Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ole! Ole! Ole! Homemade Taco Seasoning

I love to make things from scratch whenever possible.  Things like steak seasoning and pancake mix are no exception.  Why buy it when you can put together your own?  I'm willing to bet you are saving money, and you are definitely eliminating all of those ingredients that you cannot spell or pronounce.  Another convenient aspect of making your own mixes is the ability to adapt to an emergency shortage.  You're out of taco seasoning?  No fear, you don't have to make a run to the store.  Grab those spices that are sitting in your cupboard and mix up your own.  While you're at it, mix up a few and stash them in the pantry. 
The Taco Seasoning Party.  I mean Fiesta.
Measure everything into a bowl. 
Pay attention, this is really hard.
Mix everything together and
store in an air-tight container.
You don't HAVE to make cute
little labels like me.  I am The Devilish Dish,
I have a reputation to uphold!

Taco Seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt

In a bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combine.  Store in an air-tight container.  This mix makes 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning which is equal to 1.4 ounces or 1 envelope of commercial taco seasoning.

Prep Time:  Approximately 5 minutes      Cook Time:  0

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You Have To Try This: Meatballs and Cabbage

Even if you don't like cabbage, you need to give this one a try!  Don't tell my mother, but I actually like cabbage now.  I've yet to convince my daughter, but I think this recipe will make her come around!  The meatballs have a tangy, creamy sauce that goes so well with the crisp, steamed cabbage.  You probably could serve the meatballs with rice or pasta, or even mashed potatoes.  That is if you think you don't like cabbage.  But do me a favor, try it.  It's an unusual but very good combination!
The Meatballs and Cabbage Line-Up
Place ground beef in bowl. 
Add garlic, bread crumbs, mustard
Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. 
Combine until well mixed.
Shape into evenly sized balls. 
I used my medium-sized cookie scoop.
The beef mixture should yield about 24 meatballs. 
(Just a little smaller than golf ball-sized.)
Brown meatballs on all sides. 
Remove from skillet and set aside.
Remove excess oil from skillet. 
Add onions and saute until
soft and light brown.
Combine flour with a small amount of beef broth. 
Whisk well to remove lumps. 
This is called a "slurry" and helps to
thicken the sauce.
Add flour mixture to remaining beef broth.
Combine broth mixture with sour cream. 
Whisk until smooth.
Add sour cream mixture to skillet.
Return meatballs to skillet. 
Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Season cabbage with salt and pepper. 
Steam until tender-crisp
about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir parsley into meatballs and sauce. 
(Stir carefully so you
don't break the meatballs!)
Serve meatballs and sauce over cabbage. 
Trust me.  It's that good!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Black Magic Cake: Because I'm Cravin' Something Chocolate-y!

When I saw the name of this recipe I knew I had to try it!  Black Magic Cake?  Sounds intriguing.  No, I'm not really into Black Magic.  No toads or bats were harmed in the baking of this cake.  But with a name like The Devilish Dish, you gotta live up to your name.  Turns out no evil involved after all.  In fact the opposite.  It was pretty sweet.  I'm thinking the Black Magic involved here refers to the dark, rich flavor from the addition of the strong coffee.  It's a really moist cake with a great chocolate and coffee flavor.  It doesn't even need frosting.  But a dollop of whipped cream never hurt anybody!
The Black Magic Cake Line-Up...See? 
No eye of newt involved.
Combine all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Add eggs
Add buttermilk
Add oil
Add coffee and vanilla
Mix until well combined.  It makes a thin batter.
Bake about 35 minutes.
Delicious with whipped cream or
a scoop of ice cream.  I should know.
I ate the piece of cake in the picture for breakfast.

Black Magic Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup strong brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine all dry ingredients together.  Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.  Batter will be thin.  Pour batter into a greased 9x13-inch pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 40 minutes

Ingredients used by the three witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth:

Poisn'd entrails~toad~fillet of a fenny snake~eye of newt
toe of frog~wool of bat~tongue of dog~adder's fork
blind-worm's sting~lizard's leg~howlet's wing~scale of dragon
tooth of wolf~witches' mummy~maw and gulf of ravin'd salt-sea shark
root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark~liver of blaspheming Jew
gall of goat~slips of yew~nose of Turk~Tartar's lips
finger of birth-strangled babe~tiger's chaudron~baboon's blood

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tiramisu: It's Easier Than You Think!

There are as many Tiramisu recipes out there as there are Italian Grandmothers.  The ingredients and pudding methods will vary from recipe to recipe but the basics stay the same. Ladyfinger biscuits, mascarpone cheese, and coffee are found in just about every adaptation.  Some folks will use different types of flavoring extracts or liqueur to flavor the whipped mixture.  Feel free to experiment.  This is the version we love!
The Tiramisu Line-Up
Combine egg yolks and sugar with
an electric mixer until light yellow and creamy.
Add mascarpone cheese and mix well,
then add Kahlua.
Add vanilla. 
Mix until smooth and creamy.  Set aside.
Dip ladyfinger into brewed coffee. 
(Just a quick dip or it will fall apart!)
Line a serving dish with coffee-soaked ladyfingers.
Cover with half of the mascarpone mixture. 
Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers
and mascarpone mixture.
Cover and chill, preferably overnight. 
When ready to serve, dust with cocoa powder.
Cut into squares and serve.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Holy Guacamole: The Patron Saints of The Kitchen

I'm not Catholic.  But for some reason I'm obsessed with Patron Saints.  My theory is I need all the help I can get, and whether the Saint is the Patron Saint of Cooking or the Patron Saint of Dentists, I'm all over it.  I have an extensive library filled with books on topics such as:  Saints, Monks and Monasteries.  (I can't help it if I thirst for knowledge can I?)  I have quite a collection of Saints, candles, medals and other religious relics.  It's one of the many quirky gathering of oddities I collect.  Thank the Lord and the Saints my husband is a patient man.  I think it all started when I bought a print of San Pasqual, The Patron Saint of The Kitchen in Santa Fe.  I love Santa Fe, I love Cooking, I love Saints.  It was the perfect addition to my kitchen.  Just for fun, I thought I would share some of the Saints that are related to culinary topics:

St. Macarius The Younger
The Patron Saint of Candymakers
Died about 401     Feast Day January 2
Young Macarius was a successful businessman who made and sold candy and sweet pastries in Egypt in 335.  Inspired by stories of holy men who had fled civilization for a life of prayer and penance, Macarius gave up his candy business and spent a good part of his life in a bare one-room house, living much like a hermit.

St. Lawrence
The Patron Saint of Cooks
Died 258     Feast Day August 10 
In 258, during rampant religious persecution, Lawrence rushed to save the Church's sacred vessels from pillage by the Roman soldiers.  He sold the items and distributed the proceeds among the poor.  He was summoned before a tribunal and ordered to turn over the Church's treasures.  Lawrence returned with a large crowd of the poor and exclaimed, "These are the treasures of the Church."  For his actions, he was ordered punished by burning to death slowly on a large gridiron.  Anyone who has worked in a restaurant kitchen can relate to his suffering, thus the reason St. Lawrence is claimed as the Patron Saint of Cooks.

St. Nicholas of Tolentino
The Patron Saint of Vegetarians
1245-1305     Feast Day September 10

As a personal penance, St. Nicholas of Tolentino resolved never to eat meat.  Once when he was served chicken, Nicholas made the sign of the cross over the plate and the chicken turned to vegetables.  In a similar version of the story, the meal was roasted partridges who were restored to life by Nicholas and flew out the window.
  This is why he is also acknowledged as the patron saint of sick animals and animals that are crossing over. 

St. Vincent
The Patron Saint of Wine
Died 304     Feast Day January 22

Nothing in St. Vincent's life has a true connection to wine.  It is believed his association with wine came about simply because of his name.  In French, the word for wine is vin and in Italian it is vino.  Another reason St. Vincent may be associated with wine is that red wine reminded Christians of St. Vincent's bloody martyrdom.  During barbaric oppression of Christians, Vincent refused to deny Christ.  He was imprisoned and tortured and eventually died from his injuries.  His bloody clothes were preserved as relics to his martyrdom.

St. Pasqual of Baylon
Patron Saint of the Kitchen
1540-1592     Feast Day May 17

Pasqual of Baylon is remembered mostly for his extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and his heroism in the face of danger.  His body remained miraculously incorrupt after his death.  In his native Spain, and in Latin America, he revered as the Patron Saint of the Kitchen.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's National Chip and Dip Day: Nacho Typical Mexican Layered Dip

It's National Chip and Dip Day and that makes me happy.  The only thing I like more than peanut butter and chocolate is chip and dip. Anything that can go on a tortilla chip is welcome at our house.  Now we've all had layered dip.  Refried beans, lettuce, salsa, cheese.  The usual.  So how about something a little different?Sometimes it's fun to have a new snack to take to a party, or serve when your friends come over.  This dip is simple to whip up, and you can make it ahead.  It's pretty rich too.  This IS The Devilish Dish after all.  I hope you weren't expecting diet dip.
Nacho Typical Line-Up
Whip together cream cheese, sour cream,
taco seasoning and bean dip.
Spread in serving dish.
Top with chunky salsa
Cover with shredded Mexican cheese
Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and serve with tortilla chips.  Fiesta Foreva!

Nacho Typical Mexican Layered Dip
2 (8 ounce) blocks cream cheese
16 ounces sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
2 (9 ounce) cans Bean Dip
24 ounce jar chunky salsa
1 large package shredded Mexican cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning and bean dip in a mixing bowl.  Whip together until creamy.  Spread in serving dish.  Top with salsa, then layer on cheese and sprinkle with tomatoes.  You can also add a layer of drained black olives if you'd like.  We don't like them at The Devilish Dish Lair.  NOTE:  This makes a 9x13-inch pan full of dip.  You can easily cut the recipe in half with the same delicious results!

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  0

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hash Brown Casserole: The Ultimate Potato Side Dish!

Ham?  Hash Brown Casserole.  Brisket?  Hash Brown Casserole.  Steak?  Baked Potato.  Just kidding.  Hash Brown Casserole is the ultimate potato side dish for any occasion.  The casserole can be prepared ahead and refrigerated.  Simply pull it out of the fridge, let sit for a few minutes to remove chill, top with corn flake mixture and bake.  It's a great potluck dish.  Who doesn't love creamy, cheesey potatoes??
The Hash Brown Casserole Line-Up
In large bowl combine hash browns with melted butter
Add cream of chicken soup and sour cream
Add shredded cheddar cheese and
season with salt and pepper
Saute cornflakes in butter
Just until butter is absorbed. 
Cornflakes should still be crispy.
Sprinkle cornflake mixture on top of casserole.
Cover and bake.

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