Thursday, June 24, 2010

Good Eats is Good Television

Short post as I'm at work (obviously not working, but at work, semantics, really) and don't have any of my photos or recipes to use. I thought I'd share a link to a YouTube Channel that is actually carrying the most recent Good Eats episodes.

For those not familiar with Good Eats, the host, Alton Brown, once described it as a Mr.-Wizard-and-Monty-Python-meet-Julia-Child type of show. I find that it really delivers on the science and anthropology side of cooking. For me, it's not enough to know that doing something in such a way works, I want to know WHY it works. I also enjoy being able to drop little bits of information into casual dinner conversation (For example, did you know that the carrot was originally black (then yellow, red, etc.), but that the Dutch engineered it to be orange in honour of William I of Orange?).

I've learned a lot from this show and always look forward to new episodes. Unfortunately, they don't air in Canada (at least not in a timely fashion) and so I have to go without. No longer! Some thoughtful Youtuber, Adam Jon Peterson, has posted the last handful of episodes (in High-Def, no less) for our viewing pleasure.

My favourite episode of the new season is probably the one on Eggs Benedict (Little Big Lunch), where Alton shows how to prepare the parts of the dish separately for easy assembly later. Really bad for you but really, really . . .

*begin show intro*

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Frozen Steel-Cut Oats

What won't they think of next?

I suppose, once you know about it, it doesn't seem like that ingenious an idea, but I certainly didn't think about it before, so props to the first guy who did.

I've blogged about Overnight Steel-Cut Oats before, but the recipe was lacking the "day of" recipe (which can, admittedly, take up to 45 minutes, but that's what you get when you don't plan ahead). So it will have to be revisited and revised. Most likely in the future, when I'm not preparing to submit a Research Ethics proposal at work and dealing with the (lack of a) new kitchen at home.

I know I will be making many large batches of the stuff and freezing them in 1 cup portions . . . once I get my kitchen back.

Speaking of, the plumber/gas fitter is apparently in the house as we speak. That means that my kitchen is OFFICIALLY FINISHED!!! Now I have the difficult task of organizing where everything is going to go (I only have one set of double length drawers which really makes storage a bugger). After that, I have until Saturday/Sunday to get the rest of the house spotless AND bake a pineapple upside down cake in preparation for my father coming to visit for an early Father's Day celebration (I've entered us in a canoe race!). Fun times.

I will definitely be writing a post about my kitchen organization scheme once I'm done since a Google search for "kitchen cabinet organization" turned up next to nothing useful. And pictures. Lots of lovely pictures!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Salsa Tortilla Bake

It's been an entire month, and I was so hoping my kitchen would be done by now, but apparently there are a lot of players involved and getting them all in the right place and the right time takes some coordinating. For example, the countertop has to be ordered from a separate company. They can't take measurements until the cabinets are in. Once they take their measurements, it will take 1-2 weeks to order the material and cut it to size. Only once the counter top (and sink) have been installed, can the gas fitter/plumber come in to do his job.
That's where I am right now. Waiting for the countertop people to show up, and then the plumber can't make it until next Wednesday. Pft.

Anyway, I apologize for my absence. Just because I can't cook doesn't mean I can't share kitchen stories with you. In an attempt to make it up to you, I offer you this image, taken on Day 2 of the renovations.

Scary, no?

I will also share with you a very precious recipe that I admit to holding back from you for some time now. Infact, I first tried the recipe in highschool (that's almost a decade ago, for those keeping track) and have tweaked it so much that it doesn't even resemble the original anymore but it tastes delicious.

Enjoy!

Salsa Tortilla Bake
(download PDF)

Ingredient List
cheddar cheese (200 g)
frozen chopped spinach (300 g/1 pkg)
lean ground beef (675 g/1.5 lb)
taco seasoning (2 tbsp/1 pkg)
mayonnaise (½ cup)
AP flour (½ cup)
whole/3.25% milk (3 cups)
salsa (½ cup)
large flour tortillas (10-12)

Directions
Shred 200 g cheddar cheese (makes approximately 2 cups after shredding). Thaw and drain 300 g frozen chopped spinach. Set both aside.

Brown 675 g lean ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the ground beef and add 2 tbsp taco seasoning (or to taste) and ¼ cup water. Stir until the seasoning is evenly distributed, and simmer on high until all of the water has evaporated. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together ½ cup mayonnaise and ½ cup AP flour. Gradually add 3 cups whole milk and whisk continuously until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in half of the shredded cheese until melted.

Reserve 1 cup of the sauce in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming on the surface.

To the remaining sauce, add the ground beef, ½ cup salsa, and the spinach. Stir mixture until uniformly combined.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spoon ¼ - ⅓ cup of the mixture into the center of a large flour tortilla and roll up. Repeat until no more filling remains. Arrange the tortillas side by side on a baking sheet so that they are tightly together and there are no gaps in between. Top them evenly with the reserved sauce and sprinkle over the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown.

Makes 10-12 wraps.

Notes
“Tex mex” pre-shredded cheese can be substituted for the cheddar cheese. Cubed, boneless or ground chicken breasts can be substituted for the ground beef. Use taco seasoning and salsa to personal taste preferences. Additional Tabasco sauce can be added for more heat.

Nutrition (per wrap)
Calories 321
Total fat 15 g
Saturated fat 7 g
Cholesterol 76 mg
Sodium 311 mg
Carbohydrate 21 g
Dietary fibre 2 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 25 g
Vitamin A 6 %DV
Vitamin C 0 %DV
Calcium 22 %DV
Iron 15 %DV

Original source: Kraft Canada - Our Perfect Zesty Chicken Tortilla Bake