Mediterranean Feta Dip

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I am always looking for great appetizers to take to friends parties and get togethers. This feta dip is wonderful and is very easy to put together. I was a hit with everyone who tried it. I snapped the picture before I added the drizzled balsamic vinegar, which was right before serving.  I serve these with fresh warm pita bread that I cut into triangles for easy dipping.

Meditteranean Feta Dip

6 oz crumbled feta cheese
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c plain greek yogurt
2 large garlic cloves
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 c diced tomato ( I use roma tomatoes)
3 T sliced green onion
fresh ground black pepper
balsamic vinegar
pita bread or crackers

1.In a food processor, blend together the feta cheese, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and oregano until smooth.
2. Transfer to a serving dish.
3. Top the dip with the tomato, green onion and black pepper. Right before serving , drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar .
4. Serve with pita bread or crackers

Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Spicy Green Sauce

A few years ago, a Peruvian restaurant opened in our town , and ever since then, I have been hooked on their roasted chicken. It is super flavorful and everyone in my family loves it. But what sets it apart , imho, is the green sauce that is served with it. Spicy, creamy,tangy.  So much awesomeness! I always ask for extra sauce and use I on everything from chicken to top shrimp tacos, spread over eggs, potatoes or rice. I may or may not have just eaten with a spoon :) I cannot say enough about the sauce.  So I set about recreating the chicken and the sauce a home.  I have to say, the chicken was easy. I just made a spicy marinade to put under the skin and all over the outside. Let it sit for a few hours in the fridge, then roast off. I didn't use a whole chicken like the restaurant does, I just used skin on breasts, thighs and legs and slow roasted them on a bed of onions on a rimmed cookie sheet.

The sauce was a bit more tricky. I used sour cream as the base at first and I could not get the taste right. Way to tangy. So I threw it out and started again, this time using old reliable, Duke's Mayonnaise. And that was exactly what I was looking for. Now, I have to say, the flavor may be altered a bi if you use Hellmans or Miracle Whip. I only use Dukes brand mayo , and it tends to be a bit sweeter than other mayos. Just experiment and adjust the salt, pepper and cilantro to get the taste you like.

Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce


3 garlic cloves, minced

1 T ground cumin
1 T paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 T olive oil
1 T distilled white vinegar
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 whole chicken or 1 cut up chicken ( 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs)
1 sweet onion, sliced

1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and lemon zest and combine until mixed well.
2.In a 9"x13"  baking dish, place the sliced onions in an even layer. Place the chicken or chicken pieces on top of the onions.
3. Carefully lift the skin off of the chicken and massage the garlic spice mixture under the skin and then all over the top of the skin. Refrigerate the chicken for 30 minutes to meld the flavors.
4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees . Roast the chicken on 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, then reduce the het to 375 degrees and continue to roast for an additional hour, basting with the juices every 15 minutes or so.
5.When the chicken is cooked through, take out of the oven and let the chicken rest for  few minutes.
6. Serve with green sauce ( recipe follows)

Green Sauce
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper , to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine the jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, mayonnaise, lime juice, and vinegar. Blend until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Smoked Sausage & Black Eyed Pea Stew

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This a slow cooker meal that is perfect for hurried nights. It uses ingredients that I have on hand to make a great tasting take on traditional hoppin' john. I use a large bag of frozen black eyed peas, but you can sub canned ones in this recipe  if you have them on hand . 4 cans would be the right amount. This cooks up to a nice stew and is perfect with corn muffins on the side.

Smoked Sausage & Black Eyed Pea Stew
1 large bag frozen black eyed peas ( or 2 small ones)*
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can beef broth
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb beef smoked sausage , sliced
2 bags of boil in bag rice,cooked per package directions
* you can substitute  bag of frozen black eyed peas with 4 cans of black eyed peas

1. In a slow cooker , add all the ingredients except the rice. Stir to mix well.
2. Cook on low 6 -8 hours or high 4-6 hours . ( Times will vary depending on your slow cooker)
3. The last 30 minutes of cook time, add both bags of rice and stir well into the stew.
4. Cook for 30 minutes longer, or until the rice is hot.
5. Serve warm with cornbread.