Fine Fixin's

Chilaquiles Verdes

Chilaquiles in Bowl

Sarah has recently fallen in love with chilaquiles. Here’s a Chilaquiles Verdes recipe that is our current favorite to make at home. The tang from the limes and tomatillos really makes this dish. As an added bonus, it’s just as good for leftovers (and makes plenty)!

Roasted Tomatillos

 

Chilaquiles Verdes

 

  • 3 pounds tomatillos in the husk
  • 1 large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream
  • 1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup (or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterrey jack
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and olive oil, as needed
  1. Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Place the baking sheet under the broiler, until the veggies are wilted and blistered, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on the heat of your broiler). Remove the veggies and let them cool until you are able to handle them.
  3. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, squeeze the garlic from the cloves, and remove the stem from the jalapeños. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender, along with any juices that accumulated on the baking tray. Add the cilantro leaves, the juice of the lime, and the crema. Purée until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and make any needed adjustments (more salt, acid, etc).
  4. While the veggies are still in the oven, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts and allow them to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Move the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.
  5. Add the tomatillo purée to the chicken broth, taste for seasoning (note the sauce should be tangy, almost sour, so add another squeeze of lime if necessary), and bring to a simmer. Cover and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Cut the tortillas into quarters. If your tortillas are fresh, dry them out in the oven or toaster oven. If they’re stale and dried out, add them right to the pot. Stir the mixture and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will cause the sauce to thicken.
  7. Uncover and stir in the queso fresco or sprinkle with the monterrey jack. Cover the pot again, allowing the cheese to melt. Uncover, sprinkle with cotija and cilantro, and serve.
  8. Note: The chilaquiles are just as good — maybe better — the next day. A fried egg on top wouldn’t hurt either!

from Food 52

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A Westervin Wedding, Blog News

Put a Ring on It, Part 2

handmade wedding ring set

You may recall that way back in September we celebrated our second anniversary. However, we forgot to tell you about our rings! Each year we get a new set of rings to celebrate the ever changing married life we lead…and for fun. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out our original rings as well as our first anniversary rings.

oxidized silver wedding rings

For our second anniversary Sarah picked out three different rings that go together as a set, two of which are oxidized silver. I have a simple oxidized silver ring that goes along with hers. It’s one big happy ring family!

set of handmade silver wedding bands

Clockwise from Top Left: {Epherielle } { Patrick Irla Jewelry }  { Lady Faye Jewelry }  { ANDYSHOUSE }

 

Swig & Swill

The Coconaut

Westervin: The Coconaut

 

Sometimes, when winter feels relentless, you just need a tropical drink. Here’s our current favorite tiki cocktail. It’s really easy to make as long as you have a blender.

The Coconaut

8oz Coconut Cream

7oz Jamaican rum (we used Appleton)

2oz of fresh lime juice

Add all of that to a blender with ice, blend, and serve. It makes quite a bit, so we usually halve the recipe for two drinks.

 

In no time, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a tropical isle. Also, check out that awesome coconut mug that Sarah got me for Christmas. If you’d like one of your own, have a look at retroplanet.com.

Get Juiced

Give Us This Day Our Daily Juice

Westervin: Fresh Daily Juice Recipe

We’ve been making (or at least trying to make) juice every day for awhile now, and though we do like to experiment with what we juice every now and then, we also have a basic recipe for day-to-day juicing. It makes two pretty large glasses of juice that we usually drink around lunch time.

Everyday Juice

  • 2 Oranges
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 handfuls of green stuff! (e.g. spinach, kale, lettuce)
  • 1-2 celery stalks
  • 3-4 carrots

This is the barebones recipe that we play around with. Adding a ring or two of fresh pineapple is one of our favorite additions. Substituting sweet potato for carrots also turns out well.

Happy juicing!

Blog News

Keeping Busy

As some of you no doubt know, Sarah has been a pretty busy lady. Not only is she heading into finals week in her grad program, but she also just started a big, new job at Lillstreet Art Center! A lesser person probably couldn’t take it, and though Sarah has recently come down with the flu, she’s pushing on through. Needless to say, with all that work, one doesn’t get to indulge in too many diversions. When you do, you’ve got to make it count. This music video counts.

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Fine Fixin's

Romaine and Cabbage Salad with Quinoa and Feta

One problem that we are constantly trying to solve is finding meals that Sarah can take for dinner on the day she has classes from 3pm to 10pm. This week we’re trying a salad-centric approach. Fruit salad has become a bit of staple, and we’re pairing it with a slight variation on a leafy salad we saw on The Kitchn. We used red cabbage instead of radicchio and feta instead of ricotta salata.

Romaine and Cabbage Salad with Quinoa and Feta

For the quinoa:
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 – 1c red cabbage
1 large shallot
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 ounces feta, crumbled
1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the quinoa: Heat 1 cup water in a saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, garlic clove, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Spread the cooked quinoa on a large plate to cool.

Make the vinaigrette: In a small food processor or chopper, blend the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, honey, and a generous quantity of black pepper. When creamy and thick, set aside.

Make the salad: Finely chop the romaine into ribbons, discarding the stem end. Core and cut the radicchio into quarters, then slice each into thin ribbons. Finely shave the shallot into thin slices. Toss the romaine, radicchio, and shallot in a large bowl, and toss with the cooked quinoa. Toss with the vinaigrette, and then with the almonds and the ricotta salata. Toss about half of the avocado with the salad. Season to taste with generous amounts of salt. Serve topped with remaining slices of avocado.

from The Kitchn

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Swig & Swill

Swig & Swill: Brewing Coffee

I’m a bit of a coffee tinkerer. I don’t like getting into too much of a routine with my brew. Switching between a Chemex and an Aeropress creates a lot of variety. Both yield different results, yet neither is necessarily better.

You can also get a lot of variety from just changing how you brew a pot of Chemex coffee, and even more so with the Aeropress. It’s fun to try different things yourself, but it’s also pretty helpful to see how others go about brewing. Enter: brewmethods.com. Brew Methods is a great resource for coffee brewing recipes for those who are always searching for the best or wanting to change it up.

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Needle Drop

Needle Drop: Jason Molina

I was saddened to hear that Jason Molina passed away last weekend at thirty-nine. Molina was a touchstone of my musical upbringing. I distinctly remember seeking out Magnolia Electric Co. at Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis when I was in high school. His music provided something that my affinity for the Beatles and 60s pop otherwise lacked: a spare, haunting, often brooding mood and tone. While the rocking and country inflected Magnolia Electric Co. is powerful and a record I often come back to, Didn’t it Rain has always been my favorite. I always find a level of tranquility in the plodding rhythms, forlorn lyrics and space present in the recordings.

Secretly Canadian, Molina’s longtime record label, has a very nice write-up.

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Fine Fixin's

Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce

Photo of Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce

 

Pasta! We don’t usually make a lot of pasta, because Sarah and I have opposing ideologies when it comes to noodley dishes: she likes thick, creamy, and meaty sauces, while I prefer my noodles with just a little cheese and butter or oil.

However, I think we’ve just found a happy compromise! This recipe from the Splendid Table has tomatoes, but a lot of the sauciness comes from goat cheese. This might be the perfect combination to satisfy both of us. Plus, the cinnamon really sets it apart from your usual pasta meal. If you you are in a pasta rut, this might just help.

Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot

Sauce:

  • Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 tighty-packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano (Greek oregano preferred)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper or other medium-hot chile; or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white or red wine
  • 2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes; or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juice
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups diced cooked chicken or lamb (organic if possible; optional)

Pasta:

  • 1 pound imported long hollow pasta like perciatelli, maccheroncelli, or ziti, broken into more or less 2-inch pieces, or short hollow pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Bring the salted water to a boil.Generously film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch saute pan with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, parsley, and generous sprinklings of salt and pepper. Saute the onions to golden brown. Then stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, sugar, and Aleppo pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and saute for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.

 

If using fresh tomatoes, grate them on a grater over a bowl, and add the pulp with its juices to the pan. For canned tomatoes, crush them as they go into the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce for 8 minutes, or until thick. Taste for seasoning, remove the pan from the heat, and if using the chicken or lamb, stir it in. Cover the pan.

 

Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Boil, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has a little bite. As the pasta cooks, reheat the sauce over medium-high heat. Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and add it to the sauce. Toss over the heat for a minute or more to help the sauce permeate the noodles. Turn half of it into a serving bowl and dot with half of the cheese. Add the rest of the pasta and top with the remaining cheese.

 

from the Splendid Table

 

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