Cebollas en Escabeche al Estilo Karencita

Cebollas en escabeche
Cebollas en escabeche

The barbacoa taco post, continued……

 

The marinade and the onion....
The marinade and the onion….

 

From raw to righteous
From raw to righteous

So, I wish I had the patience for the real deal. And the forethought to plan ahead several weeks. But, I don’t. So, although I started with this recipe, I cheated.

 
For the onions
1 medium red onion, sliced in 1/4″ slices left whole.
1 c. boiling water
For the marinade
1/2 c. red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano leaves
1/4 c. water
2 bay leaves
4 black peppercorns
2 cloves, whole
Instructions
Stack the onions in a heat-resistant glass jar (like a wide-mouth Mason or Weck jar)
Cover with the boiling water and let cool to tepid. (This parcooks the onions.)
Put the marinade ingredients in a pyrex measuring cup, and microwave for two minutes.
Drain the soaking water from the jar, but leave the onions in.
Cover the onions with the marinade, making sure the pepper corns and cloves go in. Slide the bay leaves around the outside of the onions because it’s pretty.
If you have leftover vinegar, just toss it.
If you need more liquid, heat up some more vinegar/water to boiling (1:1 ratio) and top off the container.
Let cool on the counter, then refrigerator for up to a month.
Notes
You can eat these as soon as the next day, and they get tastier the longer they sit. Assuming you can get them to last, that is.

Adapted from Mexican Authentic Recipes

Barbacoa Tacos

Tender shredded beef, seasoned to mouth-watering goodness, topped with tangy, crisp onion.
Tender shredded beef, seasoned to mouth-watering goodness, topped with tangy, crisp onion.

If you are not from the southwestern US or Mexico, I need you to sit down. There’s something important you need to know. Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless may have already told you but just in case, here it is:

Enchilada sauce is not made from tomatoes. Truly. It’s red color comes from red chile.  

In fact, every time enchilada sauce is made with tomatoes, a kitten dies.

Chiles (two kinds!), garlic, onion, laurel
Chiles (two kinds!), garlic, onion, laurel

 

Enchilada (hey – look at the word in the middle of that – chile!) means chile-fied, enrobed in chile, etc. Now, don’t be embarrassed. I remember when my sister-in-law, the one who’s now the chef, explained this to me when I was so excited about a new “decoration” for my front door. It was a beautiful chile ristra and she remembered the last one she got and how her Nana E took them all because the chile was so good.  And I was all like, what? You don’t *eat* that.  And she was all like, what? Why the hell do you think people dry them and hang them up? Well, duh. Color me educated. Think about it – bunches of herbs, garlic braids, chile ristras. They are all for the pantry, in the pre-supermarket way.

So by now we all know my Sunday dinner plan to make a big roast of some kind. That whole “cook once, eat thrice” thing. This week it was a 7-pound chuck roast from Costco.  I knew I wanted to have it potroast style, and then thought some shredded beef soft tacos might be this week’s carb indulgence for Himself.  So I started googling barbacoa recipes and found the most awesome YouTube channel for a lady called Abuela Oti.  She has a chili-based sauce for hers, which led to the little opening spiel. Mmmm…..barbacoa tacos…..

Small corn tortillas, ready to grill and fill.
Small corn tortillas, ready to grill and fill.

That made me think of the plethora of fabulous taco stands we have here, and the wonderful condiments to go with them: radishes, pickled carrots and jalapeños (zanahorias en escabeche), and pickled onions (cebollas en escabeche), grilled spring onions (cebollitas asadas al carbon), grilled jalapeños…..oh my. And wouldn’t that rich, rich beef pair beautifully with some cold, crisp, zingy pickled onion?…my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Cebollas en escabeche
Cebollas en escabeche

So, is this a post about the pickled onions, or the meat? Honestly, it has to be both. But we’ll start with the meat.

 
For the sauce
2 large or 3 medium dried chile california or chile guajillo (those are the smooth, oxblood-colored ones. Get medium or mild unless you’re muy macho.)
1 dried chile pasilla (that’s the crinkly, raisin-looking one)
1 cup boiling hot water
2 cloves garlic
½ small white onion
½ teaspon Mexican oregano leaves
2 bay (laurel) leaves
For the meat
1 # shredded beef (leftover potroast)
S&P to taste
Instructions
Pop the top on the chilis, discard that and the seeds. Put the chilis in a shallow bowl, cover them with the hot water and let them sit for half an hour until they soften. Put them, their soaking liquid and everything for the sauce but the laurel in the blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the puree through a strainer into a 10” saute pan, heat to medium and cook for about ten minutes. Add the shredded beef, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about fifteen more minutes, or until most of the liquid of the sauce is evaporated. Taste for seasoning at this point, and add S&P to taste.
Remove the laurel leaves, and serve with hot corn tortillas. And those pickled onions, of course. But that is for another post.
Notes
You can serve this with rice, too, like Abuela does in her video.

Cheesy Herb Garlic Zucchini Sticks

It’s one of those uninspired weeks – where I start thinking on Wednesday, “What am I going to blog about this week?!?”  I want to go nuts with the cakes and cookies, but it’s just kind of mean to make the whole house smell like that when Bill can’t eat any…..So, I went with what was in the fridge: zucchini.  

Cheese Herb Garlic Zucchini Sticks
Cheese Herb Garlic Zucchini Sticks

 

 

And, I just love zucchini with lemon and thyme, but I only had the dried herb.  I knew I wanted to roast the squash, but that was really incompatible with those hard little sticks – what to do, what to do…. so I pounded it with some salt and garlic in the mortar and pestle. Problem solved!

ZucchiniPanel1

ZucchiniPanel2

 

Bill says they’re good. And, although the garlic smell is really out there while they’re cooking, the end product is just lightly garlicky.  Heads up, though! You might think you’re in Gilroy while they’re baking. 

mmm......crunchy cheesy bits....
mmm……crunchy cheesy bits….

And, who am I kidding? This might have been the best part of the whole thing – cheesy paper for grown-ups! 

Let’s make some – and tell me how yours turn out!
For the toss
1 clove garlic
½ tsp. dried thyme
Dash kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp lemon zest
For the rest
2 zucchini, cut to look like wedge fries
¼ freshly grated pecorino romano or parmeggiano reggiano
Instructions
Preheat oven to convection 400* (or plain old 375*)
Smash the garlic clove in the M&P.*
Add in the salt and thyme and pound till the thyme is no longer hard little sticks.
Add in the olive oil and lemon zest, and pound it a few more times to mix it all together.
Transfer the paste to a bowl, toss zuke sticks in it and then spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle w/ the cheese.
Bake 20 minutes, then turn to broil for a few to get things crunchy and brown.
Notes
*You could totally skip the M&P if you have fresh thyme. Just mince the garlic, then smoosh it with the salt and thyme with the side of your knife right on the cutting board.

Bacon Tomato Chicken Salad

So….it would appear I am slightly obsessed with chicken salads. Were I not blogging, I might never have known. However, this chicken salad is so fucking tasty you may just forget every chicken salad post before. 

Tender chicken, crisp bacon, tangy tomato....oh, my!
Tender chicken, crisp bacon, tangy tomato….oh, my!

 

Seriously, this is amazing.  Worth an extreme close up, even.

Where's the toast?!
Where’s the toast?! Dammit, make me a sammich!

 

BacTomChickSAUCE
Easy peasy ! Whisk together the sauce….

 

...add in the chopped.
…add in the chopped.

 

Crunchy bacon! Tender chicken! Tangy tomato! Subtly sweet celery sauce! Let’s do this!
For the dressing
1/3 c. mayo
1 Tbsp. dijon
1Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
For the salad
2 cooked chicken breasts (about 1#), chopped.*
1/3 c. seeded, diced tomato
1/3-1/2 c. (about 4 strips) of cooked bacon, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
Instructions
Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Stir in the salad ingredients.
Serve immediately.

Smoky Eggplant Dip

Smoky, creamy lusciousness.
Smoky, creamy lusciousness.

I have always known this as baba ghanouj. Then one day, a friend of mine who spends her summers in Jordan told me, uh, no. That is muttabal. Not baba ghanouj.  Wha-wha-wha?  Unknowingly, my dear friends, we have stepped into an area between cuisines…..it is…..the foodist zone!   Whatever we call it, I’m sticking with fucking delicious. Because it is. 

Such simple ingredients...
Such simple ingredients…

Safeway had eggplants on sale for a buck this week. How can you not make this luscious elixir when it’s a buck an aubergine?!?   Of course, the secret to this is how you cook the eggplant.  Sure, you can put this in your oven and it will come out….fine. But if you want something truly exquisite, you will need fire. 

If you have a gas burner, you can do this there. I used the barbecue. That little skinny zebra in the picture took ten minutes each side. But the big fat one, he took twenty-five minutes per side.  But, it was sooooo worth it. You wash ’em and throw ’em over the open flame. That’s it. Don’t peel, or pierce, or anything. Just flame ’em til they’re blackened and smooshy. When they collapse in on themselves, they’re done. Then you put ’em on a tray and cover ’em with plastic wrap to loosen the skin.

 

Once they’re peeled, purée them in the Cuisinart and then drain them for a good half hour.  Out of those two eggplants, I got 2 cups of purée and 1/4  c. of liquid. So, now you know why I wait til there’s a sale…..

BabaGhanoujCollage
Oh, yeah mama! Look at those charred bits of goodness under the peel. That’s what makes this so very tasty.

Ok, enough chit chat. Shall we make some?! 

Let's eat!
Let’s eat!

 
Ingredients
2 medium eggplants
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/3 c. tahini
1/3 c. chopped parsley
S&P
Instructions
Roast the eggplant over an open flame (ie on the grill) until it is charred and smooshy.
Put the cooked eggplant on a tray and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes or so to loosen the skin.
Peel the eggplant.
Purée the flesh in the food processor.
Drain the purée for twenty minutes or so. Discard the liquid.
Add the lemon, garlic and tahini.
Pulse until smooth.
Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed.
Add the parsley and pulse a couple times just to mix it in.
Serve warm, or chill and serve the next day.
Notes
I like it better the next day, but it is certainly delicious as soon as it’s done.
Use this as a dip with pita chips or wedges, or with veggies, or as spread on a wrap with grilled veggies and kalamata olives.

Creamy Tomato Dill Soup

One year. 52 posts.  5,582 views.  Wow.  To celebrate actually sticking with something for year, and the cooling weather, let’s make some soup!

 

Tomato Dill Soup

 

 This recipe is easy, fast, delicious, and infinitely modifiable. 

Tomato Dill Soup

 Shall we?
Ingredients
2 Tbsp AP flour
2 Tbsp butter*
Freshly ground black pepper
1 14.5 oz diced tomatoes**
1 Tbsp. grated onion
14.5 oz chicken (vegetable) stock, hot. (In other words, measure it with the can)
½ c. almond milk
1 tsp. dried dill weed**
Instructions
Puree the tomatoes, set aside.
Reserve some dice if you like your soup chunky.
In the saucepan over medium heat, make a white roux with the fat and flour.
Once it smells cooked and no longer like raw flour, SLOWLY whisk in the hot stock.
Whisk the crap out of it to avoid lumps.
Next, whisk in the tomatoes and whatever herbs/seasonings you feel like. I used 1 tsp. dried dill.
Let simmer for a couple minutes, and right before serving, stir in the creamy stuff of your choice and turn off the heat.
Ladle it up – it’s done.
Garnish with croutons and a dollop of sour cream (or the like).
Make some grilled cheese, and it’s dinner!
You will never buy tomato soup again.
Notes
* Or olive oil, or whatever fat you like.
** I like to use the plain low salt diced tomatoes when I do this with dill. You can used the kind with olive oil and garlic, and then toss in a frozen Dorot basil cube (or fresh, if you have it), instead.
You can make this creamy with whatever creamy stuff you like: whole milk, cashew cream, 1/2 & 1/2, soy creamer, heavy cream. Whatever floats your boat

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies

Oh, the month I’ve had. We lost a family member. We lost a dog. Stress at work is off the charts. I’ve been so uninspired about cooking, I actually resubscribed to a weekly menu/shopping list because I just did not have the energy to even think about it. Luckily, this downward cycle looks to turning back up.  And, as I was scrolling through Foodgawker for the first time in weeks, what do I see but these luscious little bastards.  All pretty swirly and full of cinnamony goodness.  Plus, there is no cookie I love more than a refrigerator slice cookie.  Make the dough, chill it wash the dishes.  Come back later and it’s like a fairy left you cookie dough in the fridge, just waiting to be baked.

 Cinnamon Swirl Cookie

These are definitely tasty – tasty enough to perhaps make the Christmas cookie pantheon.  We’ll see how they are tomorrow to be sure. We’ll keep a couple here, but I must ship them off to the neighbor’s.  We’ve already eaten three apiece, and with Bill’s diet restrictions these mofos cannot stay in the house. That would be bad. Very bad.

CinnamonCookie2

Regardless, bon apétit.  I’m not going to reprint the recipe, but it is here at WannaComeWith. My only adaptation was to use orange juice instead of water in the glaze, and adding a little orange zest, too.

Ok, I just ate another one. Must go pack them up. NOW.

 

Cheater Chicken Soup

Tender chicken, zucchini, spicy broth and fresh condiments. Yum.
Chicken, spicy broth and fresh condiments. Yum.

Although we all like to make fun, sometimes I get Sandra Dee. Well, at least her approach sometimes….especially her appreciation for cocktails. But I digress….

It’s been a helluva week, so I decided to try free delivery from my local grocery.  And, it was awesome. Except for one thing.  Somebody else picked out my meat, specifically chicken breasts.  I got this package of Chernoble Chicken. You know the kind, unnaturally large, boneless, skinless chicken half breasts that weigh almost a pound apiece and will only be edible if stewed? In retrospect, this is probably why they were such a good price. Sigh. But, when life gives you tough chicken, ya gotta make soup.

Problem is, it’s supposed to be 95* today. Fine, crockpot it is! Problem is, Bill can’t have starchy stuff like noodles or potatoes. Fine, zucchini it is! Chicken and zucchini ….. either mexican style or italian style…Fine, mexican style it is!  I’m totally going Sandra Dee on this mofo, tho – I ain’t slicin’ and dicin’ today, dammit.  Well, except for one zucchini. Fine.

I cannot tell you how much I wish I had an avocado right now. That would push this baby into the sublime zone. Maybe tomorrow with the leftovers…..

Cheater Chicken Soup
Serves 6

For the soup
2# shredded chicken (or three of those behemoths, poached and shredded)*, or leftover rotissamat chicken, or…..leftover turkey
1 quart of water
1 Tbsp. chicken base
2 Tbsp. menudo seasoning
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
½ c. Southwest blend frozen veg mix (the one with onion, chili, corn and black beans)
1 fat zucchini, in ½” dice

For garnish
fresh cilantro leaves
lime wedges
shredded cabbage
avocado slices
chiltepin
mexican oregano
crumbled tortilla chips

Instructions
1. Set your crockpot to low. Dump in all the soup ingredients.
2. After four or up to six hours, scoop it in to a bowl and serve with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, radish slices and some shredded cabbage.
3. Or, if you can do the carbs, some crumbled up tortilla chips.
4. And, some avocado slices.
Notes
You could totally just put in that chicken raw, and add the zucchini after the first two hours. And, you’ll need to scoop the chicken foam off the top. Gross? Yeah, kinda, that’s why I poached mine first.

You could also have this ready in a soup pot on the stove top and simmer for half an hour, just throw everybody in the pool from the get-go.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 184
Total Fat 8g
Sodium 91mg
Total Carbohydrates 19g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 3g
Protein 13g

Vitamin C 132%

(edited October 2017 to remove a recipe plug-in and just have the recipe in the post)

Thank You Cookies for a Friend

We have the most talented and generous friend who really helped us out of a bind this week. What’s the best way to say thanks?  Coffee and chocolate, duh.

Ahhh...Peet's.
Ahhh…Peet’s.
SaltedChocEspressCookiesBC
Salted chocolate espresso cookies. Decadently rich.

This is an unpost this week – just a copy cat of this recipe at My Daily Morsel. Try them – they’re ridiculous delicious!!