Archive | May, 2011

Fish Tacos Times Two

5 May


Cinco de Mayo wouldn’t be complete without these delicious fish tacos.

Perfectly paired with cold beer, it would be interesting to serve both of these.

The first is a clean, vibrant and puckery.

The second is a rich, luxurious smokey version.

LEE’S ROCKING FISH TACOS
Gwyneth Paltrow
serves 8
A bunch of cilantro
Juice of 5 limes
1/3 cup of olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 jalapeño or 3 red fresno chili peppers, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
Coarse salt
2 pounds halibut, finely diced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
Combine the cilantro, lime juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, onion, garlic, chili, garlic powder, cumin and paprika together in a blender with a large pinch of salt and puree until thoroughly combined and smooth. Set the mixture aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a

large pot and add the halibut. Cook, stirring now and then, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Pour over the reserved cilantro mixture, stir gently just to combine and cook for just another minute to let all the flavors say hello. Serve immediately with deep-fried flour tortillas, crema fresca (or sour cream), cotija cheese, and a fresh pico de gallo with chunks of avocado (mix equal parts diced tomatoes and avocado and then season with salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, lime and diced red onion).

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ACHIOTE-MARINATED FISH TACOS
LA TIMES
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons achiote paste

1 pound yellowtail fillet, skin removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 small corn tortillas

1 cup finely shredded cabbage

1 cup chipotle mayonnaise

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt and achiote paste. Put the mixture into a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag with the fish. Refrigerate for an hour.

On a cast-iron griddle or in a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Scrape some of the extra achiote paste from the yellowtail, then grill the fish, about 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until done. If the fish is cooking too quickly or unevenly, adjust the heat as necessary. Let the fish rest for a few
minutes before slicing it thinly across the grain; if the fish breaks apart, that’s fine.

Warm the tortillas on a pan over medium heat; place on a platter or individual plates, two per person.

Divide the fish among the tortillas and top with shredded cabbage and a teaspoonful of chipotle mayonnaise. Serve immediately, with lime wedges.

Chipotle mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 chipotle peppers in adobo, roughly chopped

In a food processor or blender, blend the mayonnaise, garlic, oil, lime juice, salt and chipotle peppers. You will have more chipotle mayonnaise than is called for in the recipe. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Beef enchiladas

4 May

When we think of enchiladas, we recall our American relatives’ enchilada casserole, consisting of beef, canned soup, enchilada sauce, and pounds of orange cheese. It’s a guilty pleasure but not exactly authentic fare.

Did we mention it is traditionally served with a kidney bean, corn, and corn chip chopped salad topped with a Catalina-type dressing?

Ay caramba…

The time has come for a more grown up version:

Authentic Beef Enchiladas
Serves 6-8

Vegetable oil for browning
1 1/4 lb top blade steak, dried, cubed, and salted (can substitute chuck steak)
2 medium white onions, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 15oz can of tomato sauce

12 6-inch, white, corn tortillas
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (can substitute a mild cheddar)
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, minced (can substitute a 4 oz can of green chilies)

1 lb sour cream
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/4 cup cilantro, plus 2 tablespoons
4-5 limes
3-4 avocados

Directions:
1. Brown steak in vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a Dutch oven (~6 min), remove steak from the Dutch oven.
2. Add onions and saute on medium heat (~5 min).
3. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and sugar, stir well, “toast” spices (~2 min).
4. Add water, tomato sauce, and salt, bring to a simmer, return meat, cook for 1 1/2 hours covered on the stove top (maintaining a simmer).
5. When the time is up remove the meat, onions, and all sauce to a strainer Push out as much sauce as possible. Reserve sauce. At this point turn on oven to 350.
6. Shred meat, combine with cooked onions, 1 cup cheese, 1/4 cup cilantro, mix well.
7. Heat tortillas in microwave. Do in 2 batches, 1 minute each batch, with tortillas wrapped in paper towels.
8. Coat the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking dish with ~1/2 cup of sauce.
9. Assemble enchiladas by filling each tortilla with a 1/3 cup of the meat mixture, roll and arrange 8 vertically down one side and 4 horizontally stacked by two on the other side
10. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce, using a spoon to spread it over all of the tortillas.
11. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and bake covered for 20 minutes, uncovered for 5 minutes.
12. Combine sour cream, 1/4 cup cilantro, chipotle, juice of 1/2 lime, and salt.
13. Chop avocados, combine with 2 tablespoons of cilantro, juice of 1/2 lime, and salt.

Monkey see, monkey buy

4 May

This just in:

Vintage monkey pod, mother of pearl lined, pineapple lazy susan.

Cost? $3.99.

But crazy lasts a lifetime.

Poblano Pepper Party

2 May

We are dreaming of poblanos.

In particular, roasted poblanos stuffed with sweet potato, goat cheese (any combination of Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar, low-moisture Mozzarella, up to 1/2 cup Cotija), chipotles in adobe, beans, raisins, cumin, onion, cilantro, lime.

Or stuffed with fried, diced potato and onion with creamy cilantro dressing.

Or creamy, smooth beans smothered in cheese, napped with enchilada sauce.

True, crumbled chorizo would be a delicious addition to any of these, but not necessary.

There are two ways to make these: either by roasting, removing seeds through a slit, or stuffing them raw and the roasting.

Start by cutting the peppers in half lengthwise and removing the seeds.

Combine filling, and gently stuff each pepper, taking care not to tear if they are pre roasted.

Carefully place the pepper halves on the section of the grill with indirect heat.

Cover and grill for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the peppers are nicely softened. Then transfer the peppers to the direct heat section of the grill for 3 to 5 minutes until the peppers are charred and softened.

Roasted Potato stuffed Poblanos with creamy cilantro, jalapeno, garlic dressing

6-8 fingerling potatoes or 2-3 russet potatoes, coarse chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, coarse chopped
1/2 medium sized onion, coarse chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican basil (don’t substitute Italian)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Combine filing and toss until potatoes are well coated in oil and spices. Spread the mixture onto a roasting pan, or casserole dish, and place on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Fill poblanos with cooled mixture, top with cheese and cook til heated through.

Creamy cilantro garlic dressing

2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonaise
1 tablespoon fresh goat cheese
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon diced jalepeno
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

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2 large red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 poblano chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 ear white corn, stripped of kernels
2 scallions, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro – I like lots, but depending on your taste, you might want 1/4 cup chopped
1 lime
Fresh avocado, diced

Baja Shrimp Tacos

2 May

It’s Cinco de Mayo week here at Saucy Cherie and we couldn’t be happier.

Here’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s simple, and mighty delicious, grilled shrimp tacos.

Paired with puckery guac, these are clean-tasting and amazing.

BAJA STYLE SHRIMP TACOS
A southern California classic, grilled shrimp tacos couldn’t be quicker to prepare—and they happen to be very healthy at that. The combination of fresh lime juice and Cholula hot sauce is pretty much unparalleled.

2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
the juice of one lime
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 dozen corn tortillas
pico de gallo (see recipe below)
lime wedges for serving
Cholula hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
crumbled cotija or feta cheese (optional)

Preheat your grill over high heat. Toss the shrimp together with the olive oil, lime juice and salt. Grill until cooked through, about 2 minutes a side.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a dry frying pan and wrap them in a tea towel to keep warm. Pile a few shrimp on top of each tortilla and serve with a bit of pico de gallo, fresh lime juice, a few dashes of hot sauce and a little of the crumbled cheese if you’d like.

Pico de Gallo
Simple to prepare and about a thousand times fresher and more vibrant than any jar of salsa, fresh pico de gallo is worth making from scratch.

1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
coarse salt
squeeze of lime
as many finely chopped red jalapeños as you’d like (optional)
Combine the tomatoes, cilantro and onion together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and lime. Reserve some of this mixture for the kids, and then add as much jalapeño as you like to the remaining mixture for the adults.

Black Beans
By adding a few aromatics to a can of black beans, you get that Mexican restaurant flavor without hours of soaking and cooking.

1 can of black beans
4 cilantro stems
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt
Combine everything together in a small pot and simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes (I do this while I’m preparing the rest of the meal). Be sure to simmer the beans long enough so that they’re not watery.

Guacamole
A lesson in simplicity—the best guacamole is a showcase for ripe avocadoes. A little salt, lime and cilantro go a long way.

2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons minced white onion
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime
coarse salt
Cut each avocado in half, remove and reserve the pits and score the flesh inside of the shells. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork—you don’t want it to be completely smooth. Stir in the onion and cilantro. Cut the lime in half and squeeze in enough juice to taste. Season the guacamole with salt, and either serve immediately or stick the pits in to keep it from browning (remove the pits before serving).

Chicken de Mayo

2 May

C9694B30-270E-4C53-AD9A-10B83020DF94

F7C37AD5-7AD9-43CC-83C4-77C81324DF8AHoly mother of eff. These are a revelation. Who would think butter, cilantro, chipotle and orange juice would be dynamite?

THE GREATEST CHICKEN TACOS EVER or Easy Chicken Tacos
America’s Test Kitchen
3 T. unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
3/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c. orange juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we also tried with chicken thighs)
1 tsp. yellow mustard
salt & pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
shredded lettuce, grated cheese, diced avocado,
diced tomato & sour cream (for toppings)

Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chipotles and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cilantro, the orange juice, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness it might be more), flipping the chicken halfway through. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and return to the skillet. Add the remaining cilantro and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the tortillas and top with desired toppings.