sublime concoctions

{September 27, 2010}   Pretty Pepicha (aka Tortilla soup)

Tomatillo’s, serrano peppers, pepicha, zucchini, roasted garlic, onion, kale black beans and organic chicken- this is the beginnings of a delicious tortilla soup- topped with avocado, toasted sprouted corn tortillas and queso……..♥…the farmer’s market was so generous yesterday-

I happened upon a stand yesterday with some growers who boast no- chemicals and have these amazing Mexican herbs and wonderful assortments of greens and peppers. I found a huge bunch of  basil and close by was an herb so beautiful and enticing I knew right away I was going to make something to feature this herb.

Pipicha or pepecha is an herb from Oaxaca, Mexico. The flavor and aroma have elements of pine, citrus and mint.  I added this at the end of my soup- where I would’ve normally added cilantro-  it is likened to Cilantro- yet I did not think it was comparable  really- however, you want to use either pepicha OR cilantro. The man explained to me typically this herb is cooked with corn or zucchini. I took a hint and decided it was going to accent some soup- or should I say, the soup accented this bright herb I cant normally find everyday- that is the beauty of finding something within a season.

Tomatillos – about 6 or 7 quartered

white or yellow onion- 1 chopped roughly

5 or 6 lg cloves of garlic-smashed out of the skin

about tsp of mustard seeds

adobo peppers, 1 or 2 ( leave out to remove heat if making for kids)

chicken on bone- 2 chicken breasts or thighs combo

zucchini – 3 or 4 smaller young

1 cup kale or collard

bay leave, pepper, cumin, salt pepper

avocado , lime, corn tortillas, cheese

saute the onion, garlic, tomatillo, and mustard seed in your favorite oil- i make sure they are nice and  “pan roasted” – with a nice hint of dark color and everything evenly cooked through- take all, scrape into a blender- zip with a cup or 2 of chicken broth-(and adobo pepper if you have it) throw in pan .

Chicken on bone- 2 big breasts or some thighs if you want- throw in broth with about 6-8 more cups of water, boil for 30 min with some salt (tsp or so) pepper , bay leaf and  1 .5 tsp cumin .  remove chicken to plate- Add 3 or 4 small sliced zucchini,  about 2 c of chopped kale, can black beans , test for seasoning- add salt as desired-

garnish with lime,  favorite cheese, sliced corn tortillas, and 1/4 avocado sliced,

my favorite touch is to toast the tortillas in pan meting cheese between and letting them cool off a bit before slicing them into strips- pan roasting a poblano pepper in strips is also nice- which i did in this version for the people who wanted heat in the soup.


{September 26, 2010}   Chanterelle on my mind

Had some Chanterelle mushrooms to cook up fresh from the local forest. gave it a go, pulled this together and it was really good!

Chicken main dish-
Chicken breast-
rosemary thin sliced ham or other favorite
basil leaves
-Beat the chicken breast thinly between some parchment paper, lightly bread and season to your liking- Italian or rosemary is nice. Brown breaded chicken in skillet with butter or oil- take ham and layer ham and cheese and basil leaves, roll and either pin together with toothpicks or your favorite method to keep it together- throw in 350 degree oven for about 25 min, checking for doneness after 20.

Chanterelle Mushrooms- approx 2 cups cleaned and chopped roughly
Spinach- about 1 bag organic baby spinach or I small bunch cleaned
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt, pepper thyme red pepper
– Saute together mushrooms in butter, add garlic, seasoning in butter, add spinach toward end of cooking time- do NOT burn garlic, i add when my mushrooms are sweating-

I served with some simple brown rice cooked with my favorite veggie broth, ladled the veggie over the nicely sliced chicken over the rice- simple and good! i would have loved some wild rice to compliment the mushrooms!

So, I am truly going to become the poaching queen for chicken dishes! I decided it was so easy, flavorful and versatile- not to mention healthy! here is a good healthy option that was easy and ended up delicious more than any other way I have prepared it thanks to the poaching!

2 chicken breasts (skinless)
8 or more peppercorns
1 bayleaf
1/4 lemon
enough water to almost cover chicken in a saucepan
-start all this to boil, then reduce to simmer – cover for 30 min or so

about 2 cups of broccoli- saute with 2 cloves of garlic, 2 inch piece of ginger -( diced)
then steam with some mirin, soy sauce or braggs, and add tbls of miso, tbls peanut buter and tbls of sesame oil with some broth off the chicken to make a small sauce-
– cook 2 bundles of Soba Noodles

make a bowl of noodles, add a bit of chicken broth, diced serving of the poached chicken- top with miso sauce, broccoli and red pepper flakes, drizzle small bit of sesame oil and serve!

{April 26, 2010}   mango kiss chicken salad

On the fly chicken salad for  birthday picnic-

one lb of chicken (white and dark or white meat)

seasoning rub for chicken, bbq style or some other combo with a kick

two stalks celery

half sweet onion

one ripe mango

2 tbls of mayo (give or take )

2 tbls of plain yogurt

1/4 tsp cayene pepper

salt pepper to taste

I baked off the bbq rubbed chicken breast at 350 for about 30 min

cool off and combine minced veggies- use the mayo and yogurt to your  taste- start with one tbl of mayo , add yogurt, then bump it up  more-

use as much cayenne as you can endure- the sweet, tangy yogurt mango goes delicious with the spicy depth of the rub and caynne


i would add diced cilantro- and top with one spoonful of mango chutney for example- either on bread or a salad- would go great over arugala!

{December 27, 2009}   Divine Mash

Created this today-

mashed potatoes

Mash potatoes simply with butter, cream, salt pepper and nutmeg-

saute 1 red onion diced, handful of dried figs diced, few sliced of some good  salami and fresh thyme in olive oil and a bit of butter – salt pepper, drizzle of honey and lemon- toss into potatoes slightly on top of each serving and add some crumbled cheese like maybe havarti- totally amazing combo I happened onto by making some green beans with above ingredients-

{September 29, 2009}   Love Peppers

OK, welcome to my first food “concoction” contribution to my blog-

I am calling these my Love Peppers. I picked up some great peppers at the farmers market and had some lean ground beef – (yes 5 percent and natural ). Now I have never liked stuffed peppers- but i was inspired and so I looked up some recipes-and i see why i always hated them and never wanted to fix them. I DID not blanch them first- i did NOT boil them first- I had 2 poblanos, a big reddish green and made these peppers..easily could’ve made another whole pepper with the meat I had- i had left over wild rice mixture all ready cooked… are the ingredients for LOVE Peppers-

1 lb of lean ground beef..5 %

about 1 to 1.5 cups of cooked rice- brown or wild is best ( i like to have less grains)

1 onion, clove garlic 1, 2 to taste

2-3 cups raw spinach

2 jalapenos

1-2 tbls cumin or mexi seasoning

3- 4 whole peppers depending on size..halved or split for poblanos

1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted or browned in skillet no oil

some gorgonzola cheese-  about 1/2 cup

can of fire roasted tomatoes diced (any added seasoning like basil or peppers would be good)

garnish – plain yogurt and salsa

ok, so brown your onions in some olive oil- just enough to coat the skillet- add your beef- brown it break it up as it cooks and add the cumin..i add a little water here – dice and toss in the garlic- let it go about 10 min simmering and then toss in your cooked rice, mix and check for salt- go light- add if needed, throw in your spinach to jalapenos  diced- and half of your pine nuts- half and seed your peppers- or split the poblano and stuff- line them in a baking pan oiled with olive oil- as you have them stuffed and lined top with cheese enough to give it a kick on top- sprinkle the remaining pine nuts on each one- and then use your can of tomatoes on top evenly and around your peppers- put in an oven @ 350 for about 25- 30 min.. maybe add a loose foil over if you want and pull it last 10 min…

these are righteous and not at all like the yucky things i have despised- i would totally do ALL poblano peppers next time and advise the smokiness they impart is such a flavor king……these are easy to adjust to your liking with cheeses and seasonings etc…i used what i had going on in the fridge- eat them with someone you love- spicy and healthy good for lots of heat..yet simple and low-brow too.

Served with roasted winter squashes-

and green romaine salad , fresh tomato, sliced garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and pepper…..

et cetera