This week I met Amanda of Fake Ginger. She was my ‘assignment’ for July’s Secret Recipe Club. What is that, you say? THAT is a group of bakers/cooks/bloggers who get to explore and discover a new food blog every month through a blind pick and cook or bake from that blog. It is a GREAT way to find and meet new bloggers and discover new foods and techniques.

I had been to Amanda’s blog because I was initially drawn by the name – Fake Ginger - and then I stayed because of her food. So this month when she was my pick I finally got the motivation I needed to actually make something from her blog. I am so bad about reading and enjoying and not cooking from the blogs I find.

So many goodies, so litle time…..

Lets begin with…..

    Tempura Fried Asparagus

It hasn’t been that long since I disovered I actually LIKE asparagus. My mom used to buy the canned stuff all the time and I could not even stay in the room because of the smell. But fresh asparagus is a totally different animal. So now I am on the look out for fresh asparagus recipes. I used them in pasta, in risotto, in casseroles, but I had never had the fried. Being a true Southern Belle, I had to try it. GLAD I did! SOOOOO good Even though I didn’t make the sauce.

    4 cups vegetable oil
    3/4 cup flour
    1/2 cup cornstarch
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup seltzer, at room temperature
    1 pound asparagus

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until the temperature registers 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda. Whisk in the seltzer until smooth.
Add the asparagus to the batter and turn to coat. Transferring one piece at a time, add about one-quarter of the asparagus to the hot oil and cook, turning, until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining asparagus, allowing the oil to return to 375° between batches. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

    1/4 cup yogurt
    2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon honey

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and honey.

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I stayed with my Daughter and family last Thursday night. They work late every night and don’t have time to really cook except on the weekends so I made dinner for them.

    Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

This picture does not do the ooey gooey goodness of this recipe justice. The cheese just oozes from the enchilada tops and makes this incredibly tasty.

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 medium onion, diced
    1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced {I did not use}
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons chili powder
    3 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 cans (15 ounces) tomato sauce
    1 cup water
    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
    1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
    12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas {I got 14 from the recipe}
    salt and pepper to taste

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400F.
Heat olive oil over medium low heat. Saute onion {and jalapeno} in oil until the onion is translucent. Stir in garlic, chili power, cumin, and sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on a meat thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Place onion mixture in a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bowl along with the onion mixture. Add in 1/4 cup of your tomato sauce sauce, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40 to 60 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

I only wish I had doubled the sauce. While Amanda used only one can of tomato sauce I used two (as per the original recipe) and it still wasn’t enough. Next time….. Other than that, this was soooooo good!!

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There may be times when you don’t want to make a Birthday Cake. If that is the case, then this Ice Cream may be the solution to your problem. The cake is IN the Ice Cream. Not pieces of cake but some of the cake mix which thickens the ice cream and gives it the cake flavor. An easy alternative.

    Birthday Cake Ice Cream

1 cup milk
1/2 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup yellow cake mix, sifted
2 tablespoons sprinkles

Whisk together milk, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, cream, and cake mix in a saucepan until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C), stirring frequently. Remove from heat and place in the refrigerator or freezer until liquid is cold.

Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until it reaches “soft-serve” consistency. Stir in sprinkles by hand into the mixture and transfer ice cream to a one- or two-quart lidded plastic container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, ice cream should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Not quite as good as a Birthday Cake with Frosting, but soooooo good!!!

You need to take time and visit Amanda and her yummy recipes. It will well worth the time – BELIEVE ME!!

AND if you want to have some cooking and baking fun come join the Secret Recipe Club.



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