Archive for the 'salsa' 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

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25
Jun
09

tostada.

This is probably the shortest lapse between meal and blog known to man, but I’m much too proud to sit on this one. About 45 seconds ago, I finished the best tostada this side of the…Mason-Dixon Line? Sure, why not. It was the BEST tostada this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.

How did I make it, you ask? The innards were pretty simple. I started with a corn tortilla and topped it with refried black beans, 1/4 of an avocado, a lime juice, cayenne pepper and cilantro mix, and hot jack cheese:

my toasty

my toasty

From there, I got all fancy. A traditional tostada is just a toasted tortilla topped with a combination of delicious Mexican ingredients, but it’s no secret that I prefer the security of TWO toasted things wrapped around my delicious ingredients. There’s something comforting about that. Food enveloping other food? It’s a beautiful thing.

That said, I decided to one-up the traditional tostada by putting another corn tortilla on top. I almost out-fancied myself right then and there. Rather, I kept going and put the whole thing in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.

It got just the right amount of crispy/browned, so I removed it from the oven. I cut it into fourths, and served it alongside some chipotle salsa. It already looked pretty damn fancy, but I wasn’t done yet.

Rather than eat yet another pool of homogenous red salsa (snore), I added some color with cilantro garnish. Like, what? Since when do I garnish things? I didn’t grow up eating gold OR bathing in diamonds, but I garnished that dish like a damn aristocrat. And – I can’t say for sure – but I bet it tasted slightly better than gold:

from left: tostada, chipotle salsa with cilantro garnish

from left: tostada, chipotle salsa with cilantro garnish




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