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March 2019

Crispy Homemade Tortilla Chips

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Crispy Homemade Tortilla Chips

Years ago my friend Robert’s mother was visiting from Mexico and taught me how to make her famous fruit filled guacamole (Anita Kass Guacamole recipe), but it came with a warning, “don’t make this if you’re going to use store bought tortilla chips” – they simply were not worthy of her spectacular guacamole. So, whenever I do make guacamole, hers or traditional, I always make these quick and easy homemade chips, the taste is worlds apart from bagged chips at the supermarket. 

Download Crispy Homemade Tortilla Chips recipe 

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

5 cups peanut oil for frying

Kosher salt

For the best results, use fresh, locally made tortillas (the thinnest available). Peanut oil is preferred for deep frying because of its high smoke point, but vegetable or corn oil will also work.


  1. Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.


  1. Add half of tortillas and fry until golden and crispy around edges, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer chips to prepared sheets, sprinkle lightly with salt, and let cool. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve. (Cooled chips can be stored in zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 4 days.)



Cauliflower Topped Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Cauliflower Topped Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

A modern twist on a comfort food classic. The incredibly delicious pureed cauliflower mash is rich, creamy, pairs perfectly with the flavorful sauce and ground turkey. Another winning recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s Super Foods magazine

Download Cauliflower Topped Turkey Shepherd’s Pie recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large head of cauliflower (3 pounds) cored and cut into ½-inch pieces

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper, as needed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

1 pound 93% lean ground turkey (don’t use 99%)

¼ teaspoon baking soda

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup low sodium chicken broth

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 large zipper lock bag (for piping cauliflower mash)

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium low heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of water and ¾ teaspoon salt, cover and cook until cauliflower falls apart easily when poked with a fork, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer cauliflower and any remaining liquid to food processor bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Transfer to large bowl and stir in beaten egg and chives; set aside. Meanwhile toss turkey with baking soda, 1 tablespoon water, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in broiler-safe 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated and fond begins to form on bottom of skillet, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until skillet is dark brown, about 2 minutes. Add broth, carrots, thyme sprigs, and Worcestershire and bring to a simmer scraping up any brown bits on pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pinch off ½-inch piece of turkey mixture, add to skillet, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until turkey is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, stirring and breaking up meat halfway through cooking.
  4. Whisk cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water together in a small bowl, then stir mixture into filling and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Discard thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Transfer cauliflower mixture to large zipper lock bag. Using scissors, cut 1-inch off bottom of bag corner. Squeezing bag, pipe mixture in even layer over filling, covering entire surface. Smooth with the back of a spoon, then use fork to make ridges over surface. Place skillet over rimmed baking sheet and broil until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 10-15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.





Green Chicken Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings

Green Chicken Chili Cornmeal Dumplings

I found this recipe in the October / November 2018 issue of Cooks Country Magazine (loaded with great fall recipes) and it is a perfect winter comfort dish, that will satisfy any craving for Mexican food. The flavors will remind you of Enchiladas Verdes and Corn Tamales, all brought together in flavorful one-pot stew that’s quick and easy to make.  

Download Green Chicken Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 poblano (or pasilla) chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

¾ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

5 cups chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can white or yellow hominy, drained, but do not rinse

1 cup jarred Frontera green salsa 

1 (2½-pound) rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded into bite-size pieces (3 cups)

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


1 ½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour

½ cup (2½ ounces) cornmeal

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup buttermilk, chilled

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the chili:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, poblano, pepper, and salt and cook until vegetables have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in broth, beans, hominy, and salsa and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.

For the dumplings:

  1. Meanwhile, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Stir buttermilk and melted butter together in second bowl until butter forms clumps. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir with rubber spatula until incorporated.
  2. Add chicken and cilantro to chili and stir until incorporated. Using greased ¼-cup dry measuring cup (and using spoon as needed to free dough from cup), drop 8 level scoops of dough around perimeter of pot and 1 level scoop of dough in center, spacing scoops about ½ inch apart.
  3. Bake, uncovered, until tops of dumplings are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Fluffy Fiber Rich Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Fluffy Blueberry Oat Pancakes

Pancakes are traditionally an indulgent weekend option, but often are made with simple carbs that leave you feeling hungry in no time. I’ve tried a few multi-grain “healthy” recipes, but the pancakes were typically heavy and dense. I found this recipe in an America’s Test Kitchen magazine called “Super Food” recipes, and as usual with their recipes – perfection! Fluffy, tender, flavorful pancakes packed with fiber that tasted great. I’ve used buttermilk and clabbered milk and both work just fine. I find that the pancakes cook more evenly without the blueberries in the batter, so I generally serve the blueberries on the side.

Download Fluffy Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

2 cups buttermilk, or clabbered milk (Mix 2 cups of whole milk mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and let rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken slightly)

1 cup (3 ounces) old fashioned rolled oats

1 ½ cups (4 ½ ounces) oat flour

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

7 ½ ounces blueberries ( about 1 ½ cups)


  1. Combine 1 cup of buttermilk and oats in a bowl and let sit at room temperature to soften, about 15 minutes.


  1. Whisk oat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. In separate bowl whisk eggs, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, vanilla and remaining 1 cup of buttermilk until frothy, about 1 minute. Whisk buttermilk-egg mixture into flour mixture, just until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in oat-buttermilk mixture.


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet (or griddle pan) over medium heat until shimmering, 4-5 minutes. Using papertowels, wipe out oil, leaving thin film in skillet. Using ¼-cup dry measuring cup (or large cookie scoop) portion batter into skillet; spread each portion into 4-inch round using back of spoon. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon blueberries. Cook until edges are set and first side is golden, 2-3 minutes.


  1. Flip pancakes and cook until second side is golden, 2-3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with maple syrup and butter. Makes about 18 pancakes. (To serve all at once, keep finished pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven on a wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet)