4.06.2017

What we ate: dinner series.

I've decided to partner up with Sean for a new blog series -- What We Ate: Dinner Series. It makes sense because we can finally team up and have a shared hobby! Usually, we like different things but this is an area that we will allow us to meet in the middle. He'll cook (for fun) and I'll blog about it (for fun). You can read last week's recipes here and I'll dive right into what we ate this week. :)
As I've said before, most meals take under an hour to prepare. I don't help necessarily, unless you consider occupying Javi by singing disney tunes at the top of my lungs, helping. And he makes most things from scratch. I know -- I'm so lucky.

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Tortillas:  
- water
- masa
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- pinch of salt
- parchment paper
- tortilla press
Knead the ingredients on a floured surface for at least 4-5 minutes. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Roll into inch size balls. Line your tortilla press with parchment paper and press each ball. Heat cast iron skillet to medium-high. Drop tortilla in pan -- if you hear a sizzle you know it's the right heat. Flip after 15-30 seconds, flip again and again every 30 seconds. As you finish each one, wrap them in a towel and keep warm in a tortilla holder.

Meat:
- 1 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 lb. of ground beef
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
- 3 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese
Warm the 1 tbsp. of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and saute just until soft (like a minute). Add the ground beef and cook (stir occasionally). Cook through (around 10 minutes) and then get rid of the fat. Add cumin and salt and cook for a minute. Transfer the mix to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the chipotle chile and then the monterey jack. 

Avocado crema:
- 1 avocado
- lime
- mexican crema
- salsa
Scoop the flesh from 1 avocado, halved and pitted, into a small bowl and mash with a fork until creamy and smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup of mexican crema and 1 tbsp. of fresh lime juice. Season with salt and mix in as much salsa as you like (the more you add, the spicier).

Assembling the taquitos:
Pour oil into a frying pan, you need enough to reach halfway up the taquitos. Heat the oil at 350.
Fill each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of the meat filling. Roll up tightly and secure with a toothpick. Add the taquitos to the hot oil, a few at a time so there's room, seam side down until they are golden-brown like a minute and a half. Use tongs to turn them around and cook them another minute and a half. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to dry a bit. Serve the taquitos with the avocado crema on the side! 

This dish was toddler approved :)

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Pizza sauce:
- 16 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- pepper to taste
Sean cooks this in our le creuset for 30-40 minutes. Typically he makes a larger batch and cans it to have on hand when he wants to make pizza. But you can make it and use it right away, too. Honestly... I had no idea. 


Dough:
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1/2 packet of yeast (let bloom for 10 minutes)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of sugar
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups of flour 
Knead ingredients together for 10 minutes. Once it's dough and not separate ingredients it's best to put it in an oiled Ziploc bag in the fridge for a few days. So "we" make this on the weekend when we plan to have pizza during the week. This week "we" used a special kind of flour and yeast

Assembling the pizza:
- 2 small red bell peppers
- 1 pizza dough
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 oz. pepperoni
- olive oil
- kosher salt, pepper
- fresh basil

Roasted red pepper:
Roast the red bell peppers over an open flame. We used the grill. Char them on all sides (15 minutes), transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cool, peel, seed and chop the peppers. 

Pizza:
Place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven at 450 degrees. Let the stone heat up for 15-30 minutes and don't open the oven door. Put corn meal over the pizza peel so the dough slides. Stretch the dough onto the peel. Leave an inch border and spread the sauce over the dough and top with cheese, roasted peppers and pepperoni. Brush the outside edge with olive oil and season the whole pizza with salt and pepper. Slide the pizza from the peel to the hot stone and bake for 10-12 minutes. Use the peel to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Let cool and scatter fresh basil on top. Slice and serve.

This meal was totally toddler-approved. 

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You need:
- kosher salt
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 12 oz. fusilli
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut
- 1 yellow bell pepper seeded and cut
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil

Start boiling a large pot of salted water. Heat a frying pan to medium-high. Add the sausage, cook then drain and transfer to paper towels to cool. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the package says. Drain and set aside. Use the same pan as the sausage to sauté the bell peppers (put some olive oil in the pan). Add garlic and continue to cook (this should all take about 5-8 minutes). Add the pasta, sausage, and chicken broth to the pan and cook until the broth boils. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and serve. 

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Sometimes we need an even quicker meal... and for that, we love Trader Joe's. These gyozas are the best.

You need:
- a package of gyozas
- rice of your choice
- green veggie (we like green beans but we had peas)

Steam gyozas in a dimsum steamer for 7-10 minutes. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat with a good coating of oil. Add the gyozas and flip often so they don't burn. Remove when they have a golden-crispy exterior. Serve with rice, a veggie and gyoza dipping sauce. 

So tell us, what did YOU eat this week?


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