Archive for July, 2011

7-27 Mexican menu

July 28, 2011

This weeks dinner was Mexican based, and consisted of Taquitos (or flautas), salsa, tacos al pastor, and mole poblano.

The salsa is the easiest and there’s no real recipe. take a can or two of fire roasted tomatoes, a small onion, cilantro, lime juice, a hot chili or two and throw em in a blender til it’s how you like it.

The taquitos also aren’t terribly difficult and are based on a rick bayless recipe.
6 slices bacon
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups seasoned, cooked black beans (either canned or homemade), drained of most of their cooking liquid
2 to 3 pickled jalapenos or canned chipotle chiles en adobo, stemmed, seeded & finely chopped
Crumbled Queso Fresco (if you can’t find it feta is a good substitute)
About 15 corn tortillas

cook the bacon til it’s crisp, crumble it, and leave some of the drippings in the pan. Cook the onion on medium heat til it’s golden about 10-15 minutes, then add the beans and roughly mash em. Add about half the bacon and the chiles mix it until it’s thick, about 5 minutes then take it off the heat.

In a small skillet heat 1/4 inch depth of oil to medium high heat. briefly fry the tortilla about 5-10 seconds a side, then take it out and let it drain on paper towels. repeat til all the tortillas are flexible.

Fill the tortillas with about 1.5 T of filling and some queso fresco and roll it up.
Fry them in oil for a few minutes each side until crispy
you can store em covered with plastic wrap for a few hours.

The tacos al pastor


7/20 Afghan meal

July 22, 2011

The menu for this Wednesday was fatayer (lebanese spinach pie) as a starter, a turkish red lentil soup, aushak (leek dumplings in a lamb sauce), yakhni pulao, sabzir rahwash (spinach and rhubarb), a strawberry fool, and chocolate covered strawberries.

The fatayer is pretty simple to make. You can use frozen puff pastry as a shortcut, the full recipe is here

The red lentil soup is another easy one, the recipe is here. Sub vegetable stock for chicken stock to make a vegetarian version.

The aushak is not terribly difficult but a bit time consuming. It consists of two parts, leek dumplings and a lamb sauce.

for the leek dumplings
1 package wonton wrappers
about 2 lb leeks
1 bunch green onions
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper

Leeks are a bit of a pain to get the dirt out of em, you’ve gotta wash them pretty thoroughly.
Thinly slice the leeks and onions and cook them. You can sprinkle them with water and microwave em for 5 minutes or so, stirring a couple of times or, for a richer taste saute em in a bit of butter over medium low heat until they’re soft but not brown, also 5 minutes or so, maybe a bit longer.
Let them cool and mix in the remaining ingredients
Stuff the wontons with 1/2 T of the filling
boil them for about 5 minutes or so

Lamb Sauce:
1lb Ground Lamb
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ginger, peeled, grated
1 T cumin seeds
4 Cardamom pods opened
1 t cinnamon
1 T ground coriander
1/2 t cayenne
1 t sumac
1 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t mace or nutmeg
1 cup water
1/2 can diced tomato
2 T tomato paste

saute the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes or then add the ginger and garlic for another minute.
Add the spices and mix them in for about a minute.
Add the lamb and break it up as it browns
After the lamb is browned add 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste, and diced tomato
Cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Lay the dumplings on top of the lamb sauce and top with a drizzle of yogurt and chopped cilantro.

The yakhni pulao is much more difficult. The recipe is here

sabzir rahwash
1 lb spinach
8 oz leeks or green onions
6 oz rhubarb
salt and pepper

wash the spinach well. cut the stems and roughly chop the spinach. thinly slice the leeks. chop the rhubarb into 1 inch lengths.
saute the leeks over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the spinach and continue to cook until it cooks down a bit and then cover the pan for about 20 minutes.
In a separate pan saute the rhubarb until it’s soft but not brown, about 5 minutes, then add it to the spinach and let it cook until soft, about 30 minutes.

The strawberry fool is pretty easy, the recipe is here

July 13th

July 14, 2011

The menu for July 13th was
Pizza Margherita:
I used the dough from this recipe, a tomato slice, olive oil, some torn up mozzarella, some dried basil (fresh would’ve been better), and minced garlic

An indian salad:
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup seeded diced cucumber
1 cup diced red onion
a handful of chopped cilantro
and tossed with a dressing:
1.5 t seald
2 t toasted, ground cumin seeds
.25 t cayenne
2.5 t fresh black pepper
2 T lime juice

Macaroni and Cheese

Texas style brisket:
a 3-4 lb brisket is marinated for at least 24 hours (up to 48, and the closer to 2 days the better) with a paste:
3 T coarsely cracked black peppercorns
1 T dried oregano
1 t toasted ground cumin seeds
1 t onion powder
1 T chile powder (chipotle preferred)
1 bay leaf
1 t ground orange zest
1.5 t kosher salt
.5 t smoked sea salt
1/4 cup ground dried mushrooms
Grind those ingredients and then mix them with:
2 T lime juice
1.5 T Madeira
3 T olive oil
3 T liquid smoke

Rub the resulting paste all over the brisket, cover it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
cook it over low heat (about 250ish degrees) til a thermometer indicates the internal temp has reached 180.

The bbq sauce was:
1/4 cup butter,
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic diced
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup worcestershire sauce
2 T dry mustard
2 T dark brown sugar
2 T hot paprike
2 t kosher salt
2 t cayenne
drippings from the brisket
14 oz ketchup

melt the butter over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and saute about 5 minutes, add everything else but the ketchup and bring to a boil. turn the heat down to low, add the ketchup and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes.