Thursday, May 30, 2013

Think Out Loud [11] Favorite Summer Recipes

Rain, rain, go away! 
Riddles aren't working, so I thought some positive thinking might do the trick. I'm going to share a couple of my favorite summer recipes in hopes the universe will freaking pay it the soggy Pacific Northwest! (totally self-serving, I know)

rob's salsa (AKA Madre's salsa and Ted's salsa from Soul Bender)
2 tomatoes
1 red or white onion
2 bell peppers
1 Jalapeno (optional)
3-6 lemons depending on size
fresh cilantro
garlic salt

1. Peeling the tomatoes: Boil a pot of water and place the two tomatoes in it for a couple minutes. You'll see the peel unraveling. Take them out and let them cool.
2. Onion time: I like using red onions because they're sweeter and offer great color to the salsa. I use at least half the onion. Reds also tend to make the salsa a bit spicy. Peel, run under cold water for a quick second, then cut in chunks for the food processor. Have a big bowl handy, this turns into a big batch. I like to blend separately, but if you want to go nuts and combine everything, have at it.
3. Here we go with the color: Cut and core the bell peppers and toss them in the processor next. This is also when you add the jalapeno if you want some heat.
4. Peel (and chop if you have to) the cool tomatoes. Add them to the thoroughly rinsed cilantro into the processor. (a little cilantro goes a long way)
5. Time for the zing. I like this salsa extra tangy. I use 3 or 4 big lemons or 5 or 6 small ones. Pour the juice  (watch for seeds) into the bowl with everything else and stir. 
6. Add about a tsp of garlic salt to start with. 
Stir, taste. Add more garlic salt or lemon depending on your preference. 

This salsa is amazing with nacho cheese Doritos. It's also great with fajitas, or plain old corn chips. There is a little dish that's kind of silly, but I love it so much. You crush a bowl of corn chips, add shredded cheddar cheese, and several spoonfuls of the salsa and stir. Oh my goodness!!!

Island style marinade and sticky rice
Low Sodium Soy Sauce (also comes wheat free)
2-3 lemons
1 onion
black or ground pepper
tiny hot peppers (optional)

medium grain rice + rice cooker

1. This recipe is made by the finger smacking approach, meaning you have to dip your finger in the marinade to test whether you have the right flavor. Start with a cup of soy sauce in a container. Consider making enough you can pour half into a bowl to spoon over the meet while you're cooking and then over your meat and sticky rice once the food hits the plate. 
2. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Start with 1-2 lemons. 
3. Chop (don't mince) 1/4 of the onion to start. I prefer yellow onion for this version of island style marinade. It has more tang.
4. Add a tsp of sugar and a dash of pepper. 
5. If you're brave and have gloves, break out the tiny hot peppers. Good luck with that.
TASTE...tweak here and there, more soy sauce, more lemon, more sugar. You want tang with a hint of sweetness. 

Separate the marinade so you have enough in a container for your meat, tastes amazing with beef or chicken. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour. Longer is better. You can either BBQ, broil in the oven, or saute in a pan. Sauteing is the only way you can use the marinade the meat soaked in, otherwise, you have to dump it and use the uncontaminated portion during the cooking process and after when preparing your plate.

Almost forgot the sticky rice. Rice cookers are so cheap and easy, I'm only a pro at making sticky rice with one. So here it is (it's so easy, I feel silly telling you). Pour however much rice you want into the cooker pot. Rinse it (not sure if this is a must, but my mom taught me this way). Level the rice by gently shaking it out, then add water. You use your finger to measure a single finger notch above the leveled rice. That's it, a single finger notch is the trick. Told you it was silly.

No rules, just what's on your mind. Join Think's awesome Think Out Loud meme!


  1. Oh I LOVE salsa! And the finger messy island recipe sounds fun. Zane cooks with me and calls it 'Mom and Son Diner'. We make some yummy meals :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

    1. That's so wonderful! I love it. You and Zane are such a team, Jaclyn. I smile thinking about it. I get a bit tyrannical in the kitchen because I'm a nervous girl. If you sneak up on me I drop something in a big way. I'm trying to get over that so I can cook with John. Will would rather help me wash dishes then make them. I'll try to take my cue from you.