Tag Archives: cream cheese

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

Usually situated next to a bowl of taco chips and salsa, guacamole is often the first dish finished at any party I’ve ever been to. It’s definitely one of my favourites. It’s also one of the few party dishes that, on it’s own, is entirely healthy. The main ingredient alone, avocados, contain nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Although they are high in fat, it’s mostly unsaturated fat (the good kind). Unsaturated fats can actually aid your body in absorbing nutrients from other foods. These healthy fats also help you to feel full longer. Traditionally, guacamole is made by mashing together avocados and sea salt, but once you have the basic recipe down, you can tweak it any number of ways to make your own variation. Here is my go-to recipe:

Guacamole

2 Ripe Avocados from Mexico

1 Lime

1/4 Cup sweet onion, finely diced

1 Garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Salt to taste

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a small bowl.ย  Using a fork or potato masher, mash the avocadoย with the lime juice, garlic and salt until desired consistency. Gently stir in the onion and cilantro. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 2 Cups.

When I talk about avocados, I usually talk about Avocados from Mexico. Why? Because even in Canada, with our cold winters, Avocados from Mexico are always in season. Taking up about 80% of the market share in Canada, the Hass avocados that we all know and love are actually the result of grafting the branches of the Patron avocado plant and the roots of the Criollo avocado plant. Hand grafting these plants can take 3 – 5 years, but after that, each small plant is capable of producing up to 750 lbs of beautiful, creamy avocados.

When I make a batch of guacamole, I’m very happy (I mean, very happy) to sit and devour the entire bowl of it with nothing more than taco chips, but it’s really versatile and can be used to add some extra flavour to a ton of different dishes. One of my favourite ways to use it is as a spread on an egg and bacon breakfast sandwich. It’s also a delicious replacement for mayo in a chicken salad sandwich. In honour of National Guacamole Day, September 16th, and to have a little fun, I thought I’d play around a bit and find other ways to use guacamole. These guacamole jalapeno poppers have quickly become one of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did ๐Ÿ™‚

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

12 jalapeno peppers

3/4 cup guacamole

4 oz cream cheese, softened

6 strips of bacon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Slice the bacon into 1/2″ strips. Over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool.

Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. NOTE: When working with any spicy pepper, make sure that you keep your hands away from your eyes and that you don’t have any cuts on your hands. Trust me on this one and, if necessary, wear gloves.

Mix the cream cheese and guacamole together in a small bowl. Add the bacon and gently stir together until evenly distributed. Fill each jalapeno cavity with about 1 tbsp of the mixture. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the peppers are tender and the guacamole mixture is heated through.

 

 

Crab and shrimp mac n’ cheese

 

Crab and shrimp mac n' cheese

The kids are back in school! Whoot whoot! Errr…I mean I’m so sad to see them go ๐Ÿ˜‰

The day before the kids went back to school, we had an impromptu pool party at my father-in-laws house. Impromptu, in that we planned it all the evening before, after fishing for an invitation and promising to bring dinner ๐Ÿ™‚ As it turned out, the whole family was able to make it and it turned into a great end of summer/back to school celebration.

My contribution to the event was a crab and shrimp mac n’ cheese. It was a recipe that I had tried making back in the winter, but hadn’t had a chance to perfect or take proper pictures of. Ordinarily, Mac n’cheese wouldn’t be my go-to dish on a hotย summer day, but in this case there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. A few days before our last minute get-together, I received a text message from my sister-in-law with a special request:

mac n cheese text

 

Being a devoted mac n’ cheese lover, I completely understood her out-of-nowhere desire to have mac n’ cheese. I did, however, take exception with the blue cheese and kale. Firstly, blue cheese has never been my favourite. I think it’s one of those things that you either love or you hate. I’ve tried it many times and, when it comes to blue cheese, I’m definitely a hater. Secondly, I figure if you’re committed to eating mac n’ cheese, you may as well make it as rich, creamy, deliciously unhealthy as you like. Save the kale for the next day in case you feel a little guilty.

To honour my sister-in-laws request, here is my recipe for crab and shrimp mac n’ cheese. I hope you enjoy it as much as she did ๐Ÿ™‚

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp cooking sherry

1 Cup chicken stock

8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes

1/2 Cup asiago cheese, divided

250g crab meat

250g shrimp

1/2 Cup green onions, sliced

375g macaroni noodles

1 Cup sliced almonds, slightly toasted

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions, until they are al dente. Strain and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil together. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until just beginning to sweat. Stir in the sherry, allowing a bit of it to cook off, then add in the chicken stock. Bring the stock up to a simmer and begin adding in the cream cheese. Stir or whisk until it’s melted into the sauce and no lumps remain. Next, addย 1/4 Cup of the Asiagoย cheese. Stir until it’s melted into sauce. Finish the sauce by adding in the crab and shrimp and cook until just heated through.

Pour the sauce over the macaroni. Add the green onions and stir gently, then pour the pasta into a 9″x13″ baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Asiago cheese, followed by the almonds.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the dish in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese topping has melted and the almonds have toasted.

 

 

 

 

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