Chipotle Taco Seasoning


Chipotle Taco Seasoning
Ready for a smokier taco?

If you’re a fan of smoky flavor, prepping up a chipotle taco seasoning before taco night will make you very happy. This spice blend uses common spice rack ingredients and brings the smoke through both chipotle powder and smoked paprika. We kick in a little cayenne pepper to increase the overall heat just a touch.

Don’t limit this tasty seasoning to tacos. You can use it anywhere taco of Mexican seasoning is called for to add a little south-of-the-border flare to your meal. It’s delicious simply mixed with ranch dressing for a quick dip or use it as a dry rub on chicken, pork, or steak to add a smoky, earthy heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Preparation

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Use immediately or store in a sealable jar (airtight) for future use.

Cook’s Notes

  • The additional cayenne pepper is optional. Chipotle pepper already brings jalapeño level heat to the seasoning (chipotle chilies are dried and smoked jalapeño peppers). Cut it completely if you prefer a low to medium level heat.

Simple Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese


Simple Stovetop Macaroni and CheeseInspired by an innovative macaroni and cheese recipe that calls for adding sodium citrate, an emulsifying salt, to cheese to keep it smooth when heated (instead of adding flour to make a béchamel), we based our sauce on American cheese, which contains a similar ingredient. Because American cheese has plenty of emulsifier but not a lot of flavor, we combined it with more-flavorful extra-sharp cheddar. A bit of mustard and cayenne pepper added piquancy. We cooked the macaroni in a smaller-than-usual amount of water (along with some milk), so we didn’t have to drain it; the liquid that was left after the elbows were hydrated was just enough to form the base of the sauce. Rather than bake the mac and cheese, we sprinkled crunchy, cheesy toasted panko bread crumbs on top. Our simplified mac and cheese recipe takes only about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
  • 4 ounces American Cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation

  1. Bring water and milk to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in macaroni and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until macaroni is soft (slightly past al dente), 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add American cheese, mustard, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is completely melted, about 1 minute.
  3. Off heat, stir in cheddar until evenly distributed but not melted.
  4. Cover saucepan and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine panko, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in 8-inch nonstick skillet until panko is evenly moistened. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until evenly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Off heat, sprinkle Parmesan over panko mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Transfer panko mixture to small bowl.
  8. Stir macaroni until sauce is smooth (sauce may look loose but will thicken as it cools). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Transfer to warm serving dish and sprinkle panko mixture over top.
  10. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes

  • Barilla makes our favorite elbow macaroni. Because the macaroni is cooked in a measured amount of liquid, we don’t recommend using different shapes or sizes of pasta.
  • Use a 4-ounce block of American cheese from the deli counter rather than presliced cheese.

 

 

Favorite Baked Spaghetti


Favorite Baked Spaghetti
Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  3. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter.
  5. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.
  6. Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 3-qt. baking dish.
  7. Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  8. Repeat layers.
  9. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes.
  10. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 10 servings.

Buttermilk Cornbread Soup


Buttermilk Cornbread Soup
Ingredients

  • Peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped leeks, white part only
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth, plus extra if needed to thin the soup
  • 1/2 cup crumbled, day-old cornbread, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Procedure

  1. Set a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and add enough peanut oil to coat the bottom.
  2. Add the leeks and celery, and reduce the heat to medium-low; sweat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables become lightly translucent without coloring.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute; then add the chicken broth and cornbread. Bring to a low simmer, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Stir the buttermilk and heavy cream together in a large bowl. Very slowly add the hot soup to the milk mixture, stirring constantly, almost drizzling the soup in.
  5. Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.
  6. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add a touch of extra chicken broth.
  7. Return the soup to the pot and heat it very gently over low heat until it is hot.
  8. Serve with a little crumbled cornbread on top as a garnish.

Cook’s Note

  • To reheat any leftover soup, be sure to rewarm it slowly over low heat to prevent the buttermilk from separating. It’s also quite delicious served chilled.

Sheet Pan Eggs


Sheet Pan Eggs
The idea of making breakfast sandwiches for a crowd shook up my long-standing belief that frittata was the best party-time egg dish. The wake up call came after one of those endless internet black holes where you wonder what your search term—I landed on this recipe on a website called Shaken Together. When I made it, I lowered the temperature so the eggs retain the softness you like in a scramble but never attain in the oven, added stuff to make it a little heartier (you could add anything you like in a frittata in a 2 to 3 ratio with the eggs), and ended up eating the little squares—with and without toast—for quick breakfasts and sliced on salads.

Makes 1 pan of eggs (for 6 sandwiches of 2 eggs each)

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A little cream or milk
  • 1 cup give or so of add ins (optional): shaved asparagus, peas, any veg really, rendered bacon or prosciutto or pancetta, herbs, melty cheese
  • 6 rolls or 12 pieces of toast, for serving (optional)

Procedure

  1. Grease a half sheet pan very well (or use a Silpat) and heat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Crack all 12 eggs in a big bowl, add salt and pepper and the splash of cream, then whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the other stuff—except cheese—and gently fold until mixed.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Dot with cheese evenly, if using. Bake until the eggs are just set, about 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares if you’re egg sandwiches. Cut however else for whatever other purpose you’re dreaming up: slivers for salad, rectangles for bigger sandwiches or to-go lunches, and so on.

Chilaquiles With Fried Eggs


Chilaquiles With Fried Eggs
Ingredients

Salsa Roja

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 ancho chile peppers
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 small white onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 4 cups diced tomatoes in their juice
  • Salt to taste

Salsa Verde

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Tortilla Strips

  • 12 fresh corn tortillas
  • 2/3 cup safflower oil, or more as needed
  • Salt to taste

Chilaquiles

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup cotija cheese or queso fresco
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 red onion, minced

Preparation

  1. Salsa roja: Bring water to a boil. Toast ancho chiles in a small pan over medium heat, then remove. Place chiles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let sit 30 minutes. Remove, trim away stems and seeds, and set aside.
  2. Pour safflower oil into a medium pan. Add onion and garlic and cook 10 minutes over medium heat until caramelized. Add the soaked and cleaned anchos, cumin, chipotles in adobo sauce and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until sauce has reduced by about 30 percent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from pan and let cool. Purée the salsa in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. Salsa verde: Combine garlic, salt, onion, jalapeños, tomatillos and cilantro in a food processor and pulse to form a chunky paste.
  5. Tortilla strips: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into 2-inch strips, then place on a cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes to dry slightly. Remove. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
  6. In a large skillet (a 12-inch cast iron works well) over medium heat, add safflower oil to a depth of ⅛ inch, roughly ⅔ cup. When oil is hot, fry the tortilla strips in batches until crisp, about 2–3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt. Discard oil and wipe out the pan.
  7. Chilaquiles: Return the skillet to high heat and add safflower oil. When very hot, add 2 cups salsa roja and bring to a simmer. Add tortilla strips, turning to coat. Cook briefly, adding more salsa as needed to keep the dish saucy. Spill contents of the pan onto an ovenproof platter and cover with aluminum foil. Place in oven 5–10 minutes.
  8. While chilaquiles are in the oven, fry eggs until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny.
  9. Remove the chilaquiles from the oven. Divide onto plates and garnish each portion with cheese, avocado, onions and a fried egg.
    10. Chop avocado and fold with lime juice into the salsa verde. Serve immediately with chilaquiles and eggs.

Eggs Brûlée


Eggs Brûlée
To make a brûléed egg, simply cut the hard-boiled (or steamed or baked) egg in half and sprinkle it with salt, then top with sugar and torch away. The result is absolutely delicious, like a haute cuisine version of scrambled eggs with maple syrup.