Jalapeno Cafe

Archive 1


What's Cookin' at The Jalapeno Cafe


December

This year I am not going to make tamales. Instead I am ordering about 8 dozen from Luna's Bakery. If you have a Mexican bakery(panaderia) or tortilla factory near you, you can place your order for tamales a few weeks before Christmas. Just don't wait until the last minute.

Some of the best Christmas meals I have ever made, have been prepared using Mexican recipes. Most of the dishes, such as enchiladas, beans and rice can be made ahead and re-heated, plus the recipes are easy to expand for large groups. The deserts can be made ahead, too. One year, I was in Mexico a few weeks before Christmas and went to a hardware store. I found some handmade tin cookie cutters that the store sold only at Christmas time. The oversized cutters were for making Christmas Bunelos. So I made bunelos, cutting the shapes with my new cutters. After I fried them, I dusted them with powdered sugar. They were the perfect ending to the meal. If you go to Mexico, go to a hardware store. I like them better than the souvenir shops.

I hope you are checking my recipe pages because I have been adding more recipes . I have added some great enchilada recipes that I found in an old cookbook from the El Paso area. I will keep adding recipes right along, until I have about 20 in each category. I have over 200 recipes on the site now and hope to double that before long. If you have any recipes, especially border recipes, please send them to me and I will post them.

I have included this crazy picture of a man dressed in a Santa suit. I left it large so please be patient while it loads. You can right click on it to copy it, then add some funny captions to it. Even make a funny Christmas card. Make someone smile!

I hope you, your family and friends have a happy holiday.


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When we talk about the meals we ate as children, we tend to remember the simple everyday foods. I come from a large family, and one food we all loved was Ranch Style beans. Everyone in Texas is familiar with the black can with white letters, and if you drive through Ft. Worth, you can still see the big sign on the old Ranch Style Bean factory from the freeway. For those of you who never have eaten Ranch Style Beans, they are pinto beans cooked in a chili gravy. Many companies have tried, but none could ever match the rich Tex-Mex flavor of Ranch Style Beans. I don't think the beans are made in Ft. Worth anymore, the company was sold to one of the big food conglomerates, but you can still buy them at the supermarket for 55 cents a can. I served these beans to my kids and then to my grandkids. In fact, I sent a package of Texas food to my homesick grandson, who is attending college in Rochester, NY. I put in a can of Ranch Style Beans. He later told me that he opened the can and ate all the beans without even warming them. I have been in supermarkets in the upscale areas of Dallas and seen women with dressed in Chanel and Gucci buying their Ranch Style Beans.

Nothing goes better with chicken fried steak, cream gravy and mashed potatoes than Ranch Style beans.

If you have never eaten Ranch Style beans, give them a try.


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October

I hope you like the new recipe format. I have to confess, that I haven't added any new recipes lately. My husband was ill in September and had to have emergency surgery. Then came the September 11 tragedy, so I am glad for a new month. I did cook three new recipes though. Two were keepers, (Chile con Queso with Spinach and Pork Tenderloin with Quince and Jalapenos). I will be adding these recipes soon. The other recipe was for a corn and shrimp fritter. I liked the recipe but it would be better without the shrimp, simply as a vegetable fritter. So said my food tasters too.

Check out the Hot Stuff page. I have added a link to a page with some of my Texas Postcards. I am going to add another page with Large Letter postcards too. Hope they bring a smile to your face.

Here is an image that was sent to me for Halloween last year. This image begs for a good caption. Hope you have some fun with it. I am leaving the image large so you can copy it, so please be patient while it loads

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September

If you check the recipe section, you will see a big change. I finally finished putting the recipes in order by category. I changed the format so that each recipe stands alone. This way if you want to print one, you can print only that one recipe and not the whole list print. Hope you like this. I have added many new recipes, mostly Mexican type. Some of the listing are a little skimpy, but I will be adding more recipes right along. The types of recipes I will add are more Mexican, Border and Southwest and hot foods. If you have any favorite recipes, send them along and I will post them. I am very interested in the old ranch and border recipes.

My most requested recipes now have their own categories: Poppers and Preserving

On another subject, I have decided to start taking pictures of some of the foods I prepare, so I'm shopping for my first digital camera right now. The old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" is so true. One glance can tell you the same that that 3 pages of explanation is setting out to do.

Look at the Recipe of the month page. I have listed some recipes from the movie, "Tortilla Soup."

Here is: The All Jalapeno Dinner.


From August

There is a Mexican take-out place in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas where I live that makes the best-grilled chicken I've ever eaten. They rub the chickens with an achiote and garlic marinade before putting them on the rotisserie. The cooked chicken has an orange colored coating that looks so good and tastes delicious. We always buy the family pack which is a whole chicken, along with pinto beans, rich with jalapenos, tomatoes and onions, Mexican rice cooked with mixed vegetables, fresh salsa and flour tortillas. Doesn't that make you hungry? I love finding a place like this that serves simple, well prepared food that the food editors and gourmets don't know about. People in the neighborhood have discovered it though, because the place is always packed.

Sunday, we were grilling steaks and chicken breasts, so I decided to see if I could achieve the same effect on my chicken. I took two packages of Goya Sazon powder, mixed them with a tablespoon of soy sauce and little lime juice. I rubbed it on the chicken breasts about 20 minutes before grilling. The taste was great, and the meat had that same wonderful orange color. Even the steak eaters had to taste the chicken. Try it. Look in the Mexican Food section at the supermarket, near the chicken bullion cubes for this condiment. It is called Sazon Goya (con culantro y achiote). It comes in an orange box similar in size to a bullion cube box.

I always use this condiment to make Mexican rice. I have put my rice recipe in the recipes section where I have just added three rice recipes.

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From July

Let me introduce myself. I am Carol Blakely and I live in Dallas, Texas. I am a "foodie," a walking repository of recipes, food lore and cooking tips. I started cooking when I was seven or eight years old, and I've never stopped. I've baked, boiled and fried my way through hundreds of cookbooks. Once, I was so engrossed in following a Joy of Cooking recipe that I laid the open cookbook on a hot burner of the stove. I may be the only person who has ever cooked the Joy of Cooking. Over the years, I've tried French, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cuban and many others types of cooking. But I always return to my favorite, and that is Mexican Cuisine. There is such a variety of foods and flavors. Mexican food is so visual with the warm colors of the chilies and cheeses. Every dish is a treat to both the taste buds and the eyes.

To get started, I am adding a section with FEATURED RECIPES. I plan to change it every month. I'm launching this page with three recipes. Check it out.

I can't wait to share some of my favorite recipes with you and try some of your recipes, too. It's going to be fun learning new things about cooking and chili peppers, meeting lots of interesting people and, of course, using the Internet.

Look for my monthly newsletter starting in July. I will have more recipes in the newsletter. If you aren't on the mailing list, be sure and sign up at the bottom of the Café's home page.

Last of all, I would thank you if you clicked on the Top 100 Food Sites and cast a vote for the Jalapeno Café.



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