Monthly Archives: July 2011

Churro Chips

Churro Chips

While on vacation we passed by a Churro stand and I commented on how much I love them. And to my surprise one of the people I was with asked, “What’s a Churro?” Well, that got me rolling. Describing the fluffy doughnuttiness. The fact that they are rolled in cinnamon and sugar, so they don’t seem as bad for you as a doughnut. Their brilliant portable hand-held packaging. Oh Man! And then I realized I really needed to eat one soon. By then we had passed the stand, and I let the thought of rolling myself in cinnamon and sugar fall by the wayside. Until we got home. The second night that I made dinner after being home from our trip, I couldn’t resist anymore….I was craving Churros. Instead of making a fast run to the pier to get them from a street vendor, I saved a little of my dignity and tried my hand at making my own. I had seen an article in a magazine for Soppapillas, which are fried tortillas rolled in ecstasy. I can’t seem to find that recipe anymore, but since I don’t fry ANYTHING (because the screaming hot oil scares me silly), I thought I’d adapt the idea for the oven. They turned out fantastic! So delicious. I devoured way too many of them before they even cooled down.

Shopping List:

3 medium flour tortillas (about 7.5 inches in diameter), cut into 4 wedges

3 Tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tesapoon cinnamon

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. On a cookie sheet, lined with a silpat or parchment paper spread out all of the tortillas.

3. Using a pastry brush, a spoon should work fine too, drench the tortillas in butter. Painting one side should do it. The butter really soaks through as it is.

4. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and then spoon it over all of the wedges, so that there is a pretty thick layer of the cinnamon-sugar mix.

5. Bake in the oven 8-10 minutes, the sugar will carmelize.

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Spicy and Tipsy Tomato Soup

Spicy and Tipsy Tomato Soup

One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is tomato soup, next to mac and cheese and fried chicken of course. Give me a bowl of tomato soup on a day where I’m feeling under the weather, and it perks me right up. No matter the variation I shovel it in!

About a month ago, I was playing around with trying to make a tomato soup version that I could convince my kids to eat along with me when I developed this recipe. It was so super easy and fast it will definitely stay in the repertoire for the cold season this year. See below for how you can satisfy kid tastes with this soup too.

Shopping List:

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup Chardonnay

1/2 a small jalapeno diced

1 can diced tomatoes in juice

Instructions:

1. In a saucepan on medium-high heat warm all of the ingredients until the sun-dried tomatoes are softened. This takes about 5-7 minutes once it all comes to a simmer.

2. Stick your immersion blender into the pot and puree away, and then soup is on! Or pour it into a blender and use the highest setting for 1 minute, or until it is to your desired consistency.

3. Spoon on some greek yogurt, cilantro and crusty bread. For a heartier meal top it with some poached shrimp.

For a kids version that I call Pizza Soup simply leave the jalapeno out of the mix; add 1 teaspoon Italian herb mix; and replace the wine with broth. Serve with Grilled Ham and Cheese Toasts Voila!

Pollo Saltado: Peruvian Stir-Fry

Classic Peruvian Stir-Fry: Pollo Saltado

When the dinner rush is in my face stir-fries are an easy way to satisfy the family fast. Most people are pretty familiar with Asian stir-fries, but the Peruvian version is a little different. It’s still pretty simple; some chicken, some soy sauce and spices, then pile it all on top of some white rice and call it a day. With Peru being the home to more than 300 varieties of potatoes, it’s no surprise that they serve this classic dish with papas fritas, french fries, a sure-fire way into any kid’s heart.

Machu Picchu July 2011

After sampling both chicken and beef versions over the last 10 days, I prefer the beef. Here I’ve included the recipe for chicken. If you want to do lomo it turns out nicely with sirloin steak sliced thin.

Shopping List:

1 1/2 pounds thin-sliced chicken breast, or you can pound yours thin, but at my market they sell for the same price

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup Worchestire sauce

1/2 a red onion, sliced thin

1 red pepper sliced thin

2 Roma tomatoes, quartered

4 cloves garlic

1/2 a bag of frozen french fries

1 cup uncooked rice

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven to the appropriate temp for the fries– my bag reads 375. Pop the fries in the oven when it is hot. Set your timer according to the directions. 

2. While the oven is heating, start the rice according to the instructions.

3. In a non-stick pan, heat on low-medium 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil with the 4 cloves of garlic smashed.

4. Meanwhile, dice the chicken into evenly sized pieces.

5. Once the garlic starts to turn golden, toss in the chicken and crank up the heat to medium -high. Don’t stir it for the first couple of minutes so the chicken also starts to get a nice carmelized look on it.

6.Once the chicken starts to brown, after about 4-5 minutes, add the stock, soy sauce and Worchestire along with the onions, peppers and tomatoes. Cook this an additional 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes and onions are fork tender. At this point taste for salt, and add a pinch or two to suit your taste. Done!

7. Pour this all over a bowl of steaming rice and top with the french fries.

Serves 4.