Feb 1 2011

chicken piccata with lemon, capers and artichoke hearts

Chicken Piccata

This is another one of those recipes that I fell in love with before I had even tried it, based solely on the ingredients.  It’s got wine and lemon (two of my favorite things) and they’re accented by briny capers and artichoke hearts.  The chicken gets pounded, making it extra tender and juicy.  In fact, Joseph was doing such a good job pounding it that our landlady, who lives upstairs, called to make sure everything was ok.

dry Riesling and lemon

We’ve made this chicken piccata before and I’ve always loved it, but I’ve never had as much fun making it as I did when we made it this past Sunday night.  That ‘s because when our credit card cash back reward rolled in, we rolled out to Hunt’s Photo and Video and got my new love: the Canon 60mm macro.

zesting lemon

lemon cross-section

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Jan 29 2011

chipotle chilaquiles

chilaquiles

We concluded our week of Rick Bayless recipes with the recipe that first introduced us to the genius of Rick Bayless: chipotle chilaquiles.  I didn’t even know what chilaquiles were until we went to dinner with our friends, Christina and Adam, about a year ago.  They made served us this spectacular green stuff unlike anything that I had ever had before that I just loved: chilaquiles.  I begged for the recipe and Christina replied that it was ridiculously easy.  You basically take a jar of salsa (they had used salsa verde) and cook it with some tortilla chips.  It couldn’t be any easier and it was so tasty!

chipotle peppers, tomatos, garlic, onions

I googled chilaquiles when we got home and we decided that we could try making the sauce ourselves.  We were already aware of and really liked Rick Bayless from Top Chef Masters and when I saw his recipe on foodandwine.com, I figured, hey why not?  Little did I know the impact it would have.  We loved it so much that we began to make it nearly weekly.  Then we bought his cookbook, Everyday Mexican, and began cooking our way through it.

tortilla chips

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Jan 21 2011

red chile chicken and rice with black beans

For as long as I can remember, black beans and rice has been one of my favorite dishes.  I went to this awesome bilingual daycare in DC when I was really little and every Friday we got black beans and rice.  I lived for those black beans and rice….

When I was 19, I spent a couple months living with a host family in Honduras while volunteering with Amigos de las Americas and we often got beans and rice for dinner, but they were never mixed together.  My host mom watched in amazement as I excitedly stirred them together on my plate.  After a few weeks I no longer had black beans on my plate.  When I asked, I was told there were none left, they were out of season. I didn’t know that could happen! I was devastated.  But then a couple of days before I left, my host mom served me lunch with a huge grin on her face.  She had gotten some black beans and had already mixed them in with the rice for me. I ate those rice and beans with every meal until I headed back to the States a couple days later.

sautéing rice onion and spices

Once I was cooking on my own for the first time, black beans and rice became a staple for me.  When I was in college, I would cook up a huge pot of black beans and rice and eat it all week long, adding in another veggie or two every couple of days to make it a little different.  It was cheap, it was healthy, it was easy, and I loved it.

ancho powder

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Jan 17 2011

spicy garlicky cashew chicken and chilled sesame spinach

There are some recipes that you know you’re going to love just by a quick glance at the ingredients.  This is one of those recipes.  Cashews, with their rich, creamy, salty nuttiness are one of my favorite nuts, I love cilantro and I love, love, love garlic.  And if you ask me, almost any dish can be improved with a kick from jalapeños.  So when Joseph asked if I would be interested in trying the recipe, I ran to get my coat so we could hop in the car to get to the grocery.

essential new york times cookbook

Joseph found the recipe in The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century, which he got  for Christmas.  And it was, just as I had predicted, an awesome recipe. You start off by blending the cilantro, lime, cashews, garlic, brown sugar and oil and then marinate the chicken in that heavenly mixture.  What’s not to love?

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