Sunday, January 31, 2010

Classic Granola

I love granola and have been looking for a good recipe to make myself. This one is very tasty!

Classic Granola
(Thanks Cooks Illustrated)

1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup blanched almonds, slivered (or halved)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup raisins or craisins (optional)

Kelsie's Extra:
Brown sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.

Heat syrup and honey together with oil in a small saucepan, whisking occasionally until warm. Pour mixture over dry ingredients. Stir with spatula until mixture is thoroughly coated. Put mixture onto a cookie sheet and spread into an even layer.

Bake, stirring and respreading mixture into an even layer every 5 minutes until granola is light brown, about 15 minutes. Immediately turn granola onto another cookie sheet to stop the cooking process. Stir in raisins, then spread granola evenly in pan. Set on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Loosen granola with a spatula. Store in an airtight container.

**Optional: If you like it a little sweeter, toss the finished mixture in a little bit of brown sugar. It is delicious both ways!**

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beef and Shrimp Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

2 oz (4 Tbsp) vegetable oil
3 oz (6 Tbsp) lime juice
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 lb beef skirt steak, flank steak or london broil
1-2 bell peppers (assorted colors) cut into strips
1 onion, cut into thick strips
Mushrooms, sliced
Pepper jack cheese, grated
*Optional ingredients: Guacamole, sour cream, salsa, extra lime*

Mix together 3 Tbsp of the vegetable oil, the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the meat in a ziplock bag or a bowl and cover with the marinade. Turn the meat so it is coated on all sides. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Remove meat from the marinade. Grill the meat on both sides on a grill or under a broiler until it is lightly charred and rare to medium done.

While the beef is grilling, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the peppers and saute briefly, keeping them slightly crisp. Remove peppers from the pan and saute the mushrooms and onions the same way.

When the beef is finished, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat across the grain into thin slices.

Warm the tortillas and top with the veggies and sliced beef, cheese and any optional ingredients.

For the shrimp fajitas, I just used a garlic & lime shrimp marinade that I have. It is delicious!

Garlic & Lime Shrimp

1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp onion powder

Mix the salt, pepper, cayenne, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, thyme and onion powder together in a small bowl.

Preheat a skillet. Add butter and stir in garlic. Let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds to a minute on medium heat. Add shrimp. Cut lime in half, squeeze over shrimp. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over and stir. Cook until shrimp turns pink. Taste your shrimp and check to see if your seasonings are right.

Spinach Enchiladas

These enchiladas are so delicious! They are a little time consuming, but by doing a couple things different, I was able to cut down the time a little bit. I will post my revisions instead. This is not the most beautiful plate, but enchiladas really aren't that pretty. :)

Spinach Enchiladas
(Thanks Emeril Lagasse!)

4 Poblano chile peppers (Last time I went to the store they didn't have any, so I looked on the heat scale they had and ended up buying anaheim peppers instead and got 2 extra because they were smaller and they tasted good as well. Poblano are still my favorite, but you can substitute if you can't find them)
2 pounds frozen spinach
A couple handfuls of mushrooms, chopped up
8 Tbsp unsalted butter (split)
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
1/2 cup all purpose flour (split)
2 cups half and half
1 cup cubed queso fresco (I used this the first time, and couldn't find it the second time so I used mozzarella. Both tasted really similar)
1 cup cubed pepper jack (Plus a little extra grated for the top)
Parmesan (or I used asiago or just straight pepper jack for the top)
6-12 flour tortillas (this will depend on how big you want your enchiladas. We make huge ones and get 6 out of it)
1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Thaw out your spinach and let drain in a colander. When you are ready for the spinach, squeeze out all the excess water. (There will be a ton!)

Roast the peppers and then place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, a ziplock bag or a paper bag and let them rest until cool enough to handle. Peel the peppers, split in half lenghtwise and discard the seeds, veins and stems. Roughly chop and set aside.

In a large saucepan or a large tall sided frying pan, melt 4 Tbsp of the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the onions are very soft. Add the garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper and cayenne and cook stirring for about a minute. Add 1/4 cup of the flour and cook stirring to make a light roux (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the half and half and cook until thick. Add the spinach and stir incorporate. Remove from the heat and fold in half of the chopped chiles, adjust the seasoning to taste. Fold in the cubed cheeses and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter of medium heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and cook, stirring constantly to make a light roux. Slowly add the stock and cook until thickened. Add the cream and cook until thick. Add the remaining roasted peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Fill your tortillas with the spinach mixture and put into a 13 x 9 pan (or bigger if you have more) and pour the sauce over the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover evenly with the grated pepper jack and either parmesan or asiago (or neither if you don't want them) and return to the oven and bake until the cheeses are melted and the enchiladas are completely warmed through. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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