Monday, January 31, 2011

Mexican Style Zucchini and Caramelized Onions Galette

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

1 large zucchini, sliced
1 teaspoon salt (to sweat zucchini)
1/2 cup caramelized onions (Click for Recipe)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 - 9 inch ready to bake pie crust
1 1/2 cups Kraft Authentic Mexican cheese
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced, diagonally  (stems and seeds removed)
1 egg
parchment paper

Lay zucchini rounds out over several layers of paper towels.

Sprinkle with salt and let sweat for 30 minutes.  Gently pat the zucchini dry with paper towels before using and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thoroughly mix the caramelized onions, and garlic.  

Unroll the pie dough on parchment paper.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese in the center of the dough, leaving about a 2-inch border all around.

Layer half of the zucchini slices on top of the cheese.

Add half of the caramelized onions mixture on top of the zucchini.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Add the final layer of zucchini.
Add the final layer of caramelized onions mixture.
Add a layer of the jalapeno slices.

 Sprinkle top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
Fold the edges of the pie dough up to close the galette. 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk egg until well blended, add 1 tablespoon water, and whisk again until well blended.  Brush the crust with the egg yolk wash.

Place on a baking pan with the parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Galette is a general term used in French to designate various types of flat, round or freeform crusty cakes.

Caramelized Onions

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing

3 large yellow onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar

Cut off ends of onions, cut in half and slice.

In a (11") large heavy bottomed skillet, add olive oil and butter and heat over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering.

Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions.  Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.  After 10 minutes, sprinkle the salt and sugar over the onions.  Let cook for 30 minutes to an hour more, stirring every few minutes.

As soon as the onions start sticking to the pan, let them stick a little and brown, but then stir them before they burn.  The  After the first 20 to 30 minutes, lower heat to medium and add a little more oil, if you find the onions are verging on burning.  

A metal spatula will help you scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the caramelization proceeds.  Continue to cook and scrape, until the onions are a rich, browned color.  Enjoy!

Makes about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups

Tip:  You can use these caramelized onions on pizza, for making dips, onion soup, and so many other recipes that call for caramelized onions!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cuban Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

3 pounds flank or chuck
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large Roma tomato, chopped
1 large onion, halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup Spanish olives, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup water

Grind the oregano, comino, salt and pepper together.

Pat the meat dry, remove fat or any silver lining, cut into 3" to 4" squares. 

Season all over with the oregano, cumin and pepper mixture.  Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the meat, in batches, do not overcrowd the skillet  and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Remove meat and add to pressure cooker. De-glaze pan with 1/2 cup white wine and add to pressure cooker.

Add the tomatoe, onion, crushed garlic, bay leaf and 1 cup water.

Lock the lid in place, increase the heat to high and bring the cooker to high pressure. Lower the heat to maintain high pressure and cook 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and use the quick-release valve to bring down the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the pressure-cooker lid. Discard the bay leaf, then transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and shred the meat into thin rope-like pieces with a fork.

Return the shredded meat back into the large bowl and add the peppers, olives, parsley and minced garlic. Add 1 cup of the liquid from the pressure cooker to the bowl and stir.

Season with salt, if needed.  Enjoy!

Tip:  Ropa Vieja means, "Old Clothes".  Serve with black beans and white rice!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cuban Black Beans

TipRead directions completely before preparing.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup salt pork, cubed 1/4" - 1/2" pieces
1 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
1 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon comino seeds (cumin)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon capers, non-pareil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup water

Add olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet and heat over medium high.  Add salt pork and fry until crispy.

While the salt pork is frying, in a molcajete (mortar and pestle) add garlic, comino, oregano, and peppercorns and grind into a paste.

Add 1 cup of water and stir to loosen all the spices and set aside.

Once the salt pork is fried, add onion, and saute until tender.

Add beans, capers, tomatoes, cilantro, vinegar and molcajete ground mixture, stir, than bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over white rice!  Enjoy!

Tip:  Black beans, white rice and Ropa Vieja, a Cuban style shredded beef, are a great combination!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Garlic Chicken Wings

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.


3 1/2 pounds chicken wings
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable or Grapeseed Oil
1 1/2 cups flour
Cooking spray

1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce


Suggestion: I would brine the chicken wings in a covered container with 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 cups of water over night.  This helps the wings come out nice and juicy!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the chicken wings in a large mixing bowl, and season salt and pepper. Add hot sauce and vegetable or Grapeseed oil, and toss to coat evenly.

Add the flour and dredge the wings thoroughly.

Cover sheet pan with foil, and spray well with the non-stick spray. Place the chicken wings on the pan and spray wings with oil spray.

Bake for 30 minutes, turn the chicken wings over, and bake for another 30 minutes, or until browned and crusty and cooked thoroughly.

While the chicken wings are baking, add the glaze ingredients to a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off and set aside. 

When the chicken wings are done, transfer into a clean bowl while still hot, and pour over the glaze. 

Toss until all the chicken wings are coated well, let cool for 10 minutes , then transfer onto a serving platter.

Tip:  These would be a great recipe for Super Bowl Sunday!