Navajo Fry Bread

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fry bread is wonderfully lumpy (puffed here and there). It can be served as a dessert or used as a main dish bread. Our family will often take them and stuff them, much like one might use bread or tortilla to dip into their food.

1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying

Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump.

Flour your hands. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball.

NOTE: You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.

Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter.

NOTE: Don’t worry about it being round. As Grandma Felipa would say “it doesn’t roll into your mouth.”

Heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. NOTE: You can check by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large fryer.

Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take about 3 to 4 minutes.

Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Sprinkle with sea salt, cinnamon sugar, honey, and/or powdered sugar for a treat on its own. Or, top with refried beans, cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoe for a take on a tostada salad.

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh my God. Ohmygod. This is my new favorite way to do broccoli. Ina Garten's recipe for roasted broccoli is packed with flavor, extremely easy to make, and can completely be the star of the meal.

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the
lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Edamame Crostini

Friday, May 15, 2009

This was a huge hit at Trajan's baptism, and I'm particularly proud of the recipe!

Edamame Crostini
3 cups cooked edamame beans (out of pods)
1 large garlic clove
1 tspn soy sauce
black pepper
2 tspn white truffle oil
olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more of parmesan hunk for shaving as garnish
1 loaf chiabatta bread

In a large food processor, process the edamame beans and garlic until very finely processed (should resemble very course sand, like a pesto). Add the soy sauce, a pinch of salt, pepper, and white truffle oil, and grated parmesan cheese, and process again until everything is combined. With the processor on, stream in the olive oil until the edamame puree comes together into a "paste" consistency. You don't want it too thin, so that it can hold its shape on the crostini, but you want it thicker than a traditional basil pesto. Taste for flavorings, and adjust with seasonings as appropriate.

At this point the edamame puree can be covered well and refrigerated for later assembly.

To make the crostini, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice thinly the chiabatta loaf and place the slices on one even layer of a baking dish. Drizzle some olive oil on the chiabatta and bake in oven until crispy (but not overdone) about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set to cool to room temperature. (For a party, this too can be done in advance)

To assemble:
Take a heaping teaspoon of the edamame puree and smear it at a diagonal on one end of the chiabatta slice, leaving the other side bare so it can be easily picked up. Don't worry about smoothness or making everyone perfect - you want it to look a little "crude" in the application. Then top each with a shaving of good quality parmesan cheese.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is a very flavorful, extremely easy meal to prepare that's perfect for a busy weekday. You can make it in advance (even freeze it!) and just bake it off when you're ready for dinner. Add a side of beans or salad and the meal is complete, with very little cleanup!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced (can substitute with green bell also)
3/4 cup white onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
vegetable oil
black pepper
1 tspn ground cumin
1/2 tspn ancho chili powder
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken breast*
1 can enchilada sauce
3 flour tortillas or 9 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monteray jack cheese
1 roma tomato, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
2 scallions, chopped
1 serrano chili, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced

In a pan, heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add poblano pepper and onion, and saute on medium-high heat until softened and starting to caramelize. Add the garlic and continue to cook another 30 seconds or until garlic becomes fragrant, careful not to burn the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

In the mixing bowl, add the cooked chicken, cumin, and chile powder, mixing well. Set aside.

In a glass baking dish (half the size of a normal lasagna sized glass dish), spoon in a couple of tablespoons of the enchilada sauce so the bottom is thinly covered. This will prevent the tortillas from sticking to the bottom of the baking dish. Layer a layer of tortillas, making sure to fit them (if using flour tortillas, then just one is enough; if using corn, then use two whole and cut a third in half to make the shapes all fit a perfect layer in the square shape). Spoon half of the chicken/pepper/onion mixture, and sprinkle some of the cheeses on top. Spoon some enchilada sauce on top, then cover with another layer of tortillas, and repeat. You will end with a tortilla on the top layer. Smother this top layer with enchilada sauce and give a good thick layer of cheese on top of that. Sprinkle the top layer with the chopped tomatoes and green onions (reserving some for garnish).

At this point the enchilada can be frozen for later use.

If baking immediately, place in a 375 degree preheated oven, and bake uncovered, for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and sauce is bubbling.

Remove and allow to rest for 2 minutes before cutting (otherwise the cheese will just bubble all over the place).

Garnish with more chopped scallions and serrano chiles to desired spiciness.

*you can buy a whole roasted chicken from the market and use the meat from that, or roast 1 bone-in chicken breast (with skin on) in the oven for about 30 minutes; don't worry if meat isn't completely cooked through, as it will finish cooking in the casserole