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Smoked Chicken with Herb and Chile Rubs

Hickory smoked chickens with two types of dry rubs |


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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Savory Navy Beans with a Touch of Heat

Navy beans cooked with vegetables, herbs and a toiuch of spice. #beans #navy @mjskitchen


When it comes to white beans, navy beans are our favorite.  In comparison to the Great Northern and Cannellini, navy beans cook faster, have a creamier texture (IMO), and work with a lot of different flavors. Navy beans are normally used in baked beans, but for this recipe, I went for a more savory navy bean with hint of heat.

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Roasted Vegetables with Mexican Chorizo

A serious mix of root vegetable are combined with peppers and chorizo then roasted to perfection for a hearty one pot dish. #roasted #vegetables #chorizo


Roasted Vegetables with Mexican Chorizo is a potpourri of root vegetables roasted with onion, peppers and Mexican Chorizo.  It is a relatively easy dish to make but does require a lot of chopping, something that I enjoy doing. Once chopped, the root vegetables are tossed in a bowl with some simple spices and oil, then roasted.  After 20 minutes, the peppers and chorizo are added and the roasting continues until done.  This two-step roast allows the root vegetables to completely cook without overcooking the peppers and chorizo.  And what is the end result? A hearty bowl of goodness.  A complete meal all in one dish.

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Pork Kabobs with Tomato Red Chile Jam

Pork kabobs marinated in tomato red chile jam |


A few weeks ago you were introduced to my Tomato Red Chile Jam, a sweet, spicy, and savory jam.  There are several ways to use this jam, but one of our favorites is as the marinade for pork kabobs.  If you already have made the jam, the marinade and the pork kabobs are so easy to prepare and grill.  As kabobs, the pork grills relatively quick and can be ready for the table within 45 minutes from applying the marinade.

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Chicken Tacos with Green Chile Corn Relish

Tasty chicken tacos with green chile corn relish, olives, cheese and yogurt |


With all of the grilled corn we’ve been eating lately, it’s not surprising to find an ear or two leftover in the refrigerator.  It was a couple of those ears and some of last year’s roasted chile that inspired this Green Chile Corn Relish. I was originally just going to use it as a side dish, but then I got a craving for tacos.  That craving resulted in these quick & easy Chicken Tacos.  Adding the relish to the chicken yielded a delightfully delicious taco with a smoky and spicy flavor.

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Chorizo and Eggplant Skillet Pie

It's like Frito Pie - Chorizo and eggplant topped off with tortilla chips and cheese |


This dish was inspired by an eggplant casserole that my mother used to make when I was a kid.  The recipe, in “A Cook’s Tour of Shreveport (1973)” cookbook, is a simple side dish calling for eggplant, onion, bell pepper and olives, sauteed, then topped with bread crumbs and cheese. I loved this dish, but like many of us, I just can’t leave well enough alone. I have been playing around with this recipe over the years making it more than the original.  This Chorizo and Eggplant Skillet Pie is the result.

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Quick & Easy Meal Ideas

Quick & Easy Meal Ideas @MJ's Kitchen |


We all have the need for a variety of quick & easy (Q&E) meals to fall back on for those nights when we just don’t have the time or the energy to put together an elaborate or time-consuming meal.  However, because we still want to eat good food that tastes like we did put a lot of effort into it, our quick & easy meals need to be delicious.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite meals and meal ideas that I’ve been using for many years. They all take less than 45 minutes from start to finish and most take less than 30 minutes. I’ve also included links to some Q&E meals that I have on my list to try. I hope you find a few that you too, can use to make your life a little easier.

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Red Beans and Rice with Tasso

A hearty bowl of Red Beans and Rice with Tasso, a spicy Cajun pork |

A few weeks ago when we were in Louisiana, we dropped by Bergeron Boudin & Cajun Meats on our way out of Shreveport and picked up some cajun meats to bring back home.  We filled our ice chest with boudin, andouille and tasso, some of which we shared with our New Mexico family and friends. We’ve been using the rest to make some of our favorite Louisiana dishes.  Last weekend Bobby planned to make a pot of red beans and rice with some of the tasso and andouille; however, once he cooked down the beans with the tasso he found that no andouille was needed.  The tasso added both the spicy and the meaty components to the beans while delivering a different, but just as delicious flavor as we get when he uses andouille.  The recipe below is Bobby’s Red Beans and Rice with Tasso.  It is pretty much the same recipe he uses for his regular red beans and rice, so I’ve indicated the differences in my Kitchen Notes. And yes, red beans and rice is Bobby’s dish because he makes it SO GOOD!

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A Tantalizing Collection of Soups and Stews

A Tantalizing Collection of Soups and Stews |

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. Continue Reading →

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