Jack is Cooking Tacos

Well Hello Internet!
Tonight for Dinner i made Tacos.  and i don’t mean i went out and bought some taco kit and mixed in some ground beef.  i made REAL tacos.  Taco’s like how you would get them in mexico.  or how i would imagine you would get them there, i’ve never actually been!
anyways, these tacos were delicious, cheap, and really easy to make.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 tomato
6 tomatillos
1 green pepper
1 hot pepper (you can really use whatever type you want, and put more if you want it more spicy)
1 can of corn
1 onion
the breast of 1 chicken
corn tortillas
sour cream
so first, i roasted all of my vegetables (except the onion) in my broiler.  even the canned corn.  i just strained it and dumped it out on the pan with the other vegetables.  i roasted them until they started getting a nice browning on them. then i turned them until i got the same on the other side
Next, i took the tomato, the tomatillos, and some cilantro, and i pureed them in a blender.
in a large pot i took my chicken breast and i browned it quickly on both sides.  then i poured in the tomatillo sauce to begin to simmer the chicken.
after the chicken had simmered for about 10 minutes i cut it up a little bit.  i let it simmer a little while longer, until i could pull it apart with a fork.  at this point i added the rest of the roasted vegetables,  an onion i had cut up, and some paprika
i let all this good stuff simmer together for a while.  finally in the end i through in some more cilantro, and a little lime juice for good measure.  (lime juice is pretty awesome on everything)
now!  for the tacos!  i took my tortillas which i heated up in the microwave, and in each one i put a little bit of this delicious chicken mixture, some guacamole, some sour cream, and some grated cheese.
oh man was it good.
(btw this mixture made enough sauce to make like 12 tacos)
mmm mmmm delicious

Jack is Cooking with a Tajine

Well Hello Internet!

This post has been sitting in my computer waiting for some attention for quite a while now, but finally here it is!  Two weekends ago i made a semi-traditional Moroccan dish using my Mom’s Tajine.

Tajines are pretty awesome.  Heres what wikipedia has to say about them:

tagine or tajine (pronounced /tɑːˈʒiːn/Arabic: طاجين, pronounced [tˁaːdʒiːn]) is a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of AlgeriaMorocco, andTunisia, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as Tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tagine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts; a base unit which is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.

here’s what it looks like:

Anyways, i made a buttercup squash Tajine (but you can use any kind of winter squash.  i LOVE winter squash!)  for the most part this dish is really easy to make.  If you don’t have a Tajine, you can make the same thing in a casserole dish, but it will come out differently because of the lack of the magic cone shaped top.

To accompany this Tajine, i also made some chicken.  i’ll talk about that in a bit.

so heres what you’ll need:
For the Tajine:
squash (of any winter variety)
whole cloves of garlic (a whole bunch)
shallots (depending on the size maybe 5 or 6)  also whole.
olive oil
harrisa paste
saffron (optional)

For the Chicken:
Chicken split breast (i recommend Herondale Farm chicken!)
yogurt (2 cups)
whatever spices you want

So First i chopped up the squash (well i didn’t, but somebody did!  haha)
and we peeled the shallots and the garlic

* update! *  it has been pointed out to me that credit is due!  Roland, chopped up the garlic and the shallots!
and Julie cut up the Squash!  haha.  always give credit where credit is due!  i knew i didn’t chop that stuff up…

Then i took the Chicken, and marinated it in the yogurt along with some onions i had sauteed along with some indian spices that i don’t know the name of.  i will try to find out the name and update this post!!  so yeah, take the sauteed onions and mix it with the yogurt and let the chicken sit in it for maybe 30 minutes:

Now for the Tajine!
first take a couple good dregs of olive oil and start cooking the shallots and garlic over a medium heat.

once they are getting a little soft add in 1/3 cup of almonds, and 1/3 cup of raisins.   Cook for 5 minutes.

Next add in the squash and get it coated in the oil.  (ALSO!  put the chicken (yogurt and everything!) in a baking dish, and bake it in the oven at 375° for about 30 minutes )

After the Squash has been added its time to spice the dish up.  The only thing that is complicated about this dish is finding Harissa Paste.  this basically makes up the Tajine flavor.  (WARNING) this stuff is MAD spicy!!!, so dont use too much.  i used 2 teaspoons, i could have used a little more but not a whole lot.  so throw that in, along with 2 tablespoons of honey.
The Harissa Paste and the honey will melt into the oil.  toss everything around so everything is nicely coated in the oil.  Then add some water to the pot.  just enough to cover the entire bottom of the pan, but you don’t want everything swimming in it.  This is going to steam everything

Well that’s pretty much it!  oh yeah, i added some saffron just for kicks.  then i put the top on and let it sit for 20 minutes steaming away!

20 minutes later this is what came out!  everything was all soft and delicious and had soaked up all the flavor of the Harissa.
A couple of minutes later the Chicken was ready – check to make sure its cooked all the way through

Here it is all on a plate, chicken, tajine, also served along side some brown rice and some sauteed greens.
Lemon slices are always good too for both the chicken and the Tajine!

MMM MMMM MMM delicious!!!

Jack is Cooking Pad Thai

i’ve been away traveling. so i’ve decided to cook something i learned in my travels. pad thai.

pad thai is super easy. here’s what you’ll need
rice noodles
tofu or chicken
1 egg
green onions
bean sprouts (about a handful)
2 tbspns pad thai sauce (you can find this stuff in most big grocery stores. stop and shop and whole foods both have them i know it!)
1 tbspn fish sauce
soy sauce
1 tbspn sugar
chili sauce (optional)
crushed peanuts
lime juice