Thursday, 28 February 2013

Guava Duck

Even though I write a blog about cooking, I was never really much of a chef. Until I graduated university, I mostly subsisted on pasta with canned tomato sauce and grilled cheese sandwiches. But then I fell in love with tacos and started on the path to being a capable adult. Being forced to come up with new recipes every week has really helped me grow as a cook. I was so confident in my abilities that I decided to take on a challenge I'd never before attempted - cooking duck. After loads of research into cooking methods and a trip to the grocery store for the most expensive meat I've ever purchased, I rolled the dice on a recipe for a tropical fruit-inspired duck taco. Using guava jelly as a glaze base, I whipped up this recipe and surprisingly it worked out! The duck was perfectly cooked and let me assure you that if this idiot can do it, you can too.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Yucatan Chicken

You know when you have that one "thing" that you love - so everyone buys you gifts themed around it? That's me and tacos. I'm not complaining, because this Christmas I had the good fortune of getting a bunch of Mexican cookbooks - including Tacos by Mark Miller. I was already pretty familiar with some of his recipes and had my own way of doing them, but I came across Yucatan Chicken and thought it might be interesting to adapt. We tend to lump "Mexican Food" into one overarching category, but there are actually many different regional styles - all the better for me to crib recipes from! Yucatan is best known for Lime Soup and Pibil (which I've previously made here). They often use a bright red spice paste called Achiote - which I found at my specialty grocery store and stained my counter with.

So this recipe is close to a Pollo Pibil, with a few adjustments to ratchet up the full bodied spiciness. It's hot, but not in a "ouch it burns, why are you doing this to me?" way - more like a nice warm feeling in your belly. I topped it with a xnipec salsa that goes easy on the habaneros - so it's almost more of a pico de gallo. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Buffalo Chicken

Greetings sports fans and ambivalent friends - it was a big weekend! Not for me, because I'm a person with no TV and no friends who are interest in football. But for many, the weekend was devoted to watching [insert team A] beat [insert team B]. So in honour of you fine folks, I decided to whip up a Superbowl themed taco, using the wing-inspired ingredient of true American football fans: Buffalo Chicken.

Now, if I'd been smart I would have posted this last week. But (spoiler alert) this was actually the failed recipe I mentioned a couple weeks ago. The first time I made this I thought I could just bake the chicken, but we all know that good Buffalo Chicken requires some deep fried, crispy goodness. It gives the sauce something to hold onto. So I went back and revamped this recipe with deep fried chicken strips. The sauce and chicken are a little tart together on their own, but with the toppings and tortilla this is a can't-miss meal (or should I say...touchdown?)