Monday, September 29, 2008

Self Portrait

Thanks to The Pioneer Woman I was introduced to one of the most awesome my opinion. On her blog, The Pioneer Woman has a little box called "Another Site for You". In this box she will link to another blog that she thinks is interesting - that's what I'm assuming anyway. Well, I just happened to check out her most recent site recommendation and I am so glad that I did. I stumbled across a number of extremely talented artists. I myself am not all that talented. I can draw, yes, but not without great effort, long periods of time and extremely mis-propotioned features. After following the link I found myself at an open [sketch]book. Let me just say that the sketches on this site are amazing. I was feeling inspired by her work today and decided to take a leap and do something that I have NEVER done - a self portrait.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chipotle at home!!

I absolutely love Chipotle - the flour tortilla, the cheese, the rice, the corn salsa, the black beans, the sour cream and the meat with a kick you in the back of the throat dash of hot. Unfortunately, I don't get to eat it all that much. A couple of weeks ago I got a craving for Chipotle though. During one of my food blog binges I stumbled across a recipe for Cilantro-Lime Rice and thought that I would try it. There was nothing better to pair it with than Corn Salsa and so the Chipotle at home mission began. I managed to find all I needed on the website The meal was a big hit with the family and tasted even better reheated the next day. One problem that I had - the recipe calls for red onions and when I cut into the onion...well, I might as well have been blind. I couldn't see for about 5 minutes because my eyes were full of tears and two days later were still swollen. However, with my recent cooking adventures - if that is my only problem, then I am doing pretty good. Making the marinade was awesome - I got to use my anniversary present!! My new food processor!!

Here are the recipes that I used:

Chipotle's Steak Marinade
1 (2 ounce) package dried ancho chiles
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion, quartered
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 Small Steaks (6 ounces each)

Soak dry chilies overnight in water, until soft. Remove seeds. Add allingredients except meat in food processor. Puree until smooth. Spread mixture over chicken, or other meats and refrigerate at leastone hour, up to 24 hours. After marinating, heat grill to about 400 degrees F, or if cookinginside, heat small amount of oil in skillet or grill pan over highheat. Salt meat to taste (optional), and grill lightly, turning onlyonce, until done. 8-10 minutes perside for 3/4" thick steak. Recipe will make four burritos.

(For the meat, I used a package of the preseasoned fajitas that HEB sells. This wasn't a good idea if you want to really taste the flavor of the marinate. It was still really good though.)

Cilantro Lime Rice
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
2 tsp. fresh cilantro
2/3 cup white basmati rice
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Lime

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil or butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At boiling, cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Corn Salsa
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed (a large can of corn works just as well)
1/3 cup chopped purple onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Serve corn salsa with grilled meat or poultry. Makes about 3 cups corn salsa.