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Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> recipe

From The Southwest Table 1

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: recipe , history , grilling , fiery foods

Cover of The Southwest TableEveryone is invited to our Cinco de Mayo Book Launch Demo and Signing.  I'll be cooking some spicy dishes on a Disc-It for sampling, and the restaurant will provide snacks, or you can order drinks and lunch.  Bookworks will be selling the books, and I'll personally dedicate them for you.  Assisting me will be my niece and food editor, Emily DeWitt-Cisneros. 5/5, 12 noon on the main patio at El Pinto Restaurant, 10500 4th Street, Albuquerque, NM 87114.  But if you can't make it, you can always buy the book here.

New Mexico's First Livestock


Cooking "Stone Soup"

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: tasty travel , recipe , fiery foods

Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Gourds Being Fashioned Into GuajesDown here at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, I have stumbled across an pre-Hispanic chile pepper soup that uses river stones as the heat for cooking.  The Chinoteco tribe of Pueblo San Felipe Usila was a fishing based culture, and their fishermen used pear-shaped guajes, or gourd pots, told hold their fresh water while ocean fishing.  But after the catch, they used guajes cut in half to make bowls for cooking their fish chowder because the gourds of course, could not be placed over an open flame. They heated up smooth stones in a fire to accomplish this according to the recipe below. Totally ingenious, and you can replicate it today!

Stone Soup, Chinoteco-Style

The "river stones" used to cook the soup are smooth stones, usually polished over centuries by moving water, that are about four inches wide and two inches thick.  Similar stones are sold by nurseries as garden decorations. Use your barbecue grill to heat the stones as hot as you can get them and use long tongs with wooden handles to transfer them to the cooking bowl.

6 river stones, heated as hot as you can get them on the grill

6 large dried gourds cut like bowls or other large bowls

2 pounds snapper or other white fish, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 sprigs cilantro

2 springs epazote

2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 serrano chiles, finely chopped

Water or fish or clam broth as needed

Mix all of the soup ingredients except the water or broth in a large bowl, and then divide it evenly among the 6 bowls. Add the water or broth until each bowl is 3/4 full. Add a stone to each bowl and let the soup boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the stones and serve the soup carefully.

Yield: 6 servings

Heat Scale: Medium


From the Burn! Magazine Blog...

Andalusian Paella

March 27th is national Paella day, and if you’ve never had a chance to try this famous Spanish dish, it’s the perfect time. Paella is perhaps one of Spain’s best-known dishes, originating in the Valencia region, and is one of the national dishes of Spain.

In its most traditional form—called paella Valenciana, it is made up of rice, green vegetables, some kind of meat, snails, beans, and spices—including saffron and garlic. Other varieties include seafood paella, in which seafood is substituted for the meat and snails of the Valencia recipe, or mixed paella, which contains both meat and seafood.

True paella Valenciana is a treat for any fan of Spain’s gamey, earthy dishes, but if the thought of snails in your paella sounds a little too traditional, we suggest this mixed paella recipe from One Tribe Gourmet.com.

Andalusian Mixed Paella

1 ripe tomato
1/2 cup white wine
1 red onion, chopped
12 black mussels, beards removed & scrubbed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, extra, finely chopped
2 pieces Italian sausage, cook ahead & sliced
2 wood roasted paquillo peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sivaris bomba paella rice
1/2 teaspoon Spansih saffron threads
2 cups organic chicken stock, heated
1/2 cup frozen peas
12 extra large shrimp, unpeeled
12 little neck clams
1 handful parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon Spanish pimenton smoked paprika

Heat the wine and onions in a saucepan over high heat. Add the mussels, cover for five minutes. Remove from the heat, discard any unopened mussels, and drain, reserving the liquid to use later in the recipe. Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed paella pan, add the extra onion, Italian sausage (sliced) cook for five minutes, or until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes, paquillo peppers, pimenton smoky paprika, & cayenne pepper. Season with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the reserved (wine/mussels) liquid, then add the rice and stir again. Blend the saffron with the stock and stir into the rice mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes without stirring. Put the peas, shrimp, clams on top of the rice. Push them into the rice, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, turning over halfway through, until the rice is cooked. Add the mussels & lemon juice for the last 5 minutes to heat through. If the rice is not cooked, add extra stock and cook for a few more minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then add the parsley.

Serves 4
Heat level: Medium

Find more great recipes and articles on the Burn! Magazine blog at www.burn-magazine.com!


Xinjiang Lamb and Chile Barbecue

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Xinjiang Lamb KebabsIn 1987, Robert Spiegel, Nancy Gerlach and I launched Chile Pepper magazine and began my lengthy quest to assemble the world's hot and spicy recipes.  In our third issue, we published an article that Nancy and I wrote, "Asia Heats Up."  The recipe is from Xinjiang Uygur Automomous Region, which is, after Sichuan and Hunan, the spiciest region in China. There, the ubiquitous kebabs are called 烤肉 (kăo ròu).


Lamb is rarely eaten in other parts of China, and in fact, the Mongolian tribes were the ones who introduced lamb to the rest of China. This simple barbecue goes well with a flat bread or sesame seed biscuits and a tossed salad. This recipe is adapted from one by Lynn Joiner, a PBS journalist who published it in Wok Talk, a newsletter for Asian food enthusiasts that was published in the 1980s. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

1/4 cup hot chile oil
10 cherry tomatoes
1 small onion, cut in half and sectioned
6 large jalapeño chiles, seeds and stems removed, cut into large chunks
2 pounds lamb, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch sugar

 Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and marinate the lamb overnight in the refrigerator or for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature.

Thread the lamb on skewers, alternating with the jalapenos, tomatoes, and onions and grill them over gas or charcoall, basting frequently with the reserved marinade until done.

Serve the lamb and chiles over rice, garnished with carved chile pepper flowers

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Hot, if you eat all the jalapeños


Greek Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: recipe , chile peppers

Greek Peppers Stuffed with Feta

Piperies Gemistes me Feta may be Greek to you and me, but to a Greek, it means “Greek Peppers Stuffed with Feta.” A photo of these peppers was part of the Burn! digital monthly magazine display at last weekend’s Fiery Foods Show, and several people said they wanted to learn how to make that dish. So here’s the recipe…you can find this and many other recipes for stuffed peppers from around the world in the April issue of Burn!

Because they’re broiled, not battered and fried, these stuffed peppers are somewhat healthier than traditional chiles rellenos.

6 fresh New Mexican red chiles, unpeeled, cut open along one side to remove the seeds
9 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 egg yolks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Arrange a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and set your oven to broil. Put the peppers on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, until just soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer peppers to a rack and let cool.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the feta, oil, yogurt, parsley, zest, oregano, and egg yolks; season with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise cut from the stem to the tip of each pepper and stuff each pepper with some of the feta filling; transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Sprinkle the peppers with grated Parmesan cheese and broil them until cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 6 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a platter and serve hot.

Yield:  6 servings
Heat Scale: Medium


Ceviche from the Hotel California

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Las Aguilas

Las Aguilas, or the Mexican Eagles, on the roof of the Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, proving once again that Mexicans have a great sense of humor.  The rumor that Don Henley stayed at the hotel and wrote his famous song there is just not true.  "I can tell you unequivocally that neither myself nor any of the other band members have had any sort of association--business or pleasure--with that establishment," Henley wrote to travel writer Joe Cummings.  No matter, the restaurant there is excellent and Chef Dany Lamote shared his recipe for ceviche with me.

Classic Ceviche

Classic Ceviche

 This is a classic dish all over Mexico. The fish of choice on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula is the sierra, or Spanish mackerel, but you can substitute snapper or grouper. For a smoother-tasting ceviche, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil just before serving. I often serve this as an appetizer in a martini glass.

 

1 pound Spanish mackerel, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 serrano chiles, minced
6 Mexican limes, juiced, seeds removed, or more to taste
1 ounce Hotel California Tequila
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients is a bowl and marinate at room temperatures for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. Serve with unsalted corn tortillas.

Yield: 4 servings as an appetizer
Heat Scale: Medium


Be the Perfect Jerk

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

North Coast Jerk PorkTrying to recreate favorite dishes from distant lands can be daunting, but I discovered this past weekend that there is one word to keep in mind while trying it: scratch.  That's right, forget about prepared (commercial) spice mixes, marinades, and sauces, and make the seasonings from scratch.  Take jerk pork, for example.  I totally fell in love with jerk pork as the Jamaicans make it, highly spiced and smoke-grilled.  But I have been unable to re-create it with prepared jerk seasonings.  So I went back to my recipe files and found a recipe that I collected in Ocho Rios, and gave it a try.  At first, while marinating, the mixture looked way too herbal and green to do the job, but once the pork started browning on the grill, it looked right. Damn near perfect, and I'm breaking my own arm patting myself on the back.  Take a look at the shot above, right off the grill.  Not exactly a perfectly-styled photo shoot, but hey, it's a snapshot straight from the grill.  And amazingly delicious.  Here is the recipe I used, and I marinated "country-style" pork ribs in it for six hours, and then slowly smoke-grilled them over low heat.  See you in Jamaica, mon!

North Coast Jerk Marinade

Variations on Jamaican jerk sauces and marinades range from the early, simple pastes of three or four ingredients to the more modern and rather complicated concotions with as many twenty-one spices, herbs, and vegetables. By varying the amount of vegetable oil and lime juice added, the cook can change the consistency from a paste to a sauce. Traditionally, it is used with pork, chicken, or fish.

1/4 cup whole Jamaican pimento berries (or 1/8 cup ground allspice)
3 Scotch bonnet chiles (or habaneros), seeds and stems removed, chopped
10 scallions (green onions), chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bay leaves, crushed
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup fresh thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lime juice
Water

Roast the pimento berries in a dry skillet until they are aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove and crush them to a powder in a mortar or spice mill.

Add the pimento powder and the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend with enough water to make a paste or sauce. Remove and store in a jar in the refrigerator; it will keep for a month or more.

Yield: 2 to 3 cups
Heat Scale: Hot


A Mayan "Christmas Feast": Peccary Tamales

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: recipe , holidays , history

 

Peccary Tamale BowlThree hundred and fifty years after the birth of Jesus Christ, the Mayas in Mexico and Guatemala had never heard of this revered person, but they still celebrated their holidays with tamales—lots of them. Recent discoveries in 2010 at the medium-sized Mayan city of El Zotz in Guatemala included a tamale bowl with the representation of the head of a peccary, also called a javelina. This is pretty clear evidence that the pig-like peccary's meat was probably contained within the maize dough of the tamales. According to other archaeological finds, the tamales were served topped with either a squash seed sauce (pipián) or a chile sauce much like we eat today.

Although peccary meat is available in markets all over South America, I could not find a Peccary or Javelinacommercial source for it in the U.S., so you will have to find a hunting guide and shoot one. During slaughtering the first thing to do is remove the musk gland at the end of the backbone or it will taint the meat. My friend Dave Jackson has been peccary hunting in the “bootheel” of southwestern New Mexico and says it's exciting and dangerous because herds of peccaries have attacked and killed humans before.

Tamales Awaiting the Sauce, by Chel BeesonThis recipe would be a close approximation of the Mayan tamales, with pork substituted for the peccary meat. People who have consumed peccary meat (I haven't, yet), say that it has a naturally smoky flavor, and it's been compared to pork, lamb, and veal. So, enjoy a uniquely American Mayan Christmas dinner and remember that early American cuisines like that of the Maya and Aztecs was more sophisticated than that of Europe at the same time.




By Emily DeWitt-Cisneros, SuperSite Food Editor

 

Sarah Gleason 1st/ 2nd grade combination class teacher discussing ingredients with the kids

Who doesn't like salsa? The children at North Valley Academy in Albuquerque sure like making it. Each year in Ms. Gleason's 1st and 2nd grade combination class, the kids make salsa for a Father's Day project. "I decided to start making 'Salsa for Dads' for Father's Day with my students because I wanted to give dads something they would enjoy,” says Sarah Gleason a teacher in her seventh year at North Valley Academy. “It had been kind of hard coming up with an idea for something and then I attended the Fiery Foods Show and saw how many people had come up with their own salsa recipes and thought, Wow, I make pretty good salsa, and why not do it at school with the kids and send it home for Father's Day?"Parent volunteer Sherry  Sanchez helping her daughter Simonita Granko-Sanchez with chopping  onions

Since the class is made up of 6, 7, and 8 year olds, Sarah says, "I wasn't about to let them work with jalapeños and pick their noses or rub their eyes." So she came up with the idea of using an already spicy canned chopped tomatoes, then adding fresh ingredients to the canned tomatoes to make it a chunky pico de gallo-type salsa. "Making salsa for dads goes pretty smoothly as long as I have enough parent help. We use plastic knives and have at least six small cutting boards for six kids to be working at one time. They each cut up their own tomato, onion, and bell pepper and pick apart their own cilantro," says Gleason. Second grader Ian Erwin says smiling, "The only thing wrong is the onion makes me cry". After the salsa is made Sarah spoons it into jars decorated for dads.

I asked 2nd grader Lennon Washburn if her dad liked the salsa she replied, "My dad said it was hot and it was better than some restaurants." This a agreat way to get a class or family involved in cooking. The children in Ms. Gleason's 1st and 2nd grade combination class make this a big event and you can too with your family.

 

 



Ms. Gleason's Spiced Up Father's Day Salsa

5 cans chopped tomatoes with habaneros (we used Rotel Brand)

24 roma tomatoes, diced

5 green bell peppers, diced

3 yellow bell peppers, diced

2 bunches cilantro, chopped

15 green onions, chopped

7 cloves garlic, minced

juice of 5 limes

24 pint size canning jars

 

In a big bowl combine all ingredients. Ladle the salsa into pint size jars. Chill for 2 hours.

Yield: 24 pint size jars

Heat scale: Hot


Audubon's American TurkeyThanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year.  Reasons?  There's no baggage associated with it, like religion, gift-giving, or dressing-up.  And it has all the things I love most about a holiday: family, good friends, food, drink, and football.  So, the feasting team here at the SuperSite is serving up the following Thanksgiving articles with recipes:


A Barbecued Thanksgiving, here.
Spiced-Up Thanksgiving Trimmings, here.
Holiday Sizzling Stuffings and Leftovers, here.
A Chile Lover's Mexican Thanksgiving, here.


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