A Taste For Spice »

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CRAB & RED PEPPER BISQUE

One of my favorite types of soups are bisques because they’re super warm in flavor (not just temperature), yield so much flavor, have a creamy factor without having to add cream or any dairy and can be rather good for you. So those who are lactose intolerance or vegetarian/vegan, this may be a go to for you! If you love roasted peppers then I promise you won’t be disappointed in this recipe. I put together a citrus lump crab salad to go with the soup but it’s not mandatory to make because you can do whatever you want. While the crab adds some elegance to the dish and would make for a great soup for guests, you can keep it casual like I did the other day. I paired it with a gruyere grilled cheese and it was so awesome! I’d imagine a quesadilla would do just as well too.

The brandy in the recipe is optional if you prefer to not cook with alcohol but it does make a subtle difference in depth of flavor. Keep in mind the alcohol does get cooked out. Also, depending on the size of your blender, you might have to puree in two separate batches. As always, I encourage you to make this recipe as fancy or casual as you like and please share what you come up with. I always love your new ideas. Enjoy!


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CRAB & RED PEPPER BISQUE
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CITRUS CRAB SALAD
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CITRUS CRAB SALAD
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the citrus crab salad and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the broiler on high. Place the 3 red bell peppers on a baking dish and broil until the skin is charred and blistered. Turn them often until all sides are done.
  3. Remove the peppers from the oven and cover the peppers with a towel. Let cool.
  4. Peel the skin from the peppers under cool water, remove the seeds, pat dry, rough chop and set aside.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat, then add 3 raw chopped bell peppers, leek, onion, garlic, and celery. Allow them to sweat for about 15 minutes, until very soft but not browned.
  6. Add the bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper then stir. Pour the brandy into the pan, stir, increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the brandy completely.
  7. Pour in the vegetable stock, stir and let everything come to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
  8. Add the roasted peppers to the soup and run the soup through a high speed blender like a Vitamix until smooth.
  9. Add any additional alt and cayenne to taste.
  10. To assemble, arrange a few slices of avocado at the bottom of a bowl, and place the crab salad in the center. Pour the soup around the crab salad.

SPICY SWEET POTATO TACOS

I shared a picture of these tacos on my Facebook page recently feeling completely unsure whether it would be a waste of time or not to share this recipe. Most people typically expect some kind of meat in their meals so it left me undecided. I know I shouldn’t really care especially if it’s good food because someone out there will enjoy it BUT lets face it… I’m female. Italian… I’m a pleaser. Enough said LOL! I will not disappoint you with these. They’re sweet. Spicy. Warm in flavor all the while still very fresh tasting. And it keeps well in the fridge for a week!

Of course you don’t have to use butter lettuce as the tortilla replacement. By all means, use your favorite tortilla if you like. Although I wanted to complete this healthy meal with a lighter, healthier option. Cabbage and Swiss chard are super yummy tortilla substitutes too.  I’ve added avocado to it and even tried it with a little bit of my Roasted Jalapeno Guacamole which is pretty damn awesome! OH! How can I forget cheese… yeah, it’s kinda against my religion to have tacos with out cheese… yet I resisted this time for the recipe. That doesn’t mean you can’t do WHAT-EVER-YOU-WANT!

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SPICY SWEET POTATO TACOS
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tacos
Ingredients
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tacos
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Toss the sweet potato, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, and olive oil together. Place into a baking dish and bake at 400 F degrees for 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Over medium-high heat saute the onions and garlic with olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the black beans, corn, sweet potato, rice, honey, and lime juice. Stir everything together and let it cook for about 3 minutes or until everything is warmed through.
  3. Serve in individual butter lettuce leaves. Garnish with cilantro.

CILANTRO LIME RICE

This fresh Cilantro Lime Rice is a huge thing lately and I gotta admit I’m hooked. I first discovered it at Chipotle probably like many of you. I have no shame admitting that I look forward to indulging there at times… it’s pretty much the only “fast food” I can stomach. But lets be honest… most times the Cilantro Lime Rice at Chipotle (whether it be white or brown) or pretty much anywhere lacks any punch. Both lime and cilantro are huge bold flavors for such fresh tasting ingredients. So I want to taste both in the rice. That is why I decided to come up with the perfect measurements to get it right every damn time!

One word of advice, make sure that one lime you use in the recipe is JUICY! Otherwise use another one. If you’re a lover of cilantro, add more if you want to. And before you go adding salt to it because you think it will need it, try it first! Typically lime and lemon added to foods usually mimics the purpose of salt. Feel free to use any rice but I feel the subtle earthiness of Jasmin rice compliments everything the best. Besides, white rice isn’t the greatest for you and it’s boring anyways 😀

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CILANTRO LIME RICE
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Recipe Notes

Cook the jasmine rice according to the packaging with vegetable stock instead of water. When done, stir the lime juice and cilantro together.

TRADITIONAL MANGO SALSA

Oh how I love how mango salsa is so versatile! It’s one of the main reasons why I make it often during the Summer. You can eat it with tortilla chips, serve it next to your favorite tomato based salsa and other salsas you love for parties. Put this over Salmon or any of your favorite seafood dishes. And my favorite of course is putting this on top of all kinds of tacos like my Cochinita Pibil. Also! You can give your egg scramble a fresh Mexican flare by adding mango salsa to it. I love options and I hope you do too!


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TRADITIONAL MANGO SALSA
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Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Let sit at least 30 minutes or over night.