Spicy Tomatillo Salsa

Without fail, if I send my husband to the grocery store, he will come home with items that weren’t on the list. Occasionally it’s a package of refrigerated cookie dough but more often than not it’s something “crazy” from the produce section. I’m constantly amazed by his exploratory nature when it comes to the culinary world, actually for all worlds really. I am definitely not as adventurous.

While tomatillos aren’t exactly crazy we’d never worked with them in our own kitchen before. I went that “safe” route and decided to utilize them in a salsa for Mexican Monday.

This salsa is spicy!! Way too spicy for my taste, but my husband loved it!

Spicy Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatillos, husks removed, washed, and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • agave, to taste

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a desired consistency is reached. Adjust salt and agave to taste.

*This recipe is adapted from Amanda at http://www.thechunkychef.com/abuelos-copycat-tomatillo-lime-salsa/*

Spicy Tomatillo Salsa  Sew You Think You Can Cook

#FreshTastyValentines: Apple Salsa

LogoIt’s the final day of #FreshTastyValentines, a blogging event headed up by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, and it’s also Mexican Monday!

I enjoy making salsas with fruit and have done so using strawberries and pineapple, so when Envy Apples signed up to be a #FreshTastyValentines sponsor I knew exactly how I’d want to highlight their produce; with a little heat and a little sweet.

We love trying new apples. Whenever there’s a variety at the grocery store we’ve not heard of we always pick up a couple to try. In my opinion, the perfect apple is all about texture as sweet vs tart simply depends on my mood. An apple must be both firm and crisp, and the Envy apples are just that; a perfect texture with the bonus of having a flesh resistant to browning, which would make these apples an excellent choice for kids’ lunchboxes or a party cheese plate.

12512546_10103496705705601_8103054962216754607_nWhen I opened up my beautiful box of Envy apples I was pleasantly surprised to be hit with an incredible aroma of fresh apple scent. The intoxicating smell let me know that these apple would have a strong, sweet flavor. I was not disappointed! (P.S. – I had chili on the stove bubbling away making my kitchen smell amazing in itself when I caught a whiff of the sweet apple aroma.) One apple was immediately “sacrificed” when my toddler grabbed it and took a bite, one apple was turned into salsa, and the last happily enjoyed alongside a bacon grilled cheese for lunch.

I pulled together the salsa in about ten minutes, but I probably spent twenty trying to get decent photographs. And then it was time to rush to Pure Barre, but not before first trying a bite of the salsa on a homemade cinnamon sugar tortilla chip. When I returned home from class there was only a bite and a half of the salsa left! My husband had completely devoured it. This recipe is one that I will make again, and I’ll be on constant alert for Envy apples.

Apple Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 Envy apple, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and jalapenos and saute until tender. Add the cinnamon and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in the honey and lime juice and cook until honey is reduced slightly, about 2 minutes.
  2. Serve with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips (brush whole wheat tortillas with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake at 375degF for 10min).

*This recipe is adapted from https://www.kelloggsfamilyrewards.com/en_US/recipes/sweet-and-spicy-apple-salsa-recipe.html*

apple salsa for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

It’s the last day to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more Valentine’s recipes today:

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing bloggers with samples and products to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.

 

#FreshTastyValentines: Peruvian Purple Potato Soup

LogoCamilla’s (of Culinary Adventures with Camilla) #FreshTastyValentines continues!

I am not showcasing any of our amazing sponsors with today’s post because this soup is what I made last year for Valentine’s Day! (That being said, Gourmet Garden products would work beautifully in this soup.) I’m sharing it during this event because it falls beautifully under the theme of #FreshTastyValentines! It’s a fresh take on potato soup by using purple potatoes, it’s tasty (and spicy!), and it’s quite healthy with only 1 gram of fat, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 150 Calories per serving.

Because Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday last year and my MIL was visiting I wanted to pull out all the stops and make a three course meal. Soup, entree, and fondue for dessert.

For the entree my husband and I had picked up some Cornish hens to try out. We bought them too far in advance and hadn’t put them in the freezer. When we cut the packaging open we were bombarded with the smell of “don’t you dare try to eat me.” We were so disappointed! I don’t even remember what our Plan B was, probably pork tenderloin, but I do remember that we didn’t even make Plan B! Our decadent breakfast (which I’ll be sharing next week) kept our tummies happy all day.

But I did still make this soup, which ended up being our main course. I was once again disappointed by my menu, but only by appearance. I was expecting a purple soup, perfect for Valentine’s Day, but instead this soup was the color of chocolate. Which, I suppose, is still appropriate for the holiday. Squeezing lime right over the soup did create a fun purple swirl though! And this soup packs a kick, so that lime was necessary.

This soup makes 6 servings.

Peruvian Purple Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, deseeded and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 C vegetable stock
  • 2 lb purple potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro
  • lime juice

Steps:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot (I used my Dutch oven). Saute the onion, jalapenos, and bay leaves until onion is tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the stock and potatoes. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. (If you don’t have an immersion blender very carefully transfer to a traditional blender. Leave a gap in the lid and cover with a towel to prevent burns.)
  4. Add the cilantro and lime juice. Adjust salt if needed. Serve with an extra spritz of lime juice.

*This recipe is adapted from Isa at http://foodreference.com/html/purple-potato-soup1008.html*

Peruvian Purple Potato Soup for #FreshTastyValentines from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more Valentine’s recipes today:

 

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing bloggers with samples and products to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.

#FreshTastyValentines: Frittata with Jalapeno Pesto

LogoWelcome the second day of #FreshTastyValentines, a blogging event headed up by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Valentine’s Day this year is on a Sunday which makes it the perfect excuse to start the celebration in the morning with brunch.

And can you guess that my recipe {sort of} comes from Bobby Flay’s newest cookbook, Brunch at Bobby’s?! (Yes, we’re obsessed with it.) Bobby’s recipe is for a Spanish Tortilla… we… made more of a frittata. Frittata for #FreshTastyValentines from Sew You Think You Can CookThe main difference: a tortilla is essentially a thick omelet with potatoes and is flipped to be cooked on both sides whereas a frittata is started on the stove and finished in the oven to cook all the way through. There wasn’t any way on this green earth that we were going to be able to flip the eggs in a clean manner, so we ran to the oven to cook the eggs all the way through. The result was still an amazing combination of flavors that even this egg-hating girl enjoyed! The key was the jalapeno pesto that really tied everything together.

To make the jalapeno pesto, I used Gourmet Garden’s Stir-in Cilantro Paste. I absolutely love Gourmet Garden and their products. For this family full of black thumbs they’re an affordable and practical way to use fresh herbs. The stir-in pastes are great for amping up sauces, marinades, or pestos and the lightly dried herbs are incredible for adding to soups, salads, or garnishing plates.

While I did use fresh parsley in the frittata, Gourmet Garden Stir-in Paste could easily be substituted and the Lightly Dried Parsley perfect for garnishing the plate. A move I will be making when we do trial two!

Frittata with Jalapeno Pesto

Ingredients for the Frittata:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 small red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 6 jarred red sweet peppers, diced
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh parsley

Ingredients for the Pesto:

Steps:

  1. Make the pesto: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss jalapenos in a little canola oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes, or until the skin is blistered. Place jalapenos in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle remove the stems and seeds.
  2. Place in food processor with cilantro, garlic, and pine nuts. Pulse until coarsely chopped. While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil until smooth. Add the Parmesan and season to taste with S+P. Adjust oil if needed to achieve a smooth texture. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. Preheat broiler on low.
  4. Make the frittata: In a large oven-safe skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat. Add the chorizo and cook 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  5. Add remaining tbsp of oil to the skillet if needed. Cook the potatoes until golden on both sides.
  6. In a large bowl beat the eggs with the cream until light and fluffy. Fold in the chorizo, peppers, goat cheese, parsley, S+P. Add to the skillet with the potatoes. Be sure to get the eggs underneath the potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes until the bottom is golden and set, stirring occasionally.
  7. (At this point, if you’re brave flip the eggs and cook the other side another 3 minutes.) Place skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the top is golden and frittata is fully cooked.
  8. Slide the frittata out of the pan and cut into wedges. Serve with the jalapeno pesto.

*This recipe is modified from Brunch at Bobby’s*

Jalapeno Pesto for #FreshTastyValentines from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more Valentine’s recipes today:

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing bloggers with samples and products to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Chipotle Lime Shrimp with Strawberry Salsa

They say you eat with your eyes first.

That must be true because viewing the stunning food photography by Jessica of How Sweet it is caused me to try this intriguing flavor combination: chipotle, strawberry, and black beans.

I admit, I added the black beans – the addition that really had my husband scratching his head. Instead of eating this Mexican Monday meal as tacos, we had tostadas. And tostadas call for refried beans to act as the “glue” that holds the meat and toppings in place. I didn’t think traditional refried beans would really be the way to go with shrimp so I opted for refried black beans. I’m very relieved to inform you that it worked!

I cut some serious heat from the original recipe and I still found it to pack on the spice. Because I freeze my chipotle in adobo in ice cube trays I never know until the cube thaws if I have just sauce, just pepper, or a combination of both. Jessica’s recipe calls for the sauce to be in the marinade – instead I had a pepper which I cut in half and tossed in the bag. This method is a great alternative if you don’t want too much heat but still want that smokey spice from the chipotle peppers. Additionally, I only used half of one (large) jalapeno instead of two whole jalapenos in the strawberry salsa – by all means, if you like it spicy add as much jalapeno as you like!

Chipotle Lime Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, halved
  • 2 limes (zest and juice)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side. I did this on a lightly greased grill pan. If you cook the shrimp in a skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Serve shrimp with strawberry salsa (recipe below) in a taco with lettuce and cheese or as a tostada with refried black beans and cheese.

Strawberry Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried cilantro)
  • juice of 1 lime

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*These recipes are adapted from Jessica at http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/04/chipotle-lime-shrimp-tacos-with-strawberry-salsa-you-can-totally-preorder-my-book/*

Chipotle Lime Shrimp with Strawberry Salsa | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Lime Chicken

My New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is to create at least one original recipe a month. I created three new recipes in December 2014! All three were spurred from a case of the empty fridge. But it gave me the idea to adopt a New Year’s Resolution. If I hope to expand my presence in the food community (ahem, Food Network, are you listening?) then I need to have recipes of my own. I also can’t create a cookbook of “copied” recipes! Everything stems from my ability to be creative in the kitchen. And the only way to test that ability is to give myself a challenge/goal. And with this homework assignment every month I can create my grocery list based off of my idea – not create my idea based on my pantry supply.

Today’s post is one of December’s recipes. In fact, it’s one that I made before leaving town for Thanksgiving and then tweaking into the recipe I post today. The first version of this dish, while tasty didn’t feel Mexican. I added garlic, salsa, and cumin. I reduced the amount of liquid and omitted the corn. As much as I love corn it didn’t quite fit with the shredded chicken and got lost. In the photo below you can see how different the two versions are; version 1 is on the left and the final version is on the right.

Jalapeno Lime Chicken

What I love most about this recipe is its versatility. My favorite way to eat it was as nachos. I put tortilla chips on a plate, topped them with the shredded chicken and shredded cheese. I microwaved the nachos for 30 seconds until the cheese was melted and dipped in salsa. The shredded chicken can also be rolled into a burrito with beans, rice, and cheese. Or use it to top some flavored rice. Create a sandwich with the chicken, salsa, cheese, and lettuce. Even stuff it in a lettuce wrap for a carb-free version.

An Original Recipe

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (for mild heat remove seeds)
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1/4 C salsa
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro

Steps:

  1. Season chicken with S+P. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together stock, salsa, lime, taco seasoning, and cumin. Pour over chicken.
  3. Add cilantro to the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on LOW 5 – 7 hours or HIGH  3 – 5 hours.
  5. Shred chicken and return to sauce until ready to serve.

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Nachos

Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Steak isn’t the only way for me to add iron into my diet – another option is spinach. Spinach is also the more heart friendly way to do it too. 😉 So with more red meat recipes, there’s also a chance for more salad nights!

I found this particular recipe when I was going through my very first Secret Recipe Club assignment. And now that this is the second recipe I’ve made from Lynsey’s blog – I am willing to bet my other pinned recipes from her will also be a big hit.

This salad recipe called out to me not only because of the iron rich spinach, but because of the pineapple dressing!

Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise so they’re thin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/4 C cubed fresh pineapple, divided use
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 C fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Steps:

  1. Season chicken with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Grill 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside.
  2. In a blender combine cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, half of the pineapple, orange juice, and vinegar. Pulse until smooth. With the blender running, stream in the olive oil. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. In a large bowl toss the spinach with the bell pepper, onion, and remaining pineapple.
  4. To serve: distribute salad, top with chicken, and dress with pineapple dressing.

*This recipe is adapted from Lynsey at http://www.lynseylous.com/2012/05/grilled-chicken-and-spinach-salad-with.html?m=1*

 Pineapple Salad

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