Tag Archives: mexican

horchata!

A combination of summer like weather, a craving for homemade almond milk, and memories of Houston taqueria, resulted in making horchata. Horchata is a rice based drink, often laced with cinnamon and almonds. It is light and creamy, but refreshing and sweet. You could also easily turn this into a traditional ice pop and maybe even add a bit of cooked rice for some texture. Horchata is incredibly easy to make at home, requiring just an overnight soak and a couple minutes in the blender.

I used brown rice here, as that is what I always have on hand, and it lent a slightly nuttier tasty to the finished drink. Instead of sugar, I used honey to sweeten, agave nectar is also a good unrefined sweetener option. Because both honey and agave are sweeter than sugar, use 1/3 to 1/2 less, depending on taste. To make it even creamier, use rice milk, almond milk, or dairy milk instead of water after blending everything together. Also, the horchata has a tendency to separate, but just stir it back together.

Horchata De Almendra

from Mexico, One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless

(Speaking of which, we will be in Chicago for July 4th weekend and eagerly looking forward to eating at Xoco and other Bayless restaurants. Any other suggestions?)

2/3 cup rice

1 1/4 cup almonds, blanched*

small piece of cinnamon stick

4 1/2 cup water OR 2 1/2 cup water and 2 cups milk

1/2 or more cup honey or agave OR 1 cup of sugar (more traditional)

Soak rice, almonds, and cinnamon in 2 1/2 cups of water and chill overnight.

The next day, puree the rice mixture and the sweetener in a blender until it is as smooth as possible. Pass the mixture through a strainer, if your strainer is not super fine, line it with cheesecloth. Press the mixture through the strainer until the remaining pulp is dry-ish. Add the remaining water or milk to the mixture. Taste and add more honey or sugar, if needed. Serve over ice and enjoy!

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masa crepes

it has been quite a since my last post!  i have been super busy in the past two weeks (1/2 marathon!  new york city!) and haven’t had time to cook or bake anything blog worthy.  after a shortened work week, i wanted to cook something with more than one step.  i was listening to the splendid table at work and lynn rosetto casper mentioned a recipe for masa crepes  with a chard filling.  i took this idea and combined it with one of my favorite recent food memories: the oxaca tacos from cafe flora in seattle.  cafe flora is a great vegetarian restaurant in madison valley that is very satisfying, even for meat eaters.  i recently picked up their cookbook and it is filled with great recipes, some easy and everyday and some more elaborate.  The oxaca tacos are filled a mashed potato and cheese mixture, served with a black bean stew and swiss chard.  in my rendition, i filled the masa crepes with a mashed potato and sweet potato filling and sauteed spinach and mushrooms.  i also made a quick black bean stew with corn and dried ancho chile but i had to use canned black beans and the liquid was not as rich as it would be if i had cooked dried beans.  the masa crepes are easier to make than regular crepes since they are thicker and easier to flip.  served with some salsa (made by trader joes) it was as satisfying as the original.

masa crepes with spiced potato filling

inspired by cafe flora and the splendid table

not only is this tasty and fancy looking, but it is also cheap!

masa crepes

3 eggs

1/2 cup masa harina (you could also use cornmeal.  blue cornmeal would be great in this)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp oil or melted butter

combine all together in a blender and let it rest while you prep the other ingredients.  while the potatoes are cooking, start making the crepes.  heat a large frying pan until pretty hot and wipe with butter.  pour in crepe batter and immediately tilt the pan around until the batter spreads thinly.  cook until golden brown and flip and brown.  keep making the crepes.  it takes a while for each side to brown so you can easily cook the other components

spiced potato filling with spinach and mushrooms

1 potato (1 used a large red bliss) cubed

1 small sweet potato cubed

1/2 medium onion diced

1 tsp cumin

large pinch cayenne

large spoon of sour cream

sliced mushrooms

very large handful of spinach

1 clove garlic sliced

shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar, smoked mozzarella, queso blanco, etc.)

saute the onion and spices in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until they start to color.  add the potato, season, and cover with a bit of vegetable stock and simmer until soft.  mash the potatoes, season, and stir in the sour cream.  keep warm. saute mushrooms in olive oil until browned.  add the garlic and cook until lightly browned.  add the spinach and cover until wilted.  season and keep warm.

to fill the crepes, set the prettier side down on the frying pan and spread the potato mixture on one side of the crepe and top with a portion of the sauteed spinach and mushrooms and sprinkle with cheese.  heat through and serve with black beans and salsa.

black bean stew

2 cups cooked black beans, preferably from stratch

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 cloves garlic minced

handful cilantro minced (i did not have this on hand and wished i did)

1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp dried oregano

simmer the beans with their liquid or if using canned add about a cup of water or stock.  add all of the seasonings and simmer until the flavors are blended.  add more liquid to get to a soupier consistency if needed.  add the corn right before serving and heat through.  serve with sour cream or yogurt.

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