Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Dream Meal January 12, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 1:52 pm
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This might sound odd, but I had a dream that I was on Master Chef (a show I am planning to audition for later this month), Jason Mraz and the owners of Cafe Gratitude were the guest judges and the task was to create a vegan meal.

I was really excited to cook for Mr. A-Z, even though I am not a big fan of the vegans… I don’t like people who limit their food enjoyment. So I made vegan tamales and chocomole for dessert. The dream was so detailed that when I woke I felt the need to start cooking. Here is the tamale recipe I dreamed up, forgive the funky photo – my camera died and I’m using my iphone.

Sweet Corn Tamales with Soyrizo & Cactus

(Tamales de Elote con Soyrizo y Nopales)

Dough

1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup canned cream corn
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

Filling

1/2 package of Soyrizo
1/2 cup of nopales, chopped

Other filling options:

slices of soy pepperjack cheese
chopped mild chiles

Tomatillo Sauce

1/2 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño, split and seeded (pulled from nopalitos jar)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons vinegar (rice or white wine)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
2 teaspoon lime juice

In a medium bowl, mix filling and set aside. In another bowl, mix all dough ingredients together until the consistency of soft play dough. Spread a thin layer of dough on corn husks soaked overnight, leaving about an inch uncovered on the narrow part of the husk. Spoon some of the filling down the middle – careful not to overfill, fold the sides in and then fold the narrow bit down. Place tamales into a steamer basket and cook for about an hour or until firm.

While tamales are steaming, broil the tomatillos until the skin is lightly burned. Throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

 

Another fan favorite July 17, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 10:10 am
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For my last housewarming (a year ago) I made a giant pot of black bean soup with chorizo meatballs. I promised for a year that I would write up the recipe and never got around to it.

Well here it is, sorry for the delay. I am not including the recipe for the meatballs, it is a variant of my albodigas using half chorizo and half ground meat. I made a vegan version and it was just as good. The entire meal can be made vegan easily without losing much taste.

Black Bean Soup

2 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth or veggie stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
pinch of oregano
4 cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Juice of one lime

Garnish options:

cilantro
lime slices
chopped green onions
Sour cream
Grated cheddar
crumbled cojita cheese (or feta)
Chorizo pieces
tortilla chips or fried tortilla slices

Dump all ingredients into a large pot and let cook on a medium temperature for at least an hour. I let mine cook overnight on the lowest setting and added a lot more stock – it cooked down quite a bit. I you prefer a smooth consistency (I do) use a hand blender to bend ingredients in the pot and let cook for another 15 min at least, salt and pepper to taste.

I serve the soup plain and fill the table with toppings. You can end up with a whole meal in the bowl or just enjoy it simple… both tasty

Enjoy!

 

Special Request July 14, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 10:03 am
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Twitter friend Nick has requested recipes with a Spanish flair and I aim to please. Tapas are great for parties, you can impress your guests with several small dishes without spending the whole day in the kitchen. These two recipes are pretty easy and one should be done ahead of time, allowing you to enjoy your guests.

Ceviche

1 lb shrimp, salmon, octopus, halibut or sea bass (or combination)
Juice of 2-3 limes
1-2 jalapenos, chopped fine
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large firm tomatoes, diced
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro

Clean and roughly chop seafood and place in a large container with lid. If working with octopus, tenderize the meat before chopping. Juice limes, add oil and jalapenos and lightly mix with seafood. Let sit for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Before serving add chopped tomatoes, avocado and cilantro, season with salt and lemon juice as needed. Serve on a tostada or with corn chips.

Plantain and Black Bean Empanadillas

1 can refried (or whole) black beans
1 large ripe plantain (black or close to it)
1 package puff pastry
4 oz crumbled goat cheese
1 onion, chopped

Defrost puff pastry and preheat oven to 350.  Peel and slice plantain and saute in butter until soft, mix in beans and cheese and let cool. Roll out pastry dough and out cut circles, spoon some of the mixture on each circle, top with a little onion  and fold dough over. Be careful not to overfill the empanadillas, they will burst while cooking. Use fingers or a fork to seal the edges and place on a baking sheet, I like to line mine with parchment paper but you can grease the sheet if that’s easier for you. Bake until golden brown and lightly sprinkle with paprika.

 

Menu for my housewarming August 3, 2007

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:54 am
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It’s a potluck, but I think it’s customary for the host to provide some munchies, usually the main course. I was thinking lasagna, I make a damn good lasagna, but I’m kinda tired of it. So I was thinking tapas. And since this is happening during a meteor shower, it seems fitting that all of the items I will serve look like little meteors (lumpy balls, tee hee).

Here is the menu… doncha wanna come and play?

Walnut and Blue Cheese-Coated Grapes / Dates

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine and then altered a bit

1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

8 ounces crumbled Cabrales (Spanish blue cheese), Roquefort or Gorgonzola may be substituted

6 ounces cream cheese

20 loose seedless red grapes (about 1/4 pound with stems)

½ lb dates

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. On a sheet pan spread out the walnuts and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Melt butter and add sugar, when sugar has melted pour in the toasted walnuts and toss. remove and spread out again on the cool sheet pan.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the blue cheese and the cream cheese until smooth. Put one tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the palm of one hand and in it roll a grape, shaping the mixture around the grape to coat, repeat the process for the dates. Cover the grape and date balls and chill on a sheet pan for 15 minutes.

While the balls cool, chop the candied walnuts into smaller pieces, you can also use a rolling pin and break them into peices. Roll the cheese-coated balls in the walnut mixture to cover completely and chill for 30 minutes or until coating is firm.

Spanish Meatballs baked in tomato sauce (adapted from the Albondigas recipe)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 can of tomato sauce
1 bouillon cube and 1 cup water
1 zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 lb of string beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup of cooked white rice
1 raw egg
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon of brown gravy mix
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint, gravy mix, salt and pepper. Add raw egg. Form beef into 1-inch meatballs. Return soup to gentle simmer. Add meatballs and remaining veggies to soup. Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour. Add a few pinches of oregano, cilantro and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place meatballs in a dish and prepare sauce.

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Sauté veggies until tender, add tomato sauce, onion and garlic mixture and broth. Pour mixture over meatballs and bake until meatballs are brown.

Plantanos Rellenos

1 plantain, very ripe
1 can black refried beans
corn starch

crema fresca
cilantro
diced onion
cajota cheese

Mash Plantain, place some mashed plantain in hand and spread into palm. Drop a small amount of black bean into the middle and wrap plantain mixture around the beans. Drop balls into corn starch and then deep fry.
Serve with crema, crumbled cajota, diced onion and chopped cilantro.