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"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook”
~Julia Child

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Monday, April 5, 2010

An Irish Feast, Salsa, Waka waka Guacamole, Queso, Fish Tacos, and Tzatziki

Corned Beef and Cabbage

 Ingredients
  • 1 3-4 lb corned beef (you can't go wrong with Grobbels brand)
  • 1-2 lb red skin potatoes
  • 6-8 large carrots
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 3-4 beers (the darker the better, but i usually just use miller lite/what I have in the fridge)
    1. to a large stock pot (big enough to hold all of your above ingredients by the end), add your corned beef (flavoring packet should come with it, you can also add some bay leave or pickling spice).  Pour your 3-4 beers over the top, and then cover the rest with water. **you can use beef broth instead of water, adds a more flavorful taste to your corned beef and veggies.  Bring to a boil, and simmer on low, covered, for about two to three hours (the longer you let simmer, the more tender it will be).
    2. With about 45 minutes to go, add your veggies to the pot.  Quarter your cabbage, and at least halve your potatoes.  I like to cut up the carrots in thirds. (if need be add more water/beer/beef broth to the pot to cover everything).
    3. Cook the veggies until tender.  Once the cabbage is done, everything else should also be tender enough to devour :0)
    4. Take out your veggies and place on platter, strain water away from them.  Take out corn beef, and cut it with a sharp knife, against the grain (again will be more tender this way).
     **Serve with butter, stone ground mustard, and I prefer red wine vinegar for the vegetables.


    SALSA


    Ingredients
    • 1 large bunch of cilantro
    • 6-8 cloves of garlic
    • 1/3 cup of lime juice (preferably fresh)
    • 2 jalapeno peppers (use only one if you want a medium salsa in terms of hotness)
    • 1 medium white onion (chopped roughly)
    • 2-3 chipotle peppers (canned), add the adobe sauce for a smokier flavor
    • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • dash of salt
      1.  Using a blender or food processor, puree your white onion, lime juice, cilantro, jalapenos, and chipotles.
      2. Add your crushed tomatoes, blend.
      3. add your cumin, and salt, blend
      4. taste, add more of whatever you feel it needs (usually I end up adding more adobe sauce from the chipotles and perhaps more cumin).
      5. Chill for at least 4-5 hours or overnight.


      Waka Waka Guacamole

       Ingredients
      • 1 large bunch of cilantro (use only half of this)
      • 2-3 tblsp lime juice (or more to taste)
      • 6 ripe avocados (halved, pitted, and scooped out)
      • 4 cloves garlic
      • 1 small white onion (chopped roughly)
      • 1/4 cup of salsa (from above)
      • dash of salt
      • juice from 2 limes (for use after blending) 
        1. Using blender or food processor, add all of your ingredients and blend til desired consistency.  I perfer a smoother guac, so like to puree....but if you like it chunky style, puree the avocados, cilantro, and garlic first and then add the rest of your ingredients.  Use the blend button at this point.
        2. After transfer to bowl/tupperware container, squeeze one or two limes worth of juice on top of the guac to cover.  This will keep it from oxidizing and turning brown.  Chill for 4-5 hours or overnight.

        QUESO
        • 1 large block of Velveeta cheese.
        • 3 cups of half and half
        • 3-6 tblspn of diced pickled jalapenos
        • 3 tblspn of salsa
        • 1 tsp of chili powder
        1. heat your 3 cups of half and half  in a small saucepan over low to medium heat (you do not want it to boil or burn).
        2. once seems to be brought up to temp, add a little over half of your Velveeta, cubed.  
        3. Stir occasionally so cheese does not settle on the bottom.  Once cheese is completely melted, add your chili powder.  You may need to use a whisk to mix well.
        4. Then add your jalapenos and salsa, stir.
        5. Check the queso consistency.  If you like thicker queso add more cheese, if thinner add more half and half.  Remember that as the cheese cools it will thicken.....

          Fish Tacos 


          Ingredients
          • 8-12 filets of Tilapia (frozen or fresh)
          • 12-20 small flour tortillas
          • 1 cup of finely chopped cilantro
          • 4 limes wedged 
          • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped fine
          • 4 tomatoes diced
          • 1 medium-large onion diced
          • 2 cups of italian bread crumbs
          • seasoning salt or creole seasoning
          • 2 cups of vegetable oil, olive oil, or lard (use to pan fry fish)
          • guacamole, salsa, and your queso
          1. In pie pan/deep dish add your italian bread crumbs.
          2. in large enough pan to fit at least two filets at a time, add about 1 cup of oil and bring up to a sizzling temp. (after frying about half the fish, you may need to add more oil to the pan)
          3. if frozen thaw your tilapia in lukewarm water, drain well.
          4. Once oil is ready, take one of the filets, thoroughly coat both sides with the bread crumbs.  Place in the oil and cook til each side is brown (~2-3 minutes/side).  Place on sheets of paper towl to drain away more of the oil. 
          5. Lightly season the top side of fish with you salt or creole seasoning.
          6. While frying up the rest of your filets, chop up all of your accouterments.
          7. When everything is ready, microwave your tortillas for about 30 seconds on high, completely covered in papertowel or a clean dishtowel.
          8. make a taco building buffet: add your fish, a little queso, your veggies, a pinch of cilantro, and then salsa and/or guac. Use the lime wedges to give your taco a little extra kick of citrus!
          Then VOILA' or should I say OLE', a delish, and pretty nutrish meal (unless if you are as much of a queso lover as myself, then you might be in trouble!)
          **instead of queso or salsa you could even make a buttermilk ranch chipotle dressing, either completely from scratch or take a container of your fav ranch and simply puree it with one or two chipotles!


          TZATZIKI 


          Ingredients 
          • 16 oz container of Dannon plain yogurt or Greek style yogurt would be even better (drain through a cheesecloth, a thin dishtowel overnight)
          • 6 cloves of fresh garlic (diced)
          • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and diced
          • 2-3 tsp fresh dill
          • juice from half a lemon
          1. In a colander (to the rest of you a pasta strainer lol), that rests about 3-4 inches off the bottom of another bowl or pot , place your towel, and pour the yogurt in.  cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge overnight.
          2. in a blender or food processor add your, now thickened, yogurt, along with your garlic. Puree until garlic and yogurt are well blended.
          3. add your lemon juice to bowl large enough to hold your final product of tzatziki.  Fold your yogurt into the lemon juice, making sure it is thoroughly mixed or else you might cause curdling.
          4. now add your fresh dill and diced cucumber, mix well.
          5. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours, or overnight.
          **serve simply with gyros flatbread that has been warmed or pan fried, or just your favorite crusty baguette.  I absolutely love using this as a veggie dip as well or directly on my salads.

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