Thug Kitchen’s Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Black Bean Enchiladas

thug kitchen enchiladas - trustinkim

This vegan recipe comes from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, which came out of the Thug Kitchen blog. It’s a great recipe, but since the book is full of expletives (a lot of f***ing this and that), I’ve written up a clean version for those who prefer that.

It’s a super tasty recipe, and I enjoyed my leftovers for a few days.

For those who feel they really need some meat in their enchiladas, Mexican chorizo would be a nice addition.

I serve this with lots of Cholula hot sauce, along with some Mexican cotija cheese sprinkled on top for those who are not vegan.

What you need for the Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

What you need for the filling:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), chopped into nickel-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • a pack of tortillas (mine were a corn and flour blend)
  • sliced avocado (garnish)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)

What you do:

  1. First make the enchilada sauce, which can be done ahead of time and refrigerated. Put all the ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice into a medium saucepan. Whisk the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened up a bit. Add the lime juice and take the sauce off the heat.
  2. To make the filling, begin with the sweet potato. Put a few centimetres of water into a medium pot and place a steamer basket in it. Bring the water to a boil. Place the sweet potato in a steamer basket to steam for 10-15 minutes, until tender. When the sweet potato is done, put it into a bowl and mash it. It’s okay to leave some chunks.
  3. While the sweet potato is steaming, heat a large frying pan and add a little oil to the pan. Sauté the onion until it begins to brown, then add the zucchini and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic and black beans and cook for another few minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sweet potato and maple syrup.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Warm up the tortillas in a frying pan or microwave. Dip each tortilla in a bit of sauce so the bottom of it is coated. Fill the tortillas with a few spoons of the filling, then roll and place it seam-side down on the baking dish.
  5. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas, then cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then take off the foil and bake for 5 more minutes.
  6. Top with avocado slices and cilantro. Serve with hot sauce or your favourite salsa.

 

Braised Chicken Thighs with Savoury Marinated Peaches

 

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This chicken and peaches dish makes really a delicious summer meal, and feels a little bit decadent. I love the balance between the sweetness of the peaches, and the salty goodness of the prosciutto and capers. The peaches are marinated before adding them to the chicken, which makes them just a little less sweet. Normally I remove the skin from chicken thighs, just so they are a little healthier, but on this one it’s really necessary to leave the skin on so it can get nice and crispy.

I served this with a baguette and salad. Delicious!

This recipe comes from “Fine Cooking” magazine no.136.

What you need for the marinated peaches:

  • 3 medium ripe peaches
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons spiced dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar

What you need for the chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • about 30 grams thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 3 pounds / 1.4 kg chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped

What you do:

  1. To marinate the peaches, begin by slicing them into wedges about 2 cm thick.
  2. Combine the rest of the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and gently coat the peaches with it. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  4. On medium heat, pour a little olive oil into a large dutch oven or frying pan that can go in the oven. Slice the prosciutto and cook it until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add a little more oil to the pan. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper on all sides. Brown the chicken on both sides in several batches, about 12 minutes each batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  6. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot, and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook the leek and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to soften.
  7. Add the flour to the pot and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Pour the peach marinade in and cook until the liquid thickens, scraping the browned parts from the bottom of the pan. This should take about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the broth and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the chicken back in the pot with the skin facing up, and bring the liquid to a boil again. Place the pot in the oven with the lid off and braise for about 25 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through.
  9. Remove the pot from the oven and turn the broiler on high. Put the chicken skin-side up onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes, until the skin is crispy.
  10. While the chicken is crisping up, continue to watch it carefully, and place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir the sauce occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. (Of course part-way through your chicken will be crisped up, so you can just switch the oven off, and maybe keep it slightly ajar so the chicken doesn’t burn).
  11. When the sauce has thickened, add the capers and peaches, stirring with a gentle touch until the peaches have warmed. Stir in the butter and 1 tablespoon of tarragon, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Place the chicken on a serving platter and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with the prosciutto and remaining tarragon.

Enjoy!

All the ingredients for this recipe were purchased at Vancouver’s famous Granville Island Market, which happens to be a short walk from my home. The amazing chicken was from Jackson’s Poultry. The prosciutto, plus a delicious Manchego cheese as part of an appetizer, came from Oyama Sausage. A Bread Affair makes my favourite baguette in the city. The organic Okanagan peaches were also purchased from one of the day vendors at Granville Island. I love shopping for everything in one market, and knowing that it will all be of the best quality.

 

Hummus Kawarma (Lamb) with Lemon Sauce

Hummus kawarma (lamb) with Lemon Sauce - trust in kim

Yotam Ottolenghi, thank you for this recipe! I have several of his cookbooks, and I think this is my favourite recipe out of all of them. It comes from Jerusalem, which is filled with awesome recipes along with beautiful photos of the food and culture.

There is so much flavour in this dish – the lamb is marinated in herbs, and then it is served on top of hummus and drizzled with a delicious lemon sauce. Completely addictive!

In the colder seasons I serve this with another favourite recipe, roasted cauliflower and butternut squash. In summer I would switch to a refreshing fattoush salad.

You can substitute the hand-chopped lamb with ground lamb, but the hand-chopped meat has a much nicer texture to it. And it’s really easy to chop the meat yourself.

This recipe serves 6 people for an appetizer or small meal. Pita bread is nice served with this.

What you need:

kawarma ingredients:

  • 300g neck fillet of lamb (which I couldn’t find, so I just used a piece of top round)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried za’atar or oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

lemon sauce ingredients:

  • 10 grams flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (also delicious without parsley)
  • 1 green chile, chopped finely
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

optional toppings:

  • pine nuts
  • pomegranate seeds

What you do:

  1. Chop the lamb finely. Combine all the kawarma ingredients except the butter and oil. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the lemon sauce.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the lamb, in two or three batches, and stir as it fries. It only needs about 2 minutes to turn nicely light-pink inside.
  4. To serve, make a mound of hummus on the plate, and use a spoon to create a well in the middle. Spoon some of the lamb into the well, and top with a generous amount of the lemon sauce. Garnish with more parsley or other optional toppings.

Enjoy it while it’s warm!

Spinach Gomae (Horenso No Gomae)

spinach gomae-ae - trust in kim

I love to order spinach gomae when I eat in a Japanese restaurant. I’ve been making it at home for a while now, and I love how easy and delicious it is.

I’ve tried a few recipes, which were all good, but I’ve lost track of them. So here’s the one I made most recently. It comes from a recipe by chef Takashi Mizukami of the Dirty Apron Cooking School, and was published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

My favourite thing to make with Spinach Gomae is Tuna Sashimi. So delicious!

The recipe is for two people.

What you need:

  • 400 grams spinach, washed
  • 6 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

What you do:

  1. Toast the sesame seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle or electric grinder.
  2. Combine the sesame seeds in a bowl with the sake, sugar and soy sauce.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt.
  4. Optional: if you are going to use an ice bath, get that ready first. The rest happens quickly.
  5. Gather a bundle of spinach together and dip the stems in the boiling water for about 15 seconds, then let the whole bunch fall into the water, submerging for 10 more seconds. Remove the spinach with tongs and quickly place it under cold running water or submerge it in an ice bath. The cooling will prevent it from overcooking.
  6. Once the spinach has cooled, arrange the spinach so the stems are aligned, and then squeeze out the excess water.
  7. Arrange on a serving plate and pour the sauce over top.
  8. Enjoy!

Apricot and Peach Jam

apricot and peach jam - trust in kim

In the middle of winter it’s a little reminder of summer when I open a jar of jam and spread it with some butter on a crispy piece of toast. I usually make apricot jam, but this year I decided to go crazy and add some peaches to my usual. I’m happy with the results, and look forward to eating this as the weather turns colder.

I found this award-winning jam recipe on this site. I used fewer peaches than the recipe called for, partly because I didn’t have enough, but also because I really love apricots and wanted to make sure their flavour came through.

What you need:

  • 300 grams peaches, cut into small pieces
  • 600 grams apricots, quartered
  • 785 grams sugar
  • 100 mL water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest from half a lemon
  • about 1 tablespoon butter
  • about 12- 125mL canning jars, or 6 – 250mL
  • rings and new lids for the jars

What you do:

  1. Place a few metal spoons in the freezer for use later with testing to see if the jam has set.
  2. Prepare the jam jars by boiling them or running through the dishwasher.
  3. Put all the ingredients except the butter in a large pot and stir it together. Heat on low, then bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes..
  4. Turn the heat off and put a few drops of jam on one of the frozen spoons to check if it has set. Let it cool for a few minutes, and then push your finger through it. If the jam crinkles a bit, it is ready. If it is not ready, put it back on to boil for 2 minutes. Test again, and repeat until it has set. Mine took almost 20 minutes to set.
  5. Off the heat, stir in the butter to remove any surface bubbles.
  6. Heat the lids in hot water and have the jars ready for filling on the counter.
  7. Fill each jar so it has just about 2mm of space at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars if they have any jam on them. Place the heated lids on the jars and fasten them with the rings.
  8. Place the jars on a towel on the counter in a place they can stay until they have sealed. Place another towel on top of the jars. You will begin to hear a series of ‘pings’ that will let you know that the jar has sealed. You will also be able to see that the lid has indented. Any jars that do not indent (seal) properly can be refrigerated. The rest are fine in a cool storage place. Some say they are only good for a few months, but I’ve kept mine for up a year, and they are great still.

 

Super Creamy Hummus, Ottolenghi Style

hummus - trust in kim

This hummus recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi is so much better than anything you can buy. It is light and creamy, and I like that I can control what goes into it – a little more lemon, a little more tahini. This recipe doesn’t have contain any olive oil, unless you pour some on top before serving.  A lot of the store-bought varieties don’t use olive oil either, often using canola oil or other substitutions. I like to drizzle olive oil on the top to add flavour, make it richer, and make it seems more Mediterranean.

It’s really not that difficult to make an awesome hummus, and there are different lengths you can go to, like starting with dry chickpeas, and peeling the skins off them. For me it’s worth the extra effort to have such a great tasting and smooth hummus, when I have a little bit of time to do it.

When I made mine I did cheat a little and use canned chickpeas, so the recipe below shows how to work with dry or canned chickpeas. One day soon I will use the method in the cookbook, cooking my own chickpeas while quickening the process by adding baking soda. But for now, because I used the canned chickpeas I had to remove the skins – this is one of the things that makes this hummus so creamy, and it only took about ten minutes.

I like to serve hummus with homemade pita crackers, and some veggie sticks.

What you need:

  • 1 & ¼ cups dried chickpeas (or one 540mL can)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup tahini 
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  Salt to taste
  • 6 & ½ tablespoons ice-cold water 

What you do:

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large pot and cover them with at least double their volume of cold water; let them soak overnight. If you are using canned chickpeas you will instead remove the skins. This is a bit of work. Here’s what I do. I drain them and put them in a large bowl with water. Then I rub some of them between my hands, and a lot of the skins come off that way. Then I go through them and pull off any skins that are remaining.
  2. If you are using dried chickpeas, drain them the next day and put them in a pot with the baking soda over high heat; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will help them cook faster. Add 6 & 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, skimming off any foam and skins. Cook for 20-40 minutes until they are tender; they should break easily when squeezed, but not be mushy.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and place in them a food processor or blender. Process until you have a thick paste. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of salt; blend this. With the machine still running drizzle in most of the ice water and let it mix for about 5 minutes. You will get a very creamy paste. Add more water if you think it needs it, and taste to adjust seasonings.
  4. Put the hummus in a bowl and cover it. Let it rest for at least half an hour. Refrigerate if you are not using it right away, but remove from the fridge at least half an hour before you use it.

Enjoy!

 

Walnut Vinaigrette

walnut vinaigrette - trust in kim

When I was in France last summer I picked up a tube of walnut Dijon mustard. It isn’t something that is easy to find at home; in fact, I’ve never seen it, even in specialty stores, in Vancouver. Soon I will devise a recipe for it, so we won’t have to search for it anymore.

Here I’ve also used a walnut oil, just to bring out the nutty flavour. I love a combination of garlic and walnut, so I put in a clove of garlic. It needs to sit for a while, so you’ll need to make this a few hours in advance or the day before if you want to get that garlicky flavour in there.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon walnut Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic

What you do:

  1. In a bowl or jar combine the mustard, sugar, and a little salt and pepper.
  2. Add a little bit of the vinegar to mix into the mustard, then add the rest, beating with a fork until combined.
  3. Add the walnut oil slowly, whisking in with the fork.
  4. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Peel the skin off the garlic clove, cut it in half and place it in the dressing. Let it sit for a few hours to allow the garlic flavour to be released. You can leave the garlic clove in the dressing for a week or two, or as long as it takes you to use it up.