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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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Calabacitas Cornbread (Roasted Chile, Corn, and Zucchini)

Calabacitas Cornbread - Roasted chile, zucchini and corn all wrapped up in cornbread batter for a hearty and spicy cornbread. | mjskitchen.com

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We can’t let summer end without a calabacitas dish – a dish with corn, summer squash and New Mexico’s roasted chile.  In years past, I’ve dished up a few other versions of calabacitas which you can find listed at this end of this post.  This year’s recipe is Calabacitas Cornbread, cornbread with zucchini, corn, roasted chile and cheese.  With all of these ingredients, calabacitas cornbread is a meal in itself.  Just serve with a few homegrown tomatoes and you’re all set for an enjoyable and filling meal.  You can also serve smaller portions as a side for any meal that screams for a piece of cornbread.

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Green Chile Cheese Breakfast Bake – Quick & Easy

A quick and easy Green Chile Cheese Breakfast Bake with the toast baked in. A great use for stale bread or cornbread. | mjskitchen.com

This Green Chile Cheese Breakfast Bake is not only just a quick & easy breakfast dish, but it is also a great way to use up leftover cornbread or pretty much any stale bread you have available.  There are no exact measurements for the ingredients.  It’s basically some green chile and cheese piled on top of stale bread, covered with whisked eggs and spices, and baked.  It’s hearty, spicy, high in protein and a delicious way to start the day.

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Pita Pockets with Cabbage Apple Slaw and Green Chile Dressing

Pita pockets with a cabbage apple slaw and green chile dressing #greenchile #slaw #pita | mjskitchen.com

This cabbage apple slaw pita pocket is a recipe I’ve been making for decades with little changes here and there for variety.  The most recent change was the addition of green chile dressing.  This dressing is made with homemade mayonnaise (recipe below), Dijon type mustard, and a generous  amount of green chile spice mix.  The green chile mix adds a bit of a bite to the slaw as well as the delectable flavor of green chile.  So good!

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How to Make Corn Tortillas

An instructional guide on how to make corn tortillas | mjskitchen.com

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When it came to learning how to make corn tortillas it was something that I had to do a few times in order to get an easy process with consistent results.  And now that my process and results are quite consistent, making tortillas is as easy as throwing together a salad. Plus, I love making them and eating them! Being able to take a warm tortilla right off the griddle and slather it with butter is a culinary delight, not to mention the tacos and enchiladas (listed below) that are even better with homemade tortillas.

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How to Make Red Chile Corn Tortillas

How to make red chile corn tortillas #tortillas | mjskitchen.com

After years of frustration trying to find corn tortillas that don’t fall apart when steamed or dipped in sauce, I started making my own.  I tried several methods that worked o.k., but it wasn’t until I tried the method that I found in one of my favorite cookbooks Gran Cocina Latina, that I was able to consistently turn out great tortillas.  I usually make regular corn tortillas, but it’s fun changing them up a bit and making flavored tortillas like these red chile corn tortillas.  The method and the recipes are basically the same. The only difference is that you substitute some of the water with red chile sauce.  The outcome is a beautiful red tortilla with a red chile flavor and a little spiciness in every bite.

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Apple Pecan Buttermilk Pancakes

Fluffy apple buttermilk pancakes with apples, pecans and a touch of cardamom | mjskitchen.com

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For the past year, whenever I made pancakes I would make my Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes or these Raspberry Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes by my friend over at Inspired Edibles.  Both have been our favorite pancakes for quite a while, but now they have some serious competition – Apple Buttermilk Pancakes.

With this year’s plentiful and delicious fall apples, I’ve been making these Apple Buttermilk Pancakes with Pecans.  They are so moist, and can be sweet or a little tart depending on the type of apples used.  The pecans add a bit of a crunch, and if you toast them first, you get a little extra flavor that complements the apples quite well.  Top the pancakes with warm maple syrup for a delicious weekend brunch.

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Tarragon Lemon Quick Bread

A slightly sweet lemon quick bread flavored with black pepper and tarragon #quick #bread | mjskitchen.com

 

The first time I made this Tarragon Lemon Quick Bread was out of curiosity.  A friend shared this recipe and after reading the list of ingredients I just couldn’t imagine how a bread with tarragon, lemon and black pepper would taste, so I had to make it.  Well…it was love at first bite!  Over the past year or so, I’ve made this bread several times, with a couple of minor changes to the original recipe, but nothing that affects the final flavor of the bread. The changes are noted in the Kitchen Notes.

If you love tarragon like I do, then you are going to love this bread. Not only does it just taste good, it’s so easy to make. You can have it in the oven within 20 minutes from the start, and, even with an ingredient change now and then, it never fails. It always comes out perfect and delicious.  It’s not a tall quick bread, but it’s not dense either.  It’s light and moist with a touch of sweetness, making it a wonderful breakfast bread as well as a nice complement for your afternoon tea.

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