Jalapeno sauce

Current obsession. I start getting really panicky when my jar of this is getting low and there are no backup jalapenos in the cupboard.

This is my homemade version of the Jalapeno Sauce from Trader Joes, which is sadly not available in Tairua. I will admit, I was suspicious about this sauce. How do you improve on jalapenos? Turns out you sauce them. Honestly. It’s like mainlining jalapenos.

1 jar of pickled jalapenos

1/4 C oil (I usually use rice bran)

Drain jalapenos, save approx 1/4 C pickling juice

Put in a blender with oil

Blend. Smother on everything. Wonder why you ever bothered chewing.

Chile con queso

This is everything I want in a dip. Cheesy and spicy. Because I could gobble up so much of this stuff, I try and only make it on special occasions. Like, say Tuesday.

It is really nice with tortillas, chopped in 8’s and baked for 5 mins in a hot oven. Or just open yourself up a bag of corn chips and get amongst it.

2 tsp vegetable oil

½ small green capsicum

½ small onion

1 Tbspn drained bottled jalapeno chillis

1 clove garlic

½ can undrained chopped peeled tomatoes

250gm cream cheese

Chop up capsicum, chop up the onion, chop up jalapenos, and crush the garlic.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan, cook capsicum, onion, chili and garlic. Stir until the onion softens.

Add tomato, cook, stirring 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add cream cheese.

Whisk until the cheese melts and dip is smooth.

Hot sauce

This is a nice simple salsa you can eat with corn chips on its own, or use as the sauce for enchiladas, Mexican rice etc.

2-3 chilies

1 x 400g can tomatoes

½ onion (don’t bother chopping up the blender will take care of that)

2 garlic cloves

2-3 Tbsp cider vinegar

Large pinch each of oregano, cumin, sugar, salt.

A handful of fresh coriander (optional, but definitely adds to the flavour)

Whiz together in a blender.


I have fluffed around with all sorts of hummus recipes, and this is where I’ve landed.

1 drained can of chickpeas (or drained 1/2 C soaked)

A *good* tablespoon of tahini

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt. Don’t be shy here.

1 -2 cloves garlic

The zest + juice of a lemon

Approx 1/4 cup of ice-cold water

Put this all in the whizzer until your family complains about the racket. The hummus should now be nice and creamy, like a smooth peanut butter consistency. If it’s not, add a bit more water. Ideally, you now leave it in the fridge to thicken and the flavours to merge together for 30 mins. But it’s also ready to go now if you can’t wait. Drizzle some olive oil, sesame seeds, and sumac for extra pizazz.