Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Springin' Forward in the Kitchen

There was a special occasion last week and we decided to cook up some decadent food. It was my mom's birthday and I wanted to make everything special for her. We decided to cook up homemade Chili Relleno's. I had never made them before, but felt confident that I could do it. My mom even helped me video myself cooking it so that we could enter it into a cooking competition. Check out my step by step video below!
These were absolutely amazing. But they wouldn't be complete without the delicious Spring Tomato Tart I made and you can also check out the step by step video of me making that on my You Tube account!

Now get in your kitchens and get cookin!

Chili Rellenos

10 ancho chillies
8 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

~Lay chilies on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and broil 5 to 6 inches from the heat source for 15 minutes. Turn every minute until the skin on the pepper begins to blacken and bubble. Remove from the oven and transfer immediately to a brown paper bag  and wrap in a towel and set sit to steam for 15 minutes. My mom and I actually took a joy ride to the local store for 30 minutes.

~Then carefully shake the brown bag to loosen the skin. Then carefully peel the skin from the peppers.

~Once the peppers have been peeled. Mix the shredded cheese, cream cheese, and chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder until smooth and creamy using a spatula.

~Next, slice a long slit in one of the peppers and stuff with the cheese mixture. Using toothpicks, close the slit and place on a plate. Repeat this for the remaining peppers. When this is complete you are ready to fry.

~First create a dredging station. Get out two dishes or deep plates. Place 1 cup of corn meal and 1 tsp. salt in one plate. Then scramble 3 eggs until light and fluffy and pour into the other plate. That is your dredging station. Now you are ready to fry.

~Heat a skillet with 1/4 cup vegetable oil. To test the oil, sprinkle a drop of water in the oil. If it pops and sizzles you are ready to go. Grab a pepper and roll in the egg wash and then lay in the cornmeal and coat the chili with the cornmeal. Then transfer the coated chili to the hot oil. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until brown. Repeat the dredging and frying for the remaining chilies. Serve with the Spicy Tomato Sauce recipe below.

Spicy Tomato Sauce

1 can chunky tomato sauce (28 oz)
1 can salsa de Chile Fresco (7 oz) by El Pato
1 can diced chilies (4 oz)
Juice one lime
2 tbsp. garlic
1 jar salsa (12 oz)
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 can tomato paste (8 oz)

Add all ingredients to a large sauce pan and cook on low heat for 1 hour, but can be longer if you want. The longer it cooks the better it will taste!

Tantalizing Tomato Tart

2 cups cherry tomatoes; sliced
8 oz. cream cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese; shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil; chopped
1 tbsp. Italian Seasoning
2 tbsp. capers; chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
Athens Phyllo dough sheets
salt and pepper to taste
~Place cherry tomatoes, capers, basil, and olive oil in a large bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

~Combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings, and mozzarella cheese in a large mixing bowl until ingredients are well incorporated.

~To create the crust, separate phyllo sheets and grab 2-3 sheets per layer and place on a greased cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil, continue to layer phyllo dough creating a lip over the edge of the cookie sheet and continuing to spray with olive oil until a layer of 10 phyllo sheets have been layered.

~To assemble, crumble the cream cheese mixture over the crust. Then spread the tomato mixture over the top. Roll up the edges of the phyllo to create a crust for the tart. Spray the crust with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt along the crust.

~Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and slice into thin squares and enjoy!

Mental Health Benefit: These recipes are easy to prepare and delicious! I took a risk creating something new that seemed difficult and I did it! It proves that we can do anything that we put our mind to. Whether it is to build a new shelf, make a million dollars, or make a difficult recipe. We can do anything that we have determination to accomplish. The only one getting in our way is ourselves! So get in your kitchen, get in your workshop, and get going! Accomplish what you really want! I am rooting for you!

~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes from my Kitchen wonderland!

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