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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Super Bowl 50

Well… my team is going to the Super Bowl and I’m so excited. I pulled out all the stops at home for this one. I made all our favorite football dishes.  As you know my daughter, Melissa lives in the Bay Area.

It was during media week and somehow she got herself into those restricted areas to get some awesome photos. I pretty sure she did that just for me. You’re the best Melissa, always thinking about mom!

I’m feeling excited, nervous, and so proud of my team! Go Denver!!!!

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Guacamole, Chunky Style

Guacamole (7)

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Tex-Mex wouldn’t be the same without some great Guacamole. My recipe has a secret ingredient that will make your Guacamole pop! I tell you about that in a minute.

I’m a fan of a Chunky Style Guacamole with rather than one that looks like it been purèed. I like it to have lots of texture. As the Guacamole sits, the lime juice starts to break down the chunks of avocado giving the Guacamole a mixture of textures, but it’s never completely smooth.

I have a some diced red onion, a minced Fresno chili, diced and seeded plum tomatoes, the juice of a lime, and a container of store-bought fresh salsa. Yep, that’s my secret ingredient. You can find this salsa in the refrigerated section of the produce department, at your local grocery store. I like the medium, it’s not too hot but still has a slight kick.

Salsa is really close to being a Pico de Gallo in the sense that it has small diced tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos, except that it also contains lime juice. I love to use fresh salsa as an ingredient, especially in guacamole. I also prefer my guacamole to be on the chunky side rather than completely smooth.

I prefer Haas avocados. They are super buttery in flavor. When I’m buying avocados, I hold them in the palm of my and squeeze gently. A ripe avocado should yield to, a firm, gentle pressure, but shouldn’t be overly soft or mushy. I look for ones where the skins have just turned brown in color, still pretty firm, yet have a slight give when you press on them.

Guacamole (6)

Guacamole (1)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 ripe Haas avocados, halved and pit removed (large dice)
1 seeded and minced Fresno chili (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, drain the juice, as much as possible, from the salsa. Add the salsa to the rest of the ingredients. Mix gently to combine.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole. This will prevent air from getting to the avocados and causing the guacamole to turn brown.

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Gracias Madre, Organic Mexican Cuisine

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Here’s another great find for those that love Mexican food. On Mission St. in San Francisco, this little gem offers organic Mexican Cuisine. Here’s a peek at the menu and here are a few of the dishes Melissa tried while she was there.

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Their fresh tortilla and guacamole.

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Black beans, and their Papas al Horno, which are potatoes roasted with olive oil and garlic, with a spicy chipotle cashew cheese.

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For more information on Gracias Madre visit their website at www.gracias-madre.com.

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Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar

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The sun was slowly starting to reach the west, almost dusk here. I don’t know, maybe I was rushing the whole sunset thing because I was excited. It was around 7:00 pm eastern time. Steve and I stepped out of his truck as the free valet parking attendant took the truck, off our hands. We walked towards the most colorful of all places, with the exception of Disney World. It was total eye candy.

Rocco’s Tacos is located on, what we call, here in Orlando, “restaurant row”, and it’s backdrop is a lake called Sand Lake.  I picked this particular venue for Steve’s 50th birthday because I knew it would be a fun time. We stepped into the outside bar which is at the front entrance of the restaurant.

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Oh!, don’t even get me started on the array of Margarita’s, each in their own whimsical glass.

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Melissa was our bartender. She was so pleasant and made sure that our entire family’s needs were taken care of up until the time that our table was ready. Rocco’s Tacos has such a playful atmosphere with all the bold colors. A front door like you see in hotel or bank buildings in New York City. You know, the revolving kind.

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As the hostess walked us all to our table, there was just so much to take in. The glass-covered kitchen where you could watch all the chefs at work, to the amazing decor that was as far as the eye could see. The colors. so many bright and beautiful colors. We were greeted by our server, Christina. The huge round table, I totally loved. Round tables are great because everyone feels included at all times. Christina also made each one of us feel, while we were there as if we were the only ones that mattered.

Now came the guacamole, made tableside, with fresh salsa and warm tortilla chips. I could have just eaten that and had been happy. but that was not going to happen. Each of us ordered something different so we could taste a little of everything, from homemade empanadas,  and their fish tacos, to the fresh tuna ceviche. Here are a few pictures of some of the entrées we had.

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While we were all enjoying our meals, Christina showed us what was behind the curtain. That curtain had been peaking our curiosity. When she opened it there was a complete private bar. This was there in case you decided to rent the entire dining room.

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At the end of the evening when all the lights were twinkling, t ended up being an awesome 50th birthday for my sweetie. Surrounded by family and close friends sharing in a great meal together. If you’re in Orlando, be sure to make this one of your stops for a great dining experience. For more information visit, www.roccostacos.com

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