SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E5): Friendzone Your Knife

This week brings a special guest star, Heather Forte, into the kitchen. She is a decent home cook with a self-professed culinary knowledge of a first grader. Her credentials include being a “Top Chef Enthusiast” and knowing what “sous-vide” means. Watch as Amanda leads her through creating a plant-based dinner with the mystery ingredients.

Read on for episode breakdown


Ingredients in this week’s episode:

This week, we brought our friend, Heather down to the Fearless Flying Kitchen. She was expecting to be the peanut gallery, but we decided to put her to work, and let her figure out what to do with the ingredients.

After some deliberation, we decided to make a Vegan curry with the jackfruit as well as other veggies that were in the fridge (zucchini, carrots, potatoes, and garlic). For spice, we added curry powder and a whole jalapeño, which made for a pretty hot curry (so if you don’t like your food super spicy, err on the side of less curry powder and jalapeño.) The Green Goddess Salad Dressing was amazing on its own, and added a more complex flavor to the curry. Since filming this episode, I have used it on several different salads, and its a great staple to have around.

Marie TBT Jackfruit

Marie and her Jackfruit Baby

Jackfruit is having a moment in the culinary world right now, so it was only a matter of time that it found its way into the Fearless Flying Kitchen. Jackfruit is often seen in savory vegetarian and vegan meals because it has a culinary application similar to tofu, in that it absorbs flavors well, and also shreds like meat. In its natural state, jackfruit is absolutely huge (see picture to the right), so the canned version is definitely more convenient for the average home chef. On its own,  jackfruit has a flavor and texture of a plain artichoke heart, but once it was in the curry, it took on a totally different texture and flavor profile. It is a fun ingredient to play with, but since it has no protein, I wouldn’t recommend vegetarians and vegans consider it a “meat substitute” and would still encourage including some other non-meat protein sources (like beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc.)

The Multi-Blend with Vegetables was fine on its own, but it didn’t really do a good job at featuring the curry (which is what we wanted it to do). We all agreed that just a regular Jasmine rice or plain brown rice would have been preferred. After filming, we ended up cooking some boil-in-a-bag rice and combined it with the multigrain blend, and it was a huge improvement.

Lastly, the cocktails. It was really fun to make the licorice simple syrup. I would love to explore making other drinks with the syrup, possibly make some kind of mojito or gimlet with it. Out of the two we experimented with, the Tiki Rum Punch was definitely the better of the two, because it felt more complete. However it was very sweet. Let’s just leave the licorice cocktails as a work in progress, and we’ll update you on when we improve it!

Green Goddess Jackfruit Curry with Multigrain Blend

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Heather Forte and Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Dutch Gold Potatoes, chopped
  • 6 ‘teenage’ Carrots, chopped (but they were small)
  • 2 medium Zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2-1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 20-oz can jackfruit, drained
  • 1 can Light Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Miso Ginger Broth
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Green Goddess Dressing
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 Gloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • 1 bag Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in pan. Once hot, brown potatoes and then add carrots and zucchini and jalapeño.* Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add one can coconut milk, 1-2 tbsp of curry powder, 1/4 cup of Green Goddess salad dressing, paprika and garam masala. Cover and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and jackfruit is easy to shred.
  3. Add lime and shred jackfruit and cover until ready to serve.
  4. Meanwhile, cook Multigrain Blend with Vegetables cook grains as directed, but add splash of miso broth to prevent sticking to the pot. We recommend also mixing with Jasmine rice (Trader Joe’s has a great Frozen microwave brown rice that would pair well).

*At this point, I would also add an onion, we just didn’t have any on hand. You could swap out the veggies for any that you prefer.

Green Godess Jackfruit Curry

Licorice Simple Syrup

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 15 Black Licorice
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, uncovered, and let liquid reduce by half. Strain and set aside.

We used the simple syrup to make two different cocktails

Gin-ny Weasley Cocktail

The Gin-ny Weasley

The first was what I like to call the “Gin-ny Weasley” because in theory, you like her and all the ingredients, but there is just something that isn’t right and it just kind of bugs you. She is also a little watered down. To create a Gin-ny Weasley, combine equal parts Gin, Licorice Syrup and Plain Soda Water. Garnish with Basil.

Black Licorice Tiki Punch

Black Licorice Tiki Punch

Heather came up with the second cocktail. She lives and loves Tiki culture and this drink definitely resembles something you would get at Trader Sam’s, and should definitely be enjoyed in a tiki mug. To make, combine 2oz Spiced Rum, 1 oz Licorice Syrup and top off with Blood Orange Soda. Garnish with Basil.

Queso Fish Tacos

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I live in San Diego, home of the best Mexican food in the world (outside of Mexico, that is). We take our tacos pretty seriously around here and my family can get pretty snobby when it comes to Mexican cuisine. It is part of the reason we will never leave San Diego. Ever.

Fish tacos are my husband’s go-to dish. There are so many great choices in San Diego, we usually go to Ranchos or El Zarape in North Park, but are always on the look out for new and delicious spots. (Comment with your favorite fish taco spot, and we’ll either try it or judge you) (half kidding – see above).

One of my favorite tacos shops in San Diego is Lucha Libre, which is a hipster taco restaurant in Mission Hills (and North Park!) San Diego with a luchador (Mexican Wrestler) theme, amazing salsa, and a line out the door. Go there. They are awesome. But my FAVORITE item on their menu is the queso taco – Where they melt cheese on the griddle and make it all crispy, then put it on a corn tortilla and fill it with carne asada, avocados and a secret cream sauce. It is a little sample of heaven on earth. But healthy? Probably not.

In true fearless flying kitchen fashion…I have to try to make the best in San Diego by combining everything I love about tacos (all while trying to make it a pinch more healthy). Why not do a mash up of this delicious cheese and meat filled taco with my husband’s favorite dinner?

Meet the Queso Fish Taco.

Grilled white fish (Tilapia or Mahi-Mahi, I used fresh tilapia from Trader Joe’s – Can’t beat the price either!) seasoned to perfection with chili and lime, a crunchy cheese and corn tortilla wrapper, leafy green cabbage slaw, home made guacamole. It really is the recipe for a perfect taco Tuesday…or any day..or, every day.

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First, I have to talk about my proudest discovery, which was mixing the Cruciferous Crunch Collection with the Cilantro Salad Dressing. I normally look at this salad mix when I am at Trader Joe’s and have never been inspired, since it seems too leafy and kale packed for my liking. But it is definitely worth the purchase. It could be great as just a regular salad tossed with a creamy dressing or used as traditional cole slaw, just with a leafier texture.

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Cruciferous Crunch Collection (Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Green Cabbage and Red Cabbage) mixed with Cilantro Salad Dressing

Fish Taco Slaw

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag of Cruciferous Crunch Collection
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro Salad Dressing (or amount to taste)

Directions:

Mix well, until combined, and serve as cole slaw, or top with your favorite toppings and enjoy as a salad.

Next step, was some home made guacamole. Now, I can’t take too much credit here. I just copy the table side guacamole from El Torito. But it is delicious, and highly recommended.

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Homemade “Hibshman Guacamole”

Homemade Hibshman Guacamole

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 5 Medium Avocados, sliced and mashed up
  • 1/3 of a yellow or white onion, minced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, diced
  • 1/4  Jalapeno, minced very finely (to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (go easy on the salt at first and try it with a chip. Usually don’t need too much salt because the chips are salted).

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Most fish tacos you find out and about are breaded and fried. Not my favorite. We also don’t have an outside grill, so I did a hybrid of the two, and pan fried the fish with a bit of butter (but no breading).

I also haven’t ever cooked Tilapia before.

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So, this was really quite the miracle that this turned out. But, in all fairness, I did a lot of research on it…

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Grilled tilapia with a chili-lime rub

Chili-Lime Rubbed Tilapia

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tilapia Filets, cut in half (four total pieces)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or Olive oil…whatever)

Directions:

Mix everything except for the tilapia and butter together. Rub evenly onto the tilapia. Meanwhile, heat a skillet or griddle on medium-high heat and melt a pat of butter (or Olive Oil if you prefer. I like the flavor that the butter adds). Once the pan is hot and butter is melted, cook tilapia for about 4 minutes on each side.

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We ate our Queso Fish Tacos with pinto beans and watermelon. Other delicious sides include rice, grilled veggies, corn or a simple salad of bell peppers, tomato and cucumber with cilantro, lime, salt and pepper.

Queso Fish Tacos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Eight corn tortillas (two tortillas per person)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Chili-Lime Rubbed Tilapia
  • Fish Taco Slaw
  • Homemade Hibshman Guacamole

Directions:

See recipes above for Chili Lime Rubbed Tilapia, Fish Taco Slaw and Homemade Hibshman Guacamole.

To assemble the tacos, heat a griddle on medium-high heat, sprinkle cheese on griddle, the same size as the corn tortilla you are using. It will melt and then start to crust, and it is in between these two phases that you pop the corn tortillas on top, for about a minute. The bottom will crust up and the top will stick to the corn tortilla. Remove with spatula and put on plate.

Slice fish into large chunks and assemble on crispy cheese, then add your Fish Taco Slaw and Guacamole. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

Tortilla-Crusted-Chicken-Tenders-Main

Chicken tenders seem to be a classic food item that appear on kids menus across america. Often these crispy crowd pleasers are battered or breaded and deep fried (or at least pan fried!) Not necessarily something I want my kid having on a daily basis. They also are on the “no-no” list for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, due to the bread crumb coating.

But have no fear, the Fearless Flying Chef is here to rescue this disastrous meal!!

The first task at hand was to make it a meal that kids (and adults) with food allergies and sensitivities can enjoy. The second was to eliminate the deep fryer (because, let’s be honest, I don’t even own one and don’t plan on buying one). After a few tweaks to your standard chicken strips recipe, this one was definitely a keeper.

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I have made a version of this before with regular hummus and bread crumbs, and it was a hit. So I decided to give it a “South of the Boarder” twist with the Cilantro& Jalapeño Hummus as the binder and crushed White Corn Tortilla Chips as the breading. This makes for a slightly messy and little more involved process, but the end result is worth it!

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

  • 8 Chicken Tenders (one package)
  • Half container of Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus
  • 2-3 Cups Tortilla Chips, Crushed
  • Finely Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a 9X12 glass baking dish by spraying lightly with your favorite cooking spray. I used coconut oil spray (my first time using this product), but also stock my cabinet with a sprayable Olive Oil.
  2. Crush tortilla chips (in food processor or manually) and pour out into a dish.
  3. Stir hummus well, then smother each chicken tender with hummus until covered. I used about half of a container for this. Then drudge the chicken tenders into the tortilla chips until covered. Place on prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese (lightly).
  4. Once all of the chicken is smothered and drudged and placed in the baking dish, place in oven in a center rack for ~ 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F. Turn once and sprinkle other side with cheese.
  5. Remove from oven and let rest ~5 minutes.

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I served this meal with Corn on the Cob, and honestly, had such high aspirations for making a delicious grilled corn. But instead, I went the lamest route possible and MICROWAVED it. Olive still loved it, and my husband and I ate it up just fine. But it probably would have been so much better if I grilled it for a few minutes too. I also heated up a can of Organic Black Beans and sautéed some zucchini and bell peppers in a little bit of Olive Oil as a side (with just some salt and pepper). Very simple and nutritious sides. We also had watermelon as an appetizer. It was intended to be served with dinner, but it never lasts long in our home. Definitely doesn’t last long enough for a picture!

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