Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How Morning Should Smell

This morning instead of coffee, my house smells like purple irises and pineapple jam. The irises are antique purple ones and smell like grapes and spring. The jam is on the stove in my kitchen cooking down to golden goodness.

The only smell that could top this would be fresh bread just from the oven, but that's for later. 

Yesterday, I ran out of sugar after starting my jam and even had to use 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar to get enough sugar for the jam. I also had to revise the vanilla cream recipe for peaches and cream custards.

And, of course, I forgot to get a picture of the finished product! These are awesome and super easy. You can use any type of fruit. I used canned peaches provided by Jessica and some canned pear halves I had on my shelf. You could also use fresh pear, peach, apricot, plum or apple halves, I can also see this with fresh blackberries, raspberries or cherries.

Peaches and Cream Custard
This is my own recipe, though based off others I read. It makes to 8 inch cake pan custards. This would be elegant in individual souffle or custard dishes.
4 eggs (mine were room temp)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (use the real stuff)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt (don't skip this)
1 cup evaporated milk (you could also use heavy cream or half n half, I just keep evaporated milk in my cabinet)
6 to 7 medium to large peaches*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease cake pans (I also lined the metal one with wax paper). Arrange peaches cut side down in the pan in a pleasing pattern and set aside on a baking tray.
Crack eggs in separate bowl/cup and pour them into the bowl of your mixer (or mixing bowl and hand whisk). Beat them on low until just broken up. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and turn mixer on low. Once combined add vanilla, flour and salt and let blend briefly before adding evaporated milk.
Take your prepared baking tray close to the oven and pour cream mixture over fruit. Very gently place baking tray into oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until custard is set and golden brown around the edges.
*I really think you could use any fruit in this with good results. I used canned. You might need to cook a little longer for fresh. You may also need a little bit more flour to keep it from getting watery if you use fresh fruit. Powdered sugar has a little cornstarch in it which helps with setting up.

I also made enchiladas for dinner. Another super simple recipe.

Simple Enchiladas
1/4 cup chopped green onion, white parts, save greens for garnish
1/4 cup minced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mixed green, red, orange peppers, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. 85/15 ground beef
1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes with chilies
3/4 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1/2 cup water/chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
8 oz. Mexican or Fiesta blend cheeses, grated, divided in half
1/2 cup Salsa, any type
24 8-inch flour tortillas
Canola or Olive Oil cooking spray

If cooking right away, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. These can be made ahead and chilled or frozen.
Prepare 9x13 or similar baking dish by spraying with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large skillet heat olive oil. Once oil is hot add onion, celery and garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Once garlic starts to brown a little add green and red peppers and cook until peppers are tender.
In a bowl combine beef and ground turkey and mix until just blended. Add taco seasoning and blend into meat. In another bowl combine TVP with tomatoes and let set until juice is absorbed, then add to beef mixture. Once well combined, add to skillet, breaking into small pieces. Add chicken broth or water to the pan and cook until meat is no longer pink and most of water/broth is gone.

Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese cubes and 4 oz. grated cheese. Mix until fully incorporated.

In the bottom of your prepared pan spoon 3 to 5 tablespoons of salsa and spread evenly along the bottom. Along one side of a tortilla spread one to two heaping spoons of meat mixture. From filling side, roll up tortilla and place in pan seam side down.

Continue rolling until pan is full. (I will usually use several smaller pans) If you are going to bake this right away, top with a little more salsa and remaining cheese. (I chose to only use the cheese on top). Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 to 40 minutes until the cheese topping is melted and bubbling.

Notes: You do not have to use TVP, but could use 3/4 lb. each meat. It's an inexpensive way to extend out meat and also soaks up any grease the meats release. I used a green salsa as I wanted to trim the tomato down. Next year I plan to grow yellow tomatoes and can my own sauces and salsas. Some recipes have room for you to change up what you do and don't like without effecting the end result and this is one. Next time I make this I'm considering changing it up by placing meat on a crust of nacho chips and serving with Spanish rice. You could also just use the TVP and more vegetables and go meatless.

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