tried them once when visiting Philadelphia about 6 years ago, and I immediately fell in love! It actually wasn't even from the infamous Pat or Geno's-- some of the locals that I asked told me that they prefer other places. So we ended up at Sonny's Cheesesteaks. Yum!! We enjoyed them so much, we actually had them for lunch and dinner on the same day.  I cannot wait until I can return and have them again!

Because I won't be having Philly Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia any time soon, I decided to make a New Mexican version that's reflective of my home state-- complete with fire roasted green chile and a wonderful and buttery Hispanic cheese! So, yeah, this recipe isn't an authentic Philly, but it's pretty darn good!

There's a debate about which cheese is better on a Philly-- cheese whiz or provolone? Me? I prefer cheese whiz; however, Cacique's Asadero cheese is a wonderful compromise of the two-- it's got the creaminess and buttery flavor of cheese whiz and the lightness of the provolone. This is my favorite Cacique cheese, so please use this cheese if you can find it!

I made this recipe gluten-free using gluten-free baguettes that I found at the specialty store. This recipe is gluten-free, just make sure to use gluten-free bread and check your ingredients (i.e. Worcestershire sauce). All of Cacique cheeses are gluten-free too. Also, if you can't find gluten-free baguettes, use your favorite gluten-free sliced bread and make them into New Mexico Cheesesteak Melts on the stove (just prepare like a grilled cheese after you assemble the sandwiches)!

As I was taking photos for the post, I let Joe eat his so he wouldn't have to wait and I swear I heard him go "Mmmmm" to himself in the dining room-- twice! At that point, I knew I had created a winner and quickly finished up my photos so I could see if the cheesesteaks were as impressive as they sounded. Oh man, the green chile and the Asadero cheese together were PERFECT! This meal is going to become my special occasion man meal-- I've learned that depending on the guy, you don't necessarily need to go all out for a special meal... make them these New Mexico Cheesesteaks and he will be pretty content!

To learn more about Cacique cheese, please check out the Cacique Autentico Cheese Society on Facebook. You can also become a member of the Autentico Society, and the first 20,000 members who sign up will receive a welcome package with $5 in coupons. Then, every month, 125 members will be randomly selected to win a free cheese coupon so you can purchase your favorite Cacique cheese or try a new flavor! Monthly members-only newsletter highlights product attributes, usage ideas and recipes for the Cheese of the Month.















New Mexico Cheesesteak Sandwiches
A Tortillas and Honey original recipe

2 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided
1 large yellow onion, sliced
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. rib eye
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. roasted green chile (peeled and seeded), diced and divided into 2/3 c. and 1/3 c
2 12-inch baguettes
4 slices Cacique Asadero Cheese


Preheat oven to 325. 

Prepare rib eyes by patting dry with paper towels, then thinly slicing or thinly chopping the steak. This is your preference-- some people like the meat sliced while others like the meat chopped. If you like the meat thinly sliced, you can ask your butcher to do it for you when you buy the meat. The pictures that you see, I chopped my steak. You can do this by slicing the meat, then slicing again in the opposite direction-- do this until you get the sized meat that you want.

Next prepare the baguettes. Take four large pieces of foil and place on the table. Cut the 12-inch baguettes in half, making two equal 6-inch halves of each baguette. Next, slice the baguette down the middle of the size of the baguette bout 3/4 of the way through, but make sure not to slice all the way through.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbs vegetable oil and 1 Tbs butter over medium to medium-high heat until melted. Add sliced onion and a pinch of sugar, then stir to coat. Cook the onion until soft and carmelized, about 10 minutes. (You can cook the onions to your liking, if you like them less carmelized, cook them a little less. You can also add other vegetables here if you'd like as well-- mushrooms, bell peppers, etc.) Transfer cooked onions to a plate.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbs vegetable oil and 1 Tbs butter over medium to medium-high heat until melted. Add the sliced/chopped rib eyes and cook 3-4 minutes or the bottom is browned. Turn the meat over to cook the next side, about another 3-4 minutes. Before the meat is fully cooked, add the red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, 2/3 c. of the roasted green chile, and season with salt and pepper. When the meat is fully cooked, check your seasonings and adjust to taste. If there is a lot of liquid on the bottom of the pan, spoon out the grease and liquid but leave just a little bit.

Divide meat onto the baguettes (you might have a little leftover depending on the size of your baguettes), and top with the other 1/3 c. roasted greeen chile, and a slice of Asadero cheese (you might have to cut the cheese in half in order to get it to fit). 

Wrap the aluminum foil tightly around the baguettes and place in preheated oven 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove cheesesteak packets from the oven and place onto a heat-safe pan or dish. Carefully unwrap and enjoy!



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches



Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches

Welcome to the final day of Pumpkin Week! I hope that you have all enjoyed all of the wonderful pumpkin recipes that I've shared with you this week, and I hope that you give some or all of the recipes a try! If you missed any of the days, here is a quick round-up of recipes that we had this week:















Now, for our final recipe of Pumpkin Week-- Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches! This is a very special recipe because it's like three recipes in one! This is another one of my favorite recipes and I look forward to making these ice cream sandwiches each year.

I actually made these ice cream sandwiches for our Thanksgiving celebrations last year! Everyone loved these treats. I decided to assemble the sandwiches at both our family's celebrations which also allowed those that didn't want ice cream sandwiches to just eat the cookies and/or the ice cream separately. Everything tastes wonderful separately, but if you put them all together they are AMAZING!

This recipe originated at Our Best Bites and combines ginger spice cookies and pumpkin spice cookies to make these lovely sandwiches. I haven't changed anything in the recipes with the exception of the cookies. If you plan on making ice cream sandwiches and storing them in the freezer, add one tablespoon each of vegetable oil and light corn syrup to the batter. This prevents them from getting hard in the freezer and makes them a little easier (i.e. more enjoyable) to eat! These are great to store in the fridge for special treats and are great for dinner or parties. If you decide to take these to a party, either store them in the freezer at the party or assemble them there (you can let everyone assemble their own).

Don't be put off by the three different recipes. The cookies are fast to mix together and get into the oven, and the ice cream is fast to mix together to get into the ice cream maker. Make these the day before and you're all set.

I hope you give this recipe a try! I can't say enough how much I adore this recipe!

Thanks for joining me for Pumpkin Week and I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know what your favorite pumpkin recipes are!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and happy holidays!










Pumpkin Ice Cream
From Our Best Bites

2 c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
1 c. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Place brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine.

Add pumpkin and whisk together. 

Add cream, milk and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until everything is well distributed and brown sugar is mostly dissolved. 

For best results, chill mixture in the fridge for several hours and then process in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. 

Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze several hours, or overnight, until firm.


Ginger Spice Cookies
Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites, originally from Paula Deen

3/4 c. butter flavored Crisco
1 c. sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. light corn syrup (if you plan on making ice cream sandwiches)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil (if you plan on making ice cream sandwiches)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

With an electric mixer, combine shortening and sugar and cream until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and the molasses and beat until completely incorporated.

Sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and then add to the mixture. Stir until combined. (If you plan on making ice cream sandwiches, also add the light corn syrup and the vegetable oil to the dough and mix well. This will help the cookies from becoming rock hard in the freezer!)

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set around the edges and you start to see “crackling” on the top.

Don’t overbake! You want to keep them nice and chewy-soft in the middle.

Yield: about 4 dozen


Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches
From Our Best Bites

One batch Pumpkin Ice Cream
One batch Ginger Spiced Cookies
1 jar of caramel ice cream sauce

To assemble cookies, place a small dollop of caramel sauce on one flat side of a cookie. Scoop a small amount of ice cream onto the cookie, and immediately place another cookie (flat side down) on top of the ice cream. Gently squeeze the cookies together, then serve immediately.

You can also make these ice cream sandwiches ahead of time. Place a cookie sheet in the freezer. As you assemble the cookies, place them on the cookie sheet in the freezer. Leave the cookies in the freezer 30-minutes to an hour, then you can wrap them individually with pieces of aluminum foil and store in the freezer until they are ready to serve. Note that the cookies won't be as pretty, but they will still taste AMAZING!

Remember, if you made the ice cream sandwiches, don't forget to add 1 tablespoon each of vegetable oil AND light corn syrup. This helps them from getting too hard in the freezer and helps them be easier to eat.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pumpkin Yogurt and Granola Parfaits


Pumpkin Yogurt and Granola Parfait

It's Day Six of Pumpkin Week! Tomorrow is our last day of all things pumpkin!

Today we're having Pumpkin Yogurt and Granola Parfaits. Remember that beautiful pumpkin granola that I featured yesterday? Well, today we're using some of that granola to make these lovely pumpkin parfaits! These parfaits are absolutely beautiful. I love the orange color with the little specks of chia seeds and all of the colors of the granola on top. The Greek yogurt adds a nice tanginess to the pumpkin and the pumpkin spice rounds out the flavors nicely.

If you do not have pumpkin butter or maple syrup, add honey or any other types of sweetener that you have on hand. And if you don't have chia seeds, feel free to leave them out. And if you find the texture a little too thick for your tastes, add some almond milk or other liquid to thin it out a little bit. Use whatever granola that you have on hand, but I do have to say that the pumpkin granola I made is absolutely perfect in this parfait! Adjust the recipe according to your tastes and whatever ingredients that you have on hand.

This is a great recipe to prepare the night before. If you're like me, I often don't have time to make breakfast in the mornings. So you can make the yogurt the night before and divide it into two containers, then package individual portions of granola separately. Then in the morning, grab the granola and the parfait on the way out the door and you have a healthy and satisfying breakfast!

Give this recipe a try if you're in the mood for a different granola parfait! This parfait does not disappoint and has some beautiful fall flavors!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Check back tomorrow for the last recipe for Pumpkin Week and a round-up of all this week's recipes!!









Pumpkin Yogurt and Granola Parfait
Adapted from The Yummy Life

1 c. Greek yogurt (regular, low-fat, or fat-free)
1/2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbs. pumpkin butter
2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. chia seeds
1/2 to 1 cup pumpkin granola or other granola you have on hand

Combine all the ingredients (except for granola) in small bowl and adjust seasonings to taste (maple syrup and/or pumpkin butter and/or pumpkin pie spice). Split the yogurt between two bowls or glasses and sprinkle granola on top of the yogurt. Serve immediately.


Note: The yogurt mixture can be made and refrigerated the night before, then just assemble the parfaits before serving! This prevents soggy granola and ensures you have that nice crunch when you eat!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Pumpkin Granola


Pumpkin Granola

Welcome to Day 5 of Pumpkin Week! We're winding down Pumpkin Week and I know that I've been throwing a lot of dessert at you, but in the best kind of way! Today and tomorrow we are going to take a little bit of a break from desserts and have a little more of a healthy treat!

This weekend I made a huge batch on Pumpkin Granola so that we can have them as part of our breakfasts or for our snacks. Usually when Joe and I get home, we munch on chips or any other goodies to hold us over before dinner. Funny how I never used to do that before I moved in! Or bought chips. Hmm. Anyway, we've been snacking on this granola all week and it is a healthier alternative to greasy chips or other store-bought processed food.

The granola is a very easy recipe, so don't get turned away by all the ingredients! The recipe is also highly adaptable so you can add in or change the mix-ins in whichever way you'd like. I stayed true to much of Averie's recipe, but switched up the add-ins. I love dried cranberries, so I added in several handful of those. I also added in pepitas to stay with the pumpkin theme. I had extra coconut flakes in the cupboard I wanted to get rid of, so I threw those in as well. And lastly, I used white chocolate instead of semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips. Depending on the day, sometimes I like white chocolate better with pumpkin and other days I like semi-sweet chocolate with pumpkin. This day, I chose white chocolate. :-)

This makes a nice big batch that will last you a week or two. Eat it dry, top it with some milk, top your yogurt with it, whatever your heart desires!

This is a great recipe with so many different flavors and textures. This truly is a wonderful fall treat!

Come back tomorrow and see what I do with the granola!










Pumpkin Granola
Adapted from Averie Cooks


Ingredients:

1/2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed (light or dark both work)
1/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbs. molasses
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
pinch salt, optional
3 1/2 c. old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
1 1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 c. coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened are both ok)
1 c. pepitas
1 c. white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

 In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, canola/vegetable oil, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and whisk until mixture is smooth and combined. Add the oats and stir to coat.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread it uniformly and keep it piled loosely; don’t pack it down. It will take up the entire surface of a standard-sized large baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Remove granola from the oven and stir and fluff it up. Add the cranberries and pepitas and stir to incorporate and disperse them. Keep the mixture piled loosely and and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until edge pieces of granola have browned and crisped, even if center pieces are less well done, which is okay because granola will harden up considerably more while it cools. If you prefer extra crunchy granola, you wish to bake for closer to 30 minutes on this second round but take care not to burn it, which becomes a bit tricky to judge well-done from burnt because the mixture is inherently brown and gets browner during baking.

Allow granola to cool before sprinkling with white chocolate chips and stir to disperse them. Transfer granola to a gallon-sized ziptop food storage bag or into an airtight container. Granola will keep for at least 2 weeks at room temperature in an airtight ziptop bag or container.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan


Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan

Welcome to Day 4 of Pumpkin Week! We're a little more than halfway through Pumpkin Week, and I hope that you are enjoying all of the pumpkin recipes that I've shared with you so far! For today, I've chosen another unique recipe for you to try. If you like pumpkin, tres leches, and flan, then this is the perfect recipe for you to try. This dessert is beautiful and will make anyone you share it with feel special!

This recipe is originally from Muy Bueno, a wonderful website and cookbook! The ladies of Muy Bueno share traditional as well as innovative Hispanic dishes. If you want to learn how to cook Hispanic cuisine, this is a great resource.

I found this recipe a long time ago and have been waiting for the perfect time to make this recipe. All of the flavors in the flan are very subtle, yet complement each other very well. The recipe is fairly easy to make, though it does take a long time to cool and set. So if you make this recipe, make sure that you make it the night before. Also, this recipe is gluten-free-- just make sure that you check your ingredients!

Another tip, the flan will not be fully set when you take it out of the oven but you want to make sure that it's not too jiggly or runny when you take it out because it won't completely set and will end up more like a soft custard or a pudding. So use your judgement. If it seems way too jiggly, leave it in for an extra five minutes and keep checking on it.

Before I added the pumpkin, I tasted the flan and it actually tasted like egg nog! Somehow I want to see if I can get this recipe to work as an egg nog flan in the future; doesn't that sound delicious?!

I hope you're enjoying Pumpkin Week! Check back tomorrow for another Pumpkin recipe!










Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan
from Muy Bueno

1/2 c. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.

Cook sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until melted and medium-brown in color. Drizzle the sugar mixture into the bundt pan and then swizzle the sugar around so as to coat the bottom.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer in a large bowl for 1 minute.

Reduce speed to low, and add eggs and egg yolks, and beat until well blended.

Add all three milks slowly, beating at low speed for 1 minute.

Add pumpkin puree and spices and continue to mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Mixture may be slightly lumpy. Pour mixture over the sugar into the bundt pan.

Place cake pan in a roasting pan and add hot water halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until edges are set (the center will not be set-- but you don't want it to be too runny).

Remove from oven; remove cake pan from water, and place on a wire rack and let cool completely for at least 1 hour.

Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.Run a knife around edges to loosen, and invert onto a serving platter.

Note: The flan will continue to set as it cools and will set completely when it is chilled; however, you don't want the flan to be too runny when you take it out of the oven, so use your judgement. Not completely set, but not too runny either.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie "Frosting"


Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie "Frosting"

It's Day 3 of Pumpkin Week and here is another fun pumpkin recipe for you all to try! I made these cupcakes for Thanksgiving last year and they were so fun to make and share with everyone. These cupcakes are unique in that it's a cinnamon cake batter poured onto a graham cracker crust... and pumpkin pie is used for the frosting! Yes, real pumpkin pie (sans crust) is used for the frosting!!

This recipe is very easy to make, though it does take some time to prepare. There are four different steps to making these cupcakes. First, you have to prepare the pumpkin pie so that it's baked and cooled before you make the cupcakes. Because the cupcakes have a graham cracker crust, you have to prepare and pre-bake the crust before you fill with the cake batter. Then you have to prepare and bake the cupcakes, and lastly, frost the cupcakes with the pumpkin pie! But, trust me, the final product and everyone's reactions (yours included!) is so worth the effort.

Everyone will appreciate all the work that you've put into these cupcakes and love how different and creative these cupcakes are! If you're looking for something unique to make for Thanksgiving this year, but don't want to stray too far away from pumpkin pie, then these cupcakes are perfect!












Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie "Frosting"
From Une-Deux Senses

For the cupcakes:
1 3/4 c. cake flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. or 1 stick unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1/2 c. milk, divided
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

For the graham cracker crust:
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the pumpkin pie frosting:
2 large eggs, beaten
1 can (16 oz.) pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Tbs. molasses
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbs. flour
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk

The "frosting" should be made first as it takes the longest to bake and needs to cool before using. Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a medium bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients until well combined. Pour the filling into a 9-inch round pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 F and continue cooking for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the filling comes out clean. Let cool completely before using. (You can make this the night before making the cupcakes.)

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the butter and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. In another bowl, blend the eggs, egg white, remaining 1/4 cup milk and vanilla. Add to the batter in 3 additions, mixing for 2 minutes on medium speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between additions. Set aside.

To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Add 1 tbsn. of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner and bake for 5 minutes until the graham crackers are golden. Remove from the oven then fill about 1/2 full with the cake batter. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. To frost, scoop the pumpkin pie "frosting" into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.


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