Month: February 2009

The Guide to Crispy Hash Browns

The Guide to Crispy Hash Browns

They are a must have in any diner. They are a must have in our house, and as a matter of fact, I made them for the kids for dinner tonight. They wanted seconds, so two batches of hash browns were in order. I think…

Asian Style Beef Jerky

Asian Style Beef Jerky

Who doesn’t love beef jerky? I mean come on, this is one delicious snack. However, it is often difficult to find really good jerky. I grew up on jerky for the most part. My dad used to use a dehydrator on it, then he got…

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Fish TacoThink of west coast. Think of fish tacos on the coast. What could be better? Well, my fish tacos of course. Wisconsin has an abundance of fish as well and heck we are one of the few cities that celebrate in the weekly Friday night fish fry! My family loves the fish fry, and recently I wanted to extend my normal Friday night fish fry into something a bit more playful, and hence the fish taco.

These fish tacos are not only super delicious, but they are really easy to make. Beer battered tilapia, on fresh corn tortillas, double stacked, with really fresh ingredients, and did I mention the killer sauce that goes with it? No? Let’s get started then.

Ingredients:

  • Thin tilapia fillets, cleaned, patted dry (you can use another white fish fillet as well, thinner the better)
  • 1 can of your favorite beer
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle pepper, seeded, with roughly 2 tbsp of the adobo sauce
  • Shredded green cabbage
  • Shredded carrots, 2
  • pico de gallo
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, and sliced
  • cilantro sprigs
  • fresh corn tortillas or store bought corn, fresher the better

Sounds like a lot right? It’s not. Most of the items listed at the top are for your batter. All items below that are your toppings, or stuffing’s for that matter.

Start by heating a large fry pan with the oil. You can bring up the temp a bit when you are ready to fry. Add your beer, flour, egg, salt, peppers, and oregano into a large bowl, and mix to make yourself a batter. It does not have to be thick. The goal is to throw the cleaned fillets into the batter, let soak for five minutes or so, then lay them into a pan of heated oil.

Fry each fillet for about four minutes per side. You keep an eye on it. The outcome is a golden brown fillet. Once you have fried them, let them rest on some paper towel, or strainer, and sprinkle a bit of salt on them.

As the fillets are cooking, or resting, add the chopped chipotle and adobo sauce to a small serving bowl, and mix it with the mayonnaise. Set aside. Next, make your pico de gallo and set aside. The reset is pretty self explanatory, and what I like to do is get a large serving platter and line the plate with all of the toppings. Take the shredded cabbage and carrots and toss in a bowl. Present all of the ingredients including the cabbage and carrot mixture on the large platter, along with the pico de gallo, cilantro, lime wedges, and avocado. In the middle, add the cooked fillets.

The next step is to warm your tortillas. You can do this anyway you choose, whether it is a skillet, flat top grill, or microwave. If you have a tortilla warmer, use it.

Take two tortillas, add your fish fillet, and load it up. Drizzle the chipotle mayo, and get ready. Trust me, the chipotle mayo alone is a winner, and I am not a fan of mayonnaise, but when you add a chipotle to it, or garlic and red onion, well, then the game is on.

This is a great Saturday or Sunday dish, and it is sure to be a winner with family or friends. Enjoy.

Leek Soup

Leek Soup

Smooth and delicious. Two words that really identify this soup. The great thing about making this soup is not only its flavor and comfort, but it is that you get to use leeks! If you have never cooked with leeks before, well, one you are…

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Who doesn’t love the freshness of pico de gallo? A fresh blend of ingredients that is commonly found in Mexican restaurants. The condiment is really great with chips, or if you are like me you put it on your tacos, nachos, or in a nice…

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

Creme BruleeI will be up front with all of you; I am not into desserts. I pass on them at restaurants, and even my own home. I feel bad at times because the first question out of my the kids mouth is ‘What’s for dessert?’. I feel bad because I do not have much of anything, at least nothing homemade that is. Sure, I have made delicious breads, and cookies, but nothing I typically do for a weekday dinner.

Seeing that my wife and kids love dessert, I thought I would bring something new to the table. Something simple to make, and something new, to get them talking. Let me say, they love it! The creme brulee was a hit, and will be a hit in your kitchen as well, and the cool thing is that you get to use those ramekins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 quart of heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
  • ultra fine sugar, roughly 1/4 cup
  • hot water
  • 6-8 ramekins

Here is how easy this is. First start by separating your egg yolks, placing them in a  large bowl. Beat them really well. Next, to medium pot, bring the heavy cream to a boil, and let it boil for nearly one minute, stirring constantly while boiling. Slowly add the cream into the bowl with yolks, and keep whisking. Add in your vanilla extract, and mix some more. Return the mixture back to the pot and cook on medium heat until it become nice and thick. You will notice the thickness when it begins to coat your spoon.

In a deeper baking dish, add the ramekins. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, not to the top, but leave a quarter inch or so, because you will add sugar to the top the next day. Yes, I said it, the next day. In the meantime, once filled, add water into the baking dish, about half way up the ramekin. Place in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove the ramekins, place on a cooled baking sheet, and cool for at least four hours, or overnight, like I do. You have to tease the family right?

The mixture, once chilled turns itself into this delicious, vanilla custard.

When you are ready, let the custard sit out for at least 20 minutes. Top with an even coat of the ultra fine sugar. Preheat your broiler to the highest temperature, or if you have a cooking torch, get that ready. The goal is to use high heat for a very short period of time to melt the sugar and form a nice crust.

You are ready. Dig in. Get through the crust and find yourself with a delightful vanilla custard that has a killer sweet crunch from the sugared top. All I can say is ‘wow’.