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Apricot Clafoutis and What To Do With Lots of Apricots

Apricot Clafoutis - A delightful custard type dish with fresh apricots and a touch of sweetness. | mjskitchen.com

 

As you’ll see in the second part of this post, I’ve been dealing with a great crop of apricots this year.  Because of a warm spring with no late frost, the apricot trees in the area produced quite heavily.  Thanks to my gracious neighbor, I was able to gather enough apricots to jam and freeze, plus try out a couple new recipes – one recipe being this Apricot Clafoutis – a light custard with sweet and tasty apricots. Because of the sweetness of the apricots, this Apricot Clafoutis requires very little sweetener – just a little maple syrup and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

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Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce

Spicy Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce - Use a dash or two for any dish that needs a bit of spice | mjskitchen.com

 

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce is a great little sauce for when you just need a dash or two to spice up eggs, soup, or a bowl of beans.  Normally, you might grab a bottle of Tabasco or Sriracha. However, with a few ounces of HOT dried chile pods like de arbol chiles, you can make your own hot sauce.  This Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce yields the heat and a unique flavor one wants in a hot sauce, but doesn’t require days or weeks of fermentation. With a little bit of effort and a small amount of time over a three day period, you can create a very spicy hot sauce with the natural smokiness of the de arbol chile.

Excerpt of comment from reader:

“Magnificent recipe and magnificent result. . . The taste was extraordinary, and better than any sauce I have previously made and better than any store bought sauce I purchased in the past…”  (You can read the full comment below.)

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How to Make Corn Tortillas

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

 

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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Home Fries and Their Many Possibilities

An easy method for making tasty potato home fries on the stovetop mjskitchen.com

 

Home fries are a wonderful addition to so many meals and in some cases, can be the primary ingredient that you build a dish around.  For example, this Southwestern Pileup uses a skillet of home fries to support a mix of vegetables and proteins, and your choice of red or green chile.

Home fries make a complement side to huevos rancheros, migas or a meat entree’ like green chile cheeseburgers,  pulled pork or smoked brisket.  And if you aren’t a fan of white or yellow potatoes, then never hesitate to make sweet potato home fries. They make a great substitute for the hash browns in this sweet potato and green chile dish.

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Chocolate Tamales with Port Infused Cherries

Chocolate tamales with port infused cherries and toasted pecans | mjskitchen.com

 

When you think of dessert, does “tamale” come to mind?  Well, if not, maybe I can change that with these chocolate tamales with port infused cherries.  Inside of these little corn husk packages are individually sized chocolate cakes, packed with dried cherries that have been re-hydrated in sweet Ruby Port.  The “cakes” or tamales are made with masa (corn flour), cocoa, and a few other choice ingredients.  Served these tamales warm with a small scoop of vanilla bean gelato and you’ll feel like a kid at a birthday party eating chocolate cake and ice cream.

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The Easiest Turkey-Chicken Stock You’ll Ever Make

An easy method of making turkey-chicken stock with minimal effort and very little waste #stock #turkey #chicken #broth @mjskitchen

 

How to make a pot of turkey-chicken stock is something that many of us learned from our mothers. My mother taught me that you never, never, never throw out the carcass or any of the inedible parts of poultry before you cook them down into a tasty stock.  All in all making stock is a very simple process and yields a stock so much better than anything you can purchase.

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Easy Spiced Pickled Chile Peppers and Onions

A quick and easy pickled chile peppers and onions with a hint of anise | mjskitchen.com

 

Each year I try to plant a few different types of chiles, but this year I only managed to plant one type – the Santa Fe Grande chile pepper. Just two plants have been quite prolific and are still producing.  With my first big batch, I made a quart of these pickled peppers which I make every year.  Last week I had picked enough to do even more pickling.  Instead of using the same recipe, I changed it up a bit and made these Pickled Chile Peppers and Onions as well as fresh chilli in olive oil that I found over at With a Glass.  These recipes yielded two completely different flavors and both were excellent.

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Quick Easy Jams (No pectin / Small Batch)

A roundup of quick easy jams recipes that yield 1 to 2 jars of jam, take less than an hour to make and require no storebought pectin. #jams @mjskitchen

For the next few months there will be an abundance of fresh fruit and it would be a shame to let the season pass without making a few jars of jam. So to celebrate the bounty of fruit now available, let’s do a little jammin.

The only ingredients you need for a jar of quick easy jam are 1 – 2 pounds of fruit, some sugar or honey, and a little lemon juice or other source of natural pectin.  No need to go to the store and buy a bunch of jars, boxes of pectin, and special tools. If you have a sauce pan, something to stir with, and a pint container or two, you can have a jar of jam in no time at all.

Below are some of my favorite quick easy jam recipes that can be made in an hour or less, yield one to two jars of jam, use a relatively small amount of fruit, require no sealing lids, water baths, and no store bought pectin.  I’m sure you’ll find at least one jam you’ll want to make soon.  I made a jar of the apricot jam this morning and can’t wait for toast and jam in morning!

Be sure to check out the Kitchen Notes for tips on how to make quick easy jams.

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Smoked Chicken with Herb and Chile Rubs

Hickory smoked chickens with two types of dry rubs | mjskitchen.com

 

It’s the time of year for grilling and smoking, long weekends, holidays, outdoor family gatherings and all those events that scream outdoor cooking. So in celebration of being able to cook outdoors it’s time to introduce Bobby’s smoking, new toy – a Pit Barrel Cooker.  For years he has used his gas grill as a smoker, but, even though the results have been great, the process is rather cumbersome.  The pit barrel cooker has simplified the setup, the cleanup, the overall process, and the results…fabulous.  It’s hard to say what I’ve enjoyed most – the pulled pork, pork ribs, or these smoked chickens.  Everything that comes out of the barrel is mouthwatering, but the herb smoked chicken is the epitome of smoked chicken.

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