I thought this might be fun on Cinco de Mayo and I promised someone a vegetarian treat today.
The original recipe comes from Cooks Country and normally I’d just link to it, but they’re behind a paywall and I never know if you can access the information. So I’m reproducing it here.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
Tasters liked the consistently sweet taste of grape tomatoes compared with other varieties. Tasters also liked the flavor of minced garlic present in many guacamole salad recipes, but thought raw onions were just too harsh, so we used scallions instead. Steeping the garlic and scallions in lime juice for a few minutes before combining them with the avocados mellowed their flavor.
We wanted plenty of peppers for crunch and bulk, but a large quantity of jalapeños made the salad too hot to eat. Milder poblanos, with just a hint of heat, were a better choice.
Serves 4 to 6
If you can’t find poblano peppers, substitute an equal number of Anaheim chiles, or a large green bell pepper mixed with up to 2 tablespoons of minced jalopeño chile.
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- Salt and pepper
- 4 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 poblano chiles, seeded and sliced into 2-inch matchsticks
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted, skinned, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (see related Dicing Avocado tip)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1. SALT TOMATOES Toss tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain 15 minutes.
2. MAKE DRESSING Combine scallions, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes, then slowly whisk in oil.
3. TOSS SALAD Add chiles, avocados, cilantro, and drained tomatoes to bowl with dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
POBLANOS, THE RELLENO CHILES
Our recipe for Guacamole Salad calls for poblano chiles, a tapered, deep-green, medium-sized Mexican chile. They taste slightly bitter, similar to green bell peppers but with a spicier finish. Sold both fresh and dried (the dried are called anchos), they are used in many Mexican dishes, most famously in the United States in deep-fried, cheese-stuffed chiles rellenos. If you can’t find poblanos, substitute one medium green bell pepper and 1 to 2 tablespoons of minced jalapeño (about ½ chile) per poblano.
Quick note: I’ve been playing with the layout of the blog, so it may change several more times over the weekend. Please standby.
JeffreyW has been teasing with some impressive looking South of the Border treats lately, so I thought it would be a good night to focus on them. The featured recipe is an enchilada pie. It is kid friendly and a breeze to put together. Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
JeffreyW makes a similar dish, called Enchiladas Montadas (recipe here), which is pictured above.
Also from JeffreyW, a quick and easy Chicken Enchiladas (click here), including his terrific photos.
From frequent visitor, Joshua De Mers (you may know his as Yutsano), his Pork Enchiladas (recipe here).
All of that should give you an idea how to create your own enchilada to satisfy your tastes. Hit the comments and share some of your favorite enchilada, nacho, burrito or other favorites. And if you need more inspiration, click here for a complete photo gallery of JeffreyW’s enchilada creations.
Finally, tonight’s featured recipe:
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ large onion, chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 20 oz. enchilada sauce
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 10 corn tortillas
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
skillet & 8×8 glass baking dish, lightly oiled
Add beef and onion to skillet and cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Add spices and sauces; let simmer while you prep tortillas. Tear tortillas into strips and use some to cover the bottom of a well-oiled casserole dish. Layer a portion of the beef mixture and cheese on top, then repeat (tortillas, beef, cheese) to fill up casserole; finish with layer of cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350°
(originally posted 4/26/13 – I’ll post another recipe tonight, too)
These were fun. Not as much effort as it looks. Although I save them for special occasions. The steak can be prepped the day before, just wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Makes it great for a date night, anniversary or small dinner party. I pan-seared and finished in the oven because with the cheese, I thought grilling them wouldn’t work as well. The reward was great pan drippings when I was finished, which I drizzled over the potatoes before serving.
If you’d like something with a bit less work, how about a Spicy Grilled Flank Steak? (Recipe here)
JeffreyW works his magic on Flat Iron Steak with various recipes and lots of pictures. (click here)
How about you? When you want to make an impression, either for a special dinner for two or a small dinner party, what’s your go-to recipe? What’s more important, foolproof or dazzling on the plate? Hit the comments with your ideas.
Now tonight’s featured recipe:
Flank Steak Pinwheels
- 1 large flank steak, butterflied
- salt and pepper
- crushed garlic (at least 2 cloves)
- 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
- 1 bunch washed and dried spinach leaves
- 8 wooden skewers
- olive oil
Cast iron or oven proof skillet
You can ask the butcher to butterfly your flank steak, which is what I did. But it’s fairly easy to butterfly. You want the grain running up and down in front of you and then you’ll slice it in half, NOT slicing all the way through. When you’re done you’ll lay it open, flat, basically making a larger, thinner steak.
Once you have it laid out flat in front of you with the grain running left to right, you’ll want to tenderize it, pounding it flat. I use my pronged tenderizer, so I add the spices first and use the tenderizer to help infuse the meat.
If you haven’t already, once it’s pounded, add salt, pepper and garlic evenly over the meat. Layer the spinach over the meat. You want it to be several leaves thick, because it will reduce as it cooks.
Next layer the provolone cheese slices, two to three slices thick, over the meat.
Now it’s time to roll. Roll tightly in the direction of the grain. Add a skewer every 2 inches and then slice between the skewers, so you have 2-inch thick pinwheels.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil in large skillet, reduce heat to med-high and add pinwheels, flat-side down. After a minute, using the skewer (you may also need a metal spatula to get all the cheesy goodness) flip over, sear additional minute. The usual method of waiting until the meat moves easily to flip will not work with this because the cheese is sticky. So just do one minute each side, it will be fine.
Place the skillet in the oven, turn the oven off and let the steak finish for 10-15 minutes for medium rare. These are thin and don’t need a lot of cooking time and you don’t want the cheese to burn.
Remove to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes. You can then use the great juices in the skillet to make a gravy if desired. I just drizzled them over the steak and potatoes right before serving.
My steak made 4 pinwheels. If you have more, you may need to finish cooking on a baking sheet after searing them in groups.
I think because winter moved back into the neighborhood (seriously, Tuesday’s forecast was for honest to goodness ‘ice pellets’, can ‘raining frogs’ be far behind?) I am finding myself in a berry and citrus mood. I bought 3 lbs of strawberries over the weekend and they are gone. I stocked up on oranges yesterday and I’ll have to do it again by the weekend.
I was going to do a sirloin roast tonight. I had made a really nice one last week, but didn’t get around to photographing it, so I was going repeat it yesterday. But when it came down to it, I just didn’t feel like roast. Instead I grabbed a bunch of lemons and some chicken breasts and decided on Chicken Piccata, tonight’s featured recipe. I like the tangy sauce with the crispy, moist chicken and the herb noodles are a nice side to accompany it.
If spring ever arrives, what do you look forward to most in the produce aisle? Do you crave certain foods by season? Hit the comments and complain about the weather and share your favorite spring foods.
Of course, once I found my recipe, I went hunting to see what JeffreyW might have in the way of lemons and chicken and found a Chicken with Lemon Curd, that sounded yummy. You can see it here, along with a nice slideshow of the prep and final dish.
Now, tonight’s recipe:
Chicken Piccata with Herb Noodles:
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp basil, crushed
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, sliced into very thin slices*
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp fresh snipped parsley
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
Combine breadcrumbs, basil, zest, and pepper in bowl. Mix ½ tbsp oil and garlic together. Coat both sides of chicken with oil/garlic and dredge in breadcrumbs. Over medium-high heat 1 tbsp ea. of butter and oil in skillet, add chicken and cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken – keep warm – add lemon slices to pan, sauté 30 seconds, add water, parsley and juice, boil for 1 minute, spoon over chicken.
*Scrub well before slicing.
- 12 oz egg noodles
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp basil, crushed
- ½ tsp oregano, crushed
- ½ tsp rosemary, finely crushed
- ¼ tsp crushed garlic
- Sesame seeds, opt
saucepan, serving dish
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well. Melt butter in saucepan, add spices, mixing well. Toss with noodles. For an extra touch you can add 1 tbsp of sesame seeds.
I was prowling around the kitchen, wanting to bake and surveying what I had for ingredients. Chocolate chips, nope. Nuts, nada. But a new bag of flax and some already toasted oats that needed to be used up before they went stale. There it was Oatmeal Flax Cookies (recipe here).
The original recipe calls for rolled oats, but like I said, I had some rolled oats I had toasted and was afraid they would become stale soon, so I used those. Added a nice extra nuttiness to the cookies.