Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Classic Cheeseburgers

Over the years burgers have gotten to be just over the top with crazy toppings. Personally, my favorite is just a jalapeno-bacon burger with tomato, onion and lettuce... mmm! For this burger, it's just the essential {I wanted to use pepper jack but completely forgot to pick some up, so I used singles} but, I added chipotle pepper sauce to my mayonnaise to give it a smoky kick.

Classic Cheeseburgers

ground beef, shaped into hamburger patties
garlic salt
blackened redfish seasoning
steak seasoning

cheese, sliced

  • Shape the ground beef into patties and season both sides evenly with the spices listed above.
  • Cook on a 350-400 degree grill to the desired doneness.
  • Before taking off of the grill, add a slice of cheese and let melt.


hamburger buns, toasted or grilled
chipotle mayonnaise
tomato, sliced
onion, sliced

Assemble the cheeseburger how you like {adding or omitting condiments}.

I have some awesome news, I'm going to Florida in July to visit my family. I haven't been home since 2009 so it's going to be exciting. I'm only going to be there for 4 days but at least I'll get to visit and hopefully have a great trip!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Barbacoa Taquitos

This recipe is incredibly delicious. It's got a great smoky and spicy flavor from the chipotle peppers. It's the first time I've ever cooked with or consumed the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. It almost reminded me of indian curry with the added onions. Completely loved it.

Barbacoa Taquitos
Recipe from Food.People.Want

1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
3-4 chipotle peppers {canned in adobe sauce}
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano {dried}
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 lbs chuck roast, at removed
3/4 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
3 bay leaves

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • Combine the cider vinegar, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, clove, black pepper and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until completely smooth, about a minute or so.  Transfer the spice paste to a bowl and set aside.
  • Dry the roast all over with paper towels, cut away any excess fat and slice the meat into 4 evenly sized pieces. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a very large pot set over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Working in batches if necessary, sear the beef on all sides until deeply browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the chile puree to the pot and stir until the beef is well-coated. Add the chicken stock and bay leaves and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the lid with tin foil and add the lid to create a very tight seal. 
  • Place the pot in the oven and braise the meat for 5-6 hours, removing the lid during the last hour or so to allow the simmering liquid to reduce slightly. 
  • Allow the beef to cool slightly, spoon off any easily removable fat from the braising liquid and then use two forks to pull/shred the beef into bite size pieces.

flour tortillas
barbacoa {recipe above}
cheese {mexican-blend}
sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In each tortilla, put about 2-3 tablespoons of the barbacoa and sprinkle with cheese. Roll them and stick a toothpick through the middle so they don't fall apart.
  • Lightly oil the tops of each and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I served these taquitos with some sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole for dipping. I also made some refried beans with cheese... yum!



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pico de Gallo

Salsa: in any form I love it! This is the most traditional and basic of all of them. Pico is great for topping your favorite mexican meals or just scooping it up with tasty tortilla chips! It's a very simple recipe as well, and if you want, you can add anything to make it your own. I love jalapeno and serrano peppers but I forgot to pick up some fresh ones from the store so this is without, but it's still just as good!

Pico de Gallo

2-3 tomatoes, diced
1/8 cup onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
salt and cumin, to taste

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


Monday, May 7, 2012

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

I had a whole Sunday to myself and while it was nice to be lazy and do absolutely nothing, I still couldn't keep myself out of the kitchen. I had seen this "millionaire's shortbread" recipe a couple of days ago and couldn't get them out of my mind. I've actually never even eaten this type of bar cookie before but I've seen them around. One of my favorite tea shops {Elizabeth's Bakery} makes these. But like I was saying, I just couldn't stay out of the kitchen... hehe.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars
Recipe adapted from Thursday Night Baking

1 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces dark chocolate
sea salt, for sprinkling

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Line a 8x8 inch baking pan with foil. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes. 
  • With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Use a fork and poke little holes across the shortbread. 
  • Bake 25-30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  • Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted. 
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, continue stirring. 
  • Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens slightly {If you have a candy thermometer, the caramel is ready when it reads 240 degrees}.
  • Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely and set.
  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour evenly over the caramel layer and smooth the top. 
  • Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes and then sprinkle with sea salt. 
  • Place in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process. Bars can be kept at room temperature.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pan-Sautéed Halibut with Lemon-Caper Sauce

I'm going to miss having a whole day of just cooking and lazy around, but it's better that I don't get stuck in that routine. I'm the type of person that needs something to keep me busy, and sometimes cooking just doesn't cut it. That's why I'm going to love having summer classes, I'll be busy for at least a month and a half!

Onto this delicious dish... the lemony sauce pairs great with the halibut and spinach! This is a nice and light meal, which is good, because I have leftover tres leches cake that I must eat.

Pan-Sautéed Halibut with Lemon-Caper Sauce
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

4 halibut fillets, deboned and skinned
salt and pepper
blackened redfish seasoning
cascabel pepper flakes
1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, chopped 
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers
1/8 teaspoon herbes de provence {dried} 
1 tablespoon parsley {dried}
1 1/2 tablespoon butter, chilled

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with the seasonings.
  • Melt the butter in the pan and add fish; cook 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fish from pan; keep warm. 
  • To the pan, add the garlic, wine, chicken stock, milk, lemon zest and juice, capers, herbes de provence and parsley; cook until reduced by half, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Add butter to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk until butter melts and sauce is smooth.

I served this fish with orzo as it suggested and also sautéed spinach!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Toasted Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and this would be a great cake to serve if you're throwing a party! Sadly, I won't be doing much this weekend in terms of "fun". Chris has a marathon on Saturday and after he's done, he and Tim are driving out to Colorado for the remainder of the weekend to spend time with their family and friends. They will be attending a Derby Party, since that's on Saturday as well, and on Sunday enjoy a long bike race.

Toasted Coconut Tres Leches Cake 
Recipe from Fine Cooking

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 eggs, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk

1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

Rum Whipped Cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoon dark rum
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup coconut, lightly toasted

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Line the bottom of the baking dish or pan with parchment and lightly butter the parchment.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a medium bowl and the yolks in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until combined, 1 minute more.
  • Clean and dry the beaters and then beat the egg whites, gradually increasing the speed to high, until they reach soft peaks, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a stream, continuing to beat on high, until you reach firm but not dry peaks, 1-2 minutes more. Whisk a third of the dry ingredients into the yolk mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in a third of the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients and egg whites, alternately, in two more batches each, until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared dish or pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment, and let cool completely.
  • Return the cake to the baking dish.
  • In a  saucepan, stir together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, and salt until the milks are well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring to avoid scorching, until it begins to bubble around the edges, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof 4 cup measuring cup.
  • With a toothpick, prick the cake to the bottom in 1/2 inch intervals. Pour the soaking liquid slowly over the cake, starting at the edges and pausing to let it soak in before adding more. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cake is well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium speed. When it begins to thicken, slowly add the rum, sugar and vanilla and continue to beat just until it holds firm peaks, 3-4 minutes. Spread the whipped cream all over the top of the cake, scatter the coconut over the cream and serve.