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Simple Veg: Guacamole

10 Feb

guacamole - ingredients

I first learned to make guacamole at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, where one of the activities was a cooking demonstration.   Ever since, guacamole has been a regular party staple in our household.  Who doesn’t like guacamole?  Fresh and flavorful, guacamole is excellent all year round.

There’s room to play in making guacamole.  Normally, I use a habañero pepper (about 1/2, deseeded), but you can also use serrano or jalapeño peppers, depending on your preference.  Recently, we like using serrano peppers because they have a good balance of heat and flavor (David calls it “umami”).  A few of my friends don’t like cilantro, in which case I’ll swap out cilantro for basil and make what I call “Mediterranean” guacamole.  Although traditional guacamole uses yellow onions, sometimes I like to use red onions, which are sweeter.  You can use heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes, depending of what looks best at the market.  I like my guacamole crunchy, so you can definitely play with the ingredient ratios.

Here’s the basic mix as a guideline:

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Crispy + Spicy Oven-baked Chicken Wings

9 Feb

chicken wings - plated

Last weekend for Superbowl Sunday, I made oven-baked chicken wings… and they were DELICIOUS!!  I took an excellent hint from the Preppy Paleo to boil the chicken wings first — boiling the wings before baking them results in the crispiest oven-baked wings you’ve ever tasted.  Seriously.  The wings were so crispy, you would’ve thunk they were fried!  I am a big fan of chicken wings, and these oven-baked ones were the best I’ve made so far.  Boiling the wings first renders off some fat, and then baking them on a rack over a roasting pan helps crisp up the wings even further.  These wings are easy to make and are sure to impress at any kind of chicken-wings appropriate party.

For my version of the chicken wings, I boiled the wings first and then marinated them for about 30 minutes before putting them in the oven to infuse them with a punch of flavor.

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