Hodge Podge Kitchen

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Dessert

This is my pumpkin version of a tiramisu. I've been experimenting with different flavors this past year since Chris don't like rum or espresso. The ever popular green tea version made with matcha powder is always excellent. Even the version I've tried with puree strawberries was quite good. The common thread of all the desserts is the layered cheese/whipped cream and ladyfingers. For Halloween, I thought I'll make a pumpkin version. The measurement are somewhat of a guess since I was making it up as I go last night.

Pumpkin Tiramisu
half a 14 oz can of pumpkin puree
4 oz of cream cheese, whipped
1/4 cup whipped cream, whipped
2 tbs powder sugar (more to taste if needed)
1/2 - 1 tsp pumpkin spices
box of ladyfingers
1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
honey roasted walnuts (optional, to taste)

Mix the maple syrup and hot water, let it cool for a little bit. Mix the pumpkin puree, cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin spice, and powder sugar together. Dip the ladyfingers in the maply syrup mixture and line the bottom of a shallow dish. Spread half of the pumpkin mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Sprinkle with the honey walnuts. Repeat the layers once more. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving (overnight is better).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cookbook Addict Anonymous

I'm sure it's not a surprise to anyone that I'm a cookbooks addict (I mean, I *do* have a food blog and takes pictures of food). So far, I think I've kept it fairly in check. I don't have too much bookshelf space and with the prices of some of the cookbooks ($220 for the El Bulli cookbook for example), it hasn't really gone *too* out of control. I do belong to one of those cookbook book of the month club, the signup deal is so good that I just couldn't pass it up. Yes, it is annoying that when you forget to reply to a main selection, they'll just sent it to you. So just as I'm about to cancel it all together, they're running this all cookbooks for $9.99 deal. I've ordered 4 so far, and I'm afraid that I'm going to order more. I am only limiting myself to books that are listed for over $30 at Amazon, that way, at least I could somewhat convince myself that I'm saving money in the long run.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mexican Lasagna

I have to admit that I usually don't crave Mexican food very often. And when I do, I live in an area where there are plenty of inexpensive and good Mexican restaurants and taco trucks near by. So there's really no need to make my own very often. But, as we all know, it's not exactly the low fat meal that one should be eating. That's especially true when it comes to enchiladas, all those corn tortillas are soak in oil first and then covered by a thick layer of cheese. Maybe my palette is too trained with lower fat food, but the excess oil really bothers me. With the help of some pantry/frozen items at home, I made this layered casserole with some of the flavors from enchiladas and a lot less fat. I could roll them up like enchilada, that might have made more sense. But I was going for fast and this comes together by the time the oven is finish heating up.

Mexican Lasagna
7 flour tortilla (whole wheat is nice too)
1 can of enchilada sauce (I used green since that's what I have in my pantry and what I cooked the pork in)
about 1/2 lb of cooked pork (I cooked a huge piece of pork butt (about 6 lb) in the slow cooker with green enchilada sauce a few months back and freeze them separately for use later)
1 can of fat free "refried" black bean
low fat shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375F. In a deep pie dish, spoon enough sauce to thinly covered the bottom of the dish so the tortilla won't stick. Spread 1/3 of the black beans on the tortilla, spoon more sauce on top. Layer another piece of tortilla on top and spread 1/3 of the pork over the tortilla. On this layer, sprinkle a little of the shredded cheese on top. Repeat with the bean layers and pork layers until the last piece goes on. Pour the rest of the sauce on top and sprinkle with enough cheese to cover. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until everything is heated though. I like to turn on the boiler for a few minutes before I take it out so the top browns a little.

Note: I used a big can of sauce for this, since I like a lot of it. Didn't actually used up the whole can, but probably more than a regular 14 oz.

I served it with spanish rice (from a box mix I got at Trader's Joe) and a small green salad with cherry tomatoes.