1st September 2011

    Tilapia with Fresh Corn and Hatch Chiles

    It’s that time of year that some wait on pins-and-needles for… hatch chile season!  The roasters are out in full force at several grocery stores in the area, and with a freezer full of chiles, I wanted to find a recipe off the beaten “green chile stew”/”green chile enchiladas” path.  This recipe is adapted from Real Women Eat Chiles and has quite the eye-appealing presentation. Tilapia, catfish, or any other firm-fleshed whitefish is baked in a corn husk with freshly-cut corn, hatch chiles, green onions, and lime. Simple and delicious.


    Chris says:

    I promise not to make any corny puns in this recipe review. 

    Lisa says:

    I’m pretty sure that counts as one, so too late. 

    Chris says:

    Ah, crap. Oh well — so I was describing this dish to someone and he said it almost “sounds like a tamale”, which is exactly what it’s called in the book. 

    Lisa says:

    “Sounds like a tamale” is a strange name for this recipe.. 

    Chris says:

    Okay, *now* who’s being silly? Yeah, you. No, it’s called “Tamale-style catfish”. 

    Lisa says:

    Ah, because of the wrapping with the husk and steaming and such. 

    Chris says:

    Yes! Anyway, I think the presentation of this dish is pretty cool. 

    Lisa says:

    Agreed — but don’t let that detract from the delicousness. I love the corn and hatch chile combo on top, and the fish is perfectly cooked. 

    Chris says:

    More than just a kernel of truth there — no dryness. That corn husk seemed to keep all the moisture in. 

    Lisa says:

    You were just waiting to make a corn pun, weren’t you? 

    Chris says:

    Or a corn pone — yum! 

    Tilapia with Fresh Corn and Hatch Chiles
    2 ears of fresh corn
    1/4 cup hatch chiles (more or less, depending on your desired heat level)
    1/4 cup green onions
    1/2 lime
    2 tilapia fillets
    ancho chile powder, to garnish

    Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    Carefully peel back the husk from each corn cob. You will use it for baking the fish.
    Cut the ear of corn off the stem just above the end of the cob, leaving the husk intact. Set the husk aside. Cut the corn off the cob and combine with green chiles, green onions and the juice of a quarter of a lime.

    Rinse the fish and pat dry. Place one fillet inside each of the corn husks. Top each with one-half of the corn mixture and close the husks over the fish, overlapping slightly.

    Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Cut the remaining lime lengthwise into 2 wedges. Serve the fish in the husk with a lime wedge on top.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes | 3 Comments

    9th August 2011

    Cochinita Pibil: Slow-roasted Yucatan Pork

    We had banana leaves left over from the Steamed Salmon recipe, and I happened to stumble across this tasty-looking pork dish a couple of days before a PEPS potluck, so it was a no-brainer to make it our contribution.  I’m still partial to the Carnitas that we’ve made a few times previously, but this recipe is easier, and actually tasted better the next day as leftovers.


    Chris says:

    I love finds like this, that come out of trying to use up something we bought for a different recipe — banana leaves!

    Lisa says:

    I love recipes that list 20 cloves of garlic in the ingredients list.

    Chris says:

    That too — between the garlic, citrus, and achiote paste, the pork has a pretty distinctive flavor. I really like it, it’s different.

    Lisa says:

    You’re right, it’s different and it’s delicious — so what’s the deal with the ‘real’ recipe?

    Chris says:

    Oh, so traditionally you’re supposed to roast a whole suckling pig in a hole in the ground.

    Lisa says:

    (…)

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I thought you’d be fine with pork shoulder.

    Cochinita Pibil
    1 3.5-oz package of El Yucateco Achiote Red Paste
    20 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
    1 cup of freshly-squeezed lime juice
    1/2 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice
    5-6 lbs boneless pork butt
    1 package of banana leaves, defrosted

    Combine the achiote paste, garlic, lime juice, and lemon juice in a blender, and puree until smooth. Cut pork into large square portions, leaving much of the fat (you can always remove any fatty pieces after it’s cooked) cover with the paste mixture, and marinate in refrigerator overnight, 12-24 hours.
    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
    Line a roasting pan with overlapping banana leaves, letting them hang over the sides. Put the pork and marinade inside, wrap the leaves over the top, then top more overlapping leaves on top to create a sealed package. You should also then line the roasting pan with foil to prevent steam from escaping.
    Cook 3.5-4 hours, until pork shreds easily with a fork.
    Serve in tacos with pickled onions (recipe here), guacamole, and a *very* spicy hot sauce.

    8 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican | 0 Comments

    7th August 2011

    Steamed Banana Leaf Salmon

    This is seriously one of the easiest and tastiest salmon recipes we’ve ever made.  Adapted for two from the excellent Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast by Becky Selengut (from whom I received a private cooking lesson, jealous much?), salmon fillets marinate in sake and mirin before being steamed along with mushrooms and onions.  The marinade is reduced to make an addictive, aromatic sauce.  We served the salmon with some roasted fingerling potatoes. Highly recommended!


    Lisa says:

    I wonder if people think we just don’t cook anymore?

    Chris says:

    I barely do…

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, well I do all the time… I guess we just need to keep adding new recipes to the mix, like this one…

    Chris says:

    Totally! I’m so glad I picked up this book — all the recipes look fantastic.

    Lisa says:

    This salmon is awesome. I love the sauce on top. And hooray for mushrooms!

    Chris says:

    I love recipes that look fancy but are super-simple like this. I guess the hardest thing was finding the banana leaves — which smelled really good while this was steaming, by the way.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah and that wasn’t even that hard — hooray for HT Market!  By the way, it was total torture that the house smelled so good while I was stuck upstairs putting Cason to bed.

    Chris says:

    I do what I can…

    Steamed Banana Leaf Salmon
    1/4 cup sake
    1/4 cup mirin
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
    1/2 tsp lime juice
    salt
    2 6-oz. sockeye salmon fillets, from the belly
    banana leaves, cut into two 8.5 x 11″ pieces
    1 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, tops sliced thin (heaping 1/4 cup)
    1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
    2 tsps unsalted butter

    In shallow glass dish, combine the sake, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, and salt. Add the salmon and marinate for about 30 minutes.

    Lay the banana leaves out and place half the mushrooms and onions on each. Top with a piece of salmon, reserving the marinade. Top each salmon piece with a tsp of butter. Fold the sides of the leaves over the fish and then tuck under the top and bottom to make a packet. Place the two packets into a steamer basket. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add 2 cups water; when it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, place the steamer basket into the pan and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes per inch of thickness.

    Meanwhile, add the marinade to a small saucepan over high heat and reduce until it gets syrupy, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the salmon packets from the steamer basket and let them rest for a few minutes. Check for the level of doneness you like. Open each packet and top with some of the sauce.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Good Fish, Main Dishes | 1 Comment

    30th May 2011

    Thanksgiving in May: Chicken Nachatta


    Now, I have no idea what “Nachatta” means, but this riff on Chicken Marsala, with cranberries, mushrooms, and a touch of cream, echoed the flavors of turkey and cranberry sauce and so made a fantastic main course for our Thanksgiving dinner. I found the recipe in the Seattle Celebrated Chefs Cookbook, courtesy of Amore. We served it with the previously-posted Thanksgiving favorite, Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts.


    Chris says:

    I gotta say, this is a great turkey sub…

    Lisa says:

    What? This isn’t a sandwich…

    Chris says:

    Sigh… “sub” as in “substitute”.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, I know. It’s called playin’ around. Heard of it? Anyway, I agree. It’s awesome! I heart the shrooms.

    Chris says:

    Well *I* heart the cranberries.

    Lisa says:

    I suggest we make this again some time… perhaps in May, when Thanksgiving is all but a hazy memory…

    Chris says:

    How about June? I’m predicting a busy first half of the year.

    Lisa says:

    May, June, Nachatta, Colada, whateva. It’s all good, as long as it happens eventually!

    Chicken Nachatta

    2 tbsp unsalted butter
    1 cup thinly-sliced red onion
    2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, (approx. 1 lb)
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp light brown sugar
    1/4 cup chicken broth
    3/4 cup Marsala wine
    1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    1/4 cup dried cranberries
    1/4 cup heavy cream

    Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook until tender and somewhat browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
    Coat the chicken breasts with the flour, patting to remove excess.
    Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat to medium-high. Add the chicken breasts and brown, 1-2 mintues. Turn the chicken over, add the brown sugar to the skillet, and stir so that it melts. Add the chicken broth and boil until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Marsala, mushrooms, onions, and dried cranberries. Bring to a boil, add the cream, and lower the heat to medium. Simmer until reduced by half and the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Transfer to plates and top with the pan sauce.

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    posted in Main Dishes | 0 Comments

    15th May 2011

    Salmon and Asparagus Chowder

    This chowder recipe is from Sunday Soup: A Year’s Worth of Mouth-Watering, Easy-to-Make Recipes, a book Lisa’s mom got for us on a recent visit. We’ve already made two or three recipes, and all have been delicious. Salmon, potatoes, asparagus, what’s not to like?


    Chris says:

    Yum! I love asparagus season. And in a salmon chowder? Sweet!

    Lisa says:

    So good! And it’s similar to the one my brother made in that it’s mostly broth, with just a bit of half-and-half. Not super creamy.

    Chris says:

    Well, it’s awesome — man, I love coming home to food!

    Lisa says:

    It’s kinda funny how much more often I’m cooking now that we have a kid.

    Chris says:

    A lot of things are “funny” now that we have a kid. Like how early we eat, how fast we have to scarf everything down, how tired we are, how…

    Lisa says:

    …how awesome he is?

    Chris says:

    Exactly. Worth it!

    Salmon and Asparagus Chowder
    1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
    1 lb yukon gold potatos, unpeeled, washed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    3 cups chicken stock
    1 bunch green onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices
    4 oz asparagus, tips removed and reserved, stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
    1/2 cup half-and-half
    8 oz salmon, skinless, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
    kosher salt
    fresh ground black pepper
    2 tsp chopped dill

    Heat the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add in the potatoes; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, decrease the heat for low, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes.
    Use a fork or the back of a wooden spoon to mash the potatoes. Add the chicken stock and kick the heat back up to medium, stirring well.
    Bring to a simmer and add the green onions and asparagus, keeping the tips aside. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 3 minutes.
    Stir in the half-and-half, reserved asparagus tips, and salmon. Turn off the heat and cover.
    Let sit for 4 minute or so until the salmon is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
    Serve and top with chopped dill.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Soups and Stews, Sunday Soup | 1 Comment


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