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Mango + Cucumber Salsa

May 20, 2015 Print this page

Fresh, simple, and sweet, this salsa makes for a fabulous summer accompaniment to anything grilled or simply on its own. Feel free to substitute basil or cilantro for the mint and lemon or orange juice for the lime.

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 5 min
Yield 6-8 servings

2 mangoes, fully ripe

1 small cucumber or 1/2 of a large cucumber

A handful of mint leaves, finely minced

The juice of 2 limes (about 3-4 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Peel, slice, and dice the mangoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Peel and de-seed the cucumber and dice it about the same size as the mango.

Mix the mango and cucumber in a bowl with the mint leaves, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir together and taste, then add more lime juice, salt, or pepper if necessary. For best results, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before eating.


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Persian Rice

July 30, 2014 Print this page

Almond, raisins, and orange zest…what’s not to love? Delicious beneath a generous scoop of Fesenjan (Persian Chicken and Pomegranate Stew).

Ingredients

Prep Time
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 40 min
Yield 6-8 servings

1 tablespoon of ghee (or coconut oil)

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

A pinch of ground cloves

1 cup of long-grain basmati rice

1 3/4 cups of water or chicken stock

The zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)

3 tablespoons of raisins

Directions

In a large skillet, heat up the ghee over medium heat. Once hot, add the stick, ground cardamom and cloves. Once fragrant, about 3 minutes later, pour in the basmati rice. Toast in the ghee and spices until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. 

To the toasted rice, add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, add the orange zest, and cook until all of the water or stock is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. When all of the liquid is gone, stir in the raisins, turn off the heat, and let sit for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork or spoon. 


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Tostones (Crispy Plantain Chips)

March 31, 2014 Print this page

Plantains are completely under-appreciated in this country, and I think it’s time for a change. They may not be as gooey and sweet as their coveted yellow cousins, but with a little love, plantains are magical in their own special way.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 30 min
Yield 3-4 servings as a side dish

3 large green plantains

Coconut oil, for frying (or other heat-stable oil)

Salt

Freshly-squeezed lime juice

Directions

Using a small, sharp knife, cut slits all of the way down each plantain, taking care to NOT cut through the plantain’s flesh. Peel the slices of skin off of the plantain to reveal the starchy yellow interior.

Cut each plantain on the diagonal to make about 3/4-inch slices.

Meanwhile, heat enough coconut oil (or other heat-stable oil) to cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet with about 1/2-inch of oil. (When you put the plantain slices in, the oil should come up about half of the way up the side.) Once the oil sizzles, add in 1/3 of the plantain slices, and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned on the side facing down.

Flip the plantains over to the other side and cook for another 2 minutes, or until lightly browned on that side, too.

Remove the plantain slices from the oil to a thick layer of paper towels and repeat the same procedure with the rest of the plantains. You should have two more batches to go.

They may look tasty enough to eat at this point, but I wouldn’t recommend it! They’ll still be super tough on the inside and not very appetizing.

Now for the fun part. Rip off two large pieces of wax paper and put one slice of plantain between the two. Using a mallet (or your hand), squish the plantain as much as possible until it’s very thin, but thick enough that it’ll hold together. Peel the wax paper away and set the squished plantain slice aside; repeat with the rest of the plantains.

Reheat the oil until it sizzles, then add 1/4 of the plantain slices back into the oil. Cook until brown on one side (only about a minute), then flip over to the other side and fry again until brown. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the rest of the squished plantain slices.

Immediately season the hot plantains with salt and freshly-squeezed lime juice. Serve right away for optimal crispiness!


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French Fries

March 22, 2014 Print this page

Want crispy-yet-tender French fries without wasting a ton of oil? These oven fries are your dream-come-true!

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 25 min
Total Time 40 min
Yield 4 servings

2 tablespoons of olive oil or other cooking fat, divided

1-2 lb potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold)

Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease two large baking sheets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or other cooking fat) each. Set aside.

You are first going to need…potatoes! I got mine at the farmers’ market, so I don’t remember what variety they were. If you’re shopping at the supermarket, I’d recommend Yukon Gold over Russet for a final product with a bit more personality.

Make sure you wash your potatoes and scrub ‘em well. Dry them off with a dish towel or paper towels, then slice them into medium-sized matchsticks, or use your 16 cup food processor’s convenient French fry blade.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Once it vigorously bubbles, add in the French fries and reduce the heat slightly so the water just slightly bubbles. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender to the touch.

Carefully drain the French fries into a colander, then give them a quick rinse in cold water to wash off some of the accumulated starch and stop the cooking process. Dry the fries off well with some paper towels.

Once no longer wet, divide the fries evenly between the two baking sheets and sprinkle vigorously with salt. Toss a few times to cook, then bake until golden brown and soft in the center, about 20 to 25 minutes. Shake the pan every 5 to 10 minutes to prevent sticking and ensure even browning.

Serve immediately with some homemade mayonnaise on the side, or dip into your favorite sauce or broth to have a delicious bite of flavor-infused potato.


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Healthier Hasselback Potatoes

February 10, 2014 Print this page

OK, so unless you’ve been living under a foodie boulder for the past, er, year, you’ve probably seen countless of pictures of hasselback potatoes floating around the internet. Unfortunately, all of these recipes are LOADED with butter and cheese…and while I have a problem with neither in moderation, I don’t think that a vegetable side dish should contain an entire stick of butter and up to a cup of cheese. Mine are made with olive oil and rosemary, and are so pretty and so tasty…I could eat the entire batch, if you wanted me to. Really.

 

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 50 min
Yield 4 servings

1 lb of potatoes (I used mini Yukon Golds and Purple)

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of dried rosemary

A good crack of black pepper

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Get out the biggest rimmed baking sheet you have–you’ll need lots of space for these potatoes!

Unless you’re a knife pro, you’re going to need some help cutting up the potatoes. Here’s a great trick: use a spoon that’s about the same size as the potato you’re using! Every 1/4-inch or so, cut down until you hit the spoon. Repeat until you reach the end of the potato.

Repeat with the rest of the potatoes and transfer them all to a big bowl. Toss with the olive oil, salt, rosemary, and black pepper.

Pour the coated potatoes on the baking sheet, and bake until tender on the center and crispy all over, about 40 to 45 minutes. Give the pan a shake every 15 minutes to make sure the potatoes don’t stick!

Serve immediately with your favorite main dish: I’d recommend either Spatchcocked Chicken or the Easiest Roast Pork Ever.

My dad thought they looked like armadillos.


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