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Archive for the ‘Tex-Mex’ Category

What’s better on a Friday after a long week than dinner in with some wine and someone to snuggle with?  Not much I tell ya.  Last week at the cube was epically exhausting.  I was beyond stressed to the point of not even being angry or annoyed with work, just absolutely numb.  So when Friday came around and Bri-guy and I were thinking of what to do, he knew just what I needed- nothing fancy, just some quality down time.

I decided the least I could contribute was the meal- since food and what I’m going to cook takes up about 80% of my daily thinking.  Bri-guy wanted to grill of course, and it has been unseasonably warm lately.  I decided to combine two of my favorite things then, grilled steak, and tacos.  This baby marinated all day in the fridge:

Flank steak, with garlic, onion, cumin, salt & chili powder & oil

 

Then it was time to get the shells and the fixin’s ready.  (Side note: crunchy tacos probably aren’t the best for steak, but, they are my fave, so I went with it.)

Corn tortillas, fried up until crispy

Now, I was also trying to be resourceful and use up a few things, so instead of crunchy lettuce, we had brussel sprouts slaw,  But instead of the apple, I went with a carrot this time.  And you know what, it was pretty good.

Cilantro, salsa, homemade guac, and brussel sprouts slaw

 

The taco all ready to be topped (though the guac is underneath

The meal & the company were just what I needed.  Even got my first seasonal viewing of Love Actually!  The only thing there was too much of was wine.  Whew.

Saturday was an epically bad hangover.  I mean, brutal…  not even this thing could help:

TBS Burger from The Butcher Shop

 

I could only manage about half, and it was dang delicious.  Perfectly cooked, topped with a bit of cheese and caramelized onions, I will definitely be going back for another one of those, though hopefully not hungover next time.  Ugh.

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Not too shabby for a Tuesday night, eh?

I told you last week I made an alternative pesto, right?  But I wasn’t going to share it with you until I did something interesting with it.  Whelp, I finally did! I started with cilantro and ended with enchiladas. Trust me, it works out.

I made cilantro pesto this time….

Look at the beautiful color…

Now… what to do with it?? I made BBQ Chicken Tacos again last week- oh hey Crock Pot… super easy, but still had about a cup of this pesto leftover.  I froze it for a rainy day.

Well folks, it’s been pretty darn rainy here lately so it wasn’t long before I was defrosting my pesto nuggets.  I thought it would make a nice herbal addition to brown rice, black beans & corn.  And it did- but it was still pretty bland.  At this point, I was stuck with a huge tupperware of this rice, bean & corn mixture and debating what to do… Enchiladas.  Yes. Add tomato sauce & cheese and everything will be right with the world.

I didn’t follow an exact recipe but I followed the method for my chicken enchiladas.

Green pepper, serrano chile, onion... dice & add to pan. Chop & drop as Rachel Ray would say.

 

There's the drop.

Once softened add your liquids & spices- 1 80z can tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 Tb cumin, 1 tsp chile powder, 1/2 tsp salt, bring to a boil and cook down.

Strain sauce over large bowl, reserving sauce and put onions & peppers into the mixture for your filling

Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved sauce and as much cheese (monterey jack) as your heart desires, and stir.  Heat up your tortillas in the microwave then assemble!

Pour remaining sauce over the top, top with more cheese and bake for 20 mins at 350 degrees F.  Also use a 3 Qt baking dish- the 2 Qt, though adorable, was not large enough. Also, cover with foil for the first 10-15 mins of cooking, then remove to let the cheese brown and the edges crisp up a bit.

Oh hi friends.

 

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This is a story about chili.  But first, a story about the name.

Thank goodness for funny friends.  Or rather I should just say thank goodness for friends.  I have some pretty fantastic people in my life and one of the things I love the most about all of them, across the board, is their sense of humor.  I have some really clever and funny girlfriends.  As I was waiting for the bus near Downtown Crossing to head to my friend Clare’s apartment for dinner, I was wondering how I was going to write about the dinner we were making that evening.

Clare is pretty much my oldest friend.  She came into my life in high school, so anything before that I refer to as B.C. Before Clare. Since I’ve known her she’s been a vegetarian.  (See where this is going?) Anyway, we grew up, now have real adult jobs and made fun new adult friends.  Many of whom are extremely clever & bright, and like to nickname people.  My friend E likes to give couples names- yes, like Brangelina.  Julie just comes up with these gems, one of which, became vegeclare-ian, (spelling? not quite sure.)

I suggested to Clare we try the new vegetarian chili from this month’s Everyday Food and one of the cornbread recipes.  I volunteered to make cornbread and bring it over.  Last week was super busy (yay Junior League!) so my only option was to make the cornbread the night before. There are 24 usable hours in a day.

This is what happens when I bake at 10pm.

Everyone gets their own mini loaf

Then it was off to Clare’s to hang out & make some good food.  It was hot & humid that night, not the best night for a spicy chili, but who knew, this wacky Indian Summer thing is throwing everyone off.

The onion fumes that night were also throwing dear Clare off so she took the stylish approach… (Not having regular glasses these were a good substitute)

I wear my sunglasses at night

This is reason #538 why we’re friends.

And finally…. le chili.

Chili!

Check out the newest issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food for both these (and plenty more tasty) recipes!

I’ll be back soon with a another post about alternative pesto! (It’s in the freezer but I’d figure I’d make you something interesting with it first. 🙂 )

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Hello friend.

Iiiiiiiiii know. Tacos. Again. Well, not really.  The flavors were there, but this was decidedly different.  After last week’s corn taco spectacular I had grilled corn and black beans at the ready.  Of course, I could have lived off of texas caviar (black bean corn avocado delicious salsa) for a week, but decided against that.

Instead, I improvised on an idea I had seen over here from Ms. Ree.  Two things I love- together at last.  What could be so wrong with that?  This is my take on it….

 

Get your toppings ready

Grilled corn, seasoned chicken, pepperjack cheese

Mash up some black beans, can of diced tomatoes together and season with salt, pepper, lots of cumin, and some chili powder.  Use as “sauce” for your pizza

 

Add your toppings…

Cook in a very hot oven until golden brown & bubbly…

Slide onto a cutting surface and top with anything else you’d like- I went with diced avocado, cilantro, and a drizzle of some chipotle-lime-spiced dressing.

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(Well yes it’s now technically Saturday, but you’re with me on this one, right??)

Most of the time when I’m searching for a recipe or thinking about cooking, which is I’d say about 70% of the time, I ignore my stack of lovely cookbooks and head to the interwebs.  Let’s be honest, most of the time when I have a down moment I’m sitting in front of a computer, one click from asking Google what’s for dinner, I am not usually idling around my apartment.  I know there’s a big world wide web of food out there and I’m loyal to a handful of sites.  Yesterday I had planned on a night of pizza & champagne.  I was going to combine this and this and have the most amazing goat cheese-fig-proscuitto-arugula pizza.

However, as it’s been across the country this week, it’s a bajillion degrees in Boston and there was no way I was turning on my oven, even for 15 mins.  My 4th floor apt with no A/C is hot enough as is.  So, I scrapped that grocery list and started anew.  This time I went back to Deb at Smitten.  She has fantastic seasonal recipes, a lot of little to no-cook vegetable recipes that are great for hot days, and plus, that lil’ nugget of hers is so darn cute!  I was lucky because she had a new recipe up- Charred corn Tacos with Zucchini-Radish Slaw.  I know, I know, tacos, tex-mex, I’m like a broken record lately!! The recipes are always meant to feed a large family, I am a large family of one! That makes for lots of leftovers!!  Plus I like it. So there. (Yes, I am sticking my tongue out at you and making a silly face.)

All this needs is an umbrella!!

Anyway, my shopping list for this ended up being pretty short, ( I had tortillas and black beans at the ready at home)
and a lot cheaper than the fig pizza endeavor so I was also psyched about that.  I got home and got to work.  But not before making a refreshing cocktails, thanks to the ladies over at We Are Not Martha.  They always have fun & delicious sounding drinks posted on Fridays and I decided to try one from a couple of weeks back- Sparkling Mango Mint Lemonade (with vodka!)  I had the vodka already in the freezer, so that was easy!  Whole Foods was sadly out of sparkling lemonade, so I got one of their flavored sparkling waters instead- Lemon Raspberry.  SO GOOD!  It was a nice twist on the recipe.

Here is the play by play, and sorry for the crappy photos- my camera battery konked out on me about halfway through cooking and I was using my iPhone, which is only a 3 and therefore, does not have a flash. I also would like to report that I successfully used my mandoline slicer to cut the radishes & zucchini, and I managed to do it injury-free.  That’s a first in this kitchen. I haven’t used it in over a year and half because of what happened on the first attempt.  Eek.

Charred corn

Taco assembly- black beans, corn mixture & slaw

Warming the tortilla

Yay tacos

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Oh man. Heat wave!!!

As I type though, it has cooled off considerably, but, the days leading up to today it has been unreal here in Beantown.  The city has felt like one baked bean pot.  I love it though, it hasn’t been unbearable, I just wish I didn’t have to wear a suit and walk to work in it.  Ick. I feel so disheveled by the time I get to office.

The heat has definitely also killed my appetite and any desire to make a solid meal.  It’s hard to be motivated to whip something up in a 4th floor walk up with no A/C.  Might as well turn my stove & oven into a storage unit for July & August, that’s how little it gets used.

The other night this was dinner: a baked sweet potato (done in the microwave) topped with leftover Texas Caviar, salsa, and avocado, and a wee bit of cheese. It was delicious and weird. I would never serve this to anyone, or at least anyone I’m trying to impress.  But, we’ve known each other here for awhile, I think we’re past that point, no?

Last night, continuing on the random theme I did a salsa baked chicken, (in the toaster oven), chicken, topped with salsa, wrapped in a foil packet and baked at 350 for 35 minutes- perfect & still juicy, the salsa keeps it from drying out.

There is a chicken breast under there

Much prettier on a plate with his avocado buddies

Otherwise  the roomie & I (and poor Hunter, this is not the weather for a fat cat) have been sitting around in the dark watching trashy tv and eating popsicles to stay cool. I’m in love with Edy’s Frozen Lemon Fruit Bars. A-mazing.  Hope you’re staying cool!!

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Hi friends!

I’m back! I did actually cook this weekend, with only one semi-disaster, and one successful new recipe.  I also took a trip to one of Beantown’s newest restaurants down on the waterfront. Let’s start with that.

Temazcal is a new tequila bar / cantina down on the Seaport.  I’ve heard great things and was super excited to finally go.  The weekend was gorgeous and it was a perfect Saturday for day-drinking.  I wish I had taken a picture of the view, Bri-guy and I were one of those cheesy couples that sat on the same side of the booth so we could both enjoy the waterfront view.  The place is a bit small, but lots of nice space on the dock and every table has a view. Oh. and the menus are iPads. For realsies.

It’s programmed with the menu and you slide between the pages for appetizers, entrees, cocktails, beer, each menu section has a tab and you just play with it, and each menu item has a picture, as well as description of the preparation and even a section for the dish’s history.

Chips & salsa to start… I loved the smoky black bean dip

It’s fancy mexican.  No greasy burritos here!  We of course got the guacamole

I got the fish tacos.  SO GOOD.  And, I also want these taco holders.  Put that on the registry list after the KitchenAid stand mixer.

Bri-guy got the Chicken enchiladas, they were good, but a bit heavy & rich.  Too much for a hot day for me.

Then rice & beans are served for the table

The margaritas were amazing, but I stuck to good ol’ Pacifico.  Again, it was a hot day, I didn’t want to overdo it.  I do love my Tequila, but it’s a marathon not a sprint.  🙂

Coming up next- the epic pizza fail of 2011, and an italian mac n’cheese!

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