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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette

 

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I used to think there was no way I could ever make my own dressing. I learned that’s so not true. Watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks taught me how easy to make your own vinaigrette. I thought I’d share my three favorites with you, Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette.

I mix all the ingredients for the Balsamic and the Lemon, right in their own 8-ounce jelly jar. The Cilantro-Lime takes an additional step of first processing the cilantro leaves. It’s simpler, for this vinaigrette, to be made in the food processor and then transferred to a jelly jar.

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Agave nectar, honey, or granulated sugar are a few of the sweeteners you can use when making your own vinaigrettes.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields 8 to 10 ounces of vinaigrette
Equipment: Food processor, blender, or an immersion blender, four 8-ounce jelly jars, small bowl

Ingredients For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (substitute spicy mustard)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar (substitute honey)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
Yields:
10 ounces
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of shallots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of Agave nectar (substitute granulated sugar)
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
1 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Ingredients For Lemon Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)
2 tablespoons of shallot, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette:
Start by placing cilantro leaves into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O. (the remaining olive oil will be added through the feeding tube) and pulse the leaves until they’re finely minced. Remove the processed cilantro and transfer to a small bowl. Back in the food processor add the ginger, garlic, shallots, fresh lime juice, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, and low sodium soy sauce. Pulse all the ingredients just enough to combine everything.

Once combined, add the processed cilantro leaves back into the food processor. Place the lid and feeding tube on. Turn the processor to the ON position and slowly add the remaining *E.V.O.O. through the feeding tube until combined. Remove the lid, add the red wine vinegar and using a spatula, stir once. This recipe yields 10 ounces of vinaigrette so you’ll need 2 jars. Transfer the vinaigrette to the jars, place the lids on tight and give a good couple of shakes to combine everything.

Directions For The  Balsamic And Lemon Vinaigrette:
Add all the ingredients for, both of, the vinaigrette into their 8-ounce jelly jars. Finish with the *E.V.O.O. Place the lids tightly on the jars and shake really well.

Notes:
1). I prefer my vinaigrette to be one part acid to two parts oil.
2). Place the dressing in the bottom of the bowl first. Right before serving the salad, add the lettuce/greens, toss to coat.
3). It’s important to wash and then dry the leaves really well so the dressing will adhere to the leaves.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Guacamole, Chunky-Style

 

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Chunky or smooth, I think everyone who loves guacamole has their preference. For me, I like guacamole to have chunks of avocado that I’m able to see.

Notably, there are three main types of avocados, Mexican, Guatemalan, and West Indian, with the avocados most commonly found around the world being, Fuerte and Hass. The Hass avocado is known as the avocado pear or the alligator pear due to the pebbly, rough exterior. I prefer using the Haas variety, because of their buttery texture.

Avocados are loaded with lots of good fat and are simply delicious. This is my Guacamole, Chunky-Style.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: hand-held sieve, large mixing bowl, paring knife, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
4 ripe Haas avocados, halved and pits removed (large dice)
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of fresh store-bought salsa (choose mild, medium, or hot), substitute 1/3 cup of plum tomatoes, seeded, diced, and drained
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place a ripe avocado on a cutting board, or if you’re comfortable in the palm of your hand. Using a chef’s knife cut it lengthwise around the seed. Cut into the avocado until the knife hits the seed, then rotate the fruit with one hand while keeping the knife steady in the other hand.

Using a paring knife make slits in the flesh making sure not to go the way through the skin. Make a crisscross pattern and then scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Toss the chunks of avocado into a large mixing bowl. Add Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Next, add the diced onion, minced Fresno chili, cilantro, and lime juice. Using a hand-held sieve, remove as much of the liquid from the salsa as possible then go ahead and add that to the rest of the ingredients. Gently mix to combine.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top (keeping air out) of the guacamole. This will prevent the avocados from oxidizing and turning the guacamole brown.

This is my Guacamole, Chunky-Style.

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Black Bass Fish Tacos

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Steve caught a few Black Bass today. While he was filleting them I took a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up the fresh produce to make him Black Bass Fish Tacos for dinner.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: approx. 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Yields: 8 tacos
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 medium-size mixing bowl, 2 small mixing bowl, Mandolin

Ingredients:
1 box (10-count) of Old El Paso Hint of Lime white corn crunchy taco shells (substitute soft corn tortillas)
1 1/2 pounds of Black Bass fillets (substitute Tilapia fillets)
4 cups of fresh Pico de Gallo (link below for recipe)
4 avocados, pitted and sliced
1/2 head of green cabbage, sliced thin
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cilantro, roughly chopped, extra for garnish
6  limes, 4 juiced, 2 cut into wedges for garnish
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
4 whole garlic cloves

Directions:
Link below for my Pico de Gallo recipe.
Start by making the Pico de Gallo in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill.

In another large mixing bowl, add thinly sliced green cabbage, Fresno chili, and 1/4 cup of roughly chopped cilantro. Transfer to the refrigerator until it’s ready to be dressed. In a small mixing bowl add fresh lime juice, chili powder, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, mix to combine. Set aside. Dress and toss the slaw right before adding it to the tacos.

In another small bowl add 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, mix to combine. Season both sides of the fish.

In a large cast-iron skillet over low heat melt butter with olive oil. Add the whole garlic cloves, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove the whole garlic cloves, finely chop the garlic and set aside. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the fish fillets. If needed cook the fish in two batches, do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on the first side then carefully flip them and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until light and flakey, golden in color.

Reduce the heat to low, add the finely chopped garlic back into the skillet with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Immediately remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the fish to a large platter.

Next, dress and toss the slaw. Add the sautéed Black Bass to each one of the shells. Top with fresh Chili Lime Slaw, Pico de Gallo, and a slice of avocado. Serve with sprigs of cilantro and lime wedges.

There you have it, my Black Bass Fish Tacos.

Pico De Gallo

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