We’ve talked before about how the chile pepper is the official state vegetable of New Mexico. The Aztecs cultivated these peppers centuries ago but Spanish settlers brought the chile pepper to the region from Mexico.
Green chile sauce is usually made with Hatch peppers which are grown in the Hatch Valley. If you can’t find fresh Hatch peppers, don’t fret. We subbed in Anaheim peppers, but poblano or even cubanelle peppers will also work. This sauce tops a savory breakfast skillet that is bursting with flavor. If you are vegan or vegetarian, use soy chorizo and /or leave out the eggs.
Hatch, New Mexico, is the self-proclaimed chile capital of the world and hosts a Chile Festival September 3-4, 2016.
New Mexico Green Chili Breakfast Skillet
For Green Chile Sauce:
- 2-3 green peppers (Hatch preferred, but we used Anaheim)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup water
For Breakfast Skillet:
- 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound baby potatoes, cubed
- 6 ounces chorizo
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 -3 eggs
- 1/2 cup cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
- Half an avocado, diced
- Hot sauce (optional)
To make green chili sauce: Cut peppers in half. Flatten peppers with the heel of your hand. Roast under the broiler on a baking tray lined with foil, about 10 minutes until the skin is blistered brown. Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, place in a paper bag. Fold down the top of the bag and let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag. Remove stems, skin and seeds. Chop the peppers to ¼ inch dice. Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Saute garlic and onion until onion is translucent. Blend in flour. Add water gradually, whisking to break up any clumps. Add peppers. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Set aside (Can be made a day ahead).
To make breakfast skillet: In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once heated, add diced potatoes. Cook until potatoes are browned, about 15 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add chopped tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes are bubbling. Add chorizo to skillet. Cook until heated through, breaking up any clumps. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add diced potatoes back to skillet, then chorizo/tomato mixture. Make a well in the mixture and crack eggs into each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and cook eggs until yolk just begins to firm up, approximately 10 minutes. Uncover, top with cheese, avocado and green chili sauce. Season with hot sauce if desired.
Summer, summer, summer. Ice cream cones, lazy days at the pool, catching fireflies at dusk. And tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. If you garden, this might be about the time you start wondering what to do
with your surplus of the red juicy orb. Tomato Pie is just the ticket. This very southern dish dates back to the 1830s. We gussied up the traditional version to include sautéed onions, garlic, basil and feta cheese which plays so nicely with tomatoes. One thing we dared not mess with is the mayo/cheese topping which bakes into a layer of gooey goodness. Serve with a green salad and maybe some grilled chicken sausages and you’ve got yourself a darn good meal.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a museum and cultural center that highlights the role of the city in the civil rights movement beginning in the 1950s.
Tomato Pie with Basil and Feta
- 1¼ cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 ½ lbs. tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Basil, diced
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup mayonnaise
For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Gently lift into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edge. Set aside.
For filling: Slice tomatoes thinly and place in colander. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside for approximately 10 minutes.
In the meantime, cook onion over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue cooking until onion is just beginning to brown and garlic is fragrant.
With a paper towel, blot tomatoes until most of liquid is removed. Combine cheeses. Reserve ¾ cup for topping. Mix this ¾ cup cheese with ½ cup of mayonnaise. Set aside.
Put one third of the cheese in the bottom of the pie plate. Sprinkle with one third of the onion mixture, then one third of the tomatoes. Season tomatoes with pepper. Finish with a sprinkling of basil. Repeat this step two more times so that there are three layers. Cover top of pie with the mayo/cheese mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Let pie set 10 minutes before serving or serve at room temperature.
It’s Kentucky Derby week! Some of the good eats associated with the Derby include mint juleps (see our recipe for the hands down best way to pump up the mint flavor) and decadent Bourbon Pecan Pie. Add to that Hot Browns, an open faced turkey sandwich fancied
up with mouthwatering Mornay sauce and then topped with tomatoes, bacon and Pecorino Romano cheese. Invented at the Brown Hotel in the 1920s to satiate dinner-dance guests, this knife and fork sandwich has been wowing Louisville residents and visitors for close to a century.
Of course the best Hot Browns are made when you can roast your own turkey. If that is too involved for you, freshly sliced deli turkey will work too. Mornay sauce is a white cheese sauce that is actually very simple to make. Classically made with Gruyere, the Brown Hotel uses Pecorino Romano but we used a sharp cheddar to mix it up a bit.
Don your fanciest hat or fascinator and make your way to Louisville on May 7 for the 2016 Kentucky Derby.
For Mornay Sauce:
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- 4 slices thick sliced white bread with crusts removed, toasted
- 2 pounds sliced turkey, divided
- 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 8 slices cooked bacon
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons finely diced parsley
To make Mornay sauce: In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and make a roux. Cook roux, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add milk in a thin stream and whisk until sauce is thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted. Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.
To assemble sandwiches: Arrange toasted bread on a baking sheet. Divide the turkey into four equal parts. Top each sandwich with Mornay sauce, then tomato slices, then two slices of bacon arranged in a cross. Sprinkle each sandwich with Pecorino Romano cheese and paprika. Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until tops of sandwiches are bubbling. Sprinkle diced parsley on top before serving.
When you travel through the Heart of Dixie, as the state of Alabama is known, you’ll undoubtedly see fried green tomatoes listed as either a main course or a side dish on menus in dining establishments ranging from humble meat-and-three roadside diners to more upscale sit-down spots. The association between the dish and the state harks back to the 1991 movie of the
same name, set around the fictional Whistle Stop Café near Birmingham. Truth be told, we can’t actually say if the dish has its origins anywhere near Alabama, since it’s found on dinner tables throughout the South. But the hot, fried slices – which you can either pan-fry or deep-fry – have become undeniably associated with the state, courtesy of Fannie Flagg’s quintessentially Southern novel. If you’ve never tried this dish, what we can say for sure is that the pairing of fried cornmeal-flour batter with the tart and firm flesh of unripe fruit is irresistible – especially when served with a cool dipping sauce (we chose ranch dressing). Pour a glass of ice-cold sweet tea to go along with it, and you’ve got yourself some good eatin.’
If you’re headed to sweet home Alabama, check out the Whistlestop Festival in Irondale, September 27, 2014.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy of Phyllis Foster of Athens, Ala., used with permission.
- 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3/4 cup self-rising flour
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk (or buttermilk)
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch paprika
- Vegetable oil
- Ranch dressing for dipping
In a deep fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees. Season tomatoes on both sides with salt and pepper.
Mix flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, cayenne and paprika in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk. First dredge tomatoes through the flour mixture, then the egg wash, and then back through the flour mixture again. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so pieces cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain on paper towels and serve with buttermilk ranch dressing.