Saturday, February 27, 2010

Black Bean Chipotle Chili

Black Bean Chipotle Chili ButterYumBlack Bean Chipotle Chili
(pronounced chi-pote-lay)
recipe below

Made with either ground turkey or beef, this simple to prepare chili has the most wonderful smoky flavor. The recipe as written will give a gentle kick, but you can certainly adjust the heat accordingly.
Very satisfying!

Start by sauteing a diced onion in a little oil.

When the onions start to look translucent, it's time to add the minced garlic.

Saute a few minutes longer until the heavenly aroma from the onions and garlic drives you crazy!

Now we add the ground turkey or beef. Today I'm using beef.

Season with salt and pepper and brown the meat until cooked through.

I'm using lean ground beef, but there still a bit of fat in the pan after the meat is cooked. I like to dab the excess fat from the pan with a paper towel before proceeding.

Okay, now it's time to add more flavor. You'll need some cumin, chili powder, and just one chipotle pepper packed in adobo sauce.

When it comes to peppers, they say the heat is in the seeds. Since I'll be feeding this to the kids, I scraped the seeds out of my chipotle pepper before I minced it.

Black Bean Chipotle Chili ButterYumAdd the minced chipotle, cumin, and chili powder to the ground turkey or beef. Cook for a minute or two before adding the chicken stock, beans, tomatoes, corn, parsley, and chipotle flavored tabasco. Simmer until heated through.

Black Bean Chipotle Chili ButterYumServe with your favorite toppings.

Black Bean Chili with Chipotle
serves 8

1 pound ground turkey or lean beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 canned chipotle pepper, finely minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
14 ounces chicken broth
(2) 16 ounce cans black beans, one drained, one with the juice
16 ounce can kidney beans, drained
(2) 14.5 ounce cans diced or crushed tomatoes
16 ounces frozen corn (canned will work in a pinch, drain)
several dashes of Chipotle Tabasco

Saute onions until translucent; add garlic and saute for a few minutes until fragrant. Add ground turkey or beef, brown until completely cooked through. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper; saute for a few minutes. Add chicken stock, parsley, beans, tomatoes, corn, and Tabasco. Simmer until heated through. Serve with your favorite toppings - sour cream, cilantro, cheese, olives, etc.

Note - leftover canned chipotles can be chopped up and frozen with the adobo sauce that they're packed in. Just portion them into ice cube trays and pop a cube into your next batch of chili, soup, or stew.

Leftovers can be frozen and reheated in a crock pot on low for 4 hours.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet ButterYumAfter all the snow we've experienced during the past few weeks, I'm longing for the return of summer. Since that clearly wont' be happening any time soon, the next best thing is enjoying strawberry sorbet bursting with bright summer flavor.

How to make Strawberry Sorbet ButterYumThe strawberries available during the winter months here in Virginia are really flavorless, so I use frozen strawberries that I purchase in bulk at Costco. A 6 pound bag will make 6 quarts of sorbet for about $1.50 per quart (or you can make 2 quarts of sorbet and a batch of strawberry jam).

Strawberry Sorbet ButterYum
Strawberry Sorbet
makes 1 quart - recipe can be increased

1 pound frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
simple syrup to taste (recipe below)
1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry liqueur (optional)

Simple Syrup:
2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cups water

Make the simple syrup by combining water and sugar together in a heavy bottomed sauce pan; stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. Stop stirring and bring mixture to a boil; continue boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat; reserve.

Combine pureed strawberries, lemon juice, and optional liqueur in a blender; puree until smooth. Add simple syrup to taste. Puree mixture again and chill completely (I put my whole blender jar right into the fridge). When completely chilled, puree one last time to mix well before churning in your ice cream maker (following the manufacturer's instructions). Transfer sorbet to an airtight freezer-safe container; freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. Allow to soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes if it freezes too hard.

how to make simple syrup Mauviel

chilling sorbet mixture
Strawberry Sorbet ButterYum

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Famous Mall Pretzels

Famous Mall Pretzels ButterYum Copy Cat Recipe
Famous Mall Pretzels - ButterYum
When Little ButterYum and ButterYum Jr. asked if they could make these copycat mall pretzels I agreed.  But just before we were supposed to head into the kitchen, I could feel a killer headache coming on so I let the girls tackle the project all by themselves and they did a great job.  The pretzels turned out a little chubbier than their mall cousins, but I loved that they were heart-shaped.  Seasonally appropriate considering Valentine's Day is just a few days away.

Famous Mall Pretzels ButterYum Copy Cat RecipeI like the cinnamon sugar version, but the girls liked them with salt. Either way, they're great!

Famous Mall Pretzels
makes 6

Yeast Mixture:
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast

Yeast mixture from above
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups all purpose flour

Baking Soda Solution:
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons baking soda

Salt Topping:
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pretzel salt or Kosher salt to taste

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
cinnamon sugar to taste

Make the yeast mixture by sprinkling the yeast over the water; stir to dissolve. Add the brown sugar and salt; stir to dissolve. Add flour; knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rest for 1/2 hour.

While the dough is rising, prepare the baking soda solution by combining the warm water and baking soda; stir to combine. Be sure to stir frequently during the next step.

After the dough has risen, divide into 6 equal portions. Roll each into a long rope about 1/2 inch thick. Shape into pretzels. Dip into the baking soda solution and place on baking sheet to allow for a 2nd rise. Preheat oven to 450F.

After pretzels have doubled in size, bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter and either sprinkle with salt or cinnamon sugar. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chicken Chili, White Chili... Whatever you call it.

Chicken Chili ButterYumThis chili post was requested by a friend (hi Janet!). It's a wonderful week night meal relying on dried herbs, leftover chicken, canned beans, and prepackaged chicken stock. Of course you can spiff it up by using homemade chicken stock and dried beans that you've cooked yourself. So, without further adieu, let's get started.

Making white chicken chili ButterYumFor this batch, I used cooked chicken thighs that I purchased at Costco for less than $2 per pound. Leftover chicken works equally well, doesn't matter if it's light or dark meat.

Making white chicken chili ButterYumNext we saute the onions. Mmmm... the aroma of onions cooking drives me crazy!

Making white chicken chili ButterYumTime to add the flavor - black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cumin, Kosher salt, and oregano.

Making white chicken chili ButterYumSauteing the herbs with the onions gives them a flavor boost.

Making white chicken chili ButterYumDon't be alarmed when you see browned bits form on the bottom of your pan, just don't let them burn.

Making white chicken chili ButterYumTime to add the chicken stock and reserved chicken...

Making white chicken chili ButterYum...and the beans (and optional green chilies). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Making white chicken chili ButterYumRemove from heat and stir in dried parsley.

Making white chicken chili ButterYumJust before serving, stir in sour cream and heavy cream.

white chili ButterYumGarnish and serve. Enjoy!

Chicken Chili
Printable Recipe
Serves 6-8

2 pounds diced chicken, about 3 cups (white or dark, cooked or not, whatever you have)
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder - not garlic salt)
2 (two) 15.5-ounce cans Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or any light colored bean - great northern, pinto, black eyed peas)
4 cups homemade chicken stock (low sodium if using canned)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more if you like it hot)
8 ounces sour cream (low fat is fine. Plain yogurt can also be used)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dried parsley
Optional:  if you like it spicy, add a 4-ounce can of diced green chilies

sour cream
shredded cheese (pepper jack, cheddar, etc)
chopped scallions
chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over med-high heat. If using leftover chicken, skip this first step. If using uncooked chicken, lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and saute in the heated oil until browned (no need to cook completely at this stage). Remove chicken; reserve. In the same pan, saute onions until slightly browned; add salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne, oregano, and cumin. Continue to cook for a few minutes to "bloom" the flavor of the herbs. Add chicken stock, chicken, beans, and optional green chilies to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, heavy cream, and parsley. Garnish and serve.

Note - 1 pound cooked dried beans is equal to 2 cans.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops ButterYumNeed a new idea for a fast weekend dinner? Try these Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops.
Crunchy, tasty, fast, and easy.

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops ButterYumStart by preheating your oven to 350F. Arrange your pork chops on a work surface. I purchased a large boneless pork loin and cut it into chops, but buy them from the grocery store already cut if that's what works best for you. Boneless or bone-in... doesn't matter. Just be sure your chops are between 3/4 and 1-inch thick.

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops ButterYumHave ready a shallow container of corn flake crumbs, and a shallow container for the egg mixture.
Also, make the seasoning mixture by combining the salt, lemon pepper, and garlic.

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops ButterYumSprinkle the seasoning mixture all over the top side of the chops - use every last bit.

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops ButterYumThen dip the chops in the egg mixture followed by the corn flake crumbs. Just coat the top and sides because no matter how hard you try, the bottom of the chops will get mushy if you coat them, so don't bother.

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops ButterYumPlace the chops on a rack suspended over a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes. Squeeze the juice of one lemon on the chops. Serve immediately.

Baked Lemon Garlic Pork Chops
Makes 6 - recipe can easily be doubled

6 pork chops, between 3/4 and 1-inch thick
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder, but not garlic salt)
3 cups corn flake crumbs
3 eggs
splash of milk
juice of 1 lemon to squeeze on chops after cooking

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine milk and eggs in a shallow container. Place corn flake crumbs in another shallow container. Combine the salt, garlic, and lemon pepper together; sprinkle all over the top of the pork chops. Dip each chop in the egg mixture, followed by the corn flake crumbs (top and sides only). Place on a rack suspended over a baking sheet. Bake in a 350F oven for 25-35 minutes.

Note - the crust will not retain its crunchiness after refrigeration, so it's best to make just enough to not have leftovers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I can't believe we still have power!

Northern Virginia Blizzard Feb 6, 2010 ButterYumThe electricity has flickered a few times, but so far so good - I'm shocked (and incredibly thankful) that we still have power. Less than 24 hour ago, there wasn't a single snow flake on this table, and the forecast is calling for another 12 hours of snow.

Northern Virginia Blizzard Feb 6, 2010 ButterYumIt's a very heavy snow. Hubby says it's extremely likely that tree limb will fall. I hope not, it's a favorite spot for birds.

Northern Virginia Blizzard Feb 6, 2010 ButterYumHubby cleaned off the top of this car and shoveled the snow all around it last night. The metal tire rims of are 16 inches, just to give you some perspective.

Northern Virginia Blizzard Feb 6, 2010 ButterYumThat little dot in the bottom right corner of the photo is our mailbox. Something tells me the mailman won't be visiting today.

Seriously, I thought we were escaping this kind of snow fall when we left Minnesota. This is Northern Virginia... it's not supposed to snow like this here. Help!

Virginia Snow Storm Feb 6, 2010Update:
The snow has finally stopped and it looks like we got 33 inches in all - that's nearly an inch per hour since the snow started falling yesterday morning.

Virginia Snow Storm Feb 6, 2010Let the digging begin!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Coeur a la Creme - Ooh-la-la!

Coeur a la Creme ButterYumCoeur a la Creme - Ooh-la-la!

How to make Coeur a la Creme ButterYumThe cast of characters - cream cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds - Hello! What's not to love?

I can't think of a more perfect Valentine's Day Dessert.

You'll also need some cheesecloth and a coeur a la creme mold.
Alternates for both listed further down, so keep reading.

This is a traditional French porcelain coeur a la creme mold ($24 plus s&h from Sur la Table) - sorry for the small pic. I'm not at all fond of the shape this porcelain mold gives to the finished creme (too pointy and weird shaped at the top), so I decided to make my own.

How to make a Coeur a la Creme Mold ButterYumI found this plastic candy dish at Wal-Mart for $1.50. I simply drilled holes in the bottom and voila, a coeur a la creme mold in a more pleasing puffy heart shape.

You don't need a heart-shaped mold to make this yummy dessert. You can use a mesh sieve if you prefer.

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumThe French porcelain molds have little feet on the bottom. My homemade mold doesn't, so here I'm using a mixing bowl to suspend the mold and catch the liquid as it drains.

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumA bird's eye view of the set-up.

Coeur a la Creme ButterYumBefore we begin mixing the ingredients together, let's line our mold with cheesecloth. You can use coffee filters or paper towels if you don't have cheesecloth.

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumTime to mix the ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the softened cream cheese and sift the confectioner's sugar on top.

sift to remove lumpsI always sift clumpy ingredients like powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Lumps can easily be pushed through with a wooden spoon.

BeaterBladeI know I sound like a broken record, but I LOVE by BeaterBlade attachment.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. If you own a stand mixer, you need to get one!

Combine the sugar and cream cheese and beat on high for 2 minutes
Next we'll add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds.

Vanilla Bean ButterYumTo extract the vanilla bean seeds, split the bean in half...

Vanilla Bean Seeds ButterYum... and scrape out the seeds with back of your knife.

Vanilla Caviar ButterYumMmmm. Look at all of that yummy flavor!

Make Vanilla Sugar ButterYumDon't throw that vanilla bean away - use it to make vanilla sugar. Simply submerge used seed pods in granulated sugar and store in an airtight container. Keep adding bean pods and sugar and you'll always have a supply for cookies, desserts, beverages... whatever.
Good stuff!

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumBeat in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. See all those yummy vanilla specks?

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumAdd the heavy cream and replace the paddle with the whip attachment. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumPour the mixture into the prepared mold. It's okay to have a little extra - the mixture will shrink a little as it drains.

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumWrap the excess cheesecloth over the top and place the mold in a container to catch the liquid that will eventually seep out.

Making Coeur a la Creme ButterYumI ran into an unexpected problem when I placed my filled mold in my mixing bowl to drain. The mold was kind of top heavy and it kept tilting sideways, so I placed some plastic wrap around the rim of the bowl which held the mold firmly in place.

Molding Coeur a la Creme ButterYumDairy products are notorious for absorbing refrigerator odors - not that there are any in MY refrigerator, but you never know when one of the teens is going to put some leftover Chinese take-out in there. So just to be on the safe side, wrap your Coeur a la Creme well with plastic before it goes into the fridge overnight.

Unmolding Coeur a la Creme ButterYumHere we are after 24 hours. See how the creme has compressed a bit. The cheesecloth is saturated with moisture.

and look at all the liquid that drained into the bowl.

unmolding Coeur a la Creme ButterYumTime to place the finished Creme on a serving dish.

unmolding Coeur a la Creme ButterYumRemove the mold. Lift straight up so you don't mar the soft surface of the Creme.

unmolding Coeur a la Creme ButterYumCarefully peel away the cheesecloth which leaves a neat textured impression.

making chocolate sauce ButterYum
If I was serving this dessert on a white platter, I would have made a red fruit sauce (strawberry, raspberry), but since I'm using a red platter, I thought a chocolate sauce would be more appropriate. I made a simple sauce by combining 1 part chocolate to 2 parts heavy cream, over med heat; stirring constantly until combined. Allow to cool before using.

I garnished with some wild black raspberries I had stashed in the freezer.

Coeur a la Creme
French translation - Heart has the Cream
adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
serves 4-6

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, cold
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment (or better yet, a BeaterBlade attachment), slowly combine the softened cream cheese and the confectioner's sugar until the risk of spewing powdered sugar all over your kitchen has passed. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Turn the mixer off. Add vanilla extract and vanilla seeds, combine on low. Add cream and continue to combine on low until incorporated (scrape sides of the bowl if needed). Turn mixer off and replace the paddle attachment with the whip attachment. Whip mixture on high until stiff peaks form. Pour mixture into a cheesecloth lined mold. Place mold in a bowl to catch the juices that drain. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Unmold, garnish, and serve.

Chocolate Sauce
makes about 1 1/4 cups

4 ounces bitter-sweet chocolate
8 ounces heavy cream

In a heavy bottomed pan over med heat, melt chocolate and cream together; stirring constantly. Cool before using.

Serving suggestion - hand each of your guests a spoon and watch them dig in!

Cream cheese will dry out quickly if exposed to the air, so be sure to keep it wrapped while coming to room temperature.

If you're pressed for time, you can quickly bring cream cheese to room temperature by placing it in a sturdy zip-top storage bag and knead it for a few minutes. It will soften up in no time flat.