Archive for August, 2010

Holy Hot Mama Harissa!

Posted in African, Mediterranean, Recipes, Sauce, Spicy with tags , , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by thekytchnwytch

Harissa is a hot chili pepper-based sauce that is attributed to Tunisian genius.  It is a wonderful addition to meats as well as vegetables.  It’s also good on foods that have a yogurt-based sauce, such as the Turkish Mantı.  A friend of mine gave me a healthy handful of cayenne peppers from her garden.  Since I am just me and, while I loooove peppers, it was a whole lotta cayenne for just me.  SO…I pulled out my collection of recipes and cobbled together a recipe for harissa, since I couldn’t find one I liked and/or fit what I have on hand.  It didn’t turn out quite as hot as I thought it would, but I have the feeling that it’s going to get hotter the longer it sits.  Below, is the resulting recipe:

Holy Hot Mama Harissa

6 fresh cayenne peppers, seeded and chopped (more, if you like it hot hot hot!)
4 Tablespoons chopped canned pimientos/sweet red peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced (more or less, depending on your feelings about garlic)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin

Blend/process/mash all the ingredients together in a bowl until it’s homogeneous. Put the portion you aren’t using immediately into a glass container. Gently drizzle olive oil on top to create a film for keeping air from ruining your masterpiece and store it in the refrigerator. It should last up to a month, but you probably will use it up by then. It’s that nommy!



Frozen Crabs and the Blond Stewardess

Posted in Laugh with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by thekytchnwytch

Laughing is like food…you live a terribly unhappy life and die quickly without it.   Here’s a quick post that includes both.

A lawyer boarded an airplane in New Orleans with a box of frozen crabs and asked a blonde stewardess to take care of them for him.  She took the box and promised to put it in the crew’s refrigerator.

He advised her that he was holding her personally responsible for them staying frozen, mentioning in a very haughty manner that he was a lawyer, and proceeded to rant at her about what would happen if she let them thaw out.  Needless to say, she was annoyed by his behavior.

Shortly before landing in New York, she used the intercom to announce to the entire cabin,  “Would the lawyer who gave me the crabs, in New Orleans, please raise your hand?”

Not one hand went up… so she took them home and ate them.

Two lessons here:

1. Lawyers aren’t as smart as they think they are.
2. Blondes aren’t as dumb as most folk think.

Chicken and Shrimp Pastry Basket

Posted in Recipes, Toni Verticelli Farmer on August 16, 2010 by thekytchnwytch

Another winning recipe from my friend Toni…


2 cup of uncooked deveined shrimp roughly chopped

1 cup of cooked chicken roughly chopped

2 cups of raw spinach chopped well but not fine

3 finely shredded carrots if they are narrow 2 if big

1 1/2 cup of fine shredded cheese of choice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup EVOO

Combine all well in a bowl.  Marinate in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

While the filling is marinating, take two 2 already made pie crusts or homemade (not frozen in a pan but folded up in box – keep refridgerated till ready to use).  You can also use phyllo dough, but you must brush melted butter between each layer.

When ready to bake,  preheat oven to 350°F.  Unroll pie crusts and quarter.  Spoon marinated mixture into center of each crust section.  Brush edge of each crust with a well beaten egg.  Pull up corners and pinch closed so it looks like a 3 cornered basket.  Brush rest of egg on outside of baskets and bake for 30 minutess, checking regularly.  If you are worried about the tips being burned put a small peice of foil on the tops to protect them.

Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

Posted in Breakfast, Historical Cooking, Recipes, Spanish on August 16, 2010 by thekytchnwytch

This recipe is not mine, but it’s one I would really like to try.    It’s considered to be a peasant soup and one that is desirable to have after an evening of overindulgence of the liquid variety.

4 cups (1qt./1L.) water

¼ cup (2 fl. oz./60 mL.) olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

10 oz. (315 g.) dense-textured French bread, thinly sliced

1 t. paprika


4 eggs (optional)

Put the water on to boil.

Heat the oil and fry the garlic in a skillet or heatproof casserole.  Add the slices of bread and brown.  Stir in the paprika, then pour in the boiling water.  Add the salt and cook for 15 minutes and serve.

If desired, break an egg for each person into the soup in the final few minutes of the cooking time.  Wait until the white sets before serving.

From: The Heritage of Spanish Cooking by Alice Ries and Lourdes March;  ISBN-10: 0679416285; ISBN-13: 978-0679416289


Posted in Breakfast, Kids, Recipes, Toni Verticelli Farmer with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by thekytchnwytch

Here’s a great idea for little picky eaters.  This recipe was given to me by my friend Toni and it is good for big picky eaters too.  😉  Thanks, Toni!

“Dahlia goes through these “no I won’t eat that” phases every once in a while and when she does I let her eat pancakes more often because they are her favorite.  To supplement the vitamins and fiber she misses I add 2 even scoops of a soy-based protien shake meal replacement powder that has a good vitamin count in it and a 1/4 cup of wheat germ.  To make sure they taste good, I throw in a teaspoon of vanilla and blend really well into a just add water pancake mix.  I do a batch of 20 small pancakes and freeze the rest so she can have 3-4 in the morning and a snack when ever she wants. To reheat them, just microwave for about a minute and they come out nice and hot.  Pour on the syrup and she is ready to go!  It works reall well around my house and you never have to feel bad about your kid snacking on too many pancakes 😀  If you are using a boxed mix or homemade you would use what ever the original recipe calls for plus 1/4 of a cup of milk or flour.  And make sure to note that ALL the dry ingredients need to be blended together BEFORE any liquids get blended in!  It really effects the flavor for some weird reason lol 🙂

*Note: You can also reheat frozen pancakes in the toaster or toaster oven, just like frozen waffles.