Tag Archives: avocado

Honduras…

Saturday, March 16 –

For this dinner we had: BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (wine), Mistress Whiskey (wine), Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (baleadas), BabyBear, GrandpaBear, LittleBigBrother, ChinUp (mango, avocado photosalsa and chips), and MyBuddy (banana milkshakes). Later in the evening we also had LightsOn and WingWoman show up to hang out and drink some wine.

I started by adding oil to a pan and cooking the onion and bell pepper until they were just starting to brown. Then I added the garlic and let that heat up. While the veggies were cooking on the stove I added the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot. Once the veggies were done I added them in, stirred to mix, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. I did not use the sherry and I substituted a seeded habanero for the yellow pepper, which made it really, really spicy. Almost too spicy, really (which is really weird for me to say). After a few hours I blended the soup with an immersion blender and let it continue to simmer until everyone was ready to eat.

The sweet potato I substituted for a yam because I like their flavor better. Steamed, drained, crisped in hot oil, then drained. Put on a bed of baby arugula (which is what I had in the fridge) and feta, then tossed. I added the dressing in on top, made exactly as the recipe says, and gave that a good toss too.

ChinUp and MyBuddy had the salsa and chips out. Mr. Hero made the baleadas with all the toppings (basically tacos on soft corn tortillas), including beef, beans, onion, cheese, sour cream, and avocado. The wine was flowing freely, and dinner was served!

The soup was ok. I think I would have liked it better unblended. It was spicy but not terribly flavorful. Maybe it needed some ham or something to go with it? I’m not sure. The salad was good, the dressing was tangy and delightful. The beleadas were good and a great compliment to the other dishes. And the mango, avocado salsa was a perfect topping to chips and to all the rest of the food. Last we get to the milkshakes. They were good… and then they added rum. Banana rum milkshakes are pretty darn delicious. And dangerous, because you don’t really notice the rum!

Honduras
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://sidewalkmystic.com)

Bahia Black Bean Soup

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic minced garlic cloves
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 C stock
  • 1 1/2 t. oregano
  • 1 yellow chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (brave souls leave the seeds)
  • 1 15-oz can whole tomatoes with liquid or 18-oz can sauce
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed for juice (critical)
  • 1/4 c. sherry (I use red wine)
  • fresh cilantro (1 1/2 t. if fresh isn’t available)

Directions:  [The website author says: my adjustments to the recipe include adding a smoked ham hock for flavor.  As well, if you find the soup too heavily favored by the tomatoes, merely back down on the amount of tomato and increase the stock proportionately]. Saute onion; bell pepper and garlic in oil until onion is translucent. Add beans, stock and oregano. Heat thoroughly. Seed and chop yellow and jalapeno chilies and put into blender. Add lime juice and tomato. Puree to finely mince the chilies. Add black bean mixture to blender (in batches) and puree. When everything is pureed, return it to the soup pot. Simmer at least 1.5 hours. Add wine and fresh cilantro to taste.

Garnishes: Rice, grated cheeses, diced onion, salsa, sour cream, plain yogurt, grilled sausages.

Mixed Greens with Sweet Potatoes and Feta Cheese

  • ¾ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ to ½ inch dice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (don’t pinch; buy the top shelf stuff)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ t of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ C of buttermilk (you can use regular milk; just let it stand with a T of regular vinegar in it)
  • 8-10 oz of fresh greens (we use spinach and escarole – small slices of red cabbage add to the esthetic appeal)
  • 4 oz fresh feta cheese (I have used blue cheese when I make a fresh blue cheese dressing to accompany the salad)

Directions:  Steam the sweet potato for 5-8 minutes.  Just tender.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Get the steamed potatoes very dry. Heat 2 t of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes, shaking pan often for 15 minutes.  Remove when crisp and drain again on paper towels.  Mix together the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt pepper, and remaining olive oil and buttermilk.  Whisk in a blender (start to drool). Place greens and cheese in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing.  Top the salad with the sweet potatoes, serve, and call me.  Serve with tortillas.


Grenada…

Monday, January 14 –

This dinner definitely won a place in my top ten dinners from this project. BestestFianceEver even agreed with me, which makes it super, extra delicious times two. If you like pork loin, you will love this recipe.photo(12)

I started with the pork roasting part of the recipe by chopping the shallots, dumping them into a mixing bowl, then throwing all of the spices on top. I put the two tenderloins (that came in one 2-3/4 pound package) into the bowl and moved them around to coat with the mixture. Most everything stuck to them without much effort. Then I put the spiced pork onto a roasting rack and put it in the oven at 450*.

Next was the sauce – mince the ginger and throw it all into a pan, let simmer. I let it simmer almost the whole time the pork was baking so that it was nice and gingery.

Finally, the salad. I threw the black beans and frozen corn into a colander and rinsed it all at the same time. Then the corn and black beans were put into a mixing bowl and I added the rest of the recipe, mixing well.

For plate presentation I put a pile of spinach leaves (torn into more bite-sized pieces) in the middle, scooped the salad on top, placed slices of avocado onto the top of the salad, then the sliced pork. It did take longer for the pork to reach 155* in the middle than the recipe said, so it is important to check it before you cut into it. Also, remember to let your cooked meat rest for a few minutes so that the juices all stay inside the meat. Slice, then serve. Drizzled over the top of the whole thing was the orange-ginger sauce. Dinner was served!

The meat was juicy, the sauce was perfectly gingery, the salad was a nice counter flavor – all in all it was amazing. I will be making this dinner and variations of it much more often now. Please, do try this at home!

Grenada
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Roast Pork with Black Bean, Heart of Palm, and Corn Salad

Roast Pork:

  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 3/4-pound pork tenderloins

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Also:

  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced crosswise
  • Minced fresh parsley

Black Bean, Heart of Palm, and Corn Salad:

  • 1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed, drained
  • 1 7 1/2-ounce can hearts of palm, drained, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

METHOD / DIRECTIONS:

For Roast Pork: Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine shallots, bay leaves, salt, allspice and ginger in small bowl. Add generous amount of pepper. Rub mixture into pork. Set on rack in roasting pan, Roast pork until thermometer inserted into centers registers 150°F., about 25 minutes. Cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Bring pork to room temperature before serving.)

For Sauce: Combine first 6 ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Season with pepper. Simmer until slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For Salad: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Salad can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Line platter with spinach. Mound black bean salad in center. Slice pork. Alternate pork and avocado slices around salad. Discard bay leaves from sauce and drizzle sauce over pork and avocado. Sprinkle with parsley.


Ecuador…

Friday, August 10 –

One more for today…

This dinner was a little smaller, but had a whole lot more flavor. Holy wow, one of the recipes from this dinner rocked my world. We were only five for this dinner: Bestie Extraordinaire, BestestEverFiance, Sir VJ, and RubsWithLove. Sir VJ and RubsWithLove brought marinaded shrimp, rice, sauce, and avocado puree. I made slow cooked lamb shanks and mango, avocado, and arugula salad. BestestEverFiance helped to make the magic happen and helped do all of the dishes, like always.

I made the recipes below exactly as they are written. I chose to bake the shanks in the oven in a baking dish covered with foil. It only took about two hours total for them to be fall-off-the-bone done.

The lamb was tender but a little bit oily for my tastes. The sauce that went with it was a perfect level of flavor. The salad was really good, and I will definitely be making it again. The shrimp with the sauce and the rice and the avocado was so good that thinking about it makes me want more for dinner tonight. And then I tasted the shrimp by itself and realized that it was possibly one of the best shrimp flavors I have EVER had. If you like shrimp, steal this recipe and go home and make it. You will not be disappointed!

Ecuador
(Recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.food.com)

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks (Seco De Chivo)

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 24 ounces beer (or 12 ounces beer & 12 ounces water)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves , washed well
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar (I use brown sugar Splenda)
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 stalk celery
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

Directions:

1    Brown meat and onion in olive oil. Remove meat to slow cooker or heavy dutch oven.

2    Place onion, tomatoes, cilantro, carrot, celery, garlic, brown sugar, ketchup, seasonings & beer in food processor. Process until everything is thick puree consistency.

3    Pour beer mixture over the lamb and cook at low heat for 2-3 hours if stove-top. If you are using the oven, 325 degrees for 2-3 hours. If using a crockpot, cook on low for 4-6 hours, depending on size of the shanks.

Mango, Avocado and Arugula Salad

Spicy orange vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice , about 1/2 orange
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice , about 1/2 lime
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 red chili peppers or 1 hot pepper , sliced
  • salt and pepper

Salad

  • 1/2 red onion , sliced
  • 6 cups arugula leaves
  • 1 mango , peeled and cut into long slices
  • 1 avocado , peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions:

1    Combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a jar, close it tight and shake until the ingredients are well mixed.

2    Soak the onion slices in warm water with a dash of salt and 1 tbs lime juice for about 10 minutes.

3    Rinse and drain the onions slices.

4    Toss the arugula leaves with half of the vinaigrette.

5    Add the avocado slices, mango slices and onion slices to the arugula mix, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top.

6    Serve immediately.

More Ecuador Recipes

Camarones Guayaquil:

  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

Directions: 1 Mix the rum, honey and ginger together and pour over the shrimp. 2 Marinate for two hours. 3 Thread shrimps onto skewers so they remain flat and grill over hot coals turning and brushing with the remaining marinade until just done (about three minutes). 4 You can also saute the shrimps in a saute pan over medium high heat, pouring some of the marinade over the cooking shrimp.

Aji (Ecuadorean Hot Sauce):

  • 4 hot red peppers (aji peppers or similar small hot peppers)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Directions: 1 Combine the water, peppers and garlic in the blender and blend well. 2 Strain the liquid into a bowl and discard any solids. 3 Add the balance of the ingredients and mix well. {I added a smidgen of habenero too.}


Dominica…

Monday, July 23 –

I swear I’m trying to not fall behind on these posts… life keeps sweeping me away! This post was actually cooked last week. Thank you to RubsWithLove (strawberry cream pie), Mistress Whiskey (salad and wine), Bestie Extraordinaire (salad and wine), Wonderful Boyfriend, and NewOrleans (sinful mango dessert) for coming to this dinner and bringing wonderful dishes.

I decided to make this recipe by cooking the rice in a rice-cooker and cooking the seafood separately. This way I didn’t have to worry about over-cooking shrimp, which is gross. So into the pan went double the amounts of herbs and spices, double the amount of tomato paste, and triple the garlic. I let that warm up and then I put three pounds of shrimp in. I topped the mix off with veggie broth until it was sauce-like instead of paste-like. In next went the veggies, at about 1.5 times the amounts called for originally. I let that simmer until the shrimp were just barely done. I put the rice into a dish to serve, the shrimp mix into another dish, the olives into a dish, the avocados into a dish, and then I put lump crab meat into the final dish.

Onto our plates went the salad and dressing and then the rice and shrimp with whatever toppings sounded good to people. (How could you not want crab meat, after all?) The dinner was a perfect blend of spice, flavor, and texture. I likened it to etouffee at the time, and most everyone seemed to agree that was a close relation to this dish. I highly recommend it, and will look forward to making it again soon.

Our newest blog guest decided to take a trip to the store and buy something that inspired him. (Being a chef in real life has creativity perks that most people who love food envy.) He made a “coconut caramel cream mango flambe” and it was OUT OF CONTROL delicious. There is no photo of it, mostly because it disappeared so quickly into our bellies and also because it was one of those dishes that tasted amazing but didn’t look very pretty. I highly recommend finding a friend that likes to make food like this (unless you are trying to diet, in which case, run very, very far away!). Yum for all the dishes we ate this night!

Dominica
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Asopao de Mariscos (spiced shrimp with rice)

  •     2 lbs of shrimp, crab or lobster
  •     1 lemon (may be omitted)
  •     2 1/2 cups of rice
  •     3/4 gallon of water
  •     5 tablespoons oil
  •     4 tablespoons tomato paste
  •    1/4 cup chopped green peppers
  •     1 pinch oregano
  •     1 teaspoon mashed garlic
  •     1 pinch black pepper
  •     1/8 cup chopped seedless olives
  •     1/4 cup chopped celery
  •     1 spoon finely chopped parsley
  •     1 spoon finely chopped coriander
  •     1/2 spoon of thyme leaves
  •     1 cube of chicken stock
  •     Salt

METHOD / DIRECTIONS:

In an iron pot heat the oil (reserve 2 spoons of oil).  Add the herbs, olives, spices, tomato paste, peppers, garlic and salt. Add the shrimps and stir (be careful with hot oil splattering). Cover and wait two minutes, then stir again. Add the remaining water and bring to a boil. Add all remaining ingredients (including the rice). Stir regularly to avoid excessive sticking. Let 3/4 of the water evaporate, by then a grain of rice should be about 3 times its original size. Adjust salt to taste. Serve while hot.

RECIPE NOTES: Serve with a few slices of avocados or tostones.


Cuba…

Monday, June 18 –

This week’s dinner grew into quite the kitchen fiasco in the best sort of way. We had: Wonderful Boyfriend, Bestie Extraordinaire, Mistress Whiskey, Sassy Desserts, and our newest blog participant, BeerTender. Wonderful Boyfriend was in charge of the mountain of dishes like always. Bestie Extraordinaire made a shrimp and scallop dish. Sassy Desserts brought wine and made a bread pudding with rum sauce. And BeerTender brought shots of tequila and mixed drinks called Hemingway Daiquiris aka “Purple Drink”. And I made spicy Cuban mojo chicken with mango-avocado salsa.

This recipe seems like it has a lot of steps, but it doesn’t really. I started with putting all of the ingredients for the marinade into the food processor and made sure it was good and blended. Then I dumped it over the chicken and let it sit while I waited for everyone to show up. I doubled the marinade recipe and put it over six chicken breasts. There was plenty of marinade to soak them in. Then I put all of the liquids into the pan for the sauce, doubling them as well and let it simmer down. Once it had reduced down to a syrupy texture I added the diced butter and stirred until it was smooth and thick. I moved the pan to the back of the stove and just let it sit until I was done.

At this point people had started to show up – BeerTender was making simple syrup for the drinks (half sugar, half water, simmer down to a thicker texture) and Sassy Desserts was starting on the bread pudding. I got the chicken breasts onto medium-high heat to slightly brown on both sides. Then I put them into the oven like the recipe says. After the time the recipe calls for, the breasts were still raw in the middle. So I covered the pan with foil and put them back into the oven for another ten minutes. After that, voila! They were done. Onto the plate with sauce over the top, then mango, avocado, and cilantro.

During the middle of all of this cooking I wandered down to Bestie Extraordinaire’s kitchen to see how his recipe was going. Apparently he took great liberties with the recipe and added wonderful things like bell peppers of several colors, scallops, lots of garlic, a jalapeno, and a little more onion. It smelled heavenly when I walked in, that’s for sure. He said that he had tried to follow what he knew that we loved to eat and that meant spicing it up a little lot.

Once everything was dished up, the smells were mouth-watering. I’d have to say that I cooked the chicken just a little too long but the sauce more than made up for it. It was sweet/salty/slightly spicy and perfect with the mango and avocado. The rice was the perfect side with the shrimp and scallops perfectly cooked. The tequila went down smooth (like it usually does) and the Hemingway daiquiris were sweet and strong.

As the dishes were being cleared Sassy Desserts and I made the rum sauce and pulled the bread pudding from the oven. Even though we didn’t cook it as long as the recipe called for it was still starting to burn on the bottom. So if you happen to use this recipe, watch your cooking time! The pudding was rich, decadent, and the lemon was just the right brightness to the sauce to keep it from being too sticky sweet.

All in all the dinner was a success. A delicious, plate-clearing success. I feel better about this project again. Thanks to everyone that joined us last night! Only two more C countries left to go!

Cuba
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: bestcubanrecipes.blogspot.com, www.tasteofcuba.com, and www.allrecipes.com)

Spicy Cuban Mojo Chicken with Mango-Avocado Salsa

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 teaspoons orange juice
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 avocado
  • chopped fresh cilantro to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste

Directions:     Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Place the cumin seeds, garlic, chile pepper, salt, olive oil, orange juice, and lemon juice into the bowl of a blender; grind to a coarse paste. Toss the chicken with the marinade, then place into the refrigerator, and allow to marinate for about 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned. Place into the oven, and cook until the juices run clear, about 8 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lime zest, honey, and soy sauce in a skillet over medium-high heat. Simmer until the orange juice has reduced to 1/3 of original volume and is beginning to get thick and syrupy. Once thick, remove from heat, and whisk in the butter pieces one at a time until melted; set aside.

To serve, place chicken on the plate and sprinkle with mango and avocado. Drizzle with the sauce, and garnish with cilantro and parsley.

Cuban Shrimp Casserole Recipe – Caserola de Camarones Enchilados

  • 2 cups shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

Directions:  Saute the onion, garlic and green pepper in the butter. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper. Stir in the canned tomatoes. Add the cooked rice. Place in casserole dish and bake at 375oF for 30 minutes.

Cuban Bread Pudding (Pudin de Pan)

  • 1 loaf Cuban bread
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter (melted)
  • 2 tspn dark rum
  • 2 tspn vino seco (dry white wine)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 grated peel of lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the milk, sugar, vanilla extract, butter, cinnamon, rum, wine, lemon peel and salt. Cut the bread into one inch small pieces. Place bread pieces into bowl and mix well with an electric mixer. Place raisins into mix and stir with a spoon. You may use a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery if Cuban bread is not available. Make sure the bread is fresh.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter bottom of baking dish and place mix in the dish. Bake for 1 hour or until medium golden brown. Place toothpick inside several places of dish to make sure it is done. Cut into small slices. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and serve warm.


Columbia… {potluck!}

Saturday, May 12 –

It was so beautiful outside this weekend that we finally got to have a potluck on the back deck. That’s an instant win, if you ask me. Plus we had ZombieMode (guacamole and chips), Bestie Extraordinaire (black bean soup with avocado cumin cream and plantains), CurlyCue (wine), Hot Momma (mojitos), RubsWithLove (wine), Sir VJ (seared beef with onion and tomato stew), and I made shrimp tacos with chipotle coleslaw.

The shrimp tacos with chipotle coleslaw were spicy and delicious. The shrimp were soft and firm, the coleslaw crunchy and spicy, all wrapped in freshly made tortillas from the market down the street. Making this recipe was incredibly easy. If you like shrimp tacos that are spicy, this is definitely a good recipe for you! The black bean soup with avocado cumin cream and plantains served over rice was warm, filling, and a great combination of flavors. The mojitos were perfect for the hot weather, made with crushed raspberries for extra summer-flavor kick. I didn’t get a chance to try the beef with the stew thanks to my crohn’s, but it disappeared very quickly so I’m going to assume it was amazing. It certainly smelled mouthwatering!

The next bunch of dinners are back to the regular dinner format (I cook and guests bring drinks). We don’t have another potluck until we hit the D countries. And… we are almost to a year of doing this! How amazing is that? Come July, this adventure will officially be almost a quarter of the way over. That’s just crazy to think about. And I still love it! (And my honey still let’s me get crazy with our dinners!)

{shrimp tacos with chipotle coleslaw and black beans with avocado cumin cream and plantains}

{guacamole}

{chipotle coleslaw}

{onion and tomato stew with seared beef}

Columbia
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.mycolombianrecipes.com – the other two recipes are made by yours truly!)

Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Slaw

  • 24 medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Chipotle Slaw

  • 3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons chipotle pepper
  • Salt

Directions

1. To make the slaw: In a medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, heavy cream, chipotle pepper and salt.

2. Add the cabbage, carrots and onions to the mayo mixture and mix well. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl mix the cumin, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.

4. Place the shrimp in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until the shrimp are cooked.

5. To serve, spoon chipotle slaw on the tortilla, then top with shrimp and fresh cilantro.

Guacamole

  •     3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
  •     1 lime, juiced
  •     1 teaspoon garlic salt
  •     1/2 cup diced onion
  •     2 handfuls chopped fresh cilantro
  •     2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  •     4 cloves minced garlic
  •     pepper, to taste
  •     1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions: Hand smash the avocado in a bowl, leaving some chunks for scooping. Mix in the lime juice. Then add finely diced onion and tomato. Mix in the chopped cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper (and cayenne if you’re using it). Voila!

Raspberry Mojitos

  • 1 wedge of lime
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 4 raspberries
  • 2 oz. white Rum
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • ice

Directions: Place the mint leaves and raspberries into a glass and squeeze the juice from a wedge of lime over it. Gently smash the mint and raspberries into the lime juice with a muddler or the top tip of a wooden spoon. Add ice then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda.


Chile… {potluck!}

Saturday, April 28 –

Chile was done as a potluck because there were too many delicious recipes to even begin to only choose one. So there were twelve of us total for this dinner, and everyone brought something to eat and/or drink: ZombieMode (aka Wonderful Boyfriend) {prosciutto wrapped kiwi and cucumber}, Roommate Extraordinaire {rabbit in orange sauce}, Mr. Hero {cilantro chicken}, BabyBear, MoneyShot {naan}, SlotMachine {wine}, WingWoman {salmon with lemon butter sauce}, LightsOn {fish with mango habanero sauce and corn salsa}, RubsWithLove {sangria}, Ser VJ {Chilean sea bass ceviche}, SpicyLady {salsa and chips}, and me {pork empanadas and lemon dill yogurt sauce}.

The prosciutto wrapped kiwi and cucumber was an interesting combination of flavors, slightly salty with the sweet and crunchy textures in the middle. I’m not sure I’d chose to make them again, but they were fun to try. The rabbit in orange sauce was rich, sinful, and delicious. The rabbit was salty but tender and the sauce was a creamy gravy with orange tones. While he was making it our whole house smelled amazing and it didn’t disappoint when it was done. The cilantro chicken is a dish I would make for dinner any time. The chicken was tender, the sauce was the happy medium between thick and thin – just gooey enough to want to smack your lips while you’re eating it. So were the salmon, corn salsa, and the fish with mango habanero sauce. The salmon was buttery and flaky. The fish with mango habanero sauce was surprisingly spicy (in a good way) but if you weren’t ready for it the sauce probably would have been too much. The corn was a good cut to the sweet and hot flavors. The sangria was sweet with a bite at the end – just the way I hope sangria will be every time. The ceviche was ridiculously good. The fish was buttery with buttery avocado with hints of other veggies and flavors. The homemade salsa was super spicy but I kept going back for more. My empanadas were on the dry side but the flavors were ok. If I had to do it over again I would slow cook the pork and cook them for slightly less time. Once I had made the yogurt sauce to go with them they were much better.

At the end of the evening, Sir VJ inspired everyone to try a Chilean specialty – tiger’s milk. This is where you take vodka and the juice from the ceviche and you make a shot out of it (picture is below). I didn’t work up the courage to try it, but they kept going back for more so it couldn’t have been too awful!

I know the photos below don’t do this dinner justice, but I was trying to take them quickly before everything was devoured! The next two dinners will also be potlucks: China (Fri. 5/4) and Columbia (Sat. 5/12). So stay tuned for more amazing dishes!

{Chilean sea bass ceviche}

{tiger’s milk – vodka with ceviche juice}

{salmon with lemon butter sauce}

{corn salsa}

{rabbit in orange sauce}

{mango habanero sauce}

{spicy salsa}

{cilantro chicken}

{pork empanadas}

{prosciutto wrapped kiwi and cucumber}

Chile

(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.foodnetwork.com and chileanrecipe.com)

Piggy Pie Spicy Pork Empanadas

Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 1/3-inch medallions
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 6 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup masa harina (cornmeal)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick)unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

For filling: Heat oil in large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add pork, serrano, chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, cinnamon, and allspice to the skillet and stir for 3 minutes. Add raisins and lime juice, bring to a boil and cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Mix in the almonds and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

For dough: Butter 2 large baking sheets. Mix flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in melted butter. Whisk water and 1 egg in a small bowl to blend. Add to flour mixture; knead in bowl until smooth pliable dough forms, about 2 minutes. Working with half of dough at a time, roll out on floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out rounds. Reroll scraps and cut out additional rounds for a total of 12 rounds per dough half. Whisk remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Place 1 tablespoon filling in center of each dough round. Lightly brush edges with egg. Fold dough over, pressing edges with fork to seal. Place on prepared baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap; chill. Note: dough can be made 1 day ahead.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush empanadas with beaten egg. Bake until light golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Kiwi-on-a-Stick

  • 4 large kiwi fruit,peeled
  • 1 small diameter cucumber (yield 12 slices) washed with end removed
  • 3 oz. Proscuitto, 6thin slices, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 garlic powder
  • 12 short 5 or 6-inch skewers

Methods:

1. Stroke kiwi fruit and cucumber lengthwise with fork to decorate. Carefully slice in slices of equal thickness. Kiwi should yield 6 slices each, cucumber 12 slices.

2. Stack one slice of cucumber in between two slices of kiwi fruit, matching diameter of slices. Carefully wrap each kiwi stack with a half-slice of proscuitto and mount diagonally on the tip of a skewer. Proceed with remaining skewers.

3. Brush all with combined lemon juice and garlic powder mixture and allow to chill, covered, until ready to serve.