Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos

On February 27, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Mexican dishes offer a lot of options for vegetarian cooks.  There are a ton of recipes for vegetarian or vegan enchiladas, including some I’ve made myself.  Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are all excellent vegetarian options since pretty much everything is simply stuff a tortilla.  Stuffed peppers in dishes like Chiles Rellenos also provide an option for the non-meat eating cook.

This dish is adapted from a blog post find; though, the original post doesn’t give any exact measurements and tasted a bit bland so I’ve added a few changes to make it more flavorful.

Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos
Serves 4

4 Poblano Chiles
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, small cubes
1 can of black beans, drained
1 small red onion
1 cup red quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco cheese
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the red quinoa following the instructions from the quinoa bag or other recipe.  A simple version is 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed several times, added to a 1 1/4 cup of water. Once boiling then cover and reduce heatto simmer and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Roast Poblano chiles on an open flame or in the oven. For a gas stove, simply heat chiles on an open flame at medium-high heat turning often for about 3 minutes per chile.  Set aside in a paper bag and let cool. Remove after 5 minutes and peel skins and seed, cut open leaving top of chile and just enough to later stuff.

Meanwhile, boil potatoes for about 8-10 minutes in salted water. Add onion and garlic to a pan with the olive oil. Saute for about 4 minutes, do not brown. Add black beans and reduce heat to simmer.  Add cilantro and the other herbs to the pan along with the cooked potatoes. Increase the heat to medium and blend the mixture to coat with the herbs and salt & pepper to taste.  Remove from heat after combined.

Stuff the poblanos with the potato and bean mixture.  Crumble cheese on top of each stuffed chile. Place stuffed poblanos in a boiler for 3 minutes to let cheese melt and brown.

Serve using a large spoonful of red quinoa and placing stuffed poblano on top of quinoa.

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Grilled Steak with Onion Bleu Cheese Sauce

On February 26, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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While grilling a steak with just salt and pepper can be enjoyable, a cheese based sauce can add so much to the meal.  This particular sauce will make you think you are eating at a 5-star restaurant. It is so overtly decadent, yet incredibly simple to make.

A sauce with grilled onions, butter, heavy cream and bleu cheese combines to add so much richness to a delicious steak.

I can’t recommend this recipe enough. Try it. You will impress yourself.

Click here for the full recipe:  Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Bleu Cheese Sauce

 

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Sweet Potato & Apple Rice Bake

On February 20, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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If I was a vegetarian this would be my main dish for Thanksgiving. Add some green bean casserole and mashed potatoes and I’d be perfectly happy with a turkey free day.

The flavors in this dish are so beautifully combined that every bite puts a smile on your face.  I adapted this recipe from a Butternut Squash & Apple Rice Bake recipe from the blog Running to the Kitchen. I swapped out the butternut squash for sweet potatoes, switched the cannellini beans with navy beans, and used dried cranberries instead of dried cherries. I’m sure keeping everything as the recipe says is amazing too; it’s just that I went with what I had in my kitchen.

So feel free to make some modifications just be sure to keep the integrity of the dish by using similar flavors.

Enjoy!

Click here for the full recipe: Butternut Squash & Apple Rice Bake.

Indian Butter Chicken

On February 20, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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For all the hate directed at Netflix last year, I still love them.  The fact that I can stream so many shows and movies is great and it’s still at an affordable price provided you use the service.  I do.

I was watching some old Gordon Ramsey shows with one episode that featured him traveling through India seeking out authentic Indian food.  Since I lack his production budget and time, I decided Google was good enough for my need.  That’s when I ran across the aptly named “Mr Singh Brings You Authentic Indian Recipes” website.

I found a simple butter chicken recipe to try out.  Like Ramsey’s show it focused on recipes that did not use cream and lots of butter like Americanized Indian restaurants do.

The recipe isn’t as rich in flavor as the Americanized Indian butter chicken, but it has its own distinctive benefits including a deeper flavor that showcase the spices more than the cream and butter.

This is a good recipe. However, I feel I can still find something better.

Click here for the full recipe: Butter Chicken.

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Chorizo Tacos

On February 13, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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These easy to make tacos are full of flavor and require very little preparation and cooking time.

The Chorizo I bought came from a local ranch called Rehoboth Ranch that sells at the Coppell Farmers Market.  The ingredients are simple including only pork, salt, paprika, ground pepper, garlic, and oregano.

I also used some locally made corn tortillas from Two Chefs, sold at the same market. I highly recommend their corn tortillas as they are the best I have found around Dallas.

Chorizo Tacos
Serves 3-4

1 lb Chorizo Sausage, remove casing and crumble
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, rough chop
10 corn tortillas
1 lime
hot sauce (optional)
oil

Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a saute pan and heat on medium-high.  Place crumbled chorizo into pan and add cumin and fresh pepper.  Let this cook, watching it and stirring it often. Keep cutting the chorizo into smaller bits and let the sausage get a bit burt in places.  This will add to the flavor and should take about 7-10 minutes.

Meanwhile heat some oil in a pan high enough to barely cover a tortilla.  Let it get hot enough, about 3 minutes.  Dip each tortilla in the oil separately and turning over quickly. This should only take about 5 seconds per tortilla and move the tortilla to a plate with paper towels and remove any excess oil.  Repeat with remaining corn tortillas.

Place a few tortillas on a plate and add about a 1/3 cup of meat and a small handful of cilantro and red onions.  Cut up a lime adding a couple wedges to each plate.

Serve with your favorite hot sauce for added flavor, like Valentina.

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Ungraded Local Farm Eggs There is No Alternative

On February 13, 2012, in Food, by Chris Baccus
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Saturday’s Coppell Farmers Market was freezing cold in the low 30s with heavy wind, but that didn’t stop me from stopping by for some local groceries including eggs.

One of my favorite ingredients to get local are eggs.  There is no alternative.  Store bought eggs look like they come from a factory with each egg mimicking the others in shape and size.

“Yard Eggs” are eggs from small family farms or gardeners who raise chickens and have more than their family needs.  They come in a variety of shapes and colors, my favorite being the bluish-green eggs that look like colored Easter Eggs in need of no vinegar dye.

The yolks are bright, bright yellow and hold their shape firmly.  Store-bought eggs have sat around longer since they were packed in a factory and shipped from another part of the country and then stocked by the store.

This blog show the difference in quality quite nicely, if you are interested in an unscientific comparison: The Egg Experiment.

If you want better tasting eggs go local and buy some like the ones I found from Hiram Farms in Willspoint, TX.

 

Last Christmas I asked for some new cookbooks to add to my bookshelf.  With the change to making vegetarian/vegan 4 times each week, I thought some updated cookbooks in my meat-focused cookbook collection would be welcome.

One book that kept coming up is Veganomicon many reviews felt it is the essential vegan cookbook on the mark and the subtitle even makes the not-so-subtle claim of being “The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.”

I made a couple recipes this past week. The first is vegan enchilada recipe that uses kale and potatoes.  The other is a leek and navy bean with biscuits recipe that reminds me of a meatless, no dairy version of a light chicken and biscuit recipe I also have on this blog.

Of the two, the biscuit vegetables and bean dish was excellent. One of the best vegan recipes I’ve ever had.

Veganomicon is definitely worth picking up.  I have a ton of recipes I still need to get too.  Fortunately the first two recipes turned out great.  I look forward to more ultimate vegan success!

Find out more about the book and buy it here!

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Chicken with Sauteed Leeks, Apples and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

On February 10, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I finally did some catching up on my Pinterest to-do list.  This recipe I found on the site a couple weeks ago. It’s quite simple and only takes about 20 minutes with prep and time cooking.  The addition of a light white wine and lemon sauce really brings everything to life.

The meal tastes like fall. With Dallas weather similar to Michigan fall weather, it feels like a cool day in October in Detroit.

Full recipe: Chicken with Sauteed Leeks, Apples and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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