Sides

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Warm Soy Chorizo and Spinach Salad

Good sprinkled with Mexican queso fresco, goat cheese or blue cheese.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (1 packed cup) fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed (in this case soy)
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons light-flavored vinegar (rice vinegar is very good here)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt
  • An 8-to-9 ounce package (about 8 cups) salad spinach, long stems removed
  • 1/2 small jícama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Tools

  • Skillet
  • Cutting Board, Knife

Directions

  1. Cook the chorizo and onion. In a very large skillet, cook the chorizo over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes until it has rendered a good amount of its fat. Add the onion and continue cooking until the onion has started to soften but is still crunchy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Create the dressing, finish the salad. To the skillet (still over medium heat), add the oil, vinegar, sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Mix well, taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Pour the warm mixture over the spinach, add the jícama, mix well and serve.

*Serves 4, Courtesy Rick Bayless.


Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Freedom Fries

You can par-fry these and bag into individual portions to keep in the freezer. Then you can cook up one of those portions in just 5 minutes when you feel like some. For that reason, make a bunch some Saturday and keep them around. A hollandaise or any homemade aioli is lovely to dip them in, but for a fast and classic twist I mix Sriracha into some organic ketchup to taste.

Ingredients, Fries

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled (optional), and cut into 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch fries
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 quarts peanut oil (my large “fry daddy” takes a gallon or 4 quarts)

Tools

  • Mandolin
  • Deep Fryer
  • Cutting Board, Knife

Directions, First Fry

  1. Heat oil to 400 degrees
  2. Clean and cut potatoes
  3. Boil 2 quarts water, 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  4. Add potatoes and boil for 10 minutes
  5. Remove fries to paper-lined cookie sheet and dry for 5 minutes
  6. Pat dry and fry for 50 seconds
  7. Let dry for 30 minutes (can be frozen overnight or up to two months, or used immediately)

Directions, Second Fry

  1. Fry fries 3.5 minutes or until golden brown, place on cooling rack, dress with salt (or some minced fresh parsley or other herbs such as sage).

*Serves 4


Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Roasted Tomatillo and Arbol Salsa

It’s a Rick Bayless Recipe. I used this but used tomatillos and arbol instead of the miltomates and chiles pasillas de Oaxaca (since he suggested them as alternatives and I had them on hand). It was a sweet and smokey salsa and very good, especially for cooking and meats, which I did here.

If you’d like a salsa for chips alone, I might try this one, more or less the same but with more chiles and garlic (less sweet more heat).


Friday, September 21st, 2012

Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa

Roasted tomatillos and garlic are combined with chipotle peppers in adobo to make this simple, hot and smokey salsa (that Rick Bayless calls “essential“).

I used a molcajete, but a food processor or blender works fine. Find some information on molcajetes here and be sure to season it properly before using. I bought mine at a local Mexican grocer and was assured by the manufacturer that it is 100% lava stone. With the Chinese now making them and pressed concrete versions out there don’t trust Crate and Barrel, buy this one.

This salsa tastes best the day it is made, but it can be refrigerated for up to one week in an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 6 canned chiles chipotles en adobo (I used 5)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 5 to 6 medium (8 ounces) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional

Tools

  • Blender, Food Processor, or Molcajete
  • Skillet
  • Baking Sheet, Oven
  • Knife and Cutting Board

Directions

  1. On a heavy, ungreased skillet or griddle over medium heat, roast the unpeeled garlic, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots and soft, about 15 minutes. Cool, slip off the papery skins, and chop roughly.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillos on a baking sheet, and place in broiler about 4 inches from heat. When, after about 5 minutes, the tomatillos have blistered, blackened, and softened on one side, turn them over, and roast on the other side. Cool completely on the baking sheet.
  3. Scrape the tomatillos (and any juices that have accumulated around them) into a molcajete, food processor, or blender, and add the chiles and garlic. Combine until everything is thick and relatively smooth. For a chunkier alternative, scrape the tomatillos and juices into a molcajete, food processor, or blender, and add the garlic. Combine until everything is coarsely pureed. Chop the chiles into tiny bits, then stir them into the tomatillo mixture. Transfer salsa to a serving bowl, and add enough water to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency, about 3 to 4 tablespoons. Season with salt, and add sugar if you want to soften its tangy edge.

*Makes about 1 1/4 cups


Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Heirloom Tomato and Grilled-Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 ears of corn in husks
  • 1 1/4 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 10-ounce container small heirloom cherry tomatoes

Tools

  • Grill for corn
  • Whisk for dressing
  • Knife and Cutting Board

Directions

  1. Mix vinegar and garlic in bowl. Whisk in oil, then basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Fill large bowl (or sink) with water. Mix in 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add corn; soak 1 hour.
  3. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Drain corn. Grill in husks until outside is very charred and corn kernels are tender, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes.
  4. Cool corn. Remove husks and cut kernels off cobs into large bowl. Add tomatoes. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper.

*Serves 4-6


Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Zucchini Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Small wedge of Parmesan cheese

Tools

  • Vegetable Peeler for Zucchini, Parmesan
  • Strainer for Zucchini
  • Small frying pan to toast pine nuts
  • Knife and Cutting Board

Directions

  1. Using vegetable peeler or V-slicer and working from top to bottom of each zucchini, slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16 inch thick). Salt ribbons (1 teaspoon) and place in large strainer bowl to drain, if possible for an hour.
  2. Whisk oil, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper in small bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.
  3. Chop basil and toast nuts (medium heat in dry pan until golden brown, shaking occasionally).
  4. When ready, add basil and nuts to zucchini and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve: spoon over whisked dressing and using vegetable peeler, shave strips from Parmesan wedge over salad.

*Serves 4-6


Monday, June 18th, 2012

Horenso no Ohitashi

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spinach or other tender, leafy greens
  • 1 1/4 cups dashi
  • 3 teaspoons Japanese soy sauce/shōyu
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Lightly toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Tools

  • Stock Pot for blanching
  • Ice bath with strainer
  • Sauce Pot for dashi
  • Ice bath chilling dashi
  • Rolling Mat for draining
  • Knife, Cutting Board
  • Tupperware for chilling
  • Small Fry pan for toasting sesames

Directions

  1. Trim about 1 inch off the bottom of the spinach (if full leaves) and wash well, being sure to loosen any grit or dirt near the bottom of the stems.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water.
  3. Blanch the spinach until the leaves and stems turn bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and plunge into the ice water bath.
  4. When cool, squeeze out as much water as possible with rolling mat. Gather the greens, arranging the stem ends together, and cut into 2-inch lengths.
  5. In a small saucepan, bring the dashi just to a boil.
  6. Add the soy sauce, mirin, and salt and stir to dissolve. Simmer for a minute or so to burn off the alcohol in the mirin.
  7. Remove from heat and immediately pour into a bowl.
  8. Place this bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice water and stir until cool. (This step is in important, as it ensures that the dashi’s delicate flavor won’t degrade with the heat.)
  9. Place the spinach in a tupperware container and pour over the cooled dashi mixture.
  10. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours total.
  11. Place neat bundles of the dashi-infused greens in individual serving plates, spoon some of the sauce over each, and garnish with a generous pinch of toasted sesame seeds.
  12. *Serves 3-4


Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Garlic-Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Tools

  • Stock Pot
  • Immersion Blender
  • Large Bowl
  • Cutting board, Knife

Directions

  1. Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
  2. Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
  3. In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
  4. Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.
  5. Hint: Try roasting the garlic and adding a little fresh rosemary for a whole new taste.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Ginger-Spiced Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, grated

Tools

  • Stock Pot
  • Micro Plane
  • Peeler
  • Cutting board, Knife

Directions

  1. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes.
  3. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes.
  4. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel; sauté 1 minute.
  5. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil.
  6. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
  7. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
  8. Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with sour cream and grated carrot.


All recipes stolen/borrowed from somewhere, butchered/adapted exclusively by CHEF BOY/R/C.