Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas {with red sauce}

These enchiladas are inspired by my Mom. She makes her filling very similar and I love it. One of the major differences is the sauce though, I decided to make a homemade red sauce. One of the best parts about making your own sauce is that you can change the ingredients to your liking. Personally... I love spicy food, so the amount of peppers I added is just right. You can reduce the amount of chilis or omit them completely.



Chicken Enchiladas {with red sauce}

2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
cumin powder, chili powder and salt, to season the chicken
2 cups monterey jack and marble cheddar blend
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
3-4 tablespoons scallions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream


  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

Enchilada Sauce:

1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cup water
12 dried chilis
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon garlic {powder}
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup onion, chopped

  • In a blender, blend until completely smooth.
 

8 tortillas
chicken mixture
2 cups monterey jack and marble cheddar blend
enchilada sauce {recipe above}

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Evenly distribute the chicken mixture onto each tortilla and roll them up.
  • In a 9x13 baking dish, put a layer of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan and place the rolled up tortillas into the pan as well. Top with 2-3 cups of the sauce {you can freeze the leftover sauce} and sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered.



Ashley

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Avocado-Bacon Breakfast Wrap

Oh what a long weekend, today is my relaxation day... as always! I'm started it off with this delicious breakfast wrap and I'm now currently enjoying a dark 'n stormy. It's a ginger beer and rum cocktail {suggested by my Garde Manger chef}. It's quite strong but really yummy.

I love breakfast wraps because they are so simple to put together. Plus, you can add whatever you like, as long as your tortilla can hold the ingredients.

  
Avocado-Bacon Breakfast Wrap
 
1 tortilla
1-2 eggs, scrambled
nacho and taco cheese
3 avocado slices
1-2 pieces of bacon, cooked
cholula

  • In a medium sized tortilla, add the scrambled eggs and top with the cheese {the amount is up to you}.
  • Top with the avocado slices, bacon and some cholula.
  • Wrap it up and brown each side in a pan until the cheese has melted.


Ashley

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Garde Manger...

Ah, such an interesting block so far. We are in Garde Manger and have reviewed salads, fruit and cheese platters and sandwiches... both are super interesting if you were curious. The last couple of weeks I've been making some of our favorite recipes so there's been no need to post. We also just went out for sushi, which we haven't had in over a year or so. Well worth it... it just makes me miss it more! We are going to be learning how to make sushi in class as well, which is great since I've had a few attempts at it while visiting Tim's parents. I'll have to start coming up with flavor combinations!


I'm hoping to be back in the kitchen with something new and interesting next week!


Ashley

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Eclairs

Nom nom nom... I love eclairs!

Making them, sharing them, and eating them. I made some for a co-worker because it was his birthday last weekend and he requested something from me. I figured these would be the best thing to give, plus I always want to practice my baking. We had some leftovers of course, not that I'm complaining.


Eclairs

3 cups pastry cream {increase recipe by 1 cup}
chocolate ganache {recipe below}

  • Make the pate a choux, pipe, cook and let cool before filling. Make the pastry cream and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To fill the eclairs, make 3 little holes on the bottom with a paring knife. Put the pastry cream in a piping bag and using a small circular tip insert it into each incision hole until the pastry is completely full.
  • Dip each finished eclair, top first, into the ganache and let harden.



Chocolate Ganache:

130 g dark chocolate
97 g heavy cream

  • In a pot over medium-high heat, scald the cream.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for a minute.
  • Combine the cream and chocolate until smooth without incorporating any air.



Ashley

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pate a Choux

One of my favorite Bakeshop items I learned to make was pate a choux. This versatile dough can be turned into eclairs, cream puffs and paris brest to name a few. There's even a savory version called gougères which have cheese mixed in. I'm going to make some eventually, they sound great.


Pate a Choux
Recipe from Advanced Baking and Pastry

100 g whole milk
100 g water
3 g salt
4 g sugar
88 g butter, melted
112 g pastry flour
160 g eggs

  • Preheat oven to 390 degrees.
  • Sift the pastry flour and set aside {if you cannot find pastry flour, use equal parts cake and all-purpose flour}.
  • In a pot, bring the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour and stir to combine.
  • Return the pot to the heat and stirring consistently, cook the paste for 1 minute or until a thin film appears on the bottom of the pot.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Add a couple of the eggs, scraping the side of the bowl after each addition. Add the reminder of the eggs. Mix until the mixture drops off the paddle into a "V" shape.
  • Pipe into the desired shapes, and brush lightly with an egg wash. If piping eclairs, use a knife to cut shallow lines into the pastry.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the pastries exterior has browned well and it's "dry" in the center.
 


Ashley

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hummus

I'd like to think that my hummus is special, mainly because I don't use sesame seeds in the form of tahini... I just add the sesame seeds instead. Keeping it simple and letting the other ingredients compliment the chickpeas makes this great.

Hummus is great served with pita chips or even as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.


Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drain and reserve liquid
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons of liquid from chickpeas
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender {I used my fruit and vegetable strainer to puree the chickpeas and garlic first} and blend until smooth.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.

Variations:

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

  • Just add 1 roasted red pepper to the mixture.


Ashley

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fruit & Cream Cheese Danishes

These danishes are so addicting! I made the dough about 3 weeks ago for my danish braid {filled with apricot-rum pastry cream}. The other half of the dough was used to make these various shapes for morning pastries. In the center of each pastry, I put a little cream cheese filling and jam. I used a stone cherry jam that Dianne canned back in the summer. She has a stone cherry tree right outside the front yard door, it's beautiful when it's in bloom and the fruit it produces is very good! 

One nice thing about this recipe is that you can use different fillings, as well as top the danishes with fresh fruits, such as, various berries, sliced kiwis and orange supremes. You can also use an apricot glaze to set the berries. We did this in class, the pastries were beautiful.


Fruit & Cream Cheese Danishes

cream cheese filling {recipe below}
fruit jam
egg wash

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make the danish pastry dough and shape into various danish shapes {as shown on the danish pastry dough page}. Let them proof for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Egg wash each pastry and put a small amount of the cream cheese filling on each pastry and then the jam of your liking on top of that.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cream Cheese Filling

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
4 teaspoons sugar

  • In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until smooth.



Ashley

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Greek Salmon Sandwiches

Back when I used to live in Florida, I worked at an awesome cafe called Yellow Dog Eats. After almost 5 years of working there, I would get the urge to make my own creations. Having a ton of different ingredients made this very easy! One of my favorites was salmon on toasted bread with hummus, feta and a tomato, onion and cucumber salad. I know it might sound really weird, but all of the flavors went very well together. And now that we have so much salmon on hand, it seemed like a great idea to make it.


Greek Salmon Sandwiches

4-6 salmon fillets, deboned
lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place the salmon on a baking pan and pour orange juice over each fillet. Season with the salt and pepper and the blackened red fish and citrus grill seasonings.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until the salmon is flaking.
  • Once it's down, sprinkle with lemon juice and let the salmon cool. Separate the salmon from it's skin {break up the fillets a little so it evenly spreads on the bread}.

 



Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad

3 tomatoes, large dice
1/4 onion, large dice
1 cucumber, half slices
1/3 cup feta
pepper, to taste





  • In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

Condiments:

bread, toasted
hummus
feta
tomato, onion and cucumber salad {recipe above}

  • To assemble each sandwich, spread both sides of the toasted bread with hummus and lay the salmon on top. Add the tomato, onion and cucumber salad and sprinkle with feta.

*If desired, you can add extra greek dressing.



Ashley

Greek Dressing

This dressing is going to be great in the tomato, onion and cucumber salad I'm making, it would also be great in a pasta salad or even a regular green salad. I increased the amount of oregano and added in feta cheese to make it feel more like the greek dressing I'm used to.

 
Greek Dressing
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 cup feta cheese



  • In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, onion powder, and dijon mustard. 
  • Pour in the vinegar and whisk vigorously until well blended.
  • Add the feta cheese.
  • Store tightly covered at room temperature.


Ashley

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stuffed Chicken Marsala


This is a great way to start off the new year, even if it's a couple of days late...

I finally got around to buying some marsala wine when I made a trip to the liquor store last week. I also bought some more red wine for cooking, and some really great Ste. Chapelle soft red wine for drinking! This recipe really looked great, taking the chicken and stuffing it with a mixed cheese mixture just sounded like a great idea.


Stuffed Chicken Marsala
Adapted from Olive Garden

6 chicken breasts
4 oz olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour

Cheese Stuffing:

1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • To prepare the chicken, butterfly the thickest section of chicken breasts to create 2 halves.
  • Combine all the cheese stuffing ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  • Place the flattened chicken breasts on a cutting board and add the desired amount of cheese stuffing on one half of each chicken breast, without overfilling. Gently press the stuffing down and fold over the other half of chicken breast {it does not have to seal}.
  • Place the flour in a shallow pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off the excess.
  • In a large pan over medium heat, add oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Saute the chicken breasts, cooking until each side is golden brown. Remove chicken from pan and place in a baking dish.
  • Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the center of chicken reaches 165 degrees.





Marsala Sauce:

1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons parsley {fresh}, chopped 
2 cups marsala wine
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste




  • Add the onions and garlic to the pan the chicken was sauteed in, stirring to loosen any drippings, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and parsley. SautĂ© until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms begin to caramelize.
  • Add the marsala to the skillet to deglaze the pan. Make sure to incorporate the drippings from bottom of pan. Allow the marsala to come to a simmer and then add the cream. Simmer on low heat until the sauce is reduced by half.


I served this with lemon-garlic mashed potatoes and french green beans {haricots verts}.

Enjoy!


Ashley