Monday, May 16, 2011

2 sisters cooking Mexican!

Hello friends, I have missed you!  Unless you wanted to read recipes for a green salad or grated carrots, I have not had much to contribute to this blog.  Fortunately, Saule came to visit and dragged me out of my rut, literally and figuratively!  Last Friday, we visited the CIA (the culinary school, not the agency) and she'll tell you about it.  I want to share a few recipes we were inspired to cook in a vaguely Mexican vein.  How vaguely? Well, there was guacamole with spring onions, rib-eye tacos, quick-pickled vegetables, and roasted asparagus with queso fresco all washed down with the fine Blue Point Toasted lager.  It was so nice to cook again and even better to cook together.  I also still find it remarkable that my sister manages to leave the kitchen spotless BEFORE we sit down for dinner!

Rib-eye tacos
We used about a pound of Wilklow Orchards grass-fed rib-eye to feed two

1 pound of good quality rib-eye or another favorite steak, sliced across the grain about 1/4 inch thick
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped finely
1 large lime, juiced
1 clove garlic
2-3 sprigs of spring onion or a small red onion, chopped finely
2-3 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle or 2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients and let the meat marinate for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Preheat a heavy skillet (we used cast iron) over medium-high heat until a tablespoon of oil shimmers.  Sear the meat on both sides, being careful to not overcrowd the skillet until cooked as you desire.  Scrape in the rest of the marinade and toss around a bit.  Serve with corn tortillas and your favorite taco toppings, such as pickled veggies.

Quick-pickled vegetables
We used radishes, carrots, and a red bell pepper, sliced on a mandoline.  Feel free to use cabbage, mild turnips, and even broccoli stems.  This volume generously served two, but the vegetables will also keep in the fridge for a few days.
5 -6 radishes, sliced thinly
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 large red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon of water
2-3 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl.  Mix the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and cumin and bring to a boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables, tossing well.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, mixing occasionally, and stir in the cilantro before serving.

Gratuitous shot of my thyme plant

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