Friday, August 22, 2008

Cafe Rio/Costa Vida Lunch

I'm not sure if the East Coasters in our group are familiar with Costa Vida or Cafe Rio, but they're tasty Baja-style Mexican resturants in Utah and Arizona (maybe elsewhere, now?). Jessica gave me this recipe. It's such a handy one for a quick party meal.

Costa Vida Sweet Pork

6 (approx) pounds of port butt/shoulder
1 19oz. Red Enchilada Sauce
1 can Dr. Pepper or (20oz)
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Garlic salt
½ c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Fresh cilantro, chopped

*Wrap meat in foil. Put in roasting pan and bake at 275 degrees for 5 h ours. Pull the meat out and let it cool for 30 minutes then shred. In separate bowl, mix the enchilada sauce, Dr. Pepper, salt, garlic salt, brown sugar and chopped cilantro. Pour over meat and mix.

Um, I just throw all of these ingredients (except the cilantro) in the crock pot and mix the above ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. I'm sure roasting would make it delicious, but during an Arizona summer, it would make my kitchen about 105 degrees.

Café Rio Salad Dressing

1 1/3 c. sour cream
¾ c. mayonnaise
½ bunch cilantro chopped
1 package ranch dressing mix
4 Tbsp. Salsa verde (green salsa)
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce (optional)
Juice of one lime
Milk to thin it out

*mix together in blender and that’s it!

Cilantro Lime Rice

3 c. cooked white rice (or brown)
1 tsp. Lime zest, minced (optional)
1-2 Tbsp. Fresh lime juice
2-3 Tbsp. Cilantro, finely minced really small

*Toss lime juice, and cilantro with the cooked rice. Serve warm or cold.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

SLP's Thai Peanut Noodles (and an Asher-safe version)

Some of us are great cooks, we can follow a recipe to the T, and some of us are great chefs. Inspiration strikes, and we make masterpieces.

Well, I shouldn't say "we" when it comes to chefs. I'm a solid cook, but SLP, she's a chef. She made this recipe for Gourmet Group years ago. Every time I make it (maybe once a week during the summer), there aren't any leftovers.

Her original version is amazing, but with my family, I've had to tweak it a bit. It's still quite tasty if you can't eat peanuts, shrimp or soy sauce (really, I promise!).

1 lb cooked peeled shrimp (I grill chicken)

1 C Italian salad dressing
2 T crunchy peanut butter (sunflower butter for Asher)
1 T soy sauce (Worcester sauce for Asher)
1 T honey
1 t ground ginger
½ t red pepper flakes
1 T sesame oil
8 oz package rice noodles (cooked)
2 T fresh cilantro
1 carrot, shredded
1 C green onions
1 C green beans (because my boys love this so much, they'll even eat the green beans)
2/3 C peanuts (optional)

Coat shrimp with ½ c Italian dressing and refrigerate for 30 minutes to absorbe the flavor. Mix the remaining dressing with the peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger and red pepper

Saute carrot, green onions and shrimp in sesame oil until shrimp is done. Mix pasta, peanut sauce and shrimp and serve

Thanks, SLP! This one has been a winner in our house for years, now...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pineapple Slush

Another Arcadia Ward Cookbook recipe (I'm using it all the time lately). I made this for the baby shower, too. I'd half the recipe for a party of 20-30 people since I froze 2/3rds of it after the party. It was a perfect summer shower beverage. I have to think of another reason to have a party and thaw it out.

Grandma Effie Drigg's Pineapple Slush
Kathleen Holyoak

1 large can pineapple juice
3 c orange juice
1 c fresh lemon juice
3 c sugar
3 large bananas I totally forgot to do this step
3 qt 7-up

Boil 6 cups of water and the sugar. I brought the water to a boil, added the sugar and stirred until dissolved. I also let it cool to room temp before adding the juice. I don't know, I guess I thought the hot water might "cook" the juices and make them less tasty. (I have no idea if that's actually true, though) Add to pineapple juice, orange juice, and lemon juice. Cool and freeze. To serve, mush 3 large bananas and pour 3 quarts of 7-up over slush. Note: 3 qt of 7 up and the juice mixture was waaay too much for my punch bowl. We only managed to fit the sluch and 1 7-up bottle in.

Kate's sister, and my friend, Sara, has her own cooking blog (darn it! I wanted to recruit here for our's, especially since Sara is a master baker, and I, alas, am not.) with lots of good recipes. She has a punch recipe that looks quite similar if you're looking for a little variety...

...which reminds me, I keep forgetting to mention that my best friend growing up has joined our cooking blog. Kate can do everything really well (cooking, crafts, drawing). I'm still totally bummed that Kate and I aren't in the same congregation so when we do crafty stuff I can just have her finish/fix mine.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bars

Doesn't the name alone make you salivate? I had been wanting to make these for a while and a friend's baby shower last weekend afforded the perfect opportunity.

I assumed I'd be making the dulce de leche, but the recipe has you buy it. Living in Arizona, where Latin food items are plentiful, I thought this would be no problem. I went to 3 grocery stores to find it and almost gave up, hoping that there was some mistranslation and dulce de leche was actually sweetened condensed milk (it's not!). The picture is dulce de leche on the right and sweetened condensed milk on the left. Easy to confuse, right?

The recipe says to refrigerate for 2 hours. I would suggest freezing for 2 hours or refrigerating for 4 hours. These were a bit "gummy" to cut and didn't look very pretty.