Search this blog

Translate

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tahitian Raw Fish - 'Ota 'Ika

Ever since discovering the existence of this traditional Tahitian dish from my Tahitian friend, I was waiting for the "right" moment to try it out.  Not that there is a "wrong" moment, but one must be attentive to the availability of fresh albacore tuna and tomatoes.  Spring is when white fresh tuna starts to make its appearance on the fishmongers stalls, and the price can vary, so it's always something to watch for.  The "right" moment just happened to coincide with the day I was hoping to make it and share the discovery with my family.  This blew us all away.  This Poisson Cru is made using a similar method as Ceviche or Poke, but in taste is completely different.  The idea is that the the fish and vegetables marinate in coconut milk and lime juice.  The lime juice slightly cooks it, as in Ceviche, but the coconut milk gives it an extra layer just as the soy sauce does in Poke where the very soul of the fish starts to sing to you, transporting you to a warm Polynesian beach with the locals dancing, hibiscus flowers in your hair, and your feet following the movement of the waves crashing...
This was the most pleasant discovery I've made in a very long time and I will be repeating it all through summer using different variations..of fruits and vegetables .. mmm mango!!
Serves 4-5 as a meal
Ingredients
600g (1lb5oz) fresh albacore tuna, cut into cubes
1 large carrot, grated
1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/2 can premium coconut milk (about 1 cup)
juice from 2-3 limes
few grinds black pepper
Thai chile for garnish (optional)
Directions
Stir everything together and reserve in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve cold as an appetizer alone
or as a meal along with hot basmati rice.
 
The hot rice is a must if this is to be a meal.  It soaks up the juices and provides an interesting contrast to the cold salad, adding yet another layer of happiness.

This is the most authentic version I could do without fresh coconut, but my Grace Premium Lait de Coco is the highest quality available here in my opinion.  I cannot wait to do this again!
This is something you can keep simple or make extra fancy, depending on the serving vessel and adornments.  I had to add the chile.. it's my personal drug..

Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 24, 2015

Asparagus on the Plancha

Life true cannot surpass the goodness of asparagus in all its splendor and freshness.
Tossed with garlic, lime juice, olive oil, piment d'espelette, and fleur de sel, then grilled on the Plancha on high for about 5 minutes, turning once, so that they are colored on the outside but still nice and crunchy..
.. and then served with some other plancha vegetables, gambas, and sardines.
My fishmonger asked me, "So you are feeling Spanish tonight?"
I said yes.

Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 17, 2015

Green Puy and Carrot Daal

France takes pride as having an AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) on just about anything they think can only be produced on this land using its secret methods.  You can have AOC chickens, foie gras, chiles wine, champagne, cheese.. and even lentils.  This label is very territorial.  If you produce the exact same thing 5 meters from the border of the protected name of the region, you cannot have the prized AOC label.  It's not a bad thing, but it makes me laugh to find that really almost anything can have an AOC.  Lentilles du Puy are the prized French green lentil from the Puy en Velay known to be the "caviar of the poor."  Aside from lump eggs and black beluga lentils, I have to admit these green dainty little lentils do provoke a certain level of happiness.. especially when I pull them away from their traditional pairings of lardons and sausage and make them ultimately sublime in a simple Indian dal.
I could eat this way every single day of my life and be happy.
Actually, I eat this way quite often.. which is probably what makes me so naturally happy..
Serves 5-6 as a side
Ingredients
1 heaping cup green lentils du puy (not mung), soaked at least 1 hour
2 small carrots, grated
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt`
1/2 tsp turmeric
4 cups water
Seasoning:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida (hing)
2 dried red chiles
squeeze of lime for garnish
Directions
1.  Place everything but the seasoning in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until lentils are tender.
2.  Meanwhile make the seasoning.  Heat the oil in a wok and add in the cumin and mustard seeds until they crackle.  Add in the hing and dried red chiles and cook for about 30 seconds.  Transfer to the simmering lentils.
Easy.

I served mine with rice and Kerala Fish curry.
I also had some Cabbage Sambharo I added later and forgot to photograph in the lovely thali.

No matter how extravagant my other sides are.. my favorite part is always the daal.  
Hands down.
The Puy lentils are all they are hyped up to be.  
They are extraordinary little beings I'll be inviting into my body more often!

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Zucchini Sundried Tomato Feta Terrine

We are well into spring and it already feels like summer!
The mornings are still a bit nippy, but after oons and evenings are bathed in warmth and sunshine, with the slightest bit of outdoor time being a source of energy.  5 minutes in the sun is enough for my skin to absorb plenty of astral pleasure, making me feel happy and resourced, and excited for the upcoming family events.
I even crave cooling foods, which is a nice change from my soup moods.
I don't know where this urge came from, but I wanted to make a zucchini terrine.  I had this fruitcake-like image of red and green specks laced with feta and sliced like a loaf of bread.  I bought the zucchini with this idea in mind last week, and for a day or two it's been calling me, reminding me to use it before it starts to sadden.
This festive savory loaf image became reality with this terrine, into which I spread some crumbled mackerel to make it wholesome.
Serves 5-6 as an appetizer
Ingredients
4 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk (I used goat)
2 zucchini, sliced into quarters
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp dried thyme
Pinch fleur de sel
1/2 tsp piment d'espelette
1/2 tsp black pepper grinds
1 can mackerel or tuna, deboned and crumbled
1 cup feta, cubed
Handful chopped sundried tomatoes
Directions
1.  Heat the oil in a sautee pan and add the zucchini slices, garlic, thyme, piment d'espelette, salt, and pepper.  Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and add the sundried tomatoes.
2.  In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, cream, and milk together.
3.  In a rectangular cake mould (mine was 30x10x10 cm or 12x4x4 in), place some parchment paper into the bottom so that it covers the sides as well.  Spoon in half the zucchini tomato mixture and sprinkle half the feta over it.
4.  Place the crumbled fish over the feta in an even layer, then repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture and feta.  Pour the egg mixture over it all.
5.  Bake at 165°C 335 °F for 55-60 minutes, then let cool about 20 minutes before unmoulding it onto a plate.   If you are using muffin tins or something remarkably more shallow, reduce the cooking time by half.  10 cm is pretty deep, so mine took a good hour.
6.  Slice and serve warm or cold, but not hot.

I served mine with some roasted asparagus and some salad and called it dinner.
It was exactly what I had been imagining.  Refreshing, nourishing, and full of flavor...
Asparagus is the best part of this season...

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kerala Meen (Fish) Curry

I haven't been able to get to my kitchen and enjoy myself lately.  I've been either out of town or not home in the evenings enough to make a real therapeutic meal.  For me, the therapy starts from the craving, the evaluation of my inventory, the research of my basic idea, to see if it has already been done, and if so, what is it called, and then the preparation.  When I know what order I need to add in my ingredients, I like to set up the kitchen so I can enjoy te process.
The spices go next to the stove, the scrap bag goes next to my cutting board, the veggies are rinsed, and my knives are ready.  If there are scraps I won't be discarding (such as carrot peels), I start with those so I can distribute them to my dragons and my dog throughout the therapy.  I also like to start out sith a clean kitchen, meaning no dishes waiting to be done, and during the simmer surveillance time, I like to wipe down the countertops and wash my accessories I used to chop or peel so that when I'm ready to serve, the kitchen is clean again, save the few simmering items on the stovetop.  The more items need to be organized, the more it relaxes me to set up.  It builds up the suspense of the final product.  It relieves any stress I may have been accumulating, and it's one of the reasons I love cooking Indian and Chinese food so much.  Today, I knew I'd be making an Indian meal, and I knew it would be a meal that would calm me, but excite me at the same time.  A meal quick to put together, but full of suspense.  A meal that would nourish my soul as well as my body.. Of course it would be Indian!
This is a South Indian fish curry.  I like that many south Indian recipes use fish and coconut milk, which are rarely used in other Indian cuisines.  I find coconut milk and curry leaves to be very complimentary.. it is a perfect infuser.
Inspired by KeralaRecipes
Serves 4
Ingredients
500g (1.1 lb) fish filets, cubed (I used pollock)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
6 medium or 4 large shallots, sliced
1 green chile, sliced (I used Moroccan)
6 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 can coconut milk
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1 sprig curry leaves
Pinch fleur de sel
squeeze of lime
Directions
1.  Heat the oil in a wok and sputter the fenugreek and mustard seeds.
2.  Add the turmeric.  It should fizz, then add the green chile and sliced shallots.
3.  Cook the shallots until translucent, then add the garlic and ginger.  Cook, stirring for about 30 seconds or until the raw aroma disappears.
4.  Add the coconut milk, turmeric, chile powder, and tamarind.  Stir in the curry leaves and bring to a simmer.
5.  Add in the fish cubes.  Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let sit for at least an hour.  This is the part where the flavors develop.  It can be made a day ahead of time.
6.  When ready to eat, bring to a boil to finish cooking the fish.  It should cook for a total of 10 minutes depending on the size of the cubes.  Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed.
Serve with a squeeze of lime and basmati rice...or in a thali with other pleasant things.  I served mine with some green Puy lentil and carrot dal as well.
These are the details that make my heart beat...

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, April 6, 2015

Traditional Boeuf Bourguignon

I've been eating Boeuf Bourguignon for as long as I can remember.  My mother would make it as well as Coq au Vin (which is basically the same recipe, just swap the meat) as often as I wanted, even if I requested it all the time.  I never really thought of it as a French recipe growing up.  It was just normal food for me that I would make regularly myself in college and happily impress my guests (or passers by.. I didn't really have any criteria for having people eat at my table back then.)  Since I've been living in France, I haven't made it or even eaten it once.  I don't do i on purpose.  It's just that I feel I can have it whenever I want, so I don't go out of my way to make it.. and I end up never making it.
I also have a thing about serving French food to French guests in France.
The fact that it's been so long since I've made it makes me even forget that I have it in my repertoire.
A few weeks ago, I bought some wine that I didn't particularly like and was about to throw it away.  It makes me cringe to throw food away, especially if there's no real problem with it.  While trying to figure out who I could give it to instead of throwing it away, the Boeuf Bourguignon recipe came back to me... which made me wonder why I've been waiting so long to do this!
This dish is comforting to me in a reminiscent way.  The fact that I got the taste exactly how I was imagining it is even more of a treat.
The use of wine in this dish tenderizes the beef as it cooks, just as vinegar would, but without the crazy sour taste.  As it cooks, the alcohol evaporates so it is perfectly safe for children as well.  I should know, I've been eating it my entire life and I'm relatively sane as an adult.
So here, for once, I present a typically French dish (made famous by the American Julia Child).  I'm not cooking for guests, but it's probably one of the rare French dishes I wouldn't mind serving.
Serves 6-8
Ingredients
900g (2 lbs) stew beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
350g (12.3oz) cured or smoked pork belly, rind removed and sliced into lardons (sub bacon)
1 Tbsp olive oil (if needed)
2 medium onions, sliced into moons
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
few pinches sea salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
250g (8.8oz) mushrooms, washed and chopped coarsley
5 small or 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped coarsley
2 bay leaves
2 cups beef broth
1 bottle red wine (I used Corbières, but you should use Burgundy)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 handfuls flat leaf parsley, chopped
Directions
1.  In a wok or heavy based pan, render your sliced lardons.  If you bought good quality, there shouldn't be much fat.  You want to get them nice and crispy.  Set aside and keep 1 Tbsp of the renderings in the wok.  If nothing rendered, add the olive oil.
2.  Add the onions and let them sweat, then add the beef, salt, and thyme.  You want each piece to color on all sides.  This can take about 10 minutes.
3.  When the beef is colored, add the lardons back in along with the flour.  Stir well to coat, then remove from heat.
4.  Transfer all but 1 of the handfuls of parsley into a slow cooker.  The liquid should be almost level.  This is the important part.  It must be simmered for a long period of time.  Some people do it stove-top, which takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Some people put it in the oven on low temp, and others go the quick route and do it in a pressure cooker, under pressure for about 30 minutes.  I like the slow cooker route because you don't have to watch it like a hawk and you can go about your day, leaving the house if you need to without worrying.  Plus, the flavors are better when it simmers for a long time, even if a pressure cooker is quite handy.
Cook on low for at least 7 hours.
Serve garnished with the freshly chopped parsley over either pasta noodles, rice, or potatoes... and of course, with a glass of red.  I went the noodle route this time.
The broth is amazing in this.  You can get fancy and reduce some of the broth down to a thick sauce, but that's just not the way I'm used to eating it.

Don't worry, I'll be going back to spicy vegetarian very soon.. as soon as I finish all these lip smacking leftovers..

Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Grilled Spring Vegetable Risotto with Buckwheat and Millet

I'm having a hard time sticking to seasonal produce.  I know bell peppers and zucchini are way ahead of their game for late march, carrots are still reasonable and asparagus is not French enough yet.. It's mostly from Spain or Turkey.
But I can't help it!  These things all want to come home with me every single shopping trip!  I don't have the heart to tell them "no," especially when I know how much satisfaction they will be giving me.  What am I supposed to do?  It's not like I never eat cabbage and apples.  I want bright green springy colors!  Plus, I've been really good about not buying tomatoes.  I'll buy canned or dried when they're not in season and I have the urge.  I just can't resist the rest.  I love grilled zucchini and roasted peppers.  I could binge on them for weeks.  Add asparagus to the party and make me smile.  Top with some purple carrots and sundried tomatoes and make me shine...
With all that in mind, I have a bag of millet I've been meaning to use, but didn't quite know what to do with.  Ah yes.. risotto it!  My Italian friends would freak out if they knew what I was calling "risotto" without using arborio or carnaroli rice, but it's the method that makes it a risotto in my opinion.  Aside from the buckwheat and millet instead of rice, the rest is perfectly in tune with what any Italian would call a risotto.  Why don't I ever do it the "normal" way?  Well, I just never have that kind of rice on hand.  I usually have a wide variety of pulses, beans, and grains and the only rice I usually have is basmati or red.. which would probably be even more of a sacrilege, wouldn't it?
Serves 5-6 as a side
Ingredients
3/4 cup buckwheat bulgur
1/4 cup millet
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup Guiness (or wine if GF)
zest from 1 lime
3 cups hot chicken or veg broth
1 purple carrot, peeled sliced, and griddled
1 red bell, roasted and peeled
1 bunch asparagus, roasted
1/2 cup green peas (mine were frozen)
6-7 sundried tomatoes, diced
1 handful parmesan
lots of cracked black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish
Directions
1.  In a wide, heavy based pan, heat the oil and add the buckwheat and millet.  Coat, allowing to toast a bit for 2-3 minutes, stirring, then add the Guiness and wait until it absorbs.
2.  Add in the lime zest.  Then, as you would with a normal risotto, ladle in the hot broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue to stir while doing this.  Do this on medium heat until all or most of the broth is absorbed.  Taste and make sure the millet is cooked.
3.  Jazz it up.  Stir in the veggies, parmesan, and load it up with black pepper.  Keep some vegetable odd and ends for decoration if you are so inclined.  Garnish with chopped parsley
I served alongside some Faith Cakes and Marinated Sardine Filets.

Risotto with buckwheat just makes sense.  The starch factor is ever present, and it has a very large absorption capacity.. plus that nutty flavor is so pleasant I just like to put it everywhere.
The millet was a nice touch.  I usually mix bulgur with quinoa, so this wasn't too extreme and the taste was not distinct, considering all the other good stuff that went into the dish.  It may have helped to keep it compact, for millet tends to solidify when cooked.  I'm curious to do other things with this little bit of human seed...

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Faith Cakes

Cooking "local" comes naturally to me anywhere in the world I seem to be experiencing in my brain except for the actual physical location I can be found in.. here, in Lyon, France.  Maybe it's because I wasn't born here and all my guests were, which usually steers me clear of this type of cooking for company.  Maybe it's because I rarely get off on food lacking either heat or spice.
I'm not saying I don't like French food.  I'm lucky to live in a country with so much culinary culture in the air.  With the largest choice of incredible cheeses, the most elaborate pastries, the finest vineyards, and knowledge of gastronomy (or at least the big names of the field) being just as common here as we in the US would find it normal to see the American flag sported on any house, I really don't have much to complain about.
It's just that since it's all around and all almost expected, I'm just never motivated enough to cook "French" food for guests.  I'll do some of my mother or grandmothers recipes out of nostalgia from time to time, but I'm pretty sure nobody expects to eat anything typically French when coming to my home.
I imagine it's because they already eat it everyday (even if the tough reality is that less and less French people actually like to cook or know how or claim to have enough time for it) so I'd rather help them discover something different and break that stereotype that  "French cuisine is the best in the world."
You can't name any culture as the best in the world.  Each culture has its stars and its losers.  Each person has his or her individual criteria as to what tastes good or not.. which texture is pleasing or nauseating...whether mold is a food group or garbage.  
I tend to be very open (I actually can't wait to have the opportunity to eat a grilled scorpion), but the majority of the local population is not naturally open.  With some coaxing, they can be.. which is the case of the people that get invited to my dinner parties (or invite me to theirs)!
What is strange is that when I lived in the US, I would make typically French dishes all the time.  I would make Escalopes Normandes, Coq au Vin, Tomates Farcies, Boeuf Bournignon, etc all the time.  I haven't made any of those items while living in Lyon... ever.  The only recurrent French thing in my kitchen is Quiche, but I never make it the traditional "Lorraine" way.
It's a geolocalisation thing I'm sure.
So why with this monologue am I presenting you a traditional Lyonnaise recipe, Lyon, being my physical host location for just over 3 years, the longest I've ever lived anywhere other than my hometown?
Well, this week, I bought a house...here, near Lyon.  For the first time since leaving Cali, I feel at home in this strange country so far from my real home.  Since leaving the family nest, I'd never spent more than 2 years in one place.  I never really knew which city or state I wanted to be in.. let alone the country.  With all the short term contracts I've done, I never really knew if I'd ever have a permanent position.  I always thought I'd need an emergency exit back to the states, and being a renter gave me the possibility of making a split second decision.  I didn't change my mind all by myself.  I was given several reasons as to why I should take this step, and all of them made complete sense.  They always have.  Nothing has really changed in terms of reasons to buy vs to rent.
What has changed is that I no longer need that psychological escape route.  I am comfortable being a borderline French sister to my brother and "l'Americaine girl (sans s)" to my coworkers.  I love my job and it seems to appreciate me as well.  I love the new friends and activities I do here.  I love the scenery, the outskirts of a big city giving me access to most ingredients I need without having to go on an expedition but still having the river to hike up at my doorstep.  Lyon may not be THE perfect place in the world to live, but as long as I am here, it is for me.  The fact is, once you figure out you can be happy anywhere, everywhere is the perfect place, which removes that dependence on slipping through the back door.
I named this recipe Faith Cakes, but they're really more like Faith Souflées.  In Lyon, they are called Gateaux de Fois and are usually done in a rectangular cake pan instead of muffin tins.. but I only have muffin tins.
Faith Cakes, because I know I made the right choice, and I know I will continue to thrive while living here.
Foies are livers, for this recipe is a Chicken Liver Souflée, but Foi also means Faith.  The fact that French is a language rich in grammar but poor in vocabulary makes for excellent plays on words.
I'm kidding about the vocab, but I like to bust that out every now and then.  They tend to spend the majority of their word count figuring out how to say something instead of just saying it!
Ah la France.
The photo is hideous, and I apologize for that, but my intro should make up for it.
Yield 11-12 muffin sized soufflées
Ingredients
250g (8.8oz) chicken livers, chopped (I used turkey livers)
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp chopped chives
13cL (1/2 cup) béchamel (I used heavy cream)
lots of ground black pepper
few pinches fleur de sel
buttered and floured muffin tins or cake mould
Directions
1.  Mix the chicken livers in a food processor with the egg yolks, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.  The mixture should be homogenous.  Then add the cream and blend into a goopy liquid.
2.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.  Use an electric beater.  It is much easier.  In French this step is called battre les oeufs en neige, which translates to "beat the egg whites into snow" which is a more romantic portrayal than the English version.
3.  Fold the snowy egg whites into the chicken liver mixture gently.  Don't go nuts, you want the snow to hold its form.. which qualifies this as a soufflée.
4.  Distribute the mixture into your buttered and floured cake mould or muffin tins.
5.  Bake in a 170°C 340°F for 20 minutes if using muffin tins and 40 minutes if using a cake mould.
6.  Remove and let rest 10 minutes before removing from the moulds, then plate and top with chopped chives.

Serve hot or warm as an appetizer or dressed with a tomato sauce and salad as a main course.
I didn't make the tomato sauce because I only had 40 minutes to make something before bringing it to the dinner party I was invited to.

The texture is very fluffy, as a souflée usually is.  The earthy liver flavor isn't too overwhelming, it's actually just perfect.
I cut these into slices and served with slices of cooked beets and pieces of sucrine lettuce.  It was a test, but it's probably the only local dish I would make again, so I'm hanging on to this one!

p.s:  The only other Lyonnaise dish I would try to make is Quenelles de Brochet... the rest is not for me..

Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Marinated Sardine Filets

I've done this before once or twice, and I'll do it again...
Because nothing screams "I'm Delicious" like a bunch of sardines that were filleted until 11 pm the night before, then very very well rinsed, doused with lime juice, whose acidity cooks the filets, then marinated in garlic, piment d'espelette, grinds of black pepper, a few pinches fleur de sel, and extra virgin olive oil.
This marinated overnight in the fridge,
and then they were plated as best as I could do before sprinkling them with chopped parsley and chives.
It's tough to plate.  I tried the parallel method and the radial method, but I'm not sure either of them really look as good as they should..
because this hors d'oeuvre is just phenomenal.
It should look spectacular.
I used atlantic sardines which were much smaller than the usual atlantic sardines are.  They were almost like large anchovies (in size, not taste).  I can't really say which are better between atlantic or mediterranean, but I do feel blessed to even have the choice between the two fresh beauties!

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pollock Fish Fajitas with Navy Beans

Oh California.. I miss you so..
Fajita plates are my transition into outdoor cooking weather.  They make me feel like I'm at a picnic because I could have used my plancha to do the last minute veg cooking, but didn't because it was too cold outside.
Exactly the same as my last fajitas, except for the fish instead of turkey meat... Or just like my fish burritos but with different beans and plating style.
Pollock Fish Fajitas
Serves 4
Ingredients
4 Pollock filets (colin), cubed
1 garlic clove, grated
few pinches fleur de sel
squeeze from 1/2 lime
few grinds black pepper
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chile powder (optional if serving with spicy beans)
1+1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced into moons
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 green chile, sliced (optional if serving with spicy beans)
Directions
1.  Rub the grated garlic onto the fish cubes and sprinkle on some fleur de sel, black pepper, cumin,  coriander, chile powder, and paprika.  Add the lime juice, rub in to make sure everything is evenly distributed.  Set aside and let marinate for at least 10 minutes (while you chop everything else.)
2.  Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on high in a wok or heavy based pan.  Add the onion slices and stir fry until just translucent, then add the bell pepper and green chile slices with a pinch of fleur de sel.  Cook on high, stirring for about 3-5 minutes.  Reserve.
3.  Heat the other Tbsp olive oil into the same wok.  Add the marinated turkey slices and cook until nicely colored.
4.  Add the vegetables to the meat and heat through.  You want the bell peppers to be crisp, so don't over-cook them into mush.

Smokey Navy Beans
Serves 6
Ingredients
3/4 cup dried white navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
1/4 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 bay leaves
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 chicken or veg bouillon cube
1 tsp coarse sea salt
5 chipotle ancho chiles with their sauce
4-5 cups water
1 small can corn
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
Directions
1.  Place everything up to the water in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for at least 6 hours.
2.  Add the corn, pepper, and cumin.  Stir to heat through, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
3.  Remove the bay leaves and whole chiles before serving.  If the chiles burst, the beans will be way too spicy.  By removing them, you can decide which plate you would like to add the chile to.. (by the way, it's always my plate that wins).

Fajita Plate Garnish
cooked rice (I used a trio of Basmati, Brown, and Thai Red rice)
shredded cabbage
shredded swiss or gruyère
dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions
tortillas (unfortunately, not pictured, but necessary to call this a "fajita plate")
I love the way changing one ingredient can transform a regular "classic" dish into a completely different work of art.  For the fajitas, I switched out the meat which is usually either flank steak or chicken for fish.  The fish works so well in these types of dishes.  Be sure to use a white firmed flesh fish and use filets to avoid any bones.
For the beans, I switched out the usual black or pinto beans for white navy beans, or "haricot lingot" which I lightly sprouted before cooking.  That part is optional and the sprouts were so tiny that it didn't make any difference in cooking time.
Now I need to find some masa harina (that doesn't cost 12€/kg) and a tortilla press to finish this job...

Print Friendly and PDF