Friday, July 31, 2009

apple scones

Its been about a week since I've baked anything sweet, and I was going through withdrawls. I havent been shopping this week, so the only fruit I had on hand were some bananas and a green apple. I bake alot with bananas and I wanted something different so I knew I had to do something with the apple.
But what could I bake with jsut one apple??
Cinnamon Apple Scones of course! With one apple I could get 12 delicious, moist scones!
These were great!

Cinnamon Apple Scones:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8c sugar ( i add the extra sugar to cut some of the baking powderish salty-ness)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, chopped in small cubes
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ( I always add more)
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, and diced

  1. Mix dry ingredients, then cut in butter till mixture is crumby.
  2. Add milk and apple and stir until you have a moist dough.
  3. knead gently and separate the dough in two parts. On a greased baking sheet, pat the dough into circles.
  4. Cut each circle into six parts.
  5. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle on extra cinnamon and sugar

What is this monstrous thing?

its a torta de la central.
In other words, its an enormous sandwich my boyfriend bought at the bus station (central) this mornig at 4 am after a night at the bar. He only ate half of it, and said I could have the other half. I asked him what it had on it, and he said he didnt know, but that it was called a niƱa rica. I disected it this morning and found that it contains in no particular order:
  1. mayo
  2. milanesa- a breaded, fried meat fillet
  3. avocado
  4. sachicha- hot dogs
  5. some other kind of thin red meat that tasted a little like pepperoni...
  6. queso oaxaca
  7. onions
  8. tomato
I took a bite of it (minus the hot dogs and mayo...eww) and was surprised that it was delicious. One bite turned into another and another until I had finished the darn thing. :\

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

pork and zucchini soup in a boule bread bowl

Here in Pachuca, we've been having ridiculous surprise there. Yesterday, at noon, it was about 87°f and sunny. Then out of nowhere, by 3 pm, it had cooled down to 50°f and it was pouring rain. My boyfriend has been feeling a little under the weather due to these crazy changes, so in anticipation that today would also be cold, I decided to surprise him with something he had never even heard of before...soup in a bread bowl.

Then it was 85 all day.

But it didnt matter; he appreciated the soup, it was delicious, and the bread turned out great.

Since i didnt have days to make sourdough, i settled on the master boule from Artisan Bread. Considering I had about 4 hours to make it, i was worried it wouldnt rise enough, but it did, and was yummy, although a little flatter than i would've liked. Oh well, it still worked for the bread bowl. The only changes I made were adding some basil and thyme, and since I dont have a pizza stone, I baked it on a plain old cookie tray.

The soup I made was a delicious pork-zucchini (I still have zucchini from my father-in-law coming out of my ears!).


boule again

bread bowl

pork soup in bread bowl

a simple salad of red lettuce and mustard vinaigrette

Pork Zucchini Soup (for 3-4)
Note--these are all estimates. I never really measure. Add more or less to taste:

  • 3/4 - 1 pound pork meat, cut in chunks (the cut I used said pulpa pernil...i dont know what that is in spanish or english... I assume its from the back part of the pig) but basically you just need stew meat.
  • 2 zucchinis (sliced .5 inch thick)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped ( i like chunks)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (optional. i didnt seed the pepper and it was pretty spicy)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1/4 c milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Dredge pork in flour (i season my flour with s&p and basil)
  2. brown in stock pot. remove from pot.
  3. to pot, add 1.5 tbsp oil and sautee onion, garlic, and chile. return pork to pot and add zucchini and bell pepper. Sautee a couple minutes.
  4. Meanwhile heat stock, milk, cream and cornstarch. When warm, add to pot. Simmer about an hour, until meat is tender.
  5. Season to taste.

Monday, July 20, 2009

chocolate cherry banana muffins

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on exactly 14 cherries yesterday, which here in Mexico is a very hard thing to do. Cherries are only sold in 1 out of hundreds of stalls at the market I go to and they cost about 10 dollars a pound. My inlaws went yesterday and bought a pound and gave me ... well, 14. now i figured i could eat them all myself in 5 minutes, or i could bake them in something and share them and make them last longer. I went with the latter.
I decided on a muffin, using a recipe i have previously posted ( here ). All i did was pit and cut up the cherries and add them to the mix, no other changes. They were scrumptious!

pizza margherita

My fiance finshed a coaching class he was taking for the past few months, and his classmates organized a picnic to celebrate. He volunteered for me to make pizza, and forgot to tell me until we were in the car on the way home from a night club at 3:30 am the morning of the picnic.

Now when I make pizza for people other than myself and him, i like to make my dough ahead of time in case anything goes wrong the day of and i have to start over (i have problems with doesnt like me). But on this day, I just had to hope for the best. LUckily my crust turned out and all was well with the world.

Pizza Margherita:

1 can whole tomatoes
oregano, salt, pepper
minced onion and garlic (however much you like)
fresh basil
thinly sliced tomotaes

Sautee onion and garlic in oil. Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, blend tomatoes with their juice until you have chunks (or you could coarsely chop with a knife). Add to onions. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. simmer a couple minutes.
put on top of your favorite pizza crust, and top with mozzarella nad thinly sliced tomatoes. Bake about 20 minutes or until crust is done (at the temp your crust recipe calls for). When you take the pizza out, put on the basil and...

taaa-daaa have pizza margherita!

(this yummy pancetta was for another pizza that i made...pancetta and portobello pizza!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

crema de setas y calabazas

My inlaws went out of town today for about a week and asked my fiance and me to stay at their house to take care of their dog while they are gone. When we stay at their place, obviously we make ourselves at home and eat whatever they have, and luckily two days before they left they went to the farmers market so I have kitchen full of fresh veggies to cook with this week!

While going through the veggies to get inspiration for meals for the week, I came across these setas, or wild mushrooms, and knew i had to make some kind of soup for my fiance with them. He adores them. Now a couple posts ago i talked about how i hate mold and i really dont like mushrooms, because they look like mold. But these setas are so white and clean and pure looking that i dont mind eating them...I actually liked them.

Crema de calabaza y setas (4 servings)

  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 chicken stock
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2-3 chopped zucchinis (I used round zucchinis that my FIL grows in his fields...YUM!)
  • 1.5 c chopped mushrooms (use the mushrooms of your choice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped onion and garlic (I never measure, put in as much as you want)
  1. sautee onion and garlic in a tbsp of oil about five minutes. Add water, stock, zucchini, and mushrooms. Simmer until zucchini is tender.
  2. Add evaporated milk, and puree.
  3. return to stovetop and reheat until the soup thickens. Season to taste.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

other mexican things

here are some other delicious mexican foods that i am lucky enough to get to eat on a regular basis.

First up we have enchiladas. These are NOT your run-of-the-mill TexMex enchiladas, nor are they the cream-topped enchiladas suizas. These come from the state of Hidalgo, where I live. They are basically a corn tortilla stuffed with some kind of egg-chile-tomato mixture and then fried in a thin layer of oil. I have not learned to make these in the 3 years i have been eating them (which is probably a good thing, because if i knew how i would make them every day.)

Next there is queso Oaxaca, a cheese that comes from, well, Oaxaca. Its got a consistency like that of...string cheese; its easy to pull apart and actually tastes similar to string cheese. I cant find any other way to describe it, really.
queso Oaxaca

These beauties are tamales wrapped in acelgas (swiss chard). My fiance's grandma makes them, and has offered to teach me, but i just havent made time. but as with the enchiladas, its probably good that i havent learned, or else i would be eating way to much of them. These are just one of many, many types of tamales. These particular ones are served with a salsa roja thats not spicy.

These are flor de calabaza, or zucchini flower. it has a very bitter taste, and i dont particularly like it, but my mother-in-law uses it a lot for soups or to fill quesadillas or empanadas.

And finally we have guacamole made in a molcajete. A molcajete is a stone mortar and pestle. Guacamole from a molcajete tastes soooo much better than guacamole from a blender or food processor.

sopes de huitlacoche

Today I was in a Mexican food mood. I wanted sopes. A sope is basically this:
Its like a corn tortilla, but thicker and oval shaped and topped with beans, meat, chicken, whatever you want, really. I told my boyfriend my idea and he agreed that sopes sounded good. But he had a special request...he wanted sopes de huitlacoche. BLECH!!!
For those of you who havent had the pleasure (insert sarcastic snarl here) of trying huitlacoche, I will enlighten you as to what it is.
Its basically corn mold. In the US its considered a plague, but here in Mexico its a really expensive delicacy. I tried one eensie weensie bite once that I couldnt even chew, and i will never try it again. Its not that it was bad, tastes pretty much like dirt or mushrooms. Its the fact that its mold. I have a mold phobia. it really disgusts me. I'm ok eating cheese, because it doesnt really look like gross disgusting mold that grows in damp bathrooms, but unfortunately huitlacoche does:
My mother-in-law had given us some a couple weeks ago, so I decided to oblige my boyfriend. I mean, its not like i was the one who had to pay upwards of $15 for the stuff.

So we went to the tortilleria and bought the handmade sope bases. When we got home I heated them on the comal (a cast iron plate...they come built in on stoves in Mexico), and filled them with huitlacoche for him, beans for me, queso oaxaca, and salsa. YUM!!


Friday, July 3, 2009


...not from a box!

Yesterday I decided to try my hand at homemade brownies. Thank goodness i did. these were amazing! My fiance, who had never before had brownies in his life, said they were one of the best things he had ever tasted.

Heres the recipe:

The only thing I didnt add was honey to the icing, because i dont have any at the moment, so i added another tsp of vanilla and a little milk.

Soba Noodles

yesterday was one of those days. You know, the kind where you have absolutely no inspiration, but you have to make something, because you have people depending on you to eat.

So, I got out my recipe folder and while waiting for something to jump out at me, I found a recipe for eggdrop soup i had been wanting to try. I had some soba noodles, so I thought I'd make a meal of it.

Im glad I did. The soup and the noodles were delicious!

eggdrop soup (for 2):
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • .5 tbsp bouillon
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • handful chopped chives
  • 2 eggs
  • salt to taste
  1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil slowly
  2. Add lightly beaten eggs in a slow stream and cook for one minute
Soba noodles:

  1. Cook soba noodles according to package.
  2. meanwhile, blanch some broccoli.
  3. In a skillet, sautee onion, garlic, broccoli, and chicken cutlets (I cut mine in strips).
  4. Add one cup chicken stock, 1 tsp cornstarch, 2 tbsp soy sauce and cook a few minutes until sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Add the noodles to the sauce.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My first fried egg...

...was quite easy to make. it turned out perfectly, according to my fiance (I dont like eggs, so I wouldnt know).

However, the 2nd fried egg that I attempted to make for him, was not so easy. It ended up in the trash because the yolk broke. But its all good, because on a ¨diet¨anyway and this morning he had a fried egg and fried skillet potatoes.

Since many of you know how to fry an egg, i will spare you the details, but the skillet potatoes were really good, so I'll leave the recipe.

Skillet potatoes (this recipe is for one or two):

  • 1 potato, doesnt matter what kind, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • some chopped onion and garlic, however much you like (I never measure)
  • salt, pepper, and paprika (again as much as you like. Start with a little and add more to taste.)
  1. Saute onions and garlic in 1-2 tbsp oil.
  2. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and paprika to the pan and stir. cover and cook 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  3. uncover and turn up heat to medium high. cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.

Watermelon granita

On Sunday my mother in law gave me a beautiful, round, ripe watermelon. I told her that she shouldnt beacuse we probably wouldnt eat it, but she insisted, saying that i could make an agua fresca or cut it up for breakfast in the mornings for my fiance like she does for her family. (seriously this woman is up every morning squeezing fresh orange juice and peeling papaya, mango and watermelon for breakfast.)

Since I knew that wasnt going to be happening in my house, i figured i had to find something to do with this watermelon. So i decided upon a cool, delicious granita, as yesterday was extremely hot.

granitas are very simple to make.

  • 5 c seedless watermelon chunks
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
Puree watermelon in blender.
Stir sugar and lime juice into puree and stir about 2 minutes to make sure sugar dissolves.
pour into shallow baking dish and freeze 30 minutes. take it out and scrape the sides with a fork to get the snowcone like texture and put back in freezer.
repeat every 30 minutes for about 4 hours.

and voila.