Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cherries Under the Faucet-Black and White Wednesday

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Rinsing Fresh Cherries Under the Faucet

Image photographed with the Slow Shutter app on the iPhone 4 and edited in PhotoSuite using the Texturize filter, plus a black and white filter. This is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #45 hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. A brilliant blog event created by the very talented photographer, recipe developer and food blogger, Susan and one of my very favorite events. 

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Herb Blogging #347-The Roundup

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It's with great pleasure that I host another edition of Weekend Herb Blogging. # 347 takes us deep into the seventh year now which I believe it may make it one of the longest running blog events. Today, I present you with a delicious array of sweets and savory. My grocery list has been written and all these recipes I hope to recreate in the next few weeks. Thanks to Haalo for managing this event begun by Kalyn and thanks to all who submitted recipes and photos for #347.Fragoliva will be hosting #348, both the English and the Italian version.

Photographed in a lovely outdoor setting, a refreshing soya yogurt based smoothie featuring summer watermelon, bananas and mixed frozen berries. No need for sugar in this naturally sweet libation. Bri is also hosting WHB #347-Italian.
Fruit Smoothie
Lake Garda, Italy

Chinese five spices add an Oriental touch to these pickled cherries perfect for enjoying in a salad as well as using the intensely flavored liquid for a dressing. Summer bounty at its best!
Five Spice Pickled Cherries
Janet-Taste Space
Toronto, Canada

Baby bella mushrooms supplant the commonly used Shitake mushrooms in this colorful broccoli stir-fry  dish. Baby bellas are also known in their larger cousin as portobello mushrooms. 

Red prunes star in confectioners' sugar dusted clafoutis style tart made with Italian ladyfingers, whipped cream and yogurt. Nectarines can substituted for the red prunes. Cinzia is also submitting this lovely tart to WHB#347-Italian.

Truly a comfort dessert, an upside down pineapple cake elevated to new heights with amarena cherries nestled between the pineapple slices. An elegant substitution for the commonly used glace cherry.

A vibrant cooked salsa made from guajillo chiles along with honey and vinegar creates a classic shrimp escabeche. Perfect for appetizers or as a first course.
Savannah, Georgia

If I have left anyone out or need to correct anything, I do apologize, please contact me and I will correct the errors.

Please do not use images or text without my permission.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Roasted Guajillo Salsa and Shrimp Escabeche- Weekend Herb Blogging #347

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This earthy, vibrant salsa features the guajillo ("little gourd") chile that averages about 4 inches long and is one of the chiles used in making mole, along with the ancho chile and the pasilla chile. A brief toasting in oil bring out the guajillo's robust flavor. This is a chunky salsa so the toasted guajillo's are not soaked as commonly done with smooth chile sauces. The pureed guajillo's are combined with roasted tomatillos and sweet roasted onions and garlic resulting in a salsa that is not only delicious in the   shrimp escabeche here, but can be slathered on grilled vegetables, or used in stews, soups or casseroles.

For the Salsa
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles (1 ounce)
  • Olive oil-1/4 inch depth in a heavy duty skillet
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1/2 small white onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey, optional, but smooths out the flavors some

  1. Pull the stems off the chilies, split them open and shake out the seeds. Heat the oil to 1/4-inch depth in a  skillet over medium heat. Lay a chile in the hot oil-hot enough for the chile to bubble slowly. With tongs, turn the chile over several times as it toasts. It should take 15-20 seconds-too much and the chiles will burn and be bitter. Drain on paper towels. They will crisp as they cool.
  2. Preheat the broiler. In a rimmed baking sheet, lay some foil to completely cover the pan with about an inch overhang. Lay the tomatillos on the foil-lined baking pan. Set the pan 4 inches below the broiler and roast until the tomatillos have softened and blackened in places, about 8-10 minutes, turning the tomatillos halfway through the cooking process. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Reduce the oven heat to 425 F. In another baking pan lined with foil, combine the onion and garlic. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes; stir and bake an additional 10 minutes, stirring after another 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden and the garlic soft. Remove and cool to room temperature.
  4. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos with their juice and the dry roasted guajillos. Pulse to chop and then process until a smooth puree is formed. Scrape out two-thirds of the puree into a bowl. On a cutting board,roughly chop the onion and garlic, then add them to the blender or food processor with the remainder of the guajillo puree. Pulse several times to finely chop the onions/guajillo mixture. Add a little of the water, if necessary, to keep the salsa moving around the bowl of the processor. Scrape into the same bowl as the initial puree.
  5. Taste and season with salt. Taste again and add a little sugar to balance the flavors. The salsa is ready to use or can be covered and refrigerated for use within 5 days. Makes 2 cups.

For the Shrimp Escabeche
  • 1-1/2 cups Roasted Guajillo Salsa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled (last segment and tail left on) and deveined
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Puree the salsa if desired. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the salsa and simmer briskly, stirring frequently, until it has cooked down to the consistency of a loose tomato paste. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. Taste and season with salt and honey.
  2. Stir the shrimp into the cooked salsa and return the skillet to the heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are just cooked through and opaque, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook as they will toughen. Transfer to a platter and let cool to room temperature. In a small strainer, rinse the sliced onion under cold water and shake dry. Add to shrimp along with the cilantro leaves. Serves 4-6 as an appetizer.

Recipe from-Salsas that Cook by Rick Bayless. If making your own Roasted Guajillo Salsa is too daunting, you can also buy it from Frontera Fiesta. It is also available in many grocery stores and speciality food stores.

This is my contribution to  Weekend Herb Blogging #347 hosted by yours truly.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Black and White Wednesday # 45-Guajillo Chilies

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Dried Guajillo Chiles

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."
~~Ansel Adams~~

The dried Guajillo chiles looked so fresh and pliable that I had to buy them!  This is my entry to Black and White Wednesday #45 created by one of my favorite photographers and food blogger par excellence, Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted by the lovely Claire of Chez Cayenne. In a few days, I will post a recipe using the Guajillo chilies, so stay tuned.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Announcing Weekend Herb Blogging #347

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A dried version of the fresh Mirasol chile, the Guajillo chile is a dark reddish brown chile that is relatively mild, rating 2500-5000 on the Scoville scale. Its flavor is reminiscent of green tea with berry overtones. As it is a thick chile, it requires more soaking time than other dried chiles and its flavor is enhanced by toasting before soaking. The Guajillo is most commonly sold whole and is used in sauces, salsas and can be ground into powder for use as a chile powder or to for pastes. For my contribution (posted later this week) to WHB #347 as host will be Shrimp in Red Escabeche using a Roasted Red Guajillo Salsa.

I'm pleased to be hosting  Weekend Herb Blogging #347, created by the Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and now superbly managed by Haalo of Cooks (Almost) Anything Once. I'd love to have your submissions  between now and Sunday, August 19th by 3pm  Utah USA time. On Monday, the 20th, I will post the roundup for this event. The rules are simple and can be found here. Please email your entry to lynnylu AT gmail DOT com  with WHB #347 in the subject line and in addition the following information---

Your Name
Your Post URL
Your Blog URL
Your Location
Your Attached Photo, not more than 400 px wide.

WHB #348 will be hosted by A.B.C at Fragoliva. WHB #346 Roundup-Susan of the Well-Seasoned Cook.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Easy Caramel Pudding-Secret Recipe Club

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Today is reveal day for Secret Recipe Club and I was assigned to choose a recipe from Jennifer's lovely blog, Jen's Journey. Not only does Jen feature very drool worthy  recipes, she reviews books, movies, restaurants, fashion-you name it! She is a veritable "jen of all trades". It was very difficult to choose a recipe, but I was impressed with homemade mixes section as I am not a fan of boxed anything, preferring to make my own cakes, puddings, salad dressings, etc. We love puddings, so the easy homemade caramel pudding really appealed to me. It was a hit! A little instant espresso powder was added with a topping of whipped cream and chopped chocolate nut bark, a gift from a recent house guest. With no whole milk in the fridge, I used 2% milk, plus half and half (single cream).

Easy Caramel Pudding

1 cup 2% milk
1 cup half and half (single cream)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water

Combine the 2% milk and half and half. Remove 1/4 cup of the combined milk to a small bowl. Whisk in cornstarch, salt, vanilla and expresso. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat milk until small bubbles form around the edges of the saucepan. Cover and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar with the 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil, swirling to distribute the sugar as it melts. Cook on medium-high heat until amber colored, about 5 minutes. Take care not to burn as the sugar water mixture goes from amber to black in a millisecond.

To the caramel, add the milk a little at a time and stir until caramel has melted into the milk. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened very slightly and the color has deepened. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, cooking over low heat, stirring constantly until pudding has thickened-about a minute. The pudding will thicken more as it cools.

Scrape the pudding into 4 ramekins and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours. To prevent a skin from forming over the pudding, press plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding. To serve, top with a dollop of stabilized whipped cream. This cream is perfect for icing cakes which called for a whipped cream topping.

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