Earlier this month you may have read my post about becoming a foodie penpal. Well today is the day that all the foodie penpals share about their boxes. My box came from a lovely woman named Emily from Midland, Texas and within it was all kinds of Texas delicacies like Texas Trash (a sweet concoction kind of like puppy chow) and Amazing Corn (kind of popcorn but kind of not). I was especially excited for the Hatch Green Chiles in the box because they were perfect for a Mexican-inspired dish that I learned from my Aunt Ethel. Aunt Ethel was my dad’s oldest sister and since she didn’t have any kids of her own, she loved to spoil her nephews and nieces with her amazing cooking. She made the best fried chicken, red velvet cake, and ranger cookies that I’ve ever had. Another one of her great recipes were her enchiladas. With my Hatch Green Chiles, I had everything I needed to make them for dinner last night.
Aunt Ethel’s Chicken Enchiladas (yields 4)
- 2 large chicken breast cooled and cubed or shredded
- 1 cans of cream of chicken soup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 4 oz. diced green chilies
- 1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped
- 1 pkg. large flour tortillas (I substitute whole wheat tortillas instead)
- 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- Spray 10 x 15 glass baking dish
- Mix soup, milk, sour cream, chilies and green onions. Spread one cup of mixture on bottom of baking dish. Reserve 1 ½ cups for top.
- Add chopped chicken to remaining mixture. Spread a roll of filling across the center of the tortilla. Roll and place, seam down, in pan. Cover with remaining sauce and cheese on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Thanks to Emily for all the great Texas goodies!
Well, I had another baking flop today. Not that the cookies I made were bad, but after I made them I realized just how un-authentic they were. I was attempting to make a dark sugar cookie hailing from western Columbia. But I failed to spend the time researching like I should have, and instead just went with the first recipe I found. I should have known better when I saw that recipe was from Pilsbury. (How much more American can you get?) Here is the recipe I used.
After I made them, I started researching. (I know, shame on me.) First I found out that I should not be using dark brown cane sugar but rather panela, a solid sugar cane substance that is then grated into the recipe. Second, the recipe called the cookies “cucas” but according to the Word Reference Forum and Local Spanish, cuca is a dirty word in Columbia. Eek!
It just goes to show that research is important and the internet is not always correct. But regardless, the cookies were pretty good if you’re looking for something a bit different and on the line of a Columbian cookie.
I don’t think the icing is authentic either but I figured I’d add it any way. Who doesn’t like a little extra icing, right?
Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C.
September is just a month full of festivals…and I love it. This past weekend we were invited by a friend to the Greek Festival in OKC. As a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, she knew everything about the food, dances, and traditions. Being escorted by a “local” definitely enhanced the entire experience. She taught me how to pronounce everything correctly, told us what we should try and what to avoid, and introduced us to a number of the people running the festival. I even got a picture with the pastor’s wife in her full costume.
We ate our way through the festival. With each ticket came two al a carte items or the Greek dinner so Hubby and I decided to get one of each. First we did the gyro and loukoumades. We both agreed that the gyro was one of the best we’ve ever had. The tomatoes and onions were diced small making it easier to eat and the flavor was delicious.
The loukoumades were equally good. Similar to a donut hole in appearance but not texture, the fried dough balls are very light, similar to a puff pastry. Covered in honey and cinnamon, we probably ate all of our calories for the day in just that one dessert.
But we were not done yet! Next came the dinner which was a choice of lamb, chicken or pasticcio (the Greek version of lasagna). We went for the pasticcio which was served with Greek-style potatoes, green beans, spanakopita, and pita. I loved the pasticcio but the potatoes were incredibly salty. Since Hubby is not fond of spinach, I ate most of the spanakopita and it was pretty good too.
And finally we were thoroughly entertained by our friend’s daughter and her dance troop, the Opa! Dancers. Ranging from age 4 to 9, these kids put on four performances in one night.
I found out about ANZAC biscuits a few weeks ago while browsing through a kids international cookbook, but decided to seek out the real recipe and find out more about these Australian/New Zealander cookies. The cookie recipe was first published in the 1915 St. Andrews Cookery Book. Named ANZAC after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the biscuits originated from wives/mothers sending the cookies to their husbands/sons who were stationed overseas. Due to the ingredients and hardy nature of the biscuits, they were well suited to travel.
ANZAC biscuits ingredients are pretty straight forward. Lacking eggs and milk, these cookies are long-lasting and do not require refrigeration. The only ingredient that may be difficult to find pending your location is the golden syrup. Golden syrup is a sugar cane syrup easily found in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In Oklahoma City, the only place I found the syrup was at Whole Foods. I tasted the syrup to see what it compared to. If you are stateside, a cheaper alternative may be Cairo Syrup.
I stuck pretty close to the original recipe which had me melt the butter and syrup together and then add a mixture of boiling water and baking soda. One change I did make was swapping the sugar out for Splenda to make them a bit more diet friendly. In my oven, the cookies were done in 16 minutes rather than 18 to 20. The batter made about 20 cookies but they turned out a bit more round that ones in the book I saw.
I brought the finished product to Hubby’s office on Friday for lunch. Both he and the nursing staff enjoyed the lightly sweetened, dense cookie. They were gone pretty quick!
When Hubby and I were in Mexico last month, I discovered Chilaquiles – a traditional Mexican breakfast made with chips. My favorite version was called the country breakfast and included chicken, a tomato-based sauce, and lots of queso fresco.
Traditional Mexican Chilaquiles courtesy of On the Road
So today when we went to Cafe Kacao, a Guatemalan breakfast place here in OKC, and I saw a similar dish, I had to try it. What they called Migallas, was almost a perfect replica of the breakfast dish I thoroughly enjoyed in Mexico. A combination of chips, eggs, jalapenos, queso fresco, and red and green peppers, Migallas was was well flavored and filling.
Migallas served with fruit in a sweet cream, fresh tortillas, & delicious black beans.
Check out this recipe from Simply Recipes for the basic Chilaquiles. Feel free to add eggs, chicken, pork or steak to make it a hearty dish.
A little Guatemalan coffee made breakfast perfect!
For this week’s Friday no-kitchen lunch, we went Greek. Our menu included grilled eggplant, a Greek salad, humus and pita, and grapes. Simple but delicious.
For an easy eggplant recipe, here’s what I did:
- Cut eggplant in long slices
- Dip each piece in olive oil and sprinkle with season salt and ground pepper
- Place on griddle heated to 350 degrees or in a frying pan on medium high heat
- Heat approximately 4 minutes on each side or until color darkens and eggplant becomes soft
Eggplant cooking on the griddle
Yummy Greek salad with tomatoes, feta, and olives
My Greek Plate
In addition to great food, we had a fantastic group of students on Friday. These students have either returned from abroad or are headed out to one of the following: Spain, Italy, Hungary, England, New Zealand, Japan, Panama, or Costa Rica. Quite the international group and I think they are all pretty wonderful.
Our rising sophomores
Yep…Friday is still Hawaiian shirt day in the Chemistry department
A couple of our great study abroad alums
Costa Rica seems to be one of those hot destinations right now for study abroaders, honeymooners, and anyone looking for an affordable, fun vacation. I have never been but thought I would give their cuisine a try for Friday lunch. Here was our menu all done without a kitchen stove:
- Gallo Pinto (done via microwave)
- Fried plantains (via toaster oven)
- Roasted Chicken (via grocery store)
- Chips and salsa
- Coconut, chocolate chip cookies – ok, not quite Costa Rican and definitely made with a stove thanks to a recent alum that came by.
- 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 boi-in-bag rice
- 1/2 cup diced onion with 1 tsp oil
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- season salt to taste
- microwave rice according to directions
- microwave beans for 2 minutes in bowl
- microwave onions in oil for 2 minutes
- mix all ingredients and add salt for taste
- 3 plantains cut length-wise and in half
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- season salt to taste
- spread olive oil on roasting pan
- set toaster oven to 425 degrees
- brush plantains with olive oil
- sprinkle with salt
- place plantains down on roasting pan
- cook in toaster oven for 15 to 2o minutes; skins should come off easily
Cut plantains in half by length and width
Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt
Lay flat on toaster pan and bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes
The final product!
Some real Costa Rican salsa
My Costa Rica plate…yum!
These are my great students!
I had to put this one in…we thought we had an earthquake during lunch but it was actually a military maneuver too close to the coast. At least I got to practice my earthquake preparedness!