Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm a Radio Personality Now! Ha!

Hey everybody! I got up way before the sun this morning to make my famous chicken enchiladas, and as soon as they were golden and bubbling I packed them in the cooler and my husband and I fought the Charlotte traffic on I-485 and I-77 for more than an hour. We made it just in time for my big radio debut on WBT Talk Radio 1110!

Charles welcomed me and right away asked me to dish out samples of my enchiladas and salsa for the crew. They all dug in and just kept right on going with their show till it was time for me to do my 20 seconds.
That's me in the blue jacket with the cast from the morning show. They were so friendly and professional that I felt right at ease! Charles Jenkin is on the left, and I'll be back on his Saturday afternoon "This Show is Cookin'" program on Saturday, March 29th. Stacey Simms is next to Charles, and Al Gardner is second from the right. Last but not least is Jim Szoke, first on the right. They are as friendly in person as they sound on the radio and I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to chat about Wines for Humanity and The Hungry Fox Personal Chef Service. I can't wait to go back!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My 20 seconds of fame!

I'm going to be on the radio tomorrow morning! I'm nervous, but what damage can I do in 20 seconds? LOTS....I'm someone who has been known to have to extricate foot from mouth on more than one occasion...and it hasn't taken a whole 20 seconds for me to get into that situation!

The good news is that Charles Jenkin of WBT Radio in Charlotte has asked me to bring something yummy for the staff to eat and NOW I'm in my realm and know that they will love having El Zorro's Chicken Enchiladas....even at 8:00 in the morning. (El Zorro, by the way, is Spanish for "Fox," ...and since I'm "The Hungry Fox" that seems like a fitting name for my enchiladas.) I might just whip up an extra batch for Bob & Sheri next door on The Link. I've been listening to them for years and they are always hungry in the morning.

Throw this dish together in a jiffy for a family dinner (kids just LOVE this), but it is so delicious you may want to serve it to special dinner guests! What about March Madness and those hungry basketball fans? Make this ahead of time and pop it in the oven when the guys come over to watch the game and you'll have a great snack by the time the first quarter is over!

Here you go, and don't forget to email me if you have any questions. Let me know if you try it!

El Zorro’s Chicken Enchiladas

Makes 10 enchiladas

½ c. chopped onion
4 T. butter, salted
¼ c. flour
2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. granulated instant chicken bouillon
1 (8-oz.) carton reduced fat sour cream, room temperature
3 c. chicken breast meat, cooked and shredded (you can use plain rotisserie chicken, too!)
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded (may use reduced fat cheese)
1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chiles
1 tsp. chili powder, (the American kind with seasonings in)
10 flour tortillas (use colored for variety if you like; i.e. spinach, sun-dried tomato, etc.)

In a saucepan, sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, chicken broth and bouillon. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

In a large bowl combine 1 cup cooked sauce, all the chicken, 1 cup cheese, chiles and chili powder. Mix well.

Fill each tortilla with equal portions of chicken mixture. Roll up and arrange in 9x13 inch pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Spoon remaining sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is hot (it will take longer if you've made this ahead and stored it in the fridge). Serve with homemade pico de gallo or your favorite jarred salsa .

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chef Event at HH Gregg

If you are in the market for high-end kitchen appliances or if you are planning for your dream kitchen of the future, you MUST visit the HH Gregg Fine/Lines showroom near you!

This past Tuesday I was invited to participate in the HH Gregg "Chef Event" with seven other professional chefs and we just had a great experience. I arrived two hours before the opening and began cooking. I suspect the aroma of my "El Zorro" crab cakes wafting through the showroom had something to do with all the salespeople coming into my kitchen display to introduce themselves, but throughout the course of the evening I discovered that the sales team is comprised of incredibly friendly and knowledgeable people.

Not only did I enjoy the company of the sales staff at HH Gregg, but I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the many builders and other shoppers who came by to check out the Kitchenaid Appliances showroom, taste my food and chat with me about the work I do.

I promised to share my recipes for the El Zorro Crab Cakes and also for the Sherried Chicken and Wild Mushrooms that I demonstrated from the Wolf Appliances kitchen. Both are great recipes for special family meals and also for elegant entertaining. Click HERE to go to my website and the recipes, and please call me or email if you have any questions. Of course, if you live in the Charlotte, NC metro area I'll be happy to come to your home and prepare these dishes for you and your guests, and I'll do a free wine tasting to benefit Crisis Assistance Ministries ....and THAT will make your event even more special! Call me at 803-804-3541 and we'll schedule your event!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tobiko....that delicious, delectable, crunchy-pop-in-your-mouth jumble of green flying fish eggs garnishing the white salmon and prawn in the picture....if you haven't tried it you MUST! I had forgotten its pleasures till my friend and colleague, Chef Debbie of Yummy-Issimo mentioned tobiko in her blog. Thanks Deb!

Here in the Charlotte, NC area it's almost impossible to find some of the most common ingredients (think I can find your fresh dates, Deb???) and I cannot find tobiko. Trader Joes is supposed to stock it, but of course, ours doesn't. "Maybe during the holidays," the pimply clerk told me. No luck. Maybe when pigs fly?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mexico & Great Bordeaux

Bob and I just returned from another great visit with our wonderful friends in Mexico and were once again blown away by their hospitality!

We just love the food of Mexico, but when we visit with our friends we are treated to so much more as Manuella is classically trained in French cuisine and so this time we were treated to delicious European dishes and great Bordeaux wine.

This photo was taken at their family home in the country, where we also enjoyed the cooking of the caretaker's wife, Vicky, who prepared all her traditional Mexican dishes from scratch, starting with corn tortillas grilled on a comal to her fiery hot posole. How can we ever forget the delicious breakfasts of huevos rancheros on the patio, or the botanos served by our hosts on the lawn under the yellow market umbrella?

I returned once again inspired to explore the true flavors of Mexico! Our supper club meets this coming Saturday at our house and, of course, the menu is traditional Mexican foods....roasted jalapenos stuffed with picadillo, sopa de pollo, chayote salad, beef short ribs with roasted poblanos and tomatoes, and yucca in a spice scented syrup of piloncillo. No great Bordeaux in our house, but we think that a great California Zinfandel will be perfect with the short ribs. Of course, we'll have our traditional bottle of Don Julio available with a chaser of sangrita. Ole!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Your Valentine's Day Special Dinner?

Just wondering what everyone else was treated to this evening by your Valentine. I'm doing research for a client black tie meal over the weekend, so we stayed in and I "wowed" my husband with a chocolate mousse-filled chocolate crepe-warm raspberry sauce concoction for dessert. He doesn't mind me experimenting on him, and that's just one reason he's been my Valentine for 31 years!

So, what did you do this evening?

Monday, February 11, 2008

I am sending you the following report about food safety because, unless you read trade news, you probably aren't aware of the ongoing efforts to ensure that our food supply is safe.

I don't think our government should be expected to do everything for us. I believe that in cases such as food and product safety, the corporations who produce the products should be held accountable for the quality of their products and should be very heavily fined and in some cases, there should be heads that roll at the company headquarters when decisions are made that knowingly compromise the consumer's health. Well, figuratively speaking, of course, but those who made the decision to sell the tainted pet food, or lead-infused painted toys, should see prison time. The penalty has to be tough enough to encourage future integrity.

Here's the food safety update:

In early February, some members of Congress pressed for more Food & Drug Administration (FDA) responsibility for food supplies. In addition, a federal grand jury indicted three companies (and their owners or top executives) for involvement in the tainted pet food scandal that rocked the country in 2007, claiming that the company and its top-level authorities knowingly mislabeled and sold food that contained a deadly chemical. This indictment is a big step in moving the United States toward better food safety, according to some. "There are a lot of vulnerable people in the current system," said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who contends that the United States needs more inspection and a single food-safety agency. Durbin has introduced legislation to overhaul food safety, but that legislation has not yet been approved by congress. Meanwhile, the FDA has implemented a new food protection plan, and the head of the agency told Congress that the agency is doing its job, noting that in order to do more, the agency needs more people and more money.

Source: WCSH Portland