Watermelon Salsa (on Grilled Salmon)

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Author: Leslie (The Accidental Chef) Thomas

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 pounds, Wild Salmon – grilled
1 cup, seedless watermelon – diced, 1/4″
1/3 cup, cucumber, seeded – diced, 1/4″
2 tablespoons, red onion – diced, 1/4″
2 tablespoons, yellow bell pepper – diced, 1/4″
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Jalapeno Oil
2 tablespoons, cilantro – finely chopped
1 tablespoon, chives – finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon, finely ground salt
1 pinch, il Fustino Smoked Garlic Salt – on each piece of fish

METHOD

  1. Place all cut fruit, veggies, salt, juice, & oil in large bowl. Toss gently to combine.
  2. Refrigerate at least one hour. Toss just before serving.
  3. Top on grilled salmon or any other fish. Leftover salsa may be refrigerated for later use.

Leslie’s Gazpacho

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Author: Leslie (The Accidental Chef) Thomas

Serves: 5

INGREDIENTS

3 just ripe tomatoes – finely chopped
2 stalks, celery – chopped thinly crosswise
1 leek (white part only) – halves & sliced thinly crosswise
1 large yellow or orange bell pepper – diced
1 large green bell pepper – diced
1 large cucumber – seeded & finely chopped
2 tablespoons, il Fustino Garlic Olive Oil
2 tablespoons, il Fustino Jalapeno Oil – (or more to taste)
1/4 cup, il Fustino White Balsamic Vinegar
32 ounces, tomato juice, low sodium
1 lemon – juiced
salt to taste

METHOD

  1. Chop all vegetables finely, using veggies that are not overripe.
  2. Mix vegetables, both oils, vinegar, tomato juice, & lemon juice in a large bowl. Taste for needed salt.
  3. Refrigerate for a few hours to chill & allow the flavors to meld together. Gets better as time goes on.
  4. Ladle it out! Good for two more days (veggies will turn soft after that).

Holdren’s Fried Onions and JalapeƱos

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Used on top of the steak sandwich at Holdren’s in Santa Barbara. I had to learn how to make them myself

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

4 medium, yellow onions – rings sliced 1/4″ thick
6 medium, jalapenos – seeded and sliced in 1/4″ think rings
1 cup, flour
1 tablespoon, cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons, table salt
kosher salt – to taste
1/4 teaspoon, ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon, baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup, milk
1/2 cup, club soda
12 ounces, il Fustino Avocado Oil

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 250. Prepare a cookie sheet covered with paper towels.
  2. Wash and peel onions and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Separate rounds into rings.
  3. Wash and cut the stem end off of the jalapenos. Using an apple-peeler, core out the inside of the jalapeno and slice into rings 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Blend well.
  5. In a large measuring cup, combine eggs, milk and club soda. Whisk together.
  6. In a large, high sided pot heat Avocado Oil over medium high heat until thermometer reads 375 – 400 degrees.
  7. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, blending well
  8. In two batches, dip onions and jalapenos into batter then directly into hot oil being careful not to splash.
  9. Fry until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Place on paper towels on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in warm oven while you fry second batch.
  10. Wait until oil returns to temperature then repeat frying and salting.
  11. Serve immediately.

Avocado oil works for this recipe because it can be heated very hot. Be sure to use a big burner that will recover the heat quickly. Monitor the temperature for the crispiest results.

Tomato and Nectarine Ceviche

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Author: Leslie (The Accidental Chef) Thomas

A wonderful light side dish for summertime.

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

2 large nectarines – thinly sliced or one-inch cubes
1/2 cup, fresh lime juice
1 cup, raw peas (fresh/frozen)
1 cup, raw corn kernels (fresh/frozen)
1 large orange or red bell pepper – finely julienned
1 pint, orange or red cherry tomatoes – halved
2 teaspoons, lime zest – finely grated
1 large avocado – cubed small
1/2 cup, cilantro – coarsely chopped
1 green onion, white & green parts – chopped
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Jalapeno Oil
2 tablespoons, il Fustino Garlic Olive Oil
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Ancho Vinegar
Sea salt to taste

METHOD

  1. Marinate nectarines in lime juice in frig for 90 minutes, stirring mix occasionally.
  2. Mix all ingredients, including nectarines & juice, gently but well in large bowl. Salt to taste.
  3. Serve in bowl or martini glass.

Raw Cauliflower Ceviche

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Author: Leslie (The Accidental Chef) Thomas

A unique & crunchy all-veggie ceviche side dish that is amazingly colorful, healthy, & tasty

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower (2 pounds) or several smaller heads, net 1 pound florets – cut/shaved into tiny florets
1/2 cup, fresh lime juice
1/2 cup, orange juice
1 bunch, cilantro – coarsely chopped
1 pint, red cherry tomatoes – halved
2 large cucumbers – cubed small
1 large avocado – cubed small
1 medium red onion – thinly sliced
3 large carrots (different colors) – peeled into ribbons
2 tablespoons, il Fustino Jalapeno Oil
2 tablespoons, il Fustino Blood Orange Oil
1/2 teaspoon, ground cumin
freshly ground salt & pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Put lime juice, orange juice, & cut cauliflower in Ziploc bag to marinate for 90 minutes. Do not refrigerate. Turn bag over occasionally.
  2. Mix all ingredients, including cauliflower & fruit juices, in a large bowl. Add salt/pepper to taste.
  3. Let sit covered for 15 minutes. Mix again & serve, spooning liquid over the top.

Jalapeno Mint Pesto

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Author: Leslie Thomas

Great spread on crostini with goat cheese. Also try it as a condiment with grilled lamb chops.

For a canape, serve on freshly sliced radiches.

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

2 large, garlic cloves – peeled
1/2 cup, pine nuts – toasted
2 tablespoons, lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon, salt
1/8 teaspoon, freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Jalapeno olive oil
2 cups, mint leaves – packed
2 tablespoons, parmesan cheese – finely shredded
2 tablespoons, feta cheese – packed

METHOD

  1. Chop garlic cloves in food processor.
  2. Scrape down sides of the bowl and process pine nuts.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl and ad lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Jalapeno oil, processing to a puree.
  4. Scrape down sides of the bowl and process cheese. Repeat process with mint, stopping the machine to scrape down sides several times.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, mix well, and let sit for one hour before serving. Refrigerate or freeze afterwards.

Halibut and Mango Ceviche

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Author: Leslie (The Accidental Chef) Thomas

Makes a great light entree, especially for warm weather when you don’t feel like heating the stovetop or oven.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 pound, Halibut – diced, one inch cubes
1 cup, fresh lime juice – divided
1/2 tsp, lime zest
1/2 cup, fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon, orange zest
1 large mango – cubed small
1 large avocado – cubed small
1 pint, red cherry tomatoes – halved
1/2 cup, red onion – minced or thinly sliced
2 tablespoons, cilantro leaves – finely chopped
1 tablespoon, mint – finely chopped
1 tablespoon, basil – finely chopped
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Garlic Olive Oil
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Jalapeno Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon, il Fustino Smoked Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon, ground cumin
1 teaspoon, salt

METHOD

  1. Marinate halibut in 1/2 cup of lime juice in fridge for 2 hours in Ziploc bag. Turn over a couple of times.
  2. Discard juice & incorporate rest of items (including other half of lime juice) with the halibut in large bowl. Salt to taste.
  3. Toss gently but well & serve over lettuce, on tortilla, or in large martini glass, etc.