Guacamole Taquero {Tomatillo Guacamole}

I’ve been on a big salsa kick (Chiltomate anyone?) and I think of this one as if guacamole and salsa verde had a baby! The smooth, creamy avocados balance the tomatillos’ acidity to make a delicious salsa and topping for grilled meat.   I found that it tastes best the day it’s made, but the acidity from the tomatillos will keep it from discoloring as quickly as most guacamoles so you can store it for a few days in the fridge.  Let it come to room temperature before you serve it.

What to buy (makes about 2 cups):

  • 1/2 pound tomatillos (5 or 6), husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup white onion
  • 1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped, including seeds, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted

What to do:

  • add tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, onion, pepper, lime juice, and salt to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth
  • add avocado to blender jar and pulse to blend (according to how smooth you like it)
  • season to taste with additional chile, lime juice, and salt



Ten-Minute Tandoori Chicken

I don’t have a tandoor oven but I’ve found this is a good way to replicate the traditional Indian dish at home.  I’m calling it ten-minute-tandoori because that’s all the time it will take (or less!) to mix your spices into an overnight marinade for your chicken and pop it into the oven the next day. The chicken will have awesome flavor from the yogurt and blend of spices.  I made this last week along with Carmelized Spicy Green Beans.


What to buy (serves 2):

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or curry powder as a substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for cooking

What to do:

  • to make the marinade, combine yogurt, spices and olive oil
  • spoon marinade over chicken and allow it to sit in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours if that’s all you have!)
  • the next day, preheat oven to 500 degrees
  • place chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil and lightly oiled with olive oil
  • bake for 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink

Cauliflower, Artichoke and Spinach Dip and a GIVEAWAY from La Terra Fina! {Giveaway Closed}

Today is officially the last day of summer which means football is back!  Admittedly I’m new to the world of football since I met my husband, a diehard Bengals fan, three years ago.  However, I’ve always been a fan of tailgating and tailgating/game watching food.

Everyone, whether they’re watching football or not, loves a good dip and today’s hot, baked cauliflower artichoke dip won’t last long at your party.   I promise it’s delicious, like a healthier cousin of your favorite artichoke dip! The steamed cauliflower has a creamy texture and the addition of a cup of spinach and artichoke dip makes for a flavorful, smooth and rich spread.

It’s great with veggies or crackers, and also works on its own as a side dish for dinner (or hot dish as my Grandma would say!)  We ate this with some sirloin (while watching a Bengals game, of course!) You can make it ahead and just bake it when you’re ready to serve.  DSC_0445This recipe is sponsored by La Terra Fina,  a San Francisco based company that makes delicious and natural (free of artificial flavors and preservatives,) dips, quiches and baked treats. DSC_0406You may have seen their dips at Costco and many of the new Greek yogurt dips are also available in specialty grocery stores. You can search for a store near you here.  To celebrate the beginning of the fall and football La Terra Fina is giving one of my readers away a prize pack of two Greek yogurt dips.  You can enter via the Rafflecopter link or leave a comment on this post, or shoot me an email if you’d prefer ( The giveaway is only open to U.S residents and one winner will be randomly selected in a week on September 29.  If you’re the winner I’ll get your address so La Terra Fina can ship the dip to your door. Thanks for entering and happy fall!

 Click here to enter The contest is now closed and the winner (QP!) has been contacted.  Thanks to all who entered!

What to buy (serves 2, makes about 2 cups):

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces (mine was really small as you can see in the first picture, I’d double everything if you have a larger one or two)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup La Terra Fina Spinach Artichoke dip
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • paprika to spinkle on top

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • steam cauliflower for about 5-6 minutes, or until just fork tender (could also boil it in salted water if you prefer)
  • using a stick blender or food processor combine cauliflower and dip, pulsing until smooth
  • season with salt and pepper to taste
  • spoon mixture into an oven safe dish, sprinkle top with parmesan and paprika and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and golden on top
  • serve hot


Chiltomate {Roasted Tomato Habanero Salsa}

We escaped to Wrightsville Beach this weekend for a couple of nights so I made a bunch of stuff we could throw in a cooler for snacking on the beach.  I had a number of tomatoes from my CSA delivery earlier in the week so I roasted them with an onion and some hot peppers to make some Chiltomate.  Chiltomate is a recipe native to the Mayans in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and is recognized as the first salsa in the world that uses cooked tomatoes. It has a unique flavor that is ten times better than any salsa you can buy at the grocery store.  It’s spicy, sweet and smoky – perfect for chip-dipping or serving over enchiladas, huevos rancheros or grilled meat.


What to buy (makes 2-3 cups):

  • 2 pounds tomatoes (I used 5 medium-size tomatoes), cored
  • 1 habanero chile pepper, stemmed (seeded if you don’t want it to be as spicy)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow  onion, cut into fourths
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (leaves and stems)

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 500 degrees
  • place tomatoes, chile, garlic and onion on a foil-lined baking sheet, and roast, without turning, until chile is browned in spots, about 20 minutes
  • allow to cool and then peel and everything in food processor or blender along with olive oil, salt and herbs
  • puree until mixture has reached your desired consistency
  • store in the fridge and serve warm or at room temp

Carmelized Spicy Green Beans

Fresh green beans are one of my favorites because they’re so versatile.  My CSA was loaded with beans this week, sweet onions and tiny spicy peppers so this recipe was born.  The soy adds a saltiness, brown sugar a sweetness that caramelizes beautifully and the pepper provided a nice hit of spice.  Of course I was chopping peppers without any gloves and had burning hands/eyes/parts of my face for the rest of the night.  When will I learn? Thank goodness for benadryll. We ate these with a simple Tandoori chicken (recipe on the way.) DSC_0377

What to buy (serves 2):

  • 1/2 pound green beans
  • 1 small hot pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

What to do:

  • place green beans into lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes
  • remove from water and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking, after a few minutes drain beans
  • combine brown sugar, soy sauce and red pepper
  • heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add beans, pepper and onion
  • cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes
  • reduce heat to low and pour sauce mixture over cooked vegetables
  • add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot

Simple Pork Ramen with Vegetables

It has been a wonderfully busy couple of weeks with William’s first birthday and my little sister’s wedding.  Both celebrations were so special, filled with family and friends and of course, delicious cake!

Today’s recipe is the first time I’ve made Japanese classic ramen, this version simplified with chicken stock instead of pork stock or demi-glace.  The best part about the dish is the seared and roasted pork, a technique that is perfect for hundreds of recipes.  I used the vegetables I had on hand but you could try eggplant, carrots or whatever you prefer.  I sautéed the veggies for more flavor before simmering the broth and seasonings to make a fragrant broth bowl.  I had trouble finding fresh ramen noodles, so I used the packaged variety. I used chicken stock but if you want to make your own pork stock I’m sure it would be delicious! DSC_0412

What to buy (serves 2):

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 package ramen noodles (sauce packets discarded)
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1, 1 Inch piece ginger, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, optional garnish
  • sriracha, optional garnish

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • heat a large pan over medium-high heat
  • pat dry and season the pork with salt and pepper
  • cook pork until outside is lightly browned about, 2 to 3 minutes per side
  • transfer pork to a foil-lined sheet pan and roast for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through, remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board, let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing
  • meanwhile, using the same pan used to sear the pork, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high, add onion, zucchini and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, or until browned
  • season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside on a plate
  • using the same pan, add rice vinegar, ginger and broth and heat over medium-high heat until boiling
  • add noodles and boil, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes
  • stir in the soy sauce and remove from heat
  • serve hot topping broth mixture with the pork, cilantro, and sriracha or other hot sauce

DSC_0374 DSC_0379 DSC_0398 DSC_0399