Avocado Crema

When we are having friends over, we like to create a menu that allows our guests to pick and choose what they want to eat. Recently, we had our friends Kaitlyn and Aaron over for arepas. We had arepas, served with our Beer Braised Shredded Chicken and lots of toppings including black beans, grilled corn, and shredded coleslaw cabbage. One of our favorite condiments for a dinner like this is this recipe for Avocado Crema. The yogurt in the crema is a nice tangy addition to the heartier dishes like braised chicken and stewed black beans. It’s a great condiment for tacos, arepas, quesadillas, or any other of your Mexican favorites.

Avocado Crema

  • Servings: 4 servings
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The perfect, quick and easy, taco topping.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Use a fork or potato masher to mash the avocado in a small mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (yogurt – cumin) and mash really well, until the avocado crema is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


Homemade Chili Oil

We have said it about 1000 times already but we absolutely love Asian food. One of our favorite ways to eat dumplings, pot stickers, noodles and just about anything, Asian or not, is to add chili oil. It is a condiment that we immediately request when we sit down to eat. With this in mind, we experimented a bit to create our own chili oil that we could have on hand in the kitchen to spice up our recipes. This recipe is a bit involved in terms of ingredients. You are going to need a lot of spices and to execute this carefully so they do not burn. But don’t be intimidated! We will walk you through this step by step. The best part is, once you make this recipe, you will have enough to hold you over for a while. Maybe….


Homemade Chili Oil
Makes: 1.5 cups of chili oil
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 tbs Chinese chili powder (see here)
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs cayenne powder
  • 1 tbs Chinese 5 spice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 Thai chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all seasonings (star anise – Thai chilies) in an oven proof dish. You will want to be sure that this dish is deep enough enough room for the 1.5 cups of oil plus an inch or two on top.
  2. In a pan, heat the canola oil. Once hot, add the garlic. You will want the garlic to begin to fry but not burn – roughly one minute. Turn off the heat on the pan.
  3. Very carefully (over your sink) pour the hot oil into the dish with the seasonings. Once the oil is added, the seasonings will begin to boil. This is what you want! Let the seasonings boil and do their thing for a few minutes while the oil cools.
  4. When the oil cools completely, store in a mason jar or other air proof container. To keep it lasting longer, keep it in the refrigerator.
  5. Use on top of anything. Dumplings, noodles, tacos, eggs… the sky is the limit!


Quick & Easy Spicy Dill Pickles

We have been making pickles dill pickles with our Nana for as long as we can remember. We use them year round for Jewish holidays, sandwiches and really any meal which calls for them. While we plan to post our pickle recipe sometime in the future, the problem we have been running into is that those pickles take 2-3 weeks at a minimum to make. Not ideal if you haven’t had the time to plan in advance. We set out to create a recipe that captures the flavor of our Nana’s dill pickles in less time. This simple and quick dill pickle recipe literally made us do a double take when we ate them because they were so good.

Quick Dill Pickles

Makes: 16 oz jar of sliced pickles

Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb baby cucumbers
  • 7 oz fresh dill (one container at the store)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1+ cups water
  • 16 ounce mason jar

Directions:

  1. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Start filling the jar by layering the dry ingredients. Start with 1 tbs of salt, 1/2 the dill and 1/2 of the black peppercorns. Fill the jar half way with the cucumber slices. Add the remaining salt, dill and peppercorns. Fill to the top with the cucumber slices and top with the red pepper flakes and garlic. *This does not need to be exact. Just make sure all of the ingredients are in the jar*
  3. Once the ingredients are in the jar, pour in the vinegar and fill the jar to the top with water.
  4. Seal the jar tightly closed and turn it over so that it is standing on the cap. Leave the jar in the fridge for 4 hours until serving.

The pickles can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator so you do not need to eat them right away. Let them soak up that flavor and enjoy.