Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rambutan Martini Recipe

I went to Jungle Jim's today, and got some more rambutans.  Last time I only got the one, but I decided to really go crazy and get a whole sack.

I also found a recipe for a Rambutan martini, and it turns out that it's pretty delicious. 

It calls for ginger flavored vodka.  Did you know that existed?  It does.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Indiana State Fair

We went to the Indiana State Fair this weekend, which I think is the first time I've been to a state fair. A staple of fairs, of course, is fried food, and I wanted to try the latest craze: Fried Kool-Aid.

It really tastes exactly like fried kool-aid.  That's not necessarily a good thing.  They gave us six of them, but one was really enough to check that experience off of my list.

At this same place, they had also sorts of fried stuff that is bad for you even when it isn't fried.  I figured I should try at least one other thing, so I also got fried oreos.

Fried oreos do not taste like fried oreos.  It tasted like fried mush.  I think if the dough had been a dough that gets crunchy when it is fried (like a hush puppy) rather than soft (like a doughnut), then it might have been better.  I also only needed one of those.  Check!

Here is something that I do not need to try.  Yuck.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beef (Turkey) Empanadas & Steffie Salsa

I made what were supposed to be Beef Empanadas, but I made them with turkey. The recipe is from Bon Appétit.  The one with that insufferable creature named Gwyneth Paltrow on the front.  (If you are confused about her insufferable qualities and don't mind bad language, may I recommend some reading materials.)

Empanadas Ingredients
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lb. ground beef (turkey was tasty)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbs tomato paste
1. tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt & pepper
1.5 packages frozen puff pastry (3 sheets), thawed
3 large egg yolks, beaten (for glaze)

Dipping Sauce Ingredients & Directions
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup sour cream
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded, chopped, divided
2 large scallions, chopped, divided
salt & pepper

While the empanada filling is cooling (see below), purée beans and sour cream in a blender until smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Stir in half of tomatoes and scallions.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle remaining tomatoes and scallions over.

Empanadas Directions
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beef (turkey) and garlic; cook, stirring often and breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until beef is cooked, about 3 minutes.

Add tomato paste, cumin, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring often, to let flavors meld (I personally prefer when they marry), about 4 minutes.  (Look how much better it looks with colorful spice on it.)  Add cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper.  Let filling cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cut each pastry sheet into four 4.5" squares for a total of 12 squares.  Lightly brush edges of squares with glaze.  Spoon filling into center of each, dividing equally.  Fold edges over, forming triangles, and press to seal.  Crimp edges with tines of fork.  Divide triangles between prepared sheets.  Brush tops with glaze. 

Bake until tops are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Voilá!  Steffie's Salsa in on the far left, and is in the Gracewood Cookbook, but also listed below.  All in all, I thought it was tasty and not hard to make.

2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup diced red onions
1 Avocado sliced (optional)
1 tsp minced jalapeño (optional)
1/3 cup cilantro chopped
1 can black beans rinsed
1 can corn rinsed
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tsp salt

Cooking Instructions:
Mix ingredients together :)