Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hatch Green Chile Rellenos w/Beefy Enchilada Sauce

Chile Rellenos

It's Hatch Green Chile season again, but this year I decided not to get 30 lbs worth...lol  I really loved the chiles, but decided I didn't want to go through the trouble of prepping them.  Maybe next year I will be up to the task again ;o)

I did get about 1 lb of them at the store and made Chile Rellenos out of it.  I love rellenos, but most of the time they aren't very good when you order them at a restaurant. I think they may make them ahead of time and then reheat and dress them right before they serve it.  I like them fried & stuffed with cheese, none of that healthy grilled stuff ;o) I'm not even really sure what an authentic Chile Relleno is, so I just improvised and made it my own way!

My post about last years ordeal of prepping my Hatch Chiles...

Making the sauce...

I decided to make an Enchilada type sauce and then added a little bit of meat to it since the rellenos was just stuffed with cheese, onion & corn.

For the sauce, I sauteed...onion, jalapeno & garlic and then added chili powder, cumin, Mex oregano, Mex seasonings, s&p & masa flour as a thickener.

Melding the Flavors...

For a big batch of Enchilada Sauce I would add homemade stock, but since I was only making a little, I just added water and  bouillon for flavor. I also normally would add a little bit of tomato or tomato sauce, but this time I just added some homemade pico de gallo/salsa that I had leftover from our taco dinner. After the flavors had melded for about 20 mins,  I whirled it up with the stick blender for a smooth consistency.

Enchilada Sauce w/Ground Beef & Chorizo

For the meat, I just added the leftovers from our Ground Beef & Chorizo Tacos from the night before.  I added it after I used the stick blender on the sauce and then cooked it down to a semi-thick consistency.  I didn't want it too watery that it would just all dribble off the plate.

Of course you can omit the beef/chorizo & chicken flavorings for my non-meat-eater friends :o)  That's one of the things I love about cooking, it's so versatile that you can change a lot of the ingredients around.  I'm actually tempted to try Soyrizo...Chorizo made out of soy!

Taco Post...

Roasted Hatch Chiles

It's not quite the same as the char that you get from the Hatch Roastings that they do at the store, but the next best thing is to put them under the broiler of my oven when I have to roast more than a couple of chiles.  If I only had a few I'd have roasted them on the flame of the stove ;o)

After taking them out of the oven, I stick them in a plastic bag for about 10 mins, so they steam and are easier to peel.  I also take the seeds out, but leave the stems on.  I try not to tear it, but sometimes that's hard!

Stuffed w/Cheese, Onion & Corn

I learned this technique on a Diner's, Drive-In's episode.  I would have liked to use Jack Cheese, but I only had Cheddar on hand.  I grated the cheese then added raw onions & sauteed fresh corn.  I then formed the mixture into a cigar shape and then shaped it to fit into the chile.  I then closed it as tight as possible and then froze it for about 15 mins.  When you take it out of the freezer, be careful that it doesn't tear when you take it off the plate.


After taking it out of the freezer, I cover it in flour.  Don't let it thaw if it's only been in the freezer for about 15 mins. Since it's lightly frozen, the cheese keeps it's shape and won't fall out even WITHOUT using a toothpick to clamp it together.  Now that I think about it, it may have been better with Masa Corn Flour...

Egg White Dip

You need to make this Egg White Mixture before taking the chiles out of the freezer.  I made it with a stick blender with the whisk attachment.  I first whisked 2 egg whites until semi-stiff peaks formed then I added 1 egg yolk and then a little flour to the mix.  It was the consistency of a fluffy pancake batter.  

I then dipped the floured chiles into the dip/batter then deep fried  it.  The batter & flour seals the chiles, so  the cheese doesn't ooze out :o)


Keep turning it when you fry it and I go by the color for the doneness.  Be sure to fry it enough, so the cheese gets hot and melts.  The first one I served to Hubby was kinda cold and the cheese wasn't quite melted...

Ready to Dress...

Fried, Yummy Goodness :o)

Topped w/Meat Sauce & Cheese Mix

I topped it with the leftover Cheese Mix, the Beefy Enchilada Sauce, Salsa, raw onions, cilantro & jalapeno.  I served it with White Long Grain Rice flavored with chicken bouillon with corn added to it.   I think I said before that I can add corn to just about everything!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ground Beef & Chorizo Tacos + some huevos rancheros thrown in :o)

Ground Beef Tacos

As I was preparing this meal and writing this post I had a couple of thoughts in my head.  The first one was that I was spending A LOT of time preparing this meal.  At the over 2 hour mark I finally got tired of it and told Hubby I'd rather go out to eat and we should go out for Japanese/Sushi...lol  His response was "Why?  We went to the grocery store, so you could make dinner."  But then he said "Whatever you want Babe!"...he's the best :o)  We ended up going to this great place near our house called Gonpachi.  It was going downhill for a while, but they got a new Chef and Management Team and now is really good, especially the quality of the sushi/sashimi.

It seems like so many blogs post meals that you can make in under an hour and then there is Rachael Ray with her 30 mins meals.  I'm not sure how it is done because almost all my meals take about 2 hours.  I was trying to figure out why it took me so long this dinner  and this is what I came up with...  I have a very small kitchen, I think most people would call it a Galley Kitchen since it's the size of what you'd find on a boat and it's very narrow, I don't even have a automatic dish washer...shocking!  So I have to clean as I cook otherwise I'd run out of space and I don't want the dishes to pile up too much.  

I first put the groceries away, but I'm very anal about the way I put stuff away which takes up extra time.   Then I made pico de gallo/salsa which I chop everything by hand, chopped up the rest of the ingredients for everything else and fried up tortillas to make chips.  I also had just bought 6 fresh ears of corn which I wanted to cook right away, so the flavor would be at it's peak, so I cut it all off the cob, sauteed it, portioned into baggies and froze it and then made corn cob stock with the rest of it.  I didn't even get to making the ground beef for the tacos or beans, but I did make same marinara sauce with the extra tomatoes I had leftover from the salsa...  Ok, now looking at my list, I guess I did do a lot, but should it have taken over 2 hours ;o)

My second thought as I was posting was I make really unhealthy stuff...lol  The chips are fried, I used Ground Beef & Chorizo, there's bacon in the beans and then  I use the bacon drippings to saute the rest of the stuff AND I fry the tortillas for the tacos.  It all tastes so good this way, but I do feel a little guilty after reading other blogs about healthier, cutting back calories & sodium reducing recipes ;o)  I guess the good thing is that I don't cook like this every night!

In a previous post I wrote about the techniques I use to make the Pico de Gallo/Salsa, Frijoles de Olla, Mexican Rice & Frying Tortillas...

Seasoning for Ground Beef...

It has:  A mix of Chile Powders, Paprika, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Mex Oregano, Cayenne, Ajishio, Magic Dust, Prepared Mex Seasonings, Bay Leaf, & Masa flour to thicken...


I got this "bulk" Chorizo from Bristol Farms.  I usually get the kind that's in a tube and you can't tell what's in it...it looks like every scrap that the processing plant could dig up was put into it...lol  I really like this one from Bristol Farms, it seemed a little healthier and had a nice texture to it.

Sauteeing Chorizo, Onions, Garlic, & Jalapeno

I first cooked the Chorizo, so I could use the oil from that to saute the onions, garlic & jalapeno with it.  

Ground Beef & Seasonings added...

Next I added the ground beef and cooked that until it was pink and then added the seasonings including the masa, a little water to keep the meat moist and a touch of bouillon paste. I would normally add some tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes, but I just threw in some salsa to the mix.   I cook it all down until the water evaporates.  Some oil may come out from the Chorizo & beef, so I use paper towels to soak that up.  

Served on lightly fried tortillas...

I like to fry the tortillas like I do with enchiladas, it has a little crispiness to it, but it's still pliable.  I then add the meat mixture and top it with cheese & beans so the warmth melts the cheese a bit then add lettuce, salsa, radish, onion, cilantro  & pickled jalapenos to it.

I also made Hatch Green Chile Rellenos w/Beefy Enchilada Sauce w/the leftover Beef/Chorizo Mix...

Huevos Rancheros

This normally would be breakfast the next day with the leftovers, but since I quit making the food the night before this turned out to be the 1st meal from the cooking process then the tacos were dinner the following night :o)  

This took about 1 1/2 hours to make because I made the meat mixture and I also made the Frijoles de Olla (Soupy Pinto Beans), fried the tortillas, fried the eggs and took pictures of the cooking process.  The good thing was I already had the mise en place ready to go...chopped onions, jalapeno etc.

Love the oozy egg!

Served on lightly fried tortillas topped w/ground beef mixture, beans, fried egg, onion, salsa etc.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our New Orleans Trip Review, July 2011...Part 4...The End :o)

This is Part 4 of 4 of my series of reviews on our trip to New Orleans and the south.
Links to previous posts about New Orleans Trip Review:

Part 1 & 2
Part 3

**Again I apologize for the quality of some of the photos.  They were taken with either an iPhone or  my Leica Point & Shoot w/out flash.**

Barbequed Shrimp

This really was a fun getaway and I enjoyed most all of the food.  You can never love everything that you eat. For our last dinner we went to Mr. B's.  It was convenient since it's located in the French Quarter and was walking distance from our hotel.  

Mr. B's is part of the Brennan Family restaurants and one of their most popular dish is the BBQ'd Shrimp.  I still can't figure out why they call it bbq because it has nothing to do with traditional bbq or sauce and it's not even grilled shrimp.  No matter what they call it, it's soooo good!  It's served with the heads on, so you can suck on them and get all the yummy flavor out of it. They also have the peels on them, so it does get a little messy eating them, but that's part of the fun! The sauce is basically a ton of butter w/W Sauce, Garlic & Seasonings.  They have the recipe on their website and I keep thinking I want to make it, but still haven't.  Maybe soon ;o)  One of the problems is it's hard to get live-head-on-shrimp around here.  At Mr. B's it comes with bread, but I also like to order grits to go with it.  I also had the gumbo, but it was just ok...


Shrimp & Grits

This was D's dish, I didn't get to try it, but it sure looked good with bacon wrapped shrimp!

Hot Buttered Pecan Pie

This was the best Pecan Pie ever!  It was the crust that made it so good.  It was so flaky!  I asked the waiter if it was made with shortening or butter and he had a big grin on his face and said it had a ton of butter in it...lol  If I could bake, I would definitely learn how to make this!

Soft Shell Crab Po-Boy

For our last breakfast/lunch we went to Johnny's Po-boy also located in the French Quarter.  Some people don't like the FQ saying it's too touristy, but it's such a convenient location because you can walk to so many places.  You just have to make sure to find a hotel that's not right smack on Bourbon St.

Half of this Po-Boy was good.  The crab on the other half didn't taste so fresh ;o(  Last time I had it I loved it, so ordered it again, but I probably should have gotten it with either shrimp or roast beef.  It was a little dry too.  I think it should have had mayo in it, after I finished it I spied another table with packets of mayo.


Shrimp Po-Boy

This was D & K's sandwich.  They said it was good, but a little dry like mine.

Last Gumbo of the Trip...

Luckily my last gumbo was really good!  I really do love gumbo :o)

Biscuit & Egg Sandwich

Hubby's Breakfast Sandwich.  He really liked it, look at that biscuit...how could he have not!

Muffuletta on the Plane...

Central Grocery is famous for their Muffuletta sandwich and their Olive Salad that's in it.  If they are open the day that we leave for home I like to pick it up and then eat the sandwich on the plane.  I can only wonder what the other passengers are thinking when they smell it...lol  Last time I bought 1 whole sandwich and hardly had any leftovers for the next day, so this time I bought 2! I put one in the suitcase ;o) I decided next time 1 1/2 sandwich would be the perfect portion.  I do share it with Hubby :o) The Muffuletta has Salami, Ham, Provolone, Mortadella & the Olive Salad. They are pre-made at the store, so the oil from the olive salad soaks the bread nicely.


w/Potato Chips...

Eating this on the plane beats any Fast Food you can pick up at the airport!  Sometimes I like to put potato chips in my sandwich.  I think Bobby Flay copied me with his Crunchburgers...lol

My Loot...

I got most of the stuff from Central Grocery.  You can pick up the Olive Salad to go. I know I've seen the Creole Mustard sold around here, but it's so hard to find.  I really loved the Creole Mustard Dressing at Galatoire's, but I tried to make it at home and it just didn't turn out the same :o(

Info about Olive Salad Delivery :o)

It's a little pricey AND you have to buy 4 at once, but at least you can get it shipped to you!

My Favorite...Cajun Dill Chips...

Everybody loves Zapp's in NOLA, my fav is the Cajun Dill flavor :o)

Better than Cafe du Monde ;o)

This coffee is really strong, but it's so good if you add 1/2 Whole Milk and make it an Au Lait...


I don't think I've really had Pralines before.  I loved this!  It was like eating pure sugar, but I just can't resist pecans.  I only bought 2 pieces...wish I got more!

Laura's Candies

This place was right across the street from our hotel, but we'd never gone in it before.  I will definitely be back to get more when I'm in New Orleans again.  They also will ship to you...


Thanks for reading my posts about our trip to New Orleans & the Florida Panhandle.  New Orleans is one of my favorite cities and I can talk about it forever, hope you all get a chance to go if you haven't already.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Favorite...Sweet Corn Soup made with Corn Cob Stock :o)

Sweet Corn Soup 

My favorite veggie is corn, especially during summertime when it's so sweet.  I can put it in just about anything, but poor Hubby gets a little tired of it. In Japan they have a dish called Corn Potage which is basically a creamy corn soup like tomato soup, but with corn.  It very smooth, rich, sweet and corny and reminds me of my childhood.  A few years ago I found a recipe by Wolfgang Puck for Corn Soup which I really loved.  It's a little chunky, but I loved it anyway :o)  This is a loose interpretation of his recipe.  I liked that he adds a jalapeno cream sauce to finish the soup off.


Fresh Corn...Yum!

To make this soup you really do need to use fresh corn, the fresher the better.  I got these at the weekly Farmer's Market in Carpinteria, CA.  Hubby usually goes with me to Farmer's Markets even though he hates "grocery" shopping, but he was at work, so I went by myself.  I really wish he was with me this trip, I ended up buying 12 ears of corn and boy were they heavy!

Making Creamed Corn

In Wolf's recipe he grates the corn whole to make the Creamed Corn.  Wow, what a mess doing it his way!  I think when the corn is so fresh the kernels pop and the juices go flying...you should have seen what my apron and counter top looked like doing it his way!  I figured out a way that's a little less messy...more work, but less messy...
  First, I cut the cobs in half, so it's easier to work with.  
  Second, I ran a knife through each individual kernel down the cob, so it wouldn't pop and gush all over.
  Third,  I grated the corn off the cob then ran the backside of the knife down the cob to get every 
     bit of juice possible :o)

I used 4 Ears of Corn for this part.

Fresh Corn off the Cob!

I also used whole kernel corn off the cob for this soup too.  I used another 4 ears for this part.  After cutting the kernels off, I again used the backside of the knife to get all the juices from the cob...

Creamed Corn

It looks so beautiful!!  Am I the only one that thinks this way...lol  It amazes me how much liquid goodness you get out of "just" corn!  I bet this would be delicious with just a little bit of butter and seasoning then I would eat it with rice ;o)

Corn Cob & Chicken Stock

I made chicken stock first.  I cooked the chicken bones for about 1 hour then added the corn cobs, celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf garlic etc. and cooked for another 45 mins. The cobs add another extra layer of corny flavor to the soup.  I learned this from my brother-in-law years ago...the one that actually used to be a cook at Wolfgang Puck's Spago.  Hmm, wonder why Wolf doesn't use the cobs to make the stock...

Sauteed Corn w/Cream & Hatch Chiles

I sauteed the whole kernel corn in bacon fat with salt & pepper then added my Hatch Chile mixture I've had from the past and then added only about 1/4 cup of heavy cream.

Post about Hatch Chile mixture...

Sauteed Onion, Red Onion, Celery, Garlic in Bacon Grease...

I first fried up the bacon then saved the grease to saute the veggies...  I didn't add bell peppers, I thought it would be too overpowering.

Sauteed Veggies, Corn & Bacon

Corn Masa Roux

I made a roux for the base of the soup to thicken it.  I used Corn Masa Flour & bacon fat to add another layer of corn & bacon flavor.

Adding Veggies & Stock...

After the roux was made I added the celery mixture then slowly incorporated the chicken/corn stock until the consistency I liked was reached then added everything else...whole corn mixture, creamed corn, bacon, a little milk and seasonings.

Garnished w/Corn, Roasted Jalapeno, Jalapeno Crema & Mex Seasonings :o)

For the Crema I whipped some Heavy Cream with the stick blender to a soft consistency then added sauteed jalapeno/garlic, sour cream, lemon juice, S&P.  The Mexican Seasoning is a Chile/Lime Mixture.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our New Orleans Trip Review, July 2011...Part 3

This is Part 3 of 4 of my series of reviews on our trip to New Orleans and the south.

Following is link to Part 1 & 2 of my Trip Review...
Part 4

Ham Hock


Cochon is rated as one of the best restaurants in New Orleans and I  have heard so many rave reviews about it, so was very excited to finally try it because I love pork!  Ughhh, I was so disappointed!  Sometimes when you have too high of expectations it just doesn't pan out.

The Ham Hock was just too salty and just not that exciting.  I know pork is supposed to be salty, but still...

**Sorry about low quality of photos, restaurant was really dark and I used my point & shoot Leica w/out flash, therefore most of my photos were blurry and didn't even make the cut.**

Soft Shell Crab

I really love Soft Shell Crab, but this one was just not that appealing to me.  The main problem was that the breading was too thick.

Cochon w/turnips, cabbage & cracklins

This was also very salty.  I always want to love cracklins and these looked like they would be light and crunchy, but they were just hard & chewy :o(

Abita Root Beer Sorbet & Cochon Cookie

This was the favorite part of the meal.  Abita beer is a local beer brewed near New Orleans.  This sorbet was made with Abita Root Beer!  Loved it...especially the piggy cookie :o)

Commander's Palace


Commander's Palace is another quintessential New Orleans restaurant.  They don't have the best food, but I love the atmosphere.  We went to brunch on Saturday and were seated in the Patio Room.  It's a cute little room that is in a separate building from the main building and has a view of the outside patio/garden.  To get to it we walked through the kitchen and saw Chef McPhail & co-owner Ti Adelaide Martin having a powwow!

Me & My Handsome Hubby :o)

Another thing I like about Commander's is that they also have a dress code...no shorts, jackets optional...

Cheapest Martini I've Ever Had...

For lunch they have a "special" 25 cent martini...  You can either get gin, vodka or a mixed one w/Blue Caracao.  Of course I got the straight gin ;o)  We'd been having so many cocktails the night before, so I didn't finish it...I just wanted to order a 25 cent martini...lol

Most Expensive Martini I've Ever Had...

One of our favorite bars is the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.  We can't afford to stay in the hotel, but at least we can go to the bar :o)  I think the bartenders were a little disappointed that we ordered a plain martini instead of one of their fancy concoctions.  Cost...$40 per cocktail!!  They do garnish the ladies' ones with beautiful orchids or roses :o)

Garlic Bread...

Love the garlic bread at Commanders...it oozes with butter! I just love the bread in NOLA, they came up with a special way of making it because of the humidity, so it can't be duplicated elsewhere.


Like so many dishes in NOLA, this gumbo was on the salty side.  Luckily I had a pot of hot water for my tea, so I added it to thin it down.  Maybe bad manners, but oh well...

Creole Gazapacho

Hubby's soup was delicious!  It was refreshing with a little bit of a kick!

Cochon de Lait w/Grilled Corn

My dish...again, salty.  I always wondered why they called it "Pig of Milk", it has nothing to do with milk.  They traditionally made it with suckling pig that still drank milk.  I did like the corn ;o)

Grilled Sheep's Head Fish w/Crab Boil Veggies

Mrs. Pregger's dish.  She said this was really good, I only tried the Crab Boil Veggies which I really liked and would love to duplicate it.  They basically boil the veggies in the stock from a Crab Boil.  It was really spicy, crunchy & delicious!

Seafood Cakes

D's dish.  I didn't get a chance to try it, but he ate it all up ;o)

Bread Pudding Souffle

Their famous Bread Pudding.  I liked it better this time, I think I had too high expectations the first time I had it.  It's like a bread pudding with meringue on top and then it's served with a whiskey sauce...yum!

Angelo Brocato's

One of my favorite desserts is Spumoni Ice Cream.  I actually looked up on the internet where they had the best in the country and I came up with Angelo Brocato's about a year ago.  They will Fedex it to you, but the minimum order is 24 pieces.  I was very tempted to order it, but I'm glad I didn't because this is another dish that I had high expectations and was disappointed :o(

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor...

Love the old fashioned feel to the place!


There are really only a few desserts that I like and I don't like things too sweet.  This spumoni was too sweet for me, but so pretty!  Everybody else liked their gelato though...

Krystal Burgers...


LOL....I had to have a Krystal Burger! It was in the French Quarter, so walking distance from our hotel. We don't have Krystal or White Castle near us.  The first time I had heard of White Castle was when I was in Jr High and saw them eating it in the movie "Saturday Night Fever". I was so intrigued by the mini, square burgers that they were wolfing down like dogs...do you remember that scene? I was finally able to try it for the first time a few years ago in St. Louis. The first time I tried it I thought it wasn't that bad..pretty good for what it was...second time I tried it I thought it was a little disgusting;o)

Cheese Krystal

We actually went twice to Krystal within an hour!  The first time I was so excited to try it, so I forgot to take pictures and I thought it was pretty good.  I made everybody go back a second time, so I could take photos...it wasn't as good the second time around...lol  This was also right before going to our dinner for the night!