Monday, August 22, 2016

Chuckwagon BBQ Pork & Beans Breakfast

     A Hearty Western Style Breakfast!
     In the old west, beans were often served with breakfast.  Pioneers and ranchers looked upon beans as being a necessary commodity.  Dried beans lasted a long time in the great outdoors and a big burlap bag full of beans provided hundreds of meals.
     Old west cattle drive chuckwagons always had a supply of beans on board.  After a chuckwagon cook made a cast iron kettle full of western style beans, the beans were served with every meal till the pot was empty.  Beans fill up a belly fast when they are served with cornbread or biscuits and this suited the hungry cowboys just fine.
     Only non-perishable food staples or preserved food items that have a long shelf life could be stocked on a chuckwagon during a long cattle drive.  Dry goods like flour, corn meal, salt, baking soda, lard and salt were stocked for making biscuits or pan fried corn bread.  Sugar was a pricy commodity back then, so a big jug of honey or molasses was a better choice.  
     On a cattle drive, the only fresh meat choices were wild game or injured cattle that had to be put down.  Preserved meats like salt pork, dried cured meats (jerky) or cured smoked meats were stowed for when wild game was scarce along the trail.  Durable vegetables like potatoes and onions might have been loaded during cooler weather, but during the hot summer months, dried vegetables were the best choice, so there were usually plenty of dried beans and dried chile peppers stowed in the chuckwagon.  Jars or cans of preserved fruit or tomatoes were luxury items that sometimes made it onboard.
     Coffee is pictured as being a necessary item in western movie campfire scenes.  In reality, coffee was in short supply during the years leading up to the Civil War and for a few decades after.  Cowboys were lucky if coffee was loaded on the chuckwagon, because more often than not, chicory was brewed as coffee on a long trail ride in the mid 1800's.  Chicory may not have provided a caffeine kick, but a brew made with chicory was loaded with nutritious vitamins and minerals, especially when sweetened with black strap molasses.  
     Cattle drives sometimes ran close to towns or farms where supplies could be restocked.  Local farmers and merchants knew what time of year that the cattle drives would start, so they stocked up on what the chuckwagon crew might possibly need or want.  The problem was that most of the hired hands on a cattle drive did not get paid till the cattle were delivered to the buyer.
     Once a cattle drive started, it had to be finished in a timely manner.  Especially if the cattle were driven through arid desert country.  That meant no stopping for sight seeing or lolly gagging.  Only a serious wound, snake bite or illness was a reason to find a town with a local doctor.  The chuck wagon served as the portable kitchen and medical facility.  Most times, sewing up cuts and wounds was part of a chuck wagon cook's duties.  Basically whoever was in charge of the chuckwagon, ended up being the mother hen.
     Today's chuckwagon style breakfast is a simple recipe and is a good representation of an old west cattle drive breakfast.  Breakfast on a cattle drive usually consisted of stewed beans and meat that was leftover from the night before.  The stewed beans were almost always served with biscuits that were cooked in a cast iron Dutch Oven.  Wild bird eggs or chicken eggs were an option when available.
     An old west style enameled tin plate creates a more authentic chuckwagon style food presentation than a ceramic plate.  Unfortunately, old fashioned enamelware plates are in short supply in places like Chicago, where I made today's breakfast recipe.  Recently I found a good old west style enamel tin plate in Dodge City, Kansas.  Oddly enough, Dodge City was the final destination of many old west cattle drives.  

     Red Beans:
     This recipe yields 4 portions!
     Step 1:  Soak 3 cups of dried red beans in water overnight in a refrigerator.
     Drain the water off of the red beans.
     Rinse the red beans under cold running water.
     Step 2:  Place the red beans in a pot.
     Add twice as much water as beans to the pot.
     Place the pot over high heat.
     Bring the beans to a boil.
     Boil for 17 minutes.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 strip of smoked bacon.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cider vinegar.
     Step 4:  Cover the pot with a lid.
     Gently simmer the beans till they are tender.  Only add water if the level of liquid drops below the beans.
     Step 5:  Remove and discard the slice of smoked bacon.
     Drain the liquid off of the beans.
     Rinse the beans under cold running water.
     Set the beans aside.

     Roasted Pork:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 portions of meaty barbecue beans.
     Boneless Country Style Ribs is actually part of the pork shoulder.  Boneless Country Style Ribs are fairly lean with a few thin fat streaks to keep the meat tender and juicy.  This tender cut of pork is perfect for breakfast!
     Step 1:  Cut an 6 ounce portion of Boneless Country Style Pork Rib Meat.
     Place the pork on a roasting pan.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Place the roasting pan in a 300ºF oven.
     Slowly roast the pork till it is fully cooked and tender.
     Step 3:  Let the pork cool to room temperature.
     Shred the pork into large bite size pieces by hand.
     Set the pork pieces aside or chill till they are needed.

     BBQ Pork n Red Beans:
     This recipe yields 2 hearty portions.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 2 1/2 cups of water.
     Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard.
     Step 2:  Add 1 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of ancho chile powder.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of chile guajillo powder.
     Add 2 to 3 pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Step 3:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
     Add 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 4:  Stir with a whisk till the ingredients combine.
     Bring the BBQ Beans Sauce to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 2 cups of the prepared rinsed cooked red beans.
     Add the prepared hand torn pieces of roasted pork. 
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium thick consistency that clings to the beans and pork.   
     Step 6:  Keep the BBQ Pork & Beans warm over very low heat.  Add a splash of water if the sauce becomes too thick.

     Buttermilk Biscuit Dough:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Buttermilk Biscuits
     Star Of Texas Biscuit:
     This recipe describes shaping 1 large biscuit.
     A big Texas size star shaped biscuit adds a nice touch to a chuckwagon breakfast!  A star shaped biscuit is easy to make with a large star shaped cookie cutter or a star shaped baking mold.  A star shaped silicone baking mold was used to make the biscuit in the photo example.  
     Step 1:  Flour your hands and scoop the biscuit dough onto a floured counter top.
     Roll the dough into a flat sheet that is 1" thick.
     Step 2:  Use a star shape silicone mold as a pattern guide to cut a star shaped biscuit.
     Brush the star shaped silicone baking mold with melted butter.
     Place the biscuit in the star shaped silicone mold.
     Gently press the buttered biscuit dough in place, so it fills the baking mold.
     Brush the top of the biscuit dough with melted butter.
     Step 3:  Place the star shaped silicone mold on a baking pan.
     Bake the biscuit in a 400ºF degree oven till the biscuit is fully cooked and golden brown.  (about 10 to 12 minutes)
     Step 4:  Set the silicone mold on a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes.
     Invert the silicone star mold and carefully remove the biscuit.
     Set the biscuit on a baking pan.
     Reheat the biscuit in the oven for 1 minute just before serving.
     Chuckwagon BBQ Pork & Beans Breakfast:
     This recipe yields 1 breakfast entrée.
     Step 1:  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Cook 1 or 2 large eggs any style that is preferred.
     Step 2:  Place the eggs on a plate.
     Spoon a generous portion of the BBQ Pork & Red Beans next to the eggs.
     Place the warm Star Of Texas Biscuit on the plate.
     Garnish the plate with a small parsley sprig.
     Serve with butter, fruit preserves and hot sauce on the side!
     This is some tasty chuckwagon breakfast vittles!      

Buttermilk Biscuits

     Buttermilk Biscuits:
     This recipe yields about 10 to 12 biscuits.  The amount of biscuits depends on the size of the biscuits.  Any extra biscuits can be frozen for later meals.  
     Some folks like biscuits baked to a pale color and some like to see golden brown biscuits.  Biscuits have to be brushed with milk to achieve an color at all.  Square biscuits are a classic shape and round biscuits are best for sausage patty sandwiches. 
     Step 1:  Place 2 cups of all purpose flour in a bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of baking powder.
     Add 1 small pinch of baking soda.
     Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Sift the ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
     Step 2:  Add 3 ounces of cold butter that is cut into 1/2" cube pieces.
     Cut the butter into the flour with a fork or a baker's cutting tool, till the flour looks like it has been riced to the size of small peas.
     Step 3:  Add 1 cup of buttermilk.
     Gently stir, till the ingredients just barely combine. 
     Only knead till the dough till it barely it holds together.  The dough should be slightly sticky.  (Do not over mix biscuit dough!)
     Step 4:  Thoroughly dust a countertop surface.
     Bench the dough on the flour and coat the entire surface, so the dough surface is dry.
     Step 5:  Roll the dough out till the sheet is about 3/4" to 1" thick.
     Use a 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" round biscuit cutter to cut biscuits (or cut 2 1/2" squares).  Cut several biscuits.
     Combine the scraps and roll them out again to cut a few more biscuits.
     Step 6:  Place the biscuits on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Either space the biscuits so they are separated or bunch them all together.
     Brush the tops of the biscuits with milk or buttermilk. 
     Step 7:  Bake in a 425ºF oven, till the biscuits are fully cooked and lightly toasted highlights appear on the tops.  (About 10 to 15 minutes)
     Step 8:  Remove the biscuits from the oven and place them on a cooling rack.
     Let them cool to a serving temperature.
     Keep the biscuits warm on a stove top.

     Voila!  Fresh Buttermilk Biscuits!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Chocolate Buffalo Steak Chili, Cheddar and Egg Breakfast Burritos with Chipotle Salsa

     A Delicious Southwestern Style Breakfast Burrito!
     The Chocolate Buffalo Steak Chili has over 10 different kinds of chile pepper in the recipe, so this hearty chili has a full range of flavor.  The chili is medium spicy hot, but the spicy heat can be toned down if the hotter peppers are omitted.  There are options for those who like extra spicy hot food too.  By adding a habanero pepper this chili will surely blaze some saddles!
    The amount of chocolate or cocoa that is added to a Southwestern style chili is minimal, yet the flavor carries with every bite.  Chocolate and chile pepper cooking was popular in Aztec and Mayan cultures, so this flavor combination is really nothing new.  Chocolate combines with chile peppers to create a rich hearty flavor that has a warming effect.  After the first few bites, the flavor is practically addictive, no matter how spicy hot the chili is.
     Breakfast Burritos have been popular in recent years and they are easy to make.  A large chili & cheese breakfast burrito can be a bit intimidating, especially if the chili is spicy hot.  Two small burritos on a plate do create nice eye appeal and there is more room to apply some cool refreshing salsa.  When small tortillas are used to make chili & cheese breakfast burritos, it is best to leave one or both ends open, because this kind of burrito is saucy enough to be eaten with utensils instead of bare hands.    

     Chocolate Buffalo Steak Chili:
     *Medium Spicy Hot!
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Chocolate Buffalo Steak Chili

     Anatto Potatoes:
     This recipe yields 2 portions
     Anatto (Achiote) has a subtle flavor and this Central American spice stains an orange color.
     Step 1:  Cut 1 large peeled russet potato into large bite size cube shaped pieces.  (About 2 cups.)
     Place the potato pieces in a sauce pot.
     Cover the potato pieces with water.
     Boil the potato pieces over medium high heat till they are halfway cooked.
     Step 2:  Drain off the water.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the potatoes in the sauce pot.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground anatto.
     Add 1 pinch of cumin.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 3:  Return the pot to low heat.
     Gently sauté the potatoes till they are fully cooked and golden highlights appear.
     Keep the potatoes warm over very low heat.

     Chipotle Salsa:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups.  (2 to 3 portions)
     This salsa has a mild chipotle pepper flavor.
     Step 1:  Place 1 cup of diced ripe tomato in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of each of these small chopped vegetables:
     - green onion
     - onion
     - green jalapeno pepper
     - red bell pepper
     - green bell pepper
     Step 2:  Add 1 tablespoon of minced canned chipotle en adobo.
     Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of rice vinegar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 3:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Set the salsa aside for 5 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Drain off any excess liquid before serving.

     Chocolate Buffalo Steak Chili, Cheddar and Egg Breakfast Burritos with Chipotle Salsa:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty entrée.
     Step 1:  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 whisked large egg.
     Cook the egg till it is loosely scrambled and not dry.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Step 2:  Place two 8" flour tortillas side by side on a baking pan.
     Spoon half of the soft cooked scrambled egg across the center of each tortilla.
     Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese on the eggs.
     Spoon 3/4 cup of the Chocolate Buffalo Steak Chili over the eggs.
     Roll the tortillas into a burrito cylinder shapes with both ends open.
     Step 3:  Place the baking pan with the burritos into a 350ºF oven.
     Bake for a few minutes till the burritos are hot and the cheese melts.
     Step 4:  Use a large spatula to carefully slide the burritos onto a plate.  (Be careful!  If you tilt the burritos, the chili may leak out.)
     Spoon a generous portion of the Chipotle Salsa over the burritos.
     Mound the Anatto Potatoes on the plate next to the burritos.
     Garnish the plate with a sprinkle of thin bias sliced green onion.
     This Chocolate Buffalo Chili, Cheese and Egg Burrito has a superb flavor!  Buffalo is a lean, organic, free range meat, so the body feels strong the rest of the day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Anticuchos de Corazón

     Peruvian Style Brochettes of Beef Heart!
     Anticuchos de Corazón is traditional Peruvian specialty that can considered to be one of many national dishes.  This recipe is even mentioned in the French Larousse Gastronomique as being one of the finest of all beef heart recipes.
     Either a Beef Heart or Veal Heart can be used to make Anticuchos de Corazón.  Beef Heart is traditional and it has a richer flavor than Veal Heart.  Veal Heart has a lighter flavor and it is more tender.  Veal Heart also readily absorbs the flavor of the marinade.  Veal Heart was used to make the Anticuchos recipe example in the photos.
     In America, offal is usually only associated with ethnic restaurants and gourmet fine dining.  As far as home cooking goes, mainstream consumers tend to shy away from secondary cuts of beef or pork altogether.  Eating liver is about as daring as most mainstream consumers get.  
     Of all the offal choices, Beef Heart is the best choice for those who are squeamish about eating secondary cuts of beef, because a Beef Heart is easy to work with.  The heart is nothing but a big muscle, so it is easy to picture a Beef Heart as being a lean, fat free, boneless steak.  One does not have to be a surgeon when working with Beef Heart, but acting like heart surgeon in the kitchen does make the butchering task more fun!
     Heart is one of the healthiest cuts of beef that there is.  The heart is so lean, that it must be marinated for at least 12 hours or the meat will be very tough and chewy.

     For the traditional Anticuchos de Corazón marinade, a special chile pepper called Aji Panca is required.  Aji Panca can be difficult to find.  Aji Panca is a dark red dried Peruvian chile pepper that has a mild spicy heat.  Aji Panca tastes like a rich classic red chile pepper with deep berry fruit undertones.  Fresh or dried Aji Panca is sometimes found in Latino food markets.  Imported small jars of Aji Panca Paste are also sometimes available at Mexican food markets in the Southwest. roundA good substitute for aji panca is chile puya.  Both of these mild chiles have a nice fruity flavor.
     Aji Amarillo Peruvian peppers are simply a yellow colored Aji Panca chile pepper.  In Peruvian market places, different colors of powdered Aji Panca and Aji Amarillo are sold for specific recipes.
     The yellow color Aji Amarillo Chile Powder is used for seasoning the Beef Heart Brochettes as they grill.  As one can imagine, Aji Amarillo also is not easy to find.  In America, the best place to look is at a large Mexican food market in the Southwest.  I have seen imported jars of Aji Amarillo Paste on the store shelves at a market in Las Vegas.
     If you cannot find some Aji Panco or Aji Amarillo, then there are some good substitutes to choose from that are much easier to find at Latino food markets.  Chile Puya or Chile Cascabel are good substitutes for Aji Panca, because they have a mild spicy heat and they have deep fruity undertones.  Fresh Chile Manzano or Chile Guero (Yellow Chile Caribe) are good substitutes for Chile Amarillo, but these orange and yellow peppers are medium spicy hot.  Orange Habanero Peppers can be substituted for Aji Amarillo if an extra super spicy hot flavor is desired.    
     Fresh Peruvian Manzano Peppers were used to finish the Anticuchos de Corazón in the photo examples.  A roasted or fried whole Manzano Pepper can also be used to garnish the plate.  Manzano Peppers are called globe peppers in America and they are the only chile pepper that has black seeds.
     Beef or Veal Heart Preparation:
     One veal heart is more than enough to make 6 to 8 brochettes.  A larger beef heart will yield a few more brochettes.  Three large thin slices of heart per skewer is plenty.
     Veal heart (calves heart) is young enough that no major blood clots or broken blood vessels have occurred.  An older beef heart usually has a few blood clots that must be removed.
     • Use a sharp boning knife to remove any thin membrane of sinew that covers the heart meat.
     • Cut the heart open and cut the heart chambers into sections.
     • Cut out any large blood clots.
     • Remove and discard any connective tissue, large arteries and tough valves.
     *Now the heart should look like a 1/2" thick large sections of lean beef!
     • Hold the knife at a 30º angle with the blade facing away from your fingers.
     Slice the beef heart section into 1 1/4" wide slices that are 1/4" thick.
     Cut the wide strips of beef heart into rectangular large bite size pieces.
     Keep the prepared beef heart meat chilled till it is needed.
    *Any scrap heart meat can be saved for other recipes.  The original New York Coney Island Chili Dog topping was made with beef heart!
     Anticuchos de Corazón Marinade:
     Use 1 veal or beef heart for this recipe.  The yield is 8 to 12 brochettes, depends on the size of the heart.  Anticuchos de Corazón is a tapas that is meant to be shared.  
     Step 1:  Place the prepared beef heart or veal heart pieces in a large container.
     Add 1/3 cup of rice vinegar.
     Add 1/3 cup of water.
     Add 2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Step 2:  Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 2 tablespoons of ground Aji Panca Chile Powder or 3 tablespoons of Aji Panca Paste.  (Ground Chile Puya or Chile Cascabel are good substitutes.)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt.
     Step 3:  Toss the ingredients together.
     Cover the container.
     Place the container in a refrigerator and marinate.  Marinate 12 hours for veal heart or 24 hours for beef heart.
     Occasionally toss the ingredients together.
     Step 4:  Soak 8 to 12 bamboo skewers in water till saturated.
     Weave a skewer through the width of each flat slice of beef heart.  Place 3 slices of the marinated heart on each skewer.
     Chill the skewers till they are needed.

     Aji Amarillo Basting Sauce:
     This recipe yields enough for 8 to 12 Anticuchos de Corazón.
     Step 1:  Place 1/3 cup of blended olive oil in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of Aji Amarillo Chile Powder or 1 1/2 tablespoons of Aji Amarillo Paste.  (Pureed Chile Manzano or Yellow Chile Caribe are good substitutes.)
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt.  
     Step 2:  Stir the ingredients together.
     Set the sauce aside for 20 minutes so the flavors meld.  

     French Fries:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  More portions can be fried in batches.
     Anticuchos de Corazón is usually served over potatoes!
     Step 1:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Step 2:  Cut a washed 7 ounce russet potato into long 3/8" thick potato sticks.
     Step 3:  Place the potato sticks in the hot oil.
     Briefly fry the potatoes till they just start to become tender and so they are still white in color.
     Step 4:  Use a fryer net to place the blanched French Fries on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Let the french fries cool.
     Step 5:  Place the blanched French Fries back in the hot oil.
     Fry till the French Fries are crispy golden brown.
     Step 6:  Use a fryer net to place the fries on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Season the fries with sea salt.
     Keep the french fries warm on a stove top. 

     Fried Manzano Pepper Garnish:  
     Make as many as needed!
     *Keep the potato frying oil hot!
     Step 1:  Poke a tiny steam vent hole in each Manzano Pepper (Globe Pepper).
     Step 2:  Place a few Manzano Peppers in the hot frying oil at a time.
     Fry till the skin of the pepper is blistered and a few golden highlights appear.
     Step 3:  Place the Fried Manzano Peppers on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Keep the peppers warm on a stove top.
     Anticuchos de Corazón:
     This recipe yields 8 to 12 brochettes.
     Anticuchos de corazón is traditionally cooked on a ribbed cast iron steak griddle, rather than over an open flame chargrill.  A chargrill that is set to a medium low temperature can be used.
     The brochettes will cook very quickly because the heart meat has no fat.  Be careful not to grill the brochettes for too much time, so the meat does not dry out.
     Step 1:  Heat a cast iron ribbed steak griddle over medium heat.
     Brush the griddle with a little bit of plain vegetable oil.
     Step 2:  Remove the brochettes from the marinade.  (Discard the marinade.)
     Place the brochettes on a platter.
     Brush the brochettes with the Aji Amarillo Chile Oil Basting Sauce.
     Step 3:  Place the brochettes side by side on the griddle.
     Use a pastry brush to occasionally baste the brochettes with the chile oil as they cook.
     Grill each brochette till the heart meat is fully cooked and a few brown highlights appear.
     This recipe describes 1 tapas portion that can be shared by 2 guests.
     Anticuchos de corazón brochettes are usually served over a bed of boiled sliced potato slices or French Fries.  Boiled or roasted corn on the cob also is traditionally served with this appetizer.
     Step 1:  Place a bed of French Fries on the plate.
     Place 4 Anticuchos de Corazón on the potatoes.
     Step 2:  Place a ramekin of a hot sauce of your choice on the plate.
     Place the Fried Manzano Pepper Garnish on the plate.
     Place some corn on the cob pieces on the plate.  
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs or cilantro sprigs.
     Anticuchos de Corazón are Peruvian style tapas street food at its best!  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Roulade of Pollock Comino on Beef Chorizo Brown Basmati Rice with Roasted Red Pepper, Chayote and Coriander Tomato Sauce

     Modern Southwestern Style!
     Composed presentations of entrées are appealing to the eye.  Everything has its place in a composed food presentation.  Composed means that the components are arranged in an appealing manner with a sense of order.  In a fine dining restaurant or for a banquet event, a composed presentation diagram guarantees that every plate looks the same as the original design.  
     When designing a complete composed entrée presentation, it helps to imagine where the protein item will look best, since it is usually the featured component.  Usually the starch and the protein are the first two items on the plate, then a chef's sense of design manages where the rest of the components fall into place.  Placing the featured items on the plate, so it creates a central focal, will make the entrée look good from all angles.  
     The colors of the components of a composed presentation are important  The old green, red and white christmas tree rule is a good rule of thumb, but it is kind of a thing of the past.  With exotic fruits and vegetables becoming more common, food presentation color combinations do not necessarily have to follow the old christmas tree style color range rule.   

     Mexican Style Beef Chorizo Brown Basmati Rice:
     This recipe yields 2 portions. 
     Brown Basmati Rice requires a little more cooking time and a little more liquid than regular long grain white rice.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
     Add 2 1/2 ounces of Mexican style uncased fine ground beef chorizo sausage.
     Sauté till the sausage is fully cooked, but not browned.
     Set the pan aside.
     Step 2:  Place 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pot.
     Add 1 cup of light chicken broth.
     Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.
     Step 3:  Add the cooked beef chorizo sausage. 
     Add about 1/2 teaspoon of the spicy sausage grease.
     Step 4:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of virgin olive oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped roasted red bell pepper.
     Add 1/2 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced green onion.
     Step 5:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground anatto.  
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 6:  Add 2/3 cup of Brown Basmati Rice.
     Return the liquid to a boil.
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Let the rice cook and steam undisturbed for 20 minutes.
     Keep the Mexican Style beef Chorizo Brown Basmati Rice warm on a stove top or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Coriander Tomato Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Briefly sauté till the garlic starts to become aromatic.
     Step 2:  Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
     Allow the tomato paste to start frying in the oil.
     Stir till the tomato paste starts to lightly caramelize on the bottom of the pan. 
     Step 3:  Add 3/4 cup of water.
     Whisk the ingredients till blended.
     Step 4:  Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1 pinch of cumin.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 5:  Simmer and reduce the sauce till is a medium thin consistency.
     Keep the warm on a stove top or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Chayote Wedges:
     This recipe yields 1 garnish portion.
     Step 1:  Cut 6 small wedges of chayote squash that are about 1 1/2" in length.  
     Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a sauce pot over high heat.
     Add the chayote wedges.
     Blanch the chayote wedges for 1 minute.
     Step 2:  Drain the hot water off of the chayote wedges.
     Cool the chayote wedges under cold running water.
     Step 3:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add the chayote wedges.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 4:  Gently sauté till the chayote wedges till they just become tender.
     Keep the buttered chayote wedges warm on a stove top.

     Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauté:
     This recipe yields 1 garnish portion.  
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of diced roasted red bell pepper.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Gently sauté till the diced roasted red pepper becomes aromatic.
     Step 2:  Add 1 tablespoon of dry white wine.
     Simmer and reduce till the wine is nearly evaporated.
     Keep the roasted red bell pepper sauté warm on a stove top.
     Roulade of Pollock Comino: 
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  
     Step 1:  Place a 6 ounce filet of pollock on a platter.    
     *If the pollack filet is thick, butterfly cut the pollock filet, so it is an even thickness.  Tail end filets of pollock are best for shaping roulades
     Brush both sides of the pollock filet with olive oil.
     Lightly season the filet with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Place the side of the filet that was cut away from the bones, so it faces down.  (The skin side of the meat on a pollock filet is the smoother side and it should be facing up.)
     Sprinkle 2 to 3 pinches of cumin on the skin side of the pollock filet.
     Step 3:  Roll the pollock filet into a roulade shape.
     Pin the roulade together with a toothpick.
     Step 4:  Place the roulade on a roasting pan.
     Add 2 tablespoons of water.
     Brush the roulade with blended olive oil.
     Roast the cumin pollock roulade in a 350ºF oven till it is fully cooked. 
     Roulade of Pollock Comino on Beef Chorizo Brown Basmati Rice with Roasted Red Pepper, Chayote and Coriander Tomato Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Select a 3" to 3 1/2" wide ring mold.
     Use the ring mold to place 1 portion (about 2/3 cup) of the beef chorizo brown basmati rice on the center of a plate.
     Gently press the rice into place and carefully remove the ring mold.
     Step 2:  Carefully place the cumin pollock roulade on top of the rice.
     Spoon the sautéed roasted red bell pepper over the fish. 
     Step 3:  Spoon a generous amount of the warm coriander tomato sauce on the plate around the rice.
     Evenly space the buttered chayote wedges around the rice on the sauce, so they point out from center.
     Step 4:  Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of finely grated Mexican Queso Manchego over the sauce, roasted red bell peppers and the cumin pollock roulade.
     Sprinkle some very thin bias sliced green onion tops over the entrée and sauce.

     Viola!  A nice looking plate of modern Southwestern style seafood!