Archive for March 29, 2015

Colorful Salad

photo 4 colorful salad

Colorful Cabbage Salad

Description:

Colorful Salad green and purple chopped cabbage, diced carrots, dried cranberries, sweet colorful bell peppers, onion, crisp jicama, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Tossed with an all natural sesame dressing. You will be asking for seconds!

Ingredients:

1 medium green cabbage chopped

1 medium purple cabbage chopped

3 medium diced carrots

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1 small Jicama diced

1 medium orange, 1 red and 1 yellow sweet bell pepper

4 medium Persian cucumbers (chopped in half)

1 white red onion diced

1/2 cup of salted or unsalted sunflower seeds

1 cup of chopped walnuts

(Optional) 2 cups of chopped or shredded /chicken or turkey

1/4 cup of 21 seasoning salute photo 4 cabbage salad(Trader Joe’s)label

1 cup of all natural Sesame Dressing


Directions

  • Wash and rinse all produce then place in colander to drain

♦ Chef Ann’s Notes:

  • This Colorful Salad is wonderful for a party.
  • This recipe will serve up to 12 guest. Chopping each cabbage in half, will give you 4-6 guest servings
  • Ms. Dash seasoning works well for those who are unable to find the Trader Joe’s, 21 salute seasoning
  • My Colorful Salad is Awesome with or without meat! Vegetarians go for it and by all means enjoy yourself
Preparation before serving:
  • Combine all of your chopped and diced produce in a very large bowl
  • Add seeds, dried cranberries and nuts
  • Combine either meat of your choice to the bowl along with seasoning
  • Pour on the Sesame dressing and toss, toss

This crunchy mouth-watering Colorful Salad will have you coming back for seconds!

Buon Appetito

Preparation time: 20 minutes


Cooking time: None
Total time:  30 minutes
Servings: 6-10

♥ Chef Ann’s Tip for the Colorful Salad: 

You can cut your prep time in half if you use a food processor. Cooking is therapy for me, so I love all the chopping and dicing.

Helpful information:

For those of you that have allergies to nuts and seeds, try grapes or tangerines.

Source:

Chef Ann


Poll

Scallops and Shrimp Thai Curry

photo 4 thai curry
photo 4 thai curry

scallops and shrimp Thai curry

Description

Scallops and Shrimp Thai Curry, bay scallops bursting with flavor, mouth-watering shrimp, fresh zucchini, scallions and red Thai chiles in coconut milk.

Ingredients:

2 dozen Bay Scallops Fresh or frozen look for (dry pack) if buying frozen

2 dozen large shrimp cooked (frozen)26-30 ct (peeled, deveined and tail-on)

1 large zucchini sliced thin

3 scallion diced small

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon crushed/ground ginger

1 small yellow onion diced

2 Thai chile peppers (whole)

1 tablespoon crushed chile peppers

3 tablespoon red mild chile powder

photo 4 thai curry2

Well seasoned scallops and shrimp

4 tablespoons curry powder

1 tablespoon tumeric

1 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 13.5 oz can of Coconut milk (sweet)

 


Directions

Rinse scallops and shrimp separately  in cold water, drain and pat dry with paper towel

Remove shell attached to tail on shrimp

Always rinse produce

♦ Chef Ann’s Notes:

This Scallops and Shrimp Thai Curry dish, is a tad bit pretentious in its level of heat. The use of sweet coconut milk will help to balance this luscious dish. However, for those of you that can’t take the heat simply omit the crushed red chile peppers and perhaps one of the Thai chiles. This will truly tone things down for you! I was able to achieve the great Thai flavor of this dish without using curry paste.

Preparation before cooking
  1. In a medium bowl add 2 tablespoons of yellow curry powder and 1 tablespoon of tumeric, 1 tablespoon of red chile powder, mix with a fork and add scallops. Make sure that scallops are well coated with seasoning.
  2. Cover and Place in refrigerator.
  3. In a medium bowl add 2 tablespoon of chile powder, smoked paprika, crushed chile peppers, 2 tablespoon of yellow curry powder. Mix with a fork and add shrimp.
  4. Cover and place in refrigerator.
  5. Chop zucchini in half and slice each half in thin slices at an angle/slant, and set aside.
Preparation while cooking
  • Tune in to your favorite music channel
  • Sing out loud while you put your whole heart into the making of this Thai Curry dish.
Cooking
  • In a large non stick skillet add coconut oil and diced onion at medium high heat.  Sir for about a 1 minute then add minced garlic and ginger
  • Lower heat and add scallops, allow them to cook for about 1 and 1/2 minutes stir lightly
  • Remove scallops from skillet and place in a small dish
  • Add shrimp to the same skillet and stir mixture around in the skillet for 2 minutes
  • Pour in coconut milk and stir ingredients for about 1 minute, add Thai chile peppers (whole)and diced scallion
  • Reduce heat, cover and allow curry to simmer for 20 minutes
  • Stir every 5 minutes
  • Remove lid add scallops and zucchini at the last 5 minutes of simmering

    photo 4 thai curry

    Delicious Thai Curry

Wow you have just completed a mouth-watering dish of Scallops and Shrimp Thai Curry

Buon Appetite

Preparation time: 20 minutes


Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time:  40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Chef Ann’s Tip: 

Scallop and Shrimp Thai Curry, will pair delightfully with coconut or brown rice. 

Helpful information

When buying scallops or shrimp, I prefer frozen if I am unable to find fresh at my local supermarket. Here is a website I know you will find interesting.

Source:

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/fishseafood/p/freshscallops.htm

http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/healthy_cooking_blog/how_to_buy_the_right_shrimp_and_why_it_matters


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Chicken Chile Verde FYI

picture 4 chile verde 1
picture 4 chile verde 1

Chile Verde garnished with cheese and cilantro, before adding chicken

This is my attempt to equip you with insight on the main ingredients. The Chef Ann touch makes this Chile Verde shout with flavor!

Now at first glance of this recipe, you may say to yourself, wow this looks complicated, too many steps I’ll just pass on this one. Well I’m going to ask you to step out of your comfort zone and give yourself a challenge, you will be so glad you did! This is one of those entrées once mastered, will truly make you feel as though you won the 10,000 dollars on the food network series “Chopped.”

This staple dish originated in Northern Mexico/American Southwest. It has recently become a staple in our home as well.

I modified the basic “Chile Verde” recipe just a pinch. The traditional recipe calls for jalapeno peppers and pork. As you will see, I chose to use chicken instead of pork and no jalapenos at all.
When purchasing my ingredients for this wonderful dish, I head to the nearest Mexican supermarket. The prices are almost always better than the local big name grocery stores and you are sure to find everything you will need for this recipe.

picture 4 chile verde 2

Fresh produce for Chile Verde and roasted Anaheim chiles (not peeled)

Tomatillos

Let’s start with the tomatillo, this is the main ingredient or the base for a perfect chile verde. The tomatillo is a fruit that looks just like a tomato. You will be surprised my friends, this firm green “look alike” is in a league all of its own. This fruit is pungent and tart like a lemon, but without the juice. In the market place you will find tomatillos with a brownish green husk that is somewhat sticky once you start peeling off the husk. Sometimes the produce folks will remove the husk before putting them on the shelves.

The tomatillo should be firm to the touch and without blemish. I often see people just pick them up and drop them in a bag. Oh no, not me I have to see that each fruit is perfect! I suggest you do the same; after all it’s going into your body and those you know and love. “Let the buyer beware” that’s my motto. Should you ever have trouble finding this fruit, or the tomatillos displayed don’t look so good, just ask the produce person if they have more in the back. I’ve found them obliging.

Chile Peppers
Anaheim pepper
photo 4 chile verde 3

Roasted (skin removed) Anaheim’s and de Arbol chiles

Moving on to chile Peppers, I want to start with the Anaheim. This pepper stands out at the super market. It has a beautiful green body and is normally long in length.

Make sure when buying this pepper that it has no blemishes and is firm not flimsy or soft. The Anaheim is a mild chile pepper. Some of you that can’t take the heat can have no worries of getting burned!

There are a few methods to roasting the Anaheim pepper, other than what I show you in my recipe. You may choose to place your peppers on a pan under your broiler oven, and be sure to char both sides. You can use a comal (flat-iron skillet that has no sides) just place it on top of a gas burner. You can also place the peppers on an open flame on your gas stove, or use an outside grill.

The process after roasting can be tricky for those of you that are first timers. When you remove them from the heat, you can place them in a bowl of ice water or cold water. This is a quick step and less messy procedure, because the skin will come off with ease.

de Arbol pepper

The de Arbol chile pepper, is another story all together. It is a step up from the Anaheim; it has heat. This little pepper you want to rub down with a touch of cooking oil before adding to the flame /burner. Make sure to char both sides before removing from burner/fire. Do not attempt to remove skin on this little pepper. What you can do is chop it very small and then add to the food processor.

Banana pepper

The last pepper I want to talk to you about is the banana pepper. They range in color from pale yellow to a deep yellow. The banana pepper can be somewhat mild as long as you discard the seeds; the heat is hiding in the seeds.

Final Tip

I want to lend one more tip to those of you interested in picking the best cilantro for this recipe. I recommend that you always smell cilantro before making your choice. It should have a strong aroma and the appearance of perky leaves and stems. Buy dark green cilantro that has no yellow or wet, wilted leaves.

It is most important to rinse cilantro in a large bowl, you need to rinse until no dirt or debris is visible in the bowl. Place cilantro in a colander and let it drain before adding it to a dish or the food processor.

I do hope this blog has been helpful to those of you who have an interest in taking a leap of faith. I welcome your opinion if this was at all helpful and easy to follow.

Now that you have completed this blog, I would love for you to visit me

 

Chicken Chile Verde

slide show-chicken chile verde

picture for chicken chile verde

Description

Chicken Chile Verde, an authentic Northern Mexico/American Southwest entree is packed with flavorful slow roasted Anaheim’s and de Arbol chiles, mild banana peppers and colorful mini sweet peppers along with tangy tomatillo’s and fresh cilantro pair perfectly with the tender juicy boneless skinless chicken breast dry rubbed in cumin, garlic, smoked paprika and onion powder. This Chicken Chile Verde might have you shouting…Ole!

Ingredients:
  • 2 large Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 6 medium Tomatillo
  • 9 medium Anaheim chilies
  • 4 chiles de Arbol
  • 2 medium banana peppers
  • 2 sweet mini yellow bell pepper diced small
  • 2 sweet mini orange bell pepper diced small
  • 1 sweet mini red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 4 scallions diced small
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro chopped once (separate stems and set aside)
  • 4 1/2 cups of chicken stock/ broth (low sodium)
  • add salt to taste
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 1 Large plastic bag

Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees
  • Remove husk from Tomatillos and disgard
  • Discard just the tip at both ends of all the scallions.
  • Wash, rinse and drain all produce before use
  • Pay special attention to rinse cilantro in a large bowl several times in cold water, making sure that all dirt and debris is removed and water looks clear before placed in colander to drain.
  • On the stems of the cilantro, discard just a pinch at the tips.
Chef Ann’s Notes:
  • This Chile Verde recipe is on the mild side, so for those of you that like to turn up the heat just add jalapenos or habaneros.
  • Make sure to use gloves when handling hot chile peppers.
  • Should it turn out that you feel it is not mild enough, just add that pinch of sugar. This should do the trick, because it will cut the heat for you.
  • You may substitute chicken stock/ broth with chicken or vegetable bullion cubes and 2 cups of water.
Preparation before cooking (Chicken)
  1. Butterfly each chicken breast or (cut in half) and remove any fat that is present.
  2. Take a fork and prick both sides of chicken breast.
  3. Season both sides of chicken with cumin, garlic and onion powder along with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Cover and Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preparation for roasting Anaheim chiles
  • Place chiles on a baking sheet side by side with a bit of space between them, do not cover
  • Place on middle rack in the oven until chiles are well charred then turn them over and repeat the process
  • Remove from oven and allow them to cool down for a minute before placing them in a large plastic bag side by side for at least 15 minutes.
  • This process will help chiles to hold a smoky flavor which will add to the taste
  • This process also makes the Anaheim chile sweat, thus aiding in the removal of the charred skin and top portion of the stem along with the cluster of seeds that are attached (discard that portion)
  • Removing all seeds is optional
  • Place chiles on a cutting board and slice them into medium strips, then slice in half and set aside in a small bowl.
Preparation for (de Arbol chilies)
  • Pull out the Comal, or (cast iron skillet) or a small sautee skillet add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil and add chiles
  • Heat at medium high temperature until chiles are charred and blistered, then turn them over and repeat process before removing from comal or skillet
  • Allow the chiles to rest then give them a few chops before adding them to the food processor
  • There is no need to remove the skin or seeds from these chiles
Preparation for Chile Verde
  1. Chop tomatillos into quarter pieces and place in food processor.
  2. Chop banana peppers in half, discard the stem and add them to the tomatillos.
  3. Add chopped roasted Anaheim chiles and de Arbol chiles
  4. Chop the tops of each mini sweet red, orange and yellow bell peppers, removing seeds is optional. Slice each pepper in thirds and add to the food processor.
  5. Add diced scallion
  6. Chop the leafy portion of the cilantro and add to food processor
  7. Blend all ingredients at medium high speed (puree)until you have a soup like consistency.
Preparation for cooking (Chile Verde)
  1. In a large stock pot add 3 cups of chicken stock, crushed garlic and all ingredients from the food processor.
  2. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes and stir ingredients for about a minute.
  3. Lower heat and allow Chile Verde to cook and simmer for 2 hours with lid on, stir every 30 minutes to make sure Chile Verde is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Preparation while cooking (Chicken)
  • Remove chicken from refrigerator
  • In a large skillet add 1½ cups of chicken stock, diced white onion and all 4 chicken breast portions.
  • Bring to a boil for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to medium temperature  cover with lid and allow to cook for 45 minutes.
  • Check often to make sure that your chicken is swimming in a shore of spices. You may even spoon some of that goodness over the chicken portions while you’re at it.
  • Remove lid after 45 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Place chicken on a flat pan to cool down before handling.
  • Add the remaining juices from the skillet to the stock pot of Chile Verde.
  • Chop chicken into bite-size or 1 inch chunks and add to stock pot of Chile Verde.
  • Allow Chicken Chile Verde to simmer on low heat for 1 hour with the lid on.

Stir your ingredients well and allow the chicken to intensify with the richness of infused herbs and spices. p.s. Don’t forget to add the diced cilantro stems 5 minutes before turning that pot off. This meal is So worth the wait time!

You will embrace the authentic taste that this Chicken Chile Verde brings to your palate.

Buon Appetito

Preparation time: 30 minutes


Cooking time: 2 hour
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings:

6 – 10

 

 

♥ Chef Ann’s ‘Chicken Chile Verde’ Tip:

 

This meal is worth the wait time!

Helpful information:

Tomatillos are generally sour and very tart to the taste, for this reason it is important to perhaps start off with a small amount and make sure that you taste often as you are preparing any dish with this pungent fruit.


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