Guacamole

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I LOVE avocados!  So it makes total sense that I LOVE guacamole too.  I used this simple recipe and bought some surfboard tortilla chips from Traders to go with it.  The hubs and I love it as an afternoon snack or even when we’re enjoying a movie night in.  It literally takes 10 minutes to make!  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped  (I used 3 roma tomatoes instead)

1 Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.

2 Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don’t overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.) Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. Be careful handling the peppers; wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.

Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so don’t chop the tomatoes or add to the guacamole until ready to serve.

Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.

3 Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.

4 Just before serving, chop the tomato, add to the guacamole and mix.

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A Dutch Classic: Boerenkool

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When I was in Amsterdam this summer, I ate at a restaurant that served traditional Dutch meals.  I remember trying to figure out what to order without knowing how to read Dutch.  Luckily, the waiter was very accommodating and gave me a brief description of the dishes that I pointed to.  When I pointed at Boerenkool (thinking what a cool name), the waiter told me that it consisted of mashed potatoes, kale, bacon and gravy.  I was sold!  I have never thought of mixing kale into mashed potatoes before but wow, was it ever tasty!  My friends challenged me to make it for them when we return to Vancouver.  I responded by what Barney Stinson would say:  Challenge Accepted!

Ingredients:

A bunch of Kale (washed, dried, stems removed)

6 -7 Russet potatoes

Smoked sausages (whichever kind you prefer)

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 cup butter

salt

pepper

gravy (yes, the packaged ones is absolutely fine)

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Wash the Kale and peel the potatoes.  Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add water until the potatoes are covered.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are soft and ready to mash.

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While the potatoes are simmering, chop up the Kale into small pieces.

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Check to see if the potatoes are soft.  If so, drain the water from the potatoes.  Mash the potatoes and add the butter and the cream one after another.

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Add the chopped kale into the mixture and pop the lid back on.  Let it sit on simmer for 5 minutes (keep an eye on it though – stir occasionally so the bottom of the pan doesn’t get brown)

*steaming the kale before you put it in the mashed potatoes is optional but I felt the Kale tasted more fresh by cooking it this way.

Meanwhile, pan fry the smoked sausage (and bacon if you’d like) and make the gravy

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You’re now ready to plate your meal.  Enjoy!

I joked with my Husband that I totally could’ve married a Dutch man and would be fine in the kitchen if this is what he’d like to eat everyday. =P