St. Patrick’s Day Dinner: Steamed Salmon, Sweet Potato Colcannon and Asparagus with Roasted Pistachios
St. Patrick’s Day Dinner: Steamed Salmon, Sweet Potato Colcannon and Asparagus with Roasted Pistachios

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.

It was the luck of the Irish, amid all the twitters, I learned about colcannon from Foodwishes. A traditional Irish dish, colcannon is made with white potatoes, salt and pepper. Cooked kale or cabbage is thrown in for a healthy measure, and this dish wouldn’t be Irish without generous quantities of cream or milk. It would seem as if this old world dish had been in my index of recipes my whole life, for it’s combining two of my favorite vegetables: potatoes and kale.

Being of the new world, I wanted to add an American twist via the way of another old world, Africa. Instead of using Irish white potatoes, this version is made with sweet potatoes. Ironically, this dish reflects the Irish flag’s colors of green for the kale, white for the cream, and orange for the sweet potatoes. It has a rich taste worth a pot of gold.

Source
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colcannon
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2010/03/if-youre-bachelor-and-dont-want-to-get.html

Read more

Thai Curry Shrimp with Roasted Eggplant over Brown Rice & Bosc Pear Avocado Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette
Thai Curry Shrimp with Roasted Eggplant over Brown Rice & Bosc Pear Avocado Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette

On the day of the Oscar Awards, the boyfriend woke up with plenty of coughs. A menu was quickly planned to fight his cold during the glamorous event. A spicy and citrusy meal that is full of vitamin C was created. Hopefully, the dishes will build his immune system, and I’ll stay healthy and happy. Read more

Pancakes Whipped from Thin Air
Ethereal Pancakes
Ethereal Pancakes

In the Southern states, the announcement of a snowstorm sends crowds to grocery stores stocking their fridge with milk and eggs. The following week, the snow is melting, the roads are increasingly accessible and the sidewalks are being de-iced. From a non-cook’s perspective of looking at a fridge full of milk and eggs, these pancakes will look as if they were whipped from thin air. This whipped eggy batter produces ethereal, airy pancakes that will melt in your mouth. Serve these with caramelized apples and toasted walnuts. Enjoy! Read more

Chili Mole Sauce over Brown Rice served with Buttermilk Cornbread
Chili Mole Sauce over Brown Rice served with Buttermilk Cornbread

At a meeting last week, someone asked, “What’s the perfect meal to serve for a snowy weekend?” This weekend is also Superbowl Sunday. Instead of trying to show off my knowledge of recipes by mentioning exotic ingredients, my answer was simple. I said chili. It’s a comforting, spicy dish. Everyone wants a bowl, especially on a cold day. I didn’t mention the mole addition that gives this sauce a complex flavor. As a Superbowl dish, serve it over rice or on a sausage hot dog. Sausages, instead of hot dogs, could be a better option, because the source of the meat is not a mystery.

That same day, another person asked what I put in my chili, and I mentioned beer. She asked, “Why not wine?” I was thinking, “Wine in chili? This is a cheap dish!” Alas, the beer addition is another chili version. This recipe has a mole base, but I did sweeten it with a little wine. Garnish the sauce with chopped scallions and cilantro. Cheddar cheese is a classic topping, but this sauce taste better with grated Manchego cheese.

Note: Remember the mole enchiladas that was made a few weeks ago? So much sauce was made, I was able to freeze a few cups for this chili recipe. Buttermilk Cornbread served as a side dish to this meal.

Read more

Chicken Mole Enchiladas

This is a faux, non-traditional Mole sauce, because a slower cooker, a food processor, a blender and store-brought grounded spices were used to shorten the prepping time. The tomato sauce is the fool’s proof technique of preventing a bitter taste. If these steps in this recipe appear laborious, then compare the prepping steps of a traditional mole sauce.

Traditional mole sauces require time, commitment, and attention to details. There are many versions representing Mexico’s regions. Each tedious step is crucial to the final result. It’s not a last minute sauce made on a weekday, nor is it a soup that uses old ingredients before they spoil (Many delicious chili recipes are made by “cleaning out the fridge” with old ingredients). Spices are brought whole and individually toasted before grinding them finely with a mortar and a pestle. The bitterest chocolate is used not for its false look of sweetness, but its inner soul of taste. Corn tortilla shells are fried to a crisp and turned into a mealy texture. Along with corn tortillas, nuts and sesame seeds thicken the sauce to harmonize the complex ingredients, and its raw taste will melt away. Ancho chilies are seeded, because the seeds will add to much spicy heat to the pot. Mole sauce requires a weekend of prepping and cooking. It’s why it’s traditionally made for weddings and special occasions.

Using a slow cooker allows other projects requiring the same amount of time, commitment and attention to details to be completed as a traditional mole sauce. Depending on a schedule, the sauce will cook in a slow cooker for at least four hours on high to ten hours on low heat. That’s many hours of freelance work that could be completed. Prep the ingredients in the morning for an exotic meal in the evening. It’s nice to appear as if I have my life together all of the time.

Update:
Between freelance projects and personal commitments, this was the best weekend to make a mole sauce. Simply not true. As stated above,

Traditional mole sauces require time, commitment, and attention to details.

Read more