Torta – Spanish Omelette

Torta – Spanish Omelette

Torta can be different things depending on the type of cuisine and if the dish is sweet or savory.  It can refer to a cake or tart in several countries including Italy, Spain, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.  In Mexico it’s a sandwich.  In both Spain and the Philippines it can be an omelette.  Confusing, I know.

Well since today I want to make Tapas the word Torta will refer to a Spanish Omelette.  Tapas play a big part in Spanish social life.   Tapas refer to appetizers or small sized dishes that are served as snacks with beer, wine, or cocktails.  Sort of what in Hawaii we call pupus.  I love having Tapas, it gives you a chance to sample many different things at a time.  When we’re in Spain we usually start the evening at a cafe where I can order a refreshing pitcher of Sangria and an array of Tapas.  Many times we make a whole meal out of all the Tapas we order.

At home I sometimes make an assortment of Tapas and call it dinner or I can put together a “Tapas Board” for casual entertaining.  Tapas can be just about anything, as long as it’s a small portion.

One of my favorite Tapas is Torta, that Spanish Omelette.  It’s probably one of the easiest omelettes to make, but unlike most breakfast omelettes where the filling is folded into scrambled eggs Torta fillings are actually cooked into the egg and it comes out looking like a pie which is then cut into wedges for serving.  Served with fresh bread it’s delicious.

Here’s how to make Torta at home.  It’s really easy and you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen.  Remember you can serve it as an appetizer or make a larger version and serve it for breakfast or lunch.  You can even make it into a sandwich, placed in a baguette it’s delicious and filling!

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Torta

Ingredients:

1 Potato – peeled and sliced very thin (I use a mandolin to slice it)

1/2 Onion thinly sliced

Olive Oil

2 Eggs beaten

Directions:

Heat about 1 tsp. Olive Oil in a frying pan.

Add onions and potatoes.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.

Cook until onions start to caramelize or turn brown and the potatoes are soft.

Beat Eggs in a small bowl and add potato and onion mixture.  Stir well.

Add more Olive Oil to frying pan.  I use a 7″ pan to make this omelette if I’m making it for Tapas.

Pour egg mixture into pan.

Cook over medium low heat – you must cook this slowly to avoid burning the omelette.  Do not touch the omelette while it’s still liquidy.  The omelette will take on the shape of the pan.

Cook until the center is just about dry, it will still a bit soft in the center.

Gently separate the sides of the omelette from the pan.

Using 2 spatulas gently flip the omelette over.

Cook for about a minute then slip on to a serving dish.

Slice into wedges and serve.


Torta - Spanish Omelette
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CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS

CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS

I’m a big fan of those hot soft pretzels that they sell at malls. I have trouble walking by these kiosks that sell those deliciously salty twisted pieces of baked dough without stopping for a pretzel or two. I’m sure you know how expensive they can get, specially after you add the dipping sauce and drink! Then it gets really costly if you have to buy pretzels for the family.

Well I’ve started making them at home! I know you think it hard, messy, and time consuming. What with letting the rising, blanching, rolling, and shaping of the dough it does sound pretty daunting. But what if you can whip up a batch in about an hour?

Yup this recipe makes a batch of 8 pretzels (more or less depending on the size you make) in about an hour from start to finish. The best part it they cost pennies to make and taste just like the ones at the mall! (At least that’s what my grandkids say, and they love mall pretzels!)

These pretzels are a variation of my Basic Pretzel Recipe. I just added the cheese and garlic!

By the way these pretzels do not require blanching in a baking soda bath. You use an egg wash and it’ll have the same look and texture as store bought!

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CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS
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CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS
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Instructions
  1. Fit your standing mixer with the dough hook.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in mixer bowl and mix for about a minute. It’s ok with there are clusters of yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl stir together 3 cups flour and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to the water yeast mix.
  5. Knead for 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky add remaining 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add cheese, parsley, and garlic powder. Combine well.
  7. Let rest 15 minutes
  8. Preheat oven to 425degrees
  9. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.
  10. Form into a ball.
  11. Using a sharp knife cut ball in half.
  12. Take first half and cut in half again so you have 2 smaller sections
  13. Cut each section in half to make 4 sections
  14. Repeat with second half. You should end up with 8 sections of dough.
  15. Roll each section into a 25” rope. Make rope thickness as even as possible. Take end of rope and hold away from you, twist together about 3” from each end. You should have a circle on the bottom part of rope that is closer to you. Separate the ends and bring towards you, gently pinch either end into the circle part close to you.
  16. Form all sections into pretzel shapes.
  17. Whisk egg and water together in a shallow bowl.
  18. Dip both sides of each pretzel into egg wash.
  19. Arrange pretzels onto a baking sheets covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  20. Bake 10 minutes, rotating baking sheets half way thru cooking time.
  21. Melt butter and brush onto each pretzel then sprinkle with sea salt.
  22. Bake another 5 minutes.
  23. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
  24. Serve immediately or store in ziplock bags at room temp for 3 days. Pretzels can be frozen up to 3 months.
Recipe Notes

If you like to dip your pretzels, these Cheesy Garlic Pretzel are yummy dipped in my Basic Marinara Sauce. They’re an awesome combination!

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HOMEMADE FRESH SALSA

HOMEMADE FRESH SALSA

It’s Taco Tuesday and at my house that calls for a batch of Homemade Fresh Salsa. I know there are lots of bottled salsa out there, but seriously? Bottled salsa can’t compare to homemade!

In my husband’s family there’s a serious Salsa recipe competition! Each of my in-laws guard their “secret” salsa recipe; and each one claiming boasting rights to the best Salsa in town. Having tried their salsas I must admit the male darned good salsa! Who has the best, that’s hard to say without offending anyone!

Now having watched them make their salsa over the years I’ve been able to piece together my own version that of course is just as good!

Making homemade salsa isn’t very hard it just takes a bit of time and effort, but the end result is so worth it!

I usually mix up enough to fill 2 quart size Mason jars. This will keep in the fridge about a week or so, not that we have it for that long. We love using it on tacos, nachos, and even in fresh pita bread. It’s seriously that delish!

So here’s how to make Fresh Salsa, try it and you’ll never buy another bottle of it again!

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HOMEMADE FRESH SALSA
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HOMEMADE FRESH SALSA
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Instructions
  1. Grill onions, garlic, and jalapeños on grill or roast in oven until soft and cooked.
  2. Chop cooked onions, garlic, and jalapeños.
  3. Chop fresh Cilantro.
  4. Place diced tomatoes in a blender and pulse a few times. You don’t want it puréed just slightly chopped so it’s still chunky.
  5. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and still well.
  6. Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers

Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers

Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop!

It can get a bit hectic around the holidays as you try to find the perfect gifts for your niece and nephews, the must-have sweater vests for your baby corgis, while hosting the biggest dinner party with friends and family in your closet-sized kitchen.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers - Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They're just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop!

The combination is absolutely heavenly.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers - Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They're just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop!

Now you can easily find this ingredient at Walmart – the perfect resource for all of your holiday entertaining, and you can transport these addicting crackers in these Glad Food Storage Containers. Just toss it right in, throw on the lid and you’re set.

See, I told you. Easy! You can even make this ahead of time, although you’ll probably end up eating all of the crackers before you make it to your boss’ holiday party!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages oyster crackers
  • 1 (1-ounce) package Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Lightly coat the inside of a 6-qt slow cooker with nonstick spray.
  2. Add oyster crackers, Ranch Seasoning, garlic and dill. Stir in vegetable oil and gently toss to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter until melted, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove crackers from slow cooker and place in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Stir in Parmesan  and let cool completely.
  5. Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.

 

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Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers
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Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop!
Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers
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Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop!
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Wonton Soup and Mini Egg Rolls

Wonton Soup and Mini Egg Rolls

So easy to follow and delicious, this wonton soup recipe will serve you for years to come. The wontons can be frozen for quick and easy meals during the week, or for a lazy weekend morning brunch.

 

These homemade egg rolls are filled with pork and vegetables, all wrapped up and fried to crispy perfection.

 

Simple Wonton Soup

This simple wonton soup recipe is so delicious and easy to follow. The wontons can be frozen, boiled and added to stock to make wonton soup any time of day

 

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. baby bok choy or similar green vegetable (280g)
  • 8 oz. ground pork (225g)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil (plus more for the stock)
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 6 cups chicken stock (about 1.5 liters)
  • 1 scallion (chopped)

Instructions

    • Start by thoroughly washing the vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the vegetables just until wilted, about 60-90 seconds. Drain and rinse in cold water.
    • Grab a good clump of veg and carefully squeeze out as much water as you can. Very finely chop the vegetables (you can also speed up the process by throwing them in the food processor). Repeat until all the vegetables are chopped.
    • In a medium bowl, add the finely chopped vegetables, ground pork, 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil, pinch of white pepper, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1-2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine. Mix very thoroughly until the mixture is totally emulsified—almost like a paste.
    • Now it’s time to assemble! Fill a small bowl with water. Grab a wrapper and use your finger to moisten the edges of the wrapper. Add a little over a teaspoon of filling to the middle. Fold the wrapper in half and press the two sides together so you get a firm seal.
    • Hold the bottom two corners of the little rectangle you just made (the side where the filling is) and bring the two corners together. You can use a bit of water to make sure they stick. And that’s it!
    • At this point, you can cook (boil) and taste a couple of wontons and adjust the seasoning of your filling to taste––you can always add a little more Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and/or white pepper to your liking.
    • Once you’re happy with the flavor of the filling, keep assembling until all the filling is gone. Place the wontons on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper, and make sure they are not touching (this will prevent sticking).
    • If you’d like to freeze your wontons right away, you can cover the wontons with plastic wrap, put the baking sheet/plate into the freezer, and transfer them to freezer bags once they’re frozen. They’ll keep for a couple of months in the freezer, and be ready for wonton soup whenever you want it.
    • To make the soup, heat your chicken stock to a simmer and add 2-3 teaspoons sesame oil and white pepper and salt to taste.
    • Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the wontons one at a time to the pot. Pick up the pot and use a swirling, twisting motion to keep the pot moving and prevent the wontons from sticking to the bottom. If they do stick, don’t worry, They should come free once they’re cooked. Once they’re floating, boil them for another 1-2 minutes. Take care not to overcook them – mushy wontons are a sin! Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon and put them in bowls.
    • Pour the soup over the wontons and garnish with scallions. Serve!

Notes

Wontons can be frozen for use later. Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they aren’t touching, and put the baking sheet in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1600IU | Vitamin C: 16.7mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2.8mg

 

Mini Egg Rolls

You probably heard about Easter egg roll but have you heard of mini egg rolls? well it’s an side dish invented by the American-Chinese influenced Indian / Pakistani spring rolls which are very big side dish served in all sorts of ceremonies and events. Mini egg rolls are prepared exactly the same way as the spring rolls. There is not much history to it but that doesn’t mean the taste is not there.

The other day, I decided to make Chicken Spring Rolls at home.  I love spring rolls, but I often find them quite greasy and oily.  That’s because they are not fried correctly, so they become soggy and absorb too much oil. 

This home-made version is so much better.  They come out crunchy and not oily at all.  And the filling is delicious too.

 
 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups loosely packed packaged slaw mix (about 10 oz.)
  • 2 cups bean sprouts (about 4 oz.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 square egg roll wrappers, thawed if frozen

 

How to Make It

  • Step 1
    Warm 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and scallions. Sauté until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add slaw mix and bean sprouts and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.

 

  • Step 2
    Cut egg roll wrappers in half. Have ready a small bowl of cold water and a pastry brush. Working with wrappers one at a time, lay each out so short side of rectangle faces you. Place about 1 Tbsp. filling toward bottom of wrapper. Pull bottom of wrapper over filling, then fold side corners over filling and roll up tightly, like a burrito. Brush far edge with cold water before closing. Continue with remaining wrappers and filling.

 

  • Step 3
    Heat 2 cups oil in a large skillet to 350°F. Put a few egg rolls in skillet (don’t allow them to touch) and cook, turning over once or twice with tongs, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

 

Wonton Soup and Mini Egg Rolls
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Wonton Soup and Mini Egg Rolls
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Frico Cups

Frico Cups

Serve your raw green salad in frico cups!

Frico cups are small cups made entirely out of cheese. They are naturally low carb, gluten-free, and completely irresistible.

 

Image result for Frico CupsYou know that little bit of cheese that oozes onto the skillet when making a grilled cheese sandwich? The stuff that turns dark and crispy and perfect for popping in your mouth? Frico cups are essentially an entire serving bowl made of that rich crispy cheese.

You can make them in various sizes. Yet I’ve discovered if you bake them about the size of a paper muffin liner and fill them with a smaller serving of salad, they’re more likely to disappear!

Frico is what Italians call the wafer like crisp that forms when you bake or fry shredded cheese.

This delicate, baked Parmesan cheese cups are deceptively easy to make. You can fill them with whatever you want, but grape tomato, olive and feta make for a light and refreshing snack.

 

Ingredients

For the Frico Cups

Parmesan cheese (3 tbsp. per cup)

For the Grape Tomato, Olive and Feta Salad

4 c. grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c. green olives, sliced and pitted

1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt

black pepper

Basil, for garnish

For the Sesame Cucumber and Radish Salad

1 English cucumber, finely chopped

3 large radishes, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp. black and white sesame seeds

Kosher salt

black pepper

For the Farro, Corn and Green Onion Salad

4 ears corn, husked

2 c. cooked farro

2 green onions, thinly sliced

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt

black pepper

Directions
  1. For the Frico Cups: Grate Parmesan and make piles, 2 inches apart, on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F until melted but not quite brown (6 minutes); use a thin metal spatula to quickly transfer to muffin pan, pressing lightly in centers. Cool before filling.
  2. For the Grape Tomato, Olive and Feta Salad: In medium bowl, combine grape tomatoes, green olives, feta cheese, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with basil.
  3. For the Sesame, Cucumber and Radish Salad: Toss cucumbers and radishes with lime juice, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For the Farro, Corn and Green Onion Salad: Preheat grill on medium-high. Grill corn 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill, let cool. Cut kernels off into large bowl; toss with farro, green onions, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Simple, summery and a great little appetizer with a salty parmesan bowl of its own.!

 

 


Frico Cups
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Frico Cups
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