Working in a fine dining restaurant has been amazing. In only a month, I have already learned so many things that I never knew before. I have learned how to shuck oysters, how to make an immulsion, seasoning techniques, flavor concepts, how to prepare mussels and much more. After watching all of the mussels that go out to guests at SALT, I really began to crave them. I went home a little bit ago to have dinner with my family and ended up spending the entire day learning about and working on my food photography with my mom (aren’t I lucky to have a mom who can show me that!?).
I recently saw the idea for Southwestern egg rolls on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and was instantly interested. For one, I have never made egg rolls; they are still on my list to make. Secondly, I love Mexican food. I was surprised to see that they were inside tortillas instead, but figured that is probably a better idea anyway. I decided to make my own combination of ingredients for the filling, because I wasn’t a huge fan of the black beans in the recipe I saw.
Soups and stews are great for an easy, worry-free dinner. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and let the pot work its magic. If you have other things to do, or don’t feel like slaving over your stove, I highly recommend making a soup or stew. Me being the spice lover that I am, I like to go buck wild when making mine. You would have to add a LOT of spices to mess up… When in doubt always give it an extra shake. It is also important to taste along the way with soups and stews as well though, just in case the flavor needs to be adjusted. I usually try to wait until the end before adding any salt.
This stew is healthy and delicious. If you were a fan of my Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup, I suggest making this one as well. Many pork stew recipes use hominy, but I opted for using chickpeas because they are packing with nutrients and are much healthier than a corn based product. If you like your stew spicier, add a bit of cayenne pepper to this recipe. This is great serves with a toasted loaf of French bread.
I love exploring the flavors of foreign cuisines. Each country has their own unique way of doing things, that gives an exciting new twist to many foods. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest looking into the different flavors from around the world. I think that knowing different flavor combinations helps expand your cooking and keeps you from making the same dish over and over again.
This week I had some squash from my mom’s farm that needed to be used. I was in the mood for something a bit sweeter, so I decided on this Moroccan-style recipe. This dish has the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The raisins are a definite must, I even decided to add a few more to the recipe. It can also easily be made vegan/vegetarian by using vegetable broth and taking out the chicken. This recipe is simple to put together but looks sophisticated, a great idea for dinner guests.
You know those nights when you have an entire meal planned out in advanced, but when dinner time roles around you just don’t feel like eating that oh-so-exciting dish? Well, last night was one of those nights. As delicious as sun-dried tomato and feta stuffed chicken sounded, I just wasn’t in the mood for those flavors. I wanted spice and citrus. I decided to save that for another night. Instead, this is what I came up with.
The cilantro vinaigrette pulls this dish together. It adds a nice tangy flavor that is a great compliment to the spicy shrimp. Roasting the tomatoes gives them move flavor and juice, making this recipe even more delicious! I was planning on eating this with guacamole and salsa, but tasted it and realized it didn’t need any additions and was perfect as is.
I have an addiction to Mexican food, or any food similar to it, so I am always looking for new recipes so I am not eating the same thing again and again. I have made enchiladas before, but only with chicken. I also have attempted to make green chile before, but put an entire bag of extremely spicy chile peppers in the food and ruined the dish (I had to add an entire jar of tomato sauce, and entire bag of cheese, and milk to make it even semi-bearable!).
I can now say that I have found one of the best enchilada recipes and green chile recipes. Thanks to Drick’s Rambling Cafe for the enchilada recipe, which I tweaked a bit. I will definitely be keeping this recipe for future meals. I chose to slow cook the chicken so that I could easily shred it, plus it gives it much more flavor. You can cook the green chile with pork if you would like, but I felt that it wasn’t necessary with all of the meat in the enchiladas.