Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grilled Lobster Tacos

When most people think of lobster the first thing that comes to mind is straight from the shell.  Lobster is such a versatile ingredient and can be made into so many amazing dishes - including one of our favorites, Lobster Tacos!  So next time you have a craving for sweet, delicious lobster, try this recipe from our Cooking School for Grilled Lobster Tacos.
 
Grilled Lobster Tacos
Recipe from the "New England Meets Mexican" Cooking Class by Scott Jones
Serves 6



Ingredients 
  • 1 pound picked lobster meat
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Dressing
  • 1 (8 ounce) container light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
Avocado Lime Cream
  • 1 very ripe avocado, halved, pitted and flesh removed
  • 1 (4oz) container sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime zest
  • Salt, to taste
Toppings:  Tomatoes (chopped and diced), cilantro, Napa Cabbage, Flour Tortillas 
 
Directions
To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended. Place the lobster in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
 
To make the dressing, combine the sour cream and adobo sauce in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
 
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat.
 
Remove lobster from marinade, drain off any excess and discard marinade. Grill lobster pieces until hot (if pre-cooked)/cooked through about 3 minutes if using raw. After cooking chop lobster meat.
 
Assemble tacos by placing chopped lobster in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, cilantro, and cabbage, avocado lime cream; drizzle with dressing. To serve, roll up tortillas around fillings, and garnish with lime wedges.
 
Interested in more lobster recipes?  Try one of these great lobster-focused cooking classes this summer!
 
July 17th - Maine Summer Supper
July 23rd - Lunch In Maine
August 3rd - Lobstah Land
August 9th - My New England

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Make the most out of your herbs this Spring!


 
 
Have you purchased fresh herbs, used a small portion and then have the rest go bad before you can use them? Or do you have a full garden already that needs trimming?  Here are some helpful tips on how to get the best use of your herbs whether purchased at a store or grown in your own garden.

 
How to keep herbs fresh:

Wash and dry herbs. Cut off ends of stems. Place in glass of water. Cover loosely with plastic bag and refrigerate. You can also purchase herb keepers such as this Compact Herb Keeper that helps to extend the life of your fresh cut herbs.

 



How to refresh and wash herbs:

If leafy herbs are slightly limp. Cut a portion of the stems off. Gently rinse them and then submerge them in ice water. Swirl them around and let them sit for about 10 minutes allowing any dirt to settle to the bottom. Lift them out of the bowl, do not dump them into strainer or salad spinner or the dirt will get on the herbs again. Spin in salad spinner or pat dry with a tea towel or paper towel. They are now ready for use.

 
How to freeze herbs:

This solution allows you to save herbs for several months and you can use them at your convenience. Though all herbs can be frozen or dried, some herbs freeze better than dehydrating.  For herbs like basil, parsley, chives, oregano, mint or tarragon, freezing is an option that works well.

Here are three different ways to freeze herbs:

Start by washing the herbs and dry them thoroughly. If herbs are from your garden wash in salted water. The salt will kill any bugs that may be on the herbs. Make sure to label and date your freezer bags.

1.       Chop leftover herbs. Transfer approximately 2 tablespoons herbs into an ice cube tray. Top with water and freeze. Once frozen cubes can be removed from the tray and stored in plastic freezer bags in the freezer for future use. By measuring out the herbs you will know how much you are adding to your future recipe.
 

 

2.       Another great way to freeze herbs is to make an oil based paste.  Chop your herbs. Mix about 1/3 cup of olive oil with 2 cups of herbs.  Then freeze in the ice cube trays. Once frozen cubes can be removed from the tray and stored in plastic freezer bags in the freezer for future use.



3.       Remove leaves from stems and place on a cookie sheet. Place in your freezer for several hours. Transfer leaves to a plastic freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Store in freezer until needed.

How to dry herbs:

Sage, mint, rosemary, and oregano dry well. Place on wire cookie racks and allow to sit until dry, several days. If you have a gas oven place herbs on a baking sheets and set them in the oven with the door closed. The pilot is enough heat to dry the herbs nicely and they retain their color better than drying them on the counter. Once dry remove the leaves from the stems and place in airtight glass jars.

Another method to dry herbs is to clean and dry the herbs. Place on a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Place in air tight container. Best used within 3 months.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

When most people think of salsa, they think of a chunky, red tomato based dip filled with various vegetables, spices and often times fruit.  One tasty salsa that often gets forgotten about is the Salsa Verde.  Salsa Verde is a green salsa made from a tomatillo (pronounced toe-ma-tea-o) base rather than your standard red tomato base.  The tomatillo originated in Mexico and is a small, round, green fruit often found in Mexican cuisine.  Although they can be consumed raw, they are often cooked to enhance the flavor and soften the tough skin and seeds, which results in a sauce like consistency.  Our Salsa Verde combines the tart tomatillos with various peppers (chili, serrano and jalapeno), cilantro, garlic and lime to create a tasty salsa that is great as a dip or mixed into a recipe.

This Cinco De Mayo, add a little green to your Mexican Fiesta with this great recipe for Chicken Enchiladas using one of our favorite salsas, Salsa Verde.


Chicken Enchiladas - Serves 8

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 lbs. boneless chicken breasts grilled or baked and sliced
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 15 oz. (1 can) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups Stonewall Kitchen Salsa Verde
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (such as Monterey Jack, Colby, Cheddar or a combination)

  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
    2. Combine the rice, beans, cumin, 1/2 cup Salsa Verde, and salt and pepper to taste, mix well.
    3. Place 1/2 cup rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.
    4. Top rice with 2 tablespoons sour cream. Divide chicken evenly and place over sour cream. Roll tortilla to enclose filling and place in the baking dish side by side.
    5. Top enchiladas with remaining 1 cup Salsa Verde. Sprinkle shredded cheese over sauce.
    6. Bake for 30 minutes or until enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve hot with extra salsa, sour cream, and guacamole if desired.

    And don't forget a Margarita to wash them down with!