Archives for posts with tag: jalapenos

Summer’s bounty is in full swing and I’m taking full advantage of it.  I think August is the best time at the farmers’ markets.  You find all sorts of gorgeousness there.  But this August it’s Ramadan and the fasts are longggg and you don’t feel like making anything elaborate because of your lack of energy.  I’m trying my best to keep as many as I can, but to be honest it’s hard.  I know complaining is very shallow, but I love my food.

This year we’ve only had one proper Pakistani fast-breaking meal and that was at my in-laws’ house.  Maybe these last two weeks we’ll make a more a bigger effort.  After all, who doesn’t love opening their fast with pakoras, chaat, samosas, and other fried goodness.  I hope to make some Ramadan speciality for my next post.  This one could be seen as a pseudo-pakora.  Not really, but at least I tried.  Potato pancakes are definitely a favorite with me.  You can be a purist and keep them basic or the sky is the limit with options you can add to them.

Since corn season is in full swing, I decided to add corn to them.  When the sweet corn slightly roasts while frying in the potato cake, it’s a beautiful thing.  I also took inspiration from an older post of mine where I made cornmeal cakes and added jalapeño and queso fresco into these potato pancakes.  They’re a perfect appetizer or fast-breaking snack.  Add some mashed avocado on top and you’ll be a very happy person.

Potato Pancakes with Corn, Jalapenos, and Queso Fresco

Ingredients

neutral-flavored vegetable oil of your choice, for frying

2 cups shredded potatoes, I used Yukon Gold (squeeze excess water from them using a kitchen towel)

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 jalapeño pepper, minced finely, seeds and ribs removed if you like

1/2 cup shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese, you can add as much or as little as you like

1 egg

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

zest of 1 lime

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

optional: smashed avocado mixed with some lime juice and salt, for garnish

Method

Combine the potatoes with the corn, jalapeño, herbs, cheese, and lime zest.  Mix in the flour and crack in the egg and combine.  Season with salt and black pepper.

Heat a large frying pan with oil on medium heat and add about a 1/4 cup of the potato mixture and form into a free-form patty and put it into the pan.  Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown on each side.  When cooked, drain excess oil on a paper towel.  Serve warm with smashed avocado, and  garnish with jalapeño rounds, cilantro, and chives, optional.

*Be careful when frying the potato cakes, the corn might pop slightly.  You may have to reduce the heat slightly.

I’m an odd one who likes to have a sandwich for breakfast.  I’ll pass up eggs, cereal, french toast, pancakes, waffles for a sandwich.  Though I like all of those things, I prefer this sandwich.  When I visit my parents, I’m always sure to get some jalapeño chicken sausage and make a sandwich out of it for breakfast.  Unfortunately, I can’t find any pork-free chicken sausage here, though I’m sure they exist, so I opt for this vegetarian version.

With or without chicken sausage I am a lover of cheese, bread with almost any other combination.  I like to add basil, chives, and/or cilantro as well.  My sister and I came up with this (genius ;)) combination for breakfast.  We’re big on sandwiches and are known to turn meals into a sandwich.  All you really need is bread.

Spicy chilies and flavors are also a favorite of mine.  Hence, the radishes and jalapeños .  I think everything melds so nicely here: spicy, creamy, and fresh.  The textures all work, too.  Not too shabby if I say so myself.  I have created the perfect form of food in a sandwich.  Yes, I’m being totally sarcastic and I’m sure someone reading this will turn their nose up at this and think, “what is she going on about???”  Regardless, this is my favorite breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner for when I’m not in the mood for something that takes effort to make and after eating this sandwich I’m truly satisfied.

My Favorite Sandwich

There are absolutely no directions on how to make this sandwich.  I’ll give you some rough ideas and you go ahead and make your perfect sandwich.

Ingredients

nice hearty bread (I used honey, nut, flax)

radishes

avocados

good quality tomatoes, like heirloom

cucumbers

jalapeño peppers (fresh or pickled)

cheese of your choice (I used a semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese.)

lime juice

herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, dried herbs de Provence

sea salt

extra-virgin olive oil

Method

Toast bread drizzle on olive oil and dress with toppings of your choice.  I make them open-faced.   Easy!

When I returned to my apartment from my vacation, the fridge was practically empty and nothing was in the cabinets.  I had to do a major grocery haul.  My grocery cart was exploding like a volcano and yet when I came home and put everything away it looked like I had bought very little.  Isn’t that always the case :).  But, I did stock up on olives, lemons, mint, and other Moroccan ingredients.

Oh, and guess who’s *thinking* about going back on P90-X…you guessed it, the husband.  He bought salmon filets this time instead of chicken breasts.  I think his culinary mind just might be expanding.  But, thankfully instead of 30 chicken breasts, he picked up 1 salmon filet.  Of course, he wanted me to saute the salmon and give him a side of asparagus with it.  But no!  I did not yield to the p90-X ways!

I decided to make salmon cakes slightly influenced by my Moroccan vacation.  (That is so me, I’ll probably be cooking Moroccan for 2 weeks now, hehe).  Well, Morocco was definitely sensory overload and makes you feel all inspired to bring the beauty of the cuisine into your own kitchen.  Though you probably will not find salmon cakes available in Morocco, I used Marrakech as inspiration for my dish.

My attempt at a Moroccan spice pyramid ;)

I was ready to cook up the salmon cakes and then my husband’s friend calls him to go out for dinner.  His wife was not joining them so I decided to stay home.  Therefore, I made some salmon cakes for my husband’s lunch the next day.  Much to my absolute dismay, when he got home and I asked him where they went for dinner he told me it was an Italian chain restaurant that I have not even thought about going since I was probably 7 years old.  He left my dinner for that!  I know we live in a small city, but still, there are many better options out there.  There are men for you ;).  At least he told me it was not good.  Anyway, here’s the recipe for Moroccan Spiced Salmon Cakes.  Enjoy!

Moroccan Spiced Salmon Cakes

Serves 4-5

adapted from Ina Garten’s Salmon Cakes Recipe

Ingredients

3/4 pound wild salmon filet

1/2 a yellow pepper

1/2 an orange pepper (use any colored pepper you like)

2 jalapeno peppers (seeded if you don’t want it very spicy)

7-8 baby carrots or 1 whole carrot, peeled

3 scallions

1/2 cup pitted olives

1/2 a small red onion

1 small shallot

3 cloves garlic

15-20 sprigs of chives, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano (probably the only case in which I will use dried herbs)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs ( I just used old bread and toasted it and crumbled it up.)

2 tablespoons mayo

2 tablespoons creme fraiche

1 heaping teaspoon stoneground Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

salt to taste (1/2 tsp or so)

pepper if needed

olive oil for frying

lemon wedges for serving

lettuce of your choice for serving (I used red and green Bibb lettuce)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the salmon on a baking tray and lightly salt and cover with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until almost done.  Meanwhile, take all the vegetables (including the olives and except the chives) and pulse them in a food processor until they still have some texture.  If you don’t have a food processor, just finely chop them all.  Lightly saute the vegetables on medium heat with the salt and a little pepper in olive oil for about 10 minutes.  Place the vegetables in a bowl and allow to cool slightly.  Next, combine the mayo, creme fraiche, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice together in a bowl.  By this time the salmon should be ready, allow it to rest for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes flake the salmon (remove skin) and combine it with the vegetables.  (If the salmon is still hot then allow it to cool down a little more.)  Next, mix in half of the mayo/sour cream mixture (reserve the rest for drizzling afterwards), the egg, and the chives with the salmon and vegetables.  Combine and add in the bread crumbs.  Allow the whole mixture to cool for at least an hour.

Heat a pan and just lightly coat it with olive oil.  Form into cakes, about the size of your palm (they don’t have to be perfect) and fry on each side until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Plate on top of lettuce or greens of your choice and with a wedge of lemon.  Drizzle a little of the remaining mayo/sour cream sauce on top, garnish with chives and serve.

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I have loved artichoke dip since I was a child.  This is because one of our dear family friends, Marjorie Aunty is a great cook and artichoke dip is one of her many specialities.  This dip is so delicious that you just can’t help but say, “MMMmmmmmMMMMMmmmm.”  I usually make it when I have company over.  I let the guests eat it and when they are gone, (if there is any left) I reheat it and eat it by myself in peace!  It is SO good that you would want to sneakily eat it like a guilty pleasure.  It’s salty and creamy and tangy and oh so fattening.

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I use Hellman’s Half the Fat Mayo in this dip and it still tastes sinful.  But, if I feel like really indulging I use full-fat mayo.  Some like to add spinach in their artichoke dip but I feel the spinach just washes out the flavor of the artichoke.  I add jalapenos for an added kick, I leave the seeds in but remove them if you want a milder dip.  I opt for marinated artichokes because they tangier and contrast quite well with the smoothness of the mayo, sour cream, and cheese.  This dip requires no effort and is ideal as an appetizer for last minute guests.  Bake it and forget about it!

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Artichoke Jalapeno Dip

Serves 5 (as an appetizer)

Use Real Butter’s Version is here.

Ingredients

1  6 ounce jar of marinated artichokes (separate from oil and vinegar marinade), roughly chopped

1/2 cup half the fat mayo (if you want, use full-fat, more power to you!)

1/2 cup light sour cream (same as above regarding full-fat)

8 medium sized balls of fresh mozzerella IMG_8212

1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

1/2 cup  grated Swiss or gruyere cheese

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 jalapeno, diced (seeded if you want it milder)

6-7 chives chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon butter to dab over bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together the mayo, sour cream, the three cheeses, garlic, jalapenos, chives, salt, and pepper in a medium size bowl.  Transfer to a baking dish mine was 5 by 8.  Sprinkle on the bread crumbs and dab the top with butter.  Bake for 25 minutes then switch the heat to broil for about 5 minutes or until the top gets golden brown and bubbly, ooey gooey, and yum!  Let the dip settle for about 10 minutes, otherwise it will be scalding hot.  Serve with water crackers, baguette, or tortilla chips.

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