Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Black bean, grilled avocado, and goat cheese tacos

As my husband has forbidden me from making tacos every night for dinner (I do a variation on them most days if he has to travel), I am looking for ways to make tacos anyway, but with a twist.  Normally I do the usual seasoned beef, beans, and all the toppings.  This time I didn`t. I found yet another recipe on Pinterest (YARP) and loved how it looked, but changed it around a bit.  I bought one of the vegetable boxes from Coop last week and needed to finish using them up so added a few to this recipe.

Now the sauce may not seem like a big deal. I wasn`t even going to try it. However, you must. You don`t want to go overboard, just a tiny drizzle will do. Too much and it`s gone from good, to feeling like you`ve eaten some honey. So go sparingly, you can always add more!  (Note, I didn`t have an actual lime, so just used lime juice, the flavor may vary with the addition of the lime zest).

If you would like to see the recipe that inspired this (and got me my taco fix for the day), go here

What you need:

1 package of mini Old El Paso tortillas (or make your own)
1 avocado
1 thinly sliced onion
1 (or 2 if you want leftovers for the next day) cans of black beans, with liquid
1 sliced red bell pepper
75 to 100 g of goat cheese
3/4 of a Tbls of ground corriander
1/2 Tbls of cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes (which I omitted as apparently my judgement skills with the pepper flakes are severely lacking)
enough olive oil to brush over each half of an avocado

2 tsp of honey
juice and zest from 1/2 a lime (I used 2 tsps of lime juice)

If you would like your tortillas heated, put your oven on low and wrap them in aluminium foil. Let them sit in the warm oven until you are ready to use them.

Put a little oil in a pan big enough for your beans. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until they begin to soften.

Add the beans and cook over medium to medium low until the liquid starts to reduce. I used the liquid from both cans, but I think from one may be just enough. When the liquid has cooked down some, add your seasonings and stir well.  

While the beans are simmering, slice your avocado in half and carefully remove the seed. I also used an indoor grill, but you could probably use another clean, hot frying pan. 

Brush enough olive oil on the face of the avocado to coat it, to prevent sticking. Place face down and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Carefully remove the skin when the avocado is warmed through, and slice. 

Slice the goat cheese into small pieces and mix your sauce now as well.

Remove the tortillas from the oven and put them on a plate. Scoop some of the bean mixture on, then add the avocado and goat cheese. Using the sauce sparingly, add on top. Fold and serve.  Here are the tacos both with and with out the red peppers


Fantastic glaze for ham

Sorry about the lack of pictures for this post. I made this New Year`s Day, and it was literally 5 minutes until the ham came out of the water that I decided to do this.  I bought one of the prepackaged hams at Coop (they are on mega sale on Christmas Eve) and boiled it for about 60 minutes (you can also microwave it for 3 minutes, but I have never tried it). Now, my ham was what I like to call Piglet sized, so I did not use as much as the recipe I saw called for.

Here is the original recipe

While your ham is boiling (or microwaving) away, prepare your glaze in a bowl and set the oven to 200 C.  I only left the ham in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes, enough for the glaze to turn from a liquid, into a glaze.  The ham is already cooked by this point, so it is fine.

1/2 c brown sugar (or muscavado)
1 Tbsp of flour
1/4 tsp of dry mustard
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbls of dry sherry
1 1/2 Tbls of white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbls of water

To make brown sugar, you can use 1 cup of white sugar and 1 Tblsp Molasses.

Mix up.

Slice your ham into a diamond pattern so that the glaze can coat more of it.  Simply slice diagonally across the length of the ham, then reverse and slice the opposite way.

I poured the extra glaze on top of the sliced pieces of ham once it was done. It was fantastic, and sadly there were only leftovers for one sandwich the next day as hubby loved it so much.

Do try it for your next ham.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pesto and Mushroom Pizza

After trying to get back into meal planning to start the year off right, today was really hectic and pretty much the end of me wanting to shop at the grocery store with the kids..but I managed to grab a few things before we left and they turned into an easy and quick dinner. The packages full of varieties of mushrooms are back on the shelves at Coop, and pizza sounded good, so that is what we did, and it was delicious.

You can dress this up a bit more with some wine and a salad.

What you need:

Pizza dough
Pesto Rosso (or the Pesto Verde, I just prefer the red)
1/3 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 bag of mozzarella cheese
fresh Thyme for seasoning, about 3 sprigs
1 box of button mushrooms
1 package of the wild variety (about 400-700 g combined, depending on the size of your pizza)
1/2 red onion, diced
2 Tbls of olive oil

Put a pan on the stove and turn it on to warm up. Turn the oven on to preheat it (my dough called for 250 C)

Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until tender.

Slice the mushrooms and coarsely chop the variety pack. Add to the pan and let cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread your pesto on the dough and sprinkle some of the Parmigiano cheese on top.

Add the mushroom mixture, being sure to keep the majority of the liquid from your pan off the pizza. A little is ok, but you do not want the dough to get soggy.

Add some fresh thyme, or basil if you prefer, but this variety of pesto already had it included.

Sprinkle with the mozzarella and cook for the time indicated.