Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cinco de Mayo was when???'re right, I have been a bad blogger. I meant to get this up before I went out of town, then I meant to do it while I was in San Antonio, then...well...yeah, I know. So here it is, better late than never.

We had a small get together at work a few weeks ago, to include a salsa contest for "Cinco de Mayo". I thought to myself "What would Brian Boitano make...", he would make SALSA!!!! Not just any salsa, he would make an awesome salsa, so that's what I did, minus a stunt chopper for the onions (I wonder how much he
pays his stunt chopper to chop his onions on the show???).

I am now going to give you the secret family recipe for the ultimate chili pequin salsa

Chili Pequin Salsa, a family recipe
For printable recipe click here
1 large can diced tomatoes in juice
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
about 2 Tbls Mexican oregano, ground up

2 to 4+ tsp crushed chili pequin (you can get them already crushed in the
Mexican spice section of your grocer)
onion pow
der (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)

salt (to taste)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Put in a blender and pulse a few times to mix
everything together. Pour into your serving bowl and enjoy.

Personally, this is one of the easiest recipes to make and usually goes over really well at parties, at least at my sister's parties. I think Brian Boitano would be proud (and if you don't watch his show on FoodNetwork on Sundays, YOU ARE MISSING OUT!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The dreaded office potluck...

Nothing fills me with such dread as an office potluck, a place where you can be judged by your peers in the form of the amount eaten of the dish you brought. When I was in Germany, working for the contracting office, we had a 26th ASG (Area Support Group) breakfast held every month, in which the ASG would be split up in two halves, each half providing food every other month. I learned the dread and fear based off the fact people would look at my dish, curl up their nose and say "WHATS THAT?!?" in the most nasally, insulting way these people had never seen chorizo before (well, they probably hadn't...but that's no excuse, chorizo con huevos y papas is delicious)

Anyway, getting b
ack to my dread...our office here decided to have a pot luck lunch for a training seminar recently. I was out of town the weekend before and had NO IDEA what I would be bringing. My indecision left me powerless; one minute I thought to bring dessert, the next minute it was pesto pasta salad (an idea I nixed due to the fact I was convinced it would cost at least $52 or more in ingredients...2 cups of basil packed, that must be 10 or 20 little packages at $2 a pop, right???).

Inspiration hit the day before the pot luck, and the day I would be traveling home...I was watching "Giada at Home" and she made the easiest, most beautiful Italian potato salad. That was all I had to see, I would make potato salad, just not Giada's potato salad. Mine is based off a recipe from my sister (sh
e makes a baked potato potato salad, its awesome) and a herb dip recipe I use of Ina Garten's (BTW, if you are ever searching FoodNetork for recipes and Ina pops up as an option, use that recipe...oddly simple with the right amount of prep and always delicious).

Here's the recipe:

Dill Potato Salad

about 4 lbs New Potatoes (scrubbed)
4 Tbs Fresh Dill (finely chopped)
2 to 3 Tbs Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)
4 to 5 scallions (chopped, to include the white bits)
1 to 2 tsp Salt (or to taste)

about 2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper (or to taste)
1/3 c Mayo (may need a little more or a little less depending on the consistency of the dressing)

1/2 c Plain Greek yogurt
6 to 8 strips of bacon

Start by boiling your cleaned potatoes until they are cooked through but still firm about 20 to 30 min., drain and let them cool a bit. Start frying the bac
on in about inch long pieces for larger bacon bits, trimming some of the excess fat off. Once the bacon is done, drain the bits in a paper towel and let cool. For the dressing, combine the: yogurt, mayo, salt and pepper, whisk together. Add the scallions, dill and parsley to the dressing whisking gently and set dressing aside. Cube the potatoes in small bite size pieces leaving the skins on. Place the cubed potatoes in a bowl and let cool for a few minutes more. Take the dressing and add 3/4 of the bacon bits to the dressing, whisking it together gently. Keep the remainder of the bacon for garnish at the end. Combine the dressing with the potatoes stirring gently so the potatoes don't break up too much. Top off potato salad with the rest of the bacon bits and some extra chopped dill and parsley to give it color.

Needles to say, the day of the potluck this potato salad was a big hit, with only one small scoop full left at the end. My cooking ego was happy. Maybe I will even bring my chorizo breakfast dish one morning for these people...maybe. ;-)

Enjoy the foods of your labor...cook on my friends.

(how's that for a tag line...anything working for you guys yet??? Comments appreciated. :-) )