Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A New Zealand Escape, and Inspiration from Kiwifruit!

Bush Walk to Mauao Summit
Bay of Plenty, 
New Zealand
Today, I would like to take you all on a fabulous journey to the lush volcanic region of the  Bay of Plenty, in beautiful New Zealand!  Breathtaking views seem to abound in this area, with sandy beaches, active volcanoes, and lush tropical forests. To be honest, I had only slightly heard of The Bay of Plenty before a few weeks ago, when I found out about a contest by the Zespri Kiwifruit company. The contest is for bloggers, and they are looking for posts inspired by Kiwifruit and/or The Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. I have always loved Kiwifruit, so was instantly inspired by that; and the interesting thing is that my husband had just told me prior to finding out about the contest that he would really enjoy eating more Kiwifruit because he loves it.  And so we have been!  And how I have loved the results!  I will go into more detail on the wonders of Kiwifruit, but first, let me tell you what I've learned of The Bay of Plenty!  I have discovered that this is my new dream vacation location!  
White Island, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
I have always been intrigued by volcanoes, and the Bay of Plenty has some truly remarkable and beautiful volcanic activity! The White Island (shown above), is an absolutely stunning active marine volcano, and if you ever have the chance to visit, they even offer tours (walking or by helicopter) of the volcano! Mount Ruapehu is another active volcano, and volcanic activity can be seen in many locations. Outdoor adventures abound in this beautiful region of New Zealand, as well as a rich culture to be explored!
Maori Warrior at Sunrise, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

 The Maori culture seems to be very active in this area, and there are many ways to experience it during a stay in the Bay of Plenty, through traditional arts and crafts, museums, demonstrations, and more. They also have the longest running jazz festival in the southern hemisphere (held in Tauranga)! The Bay of Plenty is also home to quite possibly the best place on the planet to grow Kiwifruit, with rich volcanic soil, ideal growing conditions, and wonderful quality water! The Bay of Plenty truly is overflowing with bountiful growth and the name is so perfect for this plentiful region! So whether you are looking for beaches, mountainous hikes, water sports, or experiencing new cultures, Bay of Plenty seems to have it all! When you are planning your next vacation get-away- think of Bay of Plenty, New Zealand for the trip of a life time!!

Main Beach, Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
And here's a chance for that to happen for you now!  Not only is Zespri running a contest for bloggers (called the Zespri Kiwi A-Go-Go Bloggers Contest, with an amazing adventure of a lifetime vacation package to the Bay of Plenty as the Grand Prize), they are also running a sweepstakes give-away of a trip for 4 to the Bay of Plenty!  So you have a chance to experience this amazing destination, just by clicking this link for the Great Kiwi Adventure and entering the drawing! The prize is an adventure packed 7 day trip to Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, with airfare, a beach-side villa, a White Island tour, a Swim with the Dolphins Encounter, a glow-worm kayak trip, a helicopter tour, an orchard tour, a jet boat tour, and more!!!  Believe me, you do not want to miss out on this amazing trip, follow the link for your chance to win!
Mount Maunganui Beach, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
And here's a way for you to bring the Bay of Plenty into your own home, by enjoying the delicious benefits of the amazing Kiwifruit!  After doing further research, I have discovered that Kiwifruit just might be the best fruit on earth, and we could all benefit from enjoying it on a regular basis (as often as 2 kiwifruit a day for optimum benefits!)!  2 Kiwifruit (which are actually a member of the berry family) make one serving, and they are higher in vitamin C than an orange, have as much potassium as a banana, and contain more fiber than a serving of bran flakes!  Not only that, they are full of antioxidants with cancer fighting power, boost heart health (equal to as much as an aspirin a day, but so much more delicious, wholesome and natural!), can prevent age-related macular degeneration (loss of eye-sight), are a good source of nutrients for diabetics, can aid in digestive health, and have a slew of other benefits!  Check out this link to Zespri's health benefits of kiwifruit (and browse their website, it's packed with amazing recipes, and a wealth of information about kiwifruit!), and be inspired in your kitchen with this amazing SUPERFRUIT!
But, not only is the amazing Kiwifruit full of health benefits, it is extremely delicious, and beautiful!  I have found that it can add a delightful touch to any meal of the day.  I will be honest, before this contest, I would usually just eat the Kiwi as fresh fruit, put it in fruit salads, or possibly make this breakfast dish shown to the right, which is simply one green Kiwi, sliced, and glazed with a touch of honey and cinnamon. So when I heard of this contest, I decided to take a much more adventurous approach, and to experience Kiwifruit in all new ways in my kitchen!  I hope you feel as inspired by these green or golden beauties as I have, and create some truly delicious and unique recipes of your own!  I am sharing a selection of recipes with you today that I have really enjoyed creating, and hope that you try them soon, in your kitchen.  For those of you less familiar with the beautiful Kiwifruit, here is a photo of a green Kiwi (on the left), and a gold Kiwi (on the right).

You can see that the green Kiwi has a fuzzy skin, whereas the gold Kiwi has a smooth skin.  Here is a photo of the beautiful interior of the tangy yet sweet, Green Kiwifruit:

And of the sweet, delightful, and tropical tasting, Gold Kiwifruit:
With a multitude of uses in the kitchen, Kiwifruit truly can enhance your dining experience.  And Zespri is a great brand to use, with positive growing practices, even offering organic Green and Gold Kiwi. You can also rest assured, knowing your Kiwi was grown in one of the best places on earth, the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand! The Kiwi is in season from about May-October, so now my next adventure will be to try making some Kiwi preserves, so that I can enjoy them throughout the winter as well! But for now, I'm enjoying this incredibly flavorful and delicious in season fruit as many ways as I can. 

For my first recipe, I would like to share this fabulous cocktail, that I call the "Green Kiwi Escape", which I think would be a fantastic addition to your next gathering with friends.  Beautifully green, tart, yet sweet, full of the flavor of delicious green Kiwifruit, and absolutely crisp and refreshing.  Simple to make, and a delightful new flavor combination to be enjoyed with loved ones and friends.

This cocktail would be the perfect beverage to serve while guests are waiting for the meal to be served, or as an after dinner drink, to finish a delectable meal (try serving with my recipe for Pan Seared Kiwi Citrus Halibut over a Bay of Plenty salad, recipe further below!).
The Green Kiwi Escape Cocktail:
serves: 1
1 tablespoon honey
1 Zespri Green Kiwi
2 leaves pineapple mint, plus a sprig of pineapple mint for garnish
1 1/2 ounces Midori (melon liquor)
1 1/2 ounces white rum
4 ounces tonic water
1 wedge of green kiwi, for garnish

To Prepare: Puree the green Kiwi (remove the peel, and be careful not to over-puree and crush the seeds, as the seeds may become bitter) with the honey and the 2 leaves of pineapple mint (about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons of minced mint).  Add the honey/Kiwi/mint puree to a cocktail shaker, along with the melon liquor and the white rum.  Cover, shake until fully combined, and add in the tonic water.  Pour into a highball glass filled with ice, and garnish with a sprig of pineapple mint, and a slice of Kiwi. Sit back, relax, and feel taken away to a delightful retreat in New Zealand!
Mount Maunganui at Sunset, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Inspired by the breathtaking image above of a sunset over Mount Maunganui, I have created a deliciously tangy, sweet and refreshing drink, The Mount Maunganui Mocktail!  It is truly a Superfruit drink!  With Pomegranate juice, Acai berry juice, and  delicious Gold Kiwi, each sip is sure to refresh and revitalize you! Along with the Gold Kiwi full of the nutrients listed above, I've added an extra punch with the Pomegranate (full of antioxidants, amazingly cancer fighting, heart healthy, and more!), and Acai (also full of antioxidants, can lower blood pressure, and more!). I hope you enjoy this nutrient rich, invigorating, and beautiful beverage! I have tried to include all of the colors of the sunset (Golds, Reds and Purples) over Mount Maunganui, and felt that the only thing that could improve the flavor of this drink would be to sip this beverage on the beach, overlooking the view in person!

The Mount Maunganui Mocktail:
serves 1


1 Zespri Gold Kiwifruit
1-2 Tablespoons Honey, to taste (or you can substitute Agave Nectar)
2 ounces Pomegranate juice
2 ounces Acai Berry juice
2 ounces Ginger Ale
1 slice Zespri Golden Kiwifruit, for garnish

To Prepare:

Blend the Golden Kiwifruit (you may remove the skin if desired) with the honey, just until the Kiwifruit is fully pureed. Add the pureed Kiwifruit with the Pomegranate juice and Acai berry juice to a cocktail shaker.  Cover, and shake until fully combined. Pour the Ginger Ale into the Superfruit juice blend, and then pour into a Highball glass full of ice.  Garnish with a slice of Golden Kiwi, and enjoy!

And now that we have been refreshed with some fantastic Bay of Plenty inspired beverages, we will move on to the perfect, cooling appetizer!  This chilled Kiwi soup is the perfect start to a delicious meal, savory, yet sweet, soothing and satisfying at the same time!  This is actually a chilled kiwi soup, two ways.... I have served a wonderful small dish of the chilled soup, along with the perfect mouthful (a delightful amuse-bouche for your guests!) of components from the soup.  This way, you can enjoy all of the great textures of the ingredients, and are able to savor it in a couple different ways.  I hope you'll give this recipe a try, and will enjoy having kiwi in a savory/sweet appetizer!

Chilled Kiwi Soup with a Kiwi Amuse-Bouche. 
Serves: 4

For the Chilled Kiwi Soup:
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil1/4 cup Shallots, minced
1/4 cup Green Onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Peppercorn blend, freshly ground
2 Zespri Green Kiwifruits
2 Cucumbers
1/2 cup Temptation melon (orange-flesh honeydew), diced
1/2 cup Grapefruit Juice
2 tablespoons Honey
3 slices Prosciutto, very thin
diced Avocado, for garnish
diced Green Kiwi, for garnish

For the Kiwi Amuse-Bouche:
4- 1 inch thick slices of Zespri Green Kiwifruit
8- 1/2 inch thick slices Temptation Melon (about 1 1/2 inches long)
4- 1/2 inch thick slices Avocado
1 slice Prosciutto, cut into 4 long, thin strips

To Prepare:

Add the olive oil to a small skillet, and place over medium high heat.  Add in the minced shallot, minced green onion, sea salt, and peppercorn blend (my pepper blend includes: black, green and red peppercorns, coriander and allspice), stirring frequently, until shallot begins to caramelize, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, and place the shallot mixture in a large bowl. Remove the peels from the Kiwifruit and cucumber, and the rind from the melon, and place the fruits/vegetables into the bowl with the shallots.  Add in the grapefruit juice and the honey, and use an immersion blender to puree completely (being careful not to over-puree and grind the seeds).  You can use a regular stand type blender if an immersion blender is unavailable. Cover the bowl, place into a refrigerator, and chill at least one hour.
While the soup is chilling, prepare the prosciutto garnish.  Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.  Place the 3 slices of prosciutto onto a piece of foil, and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 8-10 minutes per side (flipping over after 7-10 minutes), till prosciutto has darkened in color (watch carefully to prevent burning), remove from the oven, and cool about 10 minutes.  Crumble the prosciutto into small bits.  Set aside until ready to serve.
Right before serving the soup, prepare the Kiwi Amuse-Bouche:
Place the 4 long strips of prosciutto on a cutting board, and set 1 thick slice of Green Kiwi on the center of each strip. Set two slices of melon and one slice of avocado on top of each slice of kiwi, wrap the prosciutto strip up around the fruit, and gently tie to secure it together.
To serve:
Divide the soup among 4 small chilled serving bowls. Garnish each with the crispy, crumbled prosciutto, as well as some diced Kiwifruit, and diced avocado.  Serve each dish with one of the Kiwi Amuse-Bouche, and enjoy!

And now it is time to move on to the main course!  This dish is truly inspired by the Bay of Plenty, succulent and rich with seafood, Kiwifruit, avocado, and citrus, all bountiful harvests readily available in this region of New Zealand.  I have incorporated other complimentary flavors and textures for an entree salad you will not soon forget!  I have used Halibut in this recipe, but you can substitute another type of firm, white fish if desired.  Simple and quick to make, but so elegant and full of flavor!  The Kiwi really shines in this dish, as I have used Kiwi in the dressing, which was also used as a marinade for the fish, as well as serving each salad atop a bed of 4 green Kiwi slices, adding Kiwi to every bite! Kiwifruit is a natural meat tenderizer, and although Halibut is a tender and delicious fish (when cooked properly), I could tell that the Kiwi added even more of a tender succulence to the finished dish.  If you are looking for an escape to the coast, and a beautiful retreat to the flavors of the Bay of Plenty, try this elegantly simple recipe!

Pan Seared Kiwi Citrus Halibut over a Bay of Plenty Salad
Serves: 4

 For the Kiwi Citrus dressing and marinade:
3 Zespri Green Kiwifruit
1/4 cup Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Peppercorn blend, freshly ground
2 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Thyme Leaves

For pan searing the Halibut:
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive Oil
4- 4-6 ounce Halibut Fillets 

For the Honey Ginger Macadamia Nuts:
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Bay of Plenty Salad:
1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
1 avocado, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup diced hearts of palm
4 large handfuls spring greens mix
1-2 Zespri Green Kiwifruit (sliced thinly for placing under the salad)

4 slices of orange, peel and pith removed, for garnish
4 slices of lime, peel and pith removed, for garnish
4 slices (wedge type slices), green Kiwifruit, for garnish

To Prepare:
Prepare the dressing and marinade by adding the peeled green Kiwifruit, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, ginger paste, sea salt, pepper, honey and thyme to a medium size bowl. Blend with an immersion blender (or use a stand type blender) till Kiwi is fully pureed and ingredients are fully incorporated. Set about 1/3 cup aside for dressing the salad and drizzling over the prepared halibut, and pour the rest over the uncooked halibut fillets in a shallow dish, coating each fillet well. Cover, and set aside to marinate while you prepare the Honey Ginger Macadamia nuts.
To prepare the macadamia nuts, combine the macadamia nut pieces, honey, ginger and sea salt in a small dish, pour onto a small foil lined baking sheet, and place under a broiler (500 degree), stirring frequently (about once per minute), until golden and toasted, about 5 minutes.  Watch carefully to prevent burning. Remove from the broiler, and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Prepare the salad by combining the cranberries, diced avocado, diced hearts of palm and salad greens in a large bowl.  Set aside while you pan-sear the halibut.
Place a large skillet over high heat, bringing the pan to high temperature.  Add in the olive oil, allow to heat about 30 seconds, and then place the marinated halibut fillets into the skillet (make sure the pan sizzles when you place the fish in, so you know it's hot enough!), removing any excess marinade.  Cook the fillets for 3-4 minutes per side, just until golden and just cooked through, being careful not to over cook.
While the fillets are searing, drizzle the salad with about 1/4 cup of the prepared Kiwi citrus dressing, add in the honey ginger macadamia nuts, and toss well to coat.  Place 4 very thin slices of kiwi on each plate ( 4 plates), divide the salad evenly over the kiwi slices, and place one pan-seared halibut fillet over the top of each salad. Drizzle some of the remaining Kiwi-citrus dressing over the top of each fillet, and garnish with a slice of orange, lime, and Kiwi.  Serve, and ENJOY!

And finally, to complete this delectable Bay of Plenty meal, it is time for dessert!  After the prior courses of elegant and delicious recipes, I wanted something simple, yet beautiful, and bursting with kiwi flavor to finish the meal off!  I have decided to use both the Green and Gold Kiwis for the dessert, and to serve them in a way that would show the beauty of the Kiwi.  The green Kiwi does lose some of it's color while baking, but the flavor is delicious, and this dessert couldn't be more simple! Small individual tarts of luscious slices of green and gold Kiwi, atop a simple gingersnap crust all combine to create the perfect ending to a delightful meal.  Sit back and enjoy these simple sweet delights while dreaming of your chance to go on an amazing Kiwi Adventure to the Bay of Plenty!

Simple Kiwi Tarts
Serves: 4

1 cup gingersnap crumbs (crushed gingersnap cookies)
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 Zespri Green Kiwifruit
4 Zespri Gold Kiwifruit
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger paste

To prepare:
Lightly butter 4 small springform pans (about 3-4 inch) and preheat an oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs with the melted butter, stirring well.  Evenly divide the crust mixture among the prepared pans, pressing very firmly into the bottoms (you can allow the mixture to sit a few minutes before pressing into the pans, to soften the gingersnap crumbs).  Place the pans into the preheated oven, and bake the crusts for about 7 minutes, until fragrant.  Remove from oven, but leave the oven set to 350.
Cut the peeled Kiwifruit into thin slices, place into a medium size bowl, and coat with the honey, cinnamon and ginger, carefully stirring to prevent breaking the Kiwi slices.
Evenly divide the Kiwi slices among the pans, topping each crust with spiraling glazed kiwi slices, alternating between placing green and gold Kiwifruit. Place into the heated 350 degree oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until Kiwi has softened.  Remove from oven, and allow the pans to cool about 15-20 minutes on a wire rack.  Carefully release the spring on the pans, and place each tart on a plate.  The crust should be still be warm with a crisp layer on the bottom, getting softer as it nears the Kiwi, being full of all of the delicious juice released from baking the kiwifruit.  You may serve the tarts as they are, or with a touch of freshly whipped cream, if desired.

Well, as you can see there are many ways to enjoy the delectable Kiwifruit!  I hope you will try experimenting in your kitchen with these beauties, or try my recipes!  And dream of the Bay of Plenty, and the adventure of a lifetime that could be yours, by simply following this link to the Great Kiwi Adventure and entering your information for the drawing! I hope you will find some Zespri kiwis in your area, and can appreciate the art and care that goes into the growth of each one! For more information on the Bay of Plenty, check out this link to the Bay of Plenty website.  All photos of the Bay of Plenty were used with permission by the Bay of Plenty Tourist board.  Take yourself on a Kiwi Adventure Today!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Results Are In!!!

Well, it is now time to reveal the winners of the 3 drawings for delicious Saucy Mama products!  I wish all of you could win, but after doing the random drawings, there are 3 winners who all had delicious ideas for using the Saucy Mama products!  Now we all have some great recipe ideas to use these really great products!  If your name is listed as one of the winners, please contact me here: The Kitchen Enchantress . Please send me your shipping info, and I'll have your package of goodies out to you soon!  Thank you to everyone that participated, and look for another giveaway before too long for another chance to win something through my blog!  I may even host a recipe contest at some point!  Without any further delay, THE WINNERS ARE:

1. For the Cracked Pepper Marinade and Hot Wing Sauce: Leland Jens Tocktoo Collins- with a delicious idea of using the Cracked Pepper Marinade on some Salmon Jerky!  Congratulations!!

2. For the Lime Chipotle Marinade and Chipotle Mustard: Merry Graham- with her delightful idea of using the mustard in a mascarpone cream for a ham and pear gallette! Congratulations!!!

3. For the Sweet Onion Marinade and Jalapeno Stuffed Olives: Stephanie R.- with her tasty idea of using the Sweet Onion Marinade in a quiche, and the Jalapeno Stuffed Olives in hummus!  Congratulations!!

I hope you all had fun participating!!  Thanks for helping to make my first giveaway a success!  I hope you all will enjoy your packages of Saucy Mama Products, and please, just email me at the link above with your shipping info to receive your products soon!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Saucy Mama Sweet Onion Marinade and Jalapeno Stuffed Olives!

It is time for my third and final review of the Saucy Mama products, this time I am focusing on the Sweet Onion Marinade and the Jalapeno Stuffed Green Olives!  As I am a little delayed in posting this, I have extended the deadline for leaving your comments to September 12th, and the drawing will now be held September 14th!  So you have a few more days to leave a comment about how you would use any of the Saucy Mama products reviewed on my blog, for a chance to win your own set of 2 Saucy Mama products!  I am giving away 3 sets of 2 Saucy Mama products, so make sure to leave a comment at the bottom of this post if you like the sound of these products, you just might win them! Check my homepage after September 14th for the list of winners, and to see if you are a winner!  There will be contact info on that post, regarding how to get your set of products if you are a winner!  It's so fun hosting my first giveaway, I hope you all are as excited to get your own set of Saucy Mama products as I have been to use them!

The Saucy Mama Sweet Onion Marinade is a very tasty sauce and dressing.  I think it could really liven up a salad, and would be delicious as a marinade for just about any kind of meat.  I was extremely fortunate to receive a lovely quantity of freshly caught Wild Alaskan Salmon a few days ago, and was just looking for a delicious opportunity to use it! So I decided to try this sweet and slightly tangy marinade on my fresh salmon!  It was delicious!  No other seasoning was necessary, and the flavor is delightful!  Please, if you make this recipe, make sure to use Wild Pacific Salmon, not Atlantic or farm-raised, the flavor difference is drastic, and using farmed or Atlantic salmon will most likely be a disappointment.  Also, you may want to skip on pink salmon, as the texture will be quite soft.  I am quite choosy with salmon, because when you have the REAL thing (Wild Caught Alaskan or at least NW Pacific salmon), it is just over and beyond any other type of fish, for flavor and texture.  Firm, and meat like, it will add substance and wonderful nutrients to any diet.  And it just tastes delicious!  I hope you try this recipe for your next brunch with friends, it is simple, flavorful, and elegant, not to mention just really tasty!  Don't be intimidated by the mini-crepe making, it is not much different than making pancakes, and you can make them all ahead, then fill them with the delightful filling, and serve. Please enjoy my recipe for:

Mini-Crepes filled with Lemon Herb Creme and Sweet Onion Salmon

Serves: about 8
Prep Time: about 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: about 20-25 minutes

For the Sweet Onion Salmon:
1/2 pound Salmon Filet
1/2 cup Saucy Mama Sweet Onion Marinade

For the Lemon Herb Creme:
1 lemon, organic (so you can use the zest)
4 ounces Mascarpone cream cheese

3 Tablespoons dill, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn blend, freshly ground

For the Mini-Crepes:

1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

cooking spray
additional chopped dill and chives
additional Sweet Onion Sauce for dressing the top of each crepe

To Prepare:

1. First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the salmon by placing the filet on a large sheet of foil. Cover the filet with the Saucy Mama Sweet Onion Marinade, and tightly wrap the foil up around the salmon, sealing all edges.  Place in the preheated oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, until marinade is bubbling, and salmon is firm and just cooked through.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool about 5 minutes.

2. While the Salmon is cooking, prepare the Lemon Herb Creme by first zesting the washed and clean lemon (removing the peel in very fine pieces, to add to the dish), adding the zest, and the juice of the lemon into a small bowl. Add the Mascarpone, herbs, sea salt and pepper, and stir well to combine.  Set aside.

3. Prepare the Mini-Crepes while the salmon is finishing cooking.  First combine all of the crepe ingredients (except the cooking spray) in a medium size bowl, and whisk until smooth and creamy (an immersion blender with a whisk attachment makes quick work of this step!). Place a skillet (8 inch or larger) over medium high heat, and lightly spray with cooking spray. Pour about 2-3 tablespoons of the crepe batter into the hot pan, twirling the pan with a circular motion until batter has spread to about a 4 inch round crepe. Cook for about 45 seconds (until crepe is just beginning to brown), gently use a spatula to flip the crepe over, and continue cooking about 45-60 seconds. Remove from pan and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining batter (lightly spraying the pan, then quickly cooking each crepe), until all of the batter is cooked, and you have about 16 mini-crepes on a plate.

4. Assemble the crepes:
First, use a fork to gently flake apart the cooked salmon filet, removing it from the skin as necessary.  Place a crepe on a flat surface, spread about 2 teaspoons of the Lemon Herb Creme over the center of the crepe, and add about 2 Tablespoons flaked salmon over the Lemon Herb Creme.  Gently roll up the crepe over the filling, and place on a platter.  Use a small spoon to drizzle a line of Sweet Onion marinade over the top of the filled crepe, and garnish with additional chopped herbs.  Repeat with remaining crepes.

5. Serve and ENJOY!

I also received a beautiful little jar of Saucy Mama Jalapeno Stuffed Olives to use my creativity on, and I think I came up with a delicious hot baked dip for your next gathering!  These Jalapeno stuffed olives really added a LOT of flavor to this artichoke cheese dip, giving it just a little hint of heat, but all of the delicious flavor!!  Simple to prepare, just combine the ingredients, pour into a baking dish, and wait for the deliciously wonderful flavor!!

Baked Jalapeno Olive Artichoke Dip
Serves: about 8-12
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Baking Time: about 30 minutes

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sour cream
1- 8.5 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered, and drained (not the marinated variety!)
1 cup Saucy Mama Jalapeno Stuffed Olives, chopped
1 cup Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheese blend, shredded
1/2 cup Fontina Cheese (cut into small 1/4" cubes)
1/2 cup chives, freshly chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn blend, freshly ground

1 baguette french bread, cut into slices, or any other small bread, such as sourdough
Chips for dipping (I have shown it with Sweet Potato and Beet chips, which were delicious, but you can also use Tortilla or any vegetable chip)
Vegetables for dipping (carrots, celery, etc...)

To Prepare:

1. First, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (first chopping the olives and cutting the Fontina into small cubes), stirring until well combined.  Pour into a 1 quart baking dish, cover, and place in the preheated oven. Bake until bubbling and just slightly golden on the edges (you can remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of baking for a more golden appearance if desired).

2. Once the dip is baked, remove from oven and carefully spoon into a serving dish (or leave in the baking dish to retain it's heat for a longer period of time).  Serve with a platter of bread slices, chips, and vegetables, and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Delicious Chipotle!

It is time for my second post in the Saucy Mama review series, and I have some really exciting and delicious recipes and products to share with you today!  Today I am focusing on the Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade, and the Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard!  Both of these products are equally delicious: smoky, slightly spicy, and incredibly flavorful, there are a multitude of uses for either of them!  I decided to stay within the theme of the Chipotle, and so both of my recipes feature southwestern flavors.  Don't forget to add your comments at the end of the post (giveaway guidelines can be found here) for your chance to win a set of Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade and Chipotle Mustard sent straight to you, for your kitchen!
So, what is Chipotle exactly? Chipotle chiles are smoked, dried jalapenos. When I use chipotle in a recipe, it adds a deep earthiness: slightly sweet, slightly spicy, warm and inviting.  It has such a well rounded flavor, and it imparts that flavor in a delightful undertone, enhancing any dish. I often use a small can of chipotle in adobo* to add amazing flavor to spreads for sandwiches, dressings for salads, and marinades for meats; so it's only natural that Saucy Mama has made some delicious chipotle products!
*(adobo is a tomato based sauce that generally has garlic, onions, salt, pepper and spices, stewed to a wonderfully thick and rich texture.)

The Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard is a fantastic mustard, that would be perfect on any sandwich, or added in to dressings and marinades.  Tangy, a little sweet, and just bursting with flavor, I know you will be able to come up with some great uses for this mustard!  The recipe I am sharing with you today is amazing!  When I first thought of the idea for this Saucy Mama Chipotle Potato Salad, I had mixed feelings.  I happen to love my "good ole' standby" potato salad, with dijon, green onions, plenty of dill and red potatoes, and am very picky about potato salad in general, never enjoying a super market potato salad...  So I wasn't sure if I could really enjoy a Chipotle Southwestern style potato salad, or if I would just be thinking that I would rather have my old recipe. But I was amazed by the flavor when I had my first bite, and I truly enjoyed it!  The chipotle flavor was delicious, and I think that the ingredients I used really combined well with it!  I used a lovely blend of white, red and purple fingerling potatoes for this salad, but you could use any small potatoes that you have.  I wouldn't suggest using large baking potatoes, because the texture just won't be the same.  I hope you enjoy my recipe for:
 Saucy Mama Chipotle Potato Salad
Serves: 8-12
Prep Time: about 15 minutes
Cooking Time: about 15-20 minutes


6 cups water for boiling the potatoes
1/2 cup green onion, diced
1/4 cup roasted green chile diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn blend, freshly ground (mine includes back, red and green peppercorns, coriander, and allspice)

To Prepare:

1. Add the water and sea salt to a large pot (3 qt.), place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add in the chopped potatoes, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the cooked potatoes into a colander and allow to cool about 10 minutes.

2. While the potatoes are cooling, dice the red pepper, green onion, green chile and red onion, and place them into a medium size bowl.  Chop the cilantro and add it in to the bowl.

3. Add the Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard, the mayonnaise and the pepper into a small bowl, and stir well to fully combine.  Add the slightly cooled potatoes to the bowl of diced vegetables, and pour the combined dressing over the potatoes. Gently stir to coat the potatoes evenly and incorporate the vegetables.

4. Cover, and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Best serve chilled.  Enjoy!

I also made a delicious recipe with the Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade!  We LOVE salad rolls around here, but have always made them with an Asian inspired flavor.  But I just had to try this marinade on some shrimp, and thought it would make a delicious salad, but wanted a party friendly recipe, so I took it a step further, and voila!  Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Salad Rolls!!  The perfect hand held snack, light, crisp, refreshing, and so delicious, I am sure these will be a hit with your family and friends!  They go together very quickly, and I had a plate of 12 salad rolls before I knew it!  The grilled Lime Chipotle shrimp were amazing, and I made a creamy Lime Chipotle dip to go along with it!  I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Salad Rolls:

Serves: 6-12 (depending on if you want one or two!)
Prep Time: about 20 minutes
Cooking Time: about 6-7 minutes

1/2 pound (about 36) medium size shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cleaned
1/4 cup Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade, plus
2 Tablespoons Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
12 lettuce leaves (I used green leaf lettuce)
2 green onions
1 cucumber, medium
1 red bell pepper, medium
1/2 red onion, small
1 avocado
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 handful cilantro
12 spring/salad roll wrappers (round rice wrappers, found dry in the Asian food section)

To Prepare:
1. First, marinate the shrimp by combining the cleaned shrimp with the 1/4 cup Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade in a small dish.  Stir well, cover, and place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Preheat a grill to medium high heat while shrimp marinates.
2. Prepare the Lime Chipotle dip by combing the 2 Tablespoons Lime Chipotle Marinade and the sour cream. Stir well, cover, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3. While the shrimp is marinating, prepare the vegetables, by cleaning the lettuce leaves (set them aside), and then slicing all of the other vegetables, and the avocado, into long thin slices, about 4 inches long.  See photo for detail:
4. Remove the shrimp from the fridge, and place them onto bamboo skewers, filling the skewers completely with shrimp.  (Tip: Pierce the shrimp length-wise with the skewers, so that the shrimp remain fairly straight while you cook them!) Place the skewers on the hot grill, and cook until pink, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and gently remove from the skewers, placing onto a plate.
5. Assemble the rolls, by first adding hot tap water to a large shallow dish (like a baking sheet or very large deep plate), and place one rice wrapper into the water.  Allow to soak about 30 seconds, until softened. Place the wrapper onto a large cutting board (gently shaking out the excess water), smoothing out into a circle.  Place a lettuce leaf in the center of the wrapper, and then add a couple pieces of each vegetable, spreading evenly over the lettuce.  Add 3 shrimp  in a row on the top.  See photo below for detail:
Roll tightly, but gently, by pulling the bottom edge over the filling, folding in both sides, and then rolling up to the top. Repeat with remaining wrappers until all the shrimp and vegetables are used.
6. Serve the Lime Chipotle Salad Rolls with the prepared dipping sauce, and enjoy!

I hope you all enjoy these recipes, and make sure to post your comments below and let me know how you would like to try these great Saucy Mama Chipotle products in your kitchen!