Quesadillas

Adapted from smitten kitchen‘s taco torte recipe

vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno/habanero/serrano pepper, chopped small (optional)
ground cumin, chili powder to taste
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained, with 1/3 cup juice reserved
2 cans black, red and/or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can corn, drained
rough-chopped spinach leaves
6 flour tortillas (I like the corn ones, cause you can’t find them in Germany)
shredded cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice (only had lemon juice)
Chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream and/or salsa for garnish (optional)
2 radishes, sliced thin (didn’t have)
1 avocado, sliced (not ripe)

Saute onion, garlic, poblano pepper (and I threw in celery) in pan over medium heat until fragrant. Add the spices. Add the tomatoes and drained beans. Season with salt and pepper. Add the corn. I could have added mushrooms, but decided against it after having had mushroom risotto last night.

How to decide between authentic Mexican street foods (antojitos)? There are burritos, gringas, enchiladas, nachos, panuchos, salbutes, tacos, taquitos/flautas, tlayudas — all original Mexican dishes made with tortillas. Flour tortillas are often used for burritos and quesadillas, while corn tortillas are used for the rest. Lesson learned: Fajitas are Tex-Mex!

~Jessica

Pappardelle al ragù alla bolognese

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

olive oil
1/2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, trimmed and finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g turkey mince
400g plum tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary, dried oregano, 2 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
125ml red wine
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (optional)
basil leaves, ¾ finely chopped and the rest left whole for garnish
75g Parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
400g pappardelle (or tagliatelle or fettuccine if you like)

If using meat, cook the bacon first. Saute onions in olive oil/butter on medium heat until fragrant. Add garlic and cook a couple minutes. Add the carrot, then the celery and cook until softened. Add the ground meat and wine. Cook a bit. Add the tomatoes and puree/water, the chili pepper if you like, and all herbs. Let stew for 30-60 minutes. Boil water for the pasta meanwhile. Cook pasta one minute short (al dente). Add the pasta to the sauce and swirl to coat thoroughly. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan and torn basil. Buon appetito.

~Jessica

Slow cooker chili con carne

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My sister just had a new baby, so we’ve been trying to create protein-rich, one pot meals that aren’t too complicated. Photo above includes the leftovers paired with a mushroom spinach cheese omelette and smoked gouda on English muffin.

Adapted from smitten kitchen

lean ground turkey (we had beef in the freezer)
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
chili powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, paprika, oregano, Dried red pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1-2 jalapenos or other fresh hot pepper, minced (we can’t tolerate too spicy though!)
1 bell pepper
vegetable/olive oil
1/2 bottle fresh tomato sauce or tomato puree
3 tablespoons cider vinegar (we forgot, next time!)
1 bottle beer (next time!!)

Heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions until fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Mix all the rest of the ingredients in your slow cooker. Serve with sour cream and grated cheese.

~Jessica

Chole

aka Chana masala. Adapted from Padma Lakshmi, a repeat from an earlier recipe.

2 onions, quartered
1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped (I used red)
6 large firm, ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
Salt, to taste
2 (15-ounce) cans chick peas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, or to taste

Chop finely the onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and ginger root. In a pot set over medium heat, warm the (I used coconut) oil until hot. Add the onions and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and peppers and cook for 20 minutes. Add the Garam Masala and chili powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. Add the salt and chick peas and cook, stirring, until heated through. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve the curry over rice.

~Jessica

P.S. I also threw in some green and yellow squash for extra vegetables, and we threw in a dollop of peanut butter for added creaminess!

Stir-fried cabbage, Chinese style

imag0899Adapted from The Woks of Life

vegetable oil
a bit of pork belly (optional)
5 cloves garlic, smashed and cut in half
5 dried red chilies, deseeded and very roughly chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced for slaw
Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sugar, water, Chinese black vinegar (didn’t have this one)
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths

Heat oil and sear meat, if including. Add garlic and chilies, cook until fragrant. Add the cabbage and sauce ingredients. Cook until softened and cabbage edges are searing. Stir in the scallions and a pinch of salt.

~Jessica

Stir fry noodles with bok choy

img-20170116-wa0034Adapted from mao mao mom

500 g Chinese noodles (I used fresh wheat)
3 splashes of soy sauce, 1 glug of vegetable oil
olive oil
1 bunch green scallions
garlic, ginger, chili (all chopped fine)
90 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 small carrots, julienned
400 g baby bok choy, separated into leaves
salt, white pepper, broth
2 glugs of sesame oil

Cook the fresh noodles in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain noodles and return to pot. Mix with the soy sauce and oil and “brown” the noodles on medium heat.

Heat oil in wok, and saute the scallions, chili, ginger, and garlic on high heat for 30 seconds. Add carrots and stir fry. Add mushrooms and stir fry. Add bok choy and stir fry. Season to taste with salt, pepper, broth.

Remove from heat, add the noodles, season with sesame oil, and toss. Serve hot.

~Jessica

Pork stir-fry

Similar to Rasa Malaysia

pork (cut into bite-size cubes)
Sauce: oyster sauce, cornstarch, 3 dashes white pepper, soy sauce,  Shaoxing wine, sugar
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
8 slices ginger, grated
2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
2 red chilies, seeded and finely sliced (optional)
Oil for frying
tomatoes, etc. vegetables of your choice!

img_6801Marinate pork in sauce (add a little water). Chop vegetables (edamame, celery, cilantro was in the fridge). Fry aromatics (garlic, ginger, scallions). Fry vegetables. Remove. Fry pork. Combine. Serve over rice.

~Kai-ling

Jianbing

jiānbǐng (traditional Chinese: 煎餅; literally: “fried pancake”) is a traditional Chinese street food similar to crepes. The main ingredients are a batter of wheat and grain flour, eggs and sauce. I forgot to put in the eggs and used wheat tortillas to wrap them instead.

tortilla
1 clove of garlic, minced
meat of your choice (we used pork)
red wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce
pepper, garlic powder
vegetables of your choice, julienned
scallions and cilantro
chili sauce or hoisin sauce

Marinate the meat in red wine, black pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Set aside. Julienne the vegetables. Pan fry the garlic in oil, then add the meat, then the vegetables. Fry until done. Let cool (don’t let it get too wet). Add scallions and cilantro, chili sauce or hoisin sauce to taste. Serve in a tortilla and fold like a burrito.

I would probably leave out the carrots, cabbage, and celery next time (I just used what was in the fridge, but cabbage is too wet for the filling). Next time I would put in tomatoes, potatoes, rice, bell peppers, eggs, mushrooms and chopped onions instead.

~Kai-ling

Bun Chay

Bún Chay (Vietnamese Noodle Salad). Adapted from smitten kitchen and Cooking with a Wallflower

4-8 ounces dried rice sticks or vermicelli
12-18 large shrimp
peanut oil

Sauce
1 lime, the juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
4 cloves garlic, minced
ginger, finely grated
6 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
Chili pepper/chili paste, miso, Asian fish sauce, mirin (rice vinegar, if you can find it)

Greens
mixed greens
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
handful of mixed herbs, coarsely chopped or torn (basil, mint, cilantro)

Garnish
2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted and chopped
Small Thai or Serrano chiles, thinly sliced, to taste
scallions
toasted sesame oil
Lime wedges (to serve)

Make the dipping sauce: Whisk ingredients in a small serving bowl, dissolve the sugar. Leave for 15 minutes. Refrigerate extras and use within a few days.

Cook the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then turn off the heat. Add the rice vermicelli and soak for 7 to 8 minutes. (Package directions may vary; check for doneness by tasting.) Drain when noodles are al dente, and cool under running water. Fluff and leave in strainer to drain well.

Toss vegetables with 1 spoon dipping sauce in a small bowl. Divide the cooked noodles among 4 – 6 bowls. Top each bowl equally with vegetable mixture and chopped marinated protein. Toss each bowl with 2 teaspoons of each the dipping sauce and dressing, or more to taste. Add the herbs, peanuts and scallions to each bowl and serve with additional dressing and dipping sauce on the side.

Gambas al ajillo

Adapted from No Recipes and Serious Eats

125 mL olive oil
10 cloves garlic, 1/2 minced and 1/2 smashed
2 dried cascabel chiles (or 1 medium dried guajillo chile), seeds removed and crushed into flakes
450 g shrimp
1 lemon, juiced or 60-89 ml brandy / cognac / dry sherry
salt and pepper, parsley, sweet paprika, red pepper flakes

No Picture — I forgot the parsley and they were eaten too fast (slightly overcooked because they were a little tough)!

Combine the minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and shrimp to marinate. Saute smashed garlic and chiles/pepper flakes in olive oil until fragrant, about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Fry shrimp until cooked, about 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Sprinkle on lemon juice and parsley. Serve hot.

~Jessica