Monday, January 25, 2010

30 second rule...

...unless you're not a puma.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

5 minute meal.

it's all about timing, baby!
seriously, 5 minutes to make this entree with two sides.
(ok well, maybe 8 minutes max, depending on how fast you can move and chop in the kitchen...)

i guess i should probably set this up first...

last night, an abundant amount of fresh fish fillets (cod) fell upon my lap that would of gone unused or dumped if i hadn't taken it. as i had the day off of work and the possibility that this fish may be on its way out, i decided to cook the little guys up. inspired by the fact that i've been working with a few spices and having a serious lack of "eating my colors" in my diet, i picked up some red potatoes and brocollini to go with my fish.

spiced cod fillet with herbed red potatoes and steamed broccolini:

this meal is quick and easy and will get dinner on the table in no time at all. just get a pot of water on to steam some broccolini and, a couple pans with lids, hot and ready to pan fry some fish and potatoes.

6oz cod fillets, thinly cut
ground cumin
ground coriander
ground cardamom
salt and pepper

herbed potatoes:
(serving 1)
2 red potatoes, small diced
1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 sprig fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
(or any other herbs you have on hand)
salt and pepper, to taste

steamed broccolini:
bunch of broccolini
salt and pepper
1/2 lemon

first, get your steamer going so that it is ready to go when you want to throw in the broccolini. heat two pans over med/high heat. while your pans are heating up, chop your potatoes up into little dice and toss in the herbs, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil to coat.  throw it into your pan and let it start to brown on all sides (which means, let it be for a minute before you start to move the pan around).  next, sprinkle equal parts, cumin, coriander, and cardamom ( about 1 tsp each, per side) onto both sides of the fish so that you get a nice spice crust. salt and pepper both sides as well.

put some oil in the hot pan and sear the fish, presentation side down first. (you might have to turn down the heat if it's too hot and the fish is burning, rather than getting brown)

put the broccolini in the steamer. give your potatoes a toss.

by this time (about 2 mins in), you should be flipping the fish. give your potatoes another toss and test to see if they are done. if not, place a lid over the pan.  depending on how thick your fish is, it should be done after about a couple minutes after flipping.  if not, place a lid over that and turn off the heat.

remove the broccolini from the steamer. sprinkle salt and pepper on it and squeeze some lemon over it.

check your fish and potatoes.  plate 'em up and that's it!

point of the 5 minute meal is multitasking. if this seems like too much at once, just remember to get the stuff that takes the longest to cook on the stove first. that will save you tons of time when you are cooking a whole bunch of things at once. this meal is meant to be easy and good way to practice multitasking in the kitchen. have fun!

Friday, January 22, 2010

ropa vieja.

guess who had a couple days off of work this past weekend!?


in addition, my closest friends flew into town from all parts of the country for a visit!  what better way to celebrate, then with a party filled with friends and food (and a bit of booze). after a week filled with sliced fingers and seared flesh, i decided to braise some meat. inspired by a recipe provided by culinary school and our recent work with chutneys and salsas, i threw a taco party. (we even bought a keg, haha.) i asked some folks to bring their own version of a salsa or a chutney and voila, partay!

shredded beef ("ropa vieja") tacos:
(this is only half the recipe i served. i had to doubled this as to feed at least a good 20 people.)

2# flank steak
4 cloves garlic, minced
16oz can of tomatoes (drained)
1 bell pepper (green/red), diced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1T cumin
2 bay leaves
1 quart (32oz) chicken stock
flour, as needed
salt and pepper, to taste

super easy guys! basically, salt and pepper your flank steak (fat and all) and lightly dredge it in flour. get a pan hot and put a little oil in it to coat. sear off the flank steaks so that they are brown on each side. add stock straight to the pan so that it surrounds but doesn't completely cover. you want it just peaking out over the surface. bring it up to a simmer, cover it and let it braise until it gets tender (basically falling apart or shredable; a couple hours at most).  once it gets to that point, remove the meat from the pan (save about a cup or so of the liquid) and shred the meat using a couple of forks. in a new pan, saute onions, garlic, bell peppers and throw the meat back in. add the spices, the wine, the tomatoes and a bit of the cooking liquid. cook until the liquid gets thick and coats the beef. done.

serve with tortillas, shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, grated cheese, limes and an assortment of salsa type condiments.

nom, nom.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


so i guess i should mention that i just got another job (number 3) at vindalho restaurant ( today (!). surprisingly, i responded to a craigslist ad the day before yesterday and got called the next day. i had my second interview today and met with the chef/owner of the restuarant and had a very delightful interview. apparently, around 75 people applied for the position so i was pretty freaking exciting when i got the call!

it's a pacific northwest indian "spice route" style restaurant that sits in inner southeast (which is also awesome because it's just down the street from my house!).  i start training tomorrow for the pantry cook position that will have me working a few days a week to possibly more in the next coming monthes. i'll still be working at biwa on the weekends (so now you have more opportunities to come visit me at work, portlanders!)

pretty exciting stuff people! stay tuned...