April, 2007 Archive

Monday, April 30, 2007

chicken empanada with chorizo and olives

chicken empanada with chorizo and olives

Wow. I just… I mean… wow. These are so good, you’re going to kiss the cook, so be careful if her husband is in the room, okay? I don’t want to be the indirect cause of narrowed eyes or awkward silences. But first, in light of The Great Chicken Cutlet Hate-A-Thon of Aught Seven, I feel it is only right for me to add little more to this picture.

Some of you may know this already, but I suspect newer readers do not; I was dairy-eating vegetarian from the time I was 13 until I was 28 (that’s Alex smirking in the corner, he likes to take credit for breaking me of my bacon-eschewing ways), a whopping half of my life (though, sniffle, not for long). If you click over to the recipe index, you’ll see that in the eight months this Kitchen has been open for business, if you exclude the dessert section, you’ll find a ratio of 92 vegetarian recipes to 11 meat, poultry or seafood-related ones. It’s not hard to make the argument that I’m still just not that into that which I once swore off. To this day, I consider meat a side dish and probably always will, and unless that fleshy dish is going to be transcendent or spectacular, I’ll probably skip it altogether. What this means is, if chicken cutlets have failed me again and again, it’s cool. I don’t need to fix it, I’m not dying to get over it, I’ll probably just move on and try other things. (That said, I want to thank Abbey for her helpful comment; this brining method is truly the only one that’s ever successfully brought cutlets back to life for me, and I need to get back to using it.)

empanada, unbaked

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, April 26, 2007

tequila lime chicken + green onion slaw

margarita chicken

If it’s true that the definition of stupidity is to do something over and over again and expect different results, then I am indeed guilty as charged, because I made something for dinner last night that I know I never, ever like. Somehow I believed it would be better this time, and when it wasn’t, I proceeded to take two bites and then returned to the kitchen to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

yeah yeah

It seems unfair to blame the margarita chicken, as Alex ate it without complaint, but he’s always been the kind of boy who knows on which side his bread is buttered. Frankly, not only do I not blame the margarita chicken, I was downright jealous of it for getting to marinate for 24 hours in a freshly-squeeze, potent cocktail while I marinated in front of a flat screen monitor, shivering in an over air-conditioned low-walled cube. But in the end, I just can’t give an objective review of the recipe because guess what? I don’t like grilled, boneless skinless chicken cutlets and I never have.

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

margarita cookies

margarita cookies

Oh, people. I seem to have gotten obsessed. Again. And, as usual, it all started rather innocently: a tart margarita, a brief foray in Mexico, some beans. Yet here we are four days past vacation’s final curtain and all I can think of is limes and tequila, chili peppers and salt, charred meats and bright colors, and I think we’re in for the long haul.

margarita cookies

Since I’ve been back from vacation, I’ve had this real bee in my bonnet, a hankering for a cookie with all of the flavors of a margarita neatly packaged in a safe-for-your-blood-alcohol-level treat. And if a margarita cookie sounds too awful for words to you–as it did to everyone I mentioned it to this week–then consider these things: One, limes contrasted with a buttery crust makes for one of the greatest things in the world: a key lime tart. Two, there’s little surprise that the sharp yet floral flavor orange zest, whether in French toast or candied and dipped and chocolate is one of pastry chefs most beloved muses. Three, what is vanilla extract but a flavor-infused alcohol? What if that flavor was, say, agave instead? And four, if there’s anything this fancy salt trend of the last couple years has taught us is that salt at just the right level is a dessert dream-come-true. It’s curiosity, but also balance. And besides all that–cocktail cookies? I dare you to resist.

rolling

Continued after the jump »

Monday, April 23, 2007

black bean confetti salad


havana
bar stools
a week's view

Sweet speckled sunshine, that was a good week. Never underestimate the power of blinding sun, square canvas umbrellas, swing barstools and ten thousand renditions of guantanamera to turn your mind back to tabula rasa. What did I do this week? Wish I could tell you, but every time I try to recall stretches of time, they skitter off like pieces of paper in a gusty breeze, just leaving me with small, unconnected bits, like the perfectly round, golf ball sized limes everywhere, sun so bright it demands your undivided attention, long piers that end in shade and a Havana-style eatery built from worn white wood, lounge chairs so comfortable, so well thought out you could lose a day–no a week–in one and not miss it at all. And so we did. And the only thing I cooked was grilled cheese sandwiches.

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

fish tacos

[Guest Post] In honor of Deb’s vacation in Playa Del Carmen, I wanted to share this recipe I learned from friends that live there for fish tacos. My first trip down there was with my BFF Victoria and about 10 guy friends. I highly recommend this arrangement: the boys would scuba dive and spear fish while we sun bathed and then the boys would bring up their catch of the day to the Mexicans at a beach front cabana cook-out place. They would turn the catch of the day into the best fish tacos I had ever had. So I made them teach me how.

In a large pan or a wok throw together some white fish (I used tilapia), fresh cilantro, a small amount of oil (I use coconut oil), chopped onion and chopped red bell or poblano pepper. Squeeze fresh lime juice all over and simmer for approx 15 minutes. I usually flip the fish often and let it break up into small pieces.

Fish Tacos

When you are done scoop onto a flour tortilla and add toppings. You can use whatever kind of cheese is your favorite, I use the sharpest cheddar I can find, fat-free sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, Santa Barbara Mango & Peach Salsa and mixed greens. Wrap up and enjoy!

Fish Tacos

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