Tag Archives: cilantro

Food Matters Project #42: Potato & Corn Fritters

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I hope all of you had a long weekend full of relaxing, great barbeque food and fun with friends and family!  We stayed home, but had a chance to visit with friends we don’t spend a lot of time with.  It’s been great catching up, and exploring some new spots around town!  To finish up a delicious weekend, we made a recipe for the Food Matters Project!

There is no host this week, rather, it’s a Wild Card post- you can pick your favorite spring/summer recipe.  We went a different route, and chose a FMP recipe which was already posted before, but we had not made it that week.  It sounded delicious, we had all of the ingredients (when does that happen?), and wanted a side with our dinner.

To check what recipes Fifth Floor Kitchen has participated in during the Food Matters Project, take a peak here.  Also, check out fellow FMP bloggers Memorial Day recipes:

 Lexi's Kitchen: Watermelon Salad  
 Keely Marie: Calico Beans
 Cooking Poetry: Raw Strawberry Cheesecake
 Meadows Cooks: Lentil Rice Chili
 Let's Cook & Be Friends: Chocolate-Cherry Panini & Tomatoes

Last summer we attempted fritters for a Food Matters Project recipe.  They didn’t turn out as expected, but a cook can never give up (try, try, try again!).   This was a fast recipe, although it does involve a bit of frying- so it’s probably not the best for a mid-summer recipe.  But DC’s weather was a bit gloomy today, and cool enough to keep our windows open- so I figured this would be worth a shot!  We served these fritters with a Greek Salad, a more flavorful option to a slice of bread!  Check out how other FMP participants made this Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce recipe (back in November!).

Potato & Corn Fritters

Potato & Corn Fritters
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 88)

We served these fritters with a dollop of our Spicy Mayo Sauce.  Definitely worth making for this recipe, or for other dishes as a topping.

4 medium potatoes, grated & squeezed dry
1 cup corn, defrosted
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 large egg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a medium bowl mix together the poatoes, corn, jalapeño, green onions, cilantro, egg, flour, salt and pepper.  This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated for a couple of hours before cooking.

Pour about 1/8 inch of oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, drop about a 1/4 cup of potato mixture into the oil and allow it to spread out.  Cook until golden brown, then turn once and cook again.  Both sides should be cooked in about 5 minutes.  Serve hot, or at room temperature.  We recommend frying these in batches (of about 2-3), so the pan does not get too overcrowded.

Food Matters Project #39: Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado

Remember last week how I talked about how awesome salads are?  Well, this week we have another one!  I’m hoping all of you will be trying out some of these soon!

Another Monday brings a new Food Matter Project post!  This weeks host is Jessica, of Cheese Please.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Chickpea Salad with Mango Chutney.  Also, check out what other FMP participants posted here.

I actually made this recipe last week, I needed a salad that was filling and healthy to prepare for the Nashville Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.  I’m putting together a post about my trip to Nashville- so be on the lookout for some delicious food photos.  Until then, make this salad and enjoy it!  This is perfect for the spring, as the weather begins to warm up.  I found myself eating this out on our porch, sitting in our new chairs, and sipping a glass of wine.  Relaxing!

Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad

Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado
Adapted form: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 174)

This salad would also be great in mid- to late-summer when peaches are in season, just swap two of them for a mango.

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 avocado, sliced

Cook bulgur wheat according to package directions.

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked bulgur wheat, chickpeas, garlic, onion, cilantro, mango, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Serve with the avocado on the side, or in the salad.

Boston Marathon & Food Matters Project #37: Central American Red Beans & Rice

The blog post below was ready to be published when I found out about what happened at the Boston Marathon.  I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this tragedy and devastation.  Although I blog about food, my other hobby is running.  Running races are a time when runners can celebrate all of the hard work they put into their training, and their family and friends can support them.  During races the amount of energy, comradery, and excitement is like nothing I have every experienced before- this is the reason I continue to sign up for races, cheer my friends on, and volunteer.  My heart goes out to all those affected by yesterday’s events.

If you’d like to read more, here are some blog posts which resonated with me.  There are more posts being published by the minute, so if you find one that touched you, please share in the comments below.

Health on the Run
Pavement Runner
Run to Eat
Sweet Life Ericka

Or, check out these articles:

If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon – The Washington Post
The Meaning of the Boston Marathon – The New Yorker

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The start of the week means a new post from the Food Matters Project!  This week our host is Aura, of Dinner with Aura.  Aura lives in Michigan, so she was happy to make a warm and comforting dish for a cold, rainy day.  Fortunately, DC has had better weather the last couple of weeks- spring is finally here!

Aura chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Super-Lemony Kidney Beans, from his Food Matters Cookbook.  Definitely check out her Lubia Chalow-Afghan Lemon Kidney Beans, as she stuck to the original recipe in the cookbook.  The photos are beautiful, and now I can’t wait to try this recipe.  Make sure to stop over and check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.

Aura mentioned this in her post, and I agree with her, I have a hard time imagining what each recipe will look like, since there are no photos in Mark Bittman’s cookbook.  As I’ve been doing this project for over a year now (this page has the list of all of the FMP posts we participated in), I realized that I skip over many recipes in other cookbooks just because I can’t visualize them- changing this might have to be a new resolution when it comes to cooking!

I read the ingredients.  Then I went to the grocery store, and rather than buying a bag of kidney beans, I was intrigued by the Central American Red Beans.  So I got a little side tracked, and the Afghan flavors turned into South American one’s…so I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe!  The beans are great, perfect when incorporated with the rice- but they do take a little to cook (although it’s worth the time and effort).

Central American Red Beans & Rice

Central American Red Beans & Rice
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

This recipe makes a lot!  We had friends over for dinner, and only half was eaten- so be prepared to eat it for a week, or halve the recipe.  We started with chips and salsa, and paired this with some steak in chimichurri sauce which was made on the grill.

1 lb Central American Red Beans (although you can use any dried beans)
water
2 cups of uncooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
green onions (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Add the beans to a large pot, then add water so it covers all of the beans.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat.  Cook the beans until they start to be soft (once cooked, these are bit harder than black beans or garbanzo’s).  I had to add additional water while cooking, so keep an eye out for them.  The cooking process should take about 5 hours.

Cook rice per package directions.

Once the beans are close to being done, add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, adobo sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Continue to cook for about an hour, then take off heat and mix in with the rice.

Feel free to sprinkle with green onions and cilantro for additional flavor.

Egg & Swiss Chard Tacos

There are some days I just don’t feel like cooking.  Yes, I think everyone has this problem- even food bloggers.  But we would like to continue to eat healthy, and not always call for take-out, or grab dinner at the restaurant around the corner.  So for those kinds of days, I look for recipes that are simple, yet still delicious.

Egg Taco 2

This Egg & Swiss Chard Taco is inspiring and easy- perfect for a lazy Sunday dinner, something quick on a hurried Thursday night, or a perfect breakfast dish Saturday morning.  Love the versatility!  If you’re not a fan of Swiss Chard, swap it out for spinach, kale, or any winter greens which might be available in your area- it will still be tasty!

Egg Taco 1

Egg & Swiss Chard Tacos
Adapted from: Food & Wine (January 2013)
Serving: 6 tacos

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (seeded or optional)
1 large Swiss chard bunch, finely chopped
5 eggs
1 tbsp half and half
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp butter
6 corn tortillas

Additional taco toppings:
sour cream
salsa verde
tomatoes
cilantro
cheddar cheese/Mexican cheese

In a large skillet heat olive oil, then add the onion.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is starting to brown.  Then add in the garlic and jalapeño pepper, cook for another 3 minutes.  Finally, add in the Swiss chard and cook, stirring, until it softens- about 5 minutes.  Put the ingredients to the side.

In a cup whisk together eggs, half and half, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the butter, let it melt and pour in the egg mixture.  Let the eggs cook for about a minute, until the bottom starts to set.  Using a rubber spatula, gently push one side of the egg into the center of the pan, repeat with all edges.  Once there is no liquid left, turn off the heat from the scrambled eggs.

Next, dress your corn tortillas.  Spoon out sour cream, add the Swiss chard mixture, scrambled eggs, then top with salsa verde, cheddar cheese, cilantro and tomatoes on top.

Honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand Pt 1

As I mentioned, Sam and I recently got married…and then we went on the best honeymoon ever!

Having traveled extensively for work, I had a gazillion miles on my United account, which led to us purchasing tickets to Phuket, Thailand- paradise!

Since this is a food blog, I’ll start with the food aspect of the trip, I hope you all enjoy! (and get a chance to visit one day)

Thailand 2

Our first layover (I know, sounds crazy!) was in Narita Airport in Japan- since it was a bit of a wait, we opted for a mid-night snack of some veggie sushi.

Thailnd 3

Our second layover was in Bangkok, Thailand.  We landed at 11:30pm there, and it was a 12 hour difference from DC.  So this delicious Spicy Beef Noodle Soup was either an early lunch, or an amazing midnight snack!  After that we got to spend a fun 4 hours on very hard benches- the joys of international travel?

Thailand 1

Part of our flight itinerary was on Thai Airways- which we loved!  This was breakfast- small and delicious (food even on a 1 hour flight- crazy!).  On the return flights we got to experience lunch and dinner, and we were given real silverware, so I guess not all airlines use plastic!

Thailand 9

Of course the first night we got to our hotel, I had to have Thai Curry.  It is my absolute favorite dish in any Thai restaurant- so I had to have the authentic version.  It was delicious!  The dish was light, but had all the flavors of curry, coconut and seared vegetables.

Thailand 14

One day we visited the city of Phuket, and wanted some lunch- we found this diner, and loved the food!  I ordered some curry tofu, fried spinach, rice and a fried egg.  It was simple, but light and tasty.

Thailand 13

Sam ordered Beef and Lettuce.  We thought it’d be more like lettuce wraps, but it was chopped lettuce, cabbage and carrots- with the beef on top.  Cilantro garnished this dish.

Thailand 12

This was actually the appetizer, but it got there at the end- veggie spring rolls!

Thailand 11

As we meandered the streets of Phuket, we came across a bar (this is a story in itself), and also tried a new beer which we had never seen sold in the US.  Thai beers are typically lagers- the oldest and most known is Singha, and recently Chang has become more well known.  A local beer was Phuket- it had a slight sweet honey flavor.

Thailand 7

There was a breakfast buffet in our hotel which we indulged in every morning.  One of our favorite ways to finish breakfast was with passion fruit.  We had first tried it on a trip to Dominican Republic about 2 years ago- there it was tart, the Thai version was slightly sweet.

Thailand 6

Walking distance from our hotel, there were some smaller huts which sold food.  Towards the end of our trip we wanted to remember the real Thai cooking: Spicy Vegetable and Shrimp (red Thai peppers, onion, green onions, shrimp, bok choy).

Thailand 5

I had to have one last curry dish (they were so great!).  This was a Yellow Curry with onions, green peppers and basil.

Thailand 8    We spent one day biking in the villages of Thailand, but when we stopped for lunch we had this amazing Shrimp Laksa.  Our bike tour guide told us how this is definitely a favorite with the locals, especially when it’s extra spicy!

Thailand 4

And this is us- happy married, flying back to the U.S. via Bangkok.  Although at this point we only made it 6 out of the 24 hours of travel time, we had an amazing stay in Phuket!

I’d love to tell you all more about our trip, what would you like to hear?  I will have a post about the Thai Market we visited, and our scuba diving adventures!  Anything else?