Black Rice, Natural Super Food

   

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I want to tell you about this rice. Not only is it super healthy, but it's also delicious. 
I remembered reading about black rice in one of my cookbooks, so when I saw it on the grocery shelf I couldn't grab it fast enough.
It was also known as Forbidden Rice in ancient China because only the rich could afford it. Fortunately, it's quite affordable now. 
In his cookbook the Pegan Diet, Dr. Mark Hyman, MD refers to it as a super grain, he says " My favorite is black rice, also known as forbidden rice or the emperor's rice. It is full of phytonutrients and known as the blueberries of grains."

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It's 100% whole grain, a little sweet, and has a nutty flavor. So, so, happy I found this. I hope you'll give it a try.

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Creamed peas and a crispy air-fried chicken thigh along with the rice made for a great meal. 

I can't remember when was the last time I had creamed peas, don't even know why they came across my mind, but sure happy they did. 
Here's the recipe. 

Creamed Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas, no need to thaw
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup whole milk
    pinch of nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper until blended.
  2. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring for a few minutes until sauce is thickening. 
  3. Add frozen peas, toss and simmer until peas are heated through. 
    Add a pinch of nutmeg. 
    Stir and serve. 

And that's that!


Let's eat some Drunken Noodles

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There is no alcohol in this recipe, it's actually a late-night drinking food, or in my case dinner.  

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I made this for Chinese New Year, but believe me, I'll be eating this many more times before the next Chinese New Year.

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In the bowl is a sauce made up of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, Sriracha, and garlic. This will be added last. 
You'll also need tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, basil, and raw shrimp. 

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If you don't have fresh rice noodles, just soften some dried noodles in simmering water.

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I'm fortunate enough to have a well seasoned wok, but this recipe can also be made in a large sauté pan. 

I have egg "issues" so I didn't use the egg, and I couldn't get Thai basil or fresh rice noodles so I used just plain ol' basil, and dried rice noodles. I had a little bit of poblano pepper leftover from another recipe and used that rather than the serrano. The poblano was pretty spicy for a poblano so there was plenty of "life" in the dish. 

Hungry for noodles? you need to dive into this. 

Drunken Noodles

Ingredients

  • Sauce 2 tbsp (30 ml) sweet soy sauce
    1 tbsp (15 ml) oyster sauce
    1½ tbsp (22 ml) fish sauce
    1 tbsp (15 g) sugar
    1 tsp Sriracha
    1 tsp minced garlic
    6–8 Thai basil leaves, chiffonade
    Noodles
    3 tbsp (45 ml) canola or peanut oil
    2–3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 eggs
    1–2 serrano chilies, sliced thin
    6–8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    ½ medium white onion, sliced
    4 cups (960 ml) fresh rice noodles, separated
    1 cup (40 g) Thai basil leaves, loosely packed
    ½ cup (75 g) grape tomatoes, halved

Directions

  1. For the Sauce Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside.

    For the Noodles In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. When you see a wisp of white smoke, add the garlic and sauté until it’s light brown.

    Add the eggs and serrano chilies in and lightly scramble the eggs until they’re barely set, about a minute. Add the shrimp, onions and tomatoes, folding constantly until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute.

    Add the fresh rice noodles, basil leaves and sauce and toss to combine for about 3 minutes.

    Don’t be scared to scrape the bits off the bottom before they burn. Cook for 1 minute until the noodles are cooked and coated well. Finish by tossing in the basil and grape tomatoes, allowing them to lend their flavors. Cook for about an additional minute and serve hot.

    Jet Tila 101 dishes you need to cook before you die cookbook

And that's that!


Drowned Crispy Taquitos

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Crispy and crunchy, or soft and brothy, or crispy and brothy, or... have it your way. 
No matter how you choose to eat these, they are beyond what you'd expect in a taquito. Not only is the meat perfectly seasoned and moist, the broth really takes it above and beyond. 

Let's get cookin'

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Along with the chuck roast you'll need, carrots, garlic, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, tomato, and salt. 

Just a heads up, put the peppercorns in a spice bag or cheesecloth, that way they are easier to deal with later, trust me on this. 

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I made this in the electric pressure cooker rather than on the stovetop, so once the meat was cooked and drained  (reserving the broth) I cooked the potatoes in the broth. 

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The meat is enhanced with mashed potatoes and refried beans. Believe me, this adds creaminess, moistness, and flavor to the meat. 
By now the smell is driving you crazy so let's fry them up. 

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Heat up the corn tortillas a bit, just enough to soften them so they won't crack when you roll the taquitos. Line up the filling in the softened tortilla, roll it up and secure it with toothpicks before frying. 

What would I do differently next time? you ask! 
I wouldn't have cut the meat into such small pieces before cooking. It was a pain in the neck to fish the meat pieces out of the strainer after I drained the broth, next time I'll cut the roast into 4 large pieces. 
Also, I think I would cook the meat on the stove. As delicious as the broth from the pressure cooker was, I think it would be richer and reduced more had I cooked it on the stove, also I could have just thrown the potatoes in with the simmering meat rather than after the broth was drained. 

I hope you make this, you won't regret it. 

Drowned Crispy Taquitos

Ingredients

  • For the taquitos:

    2 pounds beef chuck roast, rump roast or other stewing meats, cut into 2-inch pieces
    1 white onion, halved
    10 garlic cloves
    1 bay leaf
    2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
    1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
    1 Roma tomato
    2 carrots, cut into large pieces
    Kosher or sea salt, to taste
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    3 Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
    1 cup refried pinto beans
    40 corn tortillas
    Wooden toothpicks
    Vegetable oil, for frying

    To Serve:
    1 head green cabbage, shredded
    1 cup Mexican crema
    1 cup crumbled queso fresco
    Pickled red onions*

Directions

  1. Place the meat, onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, chiles, peppercorns, tomato, carrots, and salt in a large casserole or soup pot. Fill with water until covered by at least an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, skim off any foam that may formed on top, and cover and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Add the potatoes, and continue simmering for another 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the meat is easy to shred and the potatoes are fork tender.

    Transfer the meat and potatoes to a large bowl. Strain the broth into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about another 30 minutes until reduced slightly.

    Meanwhile, place the meat on a cutting board and finely chop. Mash the potatoes in the bowl, and add the refried beans and chopped meat. Mix until combined and season with salt and pepper.

    Heat a comal or a dry skillet over medium heat until hot. Heat the tortillas on the comal or skillet for about 30 to 40 seconds per side; this will prevent them from breaking when rolling them into taquitos. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded beef on one side of each tortilla and roll them up tightly, inserting a wooden toothpick through the seam to hold them together. You can insert a toothpick through 2 to 3 taquitos at a time, so they will fry evenly and hold their shape. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

    Fill another heavy pan or large casserole with about an inch of oil. Heat over medium heat for at least 5 minutes before frying the taquitos.

    Once the oil is hot, gently drop in the taquitos in batches, being careful to not overcrowd the pan. Fry them until they have crisped and turned golden, about 2 to 3 minutes on one side, then flip and repeat on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the taquitos from the oil and put them on a plate or tray lined with paper towels.

  2. To serve, place 3 to 4 taquitos on a rimmed plate. Top with shredded cabbage, crema, queso fresco, and pickled red onions. Pour hot broth onto the taquitos and serve drowned! Or, you can serve the broth on the side for dunking, or for people to drown the taquitos as they please.

    Pati Jinich 

    *Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

    1 cup bitter orange juice or its substitute
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
    1 large red onion, thinly sliced
    2 bay leaves
    1 banana pepper or jalapeño, roasted, broiled, or charred

    Place the bitter orange juice in a mixing bowl along with the black pepper, allspice and salt; mix well. Stir in the red onions and bay leaves.

    Char or broil the pepper under the broiler, on the grill, on a hot comal, or in a dry skillet set over medium heat, turning once or twice, until the skin is lightly charred, 3 to 6 minutes.

    Add the pepper, without removing the charred skin, to the onion mixture and toss well to combine. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes to 2 hours, then store, covered, in the refrigerator.

    Pati Jinich

And that's that!


French Fried Poblano Rings

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Step aside onion rings, crispy crunchy poblano rings are in town. 

Pick out the biggest smoothest poblanos you can get. The smoother they are, the easier to peel. 

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I grilled the peppers, but you can roast them in the oven or even toast them over a gas burner. Once the peppers are nice and charred, put them in a paper bag and close it up to steam them, that makes them easier to peel. 

Peel the peppers, don't worry about getting all the skin off, leave the stubborn stuff on, then gently pull the stem out, that will bring out most of the seeds and veins. 

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You are going to be setting up a dipping station, flour, eggs, panko. Some spice needs to be added to the panko so I ground up some dried chipotle peppers and added that to the panko. 

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Slice the peppers into 1/4 inch rings. Handle the rings very carefully, use two hands because they break easily.
I think you know the drill, dip the rings into the flour, then the egg then the panko. Fry in 350*F oil. 

Next time I do this, which I will, I think I'll cut the rings a little thicker and hopefully, they won't be as fragile. 

Please make these, you will love them. 

Poblano Rings

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh poblano chiles
    3 cups vegetable oil, or as needed, for frying
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    Salt
    2 large eggs, beaten
    2 cups panko bread crumbs
    3 tablespoons ground dried guajillo chile or ground chipotle powder

Directions

Place the poblanos directly over a gas burner on medium-high heat. Using tongs, turn as needed so the chiles can char evenly. The chiles will turn black and look burned; this should not take more than 5 minutes because chiles can turn soft and release water if cooked for too long. Transfer the chiles to a resealable plastic bag and let steam for about 5 minutes. This will allow for easier peeling. Peel the charred skin off the chiles and slice into ¼-inch rings, discarding the stem.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer inserted into the oil reaches 350°F. (If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a piece of bread crumb, which should sizzle when it touches the oil.) Meanwhile, arrange three bowls in an assembly line: one of them with the all-purpose flour seasoned with about 1 teaspoon of salt, another one with the beaten eggs, and the third one with a mixture of the panko bread crumbs and ground guajillo.

Carefully dredge the poblano rings in the flour, making sure not to break them. Shake off the excess flour and soak in the beaten egg. Then cover with the panko-guajillo mixture.

Fry in the hot oil until crisp and golden in color, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and set on paper towels to drain the excess oil. Season with salt while the rings are still warm.

I really think this is one of the best dishes I’ve ever come up with. Cut crosswise into rings, poblanos make for the perfect onion ring and a killer replacement for onions on your burger. I can eat a whole basket of these with just a mix of mayo and chipotle or even tartar sauce. To char the poblanos, you might need to try it a couple of times before you master the technique. You’re looking to char them completely, but if you overdo it, they might get too soft or disintegrate, making it hard to cut them into rings. In fact, for this recipe it’s okay to undercook them slightly. Peel off as much of the char as you can, but it’s fine and even adds flavor if you leave some of the charred bits.

Casa Marcella: Recipes and food stories from my life in the Californias Cookbook

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And that's that!


There's Hummus among us.

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This is a whole new hummus recipe for me and from now on, the only one I'll use. 

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I was curious as to the difference if any, the temperature of the chickpeas, warm vs chilled, would have on the finished hummus, so I ran a little experiment. 
On the left, hummus made with chilled chickpeas and chilled cooking liquid (aquafaba). It is thicker and yielded half a cup more than the hummus made with warm chickpeas shown on the right. 

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On the right is the hummus made with warm chickpeas and warm aquafaba, it's not as full-bodied as the chilled batch produced. Even after refrigeration, there remained a difference in the consistency, neither one is "grainy," they are both silky and smooth. 
These are right out of the food processor before refrigeration. There is no difference in taste. 

I didn't skin the chickpeas before processing and you really don't need to, trust me, they will get good and pulverized considering how long they are processed, and I think the addition of the water during processing helps break them down even more.  

Here's what I found interesting about this recipe; the use of the cooking liquid (aquafaba,) the ratio of tahini to chickpeas and the amount of water added, oh yeah, and using citric acid in lieu of lemon juice. LOL, I guess that's the whole recipe.

Please give it a try, you won't regret it. 

From the cookbook On The Hummus Route.

Hummus Hakosem

 

c o o k e d c h i c k p e a s for hummus

  1. Place the chickpeas in a bowl, add water to cover by at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. The maximum time for soaking chickpeas shouldn’t exceed 48 hours. 2. Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas thoroughly.
  2. Transfer the chickpeas to a deep, large saucepan. Add water to cover by at least 2 inches (5 centimeters), add the baking soda and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the chickpeas are soft, the skins are split, and the cooking liquid is thick and gelatinous, 1 to 1¼ hours. Make sure that the water is at a steady simmer and the chickpeas are in constant motion. Use a spoon to occasionally skim the foam floating to the surface.
  3. If using whole chickpeas as garnish, use a slotted spoon to set aside 1 cup of chickpeas when they are soft, but before they lose their shape.
  4. Let cool. Place the cooked chickpeas in an airtight container and cover with their cooking liquid. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use, 2 to 3 days.

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/4cups (300 grams) chilled Cooked Chickpeas for Hummus
    ½ cup (120 milliliters) chilled chickpea cooking liquid
    1¼ teaspoons citric acid (see Note)
    1¼ teaspoons salt
    2 cups (480 grams) raw tahini
    1 cup (240 milliliters) cold water

Directions

    1. Place the chickpeas, cooking liquid, citric acid, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth, about 3 minutes.
    2. Add 1 cup (240 grams) of the tahini and ½ cup (120 milliliters) of the cold water and process for 2 minutes more.
    3. Add the remaining 1 cup (240 grams) tahini and the remaining ½ cup (120 milliliters) water, and process for 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and citric acid, if needed. The hummus should be slightly thin and runny.
    4. Transfer the hummus to an airtight container and refrigerate for 6 to 10 hours. During this time, the hummus will stabilize, develop a creamy texture, and its flavor will deepen.
      The hummus will keep in an airtight container refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

    5. Note:Citric acid is used by many hummus makers instead of lemon juice. It offers consistent acidity and flavor, unlike lemon juice, which can be volatile and turn bitter in your hummus. Hummus is a perfect food. It incorporates legumes (chickpeas), fat (tahini), and grain (in the form of pita), making it an ideal vehicle for consuming protein. It also happens to be a delicious and nourishing food, with a luscious texture and dreamy flavor that dazzles the senses. When making the hummus, be sure to follow the recipe to a tee. Using chilled chickpeas and chickpea cooking liquid is especially important, as it will produce a thick and creamy spread. Recipe by Ariel Rosenthal

And that's that!