Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club! It feels so awesome to be joining the SRC again after taking my baby break – I missed the fun that comes with being sent a blog to explore. This month I was given Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking, a blog I was very familiar with thanks to Facebook and previous SRC reveals. I had a very hard time picking a recipe this month as Sid’s blog is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of recipes including retro favorites and Danish treats. Two of the “finalists” were part of the Danish block: Baked Omelette and Cauliflower with Herbs. In the end I could not get past her Chicken Acapulco recipe and decided that I had to give it a whirl. I replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu and since I was unable to find the McCormick meat seasoning in the original recipe I made my own.
Fantastic! The spices and the cheese went together perfectly and by giving the tofu enough time to drain it was really able to soak up all the flavors. We enjoyed ours taco style for dinner and as a burrito bowl the next day with some Spanish style rice – adding some fresh avocado and green pepper each time. I had never heard of acapulco chicken (or tofu!) before finding this recipe but now it will be on regular rotation. It might require a number of bowls but it comes together super quick. For a real short cut, pick up some fresh made pico de gallo at the grocery store. Another great recipe thanks to the Secret Recipe Club!!!
Ignoring the random snow we had yesterday (none of which stuck), I think it might be safe to say that spring is finally here! I am ready for the ground to thaw so that I can start clearing out all the old beds and start figuring out my plan for this year. As far as gardening goes this year is going to be a pot garden, since there is no established garden at our new place and I have no idea what areas of the yard will get the right amount sun – with the exception of the patio. The few flower beds in the front of the house are home to a few types of ivy, both poisonous and non, so odds are nothing new will get planted there until I know the nasty stuff is gone. However the first step is going at least a week without frozen precipitation. Today’s recipe is wishful thinking in that it features all the vegetables that I’m hoping to grow in my garden. From tomatoes to spinach to red onion – this cheesy treat is packing with the good stuff!
I’ll always be a fan of dishes that allow for easy seasonal switches. Garden overflowing with zucchini? Toss them in! Growing three types of tomatoes? Add them all! I decided to stick with the spring greens but look forward to trying a summer variety in the coming months. With that in mind I’m sending this over to the amazing Ren and her Simple and in Season April blog challenge, which is being hosted by Michelle who blogs over at Utterly Scrumptious I can’t wait to see all the early Spring treats everyone will be sending in!!!
Quinoa Verde con Tostada
Not going to lie, the theme for r/52weeksofcooking had me more than a little nervous this week. I understand the importance of Presentation but I tend to focus more of the substance and taste of the dish and not so much of what it looks like – after all I’m not cooking for Gordon Ramsey or Anthony Bourdain or someone else who will comment on whether or not my dish resembles cat food. However I haven’t missed a challenge yet this year and wasn’t going to start now! So I thought about all the things I could do before deciding to go with color and vibrancy instead of knife skills or something insanely elaborate – after all I didn’t want to screw up the food in my quest for a pretty plate. I decided to make something with as many colors in it as possible without going too overboard while utilizing things I already had in my pantry. Watching an episode on Chopped gave me the inspiration, and confidence, to try making a tostada. I still had some tortillas left from the taco challenge and since tostadas are traditionally made with slightly stale tortillas the timing was perfect!
I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out the perfect way to plate this dish, I wanted to make sure everything could be seen and keep the picture from being too saturated. I wound up plating the dish four different ways before picking this option. Needless to say doing this dish gave me a great appreciation for people who do this on a regular basis and will probably result in much better pictures as I will be paying a lot more attention in the future!!!
Tomato Tortilla Soup
Getting a little better at Random Recipes, but still need to work on my timing since it’s once again the night before the recipe is due and I’m typing things up. To be fair I did make dinner last week, I’ve just been dragging my feet in writing things up. See the recipe didn’t turn out the way I thought it would based on the name and a quick read of the ingredients. I was expecting something with fire and heat, which wound up being very far from the case. That’s not to say the soup was bad, it’s a really good rich tomato soup. It’s just not my idea of a tortilla soup, so I’ll have to figure out how to jazz it up in the future. This is the first recipe from my Moosewood Restaurant Simple Supper cookbook that hasn’t worked out on the first go, so I’ll have to try it again and see what I can do to fix it.
I know I could have just changed out for a different recipe, after all only I would know but this is the recipe that was picked so this is the recipe I’m featuring. Extra bonus with this soup is it makes a great base for other dishes, one of which I’ll be writing up next week. Moosewood also suggests a few different toppings so it’s possible that I need to add more than cheese next time, maybe some cilantro or chopped avocado!