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A Tantalizing Collection of Soups and Stews

A Tantalizing Collection of Soups and Stews | mjskitchen.com

When the cold weather just doesn’t want to go away, there is nothing better than a steaming bowl of soup or stew.  Below is a collection of recipes that will not only warm you up, but make you feel good inside and out.  And no matter what your diet – vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or carnivore – you’ll find several soups to keep you warm, healthy and happy.

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Carne Adovada Enchiladas

Red chile enchiladas made with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork | mjskitchen.com

 

Oh…what to do with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork. In this kitchen, it’s normally used to make a batch of enchiladas.  It doesn’t take but about 1 cup of tender braised pork to make enough enchiladas for two people. If you have more than that, then make a larger batch and serve the whole family or family and friends.

Like with any batch of enchiladas, you can keep is simple by just using the meat, tortillas and the desired amount of chile or enchilada sauce, or, you can add other ingredients to create a complete, one dish meal. And that’s what I’ve done with these carne adovada enchiladas. Fresh spinach and onion are added to each layer along with a little sour cream,  and, even though I don’t show it in the pictures, a fried egg is placed on top along with a little more red chile.  Normally, our enchiladas are smothered in red chile, but because the carne adovada was already very spicy, I held back.

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Sweet Pepper Stew (aka Peperonata)

A peperonata stew with sweet peppers, tomatoes, capers | mjskitchen.com

 

Sweet Pepper Stew is a version of the Italian dish – Peperonata – that is normally made in the fall when there is an abundance of different colored sweet peppers. However, several years ago Bobby made this lovely dish for me for Valentine’s Day and it’s been our traditional Valentine’s Day dinner every since.

Buying organic fresh sweet peppers this time a year is not cheap, but this dish is well worth the price. To the peppers we add frozen tomatoes and basil from our summer garden, along with a few capers.  After resting in the refrigerator overnight, this sweet pepper stew becomes quite “juicy” from the tomatoes and flavorful from the melding of all of the wonderful ingredients.  You can eat it by itself, or serve it with a nice baguette or homemade bread.  It’s also quite good over creamy polenta.  Finish your meal off with a Coffee Scented Chocolate Pot for a delicious and memorable Valentine’s Day home dining experience.

What is your traditional Valentine’s Day meal?

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Grits with Red Chile and Cheese

Grits with red chile paste, roasted red chile and cheese | mjskitchen.com

 

As many of you already know, grits and chile is one of my all time favorite breakfasts.  At least once a week I’m cooking up a pot of grits and in the cooler months, we could be eating them 2 to 3 times a week.  With all of the great chiles out there it is pretty easy to keep our grits exciting by changing up the flavor with different chiles and cheese.  In previous years, I’ve shared my chipotle, feta and grits and my grits and green chile.  Now it’s time for Grits with Red Chile and Cheese.  These grits are just as easy to make as all of the others and can be made in less than 20 minutes; however, you do need some kind of red chile paste and either some roasted red chile or roasted red bell peppers.

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Thai Green Curry Shrimp

A quick and easy Thai Shrimp Curry with green curry paste | @MJsKitchen

Most of the time when we get a craving for Thai food we go out to eat.  However, this Thai Green Curry Shrimp dish is the exception.  I found a basic Thai Shrimp Curry recipe years ago in Bon Appetit (Feb 2008).  I loved the “base” of the dish (the coconut milk, broth, and Thai flavorings), but I wanted more vegetables. The Bon Appetit recipe only uses onion and tomato, and I’m not a fan of tomato in my curry dishes, especially green curries. So as you can see here, I’ve changed it up a bit.

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New Mexico Carne Adovada (Pork Marinated in Red Chile)

New Mexico carne adovada or pork marinated and slow-cooked in red chile | mjskitchen

I thought I would start the new year off with the most requested recipe of 2014 – Carne Adovada, pork marinated in New Mexico red chile – a relatively simple dish to make.  It takes about an hour’s worth of work on day 1, then a long braise on day 2.  Bobby and I made this for Christmas Day along with Green Chile, Corn, and Mushroom Tamales, roasted red chile tamales and a citrus salad. There was a lot of “Christmas” in this house with all of the red and green!

New Mexico carne adovada is a very meaty dish consisting of chunks of pork shoulder marinated for about 24 hours in a red chile sauce, then slow cooked in the oven for 2 to 4 hours depending on oven temperature and the amount of pork. This process yields tender pieces of pork that easily pull apart with a fork and that melt in your mouth, releasing the spicy, earthy goodness of New Mexico’s red chile.

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Stacked Crepes with Chicken and Red and Green Chile (Christmas)

Stacked Crepes with Christmas chile (red and green) | mjskitchen.com

 

If you’ve ever been to New Mexico or have been following my website for a couple of years, you are probably familiar with the question “Red or Green?”.  If not, then let me briefly explain. When you place an order in a New Mexican restaurant you will most likely be asked “Red or Green?”… red chile or green chile.  Of course your answer could be either one of these, but there is actually a third answer … “Christmas”. When you order Christmas you get both red and green chile.  Therefore, in the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I would make a Christmas Pathiri (stacked crepes with red and green chile).

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Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

Pumpkin Beer Cheese soup with Zamorano and Parrano cheese | mjskitchen.com

 

This Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup was inspired by my Conversation with a Cheesemonger (Derrick Sanders).  During this conversation I asked Derrick for a cheese that could be used as a topping on my Roasted Pumpkin and Red Chile Soup, a sweet and savory, spicy soup.  After looking at the recipe, he recommended a “hard, salty grating cheese: Piave, Parrano, Podda, Capra sarda, and Zamorano.”  All of these cheeses sounded so good, and gave me the inspiration to start from scratch and come up with another pumpkin soup that was still sweet, savory and spicy, but also, deliciously cheesy.

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Black Bean Mole’

Black beans cooked with a deconstructed black mole | mjskitchen.com

 

The first time I tasted Oaxacan Black Molé (Molé Negro) was about 30 years ago when I had the privilege of eating Molé Negro Chicken made by a Oaxacan immigrant. Each bite produced a flavor sensation that I still relish to this day.  Years later I found a recipe for Oaxacan Black Molé in Diana Kennedy’s Book, The Art of Mexican Cooking and decided to give it a try. The result was heavenly but it took many hours of work and 2 days.  So when I decided that I wanted to make this Black Bean Molé dish I chose to make a deconstructed molé instead of making the sauce separately.  It saved quite a bit of time and simplified the process tremendously.

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