Monday, April 10, 2017

Mexican Street Corn Salad

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Here's a colorful salad to serve with enchiladas or other Mexican entrees. We had this salad at Megan's bridal shower.  She is pictured here with my grand-daughter Madeline. You can make this salad the night before, and add the dressing right before serving.

Ingredients:
3 cups corn (4 fresh ears or frozen corn kernels)
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup black beans, rinsed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup feta or cotija crumbled

Dressing:
1 bunch of cilantro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 packet Hidden Valley ranch seasoning mix

In a blender, purée the cilantro leaves with the olive oil.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well-blended.  If it is too thick in consistency, add more olive oil.  Chill until serving time

If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off of the corn cob.  If using frozen corn, defrost overnight, and next day, pat down excess moisture with paper towels.  Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet at 450 degrees for 5 min., stir and roast for 5 min. longer.  Fresh corn may take longer to roast, so adjust cooking time accordingly.  Let cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, gently mix the salad ingredients together.  You can add some of the dressing to mix in or serve the dressing on the side.
  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Spinach Strata

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I first tasted this dish at the Blue Dot Cafe in Alameda and was able to locate a similar recipe on the Once Upon a Chef blog, one of my favorite places to hunt for recipes.  It is like a savory bread pudding with gruyere and parmesan cheeses, spinach and bread cubes. Simply delicious as a side dish or by itself!

Ingredients:
1-lb frozen spinach, thawed and lightly squeezed
3 T butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12-oz bread, cut in cubes (sourdough or French bread)
1-1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
9 eggs
2-3/4 cup half anf half (can substitute milk)
2 T dijon mustard
1-3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Saute the onions and garlic until tender. Add the spinach for just a minute or two.  Cut the bread into 1" cubes.  Mix the eggs, half and half, mustard, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  In a buttered 9x12" casserole dish, layer the bread, spinach mixture, cheeses, repeat bread, spinach, cheeses. Pour egg mixture over all. Wait one hour or refrigerate overnight. Bake at 325 degrees for 70-75 min. (if refrigerated).  Adjust timing 10-15 min. less if not refrigerated. This recipe can be halved and made in a 10" square pan for a smaller quantity.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mountain Bar Candy

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I located this recipe on Dorothy Kern's Crazy for Crust blog. You can only buy Mountain Bars in the northwest, so for those of us who enjoy them and who live out of the area, you can now make your own with Dorothy's recipe.  Kudos to Dorothy for re-inventing them and for posting the recipe on internet.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (from a 14-oz can)
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 bag chocolate melts or almond bars (12 oz)
1/2 cups finely chopped peanuts

Beat the butter, vanilla, salt and milk in a large bowl. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Drop tablespoon sized balls (rolled) onto wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Chill 30 min.  Line a new cookie sheet with wax paper. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Place 1 tsp of chocolate evenly spaced on the cookie sheet, one for each ball of candy you made. Spread it slightly. Place a rolled ball of filling on each chocolate circle. Mix the chopped nuts into the remaining melted chocolate. Cover each ball of filling with 1-2 tsp of the nutty chocolate. Use a spoon to spread it so that the chocolate covers the filling completely. Chill to harden.

New Year's Day 2017 at the Obatake's

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We are so fortunate to be invited to Hide and Reiko Obatake's New Year's Day Feast in Renton,Washington, an annual event for us and the highlight of our holiday trip to Seattle.  Each year surpasses the year before in the assortment and variety of traditional Japanese osechi. Hide is such a talented chef, and we cannot wait to see what he chooses for his menu each year. His food is a pleasing balance of color and taste with vegetables in designs of seasonal shapes.  Many food items represent prosperity, good fortune and health, the perfect meal to start the new year.


Cabbage Casserole

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A family favorite!  It is a rich, cabbage-bread-cheese casserole that is filling and a meal in itself.

Ingredients:

5 slices buttered sourdough bread, quartered

3 cups cabbage, sliced and roughly chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T pimentos, chopped
1 T instant onion flakes
1 tsp regular mustard

1-1\2 cups each Jack and Swiss cheeses, shredded

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
5 T Chardonnay white wine (dry)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Butter 5 slices of bread and cut in quarters.  Set aside.  Mix the cabbage, mayonnaise, pimentos, instant onion flakes and mustard.  In a small bowl, mix the eggs, milk, wine, salt and pepper. Place the ingredients in a buttered casserole dish in layers -- half of the bread, half of the cabbage-mayonnaise mixture, half of the cheeses.  Repeat. Pour egg mixture over all.

Bake 45  min at 375 degrees.