Archive | October, 2012

My one and only specialty

22 Oct

My dad loves mexican food and we grew up making salsa and guacamole. We perfected a blend of spices and citrus juice to add in to guacamole. My dad makes a famous salsa with mangoes, raspberries, tomatoes, cilantro, roasted green chiles, hot peppers, and a secret ingredient that has won him many blue ribbons at salsa cook offs. A couple of years ago my dad called me and said he saw an amazing ingredient to add into guacamole from Bobby Flay. Now, people put some pretty strange ingredients in guacamole but I had never thought of this.

Peas.

Avocados can get expensive and if you add equal parts peas, you can double the size of your guacamole for a fraction of the cost. I like to buy a package of pre-made Wholly Guacamole for $4, which gives you two cups and if you add two cups of peas you’ll have enough for a party! Peas also are very nutritious and add a whole new dimension of goodness to your dip because they’re high in protein. And I promise it doesn’t taste like you’re just eating a bunch of peas.

Here’s my recipe:

1 package spicy Wholly Guacamole

2 cups frozen peas

1/2 lime

1/3 cup canned corn

1/3 feta cheese

Put the peas in a strainer and run hot water over them until you can easily smoosh one with your fingers. Put the peas in a food processor and blend until all peas are mashed (not smooth). If you want a smoother texture, add in the guacamole and blend it some more. Combine the guacamole and peas in a bowl and add in corn and feta cheese (I don’t usually measure out amounts for these; it’s all according to taste). Squeeze the lime and keep tasting (you don’t want the lime to overpower it).

I can make this in about ten minutes and it’s such a crowd pleaser! Bust it out the next time you have friends or family over and make them guess what the “secret ingredient” is.

Aside

Cup of delight

12 Oct

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is making big breakfasts. I don’t have time during the week. I usually just grab a Chobani and go (if that). On Saturdays, eating until we’re stuffed is a ritual. Usually we go for a pancake mix or french toast, but a while ago I tried this recipe that blew my mind. Eggs in a ham cup?! Two of the best breakfast components combined together in an upright, stand-alone bowl.  However, as revolutionary as it seemed, it still needed even more pizazz.

Image

(Source)

Here’s the recipe:

Eggs Baked in Ham Cups

6 thin slices of ham (Only one per person!)
6 large eggs (Same ^)
grated white cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda or other cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
2 huge handfuls of raw spinach
4 thick slices of tomato
2 pieces of whole grain bread
2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray muffin tin with olive oil spray. Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham, letting it ruffle up the sides. Crack an egg into each, sprinkle with a bit of cheese and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the white is set but the yolk is still runny.

After 10 minutes, pour olive oil into a sauce pan on medium heat. Add in spinach.

Put your bread in the toaster.

Sauté the spinach until it’s about halfway done (estimate!). At this point you should be able to push it to the side a bit. Add in your tomato slices (they’ll sizzle a TON) and cook those for about a minute, flipping often. 

Take the ham cups out when you touch the egg and the top is set but it’s still jiggly when you touch it. You might need a fork to get them out (the ham edge is usually shorter on one side). 

Serve immediately, on their own on a plate or set in small dishes for extra support. Put your toast down on a plate and pile the ham cup, tomatoes, spinach, and salsa on top. Flatten the ham cup (and break the yolk) with a fork and enjoy your open egg sandwich! (I eat mine with a fork because once you have the ham and the broken yolk and salsa the bread gets soft again. If you didn’t toast the bread, it would get soggy).

Now, you might be wondering, “Why go to all the trouble to make a ham cup if you flatten it and put it on toast? Here’s why. Baking the ham and egg in the oven make the ham hot and crisp instead of it just getting hard like it does when you warm it up in a pan. The second, and more important reason, is because baking the ham cups in the oven for 10 minutes allows you to get out your other ingredients, prep them, and start cooking them. Then everything is cooking at once and it’s all done (and hot) at the same time. Plus you don’t have to use all your pans at once and constantly be flipping and monitoring (something’s bound to burn).

This is the hardest part about cooking for me: getting it all done and ready at the same time. By the time one part of a dish is done, another part is cold or overcooked. This way, everything is done at the same time, everything is hot, and everyone is happy!