Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recipe Reviews: Totally Approachable Ethnic Food

Sometimes I shy away from the more exotic recipes in Food and Wine, mostly because they involve a) a lot of marinating or b) a million ingredients that I don't already have on hand. If a recipe requires a trip to Whole Foods, I'm probably out, no matter how good it sounds.

Recently, though, thanks to Food and Wine, I've come across a handful of recipes that are a little more exotic than our usual meals, but that are also weeknight-friendly. It's been nice, mixing it up a little.

Recipe #1: Guy Fieri's Mofongo
Anything that starts with pork rinds must taste good.


Mofongo is a Puerto Rican comfort food of shrimp and plantains. Fieri's version is very simple and very tasty, though it's also kind of rich - maybe a little too rich. We thought it could use a little more acid - perhaps a squeeze of lime at the end. I also added warm flour tortillas to the dish - they added a touch of sweetness that balanced the super-savory flavor of the pork rinds:


I am a huge fan of eggs for dinner - just last week, Cooper was poking fun at me for making eggs benedict for dinner, pointing out - rightly - that it's my go-to whenever I can't really think of anything to cook. My response: that he should thank his lucky stars that my slacker dinner involves hollandaise. But I digress.

These huevos rancheros are from the February Food and Wine. The recipe was developed by Grace Parisi, who is one of my favorite recipe developers at the magazine. I find her recipes very user-friendly and consistently easy and good.

I made the eggs almost exactly as the recipe suggested - except thatI scaled back for our family, using only five eggs instead of eight. I also put all the eggs in one larger dish, instead of using individual dishes (you make dinner with the dishware you have, you know).

Prior to cheese-ing and cooking:


And out of the oven, all cheesy and crunchy and delicious:

I will definitely make that again, the exact same way.

Last night, we went Vietnamese, with a very easy, and also very inexpensive, banh mi that's featured in the same article that gave us the mofongo recipe. I forgot to take a picture before I bit into my sandwich, so halfway through dinner, I threw some ingredients on a piece of bread, took a picture and called it a day:

I'd also do this again, without any changes to the recipe (the only thing I did differently was skip the skewering of the pork, since I was grilling on a grill pan and didn't need to worry about losing any meat).

I'll tell you what I won't do next time, though: load the bread with too much sriracha. Ouch.

So there it is: dining a little differently, without spending a fortune on exotic spices.

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