We had a mimosa mocktail potluck at the office on New Year’s eve, and I wound up taking home two half-pints of raspberries that didn’t get used. They’ve been sitting the fridge for a week and today was clean out the fridge day. I couldn’t bring myself to toss them, and decided to use them up in some jam. This is yummy – nice raspberry-forward with a little heat at the finish. This is going to be awesome on some grilled chicken kebabs, layered on some goat cheese in a savory-sweet crostata, or on a grilled cheese (if you’re lucky enough to eat cheese.) Bon apetit!
Raspberry Jalapeno Jam Yield: two 4-oz jars.
12 oz fresh raspberries 12 oz sugar 2 medium jalapenos, sliced into ⅛” crescents 1/4c water ½ juicy lime
Toss everything but the lime in to a saucepan on low. (You need the water at first to keep things from burning until the berries release their juices.) Simmer about 20-ish minutes until it passes the spoon test. When it’s almost done, squeeze in the juice of half a lime and stir (should be about 2 Tbsp.) and heat up/sterilize your jars – drain out the water and fill them with the jam. Lid them and either water bath them to can, or let them cool and keep in the fridge for several weeks.
There’s not a lot of narration with this one. I’ve been wanting to make cranberry orange muffins for a few weeks, and when I got up this morning I thought cornbread – so this is a smoosh. We couldn’t come up with a really catchy name. But the coffee cake? Oh, man – that is really yummy. Not too sweet (unless you go nuts with the glaze.) Nice tooth and corny flavor from the cornmeal, pretty red bits from the fresh cranberries along with their unmistakable zing. Then some nice orange to round it out. This one’s a keeper. I’m thinking this flavor profile would make some really good corn shortbread cookies – just need to develop a recipe.
Stay well out there, peeps – and have some cake.
Cranberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake with Orange Drizzle This will make two 8” round cakes, or one 9”x13” rectangular cake. So, one for you and one for the neighbors – or just cut the recipe in half for a nice little breakfast cake.
Cake: 1.5 c AP flour 0.75 c yellow corn meal 2 Tb corn starch 1.25 c sugar 2 tsp. Baking powder ¼ tsp. Baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 Tbsp orange zest (about half an orange’s worth) 0.5 c butter, room temp 2 eggs 1 c. buttermilk 1 tsp. Vanilla 1 c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
Drizzle: 2 c. powdered sugar 1 Tbsp. orange zest (so, the other half…) Juice of the orange
Grease or line your pan(s). Preheat your oven to 375*. In the bowl of your mixer, mix together the dry. Add the butter and beat with your paddle attachment until the mixture looks like fine crumbs (about 2 minutes). Add the wet, change to the whisk attachment and beat on high for about three minutes until it looks lighter in color and a bit fluffier than when you began. Stir in ¾ of the chopped cranberries (we’ll sprinkle the rest on top) and pour into your prepared pans. Bake about 30 min until a tester comes out clean (for the rounds; for the oblong, start checking at about 40 min).
Once cool, mix your drizzle. Put the sugar and zest in a bowl, and slowly squeeze in enough juice to make a thick icing. You want to almost so think you could use it as a frosting. This way it will hold it’s shape nicely when you zig-zag it across the cake. (Can you make it thinner? Why not? You’re a adult, do whatchuwant.) Pop it in a piping bag or a quart ziplock, snip the corner and go to town.
I love pinto beans. No, I mean I really love them. Nothing beats a nice bowl of frijoles straight out of the pot, with lots of broth with some minced onion and cilantro and a big squeeze of lime. It is comfort food at its finest.
For years I made shite beans. Then I went to my friend D’s for a dinner party, and his beans were awesome – so of course I had to ask how he did it. He looked at me like I was a simpleton (hey, he’s from New Mexico and I’m from Arizona – knowing how to make a pot of beans is a basic life skill.) Then he said dry beans, bay leaf, ham hock, beef broth. That’s it. Kaplowie – mind blown. And I’ve never looked back – or stopped thanking him. No soaking, no weird mumbo jumbo with baking soda and what not. Just toss it in the pot and snap, Bob’s your uncle.
Himself is highly partial to charro-style beans – you know, the kind with lots of broth and bits of bacon and jalapeno. Here’s our version. We think it’s damn good – and hope you do, too.
Damn Fine Cowboy Beans
1# dry pinto beans, picked and rinsed
3-4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
½ white onion, diced (½ c.)
½ – 1 jalapeno, in ⅛” discs
2 Tbsp chili powder (I use New Mexico, medium)
2 Tbsp. Mexican oregano, crushed
½ tsp. Ground cumin
1 bouillon cube or 1 Tbsp better than bouillon (beef, chicken, pork – doesn’t matter.)
2 ½ qts water.
You do NOT need to soak the beans. Throw everything in the crock pot on low and in about six or seven hours you’ve got some damn fine cowboy beans. (In other words, before you go to bed or before you leave for work in the morning.) They are good as-is, refried, or made in to some pozole de frijol by adding some hominy. I love a big bowl of these with some fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro and white onion. SO tasty! I usually make a crock pot of these about every third Sunday, and freeze them in ½ quart deli containers – they’re easy to thaw in the microwave and are a perfect size for the two of us for dinner during the week.
This cooks in about four hours stovetop. This recipe yields about two quarts of beans, with some broth left over.
I had half a batch of Martha’s pâte brisée in the fridge and needed to use it up. Deciding what kind of a pie to make, I remember my work friend, A., and how he waxes poetic about a local diner’s apple-cranberry. He loves it – but “only the crumb top one.” And ya know what? There are apples in the fridge and cranberries in the freezer. Let’s give this a whirl!
I’ve always thought it would be my kind of pie – tart and just a little sweet – like a strawberry-rhurbarb. Plus, in our post-election decompression time, Apple Pie seems incredibly appropriate.
Sweet, tart, soft, crunchy, and full of buttery goodness. You taste what it is – cranberry and apple, with a touch of love. This mofo is definitely a winner and I will make it again many times.
Apple Cranberry Crumb Galette
1/2 batch pâte brisée, or hell a deep dish pie crust from the grocer’s. (I’ll try not to judge)
Filling: 4 crisp apples, peeled, cored, sliced in 1/4″ slices, then cut those in half. 3/4 c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped 1/2 tsp. Grains of Paradise (opt) 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 c. AP flour 1/4 c. sugar juice of half a lemon
1/2 c. AP flour 4 Tbsp. corn starch 1/4 c. sugar 1/4 c. brown sugar 1/4 tsp. salt (or omit if using salted butter) 1/4 c. unsalted butter 1/4 tsp. Grains of Paradise (opt.)
What on earth is Grains of Paradise, you ask? It’s a spice that tastes kind of citrusy/peppery. Alton Brown had it in a pie recipe ages ago and so I ordered some.
Preheat your oven to 375*.
Roll your dough, put it in your pie pan (either one 9″ deep or two 6″ shallow) and pop that in the fridge. You can do a fancy crimp or a galette-type edge if you’re lazy like me.
After you peel and chop the apples, put them in a bowl. Sprinkle on the salt, sugar, and lemon juice. Give it a stir. Then sprinkle on the flour, add the rest of the ingredients, and give that a stir. Set aside.
In your food processor, put in all the dry ingredients for the topping. Give a couple quick whirls to combine. Then, chop the butter and toss it in. Pulse until you have very fine crumbs that stick together if you smoosh some between your fingers.
Assembly time! Take the crust(s) out of the fridge. Spread in the filling. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly on the top, paying special attention to the edges. Leave no space for things to bubble up and out to make it a pain to clean. (Now you know what motivates me.) Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. About 35-40 mins for the 6″, about 45-55 m for the 9″.
Bon apetit! This was positively DELICOUS, and I think it is my new favorite. Give it a try. The 6″ size would be perfect for a quarantine-stay-home-just-the-two-of-us meal, with second one to leave with the neighbors or a friend.
I’ve attempted making red chile with jamaica once before, and it was an EPIC disaster. Oh, lawdee lawd – so gross. Then a few weeks back, there was an article in the NY Times about a vegan chef in LA, and how she makes carnitas and al pastor tacos using jackfruit and jamaica. I ordered her cookbook then and there. (Check it out – she is forking brilliant!!)
I wanted a red chile style filling for tamales, and alas that recipe is not included – but her techniques are, so I cobbled together a few things and this turned out pretty tasty. This is one of those recipe in many steps – I did it over a couple days. And, I gotta confess, I just bought the damn masa preparada – my local meximart makes a vegan one, and it is pretty good. So, I boiled the jamaica one day (and used that for aqua fresca) and then stuck the cooked flowers in the fridge, and then got them out today to finish.
And – heads up! I’m not going to go in to tamale fabrication steps here – the interwebs is chock full. This is more about how to make that vegan filling. Just know that in all seriousness, if you were to cook these in the Instant pot, you could have home made fresh tamales ready in an hour. No shit, bro. For reals.
The Tamales Corn husks, soaked in hot water and drained Green olives – about 16 4# masa preparada para tamales
The Filling: 1 c. dried jamaica/hibiscus flowers that have been boiled and drained twice, then chopped. This will yield about 3 c. final product. 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped ½ a 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, or one big red tomato, diced 2 Tbsp. olive oil ¼ c. chipotles en adobo ½ c. prepared red chili paste (see the barbacoa post for the recipe – I make it in batches and freeze ½ c. portions in otter pop zippies in the freezer) ½ c. water 1 Tbsp. dried Mexican oregano leaves ¼ tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. smoked paprika
Ok, in a saute pan cook the olive oil, garlic and tomato on medium-low for about ten minutes – until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic is cooked. Puree that mix along with the chipotles en adobo. Return that mix to the pan, and add the rest of the ingredients except the jamaica. Simmer on medium about five minutes to let everything cook together. While that’s going, coarsely chop the jamaica. When the time’s up, stir the jamaica in to the red chile sauce and remove from the heat. That’s it. You’re ready to assemble.
Assemble and steam for about 45m. stove top (or follow the directions for your instant pot). And enjoy!
I got sixteen tamales out of this batch. But honestly, they started to get a little fat at the end there – so if I’d been more consistent I would have had 18 or 20. Try to make them all the same size, btw, so they cook evenly and are all done at the same time. My heavy-handedness cost me additional cooking time. Either way, though, your reward is this:
This all started with goat cheese. We’d gone down to Willcox for our annual corn/squash/green chile splurge, and on the drive back I was mentally planning what to cook. I decided on a green chile/sqash/chèvre enchilada with verde sauce. So of course, we had to stop for the goat cheese on the way home and I got the big package.
Thing is, I made the dish (and it was delicious and took a bajillion cheese pills to eat some), but now I have 3/4 of this big log of chèvre frais in the fridge. So, I’ll take it to work. Only, you can just take nekkid cheese to work – that would be sad. I got out some onions and balsamic to make some quick jam to go with when I remembered I had a lot of jalapenos in the fridge. And I thought, mmmmm jalapeno jam on that smooth creamy cheese would be forking delicious. Time to consult the Google Overlords.
So, turns out this is a huge thing. It even has a special name – Cowboy Candy. I went through a bunch of the recipes, got a feel for the commonalities, and adjusted from there. I had to go small batch – I only had about seven peppers. But this made exactly one 8-oz jar. Perfect to take to work with the cheese. Hell, I might get ambitious today and make some crackers, too. Woo – goin’ crazy!
Well, here ’tis. Give it a whirl. Apparently pouring this over a block of cream cheese is quite a thing.
Cowboy Candy 1 1/2c. sliced jalapenos (about 7 medium) 1/3 c. cider vinegar 1/2 c. sugar 1/8 tsp. celery seed 1/8 tsp. tumeric Sprinkle Cayenne In a small pan, bring everything but the jalapenos to a quick boil, turn the heat down to simmer and add the jalapenos. Simmer about 20ish minutes, until it is reduced to jammy thickness*. Take it off the heat and stir in one tsp. more of cider vinegar. Pour in to a clean hot jar (I always rinse mine with boiling water right before filling. Use common sense if your glass is cold. )
That’s it – I imagine this would be super scrumptious on a grilled chicken breast or shrimp kebab, as well as the aforementioned cheese.
Give this a whirl – hope you like it!
* To test the thickness, dip spoon in the jam then let that cool. Run your finger through it – is it thick like jam and your finger streak remains? Then it’s done. If not, reduce some more
Hello, my lovelies. I’ve finally come across something new and worthy enough to share. I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my Spanish listening skills and learning how to make traditional Mexican recipes. I had nothing new of my own worth sharing for a bit. It didn’t make sense to post what I’d been cooking when there was a recipe/video already out there, and I hadn’t developed the recipe myself. Add to that a forceful internal debate going about entitlement and cultural appropriation, and it just wasn’t the right time. Yet. But then I did some tweaking on a couple recipes I’ve been trying and was ecstatic with the results. The gals at the office loved it. One tried the recipe at home and her husband loved it. Actually, she was really kind – she said he loved it so much it inspired them to do a big asada for dinner. (S! You made my day!) So, time to share.
Salsa verde had never been my favorite -there is something off-putting to me about the cooked tomatillos. They’re not exactly slimy, but they have this certain viscousy mucus quality (especially the jarred kind) and that olive green color that just are not appetizing to me. I want something more vibrant and fresh. In my journeys with my new YouTube friends and The Google, I discovered that tomatillo salsas fall into three main categories where the ingredients are either cruda/raw, charred, or boiled.
I was ecstatic when I found the first raw recipe – finally! Yes! But……..no. it was way too acidic. Then I started to think – why do I have to follow the rules? Who says I can’t blend a couple techniques? I prefer the tomatillos cooked, but the garlic and cilantro raw in terms of flavor – what if I just barely poached the tomatillos, and some of the other ingredients were raw? Would that fix what I didn’t like? The answer was a resounding yes. This is spicy. And garlicky. And truly outstanding on carne asada, fish and chicken – hell, even eggs with avocado. It’s really good – and I hope you make it and love it, too.
Salsa Verde Put the following in a saucepan, and cover with water: Fresh tomatillos, with the cascara (husk)* removed and washed (this is about 8 small, [a little bigger than a ping pong ball.] They should fill the pan.) 1 large jalapeno, pierced (or two if you like things REALLY hot) 3 large cloves garlic, peeled Bring just to a boil, then remove the heat and let them sit in the water and cool down til they’re just warm. The tomatillos will go to a drab green color.
In your blender or food processor, put: 2-3 fat cloves raw garlic 1/2 a small white onion (about 1/3 c. worth) a handful of cilantro(remove most of the stems) 1/2 tsp salt The cooked tomatillos, garlic and jalapeno (but trim the stem first)
Puree until mostly smooth. Add some of the cooking water from the saucepan to thin it out if needed. You can add lime if you want, but the tomatillos are pretty acidic already. This is garlicky and spicy – but not inedible. It’s that good kind of hot that warms your mouth and makes you want to keep eating it. That’s it. Munch away!
*In case you’ve never removed the husk of a tomatillo, be aware that the fruit are sticky under the husk. You need to wash them really well with water after removing the husk to remove those sticky plant juices.
I know, I know – there’s already a carrot escabeche recipe on the blog. But the other day at the office, J. was saying that her grandpa put potatoes in his and of course I had to research that because wha-what??
And – surprise! – she was not crazy. It’s a real thing. And it sounded delicious – I love potato salad with vinegar instead of mayo, and this would be vinegary potatoes that were espicy! Sign me up!
Yesterday we were at El Super, and I got the veggies I needed to give this a whirl. But damn, jalapenos this time of year are sooooo forking hot. Ay! Just out of the pan this was delicious, and it got better the next day. We had us some yummmyyyyy crunchies this week at the office, y’all! This made a half-gallon, and my office mates and I had it essentially gone in a day and a half. But – funny story- what was left was a cup or so of those super-hot jalapenos. Not even some of my fire-tolerant co-workers took those puppies on. But man, the rest was SOOOOO good.
2 large waxy potatoes 2 Tbsp. olive oil 5 fat carrots, peeled and in ¼” diagonal coins 3 garlic cloves, sliced in half 2 Tbsp. Mexican oregano 5 fat jalapenos, in ¼” coins 1 big white onion, wedged in to 8 3 bay leaves ½ tsp. Black peppercorns 1 c. white vinegar 2 c. water 1 tsp. Soy sauce 1 tsp. Worsteshire sauce
Wash and boil the potatoes until tender. Slice in half, then wedges – about ½”. Should be about 12 per spudnik.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the carrots garlic and oregano, toss and saute a minute or two, just until you start to smell the garlic and oregano. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the potatoes), return to the heat just until you start to see a boil. Turn it off, take the pan off the heat. (Now, you can boil that mix a little longer than I do, but I like my veggies to stay as crunchy as possible. Cook ‘em how you like ‘em.) Lay in the potato slices and allow to cool.
Keep in a couple big glass jars in the fridge. It should stay delicious for several weeks, but I cannot attest to that as I can never get escabeche to last longer than a few days in my house.
It’s farm stand season. Time for the annual pilgrimmage down to Willcox for fresh corn, squash, and chile. I have been waiting for chiles for what seems like forever. Southwesterner problems, I know. But this is serious, dammit.
So, we get down there and……we are a week early for the chile roasting. DAMMIT. But, I got half of bushel of the most amaaaaazing sweet corn.
On the drive back I couldn’t decide: galette with squash, corn, green chile and chevre, or a corn chowder. After cobbing 30 ears, a pie sounded too rich and heavy – so chowdah it is.
This is easy, fast and delicious. But ya gotta make it with fresh sweet corn. Anything else will be sad. (Or fresh sweet corn that you froze yourself, anyway.)
This is SOOOOO Good. And since we are a cream-free house, it is not as heavy as a normal chowder so you can, um, chow down.
GREEN CHILE CORN CHOWDER Servings: 4-6, depending on the size of your chowder bowls
1/4 c. unsalted butter 1/2 large white onion in 1/2″ dice (about 1/2 c.) 1 Tbsp. Mexican oregano, crushed in your palm 1 large baking potato, peeled and in 1″ cubes (about 1 1/2 c.) 4 stalks celery, in 1/2″ dice (about 3/4 c.) 2 large zucchini or 4 large pattypan squash, in 1/2″ dice 3-4 cups fresh corn kernals and their juice 1/2 to 3/4 c. FRESH roasted green chile (we like medium, but mild is fine. Hot is recommended for professional native New Mexicans only), in 1/2″ dice Water to cover 2 Tbsp. chicken base (ie Better than Bouillon)
In a large stock pot, melt the butter. Add the onion, potato, celery and oregano and let saute with occasional stirring for about 5 minutes. Ad the corn and squash. Put just enough water to cover, stir in the chicken base and let simmer on medium for about 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Take about 1/4 of the chowder and put it in a heatproof bowl and puree that with your stick blender (or your food processor), then stir that back in . This will thicken and give that creaminess that makes you think “chowder”.
Ladle in to big chowder bowls, top each serving with a big pat of sweet butter and go to town. Obvs, if you are not cheese-impaired as we are, smother that shit in grated cheddar cheese. I’ll just look on longingly, don’t mind me.
This all started because I wanted a Cel-Ray and they are now impossible to find in this town. (Feig’s Deli, I miss you so!) Of course, next I asked our Google Overlords about making it at home and that rabbit hole led to the most amazing discovery: celery popsicles.
Now, hold it right there. I know you just went “eeewww” in your head. I get it – but you have to try these. Everyone who has is now a convert.
It’s summer and I’m on a not-too-sweet icy pop obsession. It started with the salty-sweet celery basil and has grown. As in, I have a Pinterest Board for them. Here are four I tried this weekend, still haven’t decided which I like the best. I have two popsicle molds, but honestly I prefer the fill-it-yourself otter-pop style zippie bags. Mainly because they are neater to eat, you don’t have to unmold them, and you don’t have to wash the mold. I got a set of 125 at Amazon, including a little funnel (be sure to get that – makes a HUGE difference). Each baggie holds 1/2 cup.
So, these recipes make 6-8 pops each, depending on how full you make the pops. Give ’em a try, love. They’re tastee!
Biggie Pops – Four Ways
Salty-Sweet Celery Basil (slightly tweeked version of the Jerry James recipe linked above.) 2 c. celery juice (about one hefty stalk [12-ish ribs] of celery) 1 c. simple syrup 20 basil leaves 1 tsp. Kosher salt Make the syrup first. In a saucepan, put ¾ each water and sugar. Put on a medium heat stirring occasionally until it is clear. Remove from the heat, throw in the basil leaves, stir and then leave it to cool. Wash and trim the celery, cut in to 2”-3” lengths and puree in the food processor. Strain. If you are a little shy of two cups, add a little water. If you are off by more than half a cup, puree more celery. When the syrup is room temp, mix it with the celery puree and the salt. Pour in to the pop mold of your choice and freeze for four-plus hours.
Roasted Nectarine with Brown Sugar and Bourbon 5 ripe nectarines, halved and roasted in 400* until brown and bubbly (about 20m) 1/3 c. dark brown sugar 1 Tbsp. bourbon
Roast the fruit, mix the rest of the ingredients in a metal bowl. When the nectarines come out of the oven, toss them hot into the bowl, give it a couple stirs and leave it to cool. When it’s room temperature, puree the fruit (reserve the liquid) and then add the liquid in until it is to your taste.
Pour in to the pop mold of your choice and freeze for eight-plus hours.
Cucumber Lemon 3 c. strained cucumber puree (4 large cucumbers, seeded and peeled made in to liquid in the food processor) Juice & Zest of 1 lemon 1 c. simple syrup
Stir everything together, pour in to the pop mold of your choice and freeze for four-plus hours.
Mango Lime Chamoy 3 c. mango puree (four mangoes, peeled and pureed in the food processor) Juice of three limes ¾ to 1 c. simple syrup 8 Tbps. chamoy
Mix the mango puree, lime and simple syrup. Drizzle a little chamoy down the sides of the pop mold of your choice, and then fill with the mixture. Freeze for eight-plus hours.
The pops made with pureed fruit, the more dense ones, took much longer to freeze than those that were mostly juice.
Interestingly enough, it was the cucumber lemon that was the most popular at my office, seconded by the mango chamoy.