Plagued by insomnia of late, I’ve been spending the wee hours of the morning contemplating everything from the big questions in life to the incredibly mundane. Mulling over new ideas for turkey leftovers (which obviously fall into the ‘big life questions’ category) resulted in a 4am stroke of genius: Turquitos. I’m planning on selling the idea to Taco Bell for millions.
Even better than the genius name is that they’re incredibly easy to make and are absolutely delicious thanks to Bunches and Bunches’ vibrant Green Chile Sauce which packs such a punch, you don’t need to add anything else. Now I can go back to worrying about the state of the world in the knowledge that I’ve solved this year’s turkey leftover quandary.
Green Chile ‘Turquitos’
3 cups shredded turkey (you can substitute chicken)
1 1/2 cups Green Chile Sauce
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
12 small corn tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Sour cream, avocado, lime and cilantro for serving
1. In a large bowl, mix the turkey and green chile sauce.
2. In batches, wet the corn tortillas on both sides and microwave for 15 seconds between damp paper towels.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of turkey filling down the center of a softened tortilla, top with some cheese and roll tightly. Secure seam with a toothpick. Repeat until all tortillas are filled and rolled.
4. In a large frying pan, heat oil until bubbling and then fry turquitos in batches, approximately 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with sour cream, chopped avocado, lime and cilantro.
Ygael’s Harissa is far and away the best I’ve ever tasted – you know when a company only creates one product that they’re confident in its distinction. I’ve been adding it to everything from sandwiches to stews but I knew that it would find its true mate with lamb. The heat mellows with the braising to a multi layered warmth that feels both exotic and homey at the same time. This is a dish that takes a little forethought but hardly any effort and will have your home so filled with the aromas of North Africa that you will wonder why you keep looking up flights to Marrakech.
Harissa Braised Lamb Shanks
2 lamb shanks
2 tablespoons Harissa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch carrots, peeled
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for serving
1. Make several small 1-inch-deep slits in lamb with a paring knife, then rub harissa over entire surface of lamb, pushing some into slits. Season with salt then marinate lamb, loosely covered, at room temperature for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. In a large Dutch oven that fits the shanks in one layer, heat the olive oil and brown the shanks on all sides, approximately 5 minutes total. Remove to a platter.
4. Next, add the carrots and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, making sure to scrape up any of the browned bits with a wooden spatula to blend with the sauce.
5. Return the shanks to the Dutch oven, add the stock and cover with a tight fitting lid before transferring to the oven to cook for 2½ hours. Turn the shanks at least once during the braising. The meat is ready when it’s falling off the bone.
6. To finish the sauce, remove the carrots and shanks to a serving platter and set the pot on a high heat to reduce. Reduce the sauce by half before pouring over the meat and vegetables.
7. To finish, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves and serve with couscous with pistachios and cilantro.
It’s not just 5 o’clock somewhere, it’s 5 o’clock here in NY and I for one, am ready for a cocktail. To quote The Kinks, it’s been one mixed up, muddled up, shook up week and I intend to indulge in one of these cocktails tonight with a good friend before gorging on pasta, wine and a feel good romantic comedy.
Apple Whiskey Sour
Makes 1 drink
2 oz. Cocktail Crate’s Maple Whiskey Sour
2 oz. premium bourbon whiskey
1/2 of an apple, cored and peeled (plus additional thin slices for garnish)
1 egg white
1. In a blender, puree the apple for 1-2 minutes until apple is juiced. You will still have pulp, this will not create a smooth mixture and that is perfectly fine. A blender is just a much simpler way of muddling the apple than trying to do it by hand. Transfer all contents of the blender into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
2. Add mixer, bourbon and egg white to the shaker. Then cover and shake vigorously.
3. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a fresh apple slice.
There is a Skirt Steak Panino at Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, NY that I have literally dreamt about. Last week, while contemplating the 4 hours it would take me to get a ‘fix’, I realized it might be just that little bit more convenient to figure out how to recreate it at home. With Hillhome’s Vidalia Onion Jam and Victoria Amory’s Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise being permanent fixtures in my fridge, it took almost no effort to achieve a very convincing forgery of the original.
This sandwich is incredibly juicy and you’ll find yourself savoring the steak as it should be appreciated- messily and carnivorously. Basically, this is not the meal for a first date. It is a sandwich that can only be shared with a true friend who appreciates its goodness. Choose wisely.
Skirt Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Aioli
2 French bread rolls
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 lb skirt steak
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise
Vidalia Onion Jam
1 cup arugula
1. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise, making sure not to slice all the way through. They should open like a book. Toast them in a toaster oven until just beginning to brown.
2. Spread garlic mayonnaise on the inside of both rolls, making sure to cover all sides. Next, lay 2 slices of Swiss cheese on the bottom half of each roll. Return to the toaster oven or broiler to finish off. Cook until cheese is just melted.
3. Season the skirt steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Once hot (1-2 minutes), add the skirt steak and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for rare to medium rare. Remove to a cutting board to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing. Cut the steak against the grain into 1 inch thick slices.
4. Spread Vidalia Onion Jam on the top half of your toasted French rolls. Then divide the steak between the two rolls and top with arugula.
5. Eat immediately!