Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Roasted Tomato Salsa (Salsa Quemada)

September 7th, 2011 by andrea | 2 Comments | Filed in Appetizer, Dip, Mexican, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Sauce, Snack, Vegetable, Vegetarian

This salsa rocks! If you’ve never made fresh salsa before, I highly encourage you to make a batch of it. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to whip up and how delicious it is! Of course, starting with top quality ingredients (vine-ripened tomatoes) is key to a good salsa, while dry roasting the veggies in a pan is super simple and only takes a few minutes. Husband thinks I should make this recipe on a regular basis…I couldn’t agree more!

Don’t forget to season the finished salsa with salt (bland salsa just won’t do). Enjoy!

Salsa Quemada (Roasted Tomato Salsa)
-recipe from | April 2010
Reprinted with permission from Amor y Tacos: Modern Mexican Tacos, Margaritas, and Antojitos by Deborah Schneider

A very useful salsa that is easy to make and keeps well. Firm, fresh Roma tomatoes are dry-roasted until soft and well charred on all sides (quemada literally means “burnt”), then pureed into a smooth salsa with sweet toasted garlic, fresh cilantro, and onion. Salsa quemada clings to the dryer and chunkier taco fillings, adding moisture and great flavor. It is also a classic table salsa, perfect to serve with tostadas and totopos.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

5 large Roma tomatoes, whole, not cored or cut in any way
1 serrano or jalapeño chile
2 cloves garlic, skin on
1/4 cup minced white onion
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro

Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated. Put a piece of aluminum foil in a heavy sauté pan (preferably cast iron) and set it over medium-high heat. Place the whole tomatoes, chile, and garlic cloves in the pan and dry-roast them on all sides until well charred and soft. The garlic and chiles will be done quickly; the tomatoes may take 10 minutes or longer to cook.

Peel the garlic and stem the chile. Place the tomatoes, garlic, and chile in a food processor with the onion, salt, and cilantro. Pulse until the salsa is smooth and taste for seasoning. The salsa will keep, refrigerated, for several days. Reseason before use.


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Cranberry-Chipotle Fruit Conserve

November 23rd, 2010 by andrea | 2 Comments | Filed in Condiment, Holidays, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Sauce, Southwestern, Thanksgiving

If you’re feeling adventurous, try this flavorful, jewel-like cranberry sauce. It’s delicious, smoky, not-too-spicy, and not-too-sweet.  I love it with roast turkey and chicken! I’ll be serving this Cranberry-Chipotle Fruit Conserve on Thanksgiving, as well as a more traditional cranberry sauce , too. It’s so good I can eat it with a spoon!

I couldn’t find dried peaches so I doubled the dried apricots. The recipe calls for real maple syrup…not the imitation pancake syrup. Use more or less chipotle depending on the level of spice you want. You can start with a little and add more if needed. Enjoy!

Cranberry-Chipotle Fruit Conserve
-recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine, October 2003

Serve with: Roast turkey, ham, or chicken. Combine with: Crackers that have been spread with cream cheese or goat cheese. Use as: A sandwich spread. Makes about 3 cups.

1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped dried peaches
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces fresh cranberries (about 4 cups)
2 1/4 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chiles*

Combine maple syrup, 1/2 cup water, and vinegar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Add all dried fruit, garlic, and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fresh cranberries and chipotle chiles; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

*Chipotle chiles canned in a spicy tomato sauce that is sometimes called adobo are available at Latin American markets, specialty foods stores, and some supermarkets.


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Backyard Barbecued Pork Tenderloin

October 20th, 2010 by andrea | 2 Comments | Filed in Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Pork, Recipes

Pork tenderloin, the most tender cut of pork, is great for entertaining because it’s hard to mess up. Marinated and grilled, this recipe produces meat that is tender,  juicy and flavorful. The orange juice/zest, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and barbecue sauce combination creates a unique marinade and tastes nothing like plain ol’ barbecue sauce. I served the pork with mashed sweet potatoes (seasoned with butter and green onions) and green beans. Delicious!

Speaking of barbecue sauce, you’ll want to use a good quality brand for this recipe. I used Trader Joe’s Bold & Smoky Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce (D.L. Jardine’s brand is another one I like).

After basting the tenderloins with the marinade, it’s a good idea to cook the pork on all sides for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce (since the raw pork was sitting in the marinade). Enjoy!

Backyard Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
-recipe from Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking: More Fresh Simple Recipes From Foster’s Market

This pork tenderloin is a standard special at the Market. It’s so tender that you can cut it without a knife, so it makes the perfect hot entree to serve to guests who will be eating standing up. Our catering customers often request it sliced so they can serve it with dinner rolls or biscuits as an alternative to ham sandwiches. Serves 4 to 6.

2 1-pound pork tenderloins
For the marinade
1 cup spicy barbecue sauce
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Whisk the barbecue sauce, orange zest and juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl. Trim the fat and sinew from the tenderloins, rinse them, and pat dry. Place the tenderloins in a shallow glass bowl or in a large sealable bag. Pour the marinade over the tenderloins and turn the pork to coat the tenderloins. Cover the bowl and marinate the park for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill.

Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloins for about 15 minutes, basting with the marinade while cooking and turning them to cook all four sides. Move the tenderloins to the side of the grill, close the grill or cover the tenderloins with foil, and cook and baste for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the tenderloins reads 145 degrees F for medium (longer, or until the thermometer reads 160 degrees F, for medium-well pork). Let the tenderloins rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Thinly slice the tenderloin and divide the slices evenly among four plates.

Note: Be careful not to overcook pork tenderloin. A perfectly cooked tenderloin may look a little pink in the center when you take if off the grill, but it’ll be moist and juicy after it’s rested for a few minutes do don’t be tempted to cut into it immediately.


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Zucchini Caponata

September 6th, 2010 by andrea | 3 Comments | Filed in Appetizer, Condiment, Dip, Italian, Recipes, Side Dish, Summer, Vegetable, Vegetarian

If you’re looking for a way to use up some of that summer zucchini, try this recipe for Zucchini Caponata. The combo of zucchini, tomatoes and olives makes a great topping for grilled bread or a quick, fresh sauce for cooked pasta. I bet it would also be really good as a topping for grilled chicken or pork.

The recipe calls for adding 2 teaspoons of sugar to the cooked zucchini mixture but next time I’d only use one teaspoon. For a little oomph, I added a few dashes of crushed red pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar. A garnish of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta or goat cheese would also be a great addition to the caponata. Enjoy!

Zucchini Caponata
-recipe from

You can also add diced grilled slices of eggplant for an extra-smoky twist. Makes about 3 cups.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup pitted halved black olives, preferably oil-cured
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, parsley, or oregano (optional)

Heat the oil, and fry the zucchini, onion, garlic, and tomatoes for 30 minutes, covered.

Remove the cover, and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes to evaporate any extra liquid.

Add the sugar, salt, and pepper; stir and remove from heat. When lukewarm, stir in the cherry tomatoes, capers, and olives. Store covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

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Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

September 5th, 2010 by andrea | No Comments | Filed in Chicken, Grilling/BBQ, Kid-friendly, Main Dish, Recipes

Since we still have a few more prime grilling weeks left before the cooler weather of Autumn sets in, I thought I’d share this recipe for Grilled Buttermilk Chicken. The simple marinade not only tenderizes the meat but gives it a light lemon and dill flavor. Plan ahead so the chicken can marinate for at least a few hours. Serve with Green Bean, Red Onion and Roast Potato Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette or Mediterranean Rice Salad. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Buttermilk Marinade
-recipe from Martha

A shallow, nonreactive dish allows marinade to coat food evenly and is easy to transport to the grill. You can also use a large resealable plastic bag; if marinating meat in the refrigerator, rest the bag on a plate in case of leaks.

Serves 4.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
Buttermilk Marinade (recipe below)
Salt and pepper

Heat grill to medium; oil grates. Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag. Add Buttermilk Marinade; turn to coat. Cover; marinate 30 minutes at room temperature — or up to overnight in the refrigerator — turning occasionally. (Bring to room temperature before grilling.)

Remove from marinade; season with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes per side.

Buttermilk Marinade
Instead of dill, try finely chopped chives. Or substitute limes for the lemons. Use with chicken, fish, or other seafood.

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (3 cloves)

In small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. Makes enough for about 2 pounds of meat or fish.


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Grilled Citrus Salmon

August 31st, 2010 by andrea | 13 Comments | Filed in Fish, Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Seafood

As much as I love trying new recipes, there’s a few I make over and over again because they are delicious and reliable. Grilled Citrus Salmon is one of those recipes. It’s simple yet special enough to serve at a dinner party. If you don’t have a grill, no big deal…just bake it in the oven. Enjoy!

p.s. I know it’s not the best photo. We had company over for dinner and I was in a hurry to serve the salmon. As always, the salmon was a hit!

Grilled Citrus Salmon
- recipe from From Portland’s Palate, A Collection of Recipes from the City of Roses
The Junior League of Portland, Oregon

Makes 6 servings.

1 ½ Tbl. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. butter
1 Tbl. Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 dashes cayenne pepper
2 dashes salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried dill
2 tsp. capers
3 lbs. fresh salmon fillets

In a small saute pan over medium heat, combine lemon juice, olive oil, butter, mustard, garlic, pepper, salt, basil, dill, and capers. While stirring, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Place salmon fillets skin-side down on a piece of heavy-duty foil with edges folded up, to make a pan. Pour sauce evenly over fish.

Place fish on grill and cover with lid.

Barbecue over medium-hot coals for 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets. Fish will be flaky and light pink in color when cooked.

Note: As an alternative, wrap fish in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

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Dry-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

August 20th, 2010 by andrea | 5 Comments | Filed in Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Mexican, Pork, Recipes, Summer

This Mexi-inspired recipe will please most tastes (sans vegetarians). The lightly seasoned pork has good flavor without being dominated by the rub, which is a combo of paprika, brown sugar, chile powder and allspice. After I put the rub on the pork, I put it back in the fridge for a few hours while I took the kids swimming. When we got back from the pool, I proceeded with the recipe and made the tomato sauce and grilled the pork. The sauce, which is basically a salsa, is a delicious compliment to the perfectly cooked, super-tender pork tenderloins.

The jalepeno pepper that I used for the fire-roasted sauce was on the tame side so I also added a little chopped chipotle chile to the simmering sauce. This added the kick that I was looking for and provided a bit more smoky flavor, too. Leftover sauce is great as a dip with chips!

Menu idea: Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce, Two-Bean & Corn Salad, Green Salad with Southwestern Vinaigrette, and Blueberry-Lemon Cornmeal Cake.

Dry-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce
-recipe from Weber’s Real Grilling™ by Jamie Purviance

Makes 4 servings.

8 ripe, plum tomatoes, stems removed
1 jalapeño chile pepper, stem and seeds removed
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup roughly chopped red onion
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin
Extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).

Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the tomatoes and jalapeño over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until blackened and blistered in spots, turning as needed. The tomatoes will take 4 to 6 minutes and the jalapeño will take 2 to 3 minutes. Put the tomatoes and jalapeño in a food processor along with the remaining sauce ingredients, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, mix the rub ingredients.

Trim any excess fat and sliver skin from the tenderloins. Lightly brush the tenderloins on all sides with oil and season evenly with the rub, pressing the spices into the meat.  Allow the tenderloins to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling. Reduce the temperature of the grill to medium heat (350° to 450°F).

Grill the tenderloins over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the pork is barely pink in the center, 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with the sauce.

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Ginger Salad Dressing

August 10th, 2010 by andrea | 8 Comments | Filed in Asian, Condiment, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Salad, Sauce

Here’s a great salad dressing that will go perfectly with your next Asian-inspired meal. I got the recipe out of Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2by Todd Wilbur. This recipe is his version of the dressing served at Benihana restaurants. I’ve been to Benihana and several other hibachi grill restaurants, and they all serve salads with a similar ginger dressing. The dressing is tangy, refreshing and super easy to make.  Yumm!

I didn’t have peanut oil so I substituted 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup canola oil. The dressing also makes a great marinade for chicken or pork. This recipe really is a no-brainer…you need to try it!

Top Secret Version of Benihana Ginger Salad Dressing
-recipe from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur

Before your meal at the Benihana chain of hibachi grill restaurants you are served a side salad doused in this tangy, slightly sweet, fresh ginger dressing. When spooned over a simple iceberg lettuce salad this easy clone transforms your bowl of greens into a great start for any meal. Making the dressing is as simple as dumping the ingredients into a blender, whizzing it up, and popping it into the cooler to chill. Ive seen many attempts to duplicate this coveted formula, but I think the original clone recipe presented here comes closer to the real thing than any other recipe floating around cyberspace.

1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced celery
2 tablespoons ketchup
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds or until all of the ginger is pureed. Chill. Makes 1 3/4 cups.

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Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Crostini

August 5th, 2010 by andrea | 10 Comments | Filed in Appetizer, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Sandwich, Snack, Vegetarian

Words can not express how much I love this appetizer! In fact, it’s what I had for dinner last night. I didn’t intend to eat only the crostini for dinner but I ate several of them, which led to several more and before I knew it, I was full. This is one of those appetizers that is always a hit at parties and potlucks. Plus, it’s delicious, full of fresh flavors and easy to make. I seriously think I could eat it everyday and never grow tired of it!

Since it’s hot right now, I grilled the bread outside on the grill so I wouldn’t heat up the house by turning on the oven. I used small mozzarella balls called ciliegine that I got at Trader Joe’s. I sliced each cherry-sized ball of mozzarella into several slices and put 2-3 slices on each piece of grilled bread. Sometimes I like to put the cheese on the bread while it’s on the grill so it melts. If you want a little zip, add a few dashes of crushed red pepper flakes to the tomato-basil topping. Yumm!

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Crostini
-recipe from Williams-Sonoma

Easy to make, crostini are an excellent way to showcase fresh seasonal ingredients. This simple combination of ripe tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese makes a perfect beginning to an alfresco meal.

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing, plus 1/4 cup
1 baguette, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and coarsely ground pepper, to taste
8 vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1 1/2 lb. total
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
2 Tbs. finely minced red onion
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the baguette slices on the sheet in a single layer. Brush the tops with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, 15 to 18 minutes. If not using immediately, let the crostini cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

Core, seed and dice the tomatoes. In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, half of the basil, the onion, garlic, vinegar, the 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper.

Slice the mozzarella into 1/4-inch-thick pieces or into smaller pieces so they fit on the crostini. To assemble, lay a piece of mozzarella on each crostini and spoon 1 to 2 Tbs. of the tomato salad on top. Garnish each with a pinch of the remaining basil. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

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Feta Wheat Berry Salad

July 21st, 2010 by andrea | 5 Comments | Filed in Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Feta Wheat-Berry Salad, which is basically a Greek salad with the addition of wheat berries, is one of my favorite summer recipes. Wheat berries are whole kernels of wheat without the hull, are an excellent source of fiber, and have a chewy texture when cooked. My folks went through a health food kick when I was growing up so Mom snuck wheat berries into a variety of foods (homemade bread, casseroles, hot cereal, etc.).

I pretty much follow the recipe for the salad except for reducing the amount of red onions to 1/4 cup, substituting 1/2 cup fresh red bell peppers for the roasted peppers, and increasing the olives to 1/3 cup (I use kalamata olives). For the veggies, I chop them into small pieces (instead of julienning), and I usually just use Italian parsley (not a blend of herbs). I always let the cooked wheat berries cool before making the salad. Enjoy!

Feta Wheat Berry Salad
-recipe from Gourmet Magazine

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

1 cup wheat, spelt, or rye berries (available at natural foods stores)
1/2 cup diced Feta (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (I use 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup julienne strips of seedless cucumber
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup julienne strips of drained bottled roasted red pepper (I use 1/2 cup fresh red bell pepper)
1/4 cup mixed minced fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, and dill plus herb sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped pitted brine-cured black olives (I use 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
dried hot red pepper flakes to taste

In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the wheat berries for 1 hour, or until they are tender, and drain them. In a large bowl stir together the wheat berries, the Feta, the onion, the cucumber, the oil, the roasted pepper, the minced herbs, the lemon juice, the vinegar, the olives, the cumin, the garlic, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste and garnish the salad with the herb sprigs.

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