Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Yesterday my friend Savanna and I went to Salsaritas for lunch. It was pretty good and the servings were GINORMOUS! The salsa had a pretty good little "bite" to it but it really got me craving some really good Pico de Gallo. I was going to make it last night but my neighborhood grocery store did not have any ripe avocados. So, before I came home from work tonight I stopped by the BEST store in Fayetteville where they always have GREAT produce. They of course DID have ripe avocados. They even had the black skinned ones that I like ( as opposed to the bright green ones that are harder even ripe). It is unusual for me to come home and cook after working 12 hours but I was REALLY craving this. Besides, it is not really cooking, just a lot of chopping. This recipe is totally simple and any of the ingredients can be adjusted to your particular taste. I like LOTS of cilantro in mine!
Pico de Gallo
3 ripe tomatoes
1 small red onion
Cilantro (about 1/2 of a bunch)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1-2 jalapenos
1 ripe avocado
juice of 2 limes
1tsp salt
Quarter tomatoes and gently squeeze to seed then dice to taste (depending on how chunky you like) dice onion and avocado, mince garlic. Finely chop jalapenos (the seeds and ribs are the hottest part of the pepper so if you want less heat scrape these out). Mix all ingredients in a bowl add salt and lime juice. Let stand for about 15 mins. I think a bowl of tortilla chips and a nice frosty Margarita would go just fabulously with this! It also is a great topping for fish. Personally I can eat the stuff by itself especially if you add some cooked shrimp to it. I almost forgot ..quite yummy over scrambled eggs! Did I mention I REALLY love Pico de

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Leap of faith

When you hear what I have made today, I will bet that your first thought is going to be "EWWW!!!" I am not sure what made me think that this really MIGHT be good. I figured it would be interesting to say the least. I suppose I took the risk just because I like ...No love, Basil. (Just in case you have not noticed this already). AND I have a lot of basil growing in my garden and I am not sure how much longer it will last. So, open your mind. Last week I made (drum roll..........) Basil Ice Cream. Ok, I will give everyone a minute to wrap their minds around this......................................................................................................................................................... Hear me out! Basil is in the MINT family! The finished product actually tastes a bit like Mint Chocolate chip but it has a fresh twist at the end. A small scoop of this at the end of a meal is a light refreshing dessert. Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be running out to the store at midnight to get my basil ice cream fix or anything. My favorite is still Ben and Jerry's Triple Brownie fudge. But, I do think I will make it for my next dinner party. If for no other reason than to have fun seeing people's reaction to it. I think it is something interesting and something people will talk about. So here is the recipe, I got it from The Food Network (of course) It was on Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello. I cut the recipe in half and just made a pint for the trial run. YEA, I WAS SCARED! Plus 8 cups of basil is a lot..Even if you grow it yourself. I think I will make a quart soon though so I have some on hand for people to try out. So here it is I DARE you to try it!
Basil Ice Cream
8 loosely packed cups basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon powdered vitamin C
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup shaved, bittersweet chocolate

Blanch the basil leaves in boiling salted water for 5 seconds, then place in an ice bath. Drain and wring the basil dry in a dish towel. Chop coarsely.In a food processor, puree the basil with salt, vitamin C and just enough softened ice cream to make a puree (about 3 tablespoons). You should have about 1 cup basil puree. Add the remaining ice cream and puree. Quickly take the finished pureed ice cream and transfer it from the processor back to the freezer container. Add chocolate and mix in thoroughly. Place container in freezer. Freeze for at least 1 hour
Notes: That is the original recipe ( of course) I made some changes. I used regular kosher salt, I used Fruit Fresh instead of Vit C powder although I think if you eat it the same day this really is not necessary at all and I used a Hershey's Special dark chocolate bar and grated it.