Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
After a little investigation, I think I have the answer. Nothing can beat the charred, outdoor grilled, big 'n' juicy BBQ burger (with it's promise of summer, fun, baseball, and beer in every bite)... but there is something delicious, different, and a little bit 'gourmet' about a slider. With approximately 2-bites per burg, one doesn't feel overly full, and the flavor is exciting from start to finish. Also, (some meat-purists out there might disagree) my favorite part of a burger is the charred, grilled, seasoned, sometimes cheesy, sort of crunchy and caramelized outer layer. The slider provides the perfect ratio of flavorful outer layer to juicy inner burger, something that it's plus-size counterpart lacks. The idioms are true when it comes to sliders...'everything is better in moderation,' and 'dynamite comes in small packages.'
How did I arrive at this conjecture? After initial distrust, hesitation, and even trash-talk about the baby-burger revolution, I have officially jumped on the slider bandwagon. It all started last week, at BalMar happy hour, with one little, delicious burst-of-flavor that kept me yearning for more (slider accompanied by fries with truffle aioli) , and was further intensified after I ate one too many full size burgers (on top of one too many full size beers) last weekend. What finally pushed me over the edge, to the slider-side, was the simple act of making (and devouring) my own sliders.
My delectable little beef morsels, sandwiched between toasted baguette slices, were covered in melty, gooey jack cheese, slathered with spicy, smokey chipotle mayo, and piled high with greens, lettuce, avocado, tomato, radishes, and my kick-ass-honey-mustard-caramelized red onions. With so much flavor jammed into such a tiny package, they were 10 times better than the best burger I've ever made. They were fun to make, even more fun to eat, and Evan and I both felt satisfied without being overly full and weighed down.
To make chipotle mayo, simply mix together mayonnaise, chipotle peppers in adobo- add sauce and chopped pepper (more or less depending on how much heat you can handle), and a dash of liquid smoke, which really brings out the smokiness of the chipotles (which are smoked jalapenos). For ooey-gooey, super carameltastic, extra delicious caramelized onions, my secret is to mix in honey and brown mustard right before you take the onions off the heat. It works every time. Now... to REALLY enjoy the mayo and the onions, promptly jump on the slider-train and never look back!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4th teaspoon salt
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
After looking at a few recipes, I had a general idea of what needed to go into a Thai Steak Salad to make it a Thai Steak Salad, and went off to create my own version... off to Uwajimaya! For under $5 I was able to get a huge bunch of fresh basil, Kaffir lime leaves, and fresh mint. What a steal! I was super stoked about the lime leaves, as I had seen them in recipes before and couldn't wait to give them a try. While most of the recipes I looked at called for fish sauce, I decided to forego the briny brew and make it work without. And work did it ever!
The flavors of the fresh herbs (basil, lime leaves, cilantro, and mint) melded together so perfectly and intensely that they totally made the dish. I'm in love with lime leaves. Evan, of course, loved the steak. Such a fun dish to create, and a delicious way to celebrate Evan's birthday. We both licked our plates clean and wished we had room for more... a meal truly fit for the King of Thailand... or just for a couple of hungry kids in Seattle. Delish.
Thai Steak Salad
Marinate flank steak in teriyaki sauce overnight
Step 2: whisk together:
1 spoonful brown sugar
1/4th cup soy sauce
Juice of 1 large lime
1 shallot- diced
1 hot Thai pepper – sliced in half and deseeded (or diced finely if you like it hot)- I removed pepper after sauce sat for about 30 min
Dash of black pepper
Step 3: put in a big bowl:
1 red bell pepper: julienned thin- 2 inch long pieces
1 carrot: peeled and julienned thin- 2 inch long pieces
1 medium cucumber: peeled and sliced thin
½ small head of green cabbage, sliced thin
Fresh basil- about 10-15 leaves torn into pieces
Fresh mint- about ½ cup- chopped/torn into pieces
Kaffir lime leaves- about 5 leaves, sliced VERY thin
Cilantro- ½ cup- chopped
Pour sauce (from step 2) in bowl with veggies
Pile spring greens mix on each plate
Broil steak- about 5-7 min/side
Let sit for 5ish minutes before slicing- then thinly slice across the grain
Pour sauce off veggies- strain into small bowl or cup (do not discard)
Add dash more soy, spoonful more brown sugar
Dash of hot sauce (sriracha)
Split veggie mix evenly on top of salad
Arrange steak slices on top
Sprinkle with crushed peanuts, sliced/chopped green onion, and drizzle with sauce
If not Chipotle…then how about Chipotle Chicken Soup!? He bit, hook, line, and sinker! My chipotle soup has become one of Evan’s favorites, next to his mom’s Southwest Tortilla. However, before you go chalking this one up to simply another bowl of chicken tortilla soup, please note- this is no ordinary tortilla soup. My Chipotle Chicken Soup ain’t your mama’s tortilla soup… it’s actually my mama’s! Mel’s been cooking this one up for years, and I’ve never had anything like it. Unlike traditional tortilla soups, this isn’t tomato based, but is more like a spicy, south-of-the-border take on chicken noodle…sans noodles. The beauty of this soup is how simple the preparation is, and how bold the flavors are. A bowl of Chipotle Chicken Soup is the surest way to forget about the gloom of the rainiest Seattle day, and feel the warmth of sunny hot Mexico. We were instantly transported back to Cabo with the first bite! Now…where are 2-for-1 margaritas that we had in Cabo?
Mel’s Chicken Tortilla Soup
Sauté 1-2 cubed chicken breasts, set aside. Heat oil in large pot, enough to cover bottom. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 large chopped carrot, and 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic to the hot pot. Douse liberally with thyme and marjoram. Salt and pepper to taste. When carrots and onions are tender, add chicken, 1 can garbanzo beans, 1-2 tablespoons of sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo (and additional chopped chipotles from the can if you like it hot), and as much chicken broth as desired (adding rice is also optional). Bring to a boil and let simmer until deliciousness ensues. Garnish with tortilla strips (prepared in oven, I like to use both corn and flour), avocado, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, cheese (I used grated jack last night, but cojita would probably be fanstatic), and additional chopped chipotle peppers and sauce. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Upon return to Seattle from Christmas in Lyle, we quickly got to work creating delicious dishes, named after their cooking vessel...tagines! The flavor sensation that ensued was unbelievable. Our first chicken tagine, served over buttery lemon couscous, included dates, orange flower water, and almonds, among other fantastic ingredients. The tagine was the perfect mixture of sweet and savory, with a floral aftertaste from the orange flower water.
The different flavors in the tagine melded perfectly to create an intense, completely unique dish. The chicken was tender and moist, with just the right amount of browning on the skin. Who thought chicken could taste this good!? Our second tagine (made by Amanda for a visit from Mel) was also chicken, and was filled with apricots, tomatoes, and fresh basil. This one was really spicy and savory, completely different from the first, but just as juicy and delish.
These were made a few months ago, but we'll surely be involved in some serious taginery in the near future...stay tuned! My mouth is watering just imagining what tagine recipe we'll try next!
Welcome to Loves Food, Loves to Eat. I hope you enjoy my ramblings, recipes, and mouth-wateringly delectable pictures. You may be wondering 'why a food blog?' or simply 'wtf?'...
Well, for those of you wondering... I'm starting this blog as a way to share my thoughts and ideas and passion for all things food, and as a creative outlet during my recently acquired free time... otherwise known as unemployment. As an ex-professional writer (marketing copy, that is) I don't want the creative portion of my brain to sit unused during my job-hunt. After years of cooking and eating, rolls of food-photo-film, daily emails and conversations about menus, a few x-rated dreams about Anthony Bourdain, and two jobless weeks of watching Food Network and reading food blogs for hours, it hit me like the first time I tasted truffle oil- nearly knocking me off my feet... OF COURSE...I'll start MY OWN food blog! Alas, Loves Food, Loves to Eat was born.
As I get set up and get going, it's quite possible that my first few posts will be from meals past, but luckily I have a photographic memory of all my favorite eats... oh yeah, and actual photos.
Enjoy and happy eatings!