Posted at 9:28 am by NativeNM, on November 15, 2022
I’m going back to an old favorite that I used to make when my boys were young. They always loved these chicken breasts that were stuffed with creamy cheese. Back then I made them to order, stuffing with whatever they wanted, sometimes a dollop of whipped cream cheese and avocado or cooked bacon bits with roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Anything goes if it will fit inside a chicken breast. These days one chicken breast is enough for Joe and I to share. We both enjoy them stuffed with green chile and Oaxaca cheese. Oaxaca cheese melts so creamy and tastes so good. To finish it off I spooned egg wash over the stuffed chicken breast and then dredged it in panko crumbs for a crisp coating. Once pan fried on both sides place in a preheated oven to finish baking until the chicken is cooked throughout and the cheese is bubbling. Serve alongside your favorite side dish and you have a complete meal that is simply delicious!
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!
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 8:52 am by NativeNM, on February 18, 2022
I have an admission to make, this is my first time making empanadas. They are traditional here in New Mexico that have evolved over time. Influenced by many cultures over the years you will find savory empanadas stuffed with beef, chicken or pork, sometimes with veggies and spices. And then there are the sweet empanadas filled with pumpkin, sweet potato or fruit like apples, cherries or raisins as well as other fresh or dried fruits. As I researched the history of empanadas, I discovered that there are many meat pies around the world by other names made in the tradition of their region. From our time in Kansas City we had Steak and Guiness pies at Irish Fest. Joe’s home state of Michigan is known for their Pasties. We found Peasant Pies in San Francisco while on vacation one year. Those are just a few of the meat pies that we’ve had a chance to taste, each having their own distinct flavor. I wanted my first homemade empanadas to reflect the taste of New Mexico with ground pork and green chile. They are easy to make ahead and freeze, pulling out a few to warm up and serve alongside a bowl of soup or beans. They are so tasty, I can’t wait to try a sweet version next!
Posted at 7:05 am by NativeNM, on November 23, 2021
It’s almost time to celebrate Thanksgiving. There was a time when we enjoyed turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. In those days there were a lot more people gathered around our table but in the last few years it’s been just Joe and I. We’ve been trying new things, mixing a little of the traditional with some new twists. This year we settled on smoking a pork butt with red chile spices and will add some different sides to the table. One of the sides I’ve planned is Green Chile and Cheese Hominy Casserole which would be a welcome dish on any New Mexican table. It can only be described as creamy, savory and spicy. I used a soft fontina cheese along with sour cream to bind the casserole together and then topped it with cheddar cheese and bacon bits. All the ingredients are prepared in a small dutch oven and baked to perfection which makes this dish easy from start to finish. I hope you all have a festive day making new memories around your kitchen table. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Posted at 10:39 am by NativeNM, on October 14, 2021
When I woke up this morning it was 34 degrees! There’s a cold spell rolling through NM with snowfall in the northern mountains. But even though it was near freezing this morning, the sun is out and it feels warmer with every passing hour. With the cooler weather upon us I had a craving for a bowl of soothing pasta. I made a grocery run and picked up fresh ingredients to make tomato sauce with spinach and basil. That combined with Italian sausage and cooked tortellini made a pasta dish that was made for comfort. We had a leafy green salad with toasted bread, olive oil and dipping spices on the side. Simple yet tasty!
Posted at 9:42 am by NativeNM, on September 3, 2021
Labor day for some signals the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. I love grilling outdoors and this year I bought a pellet smoker which has been so much fun to smoke ribs, burnt ends and pulled pork. So now I thought it would be fun to focus on one of our favorite side dishes. . . barbecue baked beans. There’s a lot of flavors packed into these beans including bacon, onion and jalapeno along with some sweet molasses and brown sugar. They are not just for outdoor picnics or family barbecues alone. I made enough for a meal or two and plan to freeze the rest in smaller portions that we can have later. If you are celebrating with family or friends this coming Labor day weekend you might want to make a pot of delicious barbecue baked beans to serve alongside.
For the past few month’s I’ve been partnering with NM Dept. of Agriculture on a campaign to promote local New Mexico products. I try to come up with creative recipes using these products in ways that may seem “outside the box”. This week I tried a soup mix from Cibolo Junction and a dressing mix from Jillipepper. With the weather turning warmer soup isn’t ideal so I used the mix to make Braised Chicken and Rice. The ingredients list is light on the details but it includes different types of chiles, cilantro and lime with rice. It sounds Southwest but Joe and I both agreed that it had a lot of Cajun flavors going on. A possibility might be because I used less liquid and the flavors were enhanced. It was quite tasty and Joe (who loves Cajun dishes) really enjoyed it. This was paired with a simple salad on the side with Jillipepper’s Dress It mix. This dressing mix was one of the best things I’ve tried yet. I used it as a marinade for chicken, a dressing for pasta salad and had a little bit left over for our salads here. The one thing I’ve found is that using good local products helps our economy and can make our meals a bit easier to prepare. Of course I will always enjoy the meals made from scratch but it’s been fun trying out new things and tasting all the local products. Some products come from our local restaurants while others are entrepreneurships that have started out of one’s garden or kitchen. I’ve found some real gems that I would buy over and over again. Even if you don’t live in NM, maybe this will inspire you to try local products from your state that give you new and innovative ideas to incorporate them into your meals.