Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Blues

Recipe: Jicama Apple Salad

Today is Memorial day, the official start of summer. It is a blazing 90 degrees outside and sunny, the perfect day for a Start of Summer Barbecue Party. I'm sure all of you are putting together menus, getting on the sunscreen, firing up the grills, and partying like you've never partied before. But, I will be spending today in a windowless room, working over a stove, or dealing with irate customers, basically doing the exact opposite of celebrating. I don't, however, want to miss the start of summer so I decided to make a slaw to enjoy as a reminder of today's holiday. Maybe that's a cruel thing to do to myself, like a reminder of all the fun I'm missing, but I'd rather celebrate the start of summer at work than pretend it isn't happening.

I chose to make a slaw out of jicama and apples. Jicama is a really strange vegetable. It is shaped like a rutabaga or a turnip. The texture is crisp like an apple, but the flavor is bland like a potato. It is best eaten raw in salads and slaws, but then again I've never tried to cook it. To tell you the truth, I'm not much a fan of the ugly ole' jicama. I don't even think it has much nutritional value. I do, however, like to give a second chance to veggies I dislike so I decided to cook with jicama this week. 

This jicama slaw is a good way to impress your guests with your creative culinary skills. Also, it's super easy, super cheap, and super delicious. SUPER. So if you're invited to a BBQ today and still haven't thought of something to bring along, run (RUN) to the store and put together this slaw. Remember to think of me as I'm sitting in a hot windowless room wishing I was noshing on BBQ like you.

Jicama Apple Slaw

1 large jicama, peeled and thinly julienned
1 apple, thinly julienned
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1/4 green cabbage head, shredded
1 cup plain yogurt
1 jalepeno, minced and seeded
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix prepped jicama, apples, cilantro, and cabbage together.
2. For the dressing, whisk the yogurt, jalepeno, lime zest and juice, sherry vinegar, and salt together until smooth. Toss jicama mixture and dressing together. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taco Taco Taco

Recipe: Corn and Black Bean Tacos

I have to be honest. I really had no inspiration for this recipe. No good memories to share, or interesting topics to write about. I've been running around like a chicken lately (and eating chicken), so I threw this dish together because it was healthy, cheap, and pretty tasty.

Wait a month before you make this recipe and use fresh corn. I caved and used frozen (yuck!), but I was really craving tacos and corn tacos especially. Whatever. I can't be a winner every time.

So eat and enjoy my friends. This was a throwaway post, but definitely not a throwaway recipe.

Corn and Black Bean Tacos

For the Sauce:
1 large jalapeño
4 fresh tomatillos, husk removed
Juice of 3 limes
2 TBS cilantro, minced
1 TBS hot sauce of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400. Place jalapeño and tomatillos on a sheet pan and roast for 15 to twenty minutes or until soft. Place jalapeño in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove skin and seeds from jalapeño.
2. Place tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and hot sauce in food processor or blender. Blend at a high speed until sauce is smooth. Season with a little salt and pepper. 

For the filling:
1 cup black beans
1/2 onion, small diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed or preferably 1 cob of fresh corn, in husk
1 large tomato, diced
1 avocado, sliced before serving
Corn or flour tortillas, as many as you want!

1. Place black beans in a large pot with onion and garlic. Fill pot with water, or until there is 2 inches of water above the beans. Cook over medium heat until beans are tender, about 1 hour.
2. Roast corn in same oven or if using fresh on the grill. For fresh corn roast in husk until soft about 20 - 30 minutes. If using frozen about 10 - 15 minutes.
3. Mix together the cooked black beans, corn, tomato, and tomatillo dressing. Serve hot with warm tortillas. Garnish with fresh avocado slices and cilantro leaves. Enjoy with a nice cold margarita and some crunchy tortilla chips.