Aloo Gobi

On July 16, 2017, in Food, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I don’t make enough Indian food at home. Perhaps, it’s because we have some excellent Indian restaurants around Los Angeles.  One of my favorites is Mint Leaf in Altadena.  They make great Indian food that reminds me of place that started my love for Indian food back when we lived in Michigan, Priya in Troy, Michigan.

Now back to my kitchen.

Indian food isn’t a difficult cuisine for the home cook. Sure it uses a couple handfuls of spice jars every time, but if you’re like me you have a hundred spice jars and can pretty much make anything without a long list of spice jars for that one-off recipe.

A favorite dish has become Aloo Gobi. It’s a vegan dish made with potatoes and cauliflower. It’s fairly simple and only took about 30 minutes to prepare.  Add some rice and you have an easy, exotic vegan dish in no time at all. I ran across a recipe on Pinterest from the blog Edible Garden.  I had to adjust some things as the cooking time was way off and the flavors need some adjustment.  You can find the source recipe here.

Aloo Gobi
Serves 4

1/2 head or 2 cups chopped cauliflower
4 medium potatoes, large dice
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp ginger, diced
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2-3/4 tsp red chili powder, adj for taste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garma masala
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

Heat pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat and place onions, garlic and ginger in pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Cook without burning and then add diced potatoes and chopped cauliflower to the pan.  Stir pan and add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat potatoes and cauliflower. Add some salt to taste. Cover and heat stirring every few minutes so the items do not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.  Cook covered for about 10 minutes.

Add the spices and tomato paste to the pan and coat all the items to combine.  Cover the pan again and stir every 3 minutes and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Try a potato to check for doneness. When ready, add the chopped cilantro to the pan to coat and serve immediately over rice.

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Mexican Vegetarian Rice Bake

On April 13, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Casseroles are a great way to make being a vegetarian more flavorful and interesting. Granted, I’m not a vegetarian.  However, we try to eat vegetarian or vegan for most of our dinners at home, doing about four or five a week without any meat.  What I like about casseroles is that they create flavor meals that feel more like meals and less like a side dish.  Plus baking something is usually easy and since there is no meat in the dish, the cooking time is pretty fast too.

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A few weeks ago I made a recipe I found that uses rice and a kale black bean soup from Pacific Foods. My post isn’t sponsored like the blogger who did the recipe for the brand’s website, but that’s fine. I really didn’t mind spending $3 for the soup and trying it out.  The recipe seemed foolproof and the cost to make this dish is pretty low, if you care about that.

What I enjoyed about this dish is the crunchiness rice gets when you bake it. Baked rice dishes enhance the texture of the rice and the soup added to the recipe gives the rice even more flavor.

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If you are looking for an easy, after work vegetarian meal you should give this one a try.  I’m sure I’ll make it again soon.

Full Recipe: [Mexican Vegetarian Rice Bake]

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Chicken Tikka Masala Poutine for #SundaySupper

On July 25, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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When I heard what this week’s Sunday Supper theme was I knew exactly what I wanted to make, since I had tried making the dish a month before and knew I was close to getting it right.

The theme this week is Copycats Recipes. Basically, recreate a recipe from a restaurant. Badmaash is an unique take on Indian located in downtown Los Angeles. They call themselves an Indian-Gastropub and that’s exactly what they are. One of the dishes they showcase a lot on their Instagram feed that I follow is a Chicken Tikka Poutine. They use a gravy with curds and add grilled Chicken Tikka to top it off.   Mine is a bit different and instead uses the rich tomato heavy cream sauce of a Tikka Masala in place of gravy.

For those who do not know, poutine is a French Canadian dish with fries, gravy, and cheese curds. There are a lot of variations on the dish with some adding pulled pork, beef and other options to go along with gravy, fries and curds.

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I was lucky this past week at the Studio City Farmer’s Market where I found some organic cheese curds from Spring Hill Jersey Cheese based in Petaluma, California.

While a Canadian friend of mine thinks the Badmaash dish here is blasphemous, I don’t care. It tastes great. Is it “poutine”? No, not by a strict definition, but it does taste amazing and is a great way to mix it up which is why I wanted to share it during this week’s Copycat Recipe for Sunday Supper!

Chicken Tikka Masala Poutine

Serves 2

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice from half a small lemon
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon garma masala
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon paprika
pinch of cayenne powder
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup cheese curds
chopped cilantro for garnish

Bag of frozen French Fries, Alexia is a good choice

Combine yogurt, lemon juice and spices in a bowl. Add the raw chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

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Cook fries per the package instruction if using frozen. You can also make your own using your favorite recipe.

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When chicken is done marinating, heat broiler for 5 minutes moving rack so boiler is about 6-inches from rack. Place chicken evenly on aluminum foil, do not stack chicken pieces on top of each other and spread them out so they are easy to turn. Heat chicken for 4-6 minutes until you see chicken start to blacken, flip chicken using tongs and heat in broiler for another 3-5 minutes until browning occurs. Remove and set aside.

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Heat ghee or butter in pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and let them cook for 5 minutes until translucent and not brown. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another couple minutes. Then add the tomato paste and stir cooking for a minute. Add the spices and combine finally pour in the can of diced tomatoes with the juice and stir letting it heat up for 4 minutes. Finally add the heavy cream and mix, once combined add the chicken you removed from the broiler. Cook on low heat until your fries are ready.

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When everything is done, place the fries on a dish and then add some of the Chicken Tikka Masala with sauce on top. Add some cheese curds and spoon over some more Chicken Tikka Masala letting the heat from the sauce melt the cheese. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve.


 

Everyone has a favorite dish, dessert or drink available at a restaurant. This weekend, the #SundaySupper bloggers share copycat recipes for their favorite dine-out meals. Is your favorite on the list?

Drinks

Appetizers

Condiments

Main Courses

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more greatSunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sous-vide Carne Asada Street Tacos

On June 24, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I make a lot of vegetarian dishes during the week, mostly because anything with meat takes too long to cook from the time I get home from work. One of the ways to make using meat easier and ready when I walk through the door is to use a style of cooking called sous-vide. It is a French style of cooking a vacuum-packed meat or vegetable slowly in a water bath.

Unlike a crockpot where you don’t want to overcook too much, sous-vide allows for a wide range of time for when the meat is ready. In the case of this recipe, the meat can be removed from the water bath anytime between 7 to 24 hours. That means if I’m running late or early from work, it doesn’t really matter.

The green tortillas in the photo are cactus corn tortillas I bought at Super A Foods. You can use any tortilla you like.

I use a Sous-vide Supreme, but there are other sous-vide products on the market.

Sous-vide Carne Asada Street Tacos
Makes 12-16 tacos

1 lb flank steak
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, diced
corn tortillas
vegetable oil
2 limes, quartered
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
hot sauce

Season the flank steak with cumin, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Reserve remaining cilantro. Place seasoned flank steak in a vacuum sealed bag. Seal bag and place in sous-vide water bath. Cook at 145 degree temperature for 7 to 24 hours.

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Heat outdoor grill on high. After you have cooked the flank steak, remove from vacuum sealed bag and dispose of any liquid marinade.  Place steak on grill and grill for 5 minutes on each side (300 degree temperature.)

Meanwhile, heat oil in saute pan. When hot add a corn tortilla and heat for a few seconds on each side flipping using tongs.  Place finished tortillas on paper towel.  Pad off excess grease with paper towel. Continue until finished heating all tortillas.

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Chop onions and cilantro and mix together. Slice flank steak and rough chop into small chunks. Assemble tacos adding meat, onions, and cilantro to each tortilla.  Serve with a sliced limes and hot sauce.

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Vegan Tacos with Mashed Sweet Potato

On April 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Vegan Tacos with Mashed Sweet Potato
Serves 6

18 corn tortillas
canola oil for frying

1 large Japanese sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup almond milk
1 can black beans
2 carrots, cubed
1 green pepper, diced into small chunks
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
cilantro, finely chopped
green onion, cut into 2-inch long pieces

hot sauce, optional

Heat water to a boil and add cubed sweet potato and cook for about eight minutes until soft.  Remove from heat and drain. Add almond milk, salt and pepper to mash to a creamy consistency. Add more almond milk if necessary.

Meanwhile, heat the black beans in a small sauce pan on low heat.  In a separate saute pan on high heat add canola oil using enough oil to barely cover a tortilla.  When hot, add one tortilla at a time for just about 5 seconds turning once using tongs and then placing on paper towel to pat dry of any excess grease. Repeat until all tortillas are softened in oil.

In a small pan, add some olive oil and the cut carrots and green pepper. Add some salt, pepper and the cumin. Mix and heat over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes to soften and let flavors combine. Remove from heat when done.

When everything is done cooking turn off the heat of all burners and assemble tacos.  Serve placing carrot and green onion mixture and then add the black beans.  Place a spoon full of the sweet potato on top and then sprinkle with chopped cilantro and add a couple pieces of green onion on top.  Add your favorite hot sauce if desired.

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Coppa Street Tacos

On October 7, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Last weekend I had a chance to stop by my favorite LA butcher, Lindy & Grundy.  They carry a selection of local, pasture raised, and organic meats. Unlike most visits, I didn’t have a plan of what I wanted to buy and found a cut of boneless pork shoulder, coppa, next to my typical bone-in pork butt that I normally put into my smoker.

Coppa is a cut I wasn’t familiar with, or at least wasn’t used to seeing it at meat counter in its raw form.  That’s what is so great about visiting Lindy & Grundy, I learn about different cuts one usually doesn’t find; although, when I arrived at home with my Coppa in hand, I looked up the cut on Google and learned it most often used to make one of my favorite cuts of cured meat – Capocollo.

I had bought the meat to make some tacos so I decided to marinate the Coppa and smoke it the next day.

The tacos worked in the end. The smoked Coppa had a smoked, bacon-like, flavor that went well with the corn tortillas, onions, cilantro, squeezed lime and Tapatio hot sauce.

Coppa Street Tacos
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds of Coppa, boneless pork shoulder
2 oranges, juice only
1 bottle brown ale, such as New Castle
4 garlic cloves, sliced in half

12 corn tortillas
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 limes, quartered
hot sauce

The night before cooking marinate the Coppa in a bowl mixing the orange juice, ale and garlic cloves. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare a smoker. Discard the marinade. I used some Almond Wood and smoked the Coppa at 225 degrees for 7 hours letting it reach 160 degrees.

Once the Coppa is cooked in the smoker, it can be refrigerated and used the next day or diced into small chunks and served.

Heat the corn tortillas in a saute pan on medium-high with a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil.  Let the oil get hot and using tongs heat each side of the tortilla for about 10 seconds and then place on some paper towel to remove the grease. Repeat with each tortilla.

Add Coppa, onions and cilantro to each tortilla and serve with cut limes and hot sauce.

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Street Tacos al Pastor for #SundaySupper

On September 16, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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September 16th is Día de Independencia in Mexico (Mexico’s Independence Day) and to celebrate the group of bloggers from #SundaySupper decided to feature Mexican dishes.  As someone who has another blog entirely dedicated to my favorite Mexican food — Tacos — I was excited to try making something I have always wanted to attempt.

Tacos al Pastor is my go to taco when I am out doing taco reviews on GasStationTacos.com.  It’s my test to see if the taqueria is sub par, average or amazing. If you have never enjoyed an al pastor taco, you are in for a treat provided you find a place (or recipe) that is at least average and hopefully amazing.

I’ve had amazing a few times.  The most memorable is from this gas station in Dallas, Texas:

They make it on a vertical spit something most home cooks don’t own, myself included. Sadly this recipe isn’t a match for some of the amazing pastor tacos in my history, but that doesn’t mean you should stop reading or ignore this recipe.  It just means the recipe here is above average and is a solid choice for homemade al pastor.  Granted I’ll probably try some other things next time, like increasing or modifying the chiles used as I prefer a bit more spice.

My wife really liked this recipe and thought the tacos were really good. Note this was her first time having al pastor tacos, because she will not eat at the gas stations or taco trucks I like to frequent.  Her loss.

So here is my virgin attempt at al pastor.

You will need to find a Mexican market as you’ll need a coupe things you probably won’t find at the typical grocery store.  Achiote paste and dried guajillos chiles are two things I had to find after striking out here in LA at Whole Foods.

Tacos al Pastor
Serves 4

16 corn tortillas
1/2 cup oil
2 lbs pork butt, trimmed of some of the outer fat and cut into 1″ “steaks”
1/2 pineapple
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, diced
4 limes, cut into quarters
salt

Anchiote Marinade
2 oranges, juice only
1/2 cup anchiote paste
10 dry guajillos chiles
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
1 cup white vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the marinade by soaking the dried gualjillos chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes.  Add the softened chiles to a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until fully combined.  Pour the marinade over the pork butt, cut into 1″ thick “steaks” and refrigerate for about 3 hours.

Heat your grill and add the pork.  Cook the pork for about 20 minutes turning halfway through and pounding the pork with some grill tongs. You want to soften the pork and thin it while it is cooking.  For the last 5 minutes of grilling add some rounds of pineapple.

While waiting for everything to grill, soften the tortillas by heating some oil in a saute pan on the stove.  Quickly add the tortillas for just a second on each side and place on papper towel patting them to remove any excess oil.

Remove the pork and pineapple.  Chop the pork and cut the pineapple into small pieces mixing all of it together.  In a separate bowl mix the red onion, cilantro, squeeze of lime and salt.

Prepare 3 to 4 tacos per plate and place some pork and pineapple mixture onto each tortilla and top with the onion and cilantro mixture.

Serve with some hot sauce and fresh limes.


For more ways to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day checkout the other #SundaySupper recipes this week:

Join us around the family table this week for our #SundaySupper Mexican Fiesta – it’s a party that you won’t want to miss. We hope to inspire you with these mouthwatering recipes from our talented contributors. We will be sharing them all day long and would love for you to share your favorite Mexican and Mexican-inspired recipes during our #SundaySupper live chat at 7pm (Eastern).

Sopas (Soups), Ensaladas (Salads), and Entremeses (Starters)

La Comida (the food)

Postres (desserts)

Bebidas (beverages)

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes for a Mexican Fiesta! All you have to do is follow the#SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’d also love to feature your Mexican Fiesta recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers! And feel free to leave links to your favorite Mexican or Mexican-inspired recipes in the comment section of this post – I’d love to see them!

Sundaysupper-clear

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Hainanese Chicken Rice

On May 20, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Ever buy an ingredient at an ethnic market that you have no idea what to do with?  For me this would include Caribbean Banana Catchup from the Jamaican market and Yeo’s Hainanese Chili Sauce.

Hainanese Chicken is a Singaporean fragrant chicken and ginger and garlic rice dish that comes with a chili and ginger dipping sauce. I adapted this version from The Steamy Kitchen blog that uses a whole stuffed chicken and makes the sauce fresh.

Hainanese Chicken Rice
Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cucumber
1 bunch green onions
2 cups jasmin rice
2 cups broth, from poached chicken
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
4 teaspoons ginger, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 bottle of Hainanese Chili Sauce

Fill a 4 quarter pot halfway with water and add several pieces of green onion, about half of green onion bunch, sliced into 2 inch strips.  Add 2 teaspoons of diced ginger and the raw chicken breasts and let the pot come to a boil.  Boil the chicken for about 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile rinse the rice several times and then add it to a bowl and fill with water until barely covering the rice with water. Let that sit for 10 minutes.  Drain the rice. Now heat a pot on medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic, and remaining 2 teaspoons of ginger. Saute for a couple minutes, but do not burn.  Add the rinsed rice and cook with ginger and garlic for about a minute to mix the flavors.  Now add 2 cups of broth from the poached chicken.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Slice the cucumber into thin moons and dice the cilantro.  Finely chop the rest of the green onion and pour some chili sauce into small bowls for dipping.

Once the rice is done, plate the dish by adding a generous scoop of rice to each plate.  Slice the chicken into large chunks.  Line cucumbers along rice and sprinkle the cilantro and green onion on top.  Serve with chili sauce for dipping.

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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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Vegan Curried Sweet Potato with Herbs

On October 28, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The sweet potatoes at the farmer’s markets are looking great. It’s also the perfect time of the season, even if it is still 80 degrees in Texas. It’s fall and fall foods like squash, pumpkin, potatoes, and root vegetables are perfect ingredients to add to your October cooking plan.

One recipe that caught my interest comes from a blog I’m a new reader of. I was initially attracted to it because of our recent VitaMix blender purchase, but I’m also finding some great vegan and vegetarian recipes. Plus you have to love the design of the blog. Healthy Blender Recipes from Tess Masters is a blog worth checking out.

Earlier this week I made the Vegan Curried Sweet Potato with Fresh Herbs dish that turned out pretty good. The only part I didn’t like about it was my forgetting I had the sweet potatoes boiling in hot water and forgot to set a timer so they ended up a bit mushy and more like a sweet potato mash, but that was all my issue not the blog’s.

For the Recipe: Healthy Blender Recipes – Vegan Curried Sweet Potato With Fresh Herbs