Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fresh and Easy Salsa

It's Tuesday, yo! I don't know about you, but here in San Diego, that can only mean one thing... Tacos! Taco Tuesday is a legitimate event. A reason to eat, create, and cook delicious tacos. Traditional tacos, crispy tacos, corn tortilla tacos, lettuce wrap tacos.... Ground beef, chicken, pork, lobster... You name it, and San Diego puts it in a taco. There's no stopping the creativity, taste, or options, and for this reason, it's incredibly easy to celebrate taco Tuesday each and every Tuesday without ever getting bored. 
Tonight's menu includes a self-serve topping bar, flour tortillas, and traditional ground beef. It's an incredibly easy to prepare meal, that is high in flavor. And at the epicenter of all that flavor? Homemade salsa.
There are so many different iterations of salsa. I make several different ones, depending on my mood, and what's on that day's menu. This is by far, not only one of my favorites, but also the most versatile. It's even a great base, from which to build more complex salsa's. And, it pairs perfectly with ground beef.  
3 vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
1/2 of a large jalepeno
1 small red onion
the juice of 1 lime
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 hours prior to service (letting your salsa sit for a minimum of 6 hours, intensifies the flavor profiles, and creates an even tastier salsa) grind all above ingredients in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Refrigerate.  
Seriously, that's it. Simple, easy, fresh. There will be no turning back.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Prosciutto, Dill, and Marscapone Egg Puff

This Sunday is Easter and, if your family is anything like mine, you are starting to put together a Brunch menu for post egg-finding nourishment. 

At our house, the Egg hunting is a full out contact sports. We actually have to have two separate hunts, a kids hunt and a grown-up hunt. It's that, or specifically assign each participant their own color, size, and type of egg to find.  It's that competitive. For a family that mostly eschews all sports activities, on Easter, we surprise ourselves.

The morale behind all this, is that by 10:30? We. Are. Starving.

I came up with this take on a dish my aunt makes (stay tuned for my version of that dish) and calls "The Egg Puff." What's an Egg puff you ask? Well, it's sort of a cross between a frittata (although much less fun to say) and a soufflĂ©.  But its much, much easier than either, and twice as versatile. It can be made ahead and served cold, or prepped ahead and popped into the oven right before serving and enjoyed warm. I often make both versions, and serve them simultaneously to make sure both vegetarians and carnivores (who, lets face it, luck out and eat both) have options. It's that easy.


10 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 carton mascarpone (16 oz)
4 cups shredded mozzarella
10 slices of prosciutto, diced
2 TBS fresh dill, minced
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled


Preheat oven to 350.
Beat eggs until light, fluffy, and pale yellow.

Add flour, backing powder, salt, mascarpone, mozzarella, butter, dill, and prosciutto, blend until smooth.

Pour mixture into a well buttered baking pan. I used a 8 1/2 by 12 Le Creuset. 

Bake 40-45 mins; top should start looking like this...

... and the puff should look solid (not watery), although moveable, when jiggled.
And that, is it. Trust me, once you add this to your brunch or breakfast rotation, you won't go back.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Blood Orange Margarita

The citrus around here has been phenomenal lately. Crisp, fresh, sweet... perfection. It's lending itself brilliantly to all different types of recipes...but by far, the best way to enjoy it.. is juiced. And what makes fruit juice even better? Tequila, of course. 

I've wanted to do a sangria style margarita for a while now. And the vanilla blood oranges I had access to a couple of weeks ago, were the perfect vehicle. Trust me.  Once you have had a Margarita this way, there is no going back.


2 cups of Silver Patron Tequila
6 oz Agave
2 oz Grand Marnier
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/3 cup freshly squeezed vanilla blood orange juice
2 vanilla blood oranges, sliced
12 cumquats, sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
Pink Himalayan course salt
Blood Orange Soda (I used the Trader Joes brand)

In a large pitcher combine the agave nectar and Grand Marnier. Stir until combined. Add cumquat and blood orange slices to the pitcher. Add both juices and tequila. Stir. Refrigerate 4-6 hours before serving.

Rub a lime wedge around the edge of each glass, then dip glass in salt to rim. Add 3-5 ice cubes to glass. Fill glass 2/3 full with Margarita mixture. Top with blood orange soda (about 2oz).