Tag Archives: cilantro

Egypt…

Wednesday, August 15 –

Last week’s dinner was a little painful, mostly because I was frying food and it felt like it was 90* outside. Ugh. But the dinner and the company more than made up for the torture in the kitchen. It was BestestEverFiance, Bestie Extraordinaire (who brought ciders and pita to share), and LittleLamb (one of my friends that I’ve known the longest that should get a huge kick out of that name).

I started this off by mixing the lamb with the onion and spices, letting it sit while I mixed the falafel mixture. Then I mixed the tzatziki mixture and put it in the fridge to stay cold. Once everything was prepped, I started frying the falafels. I chopped the chickpeas with a pastry cutter, so there were bigger chunks of chickpeas in the patties. But I tasted them as they were done frying and they still tasted like the falafel I was hoping to have. Bestie Extraordinaire helped to make a tomato/basil salad and formed the meat patties for me. The lamb patties went into the same pan that I cooked the falafel in. We toasted some pita in the oven and then brought everything outside to serve on the picnic table we have to enjoy the nice weather.

The falafel was perfectly browned, nicely seasoned, and had great flavor. They disappeared really, really quickly. The kefta were ok, in my opinion, but didn’t knock my socks off. I’ve definitely done better work with lamb before. I would have wanted more seasoning in them and a bbq flavor instead, if I made them again. The tzatziki was cold and delicious on everything we ate. The tomato/basil salad was a perfect addition to break up the fried flavors. And pita is always a good decision.

 

Egypt
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com and www.allrecipes.com)

Kefta (Middle Eastern spiced meatballs)

  •     Ground lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two — 2 pounds
  •     Onion, minced — 1
  •     Fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped — 1/2 bunch
  •     Ground cumin — 1 tablespoon
  •     Cinnamon — 2 teaspoons
  •     Allspice (optional) — 1 teaspoon
  •     Salt and pepper — to season
  •     Oil — 1/4 cup

Method:

Place the ground beef or lamb, onion, herbs, spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and knead together well. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to mingle and make the meat easier to handle.

Form the meat mixture into balls, patties or ovals the size of a small egg.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame and, working in batches, sauté the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through. Browned meatballs can also be finished in a 350ºF oven.

Serve as is or in pita bread as a sandwich with tzatziki sauce.

Variations:

  1.     Keftedes (Greece): add some breadcrumbs and a little red wine to the meat mixture.
  2.     Köfte (Turkey): add some breadcrumbs and form the meat into a sausage shape on skewers. Oil the meat well and grill over hot coals.
  3.     Before frying, you can roll the kefta in some flour and shake off the extra to help them brown.
  4.     Experiment with different seasonings–coriander, cayenne, sesame seeds.

Falafels

  •     1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and mashed with fork
  •     3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 small unpeeled red potato, shredded
  •     1/4 cup diced red onion
  •     2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •     1 egg
  •     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  •     1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •     1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •     1/4 teaspoon salt
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 cup canola oil for frying

Directions:

Combine chickpeas, 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, red potato, red onion, garlic, egg, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cilantro, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl.

Form mixture into 2-inch patties. Place 1/4 cup panko crumbs in a shallow bowl. Gently press patties into the crumbs to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Fry patties in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Set patties aside.

Tzatziki Sauce

  •     8 ounces plain yogurt
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  •     3 cloves pressed garlic
Advertisements

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.}


Dominican Republic…

Saturday, August 4 –

I’m back to playing catch-up again. Please forgive the length between posts. Summer is crazy for us right now and I’m trying the best I can to keep these caught up.

This dinner was another potluck. We had: ChinUp and MyBuddy bring coleslaw and a coconut pudding, SlotMachine helped provide chips and guacamole, Bestie Extraordinaire made a pork roast with lamb sausage and veggie dish, GingerNuts and NoPoots brought a red bean and veggie stew type dish and mojitos, BestestEverFiance made a sweet corn rice dish, and I made two different roast chicken dishes and more mojitos. Last minute we also had DangerD and SecondMomma show up to join us for the party. NoPoots also brought her kids with her this time, and while they didn’t try the food, they still hung out with us and had a great time, so I feel like they should get complimentary blog names: MiniSass and MiniSweets.

While researching these recipes I noticed that jerk chicken and lemon/garlic chicken were both very common flavors – so I decided to do both. I took 10 chicken legs and divided them into two bowls. I poured on a store-bought jerk sauce on one and a lemon/garlic sauce on the other. I happened to use the Safeway brand, and it worked really well. I didn’t add any of the other stuff to the sauce, I just simply poured it straight from the bottles and let it sit in the fridge for about two hours.

Into the two baking dishes went the sweet potatoes, pineapples, and carrots. Then I set the chicken legs over the top, poured the sauce over the whole thing, and put them both into the oven (uncovered). I roasted them for the 30 minutes the recipe suggests and they weren’t quite done. So I put them back in for probably another 10 minutes and they measured correctly on a thermometer and looked cooked when I cut into them.

The jerk chicken was only slightly spicy but had good flavor. The lemon/garlic chicken was good, but fairly ordinary. The veggies that roasted under them were absolutely divine, and I will make chicken again this way just so I can indulge in the sweet potatoes and pineapple that were cooked this way. The carrot and cabbage coleslaw was a perfect, crisp cut to the sauces. I really, really liked the mix of the coleslaw with the bites of other food. The red bean and veggie dish was dangerously good. I could have settled down with a dish of that in front of a fire on a rainy night and been very satisfied. The corn and rice dish was perfect to scoop up all the sauces with. And the pork/lamb dish was heavy but good. On top of everything were plenty of mojitos, which is always a good plan for me!

Dominican Republic
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.dominicancooking.com)

Chicken with Lemon and Garlic Sauce

  • 6 chicken legs, skinned, cleaned of fat and divided into halves
  • 1 1/2 cup of world harlbors lemon pepper and garlic sauce
  • 6 cups of sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pepper
  • salt

Directions:  Mix the World Harlbors Lemon Pepper and Garlic Sauce, olive oil, half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of freshly-ground pepper. Shake well. Place the chicken legs in a zippy bag and add the sauce mix, moving around until the meat is coated with the sauce. Marinate for at least two hours in the fridge. Heat the oven to 350*C. Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, and pineapple in a baking pan. Put the chicken legs on top of them and drizzle everything with the sauce in which the chicken was marinaded. Roast for 30 minutes or the chicken is golden brown. Serve with green salad.


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.


Costa Rica…

Sunday, June 10 –

Let me start this off by saying that usually I’m not a big fan of tilapia. This recipe, however, was an incredible way to serve it. I would definitely make it again, should I randomly have tilapia in my fridge. I suppose I could even make it with other kinds of white fish and be just as happy with it. There were only four of us for dinner this time, with Bestie Extraordinaire and Mistress Whiskey making raspberry and mango mojitos to share.

I started by making guacamole to serve as an appetizer and setting it on the table for people to snack while I was cooking. Then I moved on to getting the rice cooking on the stove with the chicken broth as the liquid. While that simmered I started on the marinade for the fish. Once the fish was soaking in the marinade in the fridge I started on the rice pudding. After I got all of the ingredients into the rice pudding and it was starting to simmer, I moved onto getting the rice and beans mixed together and spread out in a baking dish. On top went the fish, the marinade, and the sliced limes. Simple, straight forward, and easy to follow instructions for both of the recipes this week. As the fish baked in the oven I kept an eye on the rice pudding, stirring every few minutes to make sure it wasn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.

The fish came out of the oven juicy and easily flaked with a fork. The rice mixture was bubbling and very hot. The flavor of the marinade soaked into the fish so that it was gently flavored but not overwhelmingly so. The pineapple, beans, rice, and salsa mix was genius and I will definitely be making it again!

The rice pudding cooked the whole time we were eating (I got up to stir it a couple of times). And I served it warm, right out of the pot just like my mom used to do when she made this type of dessert. I know the recipe says to serve it at room temp or cold, but if you want to try something decadent and filling, serve it warm.

This dinner gets a gold star for both recipes!

Costa Rica
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at:  www.foodnetwork.com and www.guiascostarica.com)

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (5 to 7-ounce) tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced

Directions:  Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving

Rice Pudding

  • 1 small can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon cracked
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk
  • 6 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:  First, in a large cooking pot, add the water, 4 cups of milk, uncooked rice, cinnamon, evaporated milk, vanilla and nutmeg. Once on the stove, bring the liquid to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes. Then, add the sweetened condensed milk. Add a little water to the milk can and empty its contents into the pot, by this time the liquid should be simmering, on low heat. The milk should just barely simmer, with bubbles breaking only the outside edge of the surface. As the liquid begins to reduce, add the remaining milk in small increments as you continue to stir. As you add the milk stir the mixture so that it cooks evenly. Continue to stir intermittently, until the liquid has become a gooy paste. Then add raisins and cook for an additional 10 minutes on. Total cooking time 1:15 minutes. Serve chilled or room temperature.


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.