Mejillones a la Vinagreta

The following recipe was made and shared at my Tapas party. You can read about the event and view links to the other recipes shared HERE.

Mejillones a la Vinagreta
(Mussels Vinaigrette)
shared at the event by Teresa
recipe from here

2 1/2 dozen mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
Shredded lettuce
2 tbsp minced green onion
2 tbsp minced green pepper
2 tbsp minced red pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
Dash of red pepper sauce
Salt to taste

Steam open the mussels. Put them in a deep pan with the water. Cover the pan and put over a high heat, shaking the pan, until the shells open. Remove from heat and discard any mussels that do not open.
Mussels can also be opened in a microwave. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl, partially covered, and microwave at full power for one minute. Stir and microwave one minute more. Remove any mussels that have opened and microwave one minute more. Again remove open ones. Repeat twice more. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the empty shells. (Mussels can be cooked in advance and refrigerated.) Shortly before serving, arrange mussels on a bed of shredded lettuce on a serving platter. In a bowl combine the onion, green and red pepper, parsley, oil, and vinegar. Season with red pepper sauce and salt. Spoon the mixture into the mussels in their shells.

Wild for Wildfire Salad!

One of my favorite salads comes from a regional restaurant chain, Wildfire. It’s a restaurant where I’ve celebrated some memorable occassions such as past birthdays of mine, family members and friends, and even our engagement party. In fact the last time I went to Wildfire was 2 years ago, which was when we had our engagement party. But back to the salad… Wildfire has an amazing chopped salad. The citrus lime vinaigrette is what completes this salad for me and I remember several years ago, I even called the local restaurant requesting to speak to the chef in hopes of getting the recipe for the vinaigrette. But no such luck.

Forwarding to present day, I was reminded of the restaurant by a friend and all the memories of this salad came flooding back. I checked out their website to see if any changes have been made to their menu. Little did I know that since the last time I’ve been to Wildfire, they began bottling the citrus lime vinaigrette. I loved so much!

That same day, I made a stop at Wildfire on the way home and picked up 2 bottles of this prized vinaigrette. Tonight, I used it and recreated the Wildfire Chopped Salad… and boy, it definitely hit the spot.
Here’s the recipe for Wildfire’s Signature Chopped Salad
(which is also printed on the bottled dressing label)

1 bag of mixed greens or chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped roasted chicken
1 avocado diced
1 tomato, seeded & diced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
1 scallon, sliced thinly
1/2 cup super sweet corn
fried corn tortilla strips, for garnish
1-2 tablespoons Wildfire Citrus Lime Vinaigrette

Toss all ingredients in a large salad bowl.
Serve immediately.

Tex mex chopped salad

Tex mex chopped salad w/spicy roasted chicken
& cilantro lime vinaigrette

Spicy Roasted Chicken:
cut up chicken pieces
olive oil
Seasonings: 1 teaspoon of each
black pepper
chili powder
onion powder
garlic powder
sazon seasoning w/cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all seasonings in a small bowl and mix.
Season chicken pieces with seasoning mix liberally.
Place seasoned chicken in dutch oven.
Pour olive oil over chicken.
Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 1 hour.
Allow chicken to cool.
Debone chicken and add to the following salad…
Tex Mex Chopped Salad:
romaine lettuce, chopped
spinach leaves, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 can of sweet corn, drained
1 small cucumber or pickle, diced
1 roma tomato, seeded & chopped
a few baby carrots, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
chopped, deboned spicy roasted chicken
crushed tortilla chips

Combine above salad ingredients except tortilla chips and toss.
Serve with the cilantro lime vinaigrette below.
Top with crushed tortilla chips.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
juice of 1 lime
olive oil
handful of chopped cilantro (or to your taste)
salt, pepper & sazon con cilantro to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette Tossed Salad

Balsamic Vinaigrette Tossed Salad

romaine lettuce, chopped

roma tomatoes, diced
sliced black olives
fontina cheese, cubed

2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dried italian seasoning

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except dressing ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients and pour over salad.
Toss to coat.

BLT – Bacon Lovin’ Treat

Another day at home so for lunch, I decided to make a long time favorite… BLTs. Rather than cooking up the bacon on the stovetop, I baked it in the oven. It’s easier, less clean up and allows more effective use of my time.I didn’t toast the bread, but still good nonetheless. Ideally, I would have served this on a homemade rosemary, garlic & sundried tomato bread I made… but I was too hungry to wait.

Burrito Bowling

Despite our previous plans of cutting out certain meats from our diet, my husband and I decided to start with beef. Given this, pork is still in our diet and so today I made pork carnita burrito bowls for dinner. This is what we usually order when we hit up Chipotle or Qdoba so why not recreate it at home?Here is my recipe for Pork Carnitas w/a Spicy Mango Peach Salsa I made earlier:

Pork Carnitas:
1 lb pork shoulder
seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, cumin
oil for frying

Season pork shoulder with spices.
Place in a dutch oven or deep skillet with hot oil.
Brown pork on all sides until thoroughly cooked.
Remove from pan and allow it to rest on paper towels

Burrito Bowl:
brown rice
chopped lettuce
sour cream
spicy mango peach salsa

Place a bed of brown rice on your serving plate.
Top with pork carnitas, lettuce, sour cream and salsa.

* You can also include beans, cheese, guacamole… whatever works for you!

8 Layer Salad

8 Layer Salad
Combine your preferred amounts of the following building from bottom to top in a trifle bowl. Allow salad to chill at least 2 hours or even overnight before serving.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salad Dressing seasoned with garlic powder
Chopped Bacon