Hatch Chile Salsa Verde

For the past two years now, I’ve seen recipes using green hatch chiles, particularly Shawnda’s blog.  I so badly wanted to try them, but could never find them in stores.  See, hatch chiles only grow in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico.  I guess it took a few seasons for hatch chiles to spread through the south, because just last week I found them at the local Fresh Market!  I immediately bought a bunch to experiment with in recipes.

Hatch chiles are higher on the heat index than jalapeños, so I roasted them to tone down the heat.  Since we’ve been grilling so much, it was easy to throw them over the coals, along with the tomatillos.  They roasted perfectly!  The salsa tastes great on chips.  We also like it as a sauce for grilled salmon and chicken.  Additionally, I sometimes throw a bit on my morning egg sandwich to increase my vegetable intake (however incrementally.)

original recipe

Hatch Chile Salsa Verde

Hatch Chile Salsa Verde

If you want a salsa with heat, keep in some of the seeds from the chiles. The more seeds, the more heat.

Ingredients

2 hatch chiles
5 tomatillos, with husks
1 small garlic clove, minced
3-4 sprigs cilantro, large stem parts removed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place chiles and tomatillos on a baking sheet. Roast under a broiler, turning frequently, until the chiles are blistered on all sides and the tomatillo husks are blackened. Alternately, you could roast them on the grill as well.
  2. Place chiles in a zipper-lock plastic bag and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove chiles from bag, and peel skin off. Open up chiles and remove seeds and ribs. Peel husks off of tomatillos.
  3. Place chiles, tomatillos, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor. Add sugar, salt, and black pepper. Pulse to blend. Adjust seasoning to taste.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/09/hatch-chile-salsa-verde/

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Food trends can be fickle things.  When I first encountered the recipe for this chocolate zucchini bread, low fat food was all the rage, despite the amount of extra sugar fat substitutes added.  This recipe called for a fruit based fat substitute, going so far as to recommend a particular brand.  I don’t think you can even find something like that on the shelves anymore.  Also, to make the servings smaller, the recipe was originally divided into two bread pans, which made for a very flat loaf of bread.

I never did like using applesauce in place of oil in baked goods.  The substitution changed the texture, making bread denser but also more spongy.  I decided to put the fat back into the recipe, along with adding more chocolate.  Because all the batter goes into one loaf pan, it takes a while to bake.  My husband and I discovered that the bread tasted even better after a few days, getting even more moist and flavorful.

adapted from Eating Well, January/February 1999

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

2 c all purpose flour
¼ c unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 ¾ c sugar
1 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 c grated zucchini (1 large-ish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat an 8x4” bread pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a different bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla together. Slowly add in the melted chocolate, whisking as you pour. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into the bread pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, about 55-60 minutes. Cool the bread on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert pan to release the bread and cool completely.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/08/chocolate-zucchini-bread/

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Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

We’ve had a major breakthrough in the house!  I have now gotten my son to eat….hamburgers!  Cue the trumpets.  I’ve been working for several months to broaden his food horizons.  Seems like he’s finally starting to grow out of that picky toddler phase.  Lately, he’s eaten mostly the same food we have for dinner – or some variation of it that doesn’t require me to cook a separate meal.  What a relief!  He doesn’t quite love burgers; more like he tolerates them.  For him it’s just the burger and the bun – no ketchup, mustard, or cheese. And he’s such a carbaholic that I still catch him trying to eat the bread out from around the meat.

It’s too bad that Tyler won’t eat other toppings along with a burger, because everything on this one makes for a tasty mouthful.  The meat is seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and sesame, and topped with grilled spam, pineapple, and red onions.  All that is drizzled with a creamy hoisin.  So, while I wolfed down this towering sandwich, my son sat next to me eating…just the turkey burger.

original recipe

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

Ingredients

Burgers
1 ¼ lbs. ground turkey
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs sesame oil
1” chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
2 green onions, light green and half the dark green, finely chopped
Black pepper
Sandwich
Half a cored pineapple, cut into thick rings
1 can Spam, cut into ¼” slices
Few slices of red onion
Four hamburger buns
Lettuce
Sauce
3 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 Tbs mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Combine ground turkey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger, and green onion in a bowl. Divide dough into four equal patties, making them wider than the hamburger bun and pressing the center a little thinner than the edges. Season the top of the patties with black pepper.
  2. Heat a grill to high. Cook burgers, pineapple, Spam, and red onion slices on the grill, flipping once. The burgers will take 4-5 minutes per side; the other items will take between 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. To assemble the burgers, slice the hamburger buns in half. Layer with lettuce, burger, 2 slices of spam, a pineapple ring, and a few onion rings.
  4. For the sauce, whisk the hoisin and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Drizzle sauce over the burger and top with remaining half of the bun.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/08/hawaiian-turkey-burgers/

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Crab And Corn Wontons

Happy August!  Posting on the run today.  We are currently on vacation at the beach with all my husband’s family. He’s the youngest of five kids, so we took over not one, but two beach houses!

 

I love the crispness of wontons, but am not a huge fan of some of the fillings that I’ve had at restaurants.  I wanted a wonton that had a light, summery filling.  So I used many of the same ingredients that go into crab cakes, and created these tasty nuggets.  Personally, I love wontons fried, but they also taste great baked, if you want a healthier version.

original recipe

Crab And Corn Wontons

Yield: 30 wontons

Crab And Corn Wontons

Ingredients

Filling
8 oz. crabmeat
⅓ c cooked corn kernels (about 1 ear if using fresh corn)
2 Tbs mayonnaise
½ Tbs dijon mustard
2 Tbs green onion, light and dark green parts finely chopped
½ Tbs chopped cilantro
2 Tbs lemon juice
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
Assembly
30 small wonton wrappers
Oil for Frying

Instructions

  1. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Make an assembling station by laying out the filling mixture, a small bowl of water, the wonton wrappers, a baking sheet, and a damp towel. Keep wonton wrappers covered with the damp towel.
  3. Place about 1 ½ tsp of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Wet the edges of the wonton wrapper with the water from the bowl. Crimp the edges closed and press to seal. Place completed wonton on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
  4. Pour oil into a pot to create a 1-inch depth. Heat oil to 350°F. Fry wontons, five at a time, until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Remove wontons with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat until all wontons are fried.

Notes

to bake: preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Space wontons on a baking sheet so they don't touch. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes.

http://kokocooks.com/2014/08/crab-and-corn-wontons/

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Beer Steamed Mussels

My husband recently scrolled through my Instagram feed, just because.  He commented, “You post a lot of pictures of mussels.”  Really?!  Personally, I think I post way more pictures of cupcakes, macarons, and donuts – you know, three of the main food groups.  But I can’t deny that mussles are one of my favorite foods.  And they’re so visually stunning; I can’t help posting a picture whenever I eat them.

I always associate mussels with Belgium.  They are one of the national foods of the country, along with waffles (waffels), chocolate, and beer.  So, it made sense to me to cook them in a good Belgian brew.  The onion, bacon, and tarragon all complement the beer, and of course you need some crusty bread to sop up all the lovely juices.

original recipe

Beer Steamed Mussels

Serving Size: 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main dish

Beer Steamed Mussels

Ingredients

2 slices bacon
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
¾ c beer
2 lbs mussels, cleaned and debearded
Chopped tarragon
Serve with
Baguette

Instructions

  1. Brown the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, cut chop it into small pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, add the sliced onion to the pot. Cook until onions have begun to caramelize, stirring every few minutes. Add beer and bring to a boil. Carefully add the mussels. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let steam until mussels have opened, about 10 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
  3. Sprinkle bacon bits and chopped tarragon over the mussels before serving.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/beer-steamed-mussels/

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Grilled Peach And Brie Sandwich

Last summer, I made a decision to improve my grilling skills.  I dodged the daily downpours and grilled something nearly every day.  The discovery of the summer was that celery tasted great when grilled.  This summer, I dusted off the grill, got back into it.  Peaches and pineapple are my foods of choice this summer.

This sandwich name may be a bit misleading.  It’s not a grilled cheese sandwich with peaches and brie.  Rather, it is a sandwich of grilled peaches and combined with brie.  I suppose you could heat the sandwich up after assembling it.  The brie would get all gooey and melty, which sounds delicious as well!

original recipe

Grilled Peach And Brie Sandwich

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Grilled Peach And Brie Sandwich

Ingredients

1 peach, pitted and sliced into eighths
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices bread
Lettuce leaves
3 oz. brie, thinly sliced
Chopped, fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill. Toss peach slices and olive oil in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
  2. Place peach slices on grill and cook until the surface of the peaches begins to caramelize, about 4 minutes per side. Toast bread on the grill, if desired.
  3. Assemble sandwiches: layer lettuce, brie, and peaches on two pieces of bread. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Top with remaining slices of bread.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/grilled-peach-and-brie-sandwich/

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Toasted Marshmallow Shake

The first time I had a toasted marshmallow shake was when I was six months pregnant.  Joey and I were visiting my sister in Washington, D.C. and had been trudging all around the mall looking at landmarks.  We hiked over the hill and found Good Stuff Eatery, where we chowed down on burgers, fries, and shakes.  Oh the shakes.  After walking around in ninety degree weather, that marshmallowy shake was heaven.

There are several things to love about this shake.  First, it’s super easy to make.  Three ingredients.  Boom.  Next, you get to toast lots of marshmallows.  The more toasted they get, the better.   Then, the shake gets interspersed with teeny bits of squishy marshmallow, which are easily sucked up through the straw.  And lastly, you can make s’mores with all the leftover marshmallows.

If you’re in the mood for more shakes, check out my other two recipes:

Pistachio Cookies and Cream Shake

Nutella Shake

Still in the mood for more?  Below are a list of other contributors to #MilkshakeWeek.  Special thanks to Julie and Lindsey for organizing this week, and for putting together an awesome giveaway!

original recipe

Toasted Marshmallow Shake

Yield: 1

Toasted Marshmallow Shake

Ingredients

½ c milk
3-4 scoops vanilla ice cream (depending on how thick you like your shake)
12 marshmallows, well toasted

Instructions

  1. Combine milk, ice cream, and 10 of the marshmallows in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Top with remaining marshmallows.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/toasted-marshmallow-shake/

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Pistachio Cookies and Cream Milkshake

It’s #MilkshakeWeek on the internet!  So declared Lindsey and Julie.  What better way to cool off this summer than with a frozen, portable drink?  As with any event, there is a fun giveaway.  Need a new blender to make more frozen treats?  Well, click here or here see how you can win a brand new blender and a set of vintage milk bottles (perfect for toting around more shakes!)

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I missed Monday’s round up, but got my act together in time for today’s list.  I love  blending stuff into my frozen concoctions.  Just take a look at some of the ice cream flavors I’ve made.  I couldn’t make just a pistachio shake.  No, I had to mix other stuff into it – in this case, some Oreo cookies.  It looks like a typical mint chocolate chip shake, but has that wonderful nutty pistachio flavor.

Check out the other recipes that have posted today in honor of Milkshake Week! Looks like my blender is going to get a lot of use.

original recipe

Pistachio Cookies and Cream Milkshake

Yield: 2

Pistachio Cookies and Cream Milkshake

note: color of the milkshake will vary depending on the brand of ice cream you use.

Ingredients

¾ c milk
2 Tbs pistachio pudding mix
8 scoops pistachio ice cream
4 chocolate cookies (like Oreos)
Whipped cream
Chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. Blend milk and pudding mix in a blender until well combined. Add in the ice cream and three of the chocolate cookies, breaking them up before throwing them in. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour into two tall glasses. Top with whipped cream and pistachios. Crumble the remaining cookie and sprinkle on top.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/pistachio-cookies-and-cream-shake/

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Weeknight Red Beans And Rice

A few months ago, my husband Joey had to get surgery.  Major surgery.  The night before Easter he was doubled over with cramps, so he went in to the emergency room.  The scar tissue from an earlier surgery had caused a section of his small intestine to constrict to a 1 mm diameter, food to block up behind it. So, few inches of intestine had to get removed.  The operation was on Tuesday, and thankfully he was home by Saturday.  This year continued our streak of very unlucky Easter holidays. Oh, and this also happened during one of my busiest weeks ever.  Yay, me!

Joey’s recovery was steady but slow.  He wasn’t able to play trombone for a good two weeks, and it was another month of very incremental work before he could play at his normal strength.  His abdomen muscles are still repairing.  But now he can eat without chewing everything a hundred times each, and without having to poke the side of his torso to push the food through his intestines, and without getting a blockage every eight months or so.

Diet-wise, high fiber foods are helping him get back on track, which is why he loves this red bean and rice recipe.  He requests it at least once a week.  It’s become our Sunday lunch staple.  You can prep the ingredients as you cook, and the meal takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, and it tastes like it’s been simmering all day.

original recipe

Weeknight Red Beans And Rice

Yield: 4

Weeknight Red Beans And Rice

Ingredients

14 oz andouille or smoked sausage
1 large white onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz. cans small red beans
3 dried bay leaves
½ tsp dried thyme
3 c cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Slice andouille into ¼” inch thick rounds (if using smoked sausage, cut lengthwise and then slice.) Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and brown on both sides. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. Add onion, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sausage back to the pot along with the beans, bay leaves, thyme, and ¼ c water. Bring to a light boil, stirring the bottom of the pot to lift off all the browned bits. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes. Serve over rice.
http://kokocooks.com/2014/07/weeknight-red-beans-and-rice/

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Happy Fourth of July!

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