Monday, February 28, 2011

What’s Next?

I have a few recipes on standby waiting for their grand appearance on my blog. I just thought I would give anyone out there who cares a chance to tell me what they would like to see next. Here are your choices:
1. Brown Butter Brownies (quite possibly the best brownies I’ve ever made)
2. Meatballs (as in spaghetti and meatballs)
3. Pork Chili Verde (a Mexican chili/soup/stew meal)
4. Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken
5. Banana Bread
6. Chicken and Rice Casserole
7. Banana Layer Cake with Cream Carmel and Toasted Pecans
So, if you would like to tell me what to post next, just leave me a comment with your choice. If there is something not on the list you would like me to make and post, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. If you just don’t care what I post, I’ll pick something myself. Take care, Brian

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gluten Free Fish Tacos

Alright, after yesterday’s post I’ll assume that all of you now have a pile of fresh corn tortillas waiting to be eaten. So, what can you do with these tortillas besides fill them with cheese and make quesadillas? Well, I made Mahi-Mahi fish tacos with them last night and they were pretty tasty. I recently received a cookbook called Mod Mex by chef Scott Linquist. (Full disclosure: I received a free copy of Mod Mex from Andrews McMeel Publishing to review for my blog.) Mod Mex is short for Modern Mexican. This cook book claims to be a modern twist on Mexican cuisine. The Mahi-Mahi tacos stood out as something I needed to make and I was not disappointed. In addition to fresh corn tortillas, the recipe calls for a chipotle aioli sauce and a citrus-cucumber relish. The relish was good but I think the chipotle aioli sent these tacos over the top. The aioli sauce has the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and smoky chipotle goodness. Here we go.
Baja Style Grilled Mahi-Mahi Tacos
from Mod Mex serves 3-4
1 Pound Mahi-Mahi fish fillets cut into 2 inch wide by 3 inch long strips
Fresh corn tortillas
Chipotle Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 Tbs chipotle in adobo (chopped)
1 Tbs green onion (scallions-chopped)
1/2 Tbs honey
1 tsp fresh lime juice

Citrus-Cucumber Relish
1/2 of a cucumber (peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips)
1-1/2 Roma tomatoes (cut into thin strips)
1/2 of a red onion (cut into thin strips)
1/2 cup of shredded green cabbage
2 Tbs of cilantro (finely chopped)
1/2 of a serrano chile (seeded and cut into thin strips)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbs fresh grapefruit juice
1-1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp kosher salt
IMG_1364For the chipotle aioli, simply combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl.IMG_1367Stir up the aioli and refrigerate. You should make this at least 30 minutes ahead of time to let the flavors meld together.IMG_1371For the citrus-cucumber relish, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. IMG_1374Stir the relish and refrigerate. Again, this should be made at least 30 minutes early to allow the flavors to meld.IMG_1385Next, portion out your fish and grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until it is cooked all the way through. This is a great excuse to do some February barbecuing. IMG_1388All that is left to do now is put it all together. Spread the aioli on the tortilla, put a piece of grilled fish on, and cover with relish. These tacos are great with a little sliced avocado and fresh lime juice squeezed over the top. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gluten Free Corn Tortillas

NEWS FLASH!!!! You can make corn tortillas at home and……..wait for it……they’re gluten free! I know, this isn’t really breaking news. When you have to make all kinds of gluten free food from scratch why on Earth would you want to make corn tortillas? Especially when you can buy them for cheap anywhere. Well, like most things made from scratch, they just taste better. Besides, they are soooo simple to make and you may just impress someone with your ability to whip out piping hot fresh tortillas. You really only need one special tool; a prensa de tortilla, if you habla EspaƱol. That would be a tortilla press if you speak English. You can find them for about $15-$20 online or in a kitchen store. You will also need Masa which is a finely ground corn flour. Another name for it is masa harina, not to be confused with corn meal. Let’s get to it.
Corn Tortillas
2-1/2 cups Masa flour (I used Maseca brand)
1-1/2 cups warm water
1/2 Tbs kosher salt
IMG_0553In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the masa, water, and salt. Mix on medium speed until the dough forms a cohesive, but not sticky, semi-firm dough (about 2 minutes.)
IMG_0554Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and even up to 5 days.
IMG_0595Cut a quart size Ziploc bag in half to line your tortilla press so the dough doesn’t stick. Place one half of the bag on the bottom of the press and use the other half to place on top of the ball of dough before you press it. Roll about 1-1/2 Tbs of dough into a ball and press into a tortilla. You can roll the dough into balls in advance, just cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel to keep the dough from drying out.
IMG_0596Check you out, you just pressed your own fresh tortilla.
IMG_0598Place your tortilla on hot griddle for 2-3 minutes per side. Do not oil the griddle. The tortillas should get a little brown on each side but still be soft and pliable.
IMG_0600This recipe makes about 10-12 four inch diameter tortillas. You could easily double the recipe if you need more than that. All you need now is something tasty to roll up inside your fresh, hot, homemade goodness. I’ll be back soon to help you out with that. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gluten Free Donut Review

IMG_0530Full disclosure here, I received a package of gluten free cinnamon apple donuts to review from Kinnikinnick. Yes, I received some donuts to review but my wife did most of the quality control testing. I did manage to get half of a donut before they disappeared. My wife has been a fan of Kinnikinnick donuts for a while now. These new cinnamon apple donuts are every bit as good as their other ones. The cinnamon apple donuts are basically a cake style donuts with a sweet glaze on top. Like most gluten free donuts they are a little more dense than a traditional non gf donut. However, the flavor is great and they are delicious by themselves or with a good cup of coffee. You should check these out while you can. The cinnamon apple donuts are only available through the end of February. Enjoy!!!