This fast and easy recipe from Rocco’s gives gourmet flavor in thirty minutes.

4 – 5 oz. chicken cutlets. Choose thin pieces.
Flour for dredging.
2 eggs, beaten well.
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature.
1/2 cup lemon juice.
2 oz. capers, rough chopped.
1/2 cup diced red onion.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 1/2 stick butter in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, dredge chicken in flour and then coat with the eggs. Add the chicken to the pan and saute slowly until light golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the pan and season with salt and pepper. While the chicken is cooking, bring the lemon juice to a boil in another large saute pan. Whisk in the remaining butter and allow to reduce slightly. Add the capers to the pan and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce liberally over the chicken and sprinkle with the red onion. Serves 4.

Serve with rice or pasta and a salad of greens seasoned with diced red onion and slivered almonds.

From the Fortune Cookie

February 28, 2007

Mud thrown is ground lost – from a sign along the highway.

Spring is on the way – it’s time to grow!

From the Fortune Cookie…

February 13, 2007

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. The ones we love will be showered with cards, chocolates, roses BUT don’t forget the most important gift of all – the HUG that says “I love you, always, unconditionally, with joy!”

In case you missed this in our October e-letter – this is a great recipe for your New Year’s Eve buffet. (Adapted from a classic 1980s Bon Appetit recipe.)

¾ pound Italian sweet sausages (Southwestern substitution: Chorizo sausage)
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium carrot diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper or Cannon’s Just Plain Green Chile
¼ cup Cannon’s Red Hots (optional)

2 cups seasoned bread stuffing mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
(Southwestern substitution: cilantro)
½ cup beef broth
¼ cup Madeira
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 2-pound flank steak, butterflied and lightly scored on each side
Barbecue sauce (We use Kraft Hickory-smoked, the old standby)
½ cup water

Break sausage into small pieces and sauté in large skilled over medium heat about 8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to medium bowl. Add onion, carrot and garlic to drippings in pan and sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in apple and green pepper (if using green pepper) and sauté until slightly softened about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add sausage, green chile (if substituting for green pepper) and Red Hots.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add stuffing mix, egg, parsley, broth and Madeira to sausage mixture and blend thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread mixture on meat, leaving ½ inch border on all sides. Loosely roll steak lengthwise and secure at intervals with string or skewers. Place in roasting pan, seam side down and bake 45 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce and bake 15 to 30 minutes more, or until meat is tender. Remove to serving platter and keep warm.

Degrease roasting pan and place on range over medium heat. Add water and 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce and cook for a few minutes, scrapping pan to blend in any brown bits. Strain. Slice steak thinly, arrange on plate and pour sauce over.

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Christmas Cookie Recipes

December 7, 2006

It’s that time again – and to get in the mood, I’m baking. Here’s a favorite:

Old Fashioned Pepparkakor
(Thanks to Elaine Withee)

Sift together:
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon cardamom (optional)

½ cup butter. Add gradually to
3/4 cup sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

1 unbeaten egg
¾ cup dark molasses
2 teaspoons orange zest (grated orange rind). Beat well.

Stir in:
The dry ingredients, gradually, mixing until well blended. Cover or wrap in waxed paper and chill overnight (or at least two hours). Dough may be used in small amounts. Dough will keep for one week in refrigerator.

Roll out on well-floured board to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes. Place on greased baking sheet. If desired, place a blanched almond half in the center of each cookie. Cookies may also be decorated with colored sugar or frosted with confectioner’s sugar frosting.

Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes 3 to 6 dozen,, depending on size.

A Fall Day at the Lake

September 25, 2006

Wild Rice Harvest

Here I go again, raving about our vacation in Minnesota BUT…

While we were there, we met Alan and Kay Zika, who in the fall produce one of our favorite things – Wild Rice. The Zikas and their family hand parch the wild rice in small lots, over open fires, so you get that nice smoky flavor when you cook it. The Zikas hand parched 10,000 lbs. of green rice this fall. They then hull the rice, using machinery that Alan built especially for the task. The hulled rice is then bagged in 1 lb. packages and sold to hungry customers.

Wild rice is actually not rice at all but a annual water-grass seed that produces a nutritious grain. For more on the history of this wondrous grain, go here.

Now, for the part we all really like: cooking and eating. Here is one of our favorite recipes, taken from the link above (and they have more than one recipe, too, as well as cooking instructions for stove top, microwave and oven).

Wild Rice Stuffing
1 cup raw wild rice
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sage
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup minced onion
4 oz. can mushrooms (or chopped fresh mushrooms)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Cook rice in boiling broth. Saute celery, onions and mushrooms in butter for 2-3 minutes. Combine all incgredients. Makes about 6 cups or enough to stuff a 10 lb. turkey. Also great with any wild game OR roasted chicken or pork.

After you try Minnesota wild rice, I can guarantee that rice will never be the same for you again.

Til next time…Diane

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Yummmm! Hot Chocolate!

September 21, 2006

Hot ChocolateI ran across this recipe in Lynn Nusom’s column down Las Cruces way. Perfect for these crisp Fall evenings! Put some pine on the fire, gather the dogs around, and to heck with the calories. (Of course, keeping our dog babies, Jazz and Coffee, out of our cups is always a challenge.)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Shots with Spicy Foam

2 cans (12 ounce) evaporated milk, divided
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate morsels
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, divided (optional)

Pour 1/2 cup evaporated milk into medium mixer bowl; place beaters in mixture. Freeze about 30 minutes or until ice crystals form around the bowl.

Heat remaining milk, water, morsels, 1 teas. vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 pinch cayenne pepper in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Do NOT boil. Set aside.

Remove chilled evaporated milk from freezer. Beat on high speed 1 minute or until very frothy. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of cayenne (careful with that pepper ah-choo!)

Continue beating 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture forms soft peaks.

Pour hot chocolate into eight 4 oz demitasse cups (or two really big mugs!) and immediately dollop with foam topping.

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Apple pieFor those of you who don’t subscribe to our monthly e-letter, here’s a recipe from our July issue for Green Chile Apple Pie.

Prepare your favorite recipe of pastry dough, enough for 2 crusts or Mrs. Smith’s makes a decent frozen option, if you’re short on time.

2/3 cup Cannon’s Plain Green Chile, drained
6 to 8 medium size Granny Smith apples, peeled and quartered, cored and cut in ½” thick slices
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
Toss apples with sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and chiles. Set aside. Heat oven to 425ºF.

Roll out ½ pastry dough and gently fit into pie plate; trim edges, leaving a 1” overhang. Spoon filling into lined plate. Dot with butter. Roll out remaining dough. Moisten edges of bottom crust with water. Place together to seal; flute or crimp edge. Brush top crust with a mixture of egg and water.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. (If crust browns too much near end of baking time, cover loosely with foil. )

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New Mexico flooding Here in New Mexico we’re in year six of a terrible drought – or were up until about a month ago. Yes, we needed rain but not all at once!

Hatch roadsignThe good news is that the Hatch chile festival is still on! But, we’re still waiting to see what effect the flooding will have on chile prices. (This sign is probably underwater even yet.) And, just when we were having a bumper crop. Seems like it’s always something, doesn’t it?

All that said, I love to listen to the rain as I stand in the cozy kitchen preparing dinner. Simple minds, simple pleasures, I suppose.

Related post: Chile, Chile, Everywhere!

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Green TomatoesIt’s that time of year – the vines are overflowing and life is good! Did you know you can also fry ripe tomatoes (as long as they’re not super-ripe)? Just slice ’em a bit thicker.

Here’s the “go-to” recipe. If you don’t feel like doing all this, simply dip the tomatoes in flour and give them a very quick fry (and be gentle with the flipper!) They’ll be right tasty.

2 medium green tomatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
Hot pepper sauce (optional)

Top each tomato slice with a generous spoonful of our Green Chile Piccalilli and dive in. Or, sprinkle with a little hot pepper sauce. Other toppings that work include goat cheese and aioli mayo. Yum!

Related Post: Heaven is Homegrown

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