Monday, January 25, 2010

Spice Up Your Life

Many thanks to Wendy for hosting a fantastic cooking club last week!  The food was amazing!  (Don't forget to send me your recipes, ladies.  I'm dying to try them all.) 

We discussed the many virtues of spices and I was hoping to put together a list of "must haves" for your spice cupboard.  I was so happy when my favorite food blog Our Best Bites beat me to it.  You can find a very comprehensive guide to spices by clicking here.  This is a wonderful site run by two friends who are living on different ends of the country.  The recipes and tips are fantastic.  Check it out!

Next month we'll be meeting at Shauna's house where she'll be demonstrating how to make super smoothies.  See you there!

Do it for the children.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Black Bean and Fresh Cheese Enchiladas

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

1 15 oz. can refried black beans or pinto beans
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
3/4 c. sliced scallions
2 tsp. ground coriander or cumin
8 6-inch flour tortillas
1 c. crumbled cheddar
1 3/4 c. salsa

Garnish with the following:
Chopped Cilantro
Sliced Radishes*
Diced Ripe Avocado
Sliced Romaine Lettuce
Pickled Jalapeno
Sour Cream

Preheat broiler.  In a microwave-safe bowl, combine beans, tomato, scallions, coriander (or cumin) and 1/2 cup salsa.  Microwave until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Spoon 1/4 cup salsa into a 9x13-inch pan.

Spoon about 1/3 cup hot bean mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up and place seam-side down in the prepared pan.  Spread remaining 1 cup salsa evenly over the enchiladas; top with cheese.  Broil 5-6 inches from the heat until heated through and the cheese melts, 5-6 minutes.  Transfer to warm plates; garnish as desired.

*My sister gave me this recipe.  I realize it's not the most authentic enchilada recipe, but I still feel radishes have absolutely no place here.  Use your best judgement.

Fresh and Chunky California Guacamole

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

3 ripe California avocados
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. diced onion
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. minced cilantro

Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds.  Scoop out the pulp and place in a small bowl.  Drizzle pulp with lemon uice and mash.  Combine ingredients, mix well.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Serves 6-8.

Cafe Rio Pulled Pork and Tomatillo Salad Dressing

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

3-4 pound pork
1 cup water

Salt the pork on all sides. Cook in a slow cooker for 6 hours or until meat is falling apart. Drain water and shred meat.
1 can enchilada red sauce
1 small can green chilies
½ cup brown sugar*
1 cup Dr. Pepper

Mix all ingredients with the pork and stir until evenly coated. This can be served as part of a taco salad or as the meat filling for tacos or burritos.

*I thought the meat was a little too sweet and would probably cut this amount down to ¼ cup.

Café Rio Tomatillo Salad Dressing
5 tomatillos -husk peeled off, washed and quartered (they are naturally sticky under the husks)
1 pkg. Buttermilk Ranch dressing mix (must be buttermilk or it doesn’t taste right)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. brown sugar
5 slices bottled jalapeno (nacho sized slices)
1 T. Jalapeno juice
Juice of ½ a lime
1/8 tsp. chili powder

Combine all ingredients in blender. Serve over a taco salad with Pulled Pork.