Month: January 2016

Grain and Green Salad with Grilled Shrimp

(recipe serves 8 as a main course salad)


2 C red quinoa, uncooked


2 – 5 ounce bags of baby arugula

1 English cucumber, peeled and seeds removed

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1 C Sweety Drop Peppers

I searched high and low for these and finally went to Amazon. They are worth the effort.

I searched high and low for these and finally went to Amazon. They are worth the effort.

1/2 C dry roasted, salted sunflower seeds

1 watermelon radish, halved and thinly sliced on a mandolin


WOW! Color and intense flavor.

Pickled red onions

24-30 large shrimp, deveined, shells removed and grilled

Chile/Ginger vinaigrette

For quinoa:

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve. Place into a large pot and add 4 C of water and 2 t of salt. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover. Simmer quinoa for about 15 minutes until water has evaporated. Spread cooked quinoa on a baking sheet for cooling.

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For shrimp:

Use 21/25 shrimp. Thaw and rinse. Pat dry. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Lightly brush shrimp with olive oil. Place shrimp onto a preheated grill pan. Spritz both sides of the shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill until just cooked through.

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For dressing:

1/3 C rice wine vinegar

Zest of one orange

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1/2 t salt

grated fresh ginger, about a 1 inch piece

1/2 C of Fischer and Wieser’s Mango Habanero Sauce


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1 C olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a pitcher. Use an immersion blender, process ingredients until well combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while running the immersion blender. Process until smooth emulsification occurs.

For service:

Combine all ingredients and dress. Adjust  seasoning with salt and pepper.


Sweet Potato Soup with Pasilla Chiles

(recipe serves 8)


1/4 C of olive oil

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4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 1/2 small yellow onions, diced
6-7 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
S & P

1/4 C apple cider vinegar




4-5 Pasilla chiles, torn into pieces, seeds and stems removed
2 Gala apples, peeled and chopped
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunky pieces

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2 cinnamon sticks, bundle with kitchen twine
4 bay leaves
4-5 whole cloves
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 heaping teaspoon of chipotle puree
2 t salt

Puree a small can of chipotle in adobo sauce. If necessary, add a small amount of water.

Puree a small can of chipotle in adobo sauce. If necessary, add a small amount of water.

8 C chicken stock
1 C orange juice

In a large preheated soup pot, add olive oil, carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Do not stir. Allow the vegetable mixture to caramelize over medium high heat before stirring. A LITTLE BIT OF PAN STICKING IS GOOD. You can smell the caramelization occur. Continue to cook vegetables allowing for a generous browning. Adjust heat down if burning begins to occur. Adding salt to the mixture will extract water from the vegetables. You want to continue to cook the aromatics until the water evaporates and browning occurs.

Add cider vinegar. Scrape up pan bits. Add 4 C of stock. Add chiles, apples, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, red pepper flakes, chipotle puree and salt.
Mix well. Add remaining 4 C of stock and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to medium low. Simmer until potatoes, apples and chiles are tender. YOUR HOUSE WILL SMELL FANTASTIC 😉

Remove from heat. Allow soup to cool before placing in the refrigerator, uncovered, for overnight magic!

The next day, remove soup and puree. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Place soup back into a pan for reheating. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If consistency is too thick, add an additional amount of stock.

Garnish with orange creme fraiche, pumpkin seeds and golden raisins. A chili corn chip makes a nice garnish.


I used the combo corn/flour tortillas. They create a perfect texture when baked.

I used the combo corn/flour tortillas. They create a perfect texture when baked. Available at HEB.

For chips: Lightly brush each side of the tortilla with olive oil. Sprinkle chili powder and Kosher salt on one side. Cut tortilla in half and place on a cookie sheet. Place into a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate cookie sheet and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Make sure your chili powder is not too old. Fresh  chili powder is the ticket for full flavor.

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(recipe makes 4 sandwiches)


1 – 14.65 ounce can of artichoke hearts (not marinated), drained
1 – 12 ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained
1 – 5 ounce jar of Manzanilla olives, drained

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1 t dried oregano
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t salt
Zest of one small lemon

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1 pound of Black Forest Ham, thinly shaved
4 – 6 slices of Provolone cheese
12 -16 slices of Italian Salami

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Coarse grain mustard

4 – ciabatta rolls

Olive oil for brushing rolls


Place artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, Manzanilla olives, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, EVOO and zest in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Coarsely chop and combine ingredients using very short pulses.

Make four even piles of ham on a parchment lined baking sheet. Layer salami on top. Place slices of provolone on top of that. Place into a preheated 350 degree oven to warm meats and melt cheese.

Slice ciabatta rolls in half. Place a generous portion of artichoke mix on the bottom slice of bread. Place warmed meat and cheese mounds on top of artichoke mix. Spread an even layer of coarse grain mustard on the top half of the roll. Place on top. Brush roll with a light coating of olive oil and place sandwich on a panini press. Lower press and grill until oozing cheese is dripping and the roll is lightly crisp.

Slice sandwich in half on the diagonal and serve warm.

Serve with highmade pickled veggies, kettle chips and a pale ale. Yummers, as CR would say!


(recipe makes one 9” x 13” baking sheet)


1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C coconut for crust
1 stick butter, melted

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1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C walnut pieces, lightly toasted
1 C coconut for topping
1 can sweetened condensed milk

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Lightly coat a 9” x 13” baking sheet with non-stick spray. Make sure sides are sprayed too. Press a sheet of parchment paper into the pan. Trim away excess paper.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 C coconut and butter. Evenly press crumb mix into the baking pan using the bottom of a measuring cup.

Evenly spread chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut over the top of the crumbs. Drizzle condensed milk over the top. Make sure to drizzle along the edges and corners.

Place baking pan into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes more or until golden. Remove baking sheet and cool bars on a cooling rack. Wait until bars are completely cooled before cutting into squares. Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the baking sheet onto a cutting board. Cut into squares. They hold well for several days in an airtight container.