Category Archives: Uncategorized

HAPPY CINCO de MAYO – CHALUPA, A FAVORITE OF MINE

 

Hi, this is Chef Shay’ husband. Since Chef Shay is allowing contributors to her blog and today being Cinco de Mayo I want to give you one of my favorite Mexican foods. It is quick and very simple to make. Now, I’m an ole’ Texas boy and raised on Texmex. Most people know this dish as a Tostada. My first Chalupa was when I was about 6 years old as we on the way home from the big city of San Antonio and we stopped in a little town called D’hanis. It’s claim to fame that all the masonry red building bricks in the state to Texas bear the mark “D’hanis.” There are also churches on every corner. Anyway, we stopped for lunch and not knowing, at the age of 6, that much about Texmex, I ordered Chalupas and I’ve been eating them ever since.

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The Chalupa (or if you’re a Californian – Tostada)

For an individual serving

Ingredients

  • 2 corn tortillas (if you got some fresh one – even better – see previous blog)
  • 3-4 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 Can Rosita’s Refried Beans
  • Chicken or Beef cubes (left over from those wonderful enchiladas that were make)
  • 1 cup lettuce – shredded
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese blend (Trader Joes’s)
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado slices

Heat up the refried beans in a small pot. Get a flat skillet (we like cast iron). Pour the cooking oil on the skillet and heat up. You know that the temperature is right when you throw a couple of drops of water on the skillet and it dances. Place one tortilla on the skillet and let “fry,” flip over as it lightly browns. Fry until tortilla hardens. Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb the access oil. Repeat for the 2nd tortilla.

Once complete. Lay the tortillas on the plate and dress with 2 or 3 large spoon full of the refried beans, toss on the chicken or meat if so desired. Lettuce is the next topping followed by the cheese, a dab of sour cream, and avocado around the sour cream and eat.

I live well – I eat well – I’m married to Chef Shay

Tortillas – Fresh and Easy and So Very Good

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for fresh corn tortillas. Why? Because Enchiladas are next on the menu.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of corn flour
  • 2 teaspoons of  lard
  • 1-1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt and lard and mix well. Stir in the water and begin mixing the ingredients. You want to form a smooth dough ball. Depending on the size you want your tortillas you want to divide the ball (usually 8-12 pieces). You want the dough to be a little wet. Form the pieces into little balls and place them on large piece of parchment paper. Flatten the dough balls into thin circles with your hands. Place more paper or plastic wrap over the flatten pieces. Using a rolling pin flatten the dough into about 7 inch circles. They should be about 1/8 inch thick. In a medium non-stick skillet on medium heat, brown the tortillas for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove and place between sheets of parchment paper. Repeat the process.

Live Well – Eat Well

FOOD TRIVIA – while we stall for time…

Okay, I am trying to start off the new year right and wanted to begin the year with an awesome blog on what it take to have a well stocked Pantry.  Sounds boring, but you will be surprised how a well-stocked Pantry will make your, or any chief’s life a lot easier.  Compiling the components of a Pantry is easy.  All I have to do is inventory mine and BAM! (Opps, sorry no intend to plagiarize) you got it!  My husband always helps me with my blogs and the way I composed it, …well he is having formatting problems.  He may have to start all over again…..so in the meantime here is some Food Trivia to bide the time.  We should have the Awesome Pantry blog up by Sunday.

FOOD TRIVIA

  • Perhaps as a relic of an ancient Roman custom of planting parsley on graves, a sprig of parsley was either associated with the devil or as an antidote for poison.  Adding a sprig to a plate of food may have originated as a gesture of good faith and as a way to safeguard the meal from evil. So if you eat in a restaurant with less than an “A” rating and the garnish with parsley – eat at your own risk.
  • The Arabs invented caramel, which served as a depilatory (hair removal) for women in a harem.  Remember that when you dip your apple in your caramel dip.
  • Drinking fresh milk in the classical world was considered a luxury because milk was so difficult to preserve.   Got Milk!
  • At Delphi, the spiritual center of Greece, many cooks were needed to organize and direct sacrifices to the gods.
  • The warriors of Attila, king of the Huns, (A.D 450) preserved their meat by placing fresh meat under their saddles.  All the bouncing squeezed fluids from the meat, and the horse’s sweat salted the meat and removed more moisture.  When the warrior stopped to eat, they had a dried and salted meal.  I don’t even know how to respond to that – just – GROSS!!!
  • Beans have historically been a symbol of the embryo and growth in most societies.  The ancient Egyptians called the place in which the Ka, the souls of the dead awaited reincarnation, “the bean field.”
  • Chili peppers are hot because they contain a substance called alkaloid capsaicin and four other related chemicals.  It is also the primary ingredient in pepper spray.
  • The first soup was made from hippopotamus and dates back to 6000BC.  I wonder who figured that one out? probably found some 8000 year old recipe inscribed on a dead sea scroll.
  • Worcestershire sauce is made from dissolved anchovies (including the bones) that have been soaked in vinegar.  Well anchovies are at least good for something – slimy little things!
  • During the Middle Ages, a lemon slice was served with fish because it was thought the juice would dissolve any bones that were accidentally swallowed. I wonder how long that myth lasted.  I find it hard to swallow.
  • This is I whole heartily agree with….Cooking food is one of the great revolutionary innovations of history because it not only transformed the way we prepare food, but because it also became a center of cultural communion and organized society.  RIGHT ON!!!

Enjoy Life and Eat Well!

Chef Shay

 

Palm Springs – Food Mecca

It been about a week since my last blog.  We spent a week in Palm Springs and came home with the stomach flu.  Over the past week all I’ve been serving up is chicken soup, crackers,  and a little bit of rice, trying to keep everyone hydrated while this viral bug worked  its way through my entire family, including myself.  So I do not have much to offer this week but I do want to clue you into one of my favorite places to eat.  There are many great places to eat in this desert community and we have tried a great many of them, but there is one place we always go while we are there.

We go there on the last day of our visit.  It’s essentially a tradition with us … and that is _AEB3nyM79enRXFv9mRTm8f-JelI-S65ZxMPZ1BOmJk[1]Sherman’s Deli.  I would go there just for the fresh pickles that they serve with every meal.

 

This is the classic delicatessen with all the things one would expect. We arrived at that time of day in which it was a little late for breakfast but too early for lunch.  Fortunately they don’t care.  The entire menu is available the whole day.  While several of us went for the traditional breakfast;  omelets, pancakes and bagels there were several that went for lunch.  My daughter loves the French Dip Sandwich. Another went for the Fish and Chips. My husband went for the Grilled Pastrami Sandwich. Now, I’m not big on these kind of sandwiches but this sandwich; the Grilled Pastrami, was the best I have ever tasted.

A pastrami sandwich is fairly simple to make.

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  • Rye Bread (toasted)
  • Pastrami (grilled)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Thousand Island Dressing (fresh)
  • Swiss Cheese

Served with their homemade potato wedged chips.

The things that makes this sandwich so incredible special is that it is all fresh.  They make their own bread, sauerkraut and Pastrami, even the Thousand Island dressing.  Fresh pastrami is incredible and they do it right!

I highly recommend that when you visit Palm Springs, pull yourself away from the Casino for an hour and go to Sherman’s Deli.  You won’t regret it.   Just looking at the display of deserts, pastry and cakes will want to make you want to move to Palm Springs.

Enjoy life and the food it offers!

Chef Shay

P.S. Everybody is healthy again and it will take me a few days to get back into the groove again.  I appreciate everyone’s support and please keep reading my blog.