Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Secret Ingredient of the Best Meals... your own loving energy. !

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What is on my comal lately...

Funny cannot see my nice big is black and so is my stove!

This product(raw, uncooked tortillas) is found in some markets and you can go to to find out more. I paid $2.98 for 12. The ingredients
are simply water, oil, flour, salt. Whereas, if I look on the labels of the regular white semi-cooked tortillas (Mission brand, etc.) I see a lot more presevatives and sometimes transfats. If a labal says partially hydrogentated vegetable oil or shortening, that is a transfat and it is not good for you.

These tortillas are so so yummy! You cook them on a comal -pronounced koh MAL -(a rounded grill)you place over medium to low heat on your stove. Then when tortilla bubbles, you flip it and continue cooking on the other side. I made some burritoes here for my lunch (I had made John 4 of these for his lunch earlier to take to school)...filled with chicken, mashed pinto beans, brown rice, Tapatio and black pepper.John does not eat cheese.
You can finish heating up the burritoes on the coma/ after you fill them.
MMMmm.... g o o d....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beans and Rice

I am experimenting lately with cooking up dry beans and with using brown rice.
I bought some pinto beans from the bins at Winco...see picture. About 2 cups for less than 50 cents...which cooked up to be 5 cups. So that is less than 10 cents a cup! I only seasoned it with black pepper this time..and it was fabulous. It did give me gas because I did not have any Beano with it.
Next time I will sprout the beans and then cook them. This should remove those enzymes that cause the gas.

Plain Pinto Beans From Scratch

2 cups dry pinto beans

6 cups water

Sort the beans and take out any little stones, or any broken beans. Rinse well in strainer. Add beans and water to your cooking pot. Bring to boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer and cook 2 hours. I did not pre-soak these overnight.
After 2 hours, they were soft as can be..and very yummy.

I did not add any salt, but lots of fresh ground black pepper to my first hot bowl of beans. The rest of the benas I saved for upcoming burritoes. Refrigerate leftovers.
Use up within 3-4 days.

The rice was a Christmas gift from sister-in-law Shhelah: Trader Joe's Brown Basmati Rice.

Plain Brown Basmati Rice from Scratch

1 cup rice

2 cups water.

Combine in cooking pot. Bring to boil. Lower heat to as low as you can go. Cover pot with lid. Cook 40 minutes. Do not stir...if you do, you will destroy the pockets of steam that develop and your rice will never cook well or get soft. Yield 3 cups.
Then you can use this in your fried rice recipes, in your soups in your burritos, etc. Use up in 3-4 days.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bluberry Season Come and Gone

I know about blueberries. Blueberry season is July...well, at least it is July in the United States. In Chile, it is January (exactly 1/2 year from July). This is the first year that we have had tons of blueberries available in our stores
in January! Well, at least at the WinCo...where I shop)for really cheap prices. I have not done the research, but I surmise that...

#1. In Chile, they have planted tons more blueberry bushes!
#2. In Chile this year,they had an EXCELLENT crop of blueberries. I guess conditions were perfect.

For about 2 weeks in mid January, the largest display of produce was the blueberry display! Stacks and stack of these Driscoll boxes. First they came out at $2.48 per 18 oz. box. (Blueberries can always be had from Costco, but you have to pay 8 or 9 bucks for 24 oz. The second week at WinCo, the display was was a small mountain of blueberry boxes...and the price was lowered to $1.99 per 18 oz. box. I was in blueberry heaven. We ate blueberries like popcorn in this household! We love blueberries in our tossed salad. I rinsed and froze about 6 pounds of them in nice heavy freezer bags. We use them in our blender shakes. Sometimes I am tempted to make a pie with them. We shall see. February is more blueberries at Winco. Oh, there are about a half dozen boxes in the the salad dressings. $3.99 for an 8 oz. box Season is over in Chile.
Let's hope the USA (and Canada) have as good a harvest!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Roasted Chicken How-To and Broth (for Megan)

Daughter Megan was trying to make some chicken soup.
If you are making chicken soup from scratch, it is a 3 step process:

1. Cook the chicken (rinse in water and fill cavity with onion, carrot, green pepper or celery) in the oven (425 degrees for 20 minutes, then 350 degrees for 1 and a half hours)until golden dark brown. I like to just use my iron skillet. Take out of oven and let cool a bit and drain the drippings into a bowl. This is the premium broth.dark brown..the most savory broth you will ever taste!You'll only have about 3/4 cup or less of it. You will have to refrigerate it so the fat that rises to the top will solidify and you can skim off this fat and discard (I put it in a plastic bag, then in the trash. You can save it and fry food in it, but I never do.
You, the cook, then get to have fun and tip the bowl over and see the brown "jello". Put this in a pot and warm it up (it'll turn to liquid) and then drink it slowly, savoring every sip.

2. Take meat off the bones (I got 5 cups of meat from this 4 1/2 pound chicken)and make broth out of the skin and bones and whatever meat fragments are left on the skin, and a carrot, onion, some garlic and a stalk of celery cut up, or half a green pepper. Parsley is good, too. I make my broth in the crockpot on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. I put all those ingredients I just mention inot the crock pot with about 2 1/2 quarts of water and some black pepper.
Then drain into big colander that is set into a big pot. This is some good broth.
You can refrigerate it and skim the fat off (I like to leave some it flavor.)

3. Use this broth up within 2 or 3 days. Cook noodles separately. Cook chopped carrots, a bit of choped onion and celery in some of the broth, and add a chicken boullion cube. Then put this in a bigger pot and add that other broth and about 3 cups of the chicken meat. Simmer. Add some chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley
if you have it.