Tag Archives: gluten-free

Andouille and Shrimp Jamabalaya – Quick & Easy

A quick and easy and delicious Shrimp Jambalaya with spicy andouille. #jambalaya #andouille @mjskitchen

 

Looking for another comfort food?  Try jambalaya.  It is so easy to make, hot and spicy, packed with lots of flavor, everything you’re looking for in comfort food.  Plus it takes less than 45 minutes from start to finish.  Today I’m sharing my Andouille and Shrimp Jambalaya, a dish we make about once a month, because it is so good and a meal we just never get tired of eating.

As with gumbos and etouffées, you use the holy trinity (onion, celery and bell pepper) for jambalaya, but you skip the roux. The remaining ingredients are added quickly after the trinity is sauteed, and in the amount of time it takes to cook white rice, your meal is done.  Ready in less than 45 minutes!

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Sweet and Spicy Red Chile Pecans

Red Chile Pecans roasted with a slurry of maple syrup and New Mexico red chile powder #redchile #New Mexico #pecans | mjskitchen.com

 

When you live in a state that is one of the top three pecan producers in the U.S., why buy pecans from anywhere else.  On a yearly basis, Bobby and I go through about 20 pounds or more of New Mexico shelled pecans.  Last week I bought my first 5 pounds of the year from the New Mexico Pecan Company and just couldn’t resist making a couple of batches of these red chile pecans.

We love these pecans!  They’re spicy, but not too much, and just a little sweet.  The spiciness comes from a medium hot Dixon or Chimayo red chile powder and the sweetness from maple syrup, as well as a bit from the chile.  With only five ingredients (one being the pecans), these red chile pecans are SO easy to make, but the problem is, they are addicting.  This makes them disappear as fast as you can make them.  Of course the solution to that problem is to make a double batch and that’s easy to do.

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The Bolita Bean – A Locally Grown Favorite

Bolita Bean (similar to the Pinto), but creamier in texture and sweeter in flavor mjskitchen.com

Bolita (left) – Pinto (right)

 

The bolita bean is similar to a pinto bean. It is high in protein, but a little sweeter with a creamier texture, and, from what I’ve read, easier on the digestive system. If you’re not familiar with the bolita bean, it is a small pinkish bean similar in shape and size to the pinto (as you can see in the picture).  It’s locally grown here in New Mexico and can be found at many of the Growers’ Markets in the fall. It can also be purchased online from farms like Schwebach Farms and Sichler’s Farms.

The stories I’ve read say that bolita beans were first cultivated in Peru 10,000 years ago and brought north to New Mexico by Spanish settlers. They became an important crop of the American Indians of northern New Mexico who still grow them along with many other farmers in central and northern New Mexico.  Today, bolitas are grown throughout the Four Corners area and other parts of the southwest.  Apparently, it is a good crop for the southwest because its root system is deep, making it able to withstand dry spells and drier climates like ours.

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Avocado Onion Salad with Pepitas, Cotija Cheese and a Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

Avocado Onion Salad with sweet and spicy pepitas and cotija cheese. Serve as a starter or salad. | mjskitchen.com

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Because of the nutritional value of avocados and the fact that they are available year round, I’m always looking for more and more ways to use them.   A few months ago I came across an Avocado and Onion Salad in my favorite cookbook, Gran Cocina Latina, the 2013 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year.   It sounded delicious because I love the classic combination of avocado and onion, and then the addition of a garlic-lime vinaigrette just seemed to be a perfect match.  And it was.  However, in my opinion, it was missing something, primarily texture.  So the next time I made it, I embellished on the original recipe by adding sweet and spicy pepitas and cotija cheese, and by tweaking the vinaigrette a bit.  Voilá!

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Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with Mushrooms and Apples

A quick and easy meal - Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with apples and mushrooms, served over Israeli couscous #pork #easy #meal |mjskitchen.com

 

This Bourbon Braised Pork has a fabulous combination of ingredients – apples, mushrooms, aromatics, lots of sage, and a braising liquid of bourbon and apple cider.  It’s hearty, healthy, full of flavor, and, when served over toasted Israeli couscous or brown rice, a complete meal.  And on top of all of that, it takes less than 45 minutes to make.  It’s one of those meals that you’ll be asking – “How soon can I make it again?”.

 

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Slow-Cooked Red Beans

Slow cooked pot of spicy red beans. mjskitchen.com

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When it comes to red beans, it seems that the larger kidney bean gets most of the attention.  Of course this could possibly be due to the classic red beans and rice, “an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine“.  To be honest, red beans and rice is normally our go to dish for red beans.  However, sometimes I like to cook up the small red bean.  It’s more tender than the kidney bean and has a sweeter, more delicate flavor, in my opinion.

This red bean recipe yields a flavorful bowl of tender beans that’s savory, spicy and quite versatile. As with most beans, we love to eat these as just a bowl of beans with some cornbread or tortillas and maybe a topping or two. But you could also add them to salads or soups, serve them on top of a bowl of rice, or wrap them in a tortilla and smother with red chile.  Lots of possibilities…

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Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Blue cheese mashed potatoes make the perfect complement to beef, especially prime rib / ribeye. mjskitchen.com

For Thanksgiving this year Bobby smoked a standing rib roast and for one of the sides, we made these Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes.  What a fantastic pairing!  The roast was smoky, medium rare with a spicy crust on the outside.  The potatoes provided a creamy, buttery, and slightly cheesy complement.   Other sides included this Candied Pecan, Pear & Pomegrante Salad but with a white balsamic vinaigrette, a relish tray that my SIL put together of a variety of homemade pickles along with deviled eggs, roasted vegetables, and fennel infused onion.  What a feast!!!

In addition to serving along side standing rib roast, these blue cheese mashed potatoes also make a nice side dish for roast chicken, grilled ribeye, pulled pork and much more.  Of course you might just find yourself forgoing an entrée and just eating the potatoes.  🙂

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Olive Brine Pickled Vegetables

An assortment of vegetables pickled in olive brine #pickled #vegetables @mjskitchen

Making Olive Brine Pickled Vegetables is an extremely easy pickling process that allows you to repurpose olive brine after all of the olives have been eaten, as well as to deal with little pieces of fresh vegetables that haven’t been used.  All you need to do is to cut the  vegetables into small, bite size pieces, place in a jar and cover with olive brine.  Refrigerate for a couple of days and you have an awesome, healthy little snack.  If you want the vegetables to have a spicy kick, add a couple of sliced hot chile peppers.

As you can see, there is nothing to this process.  In the recipe, I’ve listed the vegetables shown in the pictures, and in the Kitchen Notes you’ll find other vegetables you could use.  And if you buy Costco size jars of olives like we do, you’ll always have olive brine.

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Three Sisters (Squash, Corn, Beans) with Green Chile Tomatillo Salsa

Three Sisters (corn, beans, squash) with leftover chicken and tomatillo-green chile salsa | mjskitchen.com

Three sisters” is the name given to three companion crops – corn, squash and beans, grown as major crops by Native Americans for generations.  If you are a gardener, you understand what is meant by companion crops – crops that aid each other in some manner.  For the three sisters it all starts with the corn.  Corn provides a tall stalk on which bean vines grow.  In return beans produce nitrogen in the soil that feeds the corn and the squash.  Squash spreads along the ground providing a mulch as well as shade for roots and plantings.

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