Monday, April 25, 2011

Plantain Breakfast Tacos

Hey food friends. My name is Julie, and I'm a newcomer to this blog, but certainly not new to loving good food. I cook the majority of my meals, and make a very conscious effort to use only local and organic ingredients. Last summer I read the book The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, and it kind of changed my life...or at least the decisions I make about the food I cook. I try to cook and eat seasonally, and get almost all of my produce at the Ballard farmer's market; for everything else I trot over to PCC. I may seem like a food snob, but I'm just trying to participate in supporting local and sustainable foods and businesses...and am not afraid to talk about it. I love to eat out and try new restaurants, but when it comes to what I prepare at home, I've got to feel good about all of the ingredients, not cut corners on prepared or processed foods, and try to make everything from scratch. Yep, food snob.

On another note...I recently returned from a trip to Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico. My roommate and I stayed with a friend who lives there for a week and soaked up the sun, swam in the ocean, and cooked a lot of good food with all fresh local ingredients. A LOT OF TACOS. The most successful (and simply delicious) recipe we came up with was a breakfast taco, that I would like to share with you:

Plantain Breakfast Tacos with Black Beans, Tomatillo Salsa, and Lime Sour-cream
  • 2 plantains, sliced into thin rounds
  • 4 tomatillos, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup of black beans
  • 2 local eggs
  • 2 fresh tortillas, warmed up in a skillet
  • 1/2 cup of sour-cream
  • 1 small lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
Lightly saute the plantain in a sweet/light cooking oil, (we used coconut oil as it is everywhere in Mexico, but I'm sure vegetable oil would be fine), until the starches began to break down a bit; set aside.

If using dried black beans, soak overnight in water, then simmer for an hour 'till beans are fully cooked. Set aside.

Lightly saute the tomatillos, tomatoes, and onion in olive oil for a few minutes, just enough to bring out the flavors a bit more, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the two eggs over-easy, poached, or fried. Any method that leave the yolks a bit runny is best in my book..

To make lime sour-cream: squeeze the juice of one small lime into your sour-cream, mix thoroughly.

Assemble your breakfast tacos:
Layer your tortillas on a plate, top with plantains, black beans, tomatillo salsa, and eggs on top. Spoon a dollop of the lime sour-cream to finish, and get ready for some mouth-watering goodness. I recommend using a knife and fork, this dish tends to spill out and get messy...but is so worth it.

Until next time..adios amigos!

Food for Thought

I eat out quite a bit, especially lately as I started a new job and have been juggling the schedule. I'm sure you can relate or at least recognize, when you are busy you tend to eat out more frequently. So here are some good eats that I recommend. To the left we have an egg hash courtesy Smith's which is a bar with impressive bar food. We have spinach, carrots, potatoes, chanterelles and a poached egg on top. I will definitely replicate this.

Here we have the eggs benedict vegetarian with a side of potatoes from Portage Bay Cafe in
Ballard. I have tried eggs benedict at The Dish, Smith, Glo's and Hattie's Hat.While I enjoy the
dish almost anywhere, I have found I like PBC's the best. Granted, Hattie's makes their hollandaise with cream cheese which is lovely, but the hollandaise at PBC understands my taste bud's needs.

Goat Cheese Omelette at PBC. By the look on Ross' face, I can tell it was a good choice for him. Not only does he love omelette's but him and goat cheese are best friends. This was a perfect combination of love of food meets well combined and prepared food.

The peach tart at Besalu cafe in Ballard is a sweet treat that is my favorite and believe me, when you live close to this place you end up trying most of their baked goods. I haven't yet captured a picture of the onion and gruyere pastry as I eat it too quickly. If you haven't been here yet you are sorely missing out. If you visit Seattle, this is a must stop on your tour.

Moving away from restaurant dishes into homemade, I have to include these interesting and innovative items. As Easter was yesterday, I was working and missed a family celebration known at Bacon Fest, where 6 lbs. of bacon and a slew of delightful dishes are laid down to be devoured. After work, I was delivered not only the chocolate covered bacon with sea salt, but some of my favorite chocolate silk mousse pie, which you will see next. The c.c.bacon was all Aunt Joan, and man she is a chef extraordinaire, and I have not given her enough credit for all the wonderful things she has made!

Chocolate Silk Mousse Pie. Concocted by the famous cousin Christopher who bestowed his pie knowledge upon me. I am eternally grateful and this is a treat worth the work it takes to make it. My friend and coworker, after trying this pie yesterday, said she was a ruined woman and she wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it. She asked me what she should do and I offered to attempt to make it with her. I'll keep you informed when that happens.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winter Solstice Soup

Even though it is technically spring, it is still super cold and Winter Solstice Soup is a favorite among my friends and me. This simple recipe was introduced to me via Susan, the culinary student extraordinaire, before she started attending culinary school. Ingredients you will need:

2 TPSP butter
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, rc
2 potatoes, peeled and rc
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 Bay leaf
1 TBSP dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups milk

When chopping onions I recommend a pair of these chemistry goggles:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat, add onions for 5 mins. Add garlic for a minute and then add carrots, potatoes, water, salt, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove bay leaf. Puree ingredients with a hand blender or in small batches with food processor or blender. Stir in milk and season with salt and pepper resulting in the pretty color below.

Enjoy with a side of bread and dip delectable slices in olive oil and vinegar or right into the soup!