Welcome to Jane Butel’s Southwest cooking Blog.

Great Opportunities--Still Time to Register for Oaxaca and May Weekend School on Half Price Sale

By Jane Butel  April 17, 2018

Several of you have expressed great interest in joining our Oaxaca Culinary Tour!  There is  still a bit of time to register for our June 5 to 11 fabulous tour!  I would love to have join us.   You will get an opportunity to join three cooking classes, tour colorful villages famous for their pottery and wood carvings, weaving and much more.  

Our award winning May 11 - 13, 2018 cooking class is now on sale  at a terrific half price of $525.00 for the entire three full participation sessions where you will learn all kinds of good to know techniques, history of Southwestern and Traditional New Mexican culinary and get to taste the yummy dishes you will participate in cooking. 

Some of the delights are Bowl o Red  with  Blue Corn Parfait bread, Perfect Margaritas, beautiful Crispy Chicken Tostados, and such mouth watering delights as Carne Adobado and fluffy, never greasy Tamales.  Other delicious treats you will learn are crispy blue corn coated chile rellenos and  never fail Flan Caramelisado plus the historical Bizcochito--New Mexico's state cookie and delightful sopaipillas--made first in 1620 in Old Town Albuquerque.  What a deal--and we are one of the vacation cooking schools featured in this month's Food Network magazine--which is just coming out.

Last Saturday, my good friend Donna Peck and I demonstrated "Cooking with Chiles and Lilies"--both of which are amazingly healthful and so much fun to cook with.  Donna made Confetti Biscuits with lilies, green chile and wheat germ and I made Composed Nachos.  The  recipe follows.

Next week--we will be on vacation cruising the Danube and visiting the birthplace of some of my Father's relatives--Vienna, Austria.  I will share photos and tell you about it when we get back.  If you need anything, I will be available by email at info@janebutelcooking.com.

Composed Nachos

These alone are almost a meal. When artfully arranged as described below, they are beautiful and look like a sunflower—a picture really worth eating. The crispy, cheesey nachos serve as a scooper for the guacamole, refried beans and garnish! 

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Oven Temperature: 425 F

Baking Time: 17 minutes about

6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, crisp-fried or baked

1 cup mixed shredded Monterey Jack cheese and Cheddar cheese

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh or pickled jalapeno chiles, or to taste

1 cup or more Guacamole (recipe, follows)

1 cup or more Refried Beans (recipe, follows)

2 Tablespoons each chopped onion, fresh tomato, dried lilies (if using) and ripe olives

2 Tablespoons dairy sour cream, optional

1. Deep fry the whole tortillas in vegetable oil heated to 375 F until crisp, about 22 seconds each. If baking the tortillas, preheat the oven to 425F. Arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet, topped with a smaller baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes, then remove the top, smaller sheet and finish baking about 7 more minutes or until crisp. Prepare Guacamole and Refried Beans. Generously sprinkle cheeses on tortillas. Bake about 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.

2. Cut each cheesed tortilla into four pieces like a pie. Arrange them on a round large plate or platter, placing them in an overlapping chain – the point of one slightly overlapping the top of the next. Position a mound of Guacamole in the center of the platter. Spoon a circle of beans around the outside edge of the Guacamole. Garnish with jalapeno slices, onion, tomato, lilies and olives. Top beans with sour cream, if desired.

PERFECT GUACAMOLE 

Guacamole at its best! For greatest flavor, appearance and keeping quality–always cut avocados with two knives into coarse chunks about 1/2 inch square.

Yield: 4 servings

2 ripe avocados (preferably Haas)

½ teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste

1 medium-size tomato, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped Spanish onion

1 medium fresh jalapeno, minced

2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Halve the avocados; scoop pulp into a bowl. Coarsely chop with two knives. Add salt and garlic; then slowly add lime juice to taste.

2. Fold in tomato, onion, chiles and cilantro, being very careful not to over mix. Let stand a few minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

3. Taste and adjust seasonings. Some like spicy guacamole, while others like it quite mild. Often piquancy is best determined by the other foods you are serving. If some like it hot and others don’t, a solution is to serve a side dish of spicy salsa or freshly minced jalapeno.

4. Serve guacamole in a Mexican pottery bowl and garnish the top with a few tostados thrust into the top. Serve with a basket of tostados. As a salad, serve over chopped lettuce and garnish each serving with a cherry tomato.

FRIJOES REFRITOS with JALAPENO CHILES

(Refried Beans with Pickled Jalapeno chiles)

I think most refried beans just occupy space in a rather ugly way. They are tasteless and gooey looking. When made this way, refried beans are very flavorful and excellent as a side dish and in nachos and many Southwestern specialties. The addition of the chopped, pickled jalapenos adds a nice bit of spicy flavor, however you can certainly leave them out.

Yield: 4 servings

1 Tablespoon lard, bacon drippings or butter

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tablespoon finely chopped Spanish onion

2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 (16-oz.) can pinto beans

Salt & freshly ground pepper

1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped, pickled jalapenos

1. Melt lard in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and as soon as it starts to barely turn golden, add the onion. Then immediately add the pinto beans with a little liquid and mash them, using a potato masher or a heavy wooden spoon, leaving some of the beans almost whole. Mash the beans as they fry, adding additional liquid or chicken stock as needed.

2. Fry over medium heat about 15 minutes, turning to prevent burning, until the beans reach a thick, paste-like consistency. Stir in the chopped, pickled jalapenos if desired. Serve piping hot.

 

 

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