Monday, August 23, 2010

Banana-Buttermilk Muffins

I used banana extract in this recipe to enhace the banana flavor. If using too much banana, the end product will be heavier; however, these are very light and not too rich muffins. They are just perfect! ;-)

Banana-Buttermilk Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup whole-wheat flour
A pinch of salt
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 mashed banana
1 tsp banana extract
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray 12 muffin cups with non stick oil.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla extract, mashed banana, banana extract, oil, and egg. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix. With an ice cream scoop, pour the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with the walnuts.

Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes until they are lightly browned. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes before serving.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

For Chicken:
1 garlic clove
2 tbs ginger root, grated
2 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs soy sauce
½ lb boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Bamboo skewers
Water (for soaking skewers)

Soak bamboo skewers in cold water at least 30 minutes before grilling.

Place the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a blender and blend until smooth.

Place chicken in a bowl. Pour the marine mixture over and stir to coat well. Cover and chill.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

4 tbs water (add more if needed)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ cup peanut butter
4 tbs coconut milk
1 tbs + 1 tsp honey
1 tbs + 1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs + 1 tsp soy sauce
Hot pepper sauce to taste

Bring the water to a boil and add the chopped garlic. Simmer for 1 minute.

Add the peanut butter and coconut milk. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and thick. Stir in the honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, and hot pepper sauce.
Remove from the heat and cool.

Thread the marinated chicken onto the soaked skewers.
Grill the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side, brushing with the leftover marinade.

Serve with the dipping sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Homemade Mexican Horchata

Homemade Mexican Horchata (Rice Drink)

2 cups white rice
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cups water
5 cups milk
½ tsp Mexican vanilla extract
Sugar or sweetener to taste

Blend the rice and cinnamon sticks with 2 cups of water. Pour them in a jar and add the remaining water. Let it chill overnight or at least 4 hours.

Stir the mixture and pass it through a colander. Add the milk, vanilla, and sweetener. Stir and serve it with ice cubes.


Horchata Mexicana

Horchata Mexicana

2 tazas de arroz blanco
2 rajas de canela
6 tazas de agua
5 tazas de leche
½ cdita Extracto Puro de Vainilla Mexicana
Azucar o endulzante al gusto

Licue el arroz y la canela con dos tazas de agua. Echelas en una jarra y agregue las otras tazas de agua. Dejelo reposar en el refrigerador por la noche o al menos 4 horas.

Mueva el agua y cuelela. Agregue la leche, vainilla, y endulzante. Sirvalo con cubos de hielo.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Very Cheesy Pizza

A Very Cheesy Pizza

I got a request for recipes using Freeze-Dried foods so I made this pizza using FD ground beef but you can use sausage as well. If you use sausage, add fennel seeds.


1 frozen pizza crust (I eyeball my own with whole-wheat flour)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 cups Freeze-Dried ground beef
2 cups warm water
1 tbs butter
1 bottle 4 cheese Alfredo sauce
A pinch of nutmeg
½ bottle sun-dried tomato pesto
2 cups 3 cheese blend
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven at 500 F.

Hydrate the ground beef in the warm water for about 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the Alfredo sauce, nutmeg, sun-dried tomato pesto and season with salt and pepper. Add the ground beef and let it simmer very slowly.

Cover a pizza pan with cornmeal to avoid sticking. Spread the pizza and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese. Add the meat sauce and top it with the 3-cheese blend.

Bake it for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and garnish it with finely chopped basil.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crab and Mango Summer Rolls

Crab and Mango Summer Rolls

For Rolls:

5 rice sheets
Warm water
3, 6 oz cans crab meat, drained
¼ chopped onion
2 stalks chopped green onion
2 basil leaves
1 chopped garlic clove
1 tbs mayo
1 tbs sour cream
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of chilli flakes
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients except for the rice sheets and water. Cover the crab mixture and put it in the refrigerator.

Soak the rice sheets in warm water for about 25 seconds. Remove from water and put the crab stuffing inside. Fold up once; fold the edges in and roll up (just like a burrito!).

For Mango Salsa

1 large ripe mango, diced
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ Tahitian vanilla bean seeds
4 cilantro sprigs chopped
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
3 tbs salad oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together and set aside. Use it for garnish.

For Mango Sauce

1 large ripe mango
¼ tsp fresh ginger
A pinch of cayenne
2 tsp agave syrup
½ cup half-half
Salt and White pepper to taste

Cut the mango in small pieces.
Peel and chop the ginger.
Mix all of the ingredients in the blender and strain for a fine sauce.
Use it to garnish.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Clafoutis Aux Myrtille (Blueberries Clafouti Custard)

Clafoutis aux Myrtilles (Blueberry Clafouti Custard)

As we went through a “cold front” ( 87 F) here in AZ last week, I decided to make this Blueberry Clafouti. Clafouti is a custard in which pieces of fruit are set, sometimes in a pastry shell, I’ve used pie dough in this recipe. Normally, this dessert is made with cherries or blueberries. It is served warm.

Pie Dough

10 oz pastry flour
6 oz cold shortening
1 tsp salt
1 tbs agave syrup
3 oz cold water
1 lb beans in a baking bag for blind baking

Preheat the oven at 350F.

Mix salt with the flour and agave into water.

Mix in the shortening in the flour. Add the water and mix gently only until incorporated. Chill for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle flour lightly on a surface and on the rolling pin. Roll the dough out and put it in a pre-oiled tart pan. Arrange to fit and pass the rolling pin on top of the pan to remove excess dough.

Put the beans on the pie dough and bake for about 30 minutes until light brown.

Remove from heat.

Add the blueberries to the bottom of the tart and carefully pour the pastry cream on top. Garnish with remaining blue berries and bake for about 25 more minutes or until golden brown.

Pastry Cream

16 oz milk
1/8 tsp Madgascar vanilla extract
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 egg
2 egg yolks
3 tbs corn starch
¼ tsp orange zest
3 tbs cold butter
Ice water

Mix the milk, vanilla, and agave syrup and bring to a boil.
In a bowl, mix the eggs, orange zest, and starch. Pour a little of the milk into the eggs and stir to prevent curdling. Add the egg mixture into the milk and stir until it thickens.
Transfer the pan to ice water and incorporate the butter a little at a time.