Monday, March 31, 2014

Guacamole Dip

What goes best with salsa and chips? Guacamole!
Grilling the limes brings out the juice.
Guacamole Dip

2 Tablespoons sweet onion, finely diced
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1 Jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 limes, halved and grilled
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
few drops of hot sauce (I like Cholula)
salt and pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine onion, tomato, Jalapeno, garlic, juice of 1 lime and cumin.
Allow to sit until just before serving.
Add avocados and hot sauce; stir until just combined, you want to keep it chunky. Season with salt and pepper, and check seasonings, add more hot sauce or lime juice if needed.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango

Creamy rice pudding is delicious with fresh, sweet mangos. I prefer it served warm but could also be chilled.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango

1 can coconut milk, (I used Trader Joe's coconut cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup Arborio rice, rinsed
pinch of salt
diced fresh mangos
lightly toasted coconut

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together coconut milk, vanilla, sugar, and water until sugar is dissolved.
Add rice and salt, stirring until comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered.
Stir frequently, about 40 minutes until rice is cooked.
Ladle into serving dishes.
Top with mango and toasted coconut.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fresh Mango Salsa

Mango salsa is so good by itself with some corn chips, over grilled chicken, or fish (like halibut). I was making it to use with the grilled chicken and putting the brakes on everyone wanting to scoop it up with tortilla chips before hand.
Mango Salsa over Grilled Chicken

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
3 Tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup red pepper, diced
1 small Jalapeno, finely diced (ribs and seeds removed if you want it milder)
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

In a bowl combine mango, green onion, red pepper, J
alapeno, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Stir well to combine. Allow to sit for all the flavors to meld. Just before serving add the avocado and stir again.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spicy Blood Mary

On Valentines Day we had a wait at the Portland airport, so we stopped and had a leisurely lunch.
Bake ordered a Bloody Mary and to tell you the truth, I have been obsessing about it since!
It is not about the vodka, for me it is the accouterments. The garnishes of olive, peppers, onions, pickles and any variety of them, along with the spice in the tomato juice.

On a personal note, the Bake has a big birthday today; the world is a little bit brighter and we are a little more blessed with him in it, Happy Birthday to the love of my life. Cheers!
Spicy Bloody Mary

1 1/2 ounces vodka
6 ounces tomato juice
5 drops Cholula sauce
2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 pinch celery salt
1 pinch grated fresh black pepper
1 spritz of lemon juice

for rim: celery salt, black pepper, kosher salt
for garnish: olives, peppers, onions, pickles, lemon, (even cooked shrimp) celery stick

Wet the rim of a glass with a slice of lemon and dip into the seasonings, set aside
Fill a shaker with ice and add tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, celery salt, pepper and lemon juice. Shake well and pour over rimmed glass filled with ice.
Garnish well and add celery stir stick.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Petite Pea and Parmesan Soup

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
To participate in the festivities, we have gone green.
I found this soup on Fine Cooking;
Petite Pea and Parmesan Soup
the fresh Parmesan creates a "creamy" soup.

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups frozen petite peas
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
white truffle oil for garnish, (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and add shallots. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the wine, raise the temp to medium-high heat and cook until wine has almost evaporated.
Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and cover, simmer until potatoes are tender (about 6-8 minutes). Add the peas, cover and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and and blend in blender or immersion blender until smooth. Place soup back over medium-low heat; add Parmesan, 1 Tablespoon butter, and pepper, stirring until melted.
Serve and drizzle with truffle oil, if desired

Friday, March 14, 2014

Grilled Baby Bell Peppers

A great side dish for dinner, picnic, or barbecues.
Grilled Baby Bell Peppers

1 pound of baby bell peppers
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8th teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
2 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon olive oil

In a large bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper flakes. Add the bell peppers to the bowl and coat the peppers well.

Heat grill pan over high heat and grill peppers, turning as they become charred.
Remove peppers and place back into bowl.
Add additional olive oil, and mint; stir until combined. Place peppers on serving plate and top with feta cheese.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cauliflower Steaks

Here is another dish for Meatless Monday, these "steaks" along with a salad and dinner is complete.
Cauliflower Steaks

1 head of cauliflower
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Alfie's seasoning
juice of half lemon
2 Tablespoons Parmesan, grated
Fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 375F.

Wash the cauliflower and remove the outer leaves. Trim the base so that it is level.
Cut the cauliflower in half from top to bottom; then cut those halves into thirds keeping the stem intact.

Drizzle olive oil over a foil lined baking sheet. Arrange the cauliflower steaks in a single layer and sprinkle with Alfie's seasoning.
Bake for 15 minutes, (they should be browned) and then turn with a large spatula. Bake another 15 minutes, check to see that the cauliflower has caramelized and is tender.
Squeeze lemon over top and sprinkle with Parmesan, cook another 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and top cauliflower with basil.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sriracha Shrimp

Spicy shrimp can be served thread onto skewers, on top of pasta, or salad. These were served with individual picks as an appetizer.
Sriracha Shrimp

3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 Tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, vinegar, soy sauce, anchovy paste, garlic, and sriracha until well combined. Set aside 1/4 of sauce.

Add the shrimp and marinate an hour.

Heat a grill pan over high heat and grill shrimp about 1 minute on each side.
Remove shrimp to serving dish. Drizzle with remaining sauce and sprinkle with onions.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Beet "Tartare"

I was looking through Saveur magazine and I saw beef tartare, and thought, I wonder if I could do a take on that using beets? When I went back to look at the recipe with my glasses on, it said BEET. So here is the recipe served on individual endive spears.
I think in the future, I would try a dab of goat cheese in place of the sour cream.

Beet "Tartare"
4 medium beets, roasted and peeled
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
zest of 2 oranges
endive spears
1/4 cup sour cream
a few cilantro leaves

Coarsely chop beets and add to food processor; pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.
Transfer beets to a bowl. Stir in vinegar, 1/2 of orange zest and salt and pepper.
Serve on endive leaves with a dab of sour cream, a cilantro leaf, and sprinkle with remaining orange zest.