Sunday, March 22, 2009

Street Style Enchildas and Margaritas

A couple years ago my wonderful wife and I began what we affectionately know as "date night" and it has been a fixture in our life ever since. Because we both love to cook (and eat) it normally centers around some favorite dish or something we have been wanting to try. There have been many steak themed date nights ( because I am a carnivore ;) as well as Mexican, Italian, Indian, etc.

This past Friday we did an old favorite, Rick Bayless's Street Style Enchiladas. This is a very messy dish to make but it tastes totally unlike what you think an enchilada should taste like. He suggests dried Ancho chiles but I like to mix in different types of dried chiles to add some extra zip, Chipotle being a favorite. Essentially what you do is toast and then rehydrate the chiles. When that is finished you blend in the blender the chiles, 1 1/2 cups of the water you soaked the chiles in, and some chopped garlic. When that has been blended you push it through a strainer into a pie plate and add about a teaspoon of salt.

Here is where it gets really messy. You need to heat a non-stick pan with a little oil. When that is hot then you dip your corn tortilla in the chile garlic mixture to coat on both sides and add to the oil. Rick says 20 seconds per side but if you wait that long you might find it impossible to flip the tortilla. I would cut that in half and do it for no more than 10 seconds on each side. When that is finished fold over the tortilla and put on a non-stick baking sheet. You need to repeat this two more times for one enchilada. You take the folded tortillas and overlay them to make a complete circle again. This doesn't need to be super pretty since you will essentially be putting toppings over the tortillas at the end.

When you have as many as you need to feed the two of you (I would recommend 2 per person) then you put the tortillas in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Rick recommends 5 minutes but I prefer to have the tortillas a little more firm so I let them go a little longer. The topping consists of shredded rotisserie chicken (I usually pick up one from the grocery store), 4 cups of Romaine lettuce tossed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, and grated parmesan for on top. When the tortilla's come out of the oven arrange them on the plates and top with lettuce, chicken, and parmesan however you like and you are ready to go. Very simple and relatively healthy.

The accompanying drink was, of course, classic Margaritas. I like lots of lime flavor so I normally triple the number of limes this calls for. I mix the juice of 6 limes, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 cup of tequila, 1/2 cup of grand marnier, and alot of ice in a pitcher and pour into your standard Margarita glasses lined with salt. These are pretty strong so be wary. The extra lime and sugar make these easy drinking and you would hate to ruin the mood by over doing it, if you know what I mean.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My favorite condiment...

Meet my favorite condiment. Hands down. Bordering on obsession...
I bought a bottle of this stuff on the way out of Jamaica a couple years ago and now I put it on everything. I mix it into hamburger and make Jamaican Jerk Bleu Cheese burgers. I spread it on chicken thighs and make grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken. I even put a dollup in the Thousand Island dressing on my Reuben for St. Patty's day.
There is no doubt this is spicy stuff so if you are tempted to pick up a bottle be warned. This delicious marinade requires very little time to work it's magic. That being said there is so much flavor in this little bottle you might be converted like I was and start to look for ways to incorporate this in your cooking.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Savor This...

Hello Everyone,

This little cross-section of my favorite things (family, food, music, and a wee bit of philosophy) is still underconstruction but when it is finished (or at least presentable) I hope you will make it a place to stop and start your own adventure towards personal enrichment.

Hence, the "Savor This..." theme. It is really all about finding the experiences that make you happy and if sharing my experiences helps you discover yours then we will all be better for it.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bombay Sliders


1 cup mayonnaise, divided
6 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds ground turkey
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small dinner rolls, cut horizontally in half, lightly toasted


Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, and next 3 ingredients in small bowl for sauce. Let stand at room temperature while preparing sliders.
Place turkey, next 6 ingredients, remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 4 teaspoons curry powder in large bowl. Mix with fork or hands just until blended (do not overmix). Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into patty about 1/2 inch thick.
Preheat broiler or heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. If broiling patties, brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange patties on sheet. Broil (or cover patties in skillet and cook in batches) until cooked through, pressing patties down lightly with spatula before turning over, about 3 minutes per side (or 4 minutes per side if cooking in skillet).
Place patties on bottom halves of rolls. Top each patty with sauce. Cover with roll tops. Place 3 sliders on each of 4 plates and serve.