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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A couple great recipes from our Memorial Day barbecue

We decided to do a barbecue for Memorial Day, as it was also my last weekend with my family before heading home to Rio.  Since all the meat would be prepared by my father, the master griller, I chose a couple side dishes to make.  I made a delicious salad with pears, gorgonzola, blueberries and candied pecans and I also made a yummy bowl of guacamole.  They were both big hits (if I do say so myself).

For the salad, I made the dressing and candied pecans the day before, just to cut down on time on Memorial Day.

Mixed Greens with Pears, Gorgonzola, Blueberries and Candied Pecans

Baby Spinach and Mixed Greens
3 pears, chopped
6 oz Gorgonzola Cheese crumbled
1 small container of fresh blueberries
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 med red onion, chopped
1/2c dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans (I actually made used a cup of pecans and 1/2c sugar but had a ton left over)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (dijon would also be good)
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper, sprayed with Pam. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.
For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.
In a large serving bowl, mix all ingredients except the avocado and pecans. Pour dressing over salad, mix well, gently add avocado and pecans and serve.

This guacamole recipe is my absolute favorite!  I got the recipe from a guy I used to work with many years ago.  This is the only guacamole recipe that I use. I love to serve it with jalapeño chips for a nice kick.

Juice of 1 med lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chipotle powder
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ large red onion
½ c finely chopped cilantro
2 med green onions
3 med roma tomatoes
3 large ripe avocados
1 med lime
Whisk first 5 ingredients together until spices dissolve. Chop red onion and add to mix, along with the cilantro. Mince the green onions and add it to the mix, along with the tomatoes. Peel the avocados and use fork to soften/smash them up a little. Squeeze lime juice into bowl and fold the mix together. Don’t over mix! Salt and Pepper to taste and then chill for at least an hour.

This makes a nice, chunky, slightly spicy guacamole that is highly addictive!  Enjoy!

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