Tequila Cilantro Pesto

I LOVE cilantro. Love. It’s my favorite color (not that that’s unique), and it just smells so fresh and amazing. It smells like warm weather and sunshine. And anyone who knows me knows how I feel about warm weather. And hot weather. Oh yeah, and it tastes fantastic too. So I made it into a pesto and added some bite–tequila!

pesto1This particular evening I slathered it on tortillas to make “green tacos” with chicken, spinach, and avocado. But I could also see covering some chicken with it whether baked in the oven or cooked on the grill. Or on pizza. Or pasta. You know, the usual pesto recipients. Depending upon what you want to use it for, just adjust the amount of olive oil or use reserved pasta water to create the consistency you want.

pesto5If I wasn’t hoping a certain toddler was going to partake in the pesto (no, he didn’t have any–no tequila for this two year old!), I would have also added in some chile pepper. Although, as long as I glob sour cream on it I don’t think he would care….

Tequila Cilantro Pesto

Adapted from Simply Recipes

2 cups packed cilantro leaves

1/2 cup almonds

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon salt

dash of cayenne

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon tequila (more if you want!)

If you want to be super fancy, toast those almonds in a dry skillet on the stove until fragrant. Toss the cilantro, almonds, garlic, salt and cayenne into a food processor and pulse. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil, lime juice and tequila. Taste and adjust seasonings, tequila, or oil accordingly.

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Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme: Simon & Garfunkel Beer Bread

A couple weeks ago we threw our little one a Simon and Garfunkel themed Second birthday party. That’s right. Every toddler’s dream.

The first birthday was centered around the Beatles (1-compilation album=perfect!). I made yellow submarine sandwiches with I am the eggman egg salad and I am the walrus tuna salad; Strawberry fields salad; Bungalow Bills Buffalo Wings; Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Dip (roasted red pepper dip); Watching the Pinwheels (tortilla roll ups); Piggies (pigs in the blanket); A Taste of Honey (literally just a bottle of honey with a spoon); and my personal favorite-The Salad of John and Yoko (a pasta salad).

But this year, it was all about my favorite music group of all time. I found it slightly more challenging to correlate food to the serious Simon and Garfunkel tunes, but I felt proud of the outcome.

Mrs. Wagner Pies (black bean cheddar and spinach ricotta empanadas); I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail (tortilla roll ups again, this time up on their sides); boysenberry jam-on english muffins of course; The Dips that are Green (avocado hummus and pesto dip). And a parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme beer bread with a garlic compound butter.

I’m sure you only wish you had a second birthday half as awesome.

Simon and Garfunkel Beer Bread

Adapted from Farmgirl Fare

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 garlic gloves, minced

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

12 oz. (1 bottle) beer

1 egg

Garlic Butter

1 stick salted butter, softened at room temperature

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in a medium/large bowl. I like to aerate it at this time and just stir it all together with a whisk. Add in the garlic and cheese and stir, covering all pieces with flour to assure it doesn’t stick together in a clump. Pour in the beer and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter in a greased loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a little tap water. Brush the egg glaze over the top of the bread batter. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

In a small bowl, mix butter, garlic and parsley together. Reserve to spread on your super delicious Simon & Garfunkel beer bread!

Beer Braised Greens

Don’t like greens? Add beer.

You do like greens? Add beer. You’ll like them even more.

Bacon couldn’t hurt either.

Beer Braised Greens

1 medium-large onion

3 cloves garlic

1 bottle beer

1-2 cups stock or water

2 bunches greens, washed and chopped

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Heat a pan over medium heat. Chop up the onion and saute for five minutes or until softened. Mince the garlic and add to the pan, cooking for 30 seconds-1 minute.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, cover with a lid and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the greens are cooked through to your liking. This could be as little as a half hour or up to two hours. Enjoy your beer drenched greens!

Garlic and Beer Scalloped Potatoes

I made scalloped potatoes for Easter-it just seems like an Easter dish, doesn’t it?-and then I had all these leftover potatoes sitting around my house on the verge of sprouting. So I decided to make scalloped potatoes again! With beer. Good decision.

Normally, scalloped potatoes are baked in some sort of cream mixture. Some of the cream absorbs into the potatoes and some combines with the cheese to make a sinfully delicious sauce. Why wouldn’t you want to add beer to that happy combination? You totally should.

Beer? Potatoes? Cheese? As I’ve shown before, they’re meant to be together.

Beer and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 cup cream

3/4 cup beer

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 pounds of potatoes (I used organic Russets)

dried thyme

salt

pepper

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 dish. Slice your potatoes as thinly as possible.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, beer, and garlic to a simmer, but do not boil. Once it has come to a simmer remove from the heat and set aside.

Cover the bottom of your dish with a layer of overlapping potatoes. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat this process with two more layers. Stir up your beer cream mixture and pour evenly over the whole dish. Sprinkle all of the remaining cheese over the top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes have cooked through.

Bacon, Blue Cheese and BEER Potato Salad

Yes, yes, you read that right. My never ending quest to incorporate tasty beverages into all the dishes we eat has led me to adding beer to our favorite summer BBQ side.

Last week I saw that America’s Test Kitchen was having a “Dish it Your Way” Blogger Challenge, focusing on a different American classic dish each week. This week: potato salad. Within moments, the inspiration became clear. I knew what I had to do.

Bacon. Blue cheese. Beer. Potatoes. These ingredients don’t just go together–they belong together.

The fabulous thing about this recipe is flexibility. Want more bacon? Add more bacon. Not enough garlic? Add more garlic. Or add fresh, sauteed garlic.

There is just enough mayonnaise to make the dressing slightly creamy, making it a little more dense so that it clings to the potatoes. And to those who don’t like spice: DON’T FEAR THE HOT SAUCE. You don’t have to add a lot. But let me tell you, until I added the hot sauce, the dressing was lacking. The hot sauce gave it a depth of flavor that wasn’t there before.

And what I absolutely LOVE: you can taste the beer! I used Flying Dog Golden Ale: it’s crisp and clean and a nice neutral beer for this dish. But I would really like to try this recipe with an IPA, since they pair so well with both spice and blue cheese. If you experiment, let me know!

We ate this salad warm, but I’m really looking forward to those leftovers. I bet the potatoes have absorbed all that delicious dressing…yum…My cookouts just got better.

Bacon, Blue Cheese and Beer Potato Salad

2.5-3 lbs potatoes (I used red)

6 slices bacon (turkey for us!)

4 scallions or spring onions

1/2 cup beer

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

hot sauce

salt and pepper

1 cup blue cheese

Wash potatoes and chop into bite size pieces. Place in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. While you are waiting for the potatoes to come to a boil, cook the bacon and let cool. Chop your onion (use whites and greens) and bacon. In the bottom of your serving bowl, combine beer, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder, and add hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. When the potatoes are done, drain and add to the beer mixture. Add onions, bacon and blue cheese. Combine and serve.