Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

10/17/14

Vintage White Cheddar Dip



I took a trip with my girls to Oregon for a few days in August. We ate our way through Portland, then headed to the coast. Here's a little look into our five- food packed, beach loving days in the great state of Oregon! At  the end, I'll show you how to I made this really simple cheese dip filled with cheeses, corn, red pepper and jalapeno and the Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar I brought home from our Tillamook Cheese Factory tour...


First stop, berry picking by the side of the road.


Multnomah Falls. Right outside the city. Worth the 30 minute drive.  


A trip to Portland isn't complete without breakfast at THE Original, Original Pancake House.
Sit at the community table, chat with locals, highly recommended. 

Cannon Beach, OR. Haystack Rock. Serious beauty. 

More serious beauty, love these two. 

Time to get serious.
Bananagrams.

Hydrangeas the size of your HEAD.

Walks on the beach. 


Once at the coast, we headed to Tillamook to tour the factory. We were met by Leeanne,  our lovely tour guide. She led us through the factory, explaining every detail about the cheese making process. Leeanne is an expert on everything Tillamook!




Guess how many pounds of cheese are stored at the Tillamook facility at any given time? 
Did you guess 50 Million lbs?  You're right! 


Watching all of that cheese being made will make you HUNGRY. 
It's hard work touring the factory. 


Enter our friend, Leeanne with CHEESE SAMPLES! 
The next half hour was spent receiving an education on several types of cheeses,
 made under the same roof. 



We tried Squeaky cheese (usually yellow, but this was a special vintage batch). 
The second was a Medium Cheddar. More trivia- It takes 20 lbs of milk to make one 2 lb baby loaf of Medium Cheddar Cheese. Leeanne guided us through about 12 different types of cheese including: Smoked Extra Sharp, Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar, Swiss and Squeaky. My favorite was the Vintage Extra Sharp  White Cheddar. 








After our cheese tasting, we had lunch. We tried the grilled cheese, of course. And the house made tomato soup. Who can eat grilled cheese without tomato soup? I ordered the Tillamook Mac and Cheese. Creamy, smooth, melty. So good. Made with five cheeses. If you tour the factory in the morning hours, they serve breakfast too. Lots of omelets with CHEESE on the menu.






After lunch, we ventured over to the ice cream counter, where we tried a variety of Tillamook ice cream. This is the 5 scoop sampler bowl. Because we just couldn't decide. So yummy.



Tillamook tour = happy kids.





Stop by next time you're in Tillamook, OR. 
The  self guided tour is free and the ice cream and lunch are reasonably priced. 
And who doesn't want a pic in the baby loaf with their girls?

All of that eating can make you tired. It was a good afternoon for a nap on the beach...


After the nap, a walk through downtown Cannon Beach. Brooke and Corrine making convo with a furry friend. 

More Bananagrams. This time at a restaurant, while waiting for what? More food, of course.
Corriney is determined to win this round. 


The Inn at Cannon Beach was so quaint. Bunnies roaming the property. 


Highly recommend this place. 





We loved out time at the coast. No matter the time of year, the Oregon coast has to be one of the most unspoiled and beautiful beach areas in the world.
After our tour at the factory, Leeanne gave us a round of my favorite, the Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar. The flavor is pungent and the round is a little crumbly when cut. I wanted to create a recipe that featured the flavor of the cheese, and I think my Vintage White Cheddar Dip does just that!
This dip is perfect for spreading on crackers or dipping a tortilla or corn chip. It would even be perfect with celery sticks. I added some fresh corn and red peppers to break up the rich creamy texture of the dish.  We served it at a gathering and it was gone in minutes. It's perfect for anything from a holiday party to a tailgating event. Thanks Tillamook!


Me and my cheese.




Vintage White Cheddar Dip
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 cup sour cream, regular or low fat
16 oz cream cheese regular or low fat (not no-fat) at room temperature
1 cup Tillamook Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar, grated
1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen, not thawed*
1/2 -1 Jalapeno, chopped (seeded if you do not like spicy foods)
1 red pepper, seeded, chopped and divided (a few bits separated for garnish)
1/2 to 1 cup cilantro, chopped (a few bits separated for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 drops hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

Mix the sour cream and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth.
Fold in the remaining ingredients, (leaving some of the cilantro and red pepper to sprinkle on top after baking).
Spoon into a  lightly greased dish for baking. I used a 10 inch round tart dish.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes on top third of oven or until bubbly and slightly golden.
Serve immediately.
Serves about 10-12 as an appetizer.

Tips:
- If using fresh corn, cook the corn and then cut the corn off of the cob before using. Measure out 1 1/2  cups of corn for the recipe.
-You may make this ahead and bake when ready to use. Remove from refrigerator about 30-45 minutes before baking.  and set on counter. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
-You may add chopped peppers, tomatoes that have been seeded, onions (chopped fine), green chilies,  and/or other types of grated cheese.
-If you cannot find Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar, you may use other brands of cheese.  This would also be great with an Extra Sharp (yellow) Cheddar cheese. I would stay with a "sharp" variety of cheese. It will cut the richness of the cream cheese and sour cream combination and add a depth of flavor.


9/5/14

Slow-Cooked Beef Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce





Where did summer go? For us it was one long baseball trip (FL, CA 3 times, AZ, WA) , a pioneer trek to Wyoming and a week in Oregon to top it all off. Along the way we ate the good, the bad and the undeniably ugly. Here are a few photos of meals from our summer travels.

Dinner with daughters. OR Coast trip. More on this in another post...

Pok Pok in Portland. One of the best meals of the summer. Waited 1hr 45 mins for dinner.
Took a nap on the front lawn of the house next door to the restaurant while waiting...
Tip- go there in the middle of the day. No wait.


Blue Star Donuts. Portland, OR  
So. Darn. Good.


The aftermath.
Consensus- after trying half a dozen different flavors, the
Vahlrona Chocolate Crunch donut won the best overall award.


One of those "should we, or shouldn't we"  try places.
Glad we stopped. Had the pastrami sandwich with fries and gravy. Guy food paradise.
The Hat in Glendora, CA. 


Calamari, Jake is not a fan. 


Mayfield Bakery and Cafe. Tried many of their cookies and pastries, quiche and breads. All excellent.
The breakfast served in their restaurant next door was one of my favorite meals of the summer.

Lunch from the Asian Box restaurant near Stanford. Highly recommend this place.
Loved the caramel egg! 
Salt and Straw.
Strawberry Honey Balsamic Vinegar Ice Cream.
Portland, OR. Worth the wait.

Pastries from Ellies Table in San Clemente.
Oh. My. 


Kara's Cupcakes in Palo Alto.
Loved the Chocolate Velvet and the Key Lime cupcake. Still experimenting with
a recipe for the key lime cake. Watch for it on ABK soon...

Obviously, I'm a sucker for cupcakes!  Cupcake Royale in Seattle.
Got a little carried away with their ice cream "sampler"


Dahlia Bakery in Seattle. One of Tom Douglas' restaurants. This little
cake made with apricot filling and marscapone frosting was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
If you are a coconut lover, the coconut cream pie is heaven.
We also tried his Asian restaurant Tanakasan. If you go, order the Osaka Pancake.

Pecos Pit BBQ 1st Ave in Seattle. One of our favorite places waaaay back in the early 90's .
Still there. Still amazing.
What's a visit to Seattle without a stop at Ivars on the pier?
Jake, feeding baby Anabelle, who is  following in her Grandmother's footsteps.
My boys in Naples, Florida-  Cracklin' Jack's. Awesome  BBQ.
Loved everything we ate. Frog legs and hushpuppies,  anyone?


And last, but not least. The two dishes that inspired me to come up with a recipe
for my new all time favorite dinner... slow-cooked beef and chili enchiladas with red sauce. 

The Slow Cooked Chili Beef dish from Sabroso! Mexican Grill above,  and the dish below, from Cha-Cha-Cha in Portland were my inspiration for today's recipe.  Both of the dishes were made from slow cooked beef in chili powder and spices.
The dish below from Cha Cha Cha was made with beef and little red potatoes cut up and then rolled into tortillas. I ordered my enchiladas with green sauce, but it would have been much better with red. I knew when I arrived back home, I had to come up with my own version of the red chili and slow cooked beef filling.







Have you ever tried small red potatoes in a Mexican dish? you're going to love this. 
Kind of a "South of the Border" pot roast. In a tortilla.  





After slow cooking the beef with chilies, 
I removed it from the pan and browned the onions and garlic. 


Threw in a little fresh cilantro.



Made the sauce. 


Here's the meat mixture, ready to go in the tortillas.




Throw some sauce on the meat. 
Words cannot express how much I love this dish. 










This recipe looks long and complicated, but it may be broken into three simple steps:
1. Prepare the meat and let sit in refrigerator overnight. (optional, but highly recommended)
2. Slow cook the meat. Add the chopped vegetables and prepare meat for enchilada filling. 
3. Make the sauce, assemble the enchiladas, bake.


Slow-Cooked Beef  Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

6 large fresh Pasilla chilies* or
1 package dried Pasilla chilies (1 1/2 oz package*) or a mixture of dried and fresh
1- 3 lb beef cross rib roast or chuck roast*
2 cups water
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper

3/4 lbs tiny red potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups white onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 bunch cilantro chopped coarse, divided in half (reserve some for garnish)

2 tablespoon chili powder
Monterey Jack or Colby cheese for filling and topping enchiladas
tortillas for enchiladas (about 16 regular size) corn or flour
Sauce for enchiladas (recipe below)

Using tongs over flame on bbq grill or indoor gas burner on stove, roast the fresh chilies until blackened and blistered. Set aside. After cooled, peel off the blackened skin and discard. Split chilies down the middle and remove any seeds inside. Set aside the peeled, seeded, roasted chilies. 
Spray the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan or dutch oven with a bit of cooking oil. 
Rub the meat with 1/4 cup chili powder salt and pepper. Turn the meat so both sides are coated. Place the prepared meat in the pan. Lay the roasted chili pieces on top of the meat. Place the packaged dried chilies around the edges of the meat and pour in 2 cups of cold water around the sides of meat in pan. Set aside in refrigerator over night (or up to two nights ahead), not necessary, but recommended.
When ready to cook, remove pan from oven, let sit on counter for one hour and then follow baking directions. 
Bake, covered tightly for about 3 hours at 275 degrees.  After 3 hours, remove lid and toss in the 3/4 lbs small red potatoes. Replace the lid and roast for another hour, until the potatoes are tender.
After the meat is cooked, remove to a cutting board and shred or chop meat. Discard fat from meat.  Dice the cooked potatoes, leaving skins on.  Place meat and potatoes in a pan. Pour any extra juice left in pan on top of meat. Set aside.  Remove the dried chilies (if using) and discard. Chop the fresh chilies and toss in with the beef mixture. 
Using the same pan, sauté the onions over medium heat until softened and browned a bit.  Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes, or until fragrant. Toss in the chopped cilantro and chopped meat and potato mixture. 
Sprinkle with an additional 2 tablespoons chili powder, if desired.  Set aside until ready to fill enchiladas. This mixture can be refrigerated for 3-4 days before using. 

Red Enchilada Sauce:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chili powder
10 oz tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt or to taste

Saute the oil in saucepan with flour over medium high heat, mix with whisk until smooth and a bit bubbly. Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken broth, 1/4 cup chili powder, tomato paste, dried oregano and salt to taste. Continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes until thickened a bit. Remove from heat and spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the meat mixture. Gently fold into meat mixture. 

When ready to assemble enchiladas:
Lightly grease two 9x13 pans with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup of sauce to cover bottom of each pan.  Fill the enchiladas with the meat and chopped potato mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese. Roll and place in pan seam side down. 
Continue rolling until all of the tortillas are filled.  You should have a little left over meat. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with more grated cheese and top with any leftover meat. 
Bake covered at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted and golden. 
Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Yield about 16 enchiladas, depending on size of tortillas used.

Tips:
-Cross Rib Roast  is my favorite for this dish because it shreds well and down not have a large amount of fat that needs to be discarded.
-I like a mixture of dried and fresh chilies for this dish.
-In the U.S. the chili powder we are accustomed to purchasing is a mixture of spices and chili power. Read your labels. If the ingredients are cumin, oregano, garlic powder and salt, then use the amounts I specify in this recipe. If the ingredients read ground chilies, then use about 1/3 of the amount I suggest. or you will end up with very spicy enchiladas and sauce!
-This dish will keep well in the fridge for about 3 days before baking. It also freezes well.
-If you make a little extra sauce, and want and easy side dish, cook some white rice and mix with a few tablespoons of red enchilada sauce after cooking. Also add a can of black or red beans and some chopped green onion. Serve with some shredded lettuce and guacamole for a complete meal!
-If you happen to have extra sauce, freeze it and use on days when you have some leftover meat and tortillas. Heat up the tortilla, fill with chicken, pork or beef, top with cheese and pour sauce over the top for a 5 minute meal.