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Spicy Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Red Chile and Cotija Cheese

Our favorite Scrambled Eggs - Farm fresh eggs scrambled with roasted red chile and cotija cheese #chile #cotija #eggs #breakfast @mjskitchen

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One of the challenges of retirement is coming up with a more varied breakfast menu.  When we were working outside the house, fruit and cereal was our standard breakfast; but now, with more time in the mornings and breakfast being closer to a brunch, our repertoire has increased.  One of the breakfasts that we both absolutely love is scrambled eggs with roasted red chile and cotija cheese.  These scrambled eggs are so easy to whip up and are complemented with a variety of sides.  Serve with beans, potatoes or something as simple as a piece of toast, and you have a spicy and tasty meal with which to start the day.  And, for those of you that aren’t retired, these eggs are actually easier than putting together a bowl of fruit and cereal.

Note:  If you can find a local source for farm fresh eggs, you’ll learn what an egg should really taste like.  The eggs we buy are fresh, hand-picked eggs, less than a week old.  They have huge dark yellow to orange yolks (as you can see in the pictures), with firm whites as opposed to the runny whites one finds in most storebought eggs.  And the flavor…the best eggs we’ve ever eaten.

 

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Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with Mushrooms and Apples

A quick and easy meal - Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with apples and mushrooms, served over Israeli couscous #pork #easy #meal |mjskitchen.com

 

This Bourbon Braised Pork has a fabulous combination of ingredients – apples, mushrooms, aromatics, lots of sage, and a braising liquid of bourbon and apple cider.  It’s hearty, healthy, full of flavor, and, when served over toasted Israeli couscous or brown rice, a complete meal.  And on top of all of that, it takes less than 45 minutes to make.  It’s one of those meals that you’ll be asking – “How soon can I make it again?”.

 

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Composed Salad with Green Chile Sausage

A composed salad with green chile sausage and a variety of healthy salad ingredients. | mjskitchen.com

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Today you’re getting two recipes for the price one – a Green Chile Sausage recipe and a Composed Salad recipe that uses the green chile sausage as a salad component.  Normally, I would never have considered using sausage in a salad, but this chile sausage has a flavor profile that allows it to be used in a variety of ways, including in salads.

The composed salad shown here is just one variation of a salad using green chile sausage.  There are many other ingredients that can be used in addition to or in place of what you see here.  The recipe below lists the ingredients shown and a few other ingredients that are complementary to the green chile sausage.  Of course, putting together a salad like this usually just comes down to using what you have on hand.

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Breakfast Chimichanga Smothered in Red Chile

Breakfast Chimichanga filled with either egg and chorizo or egg and black beans, then smothered in NM red chile sauce | mjskitchen.com

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Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then why not embrace it, and treat yourself to a breakfast chimichanga smothered in red chile.  It’s so very hearty, high in protein, and exploding with lots and lots of flavor! When you cut into the crunchy, lightly pan fried tortilla you’ll find the ultimate breakfast ingredient – eggs – wrapped with spicy Mexican chorizo or spicy black beans, whichever you prefer.  To enjoy a multitude of goodness, use each bite to scoop up some red chile with a little bit of the toppings. Now that’s a breakfast! If this doesn’t become a standard for your household, I don’t know what will.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s really easy to make?

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Slow-Cooked Red Beans

Slow cooked pot of spicy red beans. mjskitchen.com

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When it comes to red beans, it seems that the larger kidney bean gets most of the attention.  Of course this could possibly be due to the classic red beans and rice, “an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine“.  To be honest, red beans and rice is normally our go to dish for red beans.  However, sometimes I like to cook up the small red bean.  It’s more tender than the kidney bean and has a sweeter, more delicate flavor, in my opinion.

This red bean recipe yields a flavorful bowl of tender beans that’s savory, spicy and quite versatile. As with most beans, we love to eat these as just a bowl of beans with some cornbread or tortillas and maybe a topping or two. But you could also add them to salads or soups, serve them on top of a bowl of rice, or wrap them in a tortilla and smother with red chile.  Lots of possibilities…

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Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Blue cheese mashed potatoes make the perfect complement to beef, especially prime rib / ribeye. mjskitchen.com

For Thanksgiving this year Bobby smoked a standing rib roast and for one of the sides, we made these Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes.  What a fantastic pairing!  The roast was smoky, medium rare with a spicy crust on the outside.  The potatoes provided a creamy, buttery, and slightly cheesy complement.   Other sides included this Candied Pecan, Pear & Pomegrante Salad but with a white balsamic vinaigrette, a relish tray that my SIL put together of a variety of homemade pickles along with deviled eggs, roasted vegetables, and fennel infused onion.  What a feast!!!

In addition to serving along side standing rib roast, these blue cheese mashed potatoes also make a nice side dish for roast chicken, grilled ribeye, pulled pork and much more.  Of course you might just find yourself forgoing an entrée and just eating the potatoes.  🙂

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Non-Traditional Sides for Your Holiday Table

Non-traditional sides, starters and desserts for your holiday table from MJ's Kitchen. @mjskitchen

 

We’re going a little non-traditional this year for the holidays, forgoing the turkey and sweet potatoes, and even the cranberry sauce.  So just in case you too are looking for something different this year, here are a few non-traditional sides for your holiday table – from my kitchen to yours.

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Hatch Chile Fiesta Bread

Hatch Chile Fiesta Bread is a yeast bread made with whole wheat and AP flours, and Hatch red and green chile. | mjskitchen.com

 

This Hatch Chile Fiesta Bread was inspired by the fiesta rolls I used to get at The Flying Star in Albuquerque whenever I ordered the breakfast egg sandwich.  The rolls were yeast rolls with green chile and cheese, which, as you can imagine, made for a very tasty bite of sandwich. Since Bobby and I love a good bread, I tackled making a loaf of yeast bread with chile and cheese.  It took a couple of loaves to get the texture right and solve the moisture problem created by the chile, but once that problem was solved, I knew I would be making many more loaves of this fiesta bread.

Because of the chile, this Hatch chile fiesta bread is more moist than most yeast breads and less dense; however, the flavor is awesome and it is the best bread ever for a grilled cheese turkey sandwich.  It also makes a tasty egg in a basket breakfast as well as a breakfast egg sandwich.  If you include hot chile in the mix, you get a nice spicy kick with every bite.  To provide this spicy kick I used some of the hot Sandia chile I got from The Hatch Chile Store. as well as some of their medium Big Jim chile.

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Olive Brine Pickled Vegetables

An assortment of vegetables pickled in olive brine #pickled #vegetables @mjskitchen

Making Olive Brine Pickled Vegetables is an extremely easy pickling process that allows you to repurpose olive brine after all of the olives have been eaten, as well as to deal with little pieces of fresh vegetables that haven’t been used.  All you need to do is to cut the  vegetables into small, bite size pieces, place in a jar and cover with olive brine.  Refrigerate for a couple of days and you have an awesome, healthy little snack.  If you want the vegetables to have a spicy kick, add a couple of sliced hot chile peppers.

As you can see, there is nothing to this process.  In the recipe, I’ve listed the vegetables shown in the pictures, and in the Kitchen Notes you’ll find other vegetables you could use.  And if you buy Costco size jars of olives like we do, you’ll always have olive brine.

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