Category Archives: serrano chili

Avocado Hummus AKA Guacammus

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I was really at a loss when I made this as to what I wanted to call it. It has chick peas in it so it is kind of like a hummus, but it has avocado, Serrano pepper, and cilantro in it so it is kind of like guacamole. Actually when I made it I was craving guacamole for lunch, but knew I needed some protein. I knew I had some chick peas in the pantry so in my mind I just smooshed them together and wound up with a really tasty and healthy lunch.
I really wasn’t to sure about how this would come out when I first started. But as I added all of the flavors I asked myself why I hadn’t thought of this before. I love chick peas, I used to pile them on my salads when I went to salad bars. And DUH I love guacamole, well actually avocado in just about any form makes my teeter totter.
So if you are looking for a new way to have your guacamole and hummus too, give this a shot. 


P.s. Kevin came home and loved this. Wow who knew I could get him to eat healthy?

Avocado Hummus AKA Guacammus
1 15-ounce can of chick peas, drained and liquid reserved
2 avocados, pitted and chopped
1 clove of garlic, grated or finely minced
1 Serrano pepper, finely minced
1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
2 limes juiced
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Salt and pepper
Pita wedges for serving
In a food processor combine the first 7 ingredients along with about 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid from the chick peas. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid as needed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. 
Serve with pita wedges.
ENJOY!!

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Cilantro Rice with Lime and Serrano

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We have kind of been on a rice kick lately. Whenever I come up with a main dish and I ask what sounds good for a side everyone says “rice please”. Well I love rice as much as the next person, but just plain old rice? Umm no. I mean I have been known to put a little butter on rice with soy sauce and Sriracha and just about make a meal out of that, but that is not very often. So of course when rice is requested I have to come up with a new and different way to flavor it up. I always cook my rice in chicken stock, but you need more than a little clucker juice to make it interesting right?

Just like my Lemon Pepper Rice, I want to compliment what we are eating so I loved the sound of a recipe I found on Creative Culinary. I loved the ingredients and I loved that it could be warm or cool so no juggling getting everything done at once. I of course tinkered with it a bit but I can tell you that everyone that ate loved it too! I think the dressing on it’s own would be fabulous on a salad!
We had this with a Mexican style chicken and it was perfect. I love the combo of Serrano/lime/cilantro. Cilantro is one of my all time favorite herbs to use. The lime just gives it that nice fresh “pop” and again you can remove the ribs and seed from the peppers and adjust the amount of peppers you use to suit your taste. 

Cilantro Rice with Lime and Serrano
adapted from Cilantro Serrano Mexican Rice by Creative Culinary
2 cups white rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 limes, zested 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Serrano peppers, finely diced (1/3 for the dressing and 2/3 for the rice)
1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 cloves of garlic, chopped (separate out 2 for the dressing)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used McCormick’s Roasted Ground Cumin)
1 large white onion, chopped
For the Dressing:
Place 1 1/4 cups of the cilantro, 1/3 of the Serrano, 2 cloves garlic, white wine vinegar,  zest of 1 lime, and cumin in a food processor and blend well, adding the olive oil as it mixes. Set aside.
For the Rice:
 Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining Serrano pepper and onion to the pan. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat. In a medium sauce pan, place rice, cooked pepper mix, lime juice, remaining lime zest, and chicken stock. Cover and heat to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Place cooked rice in a large bowl, fluffing with a fork. 
If serving room temperature, allow the rice to cool for 1 to 1/2 hours, fluffing occasionally before adding the dressing. If serving warm fold in the dressing. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
ENJOY!!

Angry Mussels with Garlic Cheese Bread

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I never used to eat shellfish really. It just wasn’t something that jumped off a menu at me. Kevin was the one that got me hooked on it. We had gone to a little casino we have here locally and they have a seafood restaurant in it. You can order a pound of steamed clams, mussels, crab, etc. You can also get many different types of oysters on the half shell. THAT was a tough one for me to swallow, no pun intended, but he coaxed me into it and after trying a few different types I fell in love with Kumamoto oysters. They are small and sweet and oh so yummy! They of course are some of the most expensive you can buy but since we don’t do it very often it is a splurge that is well worth it.

Mussels were another thing that he had to work on to get me to try. For some reason the jump from clams to mussels seemed so huge. But mussels are more tender and sweeter and I am so glad I tried them. Now they are some of my favorite seafood. Once I learned I liked them I wanted to come up with a recipe that was something other than just white wine and shallots.

As I have mentioned, several times, we like things on the spicy side in this house. So when I saw a show on Food Network that mentioned JCT Kitchen and Bar in Atlanta, GA and their recipe for what they called “Angry Mussels” you can imagine how quickly the show had my full attention. Their recipe called for lots of bacon and fresh chilies YUMMM I knew this was putting me on the track I wanted to be on. So off I went to the store to get what I needed.

What is really nice is that mussels are relatively inexpensive. I paid $4.49 a pound for mine. The most expensive part of this recipe is the white wine and I am not adverse to splurging when it comes to finding a very tasty wine that will concentrate some awesome flavor in my food. Santa Margherita is my favorite Pinot Grigio on the the market. At a little over $20 a bottle it is not a bad deal. Especially when it means that you will have epic yumminess with the finished product.

This recipe is super simple, nicely priced, and wonderful to eat so give it a try!!

Angry Mussels with Garlic Cheese Bread


For the Mussels:

5 pounds mussels, scrubbed clean
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bottle dry white wine (recommended: Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio)
1 bunch green onions, chopped whites and greens
5 serrano chilies, sliced
Red chili flakes (to your heat preference, I used a tablespoon)
Cracked black pepper

Scrub mussels one at a time to remove beards and any grit that might be on them. Discard open mussels that do not close with a few taps of your finger, and any with cracked or broken shells. Place the mussels in a bowl of cold water while you prep the other ingredients.

Heat the oil in a large wide mouth pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is starting to crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve. Add the onions, garlic, chilies, red chili flakes, and cracked black pepper to taste. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, till onions begin to turn translucent. Deglaze the pot with the white wine and bring to a boil. Drain the mussels and transfer to the pot. Cover the pot and continue to cook until mussels open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Toss the reserved bacon and green onions with the mussels and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

For the Garlic Cheese Bread:


1 baguette, sliced lengthwise and cut the halves in half
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
6 cloves of garlic, pasted with salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (use Parmesian if you can not find Asiago)
a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat over to 400 degrees F

Place the sliced baguette on a baking sheet. In a small bowl mix the butter, garlic, onion powder, and salt to taste. Spread the butter mixture evenly on each piece of bread. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from onion and sprinkle with cheese and  parsley. Return to oven and continue to bake for 3 more minutes. Slice and serve.