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!
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!
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!
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!