Grits with Red Chile and Cheese

Grits with red chile paste, roasted red chile and cheese | mjskitchen.com

 

As many of you already know, grits and chile is one of my all time favorite breakfasts.  At least once a week I’m cooking up a pot of grits and in the cooler months, we could be eating them 2 to 3 times a week.  With all of the great chiles out there it is pretty easy to keep our grits exciting by changing up the flavor with different chiles and cheese.  In previous years, I’ve shared my chipotle, feta and grits and my grits and green chile.  Now it’s time for Grits with Red Chile and Cheese.  These grits are just as easy to make as all of the others and can be made in less than 20 minutes; however, you do need some kind of red chile paste and either some roasted red chile or roasted red bell peppers.

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Thai Green Curry Shrimp

A quick and easy Thai Shrimp Curry with green curry paste | @MJsKitchen

Most of the time when we get a craving for Thai food we go out to eat.  However, this Thai Green Curry Shrimp dish is the exception.  I found a basic Thai Shrimp Curry recipe years ago in Bon Appetit (Feb 2008).  I loved the “base” of the dish (the coconut milk, broth, and Thai flavorings), but I wanted more vegetables. The Bon Appetit recipe only uses onion and tomato, and I’m not a fan of tomato in my curry dishes, especially green curries. So as you can see here, I’ve changed it up a bit.

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Cara Cara Orange and Persimmon Salad

A simple salad of cara cara orange and persimmon | mjskitchen.com

Cara Cara oranges and Fuyu persimmon are my favorite winter fruits.  It was not until I had a flat of both sitting on the counter that I thought of putting them together in this simple salad.  If any two fruits below in the same bowl, it’s these two.  We have been eating this salad a couple of times a week since November.  By using different flavored sea salts, one can slightly alter the taste of the salad to best complement the meal and to provide a different finish.

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New Mexico Carne Adovada (Pork Marinated in Red Chile)

New Mexico carne adovada or pork marinated and slow-cooked in red chile | mjskitchen

I thought I would start the new year off with the most requested recipe of 2014 – Carne Adovada, pork marinated in New Mexico red chile – a relatively simple dish to make.  It takes about an hour’s worth of work on day 1, then a long braise on day 2.  Bobby and I made this for Christmas Day along with Green Chile, Corn, and Mushroom Tamales, roasted red chile tamales and a citrus salad. There was a lot of “Christmas” in this house with all of the red and green!

New Mexico carne adovada is a very meaty dish consisting of chunks of pork shoulder marinated for about 24 hours in a red chile sauce, then slow cooked in the oven for 2 to 4 hours depending on oven temperature and the amount of pork. This process yields tender pieces of pork that easily pull apart with a fork and that melt in your mouth, releasing the spicy, earthy goodness of New Mexico’s red chile.

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Happy Holidays from MJ’s Kitchen

Happy Holidays! Snow scene with lighted tree | mjskitchen.com

A Huge Thanks to all of the friends and visitors of MJ’s Kitchen

for your continued support, comments and emails.

Wishing you all a very Joyous and Safe Holiday Season

and looking forward to seeing you again in 2015!

 

Picture taken January 2002 while cross-country skiing in Chama, New Mexico.

[Photo credit and “enhancement” by MJ]

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Quick Holiday Foods Ideas From MJ’s Kitchen

The holidays are a very busy time of the year for SO many reasons. Therefore, it’s nice to have some quick ideas to help save time in the kitchen. Below are a few of the things I do to make life a little bit more relaxing and fun without sacrificing the comfort of good food.

Quick and easy food ideas for the busy holiday | mjskitchen.com

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New Mexico Chile Spice Blends

Spice blends made with New Mexico red and green chile powders | mjskitchen.com

 

What do you do when you find yourself with over two pounds of New Mexico red chile powder and almost a pound of green chile powder?  Just to put this into perspective, a typical large jar of chile powder that you buy at the store is between 1.6 to 2.0 ounces (16 ounces = 1 pound). So 48 ounces of chile powder is a lot!  Yes, I do go through quite a bit of chile powder, but, like most herbs and spices….if you keep it too long, it loses its punch.  Thus the motivation to create these chile spice blends.

The Green Chile Spice is a blend of mild and hot New Mexico green chile powder with a variety spices and herbs.  The Red Chile Spice is a blend of New Mexico red chile powders, a couple of other chile powders, spices, and herbs. The red chile powders that I used are from Diaz Farms and Dixon. The green chile powders are from Diaz Farms and Chimayo Chile Brothers.  As I’ve mentioned before, not all chile powders are alike, so using powders from different parts of the state or from around the world for that matter, yields a very interesting blend.

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Stacked Crepes with Chicken and Red and Green Chile (Christmas)

Stacked Crepes with Christmas chile (red and green) | mjskitchen.com

 

If you’ve ever been to New Mexico or have been following my website for a couple of years, you are probably familiar with the question “Red or Green?”.  If not, then let me briefly explain. When you place an order in a New Mexican restaurant you will most likely be asked “Red or Green?”… red chile or green chile.  Of course your answer could be either one of these, but there is actually a third answer … “Christmas”. When you order Christmas you get both red and green chile.  Therefore, in the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I would make a Christmas Pathiri (stacked crepes with red and green chile).

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Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

Pumpkin Beer Cheese soup with Zamorano and Parrano cheese | mjskitchen.com

 

This Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup was inspired by my Conversation with a Cheesemonger (Derrick Sanders).  During this conversation I asked Derrick for a cheese that could be used as a topping on my Roasted Pumpkin and Red Chile Soup, a sweet and savory, spicy soup.  After looking at the recipe, he recommended a “hard, salty grating cheese: Piave, Parrano, Podda, Capra sarda, and Zamorano.”  All of these cheeses sounded so good, and gave me the inspiration to start from scratch and come up with another pumpkin soup that was still sweet, savory and spicy, but also, deliciously cheesy.

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