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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekly Recipes: July 31

I just realized that this was still in my drafts and not published, so here it is.

Bolita and Cheese Enchiladas

This doubles and freezes very nicely.

2 cups cooked bolita or pinto beans
1 large onion, diced
2 sweet peppers, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 pint diced tomatoes and chiles (I used Muir Glen organic, but homemade or whatever you like would work)
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups enchilada sauce (the chile based kind)
about 10 - 12 flour tortillas
1 pound cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and pepper jack), shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to coat and cook onions until translucent, add peppers and garlic and cook until peppers are no longer crisp and onions are just starting to brown. Add corn kernels, beans, diced tomatoes and chiles, ancho chile powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Mix together thoroughly and reduce heat to low to simmer, you may need to add a little water.

Pour about half a cup or less of the enchilada sauce in a 9 X 13 pan. Start filling tortillas with a little of the bean and vegetable mixture, then some of the shredded cheese, roll up and fit into the pan until the pan is crowded full with the rolls. Cover liberally with the enchilada sauce and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Khoubz Araby (commonly called Pita Bread - which is actually an Armenian bread)
These will taste good no matter how well you make them, but it takes a little practice to get the thickness right for all of them to puff.

1 3/4 cups warm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 - 6 cups flour (all white or 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat)
1/4 cup olive oil
sesame seeds (optional)
cornmeal or semolina for pan

Dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar and salt. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.

Mix 3 cups flour and yeast mixture in a large bowl. Add oil and mix well. Add 2 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. If more is needed, knead 1/2 a cup of flour into dough at a time. You want a relatively soft dough. Total kneading time should be about 8 minutes by hand.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Roll dough into 1-2-inch balls. Let rest for 20 minutes, covered.

On floured surface, roll balls into flat disks, about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Sprinkle pans with cornmeal. Place disks on pan, let rest for 10 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 F for 4-6 minutes until puffy and just starting to brown at the edges (err on the side of too light, so you have softer bread).

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Menu Plan: July 25 - July 31

There will be no menu plan next week. I'd forgotten that this week was my buffer between our bizarre schedule and last week. However, this week we are on a fairly normal schedule, so I got my menu plan ready.

My birthday dinner was amazing. We went to a very nice restaurant in town which specializes in seafood. We had a cheese, cracker and fruit plate as an appetizer, split a seafood caesar salad which had a generous amount of sauteed crab, shrimp and bay shrimp on top, Rich had prime rib with shrimp and I had a crab stuffed chicken breast (sort of like Chicken Oscar, but with cheese in the mix and the crab stuffed in the middle). We left my birthday cake at home, but were so stuffed from dinner that we didn't eat the cake until the next day.

I was going to change some things on this menu since we were so heavy on Mexican-ish type meals, but Rich said he was quite happy with it, so it stays.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Menu Plan: July 18 - July 24

I am sorely late with this post. I don't think I'll have one for next week, our schedule is so bizarre, but I will be back the week after that. We've been living off of the leftovers from a big picnic we had on Saturday for the last three days. Trying to think of what to eat after not having to worry about it for a few days and having my mind a little hazed from the heat has been a challenge.

It is my birthday this week and we are going to go out to a place in town that specializes in seafood!What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekly Recipes: Better Late than Never

Zucchini and Garlic Pasta

1 pound pasta of choice, I used penne this time
olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 3 medium zucchini, shredded, enough to make about four cups
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheese like mozzarella, parmesan, provolone

Cook pasta in well salted water until cooked slightly less than you wish to eat it. Prepare your other ingredients while the pasta cooks.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic to it and cook, slowly. Add zucchini, a little salt and pepper and toss together to mix and heat through.

Drain pasta, reserving about a half cup of pasta water, and add pasta and pasta water to the pan with with the zucchini and toss to mix. Take off heat and add parsley and cheese. Serve with salad and garlic bread, maybe some fruit.

This meal takes me about 15 minutes from start to finish.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekly Recipes: Belated July 10

It is the pie edition of recipes today. I'm sorry for the delay, we've had a rather busy week.

Apricot Pie

This was a recipe I picked up from a homesteading list-serv. I tweaked it a tiny bit and we all enjoyed it. It would be better with a double crust, so that's what I'm posting here, but we only had one crust in the freezer, and I did it singly and it tasted fine, just wasn't quite as pretty as it would have been.

5 cups apricot halves (I used our frozen ones from last year, fresh would have been better)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Ceylon cinnamon)
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 recipe Flaky Butter Crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into prepared pie pan. Dot with butter and top with pie pastry. Flute edges and cut vents in top of pastry. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust is browned.

Allow to cool and serve with chantilly cream or vanilla ice cream.

Fresh Cherry Pie

This is a recipe that began with a Cuisine Magazine recipe. I have modified it a little bit and it is our favorite. This also uses a double crust, though a lattice top is the prettiest. Every now and then I take the time to make the lattice crust for this pie.

6 cups pitted sour cherries and their juice, separated (you can use thawed, frozen pie cherries as well)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 recipe Flaky Butter Crust
cinnamon sugar

Heat cherry juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat until reduced at least by a third and no more than half. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.

Put cherries in a medium to large mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix sugar and tapioca starch together. Add sugar mixture to cherries along with almond extract and reduced cherry juice. Mix thoroughly and pour into prepared pie pan. Cover filling with top crust and cut vents into it. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake another 20-30 minutes, or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.

Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream.

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Menu Plan: July 11 - July 17

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Menu Plan: July 4 - July 10

Since our town has a big (and free!) Independence Day celebration with a picnic dinner, concert and fireworks, we hauled our children and met up with another family to enjoy the festivities, which were more impressive than some displays we've paid money for in big cities, actually. As Rich has today off of work, we're moving our own private celebrations to this evening.

Our apricot suffered from the late freeze this spring, so all the little fruit on it died, but we still have some frozen apricots, which I am using in our apricot pie.

We are having a pie week here at the Arabian Knits household, between the two pies tonight and Yasmina's second birthday being this week as well. We are having a pie themed meal on her birthday: Pizza pie and cherry pie.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Weekly Recipes: July 3

Cowboy Beans
This is the variation I came up with from Elise's recipe.

2 cups dried bolitas (or pinto beans), soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 smoked ham hock (about 1-2 pounds)
3 cups water
3 cups black coffee
2 1/2 cups tomato-based barbecue sauce (homemade or bottled)
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeƱos
salt to taste
Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup chopped red onion for garnish (optional)

Heat bacon fat in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed lidded pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring often, until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.

Add beans to the pot with the onions. Add the ham hock, the water and the coffee. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook this way for 45 minutes, or until the beans are edible but still a little firm.

Add barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Cover and simmer on low heat until the meat from the ham hock begins to separate from the bone, and beans are cooked, up to 2 hours. When ham hock is tender, pull the ham hock and strip the meat from the bone to mix with the beans. Remove bones from pot. Add pickled jalapenos and salt to taste.

Serve with a little grated cheese and chopped red onion on top.

Falafel Plate
Here is my revised recipe. I made a few small changes to it. This recipe makes about 75 - 100 falafel patties, but can be halved. They are much, much better than the mix, don't take much more time to make and don't have the fillers in them. The only difference is that you have to remember to soak your beans the night before.

2 pounds garbanzo beans, soaked 24 hours, drained and rinsed (about 7-8 cups after soaking)
20 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch parsley
1 large bunch cilantro
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons baking powder

Oil for frying

Grind up the garbanzo beans, garlic, parsley, cilantro (stems and all), onion, in a food processor along with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin, coriander and baking powder (you will need to do this in two batches). Grind until you have a coarse paste that still has little bits of garbanzo beans in it. You do not want mush.

Refrigerate mixture at least 30 minutes to firm up so it's easier to form into patties and fry.

Heat about 2 inches of oil over medium high heat until a piece of bread sizzles when held in the oil. Form patties out of the mixture using about 1 tablespoon for each one. Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn and finish frying. Remove to a rack over a plate or a towel lined plate to drain while you fry the rest.

Serve warm or hot with laban bi chiyar, Taratoor, khoubz Araby, olives, vegetables and harissa, sah'awiq or Duqqus if you wish.


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