• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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    I've been getting a lot of requests and suggestions for the apartment kitchen. I LOVE these suggestions, keep them coming!

    If you have anything you'd like me to consider (recipes to develop, shortcuts for recipes, great ingredients, or even blog formatting), shoot me an email and let me know!

    em570039@mycia.net

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    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
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Sweet Potato, Poblano, and Chicken Enchiladas

I found the Sweet Potato and Poblano Enchiladas over at Budget Bytes to sound absolutely delectable so I figured I’d give my own version a whirl. Matt and I love enchiladas, but I had never thought of incorporating sweet potatoes into them – it was a match made in heaven. Their natural sweetness balanced the hint of spice, and their creaminess made for a great contrasting texture in the filling. Proof that combining your cravings with what you have in the house can turn into a delicious dinner!

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Giant Burritos with All the Fixins!

There are two parts to this story.

1. I don’t generally love chain restaurants. Sure, I am the occasional patron, but you’d be hard-pressed to find me frequenting the fast food or family-style restaurants that crowd every town’s restaurant landscape. But as with everything, there is one (huge) exception. Chipotle. Oh, how I miss Chipotle. In my hometown, there was one very near my house, and another one on the edge of town – both working to satisfy my gigantic burrito needs. But there is no Chipotle in Hyde Park or it’s surrounding cities. It was a devastating blow to my college years.

2. Funny things happen when you’re jetlagged. Usually, I am dead tired upon returning from a trip of some magnitude and I lounge in bed and struggle to get through the first week as I readjust to reality and my new time zone. But I think I was so used to operating on very little sleep on my European trip, that normal sleeping hours in bed have confounded me. The first night we were home, Matt and I slept at about midnight and found ourselves wide awake at 5:30 a.m. The next day, it was 6:00, and so on. As we strolled the aisles of the grocery store (the only thing to do anywhere at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning), we realized that by shopping for a meal this early, we could do something I hardly ever do on the apartment kitchen – slow cooking techniques. This defies one of the rules I try to abide by – it is not QUICK. But, it’s so incredibly easy that I believe it cancels it out.

It’s the perfect kind of thing to do on a Sunday. Dry rub some ribs, and stick them in the oven at a low temperature, and leave them alone. Then shred the meat, layer it with toppings, and you have one very happy reproduction.

Lime Marinated Steak Tacos with Homemade Tortillas

I love a good taco.  I am, however, a firm believer that the tortilla makes the taco.  Meaning that it should be fresh, light, and most importantly: warm.  And for my favorite tacos, packaged just won’t cut it.  Luckily, tortillas are as quick and simple to make as any basic flatbread.  When you taste it, you’ll know – it’s always worth it.

Combined with tender, juicy pieces of steak that have spent the day marinading in a mixture of garlic and lime, it’s the perfect dinner.  All that’s needed now is a cold beer or a margarita.  
Lime Marinated Steak Tacos with Homemade Tortillas

Served 2
Leftover Potential: Tortillas are best the first day, but will last another couple days.  If eating leftovers, reheat in an oven.  All other ingredients reheat well.   Provided one meal after the initial dinner.
Tortillas
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup water, or as needed

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  Add the melted butter and mix to combine.  
2. Begin adding water and mix until the dough begins to come together, adding more water as needed.  
3.  Let rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
4.  Divide the dough into small pieces, and roll into balls.
5. Roll the dough out to 1/4″ thickness.
6.  Heat a small non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add a tortilla and allow to cook until browned, then flip and allow to cook on the other side.  Keep covered, warm until ready to serve.

Lime Marinade
juice of three limes
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp garlic, finely minced
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 # flank steak

1 Tbsp oil

1 can refried beans
cheese, grated, as needed
avocado, sliced, as needed

1. Combine lime juice and spices.  Pour into a large plastic (ziploc) bag.  Add whole steaks and toss to coat.  Let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
2.  When ready to cook the steak, heat oil in a large pan.  Cook the steak until desired doneness over medium high heat. 
3.  Remove steak from pan, and place on a clean cutting board.  Let rest.
4.  Meanwhile, prepare garnishes, such as beans, cheese, avocado, cilantro, etc.
5.  When well rested, slice the steak into 1/2″-3/4″ slices.
6.  Layer steak and garnishes on warm tortillas.