Tag Archives: guacamole

Guatemala…

Friday, February 1 –

Quite a few of my wonderful friends came to this dinner, people missing from these dinners for quite a while. We got to welcome back: BestieExtraordinaire (guacamole, chips) , Mistress Whiskey (wine), photo(3)WingWoman (chocolate coffee mousse dessert), LightsOn (wine), RubsWithLove, and Sir VJ (salad).

I made the rice, chicken drumsticks, and the Jocón recipe below. When I put the rice into the rice cooker I used half water and half chicken broth. I also added cilantro and onion to it before it was cooked. For the drumsticks I melted butter and added chopped garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder. I brushed the mix across the drumsticks and baked them in the oven at 375* for about 35 minutes.

For the Guatemalan chicken recipe I cheated just a little bit – I used a slow-roasted chicken from the grocery store. BestestFianceEver helped get all of the meat off the bones and shredded into the pan. Then I took all of the veggies and sauce ingredients (using all sesame seeds instead of half pumpkin seeds) and threw them all into my food processor. After everything was perfectly chopped and blended I dumped the sauce over the chicken and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

While everyone was waiting on the chicken to be done, we snacked on the guacamole and chips, which was supposed to be turned into a salad but because we already had a salad we kept it as a dip. Then dinner was served with the salad, the dressing for the salad that we didn’t quite make, the chicken with sauce over the rice, and drumsticks on the side. The salad was bright and flavorful with mango and avocado. The rice was a great complement to the sauce on the chicken. Because I used four whole jalapenos in the sauce it had a little kick, but not too much. And the drumsticks on the side were just a fun addition. All in all I vote this dinner a success. photo(4)

The dessert was supposed to be a mousse, but because of a few substitutions that WingWoman made it ended up more like delicious chocolate soup with fresh blueberries on top. Not quite what the recipe meant, but yummy anyway!

Only a few more G countries left – hope to see more potluck bloggers soon!

Guatemala
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com)

Jocón (Guatemalan chicken in tomatillo-cilantro sauce)

  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces — 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Water — 4 cups
  • Salt — 2 teaspoons
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) — 1/4 cupphoto(5)
  • Sesame seeds — 1/4 cup
  • Corn tortillas, chopped, soaked in water, drained — 2
  • Tomatillos, hulled and chopped — 1 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped — 1 bunch
  • Scallions, chopped — 1 bunch
  • Jalapeño or serrano chile pepper, chopped — from 1 to 5
  • Rice to serve

Method:

Place the chicken, water and salt into a large pot over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the chicken to a bowl and strain and set aside the broth. Let chicken cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it with your fingers. Set aside.

Heat a dry skillet over medium flame. Add the pumpkin and sesame seeds and toast, stirring, until lightly browned. Remove to a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.photo(6)

Add the sesame and pumpkin seeds, tortillas, tomatillos, cilantro, scallions and chile peppers to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and process until smooth. If using a blender you may have to do this step in batches.

Return the chicken to the pot. Pour over pureed sauce and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the remaining broth to give it a sauce-like consistency.

Heat over medium-low flame and simmer for an additional 15-25 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Jocon Variations:

Leave the chicken pieces whole if you prefer.

If you can’t find pumpkin seeds, simply use 1/2 cup of sesame seeds. And if finding sesame seeds is a problem, you can substitute a slightly smaller amount of tahini.

Cubed pork can be substituted for the chicken. There is no need to shred the pork, but you may need to simmer it longer for it to become tender.

Use any remaining broth to make rice to accompany the meal.


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.


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.