Tag Archives: sauce

Dinner With Elaine

We had a chance to visit with Ron’s third sister (he has four of them – lucky man as they are all amazing women!), Elaine, in Los Gatos, CA, on our recent visit in the area. Elaine is a brilliantly talented lady (as are all four of Ron’s sisters), with a burning passion for travel, art, culture, and decorating. Her taste is extraordinary and she is truly a remarkable woman.

She invited us to her new home and we shared a wonderful evening with her and two of her friends: Mary, who she has travelled to Cuba with on several occasions for cultural expeditions, and Nancy, a long-time friend and talented hair stylist. Instead of going out for dinner, Elaine prepared and served a delicious dinner of BBQ grilled salmon, oven-grilled broccoli Romanesco, asparagus, onion and tri-colored carrot, and boiled corn on-the-cob. When we asked what we could bring, she said that we could do the sauce for the salmon.

Ron and I had enjoyed a wonderful chimichurri sauce before we left Cabo, so I immediately thought that would be the perfect accompaniment to the grilled salmon and mixed vegetables. Elaine had all the ingredients and I used this recipe from New York Times Cooking app as my basic guideline: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015299-chimichurri-sauce. Although my picture of my plate doesn’t include the chimichurri, it provided great color and flavor to the salmon and all the vegetables Elaine served. Delicious!

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Leftover chimichurri can be used as the base on toasted baguettes for appetizers, mixed in with beaten eggs for scrambled eggs (green eggs and ham, perhaps?) or omelet, as a pizza or flatbread sauce, or tossed with cooked pasta. It really is a versatile and healthy sauce and I highly recommend you try it! A little taste of Argentina – wherever you are in the world!

Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken

In my last post, I was telling you how much we enjoy Melissa Clark’s recipes and videos. She is an absolute delight and her recipes are fresh, fun and fabulous. The recipe that I’m going to introduce you to here is a prime example of what we’ve come to expect and enjoy from what she’s creating.

Many of the ingredients in this recipe we sourced from our local organic market which is located just half a block up the street from where we live in Cabo and is open Wednesday and Saturday mornings. A fresh, free-range organic chicken, organic lemons, Mandarin oranges, honey, carrots, onion and green onions all combine to make this a truly delicious and flavorful dish. A few steps outside the front door is where I have fresh herbs growing, and I cut some fresh thyme and Italian parsley for the recipe as well.

I highly recommend that you watch Melissa’s video to get a sense of who she is and the fun she’s created with this dish. You can just link to the recipe, but you’ll miss her delightful personality. This dish is described as a “chile-flecked, honey-imbued marinade spiked with fresh citrus juice that gives this chicken its fiery, syrupy character. Dates and carrots give the sauce texture and additional sweetness while a garnish of fresh herbs and pistachio nuts lends freshness and crunch.” This is a really fabulous dish that can be prepared a day in advance, making it perfect to warm up in the oven for a dinner party. Serve with rice or something else to soak up and savor the sauce with. This is absolutely a five-star dish that I highly recommend!

Did You Know That……

– Capers are the unopened flower bud of a bush that grows in the Mediterranean. Contrary to popular belief, they are in no way related to fish! They are usually packed in brine, so they should be rinsed before using. Select small capers and try them in everything from salads, pasta dishes, with smoked salmon or other fish dishes, in egg salad sandwiches and devilled eggs, in vegetables, sauces to pizza!

– Tomatillos are surprisingly not members of the tomato family, but are actually members of the gooseberry family. They are available at Latin-American markets and some large supermarkets. They have a papery outer husk which should be removed, and them the tomatillos should be rinsed in soapy water, followed by clear water, to remove the sticky residue of the husks.

– To quickly slice mushrooms, strawberries or kiwis, try using an egg slicer, preferably with stainless steel wires for strength.

– The tart and tangy flavor of the versatile lime adds a sprightly touch to margaritas, other fruit drinks and desserts. It adds zest to ceviche, salad dressings, barbecued fish and poultry. An excellent source of vitamin C, limes grow in the tropics and subtropics, Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida and California.

The Birthplace of Chocolate

Mexico is the birthplace of chocolate (thank you for such a wonderful gift to the world!). It was revered by the Aztecs and was served exclusively to priests and kings with such additions as herbs, chiles and honey. Although the hot chocolate of Mexico is famous throughout the world, they are also well known for their use of chocolate in a sauce called mole, where it is used as one of many spices.

Hot Sauce Trivia

  • Hot sauces are excellent in sauces and stir-fry’s, make quick and handy marinades before grilling food, and are always welcome condiments on the table.
  • Research has proven that adding hot sauces to your foods can help your body burn calories faster (up to 45 calories more per meal than if you eat bland dishes).
  • When people eat hotter sauces, they experience pain in their mouths and throats.  The nervous system reacts to the pain by releasing morphine-like endorphins.  Endorphins create a sense of euphoria similar to the “runner’s high” that some people get from exercise.  People who regularly eat hot sauces and chiles will find that they develop a tolerance to the heat and will have to eat increasingly hotter sauces to get the high.
  • Hot sauces are North American’s favorite way to turn up the heat and add some extra flavor and spice to their food. Most hot sauces are a blend of chiles, vinegar and salt, but many are variations that may also contain ingredients such as carrots, onion and papaya.
  • By adding lots of flavor to food with hot sauces, chiles and spices, you can reduce the amount of fat, oil and salt in your diet.
  • The stinking “rose”, otherwise known as garlic and a common ingredient in hot sauces, is an excellent antioxidant that can help reduce free radicals that exist in the human body. Garlic reduces cholesterol, clears arteries and helps maintain healthy blood circulation.The true hot sauce collector and aficionado looks for several qualities when evaluating a new sauce: appearance, originality, aroma, heat and flavor. Why not invite friends over for a hot sauce tasting party with evaluation forms for the sauces you’ll be trying? Try each sauce on unsalted crackers or tortilla chips and have some fun.
  • Half the fun of collecting hot sauces is laughing at the names that their creators give them. The names are as original as the sauces themselves and range from reference to fire and explosion, animals, religious, crime and punishment, controversial, erotic, naughty, mental health, and western themes. The names and labels make us laugh and represent much of the fun that enjoying hot sauces bring us.