Friday, May 10, 2013

Entomadas (Enchiladas with fresh tomato sauce)

About 20 years ago, there was a Hole-in-the-wall Mom & Pop Mexican restaurant that had the best Mexican food, on the Monterey Peninsula. I'm not kidding. Locals would patiently wait for one of the few booths, or to sit at the counter to order really authentic Mexican food. This is the restaurant where I discovered Entomatadas

I'm surprised at how many people I know, who are Mexican, who say they've never heard of these! I'm so glad that I discovered this dish, because I love cheese enchiladas.  I loved these so much, that I craved them on a regular basis.  It got to the point where I'd walk into this little restaurant, and the mother or daughter would look at me and say "Entomatadas, rice and beans, right?"

Right! Please and thank you.  Then, a sad thing happened.  The restaurant closed. Empty. Shuttered and gone. I was heartbroken, and lamented that I'd never have these again. I'd think of those entomatadas,  whenever I had a craving for Mexican food, and I'd miss my beloved Mexican restaurant all over again.

It was time for me to see if I could clone that recipe.  First, let me introduce you to what an Entomatada is. It means "covered it tomato".  In a way, this is an enchilada. The difference is that the sauce isn't loaded with a lot of chili powder or chili peppers.  The sauce should have the brightness and taste of fresh tomato, with a mild amount of seasoning.  Traditionally, Entomatadas are stuffed with cheese (and sometimes onion).  Can you add chicken or beef? Of course you can.  But I wanted to make my version of Entomatadas as close as the one's from my beloved restaurant.

For Cinco de Mayo, I found that Roma tomatoes and Jalapenos were plentiful and on sale. I bought Medium Cheddar Cheese and Monterey Jack.  I did a little internet surfing and found a sparse selection of Entomatada recipes. I didn't like many of them, because I didn't want to add Chicken Bouillon or chicken stock.  I didn't want to add all kinds of chili, or I'd be right back to a more traditional enchilada sauce.  I wanted to be a tomato purist, and I didn't want too many spices to mute the star of the show.  

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tate's Bake Shop Chocolate-Orange Marble Cake

My friends, at Tate's Bake Shop sent me a copy of their newest Cookbook "Baking For Friends" .  That means I can add this cookbook to their "Tate's Bakeshop Cookbook", where I posted my version of their Signature Chocolate Chip CookiesYay!

In 2011, I was fortunate to receive a sampling of their cookies, granola and Sour Cream Coffee Cake and I can honestly say that their baked goods are quality and delicious.  Tate's Bake Shop is located in the Hamptons, and is owned by Kathleen King. I've seen her featured on Ina Garten's show "The Barefoot Contessa". 

I enjoyed flipping through the recipes, and I bookmarked a few. The one recipe that really stood out to me was the Chocolate-Blood Orange Cake.  The photograph was so pretty, and this marbled cake reminded me of my own mom's version.  One of the signature cakes that my mother often baked was a Marbled Kugel Kuchen, that had a yellow batter with chocolate.  I never did get that recipe from her, so I thought I'd try this version

Blood oranges aren't in season, so I used Navel Oranges for this recipe. The recipe lists 2 ounces, each, of bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate.  The batter ingredients includes two sticks of butter, and one cup of sour creamI love adding sour cream to cakes because I can pretty much be guaranteed that the cake will be moist.

Half the batter has orange zest added to it.  My own little addition was to add a little bit of Pure Orange oil and a little bit of Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor.  These are baking ingredients that I use all the time, and I think they add some extra flavor to my baked goods.

The other half of the cake batter has the melted (and cooled) chocolate whipped into it. (I omitted using mini chocolate chips.) The batter is spooned in, alternately.
The recipe suggests to bake for 50 minutes, but when I inserted a long skewer, the cake was done at 40 minutes.

I love this Heritage Bundt Pan, because it makes a really pretty cake. I find that, if sprayed properly with a non-stick baking/flour spray, that cakes pop right out.  The cake is cooled, in the pan, for about 10 minutes.

A simple syrup of orange juice and sugar is very slowly poured over the cake, so that it soaked completely in-- and then is allowed to cool completely.

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