Saturday, August 19, 2017

Celebrate! It's Hatch Chili Season!

Yes, I know that's not exactly a holiday, but I love to celebrate and love to find things to turn into  family traditions.  So, when HEB (our local supermarket) has their big Hatch Chili roasting days, I celebrate with our favorite Hatch Chili appetizer.  You can buy the pepppers already roasted, but I kind of like to do that myself...and not on an open fire, but in an iron skillet (which I pretty much use for everything.)

Here's what you need:
Hatch Chilis-if they are large and you are only making appetizers, one per person
Panela Queso Cheese-this cheese can be cooked in a skillet to brown

A little bit of Olive Oil
Baguette Toasties-probably not the real name, but they are sliced and toasted bread in most large grocery stores in the bakery section
Raspberry Chipotle Marinade

Here's what you do:
First, wash your peppers and cut them in half to seed them.  They are a bit spicy, so it helps to have most of the seeds out.

Next, cut the cheese into slices, and brown them in a little olive oil in a skillet.  

Once they are browned the way you like, cut the pepper halves into fourths, layer the peppers and cheese on a bread toasty, then pour a little Raspberry Chipotle marinade on top!  That's it!  Celebrate New Mexico Style!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mom's Good 'Ole Cooking and a Recipe

Maybe because it's Mother's Day Week and I've been thinking about my mom a lot, or maybe because my sister mentioned that she made one of Mom's standby recipes last week-but  for whatever reason, I've been thinking about Mom's cooking lately.  My mom was a really, really good cook.  She often said she wished she had gone to chef school, and I believe she could have taught them a few things if she had.  I was one of those kids who left for school every day with a home-cooked meal in my tummy (even if I didn't want it-which I rarely did), and came home every afternoon to a delicious hot dinner.  I know I didn't appreciate that enough. 

I remember the mornings that I did want my breakfast and those were the cold mornings when she made hot cocoa (always from scratch), and heavily buttered toast for dipping. To this day, I can't drink instant powdered cocoa.  One day when I was in 5th grade, the bus dropped me at the corner after school and I had a short walk to my house.  It was COLD, and as I walked up my driveway, I clearly remember smelling homemade vegetable soup.  Such a comforting smell, such a clear memory!  As an adult, she would often make me soup to take to work.  Although I haven't thought about it much, I have a full, emotional bank of food memories from my mom. 

So, yesterday I decided I wanted to make Mom's simple standby dish-Ground Meat and Potatoes.  It can't get any easier, or any more filling, comforting or tasty.

I'm a Cajun girl who cannot be separated from her black cast iron.  All of my skillets and pots were bought at garage sales 44 years-ago and were second hand at that point.  I rarely cook a meal without one of them in service.  So, this recipe was made entirely in cast iron skillets.

First cut potatoes (I used two large Irish potatoes) into chunks, but don't peel them.
Cook them in about 1/4 inch of bacon grease melted in the skillet, stirring until they are brown (bacon grease? Yes, I know.)

At the same time, brown ground meat with chopped onions (one) and garlic (three cloves) until completely browned.

Once they are both done, mix together and season to taste-salt and cayenne for us...that's it.

I also cooked a batch of cornbread, skillet of course, and added a salad.  My husband was a happy camper when he got home.
Thank you, and love you Mom.  Betty Lucille Hebert Puryear.