Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tequila Lime Chicken Soup

Tequila Lime Chicken Soup

2-3 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat.
1 medium white onion, chopped coarsely
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 diced jalapenos or 1-2 Serrano peppers
3/4 cup tequila (1/4 cup for marinade, 1/2 cup to add into soup)
4-6 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp cumin
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional stuff
Tortilla strips or chips
Sour Cream
Lime Slices

In a ziploc bag, place the chicken breasts, 1/4 cup tequila, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1-2 diced jalapenos. Let marinate for 30 minutes of so.

In a good-size pot, add a small bit of olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the onion and cook until clear
Add the garlic after onion turns clear, cook until fragrant.
Add contents of marinating bag to the pot.
Then add all the other ingredients except for the cilantro.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Add the cilantro, and cover.
Simmer until chicken starts to break down.
If you're in a hurry, brown the chicken breasts on both sides and slice into bite size pieces before hand.
Then add into the pot and cook for about 10-15 minutes until all the flavors have melded.
Serve with sour cream, tortilla strips, and top with some extra sprigs of cilantro.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Raspberry-Strawberry Salsa

I love pretty much any type of spicy food, but my wife is a person who can take only so much. This is a problem because I have a bunch of peppers from the farmer's market stored in the freezer. In an attempt to get these peppers used up in a timely manner and to not set my wife on fire, I made a variety of fruit salsas.

From a blackberry salsa(meh) to a blueberry salsa(has potential, but I need to tweak a few things) but the first, and best, salsa that I made was a raspberry-strawberry salsa. And everyone else seems to think so too. So far, the reviews have been excellent. My wife absolutely loved it when I made a test batch at home; and I made it again for a family reunion and they ate it all up. With another batch of fruit salsa someone made right next to it getting significantly less attention.

It's a simple recipe and very refreshing during the summer months.

1/2 cup strawberries (sliced into smaller segments)
1/2 cup raspberries (slice in half if very large)
1/2 white onion, chopped finely
1-2 Serrano peppers, diced (alter # of peppers to fit your heat level)
1/4 cup cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and let sit in the fridge for at least a half hour to let the flavors meld and then serve.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Well, it was a rough semester. Almost all of my time was spent working on my thesis. When I wasn't writing, I was sleeping with some ready made meals to keep me going.
My spouse and are are also getting readyto move as I will be starting a PhD program in the fall.

I am finally getting back into the swing of things, though I am still editing my paper for final publication.

The meals so far have been limited in scope, and no time for pictures.
Hopefully things will pick up, but with an upcoming move, we've been busy packing, preparing for a yard sale, and all that fun stuff.

As summer goes on, I should have more food posts posted.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Curry

I love butternut squash. I love it even more if it is roasted.  

I originally bought the squash to make roasted butternut squash soup, but that would have made more soup than I would have been willing to eat all by myself. I love soup, but I do feel that you can have too much of a good thing at times.  So, I decided to use half of the squash to make soup, and the other half of the squash to make curry.  Here is the recipe for the curry, I will post the soup recipe sometime soon.

The flavor of the curry was excellent and I will definitely be making this recipe again. Although I'll likely add a bit more heat to it.

Roasted Butternut Squash Curry

1/2 Butternut Squash, roasted (See Note), peeled, and cubed. About 1" pieces 
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 cup water, if necessary
Two 2" x 1" x 1/8" pieces of ginger, peeled and julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp Hot Madras Curry Powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 large tomato, cored and diced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)

Heat wok over medium-high heat
Drizzle oil down the sides.
Add garlic, onion, ginger, and stir fry until light brown
Add the squash and the curry powder, stir fry until the squash begins to brown.
Add the salt and the coconut milk.
Cover, lower heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
If the sauce becomes to thick, add water to thin it out. 
Remove the squash from the liquid.
Return heat to medium high.
Add the tomatoes and the cilantro, cook until sauce thickens up.
Add the squash back in and stir until reheated.
Remove from heat and serve over steamed rice.

Note: To roast the squash:
    Heat oven to 375 degrees.
    Cut squash in half, lenthwise.
    Remove seeds (don't throw them away, allow them to dry out a bit and
    then dry roast them).
    Place squash, with cut side facing down on lightly oiled baking pan.
    Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft.
    Peel the squash while still hot from oven. Be careful not to burn
    You may also peel the squash beforehand.

This dish was adapted from Breast of Chicken with Tomato and Coconut Milk from 660 Curries.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stir Fry Pork and Kimchi


This dish was inspired by a dish made by some friends over at the Flock. I didn't have a recipe for this dish and I couldn't get a hold of either of my friends or their cookbook, so I winged this together with some stuff I had in the house. I thought it turned out well and even Kate, who dislikes kimchi, enjoyed this dish.

Stir Fry Pork and Kimchi

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb thinly sliced lean pork butt, cut into approx 1" pieces
1 jar kimchi (I prefer the spicy version)
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced green onion, and a small amount reserved for garnish
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Sesame Seeds (optional)

Heat skillet or wok over medium heat.
Add 2 tbsp olive oil.
Add pork and stir fry, until browned on both sides.
Drain pork on paper towel.
Drain off oil and fat from pan if in excess, retain a few tablespoons for cooking.

Add green onion to pan and cook until soft.
Add garlic, stir around until fragrant.
Add kimchi and cook until warmed through.
Add soy sauce and sesame oil.
Add pork back into dish, stir until heated through.

Serve over steamed rice.
Add reserved green onions and sesame seeds for garnish.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kalamata Olive Bread French Toast

A few weeks ago, I picked up a loaf of kalamata olive bread.  Being the only person in the house who would eat the bread, I cut the loaf in half and put the half that I wouldn't eat right away into the freezer. This past weekend, I pulled the loaf out of the freezer to make space and last night I decided that I would use up the remainder of the loaf to make a savory french toast.   

    This bread is great by itself
but it made a great french toast as well.

The room smelled so great.                     I love my rosemary plant.

To make the batter, I beat two eggs slightly with 1/3 cup of milk. I then added one teaspoon of orange zest and a teaspoon of fresh chopped rosemary to the batter.  (This last fall, I decided to transplant my rosemary to an indoor pot to keep it growing over the winter.  This is definitely a decision that I have not regretted.)  

Finally, I used salt and pepper, to taste. 

My Thoughts
Overall, this experiment turned out fairly well. The amount of orange zest was just perfect to give a nice citrus note to complement the olives in the bread. While there was a light note of rosemary, it definitely could have benefited from more. The next time that I make this dish, and I will, I will probably triple the amount of rosemary; or add even more than that, to add a stronger flavor.

 The Recipe
 6-8 slices of bread
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp 3-4 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp Butter/Butter Substitute, to fry the bread.

My friend Fleur suggested garlic and thyme as additional complements to the olive bread. I didn't have any on hand this time around, but next time I make this I will try playing around with some more flavors.

*A side note: As you may have noticed from the picture, some of the last pieces got a bit crispy. I had the misfortune of the someone appearing at the door.