Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Bread

I love dessert breads. They are a little less sugary tasting than cookies but just as satisfying to me. If you’ve tried my Honey Banana Bread, you may recognize this recipe – it is an adaptation.

For a different texture, try frying a slice of this in butter – it gets crispy and warm and delicious. It makes a great breakfast snack

  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups grated raw sweet potato (one medium-large potato will do)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease loaf pan well, especially the bottom. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs, vanilla, and sweet potato. Mix until incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  6. While stirring sweet potato mixture, slowly add flour mixture until all is incorporated.
  7. Pour batter into loan pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
  9. Remove immediately from pan and let cool completely before cutting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Corn and Caramelized Onion Risotto

Normally, risotto is a main dish for our family. I love savory risottos like red pepper, sun dried tomato, or leek and lemon.

A few weeks ago, I decided to create a risotto that was meant to be served as a side dish. For that reason, you will find this dish is a little sweet - the onions caramelize in their own sugars, and the sweet corn adds a little crunch. Try pairing it with a simple but strongly flavored main dish, such as fish or steak, for a nice contrast.

·      2 onions, quartered and sliced
·      1 large clove garlic, minced
·      2 ears corn (or about 1 1/2 cups frozen corn)
·      salt and freshly ground pepper
·      2 cups Arborio rice
·      6 cups vegetable broth
·      1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (and more for serving)

  1.  Heat stockpot over medium-low heat. 
  2.  Add onions. Cover and cook until onions are caramelized. Stir every few minutes, adding a splash of water if onions start to stick. 
  3.  Uncover pot. Add garlic, corn, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
  4. Add rice, stirring constantly. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour in 1/2 cup stock and continue stirring. When stock is absorbed, add another 1/2 cup stock. Continue this process (and the constant stirring to avoid sticking on bottom of pot) until all stock is used and rice is cooked. Don't rush this part! It will take about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat. Add parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas for the Soul

This recipe is a Dan-the-Man original. We bought all the ingredients for simple burritos but as evening came around, he felt the urge to create something a little sassier. His title for these beauties? Chicken enchiladas for the soul.

If you skim through this recipe, you will notice the 'soul' part comes from the fact that the chicken is slow cooked on your stovetop for about three hours. Don't try to circumvent this: it is really essential to developing the great flavor in this dish. Instead, pick a day when you have the whole afternoon at home so you can enjoy the process!

  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 4-5 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup Mexican spice blend
  • 2 cups water
  • good quality hot sauce to taste (optional but strongly recommended)
  • 1 can pineapple rings, juice strained
  • five 10" flour tortillas
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar
  • salsa and/or sour cream, for serving
  1. Place a deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. As pan is heating up, add olive oil and cumin.
  3. Once cumin starts to sizzle, place chicken thighs in skillet. Sear thighs for about a minute on each side.
  4. Add red wine and stir well.
  5. Add Mexican spice blend, water, hot sauce, and pineapple rings.
  6. Cover skillet. Reduce heat to low.
  7. Let cook, undisturbed, for 3 hours.

To assemble enchiladas:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Strain chicken and pineapple. Return to skillet.
  3. Shred chicken with a fork.
  4. Warm tortillas in the microwave (about 20-30 seconds for the pile).
  5. On a clean surface, lay out your tortilla. Scoop some chicken-pineapple mixture onto the lower half of the tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on chicken, then roll up tortilla, burrito-style.
  6. Place each in a lightly oiled 13x9 pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese browns.
  8. Serve with salsa and/or sour cream for dipping. We enjoyed ours alongside yellow rice.