Never buy chemical-laden processed breadcrumbs again! Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs make a dish come alive. To see the complete how-to slideshow just click the link: http://
Have you ever ventured into your local market to buy breadcrumbs? Next time you’re searching for the finely ground morsels of flavor, take a look at the ingredient panel on the box. It looks like the ingredients for something you’d want to kill bugs with! C’mon, it should simply be breadcrumbs, herbs and spices. True, we are becoming a chemical-based society but you can be a rebel and tell processed foods to “take a hike!”
I still don’t quite understand why people buy breadcrumbs. Maybe it is the utmost in laziness. Maybe it is that people just have too damn much money. Whatever the reason, it’s stupid. You can make your own breadcrumbs in less time than it takes you to go to the store and you can save yourself money as well. Of course in making your own, you are eliminating chemicals and using natural ingredients. Well there is an oddity for 2014.
Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs contain all the flavors associated with the great American Southwest. They have a wonderful aroma and just the right amount of spicy pizzazz. Here at the Casa we use day old and/or stale sourdough bread to make our breadcrumbs. You can use any bread of your liking and even combine differing breads (rye bread also makes wonderful breadcrumbs).
Since I have no idea how much day old or stale bread you will be having, I’ll just share with you the herbs and spices we use to make Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs. Use the breadcrumbs for any dish you normally would use that store-bought poison and you will notice a greatly improved dish.
Ingredients needed to make Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs:
- Bread, day old or stale
- Ground cumin
- Chili Powder
- Ground sage
- Ground basil
- Celery salt
- Olive oil
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the bread (or tear) into chucks.
- Place the bread into a food processor and grind until very fine.
- Place the breadcrumbs into a large bowl.
- Into the crumbs add the herbs and spices and using a whisk, whisk them to combine.
- Add enough olive oil to moisten the breadcrumbs and stir until the breadcrumbs are coated.
- Place the seasoned breadcrumbs into a large saute pan.
- Place into the oven and bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Store the breadcrumbs in an air-tight container in a cool and dark place (or freeze).
A perfect late summer treat for lovers of zucchini — Southwest Stuffed Zucchini! TO see the complete how-to slideshow just click on the link: http://
Does zucchini ever go out of season anymore? It seems as if every time you venture into the produce section of your market you see those lovely elongated squash sitting there waiting to be purchased. I love all members of the squash family but it is zucchini which is the most versatile.
With zucchini being an internationally favorite food, it should surprise no one that every ethnic cuisine has a few recipes for stuffed zucchini. Stuffing a zucchini is a very simple process. You simply scoop out the the pulp (where the seeds are located) and then fill the crevice with your stuffing. The secret, however, to cooking the stuffed zucchini so it won’t fall apart is to leave the stem end on during the cooking process.
For our Southwest Stuffed Zucchini, we rely solely on cheese to hold our stuffing together. There are no breadcrumbs or eggs involved. Being in the great American Southwest, we use our two favorite types of cheese: Monterey Jack and Cheddar. Both of these cheese greatly compliment each other and will not overshadow our other ingredients in either taste or texture.
Ingredients needed to make Southwest Stuffed Zucchini (serves 4):
- 1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup minced salami
- 2 Tbs. minced cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 scallion, minced
- 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
- 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and pulp scooped out
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine the two cheeses, salami, cilantro, garlic, scallion and ginger. Stir all ingredients to combine (this is your stuffing).
- Halve your zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. Discard the pulp.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Brush the inside of the prepared zucchini with the balsamic vinaigrette. Yes, you’ll have a little leftover.
- Fill the zucchini with the stuffing.
- Drizzle the remaining balsamic vinaigrette over the stuffed zucchini.
- Add about 2 inches of water to a large saute pan. Place the zucchini into the pan and place a lid on the pan.
- Place into the oven and bake 20 minutes (time may vary depending on the size of the zucchini).
- Remove from the oven and serve.
No more boring and bland graham cracker crusts for your cream-style pies or cheesecakes! New at the Casa — Oreo and Bourbon Pie Crust! To see the complete how-to slideshow just click the link: http://
Have you ever noticed that when you go to a restaurant and order a dessert which is a cream-type of pie or cheesecake that the crust is always the same. It is usually that bland and boring graham cracker crust. The reason for this is two-fold. First, the person running the kitchen is usually as boring and bland as the crust. Secondly, the pie or cheesecake is commercially made. Really, this should be a crime!
Out here in the great American Southwest we really don’t take kindly to bland and boring. At Casa de Cuisine, we consider bland and boring to be the eight and ninth deadly sins. It is for this reason you will never see a graham cracker crust serving as the platform for any of our desserts. We prefer to be different. We prefer to give your mouth some excitement. We also believe that since you are paying hard-earned money for your meal that you deserve something special. With that said (written), enjoy one of our new sinfully delightful crusts… Oreo Bourbon Pie Crust!
As noted above, this is a pie crust for cream style pies or cheesecakes. The recipe and the how-to pictures are just for the crust. The crust can be baked (as with a cheesecake) or presented as-is for a cream style pie. Due to the fact this is a butter enriched crust, we do recommend using a spring-form pan and layering some foil around the pan if the crust is going to be heated.
Ingredients needed to make Oreo Bourbon Pie Crust (makes one pie crust, depending on thickness):
- 4 cups crushed Oreo cookies
- 1/2 cup bourbon or whiskey
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- Place the crushed Oreo’s into a food processor and finely grind.
- Place the ground Oreo’s into a medium bowl.
- Add the bourbon and butter and stir to combine.
- Place into the pie pan or pre-pared spring-form pan.
- Proceed with the type of cream-style pie or cheesecake you’re making.
The fresh flavors of the great American Southwest come alive with this Santa Fe Vegetarian Pizza. To see the complete how-to slideshow, just click on the link: http://
Have you ever taken a huge bite of pizza and then relish all the flavors which were taking over your mouth. There is something about a perfectly constructed pizza which takes eating to an entire new platform. And yes, a proper pizza is constructed and not just slopped together.
Let’s get a misconception of pizza out of the way. Pizza is not “junk” food. A homemade or professionally artisan pizza is actually quite nutritious (as long as you don’t smother the damn thing with saturated fat products). The first rule of pizza is the crust. The crust should have some body to it, yet be light enough where it is not the center of attention of the pizza. For most of our pizza’s at Casa de Cuisine, we use a special crust which includes cornstarch within the flour and you can see that recipe and the how-to picture slideshow here.
The second rule of pizza is that you should only use the freshest products available. This is especially true when making a vegetarian pizza. If you use produce which is old, stale or decrepit, you might as well be noshing on a piece of cardboard with ketchup spread upon it — much like those disasters at the fast-food pizza places which pollute every town in America.
The third and possibly most important rule of pizza, is constructing it. For a true pizza, there really is no recipe (aside from the dough). You add the toppings you like in however amounts you like — however, it must be constructed properly or the topping will not be flavorful and possibly have the texture of something made by Gerber!
For our Santa Fe Vegetarian Pizza, we’ll give you what we put on it (without amounts) and then we’ll tell you how to construct the pizza and then the proper way of baking the pizza. You will notice the Santa Fe Vegetarian Pizza has no sauce. Actually, very few of our pizza’s have a sauce. Why, because a real pizza is not meant to have a sauce!
This recipe is for the topping of the Santa Fe Vegetarian Pizza. To make the dough (crust), click here.
Ingredients needed to make Santa Fe Vegetarian Pizza (makes 1 medium pizza):
- Olive oil
- Minced scallions (green onions)
- Minced garlic
- Minced cilantro
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Zucchini, medium sliced
- Mushrooms, medium sliced
- Julienne slices of sweet peppers (red, yellow and orange)
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Liberally spread some olive oil over the pizza dough.
- Sprinkle the scallions, garlic and cilantro over the pizza dough.
- Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese atop.
- Place the zucchini on the pizza dough. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and add a little more Parmesan cheese.
- Place the mushrooms and sweet peppers on the pizza dough. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle on a little more Parmesan cheese.
- Place into the oven and bake 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.
Making your own dough can change a pizza from simply being good, to be downright delicious! To see the complete how-to slideshow for making Casa Homemade Pizza dough, simply click the link: http://
Is there anyone who doesn’t like pizza? I would venture to say that there is a pizza for everyone’s liking, whether it be vegetarian or one loaded with meat and cheese. Pizza equates to fun food. It is fun to eat and it is fun to make. When it comes to pizza, there are really only two choices for pure enjoyability. You can get your pizza from a real pizzeria or you can make it at home. That frozen “stuff” they sell at markets is nothing but industrial waste and the cheap so-called pizza from the fast-food pizza places are chemical laced ingredients on something barely resembling dough.
There are two points which make a great pizza. The first is the crust. The second is the ingredients you opt to top your pizza with. For toppings you want the freshest ingredients available. For the crust, you want a yeast infused dough,. This recipe for pizza dough we use at Casa de Cuisine. It is a little lighter than most pizza dough’s due to the fact we add a little cornstarch to the flour.
If you are accustomed to working with yeast infused dough’s, you might notice something a little strange here. We are not”proofing” the yeast. This will give our pizza crust a lighter texture.
This is a very simple recipe that anyone can do at home and it will only cost you pennies to prepare.
Ingredients needed to make Casa Homemade Pizza Dough (makes 1 large pizza):
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. yeast
- 2 tsp. dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk them to combine.
- Add the water and stir to form a dough.
- Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead around five minute by hand.
- Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm area one hour.
- Punch the dough down (yes, put your fist in it).
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few minutes.
- Shape the dough into a pizza crust (round, oval or square).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a pizza pan or pizza stone sprinkled with cornmeal)
- Place the pizza crust onto the prepared pan and proceed to make the pizza of your choice.
Nothing quite quenches the tongue like a Southwest Avocado Salsa Fresco. To see the complete how-to picture slide show just click on the link: http://
As we are coming to the end of domestic avocado season (albeit they are available year around from other countries), now is a wonderful time to experience the tastes and textures of locally grown avocados. Where as most people are used to making guacamole or adding a few of these weird fruits (yes, the avocado is a fruit) in their salads, there is much more that one can do with these little nutritional bombs. One of our favorite ways of using avocados is with our shrimp dishes at Casa de Cuisine and making a delicious Avocado Salsa Fresca. This dish is a cross between a salsa and a guacamole.
This is a very simple dish to prepare at home and quite inexpensive. You can make it ahead of time and to keep the avocado’s from turning brown (oxidizing), just add a little lime juice to the mix. In the slideshow, you will see us serving the Avocado Salsa Fresca with our Coconut Torpedo Shrimp.
Ingredients needed to make Avocado Salsa Fresca (makes about 1 cup):
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 green onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. chipotle sauce
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, place the avocado and mash using the tines of a fork. This will give the Avocado Salsa Fresca some texture.
- Into the bowl, stir the remaining ingredients.
- Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. If making ahead of time, refrigerate.
- Give the Avocado Salsa Fresca and quick stir and serve.
Taking burgers to a new taste dimension. The famed Casa de Cuisine Brie Stuffed Bacon Burger. To see the complete how-to slideshow on making these simply click the link: http://
Burgers! They are one of America’s favorite foods, albeit most American’s have never truly had a real burger. No, those prepared patties slathered with industrial waste you spend money on at the fast-food dens of death are not burgers. They are prolonged suicide. A real burger is made from ground beef which contains fat. Why? Because fat equals taste. Eating a burger which contains no fat would be the same as eating a seasoned piece of cardboard.
Out here in the great American Southwest, we really relish a good burger and we’re always looking for ways to make it better. Whenever we do a “bacon burger” type of dish, we actually put bacon into the burger. Just layering a slice or two of bacon on a burger is lazy and pretty much deteriorate the whole concept of a bacon burger. To add bacon to the burger also gives the ground beef more moisture and your burger won’t shrink as much.
For this particular burger, our Southwest Brie Stuffed Bacon Burger, we have upped the ante on burgers. Aside from fresh ground beef (which you can buy from any market which has a butcher) and mixing that ground beef with minced bacon, we envelope a nice large cube of Brie cheese within the burger. This is a rather simple procedure and in the slideshow we’ll show you exactly how to do this.
To properly cook a burger of this type, you want to use a medium heat. You want to cook the burger, not incinerate it. By using a medium heat, you will retain all the flavors. Another trick for making a perfect burger is never season the exterior of the burger. First of all, the salt will dry out the meat and secondly, you’re just wasting whatever seasoning you’re using as it will simply char and be left in the pan once your remove the meat. If you want to season your burger, add the seasoning or herbs to the ground beef while you’re mixing it.
Ingredients needed to make a Southwest Brie Stuffed Bacon Burger (makes 1 burger):
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup minced uncooked bacon
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground sage
- 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large cube Brie cheese, with the rind still on
- Pre-heat a medium grill pan or skillet over medium heat. There is no need to add oil to the pan as there is bacon in the ground beef.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the Brie cheese, and mix by hand.
- Form the meat into a ball and then slightly flatted.
- Into the middle of the meat, make a crevice large enough toe fir the cube of Brie cheese.
- Place the cheese into the crevice and then form the meat over the cheese to completely cover it.
- Form the meat into an oval thick patty. You do not want any of the cheese exposed.
- Place on the prepared pan and cook to desire doneness.
Enjoy the tastes and texture of Cajun cuisine with Cajun Fish and Shredded Zucchini Parmesan. To see the complete how-to slideshow, click on the link: http://
There is a difference between spicy and hot and a perfect example of this is Cajun cuisine. When eating true Cajun food, your tongue will be tantalized but it will not burn. Cajun cooking is also quite quick and in most cases, very simple. A dish which epitomizes the true tastes and textures of Cajun cooking is Cajun Fish with Shredded Zucchini Parmesan.
If you want to be really authentic to Cajun cuisine when you prepare this dish, the fish you use will be catfish. If you can’t find catfish, you can use the very popular swai fish, which is now in most markets and quite inexpensive. Swai is, in simple terms, as Asian version of catfish. A very fleshy fish which can take the heat of Cajun cooking.
The tantalizing flavors of this dish come from the Cajun seasoning. You can make your own Cajun seasoning blend (as we do at Casa de Cuisine) or you can purchase various commercial ones at your local market. When buying a commercial Cajun spice blend, look at the ingredients panel. You only want to see herbs and spices. If you see anything else, put it down and buy another one.
Ingredients needed to make Cajun Fish with Shredded Zucchini Parmesan (serves 2):
- 2 catfish of swai fillets
- 1 Tbs. Cajun seasoning
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- ! Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 zucchini, shredded
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Wipe the catfish or swai fillets of any moisture.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat.
- Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over both sides of the fish.
- Place the fish into the pan and cook 5 minutes per side or to desired doneness.
- Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
- Into the same pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter and stir until the butter melts.
- Add the garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Add the shredded zucchini and saute 7 minutes.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, stir and cook just until the Parmesan cheese begins to melt.
- Place the fish on serving plates, surround with the Shredded Zucchini Parmesan and serve.
If it is indeed true that “bread is the staff of life,” you will be standing very tall once you’ve made these artisan Sesame and Poppy Seed Bread Rolls. To see the complete how-to pictures just click on the link http://
A long time ago and in a galaxy far, far away, when you went to a fine restaurant for dinner, you were served freshly made dinner rolls. Throughout the course of time, this tradition has diminished. Now, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a bowl of rolls which were made a few hundred miles way and then popped into a warmer in the kitchen about 30 minutes before you even walked into the eatery. My, how times have changed, and not for the better.
Personally, I love dinner rolls. I love the added tradition they bring to the table. I also love the taste and texture of artisan breads. Luckily, I find a great deal of personal delight in making artisan breads. For me, and many other people, making bread is almost therapeutic. There is a very real sense of calm when creating artisan breads and even better, is when they first come out of the oven and you slice one open and slather some creamery fresh butter on them.
Making bread is quite easy. It is also time consuming as most yeast infused breads take a couple of rising periods. Don’t let the rising periods make you think you’re wasting your day. While the bread is rising, do whatever you had planned. The bread doesn’t want you around. It wants to be left alone.
This recipe for Sesame and Poppy Seed Bread Rolls is extremely easy and only takes a few ingredients. Experience the joys of making artisan bread and then enjoy the delicious rewards of your toiling.
Ingredients needed for making Sesame and Poppy Seed Bread Rolls (makes 6):
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water
- In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients.
- Set the bowl aside 10 minutes for the yeast to proof (foam).
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp. cold water
- Sesame and poppy seeds
- Into a large bowl, stir together the proofed yeast, flour,salt and warm water until the flour is moistened and you have a dough.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 10 minutes.
- Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and let rise 2 hours.
- Punch the dough down (yes, with your fist) and then remove it from the bowl and place on a floured surface.
- Knead the dough 5 minutes and then place back into the bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour.
- Punch the down down and remove it from the bowl to a floured surface.
- Knead the dough a few minutes and then divide the dough into 6 portions.
- Form each portion into a roll, either round or as a little loaf.
- Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
- Place the rolls on the prepared sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and water. This is what is known as an egg-wash.
- Brush the loaves with the egg wash and then sprinkle seeds over the top of the rolls.
- Let the rolls rise 30 minutes.
- Place the rolls into the oven and bake 25-30 minutes, depending on the size and shape of the rolls.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.