Sunday, February 24, 2013

Frozen Kiwi Margaritas

Quick post today. My brunch plans did not work out how I planned, so I will only post the drink. I started taking a liking to making frozen margaritas out of whole fruit that has been frozen starting with watermelon. I have a hard time using up fruit before it goes bad. I usually end up freezing it. At any given time, you are likely to find a frozen banana in my fridge. Those are good to just snack on or make smoothies/coffee drinks with. 

They should look like this when done. 
The fun part of this recipe is how to get the kiwi out of the furry little peel. Simply cut the kiwi in half (like if it was a globe you are going to cut it across the equator). Now take a large spoon and slip it around the edge of the peel. The kiwi should come right out. There is a little juice but it is far less messy and less wasteful than peeling a kiwi. At this point i froze the kiwi halves. 

Frozen Kiwi Margaritas
makes 2 large or 4 small ones 

4 kiwis, halved and peeled and frozen as above
4 ounces of tequila 
2 ounces of triple sec
2-4 ounces of lime juice (to taste) 
about 8 ice cubes

Blend it all up in a blender until smooth!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Vegetarian Ceviche

Vegetarian Ceviche That Looks Not-So-Vegetarian
Serves 4

1 can hearts of palm 
1 green bell pepper 
1/2 red onion
1-2 jalapeƱos
2 tomatoes
1 cloves garlic
1/2 small red onion
1 avocado 

handful of cilantro 
1-2 limes
sometimes i also add green bell pepper and cucumber
Salt to taste

Slice hearts of palm into 1/4 inch circles. Pop the centers out so they resemble octopus rings. Retain the centers for the ceviche. Chop all other ingredients. Mix together gently. Squeeze lime. Serve in chilled margarita glasses. Salt to taste. 

*Remember that citrus heightens the flavor of salt, so you will not need as much.

**Tip for picking an avocado: Pick an avocado that is not overly ripe. It should give a little in your hand but when you pull out the stem it should still be green. If it is brown or black it is already bad. If you get an under-ripe avocado you can simply leave it on the counter to ripen or put it in a brown paper bag on the counter to speed up the process.

***To chop: Cut the avocado in half vertically. Separate the halves. To remove the seed gently whack the blade of your knife into the seed and twist. You will need a large knife to do this. If the seed does not remove easily then your avocado was not ripe. The skin should also peel away easily. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You asked Pho it!

Ok, technically no one asked for it except me. I just enjoy a little pun. I went to Jungle Jim's huge international food market this past weekend and felt inspired. I've made pho a bunch and I've eaten my fair share of vegetarian pho at restaurants. Usually (actually almost always) the restaurant ones disappoint me greatly.  Eric even told me that my pho is much more flavorful than the meaty versions he's had, so I thought I would share. 

Vegetarian Faux Pho

1 medium onion
an inch and a half of ginger (I didn't have ginger so I used galangal root this time)
1 stick of cinnamon
5 whole cloves
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1-2 star anise
2 cubes of Not-beef bouillon (mushroom or other veggie stock would work)
a bunch of thin rice noodles
a handful of mung bean sprouts
thai chilis to taste (or serrano or other hot peppers)
half a block of tofu cut into small cubes
lime juice to taste
soy sauce to taste
cilantro for garnish
any other veggies you have around and want in the soup (I used a baby bok choy, bamboo shoots, enoki and shitake mushrooms this time)

Brown the onion and garlic in a small amount of oil. Place all of the spices in and let them get aromatic. Then put 1.5 liters (approximately 6 cups) of water in. Add bouillon and allow to come to a boil. Then turn down the heat cover and allow the mixture to simmer. The longer it goes, the more flavorful the broth. Now at this point you can strain the mixture or alternatively just pick out the cinnamon etc. or eat around it. Then return the broth to your pan. Add the noodles and bring them to a boil. Add whatever other vegetables you like. At the very end add your lime juice, soy sauce, cilantro and mung beans. Or you can serve these things on the side and let 
everyone do their own to taste.