Vegan Tacos with Mashed Sweet Potato

On April 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Vegan Tacos with Mashed Sweet Potato
Serves 6

18 corn tortillas
canola oil for frying

1 large Japanese sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup almond milk
1 can black beans
2 carrots, cubed
1 green pepper, diced into small chunks
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
cilantro, finely chopped
green onion, cut into 2-inch long pieces

hot sauce, optional

Heat water to a boil and add cubed sweet potato and cook for about eight minutes until soft.  Remove from heat and drain. Add almond milk, salt and pepper to mash to a creamy consistency. Add more almond milk if necessary.

Meanwhile, heat the black beans in a small sauce pan on low heat.  In a separate saute pan on high heat add canola oil using enough oil to barely cover a tortilla.  When hot, add one tortilla at a time for just about 5 seconds turning once using tongs and then placing on paper towel to pat dry of any excess grease. Repeat until all tortillas are softened in oil.

In a small pan, add some olive oil and the cut carrots and green pepper. Add some salt, pepper and the cumin. Mix and heat over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes to soften and let flavors combine. Remove from heat when done.

When everything is done cooking turn off the heat of all burners and assemble tacos.  Serve placing carrot and green onion mixture and then add the black beans.  Place a spoon full of the sweet potato on top and then sprinkle with chopped cilantro and add a couple pieces of green onion on top.  Add your favorite hot sauce if desired.

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Mother’s Day Vegetable Tart

On May 12, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been a good month plus since I’ve participated in a Sunday Supper event with my fellow food bloggers. The theme this week is Mother’s Day. I had the perfect recipe picked out after asking my wife what she wanted me to make for her this weekend. She had her eye, or is it stomach, on a vegetable tart she found on Pinterest placed on her aptly named “Cook (or things Chris needs to make because I don’t cook)” board. I gathered the ingredients and was going to make it Saturday so we could enjoy Sunday spending time throughout southern California.

Saturday came and went pretty quickly. We spent the day at the Long Beach Queen Mary Barbecue Festival and ended a long day enjoying some taco truck tacos in Pasadena.  The vegetable tart had to wait until Sunday lunch.  Fortunately this is a fairly quick recipe, helped by my already having a finished pie crust in the freeze that was thawed out for this weekend.

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I added some asparagus to the recipe and the pie crust is Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee recipe. The pie crust makes for buttery, flaky “tart.”  It’s good, but I think I prefer a basic tart recipe or perhaps some filo dough. That said, this is still a great recipe with the pie crust and makes for a great way to use some leftover pie dough.

Full Recipe: […Spring Vegetable Tart]

While I didn’t get to do Sunday Supper this weekend, I definitely will make my return next weekend with the group’s Slow Cooking theme. For now, be sure to checkout all of the excellent Mother’s Day recipes from the other food bloggers.

Mother’s Day Brunch:

Mother’s Day Entrees:

Mother’s Day Sides:

Mother’s Day Desserts and Drinks:

Don’t forget to join the #SundaySupper chat on Twitter today to celebrate Mother’s Day! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Do you have your ticket to the Food and Wine Conference yet? If not, there will be a special $100 discount available tonight only on the full conference pass if you participate in the #SundaySupper twitter chat from 7 to 8pm Eastern Time, and purchase your ticket during the chat. The discount code is: SundaySupper.  We hope to see you there!

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

On November 11, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love participating in the group #SundaySupper where over 50 fellow food bloggers get together every weekend to share our recipes with each other and anyone else on the web.

Last week’s Soul Warming theme netted a handful of recipes I couldn’t wait to try.  On top of that list was Hezzi-D’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.  The combination of jalapenos, cream cheese, bacon, and chicken sounded so good.

The recipe is quite simple and only takes about a hour to make start to finish.  My wife who wasn’t all too happy when she heard the title of the recipe ended up praising the meal once we sat down to eat.  It’s not as hot as it sounds, so feel free to up the chili powder another tablespoon if you prefer a spicy bowl of chili.

I served the dish with some oven cooked biscuits from Trader Joe’s. For dessert we had some individual pies – pecan and salted caramel apple – from the Studio City Farmers’ Market vendor Pi Bake Shop.

For the Recipe: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

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Family Cooking Time: Pizza Balls

On October 10, 2011, in Family, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Getting our boys to eat something new is never easy; though, it’s a lot easier when we include them in cooking the meal. Tonight we did a recipe my wife found from the website Weelicious: Pizza Balls.

Pizza is by far their favorite meal (unfortunately.) Making pizza a new way made it a bit more interesting for us, but for Oscar & Theo there was doubt about what it is that came out of the oven and ended up on their plates. See, it didn’t exactly look like pizza so it received some scrutiny. Fortunately, after a few bites they agreed it was “yummy” and the best part is we can control what ingredients go into this pizza.

We made a few alterations from the Weelicious recipe.  First of all, we used Eden Organics Old Fashion Pizza Sauce.  Yes it is from a can, but unlike others it has no sugar and honestly tasted fairly close to my homemade recipe. Here are the ingredients:

Organic Roma Tomatoes, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Organic Basil, Organic Oregano, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Roasted Garlic, Organic Dried Onion, Organic Thyme

Not bad. For the dough, we bought frozen pizza dough from Whole Foods. It too is pretty good and only with a few ingredients, no chemicals or sugar. For the inside we went with mozzarella cheese, sliced black olives, and diced green peppers added to the pizza sauce.

Wrapping the pizza balls is fairly simple. You just make several 3″ round discs and let the kids spoon in a tablespoon of the inside mixture. Then fold over the dough to shape a mini hotpocket looking “ball” and add to a greased oven-safe casserole pan. Heat the oven to 425 and cook for 20-25 minutes.

One change I’d make after doing this recipe is to add the cheese to the top of the pizza balls 5 minutes before they are finished cooking. Adding at the beginning, like the recipe calls for, burns the cheese.  Cooking for a small time-frame should make for a little brown coloring and keep some of the flavor of the cheese.

For the full recipe, please visit Weelicious Pizza Balls.

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Pizza Rustica Insane-ica

On January 30, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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In a world of $5 Hot ‘n Ready pizzas, why would anyone ever make a pizza from scratch at home? First of all it costs a small fortune with the San Marzano tomatoes, organic shredded mozzarella, and “sustainably raised” pepperoni. Secondly, it takes 30 minutes to cook the sauce, you have to roll the dough, and then you have to watch it incessantly in the oven to make sure it doesn’t burn yet the crust gets crispy.

Homemade pizza is for the insane.

There I said it. It really is, but sometimes it comes out perfect and puts the $5 pizza to shame. Tonight was one of those nights.

We had made what looked like a foolish decision last weekend at the local Italian market here in Dallas, Jimmy’s Food Store, when we purchased some frozen store-made pizza dough. The one great thing about pizza is how fun it is for our twin 4 year old boys to put on the toppings of their personal pizza. Kids love making pizza and it really is ideal for getting kids involved in cooking.

With easily $20 spent on ingredients we were ready to make some home-made pizzas.

Pizza Rustica
Makes 2 Pizzas

Make 1 recipe of Pizza Sauce (see below)

Pizza Dough (preferably from a local Italian Market)
1 Green Pepper
1/2 Red Onion, sliced in half-moons
Small can of sliced black olives
1 package of Applegate Farms Pepperoni
1 lb of shredded mozzarella cheese

Thaw the dough if frozen. I put it in the refrigerator the night before using and by dinner time the next day it is ready for use. It’s best to also place it on the counter a hour before using to let it come to room temperature, but this step is not necessary. It just makes the dough a little easier to work with.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Move the oven rack to the lowest position if your heating element is on the bottom of the oven. This works best to help the dough cook. If your oven has the heating element at the top, move the oven rack near the top, but you will have to gently cover the pizza with foil on top after 6-7 minutes of cooking and continue cooking 5 more minutes so as not to burn the top of the pizza.

Slice dough into 2 pieces and dust a board lightly with flour and work dough either by hand or by hand and rolling pin. What you want to do is make the dough really thin, almost where you can start seeing through it. Don’t worry about it being perfectly round or square, shape isn’t important.

Once the dough is ready move it on to parchment paper (or aluminum foil though the pizza will stick a little if using foil.) Spread some of the pizza sauce on the dough then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Add toppings to desired taste. Then move the pizza leaving it on the parchment paper to the oven rack. Place on oven rack and cook pizza for 6-7 minutes watching closely after 5 minutes to get to desired brownness on top. Gently place a piece of foil on top of the pizza when the top looks done, then cook for another 5 minutes. The final 5 minutes of cooking helps cook the pizza crust which can be doughy if taken out too soon.

Slide the parchment paper on to a cookie sheet to remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for 2 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve.

Pizza Sauce
Makes enough for 2-3 pizzas

2 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbl butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
16 ounces of tomato puree
2 Tbls grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil, dried
1 tsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf

Heat butter and olive oil in a small pot. Add the onion, celery and garlic to the pot and heat until translucent, about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Do not burn. Add tomato puree and remaining ingredients and stir and heat to a boil. Once at boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and set aside to cool for 10 minutes and use on fresh pizza dough.

 

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