Who moved my wok?

Two best friends, one kitchen, endless possibilities.

Archive for the category “Appetizers”

Let’s salsa!

The main ingredient.

Unfortunately, our cooking is infinitely better than our dancing, but that doesn’t stop us!  However, this post is about food, particularly Mexican food, and man do I love Mexican food!  It’s something that Elizabeth and I have dearly missed since leaving the good ol’ US of A.  In America, it’s hard to beat; it’s affordable, generally with vegetarian and vegan options, and the most important part: free, unlimited chips and salsa!  While we have found decent Mexican options in Beijing, our favorite is not conveniently located and has no viable vegetarian options on the menu (the chef made something special for us when we went).  There are two other Mexican restaurants down the street from our apartment, one considerably better than the other for food and atmosphere, but neither has mastered the fine art of salsa and both charge ridiculous prices for it.  MADNESS.

Wanna see me cry? Chop onions near me.

So instead of being filled with rage at the thought of paying too much for mediocre food, we decided to make our own.  Success!  This salsa is SO, so good.  It’s not what you typically find in your average Mexican restaurant at home, but it is totally satisfying and feels so incredibly fresh!  And though it looks quite similar to our bruschetta, it has an entirely different taste and is perfectly paired with the lentil and carrot tacos (coming to a blog near you, very soon!) we made last night.

To begin, I chopped four tomatoes, two large and two medium-ish sized.  These tomato chunks were slightly larger than the ones I used in the bruschetta.  Then Elizabeth very finely chopped a yellow onion and ground in a light sprinkling of garlic powder.  After that, we added in chopped cilantro and several spoonfuls of green salsa from a can.

Finished and ready to devour.

Mix all of that up and give it a taste test.  This time, we couldn’t find our normal green salsa and found the one we used here a little lacking, so we added in some extra salt and more cilantro.  PERFECTION.  This salsa is awesome on its own with tortilla chips or added on top of tacos or fajitas.  It also works nicely added into tofu scrambles…that is, IF you have any leftovers.  🙂

Simply delicious bruschetta.

The first time Elizabeth made this bruschetta for me, I was floored by the fact that something so tasty and distinctly Italian could be replicated in our very own kitchen, without the help of our favorite Italian delivery restaurant.  I was floored again the next time we had this bruschetta as she taught me how to make it.  It is so incredibly simple!  And though it’s technically supposed to be an appetizer or side dish, sometimes I would just prefer to fill up on it.  It’s delicious and satisfying without being too heavy.  Not to overuse this word, but YUM.

Don't lose a finger!

So here is what you need: tomatoes, a little oil, garlic (fresh and/or powder), finely chopped onion, salt and basil (again, fresh or packaged chopped basil is fine).  First, chop the tomatoes into small cubes or chunks.  Depending on how much you want to make, you can use more or less tomatoes.  Three to four medium-sized tomatoes makes enough for 2-4 people, but if we’re having friends over, I’ll use more because we really like this stuff.  Then, add in chopped basil leaves, some finely chopped onion (this should be significantly smaller than your tomato chunks), a small splash of oil (you don’t want too much liquid in it since the tomatoes already have a lot), and salt and garlic to taste.

The end result.

This recipe is really done by eyeballing, so you can use our photo of the finished product to gauge how much basil and onion you should use in yours.  If you’re using fresh basil leaves, we recommend using several stems of the plant.  Otherwise, your bruschetta will just taste like salty, garlicy tomatoes, which is delicious but missing the point.  And fresh basil smells amazing, so it’s nice to have around.

Once finished, serve up on a sliced baguette before or with your meal.  We also like to use leftover bruschetta for extra flavor in tofu scrambles the next day.  No food goes to waste here!

Post Navigation