Friday, April 11, 2014

Mango Shrimp Lettuce Wraps-What's Your Favorite Way to Eat a Mango?

This is a quick, simple recipe using our incredible Manila Mangoes, on Sale today at Whole Foods Market!

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined with the tails removed
2 Manila mangoes, cubed
1 cup English cucumber, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 Thai chili pepper, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 head butter lettuce
1 head radicchio 
1 avocado
Sesame Seeds
Health Starts Here Sesame Ginger Dressing

1. Grill or sear the shrimp until they are fully cooked. Set in the refrigerator to chill, and make the filling.
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the sesame seeds and dressing. Toss to combine.
3. Separate 4 leaves from each the butter lettuce and radicchio and set one piece of the radicchio on the lettuce. 
4. Place the lettuce cups on a serving platter and fill with the mango mixture. Divide the shrimp among the cups and garnish with avocado and sesame seeds.
5. Serve with the dressing and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gluten Free Maple Bacon Chicken and Waffles

It has been quite a challenge to find good gluten free menu options at our local restaurants. Generally, T has to order a salad without dressing and an appetizer to piece together a meal when we go out. I have taken this especially hard, since I do not need to follow a gluten free diet and when we find ourselves craving something we used to eat and enjoy, well, I need to find a way to bring it back. 
Mussels in White Wine Sauce with Linguine, Po' Boy Sandwiches, Chicken n Waffles; I'm sure you see where I'm going.

Recently, I received somewhat of a "starter kit" from Bob's Red Mill containing gluten free flours, all of which I used to create these recipes and to which I am incredibly grateful for. I know I'm not the first gal to create a gluten free waffle recipe, or a gluten free fried chicken recipe, but here's my thing...

It's gotta be good. I have to feel like I could have walked into a restaurant, ordered and eaten the best damn Gluten Free Chicken n Waffles ever. So in combination with my green smoothies, an occasional brunch of chicken n waffles is fine by me, and now, fine by my gluten free love.

...I probably should just open a restaurant and call it, "The Best Damn Gluten Free Restaurant Ever"

To get everything done at the same time, measure all of the ingredients, then begin cooking.  The bacon can sit the longest, so that should be done first, the chicken takes the longest to cook, so that can be done while the bacon is in the oven.

For the Fried Chicken
6 boneless chicken thigh pieces
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup potato starch
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1.    Lay the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound the chicken until it is just flattened. Don’t over do it!
2.    In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
3.    Combine all of the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
4.    Preheat oil in a skillet to about 260°
5.    While the oil is almost to the correct temperature, dip the chicken into the flour mixture, then into the buttermilk.  Let the excess buttermilk drain off, then toss back in the flour. Set the pieces in the oil to fry until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes per side.
For the Maple Bacon Waffles:
6-8 slices bacon
¼ cup maple sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1 cup white rice flour
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup non fat dry milk powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 ½-2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon maple sugar (or dark brown sugar)
Preheat oven to 400°

1.    Place a baking rack over a foil lined baking pan and set aside. Coat the bacon on both sides with maple sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the bacon to a plate lined with parchment paper to cool.
2.    Coarsely chop the bacon and set aside while you make the waffle batter.
3.    In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, eggs, 1 ½ cups of milk and maple sugar.
4.    Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. If the batter is too dry, stir in the extra milk. The batter should be pourable.
Stir in the chopped bacon, and then pour the batter onto the waffle iron.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Oranges

I love what I do.

I cook, for a living in a beautiful kitchen where I have access to the best ingredients available.

I teach people my philosophies of food.
   1. Start with quality ingredients and make them taste like better versions of themselves.
   2. Cook it yourself. Cooking shows are fine for inspiration, but you have to cook what you see. Get creative.
   3. Involve everyone. Preparing meals shouldn't just be one person's job. Bring the kids into it all the time, and certainly make it possible for people to begin feeding themselves when you're not home. ;) 

I develop recipes to inspire people to cook and say, "I never knew making that was so easy" whether it is gluten free, paleo, using alternative ingredients or ingredients people may not know could be intensely tofu.

I write pages of technique, I write stories about my Dad, I write for OriginalCinn and for How to Feed Yourself When I'm Not Home. I love to write.

I meet and interact with interesting people with amazing stories and products. Between the bloggers I've met, the food producers, the chefs and the super cool people I speak with to on a daily basis about food, I am so lucky.

I saw Nigella Lawson's Spanish Chicken dish when I was googling gluten free, or paleo or something and I thought it sounded like an incredible dish with so many flavors and textures. I also wanted to do a little recipe testing to make sure I could write a recipe that was similar, definitely adapted, but with my own flavor preferences. We made this in a recent Cooking Skills class where each student broke down an entire chicken, then took it home. This is what we made that night.

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Oranges
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
(Makes 6 servings)

3 chicken thighs/legs with skin and bone still on (6 pieces total)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
12oz chorizo, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound (about 6) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 red onion, cut into large slices
1 yellow onion, cut into large slices
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
grated zest of 1 orange
2 oranges (preferably Cara Cara) each cut into 6 pieces
Fresh parsley for garnish.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

1.     Rinse and pat dry the chicken and rub them with the first 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and place on a large, foil-lined baking pan.
2.     Scatter the chorizo around the chicken.
3.     In a large bowl combine the potatoes, onions, garlic, oil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon paprika and mix until evenly coated. Scatter all around the pan and adjust the chicken so it is not covered by any of the vegetable pieces.
4.     Zest the orange over the entire pan, sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika over the chicken and bake for 1 hour.
Serve with orange wedges to squeeze over dish.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Grapefruit Margaritas with Citrus-Vanilla Syrup

Usually citrus season comes and I want to make infused pot de cremes, little cookies speckled with zest or cakes flavored with bright lemon.

But seriously, I needed a drink so instead, I invited citrus season to cocktails. California has been so delightfully warm lately (delightful despite the subsequent drought) and I wanted to enjoy a cocktail out on the patio. I came home from the Mexican market with some citrus and some tequila and the rest goes like this...

In a large mason jar, start with the juice of two freshly squeezed grapefruits then add the juice of one lime and half an orange. Pour in two (or just slightly more than two) shots of tequila. For this, I used my family's favorite, Casadores! Next, add about 3oz of citrus-vanilla syrup (recipe below), 5 ice cubes and then close up the jar.

Next, rim two, 4oz glasses with a quarter slice of lemon and dip the glass into vanilla sugar (my vanilla sugar is made from leftover vanilla pods and a really tasty Mexican sugar called "azucar morena". It is basically a finer demarara sugar but available in my local market). Fill the glasses with ice, a quarter slice of orange and a thin slice of lime. Fix the quarter slice of lemon to the rim.

Shake the mason jar and watch the vanilla beans spin around with the pink cocktail and then pour the margarita into the glasses. You will probably want to double the recipe, because they are so delicious to enjoy with friends on a warm afternoon.

Citrus Vanilla Syrup
1 cup of sugar
1/2 a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and pod reserved
1cup of water
3 slices of fresh valencia orange
half a lime, sliced
half a lemon, sliced

1. In a small pot, work the vanilla seeds into the sugar with your fingers. Add the empty pod to the pot and pour in the water.
2. Nestle the citrus into the pot and turn the heat on to medium-high heat. Once the syrup has come to a boil, turn of the heat and remove from the burner. Steep the fruit and vanilla in the syrup for 10 minutes and then strain into a container. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before use. 
The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.

(Note: Letting the syrup boil for too long will break up the fruit fiber too much and make your syrup cloudy.)

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Green Smoothie Awakening

Adapt and evolve.
It is the only way to survive. In a restaurant kitchen, I adapted by developing a pretty impressive potty mouth and learned how to drink whiskey and by working really fucking hard. At this point in my life, I have come to realize that evolving is a process that is constant. It involves self-awareness, the mental and emotional capacity to call things what they are and the ability to address what needs to be changed and actually do it.

OriginalCinn is many things right now. Given the myriad of things on my plate at the moment, it will have to evolve to continue to be my creative outlet. It will be a place to share my new gluten free recipes, as my lovely wife has discovered she has a gluten intolerance. It will be a place to say "see you later" to my Dad to be able to cope with the pain of losing him. It will also be a place to use some of the super cool stuff we got for our wedding! OriginalCinn will continue to evolve because it is what I need to be able to adapt.

Moving on...
Funny story: The other day I came home in a tremendous mood! I was joking, smiling...being cheeky. My wife, who is now accustomed to me coming home much less chipper stopped me mid-story as I was fixing dinner and said, "Wait. A green smoothie? is THAT why you're, uh, normal? You had a green smoothie?" She was right. Casually I had mentioned my lunch time concoction. Kale, peaches, a banana, coconut water and apple juice made all the difference in my mood and energy that day. It brought me back to life. Having been very ill from stress over the Holidays fueled my green smoothie awakening. Something had to change, and it was kale.

Peachy Green (My favorite Whole Foods Market green smoothie, with a few additions)

Add all of this stuff to a blender to make a 16oz. smoothie.
  • 1 1/4 cups Frozen Kale
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup apple juice
Blend it up smooth, then resist the urge to punch through walls with all of the energy you have.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I think, no I'm pretty sure I am living in an alternate life.
One that I have not been living thus far, but somehow stumbled into through a series of cataclysmic events. Like I was caught in Dorothy's tornado and ended up on the other side in full-blown technicolor, married, in a really cool job and confident in myself. Yeah, this must not be real.

I remember a time not too long ago when I was making Blackberry Scones that I felt lost. I felt so fed up with the world and the way it spun around in orbit and stuff--I was done with it. All of it. Then one day, I was sitting up in bed for the third day that week waiting to hear if I would get married on August 31...yes! Okay, that was done. Next up, final at school...I need an A on it to get an A in the class....Done!! Alright, spear through this one, job interview...

Now, I knew I MUST have this job. Not only was it going to be the coolest job ever, but I needed it FOR REALS....I got it. Then I started to work really really hard.

To be honest, I couldn't even remember what my last post was, but I thought I would bring it back with some pancakes. I was writing a recipe for How to Feed Yourself When I'm Not Home for a simple pancake, because EVERYONE should know how to make pancakes and I thought to add some grated carrot, cinnamon and pecans and the result was cakey, but not desserty and freakin' delicious.

Alternate life or not, I feel so fortunate, very blessed and in love with life right now. I'm a happy girl.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
Makes 3-4

1 cup (145g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons (35g) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 cup (75g) carrot, finely grated (leave about 2 tablespoons out for garnish)
1/2 cup (75g) pecans, finely chopped (leave about 2 tablespoons out for garnish)

Preheat a skillet to medium heat. Combine flour, baking powder, sugars, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and mix together until well combined. Add the egg, oil, vanilla and 1/3 cup of milk, stir lightly until the ingredients just start to come together. Add the carrot and pecans and mix until mixture is smooth. Add more milk if needed to achieve a pourable consistency.
Use cooking spray or butter on the hot skillet and pour on the batter. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, or until the edges are dry, flip and cook on the other side for 1 more minute, or until completely cooked.
Serve immediately with maple syrup or cream cheese glaze.

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1-2 Tablespoons hot water

 Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer until completely smooth. Add vanilla and hot water and continue mixing until you reach a thin glaze consistency.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Brown Butter Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Brown butter is instant gratification.
It is butter slipping into something a little more comfortable, if you know what I mean and it is way sexy.

I have such a crush on brown butter, its not even funny. I want to come up with a million and one ways to make it into something wonderful and sinful. Honestly, I can't think of a way to make something more sinful than by adding butter to cream, milk, egg yolk and sugar. Come on...that's just down right evil.

This ice cream is even sexier because I added a nice dose of bourbon to it and sandwiched the boozy, cold and creamy delight in between two brownie cookies.

Pour brown butter over pasta or make it firm in the fridge and cream it with sugar to make chocolate chip cookies, add it to cakes, add it to sauces and just about anything that you'd add butter to. Alright, well I'm done now. Instant gratification.

Brown Butter Bourbon Ice Cream
2 cups          Heavy Cream
1 cup           Whole Milk
3/4 cup         Brown Sugar, softly packed
1/2 tsp          Salt
6                   Egg Yolk
1 stick          Brown Butter, melted and kept warm (take a look at the tutorial on brown butter below)
1/3 cup         Bourbon (like Jim Beam)

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set aside. Keep a slightly smaller bowl handy.
In a medium sauce pot, bring the heavy cream and milk to a scald with half of the sugar. Once the milk has heated, whisk the yolks and sugar together and slowly add the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly. Return the liquid back to the pot and to the heat. Cook the custard to about 165-170 degrees, making sure to stir constantly with a rubber spatula. Pour the cooked ice cream base through a strainer into the slightly smaller bowl.While continuously whisking, slowly pour in the brown butter and keep whisking until everything is emulsified. Place the smaller bowl into the ice bath and stir occasionally to cool. Chill completely in the refrigerator. Add the bourbon, to taste to the ice cream base before churning. Churn the ice cream according to the specific manufacturer instructions and transfer to a clean, dry container and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.

Make your favorite cookie and sandwich scoops of ice cream between the two.

What is browned butter? It is when the milk solids found in butter have been toasted by breaking down the layers of butter through heat. The resulting flavor is lovely; nutty, sweet and full.  Here are the steps to brown butter for the recipe that follows. The whole process takes about 10 minutes.

  1. Melt 1 stick plus 2 tbsp. of butter in a stainless steel pot over medium-high heat. It’s important you do not use a non-stick pot, because you can’t see the color of the butter and you’re gonna need to scrape everything off the bottom with a metal whisk.
  2. Next, after the melting stage, the butter will begin to foam, then bubble. This is the water evaporating.
  3. The butter solids will begin to float to the top. Note: if you remove the butter from the heat right now and let the solids fall to the bottom, separate that from the rest of the liquid, and you will have, “clarified butter”.
  4. Keep the heat going and the next thing that you will notice is that the bubbles begin to get smaller and foam begins to appear.
  5. Whisk the butter a few times.
  6. Start paying really close attention to the butter.
  7. Now, the butter solids will begin to brown. It will appear foamy and you will notice a change in scent. Keep whisking every so often to make sure the solids don’t stick and burn by slightly scraping the bottom of the pot with the whisk as well. Be careful because this part happens really fast and you could have black butter in no time.
  8. It should be the color of hazelnuts. Pour it into another container like a glass measuring cup and there you will have browned butter. I like to add half a vanilla pod to the butter to give it a little bit of essence.

Each recipe and written work on OriginalCinn is the original work of Mariel Balderas, unless otherwise expressed and may not be used on any other site or blog without permission.