Friday, July 14, 2017

Just For Kicks {Spicy Favorites From the Stirring The Pot Kitchen}

Over at I Heart Cooking Clubs we're celebrating spicy dishes that give either a little bit, or a lot of kick! I'm having company this week and didn't have enough time to throw together a new dish, so I'm recapping with five of my favorite spicy dishes, as well as a shout out to a dish I've mentioned before, that are perfect for the summer months!

Here in the Stirring the Pot household, we love spicy dishes! They are simply are favorites. I've mentioned this dish several times on my blog, but Madhur Jaffrey's Delicious Chicken Bits is hands down our favorite dish I've ever shared on this blog. It's spicy mainly because it has quite a bit of cayenne pepper in it, but also because it is full of other spices like cumin, paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, black pepper, salt, and thyme. It is a celebration of spices and is a must make for fans of spicy food.

And now onto my five favorites, in no particular order: (click on the link to be directed to the original post and recipe)
This whipped cream cheese is heavenly. Chopped up serrano pepper and garlic give it a truly wonderful flavor profile and it is remarkable and addictive on bagels for breakfast. Of course, this cream cheese is wonderful on just about anything. Trust me....it will not last long!

Light and delicious veggie enchiladas with a super-fiery-not-for-the-faint-of-heart habanero salsa to set your mouth on fire! The avocado is not optional....it's necessary to cool your mouth down!

This burger is a wonderful mix of flavors: chorizo, chipotles in adobo, poblano chiles, onions, and garlic.....and ooey gooey Monterey jack cheese. A tasty way to enjoy a burger this summer!

A lovely and unique meal for the slow cooker, this chicken is flavored with tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and a splash of jalapeno pickling juice. The chicken is fall off the bone tender and this is a light and fresh meal that is perfect for spring and summer.

 A light and easy tomato sauce made with a hint of garlic and pickled jalapenos is the perfect way to jazz up fish for a nice light summer meal. This was a very pleasant dish and a great way to add a little kick to your regular old weeknight dinner routine. The potatoes really round it out and make it a nice little meal. 

What are some of your spicy favorites?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Potatoes with "Deconstructed Pesto"



My mom is definitely the one with the "green thumb". In fact, for some time, I think my neighbor's thought she was the lady of the house mainly because she was the one outside planting, pruning, watering, and weeding. It's not that I didn't want to be the one with the green thumb. It's more because I wasn't any good at it and the more I tried the more mom came behind me, cleaning up my messes and fixing my mistakes, as moms are prone to do.

Years ago, mom dug a small herb garden off the back porch and she planted chives, oregano, cilantro, basil, and mint. The herbs did well, but over time we widdled it down to chives, basil, and mint, mostly because they thrived the most and we liked them best.

If I ever got real busy and forgot about the herb garden mom always let me know. She would cut huge bouquets of fresh herbs and place them all over the kitchen, and I'd always laugh because it was her way of telling me they needed to be used.

This summer my mom's been sick and she hasn't spent too much time outside in the garden. Just last week the doctor's told us her cancer was terminal. They say we have time, and we are thankful for that, but we are all still in shock and beside ourselves. I've spent many hours staring into space since that day, but the only thing that really helps me is getting in the kitchen.
 


My mom's always been my blogging buddy. Since the very beginning. The one I cook for. My bravest taste tester. My biggest fan. So this week when I questioned what in the world I could make, I thought of her and what she would do, if only she felt better. I found my answering staring out at the herb garden. It was in need of some love. I started on the basil first and was happy when I found this delicious Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall dish of Potatoes with "Deconstructed Pesto".

It reminded me of another dish I made back in 2011 when the basil went crazy and mom went outside and filled vases upon vases of basil for me to use. The whole house reeked of basil, and we love the scent, but oh boy...there is such a thing as too much and it makes me laugh now thinking about it. That week I think everything I cooked had basil in it. But of all the dishes we tried we tried that week, the one standout was Ina Garten's Basil Potato Puree. We fell in love with those potatoes. In fact, we still talk about that dish from time to time. Mom always calls it a "special dish" and/or "the freshest potatoes ever tasted." I linked that one above, because if I had my pick between the two potato dishes I'd pick that one, but both of these are tasty summer pleasures.

As for me, I'm heading back out into the herb garden. The mint is out of control and I think I got a few more empty vases...


Potatoes with "Deconstructed Pesto"
River Cottage Veg
by Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall
Serves 2-4

1 pounds baby potatoes, cut to uniform size if needed
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
good handful of basil, shredded
generous squeeze of lemon juice
good handful of grated Parmesan

 Place uniformly cut (potatoes need to be similar sizes to cut in the same time) into a medium-sized saucepan, cover with water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes, until tender.  Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Put the same saucepan back onto the stove top and add the olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste. Allow the garlic to cook for around 1 minute, then add potatoes back into the saucepan and stir in the shredded basil, some lemon juice, and some grated Parmesan cheese. Taste, adjust seasoning (usually potatoes always need more salt) and serve. 





Sunday, July 2, 2017

Donna Hay's Beef and Chorizo Burgers w/ Chipotle Mayo


Years back, when we were cooking the recipes of Donna Hay, my friend Michelle of Ms.enPlace shared Donna's Beef & Chorizo Burgers and they looked incredible.  The recipe was simple enough, basically just two simple ingredients: beef and chorizo, but we all know how much flavor chorizo imparts, so I knew without a doubt that this recipe would be a winner with my family.

The original recipe calls for a beetroot relish but Michelle opted to make a Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce for her burgers, which I think is perfect! So I'm taking a nod from Michelle, swapping the sour cream for mayo, and making a chipotle mayo.

Now let me tell ya, these burgers are the perfect way to switch up your burger game. I love a good old-fashioned cheeseburger, but in the summer time when burger season is really in high gear, it sure is nice to change it up from time to time. With all that flavor I didn't even miss the cheese! I highly recommend these burgers for one of your upcoming cookouts!



Beef & Chorizo Burgers w/ Chipotle Mayo
Recipe by Donna Hay, found on Ms. enPlace
Serves 4

For the Burgers
1 pound ground beef
6 oz. fresh Mexican chorizo
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
4 hamburger buns
lettuce leaves, or any of top..toppings of your choice

Chipotle Mayo
1/2 cup mayo
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce

For the Chipotle Mayo: In a small bowl place all the mayo ingredients and mix until blended. Chill until ready to use.

For the Burgers: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.  Add the ground beef and chorizo to a mixing bowl. Season the meat mixture with salt and pepper and gently combine with your hands (try not to overwork it). Divide mixture into 4 portions and shape into patties.

Brush both sides of the burgers with olive oil and place on the grill or grill pan. Grill to desired doneness (about 7-8 minutes for medium well). While the burgers cook, brush the inside surfaces of the buns. Place them on the grill when the burgers have just a couple of minutes left.

Dress the burgers with chipotle mayo and or lettuce or toppings of your choice and enjoy!


Happy Fourth of July to everyone who is celebrating!!