Friday, May 28, 2010

Honey-Lime Glazed Fish with Warm Black Bean and Corn Salad


Its summertime, so whats better than an fresh piece of fish.  Its hard to capture the true deliciousness of this dish on camera, so let me help describe it to you.  That sauce you see isnt simply broth. That liquid is filled with lime juice, spices, honey, and broth. Marinating the fish with this amazing sauce creates a flavor explosion in your mouth!  yes, I said it...as strange as it may sound.
Oh, But Im not done!  How about adding some black beans, corn, spinach, and onions as a warm accompaniment?  I have even used the leftover salad as a quesadilla filling with some avacado-sour cream.

 So here's my "Survivor- esque" grabber: One piece of fish, a variety of fresh ingredients and sauce, and many amazing dinners. 

The kicker?  From start to finish, this can all be yours in...20 min!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Perfect For Summer Guacamole


May 23rd, 4:43 pm- its official, Fork 2 is finally here and Im ready to share my delightful concoctions with the world!  Id like to start you out with a little piece I like to call Perfect For Summer Guacamole.  

I honestly have to admit that I am a slightly pickier eater than Fork 1- even though she would probably say the "pickiness gap" is much larger than I would.  And then the other issue I deal with is- well, have you ever heard of a "texture" issue?  I hadn't until I met Boyfriend (BF) who doesn't care for the textures of some foods, though he is willing to try anything and is getting much better.  I love this guacamole because it is simple and it satisfies both of us.  

Got chunks? I do. Or maybe I shouldn't call them chunks just in case BF is reading.  Instead I will call them delicious morsels of avocado combined with just the right amount of onion, jalapeno, tomato, a tiny bit of cilantro and a splash of lime juice.  Nothing can compare to homemade guacamole and nothing comes close to this recipe.  This is perfect for summertime and is especially delicious with an ice cold margarita.

Speaking of margaritas...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orange French Crullers


Here a riddle: Whats deep fried and not delicious? Answer: Trick question, nothing. EVERYTHING tastes better covered in batter and dropped in a giant vat of hot oil.  So it goes without saying that fried dough is absolutely delicious. 

Crullers can best be described as a slight cross between a funnel cake and doughnut. They aren't as sweet as a doughnut and lighter than a funnel cake.  Then, I took it a step further and added fresh orange juice and zest into the batter. Once golden and fried, a light orange glaze was drizzled over the crullers.

My finished products were  bite-sized and more free-forming than the traditional pastry. Most cruller recipes advise the baker to pipe the dough on a heavy sheet of parchment then drop the form into the oil.  For whatever reason, or I should say "in my usual baking fashion", the dough was being stubborn and chose to tightly adhere to the parchment.  Needless to say, I soon chose to pipe circles of dough directly into the oil. The end product was unique and still delicious. The orange just added an extra layer of yummyness.

Word of Advise:  crullers should be eaten as soon as possible, otherwise, they get mushy.  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie


Another first for Fork1: Rhubarb. Yes, in all of my grits and collar-green making life, I have never made rhubarb.  However, in my lonesome state without Mr. F last weekend, I slowly gave in to its usual unappealing nature in the form of a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie.  Rhubarb by itself..um, I'm working up to that.  Rhubarb baked with strawberries between 2 layers of flaky pie crust, sure!

I went in search of the red, stalky fruit at my local grocers to be told that they didnt have any because it was seasonal (figure that one out); however, they did carry it year round frozen.  So I went home to my pie making attempt to be hit in the face with a heavy mass of warm, stale air.   I soon realized that our AC had decided to stop working... in Florida!  So let me catch you up: its now 80 degrees in my home and I have decided to make a pie. A baked pie which requires the use of a hot oven. Did I mention I had also decided to make my own pie crusts? These pie crusts also consisted of butter and lard which needed to stay cold in order to be rolled. How grand!  No matter, I was determined.  I had bought the damn ingredients, this pie was going to be made!

So standing in my sweltering kitchen, melting pie dough with my bare hands, I rolled and refrigerated, rolled and refrigerated till the dough was solid enough to transfer to the pan.  The filling was so simple to cut and throw together.  And the crown and glory of the entire thing...cornstarch.  Don't scratch your head yet, I'll explain.  The cornstarch is the perfect ingredient to keep the filling from being runny. The pie can stand on its own! Your impressed, I know.

Let me just say, as far as Strawberry-Rhubarb Pies go, this one is definitely a keeper.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pirouettes


As seen in umpteen previous posts, I have a sweet tooth.  I try to balance it out with healthy meals (and I have) but I really enjoy posting the fun stuff... so here's one of them.

Patience is not one of my strong points. You're shocked, I'm sure.  You could say, I am more of a instant gratification kind-of-girl.  My father says that "the best things come to those that wait" but, honestly, who's he kidding, he's one to talk! He's probably the most impatient man on the planet...SO *deep breaths* I must have inherited it :) These cookies are perfect for my cookie quick fix.  Pirouettes are easy, buttery, delicious, versatile, and fun to make! 

A total of 5-6 min between baking, molding, and hardening!  A Silpat is perfect for these cookies since they need to mold so quickly. And with the use of a wooden spoon handle and a light touch, the soft dough sticks perfectly into a beautiful spiral. And imagine the flavor possibilities or a quick dip in chocolate. 

In the end, I served these cookies for a Mother's Day dessert with mango sorbet. And while my brothers are the most stubborn people to please (I make family sound so pleasant), the entire container of pirouettes were gone before I sat down to the table. At least my mom got a cookie... I think.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mango Sorbet


I dont know about you but this humidity is killer.  And while I love spending time outdoors, walking outside in this weather seals your fate to showering...soon! So what would be better than a cool sorbet to cool you down?

I was all prepared to start my frozen journey with a chocolate-hazelnut gelato (and I will get there at some point) but while grocery shopping, I spotted these beautiful mangos.  They were just so perfectly ripe, colorful, and calling my name. And while I have never made a sorbet in my life, I did some research in the frozen aisle.  All I needed was some fruit puree...check, water, sugar, and some lemon or lime juice.  

Then, I had an epiphany.  Yes, with freezing fingers holding several cartons of pre-made sorbet, it suddenly occurred to me. Why use water, when I could use some mouth-watering mango nectar. Since its already sweetened, less sugar will be needed in my final recipe! GENIUS, I know. 

The sorbet turned out so creamy and refreshing.  I would have to say that my first attempt using my Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment was delicious. And considering the empty tub of mango sorbet, I would definitely have to say it was a success. 


Next up...Mother's Day.  I have several new varieties of sorbet floating around in my head.  I'm hoping to serve them with some homemade pirouette cookies.  






Sunday, May 2, 2010

Apricot Strudel


I am a morning person, especially on the weekends.  What does this mean?  In essence, this translates into an absurd amount of unnecessary energy roaring to go way before Mr. F crawls out of bed.  Therefore, if I can keep the dish clanking to a minimum, I might have a chance to expel some of that energy in the form of breakfast.  So what's better on the weekend than a pastry and coffee?

On a regular basis, I am usually not one to part-take in sugary breakfast foods. I will admit that I occasionally love those enormously sweet cinnamon buns that are doused with a blanket layer of sugar icing like the next person. And if I'm lucky not to go into a sugar coma before the end, I will just get a stomach ache before lunch; thereby, ruining any dreams I had of being productive during the day.  So to overcome the sugary sweetness, this strudel is made with cream cheese.  mmmmm...cream cheese

Since the preserves are simply a filling, feel free to choose any flavor you have on hand.  I happen to have had apricot and peach, so I chose between the two.  And since you pour the icing on top, you can control the desired level of sweetness.  

This was so simple to prepare, I managed to get the strudel in the oven just as Mr. F woke up. Im blaming it on the delicious smell :)

FYI, by its creator, this recipe is called a coffee cake. Yes, I do enjoy it with coffee. However, since I made it, I'm calling it a strudel only because its sounds cooler.
 
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