Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Veggie Sandwich with Goat Cheese Dill Spread

OK, so I may be jumping the gun since summer doesn't officially start for another few weeks.  However, it sure feels like summer here and as I walked through the Santa Monica Farmer's Market last week I felt compelled to make a delicious summer sandwich.  Made with some beautiful vegetables of the season and paired with a delightful creamy goat cheese dill spread.  To accompany this yummy sandwich I added one of my favorite salty foods, potato chips.  These are not you regular potato chips however, they are herbed potato chips from Real Simple.  I am a huge fan of Real Simple and have to say if not for this wonderful magazine I wouldn't have found some of my favorite party food go-tos.  You can find the potato chip recipe here

Both recipes are so easy to make I know I'll be making them all summer.  Oh, and the goat cheese dill spread is a great substitute for your usual veggie dip too (do I hear 4th of July party food)!  

Goat Cheese Dill Spread

8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the goat cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh dill in a small mixing bowl.  Stir to combine all ingredients well.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Goat cheese spread can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Summer Veggie Sandwich

2 slices of bread of choice, toasted (I used La Brea Toasted Sunflower Honey Bread)
2 slices cucumber, sliced length wise
2 large slices heirloom tomato
1/4 cup broccoli sprouts, washed 
1/4 avocado, sliced
1-2 tablespoons goat cheese dill spread

Spread the goat cheese dill spread on both slices of the toasted bread.  Layer the cucumber, heirloom tomato, sprouts and avocado on one piece of the prepared bread.  Top with the other slice of prepared bread.  Slice in half and serve with herb potato chips.

Note: Substitute any of your favorite summer veggie in this sandwich and let us know how it turns out!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blackberry Banana Overnight Oats

I know is seems like ages since I've written a post and I apologize.  Spring time is what my sister calls my "busy season."  As a dance teacher I am prepping and rehearsing for our end of the year recital which is exciting and time consuming.  This all results in spending less time in the kitchen and at my computer sharing my recipes with you.  

Just like everyone else who is busy with life, I tend to find something simple and quick to make as I rush out the door or too tired to cook at the end of the day.  So I thought what would be better than a few posts containing some simple, quick and of course fresh and tasty recipes to accommodate every one's "busy season."

Let's start with breakfast!

Blackberry Banana Overnight Oats

While I tend to be a savory breakfast eater (watch for that post next week) these overnight oats are perfect for anyone on the go! 
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup non-fat plain or honey Greek yogurt (I use Trader Joe's Non-Fat Honey Greek Yogurt)
2/3 cup low-fat or skim milk
1 large or 2 small bananas
4-6 ounces fresh blackberries
honey (optional for drizzle)

In a medium bowl combine the rolled oats, Greek yogurt, and milk.  Next either divide mixture evenly into three 6-ounce jars with lids or simply cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, carefully mash the bananas and blackberries in a medium bowl until combined.  Add the mashed mixture to the overnight oats and enjoy.

Optional: If using the plain Greek yogurt you may want to drizzle a bit of honey on top to add some sweetness.

Notes: Any preferred fruit can be substituted.  Also, adding nuts and/or granola would be yummy.

Makes 2 large servings or 3 small.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Enchiladas and Margaritas!

My wife has taken her amazing talent for cooking to create This Couple's Palate.  But as the name says, it is a couple's palate. One in which we both taste, enjoy, and share with you all.  However, the time has come for me to have a voice.  My name is Greg and I am Rochelle's husband.  I am the other half to this amazing blog, and in the past I have provided recipes and also been a willing guinea pig.

I want to share a cuisine that has a very special place in my heart.  Growing up in California I was fortunate to eat a lot of Mexican food, and if you know me, you know that Mexican food is one of my favorites.  I love the fact that you can take simple ingredients to create both delicious and beautiful food.

Enchiladas were one of my favorite meals growing up.  There is something about the perfect balance of cheese, sauce, and delicious fillings. I remember how my mom would make so much that my whole family would be full after dinner and yet we would still have leftovers.  There was nothing better to me than getting the whole family together to enjoy her enchiladas.  And with Cinco de Mayo today, there is no better time for me to share my interpretation of my moms recipe that I grew up with.  Also, Rochelle created a sweet and spicy cocktail to compliment my enchiladas.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

Chicken Enchiladas with Cilantro Slaw

2 medium pasilla peppers (or anaheim)
3 chicken breasts 
1 medium onion, diced 
4 whole garlic cloves, skin on
3 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 medium flour tortillas 
1 - 29 ounce can tomato sauce
16 ounces chicken stock
2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano 
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 limes
2 cups cabbage, chopped 
1 cup cilantro, minced 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1-16 ounce container sour cream, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro Slaw
In a medium mixing bowl place cabbage, 1/2 cup of cilantro, and the juice of one lime. Mix to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 

Enchilada Sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place four garlic cloves with skin on a piece of foil. Coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wrap in the foil. Roast the garlic for about 15 minutes. The garlic will be slightly charred. Remove from oven. Allow to cool, peel skin from the garlic and discard. Mince and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oregano. Set aside.

In a large pot heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour starts to turn a slight brown, about 8 minutes. Then add the chicken stock, tomato sauce and combined spices. Bring to boil. Take roasted garlic from earlier and add to sauce. Reduce heat to simmer. Add juice from one lime and 1/4 cup cilantro. Simmer until it thickens about 20 minutes. Once thick, remove from heat and let cool. 

Enchilada Filling
Preheat oven to broil.  

Place the pasilla peppers on a foil lined baking sheet. Coat the peppers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Broil the peppers for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes so that they are charred on all sides. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Once cool, peel the off charred outer skin and deseed the peppers. Discard the skin and seeds. Dice the peppers and set aside.

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to boil. Add the chicken breasts and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool for 10 minutes. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and minced garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until transparent.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let cool.

Place the cooled chicken in a large mixing bowl. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Add the peppers, and sauteed garlic and onion to bowl. Add 1/4 cup of cilantro and mix everything thoroughly. Add the juice of 1 lime and add salt and pepper to taste. Combine well.

Assembling the Enchiladas
Turn oven to 350 degrees. 

In an 11 x 15 inch baking dish cover the bottom with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Dredge both sides of tortillas with enchilada sauce. Place about a 1/4 cup of filling on the tortilla, fold the tortilla in thirds and place tortilla seam side down. Repeat until baking dish is full in one single layer. Top assembled enchiladas with 1-1/2 to 2 cups enchilada sauce. Top with the jack and cheddar cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-7 minutes.

Serve enchiladas with 1/4 cup of cilantro slaw, 2 tablespoons sour cream and extra enchilada sauce if desired. 

Note: There will be extra enchilada sauce left over. 

Serves 4-6

Mango Jalapeno Margarita

2-1/2 ounces Mango simple syrup (see instructions below)
1-1/2 ounces tequila (we prefer anjeo tequilla)
1 lime, juiced
2-3 slices of jalapeno
Salt for rim
2 lime wedges

Mango Simple Syrup

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a small sauce pan combine the water and sugar over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear.  Be careful not to boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled place the simple syrup and diced mango into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Using a wedge of lime moisten the rim of a rocks glass.  Coat the rim with salt, either by sprinkling it on or placing about 1 teaspoon of salt on a plate and dipping the moisten rimmed glass into the salt.  Set a side.

In a cocktail shaker, pour in the lime juice and add the slices of jalapeno.  Muddle the jalapeno and lime juice until the jalapeno is bruised.  Add the mango simple syrup, tequila and fill with ice.  Shake to combine and chill.  Pour margarita in the salt prepared glass and garnish with a lime wedge.  Enjoy!