Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pass me the Pasilla... Chile that is.

Sometimes two basic and simple ingredients are all you need to make a phenomenally delicious dish.  This happens to be one of them. 
It takes a few steps, but it's smokey, it's rich, it's soft, it's delicate and most of all it's... everyone together now... YUM!!!!! 

Pasilla con Queso

6 Pasilla Chiles

1/2  Package Cotija Cheese
1/2  Package Queso Fresco

Smoke your Pasilla Chiles either over the BBQ or if you want the easy way out, throw them directly over your gas cooktop and char away!!! Make sure you get a black char on the outside... don't be afraid... the smokier/ more charred the better!!! 

Place in a plastic grocery store bag and tie it in a knot.  Let them sit for 15-20 minutes... (this is a really important step! Don't skip it!)  

Crumble both cheeses together and combine well. 

Remove the charred skin from the Chile on the outside.  Cut a slit down the middle and make an opening.  Remove the inner seeds completely. 

Stuff with a fair amount of the cheese blend. 

Cook in the oven on 425 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 

The purpose of putting the Chiles into the plastic bag and knotting it is to allow the pepper to steam... the steam will do 2 fold, it will #1, help the Chiles to cook and soften a bit more with out making them soggy so they still have that "bite" and #2 most importantly the steam will help release the skin and char from the outside easily so that when you go to peel it the skin will just fall right off! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summertime Salad

This salad just screams "HELLO I AM SUMMER!!!!" 
It speaks for itself... it needs no major intro... other than just to say my three favorite words... YUM YUM YUM! 

Summertime Salad

1 Container Fresh Mozzarella 
(I use Buccatini)
1 LB Mini Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts 
1/2 LB Fresh Arugula
3-4 TBS Fresh Basil Chopped
3 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
2 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 -1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper 

Drain Mozzarella & Artichoke Hearts, Combine all ingredients in a bowl and give it a good toss.... refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Sometimes late at night as I'm flipping through t.v. I get a hankering... (yes, I used the word hankering) for something crispy, fried and well... fattening!!!!  Yes... we all know where I'm going with this one... I want GREASY FRENCH FRIES WITH LOADS OF SALT!!!!  So here I was tonight, caught in this unfortunate predicament and let's face it... I didn't wanna go there!  I wake up the next morning feeling like crapola cause I did something BAD BAD BAD!  Well I don't think so... NOT TONIGHT!!!! 
I got creative!!!! 
SPICY SWEET POTATO FRIES!  You can send me the thank you notes tomorrow morning!  Oh, and try the dipping sauce too... it's THE BOMB! 

Spicy Sweet Potatoes

1 or 2 large Sweet Potatoes cut into 1/2 inch thick batons 
1 tablespoon Olive Oil or Peanut Oil

In a bowl combine: 
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp. Hungarian Paprika
1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
Place the cut sweet potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with the Olive Oil.  Sprinkle the seasoning mix on top of the fries and using your hands, dig in and give them a good toss coating them evenly. 

Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes.  

Garlic Lemon Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small garlic clove minced
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika
Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and place in the refrigerator until the fries are done. 

This has 1/2 the calories and all the satisfaction... ok... I'm guessing it has 1/2 the calories... I don't know, it's late, they were good... I'm just thankful I didn't go for the "FRIED" French Fries!!! Give them a try! So good!