8/21/15

Lone Star Taqueria FIsh Tacos with Jalapeño Mayo




One of my favorite places to eat in Salt Lake is Lone Star Taqueria.  It's a funky little place on Fort Union Blvd. We've been going there for years to eat the best fish tacos around.   Jalapeño mayo gives the tacos a perfect dressing that doesn't overpower the fish.  My standard order: Two tacos, rice, beans (yay! made without lard), a side of guac and chips and I'm a happy (full) girl. Oh, The Carnitas tacos are also my favorite and absolutely delicious. As in lick your plate delicious.
I was ecstatic to see Chef Manuel Valdez's recipe for Lone Star Taqueria's fish tacos published in Sunset Magazine years ago. Sometimes, the recipe (even when it comes straight from the restaurant) doesn't translate well at home. I'm happy to report that this recipe tastes just like the restaurant version.  It's seriously simple and fresh, relatively healthy and I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love this dish. 
Perfect summer dinner. 





Lone Star Taqueria Fish Tacos with Jalapeno Mayo
Lone Star Taqueria, Salt Lake City, Utah

6 tablespoons ground dried New Mexico or California chilies (or chili powder)
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon  ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or less if you want fish to be less spicy)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 whole cloves
1 dried bay leaf, broken into pieces
1 pound boned, skinned firm-flesh fish such as halibut, mahi-mahi, or rock fish
Shredded cabbage, about 4 cups
3-4 limes

In a large bowl, mix ground dried chilies, oil, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, cloves and bay leaf.
Rinse fish and pat dry. Add to bowl and turn to coat with marinade; cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to1 day, mixing several times.
Lift fish from marinade and arrange pieces in a single layer in a 9-X-13-inch pan. Discard marinade.
Broil fish 4 to 5 inches from heat until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thick part of fish (cut to test), about 5 minutes for 1/2-inch-thick pieces. With a slotted spatula, transfer fish to paper towels to blot oil, then set on a platter. Cut fish along the grain into 1/2-inch slices, season to taste with salt. Serve wrapped in flour tortilla with shredded cabbage, Lone Star Pico de Gallo and Lone Star Cilantro Jalapeño Mayonnaise and a squeeze of lime juice. Enough for 6 tacos.

Jalapeño Mayo
1 3/4 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 rinsed and stemmed fresh jalapeño with seeds removed
1 peeled garlic clove
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt; whirl until smooth. Add salt to taste. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Pico de Gallo
2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeños
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste

In a bowl combine all except salt. Add salt to taste. Makes about 2 cups.

Tips:
-I often make these tacos without the Pico, but never without the Cilantro Jalapeño Mayo. 
-I don't blot the fish after cooking. 
-Lightly grill the corn tortillas before serving. Grill oven medium heat in a pan or on a griddle for about 30 seconds to one minute on each side, just until tortilla is warmed and starts to soften a bit. 
-Always use food handlers gloves or a plastic sack when seeding a jalapeño. Trust me. 

8/7/15

Fresh Blueberry and Greek Yogurt Muffins







To celebrate the 7 year Blogiversary of A Bountiful Kitchen, I gave away 2 gift cards to William Sonoma on my Instagram page this week! The winners are:

@Sundanceshan (Shannon Holley) and her friend @laurie_03g whom she tagged! 
Please email me at : Fostersi at msn dot com to claim your  Williams Sonoma giftcards. 
You have 24 hours to claim the prize. Thanks to everyone who entered! 




I was having a discussion with my food-loving blogging daughters, Corrine and Brookie last week about good muffins and how difficult  it is to find a place that makes good muffins.  You know, not muffins from a mix, purchased from a food supplier.  We are talking home made muffins. The thought of purchasing one of those muffins from a mix makes me want to open my own little place! Here's my daydream... Open a place in Bountiful. Breakfast and lunch. No set menu. Biscuits, muffins,  home made lemon ricotta pancakes. Breakfast casseroles. A salad of the day. Soup of the day. Cookies, brownies, cake, pie.  Maybe a sandwich or two. Doesn't that sound dreamy?! Fountain Diet Coke with lots of fresh lemon and lime and PELLET ICE.  I would do almost anything for unlimited pellet ice.

The only problem- I don't want to be married to a business. So I'll just keep blogging in my Bountiful Kitchen.  And dreaming of my little shop. :)

Here's my latest creation, inspired by a few recipes I found on Pinterest! If you're looking for recipe inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to formulate meal plans, plan showers, luncheons, even Sunday dinner. I changed the recipes I found to cut the butter out ( my attempt at healthier eating).

I've found the butter won't be missed in most muffin recipes and the texture is hardly changed. I love the faint coconut scent when using coconut oil! Fresh blueberries are found everywhere right now, but frozen can be used in this recipe as well.
Hope you're enjoying the last few weeks of summer!



Fresh Blueberry and Greek Yogurt Muffins
A Bountiful Kitchen

3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
8 oz Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla flavored ( I prefer plain) or you may use traditional yogurt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or other berries

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees and place rack in center of oven.
Generously grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or use cupcake liners.
In bowl of a mixer, place oils and sugar. Mix for about 1 minute until sugar and fats are incorporated. Don't worry if the coconut oil is still visible in small pieces, it will melt when cooked.
Add eggs, beat for another minute or until incorporated. Mix in the yogurt until blended well.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt all at once. Mix just until flour disappears, about 15-30 seconds on low.
Fold in the berries using a large spoon or spatula.
Using a scoop, evenly distribute the batter into muffin cups. When scooping, generously scoop the batter. The scoop swill be heaping.
Place in oven, bake at 375 for about 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let sit on counter and cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Freeze any leftovers for a quick breakfast on a busy morning!

Tips:
-Do not be alarmed, the batter is very thick, similar to cookie dough batter.
-Do not over mix the batter and especially make sure to FOLD in the fruit so it will not get crushed before baking.
-Use fresh fruit such as blueberries, blackberries, marionberries etc. If you are using frozen fruit, do not thaw before baking. Take from freezer measure and fold into batter.


8/3/15

Favorite Summer Pasta Dinner







You know those nights when you just cant bring yourself to cook, but the thought of eating drive thru makes your stomach turn?? This is my simple solution. It's called Favorite Summer Pasta (and anything you have in the fridge) Dinner.




Here's the deal. Look in your fridge or freezer. Pull out any type of vegetable. It can be broccoli, carrots, peppers, spinach, green beans, asparagus. You'll need about 2 cups. Then some protein. Chicken goes well in this dish. Or you can use just about anything you have. I'd probably pass on Spam, but almost anything else goes. Shrimp, turkey, bratwurst, leftover steak, pork, even ground meat. Or if you're not a meat lover, you can simply add more veggies. Tofu (a firm texture) folded into this would be wonderful too!








I used Harmons brand of pasta, which I highly recommend. It has a comparable quality to that of pasta made in Italy. Trust me on this, I've carried home bags full of dried pasta from Italy on past trips. Once I realized for about the same price I could purchase the imported items here, I filled my carry-on with other items.



Get yourself a pot and grow a few fresh herbs.
Joy in a pot. 
If you have access to fresh tomatoes, use them! If you don't have any fresh tomatoes, use boxed or canned. And the fresh herbs? If you don't already have an herb pot, vow to grow one next summer.
In the amount of time it takes you to run to In and Out you can make this at home!
You're going to love it.
Promise.



Favorite Summer Pasta
A Bountiful Kitchen

1/2 lb Harmons pasta, any shape will do, I used Casarecce pictured above
2-14 oz or one 26.46 oz carton Pomi brand chopped tomatoes,
or about 28-30 oz chopped fresh tomatoes in their own juice
2 cloves fresh garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil
2-3 tablespoons each fresh chopped oregano, rosemary, thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup cream (optional)
2 cups chopped fresh vegetable such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peppers, etc
2 cups chicken (or other meat), chopped into bite size pieces and cooked
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, additional for topping pasta

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain and set aside.
Pour the chopped tomatoes in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium high heat. Add garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper and sugar. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until reduced a bit.
Meanwhile, chop vegetables and place on plate and microwave for about 2 minutes, covered or until the veggies are barely cooked and bright in color. Toss into sauce and add chicken as well.
Add cream and cheese and cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Toss sauce with cooked pasta. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese on top.
Serves about 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish

Tips:
-This recipe is easy to double. Simply double the sauce and cook the entire package of pasta. Doubled, it will serve 8.
-It is best to use fresh vegetables and fresh herbs in this recipe. Although, the Pomi brand (purchased at Harmons) chopped tomatoes work very well in place of fresh tomatoes. if using fresh tomatoes, make sure to use a variety that will yield a lot of juice. I do not recommend using fresh Roma's in this recipe, they don't typically yield enough juice.
-I found the Harmons brand pasta needed a bit more cooking than the package directions. I cooked the pasta for about 10-11 minutes total for a perfect al dente texture. Make sure to test this in your kitchen. Depending on size of pot, how much water and pasta are in the pot, how hard the water is boiling will all be factors in how quickly pasta cooks. Do not over cook!