Shrimp Tacos

at mimi's table mexican shrimp tacos

Simply put: This is one of the most delicious taco recipes ever! Jessica and I made this for “Cinco de Mayo.” Marinated and grilled shrimp offers up the perfect shrimpy bite. And I mean PERFECT! These shrimp tacos are an amazing combination of flavors and textures. They’re refreshing, too. Do I sound excited? Oh, my mouth is watering!

And a Negra Modelo. Doesn’t get any better. Truly! My son-in-law introduced me to Negra Modelo a long time ago when he and my daughter went to a late lunch. So good and flavorful – it’s the perfect beverage with good Mexican food.

When Richard and I vacationed in Mexico a few years ago, I ordered Negra Modelo. The beer was delivered in a tumbler-sized glass filled with ice. Lime juice freshly squeezed over the ice, and a healthy portion or lime juice. The Modelo was served alongside to pour over the ice and lime juice. Oh, so refreshing!

The cooked shrimp are placed in warmed corn tortillas, doubled, so two tortillas for each ta top. Then a layer of finely shredded cabbage for a nice crunch topped with this amazing sauce from Indian chef Aarti Sequeira at the Food Network. I didn’t have banana peppers, but if you like a tangy bite with a little heat, I’d put a few of those on, too, before digging in.

at mimi's table shrimp tacos grilling shrimp

In fact, this is Arati’s Fish Taco recipe. I substituted shrimp and added the guac. I’ve made this dish with fish, too, and it’s equally delicious. Thanks, Arati!

at mimi's table shrimp tacos zachy endorsed
Zachy Endorsed

If you try your hand at Shrimp Tacos, I’d love to know what you think!

Let’s make up a batch, shall we?  

Shrimp Tacos
These Shrimp Tacos are a delicious bite of heaven. Quick and satisfying. Serve with a chilled Negra Modelo for a perfect meal.
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 3-4 servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • For The Shrimp
  • 2 lbs raw large shrimp (21-25/pound count), peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For The Sauce
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus extra if necessary
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • At Service
  • 24-6" corn tortillas, wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven at 225 degrees for 10-15 minutes
  • Finely shredded cabbage or angel hair coleslaw mix
  • Pickled banana peppers
  • 1-2 fresh limes cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Rinse shrimp in a colander under cool running water. Line a baking sheet with a double thickness of paper towels. Put the shrimp on top and cover with another layer of double paper toweling. Pat dry.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the marinade ingredients. Add shrimp and toss until it's well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator to let the flavors blend.
  4. If you're serving homemade guacamole, now's the time to put that together. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Divide tortillas into two stacks. Wrap tortillas with aluminum foil and set inside a 225F degree oven to warm.
  6. On the stove, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Begin to grill the shrimp in batches making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Grill for two minutes on each side, or until the shrimp turn pink. Be sure not to overcook the shrimp, because they will become tough.
  7. As the shrimp cook, remove them to a bowl covered with aluminum foil.
  8. To Serve
  9. Set out warm tortillas, cooked shrimp, shredded cabbage, guacamole, sauce, and banana peppers buffet-style. Let everyone assemble their own tacos with whatever they like.
Notes
Shrimp Tacos may be served with refried beans, Mexican rice, or a salad. I've never cooked seafood on an outdoor grill, so I can't comment, but they certainly could be grilled. Enjoy!

 

Chicken Pibil Sandwich with Pickled Onions and Avocado Crema

at mimi's table pati's mexican table chicken pilbil sandwich


Here’s a Thanksgiving leftover tip! Substitute turkey to build these fabulous sandwiches! YUM!!

Star of the Show!
Pickled Red Onions with Jalapeno

Pickling fresh vegetables seems to be all the rage these days. And there’s a good reason. Pickled veggies don’t take a lot of time. The ingredients are cheap and simple. A small sweet and tangy crunchy bite for almost anything. And you can make pickled veggies in small batches.

at mimi's table red pickled onions

It only takes 10 minutes to put everything together. And if you make a large batch, Pati says these delicious pickled onions will last in your refrigerator for two weeks.

Pickled Red Onions
Tangy and sweet pickled red onions add a flavorful crunchy bite to any sandwich, taco, salads. Whatever your little heart desires!
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 2 cups
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup each grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice and white distilled vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher
  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced, about 2 cups
  • 1 jalapeno charred
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Place the grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice and vinegar in a mixing bowl along with the black pepper, allspice, and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add the red onions and bay leaves.
  3. Char or broil the banana pepper in the broiler, on the grill, on a hot comal or dry skillet set over medium heat or directly on an open flame, for 3 to 6 minutes. Turn it once or twice, until its skin has lightly charred.
  4. Add to the onions.
  5. Toss well in a canning jar and let the ingredients pickle at room temperature from ½ hour to 2 hours
  6. Put the jar in the refrigerator. Pickled Red Onions will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

 

This Chicken Pibil Sandwich is one of my favorites from Pati’s Mexican Table. Spicy chicken topped with crunchy pickled red onions and slathered with avocado crema is a satisfying bite. It’s a quick sandwich to put together, too.

at mimi's table fall logo 2017
Let’s make a batch!

Chicken Pibil Sandwich with Pickled Onions and Avocado Crema
Nicely seasoned chicken or turkey topped with tangy, sweet pickled red onions and slathered with avocado crema. Quick, easy, and very yummy!
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Sandwich
Serves: 4-5 servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • ½ pound ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ red onion outer layer removed
  • 3 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste chopped (the paste that comes in a bar, not a jar!)
  • 6 cups cooked shredded chicken from homemade broth or rotisserie chicken (may substitute turkey)
  • Soft buns
  • Avocado Crema
  • Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with foil. Place the whole tomatoes, onion and unpeeled garlic cloves on the foil and set under the broiler, 3 to 4 inches from the heat. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until charred on one side. Flip over and broil for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the skin is blistered and completely charred. The tomatoes should be very soft with the juices beginning to run out. Remove from heat.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, quarter the tomatoes and place in a blender jar along with any juices from the baking sheet. Peel the garlic cloves and add to the blender along with the onion, salt and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Puree until completely smooth.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a casserole or soup pot until hot but not smoking. Pour in the puree and cover partially, as the sauce will sizzle and jump. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and darkens considerably.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, allspice, pepper, chopped achiote paste, and the remaining cup of chicken broth in the blender and puree until completely smooth.
  5. Stir the puree into the tomato sauce and bring back to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, then add the shredded chicken. Mix together well and continue to cook, uncovered, until the chicken has absorbed most of the sauce, about 5 minutes. The finished dish should be very moist but not wet or soupy.
  6. To serve, scoop about 1 cup of the chicken pibil onto the bottom half of a bun. Top with avocado crema and a few pickled red onions.
Notes
Read Pati Jinich's recipe at https://patijinich.com/recipe/fast-track-chicken-pibil-sandwich/

Avocado Crema: 2 ripe avocados; ½ cup Mexican crema;1 minced clove garlic;1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice; ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

 

Carmen’s Mexican Rice

at mimi's table mexican rice

Yes, this plate of Cheesy Enchiladas in Molé is scrumptous!

However, the star of the show in today’s post is the side dish in the upper right hand corner of the plate: Carmen’s Mexican Rice.

I’ve written frequently about my ex-mother-in-law, Carmen, and how she influenced my Mexican cooking skills and palate. One side I learned very early in the process was Mexican Rice.

It’s a staple of most south-of-the-border meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Served with beans of any sort, rice and beans is a complete protein. In fact, rice and beans is a fabulous vegetarian/gluten-free option. You’ll find recipes for beans and rice all over southern and Latino cooking sites on the web. Such an amazing and healthy combination.

Anyway, I digress.

Many years ago, a younger Mimi, husband, and new baby visited Carmen’s homestead in Grand Island, Nebraska. Her mother still lived in the same house where the family was raised.  Imagine the curiosity aroused when a “gringa” showed up and actually volunteered to help with dinner preparations!

I remember uncles, aunties, and Grandma Garcia (the matriarch) watching over my shoulder as I confidently whipped up a batch of rice to serve for the evening meal. Nods of approval and Spanish spoken praises were received and well-appreciated. Maybe their beloved Anthony hadn’t done so bad after all!

Nevertheless, Mexican Rice is so easy to put together. Carmen’s recipe included onions as the only vegetable. Peas, carrots, green beans were not in the mix. And Mexican Rice is inexpensive. Paired with beans, flour tortillas, grated cheese and a side salad, this dish is very frugal.

at mimi's table mexican food icon

                           

                            Let’s Cook!

Mexican-Rice-1

This is my favorite rice cooking vessel. It’s an old Guardian Ware aluminum pot that belonged to one of my grandmothers. Both used Guardian Ware, and I was the lucky recipient of this one.

I like it because it’s sturdy. The walls are thick. The lid fits well and retains heat nicely. Every pot of rice I conjure up comes out perfect no matter the recipe.

If you don’t have one of these handy, rice is successfully cooked in an enameled cast iron pot or a heavy pot will a tight fitting lid.

Mexican-Rice-2
at mimi's table Carmen's Mexican rice oil
at mimi's table Carmen's Mexican rice browning rice

Before you begin, measure out your ingredients:

  • 1 3/4  cups of low-sodium chicken stock or water mixed with 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and then into chunks
  • 1-2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Over medium-high heat, add 1-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil. (I like olive oil.)

Once the oil is hot, add the rice. Begin to stir so all the rice is coated with oil.

Continue to cook until some of the rice is translucent and other kernels are lightly browned.

Add the chopped onion to the rice. Cook for a minute or two until the onions begin to wilt and become lightly browned.

at mimi's table Carmen's Mexican rice add onion
Mexican-Rice-6

Add the chicken stock or water and tomato sauce. Careful – the liquid may steam and spatter.

Add the oregano and garlic salt. Stir to distribute everything. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce temperature to a simmer and cover.

at mimi's table Carmen's Mexican rice with onions liquid and spices

Let the rice simmer for 13 minutes. Once it’s done, immediately remove from the heat and set aside to let the rice finish cooking. You can put the pot in a slow oven (185°F) to finish cooking for 15-20 minutes to keep it warm before serving.

You can lift the lid and fluff up the rice, but I usually don’t. My daughter tells me the “money bite” is the rice, onions, and oregano that settles to the top.

Now, If I’d had my act together, I would have remembered to take a picture when the rice was finished. Must have been hungry this day and in a rush to get dinner on the table. Ooops . . .

at mimi's table mexican rice

Carmen’s Mexican Rice is awesome served alongside Huevos Rancheros. My mother used a version in her recipe for Retro Pork Chops with Spanish Rice, Peas, and Potatoes.

My young family would eat leftover rice, refried beans, tamales, and warm tortillas for breakfast. Ah, the good old days when I didn’t have to worry about all those carbs and calories!

Enjoy!

Click here for recipe

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Cheese Enchiladas in Mole

at mimi's table ultimate cheese enchiladas jeff mauro

This recipe comes under my blog heading of “Tasty Tryouts.” Recently, I decided to try different recipes I discover on cooking shows, food magazines and blogs and share my new favorites with you.

Ultimate Cheesey Enchiladas is a recipe from Jeff Mauro (The Sandwich King), who is one of the hosts of Food Network’s The Kitchen, and winner of Food Network Star in 2011. His recipe appealed to me because I love Mexican food and I adore anything that resembles molé. (Eating Rick Bayless’ molé at his Chicago restaurant, Frontera Grill, is on my bucket list.)

My Mexican mother-in-law introduced me to molé in the 1970’s when she made enchiladas with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Wow! My taste buds were changed forever, and her enchiladas became a family and friend staple made with turkey or chicken. I developed a craving that was intensified with every bite. Here’s Carmen’s way of making Turkey Enchiladas in Molé.

While Mauro’s enchilada sauce is not a true molé, it’s awful close to the real thing – a dark rich sauce flavored with cocoa, ancho and chipolte chile powders and it’s quick to put together. I would substitute his in a heartbeat for anything molé based.

There’s a generous helping of cheesy goodness for the enchiladas. This time in addition to the cheese I added some leftover shredded chicken and roasted Anaheim or long green peppers commonly used for chili rellenos (a recipe I have yet to master).

Normally, I use flour tortillas rather than corn. In the old days, I made my own, as did my mother-in-law. But now, I rely on tortillas from El Milagro, corn or flour, you can’t go wrong with this brand. I’ve eaten them since my childhood, and nothing else store bought comes close. If you’re adventuresome, many Mexican grocers sell their own homemade concentrated molé in paste form that can be reconstituted with chicken stock. A good idea to try one.

Cheese Enchiladas in Molé is not difficult to make, but there are several steps. Don’t be intimidated. It’s a delicious recipe well worth trying. We loved it! Thanks, Jeff! Tasty, indeed.

at mimi's table mexican food icon

Let’s Get Cooking!

at mimi's table cheese enchiladas in mole roasting chiles 1
Roast the chiles on all sides until the skin blisters on all sides. Remove to a plastic bowl covered with plastic wrap or into a ziploc bag. Let the chiles steam until easy to handle.Remove the skin, seeds and inner membrane.
at mimi's table cheese enchiladas in mole roasted chiles 2
Dice the chiles. I used one. Or you can skip this step and substitute a can of roasted green chiles from the store. I think you get a better flavor with the real deal, but I also had lots of time on my hands. HA!


Second step, make the molé. The sauce requires a roux of oil and flour. Because the flour can brown very quickly, I like to have all my ingredients measured out and at the ready once the roux is thickened.

So, in a small bowl add:

  • 2 Tablespoons ancho chile powder;
  • 1 Tablespoon chipolte powder;
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder;
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregnao;
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (not garlic salt);
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
  • Mix and set aside.

Measure 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth or stock or homemade stock. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed 3-quart pot heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (canola is fine, too) over medium-high heat. Add 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour and whisk the oil and flour until it begins to foam up. Continue whisking until the roux becomes slightly thickened. (2-3 minutes) Don’t let it brown.

Add the spice mix and continue to whisk until the spices become fragrant. (1-2 minutes). Don’t overcook the mixture so you don’t burn or seize the cocoa.

Add the chicken stock. Continue to whisk until the molé is slightly thickened. You don’t want a paste, but a smooth, rich sauce. Add 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar. Stir to combine. Ladle 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9″x 13″ pan. Set aside.

Mimi's Tips

See! There’s really nothing to it. Be forewarned, the chipolte powder has a bit of a kick. If you like it hot, leave it be. I you want a milder molé, use regular or mild chili powder in its place.

at mimi's table cheese enchiladas in mole oaxaca cheese
Shred 16oz of oaxaca; 4oz of sharp cheddar cheese, and 4oz of Monterey Jack cheese. Place in a deep bowl and mix chicken and/or roasted green chiles, if you’re making that addition.

I neglected to take a picture of the shredded cheese in a bowl. Sorry. But here is the star of the show: Oaxaca Cheese. You can find it in any Mexican grocery. I found mine at Kroger. Substitute mozarella, if needed.

According to cheese.com:

Oaxaca, also known as Queso Oaxaca, Asadero or Quesillo is a Mexican name for a semi-soft, white, string-type, Hispanic-style cheese made from cow’s milk. Similar to a Mozzarella, Oaxaca is a stretched curd cheese, kneaded and sold in long ropes gently wound in balls.

One of the artisanal cheeses, Oaxaca has savory mellow buttery flavour and is a great melting cheese. The little salty and mild flavour make it is one of the most popular cheeses for preparing quesadillas. In addition, Oaxaca is an excellent stuffing cheese in baking recipes. In both texture and flavour, it can be compared to a young Monterey Jack cheese. Although the cheese lacks a strong flavour, its mild taste is a favorite with kids.

Learn more about the Oaxaca region of Mexico.

at mimi's table cheese enchiladas in mole wilt corn tortillas

Let’s “wilt” corn tortillas:

Yellow or white corn tortillas, it really doesn’t make a difference. Mauro uses yellow. I used white.

In a medium skillet or iron skillet, heat 1/2 cup of oil until it sizzles when you put a tortilla in. Fry the tortilla for 5 seconds on each side. Yes, 5 seconds per side. You don’t want the tortillas to crisp up, but to “wilt” or pliable to make filling them easier.

Remove the wilted tortillas to a baking sheet lined with paper towels in a single layer, putting paper towels between the layers. For 12 tortillas, I used 3 sheets of paper towels.

This is a standard technique for any enchilada you wish to conjure up.

at mimi's table cheese enchiladas rolling 3
at mimi's table cheese enchiladas rolling 2
chese-enchiladas-tortilas-3

Whenever I make enchiladas, I like to roll them on a small baking sheet. Doing so keeps the filling confined, nice and neat. Put 1/4 cup of the filling in the center of the tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla around the filling, tucking the cheese inside. Place the enchiladas in two rows of six each.

at mimi's table cheese enchiladas in mole in the oven

Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas. Bake uncovered in a 375º oven for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle on the remaining cheese filling.

Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.

I served the gooey, cheesy goodness with sour cream, jarred pickled jalapeno peppers, and a thinly shredded, undressed romaine salad topped with tomatoes. You can also add a side of Spanish rice and/or refried beans, if you want to fill out the plate.

at mimi's table cheese enchiladas tasty tryouts

Olé Molé!!

Delicioso!!

Buen Provecho!!

Mimi

Indy Landmark – Shapiro’s Deli

at mimi's table shapiro's delicatessen

 

Every once in a while, you need the comfort of a great deli sandwich.  Not any of the national fast food sandwich chain fare for me.  A real Kosher deli big bite.

at mimi's table shapiro's deli indianapolis in

Shapiro’s Deli located at 808 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, has been carving out great delicatessen delectables since 1905.  The atmosphere is simple and understated, a bit of a throwback to mid-Century deli/cafeteria counters with steam tables filled to the max with freshly made menu items.  And they host a bakery where epicureans can take home loaves of freshly baked rye bread, bagels, poppy seed hot dog buns (I haven’t found these available anywhere else.) , and scrumptious desserts – cakes, pies, and cheesecakes.

My husband, Richard, worked in New York City for a while, and I’ve heard many stories about Kosher deli-style food readily available just about anywhere he frequented.  So it was on our way to the Indianapolis International Airport early in our marriage that I suggested we stop by Shapiro’s for lunch.  He’s never forgotten the sandwiches ordered:  classic Rubens, perfectly toasted, piled high with corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese and thousand island dressing, topped with a slice of a Kosher dill pickle.  Outstanding!

at mimi's table shapiro's deli indianapolis in mimi's order

Here’s what I ordered with a side of potato salad.  Honestly, the potato salad is nothing special, but on this day, I preferred this to a bag of chips, which I rarely order.

at mimi's table shapiro's deli indianapolis in richard's order

My husband caught me eyeing the potato pancakes (Yes! Those are potato pancakes.) so he ordered one for us to sample.  Most definitely fried in bacon grease or a combo of bacon grease and lard, the pancake was ample and flavorful.  It was the first bite I took.  I didn’t know what to expect.  The pancake is a little heavy on filler.  But it was crispy and hot, even after prepared and on the steam table.  Would have benefited from some applesauce or sour cream.  We took half of the pancake home, and it was delicious the next day, maybe even better.

Pricing is not for the faint of heart.  Our sandwiches were $16 each!  Including the sides and a soda to share, we spent over $40.  Ouch!! Whatever the price, the quality is right on. There’s no tip. It’s a line cafeteria-style setup.  Soda refills are free.  There are to-go cups that make this option even better.

In my mind, it was worth the price for a special treat.  Shapiro’s offers lots of sandwich and steam table options.  Here’s a link to their menu:

Shapiro’s Deli Downtown Indianapolis

And Shapiro’s has locations at Keystone at the Crossing, and the Indianapolis Airport. Patrons can order deli meat by the pound (corned beef, pastrami, brisket, peppered beef, etc.), whole desserts or by the slice, and specialty items like their cabbage rolls.  I mean, who doesn’t love stuffed cabbage??

We enjoy Shapiro’s, if only for the iconic, traditional, good food aspect of gastronomic delight.  In business for over 100 years, there’s plenty of popularity, support, and regular patrons to sustain Shapiro’s for many decades to come.  I can’t imagine the business they do on an Indianapolis Colts game day.  Just what Richard remembered.  Who can ask for more than that??

at mimi's table signature 2 fall

 

Simple Chicken Curry with Sauteed Veggies

Simple Chicken Curry – There’s nothing easier, with a palette changing array of spices. This is served with rice or rice noodles, and an array of sauteed vegetables. Put this in your recipe box for something different, quick, and satisfying.

at mimi's table simple chicken curry

Wow!  I had no idea.  I’ve made this recipe several times, but am always amazed by the taste of a simple curry.  This recipe is not difficult.  It’s easy and quick.  It’s inexpensive.  It has become one of my and my husband’s very favorites.

Bored with the same old chicken dishes, I found this one at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  An awesome find that widened my culinary palate in a huge way.  What a gift, seriously.

Adding vegetables, simple and traditional or non-traditional, only adds to the nutritional data.  The coconut milk may be a bit of a nutritional reach due to fat content, but what the heck.  Some dishes are worth savoring, and Simple Chicken Curry is certainly one.

This recipe also calls for Asian fish sauce.  You can buy fish sauce at any Asian grocery, or perhaps some forward thinking, amply stocked stores will carry it.  You don’t need much at all, so a bottle will last for a good long time.  It’s cheap.  If you’re running in the Asian cuisine lane, you’ll need eventually to buy fish sauce.  It’s salty and is disgusting smelling, but, trust me, you won’t regret the couple of bucks you spend.

You’ll also need to buy a curry powder.  Now, curry powder is like chili powder or Italian seasoning.  It comes many different ways.  You can make your own, which I desperately wish to attempt, or buy this sweet curry from Penzey’s Spices.  There are other curries available, but this is the friendliest for this dish.

So, let’s look at my fascination with curry at the beginning.  “Adams Rib” starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.  A mid-Century movie in black & white, it’s the story of two married-to-each-other attorneys.  One represents the state, the other, the defense.  It’s funny, simple humor with adult relationships – I simply love it, as did my 70’s college friends.  Take a look at the trailer:

In the beginning of the movie, Hepburn & Tracy come home after a long day’s work looking for something quick to make for dinner.  They decide on lamb curry. (Like, who has a cooked leg of lamb in the fridge?  It’s the 50’s OK? Who knows?)  In the clip, it hints at what they’re preparing, but the dish is easily identified when Hepburn cracks a fresh coconut over the kitchen sink dressed in a becoming bathrobe.  Seriously, as a junior high school student, I was wondering what the hell was lamb curry?  What was curry at all?? Although I was well versed in leg of lamb.  Gee, was this an epicurean epiphany?

According to her blog, Mel at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has a great Asian Indian friend, Sujoo.  It is this woman who, I might say, expanded Mel’s palette, as she has done mine.  Thank you, Mel & Sujoo.

Gosh, this stuff is great.  Yes, I added some unconventional veggies, but it rounded out the meal.  We do have leftovers, and my husband and I fight over who gets the biggest portion. Guess who wins??

Shall we travel together to the land of Asian culinary mystique?  Let’s begin.

at mimi's table Asian dishes  Healthy Appetite!  Mimi

Simple Chicken Curry with Sauteed Veggies
If you've never tried curried recipes before, this is your introduction to the Asian flavor palette. If you're a seasoned expert, Simple Chicken Curry with Veggies won't disappoint. Move over and let a new Asian dish into your recipe box.
Author:
Cuisine: Asian
Recipe type: Main Dishes
Serves: 4 servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger, fresh & grated, or frozen & grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, preferable Penzy's Sweet Curry Powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can (13.6 ounce) coconut milk. regular fat or low fat
  • ½ tablespoon light brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon fish sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
  • ¼ - ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Hot, cooked rice or quinoa for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, until it starts to smell fragrant.
  2. Sprinkle in the curry powder, coriander and cumin. Cook for another 30 seconds, stirring to prevent burning.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes (it doesn't need to be cooked all the way through quite yet).
  4. Stir in the coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. If you would like the sauce a bit thicker, whisk together the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl. Once combined, stir the mixture into the simmering curry. Simmer, stirring constantly, for a minute or so until the sauce thickens a bit.
  6. Stir in the cilantro. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve the curry over hot, cooked rice, quinoa or whatever else you might like (or it can be served on its own).
Notes
I'm not sure what vegetables to serve. I opted for microwaved Green Giant frozen Brussel sprouts, and carrots slivered into strips and sauteed in 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon brown sugar.

I did not alter Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipe, except to use whole fat coconut milk. Rather than add cornstarch slurry, I just simmered the dish down for a bit for the desired consistency, which Mel offers as an alternative.

 

Huevos Rancheros Two Ways

Everything I know about Mexican cooking, I learned from my ex-mother-in-law:  homemade flour tortillas, salsa, Mexican rice, enchiladas, tostadas, guacamole – a real fiesta! She was a patient teacher, and I was a willing student.

at mimis table huevos rancheros

Huevos Rancheros or “Ranch Eggs” Cooked Two Ways – One cooked on the stove top the other baked in the oven.

Everything I know about Mexican cooking, I learned from my ex-mother-in-law:  homemade flour tortillas, salsa, Mexican rice, enchiladas, tostadas, guacamole – a real fiesta! She was a patient teacher, and I was a willing student.

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Shirley’s Christmas Walnut Roll

grannie geek, Shirley's Christmas Walnut Roll
Shirley’s Christmas Walnut Roll

Growing up, our family was incredibly spoiled at Christmas time.  My mother, Shirley, and my paternal grandmother, Grandma Szewczyk, excelled at baking.  Because Grandma Szewczyk lived directly across an alley from us, we were doubly blessed.

My mom’s walnut roll was a Christmas must have.  My grandmother would make one filled with poppyseeds – makowiec.  Poppyseeds to Polish folks are believed to bring good luck, so it is traditional to serve the poppyseed variation at Christmas and New Year’s.  Over the years, Grandma deferred to my mother’s walnut roll, but continued to make her more than fair share of baked goodies.

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Turkey Enchiladas in Mole

Yes, we still have turkey.  Uh oh – hope I didn’t make you roll your eyes . . . Yes, another turkey recipe: Turkey Enchiladas in Mole.  Never had mole?   Boy, are you in for a treat!!

grannie geek, turkey enchiladas in mole
Turkey Enchiladas in Mole

I’m crazy for this recipe.  My ex-mother-in-law, who taught me everything I know about Mexican cooking, made these for me when we visited her in Colorado Springs one Christmas. She went all out for dinner, but the real treat was the next day, when she used leftover turkey to make enchiladas.  Oh my, my mouth is watering.

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Grandma’s Raisin Bread (Chalka)

at mimi's table chalka grandma's raisin bread

My Polish grandmother made this traditional bread throughout the year.   We lived directly across an alley from her house, so Grandma was always bringing over freshly baked goodies.  Chalka was one of our very favorites.  It’s fabulous warm out of the oven or toasted for breakfast with lots of butter.

Somehow, I grew up taking much of the food we ate for granted.  Polish food, like sauerkraut and kielbasa, we knew were ethnic foods, but this raisin bread I didn’t realize was part of a traditional Polish Christmas Eve or Wigilia,  I stumbled onto a great website Polish Christmas Eve Supper Recipes – Wigilia   As I read through the recipes, several we ate throughout the year.  My grandmother and dad would go mushroom hunting near our home – dry them, and save them for soup or added to sauerkraut.  I remember having uszka (“little ear” dumplings) just once, when my grandma’s sister came to the United States from Poland for a year.  We ate very well.  I remember how excited my father was, because the two sisters, his mother and aunt, were busy in the kitchen making many of the foods he remembered from his childhood.  My dad also loved chalka.  He would ask me to make it for him, when he and my mother would come to visit.  And he asked me sometimes to use dried fruit rather than raisins, like the kind of candied fruit used in fruit cake.

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