This week we were putting together our dinner menus, and we found ourselves wondering about a few things. Specifically, out of all the new recipes we'd tried lately, which ones did we really love, and which ones did we only like? Which was the one with roasted red peppers? which was the one with diced tomatoes that I really liked, and surprised me because I normally despise canned diced tomatoes?
Duh, that's what this blog was supposed to be for. Little reviews of the things I encounter, whether they're books or food or other blogs. I think in the last recipe I blogged, I said something about tomatillos?
We did get to try the tomatillos, and it was yummy. I had never really had them before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The recipe was incredibly simple: potatoes, chicken, onion, and sliced tomatillos layered with salt, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro in a slow cooker. The cook book made it sound like the salt was optional, and you could leave it out if you are on a low sodium diet or just prefer less salt. However, in a slow cooker you need liquid and the recipe called for no liquid other than two tablespoons of the juice from the pickled jalapenos. The salt between each layer is necessary to cause cells in the potatoes and tomatillos to burst and provide their own liquid in which to simmer. Add enough salt and the result is tender chicken and potatoes with lots of flavor from the tomatillos.
Another recipe from the same cookbook was a delicious Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana. Basically anything with poblano peppers is a winner for us. Now I realize this was the one was won me over to the potential of diced tomatoes. Chiles, pork, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, beef broth and cilantro. In the summer I'd like to make this by roasting my own tomatoes as well as chiles.
Last week we made a departure from new Mexican recipes and tried a new Italian recipe from Everyday Pasta, by Giada De Laurentiis. No, it's not a requirement that all my cookbooks have the word "everyday" in the title, but it sure seems to help. We made rigatoni with sausage, and it's actually a dish we've been experimenting with but I think we finally found the right combination of veggies. Starting with basic pasta and sausage in a broth base, I'd been adding peppers and artichokes and onions trying to find something really satisfying. Giada's combo of sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, artichoke hearts, garlic and basil in a white wine and broth base is just oh so tasty.
In terms of new recipes, this week we'll try green chile chicken tacos from Mexican Everyday and pepper crusted tuna from Real Simple magazine. I'll let you know how it goes!