Monday, August 30, 2010

Cuban Sandwich and Cuban Pork


pork roast {see recipe below}
sweet cured ham (thick slice)
dill pickles
Swiss cheese (baby Swiss)
Cuban bread (can use Italian or French, but do not use a baguette)
yellow mustard

Layer ingredients on bread. Grill on lightly greased sandwich press.
Enjoy with mariquitas (plantain chips)!

Cuban Pork


5 lb pork shoulder roast or pork tenderloin
10-12 garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 cup sour orange juice- if not available---1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice &
      1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp. oregano
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor crush the garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a thick paste. In a mixing bowl, combine garlic paste with sour orange juice, onion, and oregano. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.

2. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil til very hot. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in garlic-orange juice mixture. (It can splatter). Allow to cool.

3. Pierce pork several times with the tip of a knife. Cover with mojo and allow to marinate for several hours, up to overnight, turning every few hours. Bake at 325 for 1 hour 1/2- 2 hours, basting with juices throughout.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not-So-Sloppy Joes

from Real Simple: Meals Made Easy


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey (could use ground beef)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
ciabatta rolls or wheat hamburger buns, toasted (enough for 4-6 people)
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Avocado, sliced (optional, but delicious)
Sliced Jalapenos (optional)


1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 3 min. Add turkey and cook, crumbling with spoon, about 7 min. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 12 min.

2. Spoon the mixture onto the bottom half of each bun and top with the cheese, avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4 - 6 people.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Carrot Cake


3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2-3 cups grated carrots (use larger side of grater)
8 oz. can crushed pineapples
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/3 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan, or two 9-inch round pans.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugars, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture. Stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut, and fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

2. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, (18-20 min for 9-inch rounds) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

3. To make the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese together until completely blended. Add vanilla and blend. Gradually beat in sugar to desired consistency.

*cupcakes-18 min, extra large cupcakes 24-25 min

adapted from Allison & Laurie

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Manchego Cheese and Garlic Hot Dogs

from Bon Appetit, July 2009


For the relish:
2 large heads of garlic, top 1/2-inch cut off
5 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup roasted red pepper from a jar, drained and diced
1 tbsp. fresh parsley
Coarse kosher salt

For the hot dogs:
6 grilled or toasted hot dog buns or 2 1/2-inch-wide pieces ciabatta or pain rustique, cut to length of hot dogs and split lengthwise
6 grilled all-beef hot dogs
2 oz. Manchengo cheese, grated (I used a lot less than the full 2 oz.)
Balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place each head of garlic, cut side up, in center of square of foil; drizzle each with 1 teaspoon oil. Enclose garlic in foil. Place packets on oven rack; roast until garlic is tender, about 45 minutes. Open packets; cool 15 minutes.

2. Once cooled, squeeze garlic cloves into small bowl. Mash enough roasted garlic to measure 1/4 cup (reserve remaining garlic for another use). Transfer 1/4 cup mashed garlic to bowl. Mix in 3 teaspoons oil, red pepper, and parsley. Season with coarse salt and pepper.

3. Arrange buns on plates. Top each with grilled hot dog, then cheese, garlic relish, and drizzle of vinegar.

Jambalaya with Creole Seasoning

adapted from A Hint of Honey and


1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
3 bell peppers, diced (red, yellow, orange)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Andouille pork sausage. sliced (I used mild sweetened Italian turkey sausage )
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning blend (see recipe below)
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 cup water (or another cup of low-sodium chicken broth)
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Combine onions, garlic, peppers, celery, chicken broth, kidney beans, sausage, chicken, tomatoes, and creole seasoning in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2-3 hours (or on low for 5-6 hours) until the chicken is tender but cooked through.

2. Stir in the rice and water. Recover and continue cooking on high for about 1 hour (turn to high at this point if you were cooking on low), until the rice is soft and has absorbed most of the liquid.

3. Stir in the shrimp. Cover and cook several more minutes until the shrimp are opaque (no longer or they will become tough). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

(Would be equally tasty without shrimp--I only mixed shrimp into Nick's half)

Creole Seasoning Blend


2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
5 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. sea salt

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thai Chicken Pizza

from A Hint of Honey


Peanut sauce:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. roasted sesame oil
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. chili sauce (or dried chili flakes)
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce (I didn't have any so I just added another Tbsp. of water)
2 Tbsp. water

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 pizza dough crusts
cornmeal, for dusting
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup white bean sprouts
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
4 scallions, slivered
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
roasted peanuts (optional)


1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a boil and boil gently for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled. Refrigerate until use.

2. Cover cooked diced chicken with enough sauce to coat. Store in refrigerator.

3. Preheat oven and pizza stone to 450 F. Spread a thin, even layer of peanut sauce over each pizza crust. Top with chicken, green onions, carrots, bean sprouts, cheese, and peanuts (optional). You can reserve half of the carrots and bean sprouts to add at the end on top of the cheese if you wish.

4. Bake each pizza about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

5. Sprinkle with cilantro (optional: add more carrots, bean sprouts, and peanuts).

Makes 2 pizzas.

Crock Pot Tostada


1-2 chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cups frozen corn
1 cup diced onion
1/2-1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
tortilla chips or tostada
optional- brown rice
shredded cheese
sour cream
fresh cilantro


1. In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and cook for 3-6 hours.

2. Layer a bed of tortilla chips, optional layer of brown rice, and chicken mixture. Garnish with shredded cheese, a bit of sour cream, and fresh cilantro