Recipe from Kayla, PopCosmo’s Teen Chef: Chips and dips are a summer favorite when friends stop by or when you need an afternoon snack. They are perfect when watching the Olympics and you need a special treat everyone can snack on while cheering for their favorite athlete! Kayla's helping you cook up some great chips and dips that put restaurant offerings to shame. Happy and healthy snacking! GUACAMOLE Just about everybody has tried this Mexican restaurant staple with chips and dips, and for good reason! It is creamy, fresh, and bright! I wanted mine to have some texture so that it wasn't spiced avocado puree, so I only smashed half of the avocados and added the rest in chunks at the end. I also added some red onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, and spices. I know that you either love or hate cilantro, so it is completely optional. In fact, you can adjust the amounts of all of the ingredients to fit your taste. You can even add in other ingredients like tomatoes, chili powder, and bell peppers. This is a very simple recipe that can be changed to fit anyone's taste!
2 Ripe Haas Avocados 1 T Minced Red Onion 1 Clove Garlic, Minced 1/2 - 1 Jalapeño, Seeded & Minced 2 T Chopped Fresh Cilantro 1 T Lime Juice 1/4 tsp Cumin
Remove the pits from the avocados; peel. Cut into large chunks and mash half until smooth. Stir in the onions, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro. Season with salt, pepper, and the cumin. Fold in the remaining avocado chunks until combined but still chunky. Stir in the lime juice. Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
PINEAPPLE MANGO SALSA This is not your typical salsa. It is very tropical chunky, and more sweet than tomato-based salsas. It has a lot of variety, too; no bite is ever the same. There is the sweetness of the pineapple, sharpness of the onion and ginger, spiciness from the jalapeño, and tanginess from the lime juice. I grill the pineapple to bring out some of the natural sweetness in addition to adding a bit of charred (but not burnt) flavor. Since it is sweet and spicy, I use it on more than just chips. This salsa is fantastic on fish, grilled chicken, shellfish, and more. As with most salsas, you can always adjust the ratios of the ingredients to fit what you prefer. This salsa is as delicious as it is unique!
1 Pineapple 2 T Oil 2 Mangos 1 Red Bell Pepper 1 Red Onion 1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro 1/3 Cup Olive Oil 2 T Fresh Grated Ginger 2 Jalapeños 3 Limes 4 tsp Sugar
Peel and core the pineapple. Cut into 1/4" thick rings and brush with the oil. Grill until grill marks appear. Peel and pit the mango. Dice. Dice the bell pepper. Mince the onion and jalapeño. Dice the pineapple rings once cool. Whisk the olive oil, ginger, the juice of the limes, and the sugar together. Combine the pineapple, mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and jalapeños. Stir in the olive oil mixture and let sit overnight before serving. Recipe Adapted from Susanna Goihman
CORN & TOMATO SALSA I love this recipe because it has all of the flavors of summer. It is one of the best ways I know to use the sweet summer corn and perfectly ripe tomatoes. It is an unbelievably easy recipe but is still quite unique. The only ingredient you have to cook is the corn, and even that step isn't that complicated. You simply remove the kernels from the cob and cook it in hot water for a few minutes. Removing the kernels can be a bit daunting, but it really is simple. I place a small bowl upside-down in a larger one, hold the corn on the base of the small bowl, and cut the kernels off with a large, sharp knife. The large bowl catches the kernels and the juice, and the small bowl gives you leverage. This recipe is a delicious twist on the usual tomato salsa!
3 Ears Yellow Corn 1/4 tsp Baking Soda 1/2 tsp Salt 2 T Lime Juice 1 T Oil 1 tsp Honey 1 Tomato, Diced 3 T Minced Onion 1 Jalapeño, Seeded & Minced 2 T Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a deep pot over high heat. Stir in the corn kernels, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and let cool. Combine the lime juice, oil, honey, and 1/8 tsp salt. Add the corn, tomato, onions, jalapeño, and cilantro. Toss to combine, then season with pepper and the remaining salt. Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS The calories really add up if you shovel in delicious salsa with fried tortilla chips. Since I'm not very enthusiastic about sacrificing my chips and dip, I decided to find a healthier alternative. This baked tortilla chips couldn't be easier, and they are exponentially better than the fried ones. To make them crispy, I do toss them in a bit of oil, but a few spoonfuls is much better for you than deep frying them in it. These are the perfect accompaniment to any dip, especially salsa!
1 lb 6-8" Thin Yellow Corn Tortillas 1/4 Cup Oil
Heat oven to 425F. Line cookie trays with foil. Cut the tortillas into six wedges each. Spread onto the prepared trays and toss in the oil. Bake the chips for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. Season immediately with salt and pepper.
For more delicious recipes by our Teen Chef, Kayla, check out her blog, The Nerdy Chef!