|Quart Crockpot Chicken Mole||serves 2|
|1 bottle IBC Root Beer
2 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2-3 Tbs Cholula Chili Lime Hot Sauce
|Use Quart-sized Crockpot
Add root beer
Stir in tomato paste
Sprinkle parsley* to taste (or cilantro option)
Stir in hot sauce
place chicken breasts in pot, submerge under sauce as much as possible.
High setting for 10-11 hours
Serve with choice of side dish, e.g., rice, quinoa, pasta, warm corn tortillas, chilled avocado tomato salad, roasted corn salad.
Frozen or semi-frozen chicken breasts will fall apart less in cooking. I throw this together before going to work and enjoy a savory meal when I come home.
I must have gone on a bad day for the staff but SO MANY things are wrong I removed this restaurant from my blog! AVOID MOM’s TAMALES and tell your friends to not put their health at risk.
Frozen vs. precooked tamales are $18 cash (instead of $20). No big savings there. The cost of making this failure right – DOUBLE.
I placed a phone order the day before and when I went to pick them up at the time they said the order would be ready, I had to wait 25 minutes while they assembled my order. Really? Calling ahead wasn’t enough advanced noticed? No instructions came with the tamales. If I had not reviewed the website I would not know that they took more than an hour to steam.
Tamales are handed to you in a plastic bag each wrapped in foil. You cannot microwave steam them, since the foil is not just wrapped on the outside but TUCKED into the corn husks. YOU CANNOT remove the foil before steaming. Each handmade tamale I have ever had came in a waxed/parchment paper which freezes and microwaves easily. The tamales were less than 4 inches long, open on one end and NOT completely wrapped in corn husks. They are not plump and tasty, they are skinny and look unprepared. Runts. My tamales were all runts. When you steam these tamales IF you are able to not break a nail pealing foil off, the MEAT AND SAUCE oozes out, IS MINGLED WITH FOIL and ends up coating the inside of your steamer.
I ordered three of 4 different kinds. The Sweet tamales with pineapple disintegrated into pulp – inedible PULP. The cheese with spinach spewed cheesy goo all over the inside of my steamer. The chicken mole were tasty but not plump. The beef were average.
I was so frustrated and disgusted that I went to In and Out and count myself lucky that I had real food to eat.
Perhaps the dine in experience is better.
The health department will be hearing from me about their take-out, to go food preparation! I am truly sorry I suggested it on my blog. http://momstamales.com/ RUN FAR AWAY!
Networking is a beautiful thing! Check out http://momstamales.com/Tamales.html
Today, a co-wacko and I were talking about where I could score some homemade tamales for Christmas. She didn’t know a resource but she knew someone who might. Having tamales as my contribution to Christmas dinner with my sweetheart’s family is my idea of a good thing! And that conversation at work got me talking with another co-wacko who highly recommended Mom’s Tamales (see link above) later in the afternoon.
You may have seen Mom’s, this hole-in-the-wall treasure, on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network. Sitting at lunch today I quickly scoped this place out on Foursquare, located the menu, address and phone number (323) 226-9383.
Mom’s offers several tamales to tempt you: Pork, Beef, Chicken, Cheese or try some of their specialties: Chicken with Mole, Cheese with Spinach, or a sweet tamal with pineapple. Yow! Buying them frozen to steam later (for 1 hour, 15 minutes) will save you $2 per dozen. Mix and match.
Remember it’s cash only, they close their doors at 4:00 pm and checking in on Foursquare will make it more visible to other tamale lovers seeking a source for handmade tamales. Mom’s Tamales & Mexican Food, 3328 Pasadena Ave, Los Angeles CA, 90031
If tamales for Christmas are not something you have time to make, try some love from Mom’s instead.
The rainy weather in Los Angeles this weekend prompted me to drive more cautiously and to think about casseroles – well, not in that order, but you understand. Truly, there is nothing more comforting after a long day of trying to create holiday cheer in the office (event planning and gift wrapping) than to arrive home and find a hot soothing casserole and a glass of wine waiting for you. Here are two recipes to boost the comfort in your comfort food this December. I am reminded of my childhood favorite we called “Ussi Souffle” – a cheese and egg casserole inspired by a Danish neighbor. I might post that recipe at a later time.
Eight Layer Casserole
Makes 8 servings in 2-quart square baking dish
30 minutes prep, bake 55 minutes, 10 minutes to stand before serving
3 cups dried medium noodles (6 oz)
1 pound ground beef
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 8 oz sour cream
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup milk
1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Grease a 2-quart casserole or a 2-quart square baking dish; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir tomato sauce, basil, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl beat together the sour cream and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in milk and onion. In prepared casserole or baking dish, layer half of the noodles (about 2 cups), half of the meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of the cream cheese mixture (about 1 cup), and all of the spinach. Top with the remaining meat mixture and noodles. Cover and chill remaining cream cheese mixture until needed.
Cover casserole or baking dish with lightly greased foil. Bake in 350 degree F oven about 45 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings
Alternate: Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cover with lightly greased foil and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream-cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before baking.
Greek Noodle Casserole (Pastitsio)
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis (tips from Marisa McClellan @foodinjars)
Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
6 to 8 servings in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish
Butter, for greasing the baking dish
12 oz egg noodles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped or smashed
1 pound ground lamb
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
One 26-oz jar tomato-basil sauce (3 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 packed cups fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
3 cups grated Parmesan (about 6 oz)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, optional
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the lamb, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and mint. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
For the sauce: Simmer the milk and cream over medium heat in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the yogurt.
Add the meat sauce to the pasta and toss well until the noodles are coated. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Spoon the cheese sauce evenly on top and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped mint if using, and serve.
Before you get cooking, here are a few things you should know:
— Ground lamb can often be quite greasy. If your meat seems to be swimming in oil after you’ve browned it, pour the fat off into a small dish before proceeding to the next step in the recipe.
— When you cook the pasta, make sure to stop just shy of al dente. Because this dish gets baked, this prevents the noodles from dissolving into mush during their time in the oven.
— This dish calls for a ton of mint. If your mint plants have died back for the season or you can’t afford the grocery store prices, use baby spinach instead. Simply chop it fine and stir it in. It won’t be quite as authentic, but you’ll still get your greens.
— I like to serve this casserole with a giant green salad to balance out its richness. Should you want to keep all the components of the meal warm, however, a pan of softened kale with garlic is also nice.
“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” ~Laurie Colwin
Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 to 10
Vegetable Soup recipe adapted from Coral Tree Cafe in Los Angeles. http://www.coraltreecafe.com/
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 quart vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
2 cups quartered mushrooms (optional as I do not eat mushrooms)
2 cups diced zucchini
Salt and pepper
Heat a medium, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until hot. Add the oil, then add the carrots, onions, bell pepper, thyme and barley. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden-brown, about 18 minutes, taking care that the barley does not burn.
Stir in the vegetable broth and marinara. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cook until the barley is al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and zucchini, and season to taste with salt and pepper (the amount of seasoning needed will vary depending on the vegetable broth and marinara used). Cover and continue to simmer until the mushrooms and zucchini are just tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat, thin if desired, and season again to taste, and serve. This makes about 2 1/2 quarts of soup.
Let’s start first with the food in recipes, then explore the intersection of discovery with La Cocina, a Bay Area nonprofit cultivating food entrepreneurs.
Atole is a traditional masa-based Mexican and Central hot drink. Chocolate atole is known as Champurrado or atole. It is typically accompanied with tamales, and very popular during the Christmas holiday season (Las Posadas).
- 1/3 cup masa harina blended with 1/4 cup warm water in blender
- 3 cups water
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar or piloncillo
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or one one vanilla bean
Heat all ingredients (except for any toppings you may be using) in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat while stirring. Bring to a simmer and continue to stir frequently for 20-25 minutes until thickened. If used, remove the cinnamon stick and/or vanilla bean. Pour into mugs or thick glasses. Warm fruit puree in a small saucepan and drizzle on top of Atole. Serves 2-3
Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)
Yield: 6 (4-ounce) servings
- 3 cups of water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 anise star
- ¼ cup masa harina
- 2 cups milk
- ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
- 3 ounces piloncillo, chopped or 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
In a large saucepan boil water with the two cinnamon sticks and anise star. Remove from the heat, cover and let the cinnamon sticks and anise star steep for about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and anise star, return to low heat and slowly add the masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined. Add milk, chocolate, and piloncillo.
Heat over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.
(Thanks to http://www.muybuenocookbook.com)
And here’s the Discovery…
La Cocina, Cultivating Food Entrepreneurs
This holiday, give the gift of food with Holiday Gift Boxes or a gift certificate for classes http://www.lacocinasf.org/classes-workshops/. Your purchase does create opportunity and contribute to the success of local aspiring entrepreneurs in the Bay Area.
Don’t miss December 7, 2012 Holiday Gift Bazaar in Crocker Plaza in Downtown San Francisco (50 Post Street)
The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market and capital opportunities. We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Our vision is that entrepreneurs will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do.
San Francisco’s First Incubator Kitchen
La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator designed to reduce the obstacles that often prevent entrepreneurs from creating successful and sustainable small businesses. By providing shared resources and an array of industry-specific services, business incubators ensure small businesses can succeed. La Cocina follows this model by providing commercial kitchen space and technical assistance focusing on low-income women and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing and formalizing food businesses.
Breaking Down Barriers
The food industry has a notoriously high cost of entry: the fees for licensed and insured commercial kitchen space, the start-up costs to open a restaurant, the standards set to compete for shelf space at specialty stores and large retailers. Such restrictive barriers to entry often discourage burgeoning food entrepreneurs from launching a business. Those who do, face an uphill battle for success in an overwhelming and incredibly crowded marketplace.
La Cocina provides a platform for these motivated entrepreneurs to hone their skills and successfully transition into the highly regulated and competitive food industry.
The Story of La Cocina
La Cocina (pronounced la co-see-nah, meaning “The Kitchen” in Spanish) was inspired by its current home, San Francisco’s Mission District. (2011 La Cocina 2948 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 | 415-824-2729 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.lacocinasf.org) It is located in an ethnically diverse and economically vulnerable neighborhood that thrives in part due to the many small informal businesses that serve the community. As is the case in many cities, food lies at the heart of this community, and you don’t have to look far to find hidden entrepreneurs in the kitchens of many homes.
Recognizing a need to formalize these food businesses and the opportunity created when you turn inconsistent and illegal home restaurants into sustainable legal businesses, organizations like Arriba Juntos, The Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment and The Women’s Foundation of California and one very special and visionary anonymous donor created La Cocina. La Cocina is both the space-a modern building and commercial kitchen that has been featured in Metropolis Magazine—and the program—an innovative business incubator that supports a growing roster of small businesses, including:
El Pilipa email@example.com
Hot Mulled Cider Recipe
- 1/2 gallon of fresh, unfiltered apple cider
- 1 orange
- 15 cloves
- 4 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
- 15 allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 7 pods of cardamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Pour apple cider into a 3-quart saucepan, cover, turn the heat on medium-high. While cider is heating up, take a vegetable peeler and peel away a couple thick strips of peel from the orange. Press about half of the cloves into the peeled part of the orange. (You can also just quarter the orange and add the slices and cloves separately. I just like seeing the orange bob up and down.) Place orange, orange peel strips, the remaining cloves, and the rest of the ingredients into the sauce pan with the cider. Keep covered and heat the mulled cider mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
2 Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the hot mulled cider away from the orange, cloves, and other spices. If you want, you can add a touch of bourbon, brandy, or rum to spike it up a bit. Serve hot. Add a cinnamon stick to each cup if desired.
Makes 8 cups. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hot_mulled_cider/
Vaariations: add fresh ginger, try allspice, substitute 1/2 cup maple syrup for brown sugar,
- Prep Time : 15 min
- Cook Time : 25 min
- Ready Time : 40 min
- 2 large baking potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and shredded
- 1 large onion, shredded
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup matzah meal
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Canola oil for frying
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 (7-ounce) balls fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 2 medium red tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, stir together potatoes, onions, eggs, matzah meal, and salt. Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. Heat enough oil to reach a depth of about 1/4-inch in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Form potato mixture into 3-inch round latke, and fry in batches until browned and crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared pan. Continue making latkes with remaining mixture. Meanwhile, combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, and cook until reduced and thickened,
about 10 to 12 minutes. To assemble, place each latke on an appetizer plate. Top with one slice mozzarella, one slice tomato, and a leaf or small sprig of basil. Garnish with a drizzle of reduced balsamic, some olive oil, and pepper to taste.