Tag Archives: Mexican food

Lazy Days of Summer

It’s been hot and humid on the East Coast this week and I haven’t been doing much cooking but I had planned on having company this evening so I bought stuff to cook. The company that was coming over couldn’t make it, so I invited my sister and her family and asked them to travel the great distance of a street-width to eat some food. As she hadn’t planned anything (it’s 100 degrees, who’s thinking about cooking?), she happily accepted the invite!

I wanted to make a beautiful meal of enchiladas and a blueberry buckle for dessert (original recipe here), but I was feeling lazy and didn’t have enough blueberries. I made some modifications. I did have enough berries when I mixed up the blueberries and cherries I had in the fridge. I also didn’t follow the procedure. I threw the dry ingredients in the kitchen-aid, then the wet and added the eggs last. It worked and tastes delicious. The only downside is that it isn’t going last forever (or even the morning).

As for enchiladas, well, today is the sort of day where nothing goes as planned. Ever have those? Yeah, I thought so. My tortillas didn’t roll, so we ended up with quesadillas in enchilada sauce. Still tasted delicious. I make my enchiladas super simple, and they are crazy delicious. I reconstitute a dried ancho chile (sometime two or three, depending on what I have and who’s coming over) in hot water and add a can of diced tomatoes, a little tomato paste, a touch of salt and sugar and hit it with a stick blender until smooth. Generally, I fill the tortillas with chicken and cheese (leftover chicken), cover with sauce and more cheese and baked until the cheese is melty. Today, I used queso blanco, but you can use cheddar, the “Mexican” mix or quesadilla cheese. If you like more heat, use a can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos or add any other hot pepper you like.

I’m about to post some pictures that MIGHT make you hungry. If it’s not 100 degrees out, get cooking! If it is, call for take-out ūüėČ

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Touring exotic places… from the kitchen

This week, John did a lot of the cooking as I was sick and/or working. So, I didn’t get the full benefit of all this food, but in the first three days of the week, John cooked up a culinary tour!
First up was my favorite Chinese restaurant staple: Chicken with Broccoli. John’s the stir-fry king in our household, so I couldn’t be happier to come home to a hot plate of this take out dinner made yummier, healthier and (can it be?) faster than delivery. In our neck of the woods (and farms), decent Chinese food is just not available, so we have come to rely on John’s prowess with sauces. While there is no exact recipe, there is a procedure and ingredients list. We had it with some nice brown rice (definitely not something that’s available in our area from take out places!) Just a warning, when you don’t buy the instant brown rice, it does take a while to cook, so you’ll want to get that going first.

Chicken and Broccoli ala Johnny

For the rice:

I used Texmati Brown Rice

Follow instructions on package, but i usually use a 3:1 water to rice ratio for this one. I also added a few items to amplify the flavor of otherwise plain rice.

  • Rice 1 cup
  • Water 2 cups
  • Chicken stock 1 cup
  • Soy Sauce ¬† ¬† 1/4 cup
  • Salt ¬†1/2 tsp
  • Orange peel 3 pcs
  • Fresh grated ginger 1 Tbsp

Combine all items in a sauce pan. Bring to boil, then reduce to light simmer for about 30-40 minutes, covered.

Prepare the sauce:

  • Orange pineapple juice ¬† ¬† ¬† 1 cup
  • Rice vinegar ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 2 Tbsp
  • soy sauce ¬† ¬† ¬† 2 Tbsp
  • honey ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†2 Tbsp
  • ground ginger ¬†1 tsp
  • fresh ginger ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†1 Tbsp
  • sesame seed ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†1/4 cup
  • xanthan gum ¬† ¬† ¬† 1/2 tsp
  • Veg oil ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 2 Tbsp

Combine all in a Tupperware quick shake, and shake, or use an immersion blender in a container to blend together. The xanthan gum will help emulsify everything, though it can be simply combined without it. Reserve.

In a microwave safe bowl, steam about six cups of broccoli with about 1/4 cup of water, a tsp. salt, cover loosely with plastic wrap for about three minutes. Remove plastic and reserve.

Heat a skillet to medium heat, add vegetable oil. Slice one chicken breast per two people thin, toss with seasoned flour (salt and pepper). Sear in hot pan. Add sauce to combine, then broccoli. Simmer about five minutes and you’re done! Serve over rice.

The second night was Mexican, and it was delicious! John got the inspiration from Rick Bayless on a local channel. So, on Tuesday I was treated to Warm Chorizo Spinach Salad. It was delicious and it seemed pretty easy (keep in mind, I had nothing to do with it!)

Wednesday’s dinner, which I have yet to sample (being under the weather) was Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup (really more of a stew) that he’s been wanting to make for so long he doesn’t remember where the recipe came from. What I can tell you is that it looked and smelled delicious.

  • Red split lentils, soaked ¬† ¬† ¬†1 cup
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Olive oil ¬† ¬† ¬†2 tsp
  • Finely chopped garlic clove
  • Curry powder ¬† ¬† ¬†1 tbs
  • Sweet potatoes, cubed ¬† ¬† ¬†500 grams
  • Vegetable bouillon powder ¬† ¬†2 tsp
  • Miso ¬† ¬† ¬†2 tsp
  • Chopped coriander

Preparation:

Put lentils in a pan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Skim , turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook for a few more minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the saute mix to the lentils with the bouillon and cooked for 5 minutes until potatoes are cooked through.

We didn’t have miso or coriander, so we left them out and it was still delicious!

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