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!
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 9:37 am by NativeNM, on February 11, 2022
If you are looking for the perfect snack for the big game this weekend, look no further that Red and/or Green Chile Chex Mix. Chex mix has always been a family favorite at our house and this year I decided to spice it up by adding some ground red and green chile. I got the idea when I picked up some red and green chile peanuts at our local Sprouts Market. The peanuts were roasted, salted and dusted in red and green chile spices which had a bold and spicy flavor. Using ground red and green chile seemed like the perfect solution to spicing up our traditional chex mix. I made one pan with red chile spices and one pan with green but it would be easy to make a Christmas chex mix by mixing equal parts red and green chile. A big bowl of each would be a crowd pleasing snack while watching the Superbowl this weekend. Enjoy the game!
Posted at 12:43 pm by NativeNM, on February 4, 2022
You might think it’s not the right time of year for limeade but I think limeade should be enjoyed all year long. If I can’t find limes on sale I’ll settle for a frozen concentrate but freshly squeezed always tastes best. Our local grocery store has a bargain bin with fruit and veggies that are slightly bruised or been there too long to sell as fresh. Every week I check to see what’s available and this week I scored 2 bags of limes. They were small but juicy. I had enough to make a pitcher of limeade with plenty leftover to freeze for another time. Once I had enough lime juice the only thing I needed was some water and sugar to make a refreshing pitcher of limeade. Limeade isn’t just for a hot summer day, it should be enjoyed any day you please!
Posted at 10:00 am by NativeNM, on January 21, 2022
Atole is a masa based hot drink that is mixed with milk, water and cinnamon that is pure comfort. The texture resembles Malt-O-Meal or Cream of Wheat with more liquid that you can drink for a quick breakfast. You can add berries, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup to add a little sweetness and flavor. atole also has many health benefits such as providing good digestion, antioxidants, anti inflammatory properties and is gluten free. I like it with brown sugar and a sprinkling of toasted pinon nuts which gives it an earthy nutty flavor. If you eat healthy grains for breakfast, give atole a try. It’s delicious and good for you!
Posted at 10:49 am by NativeNM, on January 4, 2022
It’s that time of year again when I get a craving for sweet rolls. It must be the holidays, the chill in the air and a hot drink that make me desire them so much. I like to make them up ahead and freeze individually so that I can pull one out every so often. I love them with my morning coffee, afternoon tea or generally anytime, which is why I have to put them out of sight in the freezer or I might be tempted to have one every day. This years flavor is lemon blueberry, it’s not overly sweet but has a wonderful blueberry flavor with a citrusy lemon glaze. These two flavors just belong together. And the brioche dough is so light and tender, it practically melts in your mouth.