Here in the Southwest we love or Hatch Chile season! We’re right in the middle of the harvesting these flavorful versatile chiles that are known for their perfect balance of sweet and heat. Besides elevating the taste of enchiladas and rellenos, we also love hatch chiles in stews, soups, sauces and even smothered on burgers. In my opinion, there is no better hatch chile then when roasted or charred. It’s easy to do on an outdoor grill, in the oven, or with a grate over your gas cooktop! Just keep turning the chiles until they blister, place them in a Ziploc back while still warm and let them sweat. he charred skin will come right off and then you can scrape the seeds out and dice! While you can used canned chiles for this Chicken Enchilada Soup, the hatch chiles takes the freshness and flavor to a whole new level! Oh! And those cornmeal dumplings? The perfect topper to a this hearty Southwestern favorite!
We’re heading into a nice long Fourth of July holiday week and I hope there will be plenty of chances for you to get your grill on and cook up some good eats! Have you thought about firing up a big batch of meaty and flavorful Country Style pork ribs? Those are the ones that are loaded with meat and virtually no bone. So wait a minute. Why do they call them ribs then? Well, country style pork ribs are actually not ribs at all. They are from the shoulder or the blade end near the shoulder. These cuts of pork are meaty and marbled—which equals flavor! They often get passed over in the meat department in lieu of actual ribs, and that’s a shame because they are delicious grilled and slathered with BBQ sauce or cut up for kebabs. Speaking of BBQ sauce, with this recipe, the BBQ sauce is a bonus that is used as a finishing sauce because all of the flavor is in the rub! I’m using a variety of spices for this rub that combines sweet, heat, salty and spicy. What a flavor profile! It’s a great combination that you can make your own by adding more brown sugar or less chili powder, according to your taste. It’s so simple to mix the spices together and sprinkle over the country style ribs, and the magic happens when you refrigerate them! The spices draw out the moisture and when you put them in a hot pan or grill, that juicy outside caramelizes and seals in the moisture. When the ribs are cooked, you can then slather on the BBQ sauce and serve them up with your favorite fixings like baked beans, roasted corn on the cob or macaroni salad. If you’re lucky enough to have any leftover ribs, you can slice them up for sandwiches or chopped up for a salad. So if you haven’t had country style pork ribs lately, this may be a great week to give them a try. I can almost guarantee you’ll be licking your chops!
Call it Cowboy Caviar, Texas Caviar, even Redneck Caviar. You can bellow about Beluga all you want, but here in the Southwest, we love our caviar made with black beans, black eyed peas, roasted corn on the cob and a bunch of colorful and crunchy diced vegetables that make up the perfect salad, appetizer, dip or side dish! Cowboy Caviar is the perfect picnic or potluck recipe and you can spice it up as much as you want with more jalapenos and hot sauce! You can make it up the night before and let the tangy dressing settle into the veggies and spices! There are two additions to this Cowboy Caviar that give is a smooth, unique twist; diced avocado and sliced red seedless grapes. That burst of sweetness does a happy dance in the bowl with the spicy ingredients and vinaigrette dressing so your taste buds just want more and more. Grab a big bag of your favorite tortilla chips for dipping and dive right in!