Monday, April 18, 2011

Max's Red Chile

I love the warm flavor of a perfectly balanced red chile sauce. I think using whole chile pods (as opposed to chile powder) creates a superior chile. My husband, a native New Mexican, taught me his technique for creating the perfect red chile, and I adjusted the spices to my preference -- I like just a dash of honey to balance the potential bitterness of the red chile. This is the best red chile ever created by a gringo.

Create a big pot of this Southwestern goodness on a cold, quiet day at home, so you can savor the aroma as it simmers. Enjoy this slathered over eggs, in your favorite enchilada recipe, as a topping for posole, as a tortilla chip dip, or as the main ingredient of a fabulous Huevos Rancheros.

Max’s Red Chile

~2 pounds bone-in pork chops
6 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
20 oz. (2 bags) of dried mild red chiles, stemmed and seeded (or 1 cup mild red chile powder)
6 cups homemade turkey stock (or commercial chicken stock)
1 T. honey
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. cumin
1 T. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

Grill salt-and-peppered pork chops. Remove meat from bones, dice and set aside. Re-grill bones and tie together in a bundle.

Sauté onions until browned and caramelized. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.

Puree onions, garlic and red chile pods in a food processor or blender. Add chicken stock to make pureeing easier.

In a large pot, combine onion/chile puree, chicken stock, meat, honey, herbs, and grilled bone-bundle. Simmer about 3 hours, or until flavors have melded into a warm, perfectly balanced southwest nectar. Remove and discard bones. Adjust salt, pepper, and other spices to taste.

Note: Make sure you freeze plenty of this for easy southwestern dishes all year long. I think 2-cup quantities in a quart freezer bag is the perfect amount.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Banana Boats

This is a perfect way to pack some tasty protein into your kiddo's day without messing up the kitchen with breakfast dishes.

Banana Boats
1 banana, sliced in half
~3 T. peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
Drizzle of honey
mini chocolate chips (optional)

cinnamon sugar

Slice banana in half and place both halves on a plate, cut side up.
Spread peanut butter on the cut side (this takes a little finesse. . .be patient).
Drizzle honey on top of the peanut butter.
If you REALLY love your kids, sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips onto the honey.
Dust with a little cinnamon sugar (fill a shaker-top spice jar with 2 t. cinnamon and 2 T. sugar).

Serve them to two happy kids and watch them disappear before your eyes.
Happy Summer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rosaleen's Dijon Vinaigrette

This is my favorite, most versatile salad dressing recipe. It makes a fabulous vinaigrette, marinade and pasta salad dressing. My friend, Rosaleen, has good taste!

Rosaleen's Dijon Vinaigrette
1 T. dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
3/4 c. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Combine all, shake and enjoy!