We have so much to tell you about. Where do we even begin?
First, we had a cooking flop this week: Chicken/Tofu Tikka Masala.
Ok, so it wasn’t a total flop. It tasted good, but it definitely wasn’t Tikka Masala. We will let you know if we come up with a way to improve it so we love it. In the mean time, any Tikka Masala recipe suggestions?
Second, we had a cocktail flop. Well, A liked it, but maybe she’s an easy sell. We had a bunch of leftover Grenadine so we attempted to use it (1.5 oz Grenadine, 1.5 oz lime juice, 2.5 oz Vodka, 4 oz sparkling water). It sure looked pretty in the glasses!
Third, we are both in the midst of work-craziness. The students are back in school and corporate deadlines have to be met.
Fourth, we are still cooking and writing although we will probably be posting less frequently.
Fifth, and finally, having mentioned our flop, we should mention our latest success. And perhaps clarify that a second entree flop lead to it (Grilled on the Cob with Cotijo). We will write more about that later (maybe) but suffice it to say that it didn’t work out as we imagined it would. In any case, we created a massive meal around what would have tasted good with the corn. We made: black beans, guacamole, fajitas, and Spanish rice. Yes, all because all of those things seemed to go with grilled corn.
Black beans have always been one of our go-tos. We have been working on our technique for a while now and have different styles for different moods: the saucy beans, the quesadilla beans, the one pot rice and beans, and then the standard.
We decided to make the standard, but the problem was that earlier that morning A had made the bold claim that she is “sick of rice” and she “doesn’t really like it all that much anyway.” But with corn and black beans and fajitas, what is a meal to do with out rice?
Z’s solution: Spanish-style rice. The promise of a new recipe revitalized A and the product was probably the most noteworthy dinner participant. We’ll start with the beans.
(serves 4-6 as a side)
29 oz can of black beans and a little water
1/4 c (heaping) packed cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
This is the easy part. Heat up a little oil in the bottom of a sauce pan. Add the beans and about 1/3 can of water (we use this to wash out any of the beans left behind). Add the cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes. Then add the garlic and the cilantro and cook for about 10 more minutes. Serve hot and garnish with more cilantro!
(serves 8-10 as a side dish)
2 cups rice
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups veggie broth
2 pinches of cumin
2 pinches of cayenne
2 pinches of chili powder
1 pinch Oregano
1 heaping tbsp of tomato paste
1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup fresh tomatoes
1 tsp salt
Chop the onions. Chop tomatoes and drain some of their juices.
Put veggie broth in a stock pan and bring it to a simmer. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, oregano and chopped tomatoes.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the rice. Once it is coated add the onions and the garlic. Cook until the onion begins to soften or for about four minutes.
Combine the rice and the veggie broth, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
We are two people and we had enough rice for 8-10 side dishes which meant that we did a lot of re-heating this rice. We discovered a delicious re-heating technique that was almost more delicious than the original. We put olive oil in a pan, fried it up (browning it ever so slightly), and it was amazing.
20 oz mushrooms
1 lb chicken
We didn’t do anything too noteworthy here. Slice the onions and peppers and mushrooms. Sautee the mushrooms in olive oil to get them softened and browned. Add the peppers and the onions until they are both softened. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Sautee up some slice chicken breast on the side with salt, pepper, and a few pinches of Adobo.
Fill up your fajita with any combination of homemade guacamole, Spanish Rice, black beans, grated cotijo, grated cheddar, sauteed vegetables, and sauteed chicken. We guarantee you will enjoy it.
We followed this meal with the action-bank-heist movie The Inside Man which Z had been wanting A to see for a while now. The meal was exciting enough without it, but a good movie doesn’t hurt.
P.S. The next day we used some of the fajita innards (sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms) with queso fresco to make some pretty killer omelets.