Mustard and fennel marinated chicken

This is one of those simple but really tasty recipes. The combination of dijon mustard and fennel seeds works excellent with chicken. I often serve it with green beans and oven baked potatoes. This time, though, I wanted something lighter so I made a simple tomato salad with fresh onions, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette.

You will need

  • One chicken. Cut into pieces or butterflied.
  • Olive oil.
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt.
  • Fennel seeds. Crushed.
  • Lemon juice.

Do like this

  1. Make marinade with olive oil, mustard, salt, fennel seeds and lemon juice.
  2. put the chicken pieces in a oven proof tray and apply the marinade. Let it marinate at least a couple of hours.
  3. Warm the oven to 175 C. Put in the chicken and let cook until it’s done and have a good colour.
  4. Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes.
  5. Serve with chosen side dishes.

DSC_0025

Oaxacan Yellow Mole

This is one of the seven Moles of Oaxaca. It is said to be the easy one, mostly because it on consists of one type of chili. For the recipe I have taken inspiration from two of my heroes when it comes to Mexican cuisine. Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy.

For the chilis the traditional way is to use only guajillos but some people also add a little ancho. I tried that.

I choose to have half tomatoes and half tomatillos. If you can’t get fresh tomatillos use only tomatoes instead. Hoja Santa leaves is also very hard to find. I substituted them with coriander instead.

I topped the mole with a spicy salsa with grilled onion, charred habanero, lime juice, oregano and salt.

The result was very good. Smooth taste with a nice, warm heat. A bit sour from the tomatillo.

You will need

  • One whole chicken.
  • Onion and garlic. Peeled and roughly chopped.
  • Guajillos chili. Deveined and seeds removed.
  • Anchos (optional). Seeds removed and deveined.
  • Garlic. Unpeeled.
  • Onion. Roughly chopped.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Fresh tomtillos (optional).
  • Allspice.
  • Cloves.
  • Cumin.
  • Dried oregano. Preferable Mexican.
  • Tortilla masa. (As made for tortilla).
  • Hoja Santa leaves. Substitute with fresh coriander.
  • Green beans.
  • Lard. (Substitute with vegetable shortening).

Do like this.

  1. Cut the chicken into parts. Put the parts in the refrigerator. Put the carcass in a pan together with onion and garlic. Cover with water. Bring up to boil and let it simmer for about an hour.
  2. Add salt to the stock and the reserved chicken parts. Cook until done. 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Fry the chilis in a dry skillet until they soften and get a little colour.
  4. Cover the chilis with hot water and let them soak for about 20 minutes.
  5. Fry the unpeeled garlic and onion in a dry, hot skillet until the soften and get a good charred colour. Peel the garlic.
  6. Grill the tomatoes and tomatillos in a very hot oven until the get a nicely charred.
  7. Grind the allspice, cloves, cumin and oregano.
  8. Mix the chilis, tomatoes, onion, garlic, hoja Santa leaves and spices with some of the soaking water.
  9. Put the chili mix through a sieve and cook it in vegetable oil for about 20 minutes until it thickens.
  10. Mix tortilla masa with some of the chicken stock and sieve it into the mole. Let it cook for another 20 minutes. Add more chicken stock if it gets to thick . It should have the consistency of thick cream. Add salt to taste.
  11. Mix the rest of the tortilla masa with some salt and lard until you have a smooth dough.
  12. Make dumplings by making a small round ball in your hand and pressing in your index finger to make a hole.
  13. Add the dumplings to the mole and let them simmer for about 20 minutes.
  14. Take the cooked chicken and tear the meat into bite size pieces. Add them to the mole.
  15. Cut the green beans into bite size pieces and quickly grill them a couple of minutes. Add the to the mole.
  16. Serve the mole topped with coriander and the salsa.

DSC_0043

 

 

Gruyère and Dijon mustard Grilled pork

This is a very nice way to prepare pork. The classic way is to use pork chops but shoulder will also work.

For side dishes I had oven baked cauliflower and sautéed spinach.

For the cauliflower. Bake it in a oven with olive oil, salt and pepper, 200 C. Add finely chopped garlic the last minutes and finish with freshly squeezed lemon.

You will need

  • Pork suitable to fry. Pork chops or Pork shoulder.
  • Salt.
  • Peppar.
  • Olive oil.
  • Butter.
  • Gruyère cheese. Grated
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Crème Fraîche.
  • Calvados

Do like this.

  • Mix together the cheese, mustard and some cream. Taste with salt, pepper and some lemon juice.
  • Fry the pork in a hot pan with olive oil and butter until its done. Nice colour and slightly pink in the middle.
  • Remove the pork to a plate and deglaze the pan with Calvados.
  • Reduce the sauce until the alcohol has evaporated. Add cream. Taste with salt, pepper and some lemon juice.
  • Smear the cheese mix on top of the pork and grill it in a hot oven until it bubbles and gets a nice colour.
  • Serve the pork with the sauce and the chosen side dish.

DSC_0033

 

 

 

 

Mexican Ceviche

This is a Mexican variant of ceviche that is served on toasted corn tortilla, called tostada, avocado, pickled red onion and a salsa.

For the salsa I mixed toasted habanero chili, onion, garlic and tomato, orange juice, lime juice, koriander, salt.

For the tostada I made small corn tortilla and then brushed them with some olive oil and put on some salt. I lay them on a rack and then toasted them in a oven until they were dry and had a good colour. When I took them out of the oven I sprinkled them with some lime juice.

You will need

  • Fish cut into bite size. I used cod.
  • Orange juice.
  • Lime juice.
  • Vineger.
  • Salt.
  • Oregano.
  • Fresh onion. Chopped.
  • Tomatoes. Chopped.
  • Habanero without the seeds. Finely chopped.
  • Olive oil.
  • Koriander.

Do like this

  1. Mix the orange juice, lime juice vinegar and salt. Put the fish in the marinade.
  2. Let the fish marinade until it’s almost ready. I liked mine quite raw in the middle so I let is sit for one hour.
  3. Add the onion and let it marinate for half an hour.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it marinate for yet another half hour.
  5. Serve the ceviche on tostada and top with avocado, pickled onion and salsa.

DSC_0029

Cochinita Pibil

This is one of the most famous dishes from the Yucatan region in Mexico. Pibil means pit and traditionally you wrap meat in a banana leaf with seasoned with Recado Colorado and then cooked in a pit in the ground.

My inspiration for this recipe is from the excellent Mayan Cuisine by Daniel Hoyer but the most legendary description of this dish is probably Robert Rodriguez movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico where agent Sheldon Sands have Cochinita Pibil as his favourite dish. Robert Rodriguez has even made a ten minute cooking school where he describes how to do this dish, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrw5FkLutWk.

With the Cochinita Pibil I served a simple fresh salsa with habanera chili, tomatoes, fresh onion, orange, lime and koriander.

I also had pickled red onion, guacamole (seasoned with cumin), fresh corn tortillas and black beans on the side.

You will need

  • Pork shoulder. Cut in pieces.
  • Recado Colorado.
  • Garlic cloves. Peeled.
  • Onion. Peeled and cut in rough pieces.
  • All spice. Roasted and ground.
  • Oregano. (Preferable Mexican).
  • Cumin seeds. Roasted and ground.
  • Black pepper. Ground.
  • Bay leaves. Toasted.
  • Sour orange juice or a mix of ordinary orange juice, lime juice and grape juice.
  • Vinegar.
  • Habanero. Stems removed. Keep some seeds for kicks.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Salt.
  • Banana leaves or tin foil.

Do like this

  1. Mix everything except the meat and the banana leaves in a blender to a smooth, slightly runny paste.
  2. Marinate the meat with the paste for about 4 hours.
  3. Wrap the meat and the paste in banana leaves or tin foil and put it in a oven proof tray.
  4. Put the tray in a 150 C oven for about 4 hours until the meat is fork tender.
  5. Remove the meat from the oven and let it cool for a while.
  6. Serve the meat as tacos.

DSC_0007

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Cauliflower with Guacamole

This is a really good combination. I first saw it in a Diana Kennedy cookbook with cooked cauliflower. I thought that it would be really good to do a grilled variant instead. The guacamole is my standard variant. I think that the smoky taste that you get from grilling the onion and chili really blends well with the avocado.

You will need

  • Cauliflower divided into florets.
  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice.
  • Salt.
  • Avocado.
  • Fresh chili of your choice. Milder Serrano or Jalapeño. Habanero for a spicier variant.
  • Onion. Use fresh if you can find it. Cut in slices.
  • Garlic. Unpeeled cloves.
  • Tomato. Cut in half.
  • Coriander.

Do like this.

  1. Start by making the guacamole. Grill the onion, chili, garlic and tomato in a dry cast iron until you get good char marks.
  2. Chop the onion, chili, garlic, tomato and coriander roughly and put it into a service bowl. Season with salt.
  3. Add avocado and break it up with a fork. Mix and taste for seasoning.
  4. Toss the cauliflower with some oil and salt in a bowl. Let it rest for a few minutes.
  5. Grill the cauliflower on a grill or in a grill pan on medium heat until it is al dente and have a nice colour.
  6. Toss the cauliflower with some lime juice. Taste for seasoning.
  7. Serve the cauliflower with the guacamole.

DSC_0019

Pasta with Ricotta and Asparagus

This is a quick an easy pasta recipe. The trick is to time the pasta and the asparagus so that they are done at the same time.

You will need.

  • Pasta. A tube shaped variant like penne is perfect.
  • Asparagus. Snap of the stalk and cut the rest in bite size pieces. Keep the tips separate.
  • Ricotta.
  • Grated cheese. I used half Parmigiano-Reggiano and half Pecorino Romano.
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.

Do like this.

  1. In a serving bowl, mix ricotta, grated cheese, olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt.
  3. Put in the pasta.
  4. Add the asparagus pieces a couple of minutes before the pasta is done.
  5. Add the asparagus tips about one minute before it’s done.
  6. Add a couple table spoons of the pasta water to the ricotta sauce and mix it well.
  7. Add the drained pasta and asparagus to the ricotta sauce and mix it together.
  8. Serve with more cheese on top.

DSC_0005

 

 

Carnitas Tacos

Carnitas is a taco filling that is not very spicy or flavourful and that you combine with sauces where the heat and character is. Salsa verde and Salsa de Chile de Arbol are both sauces that I usually serve to tacos.

Salsa verde

A very fresh and tasty salsa. For fresh green chili I would prefer serrano but I almost always have to substitute with Jalapeno. For the tomatillo I prefer cooked fresh but it can be substituted with canned.

You will need

  • Fresh green chili. Roughly chopped.
  • Garlic.
  • Coriander.
  • Tomatillo.
  • Salt.

Do like this

  1. Mix the chili, garlic, coriander and tomatillo together with a blender
  2. Add salt to taste.

Salsa de Chile de Arbol

Very tasty but spicy sauce made with dried Chile de Arbol. The proportions are roughly one tomato, five tomatillo and 6 or 8 chili.

You will need

  • Chile de Arbol
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes. Roasted in a dry skillet.
  • Garlic cloves with it’s skin.
  • Salt

Do like this

  1. Roast the tomatoes and the garlic in a dry skillet. Peel the garlic.
  2. Fry the chili in oil until they soften and get a little colour. Watch out so the don’t burn.
  3. Mix the chili, garlic, tomatillo and tomatoes.
  4. Add salt to taste.

Guacamole

This is a chunky guacamole. I really like the charred taste from the vegetables.

You will need

  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh chili. A mild green one or habanero if you wan’t it spicy.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic cloves with it’s skin.
  • A pinch of roasted cumin.
  • Coriander.
  • Salt

Do like this

  1. Grill the tomatoes, chili, onion and garlic in a dry skillet.
  2. Remove the skin from the garlic and chop tomatoes, chili, onion, garlic and coriander together.
  3. Add the avocado and mash everything together with a fork.
  4. Add salt and cumin to taste.

 

Corn tortillas

Once you make fresh Corn tortillas you don’t want to go back to readymade wheat tortillas again. Masa harina is dried corn flour that has been prepared for making tortillas.

You will need

  • About 2.5 dl masa harina
  • About 1 dl warm water.

Do like this

  1. Mix together the masa harina and water. Mix it to a smooth but gry dough. You might have to adjust the amount of masa harina or water.
  2. Put the dough in a plastic bag and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Put some dough between two pieces of plastic and use a tortilla press or a rolling pin to make a thin tortilla.
  4. Put the tortilla in a hot, dry skillet and bake it until it’s get a nice colour and puffs up. One or two minutes on each side.

 

Carnitas

Proper carnitas is hard to do at home. It is usually cooked in oil or lard. This is a alternative by Diana Kennedy that I think works very well.

You will need

  • Pork shoulder. Cut in pieces.
  • Salt.
  • Water.

Do like this.

  1. Put the pork meat, salt and water in a dutch oven and let it slowly boil.
  2. Boil until the water has boiled away.
  3. Sear the meat until it gets crispy.
  4. Tear the meat apart with two forks.
  5. Serve it as taco filling with the salsas and the guacamole.

DSC_0124

Adobo Marinated Grilled Pork

This is an excellent and very tasty way of grilling pieces of pork. For the meat, I prefer slices of pork shoulder.

You will need

  • Pork meat suitable for grilling. I prefer slices of shoulder.
  • Garlic. Roughly chopped.
  • Salt.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Dried thyme.
  • Sweet smoked paprika.
  • Olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar.
  • Water.
  • Cumin
  • Coriander seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Black pepper
  • Saffron
  • Turmeric

Do like this

  1. Use a mortar or a blender to mix all the ingredients except the water. Make the marinade a bit thinner with water if it is necessary.
  2. Marinate the meat at least 4 hours in a refrigerator.
  3. Take the meat out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you start grilling.
  4. Dry the meat and grill it. Slices of shoulder will just need a couple of minutes on each side if the grill is hot.
  5. Let the meat rest a couple of minutes before you serve it.

DSC_0083

Patatas bravas

This is a version of the classic tapas Patatas bravas. The spicy tomato sauce is the perfect complement to the potatoes. I really like the addition of the nutty fried flavour of the haricots verts. 

You will need

  • Canned whole tomatoes. Roughly chopped.
  • Onion. Sliced.
  • Garlic. Sliced.
  • Tomato purée.
  • Sugar.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Smoked paprika.
  • Chili flakes.
  • White wine.
  • Parsley. Chopped.
  • Potatoes. Cut into irregular pieces.
  • Haricot verts.
  • Olive oil.
  • Garlic. Chopped.

Do like this

  1. Start with the tomato sauce. Take a saucepan and slowly sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add salt from the start.
  2. When the onion is soft, raise the temperature and let it take some colour.
  3. Add tomato purée and sugar and let it roast for a few minutes.
  4. Blend in the smoked paprika and chili flakes and mix.
  5. Pour in the white wine and let it reduce by half.
  6. Lower the temperature and add the tomatoes and half of the parsley.
  7. Let the tomato sauce slowly boil for about an hour. It should be quite thick. Add the rest of the parsley when it’s done.
  8. Warm the oven to about 220 C.
  9. Add the potatoes to an ovenproof tray together olive oil.
  10. Put the potatoes into the hot oven. Mix every 10 minute. Add salt after a while.
  11. When the potatoes is almost done, add the haricots vert.
  12. When the haricots verts is done, add the chopped garlic. Mix.
  13. Oven bake a few minutes more until the garlic is done. Watch out so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  14. Season with pepper.
  15. Serve the potatoes and haricots verts topped with the tomato sauce.

DSC_0078