Corn Salsa

This is the time of year for corn and we eat it at least once a week during the summer. Sometimes it’s nice to have corn in different ways other than right off the cob. This salsa tastes like the one from chiptole and you can pair it with the cilantro-lime rice I already posted about. You could also use this salsa to go with any grilled meats. It would be great with steak. I cooked the poblano chile pepper on the grill while I grilled chicken. But if you aren’t making this when you were planning to grill, you could easily put the pepper under the broiler. Just be to sure to turn the pepper every couple minutes and watch it closely so it does not burn.

Corn Salsa:

  • 1/2 small poblano chile pepper, seeded
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears), or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  1. Preheat a grill to medium high. Brush the poblano with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill, skin-side down, until charred but still firm, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly; peel and finely chop.
  2. If using fresh corn, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; drain. (You can use leftover corn and just cut it off the cob without having to re-heat it)
  3. Mix the corn (if using frozen, add it here), poblano, jalapeno, cilantro and red onion in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the lime juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve and enjoy

Source: Food Network

Advertisements

Cilantro-Lime Rice

If you have ever eaten at Chipotle’s you know all about their cilantro-lime rice. Awhile back I decided to attempt making homemade versions of these yummy burritos. In the next couple posts, I’ll be posting 3 of the main ingredients you need to make burritos like theirs.

I am going to start with my favorite ingredient, the cilantro-lime rice. It was very easy to put together and would go great as a side dish to any grilled/roasted meat. I always cook the rice with 1/4 cup less water than what is normally recommended. I find it helps the rice not get too clumpy. I’ve included the difference in my recipe below.

Cilantro-Lime Rice:

Serves 4

  • 1 cup Basmati white or brown rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 2 limes
  • 3-4 tbs chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • Salt
  1. In a medium saucepan heat water to boiling. Stir in rice, juice of 1 lime, and pinch of salt. Cover and turn the heat to low and let simmer till rice is tender, about 15-18 minutes. (Can be cooked in a rice cooker)
  2. Remove from heat and transfer rice to bowl. Add the cilantro (as much as you like to taste), juice of second lime, (I recommend tasting after putting in half of the lime to see if it’s enough for you), vegetable oil, and salt to taste. Stir till combined and serve. 

Green Jello

In my family, no Easter dinner table would be complete without Green Jello. Everyone seems to have a favorite recipe when it comes to Jello salads. This one is ours. We usually decorate the jello by putting a small glass bowl in the middle and filling it up with black olives. I know my parents will wonder why I didn’t take a picture with the olives in the middle of the Jello, I must admit that I did not have olives. I will fix that on Easter, I promise.

When you ready to un-mold your Jello, make sure you submerge the mold in warm water for a minute or so. I was way to quick with the submerge part that it tore my jello as I begun un-molding it. It still tasted great and that is all that matters sometimes.

Green Jello:

Serves: 8-10

  • 1 lg package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 20oz can Crushed Pineapple
  • 1 large box Lime Jello or 2 small boxes Sugar Free Lime Jello
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  1. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the crushed pineapple into a 4 cup measuring cup. Using the back of a wooden spoon, press down on pineapple to release all the juice. Set pineapple aside. Add enough water to the measuring cup to equal 3 cups of liquid. (this will include the pineapple juice)
  2. In a medium-size sauce pan set over medium-high heat, add the liquid and bring to a boil. Add the jello to the liquid and stir around till Jello is dissolved. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Meanwhile, place cream cheese and milk in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until creamy. Add the drained crushed pineapple to cream cheese mixture. Stir till combined. 
  4. Once the Jello is cooled down, add to the cream cheese/pineapple mixture and whisk to combine. Pour into desired mold and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Un-Mold and serve. 
Note: I use a vintage Tupperware Jello Mold but you can find a similar one here
Source: Gina Marie Family Original

Pot Roast with Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Not sure how many of you are like I was when it came to pot roast. I’ve made it every which way and I was never thrilled about any of them. Some turned out good but there were things missing in it that didn’t give it the punch I was searching for. Turns out I was over-thinking it too much and putting too many things in it. Pot Roast needs only simple ingredients and minimal spices. When I saw Pioneer Woman’s recipe for pot roast I figured I’d give it try. She has created what I believe to be the perfect pot roast. I used to always cook the potatoes with the roast but I never really did like them. They were always mushy and somehow flavorless. Instead of cooking the potatoes with the roast, serve the roast over mashed potatoes. It’s brilliant and exactly how this meal should always be served.

The biggest test of the meal was my husband. He’s not a big pot roast fan but the guy does love his food to be saucy and this recipe creates a wonderful sauce. He really liked it and he won’t wince anymore when I tell him we are having pot roast for dinner.

*Side note* The recipe for mashed potatoes is perfect to serve for holiday’s. I made them the day before Thanksgiving and when I served them for dinner they were just as creamy as the day I made them.

Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast:

  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste
  1. Salt and pepper your chuck roast (make sure to get a nice marbled piece of meat, the fat adds flavor). Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
  2. Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
  3. Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
  4. If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
  5. With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
  6. When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
  7. Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes:

  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 3/4 cups Butter
  • 1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper
  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
  3. Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
  4. Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
  5. Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

 

Source: Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes

Pasta Salad with Arugula and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I’ve been eyeing up this recipe for quite sometime now and decided that it would be great to serve at our 4th of July cookout. The peppery arugula and the sweet sun dried tomatoes really balance out nicely with the tangy dressing. If you make this ahead of time, you will need to freshen it up with a few drops of red wine vinegar and olive oil. The other thing I would recommend would be to wait and add the arugula until you are ready to serve. If added to early, the arugula will begin to wilt from the vinegar dressing. You could even change up the cheese, instead of using provolone, I think feta would go nicely. What’s fun about pasta salads is that you can create or change things to your personal taste.

 

Pasta Salad with Arugula and Sun Dried Tomatoes:

  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, patted dry and minced
  • 2 tbs minced red onion
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ounces arugula (about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup shredded provolone cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 tbs minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove minced to a paste*
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  1. Toss the sun-dried tomatoes, onion, 1 tbs of the vinegar, and 1/4 tsp salt together in a large serving bowl; set aside.
  2. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 tbs salt and cook, stirring often, until tender. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water to cool and drain again thoroughly. Add the cooled pasta, arugula, provolone and parsley to the bowl with the vegetables and toss to combine.
  3. Whisk the remaining 2 tbs vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes together until combined, then pour over the pasta salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
*To make garlic into a paste… Mince the garlic and then sprinkle it with a pinch of salt. Scrape the blade of a chefs knife across the garlic, mashing the garlic into the board. After a few scrapes, the garlic will turn into a sticky paste.

Independence Day Goodies

A lot of us are planning big gatherings with family and friends this weekend. I’ve made a list of dishes that would be perfect for your parties. I’m very excited for the weekend, I am going to be surrounded by family and friends at my new house. We have gotten a lot accomplished and I am now able to start thinking about cooking and my blog again.

I hope everyone has a terrific 4th of July and that you are safe and surrounded by loved ones.

P.S. I am coming up on the 1 year Anniversary of Gina Marie’s Kitchen. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year. To thank you for all the support I am planning a little giveaway to one of my readers. Please stay tuned…

Pasta Mozzarella Salad has all the best summer has to offer.

What cookout would be complete without Baked Beans

Another great use for tomatoes is this Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

This Potato Salad will be at our cookout this weekend. It’s a must have!

Want some ribs?

Stuffed Strawberries are the perfect 4th of July treat

Another use for berries is this Strawberry and Blueberry Crostata

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Tostitos® Dip Creations™ Freshly Made Guacamole Dip

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I sometimes get products to test out and blog about. This one is Tostitos® Dip Creations™ Freshly Made Guacamole Dip. I have my own personal way of making guacamole but was willing to try out this mix. If you are unsure of how to make a great tasting guacamole from scratch, this mix would be perfect for you.

I was a little nervous about how it was going to turn out when I opened up the bag. The directions say to add the mix to three large avocados.  I mashed up my avocados and added the seasonings but thought it looked plain. I love texture in my guacamole so I decided to add tomatoes, something I always do anyway. I set it in the fridge to sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld (scared that it would turn brown). When I took it out to taste, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was still nice and green.  I was even more surprised at how good it tasted. The seasonings were dead on and there wasn’t one flavor that overpowered another. I really enjoyed the flavors, as did my family. Within minutes the guacamole was gone.

Overall: I would make it again but of course I’ll be sticking to my regular recipe which doesn’t have a lot of sodium and other things I can’t pronounce. I do suggest this dip mix for people who are unsure of what to put in their guacamole. You will be very happy with the outcome.

Note: I was not paid for this post; the opinions and views are strictly my own.