Sunday, March 30, 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes

People who know me or follow my blog know that I have a big interest in the food from the Southern part of the US. I love to travel around there and I love the food!
I've spend there quite a lot of time but never ran into Red Velvet cake which is a Southern classic. The first time I heard of it was from our friend in Chicago, she made it and told me about it, I was intrigued, cake colored red with food die... and it has cocoa, very weird.
I wanted to bake it but as it is with some recipes it just didn't happen.

Over the last few months I ran into various blog postings were people made Red Velvet cake or cupcakes. I bookmarked some recipes, Joy the Baker has a nice one, Paula Deen also has one but I used a recipe I found on Elise's blog Simply Recipes. I choose this one because it looks very authentic, it has vinegar which makes the red even redder and it has butter which I like better than the vegetable oil Paula Deen's recipe calls for.

So yesterday I made and tasted my first Red Velvet cake in the form of cupcakes topped with a cream cheese frosting. My first reaction was, why did I never ate or made this before? It was moist sweet with a hint of chocolate in the cake, the frosting was sweet and complements the cake nicely, I LOVE it :-)
My red could have been brighter I think, but there were a couple of shades of red food coloring that I could choose from at the wholesale and it's hard to pick if you have to judge it by the bottle.

I halved the original recipe, the recipe below makes one dozen cupcakes.

Ingredients:
3/4 cups of sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/6 cups of cake flour (I used 1 cup flour and 1/6 cup cornstarch)
1 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of buttermilk*
3/4 tablespoons of red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar

For the Frosting
1/4 cup of butter (1/2 stick), room temperature
4 oz of Philly cream cheese (1/2 package), room temperature
1 - 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

*You can make your own buttermilk by adding half a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for about 10 minutes.

Preparation:
The cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.

Add a fourth of the dry ingredients and mix, then add a third of the wet. Continue adding in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.

Scoop into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking.

Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Frosting
Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Add the vanilla extract and mix.
Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cedar Plank Salmon

Today, for the first time in a week or two, the weather was nice enough to light my weber kettle grill. There was a little wind, but that has never stopped me from grilling something. Every once in a while we eat fish, not as often as we should, but we do our best.

During summer my supermarket sells cedar planks to use on the barbecue and I always stock up on them. Barbecue is not as hot here in Europe as it is in the US so when ever I see something like that, I get a lot of them because you never know when it's sold out and if they will restock them.

The cedar plank gives a nice flavor to the fish, protects it from the heat and you'll have no fish sticking to the grate.

My recipe for cedar plank salmon is Mediterranean inspired but a cajun style would work fine too.

Ingredients:
salmon fillet (enough for 4 people)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme

1 food grade cedar plank

Preparation:
Soak the cedar plank for at least 2 hours.
Mix the olive oil, lemon or lime juice. oregano and thyme and put together with the salmon in a ziplock freezer bag.
Let the fillets marinade no longer than 30 minutes, otherwise the acid from the citrus will cook your salmon too much.
In the mean time light your barbecue. You might need to do this before you marinade the salmon depending on the kind of barbecue you have.
Put your salmon on the plank and drizzle the marinade over it, put the plank over the burning coals. Put the lid on your barbecue. You'll hear a lot of sizzling and see a lot of smoke, don't worry this is all part of the process.
Depending on the thickness of your salmon it takes about 16-18 minutes before they are done.

I serve the salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and a salad with tomatoes, walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Banana Muffins

Yesterday when I was making tiramisu, my brother walked in with a bunch of banana's that were a little too ripe for regular consumption. He brings them so I can make the roasted banana ice cream that he loves and with that I can make a mean banana milkshake that he loves even better! But since I was already working on a dessert I decided to make Banana Muffins, so I jumped on the net and ran into this recipe, later I realized that I made 2 recipes on the same day from Michelle's Sugar & Spice blog! I'm not a shareholder, it's all a coincidence :-)

I ended up with 20 muffins, I have only one muffin tin (hey, muffins aren't that big on this side of the pond) so I had to gamble on how much to put in each liner.
The smell while they are in the oven is fantastic, and they turned out nice and moist, great banana flavor! Next time I'll add some walnut or pecans to a few for a nice banana-nut muffin.

Banana Muffins
Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed

Directions:
Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack and cool slightly. The muffins may be eaten warm or cooled completely.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tiramisu

I made chocolate mousse last week and flan for Tuesdays with Dorie, so why not go on with making famous desserts? I had this one in my "recipes I want to make" folder for a few weeks, tiramisu is a dessert we all love here, but I've never made before myself.

I found this recipe on Michelle's Sugar and Spice blog and was intrigued right away, did it mention Kahlua??? Yes, it did! We love Kahlua a lot here! On our last trip to Mexico we brought back Kahlua Especial, which is a little less sweet and has a little higher alcohol percentage. Beautiful to use in a great dessert like this.

It was very simple to put this recipe together, it's not so simple to stop eating from the mascarpone mixture while constructing it :-) Not that it would matter since it can feed an army!! Next time I really have to scale it down to maybe one third, that would still be very ok for 5 or 6 people.

Everybody raved about it! The smallest of the trusty tasters wanted seconds, no idea how she could finish that! It's nice and rich and way more tasty than the store bought stuff, hardly surprising. The Kahlua isn't overpowering, you just get a hint of it.


Tiramisu
Adapted from: Cook’s Illustrated November & December 2007 issue

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
1 1/2 Tablespoons instant espresso granules
4 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 pounds mascarpone
3/4 cup cold heavy cream
14 ounces (42 to 60, depending on size) dried ladyfingers (savoiardi)
3 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed

Preparations:
Stir coffee, espresso, and 2 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua in a wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add remaining 2 tablespoons Kahlua and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.

In now-empty mixer bowl (no need to clean bowl), beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.

Working one at a time, drop half of ladyfingers into coffee mixture, roll, remove and transfer to 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Do not submerge ladyfingers in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.) Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into dish.


Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface.


Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.


Repeat dipping and arrangement of ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dust with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

TWD: Caramel Topped Flan

I was very pleased with Steph's (of A Whisk and a Spoon) choice for this weeks Tuesdays With Dorie.

I love flan and made it before. This one went pretty smooth too. I only used the wrong knife to cut the flan loose from the mold which resulted in "debris" on top of my flan.

The looks didn't interfere with the taste! Which was fabulous, just like the ones I ate in Spain and Mexico.

I got mixed reviews from my trusty tasters, but that wasn't the flan's fault. One thought it was eggy, but it was the first time he ate it and trust me, it tasted like it should. Others didn't care to much for it, but they had the same reaction with my other flans :-)

Ingredients:
For the Caramel
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
squirt of fresh lemon juice

For the Flan
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preparation:
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a roasting pan or a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels. Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.

Put a metal 8-x-2-inch round cake pan-not a nonstick one-in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.

To Make the Caramel: Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5 minutes-remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.

Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.


To Make the Flan: Bring the cream and milk just to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar. Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk. Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.

Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan. Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don't worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.) Bake the flan for about 35 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there. A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan-the flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.


Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


Next week's recipe is Gooey Chocolate Cakes (pages 261-261) selected by Mary of Starting From Scratch.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Buttermilk Biscuits


Second Easter day, yes, here in Holland we celebrate this holiday for two days, so I decided to do an American style breakfast for the family. I love the breakfasts they serve in the South so I made sausage patties, bacon, scrambled eggs and biscuits. I also tried to make gravy, to go with the biscuits, but failed completely on that one :-).

Since most of the things I made from Dorie Greenspan's, Baking, from my house to yours turned out very well I used her Basic Biscuit recipe, in the book she gives little pointers on variations, for this one it's Buttermilk Biscuits which you get by replacing the milk by buttermilk and the addition of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

I used my food processor for this recipe, since I didn't want to overwork the dough and a food processor does a great job here.

The biscuits turned out fabulous, high and flaky, just like the ones we got in those little mom 'n' pop places in the South!

Basic Biscuits

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cps all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
3/4 cup whole milk

Preparation:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes, and pieces the size of everything in between, and that’s just right.

Pour the milk over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and toss and gently turn the ingredients until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading-3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even-a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting-just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)


Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Advocaat Parfait


Parfaits are a kind of mousse ice cream that don't need churning, so you can make it without an ice cream maker.
This one is made with advocaat, a liqueur made with eggs, sugar and brandy. Advocaat here in Holland is very thick compared to the version sold in a lot of other countries, some brands you can get hardly out of the bottle.
Advocaat has a kind of old fashioned image here, as it's drank, or rather eaten with a spoon, by old ladies, served in a wine glass, topped with whipped cream.

My taste team liked the parfait a lot, it's light, not to heavy on the alcohol and very smooth, great dessert for the first day of Easter!

Ingredients:
250 ml whipping cream
50 grams caster sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 egg yolk
100 ml advocaat

Preparation:
Beat the whipping cream with the vanilla sugar to stiff peaks
In an other bowl beat the egg yolk, caster sugar and advocaat until frothy.
Fold the whipping cream through the advocaat mixture, don't overwork it, you want to leave it as light as possible.
Put the mixture in a 10x10 cm freezer box and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Serve:
Submerge the bottom of the freezer box in hot water for a few seconds so the parfait will release easily. Turn the box over on a cutting board and lift it of the parfait, cut the parfait into 6 slices and put on serving plates.

You could decorate the parfait with chocolate shavings.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ipod Touch Give-Away

Jerry from Cooking, by the Seat of my Pants is giving away an Ipod Touch! You don't have to do much to enter in the draw! Just mention this action on your blog and let him know you did it!

You can read all about this action on his blog ofcourse, or better don't, so I have a better chance of winning the most beautiful MP3/video player on earth :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hot Chocolate, The Oaxacan Way


The newspaper said that it will be the coldest Easter in 40 years and when I looked out of my window this afternoon, I saw snow!
So no spring dish this time, but hot chocolate and not your regular one! Oh no, one made from scratch!

Last year on our trip through Mexico I picked up a bag of cocoa beans in Oaxaca, so I could show my niece what chocolate is made of. But what do you with it after that? So they ended up in the back of the pantry. Then last week I ran across a post on the Last Crumb blog where Rose made a chocolate bar from cocoa beans.


I knew right away what to do with my cocoa beans! Make hot chocolate with them just like I had at the 20 de Noviembre market in Oaxaca. At that market you can buy bars of chocolate that are used to make the famous Mexican hot chocolate, but there are also places where you can have them grind up your own favorite blend of cocoa, canela (real cinnamon), sugar etc.
A lot of the vendors inside the market sell their own blend, and it doesn't come as a bar but more like a coarse paste. You can also sit down and have them brew up a nice mug for you, with water or milk!

So today I took my bag of beans out of the pantry together with some real Mexican cinnamon and sugar and made this fabulous chocolate that took me right back to the market in Oaxaca!

Ingredients:
200 grams cocoa beans
20 grams canela (Mexican cinnamon)
40 grams sugar

milk (to make chocolate con leche)

Preparation:
The paste:
Heat up a cast iron skillet and toast the cinnamon sticks until fragrant, let them cool down and grind to a fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder.
In the same skillet toast the cocoa beans, when they turn brown and start to crack they are done, let them cool down and take the shells of.


I weighed the beans and had 170 grams left, I decided to add 40 grams of sugar (around 20%).
Combine the beans, sugar and a tablespoon of canela in a foodprocessor and blend until you get a shiny paste, this takes quite a while and takes a lot of scraping down the sides and bottom.


Chocolate con Leche:
Take enough milk to fill your mug, put that in a pan, add 1 1/2 tablespoon of the chocolate paste and bring the milk to a boil while constantly whisking. I strained my chocolate milk through a sieve to catch any bigger pieces of cocoa bean that might be left in the paste.

In Mexico they don't use a whisk but molinillo to froth up the hot chocolate.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chili Con Carne


I've been making this chili for a few years now, it started out as Jamie Oliver's chili con carne recipe from the Naked Chef series but I've changed some ingredients so it's more to our liking. I also added Dutch processed cocoa powder, which might seem odd but it adds a nice deep flavor to the dish! I prepare this dish in a large Le Creuset Dutch oven.

Ingredients:
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
2 heaped teaspoons chili powder
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (455 grams) lean minced beef
7 ounces (200 grams) sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
2 (14 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes (400 grams)
1 stick cinnamon
2 teaspoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
2 (14 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained (400 grams)


Serve with:
corn chips
grated cheese
sour cream

Preparation:
Chop up the onions and garlic in the food processor and fry in some olive oil until softened. Add the chili powder and cumin and a little seasoning.

Add the meat to the pan, cooking it until slightly browned.
Place the sun-dried tomatoes
with the oil and chipotles in the processor and blend to form a paste. Add this to the beef with the tomatoes and cinnamon stick. Season a little more, if needed.

Bring to the boil, cover with greaseproof paper and a lid, then turn the heat down to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Add the red kidney beans and remove the cinnamon stick 30 minutes before the end of cooking time.

Serve the chili with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top and serve corn chips at the side.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

TWD: Brioche Raisin Snails


This weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie, the group has grown to over 80 bakers, was picked by Peabody of Culinairy Concoctions by Peabody, thanks!!

Brioche is something I always wanted to try and this recipe had some nice additions, like flambeing and making pastry cream.
The first day I made the dough and I can tell you without a stand mixer that is quite a task! I have a lot of respect for all my fellow bakers who did this one without a Kitchen Aid! So with a lot of elbow grease and some work done by my hand mixer the dough came together nicely.

After that I tackled the raisins, well the flambeing wasn't the hard part, no that was which dark rum to use from our liquor cabinet, Captain Morgan Spiced Dark Rum, Bacardi Spice or Bacardi 8 after a long thought I decided on the Captain Morgan.
The flambeing went smooth and the alcohol in the rum burned of in beautiful red flames.

The pastry cream came together very easy too and I had to restrain myself from eating too much of it!

Next day I rolled out the half the dough, spread half the pastry cream on top and started adding the raisins, I thought that the cup of raisins would be too much so I only did about half. Big mistake!! After tasting them I realised they are so good in this and the cup is perfect!

The verdict, all my trusty tasters raved about them! They went fast! Fortunately I made another batch from the left over dough and pastry cream and put those in the freezer. They will make a nice addition to our Easter breakfast table!


Ingredients:
1 cup moist, plump raisins
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves(can be found below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating overnight)
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (can be found below)

For The Optional Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
About 1 teaspoon water
Drop of pure vanilla extract

Directions: Getting Ready: Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover them with hot water and let them steep for about 4 minutes, until they are plumped. Drain the raisins, return them to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, warm them over low heat. When the raisins are very hot, pull the pan from the heat and pour over the rum. Standing back, ignite the rum. Stair until the flames go out, then cover and set aside. (The raisins and rum an be kept in a covered jar for up to 1 day.)

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.

On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 16 inches long, with a short end toward you. Spread the pastry cream across the dough, leaving 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Scatter the raisins over the pastry cream and sprinkle the raisins and cream with the cinnamon sugar. Starting wit the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it up to 2 months; see Storing for further instructions. Or, if you do not want to make the full recipe, use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder.)
With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends if they're ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into rounds a scant 1 inch thick. Put the snails on the lined baking sheet(s), leaving some puff space between them.


Lightly cover the snails with wax paper and set the baking sheet(s) in a warm place until the snails have doubles in volume--they'll be puffy and soft--about 1 hour and 30 minutes.


Getting Ready To Bake: When the snails have almost fully risen, preheat the oven: depending on the number of baking sheets you have, either center a rack in the oven or position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the wax paper, and bake the snails for about 25 minutes (rotate the sheets if you're using two, from top to bottom and front to back after 15 minutes), or until they are puffed and richly browned. Using a metal spatula, transfer the snails onto a cooling rack.

If You Want To Glaze The Snails: Put a piece of wax paper under the rack of warm rolls to act as a drip catcher. Put the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and stir in a teaspoon of water. Keep adding water drop by drop until you have an icing that falls from the tip of a spoon. Add the vanilla extract, then drizzle the icing over the hot snails.


Golden Brioche Loaves

Ingredients:
2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

For The Glaze
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

Directions:
To Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.
Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.


Pastry Cream

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Directions:
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly--as I always do--put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Next weeks recipe is Caramel-Topped Flan (page 395-397) and is choosen by Steph from A Whisk And A Spoon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chocolate Mousse

I love desserts and I have a couple of favourites, creme brulee, flan and chocolate mousse. When I'm in a restaurant it's always hard to make a choice if two or more are on the menu. I've made both creme brulee and flan before, but never chocolate mousse which is probably the easiest of the three.

Recently I bought a 2.5 kilo bag (over 5 lbs.) of good quality dark chocolate chips at the wholesale so I have plenty of chocolate to experiment with. That's why I decided to try a chocolate mousse recipe by Gretchen Siegchrist that I found on about.com a while ago.

This recipe produced a very nice mousse, not too light and fluffy. Might be nice with some grated orange peel and a dash of cointreau also, but that will be another time!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:
Pour 1/3 cup of cream into a small saucepan. Heat the cream over high heat until it just starts to boil.
Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pour the heated cream over it. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Now, set this aside and let it cool. When the cream chocolate mixture is cool, add the vanilla and salt, and whisk them in.

Pour the remaining cream into a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat it until it forms peaks. Add the sugar and beat that in.
Add the chocolate mixture to the cream, and beat it at a medium-low speed until everything is mixed together and smooth.

Let the mousse cool in the refrigerator. You can serve it in a bowl or cups garnished with fresh fruit.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I got tagged!

If you read blogs, you must have run into posts about people being tagged and telling something about themself. Until now nobody tagged me! That changed yesterday I got tagged by Mari from Mevrouw Cupcake, thanks!!! So here is my Me, Me:

What were you cooking five years ago?
I was trying my mom's recipes, she was was very sick and I wanted to learn her recipes so they can live on.

What were you cooking 10 years ago?
I didn't cook that much 10 years ago, what I made was most of the time Asian, I bought a rice cooker when I was 17, still have the same one :-) When I was in high school I wanted to become a chef, unfortunately my French (which I needed to get into that school) wasn't good enough so I became something totally different but the love for food has always been there.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Chocolate
2. A nice piece of Dutch cheese
3. Stroopwafels
4. Peanutbutter, a nice big spoonful from the jar :-)
5. Licorice

Five recipes you know by heart:
1. My mom's macaroni dish
2. Poached pears (an old family recipe)
3. My own chipotle rub
4. Kung poa chicken
5. Thai green curry

Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:
1. Dinner at El Bulli, Spain
2. Dinner at The Fat Duck, England
3. A new kitchen with a nice viking stove
4. A spicewine smoker
5. Make a nice food trip around the world

Five foods you love to cook:
1. Barbecue (real barbecue, not grilling!!)
2. Cakes, cookies
3. Curries
4. Creme brulee
5. Spicy dishes (Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican etc.)

Five foods you cannot/ will not eat:
1. Melon (all kinds)
2. Cilantro
3. Brussels sprouts
4. Beetroot
5. There is no five, I've tried it all, from scorpions and cat in China to grasshoppers in Mexico and will try anything new.

Five favourite culinary toys:
1. Global chef knife
2. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
3. Le Creuset Dutch oven
4. Vegetable peeler
5. Remote thermometer (great on cold days when barbecueing!)

I will pass this meme on, but not at the moment. Most of the blogs I've been reading for a long time have been tagged already and I am still working my way through the Tuesdays with Dorie members to find out which ones really grow on me :-) But I'll get back on this!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

My sister in law asked when I was making my chocolate chip cookies again. She really likes them and she's not the only one. I love the texture of these cookies, a little crunchy on the outside and nice and chewy in the middle. They are great with a nice glass of milk or a cup of coffee.

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, roomtemperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter with the brown and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Gradually mix in the sifted ingredients.
Sir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaped tablespoons of batter on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silicon baking mat, leave space around the heaps, they will flatten and get way bigger!
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheet pan before transferring them to a wire rack where you let them cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen, depends on how heaped your tablespoons are.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Poffertjes

This is a Dutch classic, poffertjes are mini pancakes baked in a special "poffertjespan". The first recipe on how to make these little fellows was published in 1746.
For us this is not breakfast food, we eat them for lunch or dinner, that's what we also do with pancakes by the way!

Poffertjespan

Ingredients:
125 grams flour
125 grams buckwheat flour*
300 ml lukewarm milk
1 egg
10 grams yeast
pinch of salt
75 grams melted butter

confectioners sugar
butter

Preparation:
Mix and sift the flour and buckwheat flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in a some milk.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the milk with the yeast in it. Put the salt at the outside of the flour. Slowly stir the flour into the milk and slowly add the rest of the milk. When well combined add the lightly beaten egg.
Cover the bowl with cling film and let the batter rest at a warm place for 45 minutes.

Heat up the poffertjespan and brush a little of the melted butter in each hole, fill each hole halfway up with batter. When the poffertjes are dry at the edge and the bottom has a nice color turn them over until done. (When I turn them over part of the top is still liquid.)


After they are baked you dust them with confectioners sugar and put a nice piece of butter on top!

* If you can't get buckwheat flour you can use regular flour instead, but you will loose the characteristic flavor.

Kung Pao Chicken


This version of Kung Pao Chicken is pretty close to the ones I ate in China with one difference, it's a lot spicier!! But don't let that put you off, you can cut on the chiles, take a less hot variety or leave out the sambal.

The chiles I used this time are ones I grew and dried myself, the seeds I took from a bag of dried chiles that I bought in Long Sheng, China. They are scipy but not too much. Another kind I use a lot are dried bird eye chiles, these tiny peppers pack a huge punch, be very careful with them!! When I use them I use only 5 or 6 of them.


Sambal is a condiment from Indonesia and a nice selection is available in every supermarket here in the Netherlands, that's because Indonesia was one of our colonies. I use sambal brandal, a spicy variety, but any other will do, I add it for extra heat and to give the dish a more complex flavor.

I always buy my ginger at a Chinese supermarket we have here, I buy a lot and freeze it. When I need it, I just take a piece from the freezer and grate it. It will last for months in the freezer and tastes the same as the day you bought it.

Ingredients:
Marinade
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine
1 small egg white

Main Dish
2 chicken breasts, cubed
10-12 Chinese chiles (or 5-6 dried bird eye chiles)
6 spring unions, cut into 1 inch pieces (keep white and green separate)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoons peanut oil

Sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons medium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sambal brandal

Preparation:
Combine the marinade ingredients and add the chicken, put the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat up the oil in a wok, add the chiles (I cut up large ones, the small ones I leave whole) and let them turn black.

WARNING!!!! This will produce a very irritating smoke, so open up your windows and doors!!!! I'm not kidding! Really I'm not kidding, it's like somebody emptied a can of pepperspray in your kitchen!!! I warned you!!!

When the chiles are black and you can breath again, add the chicken and stir-fry a couple of minutes, add the ginger, stir-fry half a minute, add the garlic, stir-fry half a minute, add the white parts of the spring unions, stir-fry a minute or 2.
Now add the sauce and stir so it will coats everything, it will thicken up a bit.
Add the peanuts and the green parts of the spring union.

Serve over rice, I use basmati.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

TWD: Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake

My second Tuesdays With Dorie bake, this week's recipe was choosen by Natalie of Burned Bits and can be found on page 310-311 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My House To Yours.

When I read the recipe I thought that it would be pretty simple to make this one, well it wasn't! I had a lot of trouble with the dough, it was really sticky! When I finally rolled it to the right dimensions it wouldn't let go of the parchment, resulting in a very messy top layer. The bottom layer I could patch with bits and pieces but that didn't work for the top layer because of all the apple bits underneath.

When it came out of the oven after 65 minutes it didn't look ok, it was very dark around the sides, almost burned. In the middle it was ok.
My trusty tasters and I didn't care for it. One reason could be that I used goudreinetten as the apple, a very old Dutch apple breed that we use here for apple pie, applesauce etc. This a a very tart apple and I think the filling could have used way more sugar. We were also not to crazy about the crust, the structure was ok, but we didn't care for the flavor.

Ingredients:
For The Dough
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For The Apples
10 medium apples, all one kind or a mix (I like to use Fuji, Golden Delicious and Ida Reds; my grandmother probably used dry baking apples like Cordland and Rome)
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting

Preperation:
To Make The Dough: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Add the lemon juice - the dough will probably curdle, but don't worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups of the flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if you think it looks more like a batter than a dough at this point, add the extra 1/4 cup flour. (The dough usually needs the extra flour.) When properly combined, the dough should almost clean the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost overnight in the refrigerator.)

To Make The Apples: Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick; cut the slices in half crosswise if you want. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lemon juice - even with the juice, the apples may turn brown, but that's fine - and add the raisins. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly. Taste an apple and add more sugar, cinnamon, and/or lemon juice if you like.


Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9x12-inch baking pan (Pyrex is good) and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Remove the dough from the fridge. If it is too hard to roll and it cracks, either let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin to get it moving. Once it's a little more malleable, you've got a few choices. You can roll it on a well-floured work surface or roll it between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. You can even press or roll out pieces of the dough and patch them together in the pan - because of the baking powder in the dough, it will puff and self-heal under the oven's heat. Roll the dough out until it is just a little larger all around than your pan and about 1/4 inch thick - you don't want the dough to be too thin, because you really want to taste it. Transfer the dough to the pan. If the dough comes up the sides of the pan, that's fine; if it doesn't that's fine too.

Give the apples another toss in the bowl, then turn them into the pan and, using your hands, spread them evenly across the bottom.

Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Cut the dough so you've got a 1/4 to 1/2 inch overhang and tuck the excess into the sides of the pan, as though you were making a bed. (If you don't have that much overhang, just press what you've got against the sides of the pan.)

Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.


Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature. You'll be tempted to taste it sooner, but I think the dough needs a little time to rest.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sacherbrownies

Looks like this is "Death by Chocolate" week here :-) Last Friday I made the snickery squares, this time it's Sacherbrownies, both heavy on the chocolate and very rich, but oh, so delicious!

I found this recipe while surfing the net on Jessica's Brownie or Die weblog. The moment I saw it I knew it could be a winner. I love Sacher-Torte, I've been to Sacher a couple of times for their speciality and I knew this would be the first thing to make when I got my 8x8 inch square brownie pan, which by the way isn't so easy on this side of the pond.

This was the first time ever I made brownies and they came together like a breeze!
My team of trusty tasters all liked it a lot! But all agreed, a little goes a long way!
I added half a jar of apricot preserves, maybe if I add more it will cut a bit more through the richness of the chocolate.

Ingredients:
Brownies:
2 oz. (56 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 tbs. (57 grams) unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
Filling:
1 c. apricot preserves

Glaze:
2 oz. (56 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 oz. (112 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbs. (43 grams) butter

Preperations:
For Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with foil and grease. Melt 2 oz.
unsweetened chocolate and 4 tbs. butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside to cool completely. Stir in sugar and vanilla, then eggs. Add flour until just combined. Spread batter in pan and bake for roughly 23 minutes. Allow brownies to cool completely before proceeding.


For Filling: Spread apricot preserves over brownies.


For Glaze: In a double boiler, melt unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate chips, and 3 tbs. butter in a double boiler. Smooth mixture over apricot preserves. Refrigerate until set (at least 1 hour).


Note: once glaze is set, it's best to let the brownies return to room temperature before serving. The glaze will not melt.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

TWD: Snickery Squares


This is my first Tuesday with Dorie bake. This weeks recipe, Snickery Squares, was choosen by Erin of Dinner & Dessert and can be found on page 120-122 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My House To Yours.

Ingredients
For the Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the filling
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 ½ cups salted peanuts
about 1 ½ cups store-bought dulce de leche (*)

For the topping
7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ stick (57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature


Preparation
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.

To make the crust: Toss the flour, sugar, confectioners’ sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Toss in the pieces of cold butter and pulse about 12 times, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour the yolk over the ingredients and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds - stop before the dough comes together in a ball.

Turn the dough into the buttered pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it takes on just a little color around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.


To make the filling: Have a parchment - or, better yet, a silicone mat-lined baking sheet at the ready, as well as a long-handled wooden spoon (you’ll be cooking sugar that will climb to over 300 degrees F, so you’ll want to keep as far away from it as possible) and a medium (about 2-quart) heavy-bottomed sauce pan.

Put the sugar and water in the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Keeping the heat fairly high, continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to color. (If sugar splatters onto the sides of the saucepan, wash down the splatters with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.) Toss in the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with the sugar. Within a few minutes, they will be covered with sugar and turn white - keep stirring until the sugar turns back into caramel. When the peanuts are coated with a nice deep amber caramel, remove the pan from the heat and turn the nuts out onto the baking sheet, using the wooden spoon to spread them out as best you can. Cool the nuts to room temperature.


When they are cool enough to handle, separate the nuts or break them into small pieces. Divide the nuts in half. Keep half of the nuts whole or in biggish pieces for the filling, and finely chop the other half for the topping.

Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread base and sprinkle over the whole candied nuts or the big pieces.


To make the topping: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in a microwave oven, using a low power setting. Remove the chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter, stirring until it is fully blended into the chocolate.

Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with a long metal icing spatula, then sprinkle over the finely chopped candied peanuts. Slide the pan into the refrigerator to set the topping, about 20 minutes; if you’d like to serve the squares cold, keep them refrigerated for at least 3 hours before cutting.


Cut into 16 bars, each roughly 2 ½ inches on a side.

(*) I can't buy Dulce de Leche in this part of the world, but if you take a can of sweet condensed milk, put that in a pan of water (make sure the can is covered all the time, otherwise it can explode!!) boil it for 4 hours, let it cool down (before you open it) and you'll have a can with very nice Dulce the Leche. You can do more cans at the time, and use it for other recipes too.


I don't have an eight inch square tin yet, so I made it in a round tin. Man, is this stuff rich but also very good :-) Loved the texture of the crust.

Next week we'll be baking Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake (pages 310-311) which is choosen by Natalie of Burned Bits.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Barbecued chicken quesadillas


I had some chicken that was left over from the barbecue and decided to make quesadillas with it.

A quesadilla is a toasted tortilla with melted cheese inside, but you can put a lot more inside, like chicken, jalapeno peppers, zucchini flowers, chorizo, mushrooms etc.
I went through the fridge and found besides the cheese and chicken, pickled jalapeno's and taco salsa.

Ingredients
flour tortillas
grated cheese
vegetable oil

Additional
chicken (cooked and shredded)
jalapeno slices (fresh or pickled)
mushrooms
zucchini flowers
etc.

Preperation
On medium high heat, heat up a cast iron skillet and put a tablepoon of vegetable oil in it.
When the oil is hot put your flour tortilla in the pan, flip it over every 10 seconds until it starts to puff up.
Add your grated cheese, I used a medium sharp Dutch cheese, and the rest of your ingredients.
Cover the skillet with a lid and turn the heat to low. There should be plenty of residual heat to melt your cheese and to brown your tortilla.


Give it a minute or 2 and check if your cheese is melted, if not turn the heat up a bit. If the cheese is melted fold the tortilla over, if it's not brown yet leave it in the pan a little longer and flip it over occasionally to get both side nice and colored.

Remove from the pan and cut into 3 wedges.