Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mango Salsa and Chipotle Black Bean Tostadas

I made a big batch of mango salsa last week but have been a little slow eating it up, so I picked up a sleeve of tostadas to put the salsa to good use. I layered seasoned black beans, 4-cheese blend and a squeeze of lime with the salsa to make these for a quick dinner.

Start by warming the tostadas for about 5 minutes in the toaster oven at 375 F.

Spoon seasoned black beans over the tostada shell. I cooked 2 rinsed cans of black beans (to attempt to lower the sodium) with 1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo for about 20 minutes, then used an immersion blender on the beans.

Sprinkle with cheese and a squeeze of lime juice. I only had 4-cheese blend but crumbled queso fresco would have been nice too.  

Finally, pile on the mango salsa and enjoy! 

RECIPE (makes about 6 cups of salsa)
Mango Salsa
4  to 6 ripe mangoes (should be very soft to the touch)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 medium red onion
1 bunch cilantro
1 jalapeno 
2 limes (more if they're on the small side)
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Dice the mango and squeeze the lime juice over. Set aside while you chop the remaining ingredients. 

Rinse the tomatoes well and add to the mango. 

Dice the red onion and jalapeno (remove seeds if you like it less spicy), then finely chop the cilantro. 

Toss with the mango and tomatoes and season with cayenne and salt to taste. 

The flavors in this salsa are better the next day. Keep refrigerated up to one week. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

#LetsLunch: miso-glazed grilled veggies and polenta

Happy July edition of #LetsLunch!!

This month's theme for my LetsLunch group is grilled foods. I was a little bummed when we first chose this, because in our move we had to leave our giant grill behind during the move last month.

But, as my LetsLunch friends pointed out on Twitter, it just meant that much more of a creative challenge.

So, I broke out my cast iron grill pan and went to work in my new smallish, DC kitchen.

First, I made some polenta and chilled it for a few hours. I grilled the pieces on both sides, using my other cast iron as a weight.

I whisked together a quick garlicky honey-miso glaze and grilled spears of eggplant and zucchini squash in batches, soaking them in the glaze before throwing them in the pan.

Use the left over glaze to brush the polenta and sprinkle the veggies with toasted sesame seeds just before serving.

LetsLunch is a monthly "meeting" of food bloggers from around the world. We select a theme and each blog our lunch on the first Friday of every month. Interested in joining? Just search #letslunch on Twitter and send us a tweet introducing yourself!

Grilled Polenta Wedges
(Adapted from Mark Bittman's The Minimalist)
2 cups coarse ground cornmeal
2 cups water (or milk for creamier polenta), plus 1-2 cups more
Optional: 2 bouillon cubes
4 TBS olive oil or butter
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
salt to taste

Melt butter (if using) in a medium saucepan, otherwise bring the water and olive oil to a boil.

Lower heat slightly and add the bouillon (if using), a generous pinch of salt and the chile flakes, then pour in the cornmeal while whisking continuously.

Continue stirring the polenta, adding more water a few tablespoons at a time as the mixture gets too thick. Cook 15-20 minutes until the polenta tastes cooked.

Pour into a cake pan or pie plate and chill for a couple hours. Slice into 8 wedges.

Brush a cast iron grill pan with oil and heat over medium high heat. Grill polenta wedges 2-4 at a time, using a second pan to weigh them down. After five to seven minutes, flip the polenta and grill the other side.

Keep warm until ready to serve.

Honey Miso Glaze
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBS miso paste
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 TBS honey
1 tsp red chili flakes
up to 1 TBS water (to take the salty edge off, add slowly to taste)

Whisk ingredients together, brush on zucchini and eggplant spears before and after grilling.

Brush onto polenta just before serving.