Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stuffed Poblanos and Cilantro Lime Ice Cream

     Matt just finished a 4-day-long bike ride.  So naturally he wants Mexican food.  And I am rededicated to eating healthy, more veggies and less gluten.  What are we to do?  I found a recipe on Against All Grain's blog for roasted poblano peppers, stuffed with ground beef and sweet potatoes.  It sounded like it had potential.  With a little help, it became phenomenal.

     Step 1 was nixing the ground beef and instead cooking up some lengua.  If you don't like the idea of beef tongue, just use whatever meat you desire.  The fun part is roasting and stuffing the peppers and adding delectable sauces to your heart's content.

     I also modified the veggies a bit.  Just sweet potatoes and yu choy (a cousin of bok choy which can be found at Asian grocery stores). Against All Grain uses spinach, so feel free to substitute any green you like.  Greens are good.

     We made 3 sauces for our peppers and for dipping chips.  We did make some salsa verde, as the base recipe suggests, with some modifications.  Matt loves mole sauce (a chocolate chili sauce found in some regional Mexican foods), so he was in charge of making that.  He says the recipe is a secret (you can look it up on the internet).  I also decided to take this opportunity to make an avocado cilantro lime cream sauce.  Yum.  Just yum.  Cilantro and lime is probably my favorite flavor combination (I'm planning to make some cookies with those flavors soon).  Add avocados, and it's heaven.

     As a continuation of the cilantro-lime theme, we just had to do some coconut milk ice cream that incorporates the two flavors.  I was very excited, and the results were not too shabby.

     I think I can safely say that this meal is the most delicious Mexican food I've ever put together, and it's relatively "clean" and healthy :)


Salsa Verde:
-1 lb. tomatillos
-2 jalapenos, seeded (Cut the sides lengthwise, leaving the stem and seeds separate.  This helps you to avoid touching the inside of the pepper and is quick and easy.
-2 cloves of garlic
-zest and juice from 2 limes
-1/2 tsp salt

Avocado Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce:
-2 avocados
-1 bunch cilantro (just stems or just leaves would be sufficient; I used just stems, then saved the leaves for the salsa)
-zest and juice of 2 limes
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-dash of olive oil
(I needed a little more liquid, so I added a dash of bottled lemon juice.  Use fresh-squeezed whenever possible, though.)

Stuffed Peppers
-Beef tongue (or any other meat or meat substitute)
-6 Poblano peppers, seeds removed
-goat cheese (chevre)
-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-1 onion, sliced
-1 bunch cilantro, chopped
-2 sweet potatoes, diced
-chopped green (yu choy or spinach or anything else you want)
-3 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

Cilantro Lime Ice Cream
-2 cans coconut milk
-1 bunch cilantro (leaves only)
-juice of 2 limes
-1 cup sugar


For the Main Dish:
*Preheat oven to 350ยบ
1. Prepare the meat as desired.  I was making a beef tongue, and to do that you can boil it for 4 hours or so, or cook it on low in a crock pot for 8-10 hours (or on high for 6 hours).  In the Against All Grain Recipe, she browns ground beef then sautees the meat with the veggies.  

2. Combine all ingredients for the salsa verde in a food processor, process together until salsa-consistency.  Transfer to another container and store in the refrigerator until serving.

3. Combine all ingredients for the avocado cilantro lime cream sauce and process in the food processor as well.  Transfer to another container and store in the refrigerator until serving.

4. Cut the poblanos lengthwise along one side.  Remove the seeds (Try not to touch them, and be careful not to touch your eyes right after.  Wash your hands with soap).  
5. Evenly sprinkle pieces of the goat cheese on the bottom of the pepper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the cheese is nice and melted.

6. Sautee the sweet potato in 1 tbsp vegetable oil until almost soft.  Then add the greens and continue sauteeing for 5 minutes. Lastly, add the tomatoes and stir over heat until warm.

7. Sautee separately the onion in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.  When it is almost translucent, add the chopped cilantro and continue sauteeing over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  This needs to be done last so that the cilantro will keep its strong flavor.  I've never been happy with this combination when it is permitted to cook too long or is not eaten immediately when it is hot.

Stuff the peppers with the meat, sauteed veggies, and onion.  Add the desired sauces and eat up!

If you would like all of the components to "homogenize" better, stuff everything (except for the salsa or avocado sauce) in the pepper and cook it another 10-15 minutes.  Then add the condiments and eat up.

For the Ice Cream:
1. Blend the coconut milk, cilantro, lime, and sugar until smooth and green :)
2. Process in an ice cream maker.  Allow to chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving (unless you prefer soft serve).  I like to divide the ice cream into servings, then putting the individual serving containers in the freezer for their chilling time.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ice Cream with a BANG!

Sorry to have ignored you for so long, readers.  My cooking experiences during finals were basically either 1) asking Matt to cook dinner for the week, 2) baking potatoes, and 3) Getting together leftovers from when Matt cooked and making a soup out of the random ingredients.

But Sunday was Cinco de Mayo, and something better was called for :)

Like Chocolate Habanero Frozen Yogurt.  Yum.

I first made homemade yogurt a couple days before, see the recipe here.  I only let it sit for a day and a half, so it was not as firm as it usually is.  It was still quite tart, though.  Everyone liked it all the same!

2 quarts yogurt (whatever kind you want.  If you buy it at the store, you might need to use less, and add some liquid - water or milk so that it won't be too thick.  On the other hand, I'm sure that would be delicious too)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 habaneros (NO seeds - they're hot enough as they are) (And of course you can reduce this to 1 if you want less spice.
2 cups sugar

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Then freeze in an ice cream maker!  Bada-bing.  That's it :)
You may wish to reduce or increase the sugar.

It's certainly tangy and sweet and chocolat-y, then gives you a kick in the back of your throat when you swallow.

I'll be experimenting with frozen yogurt recipes a lot this summer - some savory ones too that can be a healthy frozen snack or meal.