Fun in the sun – Amaranth fish tacos with mango sauce

Amranth Fish tacos with mango sauce

It’s already been 8 days since spring officially started, and oddly enough I spent most of my weekend curled up with a book and a glass of wine, reading by the window because there was hardly any sun, and it poured cats and dogs most of saturday and all of sunday. Not that I’m complaining, rainy weather is my favourite kind. In my opinion, summer is a month (or two) too long here in Mexico. But spring is my second favorite. Because spring means seafood, rosé and sunny terraces. And light dresses and a friendly sun, not a scorching-I-feel-menopausic-one. And that’s exactly why I prepared this recipe for the weekend, because it’s the perfect meal to enjoy on this time of the year. It’s fresh, mexican, delicious, and healthy.
I’ve raved about amaranth as a substitute for breading before, right here, and this time I won’t do it again. Instead I’ll rave about the colourful, yummy combination that’s purple cabbage, with avocado, cilantro and different favoured tortillas. But as if all of those together weren’t enough, why not top it off with a scrumptious spicy mango sauce? Still not enough? Then a second, creamy labneh and cilantro dressing will make absolutely everyone happy. You can dress your tacos with either of the sauces, or as one of naughty guests did, mix them both in the same taco! However you eat them, make sure you have plenty of tortillas, because you’ll probably end up having one too many tacos. (As is usually the case with tacos, of any kind)
Recipe after the jump.

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Settle back in – Meatballs with quinoa and yogurt kale sauce

quinoameatballsyogurtkalesauce

My life’s been hectic as of the last three weeks. Tons of things have changed. For starters I’ve quit my job! (I would love to insert those whatsapp monkey emojis here) And then my sister got married! (Clapping hands emoji?) Ok I’ll stop with the emojis in lieu of actually describing stuff. The wedding was awesome but it took about two full weeks of my life in which I did nothing that wasn’t related to the event. Between helping out with the invitations, organizing a junk food/pastry buffet table, and managing to survive bridezilla and my mom fighting 20/7 and the ensuing roller-coaster of emotions, I’ve hardly had time to deal with my professional life. Let alone cook! But I’m a full time freelance designer again… and that means that while I find my footing again  I can get back in the kitchen as often as I please. (And as you all know full well, baking cookies pleases me a lot. And so do brownies and nutella and bread). But I’ll get back on the horse with a quite healthy recipe which looks like a lot of trouble but actually isn’t! And which tastes like you’re having something super rich but is actually quite light! It’s meatballs, over quinoa, over zucchini, covered in a yogurt-kale sauce. (I know, quite the hipster combo of ingredients. Just don’t go drinking beer along with it). While the yogurt-meatball combo doesn’t sound so appealing, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! They actually compliment each other incredibly well, turning usually heavy meatballs into something way lighter. Interested? Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

It’s worth the marinating – Tamarind and orange glazed steak

tamarindorangebeef

You know when you’ve been wanting to cook something for a while and then when you finally do it turns out great because you’ve been thinking so much about it? That’s what happened to me with this recipe. I’d had my mind on it for about a week, and then when I saw a few photogenic oranges lying around in the kitchen I decided it had to be done. So I went and got all of the ingredients missing only to come home and find that someone had turned the oranges into juice. And so it stayed on my mind for even longer until I came across some good-looking oranges again. And I’m glad it did! Because the combination of sweet orange juice, with the tartness of the tamarind pulp, and the bitterness of the orange peels could not have turned out better. Seriously, this might be my new favorite glaze-y sauce. And I’m sure it goes great with chicken too, in case you don’t eat beef. And to top it off, if you serve it over a bowl of white rice, you can eat it with chopsticks, because there’s nothing to reassure you of the deliciousness of something as holding the bowl in one hand and then picking every single last grain of rice with your chopsticks, right? Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

Get your s!*#t together – Spearmint and cucumber ceviche

cevichementa0

Here in my end of the world we had a practically nonexistent winter. Which means its february and its already a hundred million degrees outside. And that, in my opinion is weatherchannel code for wearing silky dresses, sitting on sunny terraces eating carpaccio and having rosé. Sounds heavenly, I know. And that is what I try to do with my time…when I’m not having emotional meltdowns/family fights/random bursts of craziness. Which is what happens post holidays in my world. (And yes, february is still post-holidays) But since the weather permits it, I can pull my old trick of making ceviche right and left, because as I once told you over here, there is nothing as therapeutic, calming, relaxing, forget-everything-else-ing, as grabbing your sharpest knives and just spending 20 minutes dicing away. There’s something about the clean cuts, the even tiny cubes, and the simplicity of ceviche that just makes everything feel in order, in its proper place, balanced out with all the flavors in the mix. And that is how I like my head to feel. So even though I missed winter, I’m glad I have an excuse to make so much of this summery, light, brilliant dish. On to the recipe? Read more.   Continue reading

I am shameless – Caramelized turkey with shallots and potatoes

caramelizedturkey0

I am totally shameless. I know we all spent the last month eating turkey and potatoes. I know at least I shouldn’t keep eating turkey and potatoes. I know I should balance the holidays out by eating nothing but salads and fruits during January. I know. I know. But I couldn’t help it. Turkey was on my mind. So I went and got a turkey breast… and while I was at it I ran into some really tiny potatoes and some decently-sized shallots (which is not common where I shop). So I had to get them too. And of course I had to caramelize all of them together. And even though I am shameless I have no regrets… because the result was this: incredibly sweet and tender shallots, roasted baby potatoes and soft, juicy, turkey slices… all covered in the best jus of your life, thanks to the butter, sugar, shallots and turkey juices all caramelizing together. The only regret I have is not having done something to get more of this legendary jus… I’ll have to think about how to do that next time. But in the meantime, I’ll have to post at least a couple healthy recipes right??
Read more for the recipe.

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Do it your way – Spearmint and lime gravlax on labneh and chives

Gravlac on labneh and chives

You know how people are always telling you how you’ve gotta do things your way and live your own life and be your own man (woman!!) and then down the road you’ll be horribly succesful and get absolutely all that you desire and the world will bow at your feet? Well I’ve been trying to do that all my life and I have yet to see even my very spoiled dog do any bowing. Not even a curtsy, seriously. But I have been doing all the things that I enjoy and bring me peace and satisfaction, and even if its hard at times in the end it’s always rewarding. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it twice; DO WHAT YOU LOVE. I don’t mean to be preachy, but seriously, I think it’s the most important thing in the world! I can only imagine being 70 and looking back…I wonder what I’ll want to tell myself? I’m glad I have all this money in the bank or…I’m glad I ate gravlax and spent my bucks in riding and cooking and gardening and buying oil paints every time I felt like it? Ok I’ll be frank, I’ll probably want to tell myself both. But I’m sure I’ll get there! Everyone says so right? And we all know that if everyone says so then it must be true. And plus, even Frank Sinatra sang about it. So that’s what I tell myself every time I go to the market and I see a huge salmon fillet, just waiting to be played with. And I did play my way; I put a little twist on the classic Nordic dish. I made my gravlax with loads and loads of spearmint (’cause its so much milder than dill) and lime rinds, because those three together even when non-gravlaxed make a great combo, imho. And when you put it over pumpernickel and a deliciously creamy labneh sauce, (also called jocoque, aka strained yoghurt) rich in chives and a drop of lime on top…..well you’ll certainly be glad you’re doing it your way. Don’t lie, you want to read more for the recipe, right?

(Note: you could also substitute the labneh for homemade cheese!)

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Fancy schmancy – Grilled manchego and snow pea sandwich

GRilled manchego and snow pea sandwich

There really isn’t much I can say to sell you on this recipe…it contains the words grilled and cheese in the title, so I don’t really need to make an effort, do I? Everyone knows that those two words are heaven in a sandwich, guaranteed. Even if it’s just two slices of buttery grilled bread with gooey cheese in between and nothing more. But I took it upon myself to make a melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheese using wheat thins. (Not the crackers, the flat bread) I know, wheat thins don’t even count as bread, at least not in my book. But they make excellent shells for grilled cheese, because they’re so thin they become crispy and deliciously buttery. And if you pair them with semi cured Manchego de oveja*, snow peas and wilted arugula with a generous dab of dijon mustard….well…need I say more? I know, imported spanish cured cheese seems a bit fancy for wheat thins…but it’s seriously an amazing combo! Or maybe it was the peas. Or the arugula. Or the butter. Or the fact that I served them with sweet corn cobs grilled in parsley butter. Take my word for it, whatever it was, you’ll want to try one! Read more for the recipe.

*For those who don’t have it around, Manchego de oveja is a DO spanish cheese made from the milk of sheep originally from the La Mancha region, hence the name manchego. It varies in hardness according to the time it’s been cured. You can read more about it right here.

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