Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache

This amazing with fresh mango slices!

1/3 C Heavy cream

1/2 C Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 TSP Grand Mariner

1. In a double boiler, heat the cream just until it simmers.

2. Add the chocolate.

3. Remove from heat and stir with a robber spatula until chocolate is fully melted.

4. Drizzle in the liqueur and stir.

5. Serve warm. Use for dipping fruit, cake, or anything that can use a bit of chocolate

Molé Negro Oaxaqueño... Oaxacan Black Molé

Molé Negro Oaxaqueño

Oaxacan Black Molé

This famous dish is considered the king of all molés. It is traditionally served on “The Day of the Dead.” Yes, it’s a little work. So put on a little “Musica Tropical,” ice down a few Negro Modelos and do as they do in Mexico. Have a few good friends over and put everybody to work: someone toasting chiles, someone cutting and then cooking the chicken, someone measuring ingredients, and so on. Before you know it, you’re having a molé-making fiesta.

2 roasting chickens

61/2 quarts water

2 chiles de arbol

1/2 teaspoon dried, ground thyme

2 whole allspice

11/2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 chile negros

5 chile guajillos

5 chile anchos

5 chile mullatos

2 chipotles

1/4 cup raw almonds

2 tablespoons raw peanuts, skinned

1 stick canela, about 1 inch long

4 black peppercorns

3 whole cloves

6 tablespoons corn oil plus some for lightly oiling comal

1 tablespoon bacon drippings

11/2 tablespoons raisins

1 slice egg bread

1 small ripe plantain, cut into slices

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 tablespoon pecans

5 plum tomatoes, chopped

4 medium tomatillos, chopped

1 sprig fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1 medium white onion, quartered

8 cloves garlic

1 avocado leaf

41/2 ounces Ibarra chocolate, broken into small pieces

Salt to taste

Cut the chickens into leg, thigh, wing, and breast pieces. Remove the skin but save along with the backs, necks, and giblets. In a large stock pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add the chicken (including the skin, giblets, necks, and backs), chiles de arbol, thyme, allspice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the chicken juice runs clear when pierced. Remove pieces of chicken. Strain stock and discard spices, skin, giblets, necks, and backs.

While chicken is simmering, remove all remaining dried chile stems and veins and discard but save the seeds. Toast all the chiles on a dry comal or iron frying pan until dark brown but not until burnt (if the chiles burn they will become bitter). Place all the toasted chiles in a large bowl and cover with 11/2 quarts of boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes. Remove the chiles from the water and run them through the blender a few at a time, with just enough of the soaking water to purée them to the consistency of a thin ketchup. (Be careful; hot liquids expand in a blender and can spill out the top and burn you.) Pour the sauce through a sieve into a bowl, working sauce through the sieve with the back of a spoon, until only the chile solids are left. Discard chile solids. Set sauce aside.

Meanwhile (I like to do this next step outside): On a dry comal or iron frying pan, toast the almonds, peanuts, canela, black peppercorns, and cloves; be careful not to burn. Set aside. Reduce heat and toast the seeds that you saved from the dried chiles until just blackened; be careful not to burn, and watch out—the smoke is very intense. Remove comal from heat; push the seeds together, light with a match, and allow to burn out. Place the blackened seeds in a cup of cold water and let soak for 10 minutes. While seeds are soaking, lightly oil the comal and sauté the onion and garlic until lightly browned. Set aside. Drain the blackened seeds and set aside.

In a deep, heavy iron frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons corn oil and bacon drippings until very hot. Fry the raisins for 1 minute and remove from pan, leaving the oil. Set aside. Fry the slice of bread until brown and remove from pan, leaving the oil. Set aside. In the same pan over medium heat, fry the plantain slices until browned. Set aside. Reduce heat and toast the sesame seeds until they start to turn color. Add the pecans and toast 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Set aside. Place the blackened seed in the spice grinder and grind to a powder. Add blackened seed powder to the chile sauce and stir well.

In the frying pan, cook the tomatoes, tomatillos, thyme, and oregano until most of the juices evaporate. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, stir well, and remove from heat. Set aside.

In a blender, purée the almonds, peanuts, canela, black peppercorns, cloves, raisins, bread, plantain, ground sesame seeds and pecans, 2 cups of the chicken stock, and onions and garlic until smooth .

Okay, this is the part you’ve waited for. In a large stock pot, heat remaining 3 tablespoons corn oil until very hot. Reduce heat to medium low and fry the chile sauce until almost dry, stirring constantly. Don’t let it burn. Add tomato mixture and fry until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add mixture from blender and 1 cup of chicken stock and stir well. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.

Toast the avocado leaf and add to the pot along with the chocolate. Keep simmering and adding chicken stock as needed for 30 more minutes. Molé should be thick enough to just coat the back of a spoon. Taste molé and adjust salt level. In a separate pot, simmer the chicken pieces in remaining chicken stock until hot. Place 1 piece of chicken in a shallow bowl and spoon on enough molé to totally cover. Serve with fresh, hot corn tortillas.

Serves 10

The Devil's Pasta Salad

The Devil's Pasta Salad

This is the Pasta salad we’ve been serving for the past 25 years. This is the recipe that is most requested by vegetarians the flavors are amazing! Try it at your next barbecue or pool party.


1/3 C Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 C Chopped Cilantro

1 1/2 TSP Dijon Mustard

1 1/2 TSP Dark Brown Sugar

2/3 C Olive Oil

2 CLOVES Garlic, minced

1 1/2 TSP Salt

1 TSP Ground Black Pepper


3 C small pasta (orzo is a good choice!)

1 Yellow and Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/4" pieces

2 Habanero Chiles Diced (add the seeds for unreasonable heat)

1 C Whole, medium, pitted, olives

1 C Golden Raisins

1/2 C Chopped Italian Parsley

1/3 C Diced Red Onion

10 OZ Frozen Sweet Peas, cooked and chilled

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes until just tender.

2. Remove from water, rinse well in warm water and drain.

3. In a large salad bowl whisk all vinaigrette ingredients except oil together and then drizzle in the oil while whisking.

4. Add the orzo and toss well.

5. Add all other ingredients, toss again.

6. This salad is best if chilled over night in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry.

7. Serve at room temperature.

Jalapeno Mustard with Lime & Wasabi

Jalapeno Mustard with Lime & Wasabi

I made this recipe for grilled brats, but I just love it with leftover grilled beef or pork on a sandwich.

1/3 C Dark mustard seeds; Use caution with fresh-ground mustard powder, it's very acidic and can burn
1/4 C Water
1 TBL White vinegar
1 TBL Lime juice
2 TSP Wasabi powder
1 TBL Dark brown sugar
2 Jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
2 CLOVES Garlic, minced fine
1/2 TSP Kosher salt

1. Coarse-grind mustard seeds with a spice grinder.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine mustard, water, vinegar, lime juice, and Wasabi powder. Stir well and allow to stand for 2 hours for flavors to blend.
3. Add all other ingredients; mix well.
4. Makes 3/4C mustard.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Joe’s World Famous, Extra Decadent, Kahlua Cheesecake

Joe’s World Famous, Extra Decadent, Kahlua Cheesecake

Easy to make and fabulous flavor!

Graham Cracker Crust

1 ½ cups ground graham crackers (Try the chocolate or cinnamon)

6 Tbl melted butter

¼ cup sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

Mix together all ingredients well with a fork or in a food processor. Press mixture into the bottom ½ an inch up the sides of a pie pan or a spring form pan (for the cheesecake use a spring form pan). Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up a bit. Use with cheesecake or other cream pies.


The trick to making this Cheesecake so smooth and creamy is baking it in a water bath and letting it cool down in the oven.

2 lbs. Cream cheese

1 1/3 cups sugar

4 large eggs

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup sour cream

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbl. Kahlua or any coffee liqueur

Cut up the cream cheese and work it a few pieces at a time, until creamy, in the bowl of a tabletop mixer or food processor, on medium or high. Work in the sugar, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl or processor with a rubber spatula between each egg. Then set on low and work in the cream, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Pour the batter into the pan with the crust and smooth out the top. Drizzle the Kahlua over the top. Place a sheet pan or shallow baking dish large enough to hold the spring form pan in a pre heated 375ºf oven and then place the spring form pan in the sheet pan. Add cold water about ¾ on an inch deep be careful not to spill any of the water into the cheesecake. Bake for 20 minutes reduce heat to 300ºf and continue baking for 40 minutes more or until the center of the cheesecake sets. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool for 1 hour in the oven. Remove from oven allow to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes and then place in the refrigerator to cool fully. Work a pastry knife or butter knife around the edges of the spring form pan and remove the ring. Cut it up into pieces and eat it… Yumm!

Serves 12