Ceviche de Mahi Mahi
E: I love having ceviche on hot summer days. All you need are some healthy crackers, and some hot sauce like tapatio and you are good to go. Yum! Aside from the wonderful taste of ceviche, I like making it because it is a meal I can make ahead of time and can be made without dirtying up the stove or pans. It’s a one-pot meal so to speak. The only caveat is that the fish cooks by way of acidity from the lemon so it needs time for the cells to be denatured. The smaller you cut the fish, the quicker it will cook. However, I’m a big fan of ahi-tuna and sushi so I don’t mind the big chunks of fish, and don’t mind if they are slightly undercooked.
E: Make yourself a batch of this enchilada sauce. You can use half of it and freeze the other half for another time. It’s not that hard, and it will be ready in about 10 minutes. Once the sauce is ready, it’s downhill from there. I tend to vary my sauce depending on what kind of chile I have on hand. This time my mom left me with a bag of California and Japanese Chili pods, so I used that. However, you can also use chile pasilla and guajillo. You can serve the Enchiladas with rice and/or beans. We ate them a la carte to save calories.
Spaghetti Sauce a la Tricarico
E: Although this is a “spaghetti sauce” it’s technically more like a bolognese sauce, except it doesn’t come from bologna. My husband’s grandmother gave this recipe to my mother-in-law (MIL). Grandma likely learned it from her MIL who was a first generation Italian immigrant from Tricarico, Province of Matera, in southern Italy. After comparing marinara recipes from various sources, I learned that southern-Italy uses more ingredients than northern Italy.
Esme’s Turkey Chilli
(4 hours cook-time)
E: It’s Sunday, and I am not feeling well. I went on a run this morning and ten minutes in I got a migraine. My head started throbbing and I started to lose my vision. I made it back home and immediately iced my head, and closed my eyes. A few hours later Sam helped me pull myself together. He went to get me aspirin, and some lunch. I decided to make this chilli which takes about 30 minutes to make if you don’t think about the 3.5 hours it sits in the slow cooker without supervision. We had it for dinner, and we will have it tomorrow as well. This is my original recipe, and I hope you like it. I added brown rice this time, because it reminds me of albondiga soup which always brings me comfort.
During my time “relaxing” I caught up on some blogging. I’m going to get ready for a new day tomorrow, and hope this migraine and tension headache goes away.
Esme’s Chunky Guacamole
E: We loooove avocados! Sam’s parents gave us an avocado tree as a housewarming present. We are considering planting a second-type of avocado tree, and one that is not a dwarf like the one we currently have. I cannot wait until we have them in stock. The obvious thing to make with avocados is guacamole. However, once we have them in stock I’ll be exploring with avocado soup, avocado ice cream, and other weird recipes I’ve come across.
For now, this particular recipe for guacamole is my default. I make this recipe for special occasions, or for get-togethers. I should warn you that I make my guacamole in a molcajete using the tejolote (mortar and pestle). You should too, you will not regret it. If you don’t have one I’ll provide substitute instructions.
This last friday night, I prepared this guacamole recipe along with a pico-de-gallo, and grilled zucchini from the garden. I served it with whole-grain crackers and a raspberry margarita. Glorious.
Skinny Margarita with Mint and Cucumber on the Rocks
Yields: 1 serving
E: Margaritas are the “it” drink at our house. Sam and I went on our first date to Margaritaville in Capitola near Santa Cruz. It might be surprising to say that Sam likes Margaritas more than anyone else I’ve ever met. I read that Margaritas are most popular in the United States, over Mexico. About three years ago Sam and I went to Puerto Vallarta, we went on a tequila tasting tour and got to see how tequila is made. A byproduct of the tequila making process is Mezcal. I’ve seen it become more popular in the past few years. My dad gave Sam a bottle of Mezcal a few years ago because he said it’s an underrated alcohol. For now, I’ll stick to tequila.
Crispy Chicken Fingers
Yields: 6 servings
1 serving: 3-4 pieces
Time: 15 minute marinade: 12 minute cook-time
E: Today is Saturday, and we are having a low-key day. Sam made margaritas last night, and we rented a movie. So we slept-in this morning. I read, did my nails, and went on a light 2 mile-run. When I got back from my run Sam was running errands at the local hardware store. We are currently trying to install a shed. Sam text me that his cousin Mike, who lives around the corner from our place, was going to stop-by. Mike was nearby because he was at the park by our house playing with his daughter. His wife was not with him, she was celebrating an early mother’s day by going antique-shopping with her mom. (That is so cute, by the way.) Mike and lil Gracie couldn’t stay for dinner. It was a shame because Sam has been smoking a leg of lamb since we woke-up. We are having it for dinner. Anyways, I was starving and I figured we could all use some finger food for the short visit. I remembered I had chicken breast thawing in my fridge, so I decided to make these bad boys. I served the chicken fingers with a sriracha-mayo-ketchup mix and a side of ketchup for my picky eater. These are so easy. They are healthier because they are baked, rather tan deep fried. The panko gives it a nice crunchy taste.
Grilled Fish Tacos (Mahi-Mahi) with Salsa
E: We are still watching NBA playoffs at our house. This Saturday we had my hubby’s brothers come watch the game with us. My sister-in-law Jocelyn was going to bring some guacamole, so she inspired me to make fish tacos. These turned out so delicious. I found the recipe on chow.com. The fish and slaw were slightly modified, I improvised a little with the recipe to make it more my taste. I also made a delicious salsa which was perfect with the fish.
[The salsa can also be used as a marinade. However, I decided not to put spice on the actual fish other than the little bit of cayenne because my sister-in-law is very sensitive to spicy foods.]
I served these with mexican rice and a grilled corn salad (lemon, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper). This was the main meal. I also made beef taquitos as an appetizer that could have been eaten with the guacamole my sister Jocelyn made. The fish tacos would have been enough, but you just never know. My mom taught me that it’s always better to make more food, than not enough. I love that about Mexican households, the people are so hospitable. I want to make people comfortable, and not leave my house hungry. So we had a feast.
We had a great time. I think it helped that the Warriors swept the Pelicans. Off we go to round 2 of playoffs. I think these tacos are great for any taco tuesday, or for cinco de mayo coming up. Buen provecho.
E: This year Sam and I hosted our first party at our new house. We actually hosted back to back new year’s parties: one for his family and one for my theta sorority sisters from UC Berkeley. One of my friends, Emily, asked if she can bring something to the party. While I usually don’t like to have guests bring something, I was struggling with adding more vegetarian finger food. She is vegan so I asked her to bring a dish. She brought roasted veggies. They were a huge hit. They are so tasty and healthy!! A nice alternative to that heavy, high calorie chips and dips. I have since then made the roasted cauliflower and also a sweet potato wedges in the same way. I find that you can dip the florets into a greek yogurt dip, or eat them as a side to complete the meal.
I’ve seen several version of a roasted cauliflower recipe. Some add thyme and red pepper flakes instead of paprika. Some add capers and thyme. I haven’t tried those versions yet. My husband doesn’t like thyme too much. If you try a variation, please share.
Spicy and Sweet Chicken Wings
Time: 1 hour
E: My mother-in-law introduced me to these chicken wings two years ago at New Year’s Eve. They smell and taste SOOOOO good. The garlic, ginger, honey and chipotle give off a very pleasant asian-fusion smell. The honey makes them a little sticky, but the sweetness is perfect to cool off the spiciness from the chipotle.
As I was grocery shopping today, I figured I would make finger food since we were going to be watching the Golden State Warriors play in game 2 of the NBA playoffs. I made these along with some potato wedges. These are relatively easy to make. There is hardly any clean-up. Sometimes that’s a bigger factor than the time it actually takes to cook the meal. My mother-in-law got the recipe from “The Neelys,” a show on the Food network. I replaced the butter with canola oil. Enjoy. Let me know how they turned out.