{In case you're wondering, that means "Everyone to the table to eat!" in Italian}

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pizza & Breadsticks, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and Chili Rellenos!

Okay, I have to catch up before I post my more recent recipes. So sorry they are all clumped together. The above picture is some pizza and breadsticks I made with the 100% whole-wheat bread dough (recipe below a few posts). They were delicious! For the pizza, I used about 1/3 of the dough, rolled it into a 15" circle on my pizza stone, topped it with 1 c. sauce, 2 c. mozzerella, and toppings. I baked it for about 15 minutes at 425. The breadsticks I just rolled another 1/3 dough into a large rectangle, cut into strips with my pizza cutter, and brushed with butter/garlic salt/parmesan mixture and then baked until done. I used the other 1/3 dough to make a small loaf of bread.
This is the delish cake the kids made me for my birthday (with my supervision, of course). I got the recipe from my new favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen. The recipe calls for rum, but you can just leave it out and it still turns out great! Oh, yeah, she hates the bright red cherry thing, so she didn't do that, but I like them so I added them back in.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
1/2 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored (I used 1 can pineapple slices)
3/4 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (saved from pineapple can)
2 tablespoons dark rum for sprinkling over cake
Special equipment: A well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet. If you lack a cast-iron skillet of this size, make the caramel in a small pot and scrape it into the bottom of a similarly-sized cake pan. (I used a 9″ cake pan in the pictures above, do not use springform, it will leak!)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make topping: Cut pineapple crosswise into 3/8-inch-thick pieces. Melt butter in skillet. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, four minutes. Remove from heat. Arrange pineapple on top of sugar mixture in concentric circles, overlapping pieces slightly.
Make batter: Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and rum. Add half of flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in pineapple juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. (Batter may appear slightly curdled.) Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in skillet five minutes. Invert a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together). Replace any pineapple stuck to bottom of skillet. Sprinkle rum over cake and cool on plate on a rack. Serve cake just warm or at room temperature.
Both Dustin and I love Mexican food, and we both agree that although we like tacos, enchiladas, and the likes, our very favorite is chile rellenos (stuffed green chiles). However, the varieties found at some restaurants (actually most of them around here) are sadly lacking. They most often consist of a smallish chile and some cheese wrapped in humongous amounts of an eggy batter, fried, and then soaked in red enchilada sauce until soggy. Yuck! Nothing like the lightly breaded, slightly crispy rellenos that really let the smoky flavor of fire-roasted chiles shine through. So we make our own. I adapted this recipe from Mrs. Grigg's Cookbook.
Chile Rellenos
10-15 large whole skinned fire-roasted Anaheim chiles (canned or fresh*)
colby-jack, cheddar, or jack cheese, sliced into strips about 1/4" by 3"
2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
salt and pepper
vegetable oil, for frying
Heat oil (about 1" deep) in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Rinse seeds out of chiles, pat dry. Place one strip of cheese in each chile. Mix eggs and milk in one bowl, and flour with a little salt and pepper in another bowl. Dip each chile in egg mixture, then flour mixture, then egg again, and flour again. Slide carefully into hot oil. Fry about 4-5 at a time until golden, turn over and fry until golden on second side. Remove with tongs onto a plate lined with paper towels. Fry remaining chiles, eat and enjoy! I usually serve them with refried beans and either corn or spanish rice, along with some quesadillas for the kids.
*If you want to roast your own chiles, choose large straight ones. Using either a gas burner or a grill, roast the whole chiles over a hot fire until completely black, turning to roast all sides. Wrap chiles in a damp kitchen towel, and allow to steam for 10-15 minutes. Peel off black skin and remove top and seeds.

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