Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese + Artichokes Braised in Cream

May 22, 2017 by  
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Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan + Artichokes Braised in Cream

 

There is something about polenta that just begs to be topped with sumptuous, melt-in-your mouth delights. I infused the cooking water with dried mushrooms and bay leaf for the polenta while it bubbled away and thickened. Then, tendrils of fresh Parmesan cheese were twirled in. At this point, I would’ve been quite satisfied eating just a bowl of this but did I stop there? Oh no, no, no. A quick braise of artichokes in butter and cream finished this off, creating a melodious combination of rich meatiness and ethereal suppleness. This dish is best enjoyed with a full heart and an even fuller glass of white wine.

 

Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese + Artichokes Braised in Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

35 minutes

Category: Entree

Yield: 1 large serving or 2 small servings

Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese + Artichokes Braised in Cream

An easy and luxurious dinner to end the evening, this polenta with mushrooms and Parmesan served with artichokes braised in cream has a heavenly mouthfeel and deep, rich flavor. Wonderful with a glass of white wine.

Ingredients

    For the polenta:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small pieces dried mushroom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    For the artichokes:
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • S+P
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh parsley
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

    For the polenta:
  1. In a small saucepot set over medium heat, add the water, butter, mushrooms, bay leaf, and salt. Once it comes to a slight boil, slowly pour in the polenta and stir. When it returns to a bubble, lower the heat to simmer and cover; stir often. Let cook for about 20 minutes. When it's finished, discard the mushrooms and bay leaf. Mix in the Parmesan cheese.
    For the artichokes:
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Toss in the artichokes to cover with butter and season with salt and pepper. Let the artichokes brown slightly with the butter. Pour in the cream, lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. To serve, spoon polenta onto plate and spread out. Top with artichokes and cream; garnish with parsley and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

 

// Other lavish meals: 

 

Braised Short Ribs with Chile and Coconut + Creamy Polenta

Braised Short Ribs with Chile and Coconut + Creamy Polenta

If you asked me what the perfect, most-romantic, make-my-heart-go-aflutter meal looks like, it would be this.View full post »

Butter-poached tilapia with parsley recipe

A minimalist but indulgent approach to poaching fish in butter.View full post »

Naughty vs. Nice (A Valentine’s Day Story): Fettuccine Alfredo with Thai Red Curry and Lump Crab Meat

Who needs cookies, brownies, and sticky sweets when you got heart-palpating Fettuccine Alfredo infused with Thai RedView full post »

 

 

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Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

May 21, 2017 by  
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Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

 

I made this spur-of-the-moment, in a fierce mood to use up as many odds and ends I had laying about in the fridge one rainy afternoon. Lucky for me, I had a few links of chorizo to crumble up with leftover corn kernels and cannellini beans. While these three things mingled together in a pan, they created an alchemy so wonderful, I literally had to stop and stare; there’s something so incredibly sultry about the way food glistens when it’s tossed with chorizo fat.

A few minutes later, I was pouring this glorious mix into a glass pie dish and layering, layering, layering. With liberal spoonfuls of Garden Fresh Gourmet white bean hummus, Jack’s special salsa, and handfuls of crushed blue corn tortilla chips. There was cheese, lots of it. Into the oven it went and emerged ten minutes later, crispy and melty. Before I ate this, I drizzled it generously with Mexican crema and dotted with fresh cilantro. This tortilla bake was perfect as an afternoon snack (my definition of snack is a bit unconventional) with a dark beer.

 

Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

20 minutes

Yield: 3-4

Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

A quick recipe for tortilla bake with chorizo, corn, and white bean hummus. This meal comes together in 20 minutes making it perfect for busy nights.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound chorizo
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • S + P
  • 3-4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 5 tablespoons Garden Fresh Gourmet White Bean Hummus
  • Couple handfuls Garden Fresh Gourmet blue corn tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1/4 cup shredded quesadilla cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Garden Fresh Gourmet Jack's Special Salsa
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • Mexican crema
  • Fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Set a medium-sized saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and break into small pieces with wooden spoon. Allow to cook and render off the fat, a few minutes. Toss in the corn and cannellini beans; season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook for another minute until the whole mixture is coated and glistening with delicious chorizo fat. Pour this mixture into a round glass pie dish and spread evenly.
  3. Cover with pepper jack cheese slices and then dollop white bean hummus all around, using spoon to spread. Crush tortilla chips all over. Top with shredded quesadilla cheese. Dollop with salsa and sprinkle feta cheese all over. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. To serve, drizzle Mexican crema all over the top and garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

// More quick meals: 

 

Chickpea and egg white saute with garam masala + coconut milk

Chickpeas are sauteed with egg whites and simmered in a light and fragrant garam masala coconut milk sauce and toppedView full post »

Gooey peanut butter and banana sandwich

A grilled and gooey peanut butter and banana sandwich. Need I say more?View full post »

Butter-poached tilapia with parsley recipe

A minimalist but indulgent approach to poaching fish in butter.View full post »

 

 

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Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

May 18, 2017 by  
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Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

 

May is National Salsa Month, so when I got hooked up with awesome stuff from Garden Fresh Gourmet, I knew I had to make nachos. And nachos I made. Lots. Over the course of several days lots. One day, I think I ate them for every meal…

I have somewhat of an obsessive personality.

But guys, this was beyond good. I basically hunkered over my plate (well, “personal-sized” cookie sheet, really. minor details.) and inhaled this in no time at all. The avocado verde salsa is super flavorful and has just the right amount of kick to it when dolloped all over the chips. And I always favor blue corn tortilla chips over regular– I think they have a more interesting flavor, not to mention that gorgeous pop of color.

 

 

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

 

The idea for the smoked gouda bechamel was really more of a delightful convenience since I happened to have a leftover chunk of it in the fridge. And boy, it really came together wonderfully. The smokiness of the cheese really gave the nachos a nice depth, which was a great canvas for the zing of the avocado verde salsa to burst through.

Topped with fresh radish slices, queso fresco, avocado, and cilantro, these nachos were very much enjoyed with a cold beer. No regrets, man.

 

 

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

 

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

20 minutes

Yield: 1 large cookie sheet

Ingredients

    For the smoked gouda bechamel:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 ounces smoked gouda, grated
    For the nachos:
  • Garden Fresh Gourmet blue corn tortilla chips
  • Garden Fresh Gourmet avocado verde salsa
  • Sliced radishes
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced avocado

Instructions

    For the smoked gouda bechamel:
  1. Place a small saucepot over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour, and whisk to make a light roux, 30-45 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking at the same time, and letting the milk thicken the roux a bit before adding more. Sprinkle in the salt and nutmeg. Let this come to a simmer and allow to thicken a couple minutes. Since this bechamel has skim milk, it will not be quite as thick as it would with whole milk but this works just fine since you want it to be on the thinner side to drizzle over the chips. Once it's thickened slightly, turn off the heat and add in the cheese; mix until totally melted.
    For the nachos:
  1. Arrange tortilla chips onto a baking sheet and crisp up in a 375 degree oven for a few minutes. Take out and pour smoked gouda bechamel all over the chips. Dollop with avocado verde salsa and scatter sliced radishes, queso fresco, and cilantro on top. Serve with a side of freshly sliced avocado. Don't forget the beer.

 

// more delicious appetizer things:

 

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

A recipe for esquites, Mexican corn salad that uses fire-roasted corn and is tossed in a garlicky, lime mayonnaise sauceView full post »

Choros a la chalaca

A Peruvian Summer Grillin’ Must // Choros a la Chalaca — Mussels with a Jalapeno + Corn Salsa

Spicy and delectable, choros a la chalaca, or mussels with jalapeno-corn salsa, are a Peruvian favorite at familyView full post »

Black Bean, Radish, Corn Salad with Cotija Cheese + Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Black Bean, Radish, Corn Salad with Cotija Cheese + Lime-Cilantro Dressing

A super simple, refreshing summer salad studded with bright radish, sweet corn, and black beans. An explosion of flavorView full post »

 

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How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise with an Immersion Blender

May 5, 2017 by  
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Homemade Mayonnaise

 

Mayonnaise. Mayo. That creamy lusciousness we slather our sandwiches with and the stuff great aiolis are made from. For me, it is something that I cannot live without.

I just finished making my weekly batch of homemade mayonnaise and realized I didn’t have a standalone post on how ridiculously easy it is to whip up. If you’ve never tasted homemade mayo, oh man…I don’t think anything I say here can prepare you for the awesomeness that you will experience when you finally try it. It’s incredibly creamy, smooth, lavish. Nothing at all like the kind you buy at the store. Nothing. And with this technique using the immersion blender, it’s totally simple and kinda fool-proof. But, freak accidents happen. I know. I seem to be a magnet for those– don’t fret. I have harnessed the special juju necessary to save your mayo if it does happen to fall to hard times. Come with me, young grasshopper…

 

First, you will need provisions:

1 immersion blender

1 large, wide-mouth mason jar

 

Next, ingredients:

2 large eggs, local fresh ones are the best

1/4 teaspoon Coleman’s ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or rice vinegar (Today, I used rice vinegar and it blew my socks off)

Pinch black pepper

2 cups canola oil

 

Your mission, if you choose to accept it:

Crack the eggs into the mason jar, followed by everything else. Pour the canola oil in last, gently. Grab your immersion blender. Stick it at the bottom of the mason jar, turn it on, and watch as it slowly starts to create the mayo right before your eyes, emulsifying the oil with the eggs. Slowly, make your way up along the sides and up to the top, incorporating the oil. You may not be able to get all of the oil at the top. That’s okay. At this point, turn off the immersion blender and finish mixing it with a spoon. I have discovered that the mayonnaise does not break this way. I know this may sound foreign, weird, unclear to those that have never made mayonnaise. And a bit scary, too. So, I made a video on how to make it:

 

 

I hope the video clarifies some things and shows you how dead simple it is to make mayonnaise! Years ago, I posted a method on making homemade using a food processor. That works splendidly too, but requires just a teeny bit more work. Find it here! If you come across any trouble or problems making mayonnaise, please leave me a note at the bottom and I’ll help you out. Peace and love, mayonnaise lovers.

 

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Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread, Boosted Smoothies + a Giveaway!

April 7, 2017 by  
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Tropical Smoothie Cafe's Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread and Boosted Smoothie

 

Hi folks! I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve been a busy bee lately but the sun is finally shining today and it’s forecasted to be 70 degrees this weekend so that makes me feel happy.

My tastebuds and I just had the pleasure of trying out Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s newest menu item– the Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread, a super delicious, super flavorful snack available for limited time only (until April 23rd!!!) that comes packed with juicy grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, pineapple salsa, cilantro, scallions, and an unworldly caramelized pineapple sriracha sauce. Every nibble was an incredible balance of savory and sweet.

It. Was. To. Die. For.

Alongside that, I sipped up one of their new Boosted Smoothies– the Chia Banana Boost. This, you guys, was heaven in a cup. They asked if I wanted strawberries or peanut butter in it. Um, I said peanut butter. Thing is dangerously good. And it’s good for you because chia seeds and stuff.

So because I want you guys to fall head over heels in love with all of the yum offered at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, I’m hosting another giveaway!

Two lucky winners will each get a $50 Tropical Smoothie Cafe gift card, a whirly cup, and a Sriracha bottle keychain! To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below sharing your favorite thing to drizzle sriracha on– eggs? Noodles?? Smoothies??? This giveaway is open from April 7, 2017 – April 10, 2017. U.S. residents only, please. 

Good luck, everyone!

 

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Ensalada Rusa

January 30, 2017 by  
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Ensalada Rusa

 

Ensalada Rusa, or Russian Salad, is a Peruvian side dish my family always makes for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. This fuchsia-forward salad is comprised of finely-cut jewels– potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, carrots and celery; but the main gem here is the beet.

Earthy and slightly sweet, beets bring life (and extreme color) to this salad. Composing all parts together in a bowl is nothing short of delightful, watching the purple stain grow from a whisper to a shout, bleeding dominance.

Ensalada Rusa is fairly straight-forward to make but it can take some time to prepare the vegetables. You can hunker down and do them all in one fell swoop or carry the load out over the course of a couple days, which is what I did. Either way will produce a wonderfully tasting salad that will feast your eyes and hunger.

 

Ensalada Rusa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds beets, washed and trimmed
  • 1 1/4 pounds red potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 pound green beans, washed, trimmed, and blanched; chopped small
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
  • 3 stalks celery, diced, about 1 cup
  • 2 cups mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wrap beets tightly into a pouch of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick easily pierces the middle of the fattest beet. Unwrap from aluminum foil and let cool for 30 minutes. Peel skin under running cool water, and cut into small dice. Put in a large bowl.
  3. Add 2 quarts of cool water into a large pot with 2 tablespoons of salt, sugar, and white or rice wine vinegar. Add the diced potatoes, and bring water to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until a toothpick easily pierces the middle of the potatoes. Drain, and spread out on baking sheet to cool. Add to large bowl with beets.
  4. Add 3 quarts of cool water into a large pot and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, carefully submerge the eggs. Let them boil for 30 seconds, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with lid. Cook for 11 minutes. Shock in ice water for 15 minutes before peeling under cool, running water. Chop.
  5. Add the blanched green beans, carrots, celery, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper to large bowl and combine. Add chopped eggs and combine gently.

 

// More Peruvian salads and things: 

 

Papa a la Huancaina

Papa a la Huancaina

A traditional Peruvian dish, papa a la huancaina is a spicy potato salad with creamy aji amarillo sauce, hard-boiledView full post »

Ceviche

Ceviche

Nothing says Peru to me more, than ceviche. It is the quintessential party food for Peruvians. It gives me soView full post »

Choros a la chalaca

A Peruvian Summer Grillin’ Must // Choros a la Chalaca — Mussels with a Jalapeno + Corn Salsa

Spicy and delectable, choros a la chalaca, or mussels with jalapeno-corn salsa, are a Peruvian favorite at familyView full post »

 

 

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Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie

January 13, 2017 by  
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Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie

 

I’ve been thinking long and hard about spaghetti squash lately. Long strands of amber, delicately tangled; the soft chew before it melts in my mouth. This daydream was all-consuming.

Soon thereafter, I began formulating the plan for turning my spaghetti squash fantasy into reality. I wanted to preserve its’ natural earthy flavor but also pair it with something mildly sweet, like red garnet potatoes. And, without argument, it would all bathe in a luscious, ambrosial liquid of cream and cheese. What I wanted, what I really wanted, was a gratin.

 

Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie

 

When everything was said and done I took a bite.

It was. Incredible.

The spaghetti squash was tender, yielding effortlessly beneath the weight of my spoon. Deeper still were the soft layers of potato– a duo of red and sweet, submerged in an herby cream sauce, a luxurious layer of sliced triple cream brie separating the two. I’m going to say this at the risk of sounding very cliché, but…it was an orchestra of flavors. I think I cried.

 

Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie

 

 

Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 sides

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pound spaghetti squash (about 4 cups spaghetti squash strands)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 pound red garnet sweet potato, peeled
  • 3/4 pound red potato, peeled
  • 8 ounces triple cream Brie cheese, rind removed, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Pierce the spaghetti squash all over and put on the baking sheet; bake for about 60-80 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool before cutting in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds. Shred flesh with a fork to make strands.
  3. Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepot set over medium-low heat, pour in the heavy cream, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.
  5. Using a mandolin set to 1/8" thickness or a knife, slice the potatoes thin and place into the saucepot with the cream. Let this come to a slight bubble; approximately 5-7 minutes.
  6. Layer the bottom of the baking dish with the sweet potatoes. Add half of the spaghetti squash. Scatter Brie slices all over. Add a layer of red potatoes, and then finish with last of spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 60-80 minutes, until sauce is bubbly, top is golden brown, and potatoes are super fork tender.
  8. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving. Add additional parsley, if desired.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Food Network and New York Times Cooking

If you choose, you can omit the evaporated milk and use all heavy cream or vice versa.

 

// More gratins, quiches, and tarts: 

 

Jalapeno Cheddar Potato Gratin // Fleming's Potatoes

Jalapeno Cheddar Potato Gratin // Fleming’s Potatoes

Here’s a deliciously creamy potato gratin with a kick from jalapenos! This is a recipe based on the potatoes sideView full post »

Forty Minutes Later // Ramp, Potato, Spinach Gratin with Raclette Cheese

This gratin celebrates the fresh spring flavors of ramps and spinach.View full post »

 

 

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Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

January 8, 2017 by  
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Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

 

I am fully prepared to receive any contempt for writing a recipe featuring corn in the dead of winter. And not just ordinary corn, but frozen corn. Am I digging myself into a deeper grave? *pauses shoveling*

Please hear me out.

I realize we are about 5 months beyond the pinnacle of fresh corn bounty, with its plump, sticky sweet kernels and messy strands of silk that we find irresistibly difficult to not throw into everything we eat in late summer. But.

I’m human. I have needs and desires. And sometimes, just sometimes, I bear a yearning for something that isn’t in season. That’s when I turn to frozen vegetables.

If you can find an excellent quality of frozen vegetable (hell, if you managed to freeze your own from summer’s harvest even better), and the recipe adapts to it, trust when I say the dish will turn out pretty fantastic regardless. Esquites, this Mexican corn salad, is a beautiful example.

Sometime last year I discovered that you can buy bags of frozen, fire-roasted corn at the grocery store. Since then, I’ve been buying them in bulk to stash in the freezer because they are absolutely terrific to toss in at a moment’s notice. They work wondrously for esquites– sweet and juicy with a definite bold, charred flavor.

I go crazy for elotes, Mexican corn on the cob slathered with garlicky, lime mayonnaise and rolled in Cotija cheese and chile powder. Esquites is basically that in salad, bowl form; it is less messy for sure (a good alternative for first dates because who really wants to exchange likes and dislikes with mayonnaise and corn kernels plastered on face…?) but no less delicious. The flavors in this thing are jolting in a great way.

The corn is tossed in a pungent garlic and lime laced mayonnaise sauce and then anchored together with the herby, bright flavors of cilantro and scallions. The morsels of queso fresco distributed throughout provide a welcoming delicate quality to the esquites that softens the bite some.

The flavors in this Mexican corn salad deepen and enhance the more it sits at room temperature, so restrain yourself from eating it for at least 30 minutes after preparing, difficult as it may be; the experience of tasting this will be worthwhile I promise you.

 

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 as a side, 2 as a meal

Ingredients

  • 1 - 1 pound bag frozen fire-roasted corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferable homemade
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded and deveined serrano chile
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
  • 3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add the corn and mayonnaise. Mince the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt and crush with side of knife to make a garlicky paste. Add garlic paste, serrano chile, scallions, cilantro, lime zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and chile powder to bowl; mix. Lastly, add queso fresco and combine gently. Let this sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes if you can help it as this helps develop the flavors even more.

Notes

Adapted from Serious Eats

When corn is in season, I'd use fresh, local corn and roast them myself on the grill. For this method, bank on using about 4 ears of corn.

 

// Other corny things:

 

Black Bean, Radish, Corn Salad with Cotija Cheese + Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Black Bean, Radish, Corn Salad with Cotija Cheese + Lime-Cilantro Dressing

A super simple, refreshing summer salad studded with bright radish, sweet corn, and black beans. An explosion of flavorView full post »

Grilled Corn with Garlicky Mayo + Queso Fresco (aka “Mexican Street Corn”)

Super yummy. Super good. Corn + garlic + mayo + cheese is exactly what you want right now.View full post »

An Oldie But Goodie: Corn Soup

A rich and warming soup that will make everything right in the world.View full post »

 

 

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A Healthy You in 2017 + Tropical Smoothie Cafe Giveaway

January 3, 2017 by  
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Tropical Smoothie Cafe Detoxing Smoothie

 

Well, it’s that time again my friends. With all the festivities, cookies, champagne, hangovers, crazy weird uncles, and pie behind us (well, for a short while at least), many of us are looking to make some serious adjustments to our diet as we kickstart 2017. I, for one am pledging to drink a little less and exercise a lot more.

Also, drink more smoothies.

I just scored a shiny new Vitamix blender for Christmas so when Tropical Smoothie Cafe was nice enough to share a special recipe for their Detoxing Smoothie with me, I couldn’t be more delighted.

I’ll be upfront with you. When I looked at some of the ingredients for their Detoxing Smoothie, I was hesitant. Kale. Avocado. Ginger. Celery?

But you know what? It was delicious. The sweetness of the green apple, the brightness of the lemon, and the butteriness of the avocado really balance everything together. It’s so surprisingly good and was pleasurable to drink. And I felt like I nourished my body with some pretty awesome things, too.

2017 will be only as good as we make it. Let’s focus on how we can make impacts– with other people, with ourselves. Health and fitness have played an important role in my life over the past several years, much of which has granted me happiness, physical strength, and confidence, just to name a few. Making a conscious effort to feed my body nutritious food has made a huge improvement in my overall health.

 

So with that in mind, and working towards shaping new and positive impacts on others, I’m giving away 2 – $25 gift cards to Tropical Smoothie Cafe*.

To enter this contest, share how you will work to better your health this year in the comments below. To increase your chance of winning, tweet this post and mention me @wokinglunges. Good luck!

*Contest open to U.S. residents only. Contest dates run from January 3 – January 5, 2017 11:59 pm EST. I will announce the winner on January 6, 2017. 

 

In the meantime, check out Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s newest line-up of smoothies:

Detox Island Green– spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, banana and fresh ginger

Chia Blueberry Max– roasted banana, chia seeds, blueberries, peanut butter, almonds, dates, coconut, cinnamon, whole grain oats and whey protein

Health Nut– blueberries, mango, banana, almonds and your choice of protein

Immune Blast– banana, orange, apple, and orange juice

 

 

Tropical Smoothie Cafe 2017 Promo

 

Tropical Smoothie Cafe's Detoxing Smoothie

 

Tropical Smoothie Cafe's Detoxing Smoothie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 green apple, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup kale, ribs removed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup peeled, chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 1/2 cups ice

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and give it a whir until smooth and bright green.

 

// More healthy treats: 

 

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The post A Healthy You in 2017 + Tropical Smoothie Cafe Giveaway appeared first on okie dokie artichokie.

Papa a la Huancaina

December 28, 2016 by  
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Papa a la Huancaina

 

For me, food and family are intrinsically connected. Many of my most vivid memories as a child revolve around, you guessed it, eating. Born and raised in Peru, I really had no choice at all but to fall in love with food. Cooking and sharing meals with family and friends is central to our culture, and perhaps a reason why food blogging is a natural extension of myself. I may also just be extremely biased and think Peruvian food is the best ever and want you to eat a lot of it all the time forever. I am out of control.

I mentioned sharing. This potato salad you definitely need to share. I mean, look at it, it’s huge. Hey! Here’s another fun fact about Peruvians: we don’t know how to make only a little bit of something, only a whole lot of something, plus more just in case. Modesty is not in our nomenclature.

Papa a la huancaina is a cold potato salad often served as an appetizer or first course at parties. The potatoes are first boiled, peeled, and then sliced before being scattered over fresh lettuce leaves and doused with glorious, spicy, aji amarillo cream sauce. Hard-boiled eggs are cut into quarters and black olives are sliced in half before getting strewn on top. Papa a la huancaina is a delight to eat– it’s unbelievably creamy from the tenuity of the potatoes and the richness of the egg yolks; every bite yields readily in your mouth.

 

 

Papa a la Huancaina

 

Papa a la Huancaina

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 7 hard-boiled eggs, separated
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 aji amarillo peppers (2 seeded, 1 whole)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 8 red-skinned potatoes, boiled, peeled, cut into 3/4" slices
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Black olives, halved

Instructions

  1. Set a small frypan over medium heat and pour in the olive oil. Add the yellow onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Let cool cool slightly.
  2. In a blender, add the onion and garlic mixture, queso fresco, 1 hard-boiled egg, 3/4 teaspoons salt, aji amarillo peppers, and evaporated milk. Puree until absolutely smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Taste for seasonings.
  3. To serve, arrange iceberg lettuce on bottom of platter. Scatter sliced potatoes over the lettuce and pour huancaina sauce all over. Dot with sliced hard-boiled eggs and black olives. Enjoy!

Notes

This is a little on the spicy side. If you'd prefer, you can leave out the seeds from the aji amarillo when you blend it up. Give it a taste and if you want to make it spicier, add some of the seeds in at that point and give it another whir. This way, you can adjust to your palate.

 

Papa a la Huancaina

 

// More Peruvian foodstuffs: 

 

Aji de gallina

Aji de Gallina

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Ceviche

Ceviche

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Choros a la chalaca

A Peruvian Summer Grillin’ Must // Choros a la Chalaca — Mussels with a Jalapeno + Corn Salsa

Spicy and delectable, choros a la chalaca, or mussels with jalapeno-corn salsa, are a Peruvian favorite at familyView full post »

 

 

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