Recipes | Dining Reviews | Restaurant News
June 2011

taq recipe header
These taquitos are nothing like what you'll find in the freezer aisle of the grocery store - instead, they're flavorful, creamy, and slightly healthier.

 

Click here for recipe

 

Cafe Mezz
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main street box
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Upcoming Food Events
When you're planning your week, consider including these food events in your plans:

Pinot Dinner
Wednesday, June 8
Pinot Noir Wine Dinner
Crush Winehouse, Annapolis

6:30 p.m.  


Tom Mortimer of Le Cadeau Vineyards in Oregon visits Crush Winehouse for a dinner featuring the vineyard's Pinot Noir. Tickets cost $70 and the dinner is limited to 30 people. Call 410-216-9444 or email bob@crushwinehouse.com.

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Thursday, June 9
The Gulf and its Seafood - 1 Year Later
Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

6:45-8:15 p.m. (Panel discussion), 8:15-10 p.m. Wine & Dine reception


Participate in a panel discussion focusing on the status of the Gulf region and its seafood a year after the BP oil spill. Environmental activist and actor Ted Danson will participate, along with ocean scientists, educators, and health professionals. The $95 general admission ticket ($80 for members) includes the Wine & Dine Reception featuring sustainable seafood dishes by chefs in both Washington and the Gulf, along with pairings from 20 wineries. Visit residentassociates.org.

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Sat. and Sun., June 11 and 12
Great Grapes!
Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville

Noon - 6 p.m.


Taste 200 varieties of wines from Maryland wineries, and then relax and enjoy live music or shop local vendors. Two-day adult tickets are $35 in advance and include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited samples, performances and cooking demos. A one-day ticket is $20 in advance, $25 day-of, and a driver ticket is $15 in advance and $20 day-of. Kids 12 and under are free. Visit Uncorkthefun.com.
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Restaurant and dining news from both sides of the bridge.

  New Food & Dining Coupons 

ss mayNEW Selective Shopper Coupons! Start saving now with some great deals in Annapolis and the Eastern Shore.

 CLICK HERE

Ingredient of the Week
basil header
Basil

A staple in Italian and Asian cuisines, basil is another one of those summer herbs that grows like crazy during the summer months. The plant's leaves are highly fragrant, easy to grow in a container or backyard, and add a little something to nearly any dish.

Types. Choose from more than 60 types of basil, mostly named for how they taste-lemon basil, anise basil, and cinnamon basil are just a few varieties. However, sweet basil is the most common and versatile.

Nutrition. You likely think of basil as a fresh seasoning versus a source of nutrition; however, basil is a good source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as iron, calcium, fiber, manganese and magnesium.

Purchasing and storing. If possible, use fresh basil in cooking because it has better flavor than the dried form. Look for basil leaves that are a vibrant green in color without any dark spots or yellowing. After bringing it home, store it in the fridge in a slightly damp paper towel stored in a Zip-loc bag. If you purchase dried basil, keep it in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark place for up to six months. You an also trim the ends and place it in a glass with one inch of water. It will look pretty and make your kitchen fragrant.

Preparing. The key to utilizing basil to its best ability is to cook it as little as possible. It shines in fresh salads, such as when combined with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, as well as in pesto sauces when pureed with olive oil. If you include basil in sauce or stir-fry, add it at the very end of the cooking process.
Recipe
tacq

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos


These taquitos are nothing like what you'll find in the freezer aisle of the grocery store - instead, they're flavorful, creamy, and slightly healthier.

Makes 12 taquitos

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1-2 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
12 6-inch tortillas (flour or corn, depending on preference)
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it thoroughly with cooking spray.

Combine the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, onion, garlic, spices, cilantro, green onions, chicken, and shredded cheese in a large bowl. Mix well.

Wrap the tortillas in a moist paper towel and heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds, making them soft and pliable. Place a tortilla on a flat surface, and spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the middle of it. Roll the tortilla up tightly and place it seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

At this point, you can freeze the assembled taquitos or bake them for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. If you freeze them, you can take them straight from the freezer and put them into the oven. Just add an additional 5 minutes to the baking time.
Kitchen Tip of the Week
kitchen fixes

3 common kitchen mishaps

(and how to fix them!)

 

Every cook makes an error every once in a while. Here's what to do if you make a mistake, and how to avoid it next time.

1. The meat is overcooked and dry.

What to do: Try to infuse the meat with moisture by pouring drippings into a pan, adding two or three cups of stock, and bringing it to a boil. Slice the meat and put it in a baking pan, and then pour the stock mixture over it. Cover it with foil and let it rest for five minutes. The meat will regain some of its juiciness.

2. The dish is way too spicy.

What to do: Adding a sweet and/or acidic element, such as tomatoes, to the dish will calm the heat's intensity. If the dish won't be ruined by adding dairy, add in a spoonful of plain yogurt or sour cream.

3. The rice is burned and bitter.

What to do: Take the heel of a loaf of bread (you know, that last slice that no one eats) and put on top of the rice in the pot. Cover the pot and let it stand for five to 10 minutes. Remove the bread, and taste the rice. If the bitterness is gone, carefully spoon the non-burned rice out of the pot and into a serving dish.
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