Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Roasted Carrot, Carmelized Onion and Ginger Soup

Generally speaking, I can made it through one, maybe two, meals of leftovers before I am ready to pull my hair out. This soup, and the two that will follow, have made this one meal stretch through more than a week and have definitely eliminated that guilty task of ridding the refrigerator of the ghosts of dinners past.

This one is for Val, who has yet to test out one of these recipes on her own but pledges that she "could do this one." Fingers crossed. ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Roast chicken and veg...

More comfort food. Every time I leave my house on some sort of trip - business or otherwise - I become more and more fascinated with the simple comforts of food that reminds me of home. After this last little stint on the road, three cities in three days (while not the most arduous of trips... it was tiresome nonetheless), I arrived home with a list of recipe requests and a need for easy, simple comfort food.

I think everyone should be able to roast a chicken. As one of the easiest and most enjoyable of meals, it requires very little prep and fuss while satisfying a person completely. I'll get into roasting the whole chicken another time...

Now, this bit of roast chicken (pieces) and veg was a bit more calculated than simple satisfaction. One SKer friend wanted a simple, easy meal that would feed the family (this is for you, buddy!). Another wanted a tortilla soup. And I wanted a smoky soup. So, each component of this meal was to be first enjoyed, then repurposed into something a bit more than repetitive leftovers of days past.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Radicchio Crostini... and Smoky Mac

I am home now... for a brief snippet of time before heading back out on the road. My latest trip was a good time but left me sounding a bit more like Debbie Harry than as myself... too much rock and roll. As such, I have been exhausted yet happy to be home and have the option of cooking, even if I find myself too lazy to oblige. So, I needed to take it a bit easy and had two friends over for a 'let's cook together' gathering. Today's lesson was to be the Smoky Mac and Cheese.

While Erin was learning and navigating the land of Mac and Cheese, we snacked on Radicchio Crostini. My caveat here... I find radicchio to be something that I have to be in the mood for. It is really sharp in its flavour and if I'm not in the right state of mind, I will have nothing to do with this bit of veg. However, when I do get in the mood, it is a nice little snack. The sharpness takes the edge off any hunger pangs, so you can make it through the cooking process rather than reaching for the phone and calling for delivery.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chiles Rellenos a Medano

I spent the week before last in Cabo for a good friend's wedding. Our routine, aside from tacos and margaritas, included daily, if not twice or three times daily, sojourns to our local bar/restaurant - the Medano. By the second day there, they knew most of us by name, or nickname, and welcomed us with big smiles. It was our Mexican Cheers. hahah.

After setting up shop one day, watching the Olympic curling and hockey games, and enjoying another great meal (and too many margaritas), I figured that I had nothing to lose and meandered into the kitchen. This likely could have gone badly... but they had all been so great that I hoped it wouldn't and crept in. The chef assistant's waved frantically to the chef... he looked up and came over to me.

I do not speak any Spanish aside from greetings and "dos cervezas." hahah. This was going to be interesting. I said that I wanted to learn how to make chiles rellenos. "Chiles Rellenos," he repeats. I pointed at him and said, "professore" then to myself and said, "studente." He laughed. I added, "a meñana." Lots of nodding and smiles... he replies, "a dos hora."

SUCCESS!! I had a cooking lesson!! I was so unbelievably excited that I immediately texted some friends to share my foodie-nerdy-news.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Can't-wait-for-the-good-tomatoes Bruschetta

Maybe because it was a "balmy" 6 C today... or maybe because I am so unbelievably over winter that I am trying to will it to be summer... I wanted something fresh for dinner. And that became the I-can't-wait-for-good-produce bruschetta.

Is there really a recipe for bruschetta?? Well.... I don't think so. A bit of this, a bit of that. Stir. Eat. Easy.

Recado Taco

I am going through withdrawal from the awesome tacos that I ate every single day that I was in Mexico. We frequented two places for the majority of our taco-quests - Javvo, just next to the Bahia Condos, and Gardenias, a few blocks away.

Javvo definitely had sophisticated spice blends/marinades and only had one or two taco options a day. Their chicharron was fantastic.

Gardenias was a favourite though. Much more option in terms of tacos - fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, chicharron, beef, etc. But my favourite part had to be the array of condiments that they served with the tacos. Using those serving units that we see at steak joints with the sour cream, chives and bacon bits destined for slathering on your mashed potato, they filled two units with pickled onion (likely softened in lime juice), charred chili peppers (whole), key limes, shredded lettuce, salsa (the pico de gallo variety), a more pureed salsa/chili blend, and an indescribable seemingly whipped avocado sauce that I loved on the fish taco. There were a few others but these were the highlights.

Obviously I've been thinking about these tacos... :) So, with the bastardized recado, I decided to make tacos. No recipe here... but it was a great second day dish. I warmed the meat in the sauce and topped with avocado slices, sour cream and hot sauce... with some beans and mixed veg, I was happy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bastardized Tamarind Recado

Now... to say that this is a bastardized recado is probably putting it quite kindly. Honestly, this probably only merely resembles a recado if you were to tilt your head and squint at it. However, you can't fault where you find your ideas and I found this after becoming newly fascinated with tamarind but not quite sure what to do with it.

As such, into Epicurious, I typed "tamarind," hit enter and hoped for inspiration. It yielded this.

I should probably further qualify this recipe in that I just returned from a week in Mexico, followed by a flight delay in San Fran, an unexpected overnight stay, a reroute through Denver and a happy return home about 16 hours later than anticipated. Consequently, I had no groceries. At least nothing fresh (as sourly evidenced by the bit of buttermilk that I forgot about but was promptly reminded of when I opened the fridge to assess the situation). I also had no energy for a trip to the store but had *brilliantly* invited my Mom for dinner. All that aside, I do have a reasonably stocked pantry and a too full freezer... out comes a pork tenderloin and a can of crushed tomatoes.

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