Saturday, August 1, 2009

Making Bank

This week seemed to fly by and this weekend is the last one that we don't have anything planned until the middle of September. Yikes! I am excited for the upcoming "events" but I know being so busy is going to make the rest of the summer fly by. Good thing I like fall so much, it is going to be here before I know it!

I have a little rant to get off my chest here. Do any of you ever look at you grocery store receipts after you leave the store? I friend of mine told me a while back that she always gets charged for the wrong produce. I thought "always" might have been an exaggeration but the next time I shopped I took a look when I got home and sure enough I was mis-charged for at least 5 things! I went right back to the store and got it corrected. It only ended up being a couple of dollars at the most and that hardly makes it worth it to get back in the car and drive all the way back to the store but it is really the principle. I have started trying to watch the screen while they ring things up (at my market it is easy to see) and EVERY TIME I buy a loose yellow onion they charge me for a Vidalia onion which is more expensive. I am starting to think it is on purpose. I mean really, how is it possible that they would do it every time as a mistake? Last week it was a good thing Jer came with me to the store because I did not pay attention and when we left he made a comment about how the bill seemed a little expensive. When I thought about it I agreed and I pulled out the receipt. They had charged me for 2 1/2 POUNDS of jalapenos when I had bought just 1 jalapeno! It cost me nearly $10! I was pissed and headed back into the store to get it fixed. I know people make mistakes and I am certainly not immune, but this market alone is making BANK on all of these mistakes. It is crazy! Check your receipts people and don't let them get away with it!

Ahh, I feel better now :) On to the menu!

It was a hot night the night I decided to make this soup. The whole time I was thinking "What am I doing making soup when it is 85 degrees outside with about 90% humidity!?!" But really it ended up being a great meal for a hot evening. The subtle heat can actually having a cooling effect and the soup itself was not too rich or creamy. It was so delicious we both ended up eating two servings!

1. Poblano Soup
makes 4 servings

2 6" corn tortillas
3 T flour
1/2 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t black pepper
2 T vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, seeds and membrane removed, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 T unsalted butter
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 ears corn, kernels removed from the cob
1/4 cup sour cream

Optional Toppings/ Add Ins:
Shredded Monteray Jack or Cheddar Cheese
shredded chicken
corn chips

Slice the tortillas into thin strips and place them in a food processor. Pulse until uniformly chopped. Add the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Process until it is the consistency of cornmeal.

Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, poblano, jalapeno and garlic. Lower heat to medium and cook until the onion is transparent, 6-8 minutes. Add the tortilla mixture and stir until well combined. Add the butter, let it melt and stir to form a roux like
paste. Cook 4-5 minutes stirring constantly. Do not let the mixture burn.

Slowly add the half of the broth and stir until the paste is well Incorporated. Add the remaining broth and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Add the corn, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Add the sour cream and cook for 10 minutes, do not let the soup boil.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with cheese and/or avocado and add shredded chicken if desired.


I bought a jar of sundried tomatoes a while back to make a quinoa salad but I never got around to actually making it, so last week when I noticed this recipe for a sundried tomato pesto over on 101 cookbooks I thought it looked like a good way to use them up. I modified it a bit because she called for dry tomatoes and I already had the oil packed ones. I enjoyed the meal and even Jer who HATES tomatoes ate all of his! The leftovers made a good lunch the next day too.

2. Ravioli with Sundried Tomato Pesto
modified from 101 Cookbooks
makes 4 servings

1 lb cheese raviolis
1 7.5 oz can sundried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
1/8 t kosher salt
1/4 cup walnuts
3 handfuls baby spinach

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, place the sundried tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, thyme and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it all comes together. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times.

Combine 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, about 2/3 of the pesto and the
ravioli in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Add more of the pasta water if it needs to be thinned out a little more. Add the remaining pesto if desired. Serve the ravioli over a bed of baby spinach.


So, this meal was a bit of a disaster. Notice the word omelets is in quotes above? That's because I failed at making them. In my most recent issue of Fine Cooking there are instructions for making a classic omelet. It was different from how I have always made them and I thought I would give this method a try. I had visions of a very elegant dinner of a simple cheese omelet and green salad on the side. Well it tasted pretty good but omelet it was not. The first one was already cooked solid on the bottom when I started to stir and the second one didn't seem to ever get fully cooked. I'm afraid I will have to forget the frustration before I try again, but I hope someday I will be able to turn out a "simple" omelet without a thought.

3. Cheese Omelets and Green Leaf Salad
from Fine Cooking
makes 1 serving

1/2 T unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/8 t kosher salt
black pepper
1/4 cup loosely packed Gruyere

Melt the butter in an 8" nonstick skillet over medium heat.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the salt and couple grinds of pepper until the eggs are frothy. Pour the eggs into the skillet and let sit until the eggs are just beginning to set around the edges, 30-60 seconds.

Gently scramble with a silicone spatula while shaking the pan back and forth just until the eggs have set on the bottom but are still undercooked on top, 45-60 seconds. Turn off the heat and shake the pan to evenly distribute the eggs. Tap it once firmly on the stovetop (or on a heat proof cutting board if you have a glass stovetop like me) to smooth out the bottom.
Sprinkle the cheese down the center and run a spatula around the edge. Let sit for about 1 minute.

Fold a third of the omelet over the cheese. Shake the unfolded third of the omelet up the side and slightly out of the pan. Slide the omelet onto the plate while completing the final fold. It should be folded in three. Serve immediately.

If you are interested in seeing step by step photos of the process there are really great ones in August/September issue of Fine Cooking.


After I failed at the dinner above I guess I needed to redeem myself because I had an urge to bake something. I looked around the kitchen and had everything I needed to make these muffins. I made them once before to take on a ski trip and they were super good. You could use any kind of jelly you like. After I made them I really didn't want the entire batch around the house so I packed up most of them and brought them over to our friends' house.

Jelly Doughnut Muffins
modified from 1 Mix, 100 Muffins
make 12 muffins

For the muffins:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/8 t salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
6 T vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract
~4 T jelly, any flavor (I used raspberry)

For the topping:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
(I had some raspberry flavored creme brulee sugar that I mixed in with the regular sugar for a little something special.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar.

Lightly beat the eggs in another bowl. Beat in the milk, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.

Fill each muffin cup about 1/3 of the way and make a well in the center with a spoon. Add ~1 t of jelly and then top with the remaining batter.

Bake for ~15 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a shallow bowl and place the sugar in a second bowl. When the muffins are baked let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Dip the tops of the muffins in the butter and then in the sugar and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

I like these muffins best when they are really fresh and still a little warm but they will also keep in an air tight container for 3-4 days.

This was Jer's contribution to the menu this week. I made the dough with the same recipe I used for the pizza crust last week except I cut it in half. That made two large calzones. I ate half of mine for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day. The fun thing about calzones is you can put whatever you like inside. Mine had pizza sauce, hot Italian sausage (which I crumbled and cooked first), black olives, green olives, thinly sliced onions, red pepper flakes and Mozarella cheese. The method is pretty easy. Roll out the dough into a large oval. Spread the pizza sauce on half and top with whatever ingredients you like. Fold the bare half over the toppings and crimp tightly. Brush with olive oil and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 16 minutes.

4. Calzones

Find dough recipe here. This full recipe will make 4 large calzones. I cut it in half.

This is my favorite enchilada filling. Unfortunately, I didn't have any almonds and had to leave them out. Jer didn't mind, he said they are not his favorite part anyway but I really like them, they add a nice flavor and crunch. On the side I just made a Spanish rice from a mix and had some refried beans. I topped the whole plate with a little cheese and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to get everything all meltly. Mmmmm, melty.

5. Enchilada Dinner
modified from Cabbage Town Cafe Cookbook
makes filling for 4 large enchiladas

1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 T vegetable oil
2 green peppers diced
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 can enchilada sauce
4 large tortillas

Toast the almonds in a dry skillet until lightly browned, be careful not to let them burn. Heat the oil in another skillet over high heat. Add the green pepper and cook until they are tender. Add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat and mix in the almonds and cheese.

Fill the tortillas and top with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Heat under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Anonymous said...

This week's menu will definitely be happening in our house...yyyuuuummm. Maybe I'll give you a call during your weekend off :)
Love you! Twila

Anonymous said...

I made that sun-dried tomato pesto last week, too; it was SO good.

I like using the self-checkout lines at the supermarket; then I know for sure that I entered the right produce. Charging for 2 1/2 lbs instead of 1 is ridiculous.

Nell said...

I make weekly meal plans, but I feel like we only make about a month of meals before we using our usually ones again and again! Thank you for the inspiration!

Andrea said...

BookishPenguin, Thats really funny that we both made that pesto last week!
I wish I could self checkout, my market doesn't have that. And the jalapeno incedent wasn't even 1 lb it was only 1 jalapeno! Crazy! At least when I went to get my money back they didn't give me any hassle and they didn't make me pay for the one I got.

Nell, Thanks for coming by! I'm glad you are inspired by my menues. I always like suggestions too if you want to share some of your favs.

Kevin said...

I really like using poblano peppers in soups like this! It looks really good!

Sippity Sup said...

LOVE you! For noticing lil ole SippitySup! I was just cruising by thanks to Stumble and, well what a flattering surprise! You are welcome at SS any time. But don't worry, you have not seen the last of me I will be back GREG

Andrea said...

Hey Greg!
I'm so excited that you "Stumbled" over here and saw my post about your delicious soup! Keep an eye out because I am sure I will be trying out some more of your recipes!


... said...

I'm a big fan of the self check out too!

Backup Software said...

I feel like I want to eat all of those.