Fresh Guacamole

I love avocados, so in turn I love guacamole!  I make it whenever I have some avocados that are getting soft.  It’s very easy to put together this recipe.  I personally do not like tomatoes in my guacamole, so this has none. 🙂  There isn’t really much else to say, just take a look and give it a try for your next snack or Taco Tuesday! Cheers!

Fresh Guacamole

Ingredients:
6 ripe avocados
2 jalapeño peppers, diced (seeds removed, unless you want it spicier)
1 medium red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t salt (more to taste)
1 t pepper
2 t cumin
1 t cayenne pepper
1 lime, juiced

Directions: Cut fully around the avocado with a knife from top to bottom.  Twist to open and remove the pit and scoop or cut out the inside of it.  Add to a medium bowl.  Smash the avocado with a fork, making sure to remove any lumps.

Add in the jalapeño.  If you want the guacamole mild then just add in the pepper. Omit the seeds and membrane from the pepper.  If you want a little more spice, add in seeds and membrane.  Adjust to your preferred spiciness.

Next add in the red onion, garlic and cilantro.  Mix well.  Add in the lime juice.  More or less to taste.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper and mix.

Let sit either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a while to let the flavors marry. Make sure to tightly wrap bowl with plastic wrap, pushing down the plastic wrap to cover the guacamole.

Serve on tacos or as a dip. Enjoy!

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Chimichurri Sauce

With the nicer weather upon us I’m sure we will all be doing more grilling.  At least I know I will be.  This sauce is perfect.  Chimichurri can be used when cooking or as a condiment for meats.  That’s typically the way I use a chimichurri!

The flavors in the chimichurri really bring out the flavors in the meat!  The good thing about this sauce is that it can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.  So cook up lots of grilled meats and serve with this yummy sauce!

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 C & 1T olive oil
2 bunches cilantro, stems removed
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed
3 garlic cloves
1 small red onion
2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
Sprinkle: Red Pepper Flakes

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor.  Pulse several times until all is minced up.  Add more oil as needed. Once completed you can add to a mason jar or container and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note: If you have a lime that seems a little to firm it may not produce a lot of juice.  You can place in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds which will help get as much juice as possible. Also, watch the amount of garlic. It can become overpowering in the sauce.  If this happens you can add a small, I mean small amount of sugar. Like no more than a half of teaspoon.  This will help mellow out the flavor of the garlic.

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Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

I’m always looking to try new food creations and that’s exactly how this came to be.  Yes, it’s another pulled pork recipe.  Who doesn’t like pulled pork?  This can very easily be made with bbq chicken as well.

While I was in culinary school we made polenta often.  I will tell you right now, I haven’t made it in years.  I cheated in this recipe and actually bought an organic polenta I found in a roll at the store.  When I was shopping and came across it, I just had to buy it and give it a try.  Hey, it is organic.  I’m sure it’s not the greatest since it’s in a roll, duh! However, sometimes you just need to give something a try.  It worked out perfectly for what I was wanting to use it for.

This recipe is pretty simple and would be PERFECT for a small dinner party.  I’m not adding my pulled pork recipe but if you need it, check it out in my previous blogs.  This is simply going to be giving directions on how to crisp up this rolled polenta  and assembling.  The flavors in this recipe are amazing. From the creamy ricotta to the heat from the pulled pork and the jalapeño this is one delicious bite of food.

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

Ingredients:
Polenta roll, sliced 1/2 inch slices
4 T butter
1 T Olive Oil
3/4 cup ricotta
2 jalapeños, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cups cooked pulled pork

Directions:  Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add in half the butter and olive oil and heat 2 minutes.  Add in sliced polenta and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  Next add in the remainder of the butter and oil and flip the polenta and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  You can cook longer to your preferred the polenta cake crispier.  Remove the polenta cake and place on paper towel.

To Assemble:  Add a spoonful of ricotta over the polenta, then top with a spoonful of pulled pork next add the sliced jalapeño and diced onions.  You can add more bbq sauce to the pork if you like it saucier.  Sever and enjoy immediately.

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Scallop Gratin with Crispy Prosciutto

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. In my family we always do seafood on Christmas Eve. We are Italian and it’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember. I made this scallop dish and it was a hit and super delicious and rather simple.

Scallops are one food item I have gotten a lot of questions about. People are worried about overcooking the scallops. That’s a common thing actually. If you are searing them, it’s a hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. You want the inside glistening when you cut into it. For these they are baked an take a little longer. There is so many different ways to use scallops. Check my recipes for seafood and you’ll find the scallop tacos. They are to die for as well.

For now, check out this upscale simple recipe!

Scallop Gratin with Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients:
4 oz prosciutto or par-cooked bacon, minced or rough chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2- 2lbs bay scallops, rinsed, dried and mussel removed

Topping:
1 stick butter, soften
¾ cup plan panko breadcrumbs
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
3 T olive oil
2 medium shallots, small diced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t kosher salt
1 t pepper

Directions: Heat oven 425°. In a medium baking dish add the wine and top with the scallops. In a medium bowl add all ingredients for the topping and mix well till incorporated. I used a fork to mash the butter and get everything fully mixed. Add mixture evenly on top of the scallops. Sprinkle with prosciutto or bacon. Bake in oven 12-16 minutes. Serve hot. Feel free to serve with bread for dipping in butter mixture.

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Fall of the Bone Ribs (Oven Baked)

This is my favorite rib recipe. I make it so often I’ve pretty much mastered it at this point. I started making these ribs a few years back. When I bought the slabs of baby back ribs I really had every intention of grilling them that quickly change when my grill stopped working. I had to improvise. I made the ribs in the oven low and slow for several hours. They came out so good that I’ve done it that way every single time.

This recipe isn’t your traditional rib flavors. I don’t use any bbq sauce in this recipe. The sauce I use is a different flavor than the traditional bbq sauce for ribs.

I like making these ribs in the oven because the meat literally falls off the bones. They are easy to eat and not messy at all. Don’t worry they are still ribs! 🙂 They are tender and delicious. Give them a try!! Feel free to toss on the grill after you bake them to get a char.

Fall off the Bone Ribs (Oven Baked)

Ingredients:
1 slab baby back ribs

Dry Rub:
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T chili powder
1/2 T cumin

Sauce:
1/2 cup oil
1 T honey
2 T low sodium soy sauce
2 T Dijon mustard (Smooth, not grainy)
4 Garlic Cloves, grated or minced
3T Rib drippings

Directions: Preheat oven 300°. Prepare the ribs by removing the silver skin on the back of the ribs. Run your knife down one of the bones and grab the white skin and pull completely off. Pat dry the ribs with a paper towel and add to a roasting dish. (I always use disposable aluminum pans.)

In a bowl mix all the spices for the rub together. Add spices liberally all over the top of the ribs. Cover tight with foil. Bake in oven for 2 hours and then check the ribs and baste with the pan drippings. Put back in the oven for another 1 hours. Reserve 3 T of pan drippings for later.

In a bowl mix together all items for the sauce. Brush the sauce over the ribs and put back in oven uncovered for anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, add foil and let rest! Then serve with your choice of sides. The meat will literally fall off these bones. I hope you enjoy it.

Notes: You can put on grill to get the char last few minutes if you wish. I prefer not to as it sometimes can dry out the meat. Also, if you’d like to use just regular bbq sauce for this recipe just omit the sauce in this recipe and sauce the ribs with your choice of bbq sauce.

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