Friday, September 24, 2010

Post Frequency

I know I hardly update this blog enough, but since I've recently been hired (and am currently in training) at Market District, which is basically an amusement park for foodies, this will change. I have to admit, the Kitchen Ninja has been having a recipe block (as well as an energy block things are crazy at the Ninja House). Look forward to more updates in the coming weeks and months as I start to get my footing underneath me again. In the meantime, check out and stock up on Kitchen Ninja gear. Also, scroll down and check out the blog on pantry staples. These are essential to any fully functioning kitchen. I'll talk to you guys soon and Happy Cooking!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mexican Food is my favorite go to!

Everyone has a go to meal, for some its sammies, for others some sort of pasta dish, and for others its pizza. My go to, Mexican food. Now I have no illusions that there is one flavor profile to encompass the cuisine of an entire country. However, Mexican restraunts do all seem to be consistent in their flavor profile across a range of dishes. The difference is the addition/omission of a couple of ingredients. I also love how you don't have to be even remotely careful with your food, its just as good if everything is thrown in a giant pile or wrapped in a tortilla. That being said, the seasoning basics for (my favorite dish) fajitas and frozen veggie combos make this dish easier than pie to throw together in a few minutes because they're easy items to stock.

If you're feeling adventurous, cut your meat in strips. If you're counting on using this as a go to throw together, then keep some beef tips, strips, or chicken tips on hand. Throw the meat in a skillet to begin cooking. Once its mostly cooked through begin adding your spices. Here's where it gets a bit weird for those of you who need exact're going to have to play around with it some. There is no magic combination of exact measurements that will give you the flavor you associate with Mexican food. The key ingredient, however, is cumin. I love cumin, so rich in flavor it dominates Mexican food and will give you that fresh from the taquiera flavor. In addition to cumin, garlic powder, oregano (dried), s&p, and some chili powder. Adjust to taste, but a 1/2 a teaspoon to a teaspoon of each will probably do ya. If you like it, throw in some dried cilantro. Then you need an acid, I prefer tequila if I have it, otherwise, I use apple cider vinegar (gives the perfect flavor). Then put in your frozen onions and peppers (as many as you can stand!), cover and allow to simmer. Once your veggies are soft and the onions are translucent your meat should be cooked through. Serve it up with warm whole wheat tortillas and brown rice for a more healthful version and/or corn salsa. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

In our house, we always have colby jack cheese and salsa on hand, since we eat this so much. The thing I really love about this flavor combo is it can compensate for cheap cuts of meat that are otherwise difficult to pull off, so this can be a budget saver as well! Try it with ground turkey or chicken thighs and substitute onions/peppers for diced tomatoes and green chiles for a poultry taco, or better yet, throw in some sliced or pulled pork! Next time pork shoulder is on sale grab one, cook it in the crock pot all day then split in half. One half combine with your favorite barbque sauce for pulled pork sandwiches and the other half make carnitas using this combination of spices (just hold off on the vinegar/tequila).

The point is, its a versatile flavor profile, that with some innovation can turn a boring, difficult meat into a delicious taco or fajita! Watching carbs? Throw your meat mixture over a bed of lettuce and top with your favorite salsa for a taco salad!