Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A different kind of pizza......continued

Last week, I was working on some sauce recipes for my book and was playing with traditional mole` ingredients.  What I was looking for was a simple sauce with great flavor.  As I looked at various mole`s, I realized that I could significantly reduce the number of ingredients, simplify the sauce and use it for something other than a condiment for roasted meats or tamales.  Now, don't get me wrong..... I adore mole`, it is a complex sauce and I don't always have the time to devote to making it.  So, I came up with the following 2 sauces and strained them to make them nice and smooth.  I know you will enjoy these recipes.

For the red sauce:
1 bag (about 16 ounces) of dried ancho chiles or other spicy red chiles that have been dried.
Remove the seed pods, seeds and the veins, place in a large pan with enough water to cover
Add 1 medium yellow onion, cut into chunks
6 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
Cover and bring to a simmer, and let cook for 45 minutes
Remove the cover and let cool for about an hour
In a blender, add the solid ingredients to about half way up the container, add 1/2 cup of the liquid, cover and blend until smooth.  You may or may not need a little more liquid

Using a wire mesh strainer over a deep bowl, pour the contents from the blender into the strainer and stir until only the solids remain in the strainer.  Discard the solids and repeat the process with the remaining peppers, onions and garlic.  Stir and taste for seasoning.  If you like a little sweetness to the red sauce, you can add either agave syrup or a touch of honey.  Taste for seasoning.

For the green sauce:
Roast, peel, seed and devein 8 poblano peppers and place them in the blender
1 medium yellow onion, cut into chunks and sauteed in 2 Tablespoons olive oil until soft
3 cloves of garlic, chopped and sauteed in 2 teaspoons olive oil until soft
1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
1 cup water

Pour in 1/2 cup of water, half of the remaining ingredients and process all the ingredients in the blender in batches.  You may or may not need a little more water.

Using a wire mesh strainer over a deep bowl, pout the contents from the blender into the strainer and stir to remove any solids.

For the Pizza:
Preheat the oven to 350' F
Using a Mediterranean or Eastern Indian naan, place 1/4 to 1/3 cup of your choice of sauce on the bread and spread it over the surface.  You may or may not need a little more sauce.
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Sliced purple onion
Shredded chicken, cooked chorizo or other choice of meat
Sliced black olives
Crumbled queso fresco

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the pizza crust is crisp and the toppings are heated through.

Drizzle on some crema Mexicana, chopped cilantro and add sliced avocado and enjoy.

From  the heart of my purple kitchen to you!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A different kind of pizza

I am working on a recipe for a very easy southwestern style pizza.  Unfortunately, it will have a case of culinary confusion.....elements from the desert southwest, the mediterranean, Mexico and possibly one other culture added, just for good measure.

The base is a ready-made flatbread, like pita or naan.   Now, I'm not talking about the commercially prepared "pita pocket", but a more traditional flat-bread that is soft  and in 1 piece that will bake beautifully and crisp very nicely for a thin style pizza.

Sauces will be available in 2 colors, red and green, made from dried guajillo chiles and one from fresh green chiles, flavored simply with garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper and maybe just a touch of agave.

Toppings may include chicken, black beans, onions, cheese, fresh chiles, fish and one or two other options that I am playing with.  As the weekend progresses, be on the lookout for something wonderful and easy.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Have a great evening!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Zatziki

Hello Everyone!!!

It's been a while since my last post......it's been a whirlwind in my neck of the woods between work, school and church activities.  I get dizzy just thinking about it.

4th of July is coming and what better way than to celebrate America's independence than having a cook-out with burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelon and apple pie?

But......this year, I am doing something a bit different.  I am serving a Greek inspired meal in recognition of one of the many groups of our immigrant forefathers and mothers, who made America what it is today.

Servings:  6
Time:  Approx. 1 hour
Difficulty:  Easy

For the Chicken
6 chicken breasts, boned, skinned and cut into 4 pieces each
Liberal sprinkle of Montreal Steak seasoning, yes folks....this is what I used.
1/3 cup olive oil

Place all the pieces of chicken in a large bowl and liberally sprinkle on the seasoning and the olive oil, stir to coat each piece of chicken
Heat a grill pan on medium heat, place pieces of chicken on the pan, about 2 inches apart.  this gives them plenty of room to cook without being crowded.  Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and firm to the touch.

Zatziki Sauce - with lots of fragrant olive oil
4 cups Greek style yogurt, strained
2 cups sour cream, strained
1/2 cup cream
1 cup, finely diced English cucumber
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup very good olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and serve with the chicken.

I will be serving this with my Greek inspired orzo pasta salad and Mediterranean flat bread.  And, for dessert.....baklava, of course.  OPA!!!!

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,