Steak Tacos and Just Like Chipotle’s Corn Salsa

Steak Tacos and Corn Salsa (2)

I have to admit it … I’m addicted to Chipotle!  I typically do not like “chain restaurants” (does that make me a food snob?) with the exception of Chipotle.  Their food is fresh, good and addictive.  If you don’t have Chipotle near you or you want to make a good steak taco and corn salsa at home then try this recipe.  The corn salsa tastes almost exactly like Chipotle’s!  ENJOY!

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Ancho Chile Marinade

Ingredients

  • 2 oz dried ancho chiles or dried pepper of choice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cuts of meat of choice, such as chicken or steak

Directions

  • Soak dry chiles in water overnight or until soft. Discard water. Remove seeds.
  • Add all ingredients except meat in food processor. Puree until smooth.
  • Spread mixture over meat and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  • Heat grill to about 400 degrees, or if cooking inside heat small amount of oil in skillet or grill pan over high heat. Salt meat to taste. Grill meat about 4 minutes per side, depending upon thickness, until done.
  • Serve with rice, black beans or choice of side dish. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Or serve in a burrito.

Source:  Huffingtonpost.com

Just Like Chipotle’s Corn Salsa

makes a big bowl

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 2 medium-sized jalapeno, seeded and chopped (leave in some seeds for more heat if desired)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn or chopped
  • the juice of 2 (juicy!) limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, mix, mix. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Add more cilantro, jalapeno or lime according to your tastes!

Source:  Howsweetitis.com

Steak Tacos and Corn Salsa

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Now Harvesting Dragon Tongue Beans and a Recipe for Roasted Fingerling and Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Arugula

Dragon Tongue Beans

Dragon Tongue Beans … not only do they have a cool name, they are colored pretty green and purple beans.  Never one to settle for the ordinary I seek out new and unusual vegetables to grow in my garden.  Dragon Tongue Beans turned out to be a winner for me! I ordered these from rareseeds.com.  Their description of these beans:  “This famous Dutch heirloom bean has an incomparable flavor. The tender and superbly delicious 7-inch pods are yellow, with amazing purple streaks! Also makes a tasty shelled bean. Popular with chefs and gourmets. Compact plants set high yields.”  They have great flavor and are now my favorite bean next to Edamame.  Once cooked, sadly they loose their pretty purple color and turn lime green, but loose none of their delicious flavor.  In reading the reviews I saw many people enjoyed them raw.  I think I need to go to the garden and try them right off the plant!

Beans this good deserved an equally good recipe.  Green beans would work just as well if you are unable to find Dragon Tongue Beans.  I used a mix of green beans and dragon tongue beans.  I tried this salad warm and tried the leftovers cold.   Both ways were good but I actually enjoyed it more cold – it’s a matter of preference.  Try it yourself and see which you prefer.  ENJOY!

Dragon Bean, Arugula and Tomato and Roasted Fingerling Salad

Roasted Fingerling and Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Arugula (*Note:  I drastically reduced the amount of olive oil from the original recipe and I think next time I may reduce it even more.)

INGREDIENTS

5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 pounds Russian banana fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
4 stems fresh thyme
1/2 shallot, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces green beans
2 cups baby arugula

COOK’S NOTE

To ensure maximum flavor, toss potatoes with dressing while they’re still warm.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the salad: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Puree garlic and oil in a blender until smooth. Toss with potatoes, tomatoes, and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until potatoes are golden and tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Prepare an ice-water bath. Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and just tender. Transfer to ice-water bath. When cool, drain beans in a colander
  3. Make the dressing: Combine vinegar, mustard, thyme, and shallot in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified.
  4. Toss potato mixture, beans, and arugula with dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Source:  Slightly adapted from:   Marthastewart.com
Roasted Fingerling and Tomato, Dragon Tongue Beans and Arugula Salad

Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Have you ever had something that you liked so much that you thought about it the next day and the day after that?  I did!  My girlfriend and I went to Panera for lunch and I usually order a sandwich, but that day I ordered soup and a salad.  I had never tried Panera’s soup and ordered the Broccoli Cheese Soup – WOW – It was love at first taste!  I never imagined that broccoli cheese soup would taste so good. I was determined to replicate that soup at home and searched the internet until I found a recipe that sounded perfect … and it didn’t disappoint.  It is every bit as good as Panera’s – try it for yourself and see.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated nutmeg)
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (mix white and yellow extra sharp cheddar)
salt and pepper

Directions:

Sauté onion in butter. Add the rest of the butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper. Puree in a blender. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Source:  Food.com

Garden Fresh Salsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes from the garden besides Caprese Salad is to  make fresh salsa.  There is nothing better than tomatoes from the garden and when combined with garlic and cilantro …  well, it’s impossible to resist!  I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and the only change I made was the addition of garlic.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 5 slices pickled jalapeno peppers, or to taste
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic finely Chopped

Directions

  1. Place onion, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno peppers into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add tomatoes, and pulse just a few times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and salt.
  3. Pour dressing over tomatoes, and stir well. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

*I usually take the seeds out of my tomatoes, chop by hand and let sit in a colander to drain the liquid for about an hour.

What to do with all those beets – try canning some Pickled Beets and make Your Own Beautiful Canning Labels!

Do you have a lot of beets in your garden or do you just love pickled beets?  Try canning them.  It’s super easy and you’ll have delicious pickled beets in the winter.  I love almost all vegetables, and although I like beets, I could take them or leave them.  But … pickled beets that is entirely another story!  I could eat them by the jar full.  I loved my mother’s pickled beets and it’s been years since I’ve tasted devoured them.  I don’t know why I never tried canning beets myself, but I am so glad I finally did.  I’ll have to save a jar for my mother …although, they won’t be quite as good as hers!

I’ve spoken before of my Dad having a huge garden and now that I have my own small garden, I appreciate so much more all the work my Dad put into the garden and all the work my mother did preparing, canning, and cooking the vegetables.  Considering the size of their garden I would find that quite overwhelming!  Isn’t it awesome the things our parents pass on to us, perhaps, without even realizing they are doing so and what a gift it is!

My Mother’s Pickled Beets

  • 3-4 pints beets
  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 pint of water
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups of sugar

Prepare your beets by trimming all but 2 inches of the stem and leaving the root on and cover with water.  Boil approximately 40 minutes or until tender.  Cool, slip off skins and cut into chunks or slices.

Prepare canner, jars and lids (get easy to follow instructions here).

Combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar and bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes.

Add beets to mixture and return to a boil, simmer 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, ladle beets into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar.  Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover beets, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more pickling liquid.  Wipe rim with a clean damp cloth.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight – do not overtighten.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 30 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Enjoy … and pass on the tradition!

After you’re done why not make some pretty labels?  I wasn’t loving the canning labels I saw to buy, so I created my own!  I designed the labels in Publisher and used Avery mailing labels – 6 per sheet. Get creative and show off your hard work!

Watermelon Radish – Stunning Color for Your Salad

Isn’t this radish stunning?!  I love discovering different and unusual vegetables – my husband says “why can’t you plant “normal” vegetables and my reply was because normal is boring!  This was the first time I had seen a Watermelon Radish.  I grew these in my garden and could hardly wait until they were ready to harvest.  The wait was worth it – I love the color they bring to a salad and the taste is very similar to a regular radish. 

I ordered these from Burpee and following is their description of this radish:

“Heirloom treasure from China.

Heirloom. A beautiful and antique treasure from China, these large 3 – 3.5″ round roots are creamy white outside with a full central burst of watermelon rose. Flesh is crispy and mild, with a sweet flavor perfect for salads, garnishes, or cooking.”

I agree!  They are perfect for salads, garnishes and cooking.  Step outside the “norm” and give them a try!

Summer Corn Salad

My inspiration for this salad came from one of the blogs that I follow: basicswithatwist.com/2012/05/30/whats-the-buzz/.  Check it out – they have a great blog with a lot of information!

Summer Corn Salad

Salad

  • 5 Ears Corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and grilled, remove corn with a sharp knife
  • 2 Avocado’s diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 small onion, finely diced

Combine the above ingredients.

 Dressing:

  • ½ Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 10 grinds of fresh pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil

Wisk together the above ingredients and add to the corn mixture.

 Enjoy!