Bourbon Pear Gingerbread Upside-down Cake

Back in 2016, we were invited to participate in a contest at Kerby Lane Cafe one of the breakfast institutions here in Austin, Texas. The premise was to create a recipe using one of their scrumptious pancake mixes. So we were happily inspired and chose our favorite mix: Gingerbread.

We love pancakes, and sometimes its fun to play around with simple ingredients and transform them into an unexpected goodness. This Bourbon Pear Ginger-Bread Upside-down cake combines the easy and convenient preparation of pancake batter using our favorite Gingerbread pancake mix, fresh pears, and ginger; because everybody needs to have some fruit during the fall right?

To take this cake to the highest expectations of a dessert, I made a warm Bourbon Caramel Sauce to drizzle all the blessings, the Thanks, and the giving. The spicy wood and vanilla flavors from the Bourbon sing along with the spices in the gingerbread cake and the caramelized pears.

The cake is tipsy enough so the whole family and friends can enjoy.
Bring something memorable to your Thanksgiving table…Let’s bake!

 

Happy Thanksgiving
xoxo
Ian and Mariana

 

P.S. If you live in the Austin Area, Kerby Lane Cafe is a great option for a scrumptious family breakfast!
Try their Migas, Texas Benedict, Gingerbread pancakes and remember to ask for their “Fall pancakes special”

Bourbon Pear Gingerbread Upside-down Cake

Makes one 10” x 3” tall single layer cake.

For the bottom layer:

One 10” aluminum cake pan
One 10” parchment paper circle
1 tablespoon butter to grease the pan

4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 generous pinch of Saigon cinnamon
¼ cup Spiced Bourbon, or your favorite Bourbon*

2-3 Bartlett Pears or Bosc, medium size, medium ripe cut into round slices slightly thicker than 1/8”inch. Use mandoline for best results.
2 tablespoons fresh ginger small diced

For the Cake:

dry:

3 cups of Kerbey Lane Gingerbread Pancake mix, or any gingerbread pancake mix of your affection…
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar packed
1 pinch of salt

wet:

3 eggs
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup Bulgarian yogurt unsweetened
½ cup melted organic coconut oil slightly warm
All wet ingredients should be room temperature for best results.

For the Bourbon Caramel sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Bourbon, I used Maker’s 46, remember the rule, use something you will happily drink by itself…
1/3 cup heavy cream
A pinch of cinnamon
A small vanilla extract splash
¼ teaspoon sea salt

In a small heavy bottom pan, melt butter and sugar together. Add Bourbon stir, until bubbly edges and some alcohol has evaporated. Add cinnamon, heavy cream, salt and stir until big bubbles around the edges. Remove from heat add vanilla extract, stir. And let cool for a few minutes. Serve warm and drizzle freely over the slices of cake when serving.
Flaky sea salt to sprinkle when serving.

*If not to fan of Bourbon you can substitute for Spiced Rum

Preparation method:

1. Grease a 10” cake pan, line it with parchment paper circle, seat aside.
2. In a small pot, melt butter and brown sugar. Add cinnamon, Bourbon and stir until bubbles form around the pan. Remove from stove, to cool down.
3. In the meantime, sprinkle ½ of the finely diced ginger on the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Slice pears, and arrange them on top of the ginger. Start in the center of the cake pan, make a wheel overlapping the pears slices about 1/3 of each slice, until the bottom of the pan it’s completely covered. Star with the smallest pear slices and finish with the large slices for prettier presentation. Sprinkle the rest of the diced ginger into the crevices between the pears and the perimeter of the pan.
4. Evenly pour the Butter-Sugar-Bourbon mixture over the pear slices. This light caramel will drip to the bottom of the pan, it is ok, and it will be fantastic! Set the prepared cake pan aside.
5. Preheat oven 350F.
6. In a medium-size bowl mix dry ingredients. In a large liquid measuring cup mix and whisk wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and mix gently until well combined. Avoid over mixing. Pour cake batter on top of the prepared pan with pears+caramel.
7. Place cake pan on a baking sheet to prevent caramel spillage in your oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the center of cake spring back to the touch or a toothpick, comes out clean. Pull cake out of the oven, place on a cooling rack for 20-25 minutes.
8. Proceed to unmold the cake, while still warm to the touch. Run a spatula all around the edges to make sure sides lose. Place a flat plate on top of cake and flip. Remove pan by slightly twisting for best release, and carefully remove parchment paper.

This cake is best served a few hours later that when is baked. It tastes even better the day after. Serve with a scoop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, drizzle THAT Bourbon salted caramel sauce until submission, and a few sea salt flakes… Enjoy!

Music pairing: Ok Go -Upside Down & Inside Out

 

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Bourbon Pear Ginger-Bread Upside down Cake

We love pancakes, but some times its fun to play around with simple ingredients and transform them into an unexpected goodness. This cake combines the easy and convenient preparation of pancake batter using our favorite Kerbey Lane pancake mix Gingerbread, fresh pears and ginger because everybody needs to have some fruit right?, and the goodness of a Bourbon Caramel Sauce. 

Makes one 10” x 3” tall single layer cake

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French, FUSION
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 16 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

For the bottom layer:

  • One 10” aluminum cake pan
  • One 10” parchment paper circle
  • 1 tablespoon butter to grease the pan
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 generous pinch of saigon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup Spiced Bourbon or your favorite Bourbon*
  • 2-3 Bartlett Pears or Bosc medium size, medium ripe cut into round slices slightly thicker than 1/8”inch. Use mandoline for best results.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger small diced

For the Cake:

dry:

  • 3 cups of Kerbey Lane Ginger-Bread Pancake mix
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 pinch of salt

wet:

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup bulgarian yogurt unsweetened
  • ½ cup melted organic coconut oil slightly warm
  • All wet ingredients should be room temperature for best results.

For the Bourbon Caramel sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Bourbon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A small vanilla extract splash
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Sprinkle with: Flaky sea salt to sprinkle when serving.

Instructions

To make the Bourbon Caramel sauce:

  1. In a small heavy bottom pan, melt butter and sugar together. Add Bourbon stir, until bubbly edges and some alcohol has evaporated. Add cinnamon, heavy cream, salt and stir until big bubbles around the edges. Remove from heat add vanilla extract, stir. And let cool for a few minutes. Serve warm and drizzle freely over the slices of cake when serving. *If not to fan of Bourbon you can substitute for Spiced Rum

Preparation method for the cake:

  1. Grease a 10” cake pan, line it with parchment paper circle, seat a side.
  2. In a small pot, melt butter and brown sugar. Add cinnamon, Bourbon and stir until bubbles form around the pan. Remove from stove, to cool down.
  3. In the meantime, sprinkle ½ of the fine diced ginger on the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Slice pears, and arrange them on top of the ginger. Start in the center of the cake pan, make a wheel overlapping the pears slices about 1/3 of each slice, until bottom of the pan its completely covered. Star with the smallest pear slices and finish with the large slices for pretier presentation. Sprinkle the rest of the diced ginger into the crevices between the pears and the perimeter of the pan.
  4. Evenly pour the Butter-Sugar-Bourbon mixture over the pear slices. This light caramel will drip to the bottom of the pan, it is ok, and it will be fantastic! Set the prepared cake pan aside.
  5. Preheat oven 350F.
  6. In a medium size bowl mix dry ingredients. In a large liquid measuring cup mix and whisk wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and mix gently until well combined. Avoid over mixing. Pour cake batter on top of the prepared pan with pears+caramel.
  7. Place cake pan over a baking sheet to prevent caramel spillage in your oven.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, until the center of cake spring back to the touch or a tooth pick comes out clean. Pull cake out of the oven, place on a cooling rack for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Proceed to un mold the cake, while still warm to the touch. Run a spatula all around the edges to make sure sides are lose. Place a flat plate on top of cake and flip. Remove pan by slighlty twisting for best release, and carefully remove parchment paper.

Recipe Notes

This cake is best served a few hours later that when is baked. It tastes even better the day after. Serve with a scoop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, drizzle THAT Bourbon salted caramel sauce until submission, and a few sea salt flakes... Enjoy!

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Tinga Verde de Res-Green Beef Tinga

Hello!, We are back!…

Where have we been? Very busy with our project, giving it our best. We have learned a lot through this journey. Writing a book is not easy and it takes your all and a little more, and some more and right when you think you are done… it needs the last effort. Often it seems like you are never done. After nearly a year things are moving along and soon we promise to give you the full disclosure and we are certain it will be worth the wait.

As you can read our sanity is not 100% restored yet, but we hope to return to form and post a recipe weekly. I hope you had the chance to try previous posted recipes in the meantime and now you must be ready for the new ones!.

The focus of the blog has always been very diverse in nature and based on seasonal, local ingredients. I enjoy new takes and variations on classic recipes, like my Root-a-touille (a version of Ratatouille made with root vegetables) , or pancakes made with nuty delicious buckwheat flour, our French onion soup using a crisp bagel, and even a refreshing vegan version of ceviche substituting cauliflower for fish. Recipes also include some fundamental techniques, from how to make beans from scratch, and the popular Chilaquiles Manifesto which is quintessential in my Mexican cooking heart. I think you will be seeing more Mexican recipes in future, and the occasional twist on a classic and or borrowed inspiration from other cuisines. I have many suppressed cravings and new recipes I intend to share with you in the upcoming weeks and months.

I hope you like the new recipes to come, and I hope that you still be here for the step-by-step cooking, the music pairings, the cooking inspiration and the fun.

Laying the new grounds, Lets start cooking!

Tinga Verde de Res gives me the warmth and satisfied feeling I need on a fall or wintery day. This recipe of Tinga verde de Res, its a lesser known variation of the infamous “Tinga de Pollo”. In case you have never heard of this guisado its a home made easy recipe, made with chicken , lots of onions, and smokey chipotles which give this dish its distinct flavor.
Why did I choose this recipe this week? I like Tinga de Pollo for the summer, and for the Fall I prefer this Beef Tinga Verde. This heartier version is just what I crave on a cold day. Tinga is not a stew nor a guiso, it stands up right in between. A juicy guisado.

The shredded beef used in this recipe, is very lean which gives rich flavor but does not leaves you feeling heavy. I warn you, this Tinga Verde is spicy. However, the sweet onions and the starchy little potato cubes balance the heat.

A pot of simmering Tinga will comfort you and make great meal on any given weekend. Its a make-ahead dish that gets better the second day. It can be served with a side of rice and beans, or on tostadas (most traditionally) , tacos, or burritos as an informal festive meal.
Take this Tinga to a potluck and blow away the tired casseroles. No doubt, people will take note and you will be asked for the recipe.

Whatever your choice, I think this Tinga Verde de Res has all the qualities to be one of your new Fall-Winter favorites. Enjoy!

TINGA VERDE de RES-GREEN BEEF TINGA

Serves 6-8

3 lbs Skirt steak or short steak = Falda de res
or a medium-large piece of beef eye round roast.
½ medium white onion, 1 bay leaf, 8 black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon sea salt.
Cook and shredded

3 tablespoons of neutral cooking oil
2 large white onions, thinly sliced into half moons
2 wax potatoes, cut in small cubes
1-2 chile chipotle meco dry
4-5 Serrano peppers, stems removed
1 chile poblano, seeds removed-roughly chopped
8 tomatillos, husked and washed
1 cup cilantro, about ½ bunch including stems
2 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups of the reserved beef stock in which the meat cooked.
1 teaspoon sea salt
6-8 cranks fresh black pepper

Directions:

1. In a large pot, place the meat and pour enough water to cover it ½ inch above. Add the half onion in chunks, bay leaf, black pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil and remove all the foam that forms during the first 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to a slow simmer and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until fork tender. Turn off the heat cover with a lid and let meat rest until cools enough to handle. Save about 2 cups of the beef stock. Shred the meat and set aside.

Note: It is important that the meat is still warm when shredding since its easier to shred.
Save the rest of the beef broth for future uses, like a chilli or a beef stew. Beef stock can be frozen for up to 4 months.

2. In a large enamel or stew pot, add the oil, and briefly, fry the dry chipotles. Once they have a little color, remove from the pot, set chiles aside. Turn off the heat and let the pot in standby, while you cook the chiles.

3. In a small pot boil the Serranos, poblano, tomatillos, and the fried chipotles.Simmer until chipotles are hydrated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Discard the boiling water in which the chiles cooked. Add all the cooked chiles, cilantro, garlic, salt and vinegar add about ½ cup of the reserved beef stock into the blender and blend until a rough puree. Set aside.

4. In the standby pot with the remaining oil of the chiles, add the slivered onions and potatoes. Cook until onions are translucent. Use medium-low heat, you do not want to put any color on the onions or potatoes, basically, they are just sweating together. Stir them occasionally.

5.  Once the onions are softer and translucent, and the potatoes are cooked halfway, add the shredded and beef toss well.

6. Make an opening in the center of the Tinga meat in the pot and add the chile-tomatillo puree, cook and toss well cook for 5 minutes, then add 1 cup of the beef stock, salt, and black pepper. Bring the temperature up to a rapid simmer then lower down the heat, stir well and cook for 25- 30 minutes with the pot lid ajar, until the potatoes are soft and meat and sauce flavors are well married. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary.

Serving time! Tinga can be served as a main dish with rice and refried beans. The most common way to serve Tinga in Mexico, since is an informal meal, is served on Tostadas, Tacos or Burrito filling using flour or corn tortillas. Tinga can be topped with Mexican Crema, queso añejo, quick pickled onions, and finely shredded iceberg lettuce.

This time I made tacos with flour tortillas, red pickled onions, queso añejo, and a drizzle of crema to tame the heat, along with a squeeze of lime juice. A glass of beer or agua fresca and you are all set for a great homemade meal.
A comer!!!…Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Natalia Lafourcade – Tu si Sabes Quererme

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Tinga Verde de Res - Green Beef Tinga

A spicy version of the Red tinga utilizing green tomatillos, serrano chiles, and the smoky chipotles. One pot dinner, homestyle Mexican comfort food at its best!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Skirt steak or short steak = Falda de res or a medium-large piece of beef eye round roast.

cook with: ½ medium white onion, 1 bay leaf, 8 black pepper corns, 1 teaspoon sea salt. Cook and shredded.

  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 2 large white onions
  • 2 medium wax potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 1-2 medium chile chipotle meco dry
  • 4-5 medium Serrano peppers
  • 1 large chile poblano seeds removed, cut in large chunks
  • 8 medium Tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 1 cup cilantro about ½ bunch including stems
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of the reserved beef stock, in which the meat cooked.
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6-8 cranks fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. In a large pot, place the meat and pour enough water to cover it ½ inch above. Add the half onion in chunks, bay leaf, black pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil and remove all the foam that forms during the first 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to a slow simmer and cook for about 45minutes to 1 hour until fork tender. Turn off the heat cover with a lid and let meat rest until cools enough to handle. Save about 2 cups of the beef stock. Shred the meat and set aside.

    Note: It is important that the meat is still warm when shredding since its easier to shred.

    Save the rest of the beef broth for future uses, like a chili or a beef stew. Beef stock can be frozen for up to 4 months.

    2. In a large enamel or stew pot, add the oil, and briefly, fry the dry chipotles. Once they have a little color, remove from the pot and set chiles aside.

    3. Using the remaining oil in the same pot add the slivered onions and potatoes and cook until onions are translucent. Use medium-low heat, you do not want to put any color on the onions or potatoes, basically, they are just sweating together. Stir them occasionally.

    4. Meantime, on a small pot boil the Serranos, poblano, tomatillos, and the fried chipotles until soft. Discard the boiling water in which the chiles cooked. Add all the cooked chiles, cilantro, garlic, salt and vinegar add about ½ cup of the reserved beef stock into the blender and blend until a rough puree.

    5. Check on your onions. By now they should be softer and translucent, and the potatoes should be cooked halfway. Add the shredded and beef toss well. Make an opening in the center of the Tinga meat in the pot and add the chile-tomatillo puree, cook and toss well cook for 5 minutes, then add 1 cup of the beef stock, salt, and black pepper. Bring the temperature up to a rapid simmer then lower down the heat, stir well and cook for 25- 30 minutes with the pot lid ajar, until the potatoes are soft and meat and sauce flavors are well married. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary.

    Serving time! Tinga can be served as a main dish along with rice and refried beans. The most common way to serve Tinga in Mexico, since is an informal meal, is served on Tostadas, Tacos or Burrito filling using flour or corn tortillas. Tinga can be topped with Mexican Crema, queso añejo, quick pickled onions, and finely shredded iceberg lettuce.

    This time I made tacos with flour tortillas, red pickled onions, queso añejo, and a drizzle of crema to tame the heat, along with a squeeze of lime juice. A glass of beer or agua fresca and you are all set for a great homemade meal.

    A comer!!! , Enjoy.

 

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Slow Wine Austin 2017

Slow Wine Austin 2017

Wine is a food product that can be produced through many different means. Even with the modern demand for wine creating mega-growers with hectare vineyards and highly modified production methods there are many that maintain a different standard. Yesterday we attended an event hosted by Slow Wine ( part of the Slow Food organization). What’s Slow Wine? A quote from their website sums it up best:

“Slow Food believes that wine, just as with food, must be good, clean, and fair — not just good.

Wine is an agricultural product, just like any of the foods we eat, and has an impact on the lives of the people who produce it, as well as on the environment – through pesticides, herbicides and excessive water consumption which are all commonplace in conventional wine production”

The same group lists initiatives:

“Through our guide, online magazine and international tour, we support and promote small-scale Italian winemakers who are using traditional techniques, working with respect for the environment and terroir, and safeguarding the incredible biodiversity of grape varieties that are part of Italy’s heritage.”

We met producers from vineyards all over Italy on a warm late January, Austin afternoon. The event was hosted in a vast open air warehouse lined wall to wall with tables covered with bottles from all over Italy, brought here for the event and subsequent stops on the tour. We registered, each grabbed a tall empty glass, and set off to tasting. The man or woman behind the table talking us through the many delicious pours was often the grower and winemaker themselves. Traveling on a multi-city tour these producers generously introduced us to many bottles of excitement and delight. Winemakers from family vineyards speak with great pride and enthusiasm of the bottles produced. We took advantage of the situation to pursue their story and the process of their winemaking, the vineyards’ terroir, and the origin of grapes they cultivate, how many cats or dog the family keeps, what other items they produce (olive oil, cheese, cured meat..)

The stories we heard were compelling.
In fact the descriptions of these family estates conjure up enough romance and nostalgia to compel one to uproot oneself, get on a one-way flight, and settle in an ancient stone cottage on a Piemonte hillside facing acres of vines heavy with perfect plump bunches of organically grown grapes, lush and juicy….Where was I? At any rate, these estates continue in the manner that dates back generations. They manage to produce in a traditional and responsible manner, a wide range of varietals and blends which compare with many of the best on the market. The wines in this post are some of the most memorable or noteworthy (and we would have to admit they were ALL very good) which we feel deserved your attention.

A number of these growers are currently looking for U. S. distribution and we will specify which of out notables are already in the market. For the others, contact the wholesale buyers and retailers in your local wine market and let them know you would buy a bottle if they bring it in. As far as the rest. Try one and enjoy!  Ciao’

Ian McEnroe

 

Now, these are the wines that took our breath away, they took us by surprise and left us dreaming of green bottles and hilled valleys… I wrote a quick description of the characteristics I found and the ones they surprise us the most. Also I added a few possibilities of recipe pairings that came to my mind when tasting this incredible wines. You can click on each recipe link to take you to the recipes.

I hope you enjoy!…Cin Cin!

Mariana McEnroe

Christine Hammond Brand Manager of Tasca Conti D’Almerita

Grillo
Cavallo delle Fate Grillo
2015
By: Tasca D’Almerita

Grapes: Grillo
Appellation: Grillo, Sicilia D.O.C
Area: Regaleali Estate – Palermo – Sicily.

Grillo grapes, an ancient variety and a cross between Moscato and Catarratto, make a wine with fine aromas and complexity. This wine took us from fragrant and sweet notes at the beginning to an enthusiastic fresh and luscious minerality.

Tasca describe it as a fairy tale.. and we believe it.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Rainbow TroutCauliflower Ceviche, Tuna Ceviche VerdeShrimp Stuffed AvocadosGrilled Red Snapper with Mint and Serrano Pesto.

Available at: www.Vinitalyclub.com

More about Tasca D’Almerita: www.tascadalmerita.it

Good laughs with the Cascina Belmonte crew and their futuristic Costellazioni!

Costellazioni
Doc Valtenesi
2016
By: Cascina Belmonte

Grape blend: Groppello, Barbera, Sangiovese, Marzemino
Apellation: Valtenesi D.O.C
Area: Southwestern part of Lake Garda, Lombardy, Italy.

I think this is the future of Rose. Light crisp full aroma, citrus and playful sweet notes. The first word which came to mind whe I tried this wine was: Happy.
The only thing you need is a warm spring afternoon and a chilled glass to enjoy this wine on a porch.
Pairings: with your best friend, your daughter, a Wednesday.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Fig and Kefir tartPeach Sweet Corn and Halloumi Salad with Lemon Basil VinaigretteSummer Rolls with mango dipping sauceRainbow TroutGrilled 

More about Cascina Belmonte: www.cascinabelmonte.it

Antonella Bronca and Piero Balcon from Sorelle Bronca

Particella 68
2015
By:Sorelle Bronca
Valdobbiadene

Grape: 90%Glera, 5%Bianchetta, 5%Perera
Apellation: Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.
Area: Vidor-Veneto-Italy
Certified Organic

Hands down the best Prosecco I ever had! Elegant, floral, aromas of acacia flowers with a hint of fruity sweetness, the perfect sip. The most incredible characteristic about his prosecco is its bubbles. Tiny, fine bubbles, that feel like a soft tide returning to the ocean, that little edge that draws a line on the sand, that’s my way of describing how this elegant bubbles draw you. Dry ticklish clean finish. With this said, I believe brunch with Sorelle Bronca Proseccos will never be the same…
Thank you Antonella for sharing your knowledge and passion with us!

Yes, more please! food pairings recipes:
Leek+Potato+ Goat Cheese Tarte Tatin, Sweet Corn Crab Cakes with Saffron AioliFennel-Shallot-Bacon & Edam Quiche,  Stuffed shrimp and peperoncini avocados, Raspberry Pistachio Tart, Fig and Kefir Tart.

Available: www.sorellebronca.com

Aljoscha Goldschmidt, from Corzano e Paterno We where so happy to see him again this year, Cin Cin!

Terre Di Corzano
2010, 2011 and 2014
By: Fattoria Corzano e Paterno

Grape: 90% Sangiovese10% Canaiolo
Apellation: Chianti D.O.C.G.
Area: San Casciano in Val di Pesa -Tuscany-Italy

There are only good things that happen when you meet Aljoscha Goldschmidt, from Corzano e Paterno, Wine, Olive oil and cheese. Three families working on a dream Villa between Florence and Siena, no wonder Leonardo and Michaelangelo roamed around with grace and inspiration in these lands. When we met Aljoscha last year, beside being charmed by his great smile and warm personality, we were beyond impressed by his honest and fine Chianti. All the good notes where contained in that bottle. And a few minutes later he introduced us to his Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Fresh green grassy aroma, highly peppery notes that tingle your throat do to the fresh polyphenols and great quality, it felt like a spoonful of the cleanest butter taste. Unique and again honest liquid gold. I guess he noticed our excitement, and true appreciation that he was so kind to give us his sampling bottle at the end of the show which we treasured, and promptly used on ravioli night with some friends.
Last but not least, the only thing we are in need to try is their hand made cheeses, from their Sardinian sheep farm, which is run by Antonia Ballarin, Aljoscha’s wife.
Yes, you read well, all this is happening in their Agriturismo villa in the middle of the heart of Chianti.
Where you can have the dream vacations at one of their rooms, or houses if you want to take the whole family.
Im telling you, you need to keep an eye on this family because magic is happening here. Attention all exporters looking for a Chianti “Magico”, this is your ride.
Meantime, Our dreams are made of cheese for now.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Butternut squash Cannelloni with Walnut-Sage Béchamel SauceWarm Farro Asparagus and Poached EggCremini Grilled Cheese Sandwich with manchego butter,

Braised Lamb shanks with fennel and cipollini onions , Roasted Vegetable Napoleon with Spicy Bolognese , Corona Beans with peanut cilantro pesto

Available: Only at their Villa in San Casciano in Val di Pesa – Florence – Tuscany – Italy
Contact: e-mail: Aljoscha Goldschmidt at: info@corzanoepaterno.it
Currently seeking representation in Texas.
Visit their website: www.corzanoepaterno.it

 

Cerasuolo di Vittoria CL. Dorilli
2014
By: Planeta

Grape: 70% Nero d’Avola, 30% frappato

Area: Dorilli Vittoria, Sicily

A new way of growing wine is developing in Sicily. We met Elvira Cascavilla who was representing this sustainable winery. What is so different about it? The wine “genius loci”. They are tracing a route of the vineyards around the island of Sicily, understanding each grape, its climate, and the character of the people who grows them and live in each area. Not only do they care about these factors to create the wine, but they are making everything possible to grow sustainable, renewable energy, bio-architecture, and recycling of materials. All of these factors not only make the most responsible wine, but one of the most delicious wines we tried at the Slow Wine event. Kudos to this company who is foreseing and building the future of wine! And the wine; Black cherry cardamom aromas, with a hint of soft vanilla and spicy cinnamon. Built in tannins, and a soft rounded end. Divine.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:

Octopus Ceviche, Salmon slidersRainbow TroutTuna Ceviche VerdeMariana’s Mexican sashimi

More about Planet wines: www.planeta.it

Michael Fisher Vallone, Export Manager Great to meet you Michael!

Graticciaia
2016
By: Vallone

Grape: Graticciaia. 100% Negroamaro wine
Apellation: Salento I.G.P.
Area: Castello di Serranova, Puglia, south-east Italy

We fell in love with this wine when we first tried last year. We had the fortune of meeting and talking with the owner and producer Francesco Vallone. He talked to us about his journey as wine maker, and told us all about his 80 year old vines. The sun drying process of the grapes and the careful process to preserve the personality of the grapes. After listening to Francesco and tasting the wine, we could only taste the care that passion this attractive reds shows. This year we had the fortune to meet Michael Fischer, export manager for Vallone who hooked us with the new Graticciaia. Beautiful and enticing spicy-berry aromas, complex full robust flavors that carry the dry sun on the grapes, black berries, smoky sweet currant notes, lusciously liquorice, elegant with a hint of tobacco. Are you here with me? Dreamy, right?..It is. Graticciaia is big and noble, a one of a kind wine to pursuit.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Grilled Lamb and Autumn ChimichurriGuajillo Pork Chops, Braised Lamb shanks with fennel and cipollini onions, Braised Short Ribs and pomegranate,  Black Cherry and cacao nibs Brownies , for and indulgence dessert.

More about Vallone wines: www.agricolevallone.it

Me, with the one and only Rosario Ferreri from FerreriVini

Nero d’Avola
2014

By: Ferreri

Grape: Nero D’Avola 100%
Apellation: Sicilia I.G.P.
Area: Salinella vineyard Santa Ninfa, Sicily

So easy to love. In one word, elegance in red. Ruby red, with intense deep purple brilliance. This wine is luscious, great nose, red fruits and a hint of vanilla. It feels silky in your mouth, soft but with character. We met Rosario Ferreri last year at the Slow wine event, his presence and personality reflects the same notes as his wine. An elegant Sicilian gentleman with which we had the fortune to talk… a little because of our lack of Italian and his lack of English. We let the wine do the talking and it was one of our favorites. This year, as soon we arrived to the event we looked for him to say hello and to try again the silky Nero d’Avola. We also were introduced to their floral Catarrato, we have a new favorite on our list.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Sweet and handsome Farro SaladOctopus Ceviche, Salmon slidersGrilled Seafood Paella

For inquires: Dott.Rosario Ferreri at info@ferrerivini.it
More about Ferreri wines: www.ferrerivini.it 

Alessandro Starrabba Malacari, Mariana McEnroe, great to meet you, see you next year!

Grigiano
2009
Reserva
By: Conti Malacari

Grape: Montepulciano Grapes
Apellation:Rosso Conero D.O.C. And Conero Riserva D.O.C.G
Area: Offanga Ancona, Marche-Italy

This year new favorite, Grigiano Malacari Conero riserva. A full bodied red with robust dark fruits, prunes and raisins over damson plum and blackberries give its perfect tannins. Layered notes of spice, vanilla and cocoa. Tasting this wine, made me think on the perfect companion for steak, pork roasts and Texas BBQ. It was a pleasure to meet Alessandro Starrabba Malacari the producer and CEO of this georgeous label. A well balanced wine that showcases the benefits of being facing the Adriatic Sea.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Lamb grilled, Seared Under Blade Steak Greens and BeetsDos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney SandwichPoblano peppers stuffed with farro and walnut sauce -Chiles en Nogada

More about Malacari wines: www.malacari.it

Mariana McEnroe and Anna Paola Giacobazzi, Thank you Anna, Cin cin!

Lambrusco di Modena Spumante
2009
By:Cantina Della Volta

Grape:Lambrusco di Sorbara
Apellation: D.O.C. Classic Method
Area: Emilia Romagna region.

Happy wine + happy people= great flavors! Enchanting bubbles, beautiful ruby color, aromas and flavors of strawberries and berries. Great to meet their crew, Anna Paola Giacobazzi you are a great Lady and so much fun, Thank you!

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:

Tuna Ceviche Verde , Shrimp Stuffed AvocadosBerry Crostatta

More about Cantina Della Volta wines: www.cantinadellavolta.com

Roero Riserva Mombeltramo
2012
By: Malvira’

Grape: 100%Nebbiolo
Apellation:Mombeltramo D.O.C.G
Area: Canale Piedmont-Italy

A new favorite to add to our reds. Red terracotta color, with rose and smoky spices, juicy and pleasant dark fruit. Right on our alley with the tannis and complex flavors that can make a red wine just stand by itself on a cozy night, reading a book.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Braised short ribs, Hatch fried chicken, Cremmini and Challerhocker Swiss cheese grilled cheese sandwich, a book.

More about Malvira wines: www.malvira.com

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Fiore
2014
By: Montenidoli

Grape: 100% Vernaccia
Apellation: FIORE Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Area: San Gimignano-Tuscany-Italy

Elisabetta Fagiuoli is a lady you must meet at the next Slow Wine guide. Her family’s heritage of knowledge and love for the land, shows in her wines. Respecting the land and using organic methods have made her Vernaccia, San Gimignano’s historic white grape shine. This humble wine shows floral and delicate aromas. A bright and crisp acidity, with fruity clean notes.

Yes, more please! pairings recipes:
Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto, Tuna Ceviche Verde, Corona Beans with Spicy Cilantro Pesto

More about Montenidoli: www.montenidoli.com

So many wines, so little time!, we hope you enjoy this curated experience.

Support the Slow Wine movement and get the ball rolling if you are interested in bringing this wines to the USA,

or going to Italy and taste them, what ever is the case you will keep dreaming about them, just like we do…Ciao!

Special Thanks to:

Mark Rashap Certified Wine Educator Extraordinare, www.theilluminatedbottle.com
&
Colangelo & PartnersSlow Food Austin for the invitation to this event.

Aljoscha Goldschmidt, from Corzano e Paterno

Francesco Vallone Founder -CEO and Michael Fischer, Export Manager from Vallone

Alessandro Starrabba, from Conti Malacari Viticoltori

Dott.Rosario Ferreri, from Ferreri Vini

Good laughs and great times with Mark Rashap! Have you listened to his Radio show? If you love wine, its a must! koopradio check his website!


Music Pairing: La grande Belleza Colonna Sonora Finale-Musica un film Di Paolo Sorrentino

 

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Leek Potato Charred Poblano Soup

Hello, hello! We are back in the saddle and hope you had a fantastic Holidays and a fresh start to 2017. We have been on a rollercoaster of change and highly focused on our book. Besides some adversities with Miss. Mildred (our stove), we are working on her retirement and the stove transition to make it happen. We are extremely grateful for all the great people who have supported us during this time, whether if it has been a word of encouragement, an e-mail, a phone call, or a donation funding for the new stove to come. To all of you, THANK YOU so much! On the other hand, It is taking a little longer than we expected, with permits and responses, but as soon we have the stove we will shout it out loud and proud!, and of course we will send you a photo.

In the meantime, dealing with our bi-polar weather and stove, soups have been my ultimate effort to save our dinners. One coil burner and a quick prep and 20-25 minutes in the kitchen, can yield the coziest, warmest, and most rewarding bowl of goodness to your table on any given dinner night. This classic velvety soup of leeks, potatoes, and cream has the flavor force of 1,000 horses. It always amazes me how so few ingredients treated with care can yield some of the best soups. Despite the classic version of this soup being one of my favorites, I’m giving this classic velvety soup a rustic and hearty twist. I find this soup much more comforting when its not blended all the way. So I reserved some sautéed leeks, and when it comes the time to pure, I used my immersion blender just a few times, enough to give the desired creaminess from the classic version, and leaving about half of the potato bites. These slight changes give great texture and hearty body to the soup. My irreverence, the addition of charred poblanos, I think is the best thing that could happen to this soup

Chiles Poblanos, as you know, when charred take on a smoky, and pleasant heat that when added to the soup create a spectacular synergy of flavors. Creamy texture small potato bites, soft buttery leeks with a smoky mildly spicy accent, a dollop of Greek yogurt, some sea salt, and a crusty bread on the side is all you need to make your dinner memorable.
Best 25 minutes invested in your kitchen. Hell yeah!

Leek Potato Charred Poblano Soup

Serves 1 Mama bear, 1 Papa Bear, 2 cubs

3  large leeks washed, use just bright lime and white parts, sliced.
1  pound Maris piper or yellow wax potatoes, peeled and medium diced.
3  tablespoons butter
1  tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3  cups chicken stock
1  cup heavy cream*
1/4  teaspoon dry dill
3/4  teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2  poblano peppers, charred, skinned, de-seeded and cut into strips.

Garnish with:
Greek yogurt, dry or fresh dill, serve with toasted cheese crostinis or rustic bread.

* For vegan or non-dairy soup version, use about 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk and add just one clove of garlic when sweating the leeks, to tame the coconut flavor…it makes a delicious version!

Preparation:

1. Rinse and wash leeks. The best method I have find is to cut the green parts just above when the bright lime and white leek color starts. Cut the top hairs of the leeks and slice in half length wise. Rinse under running water holding from white tops to greenish ends. This will
prevent the sand and dirt getting into the white parts. Make sure you use a clean board to slice the leeks after washing them. Sand particles are very sneaky and they can ruin your soup, be alert. On a separate note, Save deep green parts, wash them, and cut into 3″ pieces, you can make a marvelous stock for feature soups.


2. Over medium heat, warm up a medium large pot, melt butter and oil, add leeks a pinch of salt and 4 tablespoons of chicken stock. Toss well, cover pot with a lid, lower the heat and let them sweat for about 4-5 minutes.
3. When the leeks start softening, and still bright green, reserve about 4 tablespoons in a little ramekin set aside.
4.Add diced potatoes, chicken stock, black pepper and salt, bring it to a high simmer, cover pot and reduce heat. Cook for about 8 minutes or until potatoes are soft but still retain their shape.

5. Meantime charr the popblanos on the direct flame of your stove, use tonges in order to rotate and char them evenly.Set aside cover them with a plate and let them rest for 3-4 minutes. Te plate will create steam and will help when its time to remove the skins. With a spoon, gently scrape the skin, cut the top of the Chile, then slice and open. scrape all the seeds with the spoon and remove the veins. process to think slice or dice what ever you prefer. If you do not own a gas stove… As we do not…use a torch or rub the chiles with a tinny drop of oil, and use the oven broiler. watch them at all times because they can get from char to burnt on a blink of an eye!… Then proceed with the same method to de-vein and de-seed them.
6.Once potatoes are cooked to your desired consistency, add dill, and heavy cream. Stir, and lower the temperature about medium low. with the help of an immersion blender just pulse 2-3 times into the soup to add some creaminess. I leave about 1/2 of the potato diced and half pureed. If you do not have an immersion blender, grab a potato masher, or puree 1 cup of the soup in the blender, until smooth, then add to the soup and stir until well incorporated. At last add the poblanos, cut into strips or diced, and save some to garnish the soup when served. Let the soup warm up, do not let it boil. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and extra slices of charred poblanos. Enjoy!

Music Pairing:  Segundo, Pink Maritini – Je dis Oui!

 

 

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Leek Potato Charred Poblano Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine wholesome
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks washed, use just bright lime and white parts, sliced.
  • 1 pound Maris piper or yellow wax potatoes peeled and medium diced.
  • 3 tablespoons un salted, butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cup heavy cream* * For vegan or non-dairy soup version, use about 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk and add just one clove of garlic when sweating the leeks, to tame the coconut flavor...it makes a delicious version!
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry dill
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium Poblano Peppers, charred, skinned, de-seeded and cut into strips.

Instructions

  1. 1. Rinse and wash leeks. The best method I have find is to cut the green parts just above when the bright lime and white leek color starts. Cut the top hairs of the leeks and slice in half length wise. Rinse under running water holding from white tops to greenish ends. This will

    prevent the sand and dirt getting into the white parts. Make sure you use a clean board to slice the leeks after washing them. Sand particles are very sneaky and they can ruin your soup, be alert. On a separate note, Save deep green parts, wash them, and cut into 3" pieces, you can make a marvelous stock for feature soups. 

  2. 2. Over medium heat, warm up a medium large pot, melt butter and oil, add leeks a pinch of salt and 4 tablespoons of chicken stock. Toss well, cover pot with a lid, lower the heat and let them sweat for about 4-5 minutes.

  3. 3. When the leeks start softening, and still bright green, reserve about 4 tablespoons in a little ramekin set aside.

    4.Add diced potatoes, chicken stock, black pepper and salt, bring it to a high simmer, cover pot and reduce heat. Cook for about 8 minutes or until potatoes are soft but still retain their shape.

  4. 5.Once potatoes are cooked to your desired consistency, add dill, and heavy cream. Stir, and lower the temperature about medium low. with the help of an immersion blender just pulse 2-3 times into the soup to add some creaminess. I leave about 1/2 of the potato diced and half pureed. If you do not have an immersion blender, grab a potato masher, or puree 1 cup of the soup in the blender, until smooth, then add to the soup and stir until well incorporated. At last add the poblanos, cut into strips or diced, and save some to garnish the soup when served. Let the soup warm up, do not let it boil. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and extra slices of charred poblanos. Enjoy!

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Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes

sopes-de-pollo chicken sopes_yes-more-please!

Antojitos Mexicanos…These are the “small bites” in Mexican street food. Go to the fair or the Tianguis (street market) and they are the perfect food for an impromptu craving. Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes is one of them. Take corn masa dough and create a small fried or grilled pattie and you have the foundation to add any kind of toppings you like; shredded chicken, beef, pork, picadillo, chorizo, requeson~Mexican Ricotta, refried beans, mashed potatoes, calabazitas, poblano rajas, mushrooms, infinite filling possibilities. Top them off with a simple tomato salsa, shredded lettuce or cabbage, onions, radishes, crema and queso fresco or cotija cheese, and these little sopes, will be a highly crave-able meal.

In Guadalajara, Jalisco, where I’m from, these fresh corn masa patties are called Sopes de Masa, or pellizcadas which translates into “pinched”. Why? Once these masa patties are cooked, on the comal or fried, the edges of these round patties are pinched all around to create a border-leap that will hold the fillings and topping goodness.

This masa pinching is done by an experienced cook, a grandma or an aunt, cooks that have developed Moctezuma fingers, with digital prints deleted by the generational hard work in the kitchen. Since these patties are piping hot, you need this kind of strong digital numbness to achive the results. Lucky you, this is not the only way to make sopes, I will provide you with an easy solution using two spoons. You get to keep your fingerprints.

Now, the best way to make these home style masa sopes, relies on a key ingredient to have a crispy exterior sope and soft inside texture. It is to add a smashed potato to the masa. This gives the corn masa a soft tender bite and a lighter more delicate feel and flavor. Optimally, this recipe is best made with fresh masa. Read below for recommendations.

Fried or cooked on a comal? This is your choice. In my version I added a bit of oil to the griddle (comal) to give the sopes crispy edges and exterior without having to use a lot of oil for frying since its just for the two of us. But, if you have more than 8 guests, pan frying them would be the way to go.

Are you ready to make some of the most delicious Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes  in the comfort of your home kitchen? Lets cook!

Grab some cold Mexican beer or prepare some Agua Fresca, and the party is on!

sopes-de-pollo-yes-more-pleasemasa-for-sopes

Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes

Makes 8- 3″ round sopes

For the Masa:

1- ¼ cup fresh corn masa or masa harina, I prefer Minsa brand, or Maseca.
1 medium waxy potato, cooked, peeled and pureed
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup of warm water, add a few more teaspoons if needed

For the fillings:
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, about 3 pieces of chicken (skin removed)
1/2 cup refried beans, on the lose side, to make them more spreadable.

For other fillings variations check this 8 vegetable taco fillings that will work just as deliciously!

For the toppings:

1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce or green cabbage
¼ cup red onion, diced
4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
1-2 fresh Serrano peppers thinly sliced
½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
½ cup Crema Mexicana
1 cup simple tomato sauce

Simple tomato sauce:

2 large roma tomatoes, boiled and peeled*
2 garlic cloves
3 good pinches of dry oregano
1 pinch of ground cloves
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Place everything in the blender and puree. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if the sauce is to thick.
*If tomatoes are out of season, I use roasted canned tomatoes from Muir Glenn.

Directions:

1. Prepare the masa by combining all the ingredients, mixing and kneading with your hands, until a soft dough ball that resembles a moist play-dough. Cover the ball with a damp clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.

sopes-de-masa-yes-more-please
2. Heat up a heavy cast iron skillet, flat griddle, or a comal. Keep it under medium heat. Meantime…
3. Divide the dough into 8 round balls around 2-1/2”. Take one ball and with your fingers press to make a round flat shape. Then turn around a press again. Use your fingers to keep the round shape on the perimeter until you have a flat round patties around 3”-3 1/2” inches in diameter and about a little less than 1/2” inch thick.

how-to-shape-sopes_yes-more-please
4. Add about 1 tablespoon of sunflower or vegetable oil to the comal and place each pattie on the comal as you keep shaping the rest of the masa. Check the patties every now and then, keep rotating them for even cooking. Give each pattie about 2-3 minutes per side. Start flipping them as they turn golden brown with a few toasty brown spots. Add a bit more oil to the comal when flipping them.

sopes-de-masa-en-el-comal
5. Once both sides are cooked, transfer to a plate and with the help of two same size spoons , make an indentation on the sope about 3/8” from the perimeter, then position one of the spoons on the outside of the sope edge and the other spoon on the indentation you just made. Gently press the masa in between the spoons, like if they were “spooning” to create the sope edge all around. If you feel confident enough, you can pinch the edges with your fingers but be very, very, careful not burn yourself. This masa gets very hot. Do this to all eight of them, and place them in the warm comal at a low heat to keep them warm as you shape the rest of the sopes.

how-to-make-sopes-como-hacer-sopes-sin-quemarse-los-dedos-yes-more-mexico-please
6. Once all are ready, fun begins!, I like to spread some refried beans on the bottom, that is my glue, then fill them with the shredded chicken, garnish with lettuce, onions, radishes, spoonful of the simple tomato sauce, drizzle with crema, sprinkle crumbled queso fresco, some thinly sliced serranitos, salt and pepper to taste.

You can make a Salsa Verde like this for a variation, or a spicier salsa to serve on the side, like this ones could be a good option. Or your favorite hot sauce, mine: Cholula or Tapatio.

Serve warm and enjoy!sopes-de-pollo-preparation

sopes-de-pollo-mexican-antojitos-corn-masa-yes-more-please

Sopes de Pollo - Chicken Sopes

5 from 1 vote
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Sopes de Pollo

Yes more please!, cooking blog

Antojitos Mexicanos

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 -1/4 cup Fresh masa or masa harina, I prefer Minsa brand, or Maseca.
  • 1 medium white potato, cooked, peeled and pureed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water, add a few more teaspoons if needed

For the fillings:

  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, about 3 pieces of chicken (skin removed)
  • 1/2 cup refried beans, on the lose side, to make them more spreadable.

For the toppings:

  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce or green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Serrano peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or cotija, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crema Mexicana
  • 1 cup Simple tomato sauce, recipe follows

Simple tomato sauce

  • 2 large roma tomatoes, boiled and peeled*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 good pinches of dry oregano
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. 1. Prepare the masa by combining all the ingredients, mixing and kneading with your hands, until a soft dough ball that resembles a moist play-dough. Cover the ball with a damp clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.

    2. Heat up a heavy cast iron skillet, flat griddle, or a comal. Keep it under medium heat. Meantime...

    3. Divide the dough into 8 round balls around 2-1/2”. Take one ball and with your fingers press to make a round flat shape. Then turn around a press again. Use your fingers to keep the round shape on the perimeter until you have a flat round patties around 3”-3 1/2” inches in diameter and about a little less than 1/2” inch thick.

    4. Add about 1 tablespoon of sunflower or vegetable oil to the comal and place each pattie on the comal as you keep shaping the rest of the masa. Check the patties every now and then, keep rotating them for even cooking. Give each pattie about 2-3 minutes per side. Start flipping them as they turn golden brown with a few toasty brown spots. Add a bit more oil to the comal when flipping them.

    5. Once both sides are cooked, transfer to a plate and with the help of two same size spoons , make an indentation on the sope about 3/8” from the perimeter, then position one of the spoons on the outside of the sope edge and the oder spoon on the indentation you just made. Gently press the masa in between the spoons, like if they were “spooning” to create the sope edge all around. If you feel confident enough, you can pinch the edges with your fingers but be very, very, careful for not burning yourself. This masa gets very hot. Do this to all eight of them, and place them in the warm comal at a low heat to keep them warm as you shape the rest of the sopes.

    6. Once all are ready, fun begins!, I like to spread some refried beans on the bottom, that is my glue, then fill them with the shredded chicken, garnish with lettuce, onions, radishes, spoonful of the simple tomato sauce, drizzle with crema, sprinkle crumbled queso fresco, some thinly sliced serranitos, salt and pepper to taste.

    You can make a Salsa Verde like this for a variation, or a spicier salsa to serve on the side, like this ones could be a good option. Or your favorite hot sauce, mine: Cholula or Tapatio.

    Serve warm and enjoy!

Music Pairing: Chan -Chan ~ Buena Vista Social club

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Tempura Tex-m-pura Baby Eggplants

tempura-texmpura-baby-eggplants-yes-more-please

This might be the ultimate way to eat baby eggplants.
Besides the great classic recipes used for bigger eggplants, like ratatouille, caponata, Baba ghanoush, grilling, stuffing or roasting them( which I love) I feel these dainty two-three inches nightshade gems deserve a more delicate approach. I’m always looking for a contrast in texture when eating something so custardy and creamy like the way the eggplants become when they are cooked. The solution for my craving for these tender and sweet eggplants: tempura batter.
I know you have seen eggplant tempura at your favorite Japanese restaurant. They mostly use the large eggplants, which are delicious but not near as delicate in  flavor as these babies. Wait until you try this dainty two bite goodness.
These Tempura baby Eggplants are an exhilarating bite. Imagine a bite that combines a light and crispy fried tempura coat with a warm custardy buttery eggplant interior. A beautiful object to be dipped on a tangy, salty, spicy, sweet sauce. Yes, all in one bite.
Are you with me? Or did you lose it at tempura coat?…
There are a lot of tempura recipes out there yielding different textures and results. After experimenting with different amounts of flours, egg, eggless, water, cold fizzy water, I think I found the formula and proportions that work for my tempura dreams. By far this tempura recipe is the one I find it has the right balance of flavor and texture, for me, tempura has to be extra crispy and light with a flavorful batter. This is what this tempura coat is all about: crispy and flavorful.

tempura-baby-eggplants_texmpura_yes-more-please
Now lets make this tempura recipe our own. My spin is a hint of spice and using an Ale instead of the fizzy water. Texmpura, its what I call this, using one of my favorite Texas beer, “The Naked Nun” from Adelbert’s Brewery, an Austin, Texas …a local beer, this is all you need to transform this Tempura into a beer batter Texmpura that is flavorful, light, and extra crisp. If you can’t get Adelbert’s where you are I recommend a bright citrus beer, or a dos equis mexican beer instead. I’m sure by now you are as excited as I am, about eggplant season. Eggplants are available all year around, but the peak of eggplant season runs from July to October and baby eggplants are best found at local stores or farmer’s markets. If you are in Austin Tx, you can find these babies at Mueller Sunday’s Farmers market, Springdale Farms, Wholefoods or Central Market.
Now, my friends, please, do not limit yourself to eggplants, bring on the carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, mushrooms, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, parnsnips, squash, zucchini, Yes, please! bringing these vegetables along with baby eggplants to the party! That’s a must, although
Once you tried this Texmpura Baby Eggplants, its kind of a one vegetable party…
Have fun, Enjoy!

tempura-ingredients

Tempura Tex-m-pura Baby Eggplants

Serves 4-6 people

24 Baby eggplants, any kind will work, I used graffiti baby eggplants.
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1- 1 ½ cups grape seed oil or peanut oil to fry.
½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional), if you have it great it will give more flavor to the oil.
For the batter:
½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 egg
¼ teaspoon korean chili powder
1 pinch of salt
If making tempura: ¾ cup cold topo chico or any mineral water of your affection.
OR
If making tex-m-pura*: ¾ cup cold Ale I used “the naked nun”from Adelbert’s Brewery. Use any other citrus-y ale beer of your affection.
For Tex-mpura, substitute the fizzy water for a ligh or ambar beer of your affection. My suggestion, I love Austin, Adelbert’s Brewery its a local beer and my choice for this recipe will be “the naked nun” why well, as they described their beer: “THE ALE:  This ale has a well-rounded aroma of citrus notes, clove, and apple. It is refreshing and soft, with balanced hints of bitter orange peel and coriander”.

For the dipping sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoosn honey
2 generous pinches of korean chili powder to sprinkle on the baby eggplants when serving.

Preparation method:
1. Cut the baby eggplants in fourths leaving the steam on, being careful not to cut all the way trough.
2. In a large bowl toss eggplants with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

how-to-cook-baby-eggplants
3. Make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Set aside.
4. Prepare the tempura batter: On a medium size bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, chilli powder and salt, whisk. Add egg and fizzy mineral water OR the beer and whisk until just combined. Place batter bowl over a bowl with ice, and refigerate for 5 minutes, while your oil comes to temperature. One of the secrets for crispy tempura is to keep the batter chilled.

tempura-tex-mpura-batter-yes-more-please
5. In a small tall pot add the oil and heat it up to 350F/ 175C use a frying thermometer for best results.
Once the oil has reached the temperature, test your oil by dropping some batter into the oil. It should come afloat immediately. Now, take each eggplant by the steam and dip it on the cold tempura batter, promptly and carefully, gently drop the eggplant on the oil. With the help of a fork, drizzle on fast zigzag motion some of the batter on top of the eggplant that is on the oil. This will give extra bits of crispy batter morsels. Wait 1-2 minutes, and using some wood chopsticks or a spider skimmer and  flip the eggplant to the other side, wait 1 more minute, until its beautiful and light golden brown, take it out and place it on a wire rack.
Depending upon the size of your frying pot, you can fry 2-3 at the time, monitor the oil temperature every time you start a new batch. Too hot oil will scorch the batter, too cold oil will yield oily tempura.
Once you find your frying rhythm this process goes really fast!

how-to-fry-tempura_yes-more-please

tempura-baby-eggplants_yes-more-pleasetempura-texmpura-baby-eggplants

Serve immediately, eat while is warm, dip munch, crisp, repeat… enjoy!

Music Pairing: 17 Hippies “Saragina Rumba” Live in Berlin

5 from 1 vote
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Tempura Tex-m-pura Baby Eggplants

www.yes-moreplease.com

THis might be the ultimate way to eat baby eggplants, crispy and creamy tender inside.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine FUSION, Japanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 ninja-tex

Ingredients

  • 24 Baby eggplants, any kind will work, I used graffiti baby eggplants.
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, for dusting the eggplants
  • 1- 1 ½ cups grape seed oil or peanut oil, to fry. to fry.
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional), if you have it great it will give more flavor to the oil.

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 pinches korean chili powder, some to use in the batter , some to sprinkle on the baby eggplants when serving.

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Instructions

  1. 1. Cut the baby eggplants in fourths leaving the steam on, being careful not to cut all the way trough.

    2. In a large bowl toss eggplants with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

    3. Make the dipping sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

    4. Prepare the tempura batter: On a medium size bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, chilli powder and salt, whisk. Add egg and fizzy mineral water OR the beer and whisk until just combined. Place batter bowl over a bowl with ice, and refigerate for 5 minutes, while your oil comes to temperature.

    5. In a small tall pot add the oil and heat it up to 350F/ 175C use a frying thermometer for best results.

    6. Once the oil has reached the temperature, test your oil by dropping some batter into the oil. It should come afloat immediately. Now, take each eggplant by the steam and dip it on the cold tempura batter, promptly and carefully, gently drop the eggplant on the oil. With the help of a fork, drizzle on fast zigzag motion some of the batter on top of the eggplant that is on the oil. This will give extra bits of crispy batter morsels. Wait 1-2 minutes, and using some wood chopsticks or a spider skimmer and  flip the eggplant to the other side, wait 1 more minute, until its beautiful and light golden brown, take it out and place it on a wire rack.

    Depending upon the size of your frying pot, you can fry 2-3 at the time, monitor the oil temperature every time you start a new batch. Too hot oil will scorch the batter, too cold oil will yield oily tempura.
Once you find your frying rhythm this process goes really fast!

    Serve immediately, eat while is warm, dip munch, crisp, repeat... enjoy!

Recipe Notes

 

*For Tex-mpura, substitute the fizzy water for a ligh or ambar beer of your affection. My suggestion, I love Austin, Adelbert's Brewery its a local beer and my choice for this recipe will be “the naked nun” why well, as they described their beer: "THE ALE:  This ale has a well-rounded aroma of citrus notes, clove, and apple. It is refreshing and soft, with balanced hints of bitter orange peel and coriander".

Hello! That's what I want on my batter!

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