Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts

Monday, February 16, 2015

Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta

Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta
Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta

So, I did mention that our new car was amongst other activities, chosen for crabbing trips. However our first crabbing trip this year coincided with the day we picked up the Zoolander. Now, I’m not precious about a clean car – but I did want the car to be clean for at least one full day. So we took my sister-in-law’s car. It wasn’t our most successful trip, but we managed to catch enough for a feed for the 4 of us that went. I’m hoping we can go back later in the season so that all of the undersize ones have had a chance to grow into monsters!

After crabbing, cleaning off the gear and boiling up the crabs in plenty of water with a splash of vinegar and hot English mustard, we showered and finally got to bed around 5am. Then as has been tradition, Lance and I set up a shelling station in front of a tv. Then with a movie playing, we sit and peel all of the crabs. This year it took us 1 and a half movies. This equated to about 400g of crab flesh. I divided it into 2, then froze half for a later dish.

That night I cooked this very simple chili crab pasta. This pasta took it’s form from two of the things growing prolifically in our garden this summer – grape tomatoes and oregano. The grape tomato that Lance planted and lovingly waters every day has rewarded us with buckets of fruit. Some days we pick over 2 dozen! Then the flavours of the rest of the dish are Mexican, in a wonderfully fusion-food kind of way. It became like my riff on a Sopa Seca – or “dry soup”. A Mexican noodle dish flavoured with chipotles in adobo and served with sour cream and a smokey salsa. It was the perfect thing on a tired Sunday night with a lovely anejo tequila on the side.
Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta
 Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta

Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta

Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta

Chipotle Crab Pasta

(serves 4)
200g crab flesh, picked through for cartilage
One brown onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, plus 1 tbsp adobo sauce
20 grape tomatoes, roughly diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
Big knob of unsalted butter (around 100g)
50mL reposado tequila
Zest and juice of one lime
Sea Salt
500g angel hair pasta
To serve
Greek yoghurt
Jalapeno slices

Bring a pot of water with a decent pinch of salt to the boil.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large sauté pan or wok. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or so until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook a further 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook until soft and breaking down.

At this point, the pasta water is probably boiling. Add the pasta.

Add the tequila and lime juice and zest and stir through, scraping up bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the liquid by half, then add the butter and whisk through to melt and emulsify into a thick, glossy sauce. Stir through the chipotles, adobo sauce, oregano and crab. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the crab is heated through.

Drain the pasta, then stir through well to evenly coat with the sauce.

Serve with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt and sliced jalapenos. And maybe a lovely glass of tequila on the side!

Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta

Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta
 Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta
Summer Sensations - Chipotle Crab Pasta

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fusion Food - Curried Mango and Black bean Pizzarepa.

Ok, let me preface this post by saying I know this whole thing sounds weird. Even when I was putting this dish together in my mind, I wasn’t 100% sure it was going to work. But it does. The original idea was born out of two things; one, what weird random things are left in the fridge (remedied this weekend gone after a hugely successful visit to the farmer’s markets). And two, Lance making an offhand comment that he thought I would’ve made something a bit more interesting with a few of the mangoes from our tree, like a curry. This was after about a week of mango salsa and tacos. So in my mind I’m picking up and rejecting ingredients and flavours and just the general ‘idea’ of what to cook for dinner. And I came up with this. So a Mexican-Cuban-Indian-Italian pizza. Fusion food at it’s most-fused!

I somehow settled on wanting pizzas. But I didn’t have any pizza bases, or Lebanese breads with which to make them. So I immediately went to making my own. But a lot of recipes for pizza dough are yeast driven, and I didn’t want to wait for it to proof. When I thought of arepas. These are flat breads made out of cornflour the same kind as you use for tortillas. I also remembered the half tin of black beans I had in the fridge leftover from tacos a few nights earlier. Add a little mango, a little curry powder (I went the lazy route and used a pre-made curry powder blend – feel free to mix your own). A little cayenne for an extra kick, then grilled chicken, sliced mushrooms and some cheddar cheese. The black beans I used were actually pre-seasoned frijoles, so in the recipe I’ve just put salt to taste for if you use plain cooked black beans which are so much easier to come across in Perth. And the saltiness also depends on what is in your curry powder, if you use a pre-made mix.

This sauce made more than required for the pizzas.

(makes 2 individual size pizzas)
1 cup corn flour (masa lista)
1 cup warm water
¼ tsp salt
oil to fry

Curried Mango and Black Bean Sauce
½ tin black beans
1 mango
3 tbs curry powder
¼ tsp ginger
½ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp turmeric
Salt to taste

2 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 chicken thigh, grilled, then sliced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Baby kale leaves, olive oil and lemon juice to serve

Mix all of the arepa ingredients together, knead until a smooth dough forms, the set aside for 15 minutes.

Mash the black beans and mango together in a bowl until completely combined, add the curry powder, extra ginger, cayenne and turmeric then check for seasoning. Salt if needed, or add more cayenne or spice if desired.

Preheat the oven to 180C

Heat a tbsp of oil in a frypan to medium-hot. Divide the arepa dough into two, and roll each into a ball. Place between two sheets of baking paper and roll out to form a disc just under 1cm thick.

Carefully place into the hot pan, cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden on that side. Flip over and sprinkle arepa with black pepper. Cook for a further 3 minutes or until golden.

Slide onto a lined baking tray and repeat for the second arepa.

Spoon and spread the curried mango and black bean sauce, then layer the ingredients and sprinkle cheese on top. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted.

Serve topped with baby kale leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a wedge of lemon for squeezing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Easy Feast - Roasted Corn and Cashew Crema

Happy New Year Everyone!

I know, I know, I’m a little bit late. But better late than never! My husband doesn’t get much time off over the Christmas period. In fact, apart from Christmas Day, he doesn’t get any extra days. Which means that when the rest of the world has January 1st to recover from the revelry of New Year’s Eve – he has to get up and go to work. Because of this, we have started the tradition of New Year’s Eve Eves – on the Saturday before December 31st. Our actual NYE then can be a bit lower-key. But just because we aren’t partying, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat extremely well.

What does sort of prevent the good eating is that I’m not at work and therefore often have daytime plans. This year, I went with a few friends to watch Hopman Cup tennis, because I was lucky enough to score a few tickets in my company’s Corporate Suite. VIP, baby! This is where the slow cooker comes in handy. Before I left for the tennis, I put a pork leg in the slow cooker, so that when I came home I just had to shred it and we had Puerco Pibil. It is just this recipe here, but I used pork instead of the beef. And excitingly, I got a spice grinder for Christmas, so my spices were perfectly ground without slaving away with a mortar and pestle for ages (including annatto seeds this time!! I found some!). It was such an enticing smell to come home to!
Given that it's summer and also corn season, I decided to make a roast corn and cashew crema to go with it. Lance and I had a similar sauce in some pulled pork arepas at a restaurant in Atlantic City and it was so heavenly, we ordered a second lot! We spent the second round trying to break down the flavours we were tasting. It's creamy and rich, with a subtle nuttiness and just the perfect addition to the spice and salt of the pork. I was also a bit lazy in that I used my stick blender instead of my food processor, so it wasn't as smooth as it possibly should be.

Instead of the arepas which are time consuming, I simply grated a large sweet potato in the food processor, then fried it in a little of the pork fat that had rendered out until it was soft and crispy hash.
This also makes a delicious dip! You can even add a few tablespoons of greek yoghurt to make it smoother. And it was amazing with more pork pibil in tacos the next day, too.

Roasted Corn and Cashew Crema
kernels from 2 corn cobs (or about 1 cup frozen kernels)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
3/4 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours.
30-60mL room temperature water
Heat a frypan up to medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Dry toast for a few seconds until fragrant and then put in the base of a food processor. Pulse to roughly chop
In the same frypan, add the corn kernels and toast for 10-15 minutes until brown patches start appearing and there's a distinct toasted corn smell about the pan. Take off the heat.
Rinse and drain the cashews, and add them, the toasted corn and the salt to food processor and then run until it becomes a smooth creamy looking mix. Add 30mL of water to loosen and make more sauce-like in it's consistency. I needed 60mL (two shots) to get the consistency I wanted.

And a few of our NYEEE backyard party shots. Looking forward to what 2014 brings!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Food Inspiration - Once Upon a Time with Beef Pibil

Food inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere. Have you seen "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"? It's got Johnny Depp in it, of course you have! In it, his character says that he orders Puerco Pibil in every dive he goes to in Mexico, ordering it with tequila and lime. There's a sort of pivotal point he makes in relation to the dish, which I won't go into on the off-chance that you haven't seen it. But consequently, the dish is deemed significant enough for the recipe to be included on the DVD. Awesome, right?

Knowing my husband's love of food & tequila matching, I surprised him one day around 5 years ago by making this slow-roasted pork dish. Well, as close as I could (I couldn't find annatto seeds or banana leaves). It was pretty darn good. It's a pretty specific hot/citrussy flavour that both of us end up craving from time to time. You know something I realised just not - a lot of my food cravings are things that are either slow-cooked or have ingredients that I don't ordinarily have on hand - convenient :/). My husband has to work on public holidays, so consequently I often end up making slow-cooked or complicated dishes on these days. So I have time to make them and he gets to come home to something awesome. Win-win!

Last public holiday, I decided two things. I was *finally* going to make my own tortillas. This was something I was putting off until weekends because the idea seemed time consuming - but then our weekends were so full that it still never happened. I am absolutely addicted to tacos at the moment, so it just makes sense for me to make my own tortillas. And two, I wanted to make Puerco Pibil to go in those tacos. With tequila and lime on the side. I didn't have any pork in the house, but i did have a big lump of beef. I thought that beef would stand up to the flavours just as well. So, Beef Pibil? I chucked it all in the slow cooker, made some fresh guacamole, a fresh tomato and nectarine salsa to kick in some sweetness, a few crispy veges in my own homemade corn tortillas. Now, who wouldn't want to come home from a hard day's work to eat that?

Beef Pibil
1.5kg beef gerello
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
1 tbsp salt
2 green chillis, finely diced
2 jalapeno chillis, finely diced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
8 garlic cloves
juice of 5 lemons
shot of tequila (I use a reposado for cooking)
half tin black beans - optional

Cut the beef up into chunky dice, or i just sliced into fat rings that would be just submerged in the braising liquid. Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle. Mix all the liquids together in a bowl, stir the spices in.

Throw the beef and braising liquid into your slow cooker, then cook on high for 4 hours, turning occasionally. When the beef is tender, use two forks to shred, then continue cooking for an extra half hour with the lid off to cook off some of the liquid. Add the black beans, if you're using them.

Tomato & Nectarine Salsa
2 large, ripe tomatos
2 small, ripe nectarines
splash of red wine liqueur vinegar
hot sauce to taste
chopped coriander
chopped basil
chopped flat leaf parsley

Everything here is basically to taste, chop it up, mix it up. Let it rest for half an hour or so for the flavours to infuse while you make the tortillas.

Corn Tortillas

As per the recipe in this book, bought for me by the lovely Jasmine  
3 cups tortilla flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups warm water

Mix the flour and salt together, add the water and mix with your hands, kneading it to become a firm dough. This is only a minute or so. The dough should be slightly sticky, and leave a light film on your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Take small balls of dough (around 2 tbsps) , roll out disc-like between two sheets of baking paper. Try make it as even thickness as possible.

In a frypan heated to medium, carefully place the tortilla onto the pan. Flip over after around 30 seconds, then again after 30 seconds. Both sides should be slightly coloured. Put on a plate and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm.

Repeat with all the dough.