Saturday, July 26, 2014

7/26/14 ChefElla's Frozen S'MORES

Nothing says summer like S'MORES.  Getting your best friends around a campfire on a cool night, telling stories, and roasting marshmallows is the best part.  The problem is, that some of us don't have a place to make a fire, and sometimes you don't want to make a fire just to make S'MORES.  But I have the perfect solution.  My frozen S'MORES.  They are easy to make and you don't even need a fire.  So call your friends and enjoy your S'MORES.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife.  If you are not allowed to use a knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need a whisk, a rubber spatula, a medium bowl, a knife, and a 9 X 9 pan.

ChefElla's Frozen S'MORES (This recipe will make 9 servings)
1 box          Graham Crackers, Split In Half        
7 oz.           Marshmallow Fluff (1 Jar)
5 oz.           Plain Yogurt (1 cup)
                   -I used Greek Yogurt, and Greek Yogurt has a sour flavor to it.  If you do not like sour
                    flavors in your food just use regular yogurt.
1 Cup         Chocolate Chunks
3. Line your 9 X 9 pan with aluminum foil so that the foil comes up over the sides of the pan.
4. Break graham crackers into halves.  Place 9 halves into the bottom of the pan.
5. In your bowl mix marshmallow fluff, yogurt and chocolate chunks.  When the mix is smooth it is
6. Pour fluff mix over the graham crackers.  Smooth the mix so that it is even.
7. Top fluff with 9 more crackers.  Try to put the tops over where each bottom is.

8. Place S'MORES into the freezer.  Let S'MORES freeze for at least 6 hours.
9. Remove S'MORES from freezer.  Lift S'MORES out by the foil.  Peel down foil and cut into 9

Now even if you do not have a campfire you can have S'MORES anytime.

- ChefElla

Sunday, July 20, 2014

7/19/14 ChefElla's Spicy Salmon Quesadilla with Grilled Corn Salsa

I know that making quesadillas can seem like a big task.  The recipe seems like it has a lot of steps, you have to use the stove and grill, and flipping a quesadilla seems like it is a little to hard for you.  I know how you feel. Sometimes when I look at a recipe I say the same things and then I do not make it.  What you miss is the experience of making something really good and learning how to make something different. This year you will make dinner around 300 times. The truth is that not everyone of those dinners will be perfect.  And not everyone will like everything you make, but you will get another chance tomorrow. If you skip all of the recipes that seem hard you miss the chance of finding a new favorite recipe and learning something new about cooking and yourself.  These quesadillas really are not that hard to make.  I know that the instructions look long, but that is so I can explain it, it is not because there are so many steps to make them. So learn something new this week and enjoy.

By the way if you do not like salmon, substitute beef, pork, chicken, turkey, mushrooms, or any of your favorites instead.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife, the stove, and the grill.  If you are not allowed to use a knife, stove, or grill by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a cutting board, a large bowl,
    a large sauté pan, tongs, a large spoon, a spatula, and the grill.
ChefElla's Spicy Salmon Quesadilla (This recipe will make 4 quesadillas)
8 ea             Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Tortillas (8 inch)
4 oz             PepperJack Cheese (Shredded)
                    -If you can only find whole pieces of Pepper Jack Cheese just crumble or shred
                     your cheese at home.
                    -If you do not want your quesadillas spicy substitute Monterey Jack Cheese
8 oz             Cheddar Jack Cheese (Shredded)
8 oz             Salmon, Fresh, Boneless Filets
3 tsp            Olive Oil

Grilled Corn Salsa (This recipe will make about 4 cups of salsa)
2 Cups          Roma Tomatoes, Medium Diced (4 - 5 tomatoes)
1 Cup            White Onion, Small Diced (1 small white onion)
1/2 Cup        Poblano Pepper, Minced (1 pepper)
                      -Poblano Peppers are a mild chili pepper.  Cut off the stem end and cut the pepper
                       in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and white ribs.  Cut the pepper into thin
                       strips and cut the strips into tiny pieces.
                      -If you do not want your quesadillas spicy substitute a Green Bell Pepper.
1/4 Cup        Cilantro Leaves, (Chopped Fine)
1 tsp              Kosher Salt        
1/4 tsp          Black Pepper
1 ea                Lime Juice
                      -Roll lime on the counter with your palm to soften the lime.  Cut the lime in half
                       and squeeze juice into your salsa.  1 ripe lime will yield a little less than 1/4 cup.
2 pieces        Fresh Corn, Grilled (2 ears)

3.  Preheat grill to medium heat.  Remove husks and silk from your fresh corn.  Rub each ear of corn
     with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Rub salmon with remaining olive oil.
4.  Put salmon and corn on the grill.  Let salmon cook for 3 minutes on one side and then 2 minutes
     on the other side.  If you like your salmon well done cook for another minute on each side.  If you
     like your salmon less well done cook for a little less time on each side.  Remove salmon from
     the grill.
5.  Turn you corn every 2 minutes until the corn is browned all the way around.
      Remove corn from the grill.  Let salmon and corn rest until you need them.
6.  Cut up all ingredients for salsa and mix in your bowl.  When finished cut the bottom of your corn
      cobs to make them flat.  Stand up corn on the flat end.  Carefully, starting at the top cut downward
      removing the corn kernels from the cob.  Do not cut too deep, so that you do not cut off the hard
      parts off the corn cob.  Turn the cob as you remove the kernels.  Keep your hand on the top of the
      cob the whole time.
7.  Mix corn into the salsa.  Crumble salmon with your fingers and split into four equal servings.
8.  Preheat saute pan on medium heat.  Spray one side of a tortilla with pan spray.  Place tortilla in
     your sauté pan.  Brown one side of your tortilla.  If the tortilla puffs up just pierce it to let the air
9.  Put your tortilla cooked side up on your cutting board.  Top with 1/8th of your cheese mixture.
     Top cheese with 1/4 of your salmon. Top salmon with a heaping 1/4 cup of salsa.  Top salsa
     with 1/8 of your cheese mixture.  Heat another tortilla until it is crispy and browned.  Top
     your quesadilla with your second tortilla browned side against the cheese.
     -I pre-heat my tortillas because I want my quesadilla to be crispy inside and out.
10.  Spray pan with pan spray and return finished quesadilla to the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes on one
       side.  Carefully flip quesadilla over and brown for 2 more minutes on the other side.
11.  Remove quesadilla from the pan and cut on your cutting board.
12.  Repeat 3 more times to make your remaining quesadillas.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.
This recipe for salsa is great on its own and you can make it anytime to serve with chips, eggs, tacos, or nachos.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

7/10/14 Chefella's Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

It is hard to cook vegetables for my friends because one of my friends only eats broccoli, and another one of my friends only eats corn, while another one of my friends only eats carrots.  I will admit that I use a sneaky trick to get my friends to try other vegetables.  I cook the vegetable with a food I know that they will really like.  I found that if I serve the vegetables with a food my friends already like they are more willing to at least try the new vegetable.  For this recipe paired my vegetables with bacon because everyone likes bacon.  I try not to hide vegetable in food because then when my friends see the vegetable the next time they will not know they ever ate it, and chances are they will not try it just because I said they have eaten it before.  I try to give my friends a positive experience with the food so that maybe next time they will want to try the vegetable by itself.  
Now if I could just find a food that would make me want to try brussel sprouts dinner with my Grandma would be more fun.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the grill.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and grill by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a blender, a cutting board,
    tongs, and the grill.

ChefElla's Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus (This recipe will make 12 pieces)
12 ea           Asparagus Spears, White Root Ends Removed
                    -Line up the asparagus so the tips are all at one end.  Cut off the root ends so
                     the asparagus spears are all the same length.
12 ea           Turkey Bacon
                    -If you prefer you can substitute pork bacon.
12 ea            Toothpicks

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (This recipe will make about 1 1/2 cups of sauce)
1 jar             Roasted Red Pepper (12oz jar, drained, do not rinse)
1 ea              Chipotle Chili in Adobo Sauce (one cooked pepper from the can)
                     -This product is a canned product that can be found in the hispanic section of your
                      local grocery store.  This product is a smoked dried jalapeño pepper cooked in a spicy
                      sauce called adobo.  It will add a nice smoky flavor to your sauce and some heat.
                      If you like really spicy sauce just add more peppers to your sauce.
1/4 Cup       Mayonnaise
2 ea              Garlic Cloves, Fresh (1/2 tsp chopped)
1/2 tsp         Kosher Salt          
1 tsp             Honey
                      -Dip the measuring spoon in oil first and the honey will not stick to the spoon.
1/4 Cup      Blue Cheese, Crumbles
                    - If you like blue cheese it is a great addition to this sauce.

3. Submerge toothpicks with cold water.  This will keep them from burning when you put them on
    the grill
4. Add all of the dressing ingredients to the blender and puree.  Store dressing in the refrigerator
    until you are ready to eat.
5. Trim asparagus.  Lay one piece of bacon on your cutting board.  Top with asparagus and roll up
     the asparagus and bacon.  Skewer each piece at the bottom with a toothpick.

6. Preheat grill on high.
7. Turn down grill to medium, and place asparagus on the grill.  Do not cook asparagus over a direct
     flame.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  
8. Flip asparagus over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
9. Move asparagus off the direct heat and let cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
10. Take toothpicks out of the asparagus and serve with red pepper sauce.


- ChefElla

Thursday, July 3, 2014

7/3/14 ChefElla's Israeli Couscous Salad

Everyone I know loves to eat this salad when I serve it, but they all complain about it while I am making the salad.  The reason is, that when you cook the dressing for the salad, you will stink up your kitchen.  The reason, is that the vinegar gives off a very strong smell when heated.  Just open a window or turn on a fan while cooking the dressing and it will not be as bad.  Eventually, the smell will go away, and no one will complain when they are eating this fresh salad with their dinner or at a picnic.  Enjoy your Fourth of July and enjoy your Israeli Couscous Salad.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife or stove  by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, a medium sauce pan, a large bowl, a small bowl, a small sauté pan, and a cutting board.

ChefElla's Israeli Couscous Salad (This recipe will make 6-8 servings)
8 oz.           Israeli Couscous, dried.
                   -Israeli Couscous is a larger pearl couscous.  If you buy the couscous from the bulk area
                   of the store the directions for cooking are as follows:
                    Cook 1 cup of couscous in 1 1/4 cup of water.  Simmer on low covered for 10 minutes.
                   Remove from heat and fluff (lightly mix) with a fork, let couscous sit for 5 minutes.
1 Cup         Cucumber, Small Diced (1 small cucumber)
                   -Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon.  Cut cucumber
                   into long strips and then into 1/4 inch long pieces.
1 Cup         Red Onion, Small Diced (1 small onion, or 1/2 medium onion)
1 Cup         Yellow Bell Pepper, Small Diced (1 medium bell pepper)
1 Cup          Roma Tomatoes, Medium Diced (2 Roma Tomatoes)
4 oz.            Feta Cheese, crumbled, or Parmesan Cheese, shredded
                    NOTE: If you do not like feta cheese substitute Parmesan

Israeli Couscous Salad Dressing 
1/4 Cup     Malt Vinegar or Salad Vinegar
1/4 Cup     Honey
                   -An easy trick to get honey out of the cup is to spread a little oil in the cup before filling
                   it up with honey.  It will keep the honey from sticking to the cup.
2 Tbl.         Dried Parsley
1 tsp           Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp       Black Pepper
1/4 tsp       Garlic Powder
1/2 Cup     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3. To make the dressing, preheat the sauté pan on medium.  Add vinegar, honey, and parsley to the
    pan.  Turn pan up to medium high heat.  Stir occasionally and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  In your
    small bowl add oil, vinegar and honey mixture, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Mix well with a
4. Cook couscous according to instructions.  When finished pour couscous into your large bowl.  Top
    couscous with dressing and mix well.
5. Add all of the remaining ingredients to your mixing bowl and fold salad until it is blended.
6. If the salad tastes too bitter to you, add more honey until it is to your liking.

Serve as a salad or as a side with dinner.

- ChefElla