Saturday, November 1, 2014

White Turkey Chili

Hello! I am back after a long time vacation from the blog!  Today, I want to share a recipe that I created tonight inspired in so many White Turkey Chili recipes out there but wanted to give it my own touch.  The weather got freezing very fast this weekend, and what can be better that a hearty soup to warm ourselves, right?! ;-)  Hope you really enjoy it!


2 lb. ground lean turkey
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium jalapeño chiles
2 green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped finely
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
2 medium onions, chopped finely
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 (15-ounce) cans pork and beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup of minced fresh chives


In a Dutch oven, drizzled some olive oil and brown the ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once the turkey is cooked, reduce heat to medium. Add minced jalapeños, onions, celery, garlic, cumin, coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.

Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable/turkey mixture to a food processor work bowl. Add 1 cup of beans and 1 cup of broth and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add this mixture, remaining 2 cups broth, and beans to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in lime juice, cilantro, chives into chili and return to simmer. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  If you want an extra kick add some more jalapeños or a teaspoon of chili powder.

Serve topped with sliced avocados, chopped tomatoes, cheese and cilantro.


Source:  Mohana's Original

Monday, July 15, 2013

Red Beans and Rice

Hello friends!

I'm back with one classic made completely from scratch! For those cold winter days in Chile or if you so happen to have a rainy summer here in the US and need some comfort food, here is your recipe!  Very easy to make and incredibly delicious!


3 cans of Dark Red Beans, Low Sodium
3 tablespoons bacon grease
1/4 cup chopped tasso, or chopped ham
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 pound smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked ham hocks
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 cups chicken stock, or water
1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish


In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso or ham and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans with the juice and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are starting to thicken, about 45 minutes.

Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are creamy, 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.


 Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, through Food Network - Adapted

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

A couple of mornings ago I was brainstorming for a quick breakfast treat to take to some friends.  After a few searches on "Pinterest" I came across with this easy and delicious recipe!


6 slices of sourdough bread
6 slices of bacon (I used Hickory smoked)
6 eggs
6 - 8 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese (I used sharp Irish cheddar)
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Grease generously 6 wells of a muffin pan with butter.

In a frying pan, cook bacon about 3-5 minutes, until partially cooked but not completely crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Cut out rounds of bread with the help of a 3.5-inch round cookie cutter. Press the bread rounds into the greased muffin wells. Curl a piece of bacon around the periphery of each piece of bread, positioning it between the bread and the muffin tin to help keep it in position. Sprinkle a bit more than a tablespoon of shredded cheese in the center of each piece of bread and bake for 5 minutes.

Then, One at a time, crack an egg, removing about half of the white, and dropping the remaining white and yolk over each piece of bread, being careful not to break the yolks. Once all the bread pieces have been topped with eggs, bake it again until eggs are cooked through to your liking (about 6-10 minutes) and bacon is crispy. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin well and pop the egg cups out. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "Annie's Eats" - Slightly adapted

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Apple Rose Pie

I am back again!  So happy to upload a new post after such a busy season since my last one :)

A few weeks ago, I found this recipe on "Pinterest" and went all the way to the original post from a Rumanian baker.  It was a nice challenge, but I have to warn you.  It is NOT the typical American apple pie.  It has a consistency more of a tart (the shell is just delightful) and the filling is kind of "custardy", not overly sweet.  But, it is for sure a show stopper.  It looks like you could have spend hours preparing it, but you'll be surprised how easily it comes together :)


- For the dough:
9 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
100 grams of finely ground almonds  (about a cup)
150 g of flour (about a 1 1/4 cup)

- For the Filling
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup white wine
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
6 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp.  flour
- For the Roses:
5-6  red apples (I used Gala)
A couple tablespoons of apricot jam 


Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour a pie pan.   Set aside.

For the dough: In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla extract and orange zest.  Then, add the egg and almond meal.  Finally add the flour and mix until it comes together.  It will be quite a soft dough, but remember, the less you handle it, more flaky and delicious will be :)

Transfer the dough to the pie pan and spread it around covering the base and sides of it.  Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:  Combine the flour, sugar, vanilla and orange zest.  Mix and add the eggs and a splash of the milk.  Once it has the consistency of a paste, add the remaining milk and wine.  Transfer to a sauce pan, bring it to a boil.  Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the cream with clear plastic wrap and let it cool.

Once the filling is cooling, wash and dry the apples.  With the help of a vegetable peeler (I recommend the type that looks more like a pencil than the type like a "Y"), start peeling the apples until you get to the core.  Don't worry if some of the strips cut off.  You'll be able to use them anyway.  Start wrapping the apple strips simulating a rose bud. 

Assemble:  Get the pie crust from the fridge and pour the filling over it.  Place apple roses on top of the custard and continue arranging them until the whole surface of the pie is full.

Finally, heat in the microwave a couple of apricot jam until melted.  Brush the jam on top of the roses and bake the pie until the dough is baked and the apples are a little bit golden.  This may vary from oven to oven but start checking your pie after 1 hour.  (1 hour to 1 1/4 hour)

Cook completely and serve at room temperature.

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "" - Slightly adapted.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Apple cake with Brown Sugar Icing, Sea Salt and Chopped Pecans

Nothing screams Fall like a good apple cake.  This recipe is really delicious.  Forget about the old dense apple cake that feels like a brick in your tummy.  Rather, think it now like a fluffy and light apple cake, almost like a good muffin consistency, then dressed it up with this scrumptious brown sugar icing, and to balance it all up a sprinkle of flaky french sea salt and some more chopped pecans.  The result is just amazing.


- For the Apple Cake:

2 eggs
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups of flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 pinch of salt
3 cups of chopped green apples (about 4 apples)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar

- For the Brown Sugar Icing:

5 Tbsp. butter (softened)
1/2 brown sugar
3 Tbsp. Heavy Whip Cream
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

- Optional:

Chopped pecans
French Sea Salt (Fleur de Sel)


Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Prepare a bundt cake pan with melted butter and lightly dust with flour, or use the regular "joy of baking" cooking spray.

Beat butter and both sugar until creamy, for about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time.  In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) and stir them with a fork.  Mix the wet ingredients (oil and vanilla).  Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three steps alternating with the wet ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated.  Finally, add the apples and pecans and mix them with a spatula.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  Let it rest for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling wrack.

Once the cake is almost cooled, start preparing the brown sugar icing.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. It might look separated, but that's okay. Stir in the cream, and it should all come together. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour it into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners' sugar, salt, maple extract, and vanilla. Beat well. If the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners' sugar, if it's too thick, add a spoonful of hot water. Be aware that it sets up QUICKLY. Pour it over the cake while it's still warm. Decorate right away with chopped pecans and french sea salt, if desired.


Source:  Brown Sugar Icing - Recipe Courtesy of "Cake0rDeath"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sweet Pumpkin Strudel

I've made many pumpkin desserts but this one is simply amazing. Never ever tried something so light yet so scrumptious and delicious. Flaky, balanced, with great texture yet dissolves like a cloud... let me introduce you to "Sweet Pumpkin Strudels".

Just think for a moment, a flaky and buttery Phyllo dough, filled with the most delicious pumpkin and spices, rolled up, sprinkled with turbinado sugar and chopped pecans... baked and then drizzled with sweet honey and a dollop of homemade whipped cream... if your mouth is not watering by now... I would be shocked! :)

So, if you're looking for something more sophisticated yet easy to make than pumpkin pie for the holidays, this is your recipe!


1 set of sheets of frozen Phyllo dough (package comes with two set of sheets), thawed
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar, or other coarse sugar
2 tablespoons honey, for serving
Whipped cream, for serving, optional

- For the Filling:
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
tsp. salt
tsp. ground ginger
tsp. ground nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the filling: Combine the pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg in a small bowl. Mix until nearly uniform and set aside. 

Place 2 sheets of the phyllo on top of one another and brush the top sheet with some of the butter. (Keep the remaining phyllo dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from becoming dry and brittle.) 

Place a well-rounded tablespoon of the filling about 2 inches from the end of the dough strip.
To shape, fold the bottom edge of the Phyllo up and over the filling. Fold in the sides and roll up to encase the filling, brushing the exposed dry Phyllo with some of the butter as you roll. 

Place the rolled strudel on a baking sheet, seam-side-down. Brush the top of the Phyllo with some of the butter. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle the tops of the strudels with pecans and turbinado sugar. Bake until the phyllo is golden brown, about 15 minutes. 

Serve the strudels warm drizzled with the honey and topped with whipped cream if using. 


Note:  It is important not to overfill the strudels.  Otherwise, they will explode while baking (learned that one the hard way ;)

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of  Iron Chef Michael Symon - slightly adapted 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hearty Kale (braised)

Kale is one of the super "veggies".  A totally underrated and almost not considered green because of its leafy crunch and slightly bitterness.  Many times cooked to death with lots of fat to give it a new flavor.  I have to be honest.  Kale was not a veggie that I dreamed about and I actually tended to avoid it if possible... until I got to this recipe, which by the way... allowed me to have two helpings of kale last night.  Sort of a life changing experience in my culinary world :)

The kale was cooked to perfection.  Delicious and so hearty and full of flavor. I especially enjoyed the texture. Super easy to make and so super healthy.  Give it a try, you will not regret it.  I promise!


3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 lb. kale, stemmed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces.
1 cup homemade chicken stock or low sodium store bought chicken broth
1 cup of water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 tsp juice of 1 lemon (I squeezed a half of a lemon for this recipe)


Heat two tablespoons of oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add half of the greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute.  Add remaining greens, broth, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt; quickly cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.  (I personally like them with a bit of texture, so I only cooked this part for 25 minutes).

Remove lid and increase heat to medium - high.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of the pot will be almost dry, and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes.  remove pot from heat; stir in 2 teaspoon of lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Season with remaining lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy!

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Cooks Illustrated" - Slightly adapted.