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   I think that cilantro and lime are a perfect fit for each other, so I was really excited to try this idea. A lot of the lime bar recipes that I found called for graham cracker crusts, but I love the shortbread crusts that lemon squares usually have, so I decided to do a shortbread crust. These turned out great! The cilantro is subtle, just a nice burst of flavor now and then that makes the lime more lime-y tasting somehow. Try them this weekend!
---Karly


CILANTRO LIME DESSERT BARS
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. With a mixer on high, mix the butter and powdered sugar together until well combined and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Press the dough into the pan and bake until lightly golden, about 25 minutes (in my weird oven it took about 30 minutes).

While the crust is baking, prepare the lime mixture. Beat the egg yolks and lime zest on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes (a stand mixer with the whisk attachment works great here). Turn the speed down to low on the mixer and add the condensed milk in a slow stream, mixing constantly; then, raise the speed back up to high and mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and cilantro, and mix until just combined.

Once the crust is done, take it out of the oven and spread the lime mixture on top. Bake until the filling is just set, about 10-15 minutes. (Again, this took way longer in my oven than I suspect it will in most. Mine took more like 25 minutes.)

Cool the bars completely and refrigerate at least 4 hours (really, truly, they are best cold). Cut into squares and enjoy!!


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Italian Frittata
So I'm super stoked to post this one today. I've been wanting to make a quiche or a frittata, since I never have, and I figured I could incorporate our Secret Ingredient CILANTRO into it. SUCCESS!
   I decided on a frittata, since I was feeling too lazy to make a crust for a quiche. So I did a quick search for a frittata recipe to know how many eggs I should do, and at what temperature to bake it.

   A frittata, typically, is an Italian omelet with veggies and meat, and it's cooked until the bottom is set and then inverted into another pan to cook the top. But the lazy version, throwing it in the oven on "broil", is more my style. Plus, I don't have to clean another pan!
   For those of you who aren't keen on the Italian ingredients, I also did a Mexican version! For your information, the Frittata itself, in both recipes, is the same. Only the toppings are different. And the tastes are so unique!
--Jenny

JENNY'S ITALIAN  & MEXICAN FRITTATAS

Frittata
6 eggs
3 slices bacon, cooked and diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced1 large clove garlic, diced1 tbsp butter
big handful cilantro, diced
salt, freshly ground pepper to taste

While cooking the bacon, you can throw in the red pepper to cook in the bacon fat. If you don't want that, just do the veggies in another pan. After bacon is ready, drain and dice and set aside. Add onions and garlic to red pepper. When sauteed, add butter and allow to melt evenly over pan. Add eggs evenly. Spinkle bacon and cilantro over the top, then cover and allow to cook a couple minutes over medium heat, then transfer to oven on "broil" setting and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

Italian Topping
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1-2 tsp mustard (yes, mustard. This is yummy! Trust me!)
3-4 leaves basil, diced
salt

Mix everything well and top frittata with fresh, shredded mozzarella cheese.

Mexican Topping
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp plain yogurt
about 3 tbsp chorizo
1/2 tsp dried oregano
A couple dashes of chili powder

Warm chorizo in a pan over medium heat. Mix with other ingredients and top frittata with crumbled queso fresco.
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Mexican Frittata
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This is a great way to dress up your rice, and a perfect side for Mexican/Tex-Mex food. It would be great the tostadas that I posted last week.
---Karly


CILANTRO RICE

1 cup rice
2 cups chicken stock/broth
½ onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Cumin to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Olive oil

Put a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Put the dry rice, the onion, and garlic in the pan and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes; this will toast the rice a bit and help keep it from sticking together. Add cumin, salt, and pepper to taste and stir. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low; simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15- 20 minutes.



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I can't help it. I try new stuff all the time. I hate getting stuck in a rut. My husband complains sometimes because he likes his rut and is sick of trying new stuff. "Why can't we have spaghetti or pork chops?" He says. We DO have spaghetti and pork chops. But sometimes, when I get a food idea in my head, spaghetti and pork chops will have to wait!

So the other day, I found some dried Hibiscus flowers in the Mexican cooking section at the grocery store. In Spanish, they're called Jamaica (HA-MY-KA). Since living in Nicaragua a couple years ago, I've been missing my "aguas frescas". "Fresh waters" basically refer to teas or juices made fresh that day. 

So I brought this lovely package home and boiled its contents for about 10-15 minutes. The water turns bright red, and after I poured off the water, I boiled some more! A small package is good for at least a GALLON!

But then, after adding sugar, I thought about our Secret Ingredient, CILANTRO. And oranges sounded like something that would taste yummy in this drink.
--Jenny


Hibiscus Punch with Orange and Cilantro
 
1 package hibiscus flowers
a pot of water, up to a gallon
sugar (I added about 1 1/2 cups)

Boil about 10-15 minutes and pour off. Continue until you have about a gallon. Add sugar to taste and Refrigerate.

Slices of Orange, fresh juice
Crushed Cilantro

Add orange and cilantro. I even added some of the orange juice, for more sweetness and orange flavor. Even though the cilantro is a garnish, it adds a "bite" to the drink! YUM! Enjoy!

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People either love or hate cilantro. I happen to love it, and was so excited to come up with recipes for cilantro week. For my main dish, I decided to do fish with a cilantro chimichurri. Typically, chimichurri is made from fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and some other ingredients and is served with steak. I decided to do a cilantro version and add citrus, and fish just seemed to be the perfect match. I’m sure there are chimichurri purists that would not be happy with my version of it, but it turned out great.
I opted to prepare the fish simply so that the chimichurri really was the dominant flavor. The little bit of coriander on the fish really complements the chimichurri and adds a nice touch. It’s a perfect, light, healthy meal that is full of flavor.
---Karly


BAKED FISH WITH CILANTRO CHIMICHURRI

4 mild, white fish fillets (I used cod)
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 minced shallot
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
1/8 cup fresh orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Coriander to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put a cooling rack sprayed with cooking spray on top of a cookie sheet. Put the fish on the rack, brush with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and coriander.
Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 12-15 minutes. While the fish is cooking, stir the cilantro, shallot, orange zest, and garlic together in a small bowl. Whisk the olive oil and orange juice together, then pour into the cilantro and stir well to combine; salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: I also served this with some homemade heirloom tomato salsa…so good!!


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   Well, last week was a total blast, working with Beer and all. How can you top that??? Well, stay tuned: we've got more alcohol up our sleeves in the weeks to come. But for now, we have a fairly versatile herb: CILANTRO. Found in Mexican, Italian and Indian food, it adds a brightness to it's dishes.
    This one is no exception. Ever been to Chili's Grill and Bar? On their appetizer menu, they offer Southwestern Eggrolls. I used to wait tables there, and a lot of people would turn up their noses at such a notion. They thought it sounded gross. Well, MORE FOR ME! :D
   I've always thought of trying to make my own, so here was my chance: And it was a HUGE hit! The family loved 'em!
--Jenny


TEX-MEX EGGROLLS

5 pieces bacon, fried
1 breast of chicken, cooked & cut in small cubes
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
4 ounces colby-jack cheese, in small cubes
1-1 1/2 cups black beans, drained
1/2 cup sweet corn (I used 1/2 ear of fresh corn)
a big handful of cilantro, diced
about 1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 package eggroll wraps

Sautee the onion, pepper, and jalapeno in butter or olive oil. Add bacon, cheese, chicken, beans, corn and cilantro, along with salt,  cumin, and ground red pepper. Mix well. 
Wrap about 1/4 cup of mixture in eggroll wrap according to enclosed directions.

You can either fry these (the crispier option), or baste with olive oil and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

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