Homemade Corn Tortillas

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Homemade Corn Tortillas

You’ll never buy store bought again. Homemade corn tortillas are not hard to make or at least they don’t have to be.

Ingredients:

2 cups instant Masa Harina

3/4 teaspoon salt

about 9 oz. hot water

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Purchase a tortilla press either at a Latin Food store or online.

Using a gallon size zip-loc bag, cut the zipper portion off and cut down the sides. The end product is one large piece of heavy plastic. The plastic is used in the press to keep the dough from sticking to the press and also ease of removal of the tortilla.

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In a large bowl whisk together the Masa,and salt until well combined. Pour the hot water into the masa and stir to combine. The dough should not be too dry or too sticky. If too dry add more water, if too sticky add a small amount of masa. Roll the dough into a ball and place back in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

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Allow the dough to rest and finish absorbing the water within the dough for about 15-20 minutes.

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Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and roll into balls. Place on a tray , lightly covered with plastic wrap.

Heat a flat griddle on high heat.

Using the tortilla press lay the plastic over bottom of press with the other half available to lay over the dough ball. Place a dough ball onto the press. Cover the dough ball with the other half of plastic; press gently. Corn tortillas will be slightly thicker than flour tortillas.

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Carefully pull the plastic from the top of one side of the tortilla. Flip over onto your hand and again finish removing the rest of the plastic.
470Slap the tortilla onto the heated flat griddle and allow to cook there undisturbed for about 45 seconds or until edges begin to curl and tortilla is loosened from griddle. Flip the tortilla and continue to cook on other side until it begins to brown slightly. Flip back on to griddle and cook about 15 seconds more. Wrap the cooked tortillas in a damp kitchen towel. Best if served warm/warmed and the day they are made.

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Short Rib Red Sauce

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This is a sauce I like to make LOTS of. I like to freeze it  for later. This is a recipe which I like to add sauteed cremini mushrooms to and or any lovely greens in season. I simply add to the fresh or thawed base sauce; you can create whatever you wish. This recipe is also easily divided if you don’t wish to make as big a batch but why not?

Short Rib Red Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

6 oz. diced pancetta

2 1/2 lbs. short ribs or flanken style short ribs.

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Flanken style short ribs pictured on the left. I prefer the flanken style because it has less fat and more meat.

3/4 cup flour

3 onions , small dice

3 carrots, peeled and 1/4 inch dice

1 bunch parsley chopped

6 cloves garlic , minced

1 head roasted garlic, pulp squeezed out

1 pint grape tomatoes

2 1/2 quarts tomato puree

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3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 bay leaves

7 1/2 cup beef broth

2 1/4 cups red wine

red pepper flakes; to taste

Additions

sauteed mushrooms

sauteed seasonal leafy greens

sauteed squash

Heat the olive oil in a 13 quart heavy pot. Cook the pancetta until crispy . Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the short ribs ; do not over crowd pot and brown the short ribs on all sides.

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Do not rush the browning process. It’s the browning and the luscious tiny bits left on the bottom of the pan known as the fond that add to the depth of flavor in the sauce.

Once all the short ribs are nice and brown, add the short ribs and crispy pancetta along with the remaining ingredients to the pot. Give the pot a stir ; make sure to scape the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot as you stir to combine.

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Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another hour. Using a slotted spoon remove the short ribs and the bay leaves. Allow the short ribs to cool enough to just handle and remove the bones. Place the short rib meat back into the simmering pot and continue to cook until short rib meat is tender enough that it shreds. Using the back of a spoon smash any grape tomatoes on the inside edge of the pan that have not fallen apart.   Shred the meat and place back into sauce simmer the sauce until thickened slightly. Serve this sauce over mashed potatoes or toothy pasta such as rigatoni, penne or tagliatelle.

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South West Black Bean and Chicken Salad

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This salad can easily be converted to a fantastic vegetarian salad simply by omitting the chicken and cooking the quinoa in vegetable stock.

South West Black Bean and Chicken Salad

6 cups cooked shredded chicken

Two 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 green bell paper, roasted , peeled, seeded and julienned

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and julienned

1 jalapeno seeded, minced

2 cups, chopped Roma tomatoes

1 cup sliced green onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn

1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth as directed on package

Lettuce greens

Dressing:

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper; to taste

In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the salad and toss. Line the serving bowl/platter with lettuce greens; set aside.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk until combined. Pour over the salad and toss. Place on greens lined serving dish.

French Provencal Pot Roast

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French Provencal Pot Roast

(1) 3-4 lb. chuck roast

salt and pepper

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 shallot, sliced

1 leek, light green to white part cleaned and sliced

1 cup or so red wine

3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

10-12 small red new potatoes, whole

2 ribs celery , cut into chunks

2 sprigs rosemary

1 lemon , cut in half

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup beef stock

one 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes

12 large leaves basil, torn

1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence

2 tablespoons drained capers

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper. In a heavy iron pan with tight fitting lid heat on high. When hot add a bit of olive oil and sear the roast well on both sides. Remove seared roast to platter. Turn down heat to low and add the onions, leek and shallot and quick saute. Add the garlic. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pot. Add the sliced lemon halves and place roast on top along with the Herbs de Provence, rosemary sprigs, and beef stock. Place tight fitting lid on pot and cook in oven for about 2 1/2 hours or until roast appears to have about 1 hour of cooking time left.. Remove from oven and add the carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms,  fire roasted tomatoes, 1/2 of the parsley, capers and 3/4 of the torn basil leaves. Place lid back on pot and finish baking until meat and vegetable or tender. Once finished remove lemons and place roast, vegetables and pan juices on platter and garnish with chopped parsley and rosemary sprigs.

Potato Tacos

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Potato Tacos

ingredients

Potato and Pepper Filling:

  • 3/4 lb. red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 3 fresh poblano chili peppers, roasted peeled and seeded
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 yellow onion , diced
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated, Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Ancho Sauce:

  • 1 Tomato
  • 4 dried ancho chili peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups hot tap water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • directions

    • 1

      1/2 cup Vegetable oil for frying

    • 2

      12 corn tortillas

    • 3

      Garnish

    • 4

      Grated cotija cheese

    • 5

      shredded cabbage

    • 6

      sliced tomatoes

    • 7

      lime wedges

    • 8

      To make filling, in a saucepan, combine the potatoes with water to cover. Bring to boil until fork tender. Drain and let cool, then cut potatoes into 1/2 inch dice. Place in bowl. Add the poblano chilies, bell peppers, onion and both cheeses, cilantro and stir to mix well. Set aside.

    • 9

      To make the sauce, preheat a broiler. Place the tomato in a small shallow baking pan. Place under broiler 4-6 inches from heat source. Broil turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. Remove from broiler, let cool slightly and cut out core. Set aside.

    • 10

      In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the chilies, turning once, until fragrant and the skins begin to blister. Remove from the heat and let cool, then place chilies in bowl, add hot tap water and let soak for 15 minutes to soften.

    • 11

      Transfer the chilies and their soaking liquid to a blender and add the salt, pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, vinegar, oregano and roasted tomato. Puree until smooth, then strain through a sieve into shallow bowl. Add chopped cilantro and set aside.

    • 12

      In shallow heavy bottomed pan heat oil. Meanwhile, take tortillas and fill each with potato filling and fold over. Place in batches the filled tortillas in hot oil and fry until golden on each side, about 3 minutes total.

    • 13

      Garnish with cabbage, tomatoes and cheese. Squeeze on lime juice and add ancho sauce to taste.

Chicken Provencal Wrap

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Chicken Provencal Wrap

Package of Tomato Basil Wraps; set aside

6 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 red onion, cut in half and sliced into rings

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped

one 15 oz. can/jar of water packed quartered artichoke hearts, drained

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

2 tablespoon capers, drained

6 large basil leaves, chiffonade

Dressing:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegsr

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 Roma tomato, diced

2 green onions, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon capers, drained

3 large basil leaves, chiffonade

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup canola oil

salt and pepper; to taste

Hearty Greens

Caramelize the red onion in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Place cooled caramelized onions in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss.

Line the center of the wrap with hearty greens and add some of the filling; wrap.

Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagna

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Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagna

ingredients

  • 1- 10 oz package cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded roasted chicken
  • 3 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere, shredded
  • 8 oz. mascarpone
  • 1 1/2 cup grated fontina
  • 1 package no bake lasagna noodles

directions

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • 2

    Cook mushrooms, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened. Add wine and simmer briskly for 2 minutes. Set aside saucepan.

  • 3

    Melt 4 tablespoons butter in another saucepan , add the flour to make a roux, whisking constantly for 3 minutes. Add milk in a slow stream and whisk until well combined. Add the thyme, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and simmer whisking occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat. Reserve 1 cup sauce and set aside. Stir in the parmesan into the remaining sauce , add the mushroom – chicken mixture and stir together.

  • 4

    Combine the mascarpone and fontina together, set aside.

  • 5

    Pour half of the reserved sauce into a 9×13 baking pan, spreading evenly . Place lasagna sheets, overlapping slightly, and one third of the mushroom- chicken mixture, spread evenly, sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated Gruyere cheese. Layer with more noodles and top with sliced mozzarella cheese. Add more layers of noodles, top with mushroom- chicken mixture, sprinkle with grated Gruyere cheese. Top with another layer of noodles and top with fontina – mascarpone mixture, spread evenly. Top again with noodles and top with remaining mushroom – chicken mixture, spread evenly, sprinkle with grated Gruyere. Top with last layer of noodles and pour reserved sauce over top and spread evenly and sprinkle with remaining Gruyere.

  • 6

    Place on foil lined baking sheet. Cover lasagna tightly with foil not touching top of lasagna. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until top is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to st at least 10-15 minutes before serving.