Category Archives: vinegar

Avocado Hot Sauce

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There is a new Mexican place that just opened up in town. It has been packed since it opened. Although that in itself is not too surprising since we live in a very small town and people flock to anything new like they have never heard of it before! But this flocking is well deserved. It is called Blue Agave and they have some seriously good food. Coming from Southern California, and growing up on Mexican food, it is a nice combination of regular restaurant food and taco shop food (plus they have an awesome tequila bar BONUS!!). 
I have been there probably 4 times in the last couple of weeks and have gotten something different every time I go, but one thing has remained the same in every dish I have eaten. I have topped it with this amazing avocado hot sauce they have. After the last time I was determined to make it at home so I grabbed a little container of it and away I went into my kitchen to get down to the nuts and bolts of figuring out the recipe.

I have made hot sauce before. My Roasted Tomato Salsa Roja is a huge hit here, as well as my Guacamole. So I knew I had a good base to work from. But it had a specific taste that I really wanted to nail. A few little practice runs (which everyone enjoyed eating the product of) and I finally got it right. It was so funny. Everyone watched me as I took the top off of the food processor and got a spoonful. I think they may have been holding their breath waiting to see what I said. When I jumped up and down and did my happy foodie dance I think they figured out that I finally had my recipe.
I just love the look of this hot sauce. It looks so creamy and inviting. I seriously could eat a bowl of it with a spoon and want more! But seriously? Make a bowl of this, grab some chips and a cold beer, kick back and enjoy!
Avocado Hot Sauce
2 large ripe avocados, pits removed
4 to 6 jalapeno peppers (depending on the heat level you want), rib and seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
A generous handful of fresh cilantro 
2 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste 
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with your favorite Mexican dishes or just enjoy with chips. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
ENJOY!!

This recipe was also share on Jagruti’s Cooking Oddysey’s  Super Foods Super Power Event

Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto with Beurre Blanc

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Hello my fine foodie friends! Today’s Food Star Friday post is courtesy of Kelsey Nixon from Kelsey’s Essentials. I know she isn’t a “big” food star, but I have been watching a lot of the new shows lately trying to get a feel for the up and comers. This episode of her show was all about sauces and, as you know, a sauce can make or break a recipe. So I thought I would share the link for the episode as well as one of her recipes. The episode was entitled “Sauces” and the recipe, well as you can see I made some very yummy roasted asparagus with a Beurre Blanc sauce.

I am an asparagus fanatic! Hands down it is my favorite veggie with the artichoke coming in a close second. I have made asparagus just about every way possible I think, but am always open to new ways. A certain pizza I just found on Pintrest comes to mind so stay tuned for that one too!

In the past I have tried many variations of this dish. Asparagus wrapped in bacon, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with a little bit of Swiss cheese tucked under the prosciutto wrap, etc. But when I saw one of my favorite side dishes made with a sauce I had never tried I knew it was meant to happen.

The sauce takes a little bit of time but is oh so worth it! Actually it is not as much time as attention. If you let it get to hot you will break the sauce. But like I said this sauce is just, well perfect! We even drizzled it over our baked potatoes and steaks!!

Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto with Beurre Blanc

1 large bundle of asparagus (18 spears)
Proscuitto (6 slices)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
Beurre Blanc sauce (recipe follows)


2 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the woody ends of the asparagus spears trimming the spears to the same length.

Bundle 3 asparagus stalks together and wrap each grouping with one slice of prosciutto, leaving the tips exposed. Drizzle the bundles with olive oil.

Roast the bundles for 10 minutes, or until the asparagus ends and the prosciutto slices are crisp.

Drizzle each prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bundle with the prepared beurre blanc and serve.
To make beurre blanc:
Bring the shallots, vinegar, and wine to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until the liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.

Add the cream, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in a few tablespoons butter. Continue to whisk and add a few pieces at a time of the remaining butter. Wait until each addition is incorporated before adding more butter. The sauce should remain warm, but never hot or the sauce will break.

Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt, and pepper, to taste. If desired, strain the sauce through a sieve to remove the shallot. Discard the shallot. Serve the sauce immediately.

Cod Ratatouille En Papillote with Herb Salad

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OK I know that is a mouthful (and a tasty one at that, trust me) but really it is just fancy talk for cod cooked in parchment paper with a truck load of vegetables and a yummy herb salad on top of it all. But I figured that wouldn’t fit as a title so I went with the foo foo wording.

I was really excited to cook fish again because it gave me the opportunity to use some of my O Olive Oils. Remember I won the O Olive Oil and eRecipecards.com recipe challenge a while back? Well they sent me some of the olive oils I won and they have been staring at me from my counter saying “use me, use me!!” I didn’t marinade in the oil, which afterward I thought “dangit why didn’t I marinade?” but I did give the veggies and fish a good dousing of their Myer Lemon Olive Oil. I can’t say enough about their oils. The crush process they go through just gives the oils a fresh clean flavor. You can actually taste the fresh fruit in them sooooo yummy!!

I also got to break out the new Cuisinart food processor Kevin bought me for Christmas. He was disappointed because he thought he bought the one with the wide feed tube, but I am happy with it. I can chop the bigger stuff if needed. It sure made quick work of my zucchini I can tell you that!

But enough about my toys and gadgets. Lets talk about the food. I have to admit, this recipe looks a lot harder than it really is. The hardest part is slicing all the veg (unless you have a food processor…or a sous chef  hehe). Once you get the fish in that paper the oven does all of the work. No worrying that you have overcooked the fish or wondering if you should flip it over yet. Bing, bam, boom, fish done. Top it with the herb salad and you have a wonderfully healthy and tasty meal that the family, at least my family, will gobble up in no time flat! We had 2 pounds of fish for 4 people and I only eat small portions because of my surgery. So I will say that between the 3 of them they consumed 1 3/4 pounds of fish in mere minutes!

Even if you aren’t a big vegetable person (this has eggplant which I know some people will say eeewwww to right off the bat) the veggies are sliced so thin and they cook in the oilive oil, butter, and white wine which gives them an amazing flavor. A great way to get your vegetables without having to eat plain boring ones.

Oh, little side note, my parchment paper was not wide enough to wrap completely around the fish so I topped it with another sheet and folded up the sides. I even secured them with paper clips just to make sure it stayed sealed so all of the yummy steam and juices properly cooked the fish and veggies.

I know the dish looks a bit “rustic” but it is oohhhh sooooo yummy!!

This is the fish all piled up on the veggies and buttered up ready to go into the oven.
When it comes out you cut open the parchment paper and top it with the herb salad. And then…..Viola a beautiful, healthy, and darn tasty dish!!
Cod Ratatouille En Papillote with Herb Salad
For the Cod Ratatouille:
2 pounds cod, skinned
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small eggplants, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
White wine
1 red pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped (we love garlic but you could use less if you aren’t a big fan)
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons butter, cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Herb Salad:
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped
1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 bunch of celery leaves, roughly chopped (I picked them off a bunch of celery I just bought)
1 bunch of baby dill, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the cod ratatouille, cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper that is about 2 inches wider than the baking sheet on all sides. Alternate the sliced vegetables along the length of the sheet making sure they are tightly aligned and long/wide enough to just peek out from under the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and white wine, season with salt and pepper.
Top with the red pepper, garlic, and time. Then dot it with the cubes of butter.
Top the fish with another sheet of parchment paper of the same size and roll/fold the sides and then ends up to seal the fish and veggies in tight (like I said I used paper clips to ensure it was sealed right).
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the fish is flaky.
Meanwhile to make the herb salad, add all of the chopped herbs into a medium bowl. In a small bowl combine the balsamic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk it up and pour over the herbs. Toss with your fingers to get it combined. 
When the fish is done cut or tear the top open and top with the herb salad.
Serves 4 to 6

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Cilantro Lime Cod with Sherry Vinegar Reduction

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When I was chosen as one of eight bloggers from eRecipeCards to participate in the O Olive Oil recipe challenge I was so excited. Being fairly new to the food blog community, it was such an honor to be chosen to compete. I could hardly wait for my box of product to get here and the ideas for recipes bounced around in my head like ping pong balls. I talked about it non stop to family and friends and even though Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, I couldn’t wait for it to pass so I could get down to the business of making my dish.

Then, on November 26th, my father passed away. My world was a blur. I didn’t know which end was up or down, let alone how to write this recipe, or even if I wanted to do it. The idea of being a part of this without one of my greatest fans and supporters was mind numbing. But then it struck me. He would have been so upset if I didn’t do what I love because of him. I realized that even if he isn’t physically standing beside me he is with me and cheering me on. So this is dedicated to my father.

When I received my products I immediately opened the box so I could try them. I had originally said I would wait for the whole family so we could try them together and I could get their impressions along with mine. Well, that idea just fell by the wayside once I had that box in my hands. I ripped into it like a kid at Christmas!  As soon as I tasted the O Tahitian Lime Olive Oil I knew I wanted to do something with cilantro and lime together. The second thing that popped into my head was fish. I am a fish addict so it is not surprising that my mind went there that quickly.

The Sherry Vinegar threw me for a loop a bit though. I knew I didn’t want to just make a vinaigrette. I wanted something that would show the quality of the ingredient better than that. I had made red wine and white wine reductions in the past, so why not a sherry reduction? I was so excited to put this all together. I was so excited actually that when we went to the store to buy the ingredients I ended up buying salmon, chicken, AND cod! I think it was because I had 3 other people with me giving me their opinions, at least that is what I am going to blame it on.

I can tell you that all 3 dishes were amazing and the whole family said they would want them again (I hinted that I needed more O Olive Oil for Christmas) but the cod won out by an ever so small margin.

Cilantro Lime Cod with Sherry Vinegar Reduction
4 6-ounce fillets of Cod (can substitute salmon or chicken here)
1/4 cup O Tahitian Lime Olive Oil, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
1 cup couscous ( I used sun dried tomato with spinach couscous)
Lay your fish out and check for bones. Salt and pepper the fillets. In a large plastic zipper bag, add the 1/4 cup O Tahitian Lime Olive Oil, cilantro, and garlic. Using your fingers combine the ingredients in the bag and then add the fish fillets. Make sure to coat each piece of fish. Place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld at least 1 hour, but longer will add more flavor.
In a small sauce pan, over high heat, bring the cup of O Sherry Vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer until it reduces by half. Remove from heat.
Heat a large skillet or grill pan to medium high. Coat the pan with 1 tablespoon of the O Tahitian Lime Olive Oil. Add the cod and cook for about 4 minutes, carefully turn the fish over and cook until the fish is fully opaque.
While the fish is cooking prepare the couscous as the package instructs.
Place 1/2 cup of couscous in the center of the plate and top with a portion of cod. Drizzle with the O Sherry Vinegar reduction.
ENJOY!!

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Food Star Friday – Garlic Vinegar Chicken

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I was watching Food Network last week trying to get ideas for Food Star Friday when Guy’s Big Bite came on and I decided to give it a watch. I love Guy’s energy, but sometimes he can be a little too over the top for me if it has been one of “those” days. You know those days that you  have been dealing with a lot of things all at once. The kids, significant other, DOGS, yes even my fur babies get on my nerves from time to time. So, where was I? Oh yes, Food Network, Guy’s Big Bite……gotcha! OK so yes sometimes I can’t deal with his energy and volume but even though it had been a stressful day, what he was cooking looked incredible.

I love chicken, to the point that it can drive everyone else I live with crazy. There have been comments about how they think they are going to sprout feathers, or possibly start laying eggs. That’s when I know I have to toss some red meat to the restless beasts.

This recipe has TONS of garlic, which is another thing I love. OK so we have chicken thighs, which if you have been with me for awhile you know it is my favorite part of the bird, and 3/4 cups garlic!! WOW this I had to try!

Now it comes time to do the prep and Kevin comes to help me like always.

Kevin – What can I do to help you babe?
Me – Well I have to slice onions and peppers, Oh you could chop the garlic for me.
Kevin – (going to the garlic and onion bowl) OK how many cloves do you need?
Me – Ummmm well I am not sure.
Kevin – What do you mean you aren’t sure? What does it say on the recipe?
Me – It says I need 3/4 cups of garlic.
Kevin – HOLY SH*T!!

Ya I don’t know that he was as excited about the garlic as I was. But after it was all ready to go anyone that had any reservations about it being chicken AGAIN, or how much  garlic was in it, or the vinegar part ppfffttttttt they love it!!

I will say I changed things a bit here and there but not by much. Mostly it calls for you to reserve the poaching liquid, but not the peppers and onions that were cooked in it. Am I going to waste onions and garlic? HECK NO! I just piled some up on the plate as a bed for the chicken and it was YUMMY! So enough of my yapping……on to the recipe…..

I cooked the onions and peppers down until they started to become translucent and then popped the chicken in to lightly brown .
IN goes the beer and the chicken stock and away we poach.
After it cooled and I got it all covered in the garlic paste it goes back into the pan you caramelized your garlic in. Does that look good or what?? You just lightly brown it on both sides. Soooo easy.
And WALA some chicken even the people that aren’t too thrilled with chicken will love. Give it a try!
Garlic Vinegar Chicken

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions, julienned
  • 2 Anaheim chiles, cleaned and julienned
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup minced garlic, divided
  • 8 ounces beer
  • 8 ounces chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, sliced

In large saute pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons oil, onions, chiles and saute for 3 minutes until translucent. Add chicken thighs and lightly brown. Add 1/4 cup garlic and saute. Deglaze with beer and chicken stock. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken is 3/4 of the way cooked. Remove chicken from saute pan, and let cool, reserve pan and braising broth.

In medium saute pan heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil and lightly caramelize remaining 1/2 cup garlic. When done, remove from heat, and let cool.

In medium mixing bowl, combine, flour, salt and pepper, oregano, paprika, and chili powder. Combine thoroughly, add cooked garlic and mix into a paste.

Take cooled, cooked chicken and press paste on to the chicken. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in garlic pan, and gently place chicken in the pan. Lightly brown chicken on both sides.

Simmer reserved braising broth and add red wine vinegar. When chicken is cooked on both sides, pour vinegar broth over chicken and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve pile some of the onion and peppers mixture on a plate and top with chicken. Spoon some of the sauce over the top and garnish with green onions.

ENJOY!!

What do you think of this recipe? How do you feel about garlic and chicken?

BBQ Chicken (Rub and Sauce Recipe Included)

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OK I know a while back I mentioned I had a BBQ rub and sauce recipe that I was trying to perfect. I am not so sure I would call it perfect but I think it is pretty close to what I was aiming for. My son took leftovers to work and he said one of the guys there just about choked on the bone because he ate it too fast!

Let me back track a bit on the reason I became so determined to create my own recipe for the rub and sauce. In my experience I had found rubs that were too salty and sauces that were too sweet. I knew I wanted a balance of between a Kansas City-Style BBQ with it’s molasses and a North Carolina-Style BBQ with it’s nice tangy vinegar bite. It became a bit of an obsession with me for a while. I can’t tell you how many pounds of BBQ chicken and ribs we have eaten while I tweak the rub this way or twist the sauce that way.

Below is the chicken recipe. I will post the rib recipe in the next week or so since I am craving them just typing this up!

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Chicken


Dry Rub
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup cracked black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

BBQ Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (we add more since we like it EXTRA spicy)

Combine all ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl. Rub the chicken generously on both sides and wrap in plastic wrap. Let marinate in refrigerator at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

I save any leftover rub in a ziplock and store in a cool dry place. That way it is ready to go for you when you cook the next batch.

Add all of the ingredients for the BBQ sauce to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Cooking times for chicken will vary depending on grill type and what parts you are cooking. Baste chicken with the BBQ sauce for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

I promise I will get better at picture taking. This picture just doesn’t do the chicken justice.

ENJOY!!