Monday, October 28, 2013

#TheNewSouthwest #CookbookSpotlight {Cookbook Review & Giveaway}


Author: Meagan Micozzi
Publisher: Hippocrene
Hard Cover 230 pages

Meagan Micozzi's The New Southwest is a fun, bright, and colorful cookbook that celebrates the festive, and oftentimes fiery ingredients, of the American Southwest.  The recipes are easy enough for beginner cooks but also unique enough to satisfy the adventurous spirit of a seasoned cook.  I found myself drawn to the happy nature of the recipes, as well as the charming personality of the author Meagan Micozzi.  If you are a fan of happy and cheerful food then you'll want to grab ahold of this brand new cookbook. 

Twelve Chapters  
The Southwestern Pantry | Building Blocks | Condiments | Breakfast | Drinks | Appetizers & Snacks | Breads | Side Dishes | Main Courses | From the Grill | Desserts | A "Christmas-Style" Extra

Recipes I've Tried



Recipes I'd Like To Try
Sunday Salsa|Coconut Crunch Muffins|Apple, Cheddar & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza|Breakfast Toastadas with Cumin-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes|Tequila Sunrise|Texas Rose|Black Bean & Corn Quesaditas|Cheesy Beer Bread|Sage & Honey Skillet Biscuits|Adobo Potato Gratin|Fideo Burritos|Chipotle-Spiced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches|Chicken Tinga Potpie|Fancified Frito Pie

And now... here's how to win your very own copy of The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi!

 ***The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight Giveaway!***

How to enter:

1. Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what your favorite Southwestern dish is.

2. There are tons of optional extra entries in the rafflecopter widget!


Hippocrene will be supplying 14 copies of The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi for this giveaway, in conjunction with The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight. Contest is open to anybody with a shipping address in the USA. Submissions will be accepted via the rafflecopter widget through 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, November 3, 2013. Fourteen winners will be chosen by random draw, verified, and be notified by email (from Heather at girlichef) within 48 hours of the close of this contest. The winner should respond within 24 hours of notification, or a new winner will be drawn in their place. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Author Notes: Meagan Micozzi was born in New Jersey, raised in Washington, D.C. and educated in New England. In 2011 she launched Scarletta Bakes, a blog devoted to her adventures in southwestern cooking. Micozzi's recipes have been featured on The Huffington Post, The Kitchn, Gourmet, Bon App├ętit, and Scarletta Bakes was named a Site We Love by Saveur. Micozzi resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can visit her at scarlettabakes.com.





This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef


Note: I received a copy of this cookbook from the publisher as part of a Cookbook Spotlight event, however I received no monetary compensation to review it. As always, my thoughts, feedback and experiences cooking from it are entirely my own. 
This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.

To see 14 other food bloggers thoughts, reviews, and recipes they've tested from the book, click on the "cookbook spotlight button" to the left!
- See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/10/AdoboPotatoesGratin-TheNewSouthwest-CookbookReview.html#more

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pine Nut Brown Butter Pasta

Pine nuts.  I never really cared for them until I had them toasted in a pan with butter and salt.  Then I fell in love with them.  A special deep kind of love.  I wanted to put those toasty buttery pine nuts on everything and I found myself craving them.  If a recipe called for pine nuts I was sold.

So to say I loved this pasta dish is an understatement. It was absolutely delicious and and as a bonus, extremely simple and straightforward.


Pine Nut Brown Butter Pasta
Adapted from Off The Shelf
by Donna Hay
Serves 4-6

Cook one pound of pappardelle or fettucine until al dente, then drain. Melt 5 -6 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan then add 1/2 cup pine nuts to the pan and simmer until the pine nuts are golden.  Add pepper and salt and toss through the hot pasta.  Finish with grated Parmesan and serve as a simple meal or side dish.














Theme: Potluck

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts {The New Southwest #Cookbook Spotlight}



I am a big fan of bean burgers.  I've made chickpea burgers, black bean burgers, fava bean burgers, and now pinto bean burgers and I've loved them all. The good news is that everyone else in my house loves bean burgers almost as much as me so it's a total win-win situation.  

As soon as I spotted this recipe for Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts in The New Southwest Cookbook I knew it would be my choice for Week Two Blogger's Choice.  These pinto bean burgers are seasoned with a heavy dose of cumin, black pepper, coriander, and garlic so they are mighty flavorful.  Crunchy on the exterior and creamy on the inside this is one powerhouse of a breakfast that will keep you full way into the afternoon. They were a big hit at my house!

Check back on Monday, October 28th for a cookbook review and a chance to win your very own copy of The New Southwest. You don't want to miss it!

Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts
Adapted from The New Southwest by
Meagan Micozzi of Scarletta Bakes
Serves 7

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for frying
3/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup grated zucchini 
2 jalapenos, stemmed and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
3-1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
(about 2-1/2 cans if using canned)
3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs*
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
7 slices Monterey Jack cheese
7 English muffins, sliced, toasted

Note: I had to use a little over a cup of breadcrumbs to get the mixture to come together.  Also, I think the 2 tablespoons of black pepper in the recipe might be a typo.  We love black pepper but I only used 1 tablespoon just in case.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until golden, translucent, and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, jalapenos, and garlic and saute for just 2 more minutes.  Remove pan from heat.

Meanwhile, place the beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.  (Use a fork for chunky, uneven consistency.)  Stir in the breadcrumbs, eggs, cumin, black pepper, coriander, and salt.  Fold in the cooked onion mixture.  Using a half cup measure, portion off and form seven patties.  Freeze them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet to firm them up.  They can be kept frozen at this point and you can cook them as needed or you can store them in the refrigerator if not using right away.

Once ready to cook and assemble your melts, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-bottomed lidded skillet over medium heat (I prefer cast iron). Add the patties and cook for 3 to 4 minute on each side, applying pressure to the top of the patties to flatten once you have a cooked side facing up.  Note that you may need to work in batches so as not to overcrowd your pan, so you may need to refresh your oil between batches and wipe the pan clean.

Once patties are crisp on the outside and cooked through, top each with a slice of cheese, replace the lid on the pan and steam just 30 to 60 seconds to melt the cheese.  Remove each patty melt to a toasted English muffin bun and serve immediately.

Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen



 





This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.

If you'd like to keep tabs on who's making what from the The New Southwest, then head on over to The New Southwest event page over at girlichef.
If you missed last week's "host choice" recipe, Mushroom and Leek Migas, please drop by The New Southwest event page.  You will find links to each person's post, see their results, their spin, and their thoughts on that recipe.  Also, check it all week long for updates on what people are making this week!

This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.
- See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/10/ChiaCupcakes.html#more

If you missed last week's "host choice" recipe, Mushroom and Leek Migas, please drop by The New Southwest event page.  You will find links to each person's post, see their results, their spin, and their thoughts on that recipe.  Also, check it all week long for updates on what people are making this week!

This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef. - See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/10/ChiaCupcakes.html#more

If you missed last week's "host choice" recipe, Mushroom and Leek Migas, please drop by The New Southwest event page.  You will find links to each person's post, see their results, their spin, and their thoughts on that recipe.  Also, check it all week long for updates on what people are making this week!

This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef. - See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/10/ChiaCupcakes.html#more

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Raspberry Breakfast Parfaits


Weekday mornings are crazy and hectic, aren't they?  I spend about two hours getting the kids ready for school and dropping them off.  No matter how hard I try there is always some sort of crisis like last minute permission slips that need signed, money that is due (does anyone actually carry cash anymore ???), and my personal favorite...Surprise, I forgot today was picture day!  Either way, it never seems to run smooth when you have kiddos and I've learned there is really nothing you can do to brace yourself for it.  You just have to go with it, one step at a time.  

Once my kiddos head out the door I'm in a mad dash to get myself ready so I can make it to the gym for class at nine o'clock.  I usually end up grabbing a banana or some kind of granola bar because they are easy, but they're also kinda boring.  Other times I'll make a batch of hard boiled eggs on the weekend so I can enjoy a hard boiled egg with a piece of toast.  Lately I've been into yogurt parfaits because they feel like a decadent breakfast treat and goodness knows they are definitely more colorful and pretty than a monochromatic piece of toast.      

There are a million different variations on yogurt and/or breakfast parfaits.  Use what you like. I like this breakfast parfait because it blends the fruit into the yogurt which means I don't have to mix the fruit into the yogurt when I eat it.  I also like this recipe because it relies on a bag of frozen fruit, which is nice if your favorite fruit isn't in season.  Raspberries are at the top of my list, but you could literally go with anything here. There are also a lot of different muesli mixes and granola mixes out there.  I like the combination of raspberry with a little bit of chocolate so I went with a granola mix made from oats and bits of dark chocolate. These parfaits are definitely going to get my morning off to a great start!


Raspberry Breakfast Parfaits
Adapted from Donna Hay website
Serves 4

One bag frozen raspberries (about 250g - 350g), thawed
2 cups (500 grams) Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 cup (130 g) toasted muesli or granola
1/3 cup honey




Theme: Up & At 'Em

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mushroom & Shallot Migas {The New Southwest #Cookbook Spotlight}



For the next few weeks I'll be participating in The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight hosted by my good friend, Heather of girlichef. The New Southwest: Classic Flavors with a Modern Twist is a brand new cookbook written by fellow food blogger, Meagan Micozzi. Meagan's adventure with southwestern inspired cuisine began when she relocated to Arizona and found comfort and inspiration in the local foods, flavors, and ingredients. Meagan created her food blog, Scarletta Bakes, to chronicle her adventures with southwestern food.  Her blog is now wildly popular for it's innovative approach to southwestern cuisine. If you've been reading her blog for long then you are probably already in love.  If you haven't been introduced yet then please go ahead and check her out. It's a love at first sight kinda thing.


This week we are all making Migas, an egg dish starring leftover bread or tortillas.  Traditional Migas feature fried tortilla strips, tomato, onion, and jalapeno.  Meagan's Mushroom & Leek Migas feature fried tortilla strips, mushrooms, leeks*, and Manchego cheese.  I chose to make Meagan's migas for dinner one evening and they were an all-around hit!  Everyone raved about how they loved the crunch of the fried tortilla strips, the meatiness of the mushrooms, and the nutty flavor of the Manchego cheese.  We topped our migas with our favorite Pico de Gallo and it was a perfect veggie-packed meal.  So simple but very pleasing.  I'll definitely be making this again!

Stay tuned for more. There will be more recipes, as well as reviews, and several chances to win your very own copy of The New Southwest!  Click HERE to read about the Cookbook Spotlight and see a list of all the participants. A big thank you to Meagan for such a beautiful cookbook, the folks at Hippocrene, and to Heather of girlichef for giving me the opportunity to participate in this spotlight.




Mushroom & Shallot Migas
Adapted from The New Southwest 
by Megan Micozzi of Scarletta Bakes 

4 five inch corn tortillas
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil, divided
a little pat of butter*
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced (about 2 -1/2 cups)
2 shallots, sliced*
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 cup shredded Manchego cheese

Notes: The recipe calls for 1 leek, ends removed, and chopped.  I really don't care for leeks so I used two shallots sliced thinly.  Also I used only enough vegetable oil to fry the tortillas.  Instead of oil I used a little butter to saute the mushrooms and shallots and cook the eggs. 

To prepare the corn strips:  Cut the tortillas in half and then slice them into thin strips (1/2" to 3/4" wide).  Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan (I prefer cast iron) over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, fry the tortilla strips for 1 to 2 minutes, flipping pieces as they fry and removing the crispy, browned strips to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool.

Whisk the eggs and heavy cream together in a large bowl and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized skillet melt a bit of butter.  Saute the mushroom slices for approximately 3 minutes or until tender and fragrant.  Add the shallots and saute for 1 more minute.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute.  Pour in the egg mixture and cook, stirring constantly in a circular motion until eggs begin to solidfy.  Just as eggs begin to solidfy, stir in the fried tortilla strips.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until eggs are light, fluffy, and cooked through.

Remove from heat, top with cheese, and serve immediately.  Goes very well with a good pico de gallo (as pictured above).

This recipe from The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi copyright 2013, used with permission from Hippocrene Books.

*recipe from The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi copyright 2013, used with permission from Hippocrene Books.
- See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/10/MushroomLeekMigas.html#more


This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef. - See more at: http://www.girlichef.com/2013/10/MushroomLeekMigas.html#more

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato Pasta

One glimpse in my pantry would quickly reveal that we are a family of pasta lovers.  I pretty much buy pasta like it's my job.  In fact, buy might not even be the best word to describe it.  It's more like collect.  If you have 23 boxes of pasta in your pantry that qualifies as a collection, right? 

My collection of pasta always comes in handy for quick weeknight meals like this Roasted Sweet Potato Pasta.  This recipe was kinda like love at first sight for me.  I simply fell in love with all the colors in this dish: pops of green from the spinach, red from the tomato, and orange from the sweet potato.  Just looking at all that color makes me happy.  Of course, adding two kinds of cheeses helps any situation.  Tangy feta cheese and salty Parmesan make everything better.  Stir it all into some lovely linguine and you have yourself a wonderful and quick fall meal that goes very well with a glass of white wine.


Roasted Sweet Potato Pasta
Adapted from Donna Hay
Serves 4-6

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, halved
olive oil*
1 pound of spaghetti or linguini
5 - 6 ounces baby spinach leaves 
salt and pepper
5 - 6 ounces feta cheese
lemon juice and olive oil, to serve
Optional: Sage, dried or fresh for adding to the roasted veggies
*reserve some of the pasta water

*Note: I used quite a bit of olive oil when roasting the veggies. It was easily between 1/4 and 1/2 cup.  I also tossed the veggies in a combo of dried sage, salt and pepper.


Preheat oven to 400F.  Place the sweet potato and tomato, cut-side up, in a baking dish.  Drizzle with oil and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft and golden.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente.  Reserve a little of the pasta water so that you can mix it in later for a creamier texture.  Drain pasta and combine with the sweet potato, tomato, spinach, Parmesan, reserved pasta water, salt and pepper.  Place in serving bowls, top with the feta and drizzle with lemon juice and oil to serve. 

Theme: Pantry Magic!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cashew Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Whenever I see a recipe for any kind of nut-crusted chicken I'm completely sold.  Something about that pairing gets me every single time.  Combine that with my favorite dressing, honey mustard, and it's a total win.  I loved this salad.  It was simple and straightforward and it totally hit the spot!

If you feel inclined you could do a few simple things to jazz this salad up.  A few dried cranberries or cherries would be a great addition, as well as a sprinkle or two of blue cheese, and maybe a few sprinkles of crushed cashews just for added texture, but only if you're in the mood! The idea is to keep it nice and simple!


Cashew Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Adapted from Simple Essentials Chicken
by Donna Hay
Serves 4
1 cup cashew nuts
1/2 pound or so (7-8 ounces) chicken tenders
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 2 heads romaine lettuce
Honey Mustard Dressing:
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon white vinegar
 To make the honey mustard dressing:  Combine the mustard, honey, and vinegar.  Set aside.

To make the salad: Place the cashews in a food processor and process for 2 - 3 minutes.  Coat the chicken with the cashew and salt and pepper.  Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the oil to the pan and cook the chicken for 2- 3 minutes each side or until cooked through.  To serve, toss the chicken with the lettuce and spoon over the dressing and serve.
We are introducing a new chef over at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week.  We will be cooking the recipes of the great Donna Hay for the next six months.  If you're interested in joining us then head on over and check out the details. 


Theme: G'day Donna Hay!

Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen