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    24th April 2010

    Seared Salmon with Spinach and Creamy Roasted Peppers


    This recipe comes from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. The recipes in this book could mostly be considered weeknight-friendly; no three-hour ordeals. We really enjoyed this dish, where salmon is simply seared and then topped with a mexican-inspired creamed spinach. We served it a simple steamed green-bean and red onion salad.


    Chris says:

    Is there anything better than a seared piece of salmon?

    Lisa says:

    I’m sure there is, but I can’t think of anything right now.

    Chris says:

    What do you think of the spinach?

    Lisa says:

    You’re right, it just tastes like creamed spinach, but better.

    Chris says:

    You can actually taste the masa harina in the spinach; I really like it.

    Lisa says:

    You, me and Popeye.

    Seared Salmon with Spinach and Creamy Roasted Peppers
    1 fresh poblano pepper
    ~5 cups cleaned spinach
    1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
    1 tbsp masa harina
    3/4 cup fat-free milk
    2 6-oz skinless salmon fillets
    salt and pepper

    Roast the poblanos over an open flame, turning regularly until blackened all over. Place in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
    Steam or microwave the spinach just until wilted and set aside.
    Turn the oven on to its lowest setting. In a very large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until browned, about 4 minutes. Scoop into a blender and set the skillet aside.
    Rub the skin off the poblano pepper with a paper towel and remove the seeds and stems. Roughly chop and add to the blender, along with the milk and masa harina. Blend until smooth.
    Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Lay the fillets in the oil and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the fillets and cook until the fish just barely flakes when pressed. Transfer the fish to an ovenproof plate and set in the oven.
    Pour the poblano mixture into the skillet and whisk until it boils, about a minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking in some more milk if it gets too thick. Season, add the spinach, and stir until warmed throughout.
    Top each salmon fillet with a portion of the sauce.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 7 Comments

    5th June 2009

    Quick-Seared Poblano Beef Tips

    poblanobeef

    Meat and potatoes, Rick Bayless-style.  This easy recipe from Mexican Everyday features deliciously tender… tenderloin… dished up with potatoes and full-flavored, slightly spicy poblano peppers.  We don’t cook tons of red meat and aren’t fans of huge slabs of beef, so this was a nice treat.  The potatoes took a lot longer than suggested in the book, so I’ve adjusted the times below. By the way, gas ovens are fantastic for roasting peppers.

    Lisa says:

    Whoa, what’s this? We never have steak.

    Chris says:

    I know it — I was just in the mood for red meat, and this sounded really good.

    Lisa says:

    Well it certainly smells good… how spicy are the peppers?

    Chris says:

    Not very — they’re the poblanos, so they have a nice flavor but aren’t usually very hot.

    Lisa says:

    Didn’t you almost kill my mom with some “aren’t usually hot” peppers?

    Chris says:

    Hey, that wasn’t my fault! I blame the produce lady. Besides, I really enjoyed that dish, even if it was way overly spicy. Anyway, back to this dish — these strips aren’t hot!

    Lisa says:

    I know, I just finished.

    Chris says:

    Uh, what?

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, while you were going on for 20 minutes about pepper excuses, I was enjoying this delicious dinner. I loved the steak.

    Chris says:

    What the — 20 minutes? That was barely 20 words!

    Lisa says:

    Whatevs. Like I said, I thought it was delicious.

    Chris says:

    Okay, well, yes. Ditto!

    Quick-Seared Poblano Beef Tips
    2 small poblano peppers
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 lb beef tenderloin
    salt
    1 small white onion, sliced 1/4″ thick
    2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1/2 lb), cut into 1/2″ pieces
    3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    1/4 cup dark beer
    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

    Roast the poblanos over an open flame, turning regularly until blackened and blistered all over, about 5 minutes. Wrap in foil and let sit until cool.
    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, sprinkle the beef generously with salt, then put into the hot pan, spreading into a single layer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is almost done — 4 minutes for medium-rare. Remove to a plate.
    Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the onion and potatoes. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is richly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute, until aromatic. Pour in the beer and Worcestershire, sprinkle in 1/4 tsp salt, and lower the heat to medium. Let cook, stirring regularly until most of the liquid has reduced and the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes longer.
    While the mixture is simmering, rub the blackened skin off the poblanos and pull out the stems and seed pods. Cut into 1/4″ strips and add them to the skillet.
    When the potatoes are tender, return the meat to the pan and sprinkle on the cilantro. When the meat has heated through, taste and add salt if necessary.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Mexican Everyday | 2 Comments

    30th January 2009

    Soft Tacos with Green Chard, Caramelized Onions, and Queso Fresco

    chardtacos

    These delicious tacos from Mexican Everyday are filled with a mixture of caramelized onions and sauteed green chard — definitely a departure from the norm for us! When we make tacos at home, we’re more likely to fill them with mahi-mahi or shredded chicken. We picked this recipe because it’s Vegetarian Week here at We [Heart] Food, but these were good enough that they’re likely to make an appearance in the usual rotation.


    Chris says:

    Is it just me, or is CSA box day almost like Christmas?

    Lisa says:

    Sorta… though do you usually eat your Christmas presents?

    Chris says:

    Oh. Not really. Okay, so it’s not like Christmas, but it’s still exciting.

    Lisa says:

    I agree — so the veggies in these tacos came from the box?

    Chris says:

    Yep! I’m glad I found this recipe; tacos aren’t the first thing I think of when I see chard… but these turned out really well. The chard has that slight earthy taste that combines nicely with the slight sweetness of the caramelized onions.

    Lisa says:

    Glad we’re having rice and beans with them, or I’d still be hungry.

    Chris says:

    Same here… oh yum, I forgot how much I like that tomatillo salsa.

    Lisa says:

    Is it spicy?

    Chris says:

    This batch not as much; I didn’t add as much of the adobo sauce from the chipotles.

    Lisa says:

    These tacos rule. Yay for Vegetarian week!

    Soft Tacos with Green Chard, Caramelized Onions, and Queso Fresco
    1 (12-ounce) bunch green chard, thick lower stems cut off
    1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    1 large red onion, sliced 1/4″ thick
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tsp red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup water
    Salt
    warm corn tortillas
    crumbled Mexican queso fresco
    smoky chipotle salsa (recipe in this post)
    cilantro

    Cut chard crosswise into 1/2″ slices. In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for a few seconds, until aromatic, then add water, 1/2 tsp salt and the chard. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and cook until chard is almost tender, about 5 minutes.
    Uncover pan, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring continually, until mixture is nearly dry. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Serve in warm tortillas, topped with cheese, cilantro, and salsa.

    Makes about 8 tacos, depending on how full you like ‘em.

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

    25th November 2008

    Roasted Hatch Potato Salad with Tuna

    I was stuck at home today, and just before leaving to walk out in the rain for a long, cold, wet trek to get some lunch, I decided to poke around and see what we had on hand. I knew we still had a few potatoes left from the CSA box, and when I spotted a can of tuna, something clicked in my mind and I remembered a recipe from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless that I had been wanting to try. The version in the book uses poblanos, but I knew the roasted hatch chilies sitting in my freezer would work just as well, if not better. The onions and shallots kept a lot of their crunch, and along with the chilies provided a nice contrast in texture to the soft potatoes. The tuna adds protein, but doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the dish. Hooray for having ingredients on hand — this potato salad kept me sated — and dry!

    Obviously, I couldn’t discuss the deliciousness with Lisa, as she didn’t get to try it, but instead, I give you the following instant messenger transcript:

    [1:36 PM] Chris: Guess what I had for lunch?
    [1:40 PM] Lisa: Nothing?
    [1:40 PM] Lisa: Water?
    [1:41 PM] Chris: We had tuna, potatoes, shallots, and the hatch chilies in the freezer… I made that potato salad w/tuna from the Rick Bayless book!
    [1:41 PM] Lisa: Yum!!!!!
    [1:41 PM] Lisa: Are there leftovers???
    [1:41 PM] Lisa: I want to try it!!!
    [1:41 PM] Chris: Uh, no. Didn’t make a full recipe, sucka.
    [1:41 PM] Lisa: Dammit!
    [1:41 PM] Lisa: Bragger.
    [1:42 PM] Lisa: I had a frozen dinner. *Boring*

    Fascinating, I know! Hey, I do what I can.

    Roasted Hatch Potato Salad with Tuna
    2-3 roasted hatch chilies
    2 medium (1/2 lb) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
    Salt
    1/6 cup olive oil (2 tbsp + 2 tsp)
    1/2 small red onion, sliced 1/8″ thick
    1 large shallot, sliced 1/8″ thick
    1 1/2 tbsp champagne vinegar
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    One 6-oz can tuna, drained
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
    Romaine, to serve (optional)

    Put the cubed potatoes into a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for about 3 minutes, until completely tender. Leave covered.
    Rub the blackened skin off the chilies and pull out the stems and seeds. Rinse to remove rogue seeds and skin, then cut into 1/4″ thick strips.
    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and shallots are browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, oregano, black pepper, and hatch chilies. Stir well, then add the potatoes to the pan. Set aside to cool; when at room temperature, add the parsley/cilantro and tuna.
    Serve over optional Romaine lettuce leaf.

    2 side-dish servings, or a large lunch

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday, Sides | 3 Comments

    24th October 2008

    Red Chileatole with Mushrooms, Corn, Peppers, and Chicken

    This is a perfect recipe to adapt to the vegetables you happen to have on hand.  Our CSA box came loaded with corn on the cob and mushrooms, so I modified a recipe from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday to use the fresh vegetables of the day.  As the book suggests, one of the great things about this soup is that once you master the base broth, the variations are limited only by your imagination.

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo! I love walking in the door to a meal that’s ready to go!

    Chris says:

    I like not feeling rushed on nights that you’re home late.

    Lisa says:

    Nice. Is it spicy?

    Chris says:

    Shouldn’t be — ancho powder is relatively mild; it has a slightly smokey flavor.

    Lisa says:

    Mmmmm… the masa harina really gives it a nice consistency.

    Chris says:

    Totally — and the flavor goes really well with the fresh corn kernels. The starch from juicing the cobs also helps thicken it.

    Lisa says:

    I like how thin you cut the chicken.

    Chris says:

    Yep — it cooks pretty quickly that way.

    Lisa says:

    Well this soup is disappearing pretty quickly this way.

    Red Chileatole with Mushrooms, Corn, Peppers, and Chicken
    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium white onion, halved and sliced
    4 cloves garlic, peeled
    2 tbsp ancho chile powder
    1 1/2 tbsp masa harina
    4 cups chicken broth, divided
    6 oz cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
    2 ears of corn
    1/2 poblano pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
    1 large sprig fresh flat-leaf parsley
    3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
    salt, to taste

    Husk the corn. In a shallow bowl, hold ears of corn upright and, with a sharp knife, cut kernels from the cobs. Then with blunt edge of the knife, scrape juice from cobs. Discard the cobs.

    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring until golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer the onion and garlic to a food processor or blender. Add chile powder, masa harina, and 1 1/2 cups broth; process until smooth.

    Return the puree to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, mushrooms, corn kernels and juices, poblano pepper, and parsley and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and continue to simmer until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes more. Taste and add salt if needed. Remove parsley and ladle into soup bowls.

    3-4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 2 Comments


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