Quesadillas with Pico de Gallo, Chile-Rubbed Chicken and Avocado
[E here! As a bit of a preface, this trip came about because the truly lovely Kitchen Witch happened to be in town for BlogHer ’10 a few months ago and I sent her a list of some of my favorite places to go in the city. Originally it was only meant to be a restaurant list, but as the months leading up to the event went by our ventures to restaurants were few and far between, and many were a hike from Midtown. So I also gave her a bunch of our favorite stores that would be within a reasonable subway/taxi ride for her, and she suggested meeting up on that Saturday at the Chelsea Market to wander around. We took her shopping at Buon Italia and the Manhattan Fruit Exchange; above is the result of that shopping trip. I know it seems wholly unseasonal to write about this now, but we wanted to give you guys a break from braises and stews and think happier, warmer thoughts of summertime–I know I can use them. Carry on!]
The summer is a great time to enter the Manhattan Fruit Exchange with an open mind and a pure heart and wait for the store to speak to you. The selection is constantly impressive and the prices are some of the best on the island. On a Saturday, I have no problem going there and just filling my basket with stuff until it gets too problematic to lug around. Cash only, so be prepared.
Árbol Chile and Peanut Salsa
Alright, here it is. I love antojitos. I think the term technically applies a certain type of fried Mexican fritter, but I have a book the wife bought for me last Christmas that extends the term to all Mexican small plates/snacky offerings. And I love them. Love love love them. Read More
Avocado and Jalapeno Salsa and Tuna and Avocado Ceviche
There are days when I really, really miss New Haven. Up until we found an amazing fish shop in Hell’s Kitchen I fiercely lamented not having a shop like #1 Fish Market in North Haven, and of course I longed for a nice glass of wine and some tapas at Barcelona. But Barcelona was not the only place that I missed; you see, New Haven is a little treasure trove of culinary delights, boasting more quality restaurants in its tiny footprint than one would ever expect. You want Cuban, Japanese, New American, French, Italian or Spanish food? New Haven got you. Want pizza? You better believe that New Haven got you. Want decadent, delicious, and gut-busting brunches? Well, do we see a pattern forming here? Read More
Feliz Cinco de Mayo a todo! Perhaps the authenticity of the holiday is a bit suspect as our friends at dinnercraft hint at in a recent post, but really–who doesn’t like an excuse to make delicious Mexican food? Read More
My company follows the holiday schedule of the NYSE, which meant that I had Good Friday off for the first time since college. Normally, a day off like this would mean that we’d be spending it in transit to visit our parents, but because Easter falls on a Sunday and therefore requires our presence at one of their houses that day for both church services and the traditional meal, our plans ranged from Saturday until Monday… Read More
Chicken Enchiladas with Piquillos and Tres Quesos
Elizabeth’s lovely photo makes my enchiladas look like they are nestling in bed on a lovely Saturday morning. In all seriousness, this was our idea for an enjoyable, simple dinner after travelling home following an Easter weekend with both parents and in-laws like. We got back to NYC around 1 and I had to go right to work, so I needed a meal composed of ingredients that could be delivered from Fresh Direct (more on this later).
Fast forward to enchiladas. I had chicken thighs, and we had leftover grated cheese from our Mexican celebration from the Friday before. The enchiladas were fast and absolutely, completely satisfying. Get pen and paper, recipe follows:
- 1-2 lbs chicken thighs
- One onion, chopped
- 1.5 cups enchilada sauce*
- 6-8 tortillas
- 20 piquillo pepper strips
- Lots of grated cheese (Australian cheddar, California cheddar, ricotta salata)
- Chopped cilantro
Salt the chicken or douse in soy sauce for 30 minutes then cook via grill or pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Sweat the onion for 3-5 minutes then add most of the sauce. Bring to a simmer, tear up and throw in the piquillo strips and let cool a bit. Add some saucy onion and chicken to each of the tortillas along with a nice handful of chicken and cheese. Array in a row in the pan and coat with the remaining sauce and save some cheese for the top. Cook at 400 F for 10-14 minutes until the cheese melts and everything looks irresistible.
Here our boys were topped with a lime cabbage salad and the cilantro instead of regular cole slaw. With the hot and crazy summer approaching, taking a few shortcuts is a far better thing than abandoning the kitchen altogether. So stay cool, readers, and until next time, cook on!
*Note, I have made my own enchilada sauce many times in the past, but after the harangue of traveling and having to still make two meetings at work once I got back, I gave myself a pass and reached for the can opener. You can find our green enchilada sauce recipe here.
Red Cabbage, Cheddar, Onion Relish and Chicken Thighs for Tacos
Pasta three posts in a row? Boo! I feel compelled to step in and break up the monotony. I love to make tacos- they are always so much fun to make and eat. I also am a fan because it’s so easy to change things up each time, and be they subtle or gross, the alterations keep the dishes interesting.
Here, I had grabbed a piece of cave-aged American cheddar from Whole Foods that I was eager to use. I wanted to do something other than standard grilled/sauted chicken, so I bought a jar of Goya pico de gallo on the cheap from the corner store. It’s like salsa but a bit more watery, but that makes it perfect for cooking and reductions. I counter-top grilled some chicken thighs then added them to a skillet with the pico until I had something that mildly resembled some authentic saucy chicken.
Keeping in the spicy vein, I whipped up a bunch of my caramelized onion relish. I like to add jalapeno normally, but they were selling them by the half dozen at the store downstairs, so nuts to that. I just used red pepper flakes instead and it was fine. I have yet to mess with my red slaw, maybe next time. and until then, friends, cook on!