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.

 

 

Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot Springs Resort

On our way to South Carolina for our daughter’s college graduation (yeah!!) we stopped at Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot Springs Resort.  It was Mark’s 50th birthday so we thought we would have a nice little mini vacation before heading off to the heat and humidity of the south.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot Springs Resort
Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot Springs Resort

Ojo Caliente is famous for its waters.  Discovered by Native Americans centuries ago and then conquered by the Spanish in the 1500’s when they discovered it (and displaced the natives as well).  It holds a lot of history as well as the healing powers of the water.

There are many types of waters that are located here:  Arsenic, Iron and Soda water just to name a few.  There are multiple pools located throughout the resort with varying degrees of heat (89 to 104 degrees).

The resort has many different accommodations available including an RV park!  Now, as RV parks go, it is pretty basic and it is quite expensive for what you get IMO ($40/night) but it is still cheaper than staying in the hotel. 🙂

The RV Park consists of power and water hookups only (no sewer).  There is a dump station but they charge $20 to dump.  Kind of a rip off, I think.  The spaces are a bit primitive, unlevel and can’t really accept large rigs (30′ would be pushing it).  BUT there are many wonderful aspects to the springs that overrides the downsides to the park.

Our site at Ojo Caliente - fairly large compared to some
Our site at Ojo Caliente – fairly large compared to some

We spent 3 days at Ojo.  The first day we were so overwhelmed with all the springs we couldn’t decide which one we liked best!  On the second day though we knew we loved the Soda Pool the most.

Mark in the Soda Pool – 103 degrees, indoors and a quiet zone – no talking!

We also really loved the mud zone!  Yes, MUD!!! It sounds odd but wow did our skin feel great afterwards.  You get wet, then mud up and lay out to dry.  Then you wash it off.  Your skin is silky smooth and so soft!  Mark didn’t think he would like it but he had to admit it was pretty awesome.

All mudded up and baking dry! 🙂

One thing we especially enjoyed was the FOOD!  The Artesian Restaurant was amazing in every way.  We had lunch and dinner there every day and even breakfast for Mark’s birthday as well.  We really spoiled ourselves with the food!

That was just a sampling of the food.  We ate our way through the menu to be sure. 🙂  In fact, we probably had these Green Chili Fries 5 times while we were there.  SO GOOD!

Green Chili Fries. YUM!

For Mark’s birthday we did something pretty special – we rented a private hot spring for just the two of us.  It had amazing views of the cliffs, a kiva fireplace and we snuck in a bottle of champagne to celebrate!  Not something we would do every time we would visit but certainly an amazing treat!

Private hot springs, kiva fireplace and champagne! Happy birthday, my love. 🙂

All in all it was an amazing three days!  And the best part?  This is only 1-1/2 hours from our property in northern New Mexico!  How awesome is that?  Knowing we are close enough we can spend the day there or even take the truck camper for one night.  Yes please!  We will definitely be back!

Our beautiful view from the lounge chairs!

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. 🙂

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

 

May River Grill ~ Review

Our time in South Carolina has been very memorable.  We met here, got married here and have enjoyed the area immensely.  The area is know for it’s Civil War history, shrimp boats, location to the Atlantic Ocean and FOOD!  Lots and lots of great food!

One of our favorite places to eat is May River Grill.

mayrivergrill1
May River Grill (copyright May River Grill)

 

It is located in historic Old Town Bluffton, South Carolina.  It is a charming restaurant with an open kitchen, seating at the bar (where you can watch Chef Charlie cook!) and only a handful of tables.  It’s very quaint but the food is out of this world.  From steaks to freshly caught seafood, this is the place to be. Chef Charlie is a highly skilled chef and his food is amazing!  This is definitely a 5 star restaurant!

So since we are hitting the road in a couple of days, we decided to wrap up our time in South Carolina with a final “see ya later” dinner (not goodbye as we will certainly be back).  We enjoyed some wonderful cocktails, amazing appetizers and a fabulous filet.

First.. some cocktails.. sour apple martini!  Mark, of course, stuck with his beer – Heineken!

A fabulous Sour Apple Martini!
A fabulous Sour Apple Martini!

Then, some Conch Chowder, compliments of the chef!

Yummy conch chowder!
Yummy conch chowder!

How about some fabulous CRAB CAKES? Locally caught, of course!

Devine crab cake app!
Devine crab cake app!

And then, the entrees!  Fried Green Tomato Salad for me and Filet Mignon Au Poivre for Mark!  Of course, I did have a few bites of that fabulous filet! 😉

Fried Green Tomato Salad with homemade mozzarella,  bacon and house made ranch dressing!
Fried Green Tomato Salad with homemade mozzarella, bacon and house made ranch dressing!
The filet of our dreams! This Au Poivre sauce has green peppercorns.  To die for!
The filet of our dreams! This Au Poivre sauce has green peppercorns. To die for!

We’ve had many a great meal at May River Grill.  If you’re ever in the Hilton Head Island, SC area, be sure to stop there and tell Chef Charlie we said “HI”!  Oh, and reservations are required – it’s a busy place!

And just to whet your appetite, here is the link to their menu!  Cheers!