Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Southwestern-Style Torta

This recipe is one I clipped from the Columbus Dispatch awhile ago. No photos of this one, unfortunately... it just didn't come out very pretty. I had trouble slicing through the bottom layer of tortilla and then when I tried to plate the slices everything spilled everywhere. So I opted not to photograph this dish because I didn't want to turn anyone off, but please know that it's delicious! I will definitely make it again and will try to resolve the messiness next time (although I'm not sure yet how).

Southwestern-Style Torta
3 to 5 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
7 large flour tortillas
1 pound ground sausage
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno chili, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup (6 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 green onions, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Use 5 tortillas to line perimeter of pan, then use 1 tortilla in center of pan to cover bottom. Brush more butter over the tortillas.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, saute sausage until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno (if used), chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, oregano, and cumin. Cook until onion is tender, about 10 minutes.

Spoon sausage mixture into tortilla-lined pan. Cover sausage with beans and cheese.

In the same skillet over medium heat, add remaining butter. When melted, add eggs and stir until softly cooked and still moist. Stir in remaining salt, pepper, and green onions. Spoon eggs over beans and cheese, pressing to firm layers. Place remaining tortilla over eggs and brush with remaining butter.

Bake 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

To unmold, loosen edges with a knife; remove pan sides. Loosen bottom, then remove pan bottom. Peel away foil. Cut into wedges and serve.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Best Chili You Will Ever Taste

The title of this post is actually the title of the recipe as it's posted on recipezaar.com, not my assertion. I was intrigued by this chili recipe because it contains coffee and cocoa so I had been wanting to try it for quite awhile. I finally made it last weekend, and it actually was really delicious, except for one key flaw: I realize now that I really don't like sirloin in my chili. I just don't like the texture of it and prefer only ground beef instead. So I would definitely make this again but without the sirloin.

(I'm posting the recipe as it was written, but when I made it I halved it and I didn't include the chili peppers.)

2 teaspoons oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb beef sirloin, cubed
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 can dark beer
1 cup strong coffee
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 can beef broth
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
4 chili peppers, chopped
  1. Heat oil.
  2. Cook onions, garlic and meat until brown.
  3. Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth.
  4. Add spices Stir in 2 cans of kidney beans and peppers.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Add 2 remaining cans of kidney beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Squares

I have no picture to accompany this recipe, but I have to share it. This is quite possibly the easiest and most satisfying dessert ever.

This can easily be doubled and made in a 13 x 9 inch pan instead.
1 (8 oz) can crescent rolls
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons white sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 inch square pan. Unroll crescent rolls and press 1/2 of them into bottom of pan. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over crescent roll layer. Place remaining crescent rolls on top. Pour melted butter over entire pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes or until top is crisp and brown. Serve warm. Can also be refrigerated once cooled.