Baked Green Chile Fries

One thing I love about being in New Mexico is the unique foods we’ve been able to try.  On our visit to Ojo Caliente this past July we were able to enjoy these fabulous Green Chile Fries!

Green Chili Fries at Ojo Caliente

They were fabulous!  Slightly spicy with a wonderful breading that made us go back for them three separate times.  🙂

One thing I love to do when we eat something from a restaurant that we really enjoy is to try to recreate it at home.  This can be somewhat of a challenge but it sure was fun.  Here is my take on these fries.  I actually baked them to keep them a bit healthier but all in all they were delicious.  The vinegar dipping sauce was a bit harder to recreate but I think I came pretty close.  Let me know what you think if you make them.  Always looking for feedback on recipes!  Enjoy!

Baked Green Chile Fries w/Vinegar dipping sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Vinegar dipping sauce (see below)*

6-8 large poblano peppers (or jalapeños or any large spicy pepper)

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons

3 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the seeds from all of the peppers and cut into 1/2-inch lengthwise strips.

Set up a breading station: 1 pan of 1 cup of flour, 1 pan of eggs beaten with milk, 2 tablespoons of flour and mustard, and 1 pan of bread crumbs seasoned with cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Coat the peppers in the flour, then in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs.

Arrange the chili fries on a nonstick baking sheet and roast for 18-20 minutes, turning once.

While chile’s are cooking, prepare the dipping sauce:

Ingredients for dipping sauce

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flake

1 tbsp honey or Agave

Instructions

Whisk together all ingredients until honey/agave is dissolved and then refrigerate.  You can make this the day before to help the flavors meld even more!  Just be sure to mix it up again before serving.

 

 

Nam Sod ~ A Traditional Thai Salad

This is one of my favorite and easy meals to make!! Excuse the “fancy” plate.  Nam Sod – traditional Thai salad

Nam Sod - traditional Thai salad
Nam Sod – traditional Thai salad

INGREDIENTS:

1lb ground pork (or chicken/turkey)
2 tbsp Sesame oil, divided
2 tbsp Soy Sauce, divided
1/2 large red onion, sliced thin
1 inch cube fresh ginger, minced
2 limes, juiced
Fresh cilantro
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Sriracha to taste
Peanuts (optional)
1 package broccoli slaw

Preheat skillet. When hot add 1 tbsp sesame oil and heat. Add ground pork (or chicken/turkey) and brown. While browning add 1 tbsp soy sauce and sriracha and pepper flake to taste. Continue to brown. Then add lime juice, ginger, red onion, peanuts (optional) and cilantro. Heat through.

On dinner plates place broccoli slaw. Drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil. Spoon Nam Sod on top of broccoli slaw. Garnish with cilantro and splash of sesame oil and serve!  It’s even better the next day served cold. 🙂

Idaho Winery Tour

Saturday, July 11, 2015

After spending the week with my mom and getting caught up with family, Mark and I decided to take a day for ourselves and hit some of the local wineries that have popped up here in the last 30 years.

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The beautiful Snake River
The beautiful Snake River
Sunflowers and wheat
Sunflowers and wheat

Our first stop was at the beautiful Koenig Winery & Distillery.  Set up on a hill overlooking the beautiful Snake River Valley, this winery and distillery has been producing some of the top wines in the region.  It was established in 1996 by Andy & Greg Keonig, two brothers who learned the art of making wine and spirits in their fathers home country of Austria.

Koenig Tasting House (photo courtesy Koenig Winery)
Koenig Tasting House (photo courtesy Koenig Winery)
I think this says it all...
I think this says it all…

We sampled a variety of wonderful whites & reds, including an Ice Wine that blew my socks off!  Needless to say we left with a few bottles. 🙂  They also offer a wonderful selection of fruit brandies, vodka and whiskey!

Koenig award winning wines!
Koenig award winning wines!
Beautiful distilling equipment!
Beautiful distilling equipment!
Old fashioned wine press!
Old fashioned wine press!

Our next stop took us to a relatively new winery in the area – Hat Ranch Winery.  Established in 2014 by Tim Harless, Hat Ranch Winery is producing some outstanding young wines.  Their reds are fabulous and there is definitely great things in their future!  Tim is very knowledgable about his wines and was a fabulous host in the tasting room.  We purchased a wonderful bottle of red and we look forward to future wines from this up and coming vineyard.

The tasting room at Hat Ranch Winery (photo courtesy of Hat Ranch Winery)
The tasting room at Hat Ranch Winery (photo courtesy of Hat Ranch Winery)
Hat Ranch's vineyard - a storm was brewing
Hat Ranch’s vineyard – a storm was brewing

Up the road from Hat Ranch is the Bitner Vineyards.  Established in 1981 by Ron and Mary Bitner, this winery is producing some of the best Tempranillo wines in the area!  Spicy and herby, this wine pairs well with so many spicy food!  We left with a few of these bottles.  Another wine I loved from this vineyard was their High Desert White Blend. Perfect on a summers day!  There are so many exciting wines from this vineyard it would be too long to post how many we picked up! 🙂

Bitner Wines (photo courtesy of Bitner Winery)
Bitner Wines (photo courtesy of Bitner Winery)
Bitner Winery
Bitner Winery

On our way up to the last winery of the day, we were ran into a road block – of goats!  🙂  They were taking them down to another pasture and the only way was to herd them down the road.  We stopped and let them go by.  It was great seeing the kids out helping (human kids, not the goats).  Busy day for them!

Goats in the road!
Goats in the road!
The Snake River in the background
The Snake River in the background

And our final stop of the day was the Ste Chapelle Winery.  One of the oldest established wineries in the region (1976), Ste Chapelle is the largest producer of wines in the area with 130,000 cases a year.  Their Sauvignon Blanc was a huge hit with me!  A wonderful wrap up to the day.

The Tasting Room at Ste Chapelle (photo courtesy of Ste Chapelle Winery)
The Tasting Room at Ste Chapelle (photo courtesy of Ste Chapelle Winery)
Ste Chapelle Winery
Ste Chapelle Winery

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Complimentary glasses with the wine tasting
Complimentary glasses with the wine tasting

On our way back home I took Mark into some of the country side I grew up in.  Out driving around we ran into Chicken Dinner Road!  I had totally forgotten about the road but when I saw it I knew I had to snap a picture of it.  Only in Idaho! 🙂

Chicken Dinner Road - only in Idaho!
Chicken Dinner Road – only in Idaho!

It was a fabulous day, lots of delicious wine was had and bought and we came home and crashed!  But we were lucky that a nice Russian tourist was kind enough to take a picture of us both to commemorate the day.

Happy wine drinking day!
Happy wine drinking day!

Up next is our trip up to Idaho City!  It is a “living” ghost town and has a LOT of history from the Gold Rush.  We also found the camp site I used to camp at when I was a kid!  So much has changed in Idaho but so much has stayed the same.

Here are some other photos of highlights of our day!  Enjoy…

 

Eats & Treats ~ Thai Ginger Chicken Soup

Whoa. This soup just ROCKS! Seriously!
While looking through recipes I found a version of this soup. It sounded so delicious but knew it would need a few tweaks to make it “just right”. So, I set to work and wow were we ever happy! With chicken, ginger, Sriracha and a lot of other yummy Thai flavors this soup is definitely a hit.

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The recipe is below. If you make this soup let me know what you think of it! Adjust your Sriracha to taste to make it as spicy as you like. Enjoy!

Thai Ginger Soup

1 box Swanson Thai Ginger base
2 cups chicken broth + 3 Tbsp
1lb chicken, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
4-5 tbsp Lime juice
Ground Ginger
Soy sauce (splash)
Sriracha sauce
Salt & pepper
Bunch cilantro
Scallions
Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
1 cup basmati rice

Prepare rice in rice cooker and keep warm. (Or prepare on stovetop).

Cook diced chicken in stock pan with a splash of chicken broth, ginger, salt & pepper, sesame oil & soy sauce until cooked through.

Add Thai Ginger base to cooked chicken, diced red bell pepper, mushrooms, 2 cups chicken broth, lime juice, a squirt of Sriracha and one can coconut milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Taste soup and adjust seasonings as needed. Add cilantro and scallions to taste. Serve over a scoop of basmati rice. Enjoy! 😊

Food galore!

We’ve had some beautiful weather here lately… sunny skies, highs in the 60’s.. so we decided we would smoke a butt!  HUH?  Smoke a BUTT?? Yep, a pork butt!  We love using our smoker and there is nothing better than an awesome pulled pork sandwich.  So, we’ve got the main dish, now what to have for sides?

I’ve recently stumbled across some great recipes for potato salad and coleslaw.  These are both homemade from scratch and are really pretty simple and easy (just like I like it!).  Mark and I are on a mission to eat real food (i.e., no processed food) only and although sometimes we fail, we really have been having fun with all the recipes we’ve come across.  Cooking in an RV can sometimes be hard due to space restrictions but for the most part it is totally doable.  We cook outside a lot but it’s not always necessary.

We’ve decided to share these recipes with you in the hopes that you will enjoy them too!  Here is our first item – a Boston Butt! Season liberally with homemade dry rub.  Dry rub is the only way to go (imo)!

Boston Butt - liberally rubbed with homemade dry rub!
Boston Butt – liberally rubbed with homemade dry rub!

Next, we got the smoker going.  We use Mesquite wood chips in the chip pan and a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar and water in the wet pan.  We use this: Masterbuilt M7P 7-in-1 Smoker and Grill with Pan and Basket Set
(Purchased from Amazon, affiliate link). We love this thing and it is worth dragging around as it breaks down fairly easy and stores in the Jeep when going down the road.  It is also a grill, a low country boil cooker (totally awesome!) and also a smoker! It does other things besides but these are the three main things we use it for.  Here it is getting up to temp!

Masterbuilt 7-1 smoker/grill!  Awesome!
Masterbuilt 7-1 smoker/grill! Awesome!

While the pork was on (we do low and slow… a 3lb butt at 225 degrees for 7 hours) I got the coleslaw ready.

This coleslaw is wonderful!  It is a drawn out process as things need to sit and marinate but it is so worth it! First assemble your ingredients (one head cabbage, half an onion, 2 large carrots, 1 bell pepper and kosher salt).

Cabbage, onion, carrot, bell pepper, kosher salt.
Cabbage, onion, carrot, bell pepper, kosher salt.

Then shred/dice all the veggies:

All diced up and ready to go!
All diced up and ready to go!

Then I start by layering in a bowl:  Cabbage, carrot, onion, bell pepper and a little kosher salt on each layer:

Just a little salt on each layer - I use one tablespoon for the WHOLE thing.
Just a little salt on each layer – I use one tablespoon for the WHOLE thing.

Then when it’s all layered with salt and veggies let it sit on the counter for an hour – that draws out the moisture and lets the salt penetrate the veggies.

Waiting is the hardest part! All layered and first marinade.
Waiting is the hardest part! All layered and first marinade.

While that is sitting I start gathering my ingredients for my potato salad.  Now this potato salad is NOT the usual.  There is no mayonnaise in this recipe and it contains pickles!  OMG it is SO GOOD!  All you need are enough potatoes to feed your respective crowd, Apple Cider Vinegar, purple onion, olive oil, dill pickles, salt & pepper!

Potatoes (small yukon gold), red onion, dill pickles, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
Potatoes (small yukon gold), purple onion, dill pickles, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Dice up the potatoes and place them in a pan of cold water with a little salt.  Boil until tender (8-10 minutes).

Start with cold water then bring to a boil!
Start with cold water then bring to a boil!

While the potatoes are cooking I dice up a generous amount of purple onion and pickle!  You can do both to taste but the pickle really makes this dish!

Yumm!
Yumm!

Once the potatoes are finished cooking, drain them off then put them back in the pan and have the heat on low.  Pour in about a 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and stir it around until it evaporates.  It steams right into the potatoes!

Apple Cider Vinegar - it's the bomb!
Apple Cider Vinegar – it’s the bomb!

Then add about 1/8 – 1/4 cup olive oil.  Just enough to coat the potatoes.

Olive oil... yummy goodness!
Olive oil… yummy goodness!

Once that is in you can add your purple onion and pickles, along with salt and pepper to taste!

Getting real now!
Getting real now!

Mix well…

Oh yeah!! That's the ticket!
Oh yeah!! That’s the ticket!

And now your potato salad is done!  I like it served a bit warm so you can either leave it on the stove (covered) until you’re ready to eat or if you prefer, you can make it the day before and refrigerate it to eat later.

Now that the potato salad is done it’s time to work on the coleslaw.  Your coleslaw has been sitting for an hour with the salt on it and you can either do one of two things.  You can either rinse off the salt and then add the marinade or you can leave it as is and add the marinade.  I do not rinse it personally.

For the marinade you will need: Apple Cider Vinegar, Sugar, Water, Celery Seed & Mustard Seed.

Coleslaw marinade - Apple Cider Vinegar, mustard seed, water & sugar.
Coleslaw marinade – Apple Cider Vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, water & sugar.

To a small sauce pan add 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1-3/4 cup sugar but that is way too sweet for me!), 1 tsp celery seed and 1 tsp mustard seed.

coleslaw6
The syrup!

 

Bring the syrup to a boil and then let boil for one minute.  Shut off heat and let cool.  Mix syrup with the shredded veggies and let stand at least one hour.  Once that has soaked in all the yummy goodness, drain off and add mayonnaise to taste!  You can also add a little Sriracha to bring a little heat to the mix!

Ok, all my sides are done!  But what about the pork you ask? It has been smoking away at a low temp for almost 7 hours now.  It is done when the bone just slides on out!  Here is the finished product:

OMG so good!
OMG so good!

Shred it up!

Super delicious!
Super delicious!

And of course, the whole thing wouldn’t be complete without a campfire!  What a perfect day of cooking, enjoying cocktails and loving our wonderful RV lifestyle!  We wouldn’t trade it for the world!

The finished product!  Pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce and coleslaw with a side of potato salad! A campfire completes this wonderful meal!
The finished product! Pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce and coleslaw (yes, on top of the pork!) with a side of potato salad! A campfire completes this wonderful meal!

If you’ve read this far then we really hope you’ve enjoyed this super long post full of great food! 🙂  We will be posting more recipes in the future so be sure to check out our Eats & Treats page!

Jay’s Asian-Fusion ~ review

After pulling in to the RV park on Wednesday afternoon, it was clear that we didn’t want to cook dinner.  We asked the RV Park owner what she suggested and she came up with a few ideas.  The one that stuck with us the most was Jay’s Asian Fusion.  We love Asian food of all kinds and this place sounded perfect.

jays
Jay’s Asian Fusion!

Located in Longs, SC, it is about 20 miles from the Carrollwoods RV Park (and Grapefull Sisters Vineyard) where we are staying.  Pretty much the closest thing around that isn’t seafood.

Jay’s Asian Fusion was a very quiet little place in a strip mall.  They serve Sushi, Habachi, Thai, and Japanese.  Lots of great things on the menu.  We sat at the Sushi Bar and were greeted immediately.  Our server was very nice and efficient, the sake was HOT (just like we like it!) and the sushi was fantastic.

First, we ordered a sushi appetizer – one of each, Kani (crab), shrimp, salmon, tuna and red snapper!

Sushi appetizer
Sushi appetizer

Then we ordered our rolls.  Spicy Tempura Tuna and Spicy Tuna & Kani roll.

Tempura Tuna & Spicy Tuna kani roll
Tempura Tuna & Spicy Tuna kani roll

We were still hungry, so we ordered a special roll – black pepper tuna, yellowfin tuna with spicy sauce.

Special roll
Special roll

Ok, ok… we like our sushi spicy! 🙂

All in all, it was a wonderful first meal and we look forward to finding some other great local places with the time we have here.

Until next time…

Kanpai! (Japanese for “cheers”!)

Shelly & Mark