Posted at 1:18 pm by NativeNM, on September 28, 2022
I’ve taken some time off to enjoy the last days of summer. The last few weekends we’ve been hiking and traveling to some of our favorite places like Santa Fe and Taos. Pretty soon the fall colors will be dotting the landscape and we’ll be out again enjoying the crisp air and taking photos. But throughout August and September we’ve been enjoying New Mexico’s green chile season. It’s one of our favorite times of the year with the aroma of green chile roasting in the air, well there’s nothing better. This green chile and cheese quiche has been on my bucket list for awhile and it seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. I thought a hash brown crust seemed appropriate for this particular quiche and it turned out so good. I simplified the prep work by using dehydrated hash browns to make the crust. I’ve tried several recipes using them and they always come out just as good if not better than making hash browns from scratch. Once the crust is prepped I added a layer of grated cheese and then poured the green chile and egg mixture over top. This savory quiche baked to perfection leaving a crispy outer crust with fluffy eggs and spicy chile in every bite. I added a few bacon bits on top for Joe and I but you can keep it vegetarian if you like. We ate half of it over the weekend and saved the leftovers for later. Would you believe the leftovers were even better the next day? Oh yes they were!
Over the weekend, Joe and I spent a day in Taos, NM. We love Taos for their small town charm, the local artistry and the food! We could spend hours walking through the plaza, surrounding shops and art galleries. On Saturdays the plaza is packed with a farmer’s market, artisan breads, local crafts and music. When we started to get hungry we stopped at a food cart for some street tacos. We ordered a Carne Asada and a Poblano taco which were both amazing! The poblano tacos had a miso vinaigrette which sounded a bit strange (at least to me) but it really worked. Joe absolutely loved it and couldn’t stop talking about it so I took a picture of the menu with the intention of recreating it at home. Since it’s green chile season here in NM I thought I would use them in place of the poblano. I picked up some “Hatch” green chile and fresh corn at the market and roasted them on the grill. Then I prepped the miso vinaigrette and made a small batch of picked red onions in the morning so that they had time to marinate. With all the prep work taken care of, the tacos took no time at all to put together. My Hatch green chile had a bit more kick than the poblano version but no matter what you choose your taste buds will smile. There are so many flavors going on in these little tacos and it all comes together in a very good way!
Another year, another birthday pie! Every summer I make myself a peach pie, cobbler or crisp with different variations of crusts, toppings or sometimes pairing peaches with berries. A couple month’s ago I came across a recipe for “Apricot, Blue Corn and Pecan Crisp” from FarmersMarketNM.org with an amazing topping that I couldn’t resist. It reminded me of my “Peach Pie with Pecan Crumble”, that I made a few years back, but with a new twist. The most delicious peach pies starts with summer ripened peaches. In my experience, mid to late July is the best time to start finding those juicy, flavorful peaches that taste so good. And then you have to decide what kind of topping, whether it be a traditional crust or a crumble topping made with oats and flour, butter, sugar and nuts. This topping with blue corn flour has a slightly different texture; you may find it more grainy than using all purpose flour but it has a hint of saltiness in the topping that tastes so good with the sweet peaches. Add a dollop of vanilla ice cream and you will have the perfect summer dessert!
August in New Mexico means it’s green chile season! The harvesting has begun and any day now you may start seeing “Hatch” green chile in your grocery store no matter where you live. The roasters are fired up and the aroma of roasted green chile is in the air. As soon as I found them in the grocery store I picked up a dozen and roasted them myself on the grill. They had the perfect amount of heat and had so much flavor. I’m always trying to find new ways to incorporate green chile into everyday recipes and thought it might taste good in a loaded baked potato salad. Oh my goodness, this turned out better than I could have imagined. Joe isn’t a fan of traditional potato salads but he loves this version. Instead of mayo I used a low fat sour cream and seasoned it with dehydrated green chile powder, salt and garlic powder. Limiting the cheese and bacon makes for a lighter version but didn’t skimp on flavor. Adding roasted green chile was the perfect addition to the mix. Try it fresh when the potatoes are still warm enough to slightly melt the cheese. You will be amazed when you take a bite of the warm cheese and green chile combined with the creamy potatoes. It’s Muy Bueno!
Recently I cleaned out the freezer, something I do every few month’s. You know how it goes when we add things to the freezer and some things get pushed to the back and forgotten. I found a bag of vacuum sealed shrimp that I had put up a couple month’s ago. Since it’s grilling season, I immediately thought shrimp tacos would taste mighty good, especially with some mango or pineapple salsa and crunchy cabbage. I went to the store to pick up some fruit and cabbage. I found ripe mangos but the pineapple would need a few days, so it’s mango salsa tonight. This meal is a simple way to have a colorful tasty meal with little effort. I love the taste of grilled shrimp with tropical fruit. And the finely chopped cabbage adds a bit of crunch which makes these tacos look and taste like they came off a food truck.
Hummus has been the snack of choice for Joe lately. He is an early riser and about 10 am he wants a snack to get him through until lunch. I’ve been picking up hummus spread from the store to snack on with crackers during the week, however he was getting tired of the same flavors. So I asked what sounded good to him and of course he wanted chile. So the next question was red or green? He picked roasted red chile which turned out to be a great choice. Chile that is grown in New Mexico is harvested when it is green, but some are left on the vine to mature which turns red. Many of the mature red chiles will be strung together in chile ristras to dry out. Those pods when dried can be used to make red chile sauce or ground into powder for spice blends. Some farms will roast the mature red chiles at the end of the harvest and those are what I’m adding to the hummus today. Roasted red chile can sometimes be spicier than green but has a hint of sweetness which gives it a unique taste. That unique flavor works well in this hummus spread.
Here’s my debut smoked chicken in the pellet smoker. I’ve roasted chicken in the oven or charcoal grill but never like this. The chicken cooks so evenly and gives the skin a crisp texture that tastes so good. I made a spice rub mixed with red chile, spices and lime olive oil to make a paste that I rubbed all over this bird. I also loosened the outer skin around the breast, legs and thighs, then rubbed the paste between the meat and skin. I learned this trick from Chef Paul Prudhomme. Adding the spice rub under the skin absorbs into the meat as it cooks, adding flavor. We made some fajitas with chicken, roasted veggies, salsa and guacamole. I could tell you how much we enjoyed this meal, however I think the pictures will describe the deliciousness better than my words. At least I hope so!
Wow, where does the time go? Memorial weekend is upon us which signals the beginning of summer grilling, festive salads and frozen treats. This weekend I’m smoking a whole chicken, roasting vegetables and topping it off with frozen sorbet for dessert. This sorbet is easily made with lemon juice, pomegranate juice and simple syrup, that’s it. It’s tart and refreshing but has a multitude of benefits. Lemon helps with immunity, aids in digestion and provides Vitamin C which reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. And Pomegranate juice is high in antioxidants and nutrients that may help with inflammation and urinary health. Once you mix the juices with the simple syrup, pour it into an ice cream maker to freeze or pour into popsicle molds which are also fun to eat, just ask my husband!
I’ve been craving homemade ice cream, specifically something sweet and salty. After some thought I went with salted pistachios blended with honey vanilla ice cream. The sweet and salty flavors in this ice cream will tempt your taste buds. I had some leftover red and green chile pistachios that Joe and I experimented with as a spicy topper. Both flavors had a subtle spiciness but wasn’t overwhelming to the overall taste. The ice cream is a vanilla base but I replaced part of the sugar with honey. The honey gave it a distinct flavor that tasted unique. If you enjoy sweet and salty flavors, honey pistachio ice cream might be just for you!
If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve been trying out different Asian dishes, learning as I go trying new flavors and techniques. I recently came across some noodle bowls on Pinterest that resemble a brothy soup with noodles and thin sliced pork and pickled mustard stems. It reminded me of a ramen noodle bowl and it looked so tasty. After reading more about it, I just had to give it a try. I found that Zha Cai is a type of Chinese pickled vegetable that tastes sour, salty and sometimes spicy. For this particular dish pickled mustard stems are most commonly added, but alternately pickled radish can be used. It’s a simple recipe, something I thought would appeal to my youngest son Cameron who has always loved a bowl of ramen noodles. This is an easy and healthy alternative that only takes 20 minutes to make.