Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hibiscus Chili Chill

No-fuss summer cooking continues with this refreshing drink for the warm summer months. Brew this hybrid of tea vs agua fresca and refrigerate for ready use as the perfect thirst quencher for any occasion! 

Did I mention no-fuss?

(Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine June 2016 'Keep Your Cool' article)

Hibiscus Chili Chill

Large bowl
Wooden spoon
Large Pitcher
Sharp paring knife

4 large Republic of Tea Hibiscus Sangria tea bags
2 Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Tea tea bags
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar, depending on your preference
4-5 3" strips of orange peel
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeded
1 Fresno chili, halved
Agave Syrup, to taste
3 cups of boiling water
1/2 cup of fresh lime juice

1. Wash your hands.
2. Prep the ingredients, i.e. harvest vanilla bean seeds, peel orange and cut chili in half.

3. In a large bowl, combine tea bags, sugar, orange strips, vanilla bean and seeds, and chili.

4. Pour 3 cups of boiling water over concoction and let steep until cools, approx 20-30 minutes.

5. Strain through a fine meshed strainer into a pitcher.

6. Add lime juice.
7. Add 2 cups of iced cold water.
8. Adjust sweetness.
9. Pour over ice and serve with lime wedges and a splash of club soda.

10. Transformation into an "adult beverage" (if you are over 21 years old) can be done with a splash of mezcal or vodka.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Simple Summer Flatbread

This month's focus is on eating well with as little time in the kitchen--time-efficient, cost-effective, taste-satisfying college cooking--nothing deserves this title more than this simple flatbread or pizza crust! 

Once the dough rises, it can be refrigerated 2-3 days before grilling or baking--makes enough for four personal size pizzas...each one made to your heart's content with any topping combo imaginable!

(Adapted from The Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis, MN)

Simple Summer Flatbread

Mixing Bowls
Pizza Pan or stone

2 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp granulated sea salt 
1 cup warm water
2-3 cups of bread flour

Red Sauce:
San Marzano Tomatoes, hand-torn in their sauce
Kosher salt, to taste

Fresh Mozzarrella 
Red Pepper flakes
Grated parmesan or pecorino

1. Wash your hands. 
2. Preheat oven to 450-500F degrees.
3. Combine water, yeast, salt, sugar and 1/4 cup of flour. Set aside.

4. Once you notice foaming of the yeast mixture, begin adding just enough flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough begins to form and become "shaggy" without being sticky.

5. Oil a large mixing bowl.

6. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm environment to let rise for at least one hour.

7. Once doubled, punch dough, turn it out on a floured board and knead with a little flour by folding dough back on itself with a little flour until no longer sticky. 

8. Divide into quarters when ready to use and stretch or roll out on lightly floured surface.

9. Transfer the flatbread to pizza pan and bake x 5 minutes before toppings.

10. Remove from oven and lightly spoon 1/4 cup of tomatoes and sauce on top--you will think it is not enough--but do not add more.

11. Add mozzarrella, parmesan, and bake at 450F degrees until sauce is bubbly and cheese begins to melt.

11. Broil for 1-2 minutes before removing and topping with basil.

Experiment with any other combos but be careful not to overload the flatbread.
Practice makes perfect!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Simple Ceviche

Summer Living should be simple! I dream of road trips, camping, being outdoors more days than not and soaking in the sun along with all the fresh produce and summer fruits. You may very well be working to pay for next semester's tuition, but don't miss out on summer--eat every meal outside, use the grill, plan weekend trips without access to wi-fi, and if possible, visit a place you have never been to before! 

Eating well while being active or trying to get in as much of the summer sun as possible after work can be difficult, but this week's blog posts are all about making this happen! A meal doesn't have to be fussy, but it has to be good and simple! (And ideally, it should be fresh, easy, unadulterated goodness packed with flavors, right?)

Ceviche is all in one--delish, fresh, tart, satisfying; and, a healthy alternative to the old stand by "chips and salsa"--this dish, is traditionally made with fresh raw snapper, bass, halibut or other ocean fish fillets, but can also be made with pre-cooked shrimp! No doubt, you will feel like you are at the beach sipping a Corona in one of their ads!

Add this to your repertoire of incredible appetizers with flavor and goodness packed into one! 

(Adapted from the Bon Appetit Magazine July 2016 "Sail Away" article.) 

(**Please note that you must have access to fresh, clean fish to make this recipe delicious and to minimize any risk of food poisoning--be sure to check with your local fish monger or use pre-cooked shrimp instead!)

Simple Ceviche


Large mixing bowl

6 oz of halibut or ocean white fish or pre-cooked shrimp, de-boned, cleaned and diced
1 garlic clove, finely grated
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar
2 Tbls of tequila blanco (if you are 21 years)
1/2 cup pineapple, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
Kosher salt

1. Wash your hands.
2. Combine garlic, lime, agave, and tequila in a large bowl.
3. Prep your remaining ingredients.

4. Add pineapple, tomato, onion, radishes, jalapeƱo and fish to the marinade.
5. Season with salt.

6. Marinate and chill at least 1 hour prior to serving.

7. Invite your friends.