Tag Archives: Cheese

Bloomin’ Onion Bread

Got friends coming over? Try this bloomin’ onion bread.   You’ll prepare it in a flash and your friends will love it.  It’s better if you use sourdough bread to really get the “blooming” effect.  We don’t have sourdough bread available at the bakery in Guatemala, so I used a country style round bread, and it worked just fine.  I used a small serrated knife to help me cut the bread when I had to do the second part. I think I would have made a tragic mess out of that loaf if I had used the regular bread knife.

If you’re having more than 4 friends over, make at least 2!  Trust me, they will be gone quicker than you think.

This recipe can be the base for you to use your creativity and add different ingredients such as, cheddar cheese and bacon instead of  just mozzarella and onions.  How about individual portions using small round breads?  I’ll be experimenting with these ideas over the holidays, I have a ton of family get togethers coming up.  (yikes)

Helga

Bloomin' Onion Bread

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Loroco & Tomato Rustic Tart

As our Independence Day festivities get closer, I wanted to try out a recipe that used a local staple ingredient to make a fusion dish.  I knew I wanted that ingredient to be loroco. I thought up this recipe for a loroco and tomato rustic tart which I am glad to share with you, I do hope you give it a try!   We ate the whole thing in one sitting for dinner.

You just need to make a pie dough, or buy frozen puff pastry dough.  If you make your own dough, add ½ teaspoon of black pepper to the flour mixture before processing it. This is optional, to give the dough a little flavor. When your dough is ready fill it out with a mixture or locoro, onions, cream, tomato, parmesan and a good quality melting cheese.  In my case, I bought Quesillo from San Julian, which is creamy and melts deliciously.

Loroco, is a vine with edible flowers that grows in Guatemala, El Salvador and other Central American countries. It is an important and popular source of food in Guatemala and El Salvador. The plant’s buds and flowers are used for cooking in a variety of ways, including in pupusas from El Salvador.

Helga

Loroco & Tomato Rustic Tart

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Avocado and Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

I found THE BEST salad recipe! I know you will love this and it will become one of your favorites.  It’s so good, I’ve already made it about 4 times.  I know we’re all trying to eat more healthy foods, and I for one do try to include healthy and low fat meals during the week so we can indulge and eat things like pizza, cake or a cheeseburger on the weekend.  So, if I absolutely HAVE TO eat more vegetables, this is how I want to eat them… this is my kind of healthy dish.

It is not only an avocado and corn salad, it includes other chopped fresh veggies and a flavorful vinaigrette, I’m still not sold on the leafy salad variety…they’re not so filling.  This has a mixture of textures and flavors that balance off wonderfully, not to mention it looks great.  (Well, my photo isn’t so hot, the avocado I used was a little soft… but I promise it looks great served on a plate).  The crisp cucumber against the soft cheese, tart tomatillos with buttery avocados and all the flavors blended with a perfect cilantro vinaigrette are a real treat to your taste buds.   I’ve paired this with spicy chicken wings, or grilled chicken and I have had great comments about it from my family.

I did mess around with the original recipe, which called from grilled corn (not gonna happen), feta cheese (eeeeh…I prefer farmer’s cheese for this salad) and it did not include tomatillos.  In Guatemala, we use tomatillos to make “Salsa Verde”  which is  a sauce used in a variety of Latin recipes. The thing is, we mostly use cooked tomatillos for our dishes.  Go ahead and try to slice up a few of them on your next salad (uncooked), you will love them!

For our Guatemalan readers, use queso fresco, queso de capas or queso panela for this.

Helga

Corn and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

This is one of the best recipe finds I’ve stumbled upon in the last few months. Homemade ricotta cheese?  I imagined the process would be more complicated, so I was surprised to see how easy this recipe is. You just need milk, lemon, slat and cheesecloth Homemade mascarpone is next, so I can indulge Mariano with some Tiramisu for his upcoming birthday.

This is an incredibly creamy ricotta, which I have only slightly adapted from the original recipe.  It said to add 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt, which I found to be too bland. 1 1/2 teaspoons is right for my taste, but you can try making it as the original suggests. You can always add the salt later, as I did.  Once the cheese is done, you can mix in the salt using a wooden spoon.

I enjoyed mine with olive oil and salt, with rhubarb jam I recently made, or with sundried tomatoes and a little dry basil would also be amazing.  Go ahead, try it!

(Also, the recipe says the cheese will keep for 3-4 days, but mine lasted for a little longer than a week and it was fine)

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 1 generous cup of ricotta

Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Procedure:

  1. Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom.
  2. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  3. Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.)
  4. Discard the whey, or, if you’re one of those crafty people who use it for other things, of course, save it. Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.  This cheese will keep for 3-4 days.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese