Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Caramel Popcorn- The Best!

My husband and I love caramel popcorn, we could both eat a whole bag of it by ourselves! I usually only make this in the fall but we are going on a 36 hour road trip and I thought this would make the trip a little more bearable! :)
I love reserving a little of the caramel and drizzling it over the top after I've poured the caramel corn on the wax paper, that way there are hidden chunks of caramel, so so so good! If you like your caramel corn crunchy you can place it in the oven at 250 for 20 minutes after you've mixed the popcorn and caramel together. The flavor of this homemade caramel is so delicious, the best I've tasted.

Caramel Popcorn

1 1/3 c. brown sugar
4 Tbs. butter
2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. Karo syrup (light corn syrup)
1 c. peanuts shelled (optional)
2 bags buttered popcorn, popped

Pour popcorn into large bowl, shake bowl so that the seeds fall to the bottom. With hands place popcorn in another bowl, throw out seeds (do this to remove all seeds, there is nothing worse than eating caramel corn and getting a seed!) Add peanuts in with popcorn.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan, turn heat to medium/high and bring to a rolling boil (a boil that you can't stir down). Continue boiling and stirring for 3 1/2 minutes, remove from heat. Pour most of it over the popcorn and stir gently to coat all popcorn. Place on wax paper, pour over remaining caramel, let cool for a few hours. At this point you can bake it at 250 for 20 minutes if you like crunchy caramel corn instead of placing on wax paper. I would probably use parchment paper to cover pan if putting in the oven.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Homemade Butter Pound Cake

This cake was absolutely to die for, it was so good, the best pound cake recipe I have ever made! So much better than any store bought cake. I made it in two loaf pans, but next time I think I will make it in a tube or bundt pan, the loaves weren't quite high enough. It is important to follow these directions precisely, sift the flour three times and beat batter for the amount of time indicated. Delicious served with strawberries and fresh cream!

Butter Pound Cake

1 c. butter, softened at room temp
3 c. cake flour, sifted before measuring(not self rising)
3/4 tsp salt
3 c. sugar
6 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Place oven rack in middle position but do not turn on oven yet.
Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
Sift together salt and cake flour, then sift together again into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times)
Beat together butter and sugar for 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after reach addition, scrape down bowl when needed. Add vanilla. Add half of flour mixture, beat, and then add all of whipping cream. Add remaining flour and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes, batter will become smooth and satiny (and it will smell delicious!)

Spoon batter into pan (or pans if making loaves) and rap against counter to remove any air bubbles. Place in cold oven and turn on temp to 350. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. I made two loaves and it took about 50 minutes, but if you're using a bundt pan it will take longer, probably about an hour.
Let cakes cool on rack for 30 minutes. Run knife along edge and invert onto plate to cool completely.

Yellow Rice

My family loved this rice, it kind of had an Indian flavor to it. It was very good served with the enchiladas.

Yellow Rice

2 c. long grain rice, rinsed
4 c. chicken broth (or water)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs. turmeric
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 bay leaf

Place all ingredients into a pot and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 15-20 minutes or until rice is done and all the liquid is gone. Remove bay leaf and serve!

Chicken Enchildas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This recipe came from Tyler Florence of the Food Network. It was so delicious, I loved the creamy filling. I only had red onions and so when I made the salsa, it turned purple! Ha ha, next time I will definitely use white!

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

For Salsa:
1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 white onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
juice from 1/2 a lime

Preheat oven to 400.
On a baking tray coated with cooking spray roast tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeno for 12-15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and their juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.
I made my salsa earlier in the day and stored it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 precooked roasted deli chicken (I like Costco's the best)meat removed and shredded
8-10 large flour tortillas
12 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized- this should take 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin, then cook for a further minute.
Sprinkle the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn, then gradually whisk in chicken broth. Continue cooking and stirring over low heat until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat and add half of the roasted tomatillo salsa, the additional 1/4 c. chopped cilantro, and chicken meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350.
Take a large baking dish (13X9 or bigger) and smear some of the salsa onto the bottom to prevent sticking. Place a scoop of chicken mixture onto each tortilla and top with cheese, fold over each side and then roll up. Place side by side in pan. I was able to fit 8 in a 13X9. Pour remaining salsa over top and in all of the nooks and crannies and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream and guacamole.

Pork and Bean Chalupa Filling

My friend Nikky shared this dish with me and I loved it! The flavors all go so well together, and what could be easier than cooking in a crockpot? Thanks Nikky!

Pork and Bean Chalupa Filling

3lb. pork roast or pork tenderloin
1 lb. dry pinto beans
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. salt
4 oz. can chopped green chilies

Cover beans with water and soak overnight in slow cooker (do not turn slow cooker on)
In the morning, remove beans and their water (don't throw away the water!), and put pork in bottom of cooker. Add remaining ingredients (including the beans and their soaking water) and more water if needed to cover all the ingredients.

Cook on High 1 hour, and then on Low 6 hours. Remove meat and shred with two forks. Return meat to slow cooker.
Cook on High 1 more hour.
Serve with tortillas, or over a bed of lettuce and top with grated cheese, chopped onion, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream.