Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mexican Cooking/Demonstration Class

It sure smells wonderful in the store! Last night was the end of our cooking class series with Lana and we had a fun time! The food tasted wonderful (for you folks who left early you missed an eating treat with Pan De Elote). Instead of asking for kitchens tips last night, Lana asked for kitchen disasters and through the night people shared their mistakes to plenty of laughter. Mine included corn bread and self-rising flour (who knew there was flour that contained ingredients) and french toast and cumin (well the spice started with a "c"). Calla was given credit for the french toast incident. Several of you asked Lana for more classes and we are going to start working on that probably for the summer; she will definitely teach an Italian class again for those who missed the first one. The other three we are not sure of. Asian cooking seemed to be the class most asked for. One take away from last nights class was to ground your cumin in a mortar and pestle before measuring. You could smell the spice, what a difference that makes. A big thank you to all of who participated in the classes and supported Ingredients.

Taco Seasoning

2 tsp minced dried onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix together and store in sealed, dry container. This is equivalent to one envelope of store bought seasoning.

Tortilla Chips

Use day old store bought flour tortillas. Cut into strips, triangles or whatever shape you need.
Fry in hot oil for 60 seconds (put in small batches at a time so temperature of oil doesn't drop). Remove and put on paper towels and sprinkle with salt if desired.

Enchilada Pie

1 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 TBL olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
2 tsp ground cumin
1 can (14 oz) cut tomatoes with garlic and onion
1/2 c enchilada sauce (from jar or can)
1 can chopped and drained green chilies
1 c frozen corn kernels
3/4 c pitted black olives, sliced
4 8 inch flour or corn tortillas
1 8 oz bag of Mexican blend cheese

Accompaniments can be sour cream, shredded lettuce, sliced olives, etc.

Use a round casserole dish (preferably glass).

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and saute' 3 to 4 minutes. Add meat, breaking up and cooking until meat in no longer pink. Sprinkle with cumin, add tomatoes, enchilada sauce and chopped green chilies. Stir until bubbling, then continue simmering for at least 10 minutes to develop flavors. Remove from heat and add corn and olives.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.


Line bottom of baking dish with 2 tortillas. Top with half of the filling, and about 1/3 of the cheese. Top with another tortilla, the remaining filling, half of the remaining cheese, and then the last tortilla.

Cover with lid or foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese melts and filling looks bubbly. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Can be assemble up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. If chilled, increase baking time by as much as 10 additional minutes.

Homemade Salsa

4 cups plum tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 grn pepper, finely chopped
1 c tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 TBL coriander
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1 1/2 TBL red wine vinegar

Mix and chill thoroughly.

Pan De Elote

16 oz can creamed corn
1 c bisquick
1 egg, beaten
2 TBL melted margarine
2 TBL sugar
1/2 c milk
4 oz can chopped green chilies, drained
8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease 9 x 9 square or round cake pan, combine corn, bisquick, egg, margarine, sugar and milk. Mix well, spoon 1/2 mixture into greased pan, cover with chopped green chilies, cover with 1/2 of the cheese, spoon remain batter on top and add remaining cheese.

Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Mexican Brides

1 c butter or margarine room temperature
1 egg, separated
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 c finely ground pecans

Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolk and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add cream mixture and mix well. Chill 1 hour.
Beat egg white until foamy. Make balls out of dough, dip in egg white, then pecans. Press 1/2 of a maraschino cherry on top, if desired. Bake at 325 dgrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Candied Orange Peel

5 large oranges (with thick rind)
3 cups sugar
1/4 c light corn syrup

Day before serving:

Cut oranges in half lengthwise. Squeeze out as much of the juice as possible. Cut in half again.

In heavy saucepan, bring peel and 2 quarts of water to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, covered 30 minutes, or until peel is tender. Drain, cool slightly, and carefully scrape excess pulp from peel.

In same saucepan, combine 1 c of water, 2 cups of sugar and the corn syrup. Cook over medium heat stirring often and until sugar is dissolved and syrup is boiling. Continue cooking without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 235 degrees or until a little syrup in cold water forms soft ball. Add peel. Simmer gently, stirring frequently, 30 to 40 minutes or until peel is translucent. Lift peels from bottom of pan several times during cooking. Turn peel and syrup into bowl. Let stand in cool, dry place, covered overnight.

Next day:

Remove peel from syrup to a wire rack. Let drain a minimum of 3 hours. With scissors, cut into 1/4 inch strips. Roll in remaining sugar, coating well. Partially dry and roll in sugar again. Store peel in tightly covered container.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Italian Cooking Class/Demonstration

I was unable to stay for the class last night; but heard rave reviews. Mitchell and Calla Rae said everything was delicious and everyone had a fun time. We finally had the gas stove top working which made things run smoother (no blown fuses last night). The take away from the class is that you do not have to cook lasagna noodles before making the lasagna. Lana's tip: put a little sauce in the bottom of the pan, layer your lasagna as you would, let sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow the noodles to soak up the liquid and bake as usual. No one will be able to tell the difference. I have been doing this for years and it sure makes lasagna easier to work with! Below are the recipes.

Italian Stuffed Bread


1 loaf frozen bread dough
1 egg yolk (save the white)
2 TBLS parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
8 ounces italian sausage
5 ounces frozen, chopped spinach
4 ounces finely shredded italian blended cheese

Thaw dough and spinach to room temperature.

Remove sausage from casing and cook until crumbly. Drain and discard excess fat. Let sausage cool. Combine sausage, spinach (with water squeezed out) and blended cheese.

Roll dough into 14 x 16 inch rectangle. Combine egg yolk and parmesan and seasoning and spread mixture on dough. Top with sausage mixture leaving 1 inch border. Gently roll dough lengthwise into a pinwheel loaf. Place on large cookie sheet with seam side down. Brush with some egg white. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 35 minutes. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to let bread firm up before serving.

Marinated Mushrooms

2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1/2 minced clove of garlic
1 TBLS fresh lemon juice
2 tsps chopped chives
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
coarsely ground black pepper
2 lbs fresh mushrooms

Clean, stem and trim mushrooms, set aside.

In a jar with a lid, put all ingredients but mushrooms and shake well. Pour marinade over mushrooms and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Drain and serve with toothpicks.

Fried Italian Ricotta Balls

2 1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix these 2 ingredients together

Crisco or vegetable shortening, heat for frying.

Mix first 5 ingredients together thoroughly.

Drop 1 TBLS of dough into oil. Watch because balls go from golden brown to burned in seconds. Roll hot balls into cinnamon and sugar blend.

Serve warm.

Tomato and mozzarella bruschetta

3 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 TBLS capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 lb fresh mozzarella, finely chopped
2 TBLS balsamic vinegar
4 TBLS olive oil
salt and pepper to tast
Italian bread, sliced and lightly toasted

Preheat broiler. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, onions, basil, and mozzarella. Stir in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Top toasted bread with mixture and place on a baking sheet. Broil until cheese melts.

Serve hot.

There you have it, our Italian recipes. All of them seem fairly easy to prepare. "Ingredients" has the italian seasoning, several types of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And most of the tools are available.

If you are not already, I am inviting to become a fan of "ingredients" on facebook. The meeting I attended last night talked about using facebook as an advertising tool and I am going to give it a try.

Again, thank you to all who attended last night and a big thank you to Lana.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Polish Cooking Class/Demonstration

I walked into "ingredients" this morning and the aroma from our cooking class last night is lingering in the air and that is a good thing. Who knew Polish food was so good. It is not a spicy food; but it is a comfort food with dough and meat and potatoes. And not to forget the sour cream gravy and Kolacky! I want to thank everyone who participated and for those who couldn't below are the recipes. My take away from last night is that you can fill Pierogi with whatever you want to, just don't make them to big 'cause then they become pasties. For those of you from Northern Wisconsin and Northern Michigan who know what a pasty is and for those of you who aren't, pasties are pocket pies filled with meat, potato, onion and maybe a vegetable. The dough is made with lard. Pasties were lunch for the coal miners and carried in their pockets and were eaten like a sandwich. Now they are eaten with gravy, butter or ketchup at a table.

Meatballs in sour cream


1 lb ground beef
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp A-1 steak sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 seasoning salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients and form 18 meatballs.


1 can crushed tomatoes (reserve 1/2 cup liquid)
1 1/2 cans of water
2 TBL flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoky paprika
1 cup sour cream (room temperature)

Whisk flour into cold tomato liquid. Heat on stove top. Add tomatoes and cook until bubbly.
Add meatballs with slotted spoon or birds nest.
Turn off heat and add sour cream.
Put meatballs back in sauce and serve over noodles or rice.


1 lb ground beef (at least 75/25 or better)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBL chopped onion
1 cup cooked rice
1 egg
Large cabbage leaves
1 can tomato soup
1 cup water

Cover cabbage leaves with boiling water; let stand for 5 minutes.
Season ground beef with all ingredients (except soup and water).
Drain water from cabbage.

Place a portion of filling in stem side of cabbage and roll up folding together like an envelope.

Fasten with toothpicks.

Option 1: place rolls in roasting pan, add water to soup and pour over rolls. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Option 2: place rolls in slow cooker, add water to soup and pour over rolls. Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.


3 potatoes, mashed and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup flour

Add eggs to potatoes. Mix in flour, form into small bullets. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes.


1 pint of vanilla ice cream, softened (do not let ice cream become runny) (use natural ice cream not artificial or frozen yogurt)
1 lb butter (not margarine)
5 cups flour

Blend ice cream and butter together. Add flour one cup at a time. When completely folded together, gently roll onto floured surface. Cut into desired shape, fill with preserves of your choice (last night we used raspberry and apricot and even mixed the two) and bake 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees.


3 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBL baking powder

Beat together eggs and sour cream until smooth. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and add to sour cream mixture until dough comes together. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until firm and smooth, divide dough in half; roll to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into desired shape.


Potato: prepare 2 cups of mashed potatoes. Let them cool thoroughly. Melt 3 TBL butter in skillet; over medium heat stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, cook until translucent. Stir in mashed potatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. Lana prefers white pepper. You can also add shredded cheese if desired.

Sauerkraut: melt 2 TBL butter in skillet. Add 1/3 cup chopped onions, cook until translucent. Stir in 1 1/2 cups drained sauerkraut. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lana uses Bavarian kraut.

Cut shapes using biscuit cutter or pierogi press.

Place 1 tsp filling on dough. Moisten edges with water and fold over and press together sealing edges.

Add pierogi to boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes or until they float to the top. Remove with slotted spoon or birds nest tool.

Well there you go and I can tell you everything was delicious!! Monica