Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Avocado Salsa

Wow your friends at your next shin dig or canoe trip with this easy salsa that is a real crowd pleaser. Be sure to have some "Beano" on hand for anyone who may experience some abdominal discomfort due to one of the main ingredients - the black beans. Enjoy!

4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of water
1 packet of good seasons italian dressing mix

In a bowl, combine ingredients, cover and refrigerate for an hour. Serve with chips

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Canoe Trip Pancakes

I had so much fun on the 2008 canoe trip that I have decided that for this post, I will call these "Canoe Trip Pancakes".

Here is the recipe that I used for the pancakes. This is the recipe that ended my desire to buy box pancake mix.

1 Egg
4 Tablespoons Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 Cups of Buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 2/3 Cups of Flour

Combine the first three ingredients (egg, sugar, salt) in a bowl and whisk well.

To that add the last three ingredients (buttermilk, baking soda, flour) and combine. Do not over-mix, it should still be a just mixed.

I use an electric griddle on high heat. Pour the pancakes on the griddle. When you flip the pancakes, poke the top with the spatula to let the steam out.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sarah's Santa Fe Bean Dip

My staple at all neighborhood events. I am not responsible for any stomach malfunctions following the large intake of the black beans...

Just add the following to a bowl and serve with tortilla chips:
1 drained can black beans
1 drained can corn
1 bag of mexican cheese
1/2 cup chopped vidalia or green onions (whichever you prefer)
1/2 cup chunky mild salsa
2 chopped avocados
Juice from one lime
salt and pepper to taste

*Optional items I have added at various events: 1 small can chopped black olives, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper, one drained can of pinto beans

For fun, you could add grilled chicken breast to the dish, as well as romaine lettuce to make more of a "salad" and less of a "dip."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Grandma Doublestein's Chicken Paprikash

A staple in the Doublestein family, this Hungarian dish has been made with Slovak modifications for decades and enjoyed by generations. Jemma even loves it, and she hates almost everything not involving bread, cheese, or sugar! The recipe is not exact in any way. I wrote down my grandma's approximations quite a few years ago, and it always turns out fine. A perfect meal for a crisp fall afternoon in front of a Michigan game or a snowy winter's night.

Saute 1 Large Onion in butter in large dutch oven
Add Chicken (about 4 legs, 4 thighs, and 2 breasts, on the bone, skin attached)
Add 4 T. Paprika
Crush a few garlic cloves into the pot, add some salt
Cover with water, cook until tender (about an hour or so). Your house will start to smell awesome!
Remove the chicken out of the "juice" and set aside

While the chicken cooks, you can mix your batter for the dumplings (which we call Halushki in Slovak)
-2 cups flour
-2 eggs
-1 t. salt
-enough water to make a thick dough (about 1 cup)

Boil the chicken "juice" after the chicken has been removed and drop the Halushki batter in by the teaspoonful. Let them cook in the boiling "juice" for about 7 minutes.
After the dumplings are cooked, you can slightly thicken the "juice" to make it "gravy" with a little flour and milk mixure. Not sure about that ratio, but use something similar in consistency as you would for a basic beef or chicken gravy. (I wouldn't use corn starch, though).
To finish the gravy, add about half a pint of sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste. You can either add the chicken back in and serve as a stew (either on the bone, or remove all the meat from the bone if you don't want to get messy), or serve the chicken as it was when removed from the liquid with the gravy and dumplings on the side. Since I like to eat it off the bone, I usually go with the latter unless I made a lot to serve at a gathering or something, in which case boneless is easier to serve and eat.
The part of this meal that still stumps me is what to serve along with it. If anybody discovers any winning combinations, let me know. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

To Begin: Frozen Berries with White Hot Chocolate

One of the many (some good, some not) ideas generated out of Orchard Ave. Canoe '08 was to create an Orchard Avenue cookbook, or something similar that would let us share all the fantastic recipes we're always cooking for one another at block parties, tailgates, progressive dinners, etc. And I thought, why not have a blog? So here's a first attempt. Everyone can log in and post. I sent an e-mail to at least one person in each family; if you want another person added, let me know the e-mail address and I'll make it done. This makes me the administrator, which is scary, because while I love to write, I am not the most tech-savvy person on the block. So, somebody else figure out how we can "tag" these recipe entries into categories, OK? That way, when Scott DeKoker wants to get Brent Early's grilled coleslaw recipe, he won't have to dig through months of random recipe listings.

I'll start off with the easiest dessert ever, one which some of you sampled under the open sky this weekend. Cheers to cooking together for many more years!

Frozen Berries with White Hot Chocolate (Ina Garten, modified to be easier by me)

serves 6-8

2 - 3 bags frozen mixed berries
1 C. heavy cream
8-10 oz. good white chocolate (not chips), chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Let the berries thaw for 10 - 15 minutes while you make the sauce. In a double-boiler (or similar), heat the cream, chocolate, and vanilla just until the chocolate melts and it's warm to the touch, whisking constantly. Divide the berries into cups or bowls, and pour the white hot chocolate evenly over them. Serve immediately.