Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Best Nacho Refried Beans you will ever Eat!

Mexican food has been a staple since I was in the womb. Pancho Villa's in Mamaroneck was some of the only food that my Mom could handle when she was pregnant with me. They used to have these nacho chips they fried in-house, topped with refried beans, monterey jack and a jalapeno slices. Simple and so satisfying. Big Poppa has been making some iteration of those nachos my whole life. We made them just recently, at Kayla's (my sister) behest after much begging. She was off to college and wanted one more taste, plus she wanted to know how to make them while she was up at school. Thus the post.

I have to fuss with things. Its my nature as a cook. Sometimes things just do not taste right. Like a big can of old el paso refried beans. There is no way they taste great if you just heat them up. Fuss paid off because everyone went crazy for the beans. "Paulie, you have to post this!" Here you go Kay.


1 31oz. Can of old el paso refried beans
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
Olive Oil or Corn Oil
2 small tomatillos, diced (optional)
1 large tomato or 2 small ones, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp of Cumin
1 tsp Adobo, more for seasoning probably
Chicken Broth or Water to keep it vegetarian

1. After you have diced and chopped everything, place enough oil to have a thin coat at the bottom of the pot (I used a pot you would noramlly cook pasta in). Heat on a medium flame and add the onion, tomatillos and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent. If you are pressed for time and hate chopping/slicing or just prefer speed, drop the onion, garlic, tomato and tomatillo into a blender and chop everything that way--college style. Then saute in the oil.

2. Pop open that can of beans and ease "the shape" into your pot. Add 1/2 cup of water or chx broth and mash up the beans until they look more like refried beans then something that just came out of a can.

3. Add cumin and adobo. Cook for another 5 minutes. The beans will start to bubble. Stir and add some more water/chx broth.

4. Add chopped cilantro and tomato. Stir, if the beans are bubbling too much, lower the heat. In total I probably use 1 cup of broth , but thats a guess-timate since I always do it by eye until I reach a desired consistency. Thats it.

5. Add to tortilla chips, top with cheese and a sliced jalapeno and broil for nachos. Add some sour cream to make a bean dip. Spread it on a veggie wrap or with fajitas. Let me know how they turn out.

Lucky Peach Food Quarterly by David Chang & Peter Meehan

Hailed as a masterpiece of modern food culture by Time magazine and lauded by the NYTimes, Lucky Peach is one more outlet for David Chang's success. A present day Midas; whatever he touches turns into Troy Ounces. This magazine though, is the confluence of many great culinary minds weighing in on different themes for each quarterly release. Harold McGee, Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne, Peter Meehan and many others all have interviews or contributions.

Irreverant writing, travelogues, art, photography and a TON of ramen recipes. Ramen is the theme this issue and each subsequent issue will have varying themes. Issue 2 will be pastry. This quarterly is not about trends, its by and about the trendmakers and their ruminations. A culinary journal is an apt description. I have read it cover to cover and its pretty awesome. It gets a bit geeky and esoteric. So what, who cares (in the tone of Joy Behar)? There are interesting takes on current food trends by the chefs (Wylie Dufresne, NYC King of Molecular Gastronomy gives a good lashing to the farm-to-table folks. Nice.)

Here is a recipe preview that just sings Chang and Pork-Topia:

Red Eye Gravy-Serves 2

2 Thick Slices of American Country Ham
1/2 Cup Brewed Coffee
2 spoonfulls of Brown sugar (Tablespoons I suppose)

1. Render the ham-cook over medium heat in a skillet. You are just looking to brown it at the edges. Find ham that has some fat on it, or you're wasting your time and you should probably just make this with bacon.
2.Once the ham is warmed through and the pan is good and greasy with ham fat, remove the ham to a platter. Turn the heat up to high. Add a couple of spoonfulls of brown sugar and whats left of your morning coffee.
3. To finish-cook it down, stirring all the while until the coffee has more or less disappeared. Et voila! Red-eye gravy. pour it over biscuits. if you find you don't have enough gravy, you probably need more ham, too, soget back to the stove and make another batch.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

No Recipe Needed

To Summers simplest pleasures. Cheers.

Sent via digital carrier pigeons

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tomato Recipes from around the Net

(Photo from Gilt Taste)

Tomatoes are one of the only great things about the month of August. August is hot, humid on the east coast, stifling and if you are in NYC you are always thinking about ways to get out. August also signals that the summers end is nigh. Ugh! Air conditioning is more important for 'keeping your cool' but tomatoes offer redemption. I have 64 tomato plants growing this summer in a patch, on my parents deck, in between bushes and any empty space I could find. After 4 years of living in Manhattan and not being able to plant any, I went way over board. Over doing it just tastes more delicious.

These recipes have been culled from different sites around the net. Enjoy:

Gilt Taste - Perfect Five-Minute Raw Tomato Pasta Recipe

A Whole Slew of NYTimes Tomato Recipes

The Tomato Sauce Master...Pete A., you will love this

Readers, feel free to add your own links in the comment section. -P