Tag Archives: jalepano

Skillet Chili Rellenos

As a vegetable farmer, I can or freeze a fair amount of food for our winter consumption. When the tomatoes and peppers are on, you will find me doing something for future use. Currently we are bombarded with peppers of all kinds. Poblanos, Hatch, jalapeños, pepperoncini and serranos. This week as I was grilling some poblano peppers for using in chili this winter, I thought why not use all this produce for something savory that won’t take a lot of time, yet has all the ingredients of one of my favorites, Chili Rellenos. Peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, we had it all on hand. I’ve been using the cast iron skillet that was handed down from my wife’s grandmother quite a bit lately. I love how it can go from stovetop, to oven to table (less dishes!). Bingo! I had our dinner plans.

Although I prefer to grill my peppers, you can also broil them in the oven on a sheet pan. Simply cut your peppers in half lengthwise and place them on a lightly oiled sheet pan, skin side up. Broil the poblanos about 15 minutes, until the skins char and blacken. They should puff up. Remove, place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until they cool slightly. Then peel off the skins and discard along with the seeds and stem.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded; cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped or one 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese or a combination of Monterey Jack and cheddar
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Sour cream for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and jalapeño and saute them for about 5-6 minutes to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, oregano, ancho powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes on medium-low, until the tomatoes soften up and the mixture becomes saucy. Scoop half of the sauce into a bowl.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. In the same 12-inch skillet, layer half of the poblano strips and half of the cheese. Add the remaining sauce, then the remaining poblano strips, then half of the remaining cheese.
  6. Next, beat the eggs and pour the eggs over the mixture over the top of the skillet. Add the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the eggs set and the cheeses are melted.
  8. Remove and let set for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 4-6

My favorite time of day is to get up and eat leftovers from dinner, especially spicy food. — David Byrne

Dippidy-Do-Da

We farm for a living, and I hate the heat; go figure! The one thing that keeps me going is all the fresh produce we grow or purchase from the farmers market. My head literally spins with the endless options for creative food and meals. This time we are focusing on fresh corn. This is a riff on Mexican Street Corn or Elote (grilled corn on the cob). I put up quite a bit of corn during summer for chowder, fresh corn polenta and this particular dip. That way, we can enjoy all that goodness during the winter months, when fresh is in short supply. It’s full of summer flavors and can feed a crowd on short notice.

I prefer white corn for this, but any corn will do. You can use Mexican crema or sour cream, salty Cotija cheese or feta depending on what you may have on hand. I like to use a cast-iron skillet for this, so I can take it from stove top to oven, and then to table all in one pan. You can also use a skillet and pour it into a baking dish for serving. Either way it’s sure to be a hit!

MEXICAN CORN DIP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 medium white onion (like Sierra Bianca), chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Juice of one lime, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese, crumbled and divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Tortilla chips for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add corn, garlic, onion and jalapeño and cook, without stirring, until lightly charred, about 3-5 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and add Mexican crema or sour cream, mayo, half of the lime juice, spices, and half of the cheese. Mix well.
  2. Spoon contents into 2 quart baking dish if using, or place cast-iron skillet into oven. Bake until cheese is melted and outer edges begin to bubble, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Drizzle remaining lime juice oven corn, sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with chopped cilantro.
  4. Serve with taco chips.

Serves 6-8

“Life without Mexican food, is like no life at all!”

Indian Roasted Potatoes

Since I’m on a mission to lose my Covid-19 weight, I’ve been eating a lot a vegetables; and I mean a lot of vegetables!! This is not a particular hardship, since I love them. I’ve been challenging myself to keep it interesting by coming up with creative ways to serve them. Visual appeal and taste are paramount. As I have mentioned in previous posts, adding spices and condiments really change things up. This week, we are going Indian with the use of Garam Masala, which is a spice blend that includes, but not limited to coriander, cumin, black pepper, cardamom and cinnamon. This side can be made ahead and served at room temperature. I am also using my continual go-to condiment cilantro-chili sauce. I just can’t get enough of it! It is easy to make and I find that I have been putting it on my hard-boiled eggs, as well as mixing it with Greek yogurt as a dressing for chicken, or grilled flank steak salads.

INDIAN ROASTED POTATOES WITH CILANTRO-CHILI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/2 inch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, both leaves and tender stems
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped (I use jalapeño)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 1/4 cup sliced and toasted blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Scrub and slice Yukon golds 1/2 inch (I use 1 medium potato per person). Place in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil; then toss with your hands. Place on parchment paper leaving 1 inch between slices. Sprinkle each slice with garam masala.
  3. Roast potato slices in oven for 40-50 minutes, turn slices over after the first 25 minutes. Potatoes are done when slightly golden and a knife slides easily through each slice.
  4. Meanwhile in a food processor, pulse to combine, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, the cilantro, chilies, garlic, almonds, lime juice, and a large pinch of salt, until it forms a chunky puree. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Thinly slice green onions, both the white and the green.
  6. On a decorative platter, spoon yogurt on the bottom. Stack your potato slices so they make a pyramid. Place small spoonful’s of cilantro-chili sauce on potatoes. Sprinkle with green onions and nigella seeds.

Serves:2-4

“Every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds for opportunity and growth.”

Roy Bennett

Mi Casa es Su Casa

Needing to shed a few pounds, I’ve been busy creating dishes that although leaner are still interesting. Lately I’m finding many ways to use cauliflower rice. It’s so easy to make and so incredibly versatile. If you really want to cut corners, many grocery stores sell it prebagged for convenience in the produce section.

As I have pointed out in my recent cookbook, Twisted Basics: Laugh, Cook, Eat! vegetables do not have to be boring! There is no substitute for fresh veggies, when it comes to feeling healthy. When I make cauliflower rice, I like to use a large head so I will have additional meals at the ready. I simply vacuum seal it in 4 cup increments. One large head can produce enough for 3 meals! When I made this Mexican Cauliflower Rice dish today, my wife could not tell the difference between real rice and its faux counterpart.

MEXICAN CAULIFLOWER RICE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, riced (approx. 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 1 paste tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 teaspoons green tabasco

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To make cauliflower rice, separate head into flowerettes and slice stalks into 1 inch pieces. Place in food processor and pulse 7-8 times or until course and resembles rice. Measure out 4 cups and set aside.
  2. Chop your veggies and prep ingredients. Combine spices in a small bowl and mix.
  3. Whisk together Greek yogurt and green tabasco. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat a 12 inch non-stick skillet on medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. Add onion, peppers, tomato, and garlic. Sauté for 5-8 minutes or until soft.
  6. Add the spice blend, stock, and tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 2 additional minutes.
  7. Add cauliflower rice and cook until desire texture is reached, folding ingredients until thoroughly incorporated, about 5-6 more minutes.
  8. Add minced jalapeño and mix.
  9. Plate and drizzle dressing over the top. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 4

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.” —George Bernard Shaq

Sweet and Spicy!

There are times when we just have to shake it up a bit! We all have our go-to rotations for meal planning, but it is interesting how a different condiment or sauce can really take a side to the next level (thank you Yotam Ottelenghi). I also appreciate a sauce that can go with many different things, from vegetables, to chicken, lamb or fish. This sauce has it all. Even the color contrast of this dish is striking. As I mentioned last week, using the addition of a flavored olive oil is really wonderful, in this case Persian Lime. It pairs nicely with the fresh lime juice. Skip it if you don’t have it. If you have people in your family that don’t like too much heat, the Greek yogurt that accompanies this side will easily tamp it down.

Sweet potatoes are a terrific vegetable for people watching their weight. They are high in vitamin A, they support digestive and heart health, and they are rich in dietary fiber, keeping you full longer. They also stabilize your blood-sugar, fuel your brain, and since they are loaded with beta-carotene they are terrific for your eyes. So what’s not to like?

SWEET POTATOES WITH YOGURT & CILANTRO-CHILI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided (Persian Lime if available)
  • 1/2 tablespoon local honey
  • Juice of 2 limes, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped (I use jalapenos)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, honey, juice from 1 lime, salt and pepper to taste, and potato wedges. Toss to coat. Spread in a even layer on baking sheet, bake until tender and lightly browned in spots, about 45-55- minutes. Sprinkle with additional salt to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse to combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, the cilantro, chilies, garlic, almonds, juice from remaining lime, vinegar and a large pinch of salt, until it forms a chunky puree. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  4. Arrange sweet potatoes on a platter; spoon sauce in dollops over the potatoes, dollop with yogurt, drizzle with some olive oil, and serve with additional sauce and yogurt on the side.

Serve 4-6

“Our very survival depends on us staying awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant, and to face the challenge of change.” –Martin Luther King