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Red Chile Sauce from Powder

Red Chile Sauce made from chile powder mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

My usual red chile sauce is made from New Mexico dried red chiles pods, but every once in a while a reader asks about chile sauce made from red chile powder. So today I’m sharing a recipe for red chile sauce made from red chile powder.  The red chile powder I use is from New Mexico of course; however, this recipe can be used for just about any type of red chile powder. (See Kitchen Notes)  The three sauces you see in the picture below are from three different chile powders:

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Green Chile Salad Dressing with an Apple Salad

Apple, celery, and radish salad with a Green chile dressing. mjskitchen.com

 

Before we talk about this Green Chile Salad Dressing and the Apple Salad, let’s talk about homemade salad dressing.  Salad dressings are the easiest things to make from scratch and dressings made at home are so much better than what you pay $5 a bottle for at the grocer, plus you can control what goes in them.  All you need in your pantry are a few different types of vinegars, a couple of good oils, some herbs and spices.  Other possible ingredients include mustard, mayonnaise, horseradish, buttermilk, yogurt, and my favorites – lemon and lime juice.  In Kitchen Notes you’ll find the “rules” I follow for making salad dressings.

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Chicken and Vegetables Smothered in Chile de Arbol Pecan Sauce

Chicken and vegetables smothered in a chile de arbol pecan sauce and served over rice. mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

As promised in my last post, I’m sharing my recipe for Chicken and Vegetables smothered in Chile de Arbol Pecan Sauce.  This dish is a complete meal and, if you’ve already made the sauce, it is a relatively quick and easy meal to throw together.  Even through the sauce takes less than 30 minutes to make, I usually make it on the weekend,  then all I have to do when I’m ready to make this meal, is chop, sauté and heat through. When I feel like a meatless meal, I leave out the chicken and just add larger amounts of the vegetables.  It’s all good!

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Apple, Carrot, and Pecan Slaw with Curry Dressing

Slaw with apples, cabbage, carrots, toasted pecans seasoned with masala spice. mjskitchen.com

 

Whenever I buy a head a cabbage, I can usually get 2 to 3 meals from it, making a head of cabbage a very economical little vegetable.  Last week’s cabbage was used for my Sausage with Cabbage and Onion and two different side salads, one of the salads being this Apple, Carrot, and Pecan Slaw with a light dressing seasoned with a curry spice blend.  It’s a nice side for a pork or chicken entree or alone as a light lunch.  It has just a few ingredients and comes together in less than 20 minutes.

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Red Chile Pumpkin Sauce

Red Chile Pumpkin Sauce

This red chile pumpkin sauce can be used for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or for whatever your heart desires.

 

This Red Chile Pumpkin Sauce sauce combines the spicy and unique flavor of dried New Mexico red chiles with the flavor and a little bit of the texture of pumpkin purée.  Not only is this sauce just downright delicious, but it is a great solution to toning down the heat in a red chile sauce.  You get all of the flavor of a traditional New Mexico red chile sauce, but not the mouth-burning heat that can come with it, especially if you are using HOT or Extra HOT chiles.

I’ve had several inquiries as to how to make a red chile sauce “less hot” and my typical answer is to add honey, 1 tsp. at a time.  But the problem with adding honey is, if you add too much, then you end up with a sweet sauce that can ruin a good batch of enchiladas.  This chile-pumpkin sauce is definitely the solution.

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Chile Pequin Pepper Sauce

A quick and easy pepper sauce made with chile pequin

 

It’s the first of October and it’s getting chilly here, so this year’s green chile crop is just about over. I roasted my last batch yesterday. :( Any chile peppers still on the plants are turning red and even they are almost gone.  However, the smaller chiles, like chile pequin (above), jalapeno, and chile de arbol, are still quite plentiful which is a good thing because I recently discovered that I’m totally out of pepper sauce.  Everybody’s gotta have a pepper sauce to finish off dishes like black-eyed peas, pinto beans, greens, stews, and succotash.  Just sprinkle a few or a lot of drops/dashes on top of each serving for some flavored spice, just like you would use Tabasco.

My mother taught me how to make pepper sauce when I was a kid and I’ve been using her method ever since.  It’s easy, it’s good, and you can use any type of hot, fresh pepper – chile pequin, chile de arbol, Thai chiles, jalapeno – any hot, small chile pepper.  When I went to the market to get some chiles, it had a bunch of chile pequin. So there you go – chile pequin pepper sauce it is.  To make this sauce all you need are peppers, vinegar, salt and a bottle.  Can’t get much easier than that.  Make it now and it will be ready in a couple of weeks to use on fall greens.  By the time you’re making those black-eyed peas on New Years Day, you’ll have a really nice, hot pepper sauce.  Put it in the refrigerator and it will keep indefinitely.

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Make Your Own Peppered Cucumber Vinegar

Make your own cucumber vinegar with pepper and garlic

 

My garden this year was very small, mostly herbs, a few cucumber plants, and a volunteer butternut squash plant. The cucumbers we grew in an elevated container with a trestle. and it worked much better than expected. Lots of cucumbers and no half eaten cucumbers due to our turtles and the wild racoons that patrol the neighborhood.  We’ve been able to harvest more than enough cucumbers for our salads, salsas and cold soups, and with the extras, I’m brewing a batch of our favorite homemade vinegar – Peppered Cucumber Vinegar.  We’ve been enjoying this vinegar for several years and so have our families and friends because there is always plenty to share.

For this recipe, vinegar is infused with cucumber, pepper and garlic.  The prep takes about 30 minutes and then the jar is left to sit for 6 weeks.  I use to let it sits for 3 months, but one year decided to test it after only 6 weeks (just couldn’t wait). I didn’t notice any difference in the flavors. The cucumber and pepper flavors were just as robust after 6 weeks as they were after 3 months, and the garlic – very subtle and a nice finish. After 6 weeks, the vinegar is strained into pretty little bottles and used for salad dressing or holiday gifts.

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An Old Raspberry Vinegar and Sparkling Raspberry Soda

RaspberrySodaVin2_Web

 

You know how some recipes just never die and we’re so glad they didn’t? This raspberry vinegar is one of them. It’s a raspberry vinegar recipe from 1900 that I found in the New York Times a while back.  It looked so easy to make and, how could it not be good if it’s still being made over a century later?  Now that I’ve made it a few times, I’ll probably never use another raspberry vinegar recipe again.

To make this vinegar, raspberries are first macerated in red wine vinegar for 3 days, strained to extract the  juice, then cooked down with some sugar.  Depending on how long you cook it down, you could end up with more of a raspberry syrup that can be poured over ice cream or used for raspberry vinegar sodas. By decreasing the cook time you could make a thinner vinegar that works great in any vinaigrette that you want a little bit of a raspberry flavor.

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Green Chile Powder and How To Use It

A chile powder made from dried green chiles

 

Green chile powder is the result of drying fresh picked green chile peppers, removing the stems, and then grinding into a powder.  Removal of the veins and seeds during this process yields a more intense green chile flavor; however, removal of the veins and seeds also reduces the “heat” in the resulting powder, as well as just being a very laborious task.  According to several sources, it takes approximately 18 pounds of fresh green chile peppers to make 1 pound of green chile powder.  The texture of green chile powder is finer and more “powdery” than red chile powder as you can see in the pictures below.

 

Ground New Mexico Red ChilesA chile powder made from dried green chiles
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