Tag Archives: Flavors

Fresh Salsa

Summer and roadside produce stands seems to hand in hand. Local farmers have plentiful bounties and are always willing to sell straight to the customer ! We all love the idea of a bargain, but when I read the sign ” all local organic produce” , “fresh herbs”  and “plum tomatoes” I had to stop!

For days  I’d been thinking on how to vamp up the flavor of our grilled chicken breast  without the use of a grilling sauce  and there it was: fresh tomatoes, herbs, fresh peppers  and spring (green onions). Mix up, serve as a dipping side and yum, yum, yum!

The man had harvested the goods that same morning. Oh what a treat it was… the freshest, truest flavor of salsa I’ve ever had. It’s simple, has 4 ingredients and is chock full of flavor. Careful handling the Jalapeno  , it could irritate sensitive skins! The actual heat of the pepper is concentrated in the seeds and  white stuffs inside the pepper, so discard if you like less heat, or leave it all in for a fiesta in your mouth. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 red plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeno pepper, finely chopped ( leave seeds and white out for less heat)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Mix the tomatoes and shallots in a bowl, toss in the cilantro and salt. Mix in jalapeno to taste. Serve immediately. This salsa can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Guacamole

guac

How we love guacamole! But how do we not love the store-bought weird grey- looking stuff! Our quest for the perfect guacamole started a couple of years ago thanks to the generosity ( and overstock) of a neighbors guacamole tree. Although avocados might have a bad rap or being fatty,  they contain 0 trans fats and do contain 20 vitamins a a cargo load of minerals such as potassium.  In our search for the perfect flavor we discovered a couple of useful facts: you MUST use lime, lemons an guacamole do not jive, and second: you must use fresh peppers. Use serrano peppers if you prefer mild, use jalapenos is you prefer a bit more spice.  ENJOY!

 

Ingredients: (for 2 cups)

2 large ripe avocados
3 firm medium tomatoes, diced
3 jalapenos or Serrano peppers, finely chopped
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 green onion with the stalk, chopped
the juice of 1/2 or 1 lime
salt to taste

Cut the avocados in half, remove the seeds. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix. Place the diced tomatoes and onions into the bowl, mix well and add jalapenos and salt to taste, depending on the desired spiciness. Toss all the ingredients together evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend. Taste for salt and spiciness. As with all salsas, if too mild add more peppers; if too spicy, add more tomatoes

Use as a dip or as a condiment for fajitas and grilled meats.

Bolognese Sauce (Tomato & Meat)

 

It’s sooooo cold! How about something simple, hearty and simply delicious? Taking a step back on memory lane ,I remember my dearest Grandma making the best of what she had, Italian style. So it was customary for her to make spaghetti and meatballs. But if time was short and appetites were calling for food, she would make this delicious Bolognese sauce and serve on top of pasta, polenta or potatoes. The result : full tummies and warm hearts.  We also tried the recipe with ground turkey and it was just as fabulous! Enjoy

Ingredients: (for 6 cups of sauce)

2 lbs fresh Roma tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 lb lean ground meat
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbls olive oil
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tsp chopped basil
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
dash of sugar
1 Tbls balsamic vinegar

Heat the olive in a sauce pot, incorporate the garlic and let cook for 15 to 20 seconds; quickly add the onions and stir , let cook till translucent. Incorporate meat, cook till browned, stirring frequently. Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Let mixture come to a boil, then reduce heat and add the herbs, salt & pepper to taste. Add the sugar and the vinegar and stir. Let cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, the flavors will be well blended and the sugar will reduce the acidity of the sauce. Serve over your favorite pasta or over polenta or potatoes for a gluten free dish. Add fresh grated Pecorino Romano as a topping and enjoy!.

California Fresh Salsa


What to spice it up without adding mega-calories? This salsa will definitely do it! If you never made salsa, don’t worry :it’s quick and easy and has very few ingredients. Take your time to make your own salsa it is really worth it, The flavors exude to compliment the best of fire-roasted chicken, steak or mahi-mahi

This Recipe was given to us by “MasterChef RoD” the definite king  of spicy chiles.  Thank you oh great master of spice for showing us the right way to spice!

Ingredients:( for one cup of salsa)
2 tomatoes, peeled
1 jalapeno with seeds
1 green onion white and green parts
4 or 5 stalks cilantro
1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic ( the fresher the better)
1 pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp lime juice

Chop all ingredients into 1/4 inch bits. Mix in a large bowl and let cool in refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Serve at once, since it is not recommended to save. Those who like it hot, add two Thai-Sri Lanka peppers per tomato. Serve with salt free blue corn chips or as a compliment to fire roasted meats. Enjoy!

Ricotta and Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Pie

 

This is what comfort food is all about! In this pie, ricotta combines with spinach and tasty sun-dried tomatoes to create a wonderful  crowd-pleaser. Great for brunch, lunch , the holidays, or for a delectable meat-free dinner.  It’s best make to make 2 together. Eat one for dinner and slice a piece for lunch . The flavors combine and taste even better the next day!!

Ingredients: (For each 8 inch pie)

1 pie crust (top and bottom)
2 cups fresh ricotta
1 cup fresh spinach, blanched or 1 cup frozen ( defrost in microwave, pour out excess liquid)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned
1 chopped shallot
2 Tbls oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pepper & salt to taste
1 beaten egg (to use as egg-wash), replace with milk for egg-free

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté the shallots, turn the heat off and in the same pan incorporate the spinach, sun dried tomatoes and the nutmeg. Mix in the grated cheese and the ricotta. Taste for salt & pepper.

Spoon the mixture in the pie crust, put on top crust. Seal the sides, prick the top with a fork. Paint with the beaten egg and cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the piecrust is cooked. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve. This pie is also great cold.