Harissa Paste

harissa_paste

This spicy paste is a great addition to many things, it not only adds a kick of spice, but a nice flavor with cilantro, mint and garlic.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz bird’s eye chilies, seeded and stems removed (you can leave seeds for extra spicy)
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried mint
  • 1/2 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil

 

Cooking Directions

  1. Place the chilies, garlic, ground coriander, cumin, salt mint and cilantro into a blender or food processor. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of the olive oil. Store in a bowl or jar in the refrigerator with the remaining oil poured in a layer over the top.
  2. Make sure that the surface is covered with a layer of oil each time you use some. When you run out of Harissa you can use the oil to add flavor to fried or baked dishes.

Harissa Lamb and Beef Burgers with Carrot Fries

lamb_and_beef_burgers

We first made this recipe about 4-5 yrs ago. While lamb does not agree with my body I do enjoy these very much and will make the personal sacrifice for enjoyment. The original recipe we got when trying Blue Apron for the first time. Loved everything we tried from them and would use them again. The recipe can be found here. The only thing that we have since changed when making these is the harissa paste is made from scratch using this recipe at allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

  • 2 Whole Wheat Buns
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Persian Cucumber
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 oz Arugula
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa Paste
  • 1 oz Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • ¼ cup Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tsp Mediterranean Spice Blend (Ground Cumin & Caraway Seeds)
  • 10 oz Ground Lamb & Beef Blend (We make this using 1 lb each of beef and lamb, it will give us enough for the whole year, just freeze what you don’t use.)

 

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. In a small pot, heat 1½ cups of water to boiling on high. Peel the carrots and cut into ½-inch-thick sticks. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds; place in a heatproof container (or bowl) with the vinegar. Peel the onion and halve crosswise; thinly slice one half into rings and small dice the remaining half. Halve the buns.
  2. Place the carrots on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and the spice blend; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, 15 to 17 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.
  3. While the carrots roast, carefully pour the boiling water into the heatproof container of cucumber and vinegar, making sure the cucumber slices are completely submerged. Set aside to pickle, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.
  4. While the carrots continue to roast, in a large bowl, combine the ground lamb and beef, breadcrumbs and as much of the diced onion as you’d like (you may have extra diced onion); season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into two ¾-inch-thick burgers. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the burgers and cook, occasionally pressing the burgers down with a spatula, 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.
  5. In the pan used to cook the burgers, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the buns, cut sides down. Toast 1 to 2 minutes, or until crispy and lightly browned. Transfer the toasted buns to a clean, dry work surface.
  6. Spread the cut sides of the toasted buns with as much of the harissa paste as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Top each bun bottom with as much of the sliced onion and pickles as you’d like (draining the pickles before adding). Top with the cooked burgers, cheese, arugula and bun tops. Divide between two plates. Serve with the carrot fries. Enjoy!

Crispy Cilantro Lime Chicken

Crispy_Cilantro_Lime_Chicken

The best of cilantro and lime come together with chicken for a zesty dish that goes great with all sorts of sides!

 

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Lime juice
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh minced Cilantro
  • 1 Tsp Red Chili pepper flakes
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 6 Bone-in Skin-on Chicken thighs (approx. 2 Lbs)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Cilantro and Lime Wedges to garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a medium-sized shallow bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil together with the lime juice, chopped cilantro, chili flakes, garlic, sugar and cumin. Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and toss to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate thighs for 15 minutes.
  1. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of oil in a non stick pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the thighs along with any marinade left over in the bowl, and sear chicken — skin-side down — for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy (chicken will not be fully cooked).
  2. Transfer to preheated oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes).
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and lime slices or wedges.
  4. Serve over steamed rice, or Mexican Rice and drizzle with the pan juices.

Cilantro-Lime Rice

cilantro_lime_rice

Cilantro is by and far my favorite flavor in the world hands down! Add this and some lime to rice and you have a bowl of happiness with my name written on it!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup uncooked Jasmine Rice
  • 2 Cups Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 Tbsp minced Cilantro
  • 1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

 

Cooking Directions

1. In a small saucepan, combine rice and broth; bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

3. Add lime juice, cilantro, and nutmeg; fluff with a fork.

 

 

Service Size: Makes 3 Cups

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

cheesy_garlic_mashed_potatoes

Mashed Potatoes that don’t need anything added to them at all! Love to gobble these up by themselves!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Lb. Potatoes, Quartered
  • 1 Tsp Wet Garlic
  • ! Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Tsp Parsley

Cooking Directions

1. Add potatoes to pot of boiling water, bring water back to a boil and cook potatoes for 10-15 min or until fork tender.

2. Once potatoes are fork tender, strain in a colander and put them in a bowl for mixing.

3. Add remaining ingredients to bowl with cooked potatoes and mash to desired consistency. I like to use the electric mixer to make them smooth as silk.

4. Serve!

Creamy Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes

creamy_chicken_and_sun_dried_tomato

 

Just cooking this in my house brings all the noses to the kitchen to find out what this savory goodness is!

 

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Cup Sun Dried tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 2/3 Cup White Wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh Basil or Thyme, for topping (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I season the chicken before browning it)

 

Cooking Directions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm while you make the sauce.
  • Add garlic, Italian seasoning, sun dried tomatoes, white wine, chicken broth, half and half or heavy cream, and ⅔ cup parmesan cheese to pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and continue to stir periodically until thickened and creamy (5-7 minutes).
  • Return chicken to pan and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Top with cracked black pepper, grated parmesan cheese, fresh thyme or basil, and serve.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken_tortilla_soup

Little spice and everything nice! Love this soup year around!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cup diced White/Yellow Onion
  • 1 Bunch Green Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 6 Roma Tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Tomato juice
  • 4 Cups shredded Chicken
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Cooking Directions

1) Heat the oil in a large pot, add the onions, green onions, cilantro, jalapenos, crushed garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook on low heat for 10 min.

2) Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 10 min.

3) Add Chicken Stock, tomato juice and shredded chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 min.

4) Add the lime juice and remove from heat. Serve with garnishes – grated Monterrey cheese, tortilla stripes (fried), avocado, cilantro and lime slices.

 

Tarragon Aoli

tarragon_aoli

A great sauce for many things, we love to use it on salmon or crab cakes with fresh lemon juice.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of Fresh Tarragon
  • 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonaise
  • Small pinch of Cayanne pepper to taste for a little bite

 

Cooking Directions

1) Pulverize garlic in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a garlic paste.

2) In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with a whisk until combined.

Fully Loaded Mashed Potatoes

fully_loaded_mashed_potatoes

The best of both worlds, creamy mashed potatoes, and a fully loaded potato!

 

Ingredients

  • 8 Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese (1 1/2c separated to the side)
  • 6 Slices of Cooked Bacon (Set half aside)
  • Green Onions

 

Cooking Directions

1) Peal, cube and cook potatoes until tender. Drain. In a pot mash potatoes and add evap milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 of the bacon, and green onions.

2) Mix together. Place in a baking dish & cook at 350ºF for 25 min.

3) Top with remaining cheese, bacon and green onion and bake again for an additional 5-10 min.

 

Salmon Dip

salmon_dip

I have loved the taste of smoked salmon from when I was a little kid. This is the love child of lox salmon and cream cheese. You make it, you eat it, and there won’t be any leftover for later.

 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Salmon
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tsp Green Onion, minced
  • 1 Tsp Onion, grated and juices
  • 1 Tsp Dill

 

Cooking Directions

1) Cook salmon by any method preferred.

2) Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended.

 

Notes: For a more creamier texture, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the desired consistency is achieved.