Pineapple Salsa

So, lets make another salsa, this one is a pineapple salsa. I love to serve this as a side to fresh grilled pork. This simple salsa should help us finish off the cilantro and limes.

here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. Quick and simple.

pineapple salsa

pineapple salsa

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Ancho Chile and Corn Salsa

So, it seems like we are doing a salsa week so lets build on the basic tomato salsa from a day or two ago and lets use up that cilantro and those odd ears of corn left over at the bottom of the fridge (AKA the forgotten zone). What to do with dried ears of corn? Well, we re-hydrate, the same technique we use on the ancho chile. Salsa is on the way.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 roma tomatoes (1-1/2 lb.), chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ancho chiles
Step one, re-hydrating. I cut up the ancho chilies, which are simply dried pablano peppers, and remove the dried corn kernel from two ears of corn. I put these in a microwaveable container with a little water and I like a dash or two of hot sauce (caution – depending on the sauce you use here it can make a big impact on the heat factor of the final salsa… lets be careful out there). Nuke this for a minute or two.
Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and add the diced tomatoes and onions. combine thoroughly and let rest to meld the flavors. Then, serve with your favorite chips.

Ancho Chile Corn Salsa

Tomato, Onion, Cilantro Salsa

I’m still using those limes I picked up at the great Western Beef sale. Today, I share another one of my salsa recipes. This one uses a little lime juice with tomatoes, onions, poblanos, and cilantro. The trick to cutting down on the bite of the onion is to wash the diced onion before adding it to the mixture.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 small white onion finely chopped
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups boiling water over them then let drain throughly. Discard water and let it cool.

Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors. This makes about 2 cups of salsa.

fresh tomato salsa

fresh tomato salsa

Salsa Verde 1.0

Did I mention that there was a big sale on lime at Western Beef last week? Oh, I probably did. Well, while I was there I also picked up a bunch of tomatillos. These are the green Mexican tomato cousins that form the base of a salsa verde. Unlike tomato based salsas, these tomatillos need to be cooked before becoming salsa.  To cook the tomatillos, you can either roast them in the oven, or boil them. Roasting will deliver more flavor; boiling may be faster and use less energy. Either way works, though boiling is a more common way to cook the tomatillos.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers chopped

Roasting method Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

Boiling method Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tomatillos with a slotted spoon.

Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, salt in a food processor if you have one, I use a basic blender, and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Cool in refrigerator.

Serve with chips or as a salsa accompaniment to Mexican dishes.

tomatillo salsa verde

Tomatoes Stuffed with Crab

Hazy Hot and Humid… So, yesterday I mentioned making a chicken salad stuffed tomato. Well, I decided to stop off at the fish shop on the way home and got a great deal on crab meat. So, instead of chicken salad stuffed tomatoes, I made crab salad for them. I like to make these easy meal items that go straight from the fridge to the plate on these hazy, hot, humid days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 fist sized ‘slicing’ tomatoes
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 rib celery
  • 2 spring leeks
  • two tablespoons mayo
  • sea salt and pepper

Start by cutting the crab meat into modest chunks. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the crab meat. Take a butter knife and shave off some of the lime pulp into the crab meat. Combine this thoroughly. Then add the minced celery and onion, then cut the leeks lengthwise and chiffonade and add the shreds to the crab. Now, add the mayo and mix thoroughly.

Take each tomato and hollow them out. I usually fine that one of those serrated grapefruit spoons works well for this task. Save the innards for making salsa, or chunked into a side salad. Now, stuff the crab salad into the tomato and store them in the fridge till you are ready to serve them up.

Tomato Stuffed with Crab

Fresh Fruit with Fresh Lime Dipping Sauce

Hazy Hot and Humid… just a perfect day for a platter full of fresh juicy fruit to snack on. You’ll find this platter to be delicious, refreshing and a healthy alternative to salty, high fat snacks. Serve this along with the chicken salad stuffed tomatoes (tomorrow’s post) for a cool lunch with which to beat the heat. Oh, did I mention that Western Beef had a great sale on limes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Granny smith apples peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into wedges
  • 1 Honey dew melon, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges 2 to 3 inches wide
  • 2 pounds watermelon, rind removed, and fruit cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges 2 to 3 inches wide
  • 1 small pineapple, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into wedges
  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced crosswise
  • Creamy Lime Dipping Sauce

Creamy Lime Dipping Sauce

  • 1 container (6 ounces) vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper minced

To make the Creamy Lime Dipping Sauce combine all ingredients in small bowl; mix well to combine. The important thing to remember is to remove ALL of the white pith and seeds from the jalapeno. Nearly all the capsaicin, the acidic source of the pepper’s heat, comes from the rind. The rind, once the pith is removed has a strong fruity flavor.

So make a patio picnic of it and whip up a couple mojitos

Mojito

2 oz White Rum
.75 oz Simple Syrup
.75 oz Lime Juice
Fresh Mint
Soda

Take the leaves off of one of the sprigs of mint and put them in your mixing tin along with the simple syrup and the lime juice.  Muddle the mint gently.  Add the rum and some ice and shake well.  Strain (you should double-strain) into a glass filled with cracked ice.  Top with soda, garnish with the remaining mint.

mojito ingredients – combine with caution

Apple and Celery Root Slaw

Picnics are a perfect time to perfect those chilled salads and slaws that remind us that it’s too warm for hot food. So, with picnics in mind I put together two great tastes that should go well together and blended them with a variation of the creamy coleslaw dressing I like to whip up. So lets try the Apple and Celery Root slaw.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 bulbs (about 1 pound) celery root , peeled and cut into small matchsticks
  • 2  sweet apples (I use Macintosh) apples, cored and cut into small matchsticks
  • 1 large egg, hardboiled and finely chopped

Combine the mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon zest, salt, and horseradish in a medium bowl. Toss the lemon juice, celery root, and apples together in a large bowl and stir in the mayonnaise mixture and egg. Let sit at least 45 minutes before serving.

Basic Cornmeal Pancakes

I like the taste of corn. These cornmeal pancakes have a nice rustic feel to them, and the grit of the cornmeal adds flavor and texture. This variation on the basic pancake will help you use up that left over buttermilk without getting too bored with just pancakes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  1 c. flour
  •  1 c. corn meal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. milk

Combine dry ingredients. Beat eggs and add buttermilk and milk. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and whisk it up well. Recipe can also be used for corn-fritters, but that’s a different blog-post..

I like to use a standard two once ladle to portion out the batter. Wait till the pancake forms those bubbles on the surface before flipping it over. Then, a minute or two and add it to the stack. Stack them up butter them down, yes you should use real butter, and a touch of maple syrup. Yes, the real stuff. I know the price on this stuff has gone through the roof recently, but, as I only use a small amount, a little goes a long way.

Did I mention that people who overindulge and smother their pancakes in those imitation maple flavor ‘breakfast’ syrups of high fructuous corn syrup should just stick to making those cheap pancakes from boxed pancake batter cause your not going to taste the pancake anyway. I did? Good!

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk, milk that’s just gone a little wrong… well it’s actually milk that has progressed to the point where fermentation has occurred. This fermentation can occur as a result of letting milk sit until natural bacteria start to ferment the proteins, or can be hastened through the introduction of bacteria into the milk to jump-start the fermentation process. In either case, I’m glad that it lasts a while in the fridge because you only use a little bit o make pancake batter and there’s no way to buy buttermilk by the pint. Its only sold in quarts around here… There is a way to make buttermilk from regular milk using vinegar, but those science experiments are beyond me now. I’ll just buy the quart and  make sure that I’m ready to enjoy pancakes for several days with a loaf of soda bread or two thrown in the mix. So without further ado…

 Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. milk

 Combine dry ingredients. Beat eggs and add buttermilk and milk. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and whisk it up well. Recipe can also be used for waffles if you add a bit more milk.

 I like to use a standard two once ladle to portion out the batter. Wait till the pancake forms those bubbles on the surface before flipping it over. Then, a minute or two and add it to the stack. Stack them up butter them down, yes you should use real butter, and a touch of maple syrup. Yes, the real stuff. I know the price on this stuff has gone through the roof recently, but, as I only use a small amount, a little goes a long way.

 It is my humble opinion from where I’m standing on my soap box, that people who overindulge and smother their pancakes in those imitation maple flavor ‘breakfast’ syrups of high fructuous corn syrup should just stick to making those cheap pancakes from boxed pancake batter cause your not going to taste the pancake anyway. Humph!

Image

Summer Lime-Aide

As I may have mentioned previously, Western Beef had one of those ‘i cant believe it’ lime sales, 16 little limes for about two dollars or so. But, you may be asking yourself, could you possibly do with that many limes and no pie crust. Well, I used a bunch of them in various ways but, here’s one way to use little limes with a trick my mother told me. A tasty lime-aide.

Here’s what You’ll need:

  • 1 quart water
  • 2 scoops sugar
  • half a dozen little limes

Cut 1/4 off each end of each lime. Then, cut the remaining 1/2 lime into slices and put these into a freeze safe zip-lock bag. Toss them in the chill-chest. With the remaining lime ends, squeeze them into a large ( 4 cup ) measuring cup. To really get all that juice out, twirl the end between your thumb and forefinger.  This will hopefully get a little pulp into the mix.

Once you’ve collected all that juice, add about three cups of water. Now add two scoops of sugar. My scoop tends to be about two and a half tablespoons. Dissolve the sugar and pout it into a one quart container. Add the rest of the water and chill.

When your ready to serve, grab a tall glass and take one or two frozen lime slices a couple of ice cubes. pour the lime-aide over these and serve then out. Later, this mixes well with tonic water and a splash or two of gin.

limes

limes for simple summer lime-aide