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19May/100

Papaya-Avocado Salad with Papaya Seed Dressing

This recipe is adapted from an recipe originally seen in "Big Small Plate" by Cindy Pawlcyn with Pablo and Erasto Jacinto

1 Pound Mexican papaya
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1 Tsp sweet paprika
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp toasted ground cumin seeds
2/3 Cup olive oil
1 Tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Cups of spinach
2 Avocados, pits removed and skin removed, sliced
2 Tbsp toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Cut the papaya in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds, reserving 2 Tbsp for dressing. Cut the papaya halves into quarters. Now, carefully, hold fruit firmly to a cutting board and run a thin knife between the fruit and skin to separate. As always, take care to NOT cut towards yourself. Now cut the fruit on the short side and create 1/2 in thick slices and refrigerate.

Place the papaya seeds, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, paprika, salt and cumin in a blender. Blend and slowly add the olive oil, until smooth.

Either using one large serving dish or individual salad plates, and lay a bed of spinach as a base on the plate or plates. Dress the greens with a few Tsp of the dressing. Build the salad by alternating slices of papaya and avocado across the greens. When complete sprinkle the salad with some toasted nuts, drizzle with some additional dressing and freshly ground black pepper. Place remaining dressing on the table for service.

30Apr/100

Tortilla Espanola

1 Medium yellow or white onion
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Lb of potatoes, preferably russet potatoes (roughly 2-3 potatoes)
1 Tsp of kosher salt
1 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tsp of smoked paprika
4 Large eggs
2 Cups of olive oil for pan frying
1 Large plate for help flipping

Peel potatoes and slice thinly making sure to be uniform to ensure potatoes cook evenly. In medium to large frying pan heat olive oil to medium-high heat. If you are unsure, try dropping a single piece of potato in the oil and see if the oil is hot enough to fry. Once the oil is hot enough, place the potato evenly in the oil making sure the oil almost covers the potatoes. Here is a brief video that shows our potatoes frying in the oil. If you are using a medium sized pan, you may have to cook the potatoes in shifts; once the potatoes become soft you can remove them and place them on a paper towel to drain and season with smoked paprika. While the potatoes are cooking you can slice up the onion in to 1/4 inch pieces and also prepare the garlic by mincing. Once the potatoes are done use the remaining oil to cook the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, when ready remove the onion and garlic and spread across your potatoes. It is important to let the potatoes, onion and garlic mixture to cool so that the ingredients can be mixed with the egg without cooking the egg mixture.

Next remove the excess oil from the pan, but make sure you still have a nice coat on the bottom to prevent the egg mixture from sticking. Heat the pan to a medium-high temperature to help prevent the egg mixture from sticking to the pan. In a bowl, crack the eggs and scramble adding salt and pepper. Place the potato, onion and garlic mixture in to the pan using a spatula to spread out the mixture and try to eliminate any air space between the slices, quickly pour the eggs into the pan and fry the tortilla for about 3-4 minutes lowering the heat slightly. Periodically shake the pan and/or use a spatula to make sure the tortilla is not stuck to the bottom or sides of the pan. When you are ready to flip, use the large plate you have set aside and lay it upside down over the top of your pan. Make sure everything fits and place your palm on the center of the plate and your other hand on the handle of the frying pan. Quickly invert the pan and the tortilla should come right out. Now return the pan to the heat and slide the tortilla off of the plate and back into the pan to finish cooking for another 3 - 4 minutes. If you had any potatoes come loose in the flip, just lift the tortilla and slide them underneath as the loose eggs will pull them back into form as it cooks. Remove the pan from the heat and let the tortilla rest for a few minutes before removing from the pan.

Prepare sliced baguette to accompany the tortilla presentation.

25Apr/100

Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry with Udon Noodles

1 19 Oz Package of firm tofu
1 Package of udon noodles
1 Cup snow peas
1 Cup of broccoli florets
1 Cup of bean sprouts (white)
1/2 Cup sliced zucchini
1/2 Cup sliced Italian squash
1/4 Cup white onion
1/2 Cup of stir-fry sauce, preferably Spicy Szechuan if you want to heat things up!
2 Tbsp of peanut oil

Heat peanut oil in the bottom of a medium to large wok. We usually use 3/4 of the 19 Oz package of tofu, it is really personal preference add as much as you like! Cut tofu into roughly 1/2 inch cubes and - when the oil gets hot - add tofu to the wok (take care to not splash oil). Cook tofu for about two minutes and then add vegetables, stirring all ingredients together. Continue to stir and slowly add stir fry sauce making sure to coat everything evenly. Cover wok using a wok cover or a regular pasta/soup pot cover to create some steam that will cook the vegetables, cook with cover on for about 3 minutes. Temporarily transfer the contents of the wok to a bowl and add peanut oil to the wok and prepare to heat the udon noodles by removing from the package and separating the strands as best as possible without breaking. Add noodles to the wok and cook on a medium-high temperature for 1 min; add additional stir fry sauce to noodles if desired. Once the noodles are warm, add the original ingredients back to the wok and stir everything together thoroughly. Heat all ingredients together for a few minutes and your are ready to serve.

   
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