Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ridin' Fence Nachos

We are starting the week with one of my all time favorite appetizers. I have made lots of fancy, smancy appetizers in restaurant kitchens, but none of them can stand up to this one. This is the good stuff!
 Ridin' Fence Nachos

Nachos(your favorite kind)
1 can refried beans or our Cowboy Beans, right here:
(http://thefreshmancook.blogspot.com/2011/05/cole-slaw-cowboy-beans-quite-pair.html)
Diced Onions
Diced Roma Tomatoes
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Queso Fresco Cheese
Sour Cream
Avocado

Place the nacho chips on a microwavable plate.
You will be serving on this plate also.
Top your chips with the beans. I love the beans, so 
I put a generous helping on them. The amount is up to you.
Top the beans with your chopped onions and diced tomatoes.
Now top your tomatoes with shredded cheddar and 
Queso Fresco crumbles. Place in the microwave and cook for 
about 45-60 seconds, or until cheese is melted.
When the cheese is melted, top the nachos with a
scoop of sour cream. Cut your avocado and place
diced pieces around the plate wherever you want.
Isn't that pretty?!
Enjoy! It's sooo good!

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you like today's recipe. 
Tomorrow we will be making
Green salad w/ Homemade Chunky Mango Citrus Dressing!

See you then!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Here's what's cookin' this week!!

This week we are cooking up some food that is very special to me~Southwestern Food! I love it, love it, love it!
Here is our menu:
     Appetizer~Ridin' Fence Nachos
     Salad-Green Salad w/Homemade Chunky Mango Citrus Dressing
     Entree~Adobo Marinated Pork Tenderloin w/Pineapple Salsa
     Side~Southwestern Spring Rolls w/Avocado Sauce
     Dessert~Chocolate Quesadilla

Here's what we need to get at the store~
Ridin' Fence Nachos
your favorite Tortilla Chips or Strips
2 Roma Tomato
1 medium Onion
1 can refried Beans or our recipe for Cowboy Beans
shredded Cheddar Cheese
Queso Fresco Cheese
(monterey jack is a good substitute if Queso Fresco can't be found)
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 Avocado

Salad w/Homemade Chunky Mango Citrus Dressing
Green Lettuce (your favorite)
Endive Lettuce
1 Roma Tomato
Red Onion
Corn Niblets
Avocado
Nacho Chips
2 large Mangos
1/4 oz Fresh Mint Leaves
Green Onions
Sweet Chili Sauce(Mae Ploy)
Orange Juice

Adobo Marinated Pork Tacos 
Pork Tenderloin
Diced Tomatoes (canned or Fresh)
Chile Powder
Green Chili Powder
Chipotle Puree
Honey
Brown Sugar
Red Wine Vinegar
Cayenne Pepper
Fresh Garlic
Olive Oil
Tortillas of your choice

Pineapple Salsa
Pineapple
Pineapple Juice
Red Bell Pepper
Yellow Bell Pepper
Green Onion
Fresh Cilantro
Jalapeno Chilies

Southwestern Spring Rolls
Egg Roll Wrappers
shredded Cheddar Cheese
refried beans or our recipe for CowboyBeans
Roma Tomato
Corn Niblets
Avocado
Mayo
Sour Cream
Buttermilk
Salt
White Vinegar
Dried Parsley
Onion Powder
Dill Weed


Chocolate Quesadillas
Flour Tortillas
Non stick Cooking Spray
Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter
Marshmallow Creme
2 Bananas
Milk Chocolate Chips




I am looking forward to cooking with you this week!!
I hope you are too!!

Thanks for joining me today.
See you tomorrow, when we make Ridin' Fence Nachos!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Southwestern Cuisine

Today's culinary word(s) are Southwestern Cuisine. What is it? How is it different from Mexican food?
Well, there are a few differences and a few similarities. Obviously , they are very connected, and they intertwined. Southwestern food relies heavily on the use of cream, while Mexican cooking has a heavy use of corn and beans. Now, they both use the other, put a lot of the emphasis in recipes are what they rely on heavily. Southwestern cooking is semi spicy, milder, while Mexican cooking is very spicy and hot, a lot of it coming from the chili that is the base of most  sauces. Southwestern cooking works with a sauce base of tomato sauce as a rule.

The hard shell taco for instance, is a creation of southwestern cuisine.  If you are making a taco, it would consist of beef, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream all stuffed into a hard shell. In Mexican cooking, the taco is a soft corn tortilla stuffed with meat, seafood, pork, or beef.

Next week we will be making a southwestern style meal. Southwestern food has been heavily influenced by native tribes and resourceful cowboys as well as a modern Mexican influence. It was the Native Americans who taught the Spanish conquerers about corn, how to cook it so many different ways. They also taught them about chile peppers and the many ways to grill and cook them.

This should be fun to venture into this new place. Living in Las Vegas, I have eaten many a southwestern dish and many hundred!!! Mexican dishes. They are so closely related. I have worked with many cooks that made the best Mexican food I have ever had! The great thing is the easy accessibility of products to make many  types of both dishes. There are a lot of markets that sell Mexican ingredients, as well as southwestern.

Tomorrow I will post our menu for next week. All southwestern ~ All the way!
See you then!!

Happy Cookies:)!!

This weeks dessert is Happy Cookies. These cookies are sugar cookies decorated with the Chinese symbol for Happy! I cut my sugar cookies out with a circle cutter. I then iced the cookies with white icing, and used a black food marker to make the Happy symbol. This is the recipe I always use for cookies and icing. We have used this cookie and icing recipe in a past post at http://thefreshmancook.blogspot.com/2011/05/do-i-really-need-that_29.html. Go to the post to see the recipe for the cookies and the icing. Lets pick up where we decorate the cookies.
Use your white icing to outline the cookie.
Flood the cookie with the thinner white icing.
Let it dry overnight.
 I used food markers to write on the cookie. 
The icing on the cookie has to be solid hard.
(I don't know if that is a thing, but you know what I mean?!)
I copied the chinese word for happy from
www.Chinese-Word.com.
These are the finished cookies.
Don't look too close. An artist, I am not.
(But I am trying to practice decorating. 
This is something I really want to learn)

Thanks for joining me this week. I hoped you enjoyed everything 
we prepared. Next week we are going to have a great menu with
some fantastic and tasty food. See you tomorrow for the culinary word of the week.


Cookie Costs:
Flour-                .80
Baking Soda-    .02
Salt-                  .01
Butter-              2.39
Sugar-                 .40
Eggs-                   .30
  Almond Extract-   .05   
Total Cost-         3.97 
(This makes about 6 dozen)


Icing
 
Meringue Powder             .40
Cream of Tarter               .10
Powdered Sugar             1.60
Total Cost                        2.10
(You will definitely have some left over)


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jasmine Rice w/ Honey Orange Sauce

I love Jasmine Rice. I especially love it the way we cooked it in today's recipe with coconut milk. It tastes rich and creamy, and then we are going to put a sauce on it that will have your mouthwatering for more. And because I want you to have more, we are going to add a stir fry with veggies, and garlic and onion~all the good stuff!!
Jasmine Rice w/ Honey Orange Sauce
1 can Coconut Milk
Jasmine Rice
Water
Let's make our rice first. Then we can make the sauce 
and stir fry while the rice is cooking. 
Pour the coconut milk into a bowl or measuring cup
like I did. The milk is solid with some juice in the can, 
and we need to mix it up before using it.
Stir the coconut milk and then put it into a pan that
you can cook the rice in. Add about 1/4 cup of water.
You will be cooking the rice in the coconut milk, not in water.
Let the rice come to a boil, and then add your rice. Cover
the pan, reduce the heat to let the rice simmer for 25 minutes.
Taste the rice at this time. If it is not soft and wonderfully 
good, then let it continue to cook until it is. If you are worried
about the pan getting dry, add some water~just a little.
This is how it looks when it is done. 
Now, while our rice is cooking, let's put our sauce together.
 Honey Orange Sauce
3 tablespoons Honey
1/2 juiced Orange
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 clove Garlic~chopped
3 tablespoon Soy Sauce
Add the honey, juice from the orange, crushed red pepper,
garlic and soy to a bowl and set aside.
That was easy!! 
 Stir Fry
3 cloves ~chopped
1 slice of onion
1/4 of a Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Onion Stalk
1/4 cup Snow Peas
Start by slicing your green onions at an angle. 
Cut your onion into medium length pieces, Cut your red 
pepper into pieces to match the length and width of your
onion. Chop the garlic and add your snow peas to a bowl.
Set the bowl aside.
 LET'S PUT IT ALL TOGETHER!
Put your stir fry and sauce into a frying pan and
cook on high heat, stirring about 95% of the time.  
Cook until tender. You can check the onions to be sure!
Your rice should be done by now.
Add a scoop of rice to your plate with the chicken skewers 
from your entree part of the meal.
Spoon some of the sauce from the stir fry over the rice.
Add some of the stir fry vegetables.
You are done!
Isn't that pretty!!?

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed making this meal.
Tomorrow we will finish our meal with Happy Cookies.
I can't wait! See you then!
Happy Cooking!
Cost of Jasmine Rice
Jasmine Rice         .64
Coconut Milk       1.42
Sugar                      .10
Total Cost             2.16


Cost of Honey Orange Sauce
Honey                          .22
Orange                         .26
Red Pepper                  .01
Garlic                           .04
Soy Sauce                    .18
Total Cost                     .71


Cost of Stir Fry
Garlic                          .12
Onion                           .02
  Red Bell Pepper           .05  
Green Onions               .10
Snow Peas                   .66
Total Cost                    .95













Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chicken Satay

Our entree today is chicken satay. (Yes, I know it rhymes, no I didn't do it on purpose) Anywaaaay, these are easy and delicious chicken on a stick, basically. This chicken can be grilled, and it is great that way, but I put these under the broiler instead. They turned out tasty and moist.
The first thing you need are these.
 Then your chicken.
Cut your chicken down through the middle to create
strips like above.
Thread the chicken onto the skewer. You need to put 
the bottom of the strip of chicken onto the skewer, 
then continue to thread the chicken onto the skewer.
If your chicken is a small piece, use two.
Here are the four skewers. Sprinkle each one with
garlic salt, and pepper.
Spray the baking sheet with pan spray before you put the 
chicken on it. Broil on high and turn when the top is
cooked, and cook the other side.
Here are your chicken skewers!

Thanks for joining me today. Tomorrow we will be
making the side dish for the chicken satay, 
which will make it look a lot prettier!

Chicken Satay Cost:
1/2 pound Chicken-           1.00
Garlic Salt-                           .05
Pepper-                                .01
Skewers-                              .40
Total Cost- (4 skewers)       1.46

Green Salad w/ Asian Ginger Dressing

Yesterday I had a techie blip on my computer. Things were not working well-at all!! So I apologize for the delay in posting. Let's get caught up!!
We are making a super simple salad with homemade Asian Ginger dressing. The salad greens are a little different than the romaine that I love to use, but these are delicious and pretty. Here's what you need:

Green Salad
Endive Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Almonds
Chow Mein Noodles
Broccoli
Green Onions
Cheese of your choice

Asian Ginger Dressing
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
3 cloves Fresh Ginger
2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
1/2  cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Honey
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
Let's make the dressing first.
Chop up the garlic and put it in the bowl.
Break off a piece of your ginger, and peel off the 
outer skin with a potato peeler.
Put the ginger and the oil into the bowl.
Add in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, water, and sugar.
Whisk together until all combined. This dressing
is better made the day before you want to serve it.
Here is the salad all put together. I decided not to add cheese.
Pour on your dressing, and enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you will join me again later today when I post our entree
for the week, chicken satay.
See you then, and again, I apologize for the technical
problems that prohibited me from posting yesterday.

Our Salad & Dressing Costs:
Salad:
Red Leaf Lettuce-            .14
Endive Lettuce-               .14
Broccoli-                         .13
Almonds-                        .02
Chow Mein Noodles-      .02
Green Onions-                 .02
Total Cost-                      .47

Dressing:
Garlic-                            .05
Ginger-                           .10
Olive Oil-                        .30
Rice Vinegar-                  .32
Sugar-                             .05
Soy-                                .7
Honey-                          .22
Total Cost-                     1.76
This made about 16 ounces of dressing.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Appetizer-Cream Cheese Wontons!!

I think Cream Cheese Wontons are the perfect way to start a Chinese meal. Don't you! They are creamy, crunchy, and spicy. Today we put them with sauce that is mild and a little sweet. Let's get started!!
Cream Cheese Wontons
(adapted from CD Kitchen)

2 oz Cream Cheese
1 Egg Yolk
1/4 teaspoon Curry Powder
3 oz unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1 oz White Vinegar
1.5 oz Granulated Sugar
1.5 teaspoon Ketchup
1.5 teaspoon Cornstarch
Wonton Wrappers
Start by putting your cream cheese in a bowl and smush it
down with a fork. (Easier if it is room temp)
Separate the egg white from the yolk. Keep the white if 
possible. We will use it later. Mush ( it is a technical term!!!)
the egg yolk and the cream cheese together.
Add the curry powder.
Mix everything together.
This is your filling.
Pour your unsweetened pineapple juice in a 
saucepan. Instead of buying pineapple juice, I just bought
a small can of pineapple tid bits. They are canned 
with no added preservatives and no sugar.
I poured the juice out of the can, 
and put the pineapple in the fridge for later.
Add the white vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and cornstarch.
Whisk together over medium heat until sauce starts to thicken.
Take sauce off heat once it is thick, and set aside.
Start to heat up your oil in a saucepan . I brought the
oil to 350 degrees. If you have a home fryer, use it to fry.
While your oil is heating up, make an egg wash.
Crack an egg in a small dish, add a tablespoon of 
water, and whisk with a fork.
With a pastry brush, dab egg wash all along the edges 
of the wonton wrapper. This will help the edges stick together.
Drop 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mix into the middle 
of your wonton.  I put in 1 teaspoon, 
but it truly could have used 2 teaspoons.
To fold in the wonton, start with each tip of the wonton, 
and bring it to the tip right next to it, so that it forms an angle.
Then bring the next tip up to the center to meet the other side.
The egg wash will help the side stick to one another.
This is your finished wonton ready for frying.
Carefully place your wontons in the fryer.I only fried 3 at a time
so I could keep control of them.
Let them fry until they are light brown.
 When they are done, take them out of the oil and let 
them drain on a paper towel. See that little wire basket type 
utensil I used to get them out? I bought that at an international market
store here in Las Vegas. I just love it for frying. It is great because
if you want to check on your frying food, you can pull it out of the fryer,
let it sit in the basket, and you can examine it. The cost? 69 cents!!
Here is your plated appetizer. Aren't they pretty?

Enjoy your appetizer!
They are easy to make and they don't require a lot of ingredients.

Here is our cost breakdown:
(This is for 10 cream cheese wontons)
wontons-       .37
egg-               .10
cream cheese-.50
curry powder-.02
                                                                   .99 for 10 cream cheese wontons

pineapple juice-.72
white vinegar-   .05
sugar-              .10
ketchup-          .05
cornstarch-      .02
                                                   .94 sauce for wontons

Total cost for 10 wontons and dipping sauce- $1.93
I will always try to give you the exact price I paid. There may be times when
I estimate because I have had the ingredient for a while, but if at all possible,
I will try to obtain the present price.
If you have any questions about where I bought something or any other questions,
please comment on the page, or send me an email to 
thefreshmancook@hotmail.com.

Tomorrow we will be making our salad portion of our meal,
a green salad with an Asian Ginger dressing.
See you then!