Monday, October 17, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #4 - Appetizers

This weekend I tried 2 new recipes instead of 1. Scott and I were supposed to go to the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival this weekend, but Scott is ill and not able to leave the house. So I brought the appetizers to him.

I bought Fab Food from a discount bin a couple of years ago. It has a lot of tasty sounding recipes, including Welsh Rarebit, which I LOVE, but the recipe for Onion Bhajis with Spicy Sauce has always sounded good.

onion bhajis with spicy sauce
adapted from Fab Food from White Cap Books

spicy sauce
1 chile pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red or orange pepper, diced
1 small can diced tomatos
1 garlic clove, diced
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tb cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small pot. Simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. Remove from heat. I used my hand blender to smooth it out a bit.

onion bhajis
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chile powder
1 egg
1 onion, very thinly sliced
handful cilantro, chopped
oil for frying

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the egg and 2 to 3 tb water, whisk to make a smooth batter. Stir in the onion and cliantro.

Heat the oil in a medium to large pot. Fry tablespoons of the batter 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels.

These were really great. The spices were nice with the onion, and who doesn't love a fritter? The sauce was definatly the best part. I increased the sugar from the original recipe, turning it into a sweet-spicy dip.

They were Scott's favorite part of dinner!

I also made Chorizo and Artichoke Quesadillas.

This is another bargain bin cookbook. Mexican food is one of my very favorites, but we don't have many Mexican places in our area. I chose this recipe because I really like chorizo.

chorizo and artichoke heart quesadillas
adapted from Cookshelf Mexican from Parragon Publishing
1 chorizo sausage, diced
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
2 cloves garlic, diced very finely
4 flour tortillas
grated cheese (I used marble cheese because that's what I had)
tomato, diced
2 or 3 green onions, diced
small handful cilantro, diced

Cook the sausage over medium heat.
Arrange the sausage and artichoke hearts on the tortillas. Transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic and top with the cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted.
Cut into wedges and sprinkle with the diced tomatos, green onions and cliantro.

These were quite good too, although I wasn't crazy about the chorizo. I wasn't sure about the garlic, but it really added a great flavor. I would make them again, I think they'd make a good quick dinner too, maybe replacing the chorizo with chicken or steak until I find a better sausage.


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kitchen hand said...

Yum, Sara - that sounds great! I love chorizos, our deli has all these different varieties. When I ask what each is, the deli lady says - 'they are all just from different makers'. I think it is a trick to get me to try them all.

Sara said...

You are luckier than us, we don't have much variety for chorizo in our store. I tried a different brand for this recipe, but I was really disappointed in it.

Ruth said...

Sara, these sound awesome, especially the quesadillas. Chorizo is one of my favorite sausages. I love the smoked kind and the raw ones grilled. As for me...there can NEVER be too much garlic!