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New Mexico Red Chile Mole’

A red mole' sauce made with New Mexico red chile, pecans, pistachios and an assortment of spices. |mjskitchen.com

 

A few weeks ago a friend and I took a cooking class at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy.  The class was on molé and was taught by Chef Fernando Olea, a well-known Santa Fe chef, originally from Mexico City.  The class was a demonstration of Chef Olea making his family recipe for Molé Poblano while engaging the class in a discussion on the different types of molés and the endless variety of ingredients.  Chef Olea encouraged us to create our own family recipe for molé, addressing our own tastes and using local ingredients.  Chef Olea was so inspiring, that when I got home, I did just that.  The main ingredients in the New Mexico Red Chile Molé recipe below are mostly local, New Mexico ingredients. The primary chile is dried New Mexico red which gives it more of a red color than the dark chocolate color that one might get from a combination of other dried chiles such as pasilla, mulato, and ancho.

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Black Bean Tamales with Spicy Mango Sauce

Black Bean Chipotle Tamales with spicy mango sauce #vegan| mjskitchen.com

 

It’s time for another tamale recipe!  I don’t know about you, but I love making tamales. Some people enjoy spending a couple of hours making a cake, but me, I’d rather spend it making tamales.  These Black Bean Chipotle Tamales were made with black beans, a little onion, sweet pepper, and a chipotle seasoned masa.  For this batch, I used canola oil, but I’ve also used melted butter. I quit using lard in my tamales years ago.

If you’ve seen my other tamales recipes you know that I prefer to mix the filling in with the masa rather than apply them separately.  It makes the assembly process much easier and faster. It only takes about an hour to make the filling and the masa, and to assemble the tamales.  Once that’s done, you just place the tamales in a steamer for 1 to 1 ½ hours, and go relax, read a book, have a beer.

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Asian Style Sweet Chile Sauce

A quick and easy sweet and spicy chile sauce | mjskitchen.com

Once you see how easy it is to make an Asian-style sweet chile sauce (aka Thai sweet chili sauce), you’ll never buy it again.  I’ve been buying this for years and have gone through many, many bottles, but after looking through a variety of recipes and seeing how easy it is to make, I decided to give it a try. Using a few standard items from my pantry, the process from start to finish took less than 15 minutes and the result was better than what I have been buying!  By making it from scratch, I was able to adjust the sweetness, the spiciness, the flavor, and thickness to my preferences.

The recipe below makes just short of a cup of chile sauce, is less sweet and thinner than what I buy.  I find the store bought sauce too thick for my needs so I’m always adding water to thin it.  If you like yours thicker, then just add an additional teaspoon of cornstarch to the recipe below.

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Aji Panca Chile Paste

A rich, smoky, spicy paste made with aji panca chilies from Peru | mjskitchen.com

 

Thanks to my chile loving soul mate, European blogger friend, Sissi of With a Glass, I have now had the privilege of tasting a new chile…the Peruvian Aji Panca chile.  Thank you Sissi!!!!  What a chile!  A few weeks ago, I received a bottomless package of goodies from Sissi that consisted of products from all around the world – biscuits from Switzerland, chocolate from France, spicy seasoning from Japan, and dried aji panca chile from Peru (just to name a few).  Of course I zoned in immediately on the dried chiles.

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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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Conversation With a Cheesemonger

A conversation with Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op

Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger @ La Montanita Co-op | mjskitchen.com

The other day I was perusing the cheese section at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op looking for a particular cheese. When I couldn’t find it I asked Derrick, the cheese clerk for help.  You know what it’s like having a sommelier help you select a wine to go with your meal?  Well, that’s how I felt with Derrick helping me select a cheese.  This guy knows his cheese!  So rather than keep Derrick’s knowledge of cheese to myself, I thought I would share some of it with you.

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Roasted Red Chile Spread

Roasted red chile spread - use as a sandwich spread, for pasta, seasoning for soups and other dishes | mjskitchen.com #redchile

 

It’s October which brings about the last of the green chile season but the beginning of the short, and oh so sweet, fresh red chile season.  Toward the end of chile season, farmers let some of the green chile stay on the bushes allowing them to turn red.  When the red chile is picked, it is either strung into ristras or sold just like green chile. Here in my area of New Mexico, the amount of fresh red chile sold at the market is limited, so one needs to keep a careful eye out for its arrival and buy it quickly. It will be gone within a couple of weeks.  Normally, mild, medium, and hot chile are all available, but this year I could only find hot and mild. The mild was quite mild, but was still meaty with that amazing roasted red chile flavor; and the hot…same sweet flavor, but HOT.  If you haven’t tried roasted red chile, then it’s something you need to try.  There’s really nothing like it.

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Pico de Gallo with Pickled Peppers and Chipotle

 with pickled peppers and chipotle flakes | mjskitchen.com #salsa

 

Last week I showed you how to make Quick and Easy Pickled Peppers.  This week a few of those pickled peppers came together with some fresh garden tomatoes and chipotle flakes to make a delightfully tasty pico de gallo.  Bobby and I have eaten three batches of this in the past few days because it’s so addicting and we wanted to get the seasoning just right.  Lucky us. :)

Pico de Gallo with Pickled Peppers can be used as a dip or a topping for tacos, tostadas, burritos or a nice bowl of pinto beans.

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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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