Ingredients of a Woman » Archive for March 2010

Insalata Caprese with a small twist

   
This is my version of Insalata Caprese. My little twist is substituting mozzarella for queso freso (fresh cheese).
Insalata CapreseI love this salad, it makes me feel healthier after the first bite!

   
Here are the ingredients:

   
Cut the tomatoes, into thin slices. I used four tomatoes this time.
Also, slice the cheese.

   
For the dressing:
In a bowl, add one tablespoon of olive oil.

   
Then, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

   
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
Mix well.
How easy is that?

   
Here is the fun part.
Arrange the tomato and cheese slices in slightly overlapping circles on a plate.

   
Drizzle with the dressing.

   
Sprinkle with the basil leaves on top.

   
We are done.

   
Buon appetito!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
4 large tomatoes
½ Lb fresh queso ranchero
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
½ cup fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper

   
Preparation
Cut the tomatoes into thin slices.
Slice the cheese.
In a bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Arrange the tomato and cheese slices in slightly overlapping circles on a plate.
Drizzle with the dressing.
Sprinkle the basil leaves on top.

   
Enjoy it!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Sopes -Mexican Flavours

   
Sopes are significantly thicker than tortillas. Regardless of their difference in shape, they can be topped with the same fillings, such as beans, chicken, cheese, avocado, you name it.
For this sope version, I didn’t add lard or vegetable shortening to the masa dough. My Mom always make sopes this way, she always says we need to watch our figure ;-)
Sopes_Mexican FlavoursThe result is a delicious sope, which is rustic on the outside and soft in the inside. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

   
Here are the ingredients for the filling:
Ingredients 1

   
We also need some ground beef, about a pound.

   
Fresh mushrooms, about 6 to 8.

   
One lime.

   
Chopped cilantro, about a half of a cup.

   
In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and garlic, let them cook for about 2 minutes.

   
Add the ground beef.

   
Season with salt.

   
And freshly ground pepper.

   
Sprinkle the lime juice. Stir and let it cook.

   
Meanwhile slice the mushrooms.

   
Once the ground beef is cooked, there should not be any running juices.

   
Add the sliced mushrooms and let them cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

   
Time for the tomato sauce. We need about a cup.

   
Add the tomato sauce and stir some more.

   
Let the sauce reduce a little. It should look like this.

   
And finally add the chopped cilantro.

   
Mix well and let it cook for about 2 more minutes.

   
Now lets work on the sopes shells. We are going to use a sope press. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you could use a tortilla press or even the bottom of a can could help.

   
We need some fresh corn masa.
Use a little bit of warm water to soften the masa. Mix it with a pinch of salt to taste.

   
If the masa is too dry add more water until you are able to form a smooth ball with your hands.
Use a square of plastic to cover the sope press. Place a masa ball on top and gently press with your fingers.
If should look like this:

   
Cover with another square of plastic.

   
Then press gently but now using the sope press.

   
You should get a flat disc about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. The result should be a fat little tortilla or what is called a gordita.

   
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Peel off the plastic and lay the gordita (fat tortilla) on the hot skillet.

   
Do the same with the rest until your skillet is full.

   
Let each side cook for about 3 minutes.

   

   
Remove the gorditas from the comal and immediately pinch up a border around each one.

   
It’ll look like a flower. They all look like flowers to me.

   
Also pinch the center.

   
If you haven’t developed the so indispensable calluses on your hands yet, then you might want to use a napkin or a paper towel.

   
They are so pretty!

   
Ok, one last close up.

   
Repeat the process until you finish shaping all the gorditas, making them into sopes.

   
Using the same skillet, now over medium heat, place the sopes back.

   
Add the ground beef on top, and let them cook briefly until the bottom is firm and cooked through. About 2 minutes.

   
Sprinkle the top with some fresh cheese.
Buen provecho!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
The Filling
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Lb. ground beef
1 lime (the juice)
6 mushrooms
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Mexican queso fresco
Salt to taste
The Dough
1 Lb. fresh corn masa
Salt to taste

   
Preparation
In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes.
Then add the ground beef. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Sprinkle the lime juice. Stir and let the beef cook.
Meanwhile slice the mushrooms.
Once the ground beef is cooked add the sliced mushrooms.
Let them cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the tomato sauce and stir some more.
Let the sauce reduce a little and then finally add the chopped cilantro. Stir.

For the sopes shells, use a little bit of warm water to soften the masa. Mix with a pinch of salt to taste. If the masa is too dry add more water until you are able to form a smooth ball with your hands.
Divide the masa into balls.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Use a square of plastic to cove the sope press. Put a masa ball on top and cover with another square of plastic, and then press gently. You should get a flat disc about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Peel off the plastic and lay the fat tortilla (gordita) on the hot skillet and bake each side for about 3 minutes.
Pinch up a border around each gordita. Also pinch the center. Set aside and repeat with each one.
Using the same skillet now over medium heat, place the sopes back, adding the ground beef on top. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Top each sope with some fresh cheese.

   
Enjoy it!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Save money on Salad dressings

   
Making your own salad dressings could save you a lot of money.
Salad dressings
They don’t have to be complicated to taste amazing.
Also, it’s quick and fresh, to make dressings from scratch.

   
Here is a recipe I learned when I was around eight years old.
Squeeze a couple of limes, add a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Mix well. It is done.

Recipe courtesy of: my Daddy, the best salad dressing Chef I have known.
My Daddy_chef

   
Love,

Alba H. Rodriguez

Filed under: Tips, to SAVE money

Visitors at the White Rock Lake -American White Pelicans

   
So, we got some visitors at the White Rock Lake. American White Pelicans stop by every year and make Dallas lake their home. For a couple of months we get to enjoy these splendid creatures.
White Pelicans_80
White Pelicans_47

   
I tried to be patient to capture their beauty with my camera. It was hard, I got distracted so many times by their stunning feathers. They remind me of those immaculate wedding dresses.
White Pelicans_72

   
I wonder how they keep their feathers so clean.
White Pelicans_34

   
Here is one of a landing.
White Pelicans_30
I like his short legs in this pic.
White Pelicans_31
White Pelicans_33
White Pelicans_1

   
These two look funny next to each other.
White Pelicans_36

   
They gather in groups of five or so.
White Pelicans_78

   
Clearly, they enjoy each other’s company.
White Pelicans_2
White Pelicans_3
White Pelicans_4
I love to see their wings spread out.
White Pelicans_62

   
They catch their prey while swimming, that’s what I have observed so far. Unfortunately I could not get a good shot of it, maybe next time.
White Pelicans_6
White Pelicans_7

Alba

Filed under: ARTS, Photography

Our mother Earth was having a moment

   
I was so excited, already celebrating spring.

   
When the weather started acting up. It was cold, windy, very cold.
Did I mention it was cold?

   
Then, there was snow. I love snow! Its pure white color, makes everything prettier.

   
It was not so pretty this time.
You see, my husband and I spent the previous weekend planting flowers, bushes and the last trees left. Our hands are still sore.

   
Like any gardner enthusiast, we were proud of our accomplishment.

   
It was about time to sit and enjoy the fruit of our hard labor.

Well, not yet. Yesterday morning, we got up early, to find out, snow coated the streets, the trees and our garden.

   
There was not playing on the snow this time, not shutting snow balls at each other…there was only disappointment.

   
Our beautiful plants were covered with snow.

   
We made some assumptions: “they are going to get burn”, I said.
“They are already dead! Forget it, we need to plant everything again”, my husband responded.

   
Five minutes later, we realized that it was another snow day in Dallas. How often do we get snow in Dallas? Almost never.

   
We decided to celebrate. After all, it was a snow day and we were together, our first spring day as a husband and wife.

Sipping hot Mexican chocolate, talking about our past and future, calling our family to share a beautiful snow day. That’s how we celebrated it.

   
Our mother earth was giving us another present, we better enjoy it until it last, so we did.

   
And it was perfect!

Love,
Alba H. Rodriguez

Filed under: Photography