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Beans and Rice with Sausage – An Easy One Pot Meal

A quick and easy beans and rice dish. Prep to service - less than 45 minutes! mjskitchen.com

 

Beans and Rice is one of those meals that can be time-consuming and dirty up a lot of dishes, or it can be quick and easy.  This Beans and Rice recipe made with pinto beans and sausage is quick and easy to make, delicious and a quick cleanup.  You can change it up every time you make it, switching out the type of beans or sausage, or even making it meatless.  Or you can hit on that one combination that you love and make it over and over again.  Either way – it makes a very easy and delicious meal when it’s one of those nights that you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but you want something hearty to eat.  Start to service, this dish is less than 45 minutes!

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30+ Recipes Using Preserved Lemons

A host of recipes that used preserved lemons mjskitchen.com

 

Do you have a jar of preserved lemons sitting in the refrigerator feeling ignored?  Well, it’s time to quit ignoring it and put those lemons to use.  If you don’t have any preserved lemons, do not fret – one of the following recipes tells you how to make a small batch in just 24 hours.  Following are at least 30 luscious recipes that take advantage of the unique and absolutely divine flavor of preserved lemons.

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Red Chile Chicken Tamales

This red chile chicken tamale is a non-traditional tamale that is easy to make and is just as tasty as a traditionally made tamale. mjskitchen.com

 

In New Mexico, making tamales is a holiday tradition where families and friends gather in the kitchen and spend the day cooking, assembling and steaming dozens upon dozen of tamales. It’s a great tradition with a delicious outcome.  There’s really nothing better than a tamale right out of the steamer. So in keeping with tradition, Bobby and I made two different types of tamales for the holidays this year – Corn, Mushroom and Green Chile and these Red Chile Chicken Tamales.

The tamales we make are not the traditional tamales where the masa is made with lard then layered with a pork filling onto a corn husk.  If you saw my corn, mushroom and green chile tamales from last year you may remember that I replace the lard with canola oil and instead of layering the masa and the filling, I mix them together, making the assembly process A LOT easier and faster.  As a friend of mine said “It all comes together in the mouth anyway.” :)

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Multigrain Sandwich Bread

Multigrain sandwich bread made with a variety of grains and sunflower seeds. A wonderful PB&J bread!

 

There are just some recipes that are so good and work so well for one’s every day enjoyment, that it’s hard to move on and try something different.  This Multigrain Sandwich Bread is one of those recipes.  I started making it in the winter of 2012 and except for the 3 summer months when it’s just too hot to bake, I’ve been making at least two loaves a month.  It works great for just about any type of sandwich – turkey, grilled vegetable, grilled cheese – and Bobby says it’s his favorite bread for peanut butter and jelly.  I’m a big toast and jam person so I just love toasting a slice and slapping on a little homemade jam – like strawberry, apricot, or my other favorite – mixed berry jam.  YUM!

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Atole – My Cold Weather Smoothie

In New Mexico atole is toasted blue corn flour used to make a hot drink

 

Atole (uh-TOL-ay) is little different in different countries, but in general it is a hot masa-based beverage normally served for breakfast.  In northern New Mexico atole refers to toasted blue corn flour use to make a beverage of the same name.  The atole is cooked with water and milk into a thick beverage or an even thicker porridge and then sweetened to taste.  In Mexico, atole is a similar beverage made with toasted masa (hominy corn flour), a sweetener (usually piloncillo), cinnamon and vanilla. Add chocolate and you have a drink called champurrado. Both atole and champurrado are the traditional drinks for the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos or the Day of the Dead.  However, because it is a hot beverage, atole is normally drank during cold weather, but by some people, year round.

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Southwestern Pork Stir Fry

A quick and easy stir fry dish with spicy pork and a variety of vegetables

 

This is one of those dishes that every time I serve it, the first thing out of Bobby’s mouth is “MMMMM, this is good!” It’s comments like this that ensures that I make again and again. :)  This Southwestern Pork Stir Fry can’t be any easier to make.  One can literally be ready to start eating in 30 minutes, making it a perfect weekday meal.  It’s got everything – protein, several vegetables, spice, and lots and lots of flavor.  For a really hearty meal, you can serve it with a carb of your choice.  I’ve served it with tortillas (flour or corn), cornbread, rice, and our favorite – creamy polenta (recipe below).

The following recipe serves two with a nice serving leftover for lunch the next day. To serve 4 to 5, just double the recipe and use a bigger skillet.  The cook times should remain the same. It’s that easy!

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Butternut Squash Risotto With Andouille Sausage

Risotto with roasted butternut squash and andouille sausage

 

In preparation of a new raised garden bed for next year, Bobby dug up an area of the yard last spring and started piling leaves and compost in it.  Low and behold, we soon had a couple of squash plants growing. We decided to just let them grow at the chance of getting something. We’ve never had much luck with volunteers before, but we thought “maybe this year”.  The two plants grew throughout the summer and, even though they were beautiful plants with a lot of leaves and blooms, we didn’t get very much. One produced two butternut squashes and the other, one cute little pumpkin.  Not very prolific, but at least we got something. I picked the first butternut squash around the middle of August and it sat on the countertop for a couple weeks, just waiting for the right inspiration to turn it in a meal. That inspiration came the day I brought home a pound of freshly smoked andouille from the Alpine Sausage Kitchen, a small German sausage smoke house in my neighborhood.  I love sausage with butternut squash so I decided to make this Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto With Andouille.

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Smoky Polenta with Aged Cheddar

Polenta with smoked paprika and aged cheddar

 

Can you remember the first time you ate a particular dish?  One dish that I remember eating for the first time is “polenta”. It was about 30 years ago when Bobby I went out to eat at a semi-fancy restaurant in Albuquerque. The meal I was interested in ordering was grilled salmon served with a side of polenta. Back then, I didn’t know what polenta was so I asked the waiter “What’s polenta?”  He told me that it was a cornmeal dish. Sounded good, so I ordered the salmon.  When he set the plate in front of me, I took one look at the “polenta” and in the thick southern accent I had at the time, said “Well, that’s just cornmeal mush!” It was a tasty cornmeal mush, but it was definitely cornmeal mush which, like polenta, is just cornmeal boiled in water or milk.

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Chipotle Grits with Feta Cheese

A bowl of grits with chipotle peppers and feta cheese

 

Before I tell you how chipotle peppers ended up in grits, I have a question for you. What are three things that you absolutely can not run out of?  Running out of any one of these three things would be devastating.  Do you have them?  I would be willing to bet that the first item is toilet paper. No one wants to run out of toilet paper and believe me, having used the pages of a Sears catalog when I was a kid visiting the grandparents, toilet paper has no substitute. :)  O.K. so TP is number one.  What about the next two items?  In this house those items are milk and green chile.  Well, guess what I ran out of a couple of weeks ago?  Green chile!!! Yep – you read it right. I ran out of green chile.

I was planning on making Grits and Green Chile and had already started the grits, when I went to pull some green chile from the freezer. There was none to be found.  UGH!  So what’s a girl to do?  You know how it is – once your family expects one thing, you better come up with something just as good if not better. Rummaging through the pantry I found a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, so decided to give them a try in place of the green chile.  Instead of cheddar cheese, I went with feta which turned out to be the right decision.  What a delicious bowl of grits!!!  I’m not going to to say it was better than grits and green chile, but it certainly turned out to be a fabulous substitute.  We’ve had it twice since and I still haven’t bought any green chile. I think that might convince you as to how good this is.

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