Monday, January 12, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Today I received my very first blog award from Melissa over at Schweet N Savory. If you haven't stopped by her blog yet I highly suggest that you do as she has some very tummy pleasing recipes over there.
I am returning the honor by passing it on to Kaitlin over at Kaitlin in the Kitchen, another outstanding blog that you shouldn't miss out on.

Pillsbury Bake-Off

In case you didn't know this about me, I love food competitions and no I am not talking about who can eat the most hot dogs in an hour. I love the ones where you create a new recipe and compete against hundreds of other hopefuls. Daniel and I have decided that when we get rich we are going to start competing in the BBQ circuit. We would also like to get a utility trailer and modify it so that we can begin entering these contests and on our down time start a BBQ catering business. We can dream can't we?? My favorite contest is the Pillsbury Bake-Off and this year will be my second attempt at hoping to score one of the coveted spots. I dreamt up Mexican Calzones a year ago for that attempt and this year I am still in the "thinking up" phase. There are four categories this year and whatever recipe I submit must have at least two ingredients off of their ingredients list. The categories are; Breakfast and Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner made easy, and last but not least, Sweet Treats. Needless to say I am going to be scouring the Internet to come up with ideas that I can play off of and turn into something original and while I won't be posting any of the recipes until after the April 20th submission deadline, rest assured I will be sharing them with you at some point in time. I can not even begin to imagine winning as I am just not lucky enough, but boy what I could do with the million dollar prize. Lets see; I would pay off our house, then I would pay off our vehicles, then I would buy our utility trailer so that we can get to smokin', I then see granite counter tops in my future along with a nice little pick me up of a vacation to Disney included! Anyway here is the link to the Pillsbury Bake-Off website in case you may be interested in entering your own original recipe, just click here!

Veggie of the Week- Tomatillo

I have decided, since I am trying to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into my diet, that I am going to do a vegetable/fruit of the week. Every Monday I will be posting a fruit or vegetable along with details on what it is, where it can be found, and of course what sort of dishes can be made with it. I think it is important as a good cook to know your fruits and vegetables.Since the majority of these items probably cannot be found in the produce aisle at my local grocery store I won't be posting my experiences with them but I promise, if I can find them, I will use them and post about them. Today's vegetable is the tomatillo.

The tomatillo is a plant of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, related to tomatoes, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos, referred to as green tomato (Spanish: tomate verde) in Mexico, are a staple in Mexican cuisine.

The tomatillo fruit is surrounded by a paper-like husk formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be any of a number of colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked green sauces. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green colour and tart flavour are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. Other parts of the tomatillo plant contain toxins, and should not be eaten.

Fresh ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

Information provided by: Wikipedia

Mexican Take-Out Tomatillo Salsa

12 ounces tomatillos, husked and rinsed (6 to 10)
serrano chilies (I suggest using Jalapenos if you don't like things too hot)
1/2 cup chopped
fresh cilantro
1/2 medium white onion, minced (1/2 cup)
garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons
fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons
cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon
salt, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.)Preheat the broiler. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil.
2.)Place the tomatillos and chiles on the foil and broil for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until dark brown spots develop on the chiles and tomatillos.
3.)Cool, then transfer to a blender, including all the juices that have run out onto the baking sheet.
4.)Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, salt, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Blend to a puree.
5.)Heat the oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the tomatillo puree and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring, until the salsa has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning; adjust if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature or chilled.
6.)Make Ahead: This salsa can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen up to 2 months.

*I found this recipe off of another favorite website of mine, It looks really yummy and I plan on trying it out as soon as I can find some tomatillos. Daniel and I are both really big salsa fans and we have never had one made from tomatillos. I can't wait!!