Mom de Cuisine


Make-Ahead Monday: Shrimp Enchiladas
December 5, 2011, 11:42 am
Filed under: Main Course | Tags: ,

 

Last week we went grocery shopping and found a huge 2kg bag of large frozen shrimp.  My husband decided over the weekend that he wanted some, so what does he do?  He takes the entire bag out of the freezer to thaw.  We spent the first part of Saturday morning tossing around ideas of what to do with it all.  Pasta? No.  Stir fry?  Nope.  BBQ? Nah.  Then I got an idea!  Shrimp enchiladas!  My husband actually makes pretty good chicken enchiladas, but neither of us had tried a seafood version.   I thought I could whip up a pretty good version and of course my husband, the constant competitor that he is, thought he could do it better.  So we decided Saturday would be a seafood enchilada cook-off.  I took my turn first in the kitchen while “E” watched the kids.  Other than a few trips to the store to get everything I needed, these actually came together pretty quickly.   

Who was the winner of our cook-off?  I was.  After my husband tasted my version, he decided that they were so good that he didn’t want to try to make some himself!

Shrimp Enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 12 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

3-4 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce

3 tablespoons cumin

1 large poblano pepper

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups chicken stock (seafood would have been better, but I didn’t have any)

1/2 cup pepper jack cheese

2 cups deveined, uncooked shrimp

1 8oz can sweet corn

1 8oz. can black beans, rinsed

1 package tortillas (corn is best, but I couldn’t find any so I had to use flour)

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preparation:

To make the enchilada sauce:  combine tomatoes, chipotle sauce and cumin and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer while preparing the filling

To make the filling:  Char the poblano pepper under the broiler or over open flame until the skin is black.  Cool and dice, removing the stem and seeds.  In a large, non stick pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the poblano and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook one more minute.  Add the flour and coat the veggies.  Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil until it thickens, about 10 minutes.  Add the pepper jack cheese and stir until melted.  Add the shrimp and corn and cook until the shrimp are pink.  Carefully fold in the black beans.

To assemble the enchiladas:  spread a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole.  Fill a tortilla with shrimp mixture, roll up and place with the seem-side down into the casserole.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the casserole.* Cover with an even layer of the Mexican blend cheese.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until the casserole is warmed through and the cheese has melted and started to brown over the top.  Allow the enchiladas to rest 10 minutes before serving.

*If doing this as a make-ahead meal, refrigerate or freeze the casserole before adding cheese.  Remove casserole from the fridge/freezer and allow it to come closer to room temperature before putting it in the oven.  Continue with steps above. 

 

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Spicy Curried Turkey Noodle Soup
November 30, 2011, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Main Course, Soups | Tags: , , ,

I usually don’t make anything with Thanksgiving leftovers.  I don’t mean they go in the trash, I mean we eat the same meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until the food is gone (which usually takes a few days around here.)  In years past, it’s been just my husband and I to devour a whole 15 pound turkey (don’t judge.)  This year I was happy that everyone ate turkey, including “C” who never eats meat, but it seemed that after a few days we still had tons of turkey even though all of the side dishes had been eaten.  Well, I went about spending a day making turkey stock, but decided I really wanted to make something right away with the stock as well as with all of the turkey meat still in the fridge.  I’ve wanted to make a curried noodle soup for a long time, but have always been intimidated by curry before.  I thought about just making my Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup but with turkey, but then I thought, no that’s lame.  I didn’t spend a whole day making stock just to make the same old soup (even if it is really good!)  Go big or go home, right?!?!  I knew this soup would probably be an epic failure, or a great success, I suppose there isn’t much in-between when it comes to curry. 

Lucky for my family it was a success.  It was very spicy the first day, even my daughter and husband who like things extra spicy kept reaching for the water, but it did not lack in flavor.  When we had the left over’s the second day, the level of heat had come down, but the entire flavor remained.  I’m still thinking about that soup and wishing I had made a bigger pot.  Even “M” is still asking for more spicy noodles!

Spicy Curried Turkey Noodle  Soup

Adapted from Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes at epicurious.com

Ingredients:

 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons lemongrass, chopped

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons red curry paste*

3 tablespoons spicy curry powder

3 cups unsweetened coconut milk

5 cups turkey stock

2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 pound spaghetti noodles

3 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded or cut into cubes

2 cups fresh spinach leaves.

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced for garnish

3 tablespoons green onion, chopped for garnish

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts for garnish

1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish

Preparation:

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add next 4 ingredients; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in curry paste and curry powder. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Stir until thick and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring broth to boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and add the spinach and turkey meat until spinach is wilted and the turkey is warmed through.

 While broth comes to a boil, add spaghetti to a large pot of salted, boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

 To assemble the soup, put noodles in each bowl, cover with turkey, spinach and broth.  Top with any of the additional garnishes.

 

Hey!  Hop on over to Melt in Your Mouth Mondays and see some other great recipes!

 



Make Ahead Monday: Mulled Apple Cider
November 28, 2011, 1:30 am
Filed under: Drinks | Tags: ,

I think I’ve said before that one of the things I really love about living here is the availability of such great juices.  You can get a “mocktail” that is out of this world.  Lemon/mint juice anyone?  Fresh pineapple and watermelon spritzer?   Yes please!  Oh, I get off subject.  My point is that most juices are fresh tasting, including apple juice.  Even the bottled stuff tastes like freshly juiced apples.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to push Mott’s off on my kids again. 

One of my favorite things about fall is when the apple cider starts appearing on shelves.  Well, I haven’t seen any here yet, but I figured I could make my own and it would probably be better than any mass-produced-store-bought-variety with the great quality of the apple juice here.   And it was.

My husband and I sipped this while trimming our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, as is our tradition.  We decided to bite the bullet this year and buy our first fake                    real-pine-challenged tree.  Even though I miss the smell of a real tree, it is nice not to have to water/vacuum everyday.  I must say, it looks pretty real too (especially after a few boozy ciders!)

Boozy Mulled Apple Cider

Ingredients:

6 cups apple juice (I would buy the organic stuff, since it usually tastes more like apple and has less “fillers”)

2 cinnamon sticks

3 tablespoons ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

1 cup whisky (we used Johnny Walker, but booze is totally optional.  It was really good without too.)

Preparation

Combine everything except for the booze in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.  Cook for 6 hours in a slow cooker on low, or 1 hour in a pressure cooker on high.  Strain the liquid.  To serve, put 2-3 oz at the bottom of a mug.  Top with the cider and enjoy!



Turkey Stock
November 27, 2011, 2:48 am
Filed under: Soups | Tags: ,

 

This post was supposed to be a guest post by my husband featuring his wonderful Thanksgiving turkey but I think we’ve both just awoken from our turkey comas, and he unfortunately awoke with a cold.  But I had planned on making stock from the left over turkey carcass anyway.  In most of my recipes, I try to use homemade stock when ever possible.  I admit, I do keep chicken bullion in the kitchen too though. 

Any time we eat a whole bird (or anything with bones) I try to make stock the next day and freeze the leftovers.  The best method, you may ask to freeze an entire batch of stock? Well I have extra ice cube trays that I keep just for freezing extra stocks and sauces.  The best way to do this is simply waiting until it cools and divide it among a few ice cube trays.  I’ll admit the process of making stock usually takes most of the day, but it is always worth it because the house smells so good!

 

 

Turkey Stock

Ingredients:

1 turkey carcass, picked clean of any meat and fat, and broken into pieces

3-4 large carrots

3-4 stalks celery

1 large onion

4 cloves garlic

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Roughly chop carrots, celery, and onion into large pieces.  Put veggies along with turkey bones into a roasting pan.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast until the vegetables begin to brown and become very fragrant, about 30 minutes.

Put turkey bones, vegetables, garlic into a large pot (I used my pressure cooker) and cover with water.  Cook 3-4 hours until the flavors blend, adjusting seasoning as necessary.



Sweet Potato and Eggnog Ice Cream
November 23, 2011, 11:44 am
Filed under: Dessert | Tags: , , ,

 

Turkey Day is tomorrow and I am so exhausted excited.  My husband always does the turkey; I usually do most of the side dishes.  Our menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually the same every year, but we had to do a bit of modifying.  We used to have an oil-less deep fryer that he made a fried turkey with, but we didn’t bring it with, so he will be roasting it this year.  My husband usually makes collard greens, but if you’ve read my blog, greens of any variety are hard to find/very expensive.  We would have splurged on collards for T Day, but alas, they are not to be found on our host island.  I thought maybe we’d do Brussels sprouts instead.  I’ve got a few recipes that I’ve wanted to try.  Nope.  Can’t findBrusselssprouts either.  Oh well.

We usually each bake a dessert.  My husband makes a great lemon and cranberry bunt cake and I love pecan pie.  But all of our yummy delivery food has not been so kind to my waist line.  Well, you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without dessert, but a slice of cake, pie and ice cream to top it all probably won’t help me fit into my jeans come next week.  So I thought I’d just make an ice cream reminiscent of one of my other favorite pies, sweet potato.  Well, if you could believe it, when I sent my husband to the store initially to pick up all of the Thanksgiving groceries, he couldn’t find heavy cream.  But he did come home with a few cartons of egg nog that I was able to use as a substitution.

I thought the ice cream came out wonderfully.  It tasted just like the filling of sweet potato pie, with a slight hint of the eggnog.  If I made this again, I’d probably cut back on the sweet potato so more of the eggnog would come through, but it was still great!

Sweet Potato and Eggnog Ice Cream

*Slightly adapted from O Magazine’s Candied Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 lb sweet potato

1 1/2 cup Eggnog

3 large egg yolks

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation:

Heat oven to 450 and roast the sweet potato until very tender, about 1 hour.  When the potato has cooled, peel and puree the flesh until smooth in a food processor.

In a medium sauce pan, bring eggnog to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. 

Slowly whisk the eggnog into the yolk mixture.  Return everything to the sauce pan and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (don’t boil or it will curdle the yolks.)

Remove sauce pan from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature.  Refrigerate to cool the mixture more at least 2 hours but not overnight. 

Freeze mixture to ice cream maker per manufacturer instructions. 

 

 

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Make-Ahead Monday: Southwestern Salisbury Steak
November 21, 2011, 11:09 am
Filed under: Beef, Main Course | Tags:

 

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I’ve been trying to avoid shopping for groceries other than what’s planned for the big meal, and instead making due with what we already have in the freezer.  A while back my husband bought a big bag of premade hamburger patties when he found them on sale.  Back in the States, this is something that we would have never purchased.  I think we each make a pretty decent hamburger, definitely better than the premade variety.  However, the beef here just isn’t the same.  I’m told it tastes different because most of the beef comes fromNew Zealand and the cows eat different grass.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but needless to say, I’m not a fan of the taste of the beef here.  Now, I don’t mean to offend.  I’m sure if this is the kind of beef you’ve been eating and then went to the States and ordered a steak, it would probably taste funny to you too. 

So when my husband saw the American premade patties, he bought them, thinking we might get homesick for a good burger at some point.  Well this big bag of beef patties has been sitting in my freezer for a while.  I’ve thought about trying to do several things with them, but just kept going back to Salisbury steak.  I love onions; my husband loves mushrooms, so easy dinner.  Well as I started to gather the ingredients, I really wasn’t excited about making or eating it for dinner.  I thought well maybe I’ll add some spice, so I grabbed the chipotle hot sauce.  Then if I add the chipotle, I should add some cumin too; but if I add cumin, cilantro needs to go with it.  Before I realized it, I had changed the whole base for Salisbury steak.  Well now I had something for everyone.  “E” likes mushrooms, I like onions, “M” likes spicy.  Oh but then there is “C”….Oh my son doesn’t like anything.  I’m sure he will eat only the garlic toast I made to go with it.  Well three out of four isn’t bad.

I have to say, that although I ended up giving this a Southwestern twist, it still maintained the integrity of Salisbury steak.  It still had the same base of a ground beef patty with onions and mushrooms, it was just so much better.  I feel that if I had been on Top Chef and the challenge was to reinvent Salisbury steak, I probably wouldn’t get sent home for this one 🙂

 

 

Southwestern Salisbury Steak

 

Ingredients:

6 premade, uncooked beef patties

2 onions, sliced

1 lb mushrooms, sliced

1 link chorizo sausage, diced

1 4oz can green chilies

1/2 cup cilantro cooking base

4 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce

4 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons lime juice

4 cups beef stock

3 tablespoons corn starch

Fresh cilantro to garnish

 

Preparation:

Turn on slow cooker on high and add the chorizo, onions and mushrooms.  Allow them to cook until they start to sweat a little.  Add the chilies, hot sauce, cilantro cooking base, cumin, garlic powder and lime juice.  Add cornstarch and put the patties on top.  Pour the beef stock over everything.  Allow steaks to cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6. 

Serve with mashed potatoes, or on top of garlic toast.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.

 



Best Delivery Food Ever!
November 18, 2011, 6:48 am
Filed under: Main Course

 

I haven’t been posting as much lately because a friend and I have taken up a new “venture” so to speak.  One day we both found we make our daughter’s hair accessories and decied to get together to make them.  Well, lately I’ve been up to my elbows in hair bows.  Take a look at “M” in some of them:

 

 

Well since I’ve been so busy crafting, I haven’t been spending as much time in the kitchen.  There are just but so many hours in the day.  In fact, last week was our anniversary.  I had a great meal planned.  We were going to make shrimp and grits together and I was going to suprise him with a great dessert.  Well our anniverary happened to be the same day as the market where we were featuring our bows.  I was really craving Kabobs after the market, but I was prepaired to go home and make shrimp and grits. We had already ordered kabobs three times that week so I thought no way would he want to order again.  Much to my pleasure and suprise, as soon as I got home, he said that he didn’t really feel like shrimp and grits and asked if it would be OK if we ordered from Kabobdan again.  Yes! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well last night, again neither of us felt like cooking.  It’s just too easy not to when we have this delivered to our door in less than 20 minutes for about four dinars (that’s about $10.)  The pictures really don’t do the food justice, because it is just soooo good!  I had to snap fast, as you can see, my hubby was getting adetated having to wait for his lamb chops 🙂