Category Archives: condiments

Salsa Fresca

Want to know the secret to making the most delicious salsa on earth?  It’s simple: grow yo’ sh*t.   You don’t need a garden to grow your own tomatoes, a large container will suffice, and they taste so much better than the impostors at the supermarket.  There really is no comparison. Last spring,  Sunset Magazine had a great article on “salsa in a pot”, so I tried it out this year.  I grew tomatoes, jalapeños, and herbs in large containers, then grew the onions in my raised bed.  It’s fun to freeze jars of garden salsa to enjoy during the oh-so-dreary winter months.   D-to-the-licious. This has been my simple go-to recipe all summer:

6 large, super ripe garden tomatoes, seeded, chopped coarse
1 large white onion, peeled, chopped coarse
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, roasted, seeded
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed (I tend to go big here)
1 teaspoon blue agave sweetner
zest +fresh juice of one lime
salt + pepper

My mother, a veteran burn nurse,  is not going to be pleased with the above photograph.  Sorry, mom!   I always roast my jalapeños over an open flame before chopping them up.  I like the deep flavor and the charred little bits.  My host mom in Mexico used to do this all the time, but she was a pro….so…attempt at your own risk. 🙂

Put everything in the food processor, reserving a handful of chopped tomatoes.  Process until smooth but chunky (does that make sense?!  You know what I mean)…


Then toss in the reserved tomatoes and pulse a few times, depending on how chunky you like it.

Grab a bag of Juanita’s chips (the best, most addictive chips on the planet) and chow down.

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Filed under appetizer, condiments, garden, mexican, tomatoes, vegetarian

THE BREAKFAST SANDWICH CHALLENGE

A good friend  recently asked me to come up with a breakfast sandwich (actually, she used the phrase “throw down”).  Never one to back away from a challenge, especially when it involves eating, I gladly accepted.

Here is my spin on the “Viento” breakfast wrap from 10 Speed Coffee in Hood River.  They serve theirs on Middle Eastern flatbread, but I sometimes find it too….bready.

This challenge got me thinking way too much about what basically amounts to a glorified egg McMuffin. Here are some of the key conclusions that I came to:

  • Prep EVERYTHING before you start cooking the egg
  • Grate the cheese for even meltage
  • Use both hands, a bib, and several napkins while consuming
INGREDIENTS:
Southwestern Dressing
Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
Morning Star Veggie Sausage
Tomato, very thinly sliced
Avocado, very thinly sliced
Egg
English Muffin
SOUTHWESTERN DRESSING:
This is one of my favorite condiments.  I use it on fish/shrimp tacos, southwestern coleslaw, BLT’s w/ avocado, and now on breakfast sandwiches.  It stores well in the fridge for about a week.  This is the basic recipe:
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Mayo (don’t look at me like that…just do it)
2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, seeds removed
Half of a lime, squeezed
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, then tinker with it to get it the way you like it.
SANDWICH PREP: 
Get everything toasted and prepped before cooking the egg.  TOAST the english muffin, NUKE the veggie sausage (*I am addicted specifically to the Morning Star brand).  GRATE the cheese and THINLY SLICE the avocado and tomato.  SPREAD each side of toasted muffin with the Southwestern Dressing.  PLACE the avocado on one muffin half and using the back of a spoon, gently press down on it, so that it’s slightly mashed in with the bread, then layer with the tomato slice.
Now you are ready to get your egg on.  Do it however you like it.  We prefer ours fried….
FRIED EGG:
Over low heat, allow your smallest frying pan to warm up for five minutes.  SWIRL a dab of butter around the pan and crack open your egg.  SEASON with salt, pepper, and a dash of red cayenne.  COVER and allow it to cook, undisturbed for two minutes.  CHECK it, and allow it to cook, covered,  for up to three more minutes (*we like ours slightly gooey, which takes 4 minutes total on our stove).
Now, get the grated cheese on the hot egg ASAP!
PLACE the egg on top of the avocado/tomato half, then SPRINKLE with cheese.  ADD the veggie sausage and TOP with the other muffin half.  Put on your bib and CHOW down.  Warning: it is messy business.

Our suggested pairing: Columbia Gorge Organic Orange Juice….it’s ridonkulous.

*Note:  Freeze left over chipotle peppers in ziploc baggies (I freeze mine in groups of two) then thaw for future use.

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Filed under breakfast, condiments

CHERRY SALSA



True confession:  I sort of have a crush on Hood River.  Not only are we spoiled with year round outdoor recreation and amazing views, but we also get to indulge in fabulous local wine and fruit.  Even more exciting is when the fabulous fruit grows in our very own backyard!  I’m happy to report that we have a lovely cherry tree growing in the front of our house.  Sadly, it produces sour cherries…. wah waaah waaaaaaaaaah.  Luckily, we can jaunt (literally) up the street to my sister-in-law’s property and ravage the sweet dark cherries that grow in abundance on her tree.  Last year, we dried many of the cherries, which made for some ridiculously delish chocolate chunk and dark cherry cookies.  This year, I decided to try my hand at making Cherry Salsa.  I now have a new addiction and as any good addict will do, I thought I’d pass it along to you….


Admittedly, cherry picking in 90+ degree temps can be somewhat daunting…the results, however, are well worth the sweat: 



Amongst many thoughtful birthday gifts this year, I also received this cherry pitter.  Exciting, right?!  VERY.  Anyone who has stood in the kitchen, pitting an endless bowl of fruit can appreciate my excitement: 



Once the cherries were cleaned and pitted, I gave them a rough chop and threw them in the food processor for a few pulses (careful not to over process) with the following: 

  • lime juice
  • honey
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • cilantro
  • chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (*seeds removed)

The result was a deep red, smoky and sweet salsa that my husband and my friends can’t seem to get enough of!  





PS– If you’ve never tried locally made Juanitas tortilla chips, do yourself a favor and grab a bag muy pronto.  You’ll thank me later.  Buen provecho….



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Filed under cherries, condiments, fruit