Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Philly Cheesesteak

I was looking at my March-April 2012 copy of "Cook's Illustrated" magazine and I ran across this recipe for Philly Cheesesteaks.  What a  quick and easy  Saturday night dinner, I thought:-)  You start with skirt steak, add salt, pepper, two cheeses, a sub roll, and you have a great sandwich.     The meat was seasoned to perfection and the cheese was oh so good melted and mixed in with the meat.  I like the use of white American cheese in this recipe - it melted perfectly and mixed in coating the meat evenly.   The recipe states you could top the sandwiches with chopped pickled hot pepper, sauteed onion or bell peppers, sweet relish, or hot sauce.  The sandwich was so delish by itself, I opted out of the toppings.

Philly Cheesesteaks
From "Cook's Illustrated" March-April 2012

2 pound skit steak, trimmed and sliced with  grain into 3-inch wide strips
4 (8-inch) Italian sub rolls, split lengthwise
2  tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices white American cheese (8 ounces)

1. Place steak pieces on large plate or baking sheet and freeze until very firm, about 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread split rolls on baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Using sharp knife, shave steak pieces as thinly as possible against grain.  Mound meat on cutting board and chop coarsely with knife 10 to 20 times.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking.  Add half of meat in even layer and cook without stirring until well browned on 1 side, 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer meat to colander set in large bowl.  Wipe out skillet with paper towel.  Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sliced meat.
5. Return now-empty skillet to medium heat.  Drain excess moisture from meat.  Return meat to skillet (discard any liquid in bowl) and add salt and pepper.  Heat, stirring constantly, until meat is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, sprinkle with Parmesan, and single slices of American cheese over meat.  Allow cheeses to melt, about 2 minutes.  Using heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, fold melted cheese into meat thoroughly.  Divide mixture evenly among toasted rolls.  Serve immediately.

Monday, May 23, 2016

White Cheddar Broccoli Soup

About 6 months ago, I had some great tasting Broccoli Cheese Soup at Panera  Bread.  It was delicious.   I enjoyed the flavors and the fact one bowl was a satisfying meal.   I was very excited when I found their soup recipe on the web. This soup is a rich and hearty and chocked full of veggies.
I did some very slight modifications to the original recipe.  I did not puree my soup because I like have a little texture to my soup, but feel free to blend.   This recipe serves 4.  

White Cheddar Broccoli Soup
 Adapted from Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup


1 tablespoon melted butter
½ medium onion chopped
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup flour
2-cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups broccoli florets finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped carrots
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups finely shredded white cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper
Grated Cheese for topping


1. Sauté the onion in the butter.  Set aside.
2.Stir melted butter and flour until incorporated in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes.
3. Slowly add the half and half and stir until combined.  Repeat with chicken stock.
4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 
5. Add the broccoli, carrots, onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the broth mixture.   Stir, cover and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.
6. Add cheese slowly stirring constantly until melted.
7. If desired you can puree the soup in a blender *or leave as is.  Re taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Top with grated cheese and serve.

*If puréeing soup in a stand blender, let the soup cool for about 5 minutes and process in small batches.  You may need to reheat the soup.

Makes 4 servings

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blackberry Lemon Thyme Muffins

I have been seeing a lot written in the cooking world about the combination of blackberries and thyme.  One recipe that caught my eye was in Bon Appetit magazine -Blackberry, Lemon, and Thyme muffins.  You have nice plump blackberries - fresh or frozen, mixed with  fresh thyme and lemon zest baked in a delicious batter consisting of butter, cake flour, regular flour, sugar, vanilla and buttermilk.    Top this batter with a delicious crumble, bake, and you have one moist great tasting muffin.

Blackberry, Lemon, and Thyme Muffins
From Bon Appetit


1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
1 large egg yolk


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1-1/2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed, drained) blackberries (about 6 ounces), halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Special Equipment: Eight 4-ounce paper muffin molds (optional)
Note:  I used my Texas size muffin molds.  You can also use standard-size muffin molds

Crumble Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add butter.  Using your fingertips, rub in butter until pea-size lumps form.  Add egg yolk; stir to evenly distribute and form moist clumps. (Crumble should resemble a mixture of pebbles and sand.)  Chill for at least 1 hour.  Do ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead.  Cover and keep chilled.

Muffins Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  If making standard-size muffins, line 16 1/3-cup molds with paper liners. Note: I lightly sprayed my muffin molds with cooking spray.
Whisk 1 cup all-purpose flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add sugar and continue to beat until well incorporated, 2-3 minutes longer.  Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl to blend; gradually beat into butter mixture.  Continue beating until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.  Combine buttermilk and lemon zest in a small bowl; gradually beat into butter mixture.  Add dry ingredients; beat just to blend (do not over mix).
Toss blackberries and thyme with 2 tablespoons flour in another small bowl; fold into batter, gently crushing berries slightly to release some juices.  Spoon about 2/3 cup batter into large paper muffin molds, or divide between prepared muffin pans.  Top each large muffin with 2 tablespoons crumble or each small muffin with 1 rounded tablespoon crumble.
Bake until tops are golden brown and a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, about 50 minutes for large muffins and 40 minutes for standard-size muffins.  Let cool in pan at least 20 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at  room temperature.
Do Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Store cooled muffins airtight
at room temperature.

Makes 8 large muffins or 16 small  muffins.

Muffin Batter With Crumble

Out of the Oven Cooling

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Black Forest Waffles

Waffles are great for breakfast, lunch, brunch, even dinner.  I  like making waffles because they are easy, inexpensive, and quick.  You can add a variety of different "waffle"  ingredients and toppings for a tasty meal.
Today, I made Black Forest  Waffles.   If you are a fan of Black Forest Cake,  you are going to like these waffles.     They get their rich  chocolate flavor  from the cocoa powder and semi sweet chocolate chips.  The dried cherries add a nice sweet tart flavor to the waffles. Before serving, I  garnish the waffles with confectioner's sugar, maple syrup and whipped cream.

                                                    Black Forest Waffles

Special Equipment:  Waffle Iron

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon chili powder
3 eggs, beaten
¼ cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
½ cup  semi sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped dried cherries
Confectioner’s Sugar
Maple Syrup
Whipped Cream

1. Preheat the waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
2. Whisk together in a medium mixing bowl, the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and chili powder.
3. Beat together in another mixing bowl the eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.  Add the buttermilk and beat until combined.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
5.  Fold in the chocolate chips and dried cherries.
6. Rest the batter for 5 minutes.
7. Ladle the manufacturer’s recommend amount of batter onto the center of the iron.  Close the iron top and cook until the waffle is crispy and easily removed from the iron.  Repeat with remaining batter.
8. Serve immediately with confectioner’s sugar, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

Note: You can keep the waffles warm in a 200-degree oven (F) until ready to serve.

Makes approximately 9 (7-inch) round waffles

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients


Monday, May 16, 2016

Beef Stew With Mushrooms, Rosemary And Tomatoes

I have been in the mood for beef stew lately.  This urge started when I saw a recipe in the March 2012 issue of "Family Circle" magazine.  They had a beautiful picture of the yummiest looking stew.  I could not wait to try it.  As I was reading over the ingredients list I noticed there were no potatoes in the stew - in fact there weren't many veggies at all in the stew.  To me stew isn't stew unless it is loaded with veggies. Still, it did look yummy.  I decided I was going to make the stew with no modifications - make it as written.

The stew was rich, hearty, and delicious.   Beef simmered  in dry red wine, beef broth, herbs, onions, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms in a crock pot on low for about 8 hours.  I served the stew with Saint-Germain- des- Pres Onion Biscuits.

Beef Stew With Mushrooms, Rosemary And Tomatoes
From "Family Circle Magazine" March 2012


4 pounds boneless beef chuck, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1.  Pat beef dry with paper towels.  In a bowl, combine flour with salt and pepper to taste.  Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and toss until lightly coated.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add beef in batches and cook until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes total.  Place meat in a large slow cooker.
3. Add onions to skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and tomato paste. Add wine and cook, scraping the pan, until liquid comes to a simmer.  Pour contents of skillet over meat.  Add broth, carrots, tomatoes and herbs to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until beef is tender when pierced with a fork.
4. When beef is almost ready melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring often,until mushrooms are golden, about 10 minutes.
5. Stir mushrooms into stew and discard bay leaf.  Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley.

Makes 8 servings

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hummingbird Bundt Cake

I was  checking out my old magazines  awhile back, and I saw an issue of "Southern Living Magazine".  On the cover was a recipe for Hummingbird Bundt Cake.  It had been years since I had  Hummingbird cake.  Years ago, there was a bakery in Albuquerque  named "Panache. "  This bakery made the best Hummingbird cake I ever tasted.  It did not matter what kind of a get together my friends and I were having we always had to have Hummingbird cake.  Sadly, the bakery went out-of-business.
When reading over the recipe for the cake, the delicious flavors in the cake returned to my memory - bananas, pineapple, pecans, cream cheese frosting, just to name a few.  This cake was not a disappointment.  It was moist, flavorful, and as as individual so eloquently put it, "Makes you hum with delight with each bite."

Hummingbird Bundt Cake
From Southern Living Magazine

Ingredients for Cake Batter

1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-3/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large)
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
3/4 cup canola oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for Glaze

4 ounces cream cheese, cubed and softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk


Prepare Cake Batter:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
2. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 4 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Sprinkle 1 cup toasted pecans into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan.  Spoon batter over pecans.
3. Bake at 350 degrees (F)  for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
4. Prepare Glaze: Process cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk in a food processor until well blended.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, processing until smooth.  Immediately pour glaze over cooled cake, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup toasted pecans.

Makes 10-12 servings

Ready To Eat


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Happy Cinco de Mayo: Slow Cooker Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada is a favorite New Mexican dish of mine.   Pork that has been cut into chunks cooked in a rich red chili sauce.  Delicious:)    You can eat Carne Adovada with a flour tortilla or corn tortilla, use it as filling for  tacos, burritos or by itself served over rice.

I have never made Carne Adovada in a slow cooker before, so I was delighted when I found a recipe using a slow cooker.  In reading over the recipe, I found some ingredients I haven't used in my traditional recipes.  Soy sauce, brewed coffee, and raisins.  Hmmm - I had to think about that.  I remembered reading somewhere when you are first trying a recipe follow the recipe as instructed.  So I did and  I was very pleased with the outcome.

The result was more than delicious than I could have imagined.  This was the best Carne Adovada I have ever made or eaten.  Being from New Mexico I have eaten alot.   The sauce was rich and thick so it coated the meat perfectly.  The pork was very tender and flavorful.   The lime used in the recipe brought out the flavors in the recipe and added an extra "pop" to the dish.

The family loved this dish.  The first night I served it over rice with a lime wedge for garnish.  The next day I used it in breakfast burritos.  The flavor was actually better the second day.  Try some - it is easy and delicious:)

Slow-Cooker Carne Adovada
From Cook's Country 


1 (4-to-5 pound) boneless pork butt roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 onions chopped
1/2 cup chili powder
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (parsley can be used in a pinch)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus
1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Season pork with salt and pepper. Combine pork and soy sauce in slow cooker.  Combine onions, chili powder, garlic, oil, chipotle, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl.  Microwave, covered, until onions have softened and mixture is fragrant, about 7 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving.
2. Puree broth, coffee, flour, raisins, and onion mixture in blender until smooth, about 1 minute.  Stir sauce into slow cooker, then scrape down any sauce from side of cooker with rubber spatula.  Cover and cook until pork is tender, 5 to 6 hours on high or 6 to 7 hours on low.
3. Turn off slow cooker, let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.
Stir in cilantro and lime zest and juice.  Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

Serves 6 to 8