Posts Tagged ‘cayenne pepper’

Unrecipe of the Week: Roasted Maple Carrots

September 20, 2013

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Strolling through the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday, I was taken by an abundant display of carrots. There were not only the classic orange carrots, but there were also purple and white versions on display.

I was seduced to purchase some, and decided to roast them. They were delicious!

Maple Roasted Carrots:

Clean and scrape one bunch of carrots and cut them into 2″ or 3″ chunks.

Toss them with a little olive oil or coconut oil, and some pure maple syrup. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and some cayenne pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven until caramelized and softened.

These carrots embody all of the sensational flavors of the season; sweet, salty, savoy and spicy! Eat them as a side dish, or dice them into an arugula salad drizzled with olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Fish Tacos

August 21, 2013

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Here is a light, summery variation on tacos. They are simple and healthy, and rely on fresh, zesty flavors, rather than the heavy beans, sour cream and cheese often found in the meat variety. The fish is marinated, and they are served with a simple slaw and diced vegetables. A typical “unrecipe”, they are easily customizable to suit your tastes.

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For the fish:

Marinate any white fish (Cod, flounder or tilapia for example. I used tilapia ) in the juice of 2-3 limes, a tablespoon or two of oil, a clove of garlic finely chopped, and cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste.  Coat the fish and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour or two. If you try to marinate it too long, the citrus may cause it fall apart.

Grill or broil the fish until cooked through. Set aside.

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For the slaw:

Finely shred 1 napa cabbage and chop a big handful of cilantro. Toss with a little lime juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

You can add a bit of chopped red onion to the slaw, but I chose to serve them on the side, since I dislike raw onions so much!

Dice avocado, and fresh tomatoes for additional fillings, or use guacamole and salsa if you prefer.

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To serve:
Heat flour or soft corn tortillas and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.
Place a piece of the fish on the taco, add some slaw, and avocado, and tomatoes, sprinkle it with a little hot sauce, roll it up, and enjoy!!
If you are feeling ambitious, try our recipe for fresh flour tortillas here:

The highlight of our meal was someone seeing these shots on instagram, and running over to join us for dinner!

photos: indigo jones instagram

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Unrecipe of the Week

October 1, 2012

Often the simplest preparations are the best. That was certainly the case with Friday night’s squash soup.

It was a rainy evening in New York City and my vegetable basket was filled with random goodies; the perfect scenario for a warm, comforting soup.

I cut a butternut squash into large pieces, drizzled them with olive oil so they didn’t dry out, and roasted them in a hot oven for about 25-30 minutes, until they were soft and caramelized.

In the meantime, I sautéed an onion in a little olive oil and added the chunks of peeled and seeded pattypan squash.

I covered the vegetables with broth, (chicken or vegetable broth will do) and simmered it until the squash was soft.
I removed and discarded the skin from roasted butternut squash and added it to the pan.
After simmering it for another 10 minutes or so, I pureed it, using an immersion blender. Adding a little more broth to smooth out the consistency, and seasoning it with salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper for a bit of heat and my soup was ready.

It was creamy, rich and flavorful without any cream, or butter. The taste was all about fresh, seasonal foods, prepared in a simple manner. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and enjoy!

Unrecipe of the Week

September 13, 2012

This delicious relish is the perfect accompaniment to simple roasted chicken.

It’s a little bit sweet, and a little bit hot, with a hint of smoky pancetta to enhance the flavors.

Spicy Corn and Pancetta Relish

Cook about 1/2 pound of pancetta, cut into small pieces in a little olive oil until it is brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add 1 diced medium onion to the pan, and sauté until transparent. Add 2 or 3 finely diced garlic cloves and a chunk of finely diced fresh ginger,to the mixture. Add 1 diced red pepper and one diced green pepper and cook until they are starting to soften, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix in the juice of 3-4 limes*, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, depending on how hot you like it. Stir and bring to a simmer, allowing the brown sugar to melt. Add the zest* of 2 limes, cut into strips.
Add 2 cups of corn kernels to the pan and cook until tender.

Stir in the cooked pancetta, and adjust seasonings.

Transfer the mixture into a bowl to cool. Stir in one small bunch of chopped cilantro and ENJOY!

*Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from 2 of the limes before you get started. Slice them into thin strips and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute and set aside until needed.

photo:Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Cleaned Up Tacos

July 25, 2012

My family loves tacos. I don’t. I am not a meat eater, and Mexican spices have never been a favorite flavor of mine. The texture of refried beans, sour cream, salsa and guacamole dripping down my chin don’t hold any appeal for me either.  I won’t talk about calories here, but seriously, this isn’t usually the diet plate.

I created this super clean, simple version of a taco, which is the way I would want to eat it, IF I wanted to eat it! You can even substitute the beef for mushrooms, and have a great vegetarian version.
They seem to love them, and this unrecipe even sneaks a few vegetables into B’s diet, which is a win all the way!

 

Cleaned Up Tacos:

 

Beef Filling:

Dice 2 garlic cloves and one small shallot.

Spray a large pan with cooking spray, and sauté the garlic and shallot with 1 pound of ground beef (I buy grass fed, organic beef with the lowest available fat content, which is a much healthier alternative to basic grocery store ground chuck).

Season it with a large dollop of ground cumin, some cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Add a little Tabasco sauce if you like it hot. Cook until brown.

Sprinkle the meat mixture with a little cornstarch (a tablespoon or so) and stir to coat. Add a little water (about 1/3 cup), and return it to the stove, mixing it well to be sure that no clumps form. This should form a thick sauce.

Toppings:
Shredded lettuce: Be creative: I used arugula

Chopped avocado

Chopped tomatoes: I used assorted baby heirloom tomatoes cut up

Shredded Jack cheese

If you really love the classic fillings, feel free to add all the goopy accouterments you like. I won’t judge!

 

Assembling:

Heat a whole-wheat tortilla on the gas flame of the stove for just a couple of seconds per side.

Add the meat filling. Top with vegetables and cheese. Fold in the sides, and roll it up.

Eat and enjoy!


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