Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mama's Birthday Dinner

On the Menu

Ms. Mandry’s Cuban Black Beans

12 – ½ cup Servings 

1 pound dried black beans
5 cups water
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic sofrito
3 tablespoons onions and peppers sofrito
2 teaspoons sea salt

Sort beans by removing any broken beans or other debris. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, drain and transfer to a large pot.  Add the water, granulated garlic, granulated onion and bring to a boil, cover and remove from the heat. Let beans soak for 1 hour covered and undisturbed.  This is called a quick soak.

While beans are soaking, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan add the garlic sofrito and the onions and pepper sofrito and sauté until all liquid is absorbed.

Once the soaking period has elapsed, mix the sofrito in with the beans add the salt and commence cooking the beans over medium-low heat for an hour or until beans are tender. Make sure you stir the beans periodically during the cooking process. Also, make sure the beans are covered by at least 1 inch of liquid at all times.

Sauteed Spinach with Roasted Garlic
4 Servings
2 tablespoon olive oil - divided
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
10 - 13 garlic cloves, roasted
I pound baby spinach
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Place garlic cloves in a small ovenproof pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix until all cloves are covered with oil. Place pan in the oven and bake 35 - 45 minutes or until cloves are golden brown. 
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan, add the chili peppers and saute until flakes are lightly browned. Add the spinach, roasted garlic, and all remaining ingredients and sauté until spinach is wilted. Taste for flavor and adjust ingredients as needed. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Salmon with Barbecue Sauce
4 Servings

4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce

Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees F 
Wash fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl mix together the granulated onion, garlic, and salt. Sprinkle fillets with the seasoning mixture on both sides then season with the freshly ground pepper.  Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight.
Remove fillets from refrigerator and let them sit on the counter approximately 30 minutes before cooking. 
If cooking in the oven: Place fillets on a baking sheet or pan. coat fillets with barbeque sauce and cook 13 - 15 depending on thickness. Rule of thumb is to cook fish for 10 minutes per inch, turning halfway through cooking time. If the fish is under 1/2 inch thick, you don't need to turn it over.
If grilling: Brush grill grates with canola oil then place filets on the hot grill.
Grill from about 4- 6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness).  And remember, it's better to undercook than overcook.

Note: Once you place salmon on the hot grill, leave it alone, let it cook long enough for the grill to release it naturally 3 – 4 minutes.

If using a charcoal grill wait until ambers are ash-colored before placing on the fillets.

Ms. Mandry’s Yellow Rice – Arroz Amarillo
12 - ½ Cup Servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic sofrito
½ cup onion and pepper sofrito
3 cups rice, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon sazon
2 teaspoons sea salt
Boiling water to cover by 1 inch

In a heavy large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion/pepper sofrito and sauté over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed. Add the rice and continue sautéing for about 3 minutes. Add the boiling water, just enough to cover the rice by about 1 inch. Bring the pot up to a boil lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a tight lid. If you do not have a tight-fitting lid, cover the pot first with foil and then put on the lid. Crimp foil around the pot so that no steam is escaping. Cook rice 15 minutes then redistribute the rice by gently folding/turning it from the bottom of the pot to the top with a large fork. If rice is done, cover and remove it from the heat.
If it needs more time, add more water if needed and continue cooking checking and redistributing every 15 minutes until rice is done.

Note: I always use a long-grain brow rice, therefore, the rice will not be yellow. It also takes approximately 45 minutes to cook.

 Ange's Field Greens with Watermelon and Feta
4 Servings
1 pound field greens aka spring mix aka mesclun salad
2 cups diced watermelon
4 - 8 ounces feta cheese
6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
4 ounces walnut pieces for garnish
   For the dressing
  • 1 orange, juiced - ¼ cup 
  • 1 lemon, juiced - ¼ cup 
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon granulated onion
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper ground, i.e. cayenne  
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Refrigerate at least an hour before using.  Store any excess in a glass bottle up to 4 weeks.

In a large bowl, toss together the salad greens, watermelon, feta cheese, and mint. Just before serving, add 1/4 cup of dressing and walnuts and mix thoroughly.

 Lemon Bundt Cake
8-10 Servings
For the Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
5 large eggs, room temperature
¼ cup lemon zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

The Icing
1 cups powdered sugar
2 tables freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Flour & grease a bunt cake pan.
Use a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter with 2 cups granulated sugar until fluffy.  Place mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time them add the lemon zest.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, combine ½ cup lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Place the mixer on low and add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients and ending with the flour. 
Transfer mixture to cake pan, smooth the top and bake 45 minutes to an hour or until the tester comes out clean.
Combine ½ cup of granulated sugar with ½ cup of lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.  When the cake is done, let it cool for 10 minutes. 
Place cake on a plate and spoon the lemon syrup over the cake then let it cool completely.
For the icing, combine the powdered sugar with lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth.  Pour over the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.

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