Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso #SundaySupper

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Welcome to #SundaySupper, where our wonderful theme this week is… Football Food!!! Very near and dear to my heart – in fact, I happily watched Houston beat OU yesterday, woohoo! (I hate OU. It’s a Texas thing).

Anywho, when I think of football food, a spicy, Tex-Mex-y, cheesy dip is pretty much the ONLY thing that comes to mind. Growing up in Texas, obviously football was huge, there was always a game on every weekend, and to my young, impressionable mind, it was like queso = watching football in the den. Period. So, of course I have to make a queso for today’s Sunday Supper, right?

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

This particular queso is amazing, addictive, awesome, and incredibly spicy as written. You start by roasting jalapenos at a very high oven heat (recipe instructs roasting at 500 F, but if that makes your smoke alarm go off too, you can totally roast them at 450 F with no problems). Then you brown lovely, fatty, flavorful chorizo in a cast-iron skillet, add some onion, then you add the roasted jalapenos, some canned diced tomatoes and melty processed cheese product (no real cheese here, people. It just won’t do.) Once the “cheese” is melted (ha! Sorry!) you dice up an entire fresh jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all, and add it to the queso once you’ve turned off the heat. Yeah, it’s freakin’ spicy! But sooooo delicious. And if you want, you can totally leave off that last step with the fresh chile to tame the spice level. It’ll still be amazing!

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Enjoy this perfect football-watching queso dip! And be sure you check out the rest of my Sunday Supper crew!

Source: slightly adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

Ingredients:
6 large jalapenos, divided
1 tbs olive oil
½ lb. fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
¾ cup diced onion
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, with juices
1 lb. processed cheese product, such as Velveeta
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:
Preheat your oven as high as it will go without angering your smoke detector – up to 500 F but 450 F is fine too.
Halve and seed 5 of the jalapenos. Toss with olive oil in a bowl to coat, then arrange on a small, foil-lined baking sheet, skin-side up. Roast until blistering and getting dark, about 15 minutes. Cool until you can handle them, then thinly slice or chop, discarding the stems. Set aside. Finely mince the remaining raw jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all. Set aside.
In a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet* cook the chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until browned and no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, with their juices, and the roasted jalapenos. Then add the Velveeta. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until the “cheese” melts, 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the raw jalapeno and stir until mixture is perfectly smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.
*I made this twice, once using a 12” skillet and the other time using a 10” skillet. It really doesn’t matter which one you use. The 12” is easier during the cooking process (more room) but the queso cools much faster this way after you serve it. With the 10” you have to be more careful while you stir during cooking (less space) but it’s better for serving. Your choice.

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Featured Cookbook Friday: Flour by Joanne Chang

I love cookbooks the way Oprah loves bread.

via GIPHY

So, I’ve decided to actually do something about it – each week that it’s feasible, I’m concentrating most of that week’s cooking/baking efforts on a single book, making three to five recipes from it. I’ll report on my endeavors here each Friday!

Although it’s been published for several years now, Flour by Joanne Chang is new to my collection and after baking four recipes from it, I have no idea what took me so long to pick it up. It’s a fantastic book that not only inspires you to bake fearlessly, her directions are just good. The recipes work.

Flour cookbook image

I began with Cornmeal Lime Cookies, which I thought for sure I’d burned at the edges when I removed them from the oven, but they were delicious! I think I made them a little bigger than instructed because I wound up with about three fewer cookies than I was supposed to, but I’ll just have to stand by it. Oh, and these got even better the next day.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies (Flour)

Next I made Lemon Ginger Scones, mainly because I had some crystallized ginger that needed using up. Results? Outstanding! This is the one recipe I deviated from in the cooking method – the book instructs to cook them for a longer time at a lower temperature, but I’ve always made scones and biscuits at 425 F and anywhere between 12 and 20 minutes bake time. The high heat blasts the cold butter and makes them taller and flakier. Since I know this method works, and this way gets the scone in your mouth faster, I stuck with it. Worked beautifully!

Lemon Ginger Scones (Flour)

I made her brioche dough, which is enough for either two loaves, or two recipes calling for manipulating the dough into a breakfast treat. I went for the latter, and one recipe of brioche dough yielded a batch of Flour’s famous sticky buns and a brioche au chocolat. I followed her directions exactly on the brioche dough and found them very precise and successful.

So, Flour Bakery’s Sticky Buns shot to fame on that old Food Network show “Throwdown” and they are most assuredly worth the hype. This may ruin all other sticky buns for you, period. The recipe worked *exactly* as advertised, and they are just. so. good! Tastes best slightly warmed.

Flour Bakery's Famous Sticky Buns

With the remaining half of the brioche dough, I made Brioche au Chocolat, which is essentially rolling out the brioche dough to a thin rectangle, spreading pastry cream all over it, and sprinkling chopped dark chocolate on the bottom half; fold it in half, cut into logs and bake. I thought for sure this was going to be the terrible recipe because the insides royally spilled out of the logs, but somehow it all worked. They’re not the prettiest breakfast pastry out there, but swoon-worthy delicious.

Brioche au Chocolat (Flour)

Overall, highly recommend this book to any home bakers out there!

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Confession: I lived in New York City (Queens) for almost nine years and visited the major Union Square farmer’s market so few times as to be able to count them on two hands. Please don’t judge too harshly. It’s not that it isn’t a fantastic farmer’s market – it definitely is! – but I lived just far away enough to make getting there a serious pain, and there’s a huge Barnes & Noble a stone’s throw away, so I always got really distracted anyway. (We’re here for sour cherries. We’re here for sour cherr-BOOOOKKKKKSSSSS!!!!)

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Living in Hoboken is different, in that several different small farmer’s markets are readily accessible during summer and early fall months (since the entire city is a tad over 1 square mile), and aside from days I’ve been out of town, I don’t think I’ve missed a day yet. Which brings us to rainbow carrots.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

I keep seeing them, week after week, worming their way into my subconscious like the cleverest of ad campaigns. I caved a few weeks ago, made this superlative side dish with my purchase, and here we are.

Both times I made this, I know I made some kind of protein for the main dish, but I cannot remotely remember, as it was royally upstaged. Lamb chops, maybe? That does sound good…

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Anywho! This is incredible. Sweetness of the carrots, playing off the creamy, spicy aioli, all punctuated by the crunch of the dukkah. Such a beautiful dish. Enjoy!

Source: Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady

Ingredients:
3 tbs whole hazelnuts, skin on
1 tbs sesame seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Kosher salt and black pepper
12 skinny carrots or 6 thin rainbow carrots sliced in half lengthwise, tops trimmed and scrubbed clean
Olive oil
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tsp harissa

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
First make the dukkah: in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until lightly golden and aromatic, shaking the pan often, about 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Repeat the process with the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds, toasting each separately, then adding each to the bowl with the hazelnuts. Set aside to cool completely.
In a mortar and pestle or small food processor, pound or process the hazelnut mixture into an unevenly textured mix. You want some little chunks, not a fine powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
On a sheet pan, toss the carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the carrots, turning once, about 15-20 minutes, until cooked through but not mushy.
While the carrots are roasting, make the aioli by whisking the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, harissa, plus salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until smooth. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
To serve, arrange the carrots on a serving platter. Sprinkle with as much dukkah as you like (you’ll likely have leftovers), then drizzle with aioli. Pass extra aioli at the table.

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Matt and I vacationed in Florida during the last two weeks of July, and we had such a blast. However, I cannot tell a lie: it was hot. And humid. We returned to an NYC with much cooler temps, only to be hit with a Particularly Fierce Heat Wave a few days later. As with all heat waves up here, it brought with it its ever-loyal buddy, Insufferable Humidity. Aaaanndd, it still hasn’t let up. Enter the Cucumber Gin Rickey.

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Everyone dealing with late summer heat waves (and that’s pretty much everyone, right?) needs a refreshing cocktail in their arsenal, and while I’ve been a cucumber-drink-sceptic for a while, this drink convinced me of the merits. Cucumber is so fresh and summery, and it can lighten up a drink like nobody’s business. We both raved.

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Despite this oppressive heat and humidity combo, I’m really not ready for fall. I’d love for this summer to keep going, probably because I just want another of these cocktails. Anyways, I do highly recommend for your cooling off pleasure. Enjoy!

Source: Shake: A New Perspecitve on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

Ingredients:
4 shots gin
1 handful fresh mint leaves, plus a few for garnish
8 slices of cucumber, divided
1 shot fresh lime juice
Ginger beer

Directions:
Add the mint leaves, 6 cucumber slices, and lime juice to a shaker. Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed. Add the gin, then add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Strain the mixture into pint glasses containing large ice cubes. Top with ginger beer, then garnish with the remaining cucumber slices (1 per drink) and mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks as written.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed “Croutons”

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

I love salads all year round, but dear lord they just have to be lighter in the summer – otherwise, what’s the point? This is my personal example of the ideal summer salad.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

Butter lettuce, with which I am more than a tad bit obsessed; sweet, juicy, peak-season strawberries; a tangy cheese to offset the sweetness; a light vinaigrette with just the right balance of heft and tartness; and a good crunch at the end.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

We should discuss this crunch. I should tell you how delicious it is, how it could probably adorn a bowl of ice cream so beautifully, and how as written it will yield about twice what you need – which means you can make another batch of this salad if you didn’t inhale them all. Big if, by the way. Enjoy this one on a very hot day, seeing as those seem to be afflicting almost everyone right now.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Home by Bryan Voltaggio

Ingredients:

DRESSING:
2-3 oz. dried strawberries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup white grape juice
Pinch of salt

SUNFLOWER SEED “CROUTONS”:
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tbs honey
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups unsalted raw sunflower seeds
¼ tsp sweet paprika

SALAD:
4 heads butter lettuce
8 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tbs olive oil
4 oz. Gorgonzola

Directions:
The night before you want to serve, start the DRESSING: place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, put the mixture into the blender. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.
To make the “CROUTONS”: put the sugar, honey, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium pot. Over medium heat, cook the sugar and honey together until the sugar melts, then add the sunflower seeds. Cook and stir until the sugars caramelize and the seeds become evenly roasted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika. Remove the sunflower seeds from the pan and cool them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When the seeds cool, break them up into bite-size croutons.
Assemble the SALAD: put the lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Add the fresh strawberries and olive oil. Dress the salad with the dressing, taking care not to overdress it. Toss to combine, then add the sunflower seed croutons and chunk the Gorgonzola on top. Serve immediately.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Years ago, when I finally decided to start eating from the produce aisle on a voluntary basis, I’ve been searching for a vegetable-based taco that meets with my admittedly high and exacting taco standards. Which are the following: they must be filling and hefty, no matter what the contents; flavor must be extremely bold and in your face; there must be a touch of heat and spice from chiles of some kind; there must be multiple components that complement each other.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Vegetarian tacos generally fail at most of these criteria, particularly the last one. It often feels like people, more specifically restaurants and food trucks, think that if the filling is vegetable or bean based, then it might be overkill to top it with a vegetable or bean-based salsa. No!! Not at all! In fact it’s quite necessary to provide that contrast of textures, and that is a bit tougher on a vegetable-based taco.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

But with this blog post, I’m proving beyond any doubt that it is entirely possible. The key is choosing different textures between the main event filling and the garnish. This taco is, thus far, my hands down favorite meat-free taco ever, and it’s not a stretch to say it’s going in my top ten tacos eaten ever. The zucchini here is chopped and sautéed, so a chopped tomato salsa really wouldn’t work. The textures and shapes would be too similar. Corn kernels are a perfect solution. Then the chipotle crema adds a creamy note that this taco just begs for, plus that heat and spice that I personally require on all tacos.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Carnivore or vegetarian, I don’t care, just try these. Whatever your eating habits/philosophy, it doesn’t matter – you will NOT be disappointed. Enjoy!

Source: Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Ingredients:

TACOS:
2 tbs olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed zucchini
Salt and black pepper, to taste
8 corn tortillas, warmed

CORN SALSA:
2 ears grilled corn on the cob, kernels cut from cob
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper, to taste

CHIPOTLE CREMA:
3 tbs plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch each of salt and black pepper

Directions:
For the TACOS: heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, salt, and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini becomes slightly tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
For the CORN SALSA, combine the corn kernels, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss together.
For the CREMA, whisk together yogurt, adobo sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper.
To assemble the tacos, add some zucchini mixture to each warm tortilla and cover it with corn salsa. Drizzle some crema on top. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake

For whatever reason, I got on something of a blueberry kick earlier this summer, and became determined to find a perfect, foolproof blueberry snacking cake to stow away in my arsenal of simple baking tricks. I’m usually decent at picking good recipes just by reading them, but my skills were lacking this time, alas.

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake

This was the third blueberry cake I made and the only one I feel even remotely comfortable sharing here. The first, I had such high anticipation as it had a crumble topping with peanuts, something I’d never seen before. The peanuts, and peanut butter glaze especially, overpowered everything and that was all you tasted.

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake

Next I tried a simple whole wheat blueberry cake with a glaze made from pureed blueberries, and the whole thing was very meh. It didn’t go uneaten or anything, but I wouldn’t bother making it again, which says a lot.

By the time I got around to baking this cake here, my expectations were pretty low; one bite in, however, and I knew the only mistake about this cake was the fact that I hadn’t photographed it. So, I had to make it again. Oh darn!

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake

This is everything you want in a simple snacking cake perfect for summer. There is no leavening agent and that is NOT a typo. I don’t get it either, but it worked beautifully and earned rave reviews. Get on it while blueberries are still in season!

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake

Source: Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs poppy seeds
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs sour cream
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 cup fresh blueberries
Raw sugar, like turbinado, for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 300 F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar with either a hand mixer or the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Decrease your mixer speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each is incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixture, then the sour cream, lemon juice and zest, then the last half of the flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the blueberries by hand. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.
Bake the cake 80 to 90 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake completely, then cut out squares and eat!

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

I think that in addition to having a lot going on this summer, one of my other lame excuses for not blogging much has been writer’s block. Like I said, lame. Every professional writer (of which I am certainly not) seems to give the same advice for curing writer’s block: just sit down and write. So, I shall finally take that long-overdue advice to make this post happen at long last!

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

The words aren’t coming to me in any entertaining or sophisticated fashion, but you really need these spareribs in your life. They’re so cute and little! Summers are for pool parties, and these would be perfect to set out at an adults-only one, particularly if said shindig involves copious amounts of bourbon and/or a quasi-legal inhalable substance. Strong Asian flavors and a touch of heat, and it’s really tough to stop eating them. Tender with just the right amount of chew. Utterly delicious. I’ll let the recipe speak for itself. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie

Ingredients:
3 ½ lbs. Asian-style (flanken) pork spareribs*
2 tsp kosher salt
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
3 Thai bird chiles
¼ red onion, stem and roots trimmed, cut into chunks
2 tbs sugar
2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and rough-chopped
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
1 lime
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

*Basically flanken spareribs are cut horizontally into thirds; have your butcher do it

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Place a broiler pan or cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet (it must be rimmed). Grease the cooling rack with cooking spray. Season the ribs with 1 tsp salt and place on the cooling rack. Add a ¼-inch depth of boiling water to the baking pan, then wrap the ribs with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook until the ribs are pull-apart tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Basically, yes, you’re steaming the ribs.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, lemongrass, chiles, onions, and ginger, and process 30 seconds, until well chopped. Add the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and the remaining 1 tsp salt. Continue to process until a coarse paste is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.

Adjust the rack in the oven to the highest setting and preheat the broiler to HIGH.
Remove the ribs temporarily and pour off the water in the baking sheet. If you don’t do this, the ribs won’t crisp up properly. Arrange the ribs, meat side up, on the rack and smear with some of the paste. Broil the ribs until nicely caramelized, 5 minutes. Flip them, smear the other side with some paste and broil on the bone side for 3 minutes. Flip them again, smear with the remaining paste, and broil a final time to get them nice and crispy on the meat side, about 2 more minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into single-bone pieces. Squeeze the lime onto the ribs and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Florida, a New Nephew, and Other Reasons for Being a Negligent Blogger This Summer

I know I don’t usually do this, but it’s been so long since I last posted anything that I thought a blog dedicated to explaining my absence might be just a bit appropriate. It’s been a busy but fantastic summer, one I refuse to believe might be actually starting to wind down. I will continue to yell “NOOOOOO!!!!!” every time I see or hear anything about “back to school”, simply as a matter of principle.

Anywho… my summer started with a trip to Texas to visit family and getting to meet the newest baby nephew!!! Preston is the sweetest, snuggliest baby with the most fun and adorable older siblings. We had a blast. A couple weeks later my mom came up to visit us! Her first trip to Hoboken – we showed her the waterfront, introduced her to Bare Burger, and made cherry slab pie. So fun!

Then, insert some boring but busy work stuff, and preparations began for our two-week vacation to Florida! I had the best of serious intentions to schedule some blogs to share during our trip, but I accidentally rescued a stray cat instead. (I thought she lived in our building! I thought she was micro-chipped!)

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Two days later we left for Florida, with profuse apologies to our cat-sitter, and just got back late Saturday night!

Florida was so awesome. We spent one week in Miami Beach and the second week in Key West.

Here’s a little collage of our stay in Miami.

Honestly the only thing we really did in Miami was visit to the Zoological Wildlife Foundation of Miami. You tour the facilities then interact with some friendly animals, and have the option to play with a baby tiger! We spent the rest of the time at either the resort pool or the beach, including one day seeing dear friends that moved down there about a year ago.

Restaurant recommendations:

Y.U.C.A. – a little more upscale Cuban place with terrific service every time. They tend to overcook fish, but their meat dishes and desserts are amazing.

Cleo South Beach – Mediterranean cuisine, get their tasting menu. Cannot give enough raves about this one.

Beachcraft – Tom Colicchio’s first Miami restaurant, it is absolutely incredible. Fantastic drinks and food.

Yardbird – a place specializing in Southern food, known for fried chicken and bourbon. Best biscuits ever. Go on a very empty stomach! Also has a Las Vegas location.

My Ceviche – tiny hole in the wall place with amazing food. Octopus ceviche was incredible as was the tuna burrito.

Sushi Samba – also has locations in New York and Las Vegas, some of the best sushi outside of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Spot-on execution of your usual sushi suspects, plus some original creations. Both outstanding. Also, tempura green beans appetizer. Just, yes.

Here’s a little Key West picture collage, where we also had a lovely time. We rented a little bungalow one block from Duval St. which came with a very friendly cat. We did more stuff in Key West, including their aquarium (worth seeing), Ernest Hemingway’s house, some cool art galleries, and the highlight: a day trip to Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas! A little island about 70 miles from Key West, we took the boat trip, and it is indescribably beautiful. Worth every penny.

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Restaurant recommendations:

Caroline’s Cafe – dined there twice, they have one of the best fried fish sandwiches I’ve ever tasted. Great key lime pie too.

BO’s Fish Wagon – menu is mostly fried stuff, it’s all delicious.

Dante’s Pool and Bar – we spent part of our last afternoon here, and probably would’ve stayed longer if not for a few conditions: there’s no cover charge, but if you get a covered table or chairs, there’s a $50 minimum on food and drink. So if you are a party of two who aren’t hungry, you have to choose between getting blasted by the sun, or blasted on the alcohol. We ended up choosing neither and went back to the pool that came with our rental. The drinks are quite good though.

Glazed Donuts – a must at least once when in Key West.

Amigos Tortilla Bar – delicious Mexican food. Absolutely delicious.

Blue Macaw Island Eats and Bar – ate breakfast there one day, it is awesome. They have a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, which is heaven for people unlike me who actually like Bloody Mary’s. The food is wonderful too.

Island Dogs Bar – food is not recommended but drinks are wonderful, especially the Key Lime Pie Martini!

Thank you for your patience, and I’ll be back with actual food and recipes tomorrow!!

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where we might be featuring my favorite theme yet: Spice is Nice and Some Like it Hot!!! All my readers know I’m a huge spice fiend and chile-head, so this really couldn’t be more perfect for me.

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

I had so much trouble deciding what to make – so many choices! – but seeing as our Northeast spring weather has been incredibly rainy, overcast, cold, and generally grouch-inducing, I figured this was a great opportunity to make one more pot of chili before the weather (eventually) warms up.

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

I’d actually made this chili a couple years ago, but didn’t get pictures of it for the blog; I figured today’s theme was an ideal time to share it, seeing as it stands out as one of the hottest things I’ve ever eaten. You know how most chili recipes call for canned tomatoes or tomato sauce? Well, this chili doesn’t. No, you puree two cans of chipotle chiles in adobo, and use that instead of any tomatoes. Yeah. And we’re not stopping there, oh no. In addition to all that chipotle, there’s a quarter cup of cayenne, plus a habanero! As Matt says, “this chili doesn’t mess around.”

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

He’s right. This is brow-sweating, eyes watering, nose running, fan your mouth and chug your beer chili that you actually can’t stop eating because it’s so delicious and tastes absolutely wonderful. If you like things hot and spicy, this is up your alley – be brave and try it!

Hottest Ever Chicken Chili

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Michael Symon’s Carnivore by Michael Symon

Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil
3 lbs. ground chicken or turkey, make sure it’s NOT extra-lean
Kosher salt, to taste
1 large red onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced or coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
¼ cup cayenne pepper
¼ cup ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs tomato paste
2 (12 oz.) bottles of beer, preferably IPA
2 (7 oz.) cans of chipotle in adobo, pureed with sauce
1 habanero chile, slit down the side
Garnishes of your choice: sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro or scallion, etc…

Directions:
Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground chicken. Cook, breaking it up with a spoon or potato masher, until browned and no traces of pink remain. Season with a large pinch of salt. Now add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and another pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cayenne, cumin, coriander, and paprika and cook another 30 seconds or so, stirring to evenly coat the chicken and veggies. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine, cooking another 30 seconds.
Deglaze the pot with the beer, being sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the chipotle puree and habanero, stirring to incorporate. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours, or until it reaches a thick, hearty consistency.
Remove the habanero before serving with garnishes of your choice.

Make sure you check out the rest of my Sunday Supper crew!

Aromatic Appetizers

Distinctive Drinks

Daring Desserts

Masterful Mains

Seasoned Sides

Plus Homemade Ginger Ale and Spice is Nice Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

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