Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Beans and Corn

I wanted a side dish for my empanadas that had vegetables in it and thought of corn. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website. It's easy and more exciting than just beans or just corn. My husband was a big fan.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) black beans
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup canned green chiles, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup fresh corn kernels
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Splash of lime juice
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley leaves for garnish (I used cilantro)

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and very soft, about 10 minutes.

Drain the black beans, and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add the beans, the reserved bean liquid, and the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, to saucepan; cover, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with the parsley leaves. Serve immediately.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Kit Kat Bars

I can't say that these taste exactly like a kit kat bar, but they are still good. I tried them from the fridge and at room temperature. I think they are better at room temperature. The flavors meld better.

Kit Kat Bars

75 club crackers (I didn't actually count, just buy a box of crackers)

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups gram cracker crumbs (from about 14 graham cracker sheets)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cream peanut butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butterscotch-flavored morsels (I just used extra chocolate chips)

In an ungreased 13x9" baking sheet, put a layer of club crackers. You may need to cut a few in order to cover the entire base. I cut 2 crackers in half to lay them on the side.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the graham cracker crumbs, the brown sugar, the milk and the white sugar. I made the graham cracker crumbs simply by putting around 14 sheets of crackers in my mini food processor (in batches) and processing until they reached the consistency of fine crumbs.

Boil the mixture for 5 minutes (starting the timer the moment you start to see bubbles) and stir the entire time. Remove from the heat, and spread half of the mixture over the crackers already in the baking pan. I used an off-set spatula for this, but that's not necessary. Lay another layer of club crackers over the butter mixture. At this point, I returned the remaining half of the butter mixture to the heat for under one minute to get it flowing again. Spread the remainder of the butter mixture over the second layer of crackers. Add a final layer of crackers over the top.

In a small saucepan, melt the last three ingredients together, then spread this mixture over the third layer of crackers. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

Source: mixingbowl.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Green Chile Beef Empanadas

What can you do with leftover shredded beef from our shredded green chile beef burritos? Make empanadas. It's a really easy way to use up your shredded beef leftovers--of course you can make the shredded beef just for this recipe too. It's a recipe from Robin Miller of Food Network. Yum, yum, yum.

Green Chile Beef Empanadas

2 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crusts

2 cups cooked shredded beef
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Unroll pie crusts onto a flat surface. Top each quadrant of crust with 1/2 cup of beef, 1/4 cup of cheese and about a tablespoon of chiles, making even layers and spreading ingredients to within 1/2-inch of the edges. Top with second pie crust. Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, make an X across the circle, making 4 equal sections. Pinch around the edges with a fork to seal.

Transfer empanadas to a baking sheet and make small slits in the top of each one to allow steam to escape during cooking. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I do not like most things pumpkin. I do however like pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I don't know what it is. Maybe the flavor is more subtle than something like pumpkin pie. All I know is that it is good. And so is this recipe. It makes two loaves, so beware. The amounts will seem large and make sure you use a big bowl.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

*Note: This bread tastes best when it has cooled completely for a few hours and tastes even better the next day.

*Makes 2 (9X5-inch loaves) or 3 (8X4-inch loaves)

2 ½ cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans or three 8x4-inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together canned pumpkin, oil, eggs and 2/3 cup water until well combined and stir into dry ingredients, just until the dry ingredients are moistened and no dry streaks remain. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter in prepared pans.

Bake the bread for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife gently around the edge of the bread and turn the bread out, right side up, onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: mel's kitchen cafe