Tzatziki

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When I was younger, Trader Joe’s Tzatziki was a staple in my refrigerator. As I have gotten older and really learned my way around the kitchen, I found it’s much more delicious homemade. As most things are.

A creamy greek yogurt sauce with garlic and cucumber, its a great partner to a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Or to just dunk a warm piece of pita bread in.

I used this as a topping to some chicken shawarma pitas. Easy to make there is really no excuse to buy it, sorry Trader Joe’s.

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INGREDIENTS

3/4 English cucumber, peeled and grated

4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled, finely minced

1 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs chopped fresh dill

1 tbs GOOD Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups Greek yogurt

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions

After the cucumber is grated allow to sit in a fine mesh strainer, sprinkle with a dusting of kosher salt and let sit, this will bring out the moisture in the cucumber.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt,  garlic, lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Chill.

Squeeze as much liquid out of the cucumber as you can using cheese cloth, dish towel or aheavy duty paper towel. Add to the yogurt mixture and combine well. Chill until ready . Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

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Jamaican Jerk Shrimp with Mango Salsa

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Fun fact, did you know that mango skin is related to poison Ivy? I found out the hard way years ago after I developed a rash on my hands and face from devouring a case of mangoes. Maybe that isn’t such a fun fact.

It’s hard to beat a perfectly ripe and juicy mango. Delicious on their own but they are also perfect partners for seafood. Mango salsa cools the palate from the spice in this recipe. Save a batch of seasoning for a super easy weeknight meal and don’t be afraid to venture into another type of seafood, this would be good on salmon or a meaty white fish.

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*recipe adapted from MyRecipes

INGREDIENTS

1-2 mangos, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 red onion, diced

salt to taste (garlic salt is even better)

2 lbs large raw shrimp

2 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk spice mixture **recipe below**

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Combine the first 5 ingredients together and set aside.

Toss shrimp (tails on or off it’s your meal) with olive oil and spice mixture, mix to coat. Heat large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Add coconut oil, when hot add your shrimp. Cook 3 minutes per side or just until shrimp turn pink.

Serve on a bed of mango salsa. Coconut rice would be a wonderful team player.

**JAMAICAN JERK SPICE MIXTURE

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1/3 cup paprika

2 tablespoons ground allspice

4 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, store in an air tight container.

 

 

 

Ajo Blanco

 

IMG_2919To say it’s been warm here in sunny San Diego is an understatement. In the words of my four year old, it’s been a “fiery furnace” outside. As the weather cooled down to a nice 78 degrees I flashed back to a memory of sitting along the ocean eating charred octopus. The octopus, perfectly cooked was sitting on a silky bed of Ajo Blanco. It was delicious, lick the plate delicious.

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Ajo Blanco, a popular cold Spanish soup is made with a base of bread, grapes, garlic, almonds and olive oil. Perfect for a hot summer day, beachside or not.

*Recipe from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 cups crustless day old white bread, cubed
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus more for serving
  •  black pepper
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

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Combine apple, garlic, bread, grapes, blanched almonds, milk, and 2 cups water in a medium bowl; season with salt. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Transfer soup base to a blender and purée, adding water by tablespoonfuls if too thick, until smooth. With motor running, gradually add ¾ cup oil and 3 Tbsp. vinegar and blend until soup is smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; cover and chill until very cold, about 2 hours.

Toast your sliced almonds in the oven or stovetop until golden brown, let cool.

Divide soup among bowls or bowl, drizzle olive oil and toasted almonds. Enjoy

 

Tomato Galette

This is a perfect dish to make when you have beautiful tomatoes begging to be used. Store bought pie crust makes it an easy weeknight meal and the addition of some golden caramelized onions can turn it into a weekend hit. Although you may not want to share, it’s that good!

INGREDIENTS

1 unbaked Pie Crust

1 (5oz) package of Boursin Garlic and Herbs Cheese

1 small yellow onion, sliced and caramelized

2 Large or 3 Medium Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Handful of torn or chiffonade basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 large egg with a drizzle of water, beaten

Preheat your oven 375 degrees.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, unroll the pie crust. Spread the Boursin cheese on the dough leaving about a 1 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle the onion over the cheese and then layer on your toms. Sprinkle with a healthy shower of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and honey and then the basil.

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Gently fold the edges of the dough up over the tomatoes, repeating every two inches around the free formed pie. Brush the crust with the beaten egg wash.

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Pop into your heated oven and bake for *1 hour or until crust is golden.

* Don’t go too far, check at the 30 minute mark to make sure the crust isn’t burning,

Let cool for 5 minutes.

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Devour with a nice glass of wine.

Israeli Couscous with Radish and Pistachios

This dish is exactly what you need to make before summer ends. The chewy pearls of couscous with the crunch of the pistachios, done! The raisins, they add a hint of sweetness and for some reason I feel any dish can use a touch, mint…. always a good idea!

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Ingredients

cup uncooked Israeli couscous

small shallot, finely chopped

1/4cup olive oil

tsp lime zest

1/4 cup lime juice 

Handful of Golden Raisin’s ( to your sweet tooth’s desire)

kosher salt to taste

pepper to taste

bunch radishes of your choice  (about 12 ounces), chopped (2 1/2 cups)

1/2 English cucumber, chopped (1 cup)

1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1/2cup chopped fresh mint

 

Directions

Cook couscous according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl whisk together shallot, olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and black pepper.

Stir in couscous, radishes, cucumber, pistachios, and mint.

Taste for seasoning and then let sit in the refrigerator for an hour.

Taste for seasoning again. Enjoy!

 

On Pause

Hi guys! I am sorry I haven’t been around lately. Our lives are facing some new changes. I am going to push pause on Simply Four for a bit. But I will still stopping by Facebook and Instagram for posts on the girls, but as for the blog, maybe someday soon I will come back with something new and improved.

I just want to thank you all for sticking around, reading about the ups and downs and watching the girls grow up. A lot of you have been around since the beginning and I appreciate you all.

XO

Kim