Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce

November 23, 2017

IMG_6627Woah! Here it is Thanksgiving already and no doubt Christmas will be hot on its heels. Before we blink it will be upon us! I can’t believe I’m actually able to get this post off today because the Husband and I have been craaaa-zeee busy lately. But here you go – Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce, just in time for the holiday. Yes…as I previously mentioned…I do know that Thanksgiving is today. I also would wager there are quite a few of you stuck in the kitchen right now saying ” Oh no! I’ve still gotta do the cranberry sauce”. Don’t reach for that can of cranberry jelly. You can have some lovely homemade cranberry goodness all made up in about 20 minutes or so! Easy peasy! And like a lot of things I make, this Cranberry sauce has a kick…namely Bourbon. Bet no one would notice if you took a wee nip or two while you were preparing this dish. I’m sure you need it about now if you’re cooking for the family. Consider it medicinal.

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Now I will admit, this is a bit of a cheat because I have published this recipe before but it was hidden within other recipes. Like this Thanksgiving Pie -Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, Pumpkin Ganache and Boozy Cranberry Sauce for example:

img_3579This year, I decided it should get the limelight. (And I did mention that things have been nuts around here right…). Sweet, tangy and a bit boozy, it is the perfect complement to items on your Thanksgiving menu. Not to mention, it is wonderful to have around when you dig into all those Thanksgiving leftovers! What would the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich be without it? Or maybe you could make up these Holiday Leftover Pirozhkis that I told you about last year?

img_5322It is also wonderful stirred into yogurt or as an oatmeal topping. This Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce it so fantastic and easy to make – which is very important since preparing holiday meals can be somewhat frantic to say the least – I bet it’ll show up on your Christmas table. There is no reason it should be relegated to Thanksgiving alone.

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This sauce can actually be made up several days before your holiday event as well and does just fine chilling in the fridge. So there you have it, a quick, easy and tasty Thanksgiving side dish, just in the nick of time. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Boozy Orange Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 2 1/2 cups yield, about 8 - 10 folks depending on their appetites...
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces, weight Fresh Cranberries
  • 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Loosely Packed Orange Zest
  • 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup quality Bourbon

Directions:

Pick through the cranberries, removing any stems or berries that don’t look plump and ripe. Rinse the remaining cranberries well, then place them in a heavy bottomed medium saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, water and cinnamon stick. Stir to combine, then place the pan over medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all have burst. Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will look very liquidy, but will thicken as it cools. After the sauce has cooled completely, stir in the bourbon. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled.

Cranberry sauce can be made 2–3 days ahead of time.

Enjoy!

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Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce

September 9, 2015

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Since I just told you about those delicious Pad Thai Zoodles, I figure zucchini noodles might still be on your mind. So it would be the perfect time to share this Spicy Tomato Butter Basil sauce recipe with ya’ll. We’ve have been enjoying this amazing sauce over zoodles all summer long. The buttery sauce is just perfect over that fresh zucchini. But even if you’re not in to zucchini noodles

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– which I can’t imagine because they are sooo yummy – this rich decadent tomato sauce is equally to die for over regular old pasta.

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I bet a lot of you folks have bunches of ripe tomatoes that need to be put to good use and this recipe is just the thing for that. But if you are in a bit of a hurry and don’t want to make things totally from scratch, you can substitute in two 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (I love the San Marzano ones)  in lieu of the garden fresh option. Always tasty, no matter which way you go. And you’ll have quite a bit of this sauce. Generally the husband and I get two to three meals out of a batch of it. So if you don’t fancy having it for dinner twice in a week, the good news is that it freezes very well.

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Fresh and flavourful, lush and velvety, you just can’t go wrong with this Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce. Serve it over zoodles for a light, summer garden vibe and when you need some cold weather comfort, it will be just the winter warmer you need served over a big bowl of pasta.

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Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce

  • Servings: 3 cups sauce - enough for 2 -4 servings zoodles
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe for Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce with Basil slightly adapted from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

For the Zoodles:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil

For the Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce with Basil:

  • 4 pounds plum tomatoes (or two 28-ounce can diced plum tomatoes)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
  • garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (you may not need this if your tomatoes are very sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese – to serve

Directions:

If using fresh tomatoes: Using a sharp knife, cut an 1/4-inch deep X on one end of each tomato. Then, place scored tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, 1-3 minutes, then lift the tomatoes out with the slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water. Peel the skin off of the tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. (Cut off and discard the cores at this point.)

Place the diced tomatoes and all of their juices into a large saucepan. Add the butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, red pepper, salt and sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 75-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is no longer watery. Remove and discard the onions and any large chunks of garlic (the garlic should have mostly dissolved into the sauce). Personally, I like onions and at this point these onions are sooooo tasty, I couldn’t bear to throw them away. So I chopped one of the onions up and added it back into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add basil right before serving.

Cut the zucchini into noodles by using a vegetable spiralizer tool. Cut zucchini noodles to a manageable fork twirling length – about 10 – 12″. Toss zoodles with a bit of salt and set aside for 15 – 30 minutes so that they can release some of their moisture. Drain zoodles. Add olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add zucchini noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Take care not to overcook the zoodles. They are better slightly crunchy. Turn the heat off and let the zucchini noodles sit for about 5 minutes to allow as much moisture as possible to release from the noodles. Drain excess water away.

Add your desired amount of spicy tomato butter sauce to zoodles and toss to coat. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan.

Enjoy!

Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Sauce with Basil brought to you by: Runcible Temps (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with Spicy Horseradish Cream & Guinness Mustard

March 14, 2015

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Alright, alright, alright….I told you all about that Corned Beef Hash leftover recipe yesterday, as well as burst your “Corned Beef is an oh so Irish dish” balloon. Today I’d like to let you in on another recipe you can turn to after your big Corned Beef and Cabbage St. Patrick’s Day Feast or as a bit of a teaser appetizer before hand. Are you ready? Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with Spicy Horseradish and Guinness Mustard.

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These little devils are delicious. Kind of like that big St. Patrick’s Day feast all compacted into a tiny little appetizer. The “potato nests” used here are amazing. I mean, who doesn’t love hash browns? And that is basically what you’ve got here except they’re better. Yup…I’m just going to go ahead and declare it…These nests are better than hash browns. Why you might ask. Well, let me tell you, these nest have the crisp factor over regular hash browns. Hash browns are really difficult to do well. Often they turn out way too soggy and greasy. But these little potato nests cooked in muffin tins have a lot of crispy crunchiness going for them. Literally all the edges are sporting it, yet they are still tender on the inside of the cup, which makes for a wonderfully satisfying bite. And once you’ve got those potato nests ready to go, it’s pretty easy to stuff them with some leftover corned beef, shredded Irish Cheddar, chives and the choice of two wonderful sauces; Spicy Horseradish or Guinness Mustard. I must say, these condiments steal the show. You probably should have them on hand for your big Corned Beef Feast as well, because they really enhance the flavor of that meat.

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This dish comes together pretty quickly, especially if you use the Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash browns which can be found in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. If you are going old school and grating your own potatoes, make sure you wring them out well to get rid of that extra moisture so that they will cook up nice and crispy. But if you can take the shortcut of pre-made hash browns, you should definitely go there. Don’t feel guilty, it is so worth it. Your time is valuable. And if you take advantage of this timesaver, you’ll be tucking in to these adorable tasty Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Cups before you know it. And I think that is a great thing!

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Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with Spicy Horseradish Cream & Guinness Mustard

  • Servings: 12 Potato Nests
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the potato nests:

  • 1 – 20 ounce bag of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns (if you can’t find these you can substitute in 3 1/2 cups shredded Russet potato which has been rinsed, and squeezed dry in a towel.)
  • 1 cup Irish cheddar, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like a little kick!)

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups diced or sliced corn beef
  • 1 cup Irish Cheddar, shredded
  • chives, to sprinkle over the top

Serve with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard (recipes listed below)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F and thoroughly spray a 12 cup cupcake tin with baking spray or grease with butter or oil.

Place shredded Hash Browns and cheddar cheese in medium-sized mixing bowl. Add spices and mix. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and then toss until mixture is coated.

Using 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, fill each well of the cupcake tin with the hash brown mixture.

Using the back of a spoon and your fingers press the hash brown mixture into the sides and bottom of the pan. I actually used a 1/4 cup measuring cup with tapered sides to assist me in making the correct shape for these nests.

Bake potato nests in lower third of the oven for about 60 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. The inside of the potato cup will not appear as dark as the bottom, so actually check the bottoms from time to time.

Remove nests from the oven and let cool for a minute or two. At this point you will probably need to reshape your “nest” a bit. Gently do so with the back of a spoon and then let them cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack.

Once cool, run a knife around the edges of the nests and very carefully remove them from the cupcake tin.

Reheat the leftover diced corned beef  in the microwave. Spoon it into the waiting potato nests. Sprinkle with a bit more shredded cheddar and top with chives.

Serve the Corned Beef & Cheddar Potato Nests with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard on the side.

Horseradish Cream Sauce

Recipe from: Bon Appetit

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons prepared white horseradish (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onion tops

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Guinness Mustard

Recipe from: Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons regular Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Guinness stout or other stout or porter
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon golden brown sugar

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Enjoy!

Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with  Spicy Horseradish Cream Sauce & Guinness Mustard brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce

October 15, 2014

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Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce! Are you listening? I said…Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce!!! I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. If you’ve never had it before, which I can’t imagine since it seems to be all the rage, it is luscious buttery caramel which has been spiked with delicate fleur de sel. Sweet/salty bliss I tell you. Veritable liquid gold! When a humble apple slice is dipped in it, it is suddenly elevated to gourmet treat. Drizzle it over ice cream with the same results. In fact, it seriously enhances almost anything it comes in contact with, be it cake, brownies, cookies or pies. It is hard to believe that 4 simple ingredients can produce such a magical concoction, but somehow they do. And with this recipe, you can make up a batch of Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce at home in about 10 – 20 minutes. Indeed I was able to make up a batch of Salted Caramel Sauce that was complete perfection on the very first try!

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I don’t know if you have tried making caramel sauce in your kitchen or not. Most folks say it is pretty easy as long as you keep a close watch of the pan as the sugar caramelizes. I know that, and I have tried to keep an eagle eye on it but…. it has not come easy for me to say the least. I remember a couple of years ago I wanted to make these Apple Pie Salted Caramel Cupcakes for the husband’s birthday.

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After much travail, I was finally able to get them done, but they literally took all day. Thankfully I was able to finish them two minutes before midnight, so technically they were done on his actual birthday, but talk about being exhausted. And really there was nothing terribly difficult about that particular cupcake recipe. Except that salted caramel…I failed making it 4 or 5 times. Perhaps that is why I am so completely psyched about making this Perfect Caramel Sauce perfectly on the first try. (If you feel inspired to make those terribly tasty and gorgeous looking Fall cupcakes, you might just want to sub in this Caramel Sauce recipe.The one I have listed in the Apple Pie Cupcake recipe was the one that finally worked for me on that day. I had tried several different ones.) I had made it before successfully, but not that day. Salted Caramel is strange and elusive that way. I think you just aren’t meant to make it on certain days. It is simply not in your stars. You should just accept it and move on. But I am pretty stubborn…so of course I never handle a caramel failure in such a zen manner. I panic and freak out! Which is silly. I mean you pretty much know if the caramel has failed early on, so worse case scenario you’ve wasted a cup of sugar and a bit of time. No big deal right? Well that’s what logical me says. The real me gets a bit nervous the night before I have planned to make some salted caramel. I should perhaps avoid salted caramel dishes…but that’s not going to happen. It is so irresistible. But I think I’ve got it this time. This recipe yielded up a big old batch of Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce on this very first try! I can not tell you how happy I was. So don’t be scared! You can do this. Say whatever prayers you need, check your astrological charts, complete any superstitious kitchen rituals you hold, whisper the appropriate incantation and then take a deep breath and calmly and patiently brew up this most exquisite Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce today. Folks will be completely enchanted!

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Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce

  • Difficulty: I won't lie...challenging!
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recipe from: Brown Eyed Baker

*The Brown Eyed Baker has great step by step photos on her site. Please have a peek before you take the plunge!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)

Directions:

Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down. Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.

Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.

As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You’ll want to warm the sauce up before using.

Enjoy!

Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Guacamole

April 30, 2013

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Yuuuuummm! Guacamole!!! I’ve recently been blogging about some great Mexican style dishes in preparation for Cinco de Mayo, which will be here before you know it! First there was the Carnitas Tacos and just a few days ago, I shared my favourite homemade Salsa recipe. Up next is Guacamole, that delicious avocado based sauce. It seems that in addition to Salsa, the Aztecs are also the folks who gave us “ahuaca-mulli” or avocado mix, which we know as Guacamole. Like Salsa, this dish is easy to prepare, with just a small amount of chopping, no food processor is necessary here. The big difference between the two sauces is that Guacamole must be made the day it is to be served. You really can’t refrigerate the stuff long before that yummy vibrant green begins to take on a very unappetizing brown hue. One fun trick I’ve learned is that you can save the three avocado pits and place them on top of your finished Guacamole while you are waiting to serve it. This will actually slow the oxidation which results in the unfortunate color change. The Guacamole recipe that I am sharing today is really more of an El Salvadorian style Guacamole, than Mexican. However, I’m sure you can still serve it on Cinco de Mayo without too many folks getting their panties in a bunch. Though you never know…last year I shared a recipe for one of my favourite dips, Santa Fe Dip and said it would be a great dish to serve at a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Next thing I knew I got a snippity comment informing me that I needed a geography lesson and that Santa Fe was in the United States. Clearly a dish with Santa Fe in the name could NOT be enjoyed on Cinco de Mayo a Mexican holiday!….Really?!! Perhaps we could relax a bit, it’s just a food blog here… Anyway…

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I say this is an El Salvadoran style Guacamole because it has chopped hard-boiled egg in it. I first encountered this type of Guacamole at my favourite Mexican restaurant, DiOGi’s. They serve up amazing latin style cuisine there. If you ever find yourself in Fayetteville, West Virginia, you must pay them a visit! The chef and owner, Oscar Aguilar, is from El Salvador and told us that the egg bit is an El Salvadoran thing. Now don’t scrunch up your nose like that until you try it. It is really good and while pretty subtle it really adds that extra layer of flavour. Bursting with freshness, this Guacamole is great with a basket of tortilla chips, on a taco or even a burger. It easily puts any store-bought cups of green stuff called guacamole to shame. Make a batch up today!

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Guacamole

recipe adapted from: Alton Brown and Oscar Aguilar

Ingredients

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

Directions:

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and chopped egg. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Enjoy!


Salsa

April 23, 2013

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Cinco de Mayo isn’t far off and I just shared a great recipe with you for Carnitas Tacos, which I’m sure would be warmly welcomed at any Cinco de Mayo celebration. One of the fixings you will definitely need to have on hand when you make up a bunch of those afore-mentioned Tacos is a spicy fresh salsa. So I thought I’d go ahead and share my favourite salsa recipe with you. Salsa is easy to make, especially if you have a food processor. But even if you don’t, it is still pretty straightforward, just requiring a bit of chopping. And it tastes fantastic. Wonderfully fresh! So different from that stuff you find on supermarket shelves you’ll be wondering what in the world it was that you were eating out of those jars for all those years. Salsa which simply means “sauce” in Spanish has been around for a long time. In the mid 1500’s, Spanish Franciscan missionaries mentioned it in their writings as a dish the Aztecs enjoyed. And it is still being enjoyed today all over the world. As it turns out Americans have been eating a whole lot of Salsa. In 1991 it overtook ketchup as the top-selling condiment here! This homemade version goes along great with any mexican dish or simply on its own with a big old basket of tortilla chips. Make up a batch for any Cinco de Mayo celebration and you will be the talk of the town. But remember, it takes a little while for all of the lovely flavours to come together, so it is best if you can make this salsa at least 12 hours before you want to serve it. I usually make it the day before. So what are you waiting for? Get chopping!

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Salsa

recipe adapted from: Alton Brown

Ingredients:

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 seeded and minced jalapeños
  • 1 red bell pepper, fine dice
  • 1/2 red onion, fine chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (We love cilantro, but if you don’t, you may want to reduce this a bit)
  • Chili powder, salt, and pepper, to taste
  • 5 Fresh scallions, chopped

Directions:

Get a large bowl out and set aside. I use my food processor to chop the tomatoes, red pepper, garlic and onion. I process each vegetable individually (with the exception of the garlic and onion which go in together) so that I can get them to the texture I prefer. As you finish chopping each vegetable, add it to the large bowl and then add in the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, scallions and spices. Stir to combine. Place in refrigerator for up to 12 hours for optimum flavour infusion.

Serve with tortilla chips.


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