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Macha Salsa

In Fun Foods, Salad Dressings, Salsas & Savory Sauces On December 12, 2021 0 Comments

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Macha Salsa or Salsa Macha has its origins in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It is a crunchy, nutty chile oil made with a variety of dried chiles, nuts, garlic, fried in oil and chopped. You can tweak it to your taste.

Spice up the holidays with this exquisite salsa that is served as a condiment. Spoon it over meats, fish, chicken, veggies, frittatas. I’ve been known to eat it by the spoonfuls.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Inactive prep time: 10 minutes

Makes: About 1-1/2 cups

Ingredients:
2 guajillo peppers (dried)
3 ancho peppers  (dried)
3 to 4 dried chile de arbol peppers (use 3 if you want a milder salsa)
1/4 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 cups high-quality vegetable oil (preferably, organic canals, sunflower or safflower oil)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Salt, to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon; taste and adjust level when salsa is finished)

Directions:
1. Remove seeds and stems from the guajillo, ancho peppers and chiles de arbol.

2. Using shears, cut them into small bits (1/4-inch pieces); set aside.

3. Place the peanuts, garlic and the oil in a 6 to 8-quart saucepot (this will prevent splatters). Alternatively, use a 12-inch skillet.

4. Heat the oil, peanuts and garlic to medium-high.

5. Fry the ingredients until garlic is light brown (not dark brown).

6. Immediately remove saucepot or skillet from heat; stir in the dried pepper pieces.

7. Let the mixture cool for 8 to 10 minutes.

8. After 8 to 10 minutes, stir in the vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust salt level, if needed.

9. Pour the mixture into a glass blender or glass food processor. DO NOT USE PLASTIC AS IT WILL PERMANENTLY STAIN.

10. Pulse-blend the mixture to achieve a crunchy, crumbly salsa – DO NOT OVERPROCESS; DO NOT PUREE.

11. Pour the salsa into a GLASS JAR WITH A COVER (mason jars work well). Tightly seal and refrigerate the salsa up to 6 weeks.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Thanksgiving Green Salad with Lime-Dijon Vinaigrette

In Meats On November 19, 2021 0 Comments

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For Thanksgiving dinner, some guests may want a no-carbs, no-gluten, no-sugar salad or side . Here’s a delicious salad that’s easy to make because it can be prepared the morning of …. Happy Thanksgiving!

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

6 cups fresh, mixed greens (Romaine, butter, arugula, spinach), washed & spun-dry
3 Persian cucumbers, peeled and thinly-sliced
1 large carrot, peeled & thinly-sliced
4 green onions, tips & dark green stems discarded, sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
Juice of 2 limes or lemons
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon white Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 of a red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Place the mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots & green onions in a serving bowl; set aside, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve.

2. In a food processor, combine the lime or lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic clove, vinegar and the oil.

3. Process the mixture until vinaigrette is uniform.

4. Transfer vinaigrette to a glass jar & tightly cover. Refrigerate vinaigrette until ready to serve the salad.

4. At serving time, pour the vinaigrette over prepared salad ingredients; garnish with red bell pepper pieces. Toss & serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

Spook Pasta

In Meats On October 20, 2021 0 Comments

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Kids of all ages will love this orange-colored Halloween meal – Spook Pasta! Made with fresh pumpkin, it’s healthy, fast and fun!

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

6 cups peeled, cubed pumpkin, boiled & drained (reserve 1-1/2 cups of the cooking liquid)
1 cube vegetarian or chicken bouillon
1 pound pasta (short variety)
1 teaspoon salt
grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese (optional, for garnish)

Directions:
1. Place cooked and cooled pumpkin cubes into a food processor or blender; puree until smooth.

2. Transfer the pureed pumpkin to a 2 to 3-quart saucepot; stir in 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid.

3. Bring the pumpkin sauce to a boil; add the bouillon cube and stir.

4. Cook on low heat, stirring often, for about 4-5 minutes. Taste and add a little salt, if needed.

5. Cover the pumpkin sauce and set aside on a cool burner.

6. Meanwhile, bring a 4-quart saucepot of water to a boil.

7. Add the pasta and 1 teaspoon salt; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is “al dente” (crunchy-tender).

8. In the meantime, bring the pumpkin sauce to a boil. If it is too thick, add a little more cooking liquid.

9. Drain the pasta and return it to the saucepot.

10. Add 2 to 3 ladles of the pumpkin sauce to the pasta; stir to heat evenly over medium heat.

11. Add more pumpkin sauce, to taste.

12. Serve the Spook Pasta immediately; garnish with cheese.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

Pickled Red Onions

In Meats On August 10, 2021 0 Comments

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Make these easy and delicious pickled onions for grilled meats, poultry and seafood all summer. Once made, the onions keep for up to two weeks (refrigerated). Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 – 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 large red onion, peeled & thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup white Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

1. Place onions (tightly-packed) in a one-pint mason jar or other glass jar.

2. In a 4-cup saucepot, combine the water, vinegars, nectar, honey, salt and chili flakes.

3. Bring mixture to a simmering boil.

4. Place jar with onions in a sink to avoid splatters.

5. Pour the pickling liquid over the onions; let stand until the jar is warm to the touch.

6. Sprinkle the oregano over top of onions.

7. Cover the jar with a tightly fitted lid and refrigerate for at least one hour.

8. Serve cold as a side or garnish to meats, poultry and seafood. Alternatively, add the pickled onions to meat, vegetarian or vegan tacos and salads.

9. Pickled Red Onions will keep, refrigerated, up to one week.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

Peaches, Blueberries & Oregano Salad

In Meats On July 3, 2021 0 Comments

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This salad was inspired by fresh peaches and blueberries in season. I created a lemon-dijon dressing and tossed it into the fruit. It’s perfect for our upcoming 4th of July cookouts!

Prep time: 5 – 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
4 peaches, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
salt & ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves

Directions:
1. Place sliced peaches and the blueberries in a 4-cup serving bowl; set aside.

2. In a 2-cup mixing blow, prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper.

3. Pour dressing over the peaches and blueberries; toss lightly.

4. Add oregano leaves & toss once more.

5. Serve immediately as a side with meat, chicken or fish. Alternatively, serve this salad as part of a vegetarian or vegan meal.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real