Dinners

Recipe—Mexican Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

The 110º day in Sacramento a couple of weeks ago was a brutal reminder that the summer heat is in full swing! During the hot days I avoid using the oven whenever I can. I’d much rather send the hubby outside to operate the grill allowing me to enjoy a lazy evening. This is a quick and easy, flavor packed, and super refreshing salmon recipe, perfect for these warm summer nights. The salmon is seasoned with some of my favorite Mexican spices giving it a nice little oomph and the avocado salsa is cool and refreshing making this a perfectly balanced dish. It is light in calories and carbs, perfect for anyone looking for a great tasting and healthy meal.

FISH INGREDIENTS
2 lbs salmon filets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper

AVOCADO SALSA INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp olive oil
2 limes
1 tsp salt
1 avocado, peeled, deseeded, and sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
1/4 yellow bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

STEPS

  • Pat the salmon dry and rub the meat side of the fish with the olive oil.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and pepper.
  • Season the meat side of the filet with seasoning mix and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the salmon is chilling make the avocado salsa by whisking together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, juice from 2 limes, and salt in a small bowl
  • Combine the avocado, red onion, peppers, and cilantro in a medium bowl and pour the juice mixture over the salsa and gently stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate avocado salsa until ready to serve.
  • Preheat the grill to 325º.
  • Grill the salmon for about 4–6 minutes per side or until desired doneness.
  • Transfer the salmon to a cutting board and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Place the salmon steaks on plates and top with the avocado salsa.

Recipe adapted from Laylita’s Recipes. 

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Father’s Day Meal Ideas (My Hubby’s Top 12 Picks)

Fathers Day Menu Ideas

Father’s day is just around the corner and there are going to be some hungry men hoping to get a day off in the kitchen or on the grille. While many people may enjoy going out, my hubby is more partial to a nice home cooked lunch or dinner with the fam. Rather trying to guess what recipes I think the men in our lives would like I went straight to the source and got a male perspective. I asked my husband to sort through my entire archive of recipes and pick out his top 12 favorite recipes that I have featured on my blog. So if you are looking for some ideas on what to cook for dad this year, here are some great ideas that work for lunch or dinner. Give any of these a try and you will make the man or men in your life extremely happy.

Hubby's Top 12 Pick's

  1. Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade
  2. Western Bacon Jalapeño Poppers
  3. Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Truffles
  4. Toffee Apple Dip
  5. Crock-Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
  6. Limoncello Chicken
  7. Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut
  8. Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Sammy
  9. Crock-Pot Pale Ale BBQ Chicken Sandos
  10. Cheesy Mac Attack A.K.A. Macaroni N’ Cheese
  11. Loaded Baked Cauliflower
  12. Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob
Appetizers

Recipe—Bacon Jalapeño Cheese Ball

I have always loved the idea of cheese balls, but have been turned off by the fake processed taste of the premade ones you get at the store. Well cheese balls seem to be redeeming themselves with all the creative gourmet versions popping up all over the place. I recently threw my husband a little birthday bbq and wanted an appetizer that could be prepared ahead of time and then just set out once the party started. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I knew it was exactly what I was looking for! My husband loves bacon, and of course loves the spice of jalapeños. (Don’t all men? Okay I guess vegetarians may be repulsed by the bacon but there are substitutes for that.) Once I had the bacon cooked and the jalapeños chopped this recipe came together in about 5 minutes. It was super quick and easy. A perfect recipe for any social events you may have coming up. By the end of the night I had several people asking for the recipe, which, in my mind, is a very good sign.

Note: This can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

INGREDIENTS
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 c cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp green onions, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 jalapeños, deseeded, deveined, and finely chopped, divided
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
1/4 c pecans, chopped

STEPS

  • In a medium mixing bowl stir together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onions, garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Fold in half of the chopped jalapeños and half of the crumbled bacon until well blended.
  • On a large plate combine the remaining jalapeños, remaining bacon, and the pecans and mix together.
  • Using your hands shape the cream cheese mixture into a large even ball.
  • Once you have formed the ball roll it in the pecan mixture until it is evenly coated.
  • Place the finished cheese ball on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
  • Serve with your favorite crackers.

Recipe adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

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Cinco de Mayo Menu Ideas

CincoDeMayo

Time to bust out your sombrero, and crank up the mariachi music, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner! If you are looking to throw a fiesta, or even just cook a festive dinner for the fam, I have some awesome Cinco de Mayo menu ideas for you.  I hope you take the day to kick back, relax, enjoy a margarita (or three), and celebrate this Mexican holiday. ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Refreshing Adult Beverages

Blended Mango Margarita

Grapefruit Margarita on the Rocks

Let’s Get this Fiesta Started!

Shrimp Taco Cups With Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Mango Salsa

Queso Fundido

Chubby Chicken Taquitos

Main Courses

Shrimp Tacos

Cheesy Mexican Chicken

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Burger With Guacamole

Crock-Pot Shredded Beef Tacos

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Sweet Potato Burritos

Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce

Tasty Extras

Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo)

Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Mexican Corn on the Cob

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

For the Sweet Tooth

Piña Colada Pie With Drunken Rum Sauce

Dinners, Sandwiches

Recipe—Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Burger with Guacamole

This chicken burger is the love child of Mexican and American cuisine. It is delicious. Or should I say was delicious, because my husband and I each devoured ours. The entire thing. This had to be the most flavor packed chicken burger I have ever had. Usually when I think of turkey or chicken burgers I think of dry flavorless patties. Not the case with these bad boys! These jalapeño cheddar chicken burgers were incredibly moist and definitely not short on flavor. If you are looking for a way to spruce up the average burger, or even to cut some calories give these burgers a try. They are definitely unique and unlike any chicken burger you have probably ever had before, the perfect burger to enjoy with a refreshing Corona on a warm summer day. Ahhhhhh yeaaahhhhh. That’s what I’m talking about.

Note: These can definitely be cooked on the barbeque. I used my skillet because ground chicken tends to stick easily due to the low fat content.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 c yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 c fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp jalapeño, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 c shredded cheddar
kosher salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2–4 buns

FABULOUS TOPPINGS
guacamole
slices of cheddar cheese
lettuce
sliced tomatoes
sliced red onion

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Combine ground chicken, onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, paprika, cheddar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Using your hands mix everything together.
  • Form the mixture into 2–4 patties depending on the size you want.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the patties and cook for 5–7 minutes per side or until cooked through.
  • While the patties are cooking toast the buns in the oven or 4–5 minutes.
  • Place each patty on a bun and garnish with whatever your heart desires. (I would use all the garnishes I recommended if I were you.)
Kitchen Tips

Kitchen Tip—How to Roast Peppers

Roasting peppers at home is surprisingly easy. They are great in sandwiches, Mexican dishes, and even pasta. I use roasted bell peppers and jalapeños pretty frequently in cooking. They seem to hold up best since they have a nice thick flesh. If you have an abundance of peppers and you are unable to use them all before they spoil, roasting and freezing them is a great way to preserve them. This is what I did with my crop of jalapeños at the end of the summer. They will last in the freezer for 3–6 months depending on how you store them. I love always having them on hand ready for whatever flavorful dish I’m cooking up next!

INGREDIENTS
any type of pepper, washed and dried

STEPS FOR ROASTING PEPPERS

  • Put your oven’s rack on the highest rung possible and turn on the oven broiler.
  • If roasting small peppers, such as jalapeños, place them on a skewer for easy handling.
  • Place the peppers on a foil lined baking sheet.
  • Broil the peppers for 10–12 minutes or until the skin is blackened.
  • Flip the peppers over and broil for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove the peppers from the oven and skewer and place them in a paper lunch sack. If you do not have a paper lunch sack place them in a small bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap.
  • Allow the peppers to steam in the bag or bowl for 15 minutes. This helps to loosen up the skin for easy removal.
  • Pull the stems out of the peppers and carefully peel off the charred skin.
  • Slice the peppers down one side filleting them open
  • Spread the pepper open and use the backside of the knife to scrape the seeds out.

STEPS FOR FREEZING ROASTED PEPPERS

  • Place your roasted peppers on a wax paper lined baking sheet making sure they don’t touch.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer and leave there over night.
  • Once the peppers are completely frozen place them in an airtight baggie or container. By freezing them on a sheet first it keeps them from sticking to each other once in a single container or bag.
Sandwiches

Recipe—Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

This was one of my recipes in the running for the Hot and Spicy Week I did back in September but I just had too many good jalapeño recipes to share so this one got the boot. Well my jalapeño plant was still producing in November thanks to this unseasonably warm weather so here it is, the jalapeño popper grilled cheese sammy! It is creamy, cheesy, and spicy, all the qualities a person looks for in a popper. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
2–3 large jalapeños, roasted
2 tbsp butter, softened
4 large slices of sourdough
1/3 c cream cheese
8 slices cheddar cheese

STEPS

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Spread one side of each piece of the bread with butter.
  • Place two slices of bread butter side down in the skillet.
  • Top the bread in the skillet with the sliced cheddar cheese.
  • Add the roasted jalapeños to the sandwich.
  • Spread the remaining two slices of bread with cream cheese on the sides without butter.
  • Place the bread cream cheese side down on the sandwich.
  • Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the bread is a toasty brown.
  • Flip and cook for another 3 minutes until cheese is melted and the other side is a nice toasty brown.