Month: April 2013

Fried Chicken and Waffles

Fried Chicken and Waffles

Down South cooking from the East side of town…. East Los Angeles that is.

We are all guilty of having one of those nights where time slips through the cracks and you look down at your watch and see that the small hand is on the 3 and the big hand is placed on the 12. Are you kidding? I love those moments of my life. Many moons ago I found myself in a small restaurant in Hollywood having a delicious breakfast of Chicken and Waffles, I believe it was around 3 in the morning, and promised myself I would go home and work this delectable meal into my breakfast routine. Just for the record… I keep my promises. Here is a big big endorsement of my love for the chicken and waffle spread.

Fried Chicken and Waffles
Ingredients for waffles:

  • 1 1/2 – cups flour
  • 4 – teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 – teaspoon salt
  • 3 – teaspoons sugar
  • 2 – eggs (separate yolks from whites)
  • 1/2 – cup butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1 3/4 – cups whole milk

Directions

  1. Plug in waffle iron and allow to heat…
  2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well.
  3. In a small bowl or cup mix yolks, butter, and milk together then pour into
  4. dry mixture. Mix well to combine.
  5. Take the whites of the eggs and whisk them into stiff peaks.
  6. Then fold the stiff whites into batter. Mix to combine.
  7. Take a laddle and a half and pour into your waffle iron and press.
  8. Should take about 5 minutes to become fully cooked and golden!

Let’s move on to the chicken…

Ingredients for fried chicken:

  • 1/2 – cup coarse salt
  • 5 – cups cold water
  • 4 – large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 – cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 – teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 – teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • 1 – cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 – teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 – cup cornstarch
  • 2 – cups vegetable oil or lard

Directions

  1. Pour coarse salt and cold water in a big bowl. Next add chicken breast and cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Remove chicken from bowl. Dispose of salty water. Put chicken back into the bowl and pour in buttermilk. Cover bowl with plastic wrap again and place back in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove chicken breast from buttermilk bath, and cut into 1 1/2 inch strips, then place on a wire rack to rid of excess buttermilk for about 7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile in a large paper bag add black pepper, Lawry’s seasoning salt, flour, dried basil, and corn starch. Close the top of the bag and shake it up to mix evenly. Now take your sliced chicken strips (a few at a time) and add to the flour mixture. Close the top of the bag and shake it up to coat your chicken evenly.
  5. Then place chicken strips back on the wire rack to sit and absorb flour mixture for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour vegetable oil or lard in a big frying pan over a medium flame and allow to get hot for about 6 minutes. Then working in batches add your chicken strips to pan and fry on each side for 6 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness of the chicken. Once browned and crispy, place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb some of the oil.
  7. Partner your fried chicken with a delicious waffle and who knows… you might end up doing the chicken dance! I can tell you, I sure have! ENJOY!

No-Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

No-Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

I have to admit the truth, I’m having a full on affair with lemon pastries these days.  Let me apologize to my friends in advance (A-dre, Emma, Kristen and Ericka) these ladies have been trying to get me to eat lemon desserts for YEARS, and I would turn my nose up and act like they had offered me the worst thing on earth.  I should of listened to you girls.  I Don’t know why the thought of lemon pastries just repulsed me.  I had somehow convinced myself I would hate it.  Recently I was in Miami and had my first slice of Key Lime Pie, and it was as if the heavens had opened up and let me lick the sky….. I LOVED IT!  Now I’m going lemon pastry crazy.  Here is my first dessert I ever made using lemon anything.  I’m happy to share it with you.  My family (especially my Mom) went bonkers for it.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for No Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake:

  • 12 – honey graham crackers sheets (each sheet has 4 crackers in it)
  • 3 1/2 – tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 12 – ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 – 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 – ounces of coconut flavored gelatin (I use D’Gari) (if you are unable to find coconut flavored gelatin- substitute with one cup of sugar and 1 individual packet of Knox gelatin)
  • 3 – cups of boiling hot water
  • 6 – ounces Lemon flavored jello mix
  • 1 – cup of fresh blueberries

Directions:

  1. To make the crust…. place all graham in a food processor and pulse till completely grounded up into crumbs. Then pour in melted butter and pulse again to incorporate.
  2. Pour buttered crumbs into a springform pan. Press crumbs into pan to form a crust. Then place in the fridge while you make the next layer. 
  3. In a mixer add cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk and mix on medium till they cream together smooth. Set to the side.
  4. In a medium sized bowl mix coconut gelatin mix and 1 cup of boiling hot water together, mix until gelatin is completely dissolved. Set to the side to cool for about 25 minutes mixing with a spoon occasionally.
  5. Once coconut gelatin mixture is cooled enough, pour it a little at a time into the cream cheese condensed milk mixture, and mix with mixer on medium till completely combined. It will start to thicken up right away so work fast.
  6. Pour cream cheese mixture into crust lined springform pan. Then place in fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
  7. Then in a medium bowl add lemon jello mix and 2 cups of boiling hot water, mix until completely dissolved. Set to the side to cool for about 30 minutes.
  8. Once lemon jello mixture has cooled, remove pan from fridge and add fresh blueberries to the top of the the cheese cake layer. 
  9. Then slowly pour the cooled lemon jello mixture on top of the blueberries. 
  10. Place back in the fridge for one hour. Then when ready to serve, take a butter knife and run it along the inner edge of the pan. Then release the springform pan and cut and serve. Enjoy! 
Asparagus Broccoli Egg White Scramble and Melissa’s Produce

Asparagus Broccoli Egg White Scramble and Melissa’s Produce

I’ve never turned away from an egg.  I could eat eggs for dinner, lunch, breakfast, and I do. Until recently I wouldn’t dream of eating egg whites all by their lonesome….  I wanted the yolk too.  A few weeks ago I was making a dessert that just called for the yolks, I didn’t really know what to do with the left over whites.  I had a few stalks of blanched asparagus in my fridge, and a knock on my door.  To my delight my weekly Melissa’s Produce delivery had arrived. I opened up the box and found many greens, and a head of broccoli.  I tore off a few bunches of broccoli, chopped up my asparagus, soon enough my egg whites had a purpose, and I had a new favorite egg dish.

Side note/Info:  Did you know that Melissa’s Produce has these new organic veggie boxes that can be delivered right to your door for as little as $25 dollars a week? That includes delivery if you live in Southern California…. It’s a serious deal. Click here if you want to order or find out more. I love it and order whenever I don’t have time to run out to the farmers market.

Ingredients for Asparagus Broccoli Egg White Scramble:

Directions:

  1. In a medium frying pan over a medium flame add butter and allow to melt and heat slightly.
  2. Add in asparagus and broccoli, and saute for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add in egg whites by pouring them over the veggies, and mixing them into the veggies. Cook for about 3 minutes or until all eggs are completely cooked. 
  4. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of scramble and mix. 
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!
#OutnumberHunger Twitter Party….. Meet Me There!

#OutnumberHunger Twitter Party….. Meet Me There!

 

Have you ever wanted to help fight hunger for the people of your local community?  Well here is a simple and easy way to do just that.  Please join General Mills, Big Machine Label Group, Feeding America and a group of Latina Bloggers to help in this devastating fight.  Did you know Latinos are disproportionately affected by food insecurity?  More than 1 in 4 (26.2%) Latino households are food insecure as compared with 1 in 7 (14.9%) households overall.  This is awful and you have the power to help change that.  All you have to do is buy a participating General Mills product (ie: Cheerios, Yoplait, and Nature Valley) for your own family to enjoy and enter the code from these packages at OutnumberHunger.com.  Each code submitted helps Feeding America secure 5 meals on behalf of a local food bank based on the Zip code entered.  Isn’t that awesome?!  Feed your own family and another family at the same time.  Let’s have a twitter party and tell everyone about it.  Join me!

 Please register to join the twitter party,  just click here!

Share the tweet posted below with your twitter friends, and help spread the word: 

Join #OutnumberHunger bilingual twitter party Tuesday 5/7 9pET to help fight hunger in local communities. RSVP here>http://ow.ly/k5lIH

 

Prizes: Baskets of General Mills products, Outnumber Hunger t-shirts, and your help of making a difference to people who need it the most.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Latina Bloggers Connect. I am thrilled to be associated with this beautiful cause.

Baked Potato Asparagus Tart Video

Baked Potato Asparagus Tart Video

Idaho, Spring Time: After a tossing and turning night of sleep, I awoke from a dream. The vegetable fairy had decided to plant some russet Idaho potatoes from the fall harvest in a beautiful plentiful garden.  It had rained the night before, so the soil was damp and soft. A group of potatoes poked out of a mound waiting for the gardener to come back and retrieve them since she had taken the time to dig them up early that morning. The gardener’s name was Eugene, she had no room left in her basket of produce that morning when she placed it down in the dirt to dig her potatoes. What she didn’t notice was a few stalks of asparagus that had fallen out and rolled away. When she was done digging she picked up her basket and went inside her house to empty the basket. In that moment one of the stalks of asparagus made quick friends with the potato laying closest to it. They talked about the great possibility of being made into one of Eugene’s famous tarts for dinner that night, and how grand it would be if they ended up on the same one.

As fate would have it…. they did.

Ingredients for Baked Potato Asparagus Tart:

  • puff pastry
  • 1/2 – cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 – cup queso quesadilla
  • 1/2 – cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 – baked russet Idaho potato
  • 1/2 – cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 9 – stalks of blanched asparagus
  • 1 – teaspoon olive oil (drizzle vegetables w/ olive oil, before placing on tart)
  • ground pepper
  • chile flakes

Disclosure: I am proud to say this video is sponsored by The Idaho Potato Commission.  The story and recipe is 100% my own.  Thank you Don for being the absolute best!

Pretzel Cheeseburger Slider #RanchRemix

Pretzel Cheeseburger Slider #RanchRemix

 

You see that burger pictured above? That’s my pretzel cheeseburger slider. My family has hailed it as the best burger on the planet. I know your thinking “your family,” but the truth is who else is around to taste it? I did make these little sliders for a bar-b-que over the weekend and all the guests gasped and swooned. People ran off into their own private little corners of my yard to eat in silence with nothing coming between them and that burger…. that counts for something right? I’m not trying to brag, I was just as shocked and taken by surprise to the reaction. In fact it made me blush a little. What it all boils down to are the ingredients. “What’s in it?” That’s what my guest started asking “What’s in it?” Now mind you several of the guests were older ladies who have been cooking their whole lives, serving their families burgers decade after decade. I went down the list of ingredients to my guests that were questioning the recipe and watched them shake their heads as I rattled off the list as if the ingredients seemed natural and second nature, then I would save the zinger for last and tell them I put Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix in the meat. “What?” That was the main reaction I got. I would tell them it made a world of difference and they tasted it for themselves. I never seen so many folks with the look of “I must get Hidden Valley Ranch in my burgers from now on.” Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 – pounds ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 – pound ground pork
  • 1/2 – cup chopped green onion
  • 1 – raw egg
  • 3/4 – cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 – teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 – tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 – tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 – teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 – teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 – teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 – tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix

Directions

In a large bowl add in ground beef, ground pork, green onion, raw egg, mushrooms, worchestershire sauce, and sesame seeds. Mix together until well combined.

Then add in bread crumbs, garlic powder, ground mustard, ground pepper and Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix. Mix until completely combined.

Then pinch off enough meat mixture to form a ball the size of a golf ball. Roll it in between both hands and once it forms into a ball smash it between the palm of your hands to form a small patty.

Then place them on a hot grill and cook for 10 minutes on each side. Then place a piece of cheese (I used sharp cheddar) on top about 2 minutes before removing them from the grill.

Then place on a pretzel slider bun and use the condiments of your choice.

Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix is a simple way to add a flavorful kick to a classic recipe.Click hereto find more classic recipes remixed with Hidden Valley Ranch.  Also check out the Ranch Remix contest for your chance to win great prizes!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch Remix. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sopes! #MasecaNosGusta

Sopes! #MasecaNosGusta

This traditional Mexican dish is attached to many fond memories of dinner time with my cousins.  My tia would start her day early making the meat, charring her chiles, chopping onions and tomatoes, and crumbling the cheese.  That was always a sure sign that we were going to have sopes for dinner.  Us kids would run outside all day long and as the day would come to a close we tiredly shuffled inside and formed a line in the bathroom to wash the days’ grime off our hands.  Some of my cousins would start a game of Monopoly, and others would opt for TV.  I always made my way into the kitchen where I would find my tia measuring out her Maseca and mixing it with all the ingredients needed to make sopes.  I stood close by to see if she would let me roll the corn based dough between my hands to form a small ball then pat them into thick fist sized disks, most of the time she would let me.  Then after they had their turn on the comal she would take each disk and pinch the edges to form a mini wall that would keep the ingredients from falling over board, forming the perfect sope.  She would then fill a frying pan with oil and let the oil get piping hot and drop each disk in just until it was perfectly fried on the outside. Then all the fried sopes would sit on a paper lined tray to drain and wait for the rest to be made.  One by one they would be topped with beans and cheese, some with meat and some with chicken.  Everyone had a different request, heck one of my little cousins just wanted Ovaltine on his (yucky).  Then all the cousins would join at the table, some of us sharing chairs and other squishing together to sit on a bench.  None the less we were together, happily eating our sopes as one big family with lots of hungry mouths.

Ingredients for Sopes:

  • 4 – cups Maseca
  • 1/2- teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 – cups warm water
  • vegetable oil
Optional Toppings:
  • refried beans
  • cheese (queso fresco)
  • carne asada
  • shredded chicken
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • red onion
  • sauteed shrimp
  • grilled vegetables
  • rajas con crema
  • cabbage
  • avocado
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, mix maseca, salt and water together, until combined and dough is no longer sticky.
  2. Then divide the dough into 18 to 20 balls (about the size of a small golf ball), then flatten it between both hands forming a thick disk, should be the size of an adult palm.
  3. On a hot comal or large frying pan heat each disk for a minute on each side. Remove from comal and place on a plate.
  4. Pinch the sides of the fresh off the comal sope to form a little edge.
  5. In a large frying pan over a medium flame add vegetable oil. You want it to be about 2 1/2 inches deep. Allow to get hot.
  6. Drop each sope into the hot oil and fry till lightly golden.
  7. Remove from oil and place on a paper lined sheet to drain.
  8. Fill with the toppings of your choice.

Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Maseca. All opinions are 100% my own.