Avocado “Cream” Sauce

So this is more than just your average dipping sauce. Yes, I suggest that you accompany it with the empanadas, but how yum would these be with the crab cakes too? Anyway, you be the judge of how you want to use this lil nugget of culinary creativity and comment below! Oh and word is, you can sprinkle with a bit of chopped cilantro to look really authentic and fancy. What’s the saying : fake it till you make it?! haha enjoy.

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt (less fat than sour cream and full of the flavor, genius I know!).
  • 1 jalapeno (finely chopped, remove seeds to lower the heat level).
  • Juice of 1 lime (try fresh, I abhor the bottled stuff. oh and don’t even think lemon will do what the lime does).
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh into a blender or food processor and add the yogurt, the jalapeno, lime juice and a big pinch of salt and pepper. (If you don’t have a jalapeno or the store is out of it just do a quick squirt of sriracha or your favorite hot sauce to replace the heat you would’ve gotten with the jalapeno). Blend until smooth. One good thing to note is this sauce stays well because the lime keeps the avocado color from turning. Although I doubt you will have leftovers because I may or may not have cut my tongue licking the inside of the blender that’s how freaking good this sauce is!

photo

Happy Eating, XO.

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The Ugly Sugar Cookie

With Christmas quickly approaching, we of course want to give you the traditional sugar cookie recipe! However, I want to warn you: I recently discovered that I’m not cut out for cutting out cookies. Therefore, I’ve dubbed these cookies the ugly sugar cookies. They’re delicious, I just can’t make them look quite like they should. You may have better luck than me, but either way they’re really fun to make!

  • 2/3 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour

Whip butter for 30 seconds, then add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Once combined, add in egg, milk and vanilla. Slowly add in flour. Chill dough for 30 minutes (it can be hard to handle if it’s too warm and soft.) 

On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick (ie. thin), and start having some fun with the cookie cutters! (I got my cutters from Williams Sonoma – it comes with three cookie cutters and letters which makes for some interesting DIY messages.) Bake at 375 degrees for about 9-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Move to a wire rack and let cool.

Ugly Sugar Cookie

Happy Eating, XO.

Thanksgivukkah Latkes, Oy!

As we’ve all heard, this year we get a totally new holiday – Thanksgivukkah! Marrying in to a Jewish family, I’ve had my fair share of matzo ball soup, lox with cream cheese bagels and gefilte fish. So this year I thought I’d give the double duty holiday a go and create a traditional Jewish side dish to enjoy along side the turkey. No long spiel here, just a simple nod to the two part holiday!

  • 5 peeled potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • oil for frying (canola is recommended)

Place all of the peeled potatoes and onions in a food processor (sorry, I know not everyone has a food processor but I promise if you get one it will be sooo worth your while. Christmas is right around the corner!). Pulse until smooth. Drain mixture well and pour mixture into a large bowl. Add beaten eggs, salt, pepper, and enough flour so that the mixture holds together.

Pour about an inch of oil into a large, deep frying pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and carefully drop 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil. Flatten the pancake slightly so the center will cook. Fry for several minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and you’re ready to nosh!

Mazel Tov!

“Mama Z”: Slow Cooking Lemon Chicken

Thanks to “Mama Z” for submitting her slow cooker chicken recipe! With her Greek family history influencing this recipe, I can’t wait to try it.

This is the easiest way to make slow roasted chicken.  Turn the oven on to 400 degrees.  Choose a baking pan that you also want to serve in.  In the pan add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  It doesn’t matter how much, you want to be sure you fill to cover the bottom of the pan and be able to roll the chicken in it.  Some Greeks like lots of lemons, 5-6, I personally use bottled lemon juice and put in about 1/3 cup, but don’t bother measuring.  Just pour in the lemon and olive oil.  Roll the chicken around in the liquid and bake the chicken breast side down. This method will insure that the white meat will stay moist.

Put the chicken in the oven and turn the heat down to 250 degrees.  Leave it for about 4 hours. I use a small chicken 4lbs, they cook faster.  For  a bigger chicken with a roasting popup you may need to leave it longer.  For the last hour (if I am home) I may turn the chicken over so the breast browns a bit.

Now for the best part!  Take the chicken out of the oven and put on the counter.  Let it rest for 10-15 mins and then cut it up right in the pan and serve.  There is so much natural juice that the chicken just falls off the bone.

Kali Orexi!

Dina's Lemon Chicken

So Very Quiche-ey

Ok some real talk. Anyone can scramble an egg. Poaching an egg, I’ll leave to the professionals. So what is a way to prepare an egg easily, but with an impressive twist? Quiche! Also a quiche is a fab vehicle to toss in any vegetables, meat, cheese, etc. that you may need to clean out of your fridge. Some of them even have fancy pants names like “Quiche Lorraine”. Below is my easy & yum quiche recipe.

Use a store bought 9 inch pie shell…no one has time to make that from scratch. Less groceries folks! Note a package usually has two pie sheets in it. See Apple Galette recipe on what to do with the other.

The other ingredients are

  • 5 eggs
  • 1.25 cups of half & half
  • 1 teaspoon dried (or 1 tablespoon fresh) parsley
  • Pinch of salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese and 2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (fontina works well too because it’s a cheese that gets very melty and gooey-those are the technical terms for what it’s known for).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and the half & half. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley. Then place the shredded cheese at the bottom of the (prebaked for 5 min and cooled) pie shell. Pour egg mixture over the cheese and bake for 15 min. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and leave in the oven for another 40 min. Allow to set for 10 min before serving. To check for done-ness (another technical term obviously) the crust should be golden and the knife you stick in the middle of the quiche should come out clean, not gooey or liquidy (it’s a baking trick that applies here as well).

Note: You can serve as a brunch item with a side of breakfast meat or berries or a frisee salad. So filling and comforting, yet chic.

 

Quiche

Happy eating, XO.