Friday Recipe Exchange: Summer Grilling

strawberries over pound cake

Nobody says the sliced strawberries can’t be served over pound cake. Photo by JeffreyW

I finally finished the first of four cookbooks, so I thought I’d start the recipe threads again. Since I have the menus already formatted, it’s easy enough to copy and paste them into a thread once a week.  I’ve had a few requests to start posting again, if only so everyone has a place to share recipes. Seems like a good idea these days.

On the board tonight: Santa Fe Chicken and Black Bean Salad

MENU
Santa Fe Chicken Breasts (recipe below)
Tortilla chips
Black Bean Salad  (recipe here)
Sliced Strawberries

Santa Fe Chicken Breast

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup Picante or salsa (Fresh Salsa recipe here)
  • 4 oz sliced Monterey jack cheese

Reusable plastic container

Add chicken, vinegar and cilantro to reusable container and marinate 1 hour or overnight.

Remove chicken from marinade and slice each breast in a butterfly cut (slicing in half horizontally, but leaving attached at one edge, so it folds open like butterfly wings).

Fold open and grill or broil until cooked through (as little as 5 minutes each side, depending on heat and thickness).

Don’t let dry out.  Use a meat thermometer – remove at 165°

On one half of each breast, add 1 oz cheese and 2 tbsp or more of Picante/salsa, fold other half over and heat until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

cookbook

That’s it for this week. What’s cooking in your kitchen? Go ahead and share your favorite recipes and tips.  Otherwise, open thread.








I Baked Today: Apple Strudel

I had a couple of apples about to turn and needed to use them. Peaches, blueberries and plums are cluttering my counter, along with corn and tomatoes, so the chances the apples were going to be eaten anytime soon, were slim.

I hadn’t done a strudel in a long time and the recipe seemed simple enough, so here we are.  I made two small dishes, so I could freeze one. Each little casserole dish held half the recipe.

Apple Strudel

  • 2 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 3 tsp. boiling water

8×8 baking dish, well-greased

Stir dry ingredients; mix water with butter and add to dry ingredients. Knead well.

Divide dough into 5 parts. Roll each part very thin between wax paper.

In the baking dish, layer dough & filling, ending with dough. Bake in 400° F oven for 30 minutes. Remove, cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Filling:

  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 apples, chopped finely

Mix together and spread between layers

After turning on the news briefly this morning, I have been offline the rest of the day. Plan on keeping it that way. I will tell you that the state Democratic Party contacted me yesterday and asked me if I would be interested in running for an office. After I stopped laughing, I told them probably not, but sign me up for voter registration and get out the vote efforts.

Respite open thread.








Mmmm….Chocolate Caramel Walnut Bars

Not surprisingly, I don’t have a lot of processed food in the house. I generally make things from scratch. And this week I was really craving something sweet and there was not a cookie or candy bar in sight.  Luckily, I keep a LOT of ingredients in the house. There are always chocolate chips, nuts and raw coconut flakes in the cupboard/refrigerator.

I didn’t have the time to make cookies, so these bars were born.

Dark Chocolate-Caramel-Walnut Bars

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 8 oz 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips
  • 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz of caramel chips
  • shredded or flaked coconut (I use raw, unsweetened)

8×8 baking dish, bowl

Beat butter and sugar until well incorporated. Then add egg and beat until fluffy. Add baking soda, salt, vanilla and flour.

Lightly grease bottom of the baking dish. Add batter and spread evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes. Remove and add chopped walnuts, caramel chips and then chocolate chips on top.

Return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove and use an offset spatula to spread melted chips over the top of the bars. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars.


I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe – but there is a good reason for that – I’ve been doing recipe blogging for TEN (!!) years. I’ve just run out of ideas, LOL. I do use my blog as my own personal cookbook, so it will always exist.

But if you guys don’t mind reruns, I’m happy to post recipes again – just realize they are going to be from my “archives” and only the occasional fresh, new items. I do test out new ideas, I’ve just lost a lot of enthusiasm for documenting it.

Otherwise, here’s an open thread.








A Late Evening Snack: Mother’s Day Baking

I did some baking for the family’s Mother’s Day brunch. My brother specifically requested a key lime pie. I also made a Torta de Santiago. Torta de Santiago, sometimes Tarta de Santiago, is a regional dessert from Gailicia, Spain (torta is Galician, while tarta is Spanish) and was created in the Middle Ages for pilgrims. Which helps to explain its name: Saint James’ cake. It is an almond flour cake and there are several variations. Because I don’t eat refined carbohydrates in any significant quantities, I went with an almond flour cake recipe that is only sweetened with honey, not refined sugar. And yes, I know that honey is still a refined carbohydrate. I also know it doesn’t mess up my system the way refined sugar does. Torta de Santiago get lemon zest, but I decided to go with orange zest. And I didn’t add brandy or any of the other alcohol that can be found in some torta de Santiago recipes. The recipe I used can be found here. The only addition I made is the orange zest. It is very easy to make. One other note: torta de Santiago are traditionally finished with powder sugar that is applied over a stylized cross stencil. I went with fresh blueberries instead. Here’s another picture.

One other important note: the first time I made this cake I used a spring form pan. It came out with nice even sides and a nice even top. This time I just used a silicone cake pan and, as you can see, the sides are slightly rounded and the top is not even. I have learned my lesson.

On to the key lime pie!

The key lime pie is the same recipe that I posted here back in February 2016.

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted

2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk

1 cup key lime or regular lime juice*

2 whole eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream, and slices of key lime or key lime peel.

I use the Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice.

Open thread!








A Sunday Night Recipe: Tahini Walnut Rolls

I’m taking a hiatus from politics for a while. Here’s a recipe I played with this week. Love the people in my life who look forward to me experimenting with new recipes and are willing taste-testers.

I have a bunch of Food in Fiction recipes on the cooking blog, I love finding or recreating recipes in novels I’ve read. One of my very favorites was the Lane Cake from To Kill A Mockingbird.  So when I started writing, I wanted to include foods in my books that match recipes on my blog.

In my newest endeavor, I have included a little Turkish Cafe as a part of the local color and I wanted to try out a few pastry recipes to use in the book. This was one of the simpler (and not deep fried) that I decided to give a try.

This is not the definitive recipe – if you Google Tahini Rolls you’ll find dozens of variations. Everyone’s grandma must make her own version. This one seemed the easiest to replicate.

These are much different than I expected. Light, crisp, flaky and not too sweet, they go great with coffee.  I really liked them.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen:

Tahini Walnut Rolls

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 pkg instant dry yeast
  •  4 cups flour (480 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs roasted sesame
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds to sprinkle over buns

Warm milk, butter, oil and sugar to 90 degrees (F). Add packet of yeast and mix gently.

Mix together flour and salt and add, 1 cup at a time, to the milk mixture. Blend thoroughly and mix until it forms a soft ball. Knead gently for 2 minutes.

Remove to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled.

Meanwhile, mix tahini and sugar together until smooth. Chop walnuts.

Divide dough into two balls. Roll one of the balls out until very thin (but not thin enough to tear).

Spread ½ of the tahini mixture over the rolled dough. Sprinkle half the walnuts and 1 tbsp of sesame seeds over the dough. Roll up into a jelly roll.  Slice into one inch thick pieces. Lay flat onto a baking sheet. Gently flatten.

Repeat with second ball of dough.

Mix egg yolk with a bit of water and brush over rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Open thread.