Mom de Cuisine

Make-Ahead Monday: Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Wings
December 12, 2011, 10:52 am
Filed under: Appetizers | Tags: ,


Sometimes I think I must be psychic Ok not really, but I must say I planned well this week.  I had already planned on making these wings for dinner when our gas went out.  You see, here they just give you a big cylinder of gas and you don’t know how much you have left until there is none.  Usually no big deal, you call the company and same day, they drop off a new cylinder.  However, this was the third one we have gone through in just a couple of weeks.  My husband and I concluded that there must be a leak somewhere in the gas line.  We had someone come out to look at it and that was where the fun started.  He says he will put a whole new gas cylinder on and come back the next day to figure out where the leak is.  I say, no way are you going to just allow gas to leak the rest of the day, it’s just too dangerous, and we could blow up the house!  He says, don’t worry, I don’t check the leaks with fire.  Ahhhh!  Needless to say, we still have no gas, which means no stove.

But, back to my psychosis, I mean being psychic….I had planned to make some wings in my electric pressure cooker anyway, so dinner that night wasn’t ruined.  I used a modified version of Sandra Lee’s recipe for slow cooker wings, and I have to say, they turned out pretty good.  Love Sandra!  She’s like Martha Stewart meets a drunken sailor.  She always makes such beautiful table settings to go along with a strong cocktail.  Anyway, beside the point, the wings turned out well and I didn’t even need to risk blowing our villa up!

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Wings

*Adapted from Sandra Lee’s Hot and Sticky Wings


3 lbs thawed chicken wings

1/2 cup ketchup

1 12 oz. jar pineapple jam

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons lemon pepper

1 habenero, seeds removed and diced

Chopped green onion, for garnish

Sesame seeds, for garnish


Combine wings and the next five ingredients in a slow cooker (or electric pressure cooker like me) and cook on high 2-3 hours in a slow cooker (one hour in a pressure cooker.)

To serve, put wings on a platter and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds


Be sure to check out this link party at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms’ blog!  Link up or check out some of the other great links!

Make-Ahead Monday: Black Bean Dip with Pomegranates
November 1, 2011, 9:24 am
Filed under: Appetizers | Tags: ,


I know what you’re thinking.  Black beans and pomegranates?!?!  Well, don’t knock it ’til you try it.  Last week I was in charge of refreshments for a mid-morning get together.  I didn’t have much time to get to the store, so I had to make use of what I already had in my pantry.  I made a simple black bean dip and some homemade tortilla chips and threw together some banana and nutella muffins, sliced some cheese, cut up some apples and remembered I had a pomegranate in the fridge that I had no immediate plans for.  As everyone at the get together would have children in tow, I also made up some quick PB& J roll ups (I will post later because they came out pretty cute.) 

It actually was not I who paired the bean dip and the pomegranates together.  I had simply brought the pomegranates as another fruit option, completely separate.  However, when snacking, a new friend of mine complemented the dip and chips.  She said she especially liked it paired with the pomegranate.  Hmmmm….I immediately mixed a few seeds into my dip and tasted it.

Oh, did it taste good.  The salty and smoky bean dip accentuated with a sweet burst from the pomegranate seeds, which also proved to add a bit of crunch to the otherwise smooth texture of the dip.  I was hooked.  I would have usually left any extra snacks for my hostess, if she pleased; but I admit, I selfishly took home the rest of the dip and the pomegranate seeds and devoured them for lunch a short time later.

When I made the dip, I had no plans to blog about it.  It’s almost too simple.  But I had to share this combination.  You see, we have all been fighting terrible colds for almost a week.  My husband was kind enough to devote some time in the kitchen cooking up enough food to feed us through the week, as it didn’t seem that I was going to be in much shape to do it.  I hadn’t had much of an appetite over the last week, but the one thing I haven’t been able to get out of my head was the dip.  So now that I’m on the upswing, the first thing I set to do in the kitchen was make more of the dip.  Also, this is the reason as to why this post is a bit late, I know it’s not Monday, but I could barley lift my head off the couch, so blogging was out of the question the last few days. 

Anyway, I thought this was a good make-head dish for entertaining because it really does taste best if the dip is made and refrigerated overnight to allow all of the flavors to come together.  With with holiday season upon us, it is always good to have a few go-to recipes for entertaining that can be made ahead of time, and this one will surely be showing up in whatever entertaining we do!



Black Bean Dip with Pomegranate Seeds



1 12 oz can of black beans

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish

2-3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds




Place beans (beans and liquid from the can,) cumin and lime juice in a sauce pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer to warm the beans through.  Remove from heat and add the cilantro.  Puree the mixture until smooth.  Refrigerate the dip, covered several hours to overnight.

To serve, uncover the dip and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and cilantro over the top.  Serve with bread sticks or tortilla chips for dipping.



Pineapple and Shrimp Spring Rolls
September 13, 2011, 1:22 pm
Filed under: Appetizers, Snacks | Tags: , , ,

I bought some fresh, pre-sliced pineapple a few days ago and this morning when I opened the fruit and vegetable drawer, I noticed that it was about 12 hours away from starting to go bad.  I didn’t feel like spending an hour looking up pineapple recipes because I still had a ton of other things to get to around the house (laundry, you will be the death of me!)  I just grabbed what I could out of the refrigerator and freezer, and tried to pull this together.  I assembled the spring rolls in the morning and while the kids napped, I “fried” them off.  Let me say, that was a bad idea.  I knew tossing the shrimp with the vinegar would make the shrimp mushy, but somehow I thought by putting them in the freezer I would thwart the cooking process.  Well, my lesson has been learned, and that’s not the case.  I should have fried them off right away.  I have to say, mushy shrimp aside, these were good, however, when I took a bite, I realized something was missing….soy sauce!  Oh well, it’s been a busy week and I was a little out of it.  Next time, if I add a tablespoon or so of soy, and cook these right away, they would be great!


Pineapple and Shrimp Spring Rolls


1 cup crushed pineapple

1 cup cooked shrimp, cubed

1/2 cup shredded red cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 small green chili (seeds removed unless you like it REALLY spicy)

1 tablespoon green onion, chopped

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced

1 egg, beaten

1 package spring roll wrappers (I actually used lumpia wrappers because that’s what I had, but either will do)


Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, and ginger.  Add cabbage, carrots, chili, and onion to the liquid and marinate for 30 minutes.  Add shrimp and pineapple to the vegetables.

To assemble the spring rolls:   Place vegetable and shrimp mixture on the top 1/3 of a spring roll wrapper.  Brush all of the sides with the egg wash.  Fold in the long sides, then roll up the filling in the wrapper (sorry for the bad description on how to roll these up, but if you know how to roll burritos, same idea.)  Brush the outside with the egg wash.  Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

Place wrappers in an oil-less deep fryer (if you don’t have one, you can fry these in oil or bake them at 350) and fry until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce.


Mexi-Monday: Pulled Pork Empanadas with Mango BBQ Sauce
August 22, 2011, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Appetizers, Snacks | Tags: , , , , ,

Anyone who really knows me knows that I love, love, love Mexican food!  This was my first time making Empanadas, but I will definitely be making them again.  I got the idea when I picked up a ravioli maker a few weeks ago and immediately thought of my great friend, Emily, back in the States.  She was always making empanadas for her family (I was never so fortunate to have one of hers, but I’m sure they were great.) 

I used spring roll wrappers for the outside. I didn’t feel like attempting my own, so I thought store-bought would be best.  The only problem: none of the various frozen, premade doughs in the market had labels in English.  So I had to wing it and I picked the one with pictures illustrating how to make a fried spring roll (or maybe lumpia, I’m not really sure.)  I think it worked out well though because my husband claims to hate pastry dough but I know he loves fried spring rolls. 

I also adapted the recipe for Peach and Jalapeno BBQ Sauce from SPCookie Queen.  I would have really liked to try her recipe, but I had to substitute Mango Nector for her fresh peaches, as peaches are not in season and cost an arm and leg.  I’m not kidding, the peaches would have cost me more than the two pounds of Salmon that I already had in my basket.  None the less, I already had the Mango Nector…. “C” loves it so much that he drinks it straight. 

I thought this would be a good recipe to include my little Sous Chefs in on the assembly of the Empanadas, but I think it was too tedious for two preschoolers.  They much prefered to watch the Gabbas instead. 

So, anyway, this post and especially these empanadas, are dedicated to my great friend, Emily and her family back in the States.  Miss you guys!

Pulled Pork Empanadas with Mango BBQ Sauce

Ingredients *

For the Empanadas

1 lb boneless pork chops

1 package frozen spring roll wrappers, thawed

1 cup tomato paste, divided

3 tablespoons cumin

3 tablespoons Montreal Chicken Spice (I was short on most of my other spices, so this had to suffice)

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon chili powder (to taste)

10 grape tomatoes

1/4 cup Cilantro

1 egg, whisked

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

For the BBQ Sauce:

1 onion, diced

1/4 cup pickled jalapeno, diced

2 cups Mango Nector

1/2 tablespoon  Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 tablespoon Brown Sugar

1/4 tablespoon Cayenne

*Like many of my recipes, these are estimated amounts, varied by what my family likes in particular. 


To make the pulled pork: Combine Cumin, Montreal Chicken Spice, 1/2 Tomato Paste, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder in a heavy bottom pot or pressure cooker.  Add pork.  Cover with water and boil over medium high heat in heavy bottom pot for 45 minutes.  Alternatively, if using a pressure cooker, cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. 

Remove Cooked pork from pot and turn heat to high.  Add cherry tomatoes, and cook, uncovered until sauce has reduced by 1/2 to 1/4 and tomatoes burst. 

Meanwhile, shred pork, adding a little of the cooking liquid to keep pork from drying out.  When liquid has reduced, toss with pork until moist, being careful not to add too much liquid.  Cool pork, then toss with cilantro. 

To assemble the empanadas:  Using two spring roll sheets at a time, insert onto ravioli maker and brush with egg mixture.  Add pulled pork mixture and cheese to one side.  Seal and place on a lined baking sheet.  Keep empanadas under a dish cloth.  Repeat until all the spring roll wrappers are used.  Freeze empanadas 1 hour until firm.

Toss Empanadas in olive oil and place in an oil-less deep fry and cook according to the directions.  Alternatively, fry in oil 350 degrees until golden brown on both sides. 

To make the BBQ Sauce:  While the empanadas freeze, saute onions and jalapeno until soft.  Add tomato paste and whisk 3 minutes.  Slowly whisk  in the mango nector.  When combined, add remaining ingredients.  Cook on medium high until sauce reduces and thickens.  For a smooth sauce, use immersion blender to puree. 

*** Mom de Cuisine note: I saved the scraps of spring roll wrappers and gave them a quick fry and then tossed them with cinnamon sugar.  I would have taken a picture of those too, but “C” ate them too fast 🙂