Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spicy Corn & Black Bean as Salad, Salsa or Dip!!

I was so excited to share this recipe because it's incredibly tasty and versatile but so easy and quick to whip up! Also, it's guaranteed crowd pleaser that won't break the bank.

So make
this simple seasonal side dish at for your next beach picnic or lazy Sunday afternoon al fresco fare with beloved friends and family.

Did you know: Out of 10,000 items in a typical grocery store, at least 2,500 items use corn in some form during the production or processing! Corn can be found in cake mixes, instant coffee, chips, Aspirin, toothpaste and yogurt (just to name a few).
- 3 corn ears
- 1 can of black beans (rinsed & drained)
- 4 tsp Italian parsley chopped
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced medium
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil 

- 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt & pepper 

1. In a large pot with boiling water, slowly add the 3 corn ears and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Remove corn ears from boiling water and cut kernels off cobs.

2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally until browned in spots, for about 3 minutes.

3. Transfer corn to a large bowl and stir in black beans, freshly chopped parsley, lime juice and avocado. Season with salt & pepper.

Try this: This side dish would be delicious with corn chips, toasted pitta chips, pork tacos, baked chicken or quesadillas.
Recipe adapted from Everyday Food.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Arturo's Mexico to Go!!

Candice's Cusina visited Arturo's Mexico to Go, an impressive food truck parked on West Cordova & Howe Street serving authentic Mexican cuisine made from scratch. Got to love salsa and guacamole made fresh daily, two of my favorite condiments.

I was warmly greeted by Kurt, one of the managers at Arturo's who generously treated me to his favorite dish on the menu, Tacotino, but with a twist. He let me try his "pimped out" version with chorizo, pico de gallo and sour cream on top of what's comes in a Tacotino, rotisserie pork, lime and chipotle sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla. Well, now I'm hooked on these tasty bundles!

The lime and chipotle sauce bring out the robust flavours of the pork and chorizo which are both so tender and delicious while the flour tortilla is a warm luscious blanket that brings the whole meal together.

When I asked Kurt how they came up with this food truck concept, he proudly replied that Arturo befriended a retiring Mexican cook who willingly gave him her recipes so that they could continue on her culinary legacy in Vancouver. With some minor recipe tweaks to incorporate local ingredients, Arturo's Mexico to Go was born.

So visit Arturo's to get your Mexican fix, andale!

Arturo's Mexico to Go
Corner of West Cordova and Howe Street

Monday, August 1, 2011

Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds

I love eating soba, thin noodles made out of Buckwheat, when dining at Japanese restaurants and frequently order my one of favorite dishes Zaru soba, boiled noodles topped with shredded nori seaweed. Recently I watched a Nigella Lawson episode on her cold Soba Noodles with sesame seeds. It looked like it would be simple to make and delicious! Since it is served cold, it would be perfect for summer picnics or for lazy Sunday quick-fix dinners.
Did you know: Soba means buckwheat in Japanese. The noodles are roughly as thick as spaghetti and prepared in various hot and cold dishes.

  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • salt
  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (the sweetened kind is just fine)
  • 5 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey (I use buckwheat honey for a little added depth of flavor, but any variety works)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 5 scallions
1. Toasted the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a high heat until they look golden brown, and tip them into a bowl.

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add some salt. Put in the soba noodles and cook them for about 6 minutes (or according to package instructions) until they are tender but not mushy.
Dump the noodles into a colander and just run cold a water over them for a moment or two.

3. In the bowl you are going to serve them in, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and oil. Then finely slice the scallions and put them into the bowl with the cooled drained noodles and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.

4. Leave the sesame seed noodles for about half an hour to let the flavors develop, although this is not absolutely necessary or sometimes even possible. Serves 4 as part of a meal; or 2 when eaten, gratifyingly, as they are.
Try this: Add some pan fried salmon, tofu and edamame beans for some extra texture and protein!