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Cuisine - Southwestern
The concept of marinating chicken in a spicy fruit juice and then char-broiling originated in Mexico and is becoming quite popular throughout the Southwest. The chicken is served with warm corn tortillas, fresh salsa, and a side of pinto beans. Customers then remove the chicken from the bones, place it in the tortilla, top with salsa, and enjoy. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Here is one of the best methods for processing and preserving large quantities of small chile pods quickly. The way is so basic that it is sometimes overlooked among preservation methods. You should have a powerful blender or food processor for this. To use, defrost the cubes and estimate 2 to 3 pods per cube. Use in recipes calling for minced or chopped small chiles.
Serve these caramelized onions in place of the creamed ones that grace many holiday tables. These too are sweet, but also hot and lower in fat and won’t fill you up! Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

Although many Southwest barbecues and grilled meats utilize mesquite, it is not the only aromatic wood to use--experiment with pecan, apple, peach, and grape clippings. If you use charcoal for the main fire, be sure to soak the wood for an hour in water before grilling. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

Before you go on to another recipe, stop and give this a try! This is not the famed "traveling fruitcake" recipe—the the mythical fruitcake that never spoils and is never eaten! Nope, this is a green chile fruit cake, new and improved, and sassier than ever. Read more great spicy cake recipes by Dave DeWitt here.

Green chile pasta has been popular in the Southwest for many years. It is surprisingly easy to make, and even easier to eat. Just remember that if you are using fresh or canned green chiles, it is necessary to remove all of the liquid, or the excess liquid will interfere with the water measurement.

This recipe is courtesy of Harald Zoschke, who was trying to recreate a version of green chile stew he enjoyed at De La Vega's Pecan Grill Restaurant in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Note that due to the use of smoked pork, this recipe does not require searing the meat first, and it doesn’t use additional salt.

The article containing this recipe appeared on the Burn! Blog here.

Of course we have our own New Mexican version of pesto! It’s a topping for pasta but also can be added to soups, stews, and rice. Although we have specified cilantro in this recipes, you can use the traditional basil or even Italian parsley. Pecans, another New Mexican crop, can be substituted for the piñon nuts.

The first time I bought green garbanzos at the Pro’s Ranch Market in Albuquerque, I looked online for information and found out they’re mixed with chile and lime in Mexico and called guisana. Because chayote and radishes are also commonly mixed with chile and lime I decided to put them all together in a salad and the results were wonderful. You can substitute frozen shelled edamame in this recipe if you can’t find green garbanzo beans.

Albuquerque-area resident and vegetarian cookbook author Nanette Blanchard has self-published a booklet of her favorite southwestern plant-based recipes. Fiesta Vegan: 30 Delicious Recipes from New Mexico contains her take on traditional recipes such as Posole, Calabacitas, Sangria, and Capirotada. Each of the recipes includes a color photo and a nutritional analysis. Fiesta Vegan also offers a list of online sources for specialty ingredients and recommendations for New Mexico stops for food-lovers. The 40 page booklet is available either in print or as a .PDF download. You can also find a Kindle version without photos; information on all the booklet versions is on her web site here. Blanchard also maintains a food blog, Cooking in Color.


Chayote Salad

Flour tortillas make a wonderful platform for a grilled desert in this recipe from Brad Barrett. Two tortillas form a sandwich that can be filled with sliced fruits and cheeses or in this case with a sweet ricotta cheese filling and chocolate morsels. This one hits all the sweet spots for a great grilled dessert, and it’s an easy dessert that can be made several hours ahead. It’s great served with a dollop of ice cream.

 

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