Photos on Fine Fettle Kettle are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are the creation of Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crazy Carrot Soup

This simple soup started out as cream of broccoli chicken soup, but in a crazy twist of missing ingredients ended up being a vegetarian carrot soup instead. But the craziest part is how huge of a hit it was with my kids, especially my picky kid... who went back for thirds. This soup is pretty much like eating a lowfat bowl of veggies. If a picky kid can love it, I call it crazy.

4 large carrots, peeled and grated.
1 onion, finely chopped
4 1/2 cups water
7 - 8 cups broccoli florets, chopped in bite-sized pieces
4 1/2 cups milk
Grated brick cheese (of your choice)
Salt & Pepper, to taste

In a large pot, boil the carrots and onion in the water until tender. Blend the carrots and onions and liquid in a blender until smooth. Return to pot. Bring back to a boil, then add milk and broccoli. Simmer until broccoli is just tender. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper and cheese to taste. Garnish with cheese if desired. Suggestion: serve with artisan bread or garlic toast.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tamale Chile Sauce

This sauce is fabulous with this tamale recipe, or with this soup recipe.

7 dried ancho chile peppers
7 dried California chile peppers
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin

Wearing rubber gloves, remove stem and seeds from peppers. Place on baking sheet and cook in a 375ºF oven for 3 - 5 minutes until slightly darkened. Cover with water in a small sauce pan, and bing to a boil, then turn off heat and allow to soak for 30 minutes. Place peppers, cumin and garlic powder in a food processor with 2 1/2 cups liquid (use soaking liquid and added broth or water if necessary). Blend until smooth. Add to tamale meat or chili or other dishes.


1 lb roast (beef or pork)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
Homemade Tamale Chili Sauce

Cover and boil roast in large pot with water; whole, peeled onion; and whole, peeled cloves. Cook until meat is tender and easy to shred (about 3 hours). Reserve broth. Remove meat, shred by hand, and add Homemade Tamale Chili Sauce to taste.

2 cups corn masa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup lard
10 corn husks

Soak corn husks in water until soft. Tear one husk into strips.

Whip lard and add masa, baking powder, and salt. Add strained broth from roast until a soft dough forms.

Spread masa mixture in individual corn husks. Place small amount of meat mixture in center. Roll each husk in a tube, then bend up the smallest end. Secure by tying together with torn husk strips (as show in photo). Mush masa over the meat at the open end to keep from leaking. Place tamales in a steamer basket, and steam for one hour. Remove husks before eating. Serve hot with extra Homemade Tamale Chili Sauce.

Non-Traditional Shepherd's Pie

4 lbs of root vegetables, peeled and cut into chunks
1.5 lbs of freshly ground lamb or beef roast
2 tsp olive oil
3 carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup broth (lamb or beef)
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup + 1/2 cup shredded brick cheese (your favorite)

Boil the chunks of root vegetables in a pot of water until done. Mash with 1/2 cup broth and salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Cook ground lamb, carrots, garlic and onion in olive oil until vegetables are soft and meat is brown. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly. blend with flour with meat mixture, then stir in 1/2 cup broth. Place meat and broth in the bottom of a 9 x 13" casserole dish. Top with mashed roots. Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350ºF for 40 minutes, then place under broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese is brown.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chichen Itza Pizza

The first time I visited the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, the guide said that the name was easy to remember because it rhymed with "pizza". I've been back since, and every time I visit, I think about making a pizza from foods that were brought to us by the ancient Mayans. So I finally got around to it! I settled on some of the most influential Mayan ingredients: tomatoes, black & red beans, cocoa, chilies, and maize. The base for this pizza is a rich mole sauce.

Chichen Itza Pizza

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:
1 tsp white sugar
1 Tbsp Yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Lethicin*
2 Tbsp Gluten*
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Once it is bubbly, add olive oil and salt. Stir in lethicin and gluten, and add flours, kneading until it forms a smooth ball. Allow to rise double (about 1 hour), divide into two pieces, roll out for pizza.

This dough will work without the lecithin and gluten, but works much better with them.

Sweet onion, thinly sliced
Grape tomatoes, sliced in thirds
Diced canned tomatoes with green chili, completely drained (reserve juice)
Mole sauce (homemade, or I used Doña María® Mole Sauce diluted it 3 broth to 1 paste)
Black & Red beans, soaked and boiled
Cornmeal flour (Maize Flour)
Fresh Cilantro
Ground Chipotle Pepper
Ground cumin
Red chili pepper, flaked
Grated Monterey Jack Cheese (small amount)
Eggs (optional)

You notice I didn't specify amounts. That's because you should always make pizza to your own taste!

Preheat your oven and pizza stone (if you have one) to 525ºF. I'm sorry if you don't have a stone. You can use a cookie sheet but it's just not the same. I suggest if you are going to cook pizzas at home, buy a stone! It's so worth it.

Spread the maize (corn) flour onto a smooth surface. Roll out finished whole wheat dough over flour and coat both sides with maize.

I used grape tomatoes and canned tomatoes because it's winter and there aren't any fresh garden veggies in my area to be found. Drain the canned tomatoes with green chilies completely. Save the spicy juice! Slice up the grape tomatoes and onions.

Beautiful blend of red and black beans that I soaked and cooked yesterday:

Pre-cooked the dough coated in maize for a few minutes first, just until it starts to bubble (not until it's done!) Spread the dough with mole sauce and sprinkle with tomatoes, onions, beans, and cilantro. Sprinkle with salt and other seasonings to taste. Break some eggs over the top in the center of the pizza (optional). Cook at 525ºF for about 12 minutes or until crust is done. Remove pizza with pizza peel. Sprinkle lightly with cheese and allow to melt. Slice and eat.

I've never been very successful yet with making eggs look good on pizza. But I love the added flavor!

And here is what you do with your reserved tomato juice. Make a cocktail! Either drink the juice plain with a sprig of cilantro, or add a splash of vodka. Drink it with your Chichen Itza Pizza. Lunch!

Mmmmmm. Wonderful texture with a kick of hot spice!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Isaac's White Chili with Cinnamon & Jalapeño Pepper

My son is as interested in cooking as I am, and he follows He wanted this dish for dinner, so he shopped for the ingredients and oversaw the cooking of this meal which included the cornbread that I included with this other chili recipe (only I used whole wheat this time in the cornbread and less than 1/2 the sugar). The white chili tasted fabulous! The herb measurements are left up to the chef, so I don't have exact measurements on the seasonings for you, but I'll list the ingredients.

2 lbs chicken thighs, skinned & de-boned then chopped
1 onion, chopped
chipotle pepper
black pepper
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 red sweet pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & choped
1 can tomatoes with green chilies

You can watch the video of how to make this chili here.

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Hot, toasted English muffins with tea. Uh-huh. Perfect on these endless winter days. I love making English muffins on a lazy day. I enjoy cooking a large batch on the stove top and then freezing the leftovers for later. It's easy to grab one from the freezer any time and pop it into the toaster after thawing. These are usually made with white flour, but I substituted mostly 100% stone ground whole wheat this time, and they taste delicious.

1 cup milk, scalded
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast, dissolved in 1 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups whole wheat stone-ground flour
2+ cups unbleached bread flour

Prepare the milk, yeast and butter and combine (after allowing to cool). Add flour 1 cup at a time and knead into dough until soft. Add more flour if necessary. Form dough into a ball, place in a large bowl, spray lightly with oil, then allow to rise double. Roll out dough to 1/2" thick. Cut into rounds, dip each round in cornmeal and allow to rise for another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes on a cookie sheet.

Cook each round on a lightly greased griddle over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes on each side until brown and cooked through. Cool. Split muffins and toast before eating.

Hint: If you want a more convoluted spongy center, try not to handle the dough too much as you roll it out and cut the muffins.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Layered Burritos

The difference between the typical Protestant casserole and a really great casserole is time and quality. If you make your tortillas from scratch, and grind your own poultry, and use high quality cheeses and fresh herbs, then it's no longer "just" a casserole, it's comfort food full of fabulousness.

Soak and boil 2 cups of dried beans until done (makes about 5 cups cooked beans)

Make 20 homemade tortillas using this recipe. You can experiment with whole wheat to make these more healthy.

Grind or finely chop 10 organic chicken thighs (bones removed)

Cook the ground chicken in a Tbsp of canola or olive oil with:
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 T ground dried sweet chili pepper, seeds removed
2 T finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste

Smash about half of the beans and add all the beans to the cooked chicken. Cook for a few minutes more. Adjust seasonings.

Layer 15 of the tortillas in a 9 x 13" casserole dish with:
The chicken-bean mixture
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup jack cheese
5 chopped tomatoes including juice and seeds
A bit of your favorite picante sauce (optional)

Cook at 350ºF for about 45 minutes to an hour. Cut and serve with salsa, fresh sour cream, guacamole, olives, lettuce, hot pepper sauce, etc.

PS: my teenagers ate this before I had a chance to take a photo of the finished product. I guess that means it was a success!