Monday, March 23, 2009

Roast Chicken with Apples, Rosemary & Thyme

Oh HELLO FO!!!!! Daaaaaaaamn! And I thought Thai Coconut Shrimp was a safe argument for food being better than sex! OH UH-UH! NO! If EVER there WERE that argument, this dish would win that argument forks down! Mmmmm! My head is still spinning from the experience! WOW!

My whole apartment was filled with these tantalizing aromas teasing and beckoning me back into the kitchen and oh, I was SO there! But when I tasted it...OMG! I was like Mmmmm!....Mmmmm!....Mmmmm! I just couldn't stop saying Mmmmm! The first thing that came to mind was OMG! I better get a picture of this before I eat it all, LOL! The flavors were literally exploding in my mouth! The chicken was exceptionally moist and tender, the apples juicy and not too sweet, just right. The broth? OMG! The broth was off the richter scale folks! Yah, HELLO FO!!!

Hold up! Bring that curtain back up! Rosemary and Thyme you come on out here and take a bow! You brought it all together and daaaaaaaaaamn, you have me wonderin' what you'll do for an encore! Recipe to follow below.

Roast Chicken with Apples, Rosemary & Thyme

3 x local apples, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced 1/8" thick
3 x onions, peeled and cut into large chunks (I diced mine)
1 head garlic, peeled cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (you can use the dry if you need too)
3 sprigs fresh thyme (you can use the dry if you need too)
1/2 cup apple cider (I used apple cherry cider)
1 roasting chicken (I used boneless chicken breasts)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place the apples, onions and garlic in a roasting pan large enough to hold the chicken.
Season with salt and pepper and add rosemary. Toss well and pour in the cider.
Season the chicken well with salt, pepper, and thyme and place on top of apples.
Cover loosely with foil and roast in oven until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest
part of the thigh reads 180 degrees, about twenty minutes per pound.
Serve with french bread and your favorite red wine!~

This amazing recipe creation is courtesy of Food Network Canada's Chef at Home, Michael Smith.
Says Michael about this recipe:
A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of
watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don't like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavor; you have to add your own!

Tortilla de Patatas

Tortilla de Patatas or Spanish Omelet as it is often called, is a popular tapa or appetizer served in bars and cafes in many Latin American countries. It is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. In Spain it is also made into Bocadillos or sandwiches by placing a piece between two slices of baguette. In the Americas, Andalusia, and The Canary Islands it is popularly known as Tortilla de Papas. Papa, like patata, being another word for potato.

Tortilla de Patata consists of an egg omelet, fried potatoes, onion and depending on region, could include red and/or green peppers and garlic. In bars, it is often served with fresh salsa, table cream, lime and cilantro. Get creative and add your own special touches to make it perfect for you.

In the picture above, I sliced the Tortilla de Potatas like a piece of pie, served it with a small dollop of sour cream, garnished it with a sprig of fresh cilantro and a light sprinkling of red chili pepper flakes.

This is a very hearty and satisfying light meal or appetizer/snack. Adding the red chili pepper flakes so enhanced the flavors of the onions and peppers inside and just gave it an extra zing! You could also add chorizo and serve it with a hot sauce such as Tapatillo or Tabasco. For those of you with a sweet tooth who also like it spicy, you could serve it with a side of Mango Peach Salsa. Mmmm! This is making my mouth water just thinking about this delicious creativity! Any way you slice it, serve it, taste it, this is a delightful treat for your tastebuds! Recipe to follow. It's very easy to make, max 10 minutes preparation time. Try it! You won't be disappointed!

Tortilla de Patata

6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
1 whole yellow onion (I used Walla Walla Sweets)
5-6 large eggs
2-3 cups olive oil
Salt to taste

Cut the peeled potatoes in half length wise. With the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in 1/8" thick slices. Separate pieces that stick together. Peel and chop the onion into 1/4" pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture. In a heavy non-stick frying pan, heat the oil on medium high heat. Drop a single piece of potato into the oil to ensure it is hot enough to fry. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes. You may need to turn down the heat slightly so the potatoes do not burn. Leave in the pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour in the potato onion mixture and mix with a large spoon.

Pour 1-2 Tbsp of oil into a small non-stick frying pan (approx. 9-10") and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot because the oil will burn - or the tortilla will! When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more and "pour" into th pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly "browned." The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.

When the mixture has browned on the bottom, it is time to turn it over to cook on the other side. Carefully take the pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12") upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet with "fall"onto the plate. Now slide the omelet (still probably a bit runny) into the frying pan and the pan back on the burner. Use your spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for about 2 minutes.

Carefully slide the tortilla onto a plate! To serve as a main course, slice it into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side if desired. If you are serving as an appetizer, slice baguette into pieces about 1/2" thick. Cut the tortilla into 1.5" squares and place a piece on top of each slice of bread if desired.

This is a quick and easy recipe that is loved by adults and kids alike! My kids eat it with ketchup, maybe yours will too! ^_~ The CKC rates this recipe a solid 10 out of a possible 10. Try it and tell me what you think! Share your creativity!

Happy Monday!~

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mexican Cubed Steaks With
Avocado & Prawn Cocktail

When Smooth met Sassy on the palatal dance floor last night, it was a match made in heaven...!

Luscious, delicately seasoned, tender prawns in a smooth silky avocado puree embraces succulent cube steak dressed in a vividly bold salsa garnished with cilantro, lime and a small kiss of avocado puree. Mmmmm, they're perfect for each other!

The pictures turned out a little dark this time, but don't let them fool you! The colors, tastes, and smells of these two are incredible! My daughter said she loved the Avocado Prawn Cocktail! It was her favorite of the two. She also loved the incredible flavor of the Mexican Cube Steak. She suggested that it should be served with a little less salsa over the top because it tends to overpower the flavor of the cube steak, however she says with too little salsa on it, the cube steak overpowers. She loved the kiss of avocado puree on top, while the recipe didn't call for it, it was the perfect compliment to the incredibly intense flavors of the salsa. My next door neighbors agree, these two are the perfect couple!~ Recipes to follow below:

Avocado and Prawn Cocktail

3 large avocados
1 lb prawns
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 spring onion
1 clove garlic
5 oz whipping cream, unsweetened
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Optional: Shredded lettuce

Peel the prawns and remove the heads. Season the bodies and fry in oil.
Peel the avocados, remove the pits and crush the flesh with the choped spring onion, the peeled and finely chopped garlic, the olive oil and the cream to form a velvety smooth puree. Season to taste. Place shredded lettuce in the base of a cocktail dish (optional) then add alternate layers of prawns and avocado puree. Refrigerate until serving.

Serves 4

The CKC rates this recipe a 10+++ out of a possible 10.
This recipe is courtesy of Spain GourmeTour Magazine via La Tienda Authentic Spanish Foods


Mexican Cubed Steaks

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 cubed steaks
1 8oz jar picante sauce
(I used fresh corn,tomato,onion,cilantro,jalapeno & habenero peppers chopped and marinated in lime juice and salt/pepper to taste for one hour. I love fresh and colorful and the flavor and aroma is out of this world!)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley if you don't like cilantro)

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil. Place over medium high heat until hot. Add steaks; cook 2 minutes on each side. Combine picante sauce, lime juice, and pepper; pour over steaks. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serves 4

The CKC rates this recipe a 9.5+ out of a possible 10. Only because the cubed steaks came out a little tough and I'd like to try a different method of cooking them prior to adding the fresh salsa so that they come out more moist and juicy which I think would just totally make this whole dish! I encourage you all to try this recipe for yourselves and then share your creative touches with the rest of us!~

Friday, March 13, 2009


If ever there were an argument for food being better than sex....OMG! OMG! It's these Thai Coconut Shrimp from Down Under!!!! They are sweet, succulent and divine! And the Chile Lime Sauce is the perfect compliment! The Coconut Shrimp alone are enough to drive you over the edge...dare to dip into the Chile Lime Sauce and don't be surprised if you experience your very first FO! Yes, FOs really do happen!~ They can be quite intense, especially when the food is really really good! Hehe! ^_~*

Here is a close up of the Coconut Shrimp (without tails) with the Chile Lime sauce. Another absolutely amazing recipe with a taste that is out of this world! The CKC rates this recipe a 10+++ out of a possible 10! You've got to try this and it is SO easy too! Go on now! You KNOW you want too! MMMMMMMMMMMMM!! Recipe follows below:

Thai Coconut Shrimp with Chile Lime Sauce

For this recipe, the shrimp should be shelled and de-veined before coating them in the coconut.

30 medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp sea salt (if you can, use sea salt instead of regular salt, the flavor is better)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of unsweetened coconut (I used sweetened in mine. I like the sweet/salty combination)
2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Chile Lime Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 cup mayonnaise (Use good mayo ie. Hellman's, Best Foods)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes (use more to taste if you like a little more heat)


Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro and dried chile flakes in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.

Mix the salt into the flour. Place the flour, beaten egg and coconut in 3 separate bowls. Hold the prawns by their tails, dip them, one at a time, into the flour then shake off any excess.

Next, dip prawns into the egg, then press firmly into the coconut to coat evenly. Transfer to a plate. Repeat process with remaining shrimp.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over a high heat. Once the oil starts to swirl, test it by dropping in a small piece of bread. If the oil is ready, the bread will turn golden in about 20 seconds.

Add several shrimp to the oil and cook until golden - about 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

Arrange shrimp on a platter and serve with Chile Lime sauce.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


What is Ceviche, one might ask?
Ceviche, also spelled Cebiche, or Seviche; is a form of citrus-marinated seafood appetizer or meal popular in many Latin American countries that has become the latest craze in the US. This palate-teaser is not only a delectable treat, but also has quickly developed into an art.
Each and every Latin American country has given Ceviche its own personal touch. Japan and even France have added their own variations. But once Ceviche was introduced to America, all bets were off for ordinary every day Ceviche. The creative muse came alive in the form of all sorts of flavor combinations and different types of fish. From sea bass to squid, cilantro to oregano, coconut milk to grapefruit juice, sweet potatoes to chulpe, raisins to strawberries and soda crackers to tostadas, Ceviche has become much more than a simple appetizer. Today Ceviche is the appetizer that eats like a meal!

This is a new Ceviche recipe I just tried today and I have to say the flavors are exotically intense! Every ingredient that goes into this ceviche recipe lends its individual flavors and the end result is blissful perfection! The The CKC rates this recipe a 10+ out of a possible 10! The easy breezy recipe by Ingrid Hoffman of Simply Delicioso fame, follows below. I just have to share this with you. If you are crazy about Ceviche, you have to try this! It is amazing!

Snappy Coconut Scallop Ceviche

4 Sweet Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
1 1/2 pounds salad shrimp (optional, I added this to mine)
2 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (11 - 12 limes)
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut (unsweetened works just as well)
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, seeds removed, deveined and thinly sliced in rounds or chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves, plus leaves, for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Sweetened shredded coconut, for garnish
Canchita, recipe follows

Preheat oven 350 degrees F

Wash sweet potatoes and place in a deep saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Remove from heat, drain and allow to cool enough to handle. Peel off skin, slice into 1/2 inch pieces, and set aside.

Place the bay scallops (and shrimp if desired) in a medium bowl and toss gently covering with lime juice. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Place the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring every few minutes so the coconut toasts evenly. Set aside.

Drain the scallops (and shrimp, if added) and transfer to a clean bowl. Add the onions, jalapenos, raisins, toasted coconut, coconut milk, chopped cilantro, oregano, and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and the reserved toasted coconut and serve with Canchita on the side. (Original Cornuts work great too if you cannot find Canchita in your area.)

Serves 6 (or 2 depending on how hungry you are and how much you LOVE Ceviche! ^_~)

Canchita - The Un-popped Popcorn of Peru

3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 pound Chulpe Corn (aka Andean Popcorn )

Heat the canola or vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the chulpe corn, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Once you hear the kernels pop (like popcorn), shake the pot vigorously to prevent the kernels on the bottom from burning. Once popping slows, after about 8 to 10 minutes, drain the canchita in a strainer and rub with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Season with salt while the corn is still warm and serve with your amazing Coconut Scallop Ceviche!

In the above photo I placed three sweet potato slices in the middle of the plate, put about 1/4 cup coconut ceviche over the top, garnished the ceviche with reserved toasted coconut (which by the way makes your home smell heavenly) and then served with a small handful of Original Cornuts on the side.

I'm telling you, this was sooooooooooooooooooo amazing! If it weren't for the fact that I am the only one home tonight, (kids are gone), there wouldn't be any of it left for me to take for lunch tomorrow!~ ^_^* I can't wait for y'all to try it!

Please feel free to comment, I'd love to hear from you!