Friday, April 19, 2013

Southwestern Gourmet Dinner

Watermelon Lemonade with Kiwifruit Splash
Pineapple Salsa with Shrimp
Queso Fundido
Southwestern Wontons
Greens with Avocado Dressing
New Mexican Chili Verde
Southwest Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Assorted Melon
Triple Chocolate Mousse Parfait
Key Lime Parfait
Banana Parfait

Watermelon Lemonade with Kiwifruit Splash

  • 4 Kiwifruits, peeled and cut into fourths
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 8 cups cubed seedless watermelon 
  • 2 cans (12 oz each) frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 4 cups water
Place kiwifruit and sugar in blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Freeze 1 to 2 hours, until firm.

Place watermelon in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Place frozen lemonade concentrate and water in large pitcher. Add watermelon mixture; mix well.

Pour watermelon lemonade into glasses. Spoon a dollop of frozen kiwifruit on top. Serve immediately.

Queso Fundido

  • 3/4 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped rough and packed tight
  • 3 TBS butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tortillas or chips to serve
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put cheeses in mixing bowl, and set aside.

In a skillet over medium high heat, melt butter and sauté the mushrooms until cooked. (2 to 3 minutes). Add minced garlic and chopped spinach and cook until spinach is wilted and garlic is fragrant. (about 2 minutes) Season with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat, pour over cheese, toss to mix.

Place cheese mixture in a lightly buttered, oven safe baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in heated oven and bake until bubbling and lightly browned on top 10 – 12 minutes, then dig in!

Southwestern Wontons

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, minced
  • 1/4 cup black beans, drained
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 TBS dry ranch dressing mix
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • Canola or Vegetable oil for frying
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt and sauté for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add corn, beans, and chicken and stir to combine. Move the chicken mixture to a bowl and season with pepper, stir in cheese and ranch dressing mix.

Scoop 1 tsp of chicken mixture into the center of each wonton wrapper. Rub some water on the two sides of the wrapper, then fold over to firmly seal, forming a triangle, and gently press out any air pockets.

When the oil is hot, place 6 wontons in the oil to cook. Cook for 1 minute each side, or until golden and crispy.

Greens with Avocado dressing

For the Salad

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 19 oz black beans
  • 5 green onions, diced, white and greens
Avocado Dressing:
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • Mixed with 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper
Blend in food processor or blender. Pour over greens before serving.

New Mexican Chile Verde

  • 5 lbs Diced pork
  • 7 Jalapeno peppers (seeds in)
  • 5 Anaheim peppers (seeds out)
  • 1 Onion
  • ¼ garlic bulb minced
  • 2 cups water

Cook meat for 1 hour. Chop vegetables in blender coarsely and add to meat. Cook for ½ hour. Add the seasonings below and cook for another ½ hour.
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • 2 tsp salt
Thicken with cornstarch if desired. Serve as a stew with sour cream, cilantro, and diced tomatoes. Or serve in a smothered fresh tortilla. Yields 25, 8” burritos.

*Note - the heat of this recipe can be adjusted with less Jalapeno peppers and more Anaheim peppers.

Southwest Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 3 TBS butter, divided
  • 3 TBS mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (or 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder)
  • 2 TBS fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 oz shredded or very thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh chopped grape tomatoes

In a small bowl, melt 2 tbs butter. In a separate bowl, whisk mayonnaise, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce and cilantro. Set aside.

Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on one side of each of the 4 slices of bread. Place slices, buttered side down, on a clean work surface. Spread the cilantro-mayo mixture evenly over the 4 slices of bread. Pile shredded cheese evenly over two slices of bread. Top with tomatoes. Place the second slice of bread, buttered side up, on each, creating two sandwiches.

Place sandwiches in a large preheated skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the undersides are golden brown and the cheese has begun to melt. Flip the sandwiches with a spatula, pressing lightly to flatten.

Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until the undersides are golden brown and the cheese is completely melted. Eat immediately.

Triple Chocolate Mousse

For the darker chocolate layer:

  • 1 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 2 TBS water
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
For the White chocolate layer:
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 oz good quality white chocolate
  • 1 tsp. gelatin
  • 2 TBS water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
For the chocolate glaze and sauce:
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 TBS corn syrup
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
For each of the layers, Chop each bar of chocolate, & measure it into separate bowls.

For the darker and white chocolate layers, the process is the same.

Put gelatin in a bowl with water. Let stand at least five minutes, or until it becomes gelly.

Heat milk in a cooking pot, but do not boil. After gelatin is gelly, turn off heat on milk and add the gelatin. Stir together.

Pour milk/gelatin mixture over chopped up chocolate. Let stand for a minute, then whisk together. (this should melt the chocolate)

Whip cream. When the chocolate mixture has cooled, fold in whipped cream. Pour on top of crusts, and freeze while making the white chocolate layer.

Make the white chocolate layer in the same way, and freeze while making the chocolate glaze.

For the glaze:

Heat cream, oil and corn syrup. Do not boil, but let corn syrup dissolve. Pour over chocolate, whisk with vanilla. Pour on the parfaits. Freeze, but thaw before serving.

Key Lime Parfait

For the crust:

  • 1 pkg. (sleeve) Graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
Crush Graham crackers, add butter and sugar. Put in the bottom of bowl or glass.

  • 1 cup key lime juice
  • 1 TBS lime zest
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
  • 12 oz whipped cream, divided
In a bowl, mix lime juice, lime zest and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk in pudding. Fold in 8 oz whipped cream. Put into cups or bowls, top with remaining whipped cream or other garnishes.

Banana Parfait

  • 1 pkg. Cream Cheese
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 pkg. Instant Banana Cream pudding
  • 1 pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 8 oz Whipped Cream
  • Bananas
  • Shortbread Cookies
  • Whipped Cream for Tops
Cream the cream cheese with a mixer. Add sweetened condensed milk, puddings and milk. Beat together until creamy. Fold in whipped cream.