Sunday, January 16, 2011


Recipe from Rick Bayless


3 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled (divided use. I only use 2 since the fire roasted tomatoes I use have garlic in them)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1.25 lbs ground pork (pretty sure I just buy the 1lb package and it works fine)
1/2 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped mint leaves, plus extra for garnish if you want a pretty picture (Chelsie). I almost always use dried (3 tsp), for cost purposes.
29 oz. (two 14.5 oz cans) fire roasted tomatoes
1-2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, stemmed and seeded (use 1 if you don't want it as spicy as mine was).
1-2 Tbsp. chipotle canning sauce (again 1 if you don't want it spicy)
1 tsp dried oregano
About 1 cup chicken broth

Turn on the oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, combine the bacon and garlic clove.
Process until finely chopped. Add the eggs, bread crumbs and 1 tsp. salt. Pulse several times to combine thoroughly, then add the pork and mint. Pulse the machine a few more times until everything is well combined-but not at all processed into a paste. remove the blade.

With wet hands, form the meat into 16 plum-size spheres, spacing them out in a 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned (they'll be browned more underneath than on top), about 15 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, combine the tomatoes, with their juice,

chipotles, canning sauce, oregano, the remaining garlic cloves (cut in half) and 1/2 tsp salt in a blender or food processor. Process to a smooth paste.

When the meatballs are ready, spoon off any rendered fat from the baking dish, then pour on the tomato mixtures, covering the meatballs evenly. Bake until the sauce looks like tomato paste, 15 to 20 minutes.

Pull the meatballs out of the oven and pour the chicken broth into the pan (evenly, once again).

Divide the meatballs among the dinner plates and spoon the sauce over the meatballs. Garnish with avocado and extra mint leaves. Eat with corn tortillas.

Rick (te he) also says parsley, thyme (not too much), sage and basil are all delicious in meatballs.

Corn Tortillas

Corn Tortillas

from Rick Bayless

Makes 15 tortillas


1 3/4 cups powdered masa harina for tortillas (Maseca brand is widely available)



1. Mix dough. Measure into bowl the corn flour and add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot tap water. Mix with hand, kneading until thoroughly combined. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

2. Heat griddle or skillet at medium heat.

3. Adjust consistency of dough. Gently squeeze dough. If it is stiff (it probably will be), knead in water 1 or 2 teaspoons at a time until the dough feels like soft cookie dough—not stiff, but not sticky. Divide evenly into 15 pieces and roll each into a ball. Cover with plastic.

4. Press out dough balls. Cut 2 pieces of plastic wrap (better than the wax paper I used)

1-inch larger than tortilla press. Open press. Lay in one piece of plastic. Lay dough ball in center. Gently mash. Top with second piece of plastic. Close press. Press gently—enough to mash dough into 1/8-inch disc. Pull off top piece of plastic very carefully as the tortilla tears easily.

I highly recommend the tortilla press, but I am also eager to try Carlee's sisters book method. If you guys try it, let me know how it works.

5. Place tortilla in skillet.

6. First flip. After about 20-30 seconds, edges of tortilla will dry slightly and tortilla will release from griddle—before this moment, tortilla will be stuck. With the spatula, flip the tortilla over.

7. Second flip. After about 30 seconds, tortilla should be browned underneath. Flip. Cook 30 seconds more—tortilla should puff in places (or all over—a gentle press with spatula or fingers encourages puffing). Transfer to basket lined with towel.

8. Continue. Press and bake remaining tortillas. Stack each baked tortilla on previous one. Keep tortillas well wrapped in towel to keep warm.

Keeping the tortillas warm is key to them being soft and delicious instead of crispy on the outside. Also, make sure to reheat any tortillas by wrapping them in a damp dish cloth/towel on medium power in the microwave for several about 3 minutes.


picture from
Wouldn't it be great if I actually took pictures of this stuff myself?


  • 1 and 1/3 cup uncooked white long-grain rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
Put 1 1/3 cup rice in the blender with 2 cups of water and the 2 cinnamon sticks. Blend until the rice and cinnamon are roughly ground - about a minute or so. Add the remaining water and blend thoroughly. Pour into a pitcher (or keep in your blender if it DOESN'T leak) and place in the refrigerator to soak (overnight is best) but at the very least 4-5 hours. Stir (or blend if it is still in the blender) the mixture before you strain it through a sieve. Add the milk, SUGAR, and vanilla - stir and serve over ice.

Just an FYI: I usually do 1/2 cup of sugar and think it tastes fine, but Ross insists on using more...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chocolate Soufflé

 Chocolate perfection in a ramekin my friends. 
It's rich, yet light in texture. It's decadence at its best.

This is a great dessert to make when you're hosting dinner and want to bring some next-level awesomeness to the meal. It's very impressive, yet not too difficult to make. I suggest making them just before serving so they're nice and warm. Okay....onto the recipe. This recipe has simple ingredients. The key is in the techniques. Be sure to follow the steps carefully and you'll have success. Soufflé isn't near as finicky to make as you may think. We like to say that it just needs to be made with love :)

Recipe from 


  • 7 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus for preparing the molds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For Topping (something I've added) 
1 8oz stick of cream cheese at room temperature, or softened
1/4- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Brush 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Put the prepared ramekins in the freezer. (This can be done a day ahead.)
  • Set an oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  • Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • Combine the egg yolks and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer or large bowl and beat until frothy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes. Very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture. (Rinse the bowl well, if using for beating the egg whites.)
  • Remove prepared ramekins from freezer. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, or large non-reactive bowl, add the lemon juice. Beat on medium until frothy; then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and increase speed to high. Beat until the whites hold a stiff but not dry peak.
  • Working quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten; then fold in remaining whites until blended. Gently ladle or spoon the souffle mixture into the ramekins, and place on a baking sheet. (Level off the surface with a straight edge, scraping any excess mixture back into the bowl.)
Immediately bake until the souffle rises about 1 1/2 inches from the ramekins, and the tops are touched with brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.

NOTE: We removed ours about 3-4 minutes early. We watch them and when they begin to crack on the tops we take them out. An overdone s
oufflé just isn't the same. 

Look how pretty they are.....

I can't leave well enough alone, so I top mine with a sweetened cream cheese mixture. Simply beat your cream cheese and vanilla with an electric beater or whisk. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until you make it how sweet you prefer. I like it just slightly sweet. I think it pairs perfectly with the bittersweet chocolate and adds another element of creaminess.

Oh my. It's divine.

You'll want to lick the ramekin clean...and I won't lie, I think I have before.

You may also add other garnish instead or in addition to the cream cheese topping, such as a raspberry sauce. I personally don't think it's necessary, but it's delicious. The original recipe says to just dust them with powdered sugar before serving, but that's boring.