Monday, January 21, 2008

Random recipes from my weekend

January is so cold and dreary that I just had to make something springy last weekend. I love fresh salsas of any kind, and the options of how to serve it are limitless. This one was great in a tortilla with grilled chicken strips, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Super Fabuloso Southwest Salsa

2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 medium avocado, diced
1 medium mango, diced
1 small can of corn, drained (I prefer Del Monte brand)
1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 T. minced cilantro
juice of one lime
salt to taste
dash of garlic powder
dash of chipotle chili powder

Don't skip the chipotle chili powder! It's seriously one of my favorite spices. It's got a lovely smokey flavor and more kick to it than regular chili powder, and I use it all the time in my mexican cooking. If you wanted to kick up the heat in this, you could certainly add a minced jalapeno or annaheim pepper. I avoided onions or shallots (my preference), because I find that if you don't eat it right away or have some leftovers the onion flavor can get overpowering.


For Sunday dinner, I did a turkey breast, caramelized roasted yams, and nutty broccoli and bacon with homemade rolls on the side. All of these are pretty simple and full of flavor.

Crockpot Turkey Breast

6 1/2-7 1/2 pound bone in turkey breast, thawed
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1 t. dried)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 T. butter, optional
2 T. brown sugar

Place the turkey, breast side down, into an oval 6 quart crock pot. You may remove the skin beforehand, but I have found after making it both ways that this is unnecessary and that the skin comes off very easily once cooked. Toss in the garlic, rosemary, sprinkle a bit of salt and a few grinds of pepper over it. Cut the butter into pieces and distribute evenly around the turkey. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Put the lid on, set for either 6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high and walk away. Bask in the wonderful aroma and avoid the temptation to open the lid.

Once it's done cooking, remove the turkey to a plate or cutting board, flip it over, and loosely tent with foil for 10-15 minutes while the juices settle. Use a turkey baster to suck out the juices from the pot. Usually there's about 2 cups. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a saucepan or large skillet, stir in 2 T. of flour, then slowly whisk in the pan juices and simmer until the gravy is the desired consistency. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed, and add a bit of water if needed to thin it. Serve immediately.

Caramelized Roasted Yams

3 large yams, peeled and cut into steak fry sized chunks
3 T. butter
3 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
dash of cloves and allspice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a jelly roll pan with PAM. Melt the butter in a medium size bowl and stir in the spices and sugar. Add the yam chunks and stir until evenly coated. Spread out onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring 2-3 times, until yams are cooked through and caramelized.

Nutty Broccoli and Bacon

3 cups bite size broccoli florets
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/4 cup salted cashews
salt, pepper

Steam broccoli either on the stovetop or microwave for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, in a small non-stick skillet, saute the bacon bits until warm and crispy, then stir in the cashews and cook for one minute more. Drain the broccoli thoroughly and pour into a serving bowl. Stir the bacon and cashews in. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whole Wheat Honey Rolls

2 T. active dry yeast
2 c. warm buttermilk (today I substituted buttermilk powder and warm water)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used hard white wheat)
2 - 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm buttermilk. Buttermilk will appear curdled when heated to 110-115 degrees. If you elect to use buttermilk powder, dissolve the yeast in the same amount of warm water, then add the buttermilk powder in with the flour. Add butter, honey, salt, baking soda and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough all purpose flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.

Punch dough down. On a lightly greased surface, divide into 4 equal parts. Divide each part into 6 equal portions and shape each into a ball. Place on a greased 15 x 10 pan, spaced equally. Let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-16 minutes, or until golden brown. Delicious served warm with honey butter. Yields 24 rolls.

Just a reminder to the other people posting to add labels to your post. This enables people to click on categories listed on the sidebar to quickly find the desired recipe.

1 comment:

Patti said...

Sounds so delish! Wish I'd been there!