Sunday, June 26, 2011

Red Tomatillo Salsa


  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • 20 Dried De Arbol Chiles
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves only chopped
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper to taste


Remove skins and rinse tomatillos to remove the sticky coating. 
Place tomatillos in a pot, barely cover with water. Boil the tomatillos on medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.
Toast de arbol chiles in a dry skillet until they begin to blacken, then remove to a plate. When cool, remove stems and break chiles into small pieces.
Place the onions, salt, garlic and chiles in a blender and blend for two minutes, stopping several times to scrape and stir the contents. Add tomatillos (including cooking water) and blend on high until smooth (about 45 seconds). Add the cilantro and blend for an additional 10 seconds. Chill overnight to develop the full flavor of this salsa.

See original recipe at Melissa's.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Braised Cabbage with Apples and Sopressata

Braised Cabbage with Apples and Sopressata

Butter - 1Tbsp
Olive Oil - 1Tbsp
Onion, diced - 1/2 small
Sopressata, diced very fine - 2 or 3 ounces
Apple, diced - 1 large
Cabbage, shredded - 1/2 head
Caraway seeds - 1 tsp
Cider vinegar - 2 Tbsp or to taste
Salt - pinch or to taste

Melt butter in pan with olive oil.  Add onions and sopressata, sauté until onions are translucent and some of the fat has rendered from the sausage.  Add the apple, cabbage and caraway seed.  Continue cooking until cabbage is wilted.  Add vinegar and continue cooking on medium high heat until the liquid is evaporated and the veggies beginning to caramelize.  Season with a pinch of salt.

This is a knock-off of a recipe originally made with pancetta.  You could probably substitute just about any pork product; bacon, ham, tasso, prosciutto, as long as it's not good for you.  Heck, it might even work with tofu bacon.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Black Bean and Tempeh Chili

Black Bean/Tempeh Chili

Since sampling the version at Stone Brewery. Nick and I have been inspired to rip off the recipe.  The first effort was just this side of horrible, but this time we just about nailed it.
  • 8 oz Tempeh, crumbled up
  • 2 cans Trader Joe's Black Beans with all that beanie liquid
  • 4 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder (plain old McCormick or whatever chili powder, nothing special)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp Bitter-Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle powder
  • 3 cloves Garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • Salt and Pepper
Combine all ingredients in an oven-proof container.  Bake, covered, at 325 degrees for about an hour.  With a stick blender (potato masher, whatever) partially blend up the chili, leaving it nice and chunky.  If the chili is too thin you can return it to the oven, uncovered for a bit until it thickens.

Serve on a burger with cheese, pickle, onion, tomato, lettuce and yellow mustard (just like Tommy's) or scoop into a bowl, cover with grated cheese and throw under a broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.  Tasty!

Black Bean Burger Patties

Black Bean Burger Patties
  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 1/2 cup Bulghur
  • 5.5 oz Tomato Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Amino
  • 1 egg (actually egg replacer in this instance)
  • 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
  • Canola Oil (or the rendered fat of a clubbed baby seal, whatever works)
Drain and rinse the black beans.  Bring tomato juice, liquid amino and bulghur to a boil in small sauce pan, remove from heat and let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.   Reserve about 1/4 cup beans and place remaining beans, bulghur mix, egg and bread crumbs in a food processor.  Pulse until all the ingredients are combined.  Begin adding tapioca flour, 1 Tbsp at a time until the mixture becomes somewhat firm.  Move the mixture to a bowl and kneed in the remaining beans.  If the mixture is too moist add more tapioca flour, 1 tbsp at a time until the mix is the right texture.

Form into relatively thin patties (maybe 3/8 of an inch thick) and fry in oil over medium heat, about 4 minutes to a side.

Serve as you would any other burger.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sans-Burger Bean Pot

This is another of those recipes that my Mommy used to make and I always liked and again, one of those recipes that turned out to be pretty much bereft of spices.

The original recipe follows with my modifications in RED...

Hamburger Bean Pot
2 cups Navy Beans (I used a 1-lb bag dried small white beans)
4 quarts water (I used 6 cups)
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1-lb can diced Tomatoes
2 cups diced Celery
2 Carrots, diced
2 Potatoes, diced
2 medium Onions, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Rice
4 tsp Salt (I actually used only about 1/2 tsp of smoked salt and it was damned tasty)
1 tsp Pepper (fresh ground, to taste, never measured, of course)
4 Beef Bouillon cubes (2 tsp Better than Bouillon Vegetable Stock, in 2 cups hot water)
1-lb Ground Beef (I did half and half Quorn Meatless Meatballs and Beef-Style Grounds)
Crushed Red Pepper or Belizian Habanero Sauce for Garnish to compensate for the lack of spice

Place beans and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes, remove from heat and let stand one hour.  Return to heat and cook until beans are about tender.  Add vegetables, rice, salt, pepper and bouillon cubes.  Brown meat in a skillet, stirring with fork to break meat apart.  Add meat to bean mixture, cover, simmer one hour or until vegetables are tender.

OK, I cooked my beans in a pressure cooker with 6-cups of water and about 3 Tbsp olive oil.  Heat until the pressure cooker starts venting, reduce heat and cook about 23 minutes.  Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes and remove from the pressure cooker.  Meanwhile, saute onions in olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add garlic, then remaining vegies.  Saute for a few more minutes.  Add everything else; the beans with their liquid, rice, vegetable stock, and the fake meat.  Cook about 30 to 60 minutes to a nice stewy consistency.  Add water if it becomes too thick.  Serve with crushed red pepper or hot sauce.

You could make this way quicker by using two large cans of Navy Beans instead of making from scratch.  It's a nice hearty meal for a cold evening and pretty simple to make.  Good luck with it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Habanero Risotto

Needed something to do with some of last year's frozen pumpkin and this year's fresh habaneros, so I decided to experiment with this.  Because my pumpkin puree was homemade, it had a very liquid consistency.  If you are using thicker pumpkin, like canned, you probably want to thin the pumpkin with some vegetable stock.

1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Citrus Olive Oil from Temecula Olive Oil Company
2 Tbsp Shallots, diced
4 oz Risotto
2 Tbsp White Wine
2 - 3 cups Vegetable Stock, simmering
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Habanero, seeds and veins removed, minced very fine
1 Tbsp Honey

Heat oil and butter in pan (I use a saucier) add shallots and saute briefly.  Add risotto to the oil and cook for a few minutes until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.  Add white wine to deglaze the pan.  Simmer, until liquid is nearly absorbed but don't let the rice dry out.   Add more stock, stir, simmer until mostly absorbed and repeat.  Keep adding stock until the rice is nearly done, but still slightly firm in the middle.  Add the pumpkin, honey, habanero, salt and pepper.  Continue cooking until the sauce thickens, adding more stock if necessary.   Serve.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stuffed Delicata Squash

Bought a squash at Sprouts a while back and decided to do something with it this weekend.  I think it was a Delicata, long and narrow, kind of pretty like me.  I threw this dish together pretty quickly, no real recipe.  I stuffed the raw squash and after cooking for about 45 minutes or so, Denise checked and the squash was still hard as a rock.  Covered the baking dish with foil and added a little water to steam the things and it cooked up pretty quickly after that.  If making this you should probably pre-cook the squash for a bit to speed the process.

We used a new meat substitute for this one...Quorn Meatless and Soy-Free Grounds.  It was good, especially the texture.  I think Denise bought it at Henry's.

Overall it was very tasty, but would have been better on a nice cool fall evening.

1 Delicata Squash
Olivc Oil
1 or 2 Shallots, diced
1/2 cup cooked Black Beans
1/2 cup Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup Frozen Corn Kernels
1/2 cup Meatless Grounds (or browned ground beef if you're not being veg)
1 tsp Oregano Leaves
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
Salt & Pepper
Cotija Cheese, grated

Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds.  (Remove some skin on the back side of each squash half so they will lay flat in a baking dish.  Place squash in a baking disk and roast or microwave until partially cooked.

Heat oil in a skillet, add shallot and saute, add tomatoes, black beans, frozen corn, meatless grounds, spices and simmer together for several minutes.  Spoon mixture into the squash halves and bake in 350 degree oven until thew squash tests tender with a fork.  Top with grated Cotiga Cheese, bake a few more minutes, then serve.