quelle est une doorknob?

the joke is. a girl is like a doorknob. at one point or another in her life, everybody gets a turn at her.

Friday, August 29, 2008

September : Restaurant Month

this month's theme challenge is inspired by my subscription to Bon Appétit. actually, i don't subscribe anymore. i wish i could but i end up with piles of all these mags, doggy earred pages and they take up too much space. plus, with the plethora of online food bloggers/community, why pay? however, i am a tad bit burned out with the world wide web and i'd like to scale it back. to the point of unless i'm part of an blogging event that requires me to use an online recipe, for the month of September i will only be using recipes from cookbooks, magazines or what grandma tells me. i encourage you to do the same.

having said that, there's a section in Bon Appétit where readers can ask the magazine for recipes of dishes from their fave restaurants. that got me thinking. there are plenty of dishes i've had at random restaurants that i'd love to recreate at home. and so this month's theme: a dish (or two or three) from whatever restaurant(s), remake it at home. Be sure to include where the dish(es) came from!

Deadline: September 28th.

Til then, Happy Doorknobbin Bitches!

Sizzlin' in August

Matt and I love to grill during the warmer months so I was pretty excited when this challenge was announced. We have a charcoal grill so things usually take a little longer for us. That's ok though. It gives us time to chill outside, drink cold beer and watch Elvis chase the birds.

I originally started out doing Steak Quesadillas with an avocado salsa. What I ended up with was a very large steak burrito instead.

First things first: light the grill. Apparently I got the wrong kind of charcoal so it took Matt a sec to get it going, but he succeeded.

Actually lighting the grill was second. I started out by marinating a big steak. I got a large plastic bag and filled it with the following: lime juice, cayenne pepper, garlic chunks, cumin, and chili powder. I covered the steak well in those ingredients and let it sit for about 2 hours. While it marinated I made the av-tomato salsa.

I simply cut up a few roma tomatoes and a large avocado (maybe two i can't remember). i mixed in fresh cilantro, garlic, lime juice, s&p. fresh and delish. (good job on yours lan!!)

Next came the veggies. I cut up onion and green pepper, made a tin foil pouch to place them in, added s&p, a little EVOO, and set them on the grill to cook until tender.

Time for the steak to hit the heat:

And now for the tortillas.....they don't need to be on the grill for too long. Just long enough to get a few char marks and get toasty.
I sliced the steak into long strips and we piled the meat, veggies, sour cream, and salsa into our tortillas. I really enjoyed this dish. Matt REALLY enjoyed the dish. In his opinion the marinade made all the difference in the world...it had a nice heat w/out being too hot to eat. It was extremely tender as well.
Until next time, fellow doorknobs, keep those buns and oven hot!

Monday, August 25, 2008

tex-mex burger

i have to say i am not a fan of mexican food. i'm just not. i could use a taco or some nachos every once in awhile but yeah. it's not my favorite cuisine. whatevs. this month i made two mexican/latino inspired dishes. i think i've hit my quota for the year.

i remembered an episode of Simply Delicioso: Ingrid Hoffman where she made latin burgers. i decided to make burgers but used ground chicken and seasoned the meat with taco seasoning. you can either grill or pan-fry the burgers. to be on the safe side, i cooked these burgers very well done, just cus they were chicken. i did use the idea of caramelized onions on top. next, rather than the extra carbs of hamburger buns, i used a slice of texas toast. along with the onions, i topped the burgers with sliced avocados and drizzled the entire pile with salsa. for a side, i made a cucumber, tomato and avocado salad with cilantro dressing. the entire thing, surprisingly, was delicious.

avoc. tom salad

Cucumber, Tomato, & Avocado Salad with Cilantro Dressing
cut up the cukes, tomatos and avocados into small bite size pieces. put in bowl, season with salt and pepper. for the dressing, chop up cilantro and mix in olive oil and red wine vinegar. mix it all together.

tex mex burger

happy doorknobin!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pork, the other white meats.

Pork is delicious, pork is very delicious when it's cooked low and slow. The smell should stick to the insides of your nostrils as the sweet brown sugar and spices waffles from your grill into your house. Pulled pork BBQ tacos with homemade salsa, cucumber salad and spicy black beans. As a snack, I also made jalapeno corn bread muffin pork sandwiches. Sorry, if there's a few different pieces to this entry, I was hungry.

Slow roasted pork butt:

  • Pork butt (or pork shoulder)
  • Dry rub (brown sugar, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, onion salt, parsley flakes, chili powder, mustard powder) ... proportions to preference - about 2tbsp each except brown sugar, use 4tbsp.
Dry rub the pork butt the night or day before. Place in a ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight. Take out of fridge and let come to room temp, about 30 mins. Place on a medium-hot grill and sear both sides, 2-3mins each side. Place on far side of grill, indirect heat (maintain grill temp between 200-225 degrees) and cook for 5-6 hours. Alternatively if you don't want to maintain a grill for that long, you can place into an oven at 200 degrees for 6 hours, covered. Buy or make your favorite BBQ sauce (for later)

First on the menu my jalapeno corn bread pork snackers:
  • Cornbread (1c cornmeal, 1/2c flour, 1tbsp sugar, 1tsp baking powder, 1tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 1c buttermilk, a couple of finely chopped jalapeno's/habanero's)
  • Bake at 400 degree for 12-15 mins, until golden brown, let cool
  • Slice in half, top with pulled pork (place hunk of pork in a bowl, add in a heaping tablespoon of BBQ sauce, pull)
  • Eat.

For my dish, I decided to combine my enjoyment of BBQ foods and mexican foods ...

For homemade salsa, use a 3-2-1 recipe:
  • 3-parts tomatoes, 2-parts jalapenos, 1-part onion, +cilantro, +pinch of salt
  • I actually use about 10-12 roma tomatoes, 6-8 jalapeños + 1 habanero, 1/2 bunch of cilantro, half a large yellow/vidalia onion, salt, small squeeze of lime
  • Put through mini-chopper, combine
  • Eat (with chips if you like).
Hot spicy black beans:
  • 1/2 Finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can black beans
  • Sautee first (5) ingredients, add in beans and water, simmer on low until most of water has evaporated
  • Eat.
Cucumber salad:
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Thinly sliced daikon radish
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 habanero's
  • 2 jalapeno's
  • 1 big mason jar
  • Bring water to boil, add in vinegar and sugar, turn off heat and allow sugar to dissolve
  • Put sliced cucumbers and radish into jar in addition to rough slices jalapeno and habanero along with a few peppercorns, pour vinegar mixture into jar
  • Place in fridge for 5 days.
  • Eat.
Finished product, pork in flour tortilla's topped with salsa, cucumbers, and beans: