April 9, 2010

Halibut with Mango Salsa and Avocado Mash: goodeats

Last night's dinner was one for the books.  Our new favorite, pan seared halibut topped with fresh mango salsa on a bed of avocado mash.  Scrumptious and low cal :)  The salsa is the perfect blend between tangy and sweet, and the avocado mash is buttery and light: the perfect setting for a savory slab of seared halibut.

Seared Halibut with Mango Salsa and Avocado Mash
Serving Size: 4
Fatty Meter: 1.5/5  Fish, fruit and tons of vegies.  Only thing high in fat are the avocados, but good fat! 

-2 ripe mangoes, cubed
-1 red bell pepper
-1 green bell pepper, chopped
-half a red onion, chopped
-few cloves of garlic, finely minced
-hand full of cilantro, chopped
-juice of one lime
-Vinegar to taste (I just eyeballed it and kept tasting, I would say about 1/3 cup)
-S&P and garlic salt to taste
-1-2 jalapenos, chopped
-4 pieces of fresh halibut
-2 or 3 ripe avocados
1) Chop all vegetables and mango.  This could take forever, so I recommend using one of these handy contraptions, saved us so much time and effort
2) Combine all ingredients, season with S&P to taste and more lime juice and cilantro if necessary.  The salsa can be eaten immediately, but I find it's the best after it's been sitting for a few hours.  Can even be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
3) Season both sides of the halibut liberally with S&P.  
4) Drizzle a little bit of EVOO onto a hot pan and heat for about 30 seconds
5) Sear both sides and lower heat until fish is cooked through.  About 3 minutes on each side 
6) Avocado mash is really simple: Mash up a few avocados and season with S&P and squeeze some lime juice. Also really delicious spread on toast.  
7) To plate: smear some avocado mash on a plate.  Place halibut on top, followed by mango salsa.

Below is the dish plated and ready to be devoured with a side of yellow rice.
Enjoy ya'll!

April 5, 2010

Coachella Jam #4: Yeasayer

I've been doing my best to listen to as many of the bands that will be at Coachella this year to prepare myself for the best weekend of the year.  I stumbled upon this fantastic group, Yeasayer.  They will be at Coachella day 1, see you there!

Yeasayer- Tight Rope

ps: big thank you to my most favorite person for hooking up the upgrade to VIP this year :)
martinis and air conditioned bathrooms...woohoo!

thanks babe!

goodeats: Arroz Con Pollo

Anytime Arroz Con Pollo is on the menu, I order it.   Arroz Con Pollo (literally meaning rice and chicken) is the perfect excuse to use Betty since it starts stove top and finishes off in the oven.  Coupled with its layers of flavor and intense colors of orange, red and green, Arroz Con Pollo is equally beautiful and delicious.  This is a great meal to cook for a small group since it makes a lot of food, but we always cook for two... meaning left overs for the whole week :)

 Arroz Con Pollo
Adapted from: For the Love of Cooking
Serving Size: 6 moderately sized plates
Fatty Meter: 1 being the healthiest, 5 being the fattiest.  I would rate this a 4 since it's dark chicken thigh meat including the skin and white rice all stewed in bacon fat.  Other then that, it fills you up with vegies! You could substitute with chicken breast and brown rice (boooooring)
-1 pack of chicken thighs with skin on (should be 6 pieces in one pack)
-4-6 slices of bacon, chopped (reserve half of bacon fat inside betty after cooking)
-2 bell peppers, diced (I used one red and one yellow for the color)
-1 onion, diced
-2 cups of white rice
-4 cups of chicken stock
-1 can of diced tomatoes (14-15 oz can)
-few cloves of garlic, minced
-1/4 cup of white wine (any wine you like to drink works)
-2 tsp of saffron sprigs
-spices for chicken: S&P, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
-handful of cilantro, chopped, and a few sprigs for garnish
-juice of two limes
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously season chicken with all seasoning, don't be shy. In Betty, cook bacon for a few minutes.  Remove onto paper towels to drain before it gets too crispy (it will cook a little more in the oven).  Soak up some of the bacon grease with paper towels but leave an ample amount.  Chop up bacon and set aside. After, keep Betty on high heat and place chicken thigh's skin down.  You should hear a really great sizzle as soon as the skin touches.  If you don't...Betty's not hot enough.
2) Cook chicken on both sides until you develop a nicely crusted skin (see photo below) Should be about 5-7 minutes on the skin side.  You won't cook the chicken through, but that's alright as it will finish cooking in the oven.  Set chicken aside on a plate.
3) Add in vegies and saute for a minute or two.  Add in wine to deglaze bacon and chicken bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add in garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
4) Add in diced tomatoes, rice, bacon pieces, saffron and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, and lower heat to simmer.  Simmer for about 10-12 minutes until rice is at a porridge consistency.  It won't be cooked through yet, and a little bit of liquid should remain.  Place chicken on top of the rice, skin side up, place lid on top and throw into pre-heated oven.
5) Bake for about 15 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid and chicken is fully cooked.  Plate chicken separately and mix in peas, chopped cilantro and a good amount of salt and pepper to the rice (you will need a lot of salt).  Finish of with lime juice and plate with the chicken.  Enjoy!

March 25, 2010

Coachella jam #3, Little Dragon: fatbeats

excuse my vacation....tons of updates to come.

March 4, 2010

Stuffed Poblanos, Mexican Rice & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: goodeats

This meal deserves the "I wanna eat this every day of my life" goodeats award.  It's REALLY good and easy to make, although it does take some time (we started cooking at 7:30 and didn't eat till about half past 9).  Just like the stuffed portobellos,  the poblanos can be stuffed with just about anything you like.  Here is the version we made for dinner the other night.

Stuffed Poblanos
-4 well sized  poblano peppers
-cooked chicken, chopped
(we seasoned ours with s&p, cumin and chili powder)
-1 can of black beans, rinsed
-1/2 an onion, diced
-few cloves of garlic, minced
-cilantro, chopped
-Mexican blend cheese (cojita if you've got some)
-fresh lime juice

1) heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine EVOO, beans and garlic in a pot and begin to cook down on low heat.  The beans should start to cook down a bit getting soft, feel free to mash it up a bit with a fork.  Add in chicken, onions and cilantro and heat through for a few more minutes.  Set aside
2) To prepare the peppers for stuffing, cut a cross down the belly of the pepper.  Empty out seeds with your hands and give the peppers a rinse.  Keep the stems on for presentation :)
3) Stuff the peppers with a small spoon with the bean/chicken mixture.  Place in a casserole dish or on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.  During the last 5-10 minutes of baking, top peppers with cheese.

Mexican Rice
adapted from Allrecipes.com
-2 cups of long grain white rice
-3 cups of chicken stock
-1 cup of chopped tomatoes (about 2 roma tomatoes)
-half an onion chopped
-1-2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
-garlic, minced
-juice of 1 lime
-about 2 tsp of cumin
1) in a large sauce pan, saute the rice in some EVOO until the ends are golden brown (about 4 minutes).  Mix in the garlic, jalepenos and onions.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
2) as soon as the stock boils, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked
3) fluff rice with a fork and add in lime juice, cumin, s&p (don't be shy with the s&p, you will need a hefty amount to bring out the flavors).  Before serving, stir in cilantro.

So the peppers and rice were delicious, but what brought this meal to award worthy status was the Roasted Red Pepper sauce Tom whipped up in his new cuisinart food processor!  This sauce is extremely addicting, so be careful.  You could use it on a steak or even as a dip with tortilla chips, it's that good.  For the recipe, you're gonna have to ask mistertom
 Hope you make this one...it's a keeper

Sunday afternoon at the Grand Central Market: goodeats

Good food & fresh produce... you can find it all at the Grand Central Market, LA's oldest and largest open air market and one of the city's many hidden gems.  You would drive right by the historical Homer Laughlin Building and fail to realize that a cultural Mecca resided on its ground floor.
Food vendors line the floor selling everything from Salvadorean Pupusas to Mediterranean kabobs to even Korean kimchi burritos.  The food options are limitless so make sure to arrive with an empty stomach.
The best part about the GCM is all of the fresh produce.  Walk the aisles and take your pick of the freshest, ripest and cheapest produce you will ever find.
After a few hours, our TJ's bag was full of the week's produce as well as 4 hefty slabs of skirt steak...and it only dented us about $40,  such a steal!
So next time you're in need of some goodeats and fresh produce... skip your local TJ's, hop on the metro with your reusable bag in hand and visit the Grand Central Market.

Say hello to your new weekend ritual!

Grand Central Market
317 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 624-2378

March 2, 2010

Coachella Jam #2, Feels Like the First Time- fatbeats

Jason Bentley has been showing Corinne Bailey Rae a lot of love on Morning Becomes Eclectic lately and I just can't get enough of her new album.  Catch her at the Vibiana or at Coachella next month if you're a fan :)

 click ME for more info on Corinne's show