thursday things – mystery doritos, blue tomatoes, and southwestern tabbouleh

It’s Thursday! What you are seeing above is a glorious pineapple-coconut margarita (aka: “Nectar of the Gods”) from Blanco Tacos & Tequila in Arizona. Thursdays are great margarita days, in case you didn’t know. Helps to take the edge off the week and prepare you for the weekend…

I tried all the new Doritos flavors and can confidently recommend that you save your dollars and not buy them. My notes are below – if you have tried them, please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Yellow has almost a honey-mustard flavor, but then it has lime. It is like sweet-salty-limey flavor that I am not quite sure what they are going for. The only thing I can think of that is sweet, salty, and limey is a margarita, but it doesn’t taste like a margarita. I did actually think of something else it could be the other night but I already forgot. Maybe they’re just going for “zesty lime” in which case they hit the nail on the head, I guess. If they were going for “Mountain Dew” (which the internet seems to think) then, sorry guys. You missed the target (you are slightly closer to the target if you were aiming for “salty Mountain Dew” lol). Red I would describe as “hot as f**k” with a hint of cheddar. Every flavor I would assume they were going for already exists (buffalo wing? hot sauce? tabasco? but they already have “Tapatio” Doitos so… I dunno…) I mean, it takes a LOT of heat for something to make my mouth uncomfortably hot but this one did the trick. Actually, it wasn’t so much my mouth that suffered but every bite sent the spicy powder into my sinuses which then tried to murder me from the inside. If you are into fiery murder, go for it. These are your chips. Blue is definitely a molé flavor – It’s a bit smokey, a bit spicy, and a bit chocolatey, but somehow the flavors combine and cancel each other out making them almost bland with a hint of lingering spice that builds as you continue eating them.

I also found a new favorite snack. They are crunchy and delicious and I can pretend they are good for me because they are made with lentils. I’ve also tried the wasabi ranch flavor (more wasabi than ranch) and the caesar flavor (not the best) and the “lightly salted” (which were also really good) but the tomato basil is my favorite. They are almost always on sale for super cheap at our grocery store so my curiosity finally got the better of me and I picked up a few.

lentil snaps

In other news…

All you dog people can EAT IT because this cat proves that they are just as effective as dogs are at protecting you

Dominique Ansel is at it again with nutella-filled cronut holes… because that’s necessary.

Trader Joes released their Top 25 Products from 2013 and I’ve purchased woefully few of them. Triple ginger snaps, I’m coming for you this weekend!

So apparently I can stop my search for pineberries and grow my own, along with some indigo tomatoes (did you know those were a thing?)…. if I can just conquer this awful curse of killing every plant I touch…. Seriously, I have the equivalent of a plant graveyard on the side of the house.

Confused about whether to use light or dark brown sugar? Serious Eats to the rescue (as usual) – I usually split the difference and use “Golden Brown” sugar… seems like a good choice, right ?

Arizona’s Restaurant Week is this week so if you’re local be sure to check out your options.

Also, when I made my quinoa tabbouleh the other day I also made a “southwest” version. Because I had cilantro and it sounded like fun. It’s basically the same recipe but swap cilantro for the parsley, swap lime for the lemon, and add some avocado. The “official” recipe is below but I stand by my “adjust to your own preferences” recommendation. The recipe is VERY forgiving.

southwest tabbouleh pin

southwestern tabbouleh

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

    For quinoa
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For tabbouleh
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (or substitute one small shallot for more "pico" flavor)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 4 cups cilantro, loosely packed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

    Cook quinoa
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, until gently toasted. Add water (I use a 1:1 ratio of quinoa to water) and heat to a boil. Cook according to time stated on package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Make the tabbouleh
  3. Chop tomatoes and avocado to desired size and slice green onions (or shallots); set aside
  4. In a food processor, pulse cilantro leafs until finely-chopped but stop before it reaches a paste. Add a drizzle of olive oil and lime juice (sometimes I'll add my onion and tomato here too, just to chop them up a bit more) and pulse a couple seconds more to distribute.
  5. Transfer cilantro to a large bowl, add tomato, avocado, and green onions/shallot. Toss to combine.
  6. Add desired amount of quinoa, distributing evenly throughout.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste, refrigerate 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Taste again and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Notes

You can adjust the rations of vegetables/herbs/quinoa to your liking. I usually don't use all of the quinoa but if you want to give yours more bulk, feel free!

This makes a great side or filling for taco night!

http://wee-eats.com/2014/05/15/thursday-things-mystery-doritos-blue-tomatoes-and-southwestern-tabbouleh/

Pico de Gallo

pico2

The thing I’m struggling with the most with for this blog is measurements. Do you know how hard it is to measure things when you are accustomed to just throwing it together? It’s the little things, like how much salt really ends up in a bowl of pico? I tried so hard to measure the salt for this recipe. I use a salt grinder, which already complicates things for recipes. How much comes out in 1 grind? I have no idea… What I ended up doing was grinding the salt over a piece of paper as though I were grinding it over the pico, and then poured it from that paper into a measuring spoon. I still don’t know if I got it right. Thank you for making me feel extra crazy. Now, to the recipe…

Pico de gallo is one of those little things that can take your taco night from ‘average’ to ‘great’! It’s so simple and takes almost no time to prepare.  The fresh mix of tomato, onion, and cilantro can brighten up just about any dish.
I’ve been known to use pico not only to adorn my chips & tacos, but also as a welcome addition to my scrambled eggs. Throw in some ham and make a tasty omelet, or try stirring some fresh pico into your next batch of guacamole for added texture and flavor.

try adding some pico to your tacos on taco night!

Plus, it’s completely customizable (I’m noticing that I say that a lot… ) I know it sounds weird but try leaving out the garlic & substituting diced, fresh watermelon for the tomatoes. Fruit can give your salsa an interesting, sweet twist (mango would work, too).  Corn is another way to make your traditional pico a little sweeter (think of Chipotle). Want it spicier? Add more jalapeno, or switch to a spicier pepper. Less spice? Leave them out entirely! If you don’t like the chunky texture of pico, just throw it in a blender and puree away to your desired consistency!

Pico de Gallo

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  • 2 tomatoes (I used Roma), chopped
  • ½ medium onion (red or white), chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (I actually grate mine) OR a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • ½ lime – just the juice!
  • 1/8 tsp salt (Remember – it’s much easier to add salt than to take it out!)
  • Drizzle of olive oil

1. Mix it all together, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Well that was easy…)

Tips

*Remember, I’m usually cooking for only 2 people. If you have a crowd coming over, double or triple the recipe.

*If you like a different ratio of tomato to onion, add more of one or the other. If you don’t like cilantro – leave it out! If you want more salt, add it. Don’t be a slave to recipes- CUSTOMIZE!!!

*If you replace the cilantro with basil, and leave out the lime, you will have bruschetta! Use it to top some fresh crostini! YUM!

*If you don’t like seeds, or prefer a less runny salsa, slice AROUND the core. You get all the flesh while avoiding the gooey insides. This works great for peppers, too!