Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Food Network Monthly Cookalong ~ Esquites

Yay! I finally got the chance to cookalong with everyone!

 I love the new monthly themes. Not that I didn't enjoy the old format but it seemed like the recipes were more complicated than I had time for. And since I got a new grill recently it seemed like the perfect time to jump in.

This recipe is from Mexican Made Easy with Marcela Vallodolid (recipe here).  So what the heck is esquites? Yeah, I didn't know either. But it's a warm Mexican corn salad.  Like a salad version of Mexican Street Corn where you slather the cobs with mayo and spices and cheese.

And of course I grilled my corn.

Then just mix up the "sauce" part - add the warm corn- and mix.

 I changed the recipe a bit- I mean come on, do you really need to add butter to the mayo and cheese? And I like cayenne better than chili powder. And I love garlic. So here you have it:
Lea’s Mexican Street Corn Salad

8 ears fresh corn, cleaned

¼ cup mayonnaise* 
¼ cup vegan Monterey jack cheese, finely shredded.
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
½ jalepeno pepper, minced  (not ½ cup!)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced on microplane grater
1 tsp salt
Juice from ½ lime
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Grill corn on the grill until lightly charred.
Add mayo, cheese, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, salt, lime juice and cayenne pepper to large bowl.
When corn is ready, cut the kernels off the cob into the bowl. Stir to combine and adjust with salt, lime juice and cayenne to taste.

* vegan mayo - as if you didn't already know that!

Lentil "Italian Sausage" Crumbles

So I made the lentils again yesterday and wrote down the ingredient amounts. The spice mix is for 2 cups of cooked lentils. 

1 clove garlic, minced. 
Saute this in a little water for 30 seconds. Add lentils to pan and stir. Add spice mix and heat through.

 Italian spice mix:

1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp tomato powder (ground sun dried tomatoes)
pinch smoked paprika
pinch of ground fennel powder (or more to taste) 

I've used this on pizza, on zucchini pasta, mixed with quinoa and arugula for a nice "bowl" dinner.  I bet it would be great in a zucchini lasagna! Hmmm....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grilled Tortilla Soup Recipe

As I said before- this recipe combines elements from the Vitamix cookbook Tortilla Soup and Chez Cayenne's Grilled Vegetable Tortilla Soup. Enjoy!

Grilled Veg Tortilla Soup

2 ears corn
2 polano peppers, halved and seeded
½ red onion
½ medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
3 cloves garlic
4 roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 carrot, peeled
1 thick slice of cabbage (optional)

3 cups vegetable broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup black olives
Juice of half a lime
1 tsp sundried tomato paste
Tortilla chips
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 avocado, diced

Spray veggies with olive oil to prevent sticking to the grill. Grill veggies over medium heat until slightly charred and not quite tender.
Add half the vegetable broth to a high speed blender and half to a soup pot on low heat.  Add grilled peppers, onion, zucchini, garlic, tomato, carrot and cabbage if using to blender. (Don’t add the corn yet).

Blend until smooth. You may need to pour half this mixture into the soup pot depending on blender size.

Cut kernels off cob and add to blender along with black beans, olives and a handful of tortilla chips. Pulse two or three times just to combine but leave chunks of corn, beans and chips.  Pour into soup pot with warmed broth. Stir to combine and heat through.

Crush a few extra tortilla chips and add to soup bowls before adding soup. Top with cilantro and diced avocado. 

Serves 4

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Tortilla Soup

Or how this: 

 became this:

I love reading other blogs for inspiration.  I originally saw this soup from Chez Cayenne
and knew I just had to make it! But I like my tortilla soup partially blended, like the one in the Vitamix cookbookSo I took some elements from each recipe and it was delicious! I scribbled notes on the two recipes I printed out- and will post the combined recipe soon. 

I just love grilled anything~

 Sooooo good!

Thursday, July 12, 2012