Friday, June 27, 2008

Leftover Tortillas

We exclusively eat soft, corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are available, I just love the corn. Makes me wonder if Tim would prefer flour - I've never asked! Hey, if I do the shopping, I should get to choose, right? Right.

We almost always have left over tortillas, since they are sold in a large pack. I either freeze them, or I make chips. It seems silly and too easy to post a 'how-to make your own chips', but hey, why not?

To make your own tortilla chips:

Preheat oven to 350. Cut round tortillas into wedges (slice in half, and repeat a couple more times). Place on an ungreased baking sheet (or pie plate- it's all I have), do not overlap the tortillas triangles. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tortillas are firm and crispy. They will not be AS crispy as store-bought, but they will taste more delicious. Salt if necessary/desired (jamie).

Serve with chipotle salsa, or guacamole.

On a total side-note, rant:

I buy our delicious, homemade corn tortillas from the only Mexican store in Munich: Mercado de Mexico. When we moved to Germany, I knew the food would be different. But what a lot of people don't think about is the grocery food also being VERY different, or simply not available. Living in a foreign country always makes me appreciate the diversity and availability of food in the US. Mexican food in particular, hasn't made it much further than the Atlantic.

I remember students of mine in Japan, who when traveling to LA for business, would stay in a Japanese run hotel, and only go out to eat at Japanese restaurants. I wanted to yell, 'branch out!'. But diversity is the minority, not the majority in the world. People who grow up in a homogenous culture seem to be steadfast and loyal to what they know. As I said, I think we are very lucky in US.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Product of the Month: Mushroom Brush

Mushroom brushes: I had never heard of such a thing, before Germany. Do you have one?

They are the best invention, and I can no longer live without my mushroom brush. Seriously.

I used to spend 1o minutes washing 1/2 pound of mushrooms, because as I would wash them by hand, they would start to 'peel' and then once you start one peel on the cap, the rest of the cap needed to be peeled. My sink also looked like a mushroom peel battleground.

Well, no longer.

The mushroom brush gets all the dirt, and even some dark spots, off the mushrooms without ever peeling the mushroom. AND, it take me so much less time. I'm probably down to 2-3 minutes vs. 10. That alone is worth the purchase of this little wonderful, handy, you-gotta-have-it gadget.

I found mine at a German craft-fest, with stalls of kitchen, pottery, etc. items. Here's one from Sur la Table for $1.95.

Works great while making Happy Hour Mushrooms.

Happy mushroom cleaning!

Guten appetit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Ack! I forgot to complete this post... bad blogger. Bad, bad blogger.

We're currently traveling though, so the recipe is going to have to wait. The pictures should be tantalizing enough to bring you back later (I hope). Mmmm, tomatoes.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fried Egg Sandwiches

This post is for my dad. Fried egg sandwiches are for my dad? Yup.

When I was growing up, my dad had some definite food favorites. In no particular order: sizzle burgers (hamburgers with worcestershire sauce), lawry's spaghetti sauce, avocado sandwiches (I am definitely my father's daughter on this one), and fried egg sandwiches. He also used to butter his bread for sandwiches he took to work, so the jelly or mayo wouldn't get the bread soggy before lunch.

I think it's funny what we remember and know about our parents, or family members in general. We know so many of the little things, the little things that make them tick. What they like, what they don't like. I love knowing these silly or small things about my dad, and thinking about him when I'm making a food that I crave. A food I crave, all because he introduced me to it and it's one of his favorites too.

Happy father's day, to a wonderful dad. I love you, and am a very lucky fried-egg-sandwich-eating girl.

Dad's fried egg sandwich:

1 egg complete
1 egg white
1 tablespoon butter
1 piece of bread
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a frying pan on med-high, add 3/4 of the butter. When the butter has melted and started to 'pop', add the egg. Break the yoke (you can leave whole if you prefer, but makes for a bit of a messier sandwich).

Put bread in toaster.

Fry the eggs approx. 3 minutes, until the majority of the egg white looks cooked (opaque white). I also like my eggs well cooked, with slightly golden brown spots. Add salt & pepper.

Flip to cook the other side. The second side requires less cook time, perhaps 1-2 minutes.

Butter the bread, and assemble the sandwich with egg.

Makes 1 sandwich.

Bonus, this is the easiest lunch and soooo delicious. Will curb any protein craving you are having.

Guten appetit!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Grilled Corn

It's grilling season, and I LOVE grilling season. How much do I love it? Last week, when I was feeling like I was on my death-bed, I wanted to grill. I wanted grilled corn on the cobb. I should have been craving some brothy soup, but no. I started to feel a bit better Saturday, and thought I could stomach it. Wrong. But it wasn't the corn's fault, I was premature in thinking I'd kicked my stomach bug. Drat.

But I will say.... It tasted sooooooo good. It was worth the relapse I suffered Sunday.

This is a way to cook corn that our friend's Jamie & Chria introduced me to. I'd always boiled it in the past. But grilling is way better. Yes, I said 'way' better. Like totally.

If you haven't tried to grill it directly on the grate, please do. It brings out the sweetness and tastes wonderful.

Grilled Corn on the Cobb
(this is almost painfully too easy to write as a 'recipe', almost)

Heat BBQ on high. Wash and clean corn.

Place corn directly on the grill. Cook approximately 10-11 minutes, turning every 2 minutes. Corn should get a slightly burnt look on some of the kernels.

Remove from heat, slather with butter and sprinkle with pepper. Serve hot and buttery! Yum.

Guten appetit.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chickpea & Corn Fritters

You may think I say this a lot, but... this really is one of our favorite recipes. Ok, ok. Maybe we have a lot of favorite recipes. But naturally, we like to share only the best with you!

How much do we like them? Well, it's a pretty serious attraction, so I'll say... we 'like them-like them'. We make these corn fritters once every 2-3 weeks.

At the time I made these, I needed an ego boost. It was the day after my 'great pasta casserole disaster'. The corn fritters are fast, easy and make me oh so happy. They satisfactorily restored my confidence and almost (almost) made me forget about the night before. *I have made the corn fritters since them, but the pictures are from a while ago.

I serve the fritters with a homemade chipotle salsa, and our simple salad.

Chickpea & Corn Fritters
from Cookinglight

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons cornmeal, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cooking spray

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, onion, and thyme; sauté 2 minutes.

Place onion mixture, chickpeas, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons cornmeal, salt, and red pepper in a food processor. Pulse 2 times or until combined and chunky.

Divide chickpea mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty; dredge patties in 1 tablespoon cornmeal.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 5 minutes. Carefully turn patties over; cook 5 minutes or until golden.

Guten appetit!