Tag Archives: cilantro

I felt like it Chili

20 Jan

If there’s one thing I’m head over heals for, it’s chili and cornbread.  I’m a good sharer of food and drink unless it’s taken from me without permission and I’ve been known to get viciously protective of my cornbread and chili.  My last few days at home I found myself overcome by the craving for the aforementioned foods.

Chili:

Can of whole peeled tomatoes

Large bunch of chopped fresh cilantro

Ground beef or “chili meat” as my grocery store labeled it, second time ’round I used bison to AWESOME effect – highly recommended

As much of the following spices as you want = mace, Cajun Seasoning (whatever that is, I just found it in the spice cabinet and seemed like a good idea), cayenne pepper, black pepper

Lemon juice

2 cans of kidney beans and 1 of black beans

3 cloves of garlic and 1 large shallot, maybe one large yellow or red onion

Start it like you start any stew by cooking down the garlic, shallots and onion then browning the meat over it, then layering all the other goodies and let simmer for an hour.  The cilantro should go in at the last moment!  Another golden rule: it’s always the better the next day.

Now for the cornbread.

1 cup flour + 1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup honey

2 large eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk if you prefer)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup melted butter

Combine wet ingredients with dry, preheat oven to 400ºF.  I baked mine in a muffin tin for 15 minutes and they came out beautifully.  A nice slab of Kerry Gold doesn’t hurt them either.  In any case, it’s now my favorite chili and favorite cornbread so I guess take my word for it that these dishes are delicious, because they are.

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Friday is a Grill Day

20 Sep

I grilled again the other Friday with great food, beer, company and weather.  This time I took it easy on the pre-lighter soaked charcoal and in so doing, managed to avoid the third degree burns of my first attempt.  On the menu:  grilled corn in their husks, portobello mushrooms, red peppers, chicken liver marinated in olive oil/soy sauce/cumin, hot doggies,  strip steaks, pita and  a sauce made of Fage 0% yogurt+chopped cilantro+diced garlic.  We were all so stuffed that hardly any of us made it out to the parties that night.  The assorted dishes and food stuffs also didn’t make it out of the trunk of my car until today, 2 weeks later…SO gross, really have to stop being lazy.

grill time with lovely lady helpers hard at work

photo courtesy of MK

Anyway, the surprise of the experience was the liver.  I guess it really shouldn’t have been a surprise but I was shocked at how velvety the liver was after its long sojourn on the grill.  I kept forgetting it wasn’t heart and therefore not a muscle that would toughen up if I wasn’t careful.  I really shouldn’t have been so taken aback since I’m a big fan of foie gras.  In any case, it was delicious nestled in a hot pita with the yogurt sauce some jalapenos and peppers.  I liked the liver and I’m still trying to break into offal but the local market doesn’t stock it!  That said, long live grillin’ days, cuz they’re the best.

grill mistress

photo courtesy of MK

Salsiccia alla griglia

16 Aug

I first experienced this dish in Genoa, Italy – the time I made myself sick from eating because I couldn’t imagine not eating all of it.  It’s so simple it’s almost funny – just spicy italian sausage grilled up and a squeeze of lemon over top.  Of course, I like to garnish with cilantro because the stuff is green gold.  It’s a great primo – first plate – that can follow fettunta and come before a larger dish, such as shrimp.  It always surprises people that something so incredibly simple as a sausage with lemon on it, can be so good.  That’s all I got.

alla griglia

Hot Damn

16 Aug

I love the simplicity of preparation, cooking and presentation of seafood.  Meats can take forever to cook but when you throw shrimp in a pan or a grill you have to wait 5 minutes tops until they turn opaque.  In my constant quest to utilize cilantro in almost everything, I decided to cram it into the lifeless bodies of some fat wild shrimp.

Cilantro-stuffed shrimp:

Prep is the longest part of this recipe – clean a pound of shrimp with shell still on, rip off the legs and pull out the poop shoot.  Take the cleaned shrimp and slice open down the middle where the legs used to be.  Start cramming in a large pinch of freshly chopped cilantro (stems too!  it gives the dish more crunch), you can really manhandle the shrimp because the shells are so tough you won’t bust through them with your fingers.

stuffin shrimp

Next step, thinly slice a large shallot, do not dice.  Then dice up 2 large garlic cloves. Toss in a large high-lipped skillet with a small slice of butter and a thin coating of olive oil.  Lay shrimp over top when the shallots and garlic start to cook down a bit and brown.  Take 2 large lemons, juice the shrimp and throw into the skillet with shrimp.  Find  a dry white wine and pour into skillet (pour in one quick circular motion – this is just for flavor and will mostly cook off, we’re not trying to drown the shrimp in booze).  Add salt and pepper to taste.

hot in the skillet

The shrimp, pictured above, are perhaps a minute away from being completely done (opaque).  I like to serve this with white rice and black beans.  It’s fun at a dinner party because you have to use your hands to rip the shells off so it lightens the mood and is freeing for your guests.

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