Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Heirloom Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salad with Lime Jalapeño Dressing

We are all ready for BBQ season with lots of new salads and side dishes!  This one is right up our alley because as usual it's EASY and delicious.  Our favorite two things that every recipe should be!


1 bag frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 box of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
2 perfectly ripe avocados, diced into large chunks


In a large bowl combine thawed corn, halved tomatoes and diced avocado.  Pour Jalapeño Lime Dressing over the top and stir to coat corn, tomatoes and avocado evenly.  Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 1 hour. 

*If you want to make this ahead combine corn and tomatoes with dressing and chill overnight.  Add avocado and toss right before serving.

Lime Jalapeño Dressing:

2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon jalapeño, seeded and chopped finely
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Whisk together all ingredients and pour over Heirloom Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salad.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rosemary Herbed Potato Salad

This is a super easy and really yummy potato salad.  It will keep longer for your outside party because there is no mayonaise in it and the fresh herbs make the usual heavy potato salad light and fresh tasting.  We really love these teeny tiny potatoes that we found at Trader Joes.   Not only does the potato salad look nicer but we LOVED that we didn't have to cut up hot potatoes after they boiled.  My friend Jeff taught me this easy way to season up potato salad without getting fussy and it's totally delcious and now the only way I make potato salad.  (If you are a die hard mayonaise potato salad eater you can add mayonaise to this recipe after the potatoes are seasoned and chilled).


3 lbs of the smallest potatoes you can find
Premade Italian dressing (we used wishbone classic italian)
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped


Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and put into a large bowl.  If your potatoes need to be cut into smaller pieces cut them before adding to large bowl.  Pour half a large container of italain salad dressing over potatoes and toss to coat evenly.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2-4 hours or overnight.  Once chilled, add the chopped fresh herbs and toss to coat completely with herbs.  You can re-chill or serve immediately.  This is a great recipe to make the day before.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mexican Sushi Rolls with Avocado Crema

A new recipe that we just tested for a catering event next week. We originally were going to make these with chicken but we made a vegetarian version for a family event and they were so yummy that we decided to keep them vegetarian. We didn't even miss the chicken. These are easy to make, they look really pretty and best of all they taste delicious. They are a really good summer bbq appetizer because they are best served at room temperature.


6 flour tortillas (we used whole wheat)
1 1/2 - 2 cups white rice cooked and cooled
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1 can black beans, drained and mashed
1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup of cilantro, divided
1 jar of corn salsa (we used the kind from Tradcr Joes)
1/2 a jalapeno chopped finely and add to the corn salsa (omit if you don't want the extra spice)
1 orange pepper, sliced very thin
1 scallion, sliced length wise thinly


Place cooked and cooled rice to a medium bowl and squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lime onto rice and add 1 tablespoon of cilantro and stir to combine.  Add shredded cheese to mashed black beans in a microwave safe bowl and cook on hi for 45 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir to combine well.  If cheese isn't completely melted return to microwave for 15 second increments until melted.  Take a flour tortilla and using a sharp knife cut off the rounded edges on all 4 side to cut tortilla into a square shape.  Spead a thin layer of mashed black beans/cheese onto the cut tortilla leaving a 1/2 inch border on all side.  Next press down a small amount of rice into the black beans in an even  layer.  Next, add the rest of the ingredients in a neat line in the middle of the rice.  You want to be able to see each ingredient when you roll up your tortilla so it's important to carefully place your peppers, corn salsa, scallions and extra chopped cilantro.

Roll up your tortilla starting from the bottom (side closest to you) and roll up, tightly without ripping tortilla.  Once rolled you may need to use a little extra mashed black bean/cheese mixture to help seal the edge.  Once rolled up, use a very sharp knife and cut your roll in half.  Then cut each half into equal thirds.  You will end up discarding the very ends of the roll, just have that as a snack ;).   Turn rolls on their sides and serve immediately. 

**you can make these an hour or so in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.  They hold up really well. 

Avocado Crema
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until combined well. Serve as dipping sauce. Also makes a fantastic dip for chips!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Steak and Chicken Fajitas

What are you making for dinner tonight to celebrate?  Margaritas and.......... how about these delicious homeade Fajitas? 


2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 lb of skirt steak
2 tablespoons  lime juice, plus extra for garnish
2 teaspoons  soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon fajita seasoning (from a 1.25 ounce packet)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
6 large flour tortillas
sour cream
guacamole (recipe to follow)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


Cut the chicken breasts on the diagonal into thin strips.  Place them into a medium bowl.  Place the skirt steak in another bowl (do not pre-slice the steak)

In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, garlic powder, soy sauce, brown sugar, and taco or fajita seasoning.  Mix well.

Pour half the marinade over the chicken and the other half over the steak.  Toss to coat evenly.

Put the steak on a broiler pan and broil in the oven for 4-5 minutes on each side.  Remove from oven and cover and let rest.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Saute the chicken in the skillet for 5 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove the chicken and cover to keep warm.  Add the onion, and all the pepper strips into the same skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.

Warm the tortillas covered with a paper towel, in the microwave for 20 seconds.

Serve the steak and veggies on a large platter.  Place sour cream, salsa and guacamole in small bowls on the side next to the warm tortillas.  Let everyone make their own fajitas!