Cilantro lime rice


This rice is so delicious,whether eaten in combination as a side dish or frankly on its own. My son loves this rice wrapped in a Burrito and I like this to accompany my Tapas, your choice,but it is delicious and very versatile to have around.

1 tbps good Spanish olive oil

1 cup long grain rice ( I used Basmati )

1  1/2 cups vegetable stock

salt to taste

4 tbps finely chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of one lime

1 to 2 serrano chilis, sliced lengthwise

2 cloves garlic,finely chopped

1 Bay leaf

Heat oil,stir in garlic and chilis, stir briefly.

Stir in rice and salt. Toss to coat each grain well. Pour in stock and bay leaf . Allow rice to cook and come to a full rolling boil,stirring occasionally.

Lowe heat and cover till all the liquid is absorbed. Off heat and allow rice to sit, covered for 10 minutes.

Remove lid and pour in lime juice and cilantro,stir gently. Serve.

Family Favorite Chicken Fajitas


There is something so satisfying biting  into a warm tortilla stuffed with grilled spiced chicken and topped with peppers , onions , cheese and sour cream . My family simply loves this dish and requests it summer or winter . As we love spice , the chicken is wrapped in a warm habanero tortilla topped with peppers and onions , but , in the summer I usually make a fresh salsa of tomatoes , it seems to be more appropriate forthe hotter months .

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Marinade

1  1/2 lbs chicken breast , sliced into strips

2 cloves of garlic , minced

Juice of 1 lime

1 small bunch cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper , minced

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and allow the chicken to marinade at least 2 hours refridgerated.

FAJITAS

Heat a flat cast iron skillet in a 450*F oven for 20 minutes or place on the grill.

1 green or red bell pepper , cleaned and sliced

1 sweet yellow onion , sliced

1 jalapeno , sliced

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic , minced

3 to 4 tbs olive oil

6 to 8 large flour or flavored tortillas , warmed

Sour cream, to serve

grated cheddar cheese , to serve

Heat oil , stir fry the vegetables with salt and pepper just until tender. Keep warm.

Spread marinated chicken on to preheated cast iron skillet. Return to hot oven and allow to cook , about 12 minutes .

Spoon into tortillas . Top with peppers and onion mixture , sour cream and cheddar , roll and serve.

Avocado Relish


This is a very  versatile relish to have on hand . It is a super accompiniment to Chilis , quesadillas or even on its own with tortilla chips . It ie elegant and nutritious and completely vegan.

Bobby Flay

1 cup

1 ripe Haas avocado , coarsely chopped

1 tbs finely diced red onion

1 tbs minced jalapeno

2 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tbs coarsely chopped cilantro

salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the avocado , onion , jalapeno , lime juice , and cilantro . Season to taste with salt and pepper . Cover and refridgerate for up to 1 day . Bring to room temperature before serving.

Lamb and black bean chili


Without a doubt this is  one of the most requested dishes in our home . It is  delicious and filling especially in the winter when I serve it on top of baked potatoes with cheese and a spicy salsa and in the summer simply topped by a fresh avocado relish .

Bobby Flay

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Serves 8

2 1/2 lbs lamb from the leg , boned and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup olive oil

1  1/2   large onions , finely diced

1  1/2  tbs chopped garlic

3/4  cup dark beer

one 16 – ounce can whole tomatoes , drained and pureed

1  1/2  pureed canned chipotles

3/4  cup ancho chile powder

1/2  cup pasilla chile powder

1 tbs  ground cumin

2 cups Chicken stock

3 cups cooked or canned black beans , drained

6 tbs fresh lime juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large frying over high heat , heat the oil until it begins to smoke . Add the cubed lamb and saute until seared and brown on all sides . Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 Minutes, taking care not to let them burn. Add the beer and reduce until it has completely evaporated. Add the tomatoes, chipotles, chilli powder and cumin. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the stock, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Degrease. Add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot. Maybe made upto 2 days ahead and refrigerated, covered, reheat, stirring, just before serving.

Chipotle Chicken skewers with creamy Cilanto Dipping sauce


I love appetizer recipes served on skewers, they make such a beautiful and clean presentation. I serve these simply on a white plate with the sauce in a small white bowl to the side with some greens for garnish. You will need 30 six-inch skewers.

Cook’s illustrated

Serves 10 to 12

CHICKEN

1 1/2 lbs boneless , skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tbsp minced cilantro leaves

2 tsp minced chiotle chile in adobo sauce

2 tsp adobo sauce

1 medium garlic clove ,minced

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

DIPPING SAUCE

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup juice from 2 -3 limes

2 scallions ,minced

2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro leaves

1 small garlic clove ,minced

salt and black pepper

Chicken

Freeze the chicken for 30 minutes. Slice the chicken diagonally into 1/4 inch thick strips. In a medium bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add the marinade to a large zipper -lock bag along with the chicken. seal shut ,toss to coat and refrigerate for 1 hour and NO MORE THAN 24 hours.

Dipping Sauce

Mix sour cream ,Mayonnaise , lime juice , scallions, cilantro ,garlic, salt and 1/8 tsp pepper . refrigerate up to 3 days , serve at room temperature.

Meanwhile adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Line a broiler pan bottom with foil and cover with the broiler pan top; coat the broiler pan top with non stick spray. Weave each piece of chicken onto an individual skewer, lay the skewers on the broiler pan top , and cover the skewer ends with foil, making sure not to cover the chicken. Broil until the meat is lightly browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce.

Mexican Black Bean and Corn Soup


I first found a recipe for this simply delicious , soul nourishing , great cold day soup in  a William’s Sonoma cook book, but ,as always had to change the recipe. As I am a vegetarian and love food with texture I altered a few of the recipe suggestions , this is my perfect snuggle up with a book ,sit by the fire , day soup.

serves 6

4 tbs unflavored oil such as Canola, divided

1  Spanish onion ,coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves ,coarsely chopped

4   14 oz cans black beans ,drained and well rinsed

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 chipolte chili

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 cup frozen corn kernels

salt and freshly ground pepper

Topping

Chopped red onion

Sour cream

Chopped cilantro

Chopped serrano chilis

In a large ,heavy pot over medium heat ,warm the oil. Add onion and saute till softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. transfer to a food processor or blender and add half the rinsed and drained black beans. Puree until smooth.

Warm the remaining oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the bean puree ,the chipolte pepper ,cayenne ,oregano , salt , pepper and vegetable stock . Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and stir in the black beans and corn. Simmer stirring occasionally until corn and beans are tender, add more stock or water to thin as desired. Ladle into warm bowls and top as desired.

Fontina, corn and Chipole quesadillas


Quesadillas are satisfying and comforting. Their so quick to make simply with ingredients commonly founfd in your freezer or pantry, making them ideal for a quick lunch or snack, the fillings can be left to your imagination. I love Fontina because of the flawless way it melts, but any cheese of your choice will be great.

Serves 4

8 7″ flour tortillas

1/2 lb grated Fontina cheese, grated1 Chipolte chili in adobo sauce, finely chopped( I use at least 2)

2 teaspoons fesh oregano, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 teaspoons olive oil plus more for brushing skillet

Heat a skillet and add 2 teaspoons oil. Add corn, oregano and salt. Stir for 2 minutes and stir in the chopped chipoltle chili. Turn off heat.

Heat a 8-10inck skillet and brush with oil. Add 1 tortilla. Top with 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 cup of corn mixture.Top with another tortilla. Cook 2 minutes per side till tortillas are light brown and cheese has melted.

Repeat till all ingredients are used up. Cool for 3-5 minutes to allow cheese to settle. Cut each totilla into 8 wedges.

Serve with salsa and sour cream (optional)