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Blooming Onion with Hatch Chile and Cheese

A healthier version of the blooming onion - Baked blooming onion with New Mexico chile and cheese |


Blooming onions are normally all about the fried crispy batter and the dipping sauces. This baked blooming onion is all about the onion and the chile. The following recipe turns a normal sweet onion into a sweet and spicy blooming onion.  Just top an onion “bloom” with a generous amount of Hatch chile, bake, top with some cheese and bake again.  The result – a tender sweet onion infused with the flavor and spiciness of roasted chile and finished off with gooey cheese.

Serve as a side dish or over rice for a vegetarian meal.

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Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste) Deviled Eggs

A spicy deviled egg seasoned with gochujang, Korean chili paste |


These gochujang deviled eggs were greatly influenced by my European chile sister. Last year my chile sister – Sissi from With a Glass – introduced me to aji panca chile.  This year she has introduced me to gochujang, a Korean Chili Paste.  I’d heard of gochujang many times and have seen it used in several recipes, but never sought it out. Upon receiving a generous sized tub of gochujang along with some Korean chili powder, what choice did I have but to start using it.  It is chile afterall. 🙂

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Pasta with Broccolini, Leeks and Preserved Lemon

A quick, easy, healthy pasta dish with fresh broccoli, leek, herbs and preserved lemon |


Looking for a seriously quick pasta dish bursting with flavor?  Here it is!  This Pasta with Broccolini, Leeks and Preserved Lemon is so simple, healthy, tasty, aromatic, and pleasing to the palate that you’ll want to have it every week.  Whenever I see young broccoli or broccolini at the market, I make this dish.  It’s just too easy and too good to pass up.  This past dish has a light sauce consisting of olive oil, water from the pasta pot, and a bit of preserved lemon juice. The ingredients are simple and few, and the pasta can be whatever you have in the pantry.  And if you don’t happen to have a jar of preserved lemons in the refrigerator, you can always make a quick small batch in about 24 hours.  Hope you enjoy!!!

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Spicy Smashed Potato Salad

Smashed potato salad made with creamy mashed potatoes and smashed, along with a few savory, sweet and spicy ingredients. |


Whenever Bobby and I drive through Texas, our route usually takes us through Post, Texas, a one – stoplight town, about an hour south of Lubbock.  If we arrive around breakfast or lunch we usually eat at George’s Family Restaurant, a little cafe’ with good food, service, and prices.  The last time we stopped it was for a late lunch.  We each ordered barbecue which came with a side of potato salad, a creamy potato salad made with a combination of mashed and chunky potatoes, a minimal amount of mayonnaise and other ingredients, and lots and lots of flavor.  We both loved it so much, I just had to give it a go.  This Spicy Smashed Potato Salad isn’t exactly like George’s, but it sure is GOOOOOOOOD, and it’s got a bit of a kick to it, something not included in the original.

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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 Fennel Salad with Cranberry Balsamic

A delightful fennel salad of roasted fennel,feta, pomegranate seeds, sprouts, and a drizzle of cranberry balsamic #fennel #salad @mjskitchen

Inspiration for a new recipe can come in different forms and from different sources, which is the case with this fennel salad.  Back in August I saw Soni’s Food Indian Spice Roasted Fennel and pinned it as a reminder to make it one day.  Then a few weeks ago when I dropped into the Santa Fe Olive Oil & Balsamic Company for a purchase and a tasting, I was asked if I would create a recipe and write a post on one of its products – specifically its Cranberry Balsamic vinegar.  After tasting this awesome balsamic and going through several different ideas for a recipe, I lit upon the marriage of Soni’s roasted fennel with the cranberry balsamic and thus this Roasted Fennel Salad with Cranberry Balsamic was born.

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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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Brown Rice Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

This brown rice salad is a healthy salad with brown rice, a mix of peppers (sweet & spicy), nuts and herbs, tossed with a Lime Dressing. #grains #brownrice #salad #recipe @mjskitchen

This weekend we had a wonderful meatless meals that was totally unexpected. I had made this Brown Rice Salad with a Lime Vinaigrette and was planning on serving it with chicken.  Then Bobby walked in with a bunch of green tomatoes from our garden so I couldn’t I resist making a batch of fried green tomatoes. To heck with the chicken. What a great meal that this salad with the fried green tomatoes made!

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Yellow Squash with Red Pepper

A simple side dish of sauteed summer squash with roasted red peppers |

Even though fall is my favorite season, I still resist the end of summer, primarily because of the abundance of produce.  Yellow squash is one of those vegetables that I hate to see disappear; therefore, I continue to buy it as long as it’s on the shelves.  There are so many ways to prepare it and most are relatively easy.  This Yellow Squash with Red Peppers is one of the easiest.  This dish is just yellow squash sauteed in garlic oil with some onion and red peppers.  You can use roasted reds (my favorite) or fresh reds.  You can use sweet peppers or medium/hot chile, depending on what you want or have.  Our favorite is a hot roasted red New Mexico chile.  It gives this dish a pleasant mix of sweet and spicy.

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