Hot French Dinner Rolls


A member of my family bakes bread or rolls every day.  He always brings his rolls or breads when coming over for dinner to share with everyone.  They have the best texture.  One day I asked him what his secret was and he said that you have to have starch in your water.  His trick is boiling potatoes and saving the water.  He lets the water cool on the counter and transitions it to the fridge for the weeks baking.  Prior to using it, give it a quick stir as the starch molecules are heavy and it settles to the bottom.  Try this.  You will never go back to making bread with plain old water again.  Also, if you don’t have potatoes on hand, pasta water, left over corn cob water, or even adding 2 t of Argo Corn Starch will do.  Seriously, prepare to be amazed to eat these hot french dinner rolls right out of the oven! (But be careful, they’re HOT!)

1 1/8 C. starchy water
1 T. olive oil
3 C. bread flour
1 1/4 t. sugar
1 t salt
2 t active dry yeast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add each ingredient to bread machine pan in exact order listed.  Select the “dough” setting.  When the dough setting is complete, turn out dough onto floured work surface.  Nead dough with flour and section off into 12 equal handfuls.  Using floured hands, roll into balls of dough.  Using spray oil, spray a 9×13 pan and place rolls three across and four down.  Let rest for at least an hour in a warm environment. This will let them rise until ready for baking.

Bake until desired doneness, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Slather these with butter and enjoy.  They are SO GOOD!





Relleno Minis


These little rellenos are a hit for any party!  They are also great for a side dish or an appetizer to any Mexican themed event.  I dreamed these up for a Mexican style appetizer party that a friend was hosting.  I wanted a small bite that was a combination of spicy and creamy.  Since then, I have made them over and over and most recently as an accompaniment to carne asada tacos.  People love them and they will disappear quickly.  There are a couple different ways to make them depending on how much time you have.  I’ll share both.


Cooking Spray
6 fresh poblano chilis or 3 cans Ortego whole green chilis
1/4 lb. ground chorizo* sausage, cooked
1 1/2 C. of ricotta cheese
1/2 C. chopped cilantro (divided)
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. salt
shredded Mexican cheeses
Cojita Mexican cheese*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

If you are using fresh poblanos, place them on a foil covered cookie sheet and place them in the oven on broil.  When they start to blister and turn brown, open the oven and using long tongs, roll them over.  When they have completed blistering and the skins are brown, remove from the oven with tongs and place into a paper bag.  Roll the top of the paper bag down tight and let the bag sit on your counter for a half hour.  When its time, open the bag and place the poblanos before you.  You can essentially peel the skins off and seed them.  You can slice them in to four long quarters (top to bottom).  They may just naturally come apart that way when you seed them too.


If you are using canned, drain and rinse them and lay them on a paper towel.  Separate them into four long quarters.  They should be about two inches wide and 5 inches long.

Assemble your ricotta cheese mixture by mixing the following ingredients in a small bowl:  ricotta, 1/4 C. of the chopped cilantro, smoked paprika, onion powder and salt.

Spray oil in a casserole dish and lay your chilis down insides facing up.  Put about 1 T. of the ricotta mixture on the largest end of each chili.  Top with 1 T. cooked chorizo.  Fold over the opposite end of the chili over the meat and cheese and top with Mexican shredded cheeses, the cojita cheese and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cojita is just browned on top.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

*You can buy cojita cheese and chorizo now at virtually any market.  If you want to make these relleno minis vegetarian, just omit the chorizo.


Argentinean Chimichurri


1/2 C. olive oil

2 T. lemon juice

2 t. minced garlic

1/3 C. minced shallot

1/3 C. minced fresh parsley

1/3 C. minced fresh basil

1 t. chopped fresh thyme

1 t. chopped fresh oregano

salt & pepper to taste


Put all ingredients in a food processor except oil and pulse until desired consistency.  I like it a little bumpy, not smooth, but it depends on what you are putting it over (chicken, steak, fish, vegetables, crusty bread).  Slowly add olive oil and work into mixture.  Store on counter for two to four hours.  Refridgerate covered overnight.  For best results, make a day or two ahead to let the flavors blend.  It’s tangy and fresh.  A wonderful change from cream sauces.