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Archive for the ‘Salsas/Dips’ Category

In the dog days of summer, there is nothing more excruciating than laboring over a fiery stove or sticking your hands (& face) into a 375 degree oven. So in an effort to stay cool, I self-imposed a “No-Cook, No-Bake” challenge. Meaning out of the 3-4 creations coming out my experimental kitchen every weekend, one dish CANNOT be the product of the stove or oven. This weekend, I was inspired by my recent travels to the heavenly Greek Islands (separate blog post to follow on the local eats and feasts!), so I decided to make a refreshing Tzatziki to remember my blissful days under the Grecian Sun.

A few simple ingredients + a little labor of love, and Voila! A super-addicting dip that will be sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any summer gathering. As a plus, it also received my Greek friend’s “authentic stamp of approval”. So without further ado:

Super-Addicting Tzatziki:

Tricks of the Trade:

  • 32 oz of Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani – my fave brand)
  • 2-3 large or 4-5 medium cucumbers, grated
  • 1 handful of fresh dill leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

The Magic Potion:

  1. Strain the yogurt in a cheesecloth (or sturdy paper towels) over a big bowl to let liquid drain for about 30 min to 1 hour in the fridge (I’ve skipped this step before and it still turns out fine, but just make sure you have a very thick yogurt to begin with)
  2. Strain the grated cucumbers in a cheesecloth by squeezing out all the liquid. Do this until most of the liquid is drained from the cucumbers
  3. Mix the yogurt and cucumber together. Add in the dill, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper and mix well.
  4. Let sit in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (1 hour MINIMUM) for flavors to develop. This is the most critical step, but given the short prep time and the amazing flavorful results, it will be worth the wait!

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As a New Yorker, the date 9-11 will always stir up deep emotions inside of me. It was the day the world turned a bleak and surreal black, white, and gray. And so I dedicate this blog post in memory of those we lost, and their loved ones who survived, hoping that this Pick-Me-Up Guacasalsa dish, so dear to my heart, will bring forth some color and good cheer.

This love affair and marriage of Guacamole and Salsa results in a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors and a refreshing blend of crisp, citrusy flavors. It is my go-to concoction when I need a crowd-pleaser, and my inspiration-potion on days when I feel “blah”.  The magic of this dish is that you never ever get sick of eating it. It teases your palate and lures you to come back for more. Garden-fresh veggies like juicy tomatoes, crunchy bell peppers, creamy avocados, and plump corn kernels fuse together in a symphonious medley.

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Ingredients:

  • corn Kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2-3 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, or green)
  • 2-3 avocados
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • juice from fresh limes
  • a bit of sugar
  • red chili pepper flakes
  1. Dice all veggies into petite-cut sizes
  2. Finely chop the basil and cilantro
  3. Mix well, and add some salt & pepper, chili flakes, and fresh squeezed lime juice until desired acidity and heat is achieved
  4. Add some sugar to balance out the acidity
  5. Serve with tortilla chips the traditional way, use as filling in omelettes (yes, delicious!), serve as a side dish in lieu of salad, or take a spoon and enjoy it “in the nude”! 

Variations:

  • Add black beans for smoky richness
  • Easily swap in lemon for lime (or a combination of both)
  • Substitute lemon/lime for balsamic vinegar and honey for a fruitier, sweeter taste
  • Replace cilantro with parsley, or play with a mix of oregano and rosemary for a warmer, more robust flavor

Happy Munching!

Avocado Salsa on Foodista

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