Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: The Whole Enchilada

I’ve mentioned before that this is a year of change for my wife and I. One of those changes is my wife’s graduation from medical school. We’ve had a somewhat infrequent tradition with some of her friends from school where we’d have them over and I’d go to town fussing over a nice meal. Before everyone heads in different directions to the next step of their careers (side note: we’ll be headed to the Raleigh/Durham region of North Carolina and I’m looking for new opportunities), we thought it would be nice to have one more of these nice meals so everyone could enjoy good food, good company, and just spend some time relaxing and catching up in ways that just aren’t so possible in the day-to-day hustle and bustle.

Enchilada dinner spread

So for this meal, given my newish interest in Mexican food, I decided to center this dinner around a Mexican… click to read more…

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Pollo a la Poblana con Hongos (Chicken with Poblano, Mushrooms, and Cream)

One of the nice things about running this site is that it forces me to try new things all the time (since you wouldn’t keep coming back to see the same set of dishes each week). With all the variety, I’ve come to appreciate how much more there is for me to learn, and on my agenda for this year is to learn more about Mexican cuisine (something I’m always drooling over). So today, I thought I’d share a chicken recipe with you that is topped with mushrooms and a really tasty poblano cream sauce.

Pollo a la Poblana con Hongos

This dish comes from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen. In flipping through the book, somehow, this was the first thing I turned to and I was instantly intrigued. The only pepper cream sauce I’d ever had before was with red bell peppers. Poblano cream seemed a lot more interesting,… click to read more…

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Chili Molé

I absolutely love chili. Honestly though, who doesn’t? A meaty meal with lively south-western/Mexican inspired flavors are sure to please anyone. Winter brings out the chili cravings in me, but I’ve already shown you a fiery chili once before, so I thought I’d try to mix things up a bit and bring you a new twist on this favorite meal of mine. Rather than the usual approach to chili where the focus is on a variety of dried peppers, I opted to work with a large variety of fresh peppers (so be calm Texans, I know this isn’t an authentic chili!), and to make things a bit more interesting, I also chose to steer this to have decidedly Mexican flavors by working in the major components for a strong set of molé flavors. And so Chili Molé was born.

Now like I’ve said,… click to read more…

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Creamy Avocado Soup

Somehow, I’ve gotten a bit behind on some of my posts, so despite the fact that the leaves have already changed colors, let’s take a moment to pretend its still summer. What do you say? This soup is so delightfully simple, you could make it in a hurry any day of the week. If you love avocados, you’ll love this–creamy and served cold, the toughest decision is what you’ll want to serve along with this Creamy Avocado Soup.

As you can see, the brilliant plating I had in mind looked a little silly when all put together, but ah well, you win some, you lose some. Flavor-wise though, I was delighted–I cooked some bacon, crumbled it on top, and then sautéed some fresh, local shrimp in the bacon fat (shelled, deveined, and cooked for 3-4 minutes) to go along with this soup and make it more of a self-contained meal. Plus, both the sweet flavor of the shrimp the… click to read more…

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Kona Kampachi Ceviche

As I’d mentioned, I was very fortunate to receive a very generous gift from the kind folks at Kona Blue, so as promised, I thought I’d share with you all the ways I put this delicious fish to good use. Today, I opted for another raw preparation of this sushi-grade, tender, fish that really lets it shine: ceviche.

Also known as “cebiche” and “seviche,” the idea to this dish is simple: high quality, fresh fish, “cooked,” but without heat. Instead, you chemically cook the fish by employing a brief bath of acidic marinade composed of citrus. Each country in Latin America puts their own twist on this, but essentially you have a seafood salad where the fish becomes tender and takes on the flavors of the marinade… click to read more…

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Grilled Shark with Pebre Sauce

The reaction I get to this dish when I mention it is “wait, did you say shark?” Yup, shark. I was compelled to try it when I saw it on sale because shark meat was new to me and I’m always up for something new. I wasn’t quite sure what it would be like, so I opted for some strong, South American flavors–a spicy, orange marinade before the shark hit the grill and a zesty cousin of chimichurri sauce: pebre sauce!

Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed by shark and won’t be in any rush to have it again (but I’ll still happily watch them). If you’ve never had it either, it’s dense and more “meat”-like in texture compared to fish–not at all delicate or flaky (even compared to the density of swordfish). It has a very mild flavor, only slightly reminiscent of fish, but really, it’s quite bland. I do think this… click to read more…

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