Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blackened Salmon with Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Spice rub:
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tomato
½ red onion
3 jalapenos
1 clove garlic
Handful of cilantro
½ of a 15 oz can of black beans
1 cup frozen corn
½ teaspoon cumin
Juice of 1 lime


Start by making the salsa. Chop the tomatoes in half and clean out the seeds/pulpy bit and dice. Dice the onion, then place it in a strainer and rinse under cold water – this will keep the onions from being too overpowering. Deseed, devein and dice the jalapenos, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro. Defrost the corn in the microwave, and throw everything together in a large bowl. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Let the salsa sit for about 30 minutes so all the flavors marry.

For the salmon:

Mix up the spice rub, and give the salmon a good coating. Heat a pan on high, then add some butter and place the salmon flesh side down. Lower the heat to medium-high, and let the salmon sear for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so, until cooked through.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sopa de Albondigas

Albondigas are traditionally beef meatballs, but since I had chicken stock in my freezer , I decided to make chicken meatballs… and then when the grocery store didn’t have any ground chicken, I ended up using ground turkey. Here’s the recipe as I made it; going forward I think I’d only include 1 chipotle chile (or maybe exclude them altogether).

For the Meatballs:

1 lb ground turkey
¾ cup cooked rice (1/4 cup uncooked)
1 egg
2 jalapenos, diced
1 teaspoon chopped mint
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper

For the Broth:

1 poblano, roasted
1 clove garlic, roasted
1 14.5 oz can roasted tomatoes
2 chipotles in adobo, roughly chopped
6 cups chicken stock


Red onion

Combine all the meatball ingredients together in a bowl and work everything together with your hands. Divide into 16 golf ball sized meatballs.

Heat up your broiler and put the poblano under it for a few minutes on each side, until the skin is blackened. Roast the garlic clove the same way (leave the skin on; it’ll only take a few minutes).

Remove the skin and seeds from the poblano and roughly chop. Add to a blender along with the garlic (remove the skin and roughly chop), tomatoes and 2 chipotles. Blend until smooth. Add this mixture to a pot along with the 6 cups of chicken stock. Bring it up to a simmer and add in the meatballs. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with cilantro, avocado and red onion.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken

This week’s theme was Chinese, which I have to admit I have next to no experience with.
I wanted to try some Sichuan peppercorns after hearing about them on No Reservations, and luckily my local spice store had them. The verdict is… still out. They tasted really medicinal, but I don’t want to totally swear them off until I at least give them another try. Other than that it’s a pretty tasty (and very spicy) stir-fry dish. Either way, it’s worth noting that milk should be avoided along with this dish. Trust me.


½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon peanut oil
1 Tablespoon Soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice wine (I used Sherry instead)
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 Tablespoon sugar
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespooons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons hoisin
1 Tablespoon chicken stock
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Slurry: 1 Tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 2 Tablespoon of chicken stock

8 oz chicken breast
Dried chiles (I used about 7), deseeded cut into pieces
1 clove garlic, diced
1 Tablespoon grated ginger (turned out I didn’t have any left, whoops)
2 Green onions, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns


Cut the chicken breast up and marinate for 20 minutes. Prep the other ingredients while you wait.  Be sure to de-seed the chilis and remove the little black seeds(I think that’s what they are) from the peppercorns. 

(Optional) Place broccoli in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. Microwave on low for 1 minute (skip this step if you like your veggies a little more al dente).

Add some oil to a wok frying pan (I used peanut oil), and add the garlic, ginger, white part of the green onions, dried chiles, and Szechuan peppercorns. Stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add the broccoli, then the chicken, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the chicken is golden.

Add the sauce, let it boil, add the peanuts, then add the slurry and let thicken. Serve over rice.