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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nostalgia, New Mexico and Navajo Tacos

When this time of year rolls around I get incredibly nostalgic for my home state of New Mexico, The Land Of Enchantment. I think about the chile roasting everywhere you turn, I think about the New Mexico State Fair and all the fair food and I think about Navajo Tacos.
I make some dough and let it rest and rise while I get the rest of the ingredients together. This is going to be my "fry bread" and its the base for the taco.
Rehydrating some New Mexico green chile that I roast, peel and then dehydrate so it has a long shelf life.  Then I brown some ground beef and add in lots of garlic and other herbs and spices and beans to make a delicious taco meat. Today I had some radish greens so I sautéed them up till nice and tender.
Roll out, or stretch out some dough into a thin disc and fry it till its golden then pile on the toppings. I make my Navajo Tacos considerably smaller than what is considered the "normal" size since I like them to be more manageable - and - I want to eat more than one. Navajo Tacos - part of my youth, my adulthood and my memories of home.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Another Birthday And Plenty To Be Thankful For - PLUS Moules Frites And Cake On The Equinox

Each and every year when my birthday rolls around I am reminded how little I actually celebrate this day since I feel that I spend so much time celebrating every other day. I instead use this day to reflect and to feel the gratitude that I am here and it is because of my parents that I am. 
When I feel that I have adequately reflected, usually by dinner time, then I get ready to chow down on what ever my favorite thing is at this point. For many years my chosen birthday dinner was sushi, other times its surf and turf so you can easily see a trend - seafood.
Today my choice, after cruising around the fish markets in Chinatown this morning, is mussels and shrimp or Moules Frites, as its more popularly known. I went ahead and added 3 pounds of large Lousiana shrimp because I can. I made some crispy fried potatoes and some hunks of fresh seeded Italian bread to sop up all the delicious, buttery, wine infused juices. If today is also your birthday I wish you a happy one. If today is not then I wish you a happy Equinox.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Salads

The beauty of summer is upon us and with this summer beauty brings summer bounty and this bounty can turn into a salad without you even knowing it.

I picked some fresh salad greens and some nasturtium blossoms and some squash blossoms along with some rattlesnake beans some heirloom tomatoes and a cucumber and I also picked a few sprigs of lemon basil and purple basil to round out the sweetness. At home I had some bacalao and some yucca and some batata (batata is a tropical sweet potato, it is white with a burgundy skin). Since the yucca and batata were already cooked and in the fridge I simply sliced it into little discs and squares and I browned it on both sides in some butter. I made some quick croutons with some fresh ciabatta bread that I picked up this morning by tossing the cubed bread in a little olive oil and some of my seasoned salt, when the yucca and batata were browned I removed them to a plate and tossed the croutons in to brown in the hot pan. I had made some cilantro oil a few days before so that was the base for my simple dressing with white vinegar.
This salad came together quickly since I had mostly everything already prepared. My son likes heaping portions so I made a pretty one for me and a piled a mile high version for him, his got some mozzarella cheese instead of the bacalao since he doesn't care for the saltiness of the fish so much - odd since he likes other salty fish. Make some summer salads - I can't wait to hear what you do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lets have a Toast to Toast - Bruschetta is summer

What do you do when you want to kick up your summer platters? Make some fancy toast. Brushcetta is exactly the answer.
With summer bounty in full swing we have access to some beautiful produce and what better way to use it then on a piece of simple toast. Here I have some fresh mozzarella, still warm and soft, with some heirloom cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes and grape tomatoes right off the vine tossed with a little herbed salt that I mix up and a splash of olive oil layered on a crispy and toasted on only one side slice of a bastone loaf that was rubbed with fresh garlic then drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil then its flecked with a little chiffonade of green and purple basil and finished with some slivers of radish and some nasturtium petals and if you want drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on it before serving. 

The Kamado Smoker and Grill (cookbook review)

If you are looking for a cookbook that takes you from soup to nuts explaining things that both the novice and the seasoned outdoor cook can appreciate then this is the book for you. This book is filled with recipes that everyone can appreciate.
Tips, everyone wants tips and tricks and you will find them numbered and with a nice large banner so you know where they are. Don't know what reverse searing is? You will find the answer in this book.
While the book is loaded with pictures and step by step visual instructions I do think there could have been a few full page images of some of these delicious dishes. All in all this is a great cookbook and you don't necessarily have to have a Kamado Smoker to benefit from all the good advice as these tips and techniques have cross over to any backyard grill set up that you may have. Go out an pick up a copy.


I received a free copy of this book to review and secondly the author is one of my colleagues as a Char-Broil AllStar.



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