So here are the meals I made last week!
* Turkey and Chorizo Hash was our Sunday brunch last week. I have lots of leftover shredded turkey meat in the freezer right now (some neighbors know why! :)) and I wanted to use up a little bit. So I found this recipe in Rachael Ray’s “Big Orange Book”. It was really tasty. You can serve this with poached eggs on top, but Matt and I both prefer fried eggs.
* Grilled Italian Sausages with Onion Marmalade and Homemade Potato Chips. This was pretty good! It came from Bobby Flay’s “Boy Meets Grill” which I think is his first grilling book he’s published. I must confess, he calls for those lovely Italian sausages, and I used hot dogs because I had some to use up. It worked, although I think next time I will try it with the sausages like he suggests. I always do stuff like this: find a recipe to use up something in the fridge, and tweak it if I have to. The potato chips were delicious, really a huge step above anything you can buy in a bag.
* Plantain and Black Bean Fritters (!) with Black Bean and Corn Salad. The salad came from the latest issue of Fine Cooking Magazine, and it was very yummy. Grilled corn on the cob, grilled onions, black beans, queso fresco, how can you go wrong? Quite nice. The fritters, however, were supposed to be empanadas. This recipe came from the book ModMex, which I’ve referenced several times. It indicated that you could roast plantains, puree them and form them into empanada shells with a black bean filling. In fact, you cannot. Or at least I couldn’t. So I combined the plantain puree with the black bean filling, added some flour, baking powder and beer and fried up some fritters. I kept the chipotle aioli for dipping. It turned out okay, Matt even pronounced them “addictive.”
* Mushroom and Cactus Tostadas. This was the first time I’d ever eaten or worked with cactus. In fact, until getting this cookbook (again, ModMex) I was not even aware that cacti were edible! I just thought they were those prickly plants in the desert. But I learned something this week, I guess, because they are quite delicious. I have an ethnic grocery store down the street from me (I do live in Queens after all) and they sell both jarred, already-pickled cactus strips, or they also sell fresh cactus pads in the produce section. (I must confess to purchasing the jarred kind as a back-up plan). But using the fresh ones worked! They require a little bit of prep work. You must get the needles off, obviously. This just takes a sharp knife and some caution. Then you will find that they are very slimy, and you just have to run them under water until the slime comes off. Then we grilled them up! They honestly tasted really good.
* This brings us to Date Night!! A very delicious bbq dinner. I ripped off a meal I’ve had before at Dinosaur BBQ, which is an interesting BBQ Catfish over Collard Greens, and Classic Macaroni and Cheese. For dessert, we had Lemonade Cookies. The catfish was simple, barely even needs a recipe: just rub it with your favorite bbq spice rub, then marinate in buttermilk for about an hour. Pat off excess marinade with paper towels, then season to taste with salt and pepper, and sauté in a skillet. The collard greens come from the Dinosaur BBQ cookbook, the mac-and-cheese came from “Real Kitchen” by Tyler Florence, and the cookies were from “Cooking from the Hip” by the lovely Cat Cora.