Mémé’s Avocado Carpaccio

Avocado-philes, this post is for you. I got this recipe from Serious Eat’s post, Mémé’s Avocado Carpaccio. It was fantastic. I made this a few times over. It’s easy and light.

Ingredients

2 Hass avocadoes
1 lemon
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
2 scallions, sliced on an angle
A few leaves of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
A few leaves of cilantro, roughly chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Halve the avocados, and remove the pits. Turn the avocado over so the hole where the pit was is facing down to the cutting board, and the avocado is situated so the long length of the avocado is running north-south. Slice an array of vertical cuts, creating thin slices of avocado. Peel the slices out and arrange, layering slices half on each other. Repeat with the remaining 3 avocado halves.

Cut the lemon into sixths. Spritz each avocado half with one sixth of the lemon. Drizzle each avocado half with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon of fleur de sel, and divide the scallions, parsley, and cilantro amongst the avocados. Season with pepper to taste.

 

Bruschetta with Mediterranean Tomato Topping

Inspired by a great recipe from Emeril Lagasse, this bruschetta recipe is vegan friendly!

Ingredients

20 (1/2-inch) slices French bread
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and small diced
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade, plus more for garnishing
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the slices of French bread on a baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the olive oil. Season with half of the salt and half of the pepper. Bake until lightly golden and crispy, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While the toasts are baking combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and stir to blend.

Serve each toast with a heaping tablespoon of the tomato mixture and garnish with additional basil, if desired.

Reference
Bruschetta with Mediterranean Tomato Topping

Nachos With Cabbage, Beans, And Cilantro Sauce

I made these nachos for a holiday movie night with some friends. I served each item in separate bowls and let every choose their toppings. It turned out very well. I loved how all the items tasted together.

For the Cabbage
1 heaping cup shredded red cabbage
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar

For the Beans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
1 poblano pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
Salt, to taste

For the Cilantro Sauce
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil

For the Cheese Sauce
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese (or a mix of cheddar and pepper Jack—see note), grated on large holes of a box grater
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 (12-ounce) can fat free evaporated milk2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot or other hot sauce

5 ounces tortilla chips

For the cabbage: Combine cabbage, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Toss to dissolve sugar and salt and coat cabbage with liquid. Let sit for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.

For the beans: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, one minute more. Add beans and cook until heated through and beginning to break down a bit, about 10 minutes. Mash beans against sides and bottom of pot with a wooden spoon and stir to combine all ingredients. Taste for salt. Cover and keep warm.

For the cilantro sauce: In a mini food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, and olive oil. Process until well combined. Set aside.

To assemble nachos, spread tortilla chips on a large platter. Top evenly with beans and then with cheese sauce. Pour off liquid from cabbage and dry cabbage between paper towels. Top nachos with cabbage. Drizzle cilantro sauce overtop. Serve warm.

For the cheese sauce: Add cheese and cornstarch to large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add 1 cup evaporated milk and hot sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with whisk until melted, bubbly, and thickened (about 5 minutes). Mixture will look thin and grainy at first but will thicken and come together after heating. Thin to desired consistency with additional evaporated milk.

References
The Crisper Whisperer: Nachos With Cabbage, Beans, And Cilantro Sauce
Cheese Sauce For Cheese Fries And Nachos

Cucumber Salad

After the first time I made this, I almost ate the whole batch in one sitting. It’s so easy to make and I had all the ingredients in my pantry except for the cucumbers, which I picked up at a Japanese market in Little Toyko. I made this a second time using regular cucumbers and it was just as tasty.
This can be served as an appetizer before serving sushi or another Japanese dish. Or you can do what I did and have it as a snack.
Ingredients

2 cups thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

If Japanese cucumbers are not available, English cucumbers can be substituted. The English cucumbers need to be peeled, cut lengthwise, seeded and sliced into thin half moons. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers and salt and mix well. Add sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

Reference
Cucumber Salad

Smoky Fried Chickpeas

I saw this recipe a long time ago on Food 52 and it looked great. It’s looks like it can be an awesome snack to have at home while blogging (hi) or a hor d’oeuvre for your fancy party.

Ingredients

Two 1-pound, 13-ounce cans chickpeas
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest, in thin strips
1 fresh thyme sprig
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (sweet or hot, depending on your taste)
Coarse salt

Drain the chickpeas and set on paper towels in a colander to dry thoroughly. (This can be done 1 day in advance.)

Heat the oil in a large pan (preferably cast iron) to 350°F, or until the oil makes bubbles around a single chickpea when you drop it in.

Add the lemon zest, thyme sprig, and chickpeas in batches so the pan doesn’t crowd. Fry each batch for about 5 minutes until the chickpeas darken and are crunchy.

Remove the chickpeas, zest, and thyme from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain well over a colander or sieve. After you’ve fried the last batch, add the garlic to the oil and fry briefly until golden. Remove and drain.

Toss the chickpeas and garlic with the smoked paprika and salt, adding more to taste. Serve right away while still warm and crisp.


Baguette Croutes With Brie, Avocado Mousse, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is a pretty easy hor d’oeuvre to make. They taste good and look fancy so you can impress your guests and friends at all the fancy dinner parties you go to or throw. Or you can make them for yourself and just feel fancy alone.

Ingredients

1 avocado
Salt
Baguette, cut on a diagonal into ¼-inch slices
1/2 pound of lite brie, cut into slices
Sun-dried tomatoes cut into strips
Olive oil

Place the baguette slices on an aluminum sheet and brush olive oil on the sides that will be toasted facing up. Put aluminum sheet in the toaster oven and toast until slices are lightly toasted.

Prepare the avocado by mashing the ripe avocado with a potato masher or large spoon until it becomes smooth.

After the baguette slices are toasted, place one piece of brie on each baguette slice. Spoon some avocado mousse on the brie, and top with a few slivers of sun-dried tomato.

Reference
Baguette Croutes With Brie, Avocado Mousse, And Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pico de Gallo Salsa

Pico de gallo is my favorite salsa. Once it’s made, it’s hard for me to stop eating and walk away. Don’t ask me how it got it’s name, which literally translates to “rooster’s beak,” but it’s amazing and really easy to make.

Ingredients

1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound fresh ripe tomato, any type, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2/3 cup white, chopped
Fresh lime juice from 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste (I did 1 1/2 teaspoons)

Combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

References
Pico de Gallo