Posts Tagged ‘carrots’

Mexican Feast: Grilled Ancho-Rubbed Pork with Smoky Tomato Salsa, Grilled Corn with Cheese and Lime, and Tangy Cabbage Slaw

July 21, 2010

Sometimes I find myself cooking and grilling in one-offs – I find a great steak recipe then think of a good potato recipe to go with it. I see a kabob recipe that looks good then think of some orzo or rice to go with it. Rarely, I have a cookbook or magazine article that gives me a full menu. And, what I have found is the more I try to cook from full menus, the easier it is to create my own.

This one came from Real Simple on an article about BBQing Beyond the Burger. I like it because it is an unexpected grilling menu, but is a great “theme” dinner and makes a good excuse to have a margarita! It seems like a lot of components, but take the effort to make them all if you can. They all meld together on your plate and complement each other perfectly.

If you haven’t used ancho chile powder, use this as your excuse to buy some. I like to think of it as a milder chili powder that has a bit of smokiness. It is traditional in Mexican cooking, and once you try it you will see why.

I recommend trying this menu on a Sunday night like we did – grill it all outside and enjoy a nice, cold margarita!

GRILLED ANCHO-RUBBED PORK WITH SMOKY TOMATO SALSA
Serves 8

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ancho chili pepper or regular chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
3 pork tenderloins (about 3 1⁄2 pounds total)
2 pints grape tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 to 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced
16 8-inch flour tortillas

Heat grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, chili pepper, cumin, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Rub the mixture all over the pork.

Divide the tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeño peppers between 2 large pieces of heavy-duty foil. Dividing evenly, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Fold and seal to form 2 pouches.

Divide the tortillas between 2 pieces of heavy-duty foil and wrap.

Grill the pork, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 145º F, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, grill the tomato pouches, shaking occasionally, for 10 minutes; transfer the contents to a bowl. Grill the foil-wrapped tortillas until heated through, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve the pork with the tomato salsa and tortillas.

GRILLED CORN WITH CHEESE AND LIME
Serves 8

8 ears corn, shucked
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese) or Feta
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 limes, cut into wedges

Heat grill to medium-high. Brush the corn with the oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Grill, turning often, until tender and charred, 5 to 7 minutes.

Sprinkle the corn with the cheese and cayenne. Serve with the lime wedges.

TANGY CABBAGE SLAW
Serves 8

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 medium red cabbage (about 1 1⁄2 pounds), cored and shredded – one one bag of pre-shredded cabbage
2 large carrots (about 1⁄2 pound), grated
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, whisk together the orange and lime juices, oil, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Add the cabbage and carrots and toss to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for at least 45 minutes. Fold in the cilantro before serving.

Curried Vegetable Pot Pies

February 27, 2010

Last week I had the amazing honor of meeting Martha. Yes, the one and only Martha – Martha Stewart. I attended her show, met her briefly (fortunately long enough for a photo) then had meetings in her offices and got the grand tour. I must say, for someone who admires and respects Martha, it was a wonderful business trip!

No, she isn’t the type of person who will come up to you and give you a hug, but heck, would you expect that from Martha?! But what you can expect was that she had the answer to every audience question after the show, from waffle recipes to compost piles. I was in awe.

Her offices are nothing to sneeze at either – they take up a full NYC block and include everything from a craft room to an accessory closet to the infamous “test kitchen,” which you could smell down the hallway.

After my meeting, the execs were nice enough to give me a Martha tote with her latest craft book (which went to my much more talented mother) and her latest cookbook, which I read cover to cover the minute I got home. It is called Martha Stewart’s Dinners at Home, and I would recommend it for any home cook. What I love about the book isn’t just the amazing recipes and beautiful photos, but she organizes the book by season, which is exactly how I love to cook.

When I flipped to the page with the Curried Vegetable Pot Pie recipe, my husband declared he would love to have it on a Friday (since it is Lent, so he wouldn’t be eating meat). I will admit, I had never made pot pies before, and was a bit intimidated. But, Martha makes it sound so doable, so I figured I would give it a whirl.

Only one bite in, both Rob and I declared it “blogworthy,” and halfway through gave it even more praise. The curry truly makes the dish – you could easily put in chicken if you wanted, but I certainly didn’t miss it. So, for all you vegetarians (and even meat eaters), this one is a winner. On a cold winter night, it is the perfect comfort food.

Thanks, Martha, for this recipe! I hope our paths cross again!

CURRIED VEGETABLE POT PIES
Serves 4
(recipe fills 4 10-oz ramekins – I only had 6 oz ones so I made half the recipe and it filled 3 perfectly)

1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed according to package instructions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch half-moons, washed well by soaking in water
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, plus more for brushing
1 russet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 2- by 1/2-inch matchsticks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup frozen peas (unthawed)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pastry dough into four squares just larger than the ramekins (I recommend cutting them as a square around the inverted ramekin so you make the right size). Make several slits in the dough for steam vents. Chill squares on baking sheet until firm, 15 to 30 minutes (while you make the rest of the dish).

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook leek, parsnips and carrots with 1 teaspoon salt, stirring frequently, until slightly soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour, cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisking constantly, stir in milk, potato, and curry powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer very gently until potato is tender, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide cooked vegetable mixture evenly among baking dishes. Stir 1/4 peas into each dish, then top with a square of puff pastry. Brush pastry lightly with milk. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken Masala with Cumin Carrots

February 6, 2010

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traditional Indian food (next to Thai, might actually be my favorite). Tender meat swimming in a think and spicy sauce…yum! But, if you want something a little different from typical Indian fare, this is a good one to try.

We made them with chicken breasts in order to attempt something healthier, but I firmly believe bone-in chicken with skin would have knocked this one out of the park.

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this recipe. It is a good one for a crowd if they aren’t into ethnic foods. The flavors are mild (not lots of spice) without being boring.

Don’t omit the carrots – simple method, sure, but amazing results! Just throw them in the oven with the chicken after the chicken has gotten a bit of a head start.

CHICKEN MASALA
6 Servings

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garam masala*
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 4- to 4 1/2-pound roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces, backbone removed
2 small onions, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Mix yogurt, chopped cilantro, olive oil, garam masala, salt, and garlic in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add chicken to marinade, 1 piece at a time, coating all sides. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Arrange onions in thin layer on large rimmed baking sheet to form bed for chicken. Top with chicken pieces in single layer, spacing apart for even roasting (chicken will still be coated with marinade). Discard remaining marinade.

Roast chicken on top rack until cooked through and juices run clear when thickest portion of thigh is pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Serve chicken atop onion slices. Spoon pan juices around.

CUMIN ROASTED CARROTS
6 Servings

* Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 medium to large carrots, peeled, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (I actually used baby carrots)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Combine carrots and all remaining ingredients in large bowl; toss to coat. Spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast carrots until tender and lightly caramelized, turning carrots over once, 35 to 40 minutes.


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