Archive for the 'manchego cheese' Category

05
Oct
09

stuffed tomatoes and breakfast tacos.

So I’ve been a little MIA as of late, and it’s not because I’ve been eating bland food and staying dry. Actually, I’ve been spicing it up daily and sweating profusely, but my computer decided to have un-resolvable issues and has prevented me from documenting my life away. I’ll try and condense anything notable from the past few weeks, but I’m kind of a talker so it’s a feat. Bear with me, por favor.

To begin with, I’ve fallen for the farmer’s market in my hood. Honestly, I think about it during the week and find any excuse to bring it up in daily conversation. It all started with these beautiful Beefsteak tomatoes I found a couple of weeks back:

beefsteaks

beefsteaks

I mean, that’s hot. I love TJ’s and all, but they never have tomatoes of this caliber. I’ve been wanting to make stuffed tomatoes since they were popular, so I started gathering some ingredients. Actually, I don’t think they’ve peaked quite yet. Their time will come.  

I started with basmati rice, which smells amaaazing while it cooks. I’m thinking of bottling and selling it as perfume, or maybe a home fragrance because that seems more socially acceptable for some reason. While that simmered, I pan fried a little diced eggplant in olive oil, cumin and curry powder.

The rice was done in about 30 minutes, so I mixed in the eggplant. I cut off the tops of my beefsteaks, and then gutted them completely. I filled both tomatoes with the rice and eggplant mix, and then topped them with breadcrumbs and some Manchego cheese.  

The original plan was to throw them both in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until they got all soft and…wanton? I’ve been looking for any excuse to use that word since Jude Law said it in “Hamlet” this past weekend, but you’d be surprised in how few conversations it makes sense. Therefore, the tomatoes were wanton, or they would have been if my oven was working. It wasn’t, so I turned to plan B: toaster oven. My beefsteaks proved too large for the mini-oven, so I last resort grilled them on the panini press. Weird but delicious. Behold the final result:

stuffed tomatoes with basmati rice & curried eggplant, topped with bread crumbs and Manchego cheese

stuffed tomatoes with basmati rice & curried eggplant, topped with bread crumbs and Manchego cheese

As far as the sweaty stuff goes, I got a free personal training session last week at my gym, which was kind of awesome/painful. My main lesson learned was that I loathe squat thrusts, although the name alone tells my quads they’re not interested. I told the trainer I pretty much do 20 minutes of cardio each time I gym it, and he suggested I up it to 30-45 at least twice a week. I get bored when doing one activity for such a long period of time, so I’m forced to distract myself. I did the elliptical for 45 minutes today while watching the Food Network. Typical.

Post-trainer time, I returned to my farmer’s market to reward myself. I have a lady hard-on for tomatoes these days (ha, gross), so I picked up a few non-traditional varieties including one orange and one green. I don’t know names. I then went through the hot pepper section and bought at least one of every variety, save the habaneros because I once had a habanero-to-the-eyes incident that I still haven’t fully recovered from. Anyways, my tomato and pepper situation looked like this:

local tomatoes and peppers

local tomatoes and peppers

I decided to make black bean and tomato tacos to begin with. I started with a can of black beans, which I drained and rinsed, and then tossed in a pan to warm. I toasted habanero-lime tortillas into taco shapes, and threw a little hot jack cheese up in there. I cut half an orange and half a green tomato, and half a serrano chile pepper. I mixed them all together as a makeshift salsa with some lime juice, salt and pepper. 

I threw the beans in with the toasted tacos, and then topped each with the salsa. They were delicious and fed me for three meals last week, but I much preferred the looks of the breakfast taco I created on Saturday with the remnants.

The preparation was completely the same, although I didn’t use any cheese and scrambled an egg with a little butter. To recap, it was a habanero lime tortilla filled with scrambled egg, black beans, and green and orange tomato salsa. SO amazing. See below:

 

breakfast taco with scrambled egg, black beans, and mixed tomato salsa with serrano chile pepper

breakfast taco with scrambled egg, black beans, and mixed tomato salsa with serrano chile pepper

30
Aug
09

bruschetta and bok choy.

So many exciting things are happening, like, right this minute. First off, manchego cheese is going for $4/lb at the cheese shop, which is so dirt cheap that it’s basically insulting. Luckily, it takes a lot to offend me. Second, it’s been extra overcast outside, so I was able to run two miles straight around my track at 2 p.m. today. Also, I just found out that Nightman is becoming a legit musical! How much do I want to see Denis pay the troll toll so he can get in the boy’s hole? SO much.

I’m two weeks strong with the post-work gymming, and this is a total estimation but I’m guessing I’ve burned 500 extra calories each day since. In the interest of jump starting the results, I had bruschetta and salad for dinner most nights this week. I bought heirloom tomatoes at TJ’s because I’m trendy and used this delicious rye bread that was basically the only non-babka item at the Russian store across the street. My roommate bought a basil plant, so I used a few leaves and chopped it up with the tomatoes. I added olive oil, salt and pepper, mixed it together, and served it atop the toasted rye. I served it alongside a spinach salad with nectarines and shaved manchego. I dressed it with olive oil and lemon juice. It was amaaazing and much too easy to prepare:

spinach, nectarine and manchego salad, heirloom tomato bruschetta

spinach, nectarine and manchego salad, heirloom tomato bruschetta

I wanted to make something new for dinner tonight, so I bought me some bok choy. I’ve never cooked with it before, but I sure do love to stare at it every time I’m in the grocery. This time I decided to stop playing games and took it home with me. Life is much too short to wonder what could have been.

I also bought some tofu and this spicy peanut vinaigrette that TJ’s designed with me in mind. I came home and made my own recipe for the first time in a long time. I chopped a clove of garlic and some fresh ginger, and sauteed them in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. I cubed half a package of extra firm tofu and tossed it into the oil mix. While that browned up all nicely, I added about 1/4 cup of honey. I chopped the bok choy on the side, minus the bottom third,  and tossed it in with the tofu. A few minutes on the stove top, and my bok choy wilted into submission:

virginal bok choy

virginal bok choy

Meanwhile, I re-heated some of the basmati rice I’d originally prepared for my okra. I poured a generous amount of spicy peanut vinaigrette on the whole mix, and salted and peppered it up. I served the tofu and bok choy stir fry atop the rice, and it was really tasty. It’s possible I was too liberal with the ginger, because it kind of burned the nostrils and there’s no way my peanut vinaigrette would do that to me. It was the best way I’ve ever prepared the tofu, though, and I credit my last minute choice to involve honey in making it all crunchy and delicious. It was a great original Asian/Indian fusion recipe. See below:

tofu and bok choy atop basmati rice with spicy peanut vinaigrette

tofu and bok choy atop basmati rice with spicy peanut vinaigrette




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