Appetizers and Snacks

Oven-baked Hot Wings

I had difficulty with the salt in the original recipe. My source gives the measurements for 2 types of kosher salt, neither of which I have. So, it was a guessing game. I guessed wrong and suffered the result. Which is why I have cut the salt in this WAY back for this version. You can always salt after the wings are cooked, but you cannot un-salt them.

Oven Baked Hot Wings

2 lbs chicken wings
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 cup Franks Red Hot sauce
2 Tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt

fresh veggies for dipping

Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 250.  Spray a rimmed
baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set a wire rack in the
baking sheet.  The rack will help with getting the wings crispy,
but if you dont have one, just put the wings directly into
the baking pan.  

Cut wings at their joints, separating them into flats and drumettes
and pat dry with paper towels.   Dry them as well as you can.
Mix salt, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder together in
a large bowl.  Toss wings in mixture until evenly coated and arrange
in single layer on prepared rack.  Try to be sure there is some space
between each piece.  They need that space to help them to crisp up.

Bake at 250F for 25 – 30 minutes.  This will help to render
out the fat.

Increase oven temperature to 500F and cook until bubbly and golden,  
about 25 – 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare the hot sauce and dip.

HOT SAUCE:  In small saucepan, over medium heat bring
Franks Red Hot, butter and brown sugar to a simmer in a
small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until
slightly reduced and thickened, 6–8 minutes.

BLUE CHEESE DIP:  Combine yogurt and crumbled blue cheese together
in small ball.  Stir to combine. 

Transfer wings into large bowl, pour hot sauce over top and toss
to coat.

Serve with fresh veggies and Blue Cheese dip.

Be careful no t to overcrowd your wings for maximum crispiness.
Appetizers and Snacks · Dairy

Radish Yogurt Dip

Spring has finally arrived, on the calendar at least. Soon, gardens will be planted and green things will start to emerge from carefully prepared soil. In my Moms garden, radishes were one of the first things we could eat from the garden.

Radish Yogurt Dip

8 Radishes, very thinly sliced
kosher salt
1 Tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted, then chopped
1 1/4 cups plain, unsweetened greek yogurt 
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
freshly ground black pepper
fresh veggies for dipping

Toss sliced radishes in small bowl with a couple of pinches of kosher salt.  Let sit about 5 minutes, until salt begins to draw water out. Massage well to release liquid. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, then finely chop radishes. You should have about 1 cup. (this step prevents the dip from turning pink and keeps the radishes crunchy).

Mix radishes, yogurt, lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons olive oil and lemon zest in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to serving bowl, top with toasted almonds and remaining Tablespoon olive oil. Serve with fresh veggies for dipping.

Chicken · Main Courses

Green Curry-Coconut Chicken

Green Curry-Coconut Chicken

Very simple to make, and on the table in under an hour.

The original recipe can be found in “The Pretty Dish” by Jessica Merchant. I have modified the recipe for stove top instead of baking it in the oven.

2 Tablespoons canola or coconut oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1' cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, put thru garlic press
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 red or green bell pepper, stem & seeds removed, thinly sliced
2  Tablespoons green curry paste 
1 can (14 oz) full fat coconut milk, well shaken

cooked white rice, for serving
shredded unsweetened coconut, for garnish (optional)
fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring another minute. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink – 3 – 4 minutes. Chicken will not be fully cooked at this point.

Reduce heat to medium low, push chicken and onions to one side and add curry paste. Stir for just a minute, until curry paste becomes fragrant, then incorporate into the chicken/onion mixture.

Slowly stir in coconut milk, increase heat to medium and let simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly reduced. About 10 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with coconut and cilantro leaves and serve with cooked white rice.

Main Courses · Rice and Beans · Sides

Smokehouse Beans

This makes a lot of beans. Enough for a side for 6 people plus a second dinner for Kevin and I. These are wonderful alongside steak or ribs and for a quick dinner, they go well on toast. So, if you are expecting a crowd, or even if your not, these are a wonderful addition to your summer BBQ.

Soak the beans overnight for a more even cook. Whole Foods also suggests that soaking beans helps rid them of the sugars that cause flatulence, incase you were interested.

Smokehouse Beans
Smokehouse Beans

1 lb dried pinto beans, cleaned, rinsed and soaked overnight
12 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
3 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
cotija cheese

Drain beans and place in large pot with 10 cups of water. Add garlic and salt, and bring to a simmer, cooking until beans are just tender. 35 minutes to 1 hour, depending on age of your beans.

Stir in salt, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired.

Stir in onion and tomato, cook 5 minutes more. Transfer to serving bowl, top with cilantro and cotija cheese, if using ,and serve hot. Will keep, refrigerated up to 5 days.

Beef · Main Courses

Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)

Beef Bulgogi

One thing we do not have here in the Bahia de Banderas is a good Korean restaurant. Many times in the 10 years we have lived here, I have longed for a seat in those plastic tables and chairs that grace the Bulgogi House in Edmonton. The memories of meals enjoyed there are still with me.

So, when Tasting Table published this recipe by Chris Oh, the chef of L.A.’s Hanjip restaurant, I thought I would give it a try. This is easy to put together, the marinade time is short and the results are tasty.

I did this in a cast iron pan on the stove, but next time, I will toss it on the grill for even more flavour.

Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)

1 cup water
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
2 lbs sirloin, thinly sliced crosswise 1/8" thick 
2 Tablespoons oil for frying
thinly sliced scallions for garnish (optional)
toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
steamed white rice for serving (optional)
kimchi for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the water, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and onion powders, and Korean red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved. Add the sliced rib eye and let marinate for 1 hour.

In a large cast-iron pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Drain the meat, discarding the marinade. Working in batches, cook the meat, flipping once, until caramelized and golden, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a platter.

Garnish the bulgogi with the scallions, sesame seeds and more pepper flakes, then serve with steamed rice and kimchi.

Chicken · Main Courses · Rice and Beans · Soups and Stews

Quinoa Corn Chowder

Quinoa Corn Chowder

Quinoa is high in protein compared to most plants and grains. It also contains essential amino acids that our bodies need, making it an excellent protein source. That means we can have our “Mostly Meatless Mondays” and still get the protein we need. If you are interested in the benefits this grain, you can read more here.

This is a chowder, so of course there is still some meat here, in the form of BACON, and we are using chicken stock, so its not really meatless, but sorta close. If you want to go meatless, sub in vegetable stock and leave out the bacon.

1 Tablespoon oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 small potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, finely chopped - for garnish
1 scallion, finely chopped - for garnish
Heat the oil and butter in large stockpot over medium heat.  Add onions and potatoes, garlic, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring often until onions are soft and potatoes begin to brown. About 7 minutes.

Add chicken stock and quinoa. Increase heat to high, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked. About 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp and transfer to paper towel to drain. Set aside.
Add Corn to the simmering soup and cook another 10 minutes.
Add cream, stir well to combine and heat through.
Spoon soup into bowls, garnish with bacon, parsley and scallions. Serve hot.
Dairy · Sides

Ranch Sour Cream

Ranch Sour Cream

We rarely buy commercially made salad dressing, but I will admit to a weakness for Ranch and every once in awhile, I cave and buy a bottle of it.  But, after a salad or two, the nearly full bottle ends up getting pushed further and further towards the back of the fridge until it passes its expiry date and eventually gets tossed.

This is a great solution!  We always have sour cream in the house, and with a little doctoring, I can have that  ranch taste whenever I want it.   It is a small batch so it is quickly used which means I have a little more fridge space.

Serve this with baked or campfire potatoes or to top off your chili.  Also great as a dip for fresh veggies (or potato chips, I wont tell).


Ranch Sour Cream

Ranch Sour Cream

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried dill

1/8 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

1 – 2 Tablespoons milk, if needed

Stir first 7 ingredients together.  If you find mix is too thick, thin with a little milk, adding one teaspoon at a time.    Let stand 30 minutes for flavours to blend.