Chicken Breast in Mole

MoleThis month at Food ‘n Flix we’re watching Like Water For Chocolate and yours truly is hosting it! There’s still plenty of time to join us. Come get the information about how to participate here. Having both read the book and seen the movie, I thought both were impressive. In the movie there are so many food scenes – for any food blogger to find inspiration.

Tita, a young woman in Mexico, falls in love. However, tradition prevents her from marrying, as her duty in life is to care for her mother. Tita’s love ends up marrying her sister instead, so that he can still be close to her. This creates many tensions in the household, between Tita and her mother, Tita and her sister, and Tita and her love.

Tita is tasked with cooking food for the family. Luckily for the family, this is a strong skill of hers. However, Tita learns that the emotion she has when she cooks the food can make the people who eat the food react. The cake that Tita made for her sister’s wedding made everyone throw up because of her emotions when making it.

Tita helps care for her sister’s infant son, Roberto. At Roberto’s baptism Tita serves mole. When asked for the recipe she answers, “The secret is that when you cook it, you do it with much love.”

Perhaps this is why I never liked mole growing up (or my palate was still immature.) My dad would always order it when we would get Mexican food and tell me to try his chocolate chicken. Being excited I would. And then I would down a bunch of water because I hated the taste. But perhaps the mole was never made with love. I decided to give the recipe a go and I tried to make it with love. I was nervous to taste it due to my prior experiences with mole, but either my tastes have changed or I really did make this sauce with love.

MoleClip

Because the title of the movie is Like Water For Chocolate, I opted to make this chocolate chicken. It was a great dish when made with love.

Chicken Breast in Mole

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
kosher salt, to taste
3 tbsp sesame seeds
3 whole cloves
1/4 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp caraway seeds
1/8 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 dried guajillo chile peppers
1 dried ancho chile pepper
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp pecan halves
1/2 6-inch corn tortilla, cut into pieces
3/4 oz chocolate chips
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
drop of almond extract
pinch of sugar

Directions

1. In a large pot place the chicken breasts. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Set aside and save the cooking liquid.

2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet for 5 minutes or until brown. Pour into a food processor. In the same skillet add the cloves, caraway seeds, coriander, and cinnamon. Toast for 3 minutes. Pour into food processor.

3. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil into the skillet. Fry the peppers for 2 minutes on each side. Fill a bowl with water and place the chile peppers in the water. Soak for 30 minutes.

4. In the same skillet add the dried cranberries, pecans, and corn tortilla. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the tortillas are brown. Add everything in the skillet, including the vegetable oil, into the food processor.

5. Once the chiles are pliable, add the chiles and 3/4 cup of the liquid the chiles were soaking in into the food processor. Puree until you get a smooth thick sauce.

6. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chile sauce and fry for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the reserved water the chicken cooked in. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes.

7. Add the chocolate chips, cinnamon, and almond extract, stirring frequently until the chocolate melts. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Add the chicken and cook for 10 more minutes.

FoodnFlix

* serves 2
* Besides Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this recipe with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

White Chocolate Lemon Ice Cream

White Chocolate Lemon

I’ve moved! I’m no longer a Northern California girl, though at heart I always will be. I now live in the desert of San Bernardino, CA, east of Los Angeles. I’ve moved into a wonderful house that’s probably double the size of the house I left. Moving was a disaster, but when isn’t it? It’s always stressful, it always could go smoother, but it always ends. And this time it ended 8 1/2 hours away in a beautiful house in the middle of the desert.

I was worried I’d hate it here. But I really don’t. It’s beautiful. It isn’t the ocean. And it isn’t the forests. But it’s the desert. I’m surrounded by cactus, by Joshua trees, and I have quail and roadrunner running through my backyard. It’s beautiful in it’s own deserted way. I start my job a week from today, so until then, I’m just getting my house in order and playing around with my nice kitchen.

Funny enough though, the heat here isn’t as bad as Sacramento, which I just left. The day we moved it hit 108 in Sacramento. It’s been mid-90’s here. That’s a lot more bearable. Today even I didn’t have my AC on until about 1PM and my house was only 75 degrees.

But we still think of heat when we think of the desert, so to celebrate my arrival I decided to join in with We Should Cocoa’s (conceived by Choclette and Chele) challenge this month – chocolate ice creams and toppings hosted at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

My favorite ice cream of all time is Orange Chocolate. I decided to take a twist on that and use white chocolate and lemon. It is SO satisfying! And because this town is so small and doesn’t have an ice cream parlor, I guess I’ll have to be my own! There will hopefully be more ice cream recipes to come in the future.

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White Chocolate Lemon Ice Cream

Ingredients
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
3/4 cup milk
zest from 2 lemons
9 oz Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
few grains of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange extract

Directions

1. In a heavy pot, combine 1 cup of cream, milk, and lemon zest. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and cover the pot with a lid. Set aside for 20 minutes.

2. In another bowl, pour the chocolate chips. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat 2/3 cups heavy cream. Stir often until it gets very hot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Whisk the cream with the chocolate until it melts and reaches a smooth consistency.

3. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and the remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream.

4. After the zest mixture has sat for 20 minutes, reheat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Slowly add the hot zest mixture to the eggs, making sure to beat the eggs constantly so they don’t cook. Return to the pot and cook the custard until the temperature reaches 174 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

5. Gradually stir half the custard into the melted white chocolate, then return to pot and stir well. Stir in vanilla. Strain the custard through a very fine strainer over a large bowl.

6. Allow to cool. Once cool, cover with a paper towel covered by plastic wrap. Let sit in the fridge for 6 hours to overnight.

7. Once the mixture has chilled, remove from the fridge and stir. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to the ice cream maker instructions. When there’s 5 minutes left before the ice cream is done, add the orange extract. Place in the freezer to completely freeze until ready to eat.

* Besides We Should Cocoa, this recipe is being shared with Mix It Up Monday

Announcing Food ‘n Flix for July: Like Water For Chocolate

For this month’s Food ‘n Flix theme, we will witness the love story between Pedro and Tita. Filled with love, heart break, familial relationships, and food, I have no doubt that this movie will evoke many food ideas. I read this book awhile back and loved the book. I haven’t seen the movie, but I hope that everyone enjoys it for this month’s movie!

Like-Water-for-Chocolate

Immerse yourself in the lives of Pedro, Tita, and the rest of the characters. Enjoy their Mexican foods, traditions, and of course, chocolate!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN FOOD N’ FLIX:

1. Watch the chosen film (Like Water For Chocolate). Using the film as your inspiration, use your culinary skills to create something.

2. Post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and post a link to Food ‘n Flix. You can use the Food ‘n Flix logo if you wish!

3. Your post must be current (during the month of July). The post may be linked to other events. The more the merrier!

4. Have fun with it!

5. Email me at elizabeth@crabtech.net by the deadline and include the following:
a. Your Name
b. Your Blog’s Name an URL
c. The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you’re submitting
d. Attach a photo of your dish (or give me permission to pull one from your post)
e. Indicate “Food ‘n Flix” in the subject line of your email

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: July 29, 2014
I will try to have the post up on July 31st!

Cookbook Review: Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking

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PROS: All of the recipes I tried from the book were packed with flavor. Also, I don’t know if I was just lucky or if this is true of all the recipes, but nothing was incredibly hard to make. The book is clear and the recipes are easy to follow.

CONS: Gordon Ramsay has given himself a name in the entertainment world as being a dick – he’s so mean on some of his shows. That’s actually my only con and has nothing to do with the book itself.

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Egg In A Nest

Moonstruck Eggs

 

This month at Food n’ Flix we watched the movie Moonstruck, hosted by Eliot’s Eats. Starring Cher, this movie is about a woman who has a dilemma. Does she marry the best friend of her late husband or the best friend’s brother?

This classic movie is not brimming with food references, though there’s enough to work with! Olympia Dukakis’s character, Rose Castorini, makes Cher (aka Loretta Castorini) this egg dish in the movie. This dish, which has so many different names depending on who you ask (egg in a nest, egg in a basket, amongst others,) brings me back to college . . .

Back in college, one of my housemates, Josie watched Rachael Ray all the time. In fact, Rachael Ray was on so much many things she said became running inside jokes in our house. One morning I came downstairs and saw Josie watching Rachael and Rachael was talking all about Birds in a Nest. We were totally put off by the name of the recipes (birds in a nest, really? That sounds gross.)  But after watching Rachael cook that egg inside the bread, we were both in love.

Birds in a nest became a big part of our breakfasts in college. They were easy and yummy. Whenever I make them now, all I think about is the good old days of when I started to cook for myself.

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When the birds in a nest came on scene, I knew that was what I had to make. Rose serves the egg/toast combination with a side of red bell peppers. I don’t like red bell peppers very much, so I used tomatoes instead with some salt sprinkled on them and sauteed some. Delicious!

Egg In A Nest

Ingredients
1 piece of sourdough bread
1 egg
1 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Using a round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the bread.

2. Put a skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter, allowing it to melt.

3. Place the bread in the skillet. Crack the egg into the hole in the bread.

4. Cook for about 2 minutes per side. Be careful when you flip the egg – you don’t want yolk everywhere!

FoodnFlix

* Besides Food ‘n Flix, I’m sharing this recipe with Mix It Up Monday

Cookbook Review: Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

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PROS: The cover of the book is representative of how the pictures look throughout the book. I love a cookbook with photos. The dishes were hearty and felt wholesome. The flavors were great. The recipes were easy to follow.

CONS: Make sure you look and see how long the recipes take to make. These are not all quick recipes. They do take time. This isn’t truly a con, but a warning.

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The 3-Day Reset Teaser Tour

Yesterday, May 6th, The 3-Day Reset by Pooja Mottl, hit the shelves. This book helps cut cravings by offering three day plans to follow. The chapters include sugar, salt, wheat, chocolate, yogurt, chicken, beverage, breakfast, salad, and take-out. This book helps us change how we think about food.

Here’s an exclusive tip from the sugar reset chapter:

1) Beware of the various names that “ADDED SUGARS” masquerade under on ingredient lists. Here are some that commonly pop-up on a broad range of packaged, bottled, and boxed foods and beverages:

  • Corn-syrup solids
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Glucose
  • Sucrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Demerara

2) Don’t forget that added sugars aren’t just in sweet foods and drinks, they can also be found in a broad range of savory foods such as cured meats, almond milk, ketchup, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Attached is an infographic to help guide you when you’re grocery shopping!

3) Try to eat whole, unrefined sources of sweetness, in moderation, about 80% of the time. The best sources for healthy sweetness are:

  • Whole, ripe, fresh fruits
  • Dried fruits and vegetables such as dates, pineapple, and tomatoes
  • Raw, unpasteurized honey
  • 100% maple syrup
  • Whole dried cane sugar or coconut palm sugar granulated crystals

 

AND GUESS WHAT!? The Law Student’s Cookbook has one signed book to giveaway!
The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.
This giveaway runs through the 16th of May!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY