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Archive for November, 2012

by Sarah Steimer

I made this for Bill’s birthday in October, and then again for my family when I went home for Thanksgiving. Enchiladas might be one of my new favorite meals to make. It’s so easy to mix and match flavors depending on the season or whatever is in your refrigerator.

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • salt
  • 1 cup black beans (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 chicken breast, poached and roughly chopped (I use bone-in, skin-on chicken and then pull the meat off after poaching, but boneless, skinless is a bit faster)
  • 4 soft corn tortillas
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Simmer the sweet potato in a small pot until the cubes are soft enough to be mashed. About 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a small saute pan. Add the onions to the oil, along with a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are just caramelized.

Want more than just four enchiladas? Double the recipe and use a regular 13-by-9-inch pan.

Mash the sweet potatoes and mix in the black beans, diced chiles, chili powder, garlic, cumin and salt to taste.

Place about half of the salsa in an 8-by-8-inch (or 9-inch) square baking dish. Shake to distribute the salsa in the bottom of the dish.

Distribute the mashed sweet potatoes and black beans, caramelized onion and a sprinkle of the cheese (leave about half for the top). Roll each taco up and place in the baking dish, with the seams facing down. Pour the rest of the salsa on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake the enchiladas at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Makes four enchiladas, or two-three servings.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Holy comfort food! I’m sure I say this every time I make something in the slow cooker, but the smell of this stuff cooking all day was divine. Also, check out the awesome mini sourdough rolls I found at my grocery store’s bakery. They came partially baked, so I popped them in the oven for a few extra minutes to finish cooking. They tasted especially fresh. If you spot similar rolls at your grocery, I highly recommend them for these sandwiches!

  • 3-pound boneless beef roast
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 10-ounce cans beef broth
  • French rolls or hoagies
  • slices Provolone cheese
  • butter for rolls

Once the meat was finished cooking, I tried in vain to slice it into thin cuts, but it shredded on its own. The same will happen to you if you try to slice it warm. (Certainly not the end of the world!) I did find that when I used refrigerated leftovers the second time around, the cold meat sliced more easily.

Trim and discard all visible fat from the roast. Place the trimmed roast in a slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, bay leaf, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and garlic powder. Pour the mixture over the roast. Add the beef broth to the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on Low heat for about 5-6 hours, or until meat is very tender.

When the meat is ready to serve, slice and lightly slather the rolls with butter. Toast them in a 350-degree oven for 5 or so minutes. Remove the meat from the broth, reserving the broth. Thinly slice or shred the meat. Pile the meat on the rolls and top each roll with Provolone cheese. Place the rolls back in the oven for about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Skim off any fat from the surface of the reserved broth in the slow cooker. Serve each sandwich with a small bowl of the reserved broth.

Makes about 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

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by Sarah Steimer

Why the candles? This was Bill’s choice for a birthday cake this year (back in October) — not a bad choice at all for a fall birthday. I always make single-layer cakes when I’m cooking for a small crowd, but this could clearly be doubled to make a more traditional double-layer cake.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Grease and flour a 9-inch or 8-inch round cake pan (I use butter to grease the pan).

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric beater until fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately at the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three batches, starting and finishing with the flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let finish cooling.

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • about 1 cup powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk. Return to a boil, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. Let the mixture come down to room temperature.

Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until the frosting comes to your desired consistency.

Once the frosting has cooled completely, ice the cake and serve.

Serves 8-10.

Recipe adapted from: Dramatic Pancake

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by Caitlin Saniga

Any time company comes to visit, I try to squeeze in a trip to Euro Bakery for some fresh, hot burek. It’s impressive to watch baker Bari Sinani prepare the pastries, and the burek, like this pepperoni and mozzarella version, is to die for. Heck, I don’t need visitors for an excuse to stop by Euro Bakery. I go somewhat regularly for lunch or on Saturdays during my trip to the Roanoke farmers market, which is across the street.

Bari and Elizabeta Sinani own and operate Euro Bakery in Roanoke. On most days, you can spot their young son curled up in the back of the kitchen, watching TV from a folding chair. Bari, who was born in Macedonia, owned a bakery in Serbia. In 2000, he and Elizabeta, of Bosnia, moved to Roanoke. The couple opened the original Euro Bakery in 2010. You can read more about the Sinanis and their business in this Roanoke Times article from 2010.

I visited: Euro Bakery, a vendor inside the City Market Building in downtown Roanoke, Va., that specializes in Middle-European baked goods. Most notable is the selection of burek, rolled pastries made from fresh-tossed phyllo dough and filled with an assortment of goodies, including beef and onion, spinach and cheese, and my new favorite: pepperoni and mozzarella. Also available is a selection of baked goods such as braided breads, pretzels, crescent rolls, dark chocolate-filled rolls, baklava and tiramisu.

Elizabeta uses a rocking knife to cut burek into bite-size pieces.

I tried: This time, I had the pepperoni and mozzarella burek with marinara dipping sauce. But I’ve also tried and have been a fan of just about every type of burek they serve, including many of the specials.

Why it stood out: Bari Sinani, owner and baker at Euro Bakery, makes his own phyllo dough. Each pastry starts out as a small disc of dough that he works into a fine sheet by pressing out onto a flat surface with buttered hands and then lifting and tossing in the air. It’s an eye-catching spectacle. He says many people who prepare and sell burek, even in Turkey where it originates, use frozen dough. His burek is special because everything is fresh and it’s always served hot from the oven, so it’s totally crispy and flaky.

Bari tosses some fresh phyllo dough before rolling it full of beef and onions.

It cost: $5.50

Find out more:
Euro Bakery
32 Market Sqaure S.E.
Roanoke, VA 24011
540-344-0460
Euro Bakery on Facebook

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried. Help our map grow by submitting your own review. Find out how!

Euro Bakery on Urbanspoon

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by Sarah Steimer

One of my favorite parts of this soup was not having to buy any broth – that’s right, it just needs water! I was worried that wouldn’t make it as flavorful, but the roasted vegetables do all the leg work.

  • 6 medium/large carrots,- cut into sticks
  • 1 medium/large carnival squash, peeled, seeded, stems removed and cubed
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water

Toss the carrots, squash and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, tossing halfway through. The vegetables are ready when a knife or fork can easily be inserted into all the vegetables.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg to the pan and cook for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant. Add the roasted vegetables to the pot, along with the water and bay leaf.

Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender (or with an immersion blender) until smooth. If using a regular blender, work in batches and only fill about half way at a time.

Salt to taste and serve with good bread. Makes six servings.

Recipe adapted from: Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

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by Caitlin Saniga

Rainbow carrots taste just about the same as regular orange carrots, but they add a pretty, colorful pop.

  • 1 pound rainbow carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  • chopped parsley for garnish

When I saw these darling organic rainbow carrots at the Roanoke farmers market, I had to have some!

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

In a shallow baking dish, toss the carrots with oil and salt to coat. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

Heat the butter in a small saucepan until golden brown, remove from heat and add the maple syrup and mustard. Drizzle over the carrots and shake pan to coat. Return to the oven and continue to roast for another 8 minutes, or until brown and tender.

Arrange the carrots on a serving plate and top with sunflower seeds and parsley. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

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Check out my (Sarah’s) review of the vegan breakfast burrito from the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. And for the record, I did get my margarita finally. A few, in fact.

While I was on my trip, I tried tons of awesome Southwest food. The highlights included a trip to Cafe Pasqual’s, Dr. Field Good’s (a food truck) and The Atomic Grill. I also slugged down a few Santa Fe Brewing Company Pale Ales and wandered into a bar with one of the coolest back stories ever, Evangelo’s.

See a map of Caitlin’s and Sarah’s postcards to each other.

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