Quick and Easy Pickled Peppers

Guero and red cherry chile peppers | mjskitchen.com

 

After the pesky racoons ravaged my chile plants back in June, I did manage to find a few lonely plants tucked away in the sale section of the nursery.  Even though it was late in the season, I still planted them and now, in September, I’m getting some peppers.  YAY!  My first picking yielded a few guero chiles (yellow hot or caribe) and three red cherry chiles. It wasn’t much, but it’s something.  So what did I do with these beauties?  I made some pickled peppers!

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Grilled Cheese with Urfa Biber Chile

Urfa Biber chile and toasted pinon (pine) nuts make a great grilled cheese sandwich | mjskitchen.com #grilledcheese #urfabiber

 

Recently, I read an article about grilled cheese sandwiches and after reading the article I skimmed through the comments where it became quickly apparent that there are a number of people that think it’s sacrilege to add anything to a grilled cheese other than cheese.  Well, I’m not one of them. :)  Personally, I find a grilled cheese sandwich with ONLY cheese to be rather boring. However, it doesn’t take much to change that. One or two additional ingredients can take a grilled cheese from boring to downright exciting.  And downright exciting is what you get with this grilled cheese with roasted urfa biber chile and toasted pinon nuts.

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Green Chile Home Fries with Leeks and Carrots

A spicy stovetop winner with country fried potatoes, leeks, carrots and New Mexico green chile. mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

It is personally a challenge for me to make a potato dish without adding green chile especially during green chile season, and a challenge for which I gladly accept failure.  Potatoes and green chile are two ingredients that are just meant for each other and that’s all there is to it.

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Green Chile Crab Cakes with Horseradish Sauce

Easy crab cakes with roasted green chile and horseradish sauce | mjskitchen.com

 

Crab cakes are one of those foods that can range in texture from a dry, crumbly cake of mostly bread crumbs to a very soft mass of mayonnaise and crab meat – and I think I’ve had them all. Even though I make crab cakes at home, I still order them if they are on the menu because I love crab cakes! I was so disappointed with some cakes that I ordered the other night (they were the soft mass I referred to) that I had to come home and make mine just as a reminder of how good crab cakes could be.

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A Review of Three Heirloom Tomatoes – Growing to Eating

Basket of heirloom tomatoes. mjskitchen.com

 

I can’t believe I’m actually writing about my garden.  Up until 10 years ago I had always had a very prolific garden, but then whoops – life got in the way.  Well, now my garden is back – thanks to Bobby.  Last year he built me two 4′ x 10′ raised beds and spent last fall and winter making the soil for one of the beds.  By April it was ready to plant.

As you can see below, I may have gotten a little carried away in my plantings. In this one bed, I have four heirloom tomatoes, four bell peppers, one cherry bomb pepper, two eggplants and four “bush” cucumbers plants which, I have discovered, that there is no such thing as “bush” cucumbers.  The peppers plants aren’t producing yet, because I had to replace them when the neighborhood racoons found my garden and used it as a playpen.  Several plants got broken, and even though I tried desperately to save them – the attempt was a no go.  But in spite of the racoons, the June heat, and the heavy thunderstorms, my little garden has survived and to date, has provided us with several tomatoes and cucumbers.  Eggplant and peppers are well on there way.

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The Quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger

The quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger | mjskitchen.com

 

New Mexico’s chile season is upon us!  Yesterday I went over to one of my favorite local suppliers, Sichler Farms, and bought my first 10 pounds of chile for 2014 – 5 pounds of medium and 5 pounds of hot.  When I got home I couldn’t wait to try it, so I lit up the grill and started roasting and peeling.  For supper we made the Quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger.  Both of us agreed that, even though we’ve eaten A LOT of green chile cheeseburgers in our lifetime, this was the best hamburger we had ever made and possibly ever eaten.  Every bite was a burst of spicy, meaty chile complemented with the sweetness of Golden Jubilees picked fresh from our garden.  A burger can’t get much better than this.

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Grilled Portabello Tacos with Red Chile-Yogurt Sauce

Vegetarian tacos with grilled portabello, sauteed summer squash and red chile / yogurt sauce. mjskitchen.com

 

These Grilled Portabello Tacos with Red Chile-Yogurt Sauce were inspired by some Beer-Marinated Grilled Mushroom Tacos that I saw over at Oh My Veggies when I was searching for meatless main ideas.   Kiersten’s tacos looked delicious, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients so I improvised (a great deal actually) with what I had on hand.  The result was outstanding.  Bobby and I enjoyed them so much that when we went to Pagosa Springs with some friends, this was the meal we chose to dish up on our night to cook.  I had to increase the recipe a bit in order to serve 9 people, and in doing so, found that it is a very easy recipe to make for a small dinner party.

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Raspberry Mole’ Jam

Raspberry Mole' Jam made with spice, red chile and a touch of cocoa. mjskitchen.com

 

Have you ever had black molé (aka Molé Negro)?  Molé Negro is a dark, rich, spicy sauce that is one of the seven molés of Oaxaca, Mexico. I made it once with great success, but it was a very time consuming and laborious process, so much so that the next time I wanted to make it, I wimped out and bought some from the local Mexican market. My love of molé is what drove me to make this  Raspberry Molé Jam. I wanted a sweet and spicy jam with a little nuttiness, and the richness of a black molé.  For this jam, raspberries are cooked down with a little sugar (less than normal), minced dates, almonds, red chile, chocolate and spice.  You’ll be hooked on the first bite.
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Herbaceous Mushrooms

Mushrooms stewed in olive oil and butter with a variety of fresh herbs. mjskitchen.com

 

Herbaceous Mushrooms is a simple dish that celebrates the umami of mushrooms and complements it with the combined flavors of fresh herbs.  The fun part of making this dish is walking out to the herb garden and sniffing and clipping the herbs that you want in the dish.  You can choose two or three different herbs or as many as six or seven.  For this particular batch, I used a sprig of sage, tarragon, Thai basil, oregano, a few sprigs of thyme and lemon balm.  Some groceries sell little packets of  a mix of fresh herbs which are great for this dish. With all of the herbs and the fact that umami is also a flavor enhancer (due to the presence of glutamate), the amount of salt needed for this dish is minimal.  I add just a touch of salt before baking, and that’s usually all I need.

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