Wish Upon A Dish: April 2015

April 21, 2015

Shrimp & Chorizo Tacos ♥ Spring Cleaning - Recipe ReDux Challenge April 2015

Nothing new on the food scene as far as our eating goes, so nothing much to blog about.
We opened the grill and made prosciutto wrapped cod on a plank and a spatch-cocked roaster.
All familiar dinners already on this blog.

I finally had a day to learn how to make corn tortillas from scratch. After making the masa dough, you press golf ball sized balls of dough using a glass Pyrex pie plate or by buying an inexpensive aluminum press. I have also read that a few use a pasta roller.

I wanted small tortillas (around 4") for tacos so I used a medium ice cream scoop. Just make the balls, line them up and with a cut up plastic quart bag, press one, cook in a cast iron skillet, press another and repeat until all the dough is used.
I made 16 tortillas, 7 small and 9 larger (for enchiladas tomorrow).

I do agree with those who make their own. It is worth the time but you can make them ahead and if wrapped well (in serving sizes), they can be frozen for another use. Pressing the tortillas is something a child of 4+up could easily do. Let them help.

My first batch was small, just for a test and while I had concerns about the pliability (they go into a container stiff), I was encouraged the next day when rewarmed in foil, they returned to a form that easily wrapped around a filling without breaking. It also gave me a chance to make adjustments in the seasoning for the next time.

Tonight I made a full batch. I chose to add a tablespoon of vegetable lard (or veggie oil) to the dough along with 2 teaspoons of a premixed Mexican spice blend.

Turns out this dinner also was perfect to complete this month's Recipe Redux challenge.....

Spring Cleaning - Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

I have had this package of D'Artagnan Chorizo in my fridge since Christmas. When I found a recipe for Seafood Chorizo Tacos over at Food & Wine, well, that and the chance to finally make my tortillas was enough to cook something that was not anything I have ever cooked before.
It felt good to get back into the kitchen to create something new and will be the last chance until next month. My attention is needed to find a new home for my aging father so I made the decision to finally move my blog over to Word Press and let the professional deals with all the new Google changes. I see I have found the right time to start this new phase in my life with a whole new look.

Shrimp & Chorizo Tacos
makes 4 servings

* 16 corn tortillas, homemade using this recipe as a starting point or store bought
* 1 pound large shrimp, veined and chopped
* 2 chorizo links, skinned and finely chopped
* 1 small red onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* Pinch of cumin to taste
* Hot sauce to taste
* Salt & pepper
* 1/4 cup lager beer
* Lime juice
* Agave nectar

Serve with:
pickled onions, avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo, lettuce and lime wedges

1. Season shrimp with salt & pepper. Heat a heavy skillet with vegetable oil and saute the chorizo, onions, garlic, cumin and sriracha until the onions are soft and the chorizo is browned. Add the shrimp and cook until it turns white.
2. Add the 1/4 cup beer, lime juice and agave and boil, stirring constantly until the liquid makes a glaze.


April 4, 2015

The Best Classic Buttermilk Pancakes I Ever Made

I have tried hundreds of pancake recipes and while a few have been passable, none were ever "hmmmm, hmmmm, good" enough.

Until last weekend.

The Nudge used to ask for pancakes, yes, used too. He's one of those kids that could eat them every chance he gets.

Lately I noticed a slight adjustment. Pancakes had been cut from the cast and now he asks for French Toast.
I'm not sure whether to be insulted or happy.
I am not known for my pancakes but French Toast is something I can do well. On New Year's Day I always make Eggnog French Toast with any leftover nog from the holidays.

Since he gets to choose Sunday's fare, I had better find the ultimate pancake recipe.

I am happy to report that not only are these the best pancakes I ever made,  I can make this batter the night before and it's even better the next morning.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Fine Cooking, I am totally in debt.
These are tender and flavorful and I imagine a scoop of pumpkin (in mine only) would be a nice way to start a lazy Sunday.

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes
makes 12 (5") pancakes
Adapted from FineCooking.com

* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used ICBINB lite)
* 9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 2 cups buttermilk
* 2 large eggs (I use x-large)

* Vegetable oil for the griddle (I use a butter-flavored spray)

Maple syrup for serving

Heat the oven to 200°F. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove and set aside to cool briefly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.

Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat (or set an electric griddle to 375°F) until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.Cooked pancakes will keep, sealed in freezer bags, for up to 2 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes.

Nutrition per pancake; Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): fat g 3.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 30; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1.5; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 170; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 30; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;