Dips

Mango and Avocado Salsa

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Taco Tuesdays are always great, but I recently found myself in a bit of a rut with the usual toppings. I felt the need to jazz it up a bit, so I decided to tinker with salsa fresca. After traipsing through the isles of the market, I decided to focus on mango and avocado.

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1 ripe mango

Juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp. smokey serrano sauce (I used Boulder Hot Sauce), or hot sauce of your choice

2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. finely chopped cilantro

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tsp. salt

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Peel the mango and slice off the sides, avoiding the bone in the middle.

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Dice your avocado and add the mango and avocado to a large bowl.

Add the lime juice, smokey serrano, EVOO, and salt.

Depending on how chunky you want your salsa, you could either just smash the mixture with a fork or give it a quick zip in either a robot coup, or a Vita Mix.

I served the salsa with grilled pork chops.

Enjoy!

Eat well,

April

When life gives you lemons, throw them back and say, “I said I wanted mangos!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harissa Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dip

 

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I picked up a tube of Harissa Entube (Tunisian chili pepper paste) at a market last week. While there I spotted some ginormous carrots, too. Carrots become uber sweet when your roast them, so they make the perfect veg to slather with something spicy.

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To compliment the spicy carrots, I drizzled a bit of pomegranate molasses over them right before serving (you can find this at a Middle Eastern market like Jordan in Laguna Hills) and mixed up a dip of yogurt and dill to serve on the side. I was thrilled with how they complimented one another. Here’s what you’ll need –

Preheat your oven to 375

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6 large carrots, washed and peeled

1 ½ tbsp. harissa (if you like SUPER spicy, bump it up to 2 tbsp.)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1/2 cup Fage (Greek yogurt)

1/8 cup chopped dill

Juice from ½ lemon and zest from ½ lemon

3 pinches of salt

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Mix together the harissa, olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt. Smear this all over the carrots and slow roast (you don’t want the harissa to burn) for 45 minutes to an hour (all ovens are different). They are done when you can pierce them through with a knife; however, you don’t want them to turn to mush. They should retain their structural integrity.

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While your carrots are roasting, mix the yogurt, lemon, lemon zest, and pinches of salt in a small bowl.

 

This dish makes a great pre-dinner, wet your appetite, kind of thing, and the yogurt dip, plus the drizzle of pomegranate molasses are great cooling elements. The combinations are delish. 

Eat well!

April

“The only difference between the cucumber and water is the moving of the teeth.” – Tunisian Proverb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hummus

Well, Jeffrey’s high school graduation, his Eagle Scout Court of Honor, his long-weekend college orientation, and the 4th of July are now behind us. It’s been a VERY hectic past couple of weeks. Now that all of these distractions have come to a close, and the guests have flown back home, I now have a little free time to focus on what I enjoy doing: creating recipes. That being said, I have been cooking a TON of food these past few weeks for the above occasions, it’s just that I haven’t had the ability to take the time to measure out all of my ingredients (which I hate doing!), take pictures of each of the steps (which I enjoy doing!), and posting said results.

Before I get to the meat of today’s post: hummus, I thought I’d share some photos of a few of our 4th of July guests: Maine lobsters. The plan was to host an old-fashioned New England lobster boil/BBQ at our house in the late afternoon, then watch the fireworks from our front deck.

The day before the 4th I drove over to one of my go-to Asian markets in Irvine to gather up some crustaceans. When I peered into the lobster tank, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The lobsters in there were ginormous! There wasn’t a lobster in the tank that was under 5 lbs. These lobsters could go toe-to-toe with Godzilla (seeing that I was in an Asian market “Godzirra” was the first monster that popped into my head..sorry, I couldn’t resist).  My intention was to buy a 1 pounder for each person, so I asked the fish counter guy if he could give their other store a jingle. It was the same story there, too, no crustacean under 5 pounds; therefore, I left the store with a gaggle of gargantuan lobsters.

The biggest critter in the bunch.

Striking a jiu jitsu pose!

Scaring the bejesus out of the dog.

Let’s get back to the hummus. Last night Monica and I were alone for dinner and we both wanted something quick, easy, healthy, and salad like. Since I had just replenished my tahini supply, we opted for hummus. I could literally live on hummus. Here’s what you’ll need for ingredients.

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (a.k.a chickpeas). Reserve 1/2 cup of the bean liquid to add to the blender.
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • A generous pinch of Espelette pepper
  • 2 tbsp of tahini
  • 3 sun dried tomatoes (packed in EVOO)
  • 1 tbsp of EVOO
  • The juice from 2 large lemons

Add all of your ingredients to the blender.

You can see the size of the three sun dried tomatoes on top. You could add, or deduct, one to two depending upon your affinity for sun dried toms.

Blend until smooth and creamy.

While my hummus was blending, I began to warm up some garlic naan that I had purchased at Trader Joe’s. You could use pita bread or whatever floats your boat.

I minced one shallot, diced a Persian cucumber (a seedless cuke), chopped up an heirloom tomato, and made a basil chiffonade (basil leaves cut into long, thin strips) with about 4 leaves. I put some hummus in a bowl and sprinkled some Maldon sea salt flakes over the top, gave it a drizzle of EVOO, and threw a pinch more of Esplette pepper.

I then topped the hummus with some shallot, cucumber, tomato, and the basil. If I had some feta cheese I would have added some feta crumbles, too. I placed the remaining cucumber and tomato on the platter with the sliced naan. It was Über healthy and Über delicious!

Eat well!

April

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” ~ Orson Welles