As I mentioned in the classic cocktail post, an Asian Mignonette is an interesting and delectable variation for an oyster topping.
Having only tried it a few times at the schmanciest of restaurants, I was intrigued to see how the homemade version would stack up. Turns out: really darn well.
This particular blend has a depth of flavor that lends a whole new element to the oyster, but it still brings the tang you’re looking for with an oyster garnish. Again, if you’re working with quality oysters, I say go naked: splash of sauce and slurp.
1/2 cup of sake
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup of minced ginger
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons of soy sauce
3 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
3 green onions, chopped
- Mix all ingredients.
- Let sit for 30 minutes.
I was cleaning up the ole WordPress today and ran across this dusty draft in my backlog. How it is possible to forget such a yummy recipe – especially one that involves not one but two types of soup – is beyond me. Let’s remedy that, shall we?
This is 2-for-1 in that it is The Chef’s recipe for both Shrimp Stock and Tom Yum Soup. Usually, if you don’t have the time or patience to make your stock, you can buy it; but the ingredient list on this sucker makes me think you should go traditional or go home.
And I’d wager that the flavor will be well worth it. Tom Yum is spicy, brothy Asian goodness, and the longer it simmers and permeates your house, the better it will be when you finally slurp it down.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
shells from 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp (shrimp reserved)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
stems of 1 lb shiitake shrooms
2 lemongrass stalks, rough chopped
3 inch piece of ginger, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 onion, rough chopped
2 tsp of tomato paste
1/2 cup rice wine (mirin)
enough water to cover
- Add oil to stock pot. Add shrimp shells and cook them until pink.
- Add the rice wine.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain.
Tom Yum Soup:
1 tbsp peanut oil
1.5 lbs shrimp
2 tsp sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped*
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped*
3 Thai chilies*
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch slices
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
8 cups shrimp stock
2 cups cilantro, no stems
1 lime, cut into quarters for garnish
cilantro for garnish
- Heat large pot over medium heat. Add peanut oil. Then add garlic, chiles, ginger, lemongrass, onions, celery, sesame oil, and chili powder. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add shrimp, mushrooms, and stock. Cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add fish sauce and cilantro.
- *Remove lemongrass, ginger, and Thai chilies.
- Serve with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs. Add soy sauce if you need salt.
The Chef warns that you will definitely have leftover stock, so freeze it for next time, and your Tom will be Yum in no time.
The Chef sent me this recipe months ago, and it stalled out in my Inbox because black beans – or beans of any kind, really – often bore the crap out of me.
But the more I started looking at it, the more intrigued I became. The Mexican seasonings, the chorizo, and the suggestion that you serve it alongside quail – arguably the most adorable and delectable of tiny game birds – finally changed my mind.
The Chef also mentioned this is one of his favorite recipes from the CIA Cookbook, and whether that means “Central Intelligence Agency” or “Culinary Institute of America” to you, it’s pretty badass either way.
1 lb dried black beans
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chorizo sausage
2/3 cup yellow onion, diced medium
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cornmeal
- Soak bean overnight in enough cold water to cover them by 3 inches.
- Drain beans, place in a pot, and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain.
- Cook the chorizo over medium heat in a saute pan until the fat is rendered and the chorizo is slightly crispy. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno, and saute until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the cumin and chili powder and saute until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.
- Combine beans, chorizo mixture, egg, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Mix well, mashing some of the beans to help keep the cake together.
- Form the mixture into 16 cakes, about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Dust the cakes lightly with cornmeal.
- Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat. Cook the cakes until heat through, about 4 to 6 minutes. The Chef says you’re gonna have to work in batches here, so be prepared to move quickly.
Serve these immediately (because these suckers are best hot), preferably with grilled quail and Coffee BBQ Sauce.
As it turns out, it IS easy being green. And nothing proves that more than this funky take on a summer classic. Plus, this is one time in life where impatience serves you well because you don’t even have to wait until the tomatoes are ripe. So get in there early. And often.
6 green tomatoes, diced medium
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 red onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 3-4 limes
salt to taste
3 green onions, thinly sliced
handful of cilantro, chopped
- Mix all ingredients.
- Let sit for at least 2 hours.
- Serve with chips. Preferably from Las Delicias.
So as it turns out, mangoes are kind of amazing. As in you know you like them but you’re not sure how much until they’re all dressed up in their killa heels and slinky black dress.
And I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but combining mangoes with the fresh scallops from Paradise Seafood is simply and surprisingly blissful. I don’t know how, but all of their seafood that tastes like tiny sweet little lobsters. You put a perfect sear on one and hit it with this vinaigrette and you are dunzo.
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and rough chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon, fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
salt to taste
1/2 cup of olive oil
- Place all ingredients except oil, 1 mango in a blender or food processor.
- Slowly add oil. Once blended, you are good to go.
- Toss the chopped avocado and mango together and reserve to top scallops with.
- Heat a non stick skillet on high heat.
- Dry off moisture from scallops. The Chef places them in between 2 paper towels. Usually on Bonnie’s counter instead of a plate like a normal person, but it’s your life. Do what you need to do.
- Salt and pepper scallops. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of butter to the skillet.
- Add scallops to the pan and be sure not to mess with them or they will stick. Patience, my dear.
- Sear 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. “Cook longer for you and Bonnie,” says The Chef. Yes, I will eat meat that is still mooing, but for seafood I prefer it well done.
- Top scallops with mango vinaigrette and serve with mixed greens. Refreshing and tangy. Nothing better.
Hey there Nummy Num Num; I feel that an apology is in order. I haven’t called or written or even as much as Facebook-stalked you, and you don’t deserve that. All I can say is it’s not you, it’s me. I have been under the post-graduation stressfest of job-searching, and snarky-yet-succulent recipe-posting fell by the wayside.
Well, no more! A job has been procured and I can now get on with the incredibly important business of telling you all how to pile on the pounds in the most delicious fashion. So here goes.
The Chef, in his endless quest to make every type of taco imaginable, concocted a ceviche variety in order to take advantage of the amazing tuna Paradise Seafood sells at the Memphis Farmers Market. When it’s as fresh as theirs is, a few veggies and some fresh citrus are all you need to highlight the tuna’s fantastic flavor.
I’d suggest serving this alongside the highly addictive Mexican Corn and with Angie’s Salsa Fresca or Southwestern Slaw as topper options (three more recipes that will allow you to take advantage of MFM’s unparalleled produce). Top it all off with a Blue Ribbon Margarita and you’ve got the perfect summer supper. Bon Apetit!
1 lb of sushi grade tuna, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 poblano pepper, diced small
1/2 red onion, diced small
juice of 4 limes
juice of 1 orange
salt to taste
sriracha hot sauce to taste
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for 5 minutes. (Note: This is for rare tuna because The Chef likes it to still be swimming when he takes a bite of it. If you prefer yours a little more done, let it marinate longer.)
- Serve on crunchy tacos (crunch is key for ceviche, so don’t swap out for soft tortillas) and top with sliced avocados. Find a patio, pour yourself a ‘rita, and enjoy.
Hola mi amigos! (Is that right? I took French for 4 years and can’t even speak that, so please pardon my French and my Spanish.)
It is that ever-blessed time of the year in which the sun shines, the tequila flows and corporate Americans everywhere use Mexican culture as an excuse to drink margaritas on a patio at noon on a work day. That’s right chicas – Manana esta Cinco De Mayo!
In keeping with that grand tradition of poaching holidays simply for celebration’s sake, we present to you an Americanized version of Mexico’s signature dip: la salsa! I made this last night because I was craving corn and needed a veggie fix after the weekend (but obviously didn’t want anything so healthy it couldn’t be served atop Fritos).
This was bright, and summery and addictive, and it would make a great base if you’re planning on getting your Margarita on tomorrow. Just sayin… safety first, y’all. ¡Buen apetito! (Oooh, I have always wanted to use that upside down exclamation point thingy, so thanks Google!)
2 ears corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Mexican Rotel + juice
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 heaping tbsp taco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 415.
- Open up the corn and add a little olive oil and close up. Roast in their husks for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove and allow to cool.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and place in the fridge to chill while the corn cools.
- Cut the kernels off of each ear of corn (I like to do this while the “butt” end of the corn is in the bottom of a deep mixing bowl so the kernels don’t ‘splode everywhere in the kitchen – they can be some slippery little suckers), and then add corn to the veggie mixture.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serve with Fritos. Ole!
This would also be a good topping for grilled anything, so feel free to make some game-time grilling adjustments as needed.
Hippity hoppity folks – it’s Easter and stuff! While I am busily preparing my Buffy the Vampire Slayer costume for my nephew’s superhero birthday party tomorrow, I know most of you are hard at work preparing your Easter Sunday feast. So, The Chef would like to offer up a very seasonal, festive salsa that will spruce up any spread.
And frankly I just think it might be good to put something in your body that’s not made of marshmallows or sugar. While I was definitely offered several questionable food items during my younger years (sardines, Vienna sausages, canned spaghetti – Whassup!), I have always been well aware of the fact that Peeps are the ultimate YUCK. And jellybeans too. You can keep them, creepy old person dressed up as the Easter Bunny. I’ll be here with my chips and salsa.
4 mangoes, medium dice
2 avocados, medium dice
1 red onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
3 limes, juice only
1 orange, juice only
handful of chopped cilantro
salt to taste
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Serve with chips or over fish.
- Collect the most eggs. Who cares if you’re 40 and you’re playing against 3-year-olds? Whoever dies with the most toys wins. Fact.
I already have 3 problems with this post: 1) I hate beans; 2) It’s officially 71 degrees outside and therefore way too conventionally “warm” to post a soup recipe; and 3) Every idiot I’ve run across recently cannot pronounce the word “Chipotle.” Let’s take these one by one, shall we?
First of all, I think beans are kind of pointless. Refry them and cover them in cheese and maybe we can talk, but for the most-part, I’ll pass.
That is, AHEM, until I had this soup. The Chef brought this home from work for me months ago, and I don’t know if it was my intense love of getting anything for free or the Chipotle Cream on top, but it was GREAT. As for my second point, I have pointed out that soup knows no season on several occasions, so you can take it down the street to another blog if you don’t like it.
And finally, the word is pronounced “Chi-poht-lay.” Yeah, I’m looking at you, Paula Deen, I love your wacky behind more than anyone, but “Chi-POLT-ay” just “ain’t rite,” to use your vernacular. You’re on the Food Network for goodness’ sakes. Get it together girl.
Black Bean Soup:
4 cups of dry black beans
2 yellow onions, diced
1 poblano pepper. diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
6 quarts of water
salt and black pepper to taste
- Rinse black beans in cold water.
- In a large pot, cook onions and peppers in olive oil until they become soft. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir until the onions are well coated.
- Add the beans and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour and a half. (While this is cooking, make the Chipotle Cream.)
- Puree beans in their liquid until smooth. Thin down with additional water, if necessary.
- Season to taste and top each bowl of soup with Chipotle Cream.
4 Chipotles in Adobo sauce
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/3 cup of mayo
juice of one lime
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp of cilantro
- Place all ingredients in a blender or processor and puree until smooth. (I like to refrigerate this for the cold-hot dynamic you get when you top the soup with it, but it’s your prerogative lady, so do what you will.)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I want nothing to do with cucumbers… unless they’re part of some great-smelling lotion line by Dove, The texture, the seeds, the squishy texture – they are just not for me. Unless you pickle them.
I am a self-professed pickling junkie, and with this recipe The Chef proved that vinegar is so magical it can even make a cucumber palatable. He likes to serve these on top of Bulgogi (a truly delicious Korean taco alternative) or under grilled shrimp as an appetizer. Go. Make. Believe.
4 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Start by making the dressing: Mix vinegar, sugar, salt, and oil. Taste. If it’s too tart add sugar; if it’s too sweet add vinegar.
- Mix dressing and the rest of the ingredients together. Let sit in fridge for at least 2 hours.