I've been working on writing down my favorite recipes, particularly for New Mexican food. (In the past I was generally sharing experimental food with you, not old favorites). There will be many more of these recipes coming in the future. Here are the results so far:

Corn Tortillas )

Flour Tortillas )

Calabacitas )

Green Chile Spinach Enchiladas )

Green Chile Stew )

Tortilla Soup )

Frijoles Pintos (pinto beans) )

Frijoles Refritos (refried beans) )

Sopa )
Pumpkin Pie )
As the two of us hungrily gathered over the large skillet brimming with succulent golden rice, dark turkey pieces, squid, shrimp, tiny whole fish (I've already forgotten their German name, never knew their English name), Spanish ham (oops, another memory-omission, was it serrano?), red and orange bell peppers, tomatoes, peas, onions and garlic ringed by eight lemon wedges that seemed a pale yellow compared to the rest of the dish, V asked, "do you want to take a picture?" . . . well, no. It was gorgeous; I don't know why I've not been feeling like photographing my food recently. Of course I am talking about paella. :)

For dessert we had yogurt and mashed berry panna cotta, with little shortbread cookies on the side. Let me tell you how I arrived at this dessert:

Saturday night I made broiled salmon with a chipotle-berry glaze, along with a bean/tomato/spring onion/parsley salad with a chipotle-lime-cumin dressing. I let the salad sit at room temperature for about an hour before we ate it, it got so juicy and tasted not too far off from salsa. I even got out some tortilla chips to dip in it, and to help cut the heat from all those chipotles. To make the glaze for the fish, I had first let some frozen mixed berries defrost in a strainer over a bowl. Once they were defrosted I added to the juice already in the bowl by smashing the berries in the strainer with a spatula. As I only used the juice in the glaze (reduced with chipotle, lime and ginger) for the fish, I had leftover berry mush.

So yesterday my desert plans came together quickly. I've been making yogurt panna cotta (not a true panna cotta, but a seriously healthy and easy variation) almost regularly (maybe even once a month!) The first time was vanilla-cardamom panna cotta with orange syrup and marinated orange slices. The second time was Stracciatella. Yesterday's was the best yet, though, mixed berry mush, hints of cinnamon and cardamom, with a whole, fresh, beautifully ripe cherry (halved to get rid of the pit of course) sitting at the top once they're unmolded. When I tasted the mixture before pouring it into custard cups, I instantly thought that it would taste good next to shortbread. A strange thing to think so quickly, especially as I was not really looking to make a second dessert. :) But shortbread isn't difficult and I had plenty of time, so why not?


Yogurt and Mashed Berry Panna Cotta with Lemon Shortbread

Yogurt Panna Cotta

this makes two large or four small (to make small ones, just fill custard cups halfway) Panna Cottas . . . oh, and if you don't have custard cups you can use small coffee cups or teacups :)

1 cup plain full-fat yogurt
1-2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
healthy pinch ground cardamom
healthy pinch ground cinnamon
a tiny pinch of salt
mixed berry mush (about 1/2 cup)
4 tsp. water
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 black cherries, pits removed

Whisk together yogurt, sugar, vanilla, spices and berry mush in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and adjust the sugar content--I like mine just barely sweet (berries are sweet enough!)

Put the water in a very small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top. Let stand for one minute to soften. Then heat over low, stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved.

Whisk the hot gelatin into the yogurt until combined.

In the bottom of each of four custard cups, place one halved cherry. Pour the yogurt into the cups. Cover the cups with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1.5 hours (until set).

To unmold the panna cottas, run a thin knife around between the panna cotta and the cup, then dip the cup into a bowl of hot water for 30 seconds. Invert the panna cottas onto plates. They might take a moment or two to come out, or a little whacking on the bottom of the cup. :)

Serve with a single shortbread:

Lemon Shortbread

This recipe makes about 8-12 cookies.

1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
2/3 cups flour, plus more for rolling
grated zest of one lemon

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth (an electric mixer is best for this). Beat in flour (with electric mixer on low speed), mixing just until a dough forms. Stir in lemon zest.

Place the dough on a floured piece of parchment. With floured hands, gently roll into a 1.5 inch diameter log. Wrap tightly in the paper, twisting the ends to make a nice tight round cylinder. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Unwrap the dough and slice it into 8-12 slices with a serrated knife. If it starts crumbling, let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before resuming the slicing. Arrange the cookies with at least an inch of space between them on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
GranitaI'm so excited about the method of peeling ginger I just learned! Use a spoon to scrape the skin off--it comes off quite easily this way and you waste much less than you would if you peeled with a knife.

Coconut Buttermilk Ginger Granita

adapted from Didi Emmons' Vegetarian Planet

1 can (400 g) coconut milk
8 thick slices fresh, peeled ginger
2/3 cup sugar
1 liter buttermilk
2 ripe mangoes, or other fruit
lime to garnish (optional)
mint to garnish (optional)

Heat the coconut milk with the ginger in a large saucepan until very hot but not boiling. Take the pan off the heat, cover, and let steep for at least 15 minutes. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Take the mixture off the heat and add the buttermilk. Pour through a strainer into a wide casserole dish or other container. Freeze the granita for about 2 hours, or until it is nearly frozen, then fluff it with a fork. Return it to the freezer for another hour.

Cut the mangoes or other fruit into whatever size pieces you like. Arrange the fruit, granita and garnishes in shallow bowls or wine glasses, and serve. (8 servings)
saansaturday: (Default)
( Monday, 31 January 2005 12:50)
Purpleberry Pie with Cardamom Whipped Cream:

Filling:
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup raspberries
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

recipe continued )


I made a Sienese dish called Uova Trippate, "tripe eggs," which are called so because they look like tripe. The eggs are made into omelets, which are then cut into strips that resemble wide noodles. The omelet noodles are then tossed in a simple tomato sauce.

recipe and photo )
saansaturday: (pumpkins)
( Thursday, 28 October 2004 13:52)
cobweb cupcakeI have never been a fan of cupcakes, as they are usually too sweet for me. But these Halloween cupcakes are so delicious that I can't stop eating them. I used to make them every year. It looks like this year I won't have time. :( I've altered the recipe to work with ingredients available in Germany but I didn't write it down, so this is the original version (ok, with slight modifications, I just can't help changing things to my taste)of the recipe. It comes from, of all places, the October 5, 1999 issue of Family Circle. I bought the magazine just for this recipe and it certainly was worth it. Everybody loves the chocolate spiderwebs on top...the frosting is especially yummy. Since I haven't made them this year, I don't have a picture of mine, but I did take a photo of the picture in the magazine...and I have to say that mine actually look better.... :)

the recipe )
saansaturday: (fornication)
( Monday, 2 August 2004 11:31)
Well now that my tastebuds work again, I'm on a bit of a roll...

Coconut Tarragon Curry Risotto (or rice, if you're V)...this was Friday night...my tastebuds told me this would work. :) First I sliced some (small) portobello mushrooms, heated a skillet, added oil, added the mushrooms. I let the mushies cook for a bit before adding salt and covering partially. I uncovered them when they were partially cooked and added spicy paprika and cayenne pepper. About 20 seconds later the smell burned my nose...yes! I continued to cook them until their water had evaporated. I removed them from the pan and set them aside. So I had a big pot of simmering salted water on the back burner of the stove, put my favorite pan on the front on medium heat. While it heated I made sure I had everything ready (mise en place)...I added olive oil, let it heat until I could smell it, then added minced onion and garlic, cooked and stirred occasionally for a few minutes, then added the (brown?!) risotto rice, about three tablespoons of extra hot curry powder, and about a teaspoon of dried tarragon. I stirred constantly for a few minutes, then added white wine and stirred constantly until it was almost all absorbed by the rice. Then I started adding the water, a ladlefull at a time, a per the risotto method, until the rice was al dente (this took forever...I did not realize that brown risotto rice would take so much longer, I really should have checked on its cooking time before using it!) I added the mushrooms about 10 minutes before the risotto was done. At the end I added a can of coconut milk, a bunch of peas, and a couple of chopped tomatoes and stirred until everything was hot and a bit of the coconut milk was absorbed into the rice. YUM! V did not like this when I called it risotto, since he thought the Asian flavors made it impossible to be an Italian dish. So I call it risotto because of the cooking technique, and he can call it rice so he can eat it and enjoy it. ;)

Bärlauch Noodle Pudding SO divine. I made this last night. Again, my own recipe, created by looking in the fridge and being inspired. In a large bowl I thoroughly combined a container of ricotta and a container of soft goat cheese. (then I tasted it, mmm...) I stirred in three eggs until the mixture was smooth, then a heaping teaspoon of tomato paste then some milk (about 1 1/4 cups), some freshly grated nutmeg, some ground cardamom, about 1/2 tsp salt, and 5 cloves of garlic (minced). (then I tasted it, mmm...) I added mostly cooked bärlauch/egg noodles (amount: about two large handfuls when dried). (then I tasted it, mmm...) I added fresh ground black pepper. (and I tasted it, mmm...) I poured the custard into a well-buttered casserole dish and baked it at 180 C (350 F) for 50 minutes, then took it out of the oven and covered the top with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. I put it back into the oven for ten minutes, then removed and let it rest only a short while before serving (slice with a serrated knife!) V and I both found this to be an elegant and decadent dish.

Forestberry-Apple Cobbler I put about 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and some cinnamon in a pan and stirred, then added a box of frozen forestberries and a bit of water. I washed a container of fresh blueberries, then added them to the mix. Then I peeled and chopped two pink kiss apples and added them as well. I heated this concoction on medium until it was thick and bubbly. Meanwhile I made a batter by combining flour (about 1 cup), sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a bowl and cutting in about 1/4 cup of butter, mixing one egg and a bit of milk in another bowl, adding the wet to the dry and stirring until barely combined. When the fruit was ready, I poured it into a buttered cast iron skilled, then dropped the batter by spoonfulls on top. I baked it in the 200 C (400 F) oven for about 20 minutes. We ate this with gusto!
.

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