Vegetarian

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Salsa “Mac and Cheese” with Fusilli in a Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Inner Fat Kid: Salsa “Mac and Cheese” with Fusilli in a Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cheddar Cheese Sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa or your favorite salsa
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • 1 pound dried pasta (though elbow macaroni will do, I suggest you try cork-screw cavatappi or the spiral rotini or fusilli)

Tools

  • Medium Saucepan
  • Stock Pot With Strainer
  • Whisk

Directions

  1. Pour 4 quarts of water into a large pot, cover and set over high heat.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 or 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from the heat, then stir in cheese. Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted. Taste and season generously with salt, usually 1 1/2 teaspoons. Cover to keep warm until the pasta is done.
  3. When the water has come to a boil, add the dried pasta. Stir well to keep the pasta from sticking together and boil until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and add the pasta to the sauce. Stir until all the pasta is covered in the salsa cheese sauce. You’re ready to dig in.

*Serves 8


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Classic Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

Warm Those Chips: Classic Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa. Cheaper than Pace, I promise, and so much better.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 fresh jalapeño chiles
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, preferably fire roasted
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt

Tools

  • Small skillet
  • Food processor
  • Cutting Board, Knife

Directions

  1. Roast the chiles and garlic. In a small ungreased skillet over medium heat, roast the chiles and garlic, turning regularly, until they are soft and blotchy brown, about 10 minutes for the chiles, 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool until handleable, then pull the stem(s) off the chile(s) and roughly chop. Peel the skin off the garlic. Scoop into a food processor and pulse until quite finely chopped.
  2. Finish the salsa. Add the tomatoes with their juice. Re-cover and pulse until you have a coarse puree. Scrape into a serving dish. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. You’re ready to serve.

*Makes about 1 1/2 cups


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole with Slow Roasted Garlicky Goodness, Jicama, Chipotles and Cilantro

Holy Mole: Really, mixing your favorite salsa into some avocado does the trick, but this one is pretty nifty. Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole with Slow Roasted Garlicky Goodness, Jicama, Chipotles and Cilantro.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-large (about 1 1/4 pounds) ripe avocados
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted garlic from the garlic mojo, strain away the oil
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup jicama, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt

Tools

  • Large bowl
  • Old fashioned potato masher
  • Cutting Board, Knife

Directions

  1. Cut around each avocado, from stem to blossom end and back again, then twist the two halves apart. Scoop out the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh from the skin and add to a bowl. Add the roasted garlic, chipotles, and sun-dried tomatoes. Using an old fashioned potato masher or a large fork or spoon, mash the avocados into a coarse puree. Fold in the jicama, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lime juice.
  2. Scoop the guacamole into a serving dish, sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro and sun-dried tomatoes

*Makes about 3 cups, serving 6 as an appetizer, 8 to 10 as a nibble.


Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Woodland Mushrooms with Mojo de Ajo

Great as either a tapa over toasted baguette (for mushroom “montaditos”) or as a taco filling, these hearty and satisfying mushrooms are great and impressive to serve in parchment packs.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces mushrooms—I love a mixture of cultivated shiitakes and oysters with a handful of wild mushrooms (porcini, chanterelle, hedgehog) thrown in, sliced 1/2- inch thick (you’ll have about 6 cups of slices)
  • 2 large (or 4 small) hoja santa leaves (or 32 large epazote leaves, or cilantro)
  • 2 medium-thick slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (Use Fakin’ Bacon for a veg option, or simply omit)
  • 1/3 cup Slow-Cooked Garlic Mojo (stir before measuring)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 or 2 limes, cut in wedges

Tools

  • Baking Sheet, Oven
  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Parchment paper and Rafia for Packets

Directions

  1. Soak the parchment. Cut four 12-inch squares of parchment paper, loosely roll them together submerge them in a large bowl of tap water and weight with a light plate to keep them submerged. Soak 30 minutes.
  2. Form and bake the packages. Turn on the oven to 325 degrees. Lay the soaked parchment pieces out on your work surface. If using the hoja santa, place 1/2 leaf (or a whole leaf if you’re using small ones) in the center of each parchment square. In a large bowl, mix the sliced mushrooms, bacon and garlic mojo (throw in the epazote leaves that’s what you’re using). Sprinkle with the salt, stir to coat everything evenly, then scoop a portion into the center of each parchment piece. Gather up the corners of each one to form a pouch. Pinch the parchment together just above the mushrooms and tie securely with a piece of string or raffia. Slide onto a baking sheet, then slide the sheet into the oven. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling vigorously in the packages.
  3. Serve. Open the packages in front of your guests so they can enjoy the explosion of aroma into the room. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze on plus fresh tortillas for making soft tacos or toasted baguette for making montaditos.

*Yet another Rick Bayless treat…Serves 8 as a tapa or soft taco filling.


Monday, October 8th, 2012

Slow Roasted Mojo de Ajo

Mojo de Ajo (literally, “bath of garlic”) is an awesome infused oil with mashed, slow roasted garlic resting at the bottom. It keeps remarkably well, and can be used in all types of dishes including this wonderful seared fish, wild mushrooms, or even this shrimp linguine. And while I haven’t made them yet, here are some recipes that use this stuff, which Rick Bayless calls “Liquid Gold”:

Grilled Salmon and Potatoes with Mojo de Ajo
Mojo Guacamole with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Woodland Mushroom with Goat Cheese Torta
Garlicky Popcorn (sprinkled with chile powder)

Ingredients

  • 4 large heads garlic (OR 10 ounces, about 1 3/4 cups, peeled garlic cloves)
  • 2 or 3 cups fruity olive oil (Rick Bayless uses this)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • Red Pepper Flakes to Cover (or crushed chiles of another variety)

Tools

  • Wide-Mouth Container for Storage
  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Apx. 8×8 baking dish, Oven
  • Potato Masher

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Break the heads of garlic apart, then mash each clove (a fist against the side of a knife is what I do) to release the clove from its papery skin; if using already-peeled garlic, scoop the cloves into a heavy plastic bag and use a rolling pin to mash them slightly.
  2. Stir together the garlic, oil and salt in an 8×8-inch baking pan (make sure all the garlic is submerged), slide it into the oven and bake until the garlic is soft and lightly brown, about 45 to 55 minutes.
  3. Add the lime juice, sprinkle with red pepper flakes to cover and return to the oven for 20 minutes for the garlic to absorb the lime and turn golden brown. (If you’re using the larger quantity of oil, ladle off 1 cup—no garlic cloves—and store it in a cool dry place for use in salad dressing or sautéing.)
  4. Using an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork, mash the garlic into a coarse puree. Pour the mixture into a wide-mouth storage container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy some deliciousness. The mojo will last for up to three months as long as the garlic stays submerged under the oil.

*Makes about 3 cups mojo de ajo (made with 2 cups of oil).


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

Chipotle Roasted Peanuts with Lime

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut: “Cacahuates Enchipotlados”. Pairs perfectly with beer, ha, and actually kind of a healthy snack (besides the beer of course). Chipotle Roasted Peanuts with Lime.

Ingredients

  • 2 canned chipotle chiles
  • 1 tablespoon adobo (tomatoey sauce in the can of chiles)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (20 ounces) oil-roasted peanuts

Tools

  • Small skillet
  • Food processor
  • Cutting Board, Knife

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop the chipotle chiles, adobo, lime juice, ketchup, sugar and salt into a blender and process to a smooth puree. Pour into a large bowl along with the peanuts and toss until the nuts are evenly coated. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly spread the nuts on it.
  2. Bake until they are fragrant and no longer moist, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cool the nuts on the sheet pan, then scoop into a serving bowl and set out for all to enjoy.

*Makes 4 cups of nuts


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).



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