Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mashed Potato Waffles

After 2 years without a waffle iron, I got a new one for Christmas.  I love making waffles (and my son loves eating them), so I was happy to get a new waffle iron.  I came across this recipe a few weeks ago when I was looking for another recipe in a potato cookbook I've had for about 10 years.  I made mashed potatoes for dinner the other night and saved a few for these waffles.  It's going to be hard not to do this with leftover mashed potatoes every time I have them now.  These waffles were so good!  They had the right balance of flour and mashed potatoes and the batter was really easy to work with. The buttermilk made the waffles nice and fluffy.  Since the waffles were savory, I didn't want maple syrup on them.  Potato pancakes in restaurants are usually served with applesauce and sour cream. I wasn't in a sour cream mood this morning, and applesauce sounded a little plain, so I used apple butter on half of the waffle (just butter on the other half).  The apple butter went really well with the waffle...but they were good with just butter, too!

Mashed Potato Waffles
from Beyond Burlap
yield: just over 4 cups of batter (in my waffle maker, that's 4 waffles)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
8 slices bacon, crisp-fried, crumbled
3 green onions, finely chopped

1) Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.
2) Blend the oil into the potatoes in a medium bowl. Add the buttermilk gradually. Add the eggs, beating until fairly smooth.  I used a stick blender for everything in this step.
3) Stir the bacon and green onions into the flour mixture. Add the potato mixture and mix well.
4) Lightly oil a preheated waffle iron. Pour in enough batter for 1 batch. Spread with a spatula (don't skip this step) and close waffle iron. 
5) Cook until the waffle iron opens easily and the waffles are crisp, which was about 4 minutes in my waffle iron. 
6) Top with butter, apple sauce, sour cream, or apple butter. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tortilla Soup

My mom and I came across this recipe when I was 12 or 13.  She has a cookbook called "Creme de Colorado," that had a recipe for Chili Verde in it. I made the Chili Verde for a chili cook-off at church and noticed the recipe next to it, called Sopa de Tortilla. My mom and I thought it looked like a great recipe and decided to make it for Christmas Eve.  We all loved it and it turned into our Christmas Eve tradition.  With the exception of a few years when I've been on the road for Christmas Eve, I've made this soup every year. My husband always looks forward to it.  His favorite part is when I roast the poblano pepper.  He loves the smell! I've made a few changes to the recipe over the years and have started making it in a crock pot.  The first time I made this for my in-laws, I also made some black beans.  My father in law ended up putting the beans in his soup, so now we add a can of beans to the soup.  One year, I had a ton of bell peppers, so I diced one and put it in the an extra bell pepper is a must. I make my soup pretty mild because of the kids. If you like spicier things, go ahead and make it with the full amount of chili powder and poblano (or even jalapeno). I set out extra roasted poblano peppers so people can add some spice if they need it.
I usually go ahead and toast the corn tortilla strips...but this year there was just too much to do. I ended up buying some salad toppers that were multi-colored tortilla strips. They work just fine in a pinch.
For the Kids: Some of the broth with alphabet pasta
Merry Christmas!!

Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Creme de Colorado
makes 6 - 8 servings

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups beef broth
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 poblano pepper, roasted, seeded and diced (I only use 1/2 in the soup)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
Soup toppers:  monterey jack cheese, diced tomato, avocado, green onions, additional hot peppers, and black olives

1) In a large pot, saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes.
2) Add beef broth, chicken broth, tomato juice, cumin, chili powder, poblano pepper, salt, and worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour.
3) Add chicken and black beans and cook for 15 minutes longer.
4) Heat oven to 350. Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
5) To serve soup: place a few tortilla strips in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle soup on top. Top with desired toppings.

Crockpot instructions: Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in a skillet. Combine with  beef broth, chicken broth, tomato juice, cumin, chili powder, poblano pepper, salt, and worcestershire sauce in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Add chicken and beans for last 30 minutes.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Parmesan Schnitzel

There is a German restaurant in town that we love to go to. I occasionally get bratwurst when we go, but usually I end up with schnitzel. Since it isn't something I make very often, it's a fun treat to have when I go out.  A few weeks ago, pork cubed steaks were on sale.  I knew it would save me the work of pounding meat for schnitzel, so I bought some. I've made this recipe before with pork chops, but I think I like it better with the thin, pork cubed steaks. On the thicker cuts of pork, the parmesan cheese can burn, but this recipe left a nice, golden-brown crust on the pork. The only disadvantage to working with this cut of meat is that it is very, very tender, so it tends to fall apart during the breading process.  I served the schnitzel with oven roasted potatoes and applesauce (store bought). The meal was a huge hit with my husband and kiddos!

Parmesan Schnitzel
Adapted from Food Network

1 pound pork cubed steaks (or pork chops, pounded thin)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup panko
3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese (I used the already grated kind from the specialty cheese section)
salt and pepper
Oil, for frying (I used grapeseed)

1) Set out 3 shallow bowls for coating the pork. In the first bowl, place the parmesan cheese. In the second, the eggs, and in the third both the Italian and panko bread crumbs.
2) Heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom about 1/4 inch deep. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes.
3) Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.
4) Dip each pork chop in the coating in the following order: parmesan cheese, egg, and bread crumbs.
5) Fry for 3 - 5 minutes on each side. Drain excess oil from pork before serving.