19 May 2014

Finally! The Best Margarita Recipe Ever!

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I did it!!!! Finally! The Best Margarita Ever! The thing is, there are so many different recipes online all giving different proportions of ingredients and they all claim to be authentic! I tried at least a dozen, but none came close to my favorite margarita at Bar Taco, in Wesport CT. I gave up in frustration, but the other day as I was driving my kids to dance (what can I say, I am always thinking about margaritas), the correct proportions came to me like that!

If you can get your hands on them (they’re hard to find), use the brands in parenthesis which are the ones Bar Taco uses. I don’t like my margaritas overly sweet so 2 tablespoons of agave is perfect for me, but if you find that you like yours sweeter just add another tablespoon. I used Cointreau in this recipe, but many recipes use triple-sec or other orange flavored liqueurs. I get lazy about juicing limes by hand because sometimes they are too dry so if you have a juicer, just cut away the peel and juice in the machine.

Finally! The Best Margarita Recipe Ever!

Serving Size: Two-8 ounce servings

Finally! The Best Margarita Recipe Ever!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 cup good tequila (Maestro Dobel Reposado)
  • 1/4 cup cointreau, triple sec or orange flavored liqueur (Combier Liqueur D'orange)
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave syrup
  • Margarita or kosher salt for glass rims

Instructions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker 3/4 of the way full with ice.
  2. Add the lime juice, tequila, orange flavored liqueur and 2 tablespoons of agave... shake vigorously and taste. If you prefer it sweeter, add another tablespoon of agave.
  3. Rub some lime juice around the rim of your glasses and dip them into a bowl of margarita or kosher salt.
  4. Add plenty of ice into the individual glasses, pour in margarita mixture and serve.
  5. Cheers!
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18 March 2014

Low-Carb Corned Beef Hash

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This Low-Carb Corned Beef Hash is a great way to use up leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day.

It occurred to me the last time I roasted cauliflower, that the tastiest bites were the smaller, more crispy pieces and that these nicely browned pieces could easily take the place of roasted potatoes in a corned beef hash if chopped finely enough. I made this for breakfast this morning and it was pretty incredible… I challenge you to tell the difference between potatoes and cauliflower in this recipe! Continue reading »

2 February 2014

Roasted Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon & Olives

Roasted Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon & Olives

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For some reason, compliments usually come in the form of an insult around here. Take the Roasted Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon & Olives I made recently for example. It started the second I set the chicken down on the table… “what’s this,” my  husband asked suspiciously. He then proceeded to accuse me of buying the chicken from a restaurant and passing it off as my own… “there’s no way you made this… these are very sophisticated flavors… this is so $%&^*%# good!” This went on for the rest of the night until I got tired of defending my chicken roasting abilities and went up to bed.

This is the kind of dinner you can throw together in less than 10 minutes and your guests will think you are a culinary genius. It’s absolutely outstanding served with pasta or spaghetti squash with a simple pesto.

If you can get your hands on it, use Fleur de Sel sea salt from the Island of Ré. It has a natural lavender taste and can take a simple roasted chicken from mediocre to fabulous just like that. I’ve purchased it at Whole Foods and sometimes Williams-Sonoma carries it. 

Roasted Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon & Olives

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4

Roasted Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon & Olives

Ingredients

  • 1 whole 3 1/2 - 4 lb. chicken
  • 1 14 ounce can quartered artichokes, drained
  • 12-14 pitted green olives
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Butterfly the chicken (using a pair of scissors, cut through both sides of the backbone lengthwise so that you can remove the backbone), or ask your butcher to do it (you can also use a whole, pre-cut chicken).
  3. Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
  4. Lay the chicken down flat, breast side up in roasting pan.
  5. Place the artichokes and olives around the chicken.
  6. Lay the lemon and garlic slices on top the chicken, and around it.
  7. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil over everything.
  8. Salt and pepper the chicken, liberally.
  9. Place about two rosemary sprigs on top of the chicken.
  10. Roast for about 1 hour or so, turning the pan mid-way and basting every ten minutes after the first 30 minutes.
  11. Chicken is done when the skin is crisp and nicely browned.
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25 November 2013

Baked Brie with Puff Pastry and Cranberry Red Pepper Relish

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I first tasted a version of this amazing Baked Brie with Puff Pastry and Cranberry Red Pepper Relish appetizer at my sister-in-law’s house for Thanksgiving a few years ago. It was a simple baked brie topped with Stonewall Red Pepper Jelly, which was wonderful but I wanted to step it up a little to give it more wow factor.

The result is not only beautiful and festive looking, but it is so addicting you will have a crowd surrounding it until every last bit is gone!  Continue reading »

8 November 2013

Beggar’s Purses

Beggar’s Purses

Beggar's Purses

I grew up eating my mother’s amazing Middle Eastern Food every day, and frequently use spices such as curry and “baharat” in my own cooking like I do in these spectacular Beggar’s Purses. I came up with this appetizer five years ago when I needed a starter for a Middle Eastern dinner I was hosting. They are a take on the Chaldean meat pie. I made them only once, but five years later my family is still talking about them so last night I thought I would make a batch as a special treat. Let’s just say there were a lot of expletives being thrown around, and very loudly I might add from the kitchen as my husband gobbled them up…”holy $@#%… these are so &^%#$%^ good!!!!! Well, what better endorsement is there? Continue reading »