Tag Archives: feta

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 mjskitchen.com

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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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Bean and Red Mole Pizza

A simple pizza made on a flour tortilla and topped with beans and a spicy mole' sauce | mjskitchen.com

After making the New Mexico Red Chile Mole that I shared with you last week, I used it in a few new dishes before freezing the leftovers.  This Bean and Red Mole Pizza was one of those dishes.  It is a variation of a Mexican-style pizza that I usually make with red chile sauce.  The mole completely changed the flavor of the pizza making it a totally different experience and just as delicious.

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Chipotle Grits with Feta Cheese

Chipotle grits with feta transforms grits into a creamy, spicy, smokey dish that can be enjoyed by everyone, even those who don't like grits. #grits @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com


Before I tell you how chipotle peppers ended up in grits, I have a question for you. What are three things that you absolutely can not run out of?  Running out of any one of these three things would be devastating.  Do you have them?  I would be willing to bet that the first item is toilet paper. No one wants to run out of toilet paper and believe me, having used the pages of a Sears catalog when I was a kid visiting the grandparents, toilet paper has no substitute. 🙂  O.K. so TP is number one.  What about the next two items?  In this house those items are milk and green chile.  Well, guess what I ran out of a couple of weeks ago?  Green chile!!! Yep – you read it right. I ran out of green chile.

I was planning on making Grits and Green Chile and had already started the grits, when I went to pull some green chile from the freezer. There was none to be found.  UGH!  So what’s a girl to do?  You know how it is – once your family expects one thing, you better come up with something just as good if not better. Rummaging through the pantry I found a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, so decided to give them a try in place of the green chile.  Instead of cheddar cheese, I went with feta which turned out to be the right decision.  What a delicious bowl of chipotle grits!!!  I’m not going to say that chipotle grits with feta was better than grits and green chile, but it certainly turned out to be a fabulous substitute.  We’ve had it twice since and I still haven’t bought any green chile. I think that might convince you as to how good this is.

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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cheese Spread

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cheese Spread with almonds, and goat cheese for a snack or appetizer. #appetizer @mjskitchen | mjskitchen.com

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Figuring out what to have for breakfast and supper is easy, but I do have a hard time sometimes with lunch. If we don’t have any leftovers, then we’ll either have a peanut butter and jam sandwich or I’ll throw together a snack type lunch like my Cucumber Crostini. This week I’ll be sharing two more of our lunchtime snacks – this Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cheese Spread and another one that is a bit more spicy – a Green Chile Pecan Cheese Spread.  I have had several readers mention that they can’t handle spicy foods very well, so this one is for you.

This red bell pepper cheese spread is a little sweet but that’s due only to the sweetness of the roasted bell pepper.  The cheese is capricho de cabra – a Spanish goat cheese produced with the milk from Murciana goats.  This goat cheese is different from what I normally buy. Instead of being crumbly, capricho de cabra is creamy and can be stirred into a buttery spread.  You really don’t have to add anything to it, but it works as a great complement to the roasted bell pepper.  Add a little olive brine for acid and chopped almonds for another layer of flavor and texture and you have a tasty spread for bagels, pita chips, your favorite crackers or apple slices.  Have this  for lunch or share with friends as an appetizer or party dip.
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Braised Red Chile Chicken and Vegetables

Southwestern Braised Chicken thighs


This braised red chile chicken recipe might remind you somewhat of the Hungarian dish – Paprika Chicken. The paprika pepper that creates a rather spicy and rich tasting Paprika Chicken is similar to that produced by the red chile powder used in this dish.  However, that’s about as far as the similarities between the two dishes go. Paprika chicken uses cream or sour cream and is usually served over pasta, neither of which is the case here.

Braised Red Chile Chicken and Vegetables is actually more of a southwestern dish with some Mexican components as toppings.  Instead of paprika I use New Mexico red chile powder and other traditional southwestern seasonings.  The base or sauce is created using strained or crushed tomatoes which, once cooked down, create a rich sweet and spicy sauce. Because of this rich sauce, this dish can be served over rice, grits or polenta, or with flour tortillas that can be used to scoop it up so that nothing goes to waste.

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Strawberry Tomato Salad with Mint

A refreshing Strawberry tomato salad with radish and mint. Perfect for the summer. mjskitchen.com


We had this Strawberry Tomato Salad for lunch the other day and I just had to share it with you.  Last summer I came across a beautiful Mozzarella, Tomato and Strawberry Salad over at eat.live.travel.write.  It was one of those recipes that introduces a combination that one (meaning “me”) would never have thought of – strawberry and tomato. I just had to give it a try. Well folks – if you haven’t tried this combination, then you are missing a real treat.  It is wonderful!!  Since I first tried it, I’ve been playing around with different ingredients and different vinaigrettes.  This strawberry tomato salad is one of the variations that we love.

For the salad in the picture, I used this beautiful heirloom tomato that I bought at the growers’ market.  I just recently discovered from Tessa over at Feral Kitchen that this particular heirloom is called a Pineapple Tomato.  It was one of the biggest tomatoes I’ve ever seen, but also one of the best tasting!  Any good, meaty tomato works for the salad, but how can you turn down an heirloom?!
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Cantaloupe Walnut Salad with Lime Dressing

Cantaloupe Walnut Salad with a lime dressing is so simple to make, with very few ingredients. #cantaloupe @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com


It was not until I became an adult that I would consider ever making a cantaloupe walnut salad must less eating one.  As a kid, I really disliked cantaloupe, I mean really, really disliked cantaloupe.  I couldn’t even stand the smell of it.  Now I love it!  When cantaloupes start showing up at the market, I start buying and continue to buy until they disappear.

My favorite way to eat a cantaloupe or any melon is to just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with a touch of salt and dig in.  However, with as much cantaloupe as we eat, I do need to change it up every once in a while.  This simple cantaloupe walnut salad is one of our regulars.  The sweetness of the cantaloupe, the tartness of the lime dressing and saltiness of the feta join together for a very refreshing salad.  It takes less than 15 minutes to throw together and 5 minutes to eat!

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Stacked Vegetables ‘en Papillote

stacked vegetables 'en Papillote consists of an assortment of vegetables, stacked, wrapped in parchment and grilled. #vegan #recipe @MJsKitchen

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Cooking in parchment paper (en papillote) on the grill during hot weather has become an addiction!  It’s such a great way to keep the heat out of the kitchen and to minimize both prep and clean-up.  Last week  I made this stacked vegetables ‘en Papillote, and Bobby and I both agree that it’s as good and maybe even better than the Italian Sausage with Vegetables ‘en Papillote. It’s completely different in ingredients, texture, smells and flavors, and makes a very hearty and delicious vegetarian meal.  It could also be used as a side to a meat entree’ if desired.

When I started putting these stacked vegetables ‘en Papillote together, I was aiming for something like a vegetable lasagne without the noodles, but then if you don’t use the noodles, can you call it lasagne?  I used thin slices of Yukon Gold potatoes for the carbohydrate and that turned out to be what really held this meal together and took it beyond just a bunch of steamed vegetables.  Bobby said that it was like eating a vegetable au gratin but without the breadcrumbs and all the cheese.  The potatoes, the herbs, the super fresh vegetables, and a touch of cheese all blended together to provide a memorable dish.

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Breakfast Tostada (Egg, Sausage, Green Chile, Cheese)

Egg Sausage Tostada with scrambled eggs, green chile, and Kielbasa sausage. @MJsKitchen


Today, I’m going to talk a little about the tostada.  Very simply, a tostada is a meal on top of a fried corn tortilla. That “meal” can be just about anything from beans (my favorite) to roasted veggies or ground beef to shrimp.  This Breakfast Tostada is a meal with egg, sausage, cheese and vegetables.  It is so delicious that it has a place of honor on “brunch” options right along side our favorite – Huevos Rancheros.

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