Category Archives: Sauces and Dressings

Mexican Flavor Cubes


For lack of a beter name, Mexican flavor cubes is what I have named these little cubes. Concentrated Mexican “mole-like” flavor packed into little cubes to be added to any sauce or dish that needs a little “oomph”. These little cubes are full of Mexican flavor and really pack a punch. Lots of flavor in minutes without all the hassle.
I have these as part of my standard frozen staples. I’m a true believer in a well-stocked kitchen pantry/freezer as this will ensure you’re prepared, even if you don’t have time for a last minute shopping trip , so that you can make your favourite recipes and always have the basics at hand.
There are a ton of standard items in my freezer, that I make again and again as soon as they, or almost, run out. Such items are home made chicken stock, Napolitana sauce, and a roast pepper Napolitana version for myself, Pizza bases, Bread, Bagels etc… and of course these Mexican flavor cubes.
Let me explain how and why. We eat a lot of Mexican inspired dishes at home and I say inspired because I don’t want to offend anyone, I’m sure they are far from authentic, but they’re very tasty and that’s what it all about, for us. So basically what I do is, I soak some Mexican peppers that I buy online, add spices, cooked onion, garlic and some other flavourings, then blend it all up and freeze it in an ice cube tray. I happen to have a very large ice cube tray, that makes ¼ cup cubes, perfect for us but you can freeze it how it would work best for you. Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list, you’ll have most of the spices in your cupboard already, and it actually comes together very quickly.

INGREDIENTS:

• 3 dried Ancho peppers ( aka dried Poblano peppers) Scoville scale: 1,000 to 2,000 shu
• 3 Chipotles peppers (smoke-dried Jalapeño peppers) Scoville scale: 2,500 to 8,000 shu
• 3 Guajillo peppers (aka dried Mirasol peppers) Scoville scale : 2,500–5,000 shu
• 2 tbsp. neutral oil
• 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or crushed
• 2 roast peppers from a jar
• 2 chicken or beef stock cube
• 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• ½ tsp. ground cloves
• ½ tsp. all spice
• 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp. sugar or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put a large frying pan on medium high heat, place your peppers in the dry pan and toast gently all over until they begin to soften and change color. Remove from heat.
Add the oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic, cook gently while you clean the peppers.
Cut the peppers open with scissors and remove stems and seeds, place in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of very hot water (not boiling) and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Once the onion is soft and golden add the smoked paprika, oregano, the ground cumin, cinnamon, ground cloves, all spice, salt and freshly ground pepper, just a few twists. Stir and let it become fragrant, turn of the heat after one or two minutes.
Once everything has cooled, place the hydrated peppers with liquid in the blender, with the onion-spice mixture, add the peppers from a jar, add the stock cubes, cocoa powder and sugar. Blend everything until you have a dark smooth puree, taste and season if necessary.
Pour into ice cube tray or other small containers and freeze.
I use these cubes to make fajitas, chili, enchiladas and all sorts of Mexican dishes. It gives everything a really authentic flavor without hours of cooking. Just make your regular recipes, and then add one of these cubes for a flavor explosion.
Enjoy.

Brined Roast Turkey breast with Blueberry gravy

This festive turkey breast recipe is a great alternative to a whole roast turkey. Perfect for smaller crowds either for Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

The Turkey breast is brined in a flavorful liquid infusing the breast with flavor and seasoning it throughout all while tenderizing it to butter-soft and juicy texture. Then it’s roast until golden perfection and served with a blueberry gravy

The great thing is that carving is so easy since the roast is boneless. 

All you need now are roast potatoes and vegetables for a complete Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner that is stress free yet fit for a king.


Prep time : 10-15 min

Cooking time : 60 min

Serves : 6

INGREDIENTS:

Turkey breast, about 1.2 – 1.5 kg./2.5 -3 pounds
Two large onions, peeled and sliced thick.
A sprig of each rosemary and thyme
2 tbsp neutral flavored olive oil
3 tbsp butter

Brine:
2 liters water
4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 onion sliced
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp all spice berries
4 cloves
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice

Blueberry Gravy
2 sjalottes, peeled and very finely chopped
1 rounded tbsp. flour
2 glasses/1 cup red wine
250 ml/ 1  cup good quality turkey or chicken stock
2-3 tbsp Blueberry jam

METHOD Turkey

Mix all the ingredients for the brine in a large sealable container.  Place the Turkey breast in the liquid and leave to marinate for 3 to 4 hours, or all day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Remove the breast from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Prepare a roasting tin. Grease generously with neutral flavored olive oil and add the onions in a layer to the tin, then the herbs and place the breast on top. Season with salt and pepper and spread all the butter over the Turkey breast.
Tent turkey breast loosely with aluminum foil.

Roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour; baste turkey breast with pan juices and remove foil.  Return to oven for about 3 more minutes and roast until the juices run clear and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, reads 165 degrees F (65 degrees C). Let the turkey breast rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

METHOD Blueberry gravy.

Remove the turkey breast from the roasting tin. Remove the onions and herbs.

Heat the stock and wine in a small saucepan and keep ready for adding to the sauce we are making.
Place the tin over a gentle heat, and tilt the tin and spoon off the fat into a bowl using a tablespoon, leave about 2 tablespoons of fat, along with all the juices, in the tin. Turn up the heat to medium and add the chopped sjalotte, cook quickly and scrape all the crusty bits from the base , then add the flour and keep stirring.  When the flour is absorbed start adding the wine and stock a  little at a time, whisking  after each addition. This is easiest with a whisk. Once you have incorporated all the liquid, add the blueberry jam. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Adjust the thickness of the gravy to your liking by adding more or less stock. 

Slice the Turkey breast and serve straight away with roast potatoes and vegetables and the Blueberry gravy.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Mint Chimichurri

Mint Chimichurri. This is the best sauce to accompany any kind of meat, chicken or even fish. It’s light and fragrant and made in a jiffy.

Traditional Chimichurri sauce has parsley, cilantro, and oregano, I added the mint because I wanted extra freshness and it goes so perfect with Lamb.

 Prep time: 5 minutes

 Serves : 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley including trimmed stems
  • 3/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • a squeeze of lemon juice (to taste)
  • a few drops of hot sauce like frank’s or tabasco

INSTRUCTIONS:

Chop the herbs and add to the oil in a bowl. Add the grated garlic clove, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the hot sauce and more lemon juice if necessary. Serve with any kind of meat or fish.

You can also add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until chopped fine, but I prefer the chunky texture.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Bbq Honey Chicken Tenders Cobb Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Let’s celebrate Spring in full glory with this amazing refreshing salad. It’s super easy to make and you can easily substitute the chicken with some succulent Shrimp or any other protein you like.

INGREDIENTS COBB SALAD:

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ cup bbq sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil for frying
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 20 cherry tomatoes (more or less)
  • 2 -4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 small can of corn, drained
  • 1 – 2 avocados, peeled and stone removed
  • 1/3 cup olives
  • handful baby carrots

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING:

  • 1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
  • ½ cup natural yoghurt of choice
  • ½ cup natural sugar free milk of choice
  • Small handful of fresh Basil* see note
  • Small handful of fresh Dill* see note
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • A dash of tabasco
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup of water or more for the right consistency

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First we’ll marinate the chicken, place the chicken tenders in a bowl and season them with the Cajun seasoning , then add the bbq sauce. Mix to combine and cover. Place in the fridge to marinate, overnight if possible but any amount of time is good.
  2. Take out a large plate or platter and arrange a layer of lettuce on it.
  3. Meanwhile wash the peppers and pinch them with a fork all over, put them on a plate and microwave for 6 minutes, remove and cover with foil straight away. This is so the skin will loosen from the peppers. When cool enough to handle pull away all the skin and tear the peppers into strips, place them on the lettuce in a single diagonal row.
  4. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange in a row on the lettuce
  5. Cut the eggs in quarters and arrange on platter.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  7. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender, and run until all is smooth. Add the water until you have the desired consistency.
  8. Now heat a non stick frying pan large enough to hold the chicken tenders in one layer and set to high heat.
  9. Add the olive oil and place the tenders in the pan, cook on one side for two minutes and turn. Cook for another two minutes and lower the heat to low.
  10. Cook for another two minutes or until cooked thru, check by pulling a piece open.
  11. Add the tablespoon of honey and stir around so it starts to caramelize. Turn off the heat and place the chicken tenders on the salad right before serving.