Homemade Tortilla Chips Recipe

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Crisp and warm, these homemade tortilla chips are fresher than store-bought. And they're easier than you might think!

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Tortilla Chips, Homemade
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut tortilla rounds into triangles.
  2. Toss lightly and let dry slightly.
  3. While tortilla triangles are drying, heat one or two inches of neutral cooking oil to 365F in a heavy pot or skillet.
  4. Carefully slide several tortilla triangles into the oil, enough to fill the surface in a single layer. Do not crowd the pan. The tortillas WILL sizzle and pop. Use a splatter screen if you have one.
  5. After a minute or two, use a long-handled tongs to turn each piece. Let fry another minute or two until slightly brown and crispy.
  6. Remove chips from oil with a slotted spoon or strainer and put in a colander lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with a very small pinch of salt and toss lightly.
  7. Serve warm immediately with your favorite dip or let cool completely and seal tightly in a plastic bag. Use within three days.
Recipe Notes

This method works with commercially-packaged tortillas or with homemade tortillas. It even works with flour tortillas - frying time will be less than for the corn tortillas.

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Salsa Verde Recipe, Mexican Green Salsa Made with Tomatillos

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Fresh Mexican salsa verde is green salsa made with tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Make it hot or mild. Either way, it's tangy and goes good on chips, in tacos, over tamales or as a sauce for any meat. It's suitable for vegans and vegetarians, too.

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Salsa Verde, Mexican Green Salsa with Tomatillos Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel, rinse and dry the tomatillos.
  2. Preheat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Dry-roast the tomatillos, peppers, unpeeled garlic cloves and onion pieces in the hot skillet, turning every 2 minutes with tongs to char on most of the surfaces. Do not allow to burn.
  4. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the stem from the peppers and slice in half. If desired, remove seeds and pith. Removing the seeds and pith reduces the spiciness and heat of the salsa verde. Leave the seeds and pith intact for a very hot salsa.
  6. Place the tomatillos, peppers and onions into the bowl of a food processor. Peel garlic and add to other ingredients. Pulse 2 to 4 times to chop.
  7. Add salt and cilantro to the food processor bowl.
  8. Pulse quickly 4 to 6 more times until a coarse puree forms.
  9. Transfer the salsa to a serving dish and serve immediately while still warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Recipe Notes

When buying, choose very firm tomatillos with the papery husk intact. They can range in size from very small, like cherry tomatoes, to extremely large, like beefsteak tomatoes. I tend toward the medium ones, but all of them will give you good results.

When you peel the satisfyingly crinkly paper covering off the tomatillos, your fingers and the tomatillos inside will be sticky, kind of like a tree-sap stickiness. But it rinses right off with water. Peel back the cover and yank the stem; the whole thing comes off at once. Then make this salsa. You won't regret it!

For raw vegan diets, skip the dry-roasting process. Salsa verde is good without the char as well.

Use any kind of chili pepper. Jalapenos are milder than serranos, but you can use poblanos, too.

Salsa verde will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days if sealed tightly.

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Deviled Egg “Devil Chix” Recipe

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These devilish chicks will delight your crowd, whether for Easter, buffet table or game day. Traditional deviled egg recipe with a cute presentation.

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Deviled Egg "Devil Chix" Recipe
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Hard boil the eggs and let cool quickly in ice water. Change out the ice water when it gets warm. If you cool the eggs slowly, a greenish skin forms around the yolks inside.
  2. Peel the eggs and rinse. Pat dry.
  3. With a sharp paring knife, cut about 25% off the smaller end of each egg, revealing the cooked yolk.
  4. Carefully remove the yolks from the whites and put them in a separate bowl.
  5. Rinse and pat dry the whites. With your paring knife, cut around the edge of the small end of each egg in a zigzag pattern. Cut a small slice off the other end of each egg to make them flat so they will stand up on their own.
  6. To the egg yolks, add the mustard, mayo, relish, sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and ground pepper. Mash the yolks with a fork and mix all ingredients well.
  7. Spoon 1/6 of the egg yolk mixture into each of the larger, upright white parts. Cap each with a jagged small piece, leaving part of the yolk mixture visible. Push two whole peppercorns into each visible yolk part for eyes and a small piece of carrot into each for a beak.
  8. Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce.
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Pecan Stilton Crackers Recipe

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Recipe for homemade Stilton pecan crackers from scratch. These crackers taste better than anything you can buy! The dough and the baked crackers can be made ahead and frozen for several weeks in advance of any party or gathering.

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Crackers, Pecan Stilton, Recipe
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine butter and flour in food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds or to the consistency of cornmeal.
  2. Add Stilton and pulse until dough forms a ball.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Divide in half and roll each half into cylinder about 7 inches long. Dough will be sticky but easy to handle.
  4. Line a sheet pan with parchment and scatter chopped pecans evenly over it. Roll dough cylinders in turn in the pecans until coated.
  5. Wrap the dough in parchment or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Unwrap chilled dough, trim ends and cut into ¼-inch slices.
  8. Line a sheet pan with parchment and place slices about 1 inch apart on pan.
  9. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful not to overbake.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan. Crackers will firm up as they cool.
Recipe Notes

Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Substitute Maytag or Gorgonzola in place of the Stilton for a similar taste.

Serve with roasted peaches, nectarines or plums and some crème fraiche. Garnish with chopped chives.

Pair with your favorite wine.

Keep some dough in the freezer for unexpected guests.

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No-Bake Seasoned Saltine Crackers

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Fast, cheap and easy crackers for appetizers like cheese, pickles, olives and deli meats; great for holiday tables or snack trays any time of year. Requires no baking or cooking.

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Crackers, No-Bake Seasoned Saltine Recipe
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put crackers in large bowl with tight-fitting lid.
  2. In smaller, separate bowl, whisk oil, garlic powder, pepper flakes and dressing mix together.
  3. Drizzle dressing over crackers and gently stir them with large spoon.
  4. Seal the bowl and turn every 15 to 30 minutes until dressing is absorbed, about 5 or 6 turns.
  5. Serve with cheese, deli meat or other toppings as appetizers.
Recipe Notes

Use saltines without the salt on top; these crackers turn out pretty salty, so don't make it worse! You might even want to cut the amount of ranch dressing mix in half if you are watching your salt intake.

Serve these with my mozzarella/rosemary cubes cheese appetizer.

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Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

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Traditional Italian rainbow cookies; my New Jersey/Italian friends make these every year and this is their recipe. LOVE these almond-flavored goodies - so addictive. In addition to the wonderful flavor, they look marvelous, and you can make them any color combination you choose.

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Cookies, Italian Rainbow, Recipe
These instructions are for traditionally-colored Italian rainbow cookies. The photos are of my green ombré type. You can choose whatever colors you like for the layers; see the Recipe Notes at the bottom.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line three 9×13 cake or sheet pans with wax paper or parchment paper and grease with butter or spray with cooking spray.
  3. Break up almond paste in a large bowl, add butter, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in flour and salt. Set aside.
  4. In separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold into almond mixture.
  5. Separate batter into equal parts (about 1 1/2 cups each) in three different bowls. Add green color to one bowl and mix well. Add red color to another bowl and mix well. Leave third bowl plain.
  6. Spread batter into separate pans.
  7. Bake each pan for 8 minutes then turn and bake 7 minutes more, for a total of 15 minutes. Place pans on racks until completely cool.
  8. Invert green layer onto a large tray. Spread with half the raspberry preserves.
  9. Invert the plain layer on top and spread with other half of preserves. Invert red layer on top.
  10. Wrap in plastic wrap, place a heavy book or pan on top and refrigerate overnight.
  11. Combine chocolate chips, 4 tablespoons butter and light corn syrup over low heat and stir until melted.
  12. Cover the top of the cake with chocolate glaze and refrigerate until glaze sets. Turn over and cover the other side with glaze and let cool until that side sets.
  13. With serrated knife, trim edges of layers so they are squared.
  14. Cut the cake crosswise into eight sections about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then cut it lengthwise into twelve 3/4-inch sections to make about 96 small, layered cookies.
Recipe Notes

Make the cookies ombré by adding 5 drops of any color to one third of the batter, 10 drops of the same color to another third of the batter, and 15 drops to the final third. Eyeball it to see if you like the color gradation; remember that it's easy to add color, impossible to subtract it. Combine with darkest layer on plate, lighter layer in the middle and plain layer on top. Use seedless jam or preserves that match the color you choose or use a neutral-colored jam like apricot so the lines aren't distinct.

 

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Blue Cheese Sablés (French Butter Cookies) Recipe

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A tangy variation on the plain sablés, or French butter cookies. Adding blue cheese enhances the melt-in-your-mouth quality of these delicate little cookies. They are great for the holidays, they go wonderfully with tea and coffee, and you can keep some dough in the freezer ready to bake for last-minute sweets.

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Cookies, Blue Cheese Sablés (French Butter Cookies) Recipe
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat butter and cheese until completely blended, about 1 minute.
  2. Add sugar and salt and beat just until they are well mixed and creamy, about one minute longer. Do not overbeat.
  3. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating each just until completely mixed in. Stop beating once you have a cohesive batter.
  4. Stir in flour with a rubber spatula, stirring just until there is no dry flour left. The dough should be sandy but form a ball when pressed.
  5. Roll into a 2-inch thick log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerator for 4 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake until the edges are light brown, about 18 minutes.
Recipe Notes

I recommend St. Agur or any double-cream blue cheese.

Do not overwork this dough. The less handling, the better.

This dough MUST rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before baking. Because there is no leavening, the butter is the rising agent. Therefore, the butter must be very chilled before they go into the oven.

Keep some of this dough in the freezer for last-minute gifts or unexpected guests.

It's traditional to stamp each dough slice before baking with a cookie stamp. This step is optional, but it's very charming in the end result.

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Sablés de Paris (French Butter Cookies) Recipe

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Light, delicate French butter cookies. Very easy to make and quick to bake. They almost melt in your mouth. Perfect for tea and coffee or holiday cookie plates.

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Cookies, Sablés de Paris (French Butter Cookies) Recipe
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together sugar, salt and flour.
  3. Mix in butter and rub butter with fingers into flour until mixture is crumbly.
  4. Stir in the egg yolk(s) and vanilla.
  5. Form dough into two logs about 2 inches in diameter. If dough does not come together, add water one tablespoon at a time until it just forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Cut the logs into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Optionally, stamp each slice with a cookie stamp.
  7. Place slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until very lightly browned around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Roll the logs in sugar before slicing to get a crispy, sweet outer rim.

There are many variations of this recipe, including blue cheese and ginger/cardamom flavors. Check my blog post to see how to do them.

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Sundried Tomato Tapenade Recipe

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Recipe for a savory sundried tomato tapenade with garlic, olives and capers. A few minutes and a food processor yields this delicious antipasti appetizer that you can use for a bread spread, too.

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Sundried Tomato Tapenade Recipe
Spreadable, savory, tomato-ey dip, excellent for wine-tasting.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
ounces
Ingredients
  • 1 12-ounce jar sundried tomatoes best is packed in olive oil with Italian or Mediterranean seasoning
  • 25 olives any type, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
ounces
Ingredients
  • 1 12-ounce jar sundried tomatoes best is packed in olive oil with Italian or Mediterranean seasoning
  • 25 olives any type, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
Instructions
  1. Pour oil off the tomatoes into a small bowl and reserve.
  2. Put everything into the food processor. Remove bay leaves, whole allspice or any other coarse seasoning that may have been in the tomatoes and shouldn't be ground up in the tapenade.
  3. Pulse for about 30 seconds until smooth and spreadable. Add reserved oil in small increments as needed to achieve a smooth texture.
  4. Serve immediately on toast or as a dip for crackers. Also makes a great bread spread for panini or other sandwiches.
Recipe Notes

Stores up to three days in the refrigerator tightly sealed.

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Utopenci, Czech Pickled Sausage Salad Recipe

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This cold pickled sausage salad makes a good appetizer, potluck contribution or game day snack. This recipe makes a lot, but you can reduce it easily for smaller portions. It's gluten-free and wonderful with beer and dark bread.

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Utopenci, Czech Pickled Sausage Salad
Cuisine Czech
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 5 to 7 days
Servings
pounds
Ingredients
Cuisine Czech
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 5 to 7 days
Servings
pounds
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Remove the skin of sausage and cut into ½ - inch slices. Toss with cayenne. Peel and slice onions into thin rings.
  2. Combine water, vinegar, salt, sugar and spices in a heavy stockpot to make brine. Mix well and bring to boil. Make sure you have a strong kitchen fan or open window for this step; the vapors from the boiling brine mixture are overwhelming. Boil for one minute; remove from heat and allow to cool to 125° F.
  3. Layer sausage and onions alternately in gallon jar or earthenware crock. Press each layer well. Continue layering until jar or crock is full. Add layer of bay leaves to finish.
  4. Fill jar with brine to cover contents. Seal. Store in cool, dry, dark place for five to seven days. Serve at room temperature with dark bread and cold Czech beer.
Recipe Notes

Can be stored in refrigerator up to one month.

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