Jenn & Scott's Goodies and Enchiladas Galore!

Somehow we haven't exhausted ourselves of enchiladas!  The heat is addictive!  I use to have some stomach issues where I couldn't eat spice for a little bit.  But ever since Matt got me onto high ph water I don't even take meds and I eat habanero!  Take that modern medicine.  You can get refillable jugs of high ph water at Wholefoods in Oklahoma City.  California, you've got it good.  There's water stations EVERYWHERE!!!  Be kind, don't drink those bottled waters.  I'm so extreme about it I bring a water jug with me when I fly.  When you fly overseas they give a TON of those tiny little cups.  I just have pure guilt seeing how much trash they collect.  I've been like this since I was a child.  I watched a lot of PBS growing up, and was and am still obsessed with nature.  Not a bad thing to love.   Every little bit helps.  This is my little bit.  I also love food!   

For breakfast I had buttermilk toast with a perfectly poached farm fresh egg from Jennifer and Scotts farm house in Hobart, Oklahoma.  Thanks guys! They are the BEST eggs!!!BEST!  Just a little vinegar in your poaching water and that egg will form beautifully.  Douse this dish with your favorite soy sauce and lots of black pepper.  One of my favorite ways to eat poached eggs.  

So Jennifer and Scott are pretty spectacular people.  When they last came down to Oklahoma City I received all sorts of goodies from them.  I wanted to come up with a dish dedicated to their proteins that they gave us.  Its not everyday your friends give you pork from their farm.  Yes, I'm calling it a farm.  So what we came up with was a take on a scotch egg. Matt seasoned the ground pork with breakfast sausage seasoning with sage, fennel, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  I soft the eggs for about 3-4 minutes.  The eggs were very hard to peel because they were so fresh and soft, but the end result was worth it.  We carefully wrapped each egg with sausage and baked it in an oven at 425 degrees until brown, which didn't take long. The result was a delicious breakfast goodness.  The egg remained slight gooey and the sausage a nice crunch on the top.  Delicious.

Once again, enchiladas.  Once again, Jenn and Scott.  These enchiladas are stuffed with their homegrown swisschard and store bought roasted sweet potato.  I sautéed up the swiss chard with some crimini mushrooms, onion, and garlic.

Matt's green tomato habanero sauce getting the last touch of spices.

These are by far the best enchiladas I have ever had.  Perfect filling.  All so good.  The sweet potato was nice against the heat of the sauce.  Simply wonderful.  I'm thankful for Matt's obsession with enchiladas  as I am obsessed with rolling things up into a ball.

Served with our black bean veggie chili. 

I'm going to end this post with a night venture to the south side of Oklahoma City.  My friend posted an amazing picture of food on her instagram which prompted me to go this place.  We ended up at Mi Lindo Mazatlan and they had already closed their kitchen, but was still able to serve cold things.  So we got a cocktail with camarones and pulpo (shrimp and octopus).  Then on accident, ordered oysters topped with raw shrimp, octopus, just a touch of garlic, red onion, serrano peppers, and a ton of limes.  It was all really good!!!  They have a hot sauce just for mariscos and it was perfect.  I did enjoy it with Tapatio. They had about 7 hot sauces on the table.  I had to use Tapatio to have nostalgic memories of California, northern and southern.

Lastly, our cat turned into a bunny.  Poof.  I actually got this bunny from someone to give to my little family member that has been wanting a bunny all year long.  I have postponed giving the bunny to her because Debo has found his new buddy.  Since the kitty won't love him, the bunny will do.

Have a great week!  Its not freezing out there anymore!!!  Be alive!
Just in case you want to follow us on instagram: @whatthehelltheymakin

It was nice to meet some of you that follow the blog at the art show! 

Green Tomato Extravaganza!

The cold weather has arrived and every last bit of the garden has been picked.  Not our garden, my parents.  I wish we were able to grow an organic and abundant garden like their garden.  I've been treating these cold days like there's a foot of snow outside.  We didn't really get a chance to slowly transition into winter.  It went from tank tops to down coats all in 24 hours.  I just stay home and eat and work on projects that I have been subconsciously been hanging on to for a snow day.  Hope your days have been much more productive than mine!  

This is a afternoon tea snack with saltines, chocolate spread and pomegranate.  Its really good!
We still had chicken leftover from my roast chicken dinner so I shredded the chicken and cooked it in a chili sauce and put them in these hard taco shells.  These store bought ones are so much crunchier than if you were to make it at home.  I love how thin they are.  Its served with our beloved black bean chili and brown short grain rice.

And now we have our green tomatoes!!! My dad had 2 buckets full.  Matt had more to do with the green tomatoes than I did.  Well, he pretty much was the entire operation.  I was just there for support and consumption.  My dad spent the afternoon learning how to pickle from Matt.  

This makes 12 large jars of pickled green tomatoes.

He sanitized the jars by boiling them pots of hot water for about 3-5 minutes, along with their lids.

3 gallons of quartered green tomatoes
2 large onions chunky chopped

1 gallon distilled white vinegar
4 cups water
1 1/2 cup sugar (unsweetened pickled, 4 cups sugar for a sweeter pickle)
1 tablespoon whole mace (hard to find, we got it in India.  ground mace is easier to find and you can put 1 teaspoon)
2 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorn
1 1/2 whole coriander seeds
10 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 tablespoon mustard seed

Bring the brine to a boil and let it sit while you prepare.  Salt the green tomatoes as you were going to just eat it, or you could add about 2 1/2 tablespoons salt to the brine. Then put them all in the jars.  Pour the the brine into each jar.  Place the lids on and then place the filled and lidded jars back into the large pots of water you were sanitizing the jars with.  Let them sit in boiling water for about 10 minutes and pull out.  Once the jars cool some they will create the suction and make that fun "ping" sound that lets you know its all good.  


Second thing you could make with your green tomatoes!  Roasted green tomato enchilada sauce.  
2 large baking sheets full of halved green tomatoes
3 medium onions, quartered
20 cloves of garlic
about 15 red jalapeño
5 habanero
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Roast everything in a 525 degree oven until they all have some color to them.  It will probably take a few loads unless you are blessed with double ovens.  It should take about 15-20 minutes on them.  Watch the garlic!  Don't let them charr or they'll become bitter instead of sweet.

Throw it all in a blender with the spices and whizz until smooth. You'll probably need to add a splash of water to get it started.

He made cheese enchiladas and they were DELICIOUS!!! The sauce sounds insanely hot, but it has a perfect heat.  It arrives but then dissipates pretty quickly.  Served with our delicious black bean chili, it just gets better every day.

I'm posting this Black Bean Chili recipe especially for my sister!

1 cup dried black beans
4 cups water

4 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, shopped
1 can corn, drained
3 jalapeños, deseeded and chopped
3 cloved garlic, minced

16 ounce canned whole tomatoes, torn into bite size pieces

1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon turmeric 
4 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional, healthy for you and it kind of thickens it up)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the beans until cooked through.  Add everything but the vinegar and canned tomatoes.  When the veggies have cooked through, add the acidic products and simmer for another 15 minutes.  It tastes great, but it is even better the next day.

Green tomatoes numero tres!  The classic, fried green tomatoes.  Home grown green tomatoes have much more flavor in my opinion.  They are more tart and aromatic.  They are so good.  They are sliced about 1/2 inch thick, floured, egg white dipped and then panko covered.  

I still had leftover chicken breast, so I made chicken strips!  Battered and fried them the same way as the fried green tomatoes.  I also still had my roasted chicken drippings gravy, so made a nice southern meal of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, mashed potato and gravy.  Perfect!


JRB Art at the Elms Opening and a Roasted Chicken Family Meal

This past Friday I had my art show at the JRB Art at the Elms in the Paseo District in Oklahoma City.  My sister came into town from D.C.  She doesn't miss a show!  My blonde sister Jennifer and her husband Scott also came into town from Hobart and Ada, OK.  They never miss a show either, as long as they are in the same state.  It was a fun and wonderful time seeing everyone, and I thank all of you that were able to come!  The show is up until the end of November.  You still have time to see it if you are in Oklahoma City!

The day after the show I decided to host my family over at my house.  I'm on my own today.  Matt's out of town and my Dad is getting worried about my abilities to cook meat for the family.  Honestly, I haven't been very motivated or creative about cooking.  So my thought was to make something that may not sound creative but is always delicious.  This little lady made lava cupcakes with my sister, from the box.  

The appetizer I made were pork meatball lettuce wraps.  The pork was from my friend Jennifer and Scott.  They raised pigs and this is part of them!  Bert and Ernie.  

1 lb ground pork from Jenn and Scott's farm
about 5 very large shiitake mushrooms from my friend Samantha's Farm and Fiddle farm
1 cup shredded cabbage 
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 chopped small onion 
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon of my homemade smoky sriracha

Saute the mushrooms, cabbage, and peppers until wilted.  Put in bowl with all the other ingredients.  Mix.  Form into balls, about an inch or less with wet hands to avoid stickage.  Fry in a pan with some canola oil over medium high heat.

Its served with lettuce and you can dip it in a nuoc cham fish sauce, or its so good you could just eat it on its on.  I blame all the great ingredients!  Friends with farms!

My simple yet delicious meal.  I roasted 4 whole chickens!  I stuffed the breast with a lemony garlic butter.  I roasted the chickens at 400 degrees for probably about an hour and half. They were rotated to brown all sides about half way through.  They turned out perfect and I did not disappoint.  I took the pan drippings, spooned out a bunch of the fat and made a delicious gravy.

Super easy salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, salt, and dill.

This rice was a huge hit!  I was inspired to add vermicelli noodles to my rice from going to the St Elijah bake sale and having lunch.  My rice has toasted short vermicelli noodles, jasmine rice, sautéed onions and mushrooms, white wine, and simmered with chicken stock.

This may be the best rice dish I have ever made.  My cousin Trayc thought it was basmati rice.

After I took out the chickens I cranked up the oven to 425 and roasted butternut squash, peppers, onions, and zucchini for about 20-25 minutes.  I also made a parsley sauce that was delicious with the chicken.  

There we have it. A wonderful meal.  I pulled it off!  My sister was very helpful.  She helped keep the kitchen cozy and entertained the kids with Mad Libs.  It was great to have friends and family together over what I thought was going to be a disaster meal.  Woo hoo!

Happy Voting! Chicken Poblano Pozole in honor of Dia De Los Muertos

Happy Voting Day!  What's it gonna be??? Blue, Red, Purple??  Best thing to do is to go vote so that you can bitch, and then watch Daily Show and laugh about it.  

I had to include this sad photo of my last bite of absolute deliciousness.  Matt made a French bread pizza and then put a perfectly fried egg on top.  It was the BEST breakfast pizza!  The best!!!

The cold weather has moved in.  The nights have arrived at a horrible hour.  Oh, and its rainy and everyone seems grumpy out.  What shall we eat tonight??  Pozole!  I was reading the ritual significance of pozole and it is quite interesting and disturbing.  Pozole is a stew that is made with meat and hominy.  Mesoamericans consumed this on special occasions and believed the gods made humans out of masa (dough made of corn, usually used in tamales).  On special occasions, it is said that the meat in the pozole was human, usually that of prisoners!   The entire community gobbled up the pozole like a religious communion.  

No, this isn't human meat.  Although I did have Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on my mind when I thought of something to cook.  What a coincidence!  I went to the Mexican grocery store to get all my goods.  The chicken breast was big enough to be a human's C cup.  I was a little scared to buy it, but I wasn't scared enough to make a stop to the meat market.  

I thawed a quart of smoky chicken stock from our freezer.  
1/2 quart of water
1lb chicken breast 
4 poblano peppers, halved
1 medium onion, quartered
6-8 tomatillos, halved
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
4 cloved garlic, chopped
1 can hominy, 15 oz
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin

garnish: thinly sliced radish, chopped parsley, avocado, homemade tortilla strips

In a pot, brown the chicken on both sides with some canola oil.  Then add the stock and the water. Add the bay, oregano, paprika, and cumin.  In the mean time roast all your veggies, except the tomatoes in a 525 degree oven until everything is charred and cooked.  The onions may be able to go longer.  I think it should take about 15-20  minutes, and then the onions maybe an extra 5.  Chop all the veggies up to bite size pieces and throw into the pot, along with the garlic and tomatoes, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Pull the chicken out and let it cool down enough to shred.  While that cools, scoop out about 3/4 cup of the veggies from the pot into a blender and blitz that until its all  pureed.  Pour to back into the pot.  This gives it a little more body and a nice texture.  Shred your chicken and return to the pot.  Simmer once again for another 5 minutes. Taste, add salt, pepper and and sugar if it needs it.

The tomatillos and tomatoes make it tangy, so you don't need to add lime as garnish.  This is a warm and light soup perfect for this off cold yet warm weather we were having on this Monday night.  Perfect thing for friends to randomly stop in and get offered!
Its just simply delicious.  Soup weather!!

Happy Belated Halloween.  Our little man.  We always take him on a nice Halloween stroll.  Well, not always, but if we are with him, we'll take him to see all the costumes.

I'll leave you with a photo updating you on our lives with Django.  Debo is being a wonderfully patient lil guy with his new buddy.  Django fixed my hair today while I was on the computer and he also has learned how to ring Debo's bell that hangs on the backdoor for us to let him outside.  Lastly, Debo has had 2 experiences in his life where a small child asks their parent "what kind of animal is that?".  Haha.   

Have a great week folks!