27 September 2005

corn avocado salad

6 ears of corn, as fresh as possible
2 avocados
2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers
1 large sweet onion
3-4 large stalks celery
smoked or roasted turkey breast, cut into chunks (optional)
fresh cilantro (optional)

juice of 3 limes
white wine vinegar
salad oil (I use walnut, but any light flavored oil should work, do not use olive)
white pepper
ground coriander (omit if using fresh cilantro)
red pepper flakes

Make the dressing first so the flavors can start to combine. Juice three limes into a glass/Pyrex measuring pitcher. Add vinegar until you have a third a cup of liquid. Add salt, white pepper, ground coriander, and pepper flakes to taste. Whisk in salad oil until you have two thirds of a cup of liquid. Some people may prefer a higher oil to vinegar ratio, since this can be kind of tart, if so, increase oil accordingly.

Boil (or microwave) the corn, being careful not to overcook. Let cool and cut the kernels off the cobs. Put corn in large bowl. Dice the peppers into medium sized chunks (maybe 1/2" square?). Chop the onion (maybe 1/4" bits--not too finely). Cut the celery once or twice lengthwise and then across as needed to wind up with small chunks. Add peppers, onions, celery and stir together.

The first time I made this, I stirred half the dressing in the corn-pepper-onion-celery mixture and let it sit overnight. The next day I diced the avocado and turkey into 1/2" pieces, and threw those in with the rest of the dressing. If using canned black beans, I would also drain and rinse and add at this point. If using fresh cilantro, add right before serving. If you don't overdress it, this keeps well for a couple days in an airtight container.

16 September 2005

chocolate rum cake

1 pkg Duncan Heinz Devils Food Cake mix
1 small pkg chocolate instant pudding mix
1 c sour cream
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 to 1/2 c cold coffee
1/4 to 1/2 c dark rum
4 eggs
2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix until blended. Beat at medium speed for one min, scrape sides of bowl and beat one more minute. Fold in chips. Pour into greased Bundt or tube pan. Bake 40-60 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes. Turn onto platter and glaze with:

1/2 c butter or margarine
1/4 c water
1 c sugar
1/2 c dark rum

Melt butter in pan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Poke small holes in the cake with a toothpick. Pour glaze onto cake.

It is better to let the cake sit overnight for the chocolate chips to harden.

04 September 2005


10 large ripe tomatoes, blanched**, peeled, diced
at least a pound of tomatillos, blanched, peeled, diced
2 large bell peppers, diced
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 jalapenos, finely diced

juice of 2 limes
red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, at least 2 T
red pepper flakes

green onions, finely chopped
cilantro, finely chopped

Combine first six ingredients. Season to taste with lime juice, vinegar, salt, pepper flakes. Keep in mind that the jalapenos and garlic get stronger as the salsa sits and the flavors meld. finish with green onions and cilantro, but if you're making this ahead of time, it's not a bad idea to leave out the green onions and cilantro until it's time to eat. That way they don't turn into little green slimy bits overnight.

**To blanche tomatoes, take a large pot full of water and bring it to a rolling boil. While it's getting to boiling point, fill a large bowl with cold water. Carefully drop each tomato into the boiling water with tongs or a large spoon. After a short while, usually within a minute or two, the skin of the tomato will start to split. Once this happens, remove the tomato from the hot water and drop it into the cold water. This will stop it cooking as quickly as possible. Once it's cool, you should be able to slide the skin off easily.

To blanche tomatillos, follow the procedure above, but if the skins don't split within three minutes, remove from hot water when the tomatillo turns a yellower green in color.