Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kitchen Therapy....

Its been a rough week. This Mercury Retrograde really seems to be making a mess of things lately. Thus, I've been indulging in some kitchen therapy to help myself cope. My go to foods when I've had a lousy day are always packed with earthy flavors to ground my soul. I tend towards homemade Mexican food when I need comfort food, because the flavor profiles are earthy, clean, and fresh. Here are some of my favorite recipes for shaking off a crumby day.

Mexican Rice

1 cup Brown Rice
2 cup Water
1/2 cup Tomato Juice
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon Veggie Stock

Place all ingredients in a 3 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let simmer and steam for 35 to 40 minutes. Be careful about checking it too often. Releasing the steam means the rice won't cook as well. Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

Re-fried Beans

2 cups Pinto Beans that have been soaked and slow cooked. You can use canned, but its just not the same.
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a large skillet on medium heat. Using a potato masher, mash the beans to your desired creaminess. Note that adding a bit of the liquid the beans cooked in or a touch more oil will help to make them creamier. Cook until heated through.

Homemade Tortillas

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Oil (solid, it won't work as well if liquid) or Vegetable Shortening
1 tsp Coarse Salt I like the Margarita glass rimming salt for this. 
1 cup Warm Water

Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the coconut oil or vegetable shortening using a fork or a pastry blender to incorporate. Once the consistency is sand like, add the warm water and work into a dough using your hands. When the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and has formed a nice ball, cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. Heat a dry non-stick skillet to medium. Pull off 1 inch balls of dough and press using either a tortilla press or between two pieces of wax paper with a rolling pin. Place the dough in the skillet one at a time and cook until puffy and lightly brown.