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Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Vegan-dessert_Merry-Christmas_Svetia_Yes,-more-please!

Chocolate, who can’t resist chocolate specially at this time of the year?…Dreaming of luscious chocolate desserts, this Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse recipe it’s the ticket for a simple crowd pleaser dessert. You would not believe how free of everything this mousse is. It should be called “Chocolate Freedom”. The truth is, If you want to make a dessert suited for all guests, taste good for all palates, and diverse diets you are at the right place.

For me, Chocolate Mousse is the perfect ending dessert for a dinner party. You can prepare it ahead, its no fuss, looks gorgeous, and suits all crowds. This recipe, especially suits guests with diverse diets: dairy-free, gluten-free,  sugar-free, nut-free, grain-free, egg-free, all free diet situations. I feel people with food sensitivities are often neglected, or end up with fruit as a dessert, why not go the extra mile? On the other hand for the cooks at home its always a little stressful to think or trying to cook or bake with un-familiar ingredients, well I got you covered, this recipe is also easy on the Cook. Simple ingredients, a few simple steps and your guests will appreciate you going the extra mile. Its is always nice to make the effort to make a happy ending dessert for everyone especially during the holiday season.

Read the recipe very carefully, and please, do not make faces; yes I can see you from here frowning about avocado and chocolate. I was one of those people as well. Now I’m converted. To be honest, once you try this combination I know you’ll be converted too. Let’s talk a little about it.

Avocado is a natural source of creaminess and good oils in combination with the coconut cream and the chocolate gives this dessert all the lusciousness by mimicking the texture that cream, butter, and eggs give to a more traditional mousse recipe.

Avocados only mission in this recipe is to give a light body and creamy texture to the mousse. It imparts no discernible flavor. Next ingredient: the coconut cream, which adds that velvety silky soft texture that is characteristic of any mousse. And of course the main ingredient: Chocolate. Almost all the success on this recipe will depend on the chocolate quality you choose. That is what shines: Dark, rich, chocolate. Be splendid and generous when buying your chocolate, choose at least a good 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate. I have some suggestions for you at the end of the recipe.

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_ingredients

In other recipes you could place almost all recipe ingredients into a food processor and be done but I went ahead and added just a few steps that make this recipe dreamy.  Like, sieving the avocado to make it creamier and remove any fibrous treads. Also by folding some whipped coconut cream at the end, which for me makes a huge difference, giving this mousse a cloudy silky texture.

And last but not least, another great “free” quality about his mousse, is that I used Svetia. Svetia it’s a Natural sweetener made with the Stevia plant. An all natural sweetener. A little of this powerful Svetia Sweetener goes a long way, I like my mousse lightly sweetened and using this calorie free sweetener completes the dreamy dessert, for those guest with sugar sensitivity.

If you are ready to try something new this season, and make your special guests happy! Give this Chocolate Avocado Mousse a chance and surprise all your guests, by revealing the ingredient at the end of the dinner. I bet you they would not even believe that an avocado was incorporated. And on the other side of the table your vegan, dairy free, gluten-free and sugar-free guests will be really happy and gratefully ask for the recipe.
Enjoy
Happy Holidays!

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Vegan-Dessert-Yes,-more-please!

Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse

Serves 4- 8 servings depending on scoop size.

10 oz fresh ripe Avocado Hass flesh*
1 can coconut cream unsweetened,** I used Chaokoh Thailand brand
2 teaspoons Walnut oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch kosher salt
2 Svetia sweetener envelopes or 2 tablespoon of any other alternative sugar option like coconut sugar, date sugar, or maple syrup.

8 oz of at least 70% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate bar, roughly chopped, melted and slightly cooled. I used Green and Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate.***

1 can coconut cream to make whipped coconut cream

3-4 Sugar free-gluten free Candy Canes to crush and garnish.
You can use fresh berries to garnish, cacao nibs, toasted coconut or toasted nuts in case of no nut allergies.

Important Notes:

*Since avocados differ in size and amount of flesh depending on avocado types, please weigh the avocado flesh, and make sure you buy avocado Hass which are the most creamy and less fibrous.

**When buying coconut cream, I prefer any brand from Thailand, whole foods or Traders Joe’s, because they have the best richness and creaminess. check and read the labels.

***Other vegan bars:Theo 82%, Madecasse 80%, Scharffen Berger 82%
I found an article on line about Green and Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate label in which I read that it does not have any milk powder or solids on the formula, but it is made adjacent to a facility that makes milk chocolate. So by regulation, they had to specify that on the label.

Preparation Method:

1. Cut avocados in half, remove pits, and place flesh on a scale, you need 10oz of avocado flesh. Then on a bowl and holding a fine sieve, mashed the fresh avocado fresh through the sieve until smooth.
2. With a hand blender or on a food processor add the sieved avocado, and purée until smooth and frothy. You should have a silky and lump free avocado purée.
3. To this avocado pure add 1 can of unsweetened cream of coconut, salt, cinnamon, walnut oil and vanilla. Whip until smooth, frothy, and pale green using a hand mixer. Set aside.

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_sieve,puree,-sweeten-and-puree 4. Melt all the chocolate on a double boiler until warm and smooth. Set aside to cool down.
5. Once chocolate has cooled down a little, add melted chocolate to the avocado coconut mixture. Mix well until smooth and room temp. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to an hour, or until firm to the touch. It should feel like cold frosting on a cake.
6. Meantime, place the second can of coconut cream on the freezer for at least 30-45 minutes. Make sure the can is standing up. After 45 minutes, Open the can carefully and by now the coconut solids have separated. The coconut fat will rise to the top, leaving the coconut water on the bottom. With a spoon collect all coconut fat and place on a small bowl. Save the coconut water for another preparation, or discard.
7. If coconut solids are to frozen wait until they are soft and cold enough to whip them. When ready to whip Add some Stevia or any other sweetener of your preference and using a hand mixer whip until soft picks form. Reserve some of this Whipped Coconut Cream to garnish.
8. Remove Chocolate mixture from the refrigerator. Whip mixture with hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Using a spatula, gently fold in the coconut whipped cream into chocolate mixture using up and down folding movements until all the whipped coconut cream is incorporated, and the mousse looks light and fluffy.

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Mix,-Refrigerate-whipChocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse-Coconut-Whipped-Cream_fold

9. Chill some glasses, and using an ice cream scooper, scoop one or two servings on each glass or ramekins. Keep mousse refrigerated until time to serve.
When time to serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with crushed sugar-free candy canes. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Crushed-Sugarfree-Candy-CanesChocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Yes,-more-please!Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Sugarfree_Yes,-more-please!

This post was sponsored by SVETIA.US
The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Thank you SVETIA! for providing the product and sponsorship.

Music Pairing: Love Actually- Christmas its all Around Us.

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Yankee-Mex Bison Chili

Yankee-Mex-Bison-Chili_Warm-up!_Yes,-more-please!

Probably this recipe may offend a few of our Texas cooks. Please don’t let the title of this recipe scare you away… Bare with me, you, dear Texans.

This chili with beans recipe is what results of a marriage, between a South Mexican girl and a Northern Michigan boy. My chili has to have beans. As you know we live in Texas, which I believe there must be a written law somewhere about no beans in chili. We hope we don’t get into trouble, but if we do, with all your respect, heck yeah!, I want a pot of this trouble for any given Texan winter night.

I’m using Ground Bison full of rich meaty flavor, lots of character and the right amount of fat. To complement the ground bison, I used a type of black bean called Rio Zape. They are a bit larger than black beans, meatier, creamy and with a very earthy flavor, than when cook it produces the most delicious cloudy broth. I love this bean flavor win combination with all the chili spices. A dash of Apple cider vinegar to brighten up the chili powders it’s must. Garnish with sour cream, onions, and Colby cheese. A side of freshly baked cornbread is the perfect accomplice. This Yankee-Mex chili has a great depth of flavor, from the ancho chile, a bright mild spiciness from New Mexico chili powder and a hint of lingering spice from a dash of cayenne pepper. Its well balanced flavors and the right consistency will warm up your inside out. Let’s cook!

Yankee-Mex-Bison-Chili_ready-to-serve!Yankee-Mex Bison Chili_Bison the other great meat

Yankee-Mex Bison Chili

Serves 2-4 Yankees and maybe 1 exiled Texan.

3 tablespoons corn oil
1 large white onion diced
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 lbs. 90%-10% lean Ground Bison
4 dashes Worchershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mexican comino
2 heaping tablespoons Ancho chili powder
3 heaping tablespoons New Mexico chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dry mexican oregano
2 pinches mexican cinnamon powder
About 2 teaspoons grated piloncillo*
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef broth, sodium free.
2-3 cups Rio Zape or Black beans cooked*
2 cups of the Bean broth. If you cooked your beans reserve the broth. If you are using canned beans, rinse the beans discard the liquid and substitute for 1 cup of beef broth, sodium free and 1 cup water.
2 tablespoons corn masa harina, diluted into one cup of the broth above.

For Garnish:
Sour cream, Colby cheese shredded, green onions or red onions diced, fresh sliced jalapeño or serranos.
Serve with Skillet Sweet corn Bread. Recipe follows. Or this Corn bread muffins or this honey-jalapeño corn bread.

Preparation Method:

1. In a cast iron enamel pot, sauté the diced onions until translucent. Add finely chopped garlic, sauté until fragrant.
2. Add Ground Bison, break the ground beef into small pieces with a wooden spatula. Add worcestershire sauce, comino a bout 1 cup of the beef broth, salt, and pepper. The liquid will help the ground beef to separate into smaller pieces. Stir constantly until liquid has evaporated in half.
3. At these point the meat looks juicy, lose ground texture and glistening. Sprinkle the ancho, New mexico, and Cayenne chili powders evenly. Stir until the ground bison has a dark red and all meat its well covered into the chili powder, add the tomato paste until well incorporated. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add dry oregano, cinnamon, grated piloncillo, vinegar, and toss well briefly.
4. Add the 2 cups of bean broth, bay leaf, toss well, bring to a simmer and let simmer for 8 minutes. Toss every now and then.
5. Dilute the corn masa harina into one cup of beef broth until no lumps. Add this mixture to the chili, while stirring to avoid clumps. Simmer gently for another 8-10 minutes stirring now and then.
6. At last add the cook beans, add a little more beef broth if needed. Taste and adjust salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes until beans are warm and the consistency is like a lose gravy. At this point you decide if you prefer a more lose chili or a gravy like consistency. Cover with a  lid and Keep chili warm, let all the ingredients talk to each other. before serving. Meantime start baking the corn bread! Recipe follows…Yankee-Mex-Bison-Chili_Step-by-Step_Yes,-more-please!

Quickie Skillet Corn Bread:

Serves 4

1- 6″ cast iron skillet.
2 tablespoons corn oil

Dry ingredients:
1 cup corn flour
1 ear of sweet corn kernels
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar, or honey
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup Colby cheddar cheese shredded

Wet ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, corn oil or melted butter

2 extra teaspoons of corn oil for the pan

Directions:  Preheat the oven at 400F, Add 2 teaspoons of corn oil into the skillet and place the skillet on a baking tray, in the oven to heat up.about 5 minutes.
Mix dry ingredients, Mix wet ingredients and combine, mix well. Carefully open the oven, slide the baking tray and add the cornbread batter into the skilled as fast as you can. Spect splatters. Close the oven and cook for about 17-20 minutes, until center springs back and golden brown top. Sprinkle some smoked paprika to taste. Serve while is warm.

Yankee-Mex-Bison-Chili_Simple-Skillet-Sweet-Corn-bread

7. As soon the corn bread its out of the oven, Serve Chili on warm bowls, garnish with sour cream, colby shredded cheese, green onions.

Yankee-Mex-Bison-Chili_warm-chili-with-Rio-Zape-Beans,-a-Winter-recipe-must!Yankee-Mex-Bison-Chili_and-toppingsYankee-Mex-Bison-Chili_warm-chili-Yes,-more-please!

Eat . Warm up . Repeat . Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Devotchka – You Love Me

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie with Pecan Crust A feel good alternative Gluten Free and Sugar Free

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust_No-bake-pie_creamy-pumpking_warm-spices-and-a-nutty-crust

Its coming… It’s here… the most wonderful time of the year, you can drop the ball, and roll around with it or you can just keep it simple and delicious.

No guilt trips, no counting calories, just decide what makes you feel good before, during and after you eat it. I think that will be my mantra for the season and the year to come. I do not know if I will survive but I know that at least by asking this question it will make me chose better options with happy endings and no regrets like this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie with Pecan Crust. To tell you the truth, when I was creating the recipe I was a little skeptical about if was going to be a recipe that will stand up side by side to all the goodness on a Thanksgiving table. Because after all it is “that time of the year” to be grateful and enjoy.
Trying a slice, this delicious creamy pumpkin pie that made me feel good while eating, before, during and after. I was hooked.

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust_no-bake_ingredients

I decided to use simple ingredients, roasting my own pumpkin pure, because that’s the way I like it. Then I made a gluten-free crust, using pecans, almonds, and cinnamon. This is a no-bake filling pie, the only component that needs around 15 minutes of baking its the crust. The rest it’s just mixing and refrigeration.
A few hours later, I had a firm and creamy pumpkin pie, with the nuttiest crust, plus cinnamon and warm spices that scream Thanksgiving. Heck yeah!

I used Svetia to sweeten up the filling, which it gave the filling a natural sweetness. Svetia is a natural plant based sweetener that uses stevia plant extract as base for its sweet source. You can click here for more information. What I like about this settle sweetness is that you can taste the pumpkin flavor in combination with the warm spices with out being overly sweet.

I believe this pie its a great alternative, to include in your holiday season repertoire and feel good about it before, during and after; Or make it to pamper those special guests needs, by making something delicious they will remember.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

For the recipe you will need:
Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust_Yes,-more-please!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie with Pecan Crust

A feel good alternative Gluten Free and Sugar Free

Makes a 10”round 2” deep Pie

For the Crust:

1 ¼ cups Raw Almonds
1 ¼ cups Raw Pecans
2 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tablespoon Maple syrup
2 dashes Saigon cinnamon

For the Filling:

1 ¼ cups pumpkin puree* If you need instructions on how to make your own click here
12 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract – Nielsen Massey
1 teaspoon Saigon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Allspice
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ teaspoon powder ginger
1 pinch of salt.

5-7 Svetia Sweetener envelopes. I will highly recommend to start with 4 envelopes, taste, and then add one envelope at the time according to your taste.

Preparation Method:

1. Make the crust. Preheat the oven at 375F. In a food processor, place the almonds and the pecans. Pulse at least 10 times until resembles coarse sand. Transfer into a bowl and add the coconut oil, the cinnamon and maple syrup. Using your hand, mix well until looks like a coarse paste and when you press it in your hand stays together.

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Glutten-Free-pecan-crust

2. Using some coconut oil, rub a 10” ceramic or glass pie dish, and place the nut paste. With your fingers star to evenly distribute the crust. With the help of a flat measuring cup or a flat glass, or ramekin, press some of the crust against the edges of the pie dish leaving about 1/4” all around pie edge.

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Glutten-Free-Pecan-Pie-Crust 3. Bake for 12-15 minutes until it has a deep golden mahogany brown.Check the crust at 12 minutes.
If the edges are browning faster than the center of the crust, cover the edges with aluminum foil, lower the temperature for 350 and keep baking the crust for 3-5 minutes until the center looks baked and has a rich toasty nuts color.

4. Remove crust from oven and immediately lightly brush it with some bitten egg wash, to seal the crust. The heat from the crust will cook the egg wash really fast so no worries at all about rawness. This step its very important, because it will avoid the crust from getting soggy once you pour the filling.
Let the crust cool completely on a rack. Meantime start making the filling.

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Glutten-Free-Pie-Crust

5. On a large bowl place the cream cheese and whip until light and smooth with a hand blender.
6. Add 4 envelopes of Svetia and whip for 1 minute.

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust-Svetia-Sweetened! 7. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, spices and salt whip until well incorporated and fluffy. At this point taste for sweetness. Add 2-3 more envelopes, I used 7 according to how sweet I like it.Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust-No-Bake-Pumpking-filling_Yes-more-please! 8. Once the crust is completely cool, add the pumpkin-cream cheese filling and using an offset spatula, smooth out the top. Place the pie into the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then cover with a plastic wrap and let it set at least 6 hours. It is best if its chilled over night.

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust-No-Bake-Pumpkin-filling_Gluteen-free-Sugar-Free-PiePumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust-No-Bake_Gluteen-free-Sugar-Free-Pie

9. When ready to serve, whip up some heavy cream, adding a dash of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and some Svetia for sweetness about ½ an envelope, just a hint. and dollop up your pie.

Cut pie slices, cleaning the knife in between each cut, to get a clean nice sharp slice, and serve with a generous spoonful of the cinnamon whipped cream. Enjoy!

Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust_Glutten-free-Sugar-freePumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust_Thanks-giving-Fall-PiesPumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Pie-with-Pecan-Crust_Glutten-free-Sugar-free-_Yes,-more-please!

This post was sponsored by SVETIA.US
The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Thank you SVETIA! for providing the product and sponsorship.

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Grilled Lamb and Autumn Chimichurri

Grilled-Lamb-Chops-with-Fall-Herbs-Chimichuri_Yes,-more-please!

This recipe is one from our grill. It was inspired by that fire kiss char flavor one gets from cooking over coals. Francis Mallmann, one of my culinary heroes, discovered his true culinary craft in his birthplace, Argentina. He embraced his roots, and cooks from the primal force: Fire. Taming this element is what he does best, his instincts and knowledge based on French disciplinary techniques gives him the perfect alibi to be one with fire. It’s his passion, intuition, and adventurousness that make him the king of char. I had the opportunity to meet him at the presentation of his book “Seven Fires” here in Austin, Texas. Its a cookbook I can recommend to anyone who wants to explore and understand open fire cooking.

It wasn’t until I tried his technique on my own little grill that I experienced Mallmann’s big flavor world. Besides discovering and loving the char flavor, one of my favorite recipes from his book is the Chimichurri. It is made, gaucho style with fresh herbs married to the extra virgin olive oil and a salt solution called salmuera. This kind of chimichurri is not the one that resembles pesto, the herbs are finely chopped transforming the oil and brine into a magical loose herbed infusion in which you can taste all the herbs in harmony and discord at the same time.

Fall-Herbs-Chimichuri_chopped-Herbs_Rosemary,-Thyme,-Oregano

Inspired by his Chimichurri texture and flavor, I used Texas herbs to prepare mine. We sometimes forget that Fall season has a great variety of herbs to offer like Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Sage. The flavors on this chimichurri are deeper, woodsier, and Autumnal with a punch of garlic, hint of spice, and a bright note from the red wine vinegar. This Fall Chimichurri can be drizzled onto any roasted vegetables, added to flavor rice, used as marinade, mixed into cheese or even added to any warm lentil or bean soup for an extra kick!…eggs, salad, as an empanada companion, a spoonful into mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or pasta?…Yes, please!

Fall and Winter are my favorite months to grill. To me, grilling makes more sense when starts to cool down. You prepare your charcoal and warm up by the cooking fire. Two weeks ago we had pleasantly lower temperatures, so I geared up and grilled these Lamb Loin chops with sea salt, black pepper, and a little extra virgin olive oil over a hot grill fired up with mesquite charcoal. There is a great deal of comfort in a fall-winter grilling session and I enjoyed it a lot. Although the next day it was 90 degrees as it often happens to be here in Austin, Texas. When the cool weather arrives, or the mood strikes, fire up the grill for a delicious lamb feast.Lamb-loin-chops-and-Texas-Chimichurri

Grilled Lamb and Autumn Chimichurri

Serves 4

Adapted from Francis Mallman “Seven Fires”

Autumn Chimichurri

1-1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoonful sea salt.
4-5 Long sprigs Rosemary needles only about 1/3 cup
12 Sprigs Thyme remove leaves forms steams about 1/2 cup
2 long sprigs Oregano about 1/4 cup
4 fresh Sage Leaves finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves finely minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
Fresh black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Red wine Vinegar
Zest of one lemon

Preparation:

Start by preparing the Salmuera: Bring one cup of water to a boil, add salt until dissolved and reduce until you have 1 cup. Set aside to cool down.
Chop all your herbs along with the garlic, and add them to the salmuera while still lukewarm. Add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, Red wine vinegar, lemon zest toss well and transfer to a glass jar with a lid to let marinate. If preparing the same day, 1-2 hours before dinner will do, although Chimichurri It is best if it is prepared the day before, keep it on the refrigerator, and remember to take it out a few hours before dinner to get the best flavor out of it.

Fall-Herbs-Chimichuri_chopped-Herbs-and-SalmueraGrilled-Lamb-Chops-Fall-Herbs-Chimichuri_Yes,-more-please!

For the Grill:

10 Lamb Loin Chops Room temperature. Remember its always best to bring your protein at room temperature before cooking, it cooks more evenly and gives you tender juicy meat.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper
Natural Lump Charcoal, Mesquite
1. Fire up your Grill, dividing it into a hot hot area, and a medium-low heat.
2. Brush the lamb chops with extra virgin olive oil, both sides, sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper.
3. Place the lamb chops into the hottest area of the grill , about 1” inch apart from each other. Let them develop that char and seal about 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness and temperature.
4. Once they easily release, flip to the other side for 3-4 minutes. Move them to the indirect medium-low heat area of your grill and let them finishing cooking for another 2-3 minutes for a nice pink rare center. Give them another minute or little longer to your desired doneness. About 115F internal temperature for rare, 120F for medium-rare and 130F for medium. Lamb tastes is best on the pink side, better flavor and texture.

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Remove from fire, transfer them into a platter and let them rest for 7-10 minutes on a warm area. Before serving add teaspoonful of chimichurri on each lamb chop loin. Take the rest of the Chimichurri for seconds and what ever you do, please make sure to have plenty of crusty bread like ciabatta or chapas to clean up those juices on the plate. Enjoy!
A great side dish could be this Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad…

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Grilled Lamb and Autumn Chimichurri

Music Pairing: Astor Piazzola ~Las Cuatro Estaciones

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Mariana’s Pipian Verde

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_Pumpkin-seeds_Yes,-more-please!

One of the most iconic and traditional Mexican dishes, Mole Poblano, gets all the fame and glory, but what about the rest of the Moles? There are at least another 7 moles from Oaxaca, imagine that is just one state… equally delicious, easier, different chiles and seeds combinations, seasonal, upon what is available in different regions and Grandmas’, Moms’, and Aunts’ taste. Each family has their own traditions, style and way to prepare them. Which one is more authentic?.. The one that is more you-er than you. I do not like to refer to a dish as authentic, I believe its more about tradition. Unless we go authenticating Grandmas, Moms and Aunts out there…unless it’s a Picasso painting.

Tradition is what a dish should reflect. The way and manner it was prepared in your family, at a place in time and history that has carry on within. That’s what resonates more with a recipe, like that yellowish piece of paper that has butter spots and crunchy edges, you can barely read from your grandmas handwriting, and that you have slightly adapted because of personal preferences but its done and evokes you memories and flavors that ground you, and hold a spot in your family history.

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_ingredients

In this case Pipian Verde it is not part of my family history, nor was traditionally made at home, but it is part of my culture and my Mexican flavors. I’ve always admired this dishes for the complexity yet so warm and comforting flavors. This Pipian Verde tells my story as a cook, the way I’ve adapted and embraced flavors in a foreign country, and the eagerness to rescue my Mexican cooking flavors.

My Pipian Verde recipe its my own translation of this traditional Mole. Not only on flavor, but also with a simpler method and an updated way to prepare it at home.
With all intention of show casing the pepitas flavor, the herbaceous distinctive smell and color, I used what is best available in austin, Texas, the city I currently call home. I thought about herbs and ingredients, that will mimic the flavors in a new refreshing way. Light, velvety and bright flavor with a hint of heat that will warm the back of your throat. This is my recipe for Pipian Verde, adapted for what I could best find in my city. If you decide to make this recipe, be fearless, do it with the best ingredients you have, use your instincts, adapt. I will assure you it will be the best Pipian you’ve ever had. Youer than you.  After that, you will fall in love with this green mole.

This mole is the beginning of my own traditions.
I hope you enjoy it and embrace the anewness

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_toasting-and-grounding-the-pepitas

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_chopped-ingredients

Mariana’s Pipian Verde

Serves 6-8

The unique flavor of toasted pepitas, chiles, corn masa and herbs give this beautiful bright green Mole a lighter quality and a velvety sauce. It is absolutely outstanding combination with any white fleshy fish, shrimp, chicken, turkey or roasted vegetables and root vegetables, like zucchinis, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, mirliton, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips… among others. Because of the amount of fresh herbs this Mole taste better the day its made, and it will hold for the next two days in the refrigerator.

¾ cup raw pepitas, toasted and finely ground*

8-10 (upon size) green tomatillos
2 medium poblano peppers chopped and de seeded.
3-4 Serrano peppers
¼ medium sized onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup up to 1 cup slightly packed, fresh epazote leaves**
¼ cup parsley leaves
½ romaine heart lettuce
2 cups baby power greens, like spinach, kale, arugula, mustard, chard.****
½ teaspoon anise seeds toasted
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds toasted
6 peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil

3-4 cups chicken stock***

4 tablespoons white corn masa harina, diluted in 6 tablespoons water or chicken stock.

Notes:
*I used my spice “coffee” grinder to pulverize the toasted pepitas. Pulsing on a food processor might work too.
** Smell and taste the epazote, if this is the first time you use it, taste it it has a minty-liquorice flavor. If it is to strong for you, start by adding ½ the amount, adjust to your tastebuds.
*** I made my chicken stock using a small whole chicken. I usually add to my stock, 1 carrot, ½ onion, 1 long celery stalk, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 large bay leaf , salt and pepper to taste. It is easy to prepare, you make the most of your ingredients, using the stock and the chicken.
****Why baby greens? because they are tender and the flavor will not mask the nutty delicate pepita flavor.

For Vegan version: Use a roasted vegetable stock, preferable to add extra flavor.

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_baby-greens

Preparation Method:

1.In a blender add the chopped tomatillos, poblanos, serranos, onion, garlic, epazote leaves, parsley leaves, romaine lettuce, power baby greens, toasted anise seeds, toasted cumin, peppercorns, salt, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and blend well for about 3-4 minutes until pureed.

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_blend-it-up!
2. On a 7 QT. clay or enamel Pot, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil. Once it starts to ripple , carefully add the green blended concoction. It might splatter so use an apron. Stir, and let low simmer for 10 minutes. Remove any white foam that comes to the surface. Stir now and then.
3. With the help of a whisk incorporate into the green sauce the pulverized toasted pepitas little by little to avoid clumps. If the sauce is getting to thick add one more cup of warm chicken stock little at a time. Chicken stock has to be warm so the mole do not break and separate.
4. Gently whisk, and add the diluted masa harina little at the time. And add another cup of the chicken stock. Whisk gently. And let the mole on a gently slow simmer for another 10 minutes stirring now and then making sure you scrape the bottom to avoid hot spots. As it cooks the mole will thicken, If the consistency its to thick add more chicken stock, little at the time, you want a creamy consistency, that will cover the back of a spoon.
5. At his point I used my immersion blender and blend for 1 minute until smooth and velvety. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use the food processor or a blender. Please, be really careful and cautious when handling hot sauces into the blender.
6. Taste for salt , adjust if necessary let it simmer at the lowest.

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_Step-by-step-how-to-make-this-delicious-Mole_Yes,-more-please!

7. Serve warm over a piece of chicken, pork, white fish grilled or sauteed, or any Vegetables. Be generous with the sauce, cover the entire surface, and maybe a little more. Garnish with toasted pepitas, a side of brown rice, or your favorite garlicky rice pilaf. Enjoy!

Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_ready-to-serveMariana's-Pipian-Verde_with-chicken-Con-pollo-Mole_Yes,-more-please!Mariana's-Pipian-Verde_Served-with-Vegetables-Vegetariano

Interested on cooking this delicious Pipian Verde and learning other 2 moles with me?

Come and join me at Kitchen Underground headquarters for a Moles and Mezcal Cooking class

Pipian Verde * Mole Amarillo * Mole de Novia

For registration and more information about this class: Kitchen Underground

“Para todo Mal un Mezcal, y para todo Bien… también!”

Looking forward to see you there!…

Any Class suggestions, Yes, more please! shoot us a comment…

Music Pairing: Luis Cobos Huapango Popurri

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Bonanza Bowl

Bonanza-Bowl_shake-up-your-fridge-Yes,-more-please!

One Zucchini, one sweet potato, 1/3 of avocado, 11 cherry tomatoes, some spinach, the heel of a red onion and 2 pieces left from different cabbages, that was what I had in my fridge.
It happens to every fridge. These lonely rangers, the forgotten vegetables that get a little sad and tired looking. You really do not have a plan for them but you know you better eat them before you reload your fridge. All this bits and ends not enough for a complete recipe, you know how it feels when you have potatoes, but not butter, you have pasta but no sauce, or garlic but not oil sometimes your cooking just gets stuck. Some times you have to shake up your fridge and pantry to see what comes out of it.

This is the kind of Non-recipe that saves you. Sometimes if your fridge feels like this, its contagious and you’ll find that your Pantry has the same dilemma. But when your cooking bulb goes on, this bits and ends can be transformed on a blink of an eye and will turn into, perhaps the best dinner of the week.

Bonanza-Bowl_ingredients

I did a quick pantry search, and spotted the last brown rice on the jar and some pepitas. I cooked the brown rice using my pasta method, lots of water and then strain the rice, voila you have the perfect separate grains very efficient and anti-gluppy rice. If you are a rice glupper this is the method to the madness.

Bonanza-Bowl_Brown-rice,-an-easy-way-to-cook-brown-rice

While rice was cooking, a quick look into the freezer and I had some left over shrimp from last week yes!…Please, do not get discouraged if there is not such a big freezer catch for you waiting in the freezer, remember there is always an egg waiting to be sunny side up into a bowl like this. Tofu, cheese, left over roasted chicken, lentils, every protein sings well on this bowl.

I knew I did not want to spent to much time cooking all this puzzle, so I thought on the simplest cooking like sauteeing or quick pickle that yield maximus flavor with minimal efforts. Next, Shredding the cabbage adding some dashes of vinegar, honey and tabasco, salt and pepper for a quick pickle. It took me about 2 minutes. I chopped some spinach, halved cherry tomatoes for freshness. Then cubed sweet potatoes and zucchini quick sautéed with olive oil salt and pepper until a bit charred.

Bonanza-Bowl_sauted-sweet-potatoes,-zucchini-and-spinach

Using the same pan I sautee the shrimp along with some ancho powder and spices for a punch of flavor.

Bonanza-Bowl_Spicy-Shrimp

Before serving, I seasoned the rice and plate everything on a bowl a squeeze of lime, a blap of creamy yogurt a dash of hot sauce. A one heck of a good one bowl dinner!

Bonanza-Bowl_all-in-one-bowl-dinner!

Beside loving the eclectic vegetable chaos, what I love the most about this one bowl its that every bite taste different. What could feel like bits and ends become a feast of flavors, textures and colors. In less time that you imagine, you will find yourself eating even better than if you would have planned. A truly Bonanza Bowl.

Maybe, next week you will find yourself waiting and craving to put your left overs together…

Bonanza-Bowl_shake-up-your-fridge!-Yes,-more-please!

Bonanza Bowl

Serves 2-3-4 stretch it by adding an egg…if you have them…

I started by cooking the Brown Rice.
About 3/4 cup brown rice, I always cook my brown rice like pasta, in lots of water just using less salt. It cooks about in 25-30 minutes. I drain the rice and let the steam take care of the excess water. I used a dash of comino, garlic and salt for the rice.

Then I chopped into cubes the sweet potato, and sautéed. Zucchini chopped in long pieces and quick sautéed.

The awkward pieces of Cabbage Red and green, I shredded and season with a couple of dashes of tabasco, some honey, 2 good pinches of oregano and rice vinegar, for a quick pickled flavor.

Chopped a bit of Red onion and spinach, halved some gold tomatoes, avocado and lime wedges.

Once I had all this vegetable situation ready, I seasoned the shrimp with about a teaspoon of paprika, ancho chili powder, garlic and salt and sautéed them using the same pan from the zucchini and sweet potato. For a more efficient clean up future.

Shrimp or egg or tofu or chicken or tuna, or what ever you have left over roasted chicken,etc..

I served everything on a bowl sprinkled some sea salt, some fresh cracked pepper, a blap of greek yogurt. Done dinner was served in about 20 minutes.

With all our spear time, we indulged and took our dinner bowls up stairs to the TV room and watched a good ol’ movie…

Which movie???!!!…oh! Lordy… Casino Royale 2006 hehehe

Have fun with your left overs!

Bonanza-Bowl_Fall-dinner-Yes,-more-please!

For the double 00h! on this Bowl:

Movie Pairing:  Casino Royal James Bond

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