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Herb Crepes with Roasted Chile

Crepes with roasted New Mexico chile, pinon nuts and cheese #chile #crepes @mjskitchen

These Herb Crepes with Roasted Chile are a modified and simplified version of the green chile pathiri that I introduced a couple of years ago.  Last weekend I was planning to make the pathiri, but got started late and decided to take a shortcut.  Instead of dipping and stacking the crepes, I made individual crepes using roasted chile, pinon nuts (pine nuts), cheddar cheese, ricotta, and a secret ingredient.  Even though many of the same flavors were there, these crepes were quite different from the pathiri.  They were lighter, quicker to make, had a different texture, and some added flavors.

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Smoked Salmon Appetizer – Four Ingredients

A quick & easy appetizer of smoked salmon, capers and onion mjskitchen.com

 

This smoked salmon appetizer is a delicious bite that will make everyone happy, and that honestly takes no more than 15 minutes to make, provided you don’t smoke the salmon yourself.  You’ll love hearing your guests going “YUM” with the first bite.  So if you enjoy smoked salmon and want to celebrate its flavor, not hide it, this is a great little appetizer.  Four ingredients are all you need – salmon, capers, onion and just a touch of mayo. Crackers or crispy toasts (o.k. that’s five) are used to serve it. Apples can be used in place of crackers or just added to the plate as a sweet crispy accompaniment.

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Roasted Fennel Salad with Cranberry Balsamic

Roasted fennel with sprouts, feta, pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of cranberry balsamic #fennel #salad @mjskitchen

Inspiration for a new recipe can come in different forms and from different sources, which is the case with this fennel salad.  Back in August I saw Soni’s Food Indian Spice Roasted Fennel and pinned it as a reminder to make it one day.  Then a few weeks ago when I dropped into the Santa Fe Olive Oil & Balsamic Company for a purchase and a tasting, I was asked if I would create a recipe and write a post on one of its products – specifically its Cranberry Balsamic vinegar.  After tasting this awesome balsamic and going through several different ideas for a recipe, I lit upon the marriage of Soni’s roasted fennel with the cranberry balsamic and thus this Roasted Fennel Salad with Cranberry Balsamic was born.

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Red Chile Cheese Tamales

Red Chile Cheese Tamales #tamales mjskitchen.com

 

A mix of spicy red chiles, onion, garlic, and cheese give these vegetarian Red Chile Cheese Tamales a savory, chile sweet and spicy flavor that make truly killer tamales.  The flavor and texture of these tamales are so good that no sauce, salsa, or toppings are needed.

When I first started making these tamales, I used roasted fresh New Mexico red chile and Parrano cheese.  Recently I used Turkish antep aci dolma peppers (peppers in bowl) that I received from my friends at Fords Fiery Foods and Plants. These peppers paired with cheddar cheddar yield a more exotic tamale’, richer and a little sweeter than the New Mexico reds which have a fruity and more earthy flavor.

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Sage Pumpkin Soup with Apple and Andouille

A robust pumpkin soup seasoned with sage and enhanced with apples and sausage for flavor and texture #soup #pumpkin mjskitchen.com

 

Sage is a perennial herb that makes a gorgeous plant for any herb garden and supplies its grower with an abundance of dried sage that is a thousand times better than anything you can buy off the shelf. Each year I dry enough sage for a year’s worth of recipes and then some.  One such recipe is this Sage Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Andouille which uses a generous amount of crushed dried sage to complement its other ingredients.

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Cold Cantaloupe Cucumber Soup

A chilled summer soup with cantaloupe and cucumber, mint and white pepper. #cantaloupe #cold #soup | mjskitchen.com

 

I think everyone will agree that all melons  – watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew – are best eaten in their prime, when they’re sweet and firm.  But sometimes, you’ll buy a melon that has gone past its prime or one that, you can tell, is just never going to get there. Either the melon is overripe and mushy or under ripe and not very sweet.  When this happen, a chilled soup is a great way to save the melon and actually enjoy it.  My favorite is this Cold Cantaloupe Cucumber Soup.  This soup makes a great starter, a palate cleanser, or a complement to a grilled cheese sandwich.  The sweetness of the cantaloupe is balanced with the spiciness of pickled pepper vinegar and the savory bite of ground white pepper.

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Watermelon Salad with Preserved Lemon

A cool and refreshing watermelon salad with preserved lemon, mint and olives @mjskitchen #watermelon #preserved #lemon

 

Several years ago when Bobby and I were spending a long weekend in Taos, New Mexico, we went to the El Meze Restaurant for dinner. We had a marvelous meal as we always do at the El Meze, but the shining star of the evening was a watermelon salad with preserved lemons.  It was SO good that we went back a couple days later, just so we could have it again.  This second time, I paid extra special attention to the ingredients and flavors because I knew I would want to be able to make this salad at home.

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Bean and Red Mole Pizza

A simple pizza made on a flour tortilla and topped with beans and a spicy mole' sauce | mjskitchen.com

After making the New Mexico Red Chile Mole that I shared with you last week, I used it in a few new dishes before freezing the leftovers.  This Bean and Red Mole Pizza was one of those dishes.  It is a variation of a Mexican-style pizza that I usually make with red chile sauce.  The mole completely changed the flavor of the pizza making it a totally different experience and just as delicious.

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Pickled Vegetable Salad

A salad of pickled cucumbers, daikon radish, and carrots | mjskitchen.com

 

I don’t know about where you live, but here in New Mexico we went from cool spring temperatures to the heat of the summer overnight.  This week the temperatures have been in the triple digits, a real challenge for our swamp cooler.  As a result, meal criteria is now “easy to make, at least one cold dish, and any cooking is on the grill”.  Last night’s meal met this criteria to a T:  grilled soy-ginger chicken and this Pickled Vegetable Salad – two very complementary dishes.

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