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¡Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas!

¡Hola!

¡Enchiladas!

Alright, that’s about as much Spanish as I can think of right now and it was mostly just  an excuse to use the super fun double/upside down exclamation point. That said, today I made a delicious new recipe! As you probably already read in the title (if you’re paying attention to things like that), I cooked some black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. I found the recipe online and thought it seemed like an interesting take on the traditional enchilada. I love black beans and I love sweet potato even more, so I was pretty sure there would be no way that I could mess these up in a way that would not still be delicious. I was right! The recipe was more of  guideline than anything, which is great because it makes it even easier to adjust things to your own taste.
Here’s what I did:
I cut one small and one large sweet potato into medium sized cubes (about 1/2-3/4 of an inch). I put them in a pot with some water and steamed them until they were softened slightly but not mush. While those were steaming I opened a can of black beans, drained, rinsed, and put them in a small bowl. I squeezed one lime over them (after rolling it and dipping it in the boiling water to make it a little bit juicier, of course). I chopped up 4 cloves of garlic (minced, quite small) and added them to the bean mixture. By this time my beautiful orange sweet potatoes were ready. I drained the water off and then mashed them lightly with a fork. Next, I added the spices! I used 1/2 tsp of cumin, a touch more than 1/2 tsp of chipotle chile powder, a third of a bunch of fresh cilantro, and salt and pepper to my taste. This next part was the most fun! I used flour tortillas, but I am pretty sure corn is more traditional. Anyways, I laid out the tortillas and spooned first the sweet potato mixture, and then the bean mixture into them. I rolled them up, tightly, then lined a casserole dish (with some canned green enchilada sauce already on the bottom) until it was filled. I poured some more sauce over the top and then added some low-fat mexican cheese mix (okay, maybe I got a bit lazy with the canned sauce and pre-shredded cheese, but I was super hungry!). I put the dish in the oven for about 23 minutes (officially 20-25 minutes) and pulled out a heavenly, cheese-covered, spicy masterpiece of culinary excellence! No exaggeration there, I promise!
Here is the end result:

I served it (to myself) with some fresh and delicious avocado.

Here’s one last picture, it’s a close-up so that you can see the gorgeous colours! It was perfect to brighten up a wintery cold day.

Thanks for reading!
-Hannato

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Chicken Curry

Hello!

It’s been much too long since I’ve posted here, but tonight I am happy to say that I have been inspired to post again!

A few months ago Vina, my amazing coworker, brought some chicken curry to work with her and shared. It was amazing! After I bothered her incessantly for the recipe (sorry Vina!) she wrote it out for me a few days ago. Tonight I was bored and hungry and thought it would be fun to go cook dinner with a close friend, Ben, and try out the new recipe! It turned out to be a fabulous idea. I had a lot of fun, and now I am so full that I (almost) regret all of the curry that I consumed.

Here’s how it went (with pictures)!

I went around to Ben’s and we decided to take a quick trip to Uwajimaya for ingredients. Then we got started with the cooking.

Ingredients:

1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. panang curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1/2 medium red bell pepper
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced thinly
1 can bamboo shoots
3 stems Thai basil
salt and pepper to taste

(The ginger beers were to drink because they are delicious, we didn’t put them in the curry).

Here’s how we did it!

First, we heated the olive oil and sauteed the garlic until it was a little bit brown.

Then we added our can of coconut milk

and the curry paste

This is when it started to smell really good! While the coconut milk mixture was heating to a boil, Ben got to work cutting up the chicken breast into really thin slices. The thinner, the better, that way they cook quickly (thanks for the tip, Vina!).

Once the chicken was prepared, we added it to the coconut milk along with the can of bamboo shoots, the sliced red bell peppers (that I didn’t get a photo of pre-cooking, sorry), and the Thai basil. After it was all gently stirred in, we covered the pot and let it simmer for about 7-10 minutes. While it was getting increasingly more delicious, we took advantage of the free time to do a little clean up.

Even though there’s no photographic evidence, I swear that I helped! It was hard to wait for the food with the enticing smell that was filling the apartment, but we managed.
I did sneak a little peak though!

It was so worth the agonizing wait! Here is our finished product, served over coconut rice and with red bean mochi ice cream for dessert, yum!



If you like curry at all and have a free evening, give this recipe a try. It is so easy to make and absolutely delicious to eat. I owe my coworker Vina a huge thank you for once again sharing one of her impressively tasty recipes with me (see Chicken Adobo for another).
Thank you for reading! Comment with feedback if you would like to, I love to read and respond!
-Hannato

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Apple (T)art

A few days ago a friend and co-worker did me a huge favour. She’s a really great person and she always keeps us laughing, so I wanted to do something nice for her in return.What better way to repay someone’s kindness than with delicious baked goods?! I have a great recipe for Apple Tart that I used to make all the time for French class and since we had been talking about it the other day I thought it would be perfect! We’ll have to wait for tomorrow to see how it turned out (no sneaking tastes, has to look pretty!). Here are some photos and if anyone is interested in the recipe just let me know and I’ll post that as well!


Mmmm! I will have to make one for myself pretty soon. I love making these tarts. They are simple to make but turn out beautifully!
Hope you are all enjoying the last bits of summer!
-Hannato

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Chicken Adobo and Homemade Butter

This will be my first real food post, so I am excited! I have been working on culinary enrichment lightly for the last couple of weeks. With Summer quarter classes and work it has been rather busy, but I have actually accomplished and photographed TWO of these incidents (thanks mostly to my mom calling me and taunting me daily with the delicious meals she has been making). What luck!
Last week, while reading through some assignments in my Nutrition course I came upon one that was optional. The task was to make homemade butter. I have to admit, I really didn’t how exactly how butter was made. I knew that it involved cream and a butter churn, but that was about it. Reading through the instructions I found that the recipe was amazingly simple. Here it is:

1 glass jar
1/2 c. cool heavy cream
salt (optional)

…That’s it.

I gathered my ingredients and then added the cool cream to my glass jar, and shook. I shook the jar, and shook the jar, and shook it, and then shook it some more. I shook it for about 20 minutes, and it started to feel slightly thick and more solid. I opened the lid to have a look at it and found something very similar to almost-whipped cream. I closed the lid and (surprise surprise) shook more. About 5-10 more minutes and all of the sudden the cream stopped feeling thick and quite solid and it started sloshing about. I shook a little bit longer and then opened up the lid. Guess what was there?? BUTTER! Well, butter and some whey liquid. I drained and rinsed it, and then put it in the fridge to cool. Now I have my very own homemade butter. I was (read: am) pretty proud of that!

Here is the final product:

Yummmmm!

My second (recent) foray into the culinary field was tonight’s dinner. A wonderful friend and coworker of mine (and amazing cook), Vina, very graciously sent me her recipe for mouthgasmic Chicken Adobo. This is the Filipino adobo rather than the version originating in Spain. So. Delicious.

This recipe has a few more ingredients than the butter (not hard really), and Vina has kindly agreed to let me post it here. I hope you will try it. I found the recipe very simple to follow and the result very delicious to eat!

Here is the recipe:

4-5 lbs. chicken thighs
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. white sugar
3 bay leaves

I used a little bit less chicken, simply because I was only cooking for 2, but the liquid would be plenty for the amount listed. I got my cooking pot out and added in the vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sugar, and bay leaves. I then chopped up my garlic and crushed it. I added an extra couple cloves of garlic, but that is just personal taste. After all of my ingredients were in my pot, I covered it and let it marinate in the fridge for about an hour (the recipe says 1-3 hours). When I brought it out again, the meat looked like it had absorbed a bit of the marinade, yum!
I heated the pot over high until the liquid began to boil, and then I covered it with the lid, turned down the heat, and let it simmer for 30 minutes (checking on it/smelling it occasionally). After 30 minutes of simmering while covered, I took the lid off and cooked it for about 15-20 more minutes, letting the marinade/sauce get all thick and bubbly. At this point the chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone when I tried to turn it. Excellent! I served the chicken and sauce over some white rice with brussels sprouts for me and corn for the boyfriend. I think I will have to bother Vina for some more delicious recipes in the future!

Here is the final product:

My chicken mission was a success! Let me know if you try out this recipe, I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have.

Thanks for reading!

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The Road Home

I’ve been rather absent this week. Sorry about that! It’s been a tough one. Car troubles, finishing up finals, sick, and work problems as well. I wanted to write something quick so that you all know I haven’t forgotten about my lovely blog. Positive things that happened this week include my re-creation of the school lunch that I ate every day in New Zealand; mince meat pie (with puff pastry crust and a layer of cheese underneath) which I will photograph and post as soon as I learn how to make food look as good as it does in real life-but in a photo. I am very much looking forward to going home to visit my family this weekend.
This is why I chose to post above photo of the road to my home. It never fails to make me feel better about the world. I hope you all are happy, healthy, and in good company.

Goodnight.

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Browsers and Baristas

I promised unsolicited opinions and here’s the first one:
Baristas and browsers, they are eerily similar.
I just went next door to the small supermarket and espresso shop to get my morning coffee. There is a blonde woman usually who makes AMAZING lattes and has them ready before I’ve paid. Then there is the other one. The brown-haired moody barista. My heart sinks a little bit every time I see her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she is a lovely person, she is just not as good as blonde-barista. Blonde barista knows my drink. She makes it quickly. She knows that I have a card and she stamps it without asking. Brunette barista asks me EVERY time whether or not I have a card. She takes 5-7 minutes after I’ve paid to finish the drink.
So, here is my thought, again:
Baristas and browsers, they are eerily similar. The bad ones take forever to get what you need to you and ask you the same questions over and over. The good ones remember your settings and preferences and get you and what you need hooked up fast.
That is all.

-Hannato