Tag Archives: roasted peppers

Red Pepper Dressing

6 Aug

This is a dressing I’ve done mainly for the Yoga Center dinners… they love their roasted red peppers.  I’ve done it so many times without a recipe, so the last time around I decided to write it down to share it with all of you…


 Roasted Red Pepper Dressing


2 roasted red peppers
1 cup of eggless mayonnaise
3 garlic cloves
¼ red onion
6-10 olives
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs garlic and herbs seasoning
1 tbs fresh parsley – you could use the dried kind in a pinch
1 tbs salt
1 tsp black pepper
¼ cup of water
½ cup canola oil



  1. Mix all the ingredients in a blender.
  2.  I add the canola oil last thru the hole on the blender cover to make sure the oil mixes well and will not separate afterwards.

Stuffed Chayotes

7 Jul

I like to stuff foods… I love to fill delicious things with other delicious ingredients and make them all even better.  I love to stuff crepes, mushrooms, manicotti, sweet bell peppers, tortillas, potatoes and now, I give you chayotes.

Chayotes are a fruit, but are mostly eaten very similar to the potato preparations.  What I like about them is they have very watery flesh after it’s been cooked, so it tends to be refreshing and light.  They’re perfect to eat during the hot summer days… or any other day if you happen to live in a Caribbean island like me.  They’re sometimes prickly, so be careful if the ones you get have the needles… just grab them using kitchen gloves or a kitchen towel.  After they’re cooked the needles kind of loose they’re potency.

I treat these stuffed chayotes the same way you would treat a twice-baked potato, only that we will only bake this once… the first phase of the preparation is boiling.  Check them out…




1 chayote, washed very well and cut in half
1 tbs olive oil
½ onion or shallot, finely chopped
½ bell pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 piquillo peppers, chopped
1 tbs capers
4-5 grape tomatoes, chopped
1 tbs goat cheese
2 tbs parmesan cheese
1 tbs almonds, lightly toasted
Salt and Freshly Cracked black pepper


  1. In a medium sized pot filled with salted water, place the chayote halfs and boil until the flesh is fork-tender just like a potato.  This should take about 20 minutes.  When you check for doneness, do not prick on the side of the skin, only thru the side of the flesh.  When they’re done, take them out of the water using a slotted spoon or a “spider” and allow them to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium high heat add the oil, onion/shallot, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until they’ve softened.   Add the piquillo peppers, capers and grape tomatoes and mix together and cook lightly so they release some of their juices until they become one with the onions/peppers mix.   Season with salt and pepper.  Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Carefully take the chayote halves and scoop out as much flesh as you can using a spoon.  I guess a grapefruit spoon would work great, but I do not have one.  Try not to disturb the shell/skin.   Set the shells aside while we work with the flesh.
  4. In a bowl mix together the flesh we just took out, the mix in the skillet, goat cheese and almonds.   Mix together by mashing everything with a fork or a potato masher. 
  5. Pre-heat toaster oven to 350° F.
  6. Refill the chayote skin shells with the mixture and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is crusty and golden brown.

I made these a few weeks ago when I invited a dear friend to dinner…  I asked him to come over after he invited me to go out but I was already preparing dinner.  So I did not tailor the meal to his taste at all.  He actually had chayote for the first time that night and I must say he thoroughly enjoyed them.  I wish I had done more so he would have seconds…  Jesús, I promise that’ll make more the next time.

Comme Çi Comme Ça Salade Niçoise

2 Apr

To celebrate my French classmates and to practice the French we learn at l’Alliance Française, I decided to host a French dinner  get-together – French food while speaking only in French…  Parlez-vous français, anyone???  Hey, one of my friends even showed up with her books to look up any word she might forget…  she’s hilarious.I decided to try a few adaptations from the cooking book and TV special that inspired me to take-up French again – Barefoot in Paris from Ina Garten.  I decided my menu would be Comme Çi Comme Ça Salade Niçoise and Croque Monsieur sandwiches.

Comme Çi Comme Ça means in English “more or less” or “so so” – this salad is a karma-free version of the original, which typically includes tuna and eggs.  The sandwich is also an adaptation, using a soy-protein smoked ham in place of the traditional real ham.  I must say that none of my guests were vegetarian and they could not believe the deliciousness of the dinner.

I’m telling you… They were both magnifique!!! 



This salad is a composed salad with lots of ingredients.  It might seem like a lot, but if you take it little by little it will not seem as daunting as the ingredients list might suggest.  Please believe me, it’s simple.

1 recipe for French Potato Salad, recipe follows
Roasted button mushrooms, recipe follows
Marinated roasted red bell peppers, recipe follows
Sautéed green beans, recipe follows
1 head of Romaine lettuce
2 handfuls of grape tomatoes
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thin
½ English cucumber, sliced thin
2 radishes, washed and sliced thin
Handful of olives – niçoise are best, but I also used lemon-stuffed manzanillas
Nicoise Vinnaigrette Dressing, recipe follows
  1. Arrange the lettuce, potato salad, sautéed green beans, roasted mushrooms, marinated bell peppers, grape tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, radishes and olives on a large flat platter.

For the French Potato Salad:

10 baby red-skinned potatoes, washed and quartered
4 tbs vegetable stock
3 tbs white wine vinegar
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
A few grinds of freshly ground pepper
10 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk of green onion, sliced at an angle
4-5 leaves of basil, julienned
  1. Boil the potatoes in a medium pot in salted water.  Cook for about 20 minutes, until they are just cooked through.
  2. While the potatoes boil, prepare the dressing in a medium sized bowl that can accommodate the potatoes comfortably.  Whisk together the vegetable stock, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper.  While whisking, add the olive oil to create an emulsion. 
  3. Drain the potatoes well and add to the bowl with the dressing.  Add the chopped green onion and basil.  Toss well to combine.  Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and let all the dressing to be soaked into the potatoes.
  4. Set aside until you get ready the rest of the salad ingredients.

Marinated Roasted Peppers

4-5 jarred roasted Piquillo peppers
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tbs capers
¼ tsp grated garlic
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and let the peppers marinate while the rest of the salad ingredients are ready.

Sautéed Green beans

½ bag of frozen green beans – I really prefer fresh, but I found non at the market so this is a cool substitute
1 shallot sliced thinly
1 clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
A dash of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil.  Pour in the frozen green beans and cook for about 3-4 minutes. 
  2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the shallot and the garlic lightly.  Add the drain green beans and sauté with the shallots and garlic.  Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Roasted Button Mushrooms

1 pint of white button mushrooms, cleaned with a damp paper towel
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the mushrooms in half.  Place in a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to coat.
  3. Roast in oven (I do this in my toaster oven) for about 20 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and golden brown.

Niçoise Vinaigrette Dressing

1 tbs white wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 scallion, cut in big pieces
4 olives, pitted
1 tsp capers
A squirt of Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender.
  2. With blender running, slowly add oil until completely incorporated and emulsified.
  3. Serve in a dressing pitcher on the side of the salad.


This salad was so delicious, that my friend’s husband could not stop eating it.  This whole platter served only 4 people.  Accompanied by the Croque Monsieur sandwiches and my friend’s Aniette’s Bull… this was a complete meal.

Bon Appétit!!!

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