Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Normally when you think Chile Relleno you think of the deep fried, cheese filled, omnipresent vegetarian option in most Mexican restaurants. This is not that Chile! This is a healthy, tangy, delicious version that can play the staring role at any dinner party.....
5 Poblano Peppers (substitute Green bells if you don't want the heat...)
1 Lg Onion, chopped fine
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbs Olive Oil
8 Oz Dry Pinto Beans: soaked overnight, then boiled in 3 cups of water until tender with a tsp of salt and one bay leaf (can substitute 2 cans of Pinto Beans, rinsed)
2 Ripe Avocados
2 Cups Fat Free Yogurt
4 Oz Feta Cheese
1 Lime, juice only
2 Tbs chopped Cilantro
1. First thing is first; Roast the Poblano's on an open burner flame, the grill or under the broiler. turn frequently until Charred black on all sides. Place Charred Peppers into a bowl with a tight fitting lid (or plastic wrap) and let them sit in their steam for 10 minutes. After ten minutes it should be easy to strip away the charred skin, careful not to tear the side of the pepper. Cut around the stem end of the chile and carefully remove the stem and seeds, but reserve the cleaned stem for decoration. You will inevitable tear one or two of the chiles. Not to worry, you have roasted a spare which you can cut up and use to patch up any holes in the 4 serving peppers.
2. Now the filling: No cheese here, instead we'll use protein and fiber rich refried beans. Take your beans and mash them roughly. In a non-stick skillet, sautee the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent and fragrant. Add the mashed beans and fry in the oil until all is combined into a sticky texture, thick enough to be formed. If needed, add some water to loosen the mixture or fry longer to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool enough to handle.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 and prepare an oiled 1/2 sheet pan or casserole dish. Stuff each of the 4 peppers to brimming with the bean mixture. Patch up any wholes with the spare pepper, and top each pepper with its stem cap. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld and the pepper and mixture to adhere to each other.
4. And the show stopper: Avocado cream. To make the sauce, combine the avocados, yogurt, 3/4 of the feta and 3/4 of the cilantro and the juice of one lime in a food processor or blender. Blend until creamy and green.
To present, spoon a generous circle of the avocado cream onto the center of each plate. Top with the Chile, hot from the oven and then drizzle more of the cream on top. Finally, sprinkle with the reserved cilantro and feta cheese. This dish seems rich, but the olive oil, touch of feta and avocados supply the only fat, and the non-fat yogurt and pinto beans give tons of lean protein. Plus, you get your veggies, protein and carbs all in one dish! The spicy pepper, the creamy richness of the garlicky beans and the tangy creaminess of the sauce make this an unforgettable dinner!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
(***Because Beets have a vast variance in water content, start with just half the flour first and check the consistency. Sometimes half is enough and sometimes you need the whole quantity. The important thing is that you have a consistency of a slightly thicker than normal and slightly chunky pancake batter.)
Mix in the beet mixture and wisk until smooth. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and cook the pancakes in batches using a little vegetable oil for each batch. The pancakes need about 2 minutes on each side. You can tell they are ready to flip when little bubbles form on top after a couple of minutes on the first side. This should yield approximately 16 pancakes of about 3-inch diameter. Place pancakes on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Its always smart to taste your vegetables before you use them, no two ever taste alike. I came up with this recipe as a last minute fix, a way to use bell peppers that just are not that sweet. Sometimes bell peppers are irresistibly sweet like candy, and sometimes they are, well, not. The best way to bring out the natural sugars and accentuate their sweetness is to cook them. Taste each pepper in this recipe and pick the sweetest for the raw half and the least sweet for the cooked. If you do not have or do not like three colors, by all means just use one or two, its only for presentation.
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 tsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
Slice the peppers and onion into 2 inch strips. Preheat a non-stick skillet on medium –low heat and add the oil. To the pan add the onions and half the peppers and pinch of salt. Sweat slowly until softened but not browned, approximately 10 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the cooked vegetables with the remaining peppers and parsley. Toss with the vinaigrette and sprinkle the pine nuts on top for maximum visual impact just before serving.
Tomatillos are a large green South American berry that resembles a green tomato and comes in a husk with a sticky lining. They have a tangy and tart flavor that is amazing with rich foods because it cuts right through and brings balance.
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
½ cup cilantro
Juice of one lime
Husk and wash the tomatillos to remove the sticky film and quarter them. Half and seed the jalapeño pepper (or leave the seeds if you want more heat). Toss the Jalepeno, tomatillos and garlic cloves with the olive oil and salt and roast on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until nicely roasted through.
Add cilantro and lime juice to the roasted ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
This sauce is excellent over eggs, arepas, fajitas or quesadillas. It also pairs beautifully with the Arepas in the next recipe!