Monday, November 29, 2010

Fried Tortillas with Cinnamon and Sugar Coating

This is my version of Fried Tortillas which are a great, easy treat for a special gathering; but most important, it's a fried treat which makes it perfect for Chanukah.

Serves 10

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 pkg. of 10 each 6" quality flour tortillas
  • About 6 cups of vegetable or peanut oil

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Cut the tortillas into quarters.
  2. Line a cookie pan or sheet with paper towels.
  3. If you don't have a deep fryer:  In an approximate 3 qt. heavy pan, using a frying or steaming basket and a deep-frying or candy thermometer, heat the oil to a temperature of 365º.*
  4. Drop two or three tortilla quarters very carefully and one at a time into the hot oil.  If the oil is the right temperature, the tortillas will cook in about one minute to a golden brown.  With a slotted spoon or spider, flip them very carefully half way through cooking.  Remove with a slotted spoon or spider as they brown and place one layer deep on the paper-towel lined pan to drain.  Add a new layer of paper towels each time the pan is full.
  5. While still warm, with a spoon carefully and thoroughly coat the tortillas, one at a time, in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  You can strain through a sieve and save any leftover cinnamon/sugar mixture for later use, such as on cinnamon toast.
Be prepared to devote your full attention to this task. You'll need to be ready to work quickly and uninterrupted.  Also, be very careful as you are working with hot oil - no small children under feet!

The tortillas are best served warm.  I have found that my vintage, electric bread-warming basket, lined with paper doilies, is perfect for this - see photo above.  (Okay, I bought the basket new and now it's old, very old.)  You could put them on a pretty plate which would be usable on a warming tray, or just keep warm until ready to serve in a 200º oven.  I doubt you'll have any leftovers; but if you do, they would keep well in a tin can for about a week.

The tortillas are great by themselves or served with a good vanilla ice cream, maybe topped with a fantastic caramel spread like the Brazilian doce de leite used on the ice cream in the below photo.  I found this amazing spread at a local Brazilian market to which my friend Cassi introduced me.  The spread is so rich, a little goes a long way! 

At our Chanukah party this year, I think I'll also serve the sweet guava paste, which I got at the Brazilian market, with cream cheese on some nice crackers.  Oh, we're going to have some fun this year!  Happy Holidays!

Printable Recipe

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bonnie's Spaghetti Sauce

Do you want to throw something together at the last minute?  It couldn't get much easier than this, and it's one of my most often-requested recipes!

Serves 4-5

In a heavy skillet on the stove, over medium-low heat, brown together:

1/2 lb. ground beef chuck (break up with a fork as you brown)
1/2 c. chopped onion (frozen is fine)

Mix well in a blender (all but the bay leaf** and Parmesan cheese**)

one 14 1/2 oz. can whole tomatoes*
one 8 oz. can tomato sauce*
one 6 oz. can tomato paste*
1 TB Worcestershire sauce 
2 tsp. chopped garlic (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
1 1/2 tsp. dried whole rosemary leaves
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. dried crushed red pepper*
1/4 tsp. mild chili powder*
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. sugar

1 bay leaf**
1/8 c. shredded Parmesan cheese**

*Tip:  It is especially important to use a quality canned tomato product and to measure the crushed red pepper and chili powder!

Pour Sauce over the ground beef mixture, add the bay leaf**, cover and simmer over low heat for about one-half hourStir often.

Add a little water, if necessary, while cooking.  Right before serving, remove the bay leaf** and stir in the shredded Parmesan cheese**. 

Serve over your favorite spaghetti with a nice salad and crusty garlic bread.  Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bon Bon's Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Friends have requested that I post this recipe today because it's so cold outside.  Chicken soup not only contains a number of beneficial medicinal substances, it is the ultimate comfort food in cold, wet weather.  The aroma, which permeates the home, wraps around you like a blanket and makes you feel warm and cozy.
                                     Bon Bon, I Think I Need Some...

                                     Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls!