What happens when my mom visits for four days and Paul comes home for the weekend? I live in the kitchen, by choice of course, and cook a lot! Here are the highlights from our week and a brief story behind some of the dishes.
Preheat Oven to 425.
Jam for Filling:
- 1 Cup blueberries
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
Mix together and heat in pan. Break up most of the berries, but leave some whole. Let it reduce down and get thick like a jam and then remove from heat, place in side bowl and let cool.
Sugar/Lemon Zest Topping:
- 1/3 Cup sugar
- 1.5 Teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
Mix together and set aside
- 2.5 Cups flour
- 2.5 Teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon salt
Whisk dry ingredients together, set aside.
- 2 Eggs
- 1 1/8 Cup sugar
Whisk together and then add:
- 4 Tablespoons melted and slightly cooled unsalted butter
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1.5 Teaspoons vanilla
- 1 Cup buttermilk
Mix together until combined.
Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries to the dry ingredients and then pour in the wet ingredients. GENTLY mix by folding together until just combined. It should look a little rough and chunky.
Spray muffin tins generously with cooking spray and use a scoop to fill the tins. Use the 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to fill the tops of each muffin with the Jam mix you made and set aside. Gently press the teaspoon into the tops to drop in the Jam. Once each muffin is filled, use a figure 8 with a chopstick or something similar to gently blend the jam into the top of the muffin. Top each muffin with the sugar zest topping and bake for 18 minutes. Turn the pan at 9-10 minutes to bake evenly. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then remove to cool fully.
Deconstructed Shrimp and Cotija Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Crema Mexicana
I didn’t want to take the extra time to stuff the tortillas and bake them, so I prepared the uncooked tortillas (*see brand here) on the griddle and then simply cut them into quarters and placed them on the plate as a self serve option for the filling.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed
- 4 large fresh poblano chiles, halved lengthwise, cored, seeded
- 1 large jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
- 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 2 cups (packed) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnish
- 1 cup (packed) chopped green onions
- 1 1/4 cups chopped red onion plus thinly sliced red onion rounds for garnish
- 48 uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 large tortillas *see note
- 12 ounces crumbled Cotija cheese, divided
Preheat broiler. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil; brush lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange tomatillos, poblano and jalapeno chiles, cut side down, and garlic cloves on prepared baking sheet. Broil until tomatillos and chiles begin to soften and blacken in several spots, watching closely to prevent burning, about 10 minutes (do not turn). Remove from oven. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
Transfer tomatillos to processor. Peel garlic and add to processor. Peel charred parts of chiles; coarsely chop chiles. Add generous 1/3 cup chopped chiles to processor (reserve remaining chiles for enchilada filling). Add 2 cups cilantro and 1 cup green onions to processor; using on/off turns, blend until coarse puree forms. Season salsa verde to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 1/2 cups salsa verde to shallow bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped red onion and sauté until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp, oregano, cumin, and remaining chopped chiles to skillet; sauté until shrimp are completely cooked through, tossing often, 31/2 to 4 minutes. Remove shrimp mixture from heat.
To serve: Spread 1/4 cup salsa verde from processor on plate, place quartered tortillas around plate and then place shrimp and onion-chile mixture over. Sprinkle cheese over and drizzle with crema and garnish with red onion, avocado slices and additional chopped cilantro.
B-B-Q Chicken Pizza & Broccoli, Onion, Sausage and Potato Pies
Using the basic pizza dough recipe (here), the boys enjoyed cheese pizzas and we downed BBQ Chicken pizzas while watching the Falcons game Friday night. The left over dough, kept in the refrigerator was used Saturday night to make the Sausage pies!
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
This recipe I actually made up all on my own. Even I was shocked that not only did it actually rise, but it tasted good too! Out of boredom waiting for Paul to arrive late Thursday night, I decided to see if I could come up with a version of a cinnamon bread all on my own. It actually worked and Paul enjoyed a few slices when he arrived home about 1 AM and Tucker got some fancy French Toast for his Friday breakfast the next morning that I made using the bread.
- 2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (Red Star)
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1/4 Cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1.25 Cups warm milk
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
- 4 Cups AP Flour (unbleached)
- 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
Proof yeast and sugar in warm water for about 5 minutes until foamy and happy. In mixer with dough hook, add melted butter, warm milk, salt and agave. Mix to combine. Add 1.5 cups flour and combine. Add yeast mixture and combine. Add remaining flour until bowl is cleaned on the sides by dough. Once bowl is cleaned, knead at a speed of 4 for about 4 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled. Punch down and then roll out on floured surface. Cover with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and roll up. I used four mini loaf pans and simply cut my large roll into four equal sections. Fold down the top layer to cover the cut sides and place into greased loaf pans. Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. Try it as French Toast too! Ask Tucker…
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Blue Cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Coarse kosher salt
- 6 assorted large heirloom tomatoes, cored, cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Coarse kosher salt
- 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves
Whisk first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Place tomatoes and shallots in large bowl. Add oil and lemon juice; sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and toss. Divide among 6 plates. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with blue cheese, green onions, and parsley.
Pan Seared Grouper with Avocado, Mango, Orange Salsa
- 3-4 Grouper filets
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
- Kosher Salt and fresh ground Pepper
- 1 Orange
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1.5 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Firm, ripe Avocado (Cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 1 Ripe Mango, Diced
- 1/4 Red Onion peeled and sliced thin
- 1/4 Cup Diced Red Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Diced Yellow Pepper
- 1/2 Jalapeno Diced
- 3 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
Peel and segment the orange (remove seeds and membranes) over a bowl to catch juices. Cut the segments into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. Add lime juice, vinegar and honey to the orange juice in the bowl. Whisk to combine. Add orange segments.
Add cubed Avocado and toss gently. Add onions, peppers, jalapeno and cilantro. Toss gently. Season with Salt and pepper.
Dry the fish coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat pan (I use a cast iron pan) over med-high heat. Add fish and cook fish about 4 minutes per side. Cook to an internal temp of 140.
Top fish with salsa! I fried up wonton wrapper skins I had cut into strips and topped the dish with them.