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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Chunky-Style Guacamole

 

Guacamole (1)

Guacamole (7)

Guacamole (4)

Cilantro

Guacamole (13)

Guacamole (14)

Guacamole (8)

Guacamole (10)

Guacamole (7)

Guacamole (6)

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Guacamole (12)

Guacamole (6)

Guacamole (1)

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

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

Directions:
Using a paring knife make slits in the flesh making sure not to go the way through the skin. I 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 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 Chunky Guacamole.

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Spicy Stir-Fry Chicken Over Basmati Rice

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This dish is full of flavor. The balance of sweet peas and spicy coconut milk is a roller coaster for your taste buds. This is my Spicy Stir-Fry Chicken Over Basmati Rice.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes (marinate the chicken)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting lid, 3 -quart saucepot, aluminum foil, cast-iron skillet, 2 large mixing bowls

Ingredients For Basmati Rice:
1 cup of Basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of dried sweet cherries
1/4 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Ingredients For Stir-Fry:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup of grapeseed oil
3 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of ginger, freshly grated
1 orange bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
!/2 an onion, sliced very thin into half-moons
1 Fresno chili, seeded, cut into thin rings
1 1/2 cups of frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 15-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons of Siracha
1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions For Basmati Rice:
I’m going to start with the Basmati rice. Now what I like to do is, to remove as much of the natural starch from the rice. Repeat the process until the water runs clear.

I place 1 cup of Basmati rice into a large bowl and cover it with 2 cups of water. Let the rice stand in the water for a couple, three minutes. I repeat this process, four times until the water, with the rice in the bowl is clear.

In the larger saucepot, add pour in the rinsed Basmati rice. In a smaller saucepot over medium heat, add the unsalted chicken broth, dried sweet cherries, Kosher salt, and olive oil. Once the chicken broth has come up to a low boil, pour the hot broth into the pot containing the Basmati rice.

Transfer that pot over to the burner already set on medium heat. Bring all this up to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Tightly cover the pot with a piece of foil (refer to the pictures above) and secure the saucepot’s lid on tight. Do not peek at the rice during the cooking process. Allow the rice cook for 15 minutes.

At the end of 15 minutes, cut the heat. Let the rice sit for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. You should see that every grain of rice has grown a little longer and is separate from all the other longs grains of rice.

To finish, add chopped pistachios gently stir to combine. Place the lid back on and set aside. Right before serving, add the fresh chopped cilantro, again gently toss to combine.

Directions For Marinating Chicken:
In a large mixing bowl add the chicken breasts strips, grapeseed oil, freshly grated garlic, and ginger, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Toss until all the chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Prepping The Vegetables:
While the rice is simmering and the chicken is marinating start prepping the vegetables. Julienne the orange and yellow bell pepper, thinly slice the red onion into half-moons, seed and sliced the Fresno chili. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl pour in the unsweetened coconut milk, Siracha, fresh lime juice, and sugar. Stir to combine.

Preheat the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until smoking hot add the marinated chicken. Stirring frequently, cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is brown and caramelized. Remove the chicken from skillet and onto a plate.

Place the skillet back over medium-high heat, add the julienned peppers, sliced red onion, and Fresno chili season with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Stirring frequently, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes before adding the chicken back into the skillet, toss to combine.

It’s time to add the spicy coconut milk to the skillet, stir, and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, occasionally stirring until the sauce naturally thickens, another 3 to 5 minutes. Finally, turn the heat off and add the peas and stir to combine. The heat from the sauce will warm the peas through.

In a porcelain serving bowl, spoon a helping of the prepared rice into the bottom of a bowl. Ladle the Spicy Stir-Fry Chicken over the top. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Ther you have it my Spicy Stir-Fry Chicken Over Basmati Rice.

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Calzone Or Empanada?

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This recipe has the best of both worlds in my opinion. I love Calzone but, they can have too much dough. In this recipe, I’ve combined the filling of a Calzone and the outside pastry of an Empanada.

My Homemade Pie Crust recipe link is available at the bottom of the post. What I like to do is, when I make pie dough I always make more than what I’m going to need for that day, and freeze it. This really helps when I’m wanting to make a recipe like this one. I just take the dough out of the freezer the night before and transfer to the refrigerator until I’m ready to roll it out.

There are some really great ready-made pie crusts available in the grocery store. If you don’t have the time to make your own pie dough, pick up two boxes. This recipe calls for 4 pie crusts The other great thing about this #calzone or #empanada, recipe is everything can be made in advance, just bake them off when you’re ready.

I’m going to be using butter and olive oil for this dish. A lot of time, in Italian cooking, they’ll utilize both, especially as you get further into northern regions of Italy. We all know butter is FLAVOR!🧈

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Another great way to bring a depth of flavor to this dish is to start out with around 1/4 cup of diced Pancetta. Add the Pancetta to a cold cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium-high heat and render all the fat out. Using a slotted spoon, remove the Pancetta transferring those salty crispy bits of goodness onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Use the Pancetta grease to cook the shallots and mushrooms. An important tip to remember here is, if you are going to replace the butter and olive oil with Pancetta in this dish, you may want to decrease the amount of Kosher salt you use, if any at all. Pancetta adds a salty flavor naturally.

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Calzones Or Empanadas

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time for filling 30 minutes
Baking time for filled pastries: 12 to 15 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 2 large mixing bowls, medium-size bowl, rubber spatula, large metal spatula, 4 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet or hot Italian sausage (5 sausage links casing removed)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 pints of cremini mushrooms, quartered
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped thyme leaves (substitute 1 tablespoon of dried)
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
5 mini sweet bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
1 package of fresh spinach leaves
1 cup of Ricotta cheese
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
4 pie dough circles, 10 inches each in diameter
*egg wash, 4 large eggs plus 4 tablespoons water beaten together
marinara sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

To start, add both unsalted butter and olive oil to a preheated cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced shallots cook for about 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently. To the skillet add the cremini mushrooms. Continue cooking allowing the mushrooms to release their water. Occasionally stirring, once the mushrooms have released all their water they will start browning, around 5 to 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and fresh thyme leaves, stir through.

Next, add the sliced mini sweet bell peppers along with Fresno chili. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with the mushrooms and shallots. Moving forward, add the sweet Italian sausage, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Turn the temperature up to medium-high, break the sausage up using the back of a wooden spoon allowing the sausage to brown evenly. Stir occasionally until there is no pink and the sausage is cooked through about 12 to 15 minutes.

Once the sausage is nice and brown, you want to *deglaze the pan by adding unsalted chicken broth to the skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all of those good bits of flavor off the bottom of the pan.  Allow the broth reduce and get absorbed by all the other ingredients, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the fresh spinach, stir through, the spinach will wilt down very quickly. Once that happens, remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, leaving any or all excess grease behind.

Allow the filling to cool before adding in the cheese.

In another large mixing bowl, add the shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan, and Ricotta cheese, mix to combine. Using a rubber spatula, combine the cheese mixture together with the sausage mixture, stir until combined.

In a medium-size bowl add the eggs and water, beat to combine.

Next, the pie dough. If you have your own pie dough, you want to roll all four of them out into about 10 inches in diameter, 1/8 inch thick.

Divide the filling into four equal parts. Using a spoon lay the filling on the bottom third of the circle of pie dough almost all the way across. Brush the egg wash all around the perimeter of the circle. Fold the dough over the filling meeting up with the other side of the dough.  Press the filling gently down so it spreads out evenly inside of the pie dough. Using a fork, crimp the edges to ensure no filling will escape. Take a paring knife and trim any excess dough from around the edges that. All that does is to make the crimped edges even and rounded. This gives a professional look to the pies. Brush more of the egg wash all over the top and sides of the pie dough.

Using a paring knife, vent the pies by making 4 small slits, in the top of each one.  Use a large spatula to transfer the filled Calzone/Empanada from the board onto a rimmed baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place all 4 of the baking sheets into the refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest before baking off. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.

Allow the Calzone Or Empanada to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

*egg wash is a mixture of beaten eggs and milk or water brushed over pastry or dough before baking in order to give an attractive color and shine to the surface.

*deglaze is a cooking technique for removing and dissolving browned food residue from a pan to flavor sauces, soups, and gravies.

 

Homemade Pie Crust

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