Chunky Guacamole

1 small red onion, minced finely and rinsed in cold water
1-2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
3 ripe avocadoes, seeded and taken out of the skin and mashed by hand, keep it chunky
2 Serrano peppers (or your favorite hot pepper), minced
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and pepper
Suggested garnishes: sliced radishes, toasted pumpkin seeds

1. Toss all of the ingredients together and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover the surface with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent the avocados from browning.

2. Serve with tortilla chips, cucumber slices and jicama slices

Cheesy Enchiladas

Serves 4-6

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups vegetable stock or water
10 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute.

2. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock or water, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings.

For the enchiladas:
12 ounces favorite white cheese such as: Queso Blanco, Chihuahua, Monterey Jack or a combination

12 corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400F

1. Heat a saucepan with 1 cup of sauce over medium heat. Dip the tortillas into the sauce, one at a time to make them more pliable, place a small amount of cheese into the tortilla and roll into a cylinder. Place the filled tortilla into a casserole. Continue until all tortillas are filled.

2. Ladle sauce on the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

3. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted, lightly browned and sauce is bubbly (about 15 minutes)

Favorite Margarita

I like my margaritas simple. That being said, I like good tequila and fresh lime juice, and lots of it. With a cocktail, like everything else, it is always best to go simple and to use the best ingredients possible.

1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
3/4 ounce triple sec
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Ice
Lime slices and salted rim, for garnish

1.    Shake, strain, and serve over ice.

Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème

1 cup whole milk
1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 (4-ounce) espresso cups or other small cups
Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

1. In a small pot, over low heat, bring the milk, cream, vanilla seeds and vanilla pod to a gentle simmer.

2. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler.

3. In a large bowl, add the eggs, cocoa, and sugar and whisk to combine.

4. Pour the heated milk mixture into the melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Temper the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, adding it slowly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Do not overmix. You want the ingredients to be blended but not bubbly. You want a dense texture with no air bubbles

5. Pour the mixture into the small cups, filling almost to the top. Put the cups in a baking pan and fill the pan with 2 inches of water. Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil. This will prevent the custard from forming a tough skin as it cooks. Put the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the custards are set but still a little loose, 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Allow the custards to stay in the water to set completely for 60 minutes.

6. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

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