Blogs, Recipes

3 Habanero Sauces

I don’t like to waste food so whenever possible I try to find ways to use different ingredients.

In this case, I had an abundance of orange Habaneros and Basil. My dad and brother love spicy foods, actually they like to say the SPICIER the better! 

So I created three different Habanero sauces. 

  1. Habanero, Lime & Basil Hot Sauce
  2. Habanero, Lime & Basil Vinaigrette
  3. Habanero Avocado Basil Cream sauce

Remember, I told you I had a LOT of habaneros so I basically created a base sauce and then switched things up for each sauce, added a little here, and a little there. You may be wondering, why carrots? Carrots have a natural sweetness so I wanted to up the sweetness (and the flavor) without having to add too much sugar. The instructions for each sauce are the same, saute the carrots, onion and garlic, then drop all into a blender with all the other ingredients. Three habaneros was enough heat for me, but when I made my dad and brother’s jars I added two more. I’m serious when I say they like it HOT!

PLEASE make sure to wear gloves when handling the habaneros! I learned this the hard way. LOL. 

Hot Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 habanero peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 cup Basil, packed
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vineg
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 habanero peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 cup Basil, packed
  • ½ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½  cup water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ⅓ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 habanero peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cup Basil, packed
  • ½ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½  cup water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ⅓ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Cook and stir the carrots, oil, onion, and garlic in the hot oil until soft, about 5 minutes; transfer to a blender. 

Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender; blend until smooth. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

You may need to add more water by the tablespoonful, until the sauce reaches the consistency you like. 

Pour into the container of your choice and refrigerate.

Cocktails

Homemade Strawberry & Citrus Shrubs

Have you made shrubs before? 

They are a beautiful sweet and tangy combination of fruit and vinegar. 

Shrubs add sweetness and tang to cocktails and mocktails. Splash some in ice-cold seltzer to make a mocktail or make a boozy beverage with vodka. 

Well having brunch at the C House in Seminole Heights, I learned about shrubs. I tried one of their signature cocktails that uses their homemade Strawberry shrub. It was delicious! I was inspired to try my hand at making my own shrub. 

Ingredients

Strawberry Shrub

  • 1 cup strawberries, halved  
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (1 inch) strip lemon zest

Citrus Shrub

  • I cup lemon, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup orange, peel and chopped 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions

Strawberry Shrub

  1. Combine strawberries, sugar, vinegar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  3. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. 
  4. Pour into a mason jar.
  5. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or up to 1 week.

Citrus Shrub

  1. Place all the fruit flesh into a blender and pulse until smooth. 
  2. Pour puree mixture, sugar and vinegar into a saucepan. 
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  4. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. 
  5. Pour into a mason jar.
  6. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or up to 1 week.

For the cocktails

In a cocktail shaker, add 1 ounce of vodka, ¾ ounce of Shrub, and ice. Cover and shake until cold, about 30 seconds. Strain into a glass of ice and top with Prosecco. Garnish with mint.

For a mocktail, serve Shrubs over Seltzer water and ice.

Recipes

Springtime Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Yogurt & Chimichurri sauce

Today’s recipe is all about a vibrant Chimichurri sauce and creamy garlic yogurt that perfectly complement these flavored meatballs. You can serve this as an appetizer for Easter or as a light dinner. Trust me you are going to love this recipe!

I love making meatballs, it always brings me back to being a little girl, watching my mom and grandma, Meme in the kitchen. I loved helping roll the meatballs and watching them sizzle when they were added to the pan with hot olive oil.

First, you want to make the yogurt sauce and the Chimichurri sauce. The longer these two sauces have to marinate the better.

The garlic yogurt sauce is super easy. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic and some salt and pepper. That’s it! 

For the Chimichurri sauce, you are going to want to use your food processor, no worries if you don’t have one, a blender will get the job done too. If you do not have either of those, a sharp knife and some muscle will work too.

To the food processor or blender, add the cilantro, basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Pulse until combined but still slightly chunky, adding more olive oil as needed to loosen. 

I absolutely love this sauce, I have a small jar of it in the refrigerator at all times. It compliments just about anything from these meatballs to an omelette or as a dip with some chips.  

Now for the meatballs!

Chop ½ of a yellow onion,4 cloves of garlic and one cup baby spinach. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and slowly add the onion and cook until translucent and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the spinach, garlic and some salt, cook until the spinach is wilted. Next sprinkle in the fennel seeds and cook for another minute, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken, breadcrumbs, basil, cayenne, onion powder, dried parsley, paprika, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and some black pepper and mix with a rubber spatula. Make well in the middle of the chicken mixture and crack one egg into the middle of the well. Here’s the fun part, using your hands mix the egg and chicken mixture until well combined. Using your hands, roll into golf ball-sized balls. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

In the same skillet, heat up a ½ inch of olive oil. Add the meatballs to the hot olive oil but make sure not to overcrowd the skillet, and brown the meatballs on each side about 6 to 10 minutes total. The meatballs should be a nice golden brown. Remember you are not cooking them all the way through, we will finish them off in the oven. 

Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 6 minutes, take the skillet out of the oven and slowly pour ¼ cup white wine into the skillet. Place back into the oven and continue cooking, 5 to 7 minutes.  

You can serve these meatballs as an appetizer or the main dish with a side of jasmine rice or even on a salad with Garlic Yogurt Sauce and Chimichurri.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking meatballs
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds 
  • 1 pound ground chicken 
  • 1/2 cup Italian Panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 large egg
  •  ¼ cup white wine

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chimichurri:

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • Crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook until translucent and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the spinach, garlic and some salt and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the fennel seeds and cook for another minute, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken, breadcrumbs, basil, cayenne, onion powder, dried parsley, paprika, thyme, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and some black pepper and mix. Roll into golf ball-sized balls.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with about 1/2 inch of oil. Brown the meatballs on all sides in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet, 6 to 10 minutes total. 

Place the meatballs in the oven, and set a timer for 6 minutes, take the pan out of the oven and slowly pour ¼ cup white wine into the pan.

Place back into the oven and continue cooking, 5 to 7 minutes. 

Serve with Yogurt Sauce and Chimichurri.

Yogurt Sauce

Add the yogurt, garlic and some salt and pepper to a small bowl. Mix to combine.

Chimichurri

To the food processor or blender , add the cilantro, basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and some salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Pulse until combined but still slightly chunky, adding more olive oil as needed to loosen. Taste and adjust the seasoning.