This week was filled with Brecken’s cooking, cooking and more cooking. She wanted to cook her entire birthday dinner so she invited 30 people over and spent two days preparing the most tasteful spread ever!
As I mentioned in my last “Brecken’s Blissful Bites” segment, nothing is too hard or has too many ingredients for this amazing chef. There is no way I’d spend two days in the kitchen for one meal. For Brecken, this is her unwind time and she loves every step of the process.
The menu came from her new favorite cookbook pictured below. She choose a “Fiesta” meal since we all adore Mexican food. My mouth is still watering from all the tasty morsels!
Here was the menu:
Pico de Gallo
Watermelon Pico de Gallo
Chipotle Salsa and Glorious Guacamole
Beef and Chicken Fajitas and Chimichurri Shrimp
Fiesta Black Beans and Zesty Lime Rice
For Brecken’s Best Bites, I’m going share the three salsa recipes she prepared. It’s hard to say which was the best–they were all bursting with flavor!
Straight-Up Pico de Gallo:
- 12 roma tomatoes (slightly under ripened works)
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
Dice up equal quantities of tomatoes and onions. Roughly chop the cilantro.
Now, slice 1 or 2 jalapenos in half. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds. (If you like things spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.) Dice the jalapenos very finely; you want a hint of heat and jalapeno flavor, but you don’t want to cause any fires. Now dump the four ingredients into a bowl.
Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from half the lime into the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and stir together until combined. Be sure to taste the pico de gallo and adjust the seasonings, adding salt or more diced jalapeno if needed.
- One 10-15 ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles, such as Rotel
- Two 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 to 3 (depending on heat tolerance) chipotle peppers packed in adobo (sold in Hispanic section)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 cup lime juice
Combine the tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, peppers, cumin, salt, sugar, pepper and lime juice in a blender or food processor. (This is a very large batch. I recommend using a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.)
Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like. I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Refrigerate the salsa for at least an hour before serving.
Watermelon Pico de Gallo:
- 1/2 whole Small Seedless watermelon, Diced
- 1/2 whole red onion, Diced
- 1 whole red bell pepper, Seeded And Diced
- 1 whole green bell pepper, Seeded And Finely Diced
- 1 whole yellow bell pepper, Seeded And Finely Diced
- 2 whole Jalapeños, Seeded And Finely Diced
- 1 whole Bunch cilantro, Chopped
- 2 whole juice Of 1 to 2 limes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Throw all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss it together. Taste with a chip and adjust ingredients as needed.
Hope you have a great weekend! Oh–and make some salsa for me! We just ran out!
P.S. Brecken ran out of time to make Baklava this week so I couldn’t photograph it. I’ll share this recipe soon–promise!