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Zucchini and Apple Olive Oil Cake

Zucchini and Apple Olive Oil Cake

This is a spicy, flavorful cake that originated as Mario Batali’s Zucchini Olive Oil Cake. We adapted it slightly by substituting half of the zucchini called for in the recipe with grated apples. So, if you like, you could use 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Walnuts will taste great, but if you have pecans you could use those, too.

Zucchini and Apple Olive Oil Cake

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 cup of shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded apples
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and oil until light. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, followed by the dry ingredients, beating thoroughly to combine. Add the zucchini and walnuts.

Pour into a greased 13-inch by 9-inch cake pan.

Bake the cake 35-40 minutes, or until it is golden brown on top and springy to the touch in the center. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar and serve.

Adapted from Mario Batali’s recipe, with thanks to www.spoonfulblog.com

Posted in Cooking, Featured, In Season, Recipes0 Comments

Mr. Strange’s Barbecue Sauce

Mr. Strange’s Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce

Thanks to Don Strange of Texas for sharing this recipe.

 

Mr. Strange’s Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup
2 ¾ cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons medium-hot chili powder
¾ teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoon black powder
1 ¾ cups water
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoon honey
1 tablespoons liquid smoke
½ pound (1 stick) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed  3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir the sauce until the butter has melted, then reduce heat and cool completely. Transfer to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.

From Don Strange of Texas

 

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Make a Breakfast of Carne Adovada with Eggs

Make a Breakfast of Carne Adovada with Eggs

“One of the glories of New Mexican cooking, carne advocada is meltingly tender pork marinated and braised in freshly ground red chile sauce,” write Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison in “The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook” (Lyons Press, $24.95). “Nothing makes a more thrilling start to the day in home kitchens, the dish usually would be made a night or two ahead for dinner, since it slow bakes for several hours and improves with a two or two’s age. Pairing it with creamy eggs creates a perfect match of soothing and rousing.”

Carne Adovada with Eggs

Carne Adovada with Eggs

Carne Adovada with Eggs

3/4-1 cup Carne Adovada, warmed (see related recipe here)
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
2 large eggs
Salt, to taste
Black, pepper, to taste

Pour a thick film of oil into a heavy medium skillet over medium heat.

Eggs are most often prepared sunnyside up for this dish. Crack the eggs into the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Fry until the whites have set.

Quickly spoon carne adovada onto a plate in a lery about 1 inch thick. Top with eggs. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

From “The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook” by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

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Rancho de Chimayó’s Carne Adovada Is a Treasure for Chile Lovers

Rancho de Chimayó’s Carne Adovada Is a Treasure for Chile Lovers

“Connoissurs generally consider the village of Chimayó’s heirloom red chile to the best available. Its flavorful balance of sweetness and heat is one of the secrets to Rancho de Chimayó’s signature dish, Carne Adovada,” write Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison in their updated “The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook” (Lyons Press, $24.95). “Not enough true Chimayó chile is grown today to use in all of the restaurant’s dishes, so it is saved for this specialty. Another variety of New Mexican red can be substituted in the recipe, of course, but the resulting flavor won’t be quite as complex. The dishes reaches a peak of flavor when the preparation is spread over two days, so that the pork can marinate in the red chile overnight. Carne adovada is among he spiciest and most popular items on the restaurant’s menu and, like the local chile, is considered nonpareil. Accompany the meat with beans and posole or chicos.”

Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada

Chile Sauce and Marinade:
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces (about 25) whole dried New Mexican red chile pods
4 cups water
2 tablespoons diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon crushed chile pequin (dried hot New Mexican red chile flakes)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano

3 pounds thick boneless shoulder pork chops
Shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce and diced tomato, optional

Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until just golden. Immediately remove from the heat.

Break the stems off the chile pods and discard the seeds. It isn’t necessary to get rid of every seed, but most should be removed. Place the chiles in a sink or large bowl, rinse then carefully, and drain.

Place the damp pods in one layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning them. The chiles can have a little remaining moisture. Remove them from the oven and let cool. Break each chile into two or three pieces.

Purée in a blender half of the pods with 2 cups of water. You will still be able to see tiny pieces of chile pulp, but they should be bound in a smooth, thick liquid. Pour into the saucepan with the garlic. Repeat with the remaining pods and water.

Stir the remaining sauce ingredients into the chile sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken but should remain a little soupy. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature.

Trim the fat from the cut and cut it into 1- to 2-inch cubes. (If you plan to use the meat in burritos, the cubes should be on the small size.) Stir the pork into the chile sauce and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Oil a large baking dish that has a cover.

Transfer the carne adovada and its sauce to the baking dish. Cover and bake until the meat is completely tender and sauce has cooked down, about 3 hours. Stir once about halfway through. If the sauce remains watery after 3 hours, stir well again and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more.

Serve hot, garnished with lettuce and tomato, if you wish.

Ahead-of-time note: Carne adovada is a perfect make-ahead dish. It will keep improving for at least several days. Add a couple of tablespoons of water before reheating in the oven or on the stove.

Variation: Chicken adovada can be made in a similar fashion. Use 3 pounds of chicken breasts cut into cubes as above. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until very tender.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From “The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook” by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

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A Sour Cream Custard Is a Welcome Addition to Apple Pie

A Sour Cream Custard Is a Welcome Addition to Apple Pie

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Sour Cream Apple Pie

You might not think that you can improve on apple pie, but this recipe from the Rancho de Chimayó Restaurant in Chimayó, N.M., makes a powerful argument. The streusel topping alone will be enough to entice some, but it’s the custardy filling with eggs and sour cream that really takes it over the top.

The recipe is one of many in Cheryl Alter Jamison and Bill Jamison’s 50th anniversary edition of “The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook” (Lyons Press, $24.95). They explain its harvest-time appeal, when apples are at their freshest: “Chimayó cooks need a supply of tasty apple recipes for the period in late summer when the orchards are brimming with fruit. This streusel-topped pie needs no accompaniment, though a bill ball of vanilla ice cream can gild the lily if you wish.”

Cinnamon and dulce de leche ice creams also work beautifully. And apples at any time of year will make this pie a welcome treat.

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, well chilled, cut in small cubes
4 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, well chilled
3-4 tablespoons ice water

Filling:
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided use
3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup flour, divided use
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 – 1 1/4 pounds tart or tangy baking apples
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, well chilled, cut in small cubes

Sour Cream Apple Pie with a streusel topping.

Sour Cream Apple Pie with a streusel topping.

Grease a 9-inch pie pan.

Prepare the pie crust. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt, then scatter the butter over the flour and quickly pulse several times just to submerge the butter. Scoop the lard into small spoonfuls and scatter them over the butter-flour mixture; pulse again quickly several more times until they disappear into the flour, too. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse again quickly, just until the water disappears.

Dump the mixture onto a work surface. Lightly rub the dough with your fingers, adding more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed. When the dough holds together when compacted with your fingers, it’s ready. Pat the dough into a fat disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin on a floured work surface into a thin round about 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Arrange the crust in the pie pan, avoiding stretching it. Crimp the edge evenly, and refrigerate the crust for at least 15 additional minutes.

Preheat the oven to 357 degrees.

Prepare the filling. Whisk together in a medium bowl the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, nutmeg and salt until smooth. Peel and core the apples, then slice them very thin. Arrange the apple slices in the pie shell. Pour in the sour cream mixture, coating all of the fruit.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking until the filling is puffed and golden and the apples are tender, 40 to 45 additional minutes.

While the pie bakes, stir together in a small bowl the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour with the cinnamon and pinch of salt. Blend in the butter with your fingertips until the topping mixture forms small clumps.

Remove the pie from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Scatter the topping evenly over the top of the pie and bake until browned lightly, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cool the pie on a baking rack for at least 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 pie serving 8 or more.

From “The Ranch de Chimayó Cookbook” by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

 

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Cool Off with Some Spiky Strawberry Gazpacho

Cool Off with Some Spiky Strawberry Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a great way to use what’s fresh in the market. But no two recipes are alike. The original Spanish version is said to have used stale bread and almonds. This version calls for strawberries mixed with tomatoes, cucumber, onion and garlic.

Strawberry Gazpacho

Strawberry Gazpacho

This recipe, which appears in Maggie Stucky’s “Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup” (Storey Publishing, $19.95), comes from someone who has a Spanish background. It was created by Anna Bueno of Bedford, Mass, who offers the following story: “I learned to cook from my mother. When I was growing up in Barcelona, we all went home for lunch from school, and I would watch her cook  and she would teach me things. Just little things about whatever she was making at the time. No recipe, just talking.

“One of the things we often had on hot summer days was a bowl of cold gazpacho. But sometimes, the strong aroma of the garlic and the onion was too much. A couple of years ago, while having a lovely dinner at home with some friends, one of the guests suggested adding some strawberries to the traditional gazpacho and using less garlic. I decided to try it, and I also reduced the usual amount of sweet red pepper and cucumber. The result was an incredibly refreshing, fruity gazpacho. Make sure you only use the freshest, highest quality ingredients for this soup.”

Why, you ask? Because you can taste the difference.

So, now it’s your turn to play with the recipe. What would you change? You could use tequila instead of the sherry vinegar. Or maybe use minced celery instead of the cucumber. The choices are yours.

If you have an industrial blender, such as a Vitamix, you don’t have to chop a great deal beforehand, meaning this gazpacho can go together in minutes.

Strawberry Gazpacho

6 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 4 cups)
4 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 bell pepper, red or green, seeded and chopped
1/4 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Toss everything in a blender and let it liquify.

Toss everything in a blender and let it liquify.

Measure the chopped tomatoes. If you have more than 4 cups, slice additional strawberries to equal the volume of the tomatoes.

Combine the tomatoes and strawberries in a blender, and add the onion, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Blend to a smooth consistency.

Place the soup in a container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing the flavors to blend. Serve very cold.

Garnish with strawberry slices, if desired.

For large crowds: This is a fine choice for large groups when gardens are overflowing with tomatoes.

Makes 6 servings.

From Anna Bueno, Bedford, Mass./”Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup” by Maggie Stuckey

 

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Discover for Yourself How Good Bienmesabe Tastes

Discover for Yourself How Good Bienmesabe Tastes

Bienmesabe

Bienmesabe

 

Bienmesabe is a Spanish phrase that essentially means “tastes good to me.” You’ll discover this for yourself if you have the dessert at Nao Restaurant, 312 Pearl Parkway, which is celebrating the cuisine of Venezuela through July 7.

Or you can make it for yourself at home.

Essentially, the dish is a simple cake soaked in marsala or madeira, layered with coconut pastry and then topped with meringue, which you can finish with a blowtorch or under the broiler. Watch it closely, so it doesn’t burn.

Bienmesabe

Bizcocho:
3 eggs
75 grams sugar (about 1/3 cup)
75 grams flour (about 2/3 cup)

Blanch the eggs and the sugar (whisk until pale yellow) until risen and soft (about 5 minutes). Fold in the flour slowly and pour in a sheet pan lined with a Silpat. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and reserve.

Coconut pastry cream:
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons coconut flakes
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
¼ cup cornstarch

In a sauce pan heat the milk, the sugar, the coconut milk, the coconut flakes and the butter, season with a pinch of salt. When it comes to a boil, add the cornstarch (diluted in a bit of water). Reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until the texture thickens. Transfer to a plastic container and continue stirring until the mixture has cooled down. Reserve.

To set up Bienmesabe: Cut out a piece of bizcocho using a PVC mold or fill in a ramekin. Pour sweet marsala or madeira wine over the bizcocho until it is moist. Fill with coconut pastry cream and top with another piece of wine-soaked bizcocho. Place in the freezer.

Meringue:
100 grams sugar (about 1/2 cup)
2 egg whites, whipped

Cook the sugar into a caramel and bring the temperature up to 250 degrees. Pour over the whipped egg whites and continue to whip until the meringue is ready and cool down.

To plate the dessert: Unmold the bienmesabe. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Before serving, use a piping bag and form a crest of meringue (like spikes) all over the “cake.” Use a blowtorch to “brûlée” the meringue and decorate with dehydrated coconut shavings.

Serve with a scoop of mango sorbet, if desired.

From Nao Restaurant

 

Posted in Chefs' Corner, Recipes2 Comments

Adan Medrano’s Chile Ancho Albondigas (Meatballs)

Adan Medrano’s Chile Ancho Albondigas (Meatballs)

Adan Medrano, CIA culinary grad and chef, was at San Antonio’s Nao on Thursday night. The meal was good from start to finish, and best of all, we got copies of his book, full of recipes such as the one below as well as others that we’ll share here on SavorSA soon.

Adan Medrano Chile Ancho MeatballsMedrano started San Antonio’s Chicano Film Festival back in the 1970s,  and wrote  “Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes” (Texas Tech University Press, $29.95), to get the recipes of his people on paper. The dinner at Nao served recipes made from his book, under the kitchen guidance of chef Geronimo Lopez. The book is a combination of social history and cookbook. These meatballs were served as appetizers on skewers, but we’d suggest them as a dish, with freshly made gorditas and some of the velvety frijoles that Nao served inside squash blossoms, another appetizer from this book.

See SavorSA’s article on Medrano, by John Griffin here.

Chile Ancho Meatballs (Albondigas)

For the adobo:
4 chiles anchos, seeded and deveined
1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoon fresh Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 pound 96 percent fat-free ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
3 ounces large bread strips or pieces (to make about 1 ½ cups)
1/2 cup milk
To make the meatballs:  In a saucepan, add water to cover the chiles and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat, let the chiles cook for 15 minutes and then drain.

Place the chiles, onion, garlic, Mexican oregano and salt in a blender and purée until completely smooth.  If there are any flecks or small bits in the purée, strain through a fine mesh sieve.  The chile purée should be velvety smooth.

Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven, add the chile purée and fry it for 10 minutes.  It will splatter a bit. The color will deepen and the purée will thicken. Set aside.

In a bowl, pour the milk, add the bread and set aside. Mix together the pork and beef.  Squeeze excess milk from the bread and add it to the meat, along with the beaten egg.

Add 8 tablespoons of the chile ancho purée to the meat, add the salt and mix thoroughly.

Form the seasoned meat into 40 1-½- inch meatballs and place them on a large cookie sheet.

Roast the meatballs in a 400-degree oven for 12-15 minutes until browned and crispy on the outside. Remove from the oven and allow the meatballs to rest for 10 minutes.  They are ready to serve with the adobo.

To make the adobo:  To the remaining purée add the tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes until the adobo begins to thicken.  Taste and correct the salt.

The meatballs can be served as in the picture, or the adobo can be served on the side for dipping.   They are moist and delicious the second day and will keep in the fridge for five days.

Ay, Dios mío, these food pathways are full of deliciousness!

Makes 40 1-½ inch albóndigas

From Adan Medrano

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Luca’s ‘Franz’ Panino

Luca’s ‘Franz’ Panino

Known for his work at Nosh on Austin Highway, San Antonio chef Luca Della Casa has survived his latest round on “Star Salvation,” the TV challenge that he needs to survive if he wants to earn his back to “Food Network Star.” So, he’ll be back.

Luca Della Casa’s made this panino sandwich, which pleased audiences and judges alike. It spices up cured Italian meats with a chile paste, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard blend. Then it’s finished off with a caprese treatment, with fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and basil. The best of both worlds!

(To watch Sunday’s “Star Salvation,” click here.)

Luca's PaninoLuca’s ‘Franz’ Panino

1/4 cup cut up red onion
1 garlic clove
6 black olives
Salt, to taste
Pinch, black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chile paste
Juice from half a lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 baguette
4 slices mortadella
4 slices sopressata
2 slices fresh mozzarella
2-3 slices tomato
Several basil leaves

Chop together the red onion, garlic and black olives; combing this mixture with the salt, pepper and olive oil. Set aside.

Mix together the mayonnaise, chile paste and lemon juice, along with the Dijon mustard. 

Slice a baguette in half, spread with the mayonnaise/mustard mixture, then spread on the chopped onion and olive mixture. Layer on the sliced mortadella and sopressata. Put the baguette in a panini press for 5 minutes. When the panino is ready, add to it the fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Buon appetito!

From Luca Della Casa

Photo courtesy Luca Della Casa/Food Network

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Avocado and Tomato Sorbet

Avocado and Tomato Sorbet

Heirloom tomatoes, grown in your own yard or by farmers in your area, are among ways to get the most nutritional quality for your food dollars.

Heirloom tomatoes, grown in your own yard or by farmers in your area, are among ways to get the most nutritional quality for your food dollars.

It’s just cool, in a every way.

 

Avocado and Tomato Sorbet

4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, divided
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon hot sauce (preferably Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 ripe avocados
Olive oil cooking spray
1 small lime, peeled, membranes removed from segments, and segments diced
8 baked corn chips, crushed
12 leaves cilantro, roughly chopped

Blend tomatoes, tomato juice, 1/2 teaspoon oil, lime juice and hot sauce with 1/2 cup water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Freeze in an ice cream maker, as directed by manufacturer. Store in freezer.

Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion until tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook 10 minutes more. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Blend in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Set aside.

Slice avocado thinly and divide among 8 small plates, fanning out slices to form a flat surface. Coat avocado with cooking spray; cover with plastic wrap until needed (to prevent oxidation). Place diced lime on and around avocado. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place 1 scoop sorbet on top of avocado slices; drizzle with 1 teaspoon onion oil. Divide chips among plates; sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish with cilantro.

Recipe courtesy Epicurious.com

 

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