Condiments

Baba Ganoush

Ohhhhh man, do I ever LOVE baba ganoush – like seriously!  I think I might actually like it better than hummus.  Yes, I said it – baba is better than hummus.  I mean, I will always love that garlicky chick pea dip but something about baba just makes my heart sing!  Something about the roasted eggplant flavor, creamy greek yogurt, and tahini combined with garlic and lemon juice just makes me giggle with joy – give me some solid Naan to use as transportation mechanism and I am SET!  Look out summer BBQs – you’re getting a new side dish!

This recipe is FAB-U-LOUS.  Seriously.  It tastes just like the stuff that we got at a Lebanese bakery when I was a kid – the stuff my Lebanese-craving dreams are made of.  I’ve never quite found anything that compared to my childhood memory until I tried this recipe – its just about spot on!

Now apparently traditional baba doesn’t have yogurt in it?  I didn’t know that, but I read it in the same cookbook that I got this recipe from.  Throw that thought out the window because this dip wouldn’t be quite the same without it.

Take a break and try your hand at Baba Ganoush – you might not like hummus as much as you think!

  • 2 eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs. total)
  • 3 TBS tahini
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 3/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS chopped flat leaf parsley (Which I forgot in the picture above.  Whoops!)

Prick the eggplants in a few places with a knife or fork to prevent them from exploding.  Place them on a rimmed baking sheet under the broiler for 35-45 minutes or until the skins are wrinkled and the eggplant are very soft.

When cool enough to handle, peel the eggplants and place them in a fine colander or strainer.  Press out as much of the liquids as possible.  Still in the colander, chop the flesh with a pointed knife, then mash with a fork or wooden spoon, letting the liquids escape through the holes.  Add a tiny squeeze of lemon juice to keep the puree looking pale and appetizing.

In a bowl, beat the tahini with the lemon juice (the tahini stiffens at first then softens), then beat in the yogurt.  Add in the mashed eggplants, garlic to taste, and some salt.  Beat vigorously and taste to adjust the flavoring.

Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with parsley.

Recipe Courtesy of Arabesque by Claudia Roden

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Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Middle Eastern, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Pico de Gallo

I love dips – especially ones that aren’t going to add to my waistline (take our the fact that my favorite dipper is usually tortilla chips).  Pico de Gallo has been a favorite of mine for a long time because its basically a fresh, chunky salsa that’s full of flavor.

Enjoy this classic recipe with your favorite tortilla chips or over fish tacos.

*Note: make sure to make this at least an hour before serving so that the flavors have time to meld.

Pico de Gallo

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 4 scallions, green parts only, minced
  • 3 jalepenos, seeded and minced
  • 2 serrano chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Coarse sea salt

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except salt) and mix well.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.  Add salt to taste just before serving.

Adapted from Kelley Cleary Coffeen

Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Lightened Up Samosas

One of my co-workers is from India and treats us every once in awhile to samosas that he makes the night before. They.  Are.  Incredible.  Like seriously.  I don’t know how he does it, but they’re even good reheated in the microwave.  What fried food is actually good reheated in the microwave?  None…accept for these.

Unfortunately for you, I don’t have that amazing recipe, BUT I did find a recipe for some lighter ones that are pan fried rather than deep fried.  The filling tasted pretty similar and I have to imagine these were easier to assemble than the treats I often look forward to.

Oh and make sure you make the chutney, too – its delicious!

Enjoy!

Chutney

  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 c. fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS water
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger

Samosas

  • 1 1/4 c. mashed cooked peeled baking potatoes
  • 1/4 c. cooked yellow lentils
  • 1 TBS minced fresh mint
  • 1 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 c. frozen petite green peas, thawed
  • 10 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

To prepare chutney, combine first 9 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare samosas, combine potatoes, lentils, mint, curry powder, 1 teaspoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cumin. Gently fold in peas.

Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers to prevent drying), cut down middle to form 2 long rectangles. Moisten edges of wrapper with egg. Spoon 1 tablespoon potato mixture near bottom edge of wrapper. Fold up from 1 corner to the opposite outer edge of the wrapper, making a triangle. Fold over to opposite side again as if folding up a flag. Repeat fold to opposite side to form a triangle. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Lightly coat samosas with cooking spray. Add samosas to pan, and cook 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with chutney.

Cooking Light

Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Indian, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Navel Orange, Pomegranate, & Avocado Salsa

Happy New Year!!

I’m starting this year fresh with a new, cleaner look to the blog.  I was never a huge fan of my old look, but despite having an IT degree, I really have had no desire to design and host my own site, so I picked a generic look from WordPress.  Nothing has changed this year – I still don’t have the desire to design my own site yet, but I did find a new design that I like better…and I hope you do, too!  I also got a photo booth for Christmas so hopefully I can improve my photo skills in the new year, too (please don’t judge my photos in the next few weeks…I’m learning!!).  I shoot everything for my blog right now using this guy, but the lighting is too inconsistent and quite frankly terrible in our house that I really struggle making my pictures look decent despite really loving this camera for what it is – an indestructible point and shoot (p.s., we went snorkeling in Saint Lucia with this thing and the pictures were AMAZING – I highly, highly recommend this camera, especially if you’re not very nice to technology like I am).

Okay, so enough jib-jab about “improvements” to my blog – how about an awesome and healthy salsa that looks like a party in a bowl?!  Great!  I made this for our Mexican-themed New Year’s celebration at our house and it was a huge hit!  The flavors were incredible and so fresh – the oranges really added something different.

Serve this with some hearty chips or on warm flour tortillas…or throw it on a salad with grilled shrimp (you won’t need dressing!).

Enjoy!

  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 large hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 2/3 c. diced red onion
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 2 green onions, including green tops, cut on the diagonal into thin slices
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, whisk together he lime juice, salt, and pepper until the salt dissolves.

Working with one orange at a time, cut a slice from the top and bottom to reveal the flesh.  Stand the orange upright and slice away from the peel from the sides in wide strips, cutting downward, following the contour of the fruit, and removing all the white pith.  Holding the orange over a bowl, use a sharp paring knife to cut along both sides of each segment, releasing the segments and allowing the juice and segments to drop into the bowl.  Discard any seeds that might adhere to the fruit or drop into the bowl.  Repeat with the remaining oranges (this technique is called “supreming”).  Drain the juice into a measuring cup and set aside.  Cut the orange segments into 1/2″ pieces and add to the bowl containing the lime juice.

To extract the seeds from the pomegranate, cut the fruit into quarters.  Fill a large bowl with cold water and place it in the kitchen sink to contain any squirting pomegranate juice.  Using your fingertips, break the seeds away from the pith under water.  The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl.  Discard any pith, drain the water, blot the seeds lightly with paper towels and add to the bowl with the orange segments.

Add the avocado, red onion, jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro to the bowl.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the ingredients together, being careful not to mash the avocado.  Add the reserved orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the salsa is moist but not soupy.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and set aside for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

By Diane Morgan, Skinny Dips

Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Mexican, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Best. Condiment. Ever. Garlic Aioli!

Once upon a time, I hated sweet potatoes.  I mean really hated them.  To me a potato wasn’t supposed to be sweet and quite frankly they made me gag.  I was a bit of a weirdo.  I bet if they weren’t called potatoes,  I probably wouldn’t have had such an issue – I clearly got caught up on the way things were supposed to taste and a sweet potato did NOT taste like a potato.  I had similar qualms with other foods too:

  • I only liked yellow mustard.  Honey mustard, Dijon mustard, spicy mustard, etc. all were awful to me.  Thank goodness I got over this!
  • Dill pickles all the way.  Bread & Butter or gherkins were a no go (okay, this qualm still exists…I really only like dill pickles).  At least I’ll now eat homemade pickles

Anyways, now back to my story…one day, someone ordered fresh sweet potato chips with a side of aioli and the rest is history.  I was hooked.  Deep fry those puppies and give me a kick-butt sauce to dip them in and I’m sold!  Since then, I have come to love sweet potatoes in multiple forms (all except that classic casserole with the marshmallows…I just can’t do it).  Chips, fries, mashed, baked, etc.  I have to credit my love of sweet potatoes to the condiment that started it all: Aioli.  And here’s my favorite recipe!  (Here’s a little tip, pulverize it a little more and it becomes homemade mayonnaise you can wow your friends with).

Enjoy!

  • 1 fresh garlic clove, minced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika

Throw garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, and egg yolks in a food processor and give it a quick blend.  With the food processor still running, slowly pour the olive oil in and process until blended and becoming thick.  Season with paprika and serve immediately with some sweet potato fries or grilled veggies.

Categories: Condiments, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Time to Harvest the Basil: 2 Pesto Recipes

Believe it or not, there's a rather large rosemary plant hanging out in there too, but the Purple Basil is taking over. We also have sweet basil, lemongrass, and peppermint (that's on the ground next to the planter).

Its time to start harvesting my basil (as some of it towards the base of the plant is already looking a little wilty).  We grew two different types this year, sweet basil and purple basil, so we have a wee bit of an abundance.  One of my favorite things to make with excess basil is pesto and I’ve so far made two varieties this year – one with each type of basil.  I usually make a double batch and freeze in containers of about 1/2 c. each – perfect for pulling out to season meat or make a quick pasta with.  These freeze incredibly well and maintain their bright colors better than if I were to can them (and who wants to can only 8 4 oz. jars?).  By the way, I doubled each recipe to yield about 2 cups of each type.

Enjoy!

Classic Basil Pesto

  • 2 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBS freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the basil, garlic, cheses, and nuts in a food processor.  Process to mix.  With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to desired consistency.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Red Basil Pesto

  • 2 c. fresh opal basil leaves
  • 2 1/2 TBS minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBS freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 6 TBS freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. pine nuts
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the basil, sun-dried tomato, garlic, cheses, and nuts in a food processor.  Process to mix.  With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to desired consistency.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Courtesy of Pestos! by Dorothy Rankin

Categories: Condiments, Italian, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Sun-dried Turkey Burgers with Basil Aioli

I probably shouldn’t be posting this in light of the ground turkey recall (which happened three days after I made these burgers with a package of the recalled meat), but they were delicious and I’m still here to tell about them!  Honestly, as long as you thoroughly cook ground turkey (or any meat for that matter), you’re generally safe.  I have a instant read meat thermometer that’s great for grilling to ensure that I’m going to survive my meal.

These burgers were awesome and I loved the basil aioli.  Usually I make my own aioli (because it tastes sooooooo much better), but I was short on time and knew that if I made it fresh, I would end up dipping my sweet potato fries in it which in turn would put my diet and cholesterol through the ringer.  On a side note…fresh aioli makes an excellent condiment to sweet potato fries and chips…just saying (I’ll share my favorite recipe to date for fresh aioli soon…which can be beat to death a little more to morph into mayo if that’s more your cup of tea)!

Enjoy!

  • 1 1/4 lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 TBS white pepper
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1 TBS dried onion
  • 1/4 c. (2 oz.) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes (I used dried that I rehydrated for a few minutes in warm water, but feel free to use the oil-packed variety as well)
  • Lettuce
  • 4 burger rolls
  • 4 tomato slices (optional)
  • Red onion slices, grilled (optional)
  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine first 9 ingredients.  Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch patty.
  3. Place patties on a grill rack coasted with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer registers 165°.
  4. Lightly spray buns with cooking spray (I prefer Crisco’s Olive Oil spray) and toast on the grill.  Remove and set aside.
  5. Place lettuce, burger, tomato, and grilled onion on bun.  Spread basil aioli (following) on inside of bun and place on top of burger.  Excellent with sweet potato fries (I tossed mine in olive oil and Branden’s spice rub before placing under the broiler until browned and tender).

Basil Aioli

  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise (I like Kraft’s Olive Oil Mayo as a store-bought variety)
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Categories: American, Condiments, Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Branden’s Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce: Part III

Now for the final installment of the BBQ posts from the 4th of July!  Congrats on making it through…may we reward you with some yummy BBQ sauce?!?

BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons southern style hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Saute the onions, garlic, and oregano until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, ketchup, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, honey, brown sugar, hot sauce, paprika, cayenne, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then lower heat to a simmer and allow to simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning and heat to desired taste.

Yield: about 3 cups

Categories: American, Condiments, Recipes | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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