Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cooking for Anton Ego

Normally it's not a big deal making meals for families whose mothers have just had  babies. That is... unless the person you are cooking for happens to  take professional pictures of the food they make for a popular magazine and know more about food than you. This night was no exception. I carefully planned every detail of the menu and even made sure I had organic ingredients on hand to cook for none other than Natalie from Perry's plate.

I made Mexican spicy rice with black bean and chicken burritos.

  I felt much like Remy, the rat character on Ratatouille, when he knows he's cooking a meal for Anton Ego, the world famous food critic. Now don't get me wrong, I don't picture Natalie as a villianous critic that has nothing better to do than tell me I didn't cook the brown rice enough. But, I admire her skills and knowledge surrounding food enough to know that I'm not just going to throw refried beans in a tortilla and call it good. (although, after my nerves that night, it didn't sound half bad.)

Natalie is known for teaching the rest of us what type of produce is best to buy, or what grade of meat is better for your health. She also knows that eating should be fun and good, while being simple and eating healthy whole foods at the same time.

The thing I really like about Natalie, is that she is truly down to earth and I know that if I take even one thing she teaches and apply it on a regular basis, I too, may grow up to be just like her one day.
Want me to share what I made for  her?    Well ... I'm going to share anyway! :)

Spicy Rice
2 Cups Rice
4 Cups Water (or 2 cans chicken broth and 1/2 cup water)
2 Tbsp Caldo de Pollo
2 Tbsp minced Garlic
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Onion
2 Carrots
4 Jalapeno Peppers
1 bunch of Cilantro
Soak rice for about an hour.  Drain the rice.   Cut tops off of the jalapeno peppers and take out the seeds.  Dice the jalapeno and bell peppers, onion, cilantro, and grate the  carrots.  Pour a little olive oil in a pan and saute the rice, garlic, onion, and pollo de caldo together. Add chicken broth to the rice. Sprinkle vegetables on top of the rice.  Cover and cook until rice is tender and water is gone.

You can make spicy rice and serve as a side dish with mexican food. 
 Or ...add in the chicken to simmer with rice and put in burritos with beans like I did.

First Soak Rice in water for about ½ hour to an hour.

  Next cut up all veggies, garlic and onion. ( I omitted the jalapeno and green pepper because Natalie is nursing. But it is very good with those green ingredients)  Not shown:  chopped cilantro.

Saute garlic, onion, drained rice, and Caldo de pollo.

Add a low Sodium chicken broth or water. I prefer the chicken broth.

Add the frozen chicken fajita pieces.

Let simmer till rice is tender. ( I used half brown , half white rice because I know Natalie likes eating whole foods. However, Brown rice takes longer to cook and do not recommend using the  brown rice.)

Warm up black beans. (or pinto works too.)

Combine all ingredients in a warmed torilla.  I brown mine a little on a pancake griddle with a spray of non stick oil to give it a little stiffness.

 (I tried low carb oat /wheat tortillas and gagged. I do not recommend trying new products when you want to impress someone. Stick to what you know best. Even if it's not as healthy. Trust me, it will taste better.)

Fold according to pictures following.

Serve with sour cream and Louisiana hot sauce mixed up.   OR...
Guacamole works well too.

Vanilla pudding, Cool Whip, and fresh blueberries are a cool summer treat.

Update:   I guess I must have done okay.
Natalie:  "I can totally see why those burritos are a hit with everyone. what did you put in the rice? I loved the flavor. "   

My pleasure Natalie!