Monthly Archives: January 2015

Guacamole: The Basic Plus 14 Fresh Ways

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GUAC: JUST IN TIME FOR THE SUPERBOWL –The Basic Plus 14 Fresh Ways

Skiing on Big Game Day in Sun Valley is usually superb because you mostly have the mountain and trails to yourself. The rest of the folk are prepping the chicken wings, guacamole and wondering about “flat footballs”.

 

You’re on your own for the chicken wings but here’s a little help for the Guac and believe me that will NOT be flat. Frankly, I like a good tasty strong Bloody Mary to go with any one of these recipes—but if beer, wine or a margarita is your preference, go for it.

 

And just in case you’ve bought too many avocados, next week I’ll have a nice little breakfast oven baked avocado/egg recipe just so those extra avocados won’t go to waste. It’s easy, delicious, healthy and not flat either.

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The Basic GUAC’ for 8 (Way # 1)

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 ripe avocados
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lime (taste as you add)
  • 1/2 to 1 Tsp. ground cumin (taste as you add)
  • 1/2 C. diced tomato (fresh and drained canned)
  • 2 Tblsp. chopped/minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 C. diced/minced red onion
  • S & P, to taste (can be as much as 1/2 to 3/4 Tsp. salt)
  • Hot sauce, to taste or 1/2 to 2/4 Tsp. red pepper flakes (taste as you add)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic

Directions:

  • Slice avocados in 1/2; remove the seed; spoon flesh into a medium sized bowl.
  • Using a fork, mash the avocados until the consistency of your desire has been reached. If you wish a rougher chop, use a knife to slice through the avocado flesh and then a fork. And you might add the lime juice to the pulp to start with so that the avocado doesn’t brown.
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Serve immediately.
  • medium up

14 Fresh Ideas For A Switch On The Ole’ Basic GUAC’

  • Fast and Dirty: In place of the tomato, cilantro and red onion, stir in 1/2 C. of your favorite jarred salsa, 1 Tblsp. olive brine and 2 Tblsp. chopped green olives.
  • Mango-Balsamic: In place of the tomato, stir in the diced flesh of 1 mango. Use scallions in place of the red onion and 1 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar in place of the lime juice.
  • Chipotle-Corn: Stir in 1 minced chipotle and 1 Tblsp. adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo. Add 1/2 C. corn kernels (fresh, defrosted frozen or drained canned)
  • Tzatziki: Use 1 C. finely diced seedless cucumber in place of the tomato and red onion. Use dill in place of the cilantro. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves.
  • Roasted Garlic and Poblano: Roast a head of garlic wrapped in foil with a little olive oil until tender and brown, about 30 minutes at 400 F. Roast a poblano pepper under the broiler, turning frequently, until the skin is charred. Carefully remove the charred skin from the pepper (with gloves maybe), then chop the flesh. Squeeze the garlic pulp from the skin and mash. Mix both into the guacamole, omitting the onion.
  • Minted Cotija: Follow the basic recipe but add 3 Tblsp. chopped fresh mint instead of the cilantro and add 2/3 C. crumbled cotija cheese. Season with S&P.
  • Maple-Bacon: Follow the basic recipe but use 3 avocados, 2 Tblsp. white wine vinegar, 2 Tblsp. soy sauce, 2 Tblsp. maple syrup, 2 chopped scallions and 1/2 C. chopped cooked bacon. Season heavily with black pepper.
  • Ginger-Hoisin: Add 2 Tblsp. grated fresh ginger and 2 Tblsp. hoisin sauce to the basic recipe.
  • Citrus Tabbouleh: Replace the tomato and onion with 3/4 C. purchased tabbouleh and the zests of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange. You can also add 1/3 C. pomegranate seeds. You’ll love the color of this version.
  • Shrimp Scampi: Use lemon juice in place of the lime juice and basil in place of the cilantro. Omit the cumin, tomato and onion. Stir in 1 C. chopped cooked shrimp, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/3 C. shredded Parmesan cheese.
  • Pico de Gallo Guac: add 1/2 C. of chunky tomatoes, 2 Tsp. of minced jalapenos and 2 Tbsp. of chopped green peppers to the basic recipe. Don’t like green pepper, choose the milder red, yellow or orange one.
  • Calorie Conscious Guac: Delete one of the avocados and add 1/2 C. of LIGHT sour cream or LIGHT plain yogurt. Here you’ll have a creamy and fluffy guac minus some calories. You may like to do this even with 2 or 3 avocados because it’ll be a bit different.
  • Greek Guac: Add 1/4 C. of chopped Kalamata olives and red peppers and instead of the cilantro and lime, add basil and lemon juice.
  • Guac in those little peppers: Yes, you know those cute little peppers in all colors, all ready in a package. Serve a tray of those, cut in half and filled with your favorite Guac. Fun, easy and colorful. And you still can have chips and drinks on the side.

 

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Onion Soup the Slow Cooker Way

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SLOW COOKER ONION SOUP (6 Servings)

 Here’s a yummy soup that will warm your bones, body and soul

 January here in our snowy valley is always a good time to have a repast to warm up the bones, body and soul. After a hard day’s skiing either on our BCRD cross country trails or down-hilling on Mt. Baldy, a delicious hot soup that is easy to make because most of it will be cooking while you are skiing is very desirable indeed. And by the way, you can also after caramelizing your onions, take half of them out and freeze for future use on pizzas, etc. and so just make half of this recipe for your soup.

For the caramelized onions:

  • 8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions, (about 2 very large onions or 4 medium sized ones)
  • 10 to 12 clove garlic, minced or 8 garlic minced garlic gloves and 2 thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or peanut oil and 2 tablespoons melted sweet butter
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

For the soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup white wine or white vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 cups good beef broth (I like the Better Than Bouillon brand but there are others however, of course, the best is the one you’ve made with beef bones, etc. at home)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup mushroom broth which is different than most recipes but I like it in this soup (optional)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (a last minute deal option—I like it)
  • 3 egg yolks (a last minute deal option and it will make your soup a bit creamier—I like this too)
  • 6 or more thin slices baguette, toasted in a 400 degree oven until golden and quite dry and more slices for your bread basket—and you could just toast it in your toaster to make things easier.
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, Parmesan, Romano, Swiss or any kind of the MUST cheese you can envision for this dish.
  • Serving idea: This wonderful soup plus a green salad, a basket of more baguette slices and a side board filled with an assortment of good cheeses and dried meats would make a great meal at any time of the day—even one to break the day’s fast.

Directions:

  • Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with some melted butter.
  • Add the onions, (shallots), garlic, oil and melted butter.
  • Toss well, and then season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, until the onions are richly colored and sweet. After the first hour toss the onions and you can do this one another time in about 3 hours if you wish. I also place a paper towel under the lid to absorb the extra moisture.
  • Once the onions are ready, sprinkle them with the flour and stir until well-combined. Then add the sherry and vermouth or white wine.
  • Then add the bouillons & water (which should be well heated in the micro) and the herbs; cover and cook for another 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.
  • Optional: Once the soup is done, stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning.
  • Optional but very good: Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in one ladle full of hot soup and then whisk in another ladle full in that bowl. Then add this concoction to the soup.
  • Set broiler to high when ready to eat. Ladle the soup into broiler-safe serving crocks. Top each crock with a thin slice of the toasted baguette and a heaping tablespoon of Gruyere. However, see below for additional hints
  • Hints: If you wish, you can place the toasted baguette on the bottom of the crock, ladle in the soup and then top with your choice of cheese; then place it under the broiler for a moment or two. Or you can just add croutons to the top of the soup, plus the cheese and broil it. Or leave out the bread and just top with cheese however no matter what you choose broiled cheese on top is a must. Decisions, decisions, decisions—and don’t forget to remove your herb sprigs before serving.
  • Place the filled crocks on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a bit of foil for easy cleaning and broil just until cheese is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Do not leave the crocks under the broiler unattended as they will burn quickly so watch carefully.
  • Serve with more toasted baguette slices or even just oven warm slices, a side board of assorted cheeses, dried meats and a green salad and of course, a cupo of vino or yes, even a good glass of bierre. Voila—magnifique!!!!

Don’t forget to check in on Margot’s blog: http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com for more than 200 recipes.

Veggie Soup Perfect For New Year Health & Diet

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 Veggie Soup With An Asian Bent

Got some left over veggies in your frig.?

Or even some very fresh ones? Even lettuce? Yes, lettuce!!! Try it and you’ll see.

Well, I did and before they went south, I made myself a delicious and very healthy soup. I also decided that I wanted to pair it with some hot Saki to warm my cold bones after a delicious day cross country skate skiing Hailey’s Croy Canyon, which by the way was perfectly groomed as usual by the BCRD. Well the moose was out and about, or so I was told by a youngling, but I didn’t encounter it. I have had one of the moose twins (yes indeed) in my front yard whereas after it, along with its brother and mother, sauntered down Hailey’s main street. Now, we do know don’t we (?)that here in Hailey territory when we see the moose(s) we don’t go up and give it(them) a hug or let the dog do that either. Now I bet you all wished you lived in Hailey to see our magnificent wild life.

But I digress and back to the soup—I am going to tell you how I made mine, but my fun in cooking is inventing dishes so here’s one that you can invent for yourself. Then, when you’ve made a really awesome concoction, be sure to email me and then I’ll post it on my eyeonsunvalley.com post. When you do this, imagine yourself becoming a famous chef because yes indeed, EOSV can help you become that.

My Ingredients That I Had & Used:

  • A bit of bacon cut into small pieces (I keep some bacon in the freezer just for this cause)
  • A little butter and a tad bit of olive oil (I like the combo taste of these)
  • One large and long green zucchini—well scrubbed of course
  • Six very large Brussels sprouts—also washed and groomed (brown ends & yellow leaves off)
  • One savory Idaho medium sized baking potato—peeled
  • One or Two garlic clove-peeled of course
  • Four cups of a mixture of vegetable and chicken stock (I love the BetterThan Bouillon brand but of course home made is the best.)
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Inglehoffer Wasabit with Horseradish –a nice healthy dash of that to make it a bit Asian
  • Worcestershire Sauce—a bit of that as well
  • S&P to taste
  • Mary’s Caraway Gluten Free Crackers for a topping

My directions for myself or for yourself if you wish:

  • In your food processor (or by hand) small chop the zucchini, Brussels sprouts, potato and garlic clove
  • Brown the bacon in a medium sized pot and add the bit of butter when browned
  • Brown the chopped veggies over medium low heat (10-15minutes) in the melted oil/butter till they are soft but not browned.
  • Add the stock, lime juice, Inglehoffer, Worcestershire and S&P to taste.
  • Slow simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or more adding more liquid stock and seasonings of your choice if needed.

 

Result: This soup was easy to make, comforting and hot. I knew that it was healthy featuring all those veggies and I topped it with gluten free self-crunched caraway crackers that made it even more delicious. My treat to go with this dish was some nice hot Saki.

Now use your imagination. You can make similar soups with a German bent, Indian bent, French bent—well, you get the idea. Now that it is the New Year and we all wish to scurry away those extra pounds but still remain within the healthy diet realm, here is a recipe that you’ll love eating yourself and serving to others.

 

So, bon appétit and I can’t wait to see what ideas you have and post them to margot@eyeonsunvalley.com

As always—eager for a new recipe?—go to http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com where I have more than 200 yummy recipes posted and also look for this recipe on http://www.eyeonsunvalley.com