Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taco Night

The beauty of Taco's are that no matter what you do - you can NEVER go wrong, it always tastes yummy. Taco's are also lots of fun; specially if you are having people over because there will always be something for everyone. Who can say no to avocado, sour cream or hot salsa. I am sure there are a few but we'll focus on the ones who like to indulge. Below is a summary of how we made the various components. I am not going to give specific measurements because there were none - it was all about tasting & adding a little bit of this n' a little bit of that. One thing I discovered that was absolute magic were Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce - this sauce has just the right amount of smokiness and spice. It is magical; I will definitely be experimenting with it more often.

Guacamole: 3 ripe avocado's + juice from 1 lime + 2 tomatoes + 3 jalapenos + cilantro + salt + 1 onion -> chop it all up and mix well; taste and add what you feel is missing

Slaw: This concoction was the brainchild of my darling husband. Chop purple cabbage, add to it a mixture of: light mayo + agave nectar + pepper + little soy sauce -> again taste and adjust; since everything else was spicy we made the slaw a little sweet to balance it out. Make sure you don't soak it in the mayo mix.

Fish: Marinate the fish (I used Tilapia) in a marinade of tomato from the Chipotle pepper sauce + salt + lemon juice + 1 tablespoon minced garlic for 30 minutes. Heat some oil on a saucepan and add the fish + all the sauce it has been marinating in. Finely chop 1 Chipotle pepper and add it to the pan. Reduce the heat and let it cook on a low flame for 10 - 15 mins. When almost done increase the heat for 1 minute to reduce the sauce;  flake the cooked fish it with a fork and it is ready to serve.

Other Stuff: lime, cut cilantro, sour cream and soft taco's

Now all you need to do is build the taco. On the soft taco add the fish + slaw + guacamole; sprinkle the cilantro, squeeze some lime and dollop on some sour cream, fold in half and take a big scrumptious bite!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Gemini Who Is Trying To Stick With It !

I am a person who can rarely stick to one thing for a long period of time. I need a new project or shall we say a little focus (change) to my existing one. I LOVE to eat and cook, so I decided to Spy on some of my recipes while capturing and documenting my cooking. Lately I have been trying to be healthy, but my palate yearns for tasty food. Below is a recipe for stuffed peppers & tomatoes; I have kept the fat out and the flavor in. Hope you give it a try.

Vegetables: 1.5 Purple Onions, 3 large Tomatoes, 3 large Green Peppers, 1.5 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic paste, 3 stalks of chopped celery, 3 Green Chillies chopped 
Spices: 0.5 - 1 teaspoon each of Garam Masala powder, Cumin powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder, a pinch of Red Chilli powder, 1 Tspoon of panch poran (optional), 3 curry leaves, Sriracha to taste
Meat: 1 pound minced chicken   
Other: 0.5 cup uncooked brown rice, salt to taste, 1 tablespoon oil
1. Cook the brown rice - I do this first as brown rice usually takes a while to cook
2. Dice the onions and green chillies
3. In a large vessel heat the oil, add the panch poran & curry leaves till they start sputtering
4. Add the cut onions & green chillies to the above, stir till the onions turn light brown
5. While the onions are cooking cut the tops off two tomatoes remove the pulp and set aside
6. Add ginger garlic to the onions, stir for a minute, add all the powder spices and the pulp from the tomatoes - let it simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally
7. While the above is cooking cut the tops of the peppers and the tomato removing the seeds / pulp to make hollow casings; keep aside
8. Add the mince chicken to the tomato mixture; mix well and cover to let it cook; make sure the heat is on medium so that it does not burn
8. When the chicken is almost cooked add salt & sriracha (depending to level of heat you would like) to taste
9. Add the cooked brown rice & chopped celery to the chicken mixture. Let it simmer for 5 minutes or till the chicken is cooked
10. Turn the oven on to 355 F
11. Fill the tomato and peppers with the chicken - brown rice filling
12. Place on a flat surface and cover the peppers & tomato with foil
13. Bake covered in the middle rack of the oven for 20 -25 till the tomato & pepper softens a bit 
14. Garnish with coriander or sriracha or mint leaves (whatever is in the house !)

Variation: Whisk in a bowl -> 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon sriracha & a dash of soy sauce. When the pepper / tomatoes are almost cooked remove the cover, add one spoon of the mixture on top of each and put on the top rack of the oven at 375 F for 5 minutes or till egg mixture cooks.