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.
Have you ever had the Kung Pao Chicken at Panda Express? I’ve been searching for the perfect copycat recipe for years and finally found “the one”. It comes from Jamie at Drive Me Hungry. Seriously this recipe is as close as you’re going to get to the Kung Pao Chicken at Panda Express. I would even go so far as to say it’s better. I couldn’t wait to hunt down all the ingredients and get started. Joe has never ordered Kung Pao when we go to Panda because it has zucchini in it. But he ate every bite and said that the sauce even made zucchini taste good. I think I may add some different vegetables next time to get added veggies into our diet. There are a lot of ingredients in the sauce with some that were new to me such as Chinese black vinegar and Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp. Every time I try a new Asian dish I learn something new. This version of Kung Pao is a very aromatic dish as well as pleasing to the eye. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
I had a grand idea of making breakfast sandwiches over the weekend but it didn’t start out very well. I picked up some English muffins from the store but they were so thin; they just fell apart when I attempted to separate them. At that moment I decided it was time to make my own muffins. I found a recipe that incorporated yogurt into the recipe and was so appealing that I gave it a try. After some adjustments this recipe turned out really good. As with many dough recipes, (even the ones I made in Kansas) I’m finding that I have to adjust the ratio of liquids and dry ingredients because of our high altitude and the dry desert air of New Mexico. If you are unsure of how to adjust your recipes you might try this guide: Cooking and Baking at High Altitudes by Betty Crocker. These muffins took about 2 hours from start to finish which was perfect for our weekend brunch. Our breakfast sandwiches turned out delicious with freshly made English muffins, lightly toasted with egg, cheese and bacon. They are also good with butter and jam too!
If you’ve ever had a Frito pie, most likely it’s been served in a bag or a bowl of Fritos corn chips smothered in red chile, seasoned ground beef and beans, topped with grated cheese and onion. It’s one of our tastiest guilty pleasures and when the Fritos go on sale it’s time to make Frito pies. I often wondered how it would taste with green chile and decided to give it a try. I went to the freezer for a jar of green chile sauce and found that I had used the last jar and there was none to be found. Not to worry, I always have a backup in the pantry. A jar of 505 Flame Roasted Green Chile is my go to sauce when I don’t have homemade. I used to find in it Kansas and apparently it’s marketed in many Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco’s around the country so even if you don’t live in NM you may be able to find it in your area. The key to making a green chile Frito pie is to be generous with the green chile and add enough broth to make the texture saucy but not soupy. Pinto beans are traditionally added, however Joe isn’t going to change his ways even for tradition so I only added beans to my pie. We garnished them with lettuce, tomato, onion and grated cheese. I can’t believe I didn’t try this sooner. Green Chile Frito Pie is here to stay, we love it and I hope you will too!
Posted at 10:49 am by NativeNM, on February 25, 2022
I haven’t had an egg salad sandwich in the longest time. I used to make a basic salad with boiled eggs, mayo, green onion, salt and pepper. Recently I came across a recipe online that sounded so good I had to give it a try. I altered the recipe just a bit to fit our taste buds and it turned out better than expected. The creaminess comes from whipped cream cheese mixed with mayonnaise. For years I’ve been adding whipped cream cheese to scrambled eggs and it made sense that it would taste good in egg salad. The grated cheese with roasted red chile provided another layer of flavor which reminded me a bit of my roasted red chile cheese spread, only with boiled eggs. We enjoyed it on toasted potato bread topped with crisp bacon and a side of hash browns. Perfect for a light lunch!