Coffee Chili Salsa Oil

YIELDS | 4-5 Cups


COOK TIME | 20 MINS Soaking time

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I tried a version of coffee, chili oil that I loved but I couldn’t find it anywhere in the stores so I decided to create my own. And I must say this is pretty darn close. I mix it into Chili’s and stews and use it as a condiment on my meat and cheese boards. It’s just the right amount of spice to anything that needs some kick!


* 2 dried Ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed, soaked and coarsely chopped
* 1 lb red or chillies
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1/12 Tbsp ground espresso
* 2 small garlic cloves or 1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 Tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
* 2 Tbsp peanut oil plus more for drizzling
* 1 Tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
* 2 small shallots, coarsely chopped


1. Put the Ancho chilli in a bowl, cover it with boiling water and leave to soak for 20-30 minutes. Once soaked, roughly slice.

2. Remove the stems and seeds from the red chilies and roughly chop

3. Toasted sesame seeds in the olive oil until slightly golden then add the coffee to the mixture and stir to incorporate cook for one more minute.

4. Put the oil coffee mixture, chillies and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or high speed-blender and process until semi smooth and with a few chunks remaining.

5. Spoon the chili mixture into small sterilized jars and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


You can also freeze for up to three-four months or can the jars using a high-pressure water bath to keep in the pantry. Refrigerate after opening.

Chicken Thighs with Mayonnaise and Chimichurri




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If you’ve never used mayonnaise to marinate chicken or pork, you are in for a real treat. The mayo breaks down the fibers in the proteins and leaves it deliciously moist and succulent. Make your own chimichurri or buy store-bought though home made chimichurri is fresh, bright and worth the effort! This dish comes together in just minutes and will become one of your family’s favorite chicken dishes.


* 4- 6oz Bone in and skin on chicken thighs
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup or more homemade chimichurri. See chimichurri recipe here
* Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Slather equal amounts of the mayonnaise on each side of the chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for minimum of 60 minutes or more up to 24 hours.
3. Remove the marinated chicken from refrigerator and spread a teaspoon of the chimichurri on each side of the chicken.
4. Heat a medium sized oven proof pan or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons avocado or other high smoke point oil to the pan
5. Add the chicken skin side down. Cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes or until browned.Be sure to move the chicken around in the pan so it doesn’t stick.
6. Flip the chicken skin side up and pop in the preheated oven and cook for another 12-15 Minutes or until the chicken registers 165° with an instant read thermometer.
7. Remove from the oven and spoon some additional chimichurri sauce over the thighs. Serve with remaining chimichurri sauce.


Use skinless, boneless thighs for a healthy version.

Chicken, Greens and Peanut Butter Stew




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This filling stew is jam packed with flavor and with even more nutrients. It will fill you up on a cold winter’s night and freezes well to enjoy. But it is so good you probably won’t have extras.


* 4-4 ounce chicken thighs or breasts, boneless skinless
* 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
* 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
* 2 tablespoons neutral oil of choice
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 3 medium carrots, diced
* 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced, more to desired degree of heat
* 1/2 cup peanut butter of choice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3 cups cubed, peeled or frozen chunks of butternut squash
* 3 cups, Kale, Swiss chard or other favorite leafy green, stemmed and chopped
* A few sprigs chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the oil.

3. When the oil is hot add the chicken to the pot and cook until browned on all sides about 4–5 minutes per side.

4. Move the chicken from the pot and set on to a plate.

5. Add the chopped bell pepper, onion and carrots and cook for about 4–5 minutes and until the onion is soft.

6. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute more.

7. Whisk the tomato paste into the broth and then pour into the vegetable mixture, stir.

8. Add all of the remaining spices and the bay leaf and stir to incorporate. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

9. Add the chicken and its juices, the greens and squash to the pot.

10. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 15–20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

11. Uncover the pot, remove the bay leaf and cook for five more minutes and until the stew has thickened

12. Taste the stew and add any additional kosher salt or freshly ground pepper is needed.

13. Dish into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, if using.


Substitute any nut butter, add any favorite greens and play with the heat level.

Quick and Easy Sesame Garlic Noodles




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I have been making a version of this dish for years. I love its chameleon-like versatility. Missing an ingredient-improvise! This dish can take it. Add seasonal veggies for an ultimate fresh and healthy version.
The bonus is I haven’t met a kid who hasn’t gobbled it down! Double Duty Recipe: Make extra sauce to use later in the week to pour over rice or marinate fish, beef or chicken and broil or grill.


* 1 8 oz. package favorite spaghetti, I like thick spaghetti
* 2 tsp chili oil or vegetable oil
* 8-10 oz cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 carrot, julienned
* 2 Serrano peppers or to taste, thinly sliced1
* 3-4 scallions , cut into 2” pieces and then slices lengthwise, set aside a few pieces for garnish
* 3 Tbsps soy sauce
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tbsp maple syrup
* 2 tsps fish sauce
* 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
* 2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds 
* 4-5 large basil leaves cut into ribbons, optional for garnish


1. Start a large pot of water. over high heat and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl, whisk the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, maple syrup, sesame seed oil. set aside.

3. In a pan large enough to toss all the ingredients including the pasta, heat the chili or vegetable oil over medium heat.

4. Add the Serrano, bell pepper and carrot. Cook, for about 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally or until tender.

7. Add the chopped mushrooms, stir and cover. Cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir once or twice.

9. Uncover and remove from the heat. The liquid will evaporate.

10. Add the cooked pasta and and toss and then add the sauce and mix well.

11. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with basil, if using, scallions and sesame seeds.


Add in any vegetables you would like. Add add extra carrot or beansprouts and broccoli.
Substitute rice vinegar for the fish sauce to go vegan and vegetarian.

Oil Roasted Cherry Tomatoes




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I make a big batch of these oil roasted cherry tomatoes and freeze them. I use them throughout the winter months and spoon them along with the oil into pastas, on top of flatbread’s and pizzas and toss into stews for a burst of fresh tomato flavor.


* 2 pints cherry tomatoes
* 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
* 6 fresh thyme sprigs
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed, optional
* 6 Serrano peppers, optional
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 225F.

1. Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a baking dish and drizzle them with the oil.
2. Add thyme, garlic and salt. Bake until the tomatoes are swollen and the skins are wrinkled. About 2.5-3 hours.
3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Freeze in 1 cup containers along with equal amounts of oil or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


I typically make two batches; one with time and kosher salt iand 1 batch with garlic and Serrano pepper for a spicy version.

Tomato Bread with Smoked Olive Oil-Lemon Ricotta and Sardines




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My son, Adam, and I created this recipe together. It is so easy to make yet it delivers a complex layers of flavors. The smoked olive oil gives the creamy ricotta an earthy flavor and pairs perfectly with the sardines. The lemon brightens the entire dish and is a delightful compliment to the overall umami profile. This tomato bread bursts with flavor. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making it over and over again.


* 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
* 2 Tbsps smoked olive oil plus more to taste
* 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
* 2- plump garlic cloves, peeled
* 1-2 large, fresh ripe tomatoes, halved
* 1- large loaf crusty bread, such as a French boule or baguette
* 1-tin, 3.735 oz skinless, boneless sardines, packed in olive oil
* 2 Tbsps room temperature butter or olive oil to brush onto the bread
* One small bunch chives, chopped for garnish, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spread each side with butter or olive oil and grill or toast in the oven until golden brown, set aside.

2. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice to a food processor or high powered blender. Turn the machine on low to medium and slowly drizzle in 2 Tbsp smoked olive oil and blend until the mixture has a silky texture. Add more smoked olive oil as needed.

3. Pour mixture into a small bowl and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

4. Rub the fresh garlic on to each side of the toasted bread.

5. Generously rub each side of the toasted bread with the tomato. Be sure to get the tomato into every nook and cranny.

6. Top tomato toast with the heaping Tbsp of the creamy ricotta-Lemon mixture.

7. Top each slice with 2 to 3 sardines, sprinkle with additional kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and garnish with chopped chives, optional.


Use any leftover ricotta mixture to mix into mashed potatoes or stir into rice for a savory side dish. Top grilled chicken or fish with it and garnish with chives or another favorite herb.