(Rotisserie) Chicken Enchiladas

The basic idea is to mix tomatoes, chilis, onion and garlic and add shredded cooked chicken. Then you layer this with tortillas, enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese and bake.

Make enchilada sauce, reserve.

Tear apart 1-2 cups cooked chicken (we buy rotisserie chickens), and sprinkle the following over the chicken shreds:
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
Saute 1 red onion (sliced) and 2 minced cloves of garlic in oil or meat fat until tender.

Add and stir:
1 C frozen corn
4 canned chipotle chilies (you can remove the seeds to lower the heat)
1-5 serrano chiles (you can remove the seeds to lower the heat)

Add 28 oz of canned stewed tomatoes, saute 1 minute

Add shredded chicken and other veggies into pan and stir to combine and heat.

Soften tortillas in the microwave. Coat the bottom of a pyrex pan with one scoop of enchilada sauce. Dip tortillas into enchilada sauce, then fill with 1/4 C of the chicken/veggie mixture. Fold the tortilla around the mixture, seam side down in the pan. Pour over remaining enchilada sauce, top with grated cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans, or green rice.


Pasta Salad

Start medium sized pot of water boiling with a 1/2 tea salt.

Chop asparagus into 1" pieces, slice tomatoes into chunks, slice scallion or green garlic into thin rounds and chop any other veggies you want to add to the pasta salad. Also chop herbs, like parsley, basil, or mint.

Once the water is boiling, blanch the asparagus pieces in boiling water for 3 minutes, then pull them out using a slotted spoon or tongs, reserve.

Get water back up to boiling and add pasta and boil until al dente. Drain and reserve.

Gently heat 3 -4 TB olive oil with 1 clove garlic (minced) until starts to bubble and you can smell the garlic aroma. Pour into small jar and add 1-2 TB rice vinegar, shake or stir to emulsify. Add 1 tea chopped parsley.

Toss cooked drained pasta with blanched asparagus, veggies, dressing, parsley or other herbs, and 1/4 C grated cheese (feta, myzythera etc). Sprinkle with black pepper and serve lukewarm or chilled.


Satsumaimo Cake (w/ sweetened condensed milk)

Basically anything ending in "imo" in Japanese means potato, and satsuma-imo are sweet potatoes. You will find roasted sweet potato carts all over Tokyo during certain times of the year or at festivals (Spring and probably Fall particularly). The cart-mongers have a clay oven in the back on wheels and roll around town with the smell of sweet potatoes baking wafting from their cart (this is much more effective than the ice cream man's tune).

Back state-side, you can approximate this by roasting sweet potatoes in the oven under the broiler. I figured I'd give it a try and put the roasted potato into a sort of cake, and was inspired by this recipe. I'm still working out the specifics... so no promises!

Roast 1 sweet potato in the oven either at 400 F for 40minutes to 1 hour, or under the broiler until the top gets browned and a fork moves easily into the flesh of the sweet potato.

Combine in a bowl and mash with a fork:
200 g mashed, roasted sweet potato (this is about one small sweet potato)
50 g (or about 1/4 C) mochi flour 2.5 TB softened butter

Now mix in:
2 eggs (beaten)
3/4 C sweetened condensed milk 1/3 C rice milk (could sub in coconut milk, cream or buttermilk)
1 tea vanilla

Pour into a small cake/tart pan (about 5" x 18" x 1" deep).

Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes or until cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Couple ideas I might try next time:
  • reduce the amount of sweetened condensed milk, and sub in more rice milk and some molasses
  • add nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves
  • add turmeric for color


So I almost never buy dairy products like milk. We use rice milk on cereal and in coffee/tea and I seem to get by just fine. Sometimes I will buy cream or half and half for some Indian recipes or for desserts, but thtat's pretty much it. This week I bought a carton of buttermilk just for the fun of it, and now I'm trying to use it up!

I made whole wheat buttermilk shortcakes/biscuits and served them with strawberries and rhubarb compote yesterday.

On my next try list for buttermilk recipes:

Red Velvet cake (for some reason I am obsessed with Whole Foods' version... and now I think that my favorite type of cake is either Red Velvet, or Lemon Poppyseed) here's an alternate recipe I might try

Browned Butter Pumpkin bundt cake (if only I had a bundt pan!)
101 Cookbook's Lucia muffins (Swedish muffins with raisins, almonds & saffron)
Frozen yogurt

Whoopie Pies -- maybe I'll even try these!


I never knew I liked rhubarb, but after a first try of simmered sweetened rhubarb last year with Lori, I was hooked!

The basic way to prepare rhubarb is to wash it, and remove any leaf parts. Then cut it down the center, and slice into small pieces. Simmer with about 1 TB water for each stalk, and then add something sweet (1 TB sugar, honey, or agave for each stalk). The simmering part should be over low heat, and will take probably 10-15 minutes (I have a gas stove, electric may be slower).

This creates a sort of compote that you can refrigerate and spread on toast or shortcakes, or incorporate into other desserts. At this point you could add vanilla extract, liquers or whatever else meets your fancy.

There are tons of ways to use rhubarb-- I've even seen rhubarb beverage recipes! Rhubarb Recipes on my "to-try" list:

Lori's Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
Stewed Strawberries & Rhubarb over arborio/coconut pudding


Strawberry Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Shortcakes

Yay for strawberry season! Although the Hood strawberries here in Oregon aren't quite ready yet, there are other varieties at the farmer's markets that are almost as delicious, and perfect for strawberry short cake. My recipe below is really just a whole grain version of this recipe, with stuff on top! I think you could really sub in any kind of neutral whole grain flour here, just keep the total volume at 2 C of flour, and leave 1 C of regular all purpose flour to keep the gluten content right.

Stir or sift together:
1/4 C oat bran or wheat bran
1/4 C almond flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 C all purpose flour
3 tea sugar
2 tea baking powder
1/2 tea salt

Now cut 10 TB cold butter (1 stick + 2 TB) into small pieces, then work into the dough with your hands until it is consistently crumbly throughout.

Pour in 2/3 C + 1 TB cold buttermilk, stir to combine.

Bake for 20 minutes in a 375 F oven

Slice biscuits/shortcakes in half like a hamburger bun, then spread jam (strawberry balsamic or rhubarb compote). Put biscuit back together and top with halved/quartered strawberries and whipped cream.


Salmon Saute with Mushrooms & Cream Sauce

I had a similar dish at Jake's restaurant, and thought it was so good I wanted to recreate it at home. Their version had raspberries though.

Cut 2 small fillets of salmon (total about 1 lb) into large bite size chunks (about 1" x 2" x 2") and toss with 1 TB soy sauce & 1 TB mirin. Let sit with the marinade for 5 minutes as you prepare the rest of the meal.

Toast 1/2 C hazelnuts in a dry pan. Turn nuts out and clean pan. Chop hazelnuts roughly.

Add oil to hot pan, swirl. Add 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped and stir. When browning, then add 2-3 cloves garlic (minced). Add 1-2 C sliced mushrooms. Let brown in pan (5 minutes).

Push veggies to one side of the pan. Add 1 TB oil and 1 TB all purpose flour and stir for 1-2 minutes over medium high, until well mixed and browned a little.

Deglaze pan by pouring in 1/4- 1/3 C white wine (I buy a $3 bottle of Sauvingon Blanc). Let simmer until most of the wine evaporates.

Pour in 2/3 C whipping cream and stir. Add salmon chunks and liquid into pan, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let cook 3 minutes, then turn salmon chunks over to other side, mounding mushroom mixture over the salmon. Re-cover pan and swap utensils (or clean your utensil since it touched raw salmon). Let cook another 2-3 minutes, be careful not to overcook! You will know it is done when the middle of the thickest chunk of salmon is slightly clear-red in the middle (it will continue cooking even off heat). immediately remove from heat.

Stir in seasonings:
black pepper
1/2 tea salt or to taste
1/2 tea brown sugar to taste

Serve sprinkled with chopped toasted hazelnuts, with sides of rice and salad.


Double Chocolate Cookies

This is taken off a previous recipe, but without the coffee and a couple other tweaks. The chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder, instead of melted chocolate like this Ghirardelli recipe that I want to try someday.

Sift together:
1 C all purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 C (or 2.25 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tea baking soda
1/2 tea baking powder

Separately, cream:
1 C softened butter
3/4 C plus 2 TB brown sugar (7.25 oz)
1/2 C plus 1 TB white sugar (4 oz)

Add & stir to combine:
1 egg
1 tea vanilla
1/2 tea salt

Add sifted flour/cocoa to the creamed butter/sugar in two additions and stir until combined.

Add 1 C mini chocolate chips and mix into dough.

Cover and freeze for 30 minutes. If you skip this step, the cookies spread out too much on the pan and get very thin (which is still tasty, just not as pretty).

Bake small sized cookies in 350 F oven for 5-8 minutes. Don't overbake!


Cold Brewed Coffee Concentrate

I have been craving good coffee for a while now, and since I don't work close to any coffee shops I end up going without. A friend mentioned this recipe for cold-brewing a coffee concentrate, so I thought I'd give it a try! The corresponding article on cold brewing coffee for iced drinks is also interesting. This way I won't need to mess with anything in the morning, just pour some concentrate out of the fridge and mix it with milk or rice milk.

Combine in a pitcher and stir:
1/2 lb coarse ground coffee (I like Stumptown's "Hair Bender" blend)
4.5 C filtered water

Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temp for 12 hours. Then filter the coffee and keep in the fridge. I found it tasted best when I filtered with a mesh strainer-- using a paper filter seems to get rid of too much and make the coffee taste like drip coffee (eww).

To use:
Mix the coffee concentrate 1 part coffee to 2 parts water/milk and 1 part ice; or 1 part cofee and 3 parts hot water/milk.

Update 5/7/2010: this stuff is really delicious. I can scoop out 1 TB of coffee concentrate and add 3 TB of rice milk and I'm all set. I also tried it with hot water and some cream and it was really good that way too. You'd better measure this stuff though since it is VERY strong and I was using way too much coffee just pouring by eye.

I really like this recipe/method because:
  • it didn't take any special equipment (I don't have a cofffee maker or espresso maker or any of that)
  • do-ahead and freezes well- next time I would freeze into individual portions using an ice tray. This will be great to have on hand when coffee-loving relatives or guests come over
  • tastes as good as the real thing from the coffee shop- just make sure to use distilled water and good/fresh beans- but way cheaper