Sunday, August 9, 2009

Whipping It Up Weeks 5 and 6

I slacked a little last week and missed my Whip It Up entry for week 5. The theme was "spicy," which came in handy when I was craving tacos and had no taco seasoning. A quick search of Allrecipes gave me a few options, but they all made 24-32 servings. As it was just the husband-elect and I, and I didn't have anything to store the excess in, I scaled it back to 6 servings.

Here is the recipe I used:

1T flour
2 T onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 T chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cilantro
1 tsp salt

Combine the spices, then add 2-3 T and 2/3 c water per 1 pound of browned ground beef. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Did it taste good? It was lacking something. At first I only used 2 T of the mix, and after monkeying with it by adding a little bit of onion or cumin, I finally added another tablespoon of the mixture. That helped. It still lacked some spice.

Was it easy? Yes, I had all the spices in my pantry, so it was just a matter of mix and measure.

Will I make it again? The original recipe as scaled called for 1/4 cup of chili powder, which I thought was excessive, so I only used 2 T. In light of the lack of spice, I may add more chili powder next time. I will make it again, once I buy an empty glass jar to store the excess mixture.


Now, week 6 is "appetizers." Earlier in the week, my darling husband-elect told me about a family reunion this Sunday. I asked him if we needed to bring anything and he said he'd ask his parents. Fast forward to Saturday night, when I again asked if we needed to bring anything and he said Oh, I'll call my parents. When he told me his mom was bringing a salad, I knew we'd need to take something as well. Besides, I hate going to a potluck empty-handed, so off to the computer to find a new and exciting appetizer recipe.

I found this at Allrecipes. It sounded intriguing, and all the reviews were at least 4 stars. It is an Italian layered cheese appetizer. After reading the reviews, I didn't use the sun-dried tomatoes, but used roasted red peppers.

Italian Torte

10 slices provolone cheese
3 oz sun-dried tomatoes (I used 8 oz roasted red peppers)
2 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz pesto

Whip the cream cheese and garlic until well blended.

Line a medium bowl or loaf pan with a large piece of dampened cheese cloth. Layer with 1/3 of the provolone cheese. Spread with 1/2 the pesto. Pour in 1/2 the cream cheese and garlic mixture. Layer with 1/2 the sun-dried tomatoes. Layer with 1/3 provolone, remaining pesto, remaining cream cheese and garlic mixture and remaining sun-dried tomatoes. Top with remaining provolone cheese.

Pull cheese cloth around the layered mixture and gently press into a bowl to mold and remove excess oil. Chill in the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours. Remove cheese cloth and turn upside down onto a large dish to serve. Spread onto crostini or use pita chips to dip.

Was it easy? The ingredients were all readily available at my local grocery store, and the assembly was pretty straightforward. I did have to hunt for cheesecloth, which I finally found over by the paint and varnish section.

Was it good? Well, it's 9:30 am and the reunion isn't until this afternoon, so I'll have to update this section later. However, I love garlic and pesto and red peppers and cheese, so I can't imagine how it could be bad.

Will I make it again? My husband-elect looked over the recipe while I was making it, and he said "it doesn't sound like something I'd dip into." He might change his mind after he tries it. But again, since it's still in the refrigerator, I'll have to update this part.

1 comment:

Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

I met some fellow tweeters on Wednesday for Chinese food. This guy, Alex, who has to be in his early 20s, he told me about how he really, really, really messed up a chili recipe because he, um, didn't have onion powder.... so he decided to use garlic salt instead.

Ew. Funny, but ew.