Crawfish Queso Dip

It is crawfish season here in Louisiana and I always like to feature a crawfish dish on my blog each spring. This year I’m making the appetizer, “Crawfish Queso Dip.” It is incredibly simple to make (less that 15 minutes from start to finish) and surprisingly tasty. If “Kristy’s Matzah Crack” is a home run, then “Crawfish Queso Dip” is a slam dunk. It is easy to devour this mild but flavorful crawfish dip! The Spanish translation for “queso” is cheese. This dip is a variation of the traditional Tex-Mex Queso or white cheese dip found at so many restaurants in Texas and throughout the southwest. It definately is a different way to feature crawfish; as I’ve not seen this recipe in any traditional Louisiana cookbook!

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Hatch Chile Rellenos 

For the second year in a row, I am noticing New Mexico-produced Hatch chile peppers in grocery stores. They seem to beckon, “pick me,” and so I brought home a grocery bag of the peppers. I decided to prepare the traditional Mexican dish, Chile Rellenos. Most contemporary recipes use poblano peppers to make this dish. However, Anaheim and Hatch chile peppers can be substituted. The main criteria is to purchased chili peppers which are large and thick enough to be stuffed with cheese and other fillings. To make this dish, skinned Hatch chilies are stuffed and then are dipped in an egg batter and deep fat fried. And the batter — egg whites which are beaten until stiff and then combined with the yolks — is what makes this dish unique. The batter is light and crunchy and perfectly matches the nice bite of the chili pepper and smooth cheesy filling. This dish is a little tedious to prepare, but the result is so, so delicious! Irresistible.

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Easy Cook: Chicken Taco Soup

“Chicken Taco Soup” is a hearty and satisfying soup to cook for a hurry-up lunch or supper meal. It is a quick recipe and doesn’t require much of effort — just open several cans — which is very nice once in awhile. I used left-over rotisserie chicken in the soup along with several canned and frozen vegetable ingredients and a packet of dry taco seasoning. That’s it; this recipe made a very tasty soup–entrée. Sometimes I will purchase a rotisserie chicken for a meal and find that about half of the chicken is left-over after we eat. Rather than let the chicken go to waste (which can easily happen), I have several recipes which make good use of the chicken. This is one such recipe. Plus, by reading the labels, I have found ways to cut down on the sodium in the soup.

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Vegetarian Zucchini, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas

Mention “enchiladas” and I know that I will enjoy the dish. I found a recipe for a healthy vegetarian adaptation of traditional meat enchiladas which uses zucchini, black beans and cheese as the main ingredients. Corn tortillas add flavor, too, making this casserole quite delicious. The recipe lowers the fat content by using canned, drained black beans rather than refried beans and steamed corn tortillas rather than fried tortillas. The recipe also features zucchini and corn which add flavor, low calorie content and nutritional value. I’ve really learned to enjoy Mexican dishes as restaurants featuring Central American cuisine have become more prevalent in our region. Yum, this vegetarian recipe adaption of enchiladas is a keeper and is a good way to enjoy a “plant-based” meal.

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Easy Cook: Pico de Gallo

Let’s make “Pico de Gallo” to go along with the Shrimp Quesadilla recipe which I posted last week. Pico de Gallo is a spicy and pungent salsa which extends the flavors of summer. I love fresh, ripe tomatoes but it is difficult to find flavorful tomatoes when they are out of season. This recipe seems to make the best of tomatoes in the wintertime. Plus the recipe uses lots of cilantro — which is plentiful at this time of year — and  growing in my garden now. Continue reading

Let’s Cook Something New: Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Let’s cook something new: Tomatillo Salsa Verde. I had never heard of a tomatillo until our local newspaper published a recipe for enchiladas with a green sauce made with tomatillos. l’m always ready for a challenge and not only made the recipe but attempted to grow tomatillos in my garden last summer. Continue reading