Posted at 9:51 am , on February 5, 2021
Salad is the side dish that we have most often, it goes with almost everything. I miss going out to restaurants and getting those great salads with the house made dressings. They are always so good and you just can’t replicate the same taste from a store bought dressing. So lately I’ve been making more homemade dressings in small batches so that can change it up without taking up too much space in the fridge. One of my favorite salads is the ever popular Caesar salad, however it’s taken some time experimenting with recipes that tastes like the dressing you might eat at a restaurant, or takeout as we do these days. I found a recipe from “Culinary Hill” that checks all the boxes, simple to make, tastes great and no anchovies! I tweaked it a little bit and now it’s my go to Caesar dressing. Once you have a good salad dressing, the rest is simple. Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese and croutons complete the salad. So what has kept this salad so popular over the decades, it’s the dressing of course!
Posted at 10:49 am , on February 2, 2021
Pinto beans are one of the main staple foods here in New Mexico. You will find beans on most tables multiple times a week. It can be a side dish but for a lot of folks, it’s the main meal with a flour tortilla on the side. In all the years we lived in Kansas it was quite different going out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. You would find refried beans sometimes but black beans were often served as a side . I grew to love black beans but since we’ve been back I find myself reacquainted with the pinto’s of my childhood. Every time we get takeout from our favorite restaurants I always ask for extra beans, no rice. Joe is the opposite, wouldn’t touch a bean if his life, well you get the picture, he doesn’t like beans. So every now and then I will make myself a little pot of beans and spice them up with onion and chiles, sometimes bacon, and sometimes add a little chopped cilantro or grated cheese. My favorite is still my Mom’s Charro Beans. Her recipe is my guide with the substitution of roasted red chiles for green and red chile jerky for bacon. I had no idea how jerky might taste in a pot of beans, but to my surprise it turned out really really good! About half of the jerky is put in the pot along with the beans while saving a few little bits to go on top for crunch. It’s a delicious blend of flavors and texture. Here in NM you can find locally made jerky on almost every corner of the state. There are so many jerky flavors that might taste good in a pot of beans but red chile is a natural choice!
Posted at 12:16 pm , on January 29, 2021
Chilaquiles is an easy dish made from fried tortillas tossed in red or green chile sauce and topped with a fried egg. That’s it! There are toppings involved that are optional for every individual taste. Most recipes add a crumbled cheese such as queso fresco or cotija, cilantro and chopped red onion. Some simmer the tortillas in the sauce which softens the tortillas, however I like the tortillas to have a little bit of texture and crunch. In the past I usually make a red sauce with dried red chiles, a combination of NM Red, Guajillo and Ancho chiles. This time I’m trying something new, a sauce by “The Fresh Chile Co.” which is made from Hatch fresh red chiles. The sauce is a puree of red chiles, garlic, salt, and citrus which makes a beautiful red sauce that is fantastic! If you are looking for a spicy breakfast or brunch, chilaquiles is the perfect choice.
Posted at 10:15 am , on January 27, 2021
It’s National Chocolate Cake Day!! And with Valentines day just around the corner I thought I’d share my favorite chocolate cake. Joe loves dark chocolate so I made this cake especially for him. The cake alone is very moist and loaded with dark chocolate flavors as well as coffee. And you can’t beat a buttercream frosting for it’s creamy whipped texture. The combination is so decadent leaving you to savor every bite. And if that’s not enough I had some chocolate covered pecans from “Legacy Pecans” that I chopped and sprinkled over top. Joe loves them and it was almost impossible to keep him from devouring them before they went on the cake. He was all too happy to taste test this slice. Hope you all have a wonderful Chocolate Cake Day and a Valentines day shared with the one you love! Continue reading
Posted at 2:10 pm , on January 20, 2021
One of my favorite ways to dress up a pork chop is to add chimichurri. Pork chops don’t have to be dry and bland. By adding a simple marinade and a flavorful topping, pork chops can be a most appealing meal. The chimichurri is the star of this recipe, made with the flavors of red chile and lime. This combination is second to none with fresh herbs, red chile pistachios and queso fresco cheese. Once the pork has marinated this meal can be prepared in 15 minutes. The chimichurri provided flavor, texture and spice which tasted so good with the grilled pork. To complete this meal serve alongside a baked potato and garden salad. Pork chops never tasted so good!
Posted at 11:06 am , on January 5, 2021
One of my favorite combinations is cranberry and orange. Let’s face it, these two just belong together, whether it’s scones, muffins, cranberry sauce or cranberry relish. Cranberries are in season now so if you love this tarty fruit you might want to pick up a bag or two and put in the freezer. I started freezing them so that I had some to cook with all year long. I prefer fresh or frozen berries to dried cranberries plus they don’t have the added sugar that dried cranberries do. Along with antioxidants, they provide many vitamins and minerals that we all need in our daily diet. I must confess, sweet rolls probably negate all the positives of eating cranberries but after the year we’ve had I’m going to give myself a break and indulge in a few rolls. The rest can be frozen for up to a couple month’s. I like to freeze 2 rolls per package and that way I can have a sweet roll now and then. These rolls are messy and don’t look as perfect as some of my other sweet rolls but the taste is among the best. For me it always starts with brioche dough, I never waver with any other dough, it’s just that good. The cranberry orange jam was adapted from “Plated Cravings”. I had an idea of what the filling should be and this recipe was about as perfect as I could have imagined. And if that’s not enough I made an orange glaze that soaked into every crack and crevice of these rolls. I hope you’ll keep these in mind next time you are craving sweet rolls. They have a festive feel for the holidays but I think they would be perfect any time of year.
Posted at 10:54 am , on December 29, 2020
Around the holidays one of the things I enjoy most is a cup of hot chocolate. Just holding a cup of hot cocoa brings a warmth and serenity especially during the cold winter days and nights. I’ve made my own cocoa mix many times but this year I varied just a bit and made some Mexican blend with a hint of red chili and cinnamon. It tastes so decadent and creamy. On the weekends I enjoy some quiet time with a good book and a cup of cocoa. If you like this pretty cup you can find it at Persephone Bakery Cafe in Jackson Hole, WY. I hear the pastries, sandwiches and coffee are to die for. It’s where Josh calls home now and is a barista by day at both Persephone Bakery and Picnic. With Covid 19 this past year we cancelled our plans to visit but fingers crossed we will make it up to Jackson Hole next summer and let Josh be our guide around the Tetons and beyond.
Posted at 9:26 am , on December 9, 2020
What’s more comforting that a bowl of steaming hot chicken noodle soup? Maybe a bowl of chicken noodle soup with roasted green chile. The steamy broth and heat of the chile gives you a cozy feeling whether you are under the weather or trying to keep warm on a cold day. I seasoned the chicken with verde seasoning to give it a little Southwest flavor and let it simmer in chicken broth for a couple hours until it was so tender it would just fall apart. Once the chicken is prepared everything else can go back in the pot with the exception of the green chile. In the time it takes to cook the noodles this soup is done. The green chile is already roasted and chopped so it can be added to the cooked soup along with a sprinkle of dried cilantro and your done.
Posted at 11:36 am , on December 1, 2020
Kansas City is home to some of the best barbeque on earth, especially their burnt ends. As many of you know Joe and I made our home in the Kansas City area for 25 years. One of the things we miss most is the barbeque and particularly the burnt ends from Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. Joe’s is by far our favorite bbq and we’ve ordered it several times since moving back to New Mexico. Yes, you can order their champion barbeque which is packed in dry ice and sent straight to your door. Each meat is smoked to perfection and vacuum sealed with a handbook of instructions on how to reheat each item, whether it be brisket, ribs, sausage, chicken or burnt ends. I successfully made smoked ribs a few years back which was a triumphant moment for me. Burnt ends would be the ultimate goal if I could pull it off. As it turned out, my oldest son Josh was home for a visit and he was a huge help. We worked together keeping the charcoal going and trying to keep the grill temperature steady while waiting patiently for the internal temperature of the beef to reach the magic number. It took a little over 8 hours to reach our goal and our burnt ends were so tender and flavorful. We smoked 6 1/2 pounds and it was gone in a matter of days. Josh and I agreed that this is our new tradition, when he comes home we make burnt ends.
Posted at 9:31 am , on November 3, 2020
Recently I came across a recipe for honey mustard coleslaw. It sounded intriguing but at the same time I was skeptical. When it comes to coleslaw I’ve always been about the tried and true recipe which has never failed me. I decided to just go with it and picked up a bag of pre-chopped cabbage and added my own spicy honey mustard sauce. To my surprise it was delicious! And it makes a great chicken sandwich which was too good not to share. If there were any doubts, I can truly say this is one of my favorite ways to dress a sandwich. I think I will try it next on some pulled pork or pulled chicken.