Garlic Cilantro Lime Dip

I’m a real sucker for sauces, salsas, and dips. I can’t say that everyone else in my family is the same that way. So as I typically do, I scavenge through my refrigerator looking for things that can be used up, or things that I can come up with in terms of new ideas. I remember this clearly. It was taco Tuesday night at my house. Who can forget taco Tuesday’s right? This is when I found some cilantro and some sour cream that needed to be used before it went bad. Are you like me when it comes to sour cream? You use a tablespoon or so, then it sits there only for you to keep looking at the expiration date? Well, no more!

Garlic Cilantro Lime Dip Recipe
Garlic Cilantro Lime Dip Recipe

This recipe is way too simple to put together and lasts a handful of days in the refrigerator. It’s great on tacos, baked potatoes, and drizzled probably on anything that sour cream would lend a hand to.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • salt to taste

That’s it! What is not to love about that!

Add the cilantro, garlic, and lime juice to a food processor. Pulse and spin that baby until everything is nice and fine.

Garlic and Cilantro Lime Dip Ingredients
Garlic and Cilantro Lime Dip Ingredients

Add the sour cream to a bowl and fold in the garlic, cilantro, and lime mixture. Give it a good stir until everything is nice and smooth. Give a taste, and season with salt.

Hope you enjoy!

Loaded Garlic and Ginger Pasta Salad

One of my wife’s favorite dishes is, well at least that I make, probably my garlic noodles that are infused sesame oil. This dish is also one that is one of my go to dishes when I go to a get together. Not only are those super easy to make, but everyone tends to love them. Let’s just say the bowl is always empty. I typically only make that dish when the mint in my backyard is in abundance, so typically late spring through early fall.

This dish however kind of stems from this recipe, but I wanted something a bit more hearty, and something that I knew everyone in my family would love, but with a couple of different twists. This is what I am coining as my loaded garlic noodle pasta salad.

Loaded Garlic and Ginger Pasta Salad
Loaded Garlic and Ginger Pasta Salad

This recipe packs in the flavor, texture, and is a great main course.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced 
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Korean fermented bean paste
  • generous pinch of kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 bundle bean thread noodles, soaked in hot water until slightly tender
  • 1 bag of bun bo hue noodles, or a thick pasta like a bucatini, cooked before al dente
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked and chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of spinach leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 2 whole carrots, shredded
  • 1 small can of bamboo shoots
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup of frozen broccoli florets, slightly thawed
  • 1/2 cup of chow mein noodles
  • Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced (optional)
  • An appetite

Start by mixing all of your sauce ingredients in a bowl. Mix well, and set it to the side.

Next, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the half of the oil, and bring to heat. Give the skillet a swirl, then add in the chicken breasts. Cook for about 4 minutes per side, the remove from the skillet and let them cool. Once cool, chop them up. If you see a little pink, don’t worry as we will finish in the next step.

Loaded Garlic and Ginger Pasta Salad
Loaded Garlic and Ginger Pasta Salad

Once your noodles are cooked al dente, make sure both of them are drained and ready to go. This is almost like a stir fry so everything is going to go a bit quickly.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet (make sure it is large enough to hold everything) on medium heat. Toss in the garlic, giving a good stir, and and cook for a couple of minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add in the chopped chicken, and half of the sauce. Swirl around and cook for about 3 minutes or so. Next toss in the thick noodles, give a good toss, and make sure the garlic and sauce coat the chicken. Cook for an additional few minutes.  Next add in the broccoli, and give that a good toss. Add the beaten eggs, and stir. This almost creates a creamy sauce that everyone loved.

To a large serving bowl, add the carrots, bamboo shoots, peanuts, sesame seeds, bean thread noodles, and spinach. Give that a good toss.

Add the remaining sauce to the skillet, and using tongs or your tossing skills, make sure everything is nicely incorporated. Cook for another minute.

Add the noodle mixture to the mixed up serving bowl, and use those tongs to incorporate everything together. This can take a minute or two.

Now you are ready to serve. I keep the chow mein noodles and sliced chilies on the side for those that want additional texture, and heat.

The end result is well, how do I put it? Let’s just say no one spoke for about 3 minutes as their faces were looking down and slurping noodles. Then everyone came up for air and began questioning everything in the salad, and stating how awesome it was. This serves a small army, probably 12 people, and is great for leftovers, warm, or cold. What’s not to love about that, right? Hope you enjoy!

Korean Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps

If you have never had Korean bulgogi, essentially super tender and delicious pieces of thinly sliced beef or pork, marinated and grilled, well, then you have got something to look forward to. Korean bulgogi, in a sense, reminds of of Filipino barbecue (another favorite in this house), and something that is not only easy to make, but something that everyone loves.

You can use Korean bulgogi served over rice, on tacos, quesadillas, and in my case lettuce wraps.

Korean Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps
Korean Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 whole onion, finely minced or grated
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized gala apple, skin removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 whole stalks of green onions, ends trimmed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 lbs beef sirloin, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Ingredients for the Lettuce Wraps:

  • 1 head of bib lettuce
  • 1 bag of coleslaw
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced and sauteed (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced and sauteed (optional)

Start by blending the following:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 whole onion, finely minced or grated
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized gala apple, skin removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil

Take this mixture, and marinate the beef into a mixing bowl, and mix well. Next add in the green onions, sesame seeds, and mix well. Marinate this mixture for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Korean Bulgogi Ingredients
Korean Bulgogi Ingredients

The following day, remove the beef marinade, and let it come to a bit of room temperature, just something to knock the chill off.

I like to grill my Korean bulgogi, but all means you can do this on large skillet. I just like the additional flavor from the grill.

Get your grill going. Once the grill is nice and hot, add the beef slices and cook until about medium. These will go quickly. As you can see I had my oldest manning the grill. Place the cooked slices of beef in a bowl, and repeat until all of the beef is cooked.

Korean Bulgogi Ingredients
Korean Bulgogi Ingredients

Form your lettuce wraps by taking a piece of lettuce, add in a piece or two of beef, tuck in some cucumbers, slaw, onions and peppers, and dig in. You want to talk about beef that is loaded with flavor and is perfect for summertime grilling, well this is the one. Hope you enjoy!

Pizza Bombs

I know it has been some time since my last post, but things have been a bit hectic. I figured that since I have finally started to feel halfway normal, that I would post these pizza bombs. These things are awesome, and can be eaten as a game day snack, or taken down as a meal, much like pizza. Another great thing is that you can make them anyway you like your own pizza.

Loaded Pizza Bombs Recipe
Loaded Pizza Bombs Recipe

I made these as a game day snack, and I wish I would have made another batch as they only last a brief moment.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1 12 oz can of your pizza sauce
  • 1 cup of sliced pepperoni, chopped and lightly crisp, oil patted
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 8 oz bags shredded mozzarella cheese
  • garlic salt, sprinkled

Start by rolling out your pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. You probably want to roll this about 1/4 inch thick.

Next, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Butter the inside of a casserole dish.

Now, take a pizza cutter, and slice the dough width wise, in half, and then cut into about 1 1/2 inch slices.

Loaded Pizza Bombs Recipe
Loaded Pizza Bombs Recipe

Pour the pizza sauce into the bottom of your buttered casserole dish.

Take one of the bags of cheese and pour it over the pizza strips, to cover. Next take the sliced pepperoni and add this to the top of the cheese. Now the fun part.

Roll each slice into pinwheels, and place vertically, allowing it to stand up into the casserole dish. Repeat with all remaining pizza strips. Top with the remaining bag of cheese, and any additional pepperoni. Sprinkle with some garlic salt, and then bake uncovered in the oven for about 18 minutes or until the dough is cooked, and the cheese is nicely melted.

Remove from the oven, let cool for about 5-10 minutes, then dig in. These things were everything awesome about any type of pizza. I hope you enjoy!