Thursday, March 31, 2011

Limoncello Mint Sorbet

Originally from Cooking Light, this lovely little dish comes my way via the blog The Craving Chronicles.  My adapted version (less sugar) is below, but follow the original if you want full-sugar.

Makes 4 cups


2 cups water
3/4 cups sugar (add more if you feel it's not sweet enough.  Original recipe called for 1 1/3 cups)
1/2 cup limoncello
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)
1/2 cup fresh mint
lemon slices, zest strips, or extra mint leaves for garnish if you like


Combine the water, sugar, and limoncello, and heat in a saucepan over medium to high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar as you bring the mixture to a boil. As it comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and whole mint leaves.

Cover and chill for at least four hours in the fridge.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into another bowl.  Discard the mint leaves.  Pour the mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer instructions (approximately half an hour or so).

Transfer the frozen mixture into a freezer-safe container, and freeze for at least an hour.  When ready to serve, add garnish if desired.  Or...just grab a bunch of spoons and dig in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cochinita Pibil

There are about a million recipes for Cochinita online.  I chose to go with a fellow Phoenician's recipe (albeit a genius Mexican chef fellow Phoenician), Alex Padilla, Executive Chef at Taberna Mexicana.  I've adapted this recipe from the Phoenix New Times.  Serves 4.  (I doubled the recipe and omitted things like pineapple juice, habanero peppers but the original is below minus the banana leaf wrapping).


3.5-4lb. Pork shoulder
1 Grapefruit, juiced
2 Oranges, juiced
2 Limes, juiced
2 Lemons, juiced
1 c. Pineapple juice (I omitted this and used an extra grapefruit instead)
4-6 garlic cloves, toasted slightly
1 can diced or whole tomatoes (or fire roasted for spice)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/8 c. kosher salt
1/4 c. black pepper ground
1/4 c. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 1/3 tsp. cumin
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/3 lb. achiote paste


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove skin and extra fat from the pork shoulder.  When clean, cut the pork into one to one-half pound pieces.  Then season with salt, pepper, and oregano.  On the grill (in my case, a skillet), brown the meat on all sides for about ten minutes total.  You might have to do this in a few batches if using a skillet.  Place browned meat on the bottom of an oven-proof dish like a dutch-oven. 

Blend all of the juices together.  Next, blend the achiote paste with the vinegar, black pepper, jalapenos, and garlic.  Mix with the juices, then pour on top of the meat.  Sprinkle rest of salt, oregano, bay leaf, sliced onion, and the tomatoes on top.  Cover the dish and place in the oven for 3-4 hours.  Resist all urges to peek, even if your house is filled with heavenly aromas.  Serve with fresh corn tortillas, and cabbage, lime wedges, freshly chopped onions and name it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

Found this lovely gem from Antonia James via Food52.  Hey-o!  Great cooks contribute to a great site.  Check it out, lovelies. 

Makes one loaf

1 tsp. sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, or 1 ½ teaspoons of “rapid-rise” or instant yeast
7/8 cup buttermilk (lowfat is fine)
½ cup rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 – 3 ¼ cup bread flour (You may need just a bit more for kneading.)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Olive oil for brushing the dough before baking


Proof the yeast by putting it in a small measuring cup with 3 tablespoons of water that is warm (no hotter than 115 degrees Fahrenheit), with a pinch of sugar. Set it aside for at least ten minutes.

Mix together the buttermilk, oats, melted butter, salt, honey, 1 cup of flour and the baking soda. Beat well until combined. (If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment).

Beat in another half cup of flour, then add the yeast and water mixture along with another half cup of flour, and beat some more, until combined. The dough should start to feel a bit stretchy.
Stir in another half cup of flour as best you can and then dump the contents of the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface.

Set the remaining ¾ cup of flour close to your work area. Knead, adding flour a bit at a time as necessary, using a bench scraper to lift from your work surface any dough that is sticking.
Knead for about ten or twelve minutes, adding only as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking hard to your hands. You don’t need to add the entire amount stated in the ingredients list. Remember, this dough has oatmeal in it, which will continue to soak up the liquids in the bread during the rise.

Let the dough rest for a few minutes while you prepare the bowl and your rising area, if necessary.

Wash in hot water the same bowl that you used for mixing the dough. Dry it and drizzle in the bottom a teaspoon or two of good, fruity olive oil. You can also use butter to coat the bowl, if you prefer.

Gently form the dough into a ball, put into the bowl topside down, and then flip it over to coat with the oil.

Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel. Allow to rise until doubled, for about an hour to an hour and a half. Carefully remove from bowl, then roll loosely like a log. Pinch the seams together. and place in a greased bread pan or oven-proof pot. Cover the pan/pot with the damp cloth.

Allow to rise a second time about 45 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.

Brush with olive oil, slice the dough a few times with a sharp knife, and bake at 350 Fahrenheit (for regular ovens) for about 55 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when the bottom is gently tapped.

Allow to cool on a rack or cutting board for about an hour before slicing.