I like enchiladas. Thursday nights is usually tacos for Mandi and I, but occasionally we veer into other tex/mex/southwest foods instead. Last Thursday we did enchiladas for the premier of The Office. I realized I never posted enchiladas here, so here it is! We must have been in a baking/layering/casserole type mood cause we made lasagna a few days later.
Today’s post kills 2 birds with one pretzel. The soft pretzel is here to herald in the first day of October (Oktoberfest), and to welcome the beginning of the division series in baseball. I think pretzels represent both of those things pretty well. To elaborate more on the pretzel, I have asked Mandi for a paragraph:
I’ve always been rather proud of my Philadelphia food heritage. You’ve read my slice. You’ve seen my cheesesteak post. if there is one thing Philly knows, it’s food. In my opinion the two foods they do the absolute best are the cheesesteak and the soft pretzel. I could live on soft pretzels. Happily. The pretzel cart in the airport is the first place i run when i land home. There’s absolutely nothing that makes me happier then a hot, fresh soft pretzel straight from one of their many pretzel factories first thing on a crisp Philadelphia morning. Recently I was home for a week visiting the family. I’d
Estimate I had about three pretzels per day during that week. It was wonderful. Upon my return to this lovely island my body began to go through a soft pretzel withdrawal. I realized it was time to do something that Dan and I have been talking about ever since we saw Alton brown’s on good eats. It was finally time to make soft pretzels.
Over the past 2 weeks I have had a lot of strange and exotic foods on here, so I have decided to step back a bit with some awesome yet more basic dishes for the next week. I am starting today with a nice veggie soup. This soup began in my head as a healthier cream of broccoli, but sort of turned into a huge pot of veggie party. The reason was that I wanted a lot of mirepoix to kick up the flavor, and I also wanted a potato and some cauliflower to make it extra creamy. I wanted these veggies for the extra creamy factor because I wanted it to be healthy so I was using (not much) milk instead of (a bunch of) cream. I didn’t want to use much cheese either.
I find that when I have a failure, there are multiple things that fail at one time. Today we have 3 in this one little dessert. I had really wanted to make ice cream since we hadn’t in a few months. Mandi has wanted to make avocado ice cream since the day we got the ice cream maker and saw Alton make it. I figured the Peruvian party would be the perfect time because we weren’t cooking or prepping much for the night. I guess I figured wrong.If you are fairly new to the site, click the failure tab on the left to see some funny past errors in the kitchen.
This post is continued from yesterday. As I mentioned, just after we ate, Sebastian pulled up with his ceviche ingredients as promised earlier. He finally got out of his volunteer event (at the beach) and came right over. We were all full, but thought we could eat some ceviche in an hour or two, which happened to be the exact cooking time! Sebass assured us that ceviche is not like other foods and does not fill you up, but rather gives you energy and power! Mandi, Amy and I had all had ceviche a few times and were nervous about making it at home. We all kinda equated it to sushi and were nervous about getting fish that was fresh enough. Soon we all realized that this traditional ceviche is much different from the stuff you get at the swanky restaurants; only lightly dressed in lime and served almost immediately. A more traditional ceviche has much more lime, salt and onions(all cooking agents) and truly cooks after sitting for an hour and a half. What I ate that night was absolutely not raw fish.
A friend of mine keeps telling me he is going to make ceviche. He grew up in Peru, and the plan was to have a Peruvian dinner at my place. We finally planned to do it on a Saturday afternoon. Amy was making a potato side dish, and Sebastian would make his now infamous ceviche. Just before we were supposed to start, we all got a text. Sebastian was stuck at a volunteer event and was unsure if he would make it. We sprang into quick recovery mode and grabbed some meats and veg for the grill.
I have a quick post today after a longer one yesterday. What do you do with a tree full of cayennes that you know will go bad before you are able to use them all?? Make hot sauce! Another thing we did with some cayennes was cut them in half and put into a bottle of vodka seeds and all! A week later the vodka was spicy spicy. I don’t have any pictures of that though. Click through to see the hot sauce.
When I noticed all the banana trees in our yard, one of the first things I thought of was cooking with them. When we saw the place, there was actually a bunch of bananas growing off one of the trees. Unfortunately they were gone by the time we moved in (1 week later!? There are a lot of banana thieves in Bermuda). After looking up recipes online, I saw that Malaysian cooking uses the leaves often. I found a sort of tapas or dim sum of Malay cuisine called Pulut Udang that I was excited to try. Another way banana leaves are used is to wrap around and steam fish. I decided that these two dishes would make a great pairing. After going to several Pilipino and Asian sections of grocery stores here, I could not find the dried shrimp that goes in the pulut udang recipe. It was probably a good thing, because this dish was already a bit shrimpy tasting for our western palates. We substituted ground beef as the recipe says you can.
Two curries in a row? Sorry if this bothers people, but my posts are kind of all over the place and I need to organize them. This was a random weeknight meal we decided to make as work was coming to an end one afternoon. It turned out to be a really simple and really great meal. The dumplings were not needed, and actually made the soup much more effort. If you still want meat, make the dumpling filling and cook it in the pot before adding the curry paste.
I haven’t quite put my finger on the word curry and its meaning. Wikipedia is no help really. For one, it’s a spice, but the spice is really a blend of other spices. Second, there are curry leaves which are a mystery to me, because wouldn’t you think curry powder would be made from this curry tree? Third, it is a name for hundreds of dishes from all over Asia that are completely different from each other! When I first started having curries, I only liked Thai curry, so as I made a few, I started to think that the meaning of curry had to do with mixing a blended paste with coconut milk, and simmering. After making a few Indian curries as well, my current definition of curry is: Curry: Any dish where you puree a bunch of sh*7 including lots of spices BEFORE cooking. Can anyone help me on that definition? I think it’s pretty accurate, but I am guessing it will become even vaguer as I continue making curry from different areas.
Anyway, today I have a quick, healthful, and delicious weeknight meal for you to check out. I saw the recipe for the cauliflower on the food and wine website a few days ago, thought it would be good with fish, and made it that night.
Fajitas! I have always loved them. They were a common dinner at my house when I was younger. Fajitas are pretty easy to make, and when I was on my own for dinner recently, I realized it is a perfect meal to cook for only one person! Follow these 12 simple steps, and you can eat Fajitas in less then an hour, with very minimal effort, and NO CLEANUP! You only use one small dish, one large dish, one knife, fork, and spoon. If you don’t have a grill, you will also have to dirty one pan, skillet, or grillpan, to cook the steak in the center, and the peppers/onions on the sides. This quick one-off fajita was delicious, but not my ideal fajita. Stay tuned after the quick version to see the more involved one to make with friends.