Saturday, January 30, 2010

Vietnamese Chicken Sandwich Banh mi

Another great meal. I have been feeling very inspired lately. I am happy that we ventured away from Mexican for a few meals, not that I am tired of it, as I never will be, but just because there are so many other types of food we love. Vietnamese being one of them.
Even though there are a few steps in this meal really it is super easy. If you know how to marinate chicken and dice up veggies you are good to go. I have to say this recipe made me realize my love for a good French loaf. This sandwich was so amazing and we were so happy to be able to get two meals out of it. Jason would not stop talking about it. I mean he was in love with the things. I was too but I mean this guy was in love. It was pretty damn good. Like I wish I could eat it right now again. I wasn't sure how he would like it with the pickled vegetables on top but I must say, and we kept talking about it during the meal, was that everything went so well together. We garnished ours with thinly sliced red onion, cilantro, jalapenos, cucumbers and the pickled veggies. Man, I can not tell you how amazing this was. If you want to make something that tastes like you are eating out in the city make this. It will be a nice treat for you.

I found the recipe through my favorite web site ever If you have never checked it out, do for sure. It is a labyrinth of recipes upon recipes. You could see this one for example for the Vietnamese sammies and click on it and boom, you could find more recipes on that person blog. It's bascially the most amazing site ever. Please try and make these and you will be amazed how delicious you can make something at home. Chinese five spice is pure love.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On a roll

I feel like I am getting back into the swing of remembering to post the food I cook and take pictures of what I make. I am happy about that. The food I cook makes me feel so good and sharing if with people makes me super happy.

This morning while I was looking through my cooking magazines. Food Network, Rachael Ray, and Everyday Food for something to make for dinner. Food Network won. I was feeling ambitious and it looked really simple so I went for it. It's called Vietnamese Noodle Soup. I have had this type of soup eating out but I tell you what, I never thought I would be able to make it. I was certain I was going to make it when all 6 reviews were super positive. This soup is amazing. You must try it. I was really surprised because by the smell of it, I didn't think I was going to like it, but the taste it much different. This soup tastes just as good as any soup from a Vietnamese restaurant. I can't wait to make it again. When I make it again I am going to make a double batch because we only got really three servings and a little serving for Lucy. I love leftovers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Killer salad

So, I have been in a real slump lately eating. Not eating the best. Out of frustration I decided to make a chopped salad for dinner and I have to tell you it was the best salad ever. I totally free styled too. Then I had this dressing planned out and when I opened my cupboard to find my balsamic vinegar, it was gone. What did I do? Freaked out and then improvised only to create the best dressing of my life. I don't know how I do it but I am going to guess it's from all of the cook books I read and my obsession with food.

1 head of romaine
3 chicken breasts grilled (marinade follows)
1 red pepper roasted and peeled or bottled roasted peppers
2 green onions green parts only
1 large avocado
1 large tomato

Chop it all up and toss together until evenly combined. I chopped up each thing separately but you could do it all at once it you want to get crazy.

Marinade I used
juice of one lemon, two cloves of garlic minced, two sprigs of rosemary, couple sprigs of thyme, salt, lots of pepper, 1/4 or so of olive oil, and a couple splashes of white wine vinegar
Marinate the chicken for about half the day for full flavor. I grilled mine on a grill pan for 4 minutes per side. I had also pounded them flat with a meat tenderizer so the cooking time was less. You will need to cook it longer otherwise.

6 T olive oil
2 T sherry vinegar
1 large clove garlic minced
leaves of rosemary from one sprig
one small squirt of dijon
tsp of oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
a pinch of sugar
puree it all and enjoy. This is the best freaking dressing I have ever tasted. It really just took my salad to a whole nother lever. I am an idiot because I didn't take a picture of this beautiful salad. I am making one again tonight so if I remember I will take a picture and post it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My favorite muffins

Jason made these double blueberry muffins for me a long time ago when Lucy was first born. I was so impressed as he doesn't bake much. These muffins are so moist and loaded with blueberries. They aren't overly sweet like most muffins and I just can't stop eating them. I had to eat two in a row tonight. They are that good. We like to add the zest of one lemon to our batch. Please try these. You will never make instant muffins again. These are so simple and other than the blueberries you are bound to have everything on hand. They come from my favorite pastry chef Gale Gand. Enjoy.

Continuing on our Bayless quest

The weekend is here so you know that something from Rick is going to be cooking in our kitchen. This week I actually made his seafood salad tacos from his Mexican Everyday cookbook. That book is our bible. This is the second time making these and they are so so good and so simple. It just isn't right how simple his food is for the flavor you get. This is proof that Rick Bayless is an amazing chef. He knows how to combine the simplest ingredients to create the most incredible tastes. I had to make a take on his roasted salsa and some guacamole to go with. I can't resist. I just love the stuff.

For the salsa I used:
1 serrano, 3 garlic cloves (in peels) : roast those in a dry pan until blackened. Set aside to cool
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes drained slightly
hanful of cilantro diced
half a white onion chopped
juice of one lime
salt to taste
Cut the stem from the serrano and remove seeds unless you want it really hot. Add it and the garlic cloves (removed from their skins), and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and puree until the consistency you desire. It is meant to be a runny salsa. Enjoy.
His recipe uses two serranos but for me that is too hot. I did use half a jalapeno as well that I had left from my guacamole.

Jason always likes to cook something for me over the weekend from his book. We are trying to make everything in it and so far we are doing very well. Tonight however, his dish was actually not from the book. Tonight he cooked Carne Asada Brava. I would highly, highly recommend this dish. We never cook steaks but it sounded so good lately.

We first seared it off for five minutes per side on our stove top grill pan and then baked it on a foil lined pan at 450 for 4 minutes per side. It was so flavorful and tender. It was an amazing steak. Jason couldn't stop talking about it. He said it was one of the best steaks he has ever had and that's coming from a guy that's been to Gibsons and Wildfire.

Believe me when I say, this was a damn good steak. If I knew I wouldn't be sick I would have ate all 7 oz of that meat. It was hard to stop with only a few ounces left. But alas, tomorrow I shall dine upon it. As a side dish he made stewed mushrooms with onions and garlic. They went really well with the steak I must say. It was a great meal. Thank you Jason. Thank you Rick.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am still cooking, just bad at posting.

I can't believe I have let this blog go so long. My poor poor baby. I need to get rollin. I have still been cooking a ton, mind you, just not posting. I sometimes forget to take pictures of the food and feel that visuals make a big difference, so I apologize for my delay.

For Christmas Jason got Rick Bayless Everyday Mexican. I have to tell you we are doing a damn good job of cooking our way through it. Are we going to make a movie about ourselves, no. But sure would be interesting. Loved Julie & Julia but really, French food is boring. Mexican, now that's exciting.

So here are some Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas that we made from the book. Amazing of course. I have to say. I did use flour tortillas as well as corn because I am always leery about store bought corn tortillas. The secret is properly warming them. They were amazing. The flour, eh. So if you make this go for the corn tortillas and warm them in the oven or microwave if you don't want to heat the oven up. Oven works better though if you need to do a bunch. The interesting thing about these are that they are not oven baked like your typical enchiladas. They are not loaded with cheese but sprinkled on top at the end. So you dip the tortillas in the amazing sauce, roll them with the filling, and then ladle the sauce over the top with a sprinkle of cheese to finish. This was so so yummy and I wasn't upset that it made so much sauce because you know what, I made some brown rice the other day and added some of the sauce to it, amazing. Tonight I am using the leftover tortillas and sauce to make more enchiladas with scrambled eggs and beans with the sauce and cheese on top. Yeah, it's gonna be good. So this sauce is amazing and could be used for a million things. Froze some of it, but already busted it out to use tonight. You could even use it to make tacos. Get a rotisserie chicken, shred it up in a pan and pour the sauce over it. Heat it up and serve it in some torillas with your choice of garnish.

The amazing thing about Rick Bayless is that his recipes are so simple, require very few ingredients, don't cost much at all, and never disappoint. Everything we have made has been phenominal. These Cowboy Beans in his book are out of this world. But how could you go wrong with bacon. I will try and post that recipe too. Unfortunately I don't have a picture but it wouldn't even look that good anyhow since it's just sloppy beans.

We are obsessed and it is a very very healthy obsession.