Dark ‘n’ Stormy Cocktail

On October 7, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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darknstormy

This is my first cocktail recipe post and it’s a simple, but delicious one.  I likely will be adding some more cocktail recipes as I work through some at home.  I spent a week trying to get a mojito down, but spent most of that week taking a few sips and then pouring the rest out in the sink.  I have yet to master that drink, so I went with an easier cocktail.

Dark ‘n’ Stormy is best known by those who have been to Jamaica. I haven’t, but I love the drink and while I couldn’t find Gosling’s Black Seal rum, the preferred choice for this drink, I was able to find Kracken Rum which made for an excellent substitute.

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

6 ounces ginger beer
2 ounces dark rum
1 juice of one lime wedge

Combine the three ingredients and gently stir and serve over ice.

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Hatch Valley Surprise

On September 7, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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While living in Texas, I came to know Hatch Chiles.  They are spicy New Mexico based chile that has a flavor very distinct from other better known chile peppers.  When the season for hatch chiles comes around in late summer, I always make sure to pick up some to use for cooking or in this case… drinking.

I was looking to experiment with the classic Bloody Mary.  Seeing how I love tomato juice but don’t care all that much for vodka, I came across a drink known as the Shanghai Surprise that combines Bloody Mary mix with beer. Now beer I love and well I feel so much better after a beer than some vodka.

bloodymarymeasure

The key ingredient is having fresh tomatoes and using a juicer or blender.  I currently don’t own a juicer, but there a lot of great options for electric juicers on the market today. I used my VitaMix to puree the tomatoes which works good too.

tomatoesblended

Sadly, I was all out of horseradish to make my homemade Bloody Mary mix so I decided to replace the horseradish with Hatch chiles.  The end result was a spicy and delicious recipe I’m sure I’ll make again the next time I get a craving for something more than just a beer.

You can learn more about juicing and other cocktails at Williams-Sonoma blog.

Hatch Valley Surprise
Serves 1

3 ounces Hatch Bloody Mary Mix
5 ounces pilsner or similar beer
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
2 dashes red wine vinegar

Hatch Bloody Mary Mix

6 large tomatoes to make 16 ounces tomato juice
2 ounces lemon juice
1 tablespoon, diced Hatch chile (or 1 teaspoon dried Hatch chile powder)
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients for Hatch Bloody Mary Mix into a blender and blend on high for 15 seconds. Should be smooth.

To prepare the drink, add the ingredients into a glass and serve after a quick stir.

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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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Cilantro and Lime Chicken, a Family Favorite

On May 27, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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My wife has a couple of favorites that she reminds me about on occasion. This recipe is one that comes up a lot. The best part is it is very simple; though, it does require a few ingredients I don’t usually have readily available (lime, fresh ginger and fresh cilantro.) You can also make it in a large batch and freeze a few servings, just double or triple everything in the recipe.

The flavors are rather complex in this dish and you definitely want to measure, especially the lime juice as you don’t want it to become too acidic. Also, make sure you use fresh ginger. Since there are so few flavors in the dish, every flavor needs to stand out, requiring everything to be fresh. You can’t shortcut with dried cilantro or jared ginger.

Cilantro and Lime Chicken

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

2/3 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
4 chicken breast fillets, boneless, skinless, cut into strips
Plain flour, for coating
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish

1. Whisk together the coconut milk, stock, lime juice, and ginger. Lightly coat the chicken with flour

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add the coconut cream mixture to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half and thickened slightly. Tip: If not thick enough, mix a small amount of cornstarch and water together and add a couple tablespoons to the mixture to thicken.

3. Return the chicken to the pan, add the cilantro and simmer for 1 minute to heat the chicken through. Poor mixture over rice and sprinkle with a garnish of cilantro leaves.

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It’s been 90 plus degrees all weekend in Dallas meaning the time is now for some summer recipes.

A new one I found last week is a simple salad that brings together watermelon and feta. I added some chicken and a few drops of fig balsamic vinegar to the source recipe from the Savory Sweet Life blog.

I pan seared a couple boneless, skinless chicken beasts with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  A half a chicken breast per person should be enough so plan accordingly.

Full Recipe: Watermelon Feta Mixed Green Salad

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Taco Truck Tacos… Simple and Great

On March 3, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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When I lived in South Pasadena, California I used to stop by a taco truck in Pasadena along Fair Oaks Boulevard. It was a big yellow truck parked in an empty parking lot that sat there in the late hours of the night. We would usually get some tacos there around midnight, or later, after having some fun. The tacos were simple. They were like no taco I had ever had before. There was no shredded cheese. No shredded lettuce. No sour cream. All it was were small corn tortillas with diced onions, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, a slice of lime, and chopped beef (though you could order brains or intestines if you wanted, I was never so daring.)

I created a very similar taco at home. Here is the recipe. Hope you enjoy it. It’s not exactly taco truck, but it is pretty damn close. Also, if you like a nice economical meal, it is a cheap dinner for the family that is quick and easy to make. Let me know what you think!

Taco Truck Tacos
Serves 4
Makes 12 tacos

1 1/4 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 red onion, finely diced
1 cilantro bunch, chopped
corn tortillas
vegetable oil for frying

3 limes
your favorite hot sauce

Heat the ground beef in a medium high pan. Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste the ground beef, continue to brown for about 5-8 minutes. Once cooked all the way turn heat down to lowest setting to keep warm. While the beef is cooking, chop the red onion and cilantro and mix the two together. Set aside.

Heat oil on medium-high in saute pan. Add enough oil, about a 1/2 inch, to dip corn tortillas into turning each side to cook 5 seconds on each side. Remove each tortilla quickly and set on paper towels. Continue until all tortillas are cooked (should be soft after cooking in oil, you don’t want them crispy.)

Assemble tacos by placing spoonful of beef atop tortillas then spoon cilantro and red onion mixture over beef. Add some hot sauce and serve with sliced limes. Squeeze lime slices over tacos and enjoy.

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