best homemade guacamole

January 17th, 2020 · 14 Comments

I love guacamole. 

In fact, the word ‘love’ might not be strong enough.  I’m enthralled, enraptured and a little bit obsessed with this recipe, in no small part because it’s one of the best-tasting good-for-you snacks I can imagine.  Avocados are full of healthy fats, and guacamole is basically just a combination of a few simple, fresh ingredients, tossed and served up.  It doesn’t get much yummier than that.

A few tips on storing guacamole without the avocados turning brown — first, don’t make this until the last possible minute.  But if you have to make it ahead (or, even more rarely, if this doesn’t get eaten in one sitting), save the pits and store them in the same container.  Rub some saran wrap with a little bit of lemon juice, and cover the top of the guacamole that would otherwise be exposed to the air, and then add an airtight lid. 

And on day two, throw this on some tortilla chips, add some sour cream and cheese, and viola — nachos!

Best Homemade Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe avocados
1 shallot, minced
1 plum tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly grated black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit.  Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a mixing bowl.  Add the chopped onion, cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, salt and pepper and mash with a fork until chunky and mixed.  Serve with chips or chopped veggies.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes

Seared Scallop Salad

November 8th, 2019 · 35 Comments

This post has been in my “drafts” folder for almost a week, but I didn’t want to post it because I felt like I owed you guys an at least somewhat sweet recipe, since my last dessert was in March!  But, with that out of my system, I am equally excited about this seared scallop salad.

And for you to fully appreciate this salad, I have to tell you a very cute story.  It involves the farmer’s market, and an adorably hungry dog.  Now, the fish stand at our farmer’s market is so popular that if you show up anytime after about 11 am, the only things left are scallops, mussels and cod.  All of which I like!  But it sometimes hurts to see their whiteboard of delicious fish options, 90% erased by the time I make my way down to Union Square.

But, as I was waiting on line one Saturday, suddenly this dog in front of me got up on its back paws and pressed his little nose up to the front of the fish case. As the poor owner was trying to get the (rather large) dog to pry its face away from the plastic divider, the man behind the counter plucked a scallop out of his bowl, and tossed it to the dog, who greedily chomped it down.  Too cute!  And, I thought to myself, “if that dog can get that excited about scallops, then I can find something really lovely to do with them (that does not involve eating them raw in one bite).”

I decided to try some of the artisan greens that were available, and they were very different from what I expected!  Corn shoots, which are the long, straight, very light greens in the salad, were intensely flavorful and just burst in your mouth — different from any lettuce I’ve ever eaten.  The other greens in the salad are white pea greens, pea shoots, and buckwheat greens, and there are some sunchokes thrown in because you know how much I love them.

In other news, I am very excited to announce that two blogs that I like a lot have given me awards (although I feel like I don’t deserve them after steering two people astray with the muffin/large loaf debacle)! Elle and Sarah have given me, respectively, the “E for Excellent” and “Blogging with a Purpose” blogging awards! Which means that I get to pass them on — and honestly, there are too many wonderful food and cooking blogs out there to choose from, and new ones popping up all the time! But here are a few of the blogs whose entries I am always excited to see:

  • Modern Beet – For her excellent focus on local, sustainable and delicious ingredients!
  • Gourmeted – Because I just love their site.
  • Cook & Eat – For the best website layout I’ve seen, and gorgeous recipes!
  • Steamy Kitchen – Because I can’t read this site at work, for fear that I’ll laugh out loud and seem unproductive!
  • White on Rice Couple – Because I’m so excited to make their homemade dog treats this weekend, and because their photos are always gorgeous!
  • Seared Scallop Salad

    INGREDIENTS:
    1 pound large scallops
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 sunchokes, peeled and chopped into matchstick slices
    1 pound mixed artisan greens (I used corn shoots, pea shoots, white pea greens, and buckwheat greens)
    2 tsp mustard
    1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    Salt
    Pepper

    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Salt and pepper the scallops and set aside.
    2. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil until nearly smoking. When pan and oil are hot. add scallops to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd them. Sear for about 2 minutes per side, turning once. Don’t move them around when they’re on the pan, except to flip them once!
    3. Remove the scallops from the pan and set on a paper towel to cool.
    4. Whisk together mustard, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper, as desired. Dress the greens and sunchoke slices with the dressing and set them onto plates. Place the scallops on top of the greens, about 4 or 5 scallops per plate.

    Serves four, as an appetizer.

    Tags: food · salads · side dishes

    scallop salad with fresh corn and pomegranate

    September 13th, 2019 · 10 Comments

    This month, I’m doing something especially fun with my food posts — I’ve partnered with Noritake China to create some dishes beautiful enough to live up to their gorgeous china! 

    For my first dish, I created this scallop salad full of colorful, fresh ingredients.  Scallops are a personal favorite of mine — more delicate than shrimp, and more bite-size than a full fish fillet.  I can hardly ever resist them on a menu.  And the craziest part?  I made these in our toaster oven — just a slow bake and a quick broil, and you have all the flavor with exactly zero mess.

    To bring out the deep brown tone in the Colorwave place setting, I wanted some bright, vibrant ingredients in this salad — crisp, hand-torn romaine, fresh corn, bright green chives, and juicy pomegranate seeds.  Can you think of a better combo? 

    So what do you guys think?  What would you pair with this place setting?  I can’t wait to show you the other recipes I have lined up!

    For step-by-step photos of how to prepare this recipe, check out Noritake’s Facebook page!  And if a pattern catches your eye, use the coupon code SUGARLAWS for 10% off the merchandise in your cart on the Noritake website!

    Scallop Salad with Fresh Corn and Pomegranate

    INGREDIENTS
    8 large sea scallops
    1 ear corn, husked
    2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
    1 tbsp chopped chives
    10 large leaves of romaine lettuce
    4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Additional olive oil, ground pepper and sea salt, for scallops

    DIRECTIONS

    Heat a pot of boiling water and cook corn cobs for approximately 7-8 minutes, or until they are brightly colored and tender.  Remove from water and slice kernels from cob (I find corn is easier to cut when you cut the cob in half first, and then rest the cut end on a surface and cut vertically).  Reserve.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush scallops with olive oil and sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt.  Bake for approximately ten minutes at 400 degrees, and then broil at 500 degrees for one minute.

    While the scallops are cooking, tear the romaine into bite-size pieces by hand.  Combine the romaine, corn, chives, Parmesan, olive oil and vinegar into a bowl and toss together. 

    Divide the salad into two bowls, and arrange the cooked sea scallops so that there are four in each bowl.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.

    Serves two.

    Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes · sponsored