Tarte L’oignon

March 3, 2014

You can’t let Mardi Gras pass without at least one (or two, or three) decadent meals. When I think of New Orleans I think of all the cuisines that influence the menus in that sinfully delicious city and Creole, French and good ol’ Southern come to mind.

So when pondering what recipe to share during Mardi Gras, I immedietly thought of the Tarte L’oignon I recently replicated from a tiny French bistro in Decatur, Ga.

This dish is rich, creamy and might have a calorie or two.

I like to think it’s not that bad…afterall, it is meatless, right? So technically it could be used for a Meatless Monday dish. Is that pushing it?

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What dish are you making to celebrate Mardi Gras?

My husband and I traveled to Granada, Nicaragua with some friends this past May.  Not only was the country beautiful…but the food was delicious!  One of our favorite things to do late-night, after a few Tonas, was to hit the street food vendors and load up on a variety of foods…from tacos to empanadas to Nicamales, the Nicaraguan Tamale.  What makes the NicaMale different from a regular tamale is the size, they are huge!  Traditionally, they are wrapped in a large banana leaf and filled with meat and rice.

We stayed in a home in the heart of Granada, and one morning, our housekeeper made NicaMales for breakfast.  They were savory packages filled with chicken and rice and served with a little hot sauce.  I knew I had to recreate them at home!

Unfortunately,  I was unable to find banana leaves in Atlanta.  So I had to settle for dried corn husks, which were also difficult to find. (If you live in Atlanta, they’re at the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market.) I filled the husks with the traditional masa mixture, pulled pork with tomatillo sauce, rice and thinly sliced Vidalia onions and green bell peppers.  They came out perfect!  One thing to note, is it’s a lot easier to make these with a few extra hands, so teamwork is key.  My hubby made the dough and we worked together to fill, fold and tie them (an art in itself).  Also, realize that these babies steam for about three and a half hours, so preparing them is an all day affair (I prepared the pork the night before in the crockpot)…but definitely worth it!

nicamale

The Perfect Package: Pork NicaMale with Gallos Pintos

NicaMales

Ingredients

Masa (Dough)

  • Masa harina — 6 cups
  • Lard or shortening — 1 cup (I use Armour)
  • Salt — 1 tablespoon
  • Orange Juice — 1/2 cup + Juice of half a Lemon
  • Chicken stock — 4-5 cups

Filling

  • Pulled Pork with Tomatillo Sauce
  • Salt and pepper — to season
  • Rice, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes — 3/4 cup
  • Onion, sliced thin — 1
  • Bell pepper, sliced thin — 2

Assembly

  • Banana leaves, hard spine removed and cut into 10×10-inch rectangles — 12 pieces (If you can find them, if not, sub dehydrated corn husks.)

Method

  1. Place the masa harina, lard and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  You can also throw in a bowl and use a hand mixer. Blend on a low speed to incorporate the fat into the masa harina and give it a mealy texture. You may have to do this and the next step in two batches if your mixer bowl is not large enough to hold all the ingredients without overflowing.
  2. With the mixer still on low speed, add the orange and lemon juices and enough chicken stock to make a soft, moist dough. It should be a little firmer than mashed potatoes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes to incorporate some air into the masa and make it fluffier. Cover the bowl and set the masa aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Assemble all of your filling ingredients and assembly items on a large table or work surface. Gather family and friends to help in an assembly line.
  4. Lay out corn husks (or banana leaves). Place 1/2 cup of the masa in the middle of the corn husk and, using wetted hands, spread it out a little. Put about 1/2 cup of pork on top of the masa and sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons of rice over the pork. Top with about 4 pieces of onion and 4 pieces of pepper.
  5. Fold the top edge of the corn husk down over the filling. Bring the bottom edge up over this. Then fold in both sides to make a rectangular package. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly or the filling will squeeze out. Flip the package over so it is seam side down.  Use a torn corn husk as a tie to hold it securely.
  6. Add 2 or 3 inches of water to a  pot large enough to hold all the Nicatamales. (I used two pots since I didn’t have one large enough to hold them all. ) Place a rack or steam strainer in the bottom or toss in enough wadded up aluminum foil to hold the Nicatamales mostly out of the water. Add the Nicatamales and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and steam for 3 to 4 hours. Add more water as needed to keep the pot from boiling dry.
  7. Remove the Nicatamales from the pot and serve hot. Each diner unties the corn husk on his or her own Nicatamal before eating.

These were delicious served with Gallos Pintos (recipe coming soon).

Bread on the Boulevard

Hand-Held Savory Eats

To-Go Containers

Sweets on the Streets

Grab a Thermos 

Sunday Supper Movement Let’s hit the pavement this Sunday in search of the best street food from around the globe!  Join us for a #SundaySupper event featuring Global Street Food that we’ve made in our own kitchens, in honor of our favorites and/or those we would love to try!
We’ll also be holding our live #SundaySupper twitter chat at 7pm (ET) on Sunday evening.  We’d love to have you join us as we discuss the best and the worst of Global Street Food!  – See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/08/GlobalStreetFoodPreview.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+girlichef+(girlichef)#sthash.nWJmlkkU.dpuf

This week’s Sunday Supper topic was to make a dish by our favorite celebrity chef. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I LOVE Emeril’s recipes. They are always so flavorful. They often use one of his spice blends, although this one does not, which really add a punch to the dish they are being used in. I prefer to prepare his spice blends at home, over purchasing them in the store. They taste better and homemade blends tend to have less sodium than the store bought ones.

Now deciding which Emeril recipe to share proved to not be too difficult. It happened to be the weekend after Thanksgiving when I was deciding what to make and I had a hamhock to do something with. Well, I had recently been perusing a new local restaurant’s menu and saw they serve Red Beans & Rice on Monday and call it Laundry Night. Apparently, in New Orleans (one my most favorite cities in the world) back in the day, the women of the household would let Red Beans simmer on the stove all day Monday, using the hamhock from Sunday night’s dinner, while they tended to the laundry.

I liked the story and loved the thought of Red Beans bubbling away in the crockpot all day. When looking for a recipe, I stumbled upon this one, and knowing Emeril never disappoints, eagerly bought the ingredients and got started. I doubled this recipe so my hubby and I would have some and so I could take a batch to ladies at work for lunch. It was a hit with him and the office…as if there was any doubt :0)

Do you like Emeril? What’s your favorite Emeril Recipe? (I also adore his Jambalaya)

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Red Beans & Rice served with Jalapeno Cornbread

Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 hamhock
  • 2 links of Andouille (Patak is my favorite and I highly recommend if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted through, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • white rice (I love to make mine in the rice cooker)

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes. Pour into a crockpot. Add the bay leaves, hamhock, sausage, beans, garlic, and enough water to cover the contents. Cook on low all day (about 6-8 hours). Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side of the pot before serving. Add more water if it becomes too thick. The mixture should be soupy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and serve with white rice.

Check out more tasty recipes featuring celebrity chefs from my fellow #SundaySupper foodies:

Starters or Snacks :

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog – Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper

Linda at The Urban Mrs. – Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa

Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts – Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn

Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup

Jeff at The Catholic Foodie – Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh

Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee – Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli

The Main Dish:

Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples

Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun

Claire at The Realistic Nutritionist – Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken

Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends – Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots

Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen – Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi

Katy over at Happy Baking Days – Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart

Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Lee Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s

Lane over at Supper for a Steal – Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken

Tara from Noshing with the Nolands – Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini

Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene – Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf

Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes – Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches

Becca from It’s Yummilicious – Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Alice at Hip Foodie Mom – Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon

Jen over at Juanita’s Cocina – The Neely’s White Turkey Chili

Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips – Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis

Isabel at Family Foodie – Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English

Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet – Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse

Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Cheesy Poblano Chicken

Patti at Comfy Cuisine – Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese

Chris from Sustainable Dad – Pork Tenderloin with Jerusalem Artichokes and Negroni Vinaigrette

Roxanne over at The Roxx Box – Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille

Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom – Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’

Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork

Amazing Sides:

Megan from I Run For Wine – Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme

Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip - Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate

Shelby at Diabetic Foodie – Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten

Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles – Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto

Sweet Endings:

Kim over at Cravings of a Lunatic – Chocolate Cream Puffs with Hazelnut Filling

Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart

Connie at The Foodie Army Wife - Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake

Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes – Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart

Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake

Amber at Mama’s Blissful Bites – Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding

Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen – Southern Tea Cakes

Amy over at Kimchi MOM - Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You

Lyn from The Lovely Pantry - Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares

Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts

Wine Pairings:

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

I’ve kind of been obsessed with cooking in the crockpot lately, so when I saw that this apple butter recipe was simmered for 14 HOURS in the crockpot I immediately had to try it.  This takes no time to throw together.  The biggest task is peeling the apples.  After that, just toss everything in the crockpot and cook overnight.  You will be rewarded with this thick, sweet apple butter that is delicious served over a biscuit, stirred into oatmeal or atop a pork chop.

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Your house will smell divine when you wake up to this.

A very important step of this apple butter recipe is selecting your apples. You want half tart and half sweet.  I chose to use four Granny Smith and four Gala apples. This combo was the perfect balance.

Let me know what apples you like to mix!

Easy Apple Butter

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 pounds apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped (I chopped them in the food processor)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place the apples in a slow cooker. Add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salad and mix well. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and dark brown Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Spoon the mixture into a Mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a year.

I have to admit. When I saw the #SundaySupper topic was Autumn Apple Party, I thought I might skip this week. I couldn’t think of one dish I’d ever made with apples…and I don’t think dipping them in peanut butter counts.

However, after a bit of thought, I decided to accept the challenge and go outside my comfort zone and try something new. I thought about applesauce or pork chops with apples, but most of the ideas that came to mind were already accounted for.  So, while searching on my favorite recipe website, I stumbled upon this apple salad served in endive and thought not only did it sound tasty, but it’s a great appetizer.  You don’t need utensils and it can be enjoyed in just one, or two, bites.

I tested this recipe on my co-workers earlier this week and it went over okay.  I didn’t follow the recipe to a “t,” and eye-balled everything and it turned out a little too blue-cheesy and mayonnaise-y.  The also didn’t have endive at the Farmer’s Market (well, they had a sign that said “endive” but the lettuce underneath was not endive) so I served it over chopped red lettuce.  It was “eh.”

I made it again last night and followed the recipe almost verbatim (put a little less blue cheese and added pepper) and it came out absolutely delicious — and I found endive at Kroger, whew!  Such a gorgeous presentation and still a hit with the guys that came over to watch football.  Will definitely make again!

P.S. In my hunt for apple recipes, I found an amazing one for apple butter. It may have taken 14 hours to prepare, but it was worth the wait.  I will be sharing that recipe soon!

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Yummy pre-game nibble

Endive Spears Topped With Apple, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad

printable recipe

  • 1 large Gala apple, cored and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 celery stalks,chopped
  • 3 Tbs. light mayo
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 “head” of endive, leaves separated 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the apple, blue cheese, celery, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble, mound a small spoonful of the apple mixture onto the core end of each endive leaf. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.

Here’s our Autumn Apple Party Menu from members of the #SundaySupper community!

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite apple recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Monday Menu Plan

December 12, 2011

Meatless Monday:  Roasted Vegetable Gourmet Pizza from Whole Foods

Tuesday:  Broccoli Cheese Soup; Lemon Lamb Chops with Sautéed Greens

Wednesday:  Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Canadian Cheddar

Thursday:  Holiday Party

Friday:  Dirty Santa Party {LOTS of apps to prepare!}

Southeast Meets West

December 7, 2011

At first glance, this recipe looked like a healthy, vegetarian meal.  Great dish for a Meatless Monday

At second glance, I questioned if Paula Deen got her her hot little hands on the original recipe. I mean, vegetable oil for frying and 11 TABLESPOONS of butter?!?  Since when did Paula start fixing tofu???

After I got over the amount of oil and butter in the recipe, I realized it looked like a great dish with a lot of yummy flavors, so I may as well give it a shot.  I tweaked it a bit with the addition of green bell pepper, decreased the amount of serranos (I mean, eight?!? I guess Bobby Flay got his hands on this, too) and I lessened the amount of butter, reflected below.  I just can’t consciously tell people to put 11 tablespoons of butter in their food. 

It turned out to be an extremely flavorful dish that I will definitely make again.  I hope you enjoy it just as much as  we did!

Black Pepper Tofu

  • 1 3/4 lbs firm tofu
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 stick  of butter
  • 12 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 16 small and thin green onions, cut into 1 1/4-inch segments
  • I green bell pepper, julienned

Start with the tofu. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 1/4 inch up the sides and heat. Cut the tofu into large cubes, about 1 x 1 inch, then add to the hot oil. (You’ll need to fry the tofu pieces in a few batches so they don’t stew in the pan.) Fry, turning them around as you go, until they are golden all over. As they are cooked, transfer them onto paper towels.

Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then put the butter inside and melt it. Add the shallots, chiles, garlic and ginger. Sauté on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft. Next, add the soy sauces and sugar and stir, then add the black pepper.

Add the tofu to warm it up in the sauce for about a minute. Finally, stir in the green onions and green bell pepper. Serve hot, with Jasmine rice.

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