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Red Mole Made with New Mexico Red Chiles

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 mole 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 Mole Poblano while engaging the class in a discussion on the different types of moles and the endless variety of ingredients.  Chef Olea encouraged us to create our own family recipe for mole, 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 Red Mole recipe are mostly local, New Mexico ingredients. The primary chile is dried New Mexico red which gives the mole 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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Chorizo and Eggplant Skillet Pie

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

 

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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The Loop to Pie Town, New Mexico

Pie Town, New Mexico | mjskitchen.com

 

Have you ever driven 2.5 hours for a piece of pie?  People do it quite often here in New Mexico and some people drive even longer.  Last week Bobby and I took the day off and drove to Pie Town, New Mexico, for lunch.  Pie Town is on Hwy 60, west of Socorro, NM and north of the Gila National Forest. It’s one of those towns that if you end up there, then that’s because you were headed there.  Why else would you be out in the middle of nowhere?

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Black Bean Tamales with Spicy Mango Sauce

Vegan Black Bean Tamales with a chipotle masa and spicy mango sauce. #tamales #vegan| mjskitchen.com

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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 Tamales are 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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Fajita Style Bean Burritos with Red Chile

Bean burritos with red chile are vegetarian burritos that consist of a flour tortilla wrapped around pinto beans and seared peppers and onions, smothered in New Mexico red chile sauce.#meatless #burritos #red #chile @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com

 

Back in a 2013 post I mentioned there were two dishes that Bobby brought into our kitchen from his college days that have remained dinner staples for over 40 years.  One was a green bean and potato dish and the other was the pinto bean burrito.  Of course both have been enhanced over the years, but they still remain two of our favorite comfort foods.  Bean burritos during our college days were canned pinto beans rolled in a flour tortilla with cheese, sour cream and Rotel green chile tomatoes. Once we moved to New Mexico, the salsa was replaced with a smothering of red chile, the canned beans with pressure cooked dried beans, and the toppings…well that changes on and off because of all of the possibilities.  However, one topping that we repeatedly choose is quick seared onion and sweet peppers.  We call these burritos our meatless Fajita Style Bean Burritos with Red Chile.

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Spiced Chocolate Atole

Spiced Chocolate Atole: Chocolate almond milk with atole (blue corn flour), red chile and other spices | mjskitchen.com

 

One of my favorite breakfasts when I was a kid was a pop tart and a glass of chocolate milk made with Bosco.  Now that I’ve grown up a bit, I still like my chocolate milk, but I’ve made the switch from Bosco to chocolate almond milk and instead of pop tarts, I prefer a slice of banana bread or cranberry bread.  Also, instead of just plain chocolate milk, I whisk in a little atole (toasted blue corn flour), a dash of ginger, and a few other spices, for a spicy hot beverage that is quite satisfying on a cold morning.

This Spiced Chocolate Atole is a version of champurrado, but is lighter (not as thick) than most champurrado recipes and is also lighter than my winter atole smoothies I shared back in 2013. It is also much easier to make.  Nothing to blend, just a little whisking.  In the winter, I like it hot, but it can also be served cold for a summer beverage.  Just make it the day before and refrigerate.

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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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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 grits and chile 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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New Mexico Carne Adovada

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

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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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