This is an easy quick dinner that’s big on flavor. The biggest problem I have with writing recipes is I tend to cook without measuring – a pinch of that, a drizzle of this – so please feel free to add more or less of the ingredients as you cook. You may like more white wine flavor and more sauce so don’t cook it down as much. Be creative and as always let me know how you like it!
4 chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons – divided Tuscan Temptation
1 lb. small cremini mushrooms - sliced
2/3 cup of white wine
Heat a sauté pan until quite hot and add olive oil and butter. Place chicken thighs in skin down. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of Tuscan Temptation. Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the skin is nice and crisp, and then turn over.
Sprinkle again with another 2 teaspoons of Tuscan Temptation and add the mushrooms.
Cook the chicken for another 15 minutes and then remove to a plate. Add the white wine to the pan, 2 more teaspoons of Tuscan Temptation and cook the mushrooms down – about 10-12 minutes.
Add the chicken back in and cook until done. If you cover while it’s cooking you’ll lose the crispy skin.
The picture below shows the meal with sliced cucumbers and gnocchi made the night before. Enjoy!
If you love tacos this is the post for you. What I love about tacos is that they are so versatile. There are so many ways to make them. Here's two super easy ways to make tacos using our Silver Sofi winner - Baja Border Blend.
The first way is grilled chicken with Baja Border Blend and then shredded.
We made this by rubbing the chicken breasts with Baja Border Blend and grilling them. You can also cook them in the oven or in a cast iron pan on the stove top. Once the chicken has cooled to where you can handle it, using forks, shred the meat or you can chop it into small pieces.
The second way we make tacos with Baja Border Blend is by adding it to ground meats while you cook it. What could be easier than that? I
use ground meats with at least 20% fat. Any less than that and it's too dry but you can add butter or oil to it as it cooks if you want a moister meat.
Of course you need all of the fixings and that can be really fun. Just add whatever accompaniments you'd like. We always have to have either slices of avocados or guacamole, which by the way add BBB to that too. Chopped onions or grilled spring onions, grilled red or yellow peppers and of course jalapenos. I also enjoy slices of radish, chopped cilantro, sometimes we chop up tomatoes too. And we like cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. We usually have a spicy roasted salsa and some type of mild salsa too.
Baja Border Blend Tamales - 2 ways! This is a recipe I learned from Carmen at The Hood. She is one of the support staff at The Hood Kitchen Space where I make our rubs. She makes hundreds of tamales and sells them every December to support a charity. Fabulous woman!
Make either or both of the tamale fillings and scroll to the end to see how they're filled and cooked! It's the same for either one.
Chicken Tamales - makes 35
4 chicken breasts (halves)
2 whole hatch chilies or 1 pasilla pepper
18 medium to large tomatillos – leaf removed
½ of an onion - sliced
2 cloves of garlic
2 T chicken bouillon
½ C Baja Border Blend
1 T Baja Border Blend
**Soak the corn husks in water while you’re preparing the rest of the tamale ingredients.
Cover the chicken with water, add the onion and the 1/2 cup of Baja Border Blend - bring to a boil. Simmer until done, about 25 to 30 minutes, then take out of the water, placing them on a sheet pan and let them cool.
Remove the seeds from the chilies and place in a pan with the tomatillos – cover with water bring to a boil and then simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes; when they are done, blend well in a blender.
Shred the chicken (this takes a while) and place in a large bowl. When it's all shredded, transfer to the tomatillo sauce with 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon and cook for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. That's it - it's ready for the corn husks!
Pork Tamales - makes 34
4 lbs of pork cushion meat or pork shoulder
6 New Mexico chilies
10 Guajillo chilies
½ small white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/3 C Baja Border Blend
1.5 T chicken bullion
**Soak the corn husks in water while you’re preparing the rest of the tamale ingredients.
Cut up pork and put in a pan with 1 cup of water, and add 1/3 cup Baja Border Blend.
Remove the seeds from the chilies and then place them in a pan with the tomatoes – cover with water bring to a boil and then simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. When they are done blend well in the blender with the chicken bouillon, garlic and onion.
In a pan combine the pork and blended salsa and bring to a boil.
Wrapping the tamales:
Masa – for the chicken tamales add a 1/2 tablespoon baking powder and 1 tablespoon Baja Border Blend to 5 pounds of masa, making sure to stir it all the way in.
For the pork tamales add a few tablespoons of paprika and 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
There’s a rough outside and a smooth inside to the corn husk. Smear the husk with the masa from about halfway down the husk up to the top, place the meat inside and then fold the 2 sides over and then the tail up.
Fill the tamale pan with water and 2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon up to the line. Place the tamales standing straight up – you can layer them to get them all in.
Then cover with a few layers of corn husks and seal tight with foil. Put the lid on and bring to a boil. Turn it down slightly and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes up to 2 hours.
This is an easy way to step up your ham game! It's wonderful to cure/brine your own ham and then smoke it. But if you don't have time for that try the double-smoke or twice-smoked method. It'll make you a rock-star at the table!
Buy a ham already smoked and cured. I go for the nitrate free hams myself. Take your ham out of the wrapping and rub the whole ham with Mediterranean Bliss. For my 4 1/2 lb ham I used about a 1/3 cup of rub.
My favorite wood to use with ham is apple. So I smoked it with apple wood and put apple juice in the water pan. Smoked it (cut side down) at about 220 degrees for 3 hours to get to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
While it's smoking you can make your glaze. Put 1 and 1/4 cups of maple syrup, 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of Mediterranean Bliss in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Turn it down and let simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken it. When you first pull it off the heat it will be runny but as it cools it'll thicken.
After the first 2 hours I brushed it with the glaze. At the last 20 minutes I brushed it again. And once I pulled it out I brushed it with the glaze again! It's delicious - you'll want to do it 3 times too! ENJOY your Easter with this easy and delicious ham!
If you love lamb you will love it paired with our Mediterranean Bliss. It's warm spices paired with savory spices make it the perfect rub for lamb. AND it's so easy!! This is how I roasted a leg of lamb with veggies.
I love to roast a leg of lamb on a bed of veggies. My favorites are fennel, carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onions and then a bit of smashed garlic. After chopping it all up - put it in a bowl and drizzle with a good bit of olive oil. Then season with Tuscan Temptation which will bring out the beautiful flavors of all the veggies. The video below shows the chopping of the veggies (which is the biggest part of putting together this meal), rubbing the lamb and layering it in the roasting pan.
Next is the lamb which is the easiest part. This is a 5 lb lamb and I used about a 1/3 cup of Mediterranean Bliss to season it. Normally I do not use olive oil when I use a rub on meat. But - when I use a lot then the olive oil helps it to adhere to the meat. Roasting such a large piece of meat I wanted to get quite a bit of rub to season it with so I oiled it after applying the first layer of rub.
Put a layer of the potatoes in the center of the roasting pan and lay the lamb on top of them. Next add all the other veggies to the pan around the lamb.
Put it all in the oven at 375 degrees using the roast setting on your oven. If you don't have a roast setting use the bake setting. This 5 lb roast took 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook. I cooked it to 135 for a rare in the center roast. If you don't want the center that rare cook until it's at 140-145 depending on your preference.
And that's it! Couldn't be easier to make a truly delightful Easter meal.
I make Caprese Salad a number of ways and think you should too! Change up your tomatoes - sometimes use small cherry or grape tomatoes and other times use big slices of a large heirloom tomato. You can also vary the cheese - use mozzarella cheese or burrata cheese which is a type of mozzarella cheese. I make my own ricotta cheese and occasionally use that for the cheese part.
1 lb grape tomatoes
1 lb burrata cheese or mozzarella cheese (cut into pieces)
1 ripe avocado
1 cup of loosely packed torn basil leaves
Balsamic Vinegar - I don't always use it as the Sweet Inferno gives it enough punch but feel free to try it both ways. The picture above is with balsamic vinegar and the one below without.
Good grade of extra-virgin olive oil
Add the tomatoes, avocado and cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Add in the basil and then sprinkle with Sweet Inferno.
*** If you use large tomatoes try slicing them and slice the mozzarella cheese and alternate the slices. Then drizzle with the oil and vinegar, add the basil and sprinkle with Sweet Inferno.
Sweet Inferno is excellent raw on all types of fruit -
avocado, watermelon, papaya and mango are all delish with Sweet Inferno!
Scallops and Sweet Inferno are a heavenly pair. Here's 2 ways to do it.
Using a double tong skewer slide your scallops on the skewers. The advantage of the double skewer is that they don't rotate on the skewer when you try to turn them. If you don't want to buy another type of skewer just use two regular skewers for each row of scallops.
In the meantime you've warmed up your grill and cleaned the grates. If you're using a charcoal grill bank the coals to one side and place the skewers on the indirect heat side. If you're using a gas grill once it's warmed turn the heat down over a part of the grill and place the skewers over the low heat side. Cook until opaque and firm. I like to get a bit of a char on mine.
Place some olive oil and butter in a sauce pan with your Sweet Inferno. Gently heat until the butter has melted and your Sweet Inferno has slightly browned. Now you have a beautiful sauce!
Plate the scallops drizzling the sauce and spooning the cooked Sweet Inferno over them. I've served this several times and people swoon over them!
Super easy - just heat some oil in a saute pan and add the scallops. Next sprinkle some Sweet Inferno over them. Watch your heat carefully - they cook quickly and you don't want to burn them or the Sweet Inferno. Again as when grilling cook until they turn opaque and are firm. Doesn't get easier than this!
We're all about the Sweet Inferno this month - here's a super easy way to cook chicken using Sweet Inferno that will make you crazy for it. I bet if you make it once you'll do it over and over again! Let us know how you like it!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place your chicken in a baking pan, liberally sprinkle Sweet Inferno over the chicken. Do not worry about using too much - it can't be done. But if you don't use enough you'll know it!
For 6 chicken thighs use at least 1/2 cup (maybe a bit more) of Sweet Inferno which is about a half a tin or 2 oz.
I prefer to use chicken thighs with the bone-in and skin on. If you've bought chicken without skin make sure to put oil on them after you've added the Sweet Inferno.
Cook them for 35 minutes to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Here's how they'll look when they're done! It's that easy and I tell you - you will love them!
It's Super Bowl weekend my friends. My favorite smoked trout dip is from Gulfstream in Newport Beach - well it was . . . until I started making my own. A close foodie friend said mine was even better than Gulfstream's! I think it's because of the addition of Mediterranean Bliss during the smoking process. It perfect for your Super Bowl spread so here's how I do it . . .
First you gotta smoke the trout . . .
2 quarts of water
1 cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 shallots thinly sliced
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 lemons - zest of
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Mediterranean Bliss
4 whole trout that have been cleaned - One trout yields about 5-7 ounces, you only need 8-10 ounces for the dip so you'll have extra.
First you gotta smoke the trout - using a bowl that is nonreactive combine water, kosher salt, sugar, shallots, garlic, lemon zest, bay leaf and Mediterranean Bliss stirring until sugar and salt dissolves. There's your brine. Place the trout in and weight it down to the water completely covers it. (Use a heavy plate or something like that to keep the trout under water.) Refrigerate for 6 hours.
Next take the trout of the brine and rinse really well. Pat the trout dry with paper towels and then rub them down - including the inside - with more Mediterranean Bliss. Put them on racks that fit inside a sheet pan and refrigerate them uncovered overnight 12-24 hours.
Smoke the trout at 220 degrees for only about 1.5 to 3 hours depending on how many trout you're smoking. You're going for an internal temperature of 145 degrees. To keep you going here's a picture of the finished product on crackers.
The top two are of the prepared dip on crackers and the bottom two are just the smoked trout on crackers with creme fraiche smeared underneath. Yummmm
Now are you ready to make that Smoked Trout Dip? Here goes . . .
8-10 ounces of smoked trout, cleaned of bones and skin
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cornichons finely chopped
1 T capers - rinse really well
1 T fresh chopped dill
1 T chopped flat leaf parsely
Squeeze of lemon
After cleaning the trout of bones (takes forever!) and skin chop it up. Add the crème fraiche and yogurt – mix well. Mix in the cornichons, capers, dill and parsley. Pulse in food processor for a smoother consistency. Add cream to your taste for a creamier dip and it absorbs some of the salt taste from the capers and trout. Add a touch of fresh lemon juice.
You can serve it on crackers or brush some toast with olive oil and grill it or lightly toast it. Spread dip on your crackers or toast and voila it’s done! Dig in!