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Sunday, February 28, 2010

E.S.P. Chef Ep.2

To start off, let me just say I'm seriously craving chicken and waffles right now. How many more weeks until Easter?

When I was first starting out in this little blog o' mine, I had posted a video a friend on mine had done called E.S.P. Chef. You can video that first video here. This isn't your average cooking show, which is the cool thing about. Well...they've made a second episode and they're creating more.

Description:
The E.S.P. Chef. The cooking show seen only in one's head. (Or here on the web). Original webisode series.

In this episode:
The ESP Chef joins a guerrilla resistance in the sovereign nation of Varushtok. He shows us how to create a chocolate treat for his lover.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cream Cheese and Mushroom Tartlettes


Appetizer #2 for Stir It 28. These little guys went quick. I barely got out of the kitchen and half was already gone! This one is pretty simple and easy to make. It's almost the same as my cream cheese and mushroom puffs, but in bite sized form. I did tweak the recipe up a bit. The cups are made from phyllos dough. No, I didn't make those. I got the premade ready to eat ones from Whole Foods. I was tempted at making them from scratch since I did make the paprika tortilla chips myself, but I've had fairly mixed experiences with working with phyllo dough sheets and being in a bit of a time crunch I couldn't afford to futz around in the kitchen too much. I'll let someone else do that work for me.

The mushrooms and onion were simply sauteed and slightly cooled before mixing in the cream cheese. I chilled it for half hour before stuffing them into the phyllo cups.

Makes 38 tartlettes



Cream Cheese and Mushroom Tartlettes

8oz white mushroom - chopped
1/2 small sweet onion - chopped
1 1/2 oz cream cheese
38 Phyllo cups
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, heat a tiny drizzle of oil. Saute the onion and mushrooms. The onions should look translucent. Season with a little salt and pepper. Transfer for a bowl and drain out the juices. Let it cool for 10 minutes before adding the cream cheese. Mix together thoroughly.

Let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then scoop into the individual phyllo cups.

These can be served at room temp.

 
 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Crab Salad Tostaditas


Another name I like to call it by is crab salad with baked paprika tortilla chips.

Here's the first appetizer I served at the Stir It 28 event. The crab salad was made from king crab meat and mixed with some celery, carrot, bell pepper, sweet onion, green onion, and combined together with a bit of mayo.  Not too much. Just a little to get everything nice and coated. and season with a tiny bit of salt and pepper. Let it rest in the fridge before serving.

The tortilla chips were basically homemade made flour tortillas that I added paprika into the flour. After cooking them up I cut them into triangle pieces and baked them for 10 minutes in a 400˚F oven.

Crab salad makes roughly 2 cups. Paprika Tortilla Chips makes roughly 75 chips



Crab Salad

16 oz fresh crab meat
1 celery stalk - fine chopped
1 small carrot - fine chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper - deseeded
1 green onion - chopped
1/2 small sweet onion - fine chopped
2 Tbsp mayo
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste

In a large bowl, shred the crab meat into pieces. Mix in the mayo, celery, carrot, bell pepper, both onions and salt. Season with a good pinch of pepper. Toss together evenly

Chill in the fridge if not serving immediately.



Paprika Tortilla Chips


1 c all purpose flour
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 c warm water


In a bowl combine the flour and salt. In another small glass, combine the water and oil.

Slowly mix the water mixture into the flour mixture. Combine well until it forms into a dough ball. On a light floured clean and flat surface, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes. If the dough begins to stick to the board scrape up the dough and lightly flour the surface again.

Form the dough into a ball and let it rest for 20 minutes covered by a damp towel or paper towel. Then divide in the 10 equal pieces and form into small balls and let rest for another 10 minutes.

Heat up wide enough pan or cast iron skillet. No oil or butter needed.

If you have a tortilla press, use it to flatten each dough ball. If not, roll out the each dough ball in the thin circular sheet like you would a pizza dough. Use a rolling pin or your hands. Carefully, place the flatten dough on the heated skillet and cook each side for roughly 3-5 minutes. When it slightly begins to bubble is the signal to flip. You just want it to barely start browning.

Keep the tortilla warm by placing it in a tortilla warmer wrapped in foil.

Cut the tortillas into 6 pieces each making it into triangle shapes. Lay them flat on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 400˚F oven or until they have lightly browned are are crisp.

 
 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stir It 28 Recap - Good food for a good cause


I'm glad to say that Stir It 28 went great. There looked to have been great turn out for a good cause. I'm proud to say that I was a part of it. So rather than writing endlessly about it. I'll just share with you some photos from the event. I'm so glad to have been able to put a faces to some of the blogs that I've been following as well as meeting new ones along the way. A special thanks to Chrystal of Duo Dishes for organizing the event and to Greg of Sippity Sup for hosting it as his lovely home -- which upon arriving I immediately fell in love with his house, more so the fabulous kitchen!!

I was one of several bloggers that cooked up some delicious eats. It was a pleasure meeting you all as well as other bloggers and non-bloggers who came to support the event. There were cocktails and some raffles prizes given away. My little ticket was almost called. It was off by one number. Darn! hehehe...

For my part, I made two appetizers. The first was Crab Salad Tostadita, which was basically some crab salad with homemade paprika tortilla chips. (There I go again with those darn tortillas!! Ha!!) The second was Cream Cheese and Mushroom Tartlettes. Both were well received and ran out fairly quick! I'll be posting the recipe to those in the next two days. It's definitely something I'll be keeping for gatherings and parties. We were all assigned shifts to take turns serving.  By the end of it all, I was really stuffed. It was a happy stuffed. Being able to try other bloggers creations is always fun and great. Seeing all our different cooking and baking styles. I did fairly good in staying away from the chocolate and meat. It was all too tempting, I tell ya! I had my point and shoot with me. I was planning for bring my dslr, but I already had a lot of stuff in my hands. Anyway...here's some of pics. Enjoy!

 
  

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips


Am I driving you nuts yet with this whole tortilla business??? I've seriously been  in a tortilla kick. February has become the month of the tortilla. You know when you get a new "toy all you want to do is play around with it for an endless amount of time. It's like that with the tortilla. Sad isn't it? 

When I started making my own, I couldn't just stop at making burritos and tacos. I decided to make some chips as well. These are the plain unsalted kind. As much as I like the store bought stuff they can get a bit flimsy and sometimes have too much salt stuck on them. These are healthier, not oily and definitely sturdy for good dippage. I cut the tortillas into quarters. I saw them served like that once when I went to a Brazillian restaurant. Thought it was neat idea. Baked them in a 400˚F preheated oven and baked for 10 minutes. Just until they for slightly brown and was definitely crispy. Serve them as is. I had this with some fresh guacamole. Definitely holds the dip well than those flimsy ones. It has a good crunch, too.



Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

Homemade flour Tortillas - cut into quarters or eighths


Preheat you oven to 400˚F

Place the quarters tortilla piece on an ungreased baking sheet. Baked for roughly 10 minutes or until tortillas have lightly brown and are crisp to the touch.

Serve warm or cooled with your choice of dips and salsa.

 
 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Slightly Tropical Quesadilla


I still have more mushrooms and frozen spinach. I still had those extra tortillas that I had made the other day. So I put eerything together like I did with the pizza. Cheese, then spinach, then mushroom. Then in comes the tropical aspect of this meal. Chopped pineapple bits. Yup! You wouldn't necessarily find it paired with spinach or mushroom in a quesadilla, but if it's paired Canadian bacon and baked into a pizza, heck...why not? I brought out ol' Georgie for this one. Cook both sides at once.

Makes 2 quesadillas



Slightly Tropical Quesadilla

4 taco-sized tortillas
2 c shredded mozzarella
1 c spinach  - from frozen
1/2 c chopped mushrooms
1/3 c Pineapple bits - roughly chopped

Take a tortilla and sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella. Next layer the 1 cup of the spinach, followed by half the mushroom and pineapple. Top with another tortilla

Do this to make the second quesadilla.

Preheat your skillet. When hot enough, place the quesadilla flat. Cook for roughly 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Then flip and cook the other side for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve warm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spinach Mushroom Tortilla Pizzas

Pizza was on my mind. I didn't have any dough, even the premade kind. Plus, I was feeling a bit sore from a morning workout, so moving about wasn't something I really wanted to do much. I made some tortillas again thinking I'd make some tacos, but the urge for pizza was pretty strong. I do like a nice crisp thin crust sometimes. So I placed some shredded mozzarella as the bottom layer. I learned that this helps keep the crust crisp and from soaking up the sauce to make a mushy bottom. Then the tomato sauce and followed by some chopped mushrooms and spinach. I used the frozen kind. Though, I do prefer fresh. Finally topped it with more cheese and baked until the crust was crisp and cheese micely melted just to the point where it was still slightly stringy.

Makes 2 personal pizzas



Spinach Mushroom Tortilla Pizzas

2 tortillas - taco sized or slightly larger
1 c chopped mushrooms
1 c spinach -  from frozen
1/2 c tomato sauce
2 c shredded mozzarella (plus more if needed)
1 c shredded parmesan

Preheat your oven to 400˚F

Lay the tortilla flat on a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet.  Take 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella and sprinkle it on both tortillas. Then spread the tomato sauce over. (This will help keep the tortilla crisp while baking). Then sprinkle the mushroom and spinach and top it with the parmesan and other cup of shredded mozzarella.

Baked for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Serve warm.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How I spent my birthday

So as you may know, I celebrated my birthday this past Monday, which was President's Day. It was nice to have the day off. I didn't really have a plan as to what I was going to do for the day. As the years have gone by I just let day take me where it want to go. It was a "go with the flow" kind of day. To start, I went to Panera Bread and had myself a little breakfast brunch sandwich of their Asiago bread sandwich with bacon, cheese, and egg with a hot cup of fresh brewed hazelnut coffee.


I had gotten a pleasant call from on my best friend to visit the zoo with her son, who is also my godson, so we spent several hours looking at the animals, snacking on kettle corn and admiring his first time seeing the different animals. He seemed to like the noisy birds quite a bit. We also spent a little playtime at the park.

Hello kangaroo


Climbing up the kiddie slide -- the wrong way

To cap off the day, my mom had treated me to a lovely dinner at Katsuya. It's a Japanese fusion slightly upscale restaurant with locations in Glendale, LA, Beverly Hills (I think -- can't be sure as I rarely go to restaurants these days.)

 

 
I believe you've all met my lovely mom. 

Hi there!

So we order: 

 Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna

The rice looked it was cooked over one of those char grills giving the crust as nice crisp and a chewy texture inside. The tuna itself wasn't overly spicy, so anyone who isn't a fan of hot and spicy foods will enjoy this one.

Kobe Tebanyaki

Slices of kobe beef (cooked to your liking) with wild mushrooms served on a sizzling plate with a size or extra sauce. I had mine cooked medium rare, which was nicely tender. 

Almond Crusted Scallops

Served with s slice of lemon with s spoonful of sea salt and ponzu sauce. Those scallops were big. The almonds were nice and crist and the scallops nicely tender as well. 

 
We finished it all.

 To wash it down I ordered myself a nice midor sour.

Though, I was tempted to bake something that day. Laziness won over doing "something" and I just went out and bought myself a nice big birthday cupcake from Crumbs Bakeshop at the Americana in Glendale. 

Chocolate Pecan Pie Cupcake
It was literally the size of my fist. Moist and chewy. *drool*

Cheers. 
Of course I didn't eat it all myself. I shared half with my mom. 

Overall, it was a good birthday spent. Simple and unplanned.
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