Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baja Blackened Haddock Fish Tacos

Happy summer everyone! Since moving back to Boston, I have been crazy busy with classes and picking up my first restaurant job in the city. I'm surrounded by awesome food all the time, but haven't gotten to make my own too much. Last week was Dylan's birthday, so it was my first chance to make something really special. Since his favorite type of food is "Pacific Mexican" (is this even a real type of food?) I spent five hours whipping up a 3-course meal with these fish tacos as the main event. I've never really eaten fish tacos, so I left the official taste test up to Dylan.

So yeah... They were prettyyyy good. In addition to the tacos, I made homemade tortilla chips, my salsa verde from last spring, some beer-battered coconut shrimp with a Mexican cabbage salad, and fried plantains with vanilla ice cream for dessert. We had to take a walk around the park after dinner to make some room for dessert, but it was worth it and made for a perfect night. :)

Baja Blackened Haddock Fish Tacos
Serves: 6 small tacos  Prep: 30 minutes  Total: 40 minutes

6 corn tortillas
1 lb haddock fillets
1 tbs Old Bay spice
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded cabbage
3 pickled jalapenos, sliced
1/3 cup tomato, diced
1/3 cup onion, diced
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup black beans
3 tbs Crema Mexicana (sub sour cream or mayo)
3 tbs lime juice
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp jalapeno, finely diced

Combine Old Bay, garlic salt, paprika and pepper in a small bowl. Lay haddock in a shallow dish and press seasoning onto fillets. Cover efrigerate for 1 hour.
In the meantime, prepare cabbage, pickled jalapenos, tomato, onion and avocado as directed. Bake the black beans on the stove and set aside. To make the white sauce, whisk together Crema Mexicana, lime juice, paprika and finely diced jalapeno.
Fry the seasoned haddock fillets in sunflower seed oil or olive oil, flipping every few minutes until they are completely cook. Lay down corn tortillas and assemble fish, vegetables and white sauce.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Milk Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

I'm pretty sure I could spend the rest of my life making cupcakes and I would be perfectly happy. Perhaps it's my love of miniature things, I don't know. But THESE cupcakes were an exciting discovery. I didn't know exactly what I was making until they were done and sitting in my fridge. What started in my head as a two-layer chocolate cake turned into uber-moist cupcakes that taste exactly like chocolate covered raspberries... but cake. I guess I'm at my best when I have no clue what I'm doing.

I made a full batch for a very special occasion - my friend Garam's birthday! A group of us devoured them pretty fast and when I told an acquaintance that I have a food blog, he asked me where he could order these cupcakes. New business plan? I think so. Don't worry friends, you'll still get free food... for now. ;)

Milk Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes (adapted from Hershey's)
Makes: 24 cupcakes  Prep: 35 minutes  Total: 2 hours

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water
2 cups fresh raspberries
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
6 oz milk chocolate
1/3 cup raspberry juice (from filling)

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs, then add milk, oil and vanilla and mix well. Add 1 cup boiling water (batter will be very thin) and pour into cupcake tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.
In a small pan, heat water, sugar and fresh raspberries on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until most of the water is cooked down. Pour out 1/3 cup of liquid from boiled raspberries and reserve for frosting. When raspberry filling is relatively thick, remove from heat and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the frosting, combine powdered sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat until fully incorporated. Microwave milk chocolate and stir until fully melted, then add butter and sugar with raspberry juice.
When cupcakes are cool, scoop out a spoonful from the center of each and pour in raspberry filling. (You may top with the scooped-out cake if desired.) Pipe on frosting and top with raspberries to serve.
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