Saturday, July 28, 2007

Every year exactly this time of year....

I have such a hard time with my birthday. I like getting friends and family together. I like eating good food. I don't like going to bars. I don't want people to spend more money than they are comfortable with eating dinner at a fabulous restaurant like this, this, or this. I don't want people to be immobile and talk to only those around them. Conundrum....

I decided last minute to do a dinner at my tiny apartment and invite everyone over for fish taco's a sangria. Mmmmm.

Here's a rendition:

We started with Sangria and Peppers:

Summer Sangria

1/2 cup orange flavored vodka
2 peaches slices
1/2 pint raspberries
2 oranges juiced
1 bottle dry red wine, like Rioja
Ice cubes, for serving

In a large pitcher, combine orange juice, vodka and fruit; let sit for 30 minutes. Add wine, stir to combine and chill. Fill glasses with ice before serving. Tip: I use frozen fruit to help keep the sangria cold.

Pan Fried Peppers and Goat Cheese

2 logs of fresh goat cheese, 4 ounces each
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
6 anaheim peppers
12 peppadew peppers
4 poblano chiles
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

In a bowl, mix together goat cheese and cilantro. Split peppers lengthwise and stuff with cheese mixture. Press to close.

Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt on a large plate. Dip peppers in egg wash and then dredge through dry ingredients turning to coat all sides.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the peppers, turning with a spatula as they become golden brown, adding more oil, if needed, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

Tacos et. al.

Grilled Fish Tacos

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp coarse salt
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro
2 lb fillet tillapia, skin intact
lime wedges, for garnishing

Stir together spices and salt. Mix in olive oil and cilantro. Rub both sides of the fish with spice mixture.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Preheat a clean, lightly oiled grill to high heat. Place fish, flesh-side down, on hot grill. Do not move for 3 to 5 minutes, or until fish is opaque. Flip using two spatulas. Cook until fish flakes slightly when pressed, about 5 to 7 minutes more.

Serve with, corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, crema (or, 1 cup sour cream w/ juice from one lime), avocado, lime wedges, pickled veggies (see below) and hot sauces.

Pickled Vegetables

2 1/2 cups apple-cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp coarse salt
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut diagonally
1/4 inch thick
2 small red onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into 3/4-inch wedges
4 jalapeno peppers, cut lengthwise into quarters

Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan with 3 cups cold water; bring to a boil over high heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Add carrots, onions, and jalapenos and reduce to medium-high heat. Simmer until carrots are just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl; set aside 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.

Grilled Corn

4 ears shucked corn
1/2 lime
1 tsp chili powder
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
Grill corn over high heat, turning until lightly blackened in places and kernels are just tender when pressed, about 12 minutes.
Cut each ear into 4 pieces. Transfer to a sturdy, medium-size paper bag and squeeze lime over corn. Sprinkle with chili powder and coarse salt. Close bag and shake to coat. Serve immediately from the bag or in a bowl.

Finish with Dessert:

Tequilla Soaked Fruit Skewers

1/4 watermelon (2 pounds)
1 mango, peeled
3 oranges
1/2 cup tequila
1 tbsp lime zest

Cut watermelon and mango into 1-inch cubes. Slice off rind and pith from oranges; cut in half lengthwise, place flat sides down, and cut into semicircles. Place all fruit in a large dish and sprinkle with tequila. Set aside for up to an hour. Grate lime zest over fruit. Skewer and serve.

I gave myself a birthday present and it helped to perfect this dish.

1 comment:

devin and kate said...

The microplane? Dev's been drooling over it for months and it may be on our registry if we decide to go that route. Also...the pics kick ass. Very professional and everything looks exquisite. Oh yeah, why aren't we moving to Portland???