Dani Goes South.

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Chipotle Lime Salmon Tostadas with Crispy Potatoes & All the Fixings

DinnersDani Colombatto2 Comments
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Fridays have quickly become my favorite day. It's the official start of our weekends, and it usually means a little sleeping in, a pretty walk, a little list-makin', a little grocery shopping, and planning the next two days' projects. This weekend we might even be squeezing in a little new living sitch perusal, which, you can't see me but I'm doing back handsprings, and dancing through a wildflower field with my cat over that prospect. The start to the weekend also usually entails an easy dinner, enter: these tostadas. First, let me just say, crispy tortillas are LyFe, and in this case, the perfect vehicle for tender, chipotle lime butter-basted salmon. Also, if you add said chipotle-lime butter to some crispy baby new potatoes, life seems like, 17% more rosy. Avo, cotija, tons of cilantro, and quick pickled onions are always welcome accouterments, in addition to the most addictive cilantro vinaigrette ever. Are they called "fixings" because after you're done eating, you feel like you've solved all your problems? Just something to think about. 

Baja Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema

DinnersDani ColombattoComment
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For all the amazing food in Austin, I find myself severely missing two things since moving from San Diego: Sushi, and Mexican food, namely fish tacos. I know, I know, Austin is known for tacos but they just aren't the same! Fish tacos, particularly Baja style remind me so much of childhood. They make me think of salty, sandy, hair, warm evenings riding razor scooters, getting home in time to watch Legends of the Hidden Temple on a Saturday, etc. The best ones usually come from the tiniest, most shitty-looking of shacks. If it's attached to a random gas station, even better. Have I mentioned nostalgia is a hobby of mine?

Let's talk taco constitution. This little number just so happens to have a batter that is perfectly crisp-yet-light, a chipotle-lime crema that brings just the right amount of heat, creamy avo, cotija, tart pickled onions, crunchy radishes, and lots of cilantro. A squeeze of lime sets everything over the top, and if you happen to have a good IPA in your fridge, good on ya. 

To kick things off, make your chipotle lime crema. Combine your sour cream or creme fraiche, with 2 tbs chopped chipotle peppers in adobo, your garlic, lime juice, and either puree with a food processor or immersion blender. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Thinly slice half an onion, and add to a small bowl. Cover with red wine vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover with plastic wrap, and add to your fridge as well.

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Flank Steak Salad with Roasted Baby Potatoes, Snap Peas, & Hand-Torn Croutons

Salads, DinnersDani ColombattoComment
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I'm starting this week off on a salad note, because I ate my weight in spinach dip, wings, and stuffed mushrooms yesterday. Though, this salad feels less like a salad, and more just like steak, on a bed of greenery, cuddling with crispy potatoes and croutons. 

The flank steak in this salad is so flavorful, with a rosemary-balsamic marinade, cooked to medium-rare, tender goodness. The crisp, sweet snap peas, buttery leeks, and creamy avocado are necessary balancing elements to the richness of the flank steak, and the crunchy, fried-like texture of the potatoes and croutons. A lemony, dijon vinaigrette cuts through with all the brightness, and parmigiano-reggiano sits atop it all as the cheese queen she is. 

This is the lazy-gal's salad dream. It's so hands-off, except for maybe 5 minutes. Make it for a get-together, and be like 75% less stressed. 

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Chicken Enchilada Huevos Rancheros with Garlicky Crispy Kale

BreakfastsDani ColombattoComment
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My favorite weekend sports include farmer's markets, thrifting, and BRUNCH. Benedicts, Bloody Marys, pancakes, burgers, salads, and champagne all living in one place?! It's just everything I want to welcome all the weekend feelings. My parents, too, are big on brunch, and really, it's one of the more important lessons that's been instilled in my life. Ease into your day, have that coffee, watch that tacky morning show for a few, and then when you feel like it, get moving in the kitchen. There are SO many things I love about this dish. First of all, the components are partially make ahead, and what isn't make ahead, is thrown together so fast. Secondly, when I wake up on a weekend morning, possibly after a couple cocktails the night before, all I want is a big 'ol breakfast burrito.

This riff on huevos is inspired by my parents, but with my addition of the chicken and crispy kale. When I told my mom I was making this, her exact reaction was: "Oh my god that sounds so good... Wait, doesn't it weird you out eating the parent and the child together?" Well, when you put it like that...still no. It's delicious, and it all starts with our foundation: the beans. 

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