Saturday, April 20, 2013

Strawberry Poundcake

If I had to choose one food in the world that was my favorite it would have to be strawberries. But not just any strawberries, they HAVE to be Oregon strawberries. They are sweet, soft, juicy and when eaten right off the vine, still warm from the sun it's just heaven. I am lucky enough to live in an area where I'm about 15 minutes to downtown, and just 3 minutes to farms, produce stands and strawberry patches. I get the best of both worlds! And yesterday after I picked the boys up from school we had to take a quick trip to Costco. I drove on the back road, which happens to go by the strawberry patch and what did I see? The tractor in the field getting it all ready for nutty strawberry lovers like myself to start picking in just a few short weeks! I'm a little excited:) In anticipation of my fresh Oregon strawberries I grabbed a carton from Costco to try out this strawberry poundcake that my older boy found on pinterest. It's a passion that we share, food (and strawberries!)

Wash some strawberries and chop roughly. Part of these will go into the poundcake, part will go toward the glaze.

Next separate the egg yolks from the whites. On my first try the yolk broke, need to start over :-(

ok, this is better, but I do see a little spot of yellow in there, hoping that doesn't affect things too much? moving on anyway...

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl til light and fluffy

Add the yolks, one at a time, to the butter, continue creaming.

Add in the flour and vanilla, mix and set aside. Remember to scrape the bowl as you go, this is quite thick.

Add the salt to the egg whites and whisk til stiff peaks form (mine only made it to soft peaks, it's probably because of the yolk that got in there, good enough)

Add the egg whites into the batter and mix, and finally the chopped strawberries, mix.

Spoon the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake. I really had to spread the batter into each corner to  make it even.

Here it is coming out of the oven, golden brown and beautiful. Set aside to cool.

To make the glaze (this is where my recipe differs from the original) take the remainder of the strawberries, place in a food processor and puree.

Over the top, sift about a cup of powdered sugar (more or less depending on your taste) into the strawberry puree, pulse until well combined and the sugar is dissolved completely.

Spoon over the top of the cake and enjoy. I'll definitely be making this again when my fresh Oregon berries are available. Both my boys LOVED it, yes in past in they ate the entire thing in one sitting!

Strawberry Poundcake
original recipe here


3/4 c butter
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/4 c flour
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
1 c fresh strawberries, chopped


1 c fresh strawberries, chopped
1 c powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8 inch loaf pan, set aside.

Prep the strawberries by washing, cutting off stems and giving a rough chop. Separate 1 c of strawberries for the cake, set the remaining aside for the puree. Next, separate the egg yolks from the whites, placing the whites in a medium bowl, set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add in the egg yolks 1 at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Add in the flour and the vanilla, mix, scrape down sides of bowl, mix again and set aside.

Add salt into the egg whites and whisk til you have stiff peaks. Pour into the batter and mix well. Last add in the strawberries and combine. This batter is pretty thick so keep scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure it's well incorporated.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, til toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan.

For the glaze place the remaining strawberries into a food processor or blender and puree til smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar and blend until fully combined and sugar is dissolved.  Spoon over the cake and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Enchilada Casserole

Who doesn't love an enchilada? But rolling them in that brittle corn tortilla is no fun, so I started making enchilada casserole. It's layered like a lasagna and still has all the yummy goodness of filling, corn tortillas and spicy red sauce, yum:)

I start by braising the chicken. I have a whole chicken cut up that I'm browning on both sides in a hot dutch oven. Make sure to season both sides with salt and pepper.

Move that to a plate and put in some roughly chopped onion and salt, stir to brown.

Add in spices, give it a stir and spread on the bottom of the pan evenly (this will be a base for the chicken to sit on while it cooks). I'm using chili powder, mexican oregano, cumin, red pepper and some chicken bouillon to season.

Add the chicken back to the pan along with diced tomatoes and a cup of water. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool. At this point blend the tomatoes with a hand blender and set aside. This makes an awesome enchilada sauce.

After the chicken has cooled enough to handle remove the meat from the bones and shred.

Time for the filling. Sauté a chopped onion in canola oil, add to that diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, corn, chili powder, mexican oregano, cumin, chipotle chili and shredded chicken (or whatever you want in your filling), stir to combine. Let that warm through really well.

Now to layer- begin with a small amount of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish.

Next add a layer of corn tortillas...

And a layer of filling.

Repeat that till you get to the top, ending with enchilada sauce.

Top the whole thing with cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes, til the top is melted and the edges are just a little crispy. mmmmm

Enchilada Casserole

Chicken and Enchilada Sauce:
1 chicken on the bone, cut up
2 onions, rough chop
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 c water
1 chipotle chili (or more for spicier)
2 T chili powder
1 t mexican oregano
1 t chicken bouillon
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t red pepper

Season and brown chicken in canola oil in a large, heavy dutch oven on medium high heat, remove to a plate. Add onion to pot and brown slightly. Add seasonings, stir and spread evenly over bottom of pan. Add chicken back to the pan and pour tomatoes and water on top. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Once chicken is fully cooked place it on a plate to cool. In the meantime blend the tomatoes that the chicken cooked in with a hand blender, taste and season to your preference. Once the chicken has cooled remove from the bone and shred. Set sauce and shredded chicken aside.

Enchilada Filling:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can beans
1 small can tomato puree
1 c corn
2 T chili powder
1 t mexican oregano
1/2 t cumin
salt and pepper
shredded chicken

In a large pan sauté onion in canola oil over medium heat. Add in the the remaining ingredients and mix well. Let that simmer for a few minutes to warm through.

corn tortillas
cheddar cheese, shredded

To layer, begin with a small amount of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Next add a layer of corn tortilla, then filling and sauce on top. Layer til you reach the top of the pan, ending with enchilada sauce. Top the dish with shredded cheddar cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes, til the cheese is melted and the sides are bubbly and a little crispy. Serve with sour cream and avocado. Enjoy!