Zucchini-and-Chile-Fries-18

Zucchini and/or green chile make a great summer side dish when you slice them into bite size strips to resemble french fries.  Dipped in a buttermilk batter and rolled in panko bread crumbs give them a crispy outer texture that tastes so good.  French fries and ketchup may go hand in hand, however zucchini and chile fries taste especially good dipped in salsa or green chile dip. You can’t go wrong there.  Imagine these fries alongside a big juicy burger or a grilled chicken sandwich.  I can assure you they truly taste scrumptious together!
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Dutch-Baby-Pancake-21

With Mother’s Day just around the corner it’s the perfect occasion to make Dutch Baby pancakes.  These puffy pancakes, sometimes referred to as German pancakes are traditionally served with melted butter, lemon juice and powdered sugar.  I opted for raspberries and a buttermilk syrup that sounded like the perfect touch to sweeten my pancake which has very little sugar. When it comes out of the oven it is puffed up over the lip of you skillet as if it could float away at any moment.  When it eventually deflates, drizzle some melted butter over the top and listen as it virtually sizzles. Then top it with your choice of lemon juice or raspberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Some like maple syrup over top but I found the buttermilk syrup to be the perfect touch.  The dutch baby pancake has the slight taste and texture of custard and a drizzle of buttermilk syrup made me think of my Mom’s buttermilk pie, only sweeter.  So many times when I think of food it brings me back to my Mom who inspired me to make meals special and create memories. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s who make each and every day special!
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Barbacoa-Taquitos-15

It’s no secret that Cinco de Mayo is my favorite holiday for food.  It reminds me of bright and festive colors with the sounds of Mariachi’s playing in the background.  And the food . . . Oh, how it makes my mouth water!  This year we’re having Taquitos which are fun to dip in your favorite guacamole or salsa. I’ve found that the key to making perfect taquitos is picking the right corn tortilla.  Some corn tortillas are too soft and will fall apart when you try to roll them. But if you find a good thin tortilla that has a coarser texture they will hold together when rolled, and easier to pin together with a toothpick.  Another key is to pan fry the tortillas for a few seconds on each side.  The small amount of oil left on the tortillas enables them to crisp up nicely in the oven so that you don’t have to fry them.  I cheated and used Frontera’s Barbacoa slow cook sauce to add the wonderful flavors to my roast.  I then shredded the beef along with some grated Oaxaca cheese to make a tasty filling.  They turned out so good, I plan on making another batch soon, maybe trying chicken next.  Happy Cinco de Mayo all!
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Tres-Leches-Cake-17

Hard to believe but just recently I was treated to my first taste of Tres Leches Cake.  My goodness, it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted!  It can only be described as a cool moist cake dripping with sweet milk and topped by a cloud of whipped cream.  The cake bakes up rather dense which allows it to hold it’s shape even when it is soaked thoroughly with sweet milk.  I don’t even want to know how many calories are in this cake, I’m just going to savor every bite and enjoy!  Thanks Kat for enlightening me!
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Steak-Pinwheels-20

Any New Mexican will tell you that we eat green chile with everything.   And those of us who no longer live in our Native home will go to great lengths to find it.  It’s one of those comforts that’s hard to live without.  I have always loved steak and green chile together.  I’ve wrapped tenderloin steaks with green chile strips just like you would bacon and the combination is hard to beat.  Here I took a skirt steak and brushed it liberally with a chimichurri, then layered some roasted Hatch green chile and Manchego cheese slices, rolled it up and sliced into pinwheels. This pinwheel just oozes flavor.   On the side I made a guacamole with roasted corn and my own green chile salsa to compliment the meal.
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Irish-Nachos-14

May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Here in Kansas City there are always celebrations taking place in honor of St. Patrick’s day.   You might see green water flowing through our “City of Fountains” or witness the largest St. Patrick’s parade anywhere.  Also one of my favorite bands,”The Elders” return home for their annual “Hoolie” concert.  It’s a festive time to be sure! While others cook a more traditional Irish feast, I’m going with something fun.  I’m pretty sure nachos are not something you would find on a true Irish menu but it’s something that is festive and fun to eat. It starts with thin sliced potatoes baked crisp in the oven.  These chips become the foundation topped with a tangy Irish cheese sauce and loaded with anything you want.  As you can see, I like a lot of toppings!
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Pickled-Jalapenos-10

It’s been a long time since I’ve made any pickled jalapenos.  I got inspired to make a batch after my son Josh started making pickles.  He has made some of the best pickles I’ve ever tasted and one day I’m going to have him share his recipe.  I used to plant a little garden every summer and found jalapenos one of the easiest plants to grow.  We would have so many jalapenos, it was hard to know what to do with them all.  I would roast some to put in the freezer and others I would pickle.  I have always loved this recipe from Chile Pepper magazine which is a refrigerated pickling process rather than canning.  It’s simple and easy to make.  Over time (about 2 weeks) the jalapenos are infused with the most amazing taste.  They give your favorite sandwich, salad or nachos an extra bite of spicy tang.
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