Tuesday, March 27, 2007

and the winner is ... blogger Deb!

Deb won for her recipe for Cuban Pork Soft Tacos. Blogger Deb, please contact Dena at dena.rosenberry@gazette.com or 636-0278 to pick a cookbook from our cookbook booty. We've quite a selection.

OK, cooks, we're looking for great recipes for side dishes that can be cooked alongside our fish or steak or chicken on the grill. Sun's out - it must be grillin' time!

Share your favorite sidedish-on-the-grill recipe in the comment section below - then check the blog next week to see if you've won!.

Now, for Deb's recipe (Looks straightforward; try it and let us know what you think):

Cuban Pork Soft Tacos
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaves
1 3-pound boneless pork roast
1 cup sliced onion
Flour tortillas (I like the little ones)
Pico de Gallo or a good salsa
Lettuce and or guacamole is optional

For the marinade, combine lime juice, water, grapefruit juice, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaf in a small bowl.

Trim fat from the roast. If necessary, cut roast to fit into slow cooker. With a large fork, pierce meat in several places. Place in a large plastic bag set in a deep bowl or a baking dish. Pour marinade over meat. Close bag and chill 6 to 24 hours, turning occasionally to help ensure an even flavor throughout the meat.

In a slow cooker place onion, top with meat and marinade mixture. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

Transfer meat to a cutting board; cool slightly. Skim fat from juices; keep warm. Remove bay leaf and discard. Use forks to gently separate the meat into shreds. Transfer shredded meat to a serving platter. With a slotted spoon, remove onions from juices. Transfer onions to same serving platter.

Serve meat and onions in tortillas with small bowls of the hot juices and Pico de Gallo. If desired, pass lettuce and guacamole. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And the winner is ...

The blogger known as "Sweet Gifts" who sent the following recipe. "Sweet Gifts" needs to contact us at teresa.farney@gazette.com or 636-0271 to set up a time to pick a cookbook from our impressive collection.

If you'd like to be our next cookbook winner, share your favorite slow-cooker recipe in the comment section below. Then check the blog next week to see if you've won.

Welcome Spring Sour Cream Pound Cake
Nell Guthery’s Recipe

3 cups of granulated sugar
2 sticks of margarine
6 eggs
3 cups of PLAIN flour (I use White Lily)
8 ounces sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons lemon or vanilla flavoring
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries

• Grease 10-inch tube pan
• Set oven to 325 degrees
• Stir flour and soda together in a bowl and set aside for later use.
• Separate egg whites from yolks.
• Add salt to egg whites and beat until peaks form in a separate bowl from original mix. After beat, put whole bowl in refrigerator.
• Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add lemon or vanilla flavoring and a pinch of salt.
• Add one egg YOLK at a time, beating well after each addition.
• Add flour and soda mixture alternately with sour cream.
• Fold in beaten egg whites.
• Bake 1 hour 15 minutes at 325 degrees.
Let cake cool, place on a pretty plate, then add strawberries and blueberries around the bottom of the cake. You can also add a few edible flowers to give it more of a spring look.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Saute pans sizzled and pressure cookers hissed as eight chefs went whisk to whisk Sunday at the Restaurant Expo and Culinary Arts Show at The Broadmoor's Colorado Hall. They were in an Iron-chef style contest to win the coveted Chef de Cuisine trophy from the two-year-in-a-row winner Jason Gust of the Ritz Grill.

There were four rounds where chefs were expected to prepare three dishes using a secret ingredient. The first round of chefs was given eggplant as the secret ingredient. Four of these chefs were voted off the stage and the remaining four were given Thai black sticky rice to work wonders with. Two of these chefs were eliminated.

The final two chefs, Chester Wright of Memorial Hospital North and Jeff Knight of Craftwood Inn, were left to duke it out with Gust. Their secret ingredient was bison flat iron steak. The points were close for the finalists, but Gust -- subject of our Food section cover story last week -- reigned supreme. The trophy will remain at the Ritz Grill for a third consecutive year. The good news for his competitors: This is the last year Gust can compete.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Carrie Rottenborn, who contributed a recipe to our blog last week and got to pick a cookbook from our impressive selection. Her choice: "The Best Light Recipes," by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine.

If you'd like to win a cookbook, simply enter a recipe in our comment section below. This week, we're looking for recipes that use one of our favorite spring treats, strawberries. To inspire you, here's a recipe from one of our giveaway books, "The Bon Appetit Cookbook." Check back next week to see if you've won; we'll ask you for your contact information so we can arrange for you to come in and choose your cookbook.

Serves 12

This cake requires overnight refrigeration, so make it a day before you intend to serve it.
20 whole graham crackers, broken
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar

4 8-ounce packages Philadelphia bran cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 large eggs

2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 16-ounce containers strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jelly

For crust: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Finely grind graham crackers in a processor. Add butter and sugar, using on/off turns; process until moist crumbs form. Using plastic wrap as aid, press crumbs over bottom and 2 3/4 inches up sides of a 10-inch diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Bake crust 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool while making filling. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in a large bowl till very smooth. Beat in flour. Add eggs and beat just until blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.
Pour filling into crust and bake until outer 2-inch edge of cake is puffed and slightly cracked, center is just set and top is brown in spots -- about 50 minutes. Transfer to cake rack. Cool 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

For topping: Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Spoon topping over cake, spreading to edge of pan. Bake until topping is just set, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Run knife between top edge of crust and pan sides to loosen. Cook cake completely in pan on rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Release pan sides from cheesecake. Arrange strawberries, points facing up, atop cheesecake, covering completely. Stir jelly in a heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cool to barely lukewarm about 5 minutes. Brush enough jelly over berries to glaze generously.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If you like bargains, get out your red marker and circle April 7 on your calendar: It's the Chefs Catalog Warehouse sale at 5050 Centennial Blvd. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the sale ends at 3 p.m.

The warehouse where the sale takes place is east of the retail store. Parking and the entrance to the sale are on the east side of the building.

So how good is this sale? I bought a portable convection oven for $50 at the last sale. The retail price for the oven in their catalog was more than $1,000. Not everything will have such deep discounts, but most stuff is at least 50 percent off or more. Commercial cookware, Broilking buffet servers and warming trays, Pro-line coffee makers, Buffalo china, SAECO espresso makers, convection ovens and flatware are few of the items you can expect to find.

All sales are final -- no refunds. Only cash and checks will be accepted.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Beer fans
If you were getting thirsty for a bottle of chilled Venetucci Pumpkin Ale that was featured in our Gotta Have It column Tuesday, you can find it at another place: the Tejon Street Wine Shoppe, 319 N. Tejon St. Call 235-5017 to be sure it's on the shelves. The brew has been a huge hit and sells out quickly.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Chad Amberg, who responded to our request last week for St. Patrick's Day recipes. We've included his recipe below (and Chad, please call Teresa Farney at 636-0271 so we can help you claim your prize).

If you'd like to win a cookbook, here's what you need to do: Go to the comment section below and share your favorite egg recipe with us -- because spring is almost here! Then next Wednesday, check the blog again and/or "Briefly/On The Side" in our Food section to see who our next winner is.

Irish Beef Stew
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of fine red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2 .While the meet and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.
3. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.