Easy Morita Chile Salsa

20170309_172702My husband and I were on our way home from a destination wedding in San Miguel, Mexico last fall when he struck up a conversation with a young American woman sitting next to him who currently lives in Mexico City.  She shared with us her favorite and authentic salsa recipe using her favorite chile.

I found Morita Mexican Whole Dried Chiles on Amazon and ordered them.  They are a beautiful red chile with a wonderful smoky flavor.  Her recipe is simple but delicious and only requires 3 ingredients.

In a dry cast iron pan over med-high heat, roast 2-3 dried chiles and 2-3 cloves of whole garlic. Stir to allow these ingredients to brown and soften. In the pictures below I also roasted some sliced shallot or onion although this wasn’t in her recipe.  Remove place in the bowl of a small processor. Take one washed, large, whole tomato and place it in the hot pan.  Roast until the tomato skin begins to brown, peel and soften.    Although her recipe calls for the tomato to remain whole, mine was store bought so I quartered it, I thought this would release the tomato’s juices. Use a wooden spoon to roll it around the hot pan to roast all sides.  Remove from the pan and add to the processor.

For a milder salsa, use 1 or 2 more tomatoes.  The chiles are very hot but if you like the heat, roast and add more. Salt to taste. I suggest, when possible use farm fresh tomatoes as they are sweeter and juicier and make the best salsa. Supermarket tomatoes  will work when garden fresh aren’t available. Serve with chips.

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Impromptu cookout (or last minute)

I play golf.  I play for fun and occasionally I play in a tournament.  Not often, but at least once a year.  I recently played in a two day tournament.  I wasn’t sure when I would be done but a friend invited my husband and me to come for a “porch night” – drinks and appetizers on their porch one beautiful summer night and then out to dinner after.  Unbeknownst to my friend or me, my husband decided to invite everyone to our house for dinner… and by so doing invited a few more to porch night as well. Needless to say when I walked off the golf course and heard this, I sort of panicked.  My house was in disarray (a nice way of saying a mess) and I had nothing prepared.

Typical of my husband, Don went and bought huge steaks and farm fresh corn on the cob.  I got home and took to broom and mop and at least made the kitchen presentable.  The extra friends that thought we were going out to eat after porchtime felt terrible that they had not brought something but that didn’t worry us.  After I collected myself, I sliced up some cukes and tomatoes fresh from the garden, boiled some water for the corn and marinaded thickly sliced zucchini, also from the garden, in oil and garlic.  Don seasoned the steaks and lighted the grill.

My friends kindly overlooked the mess that was outside of the somewhat cleaned up kitchen, we  set up a buffet and when the corn and steaks were done, we ate.  I had vanilla ice cream and strawberries at the read for dessert but we decided dessert wasn’t necessary.  Everything was loaded into the dishwasher and we retired to the patio to listen to music around the firepit. IMG_4321

Heavenly Brownies

You are going out to a friends for dinner and you volunteered to bring dessert and you are running out of time for anything creative and out of the ordinary.  There is a box of brownie mix in your cupboard but do you really want to resort to a box of preservatives and flavorings?  Here is my go to recipe, given to me by a friend who is a very good cook.

They are call Heavenly Brownies and the name couldn’t be more appropriate.  They are heavenly simple to make and heavenly delicious to eat.  What makes them so simple is that I make the batter in a saucepan, pour it into a foil lined 9×9 inch square pan for easy clean up and pop it in the oven.  The recipe is as follows:

Line a 9″x9″ square pan with foil, up the sides.  Spray with baking spray. Set aside.  Melt a stick of butter or margerine in a saucepan with 2 squares of semi sweet chocolate.  Remove from heat and pour in 1 cup of sugar, mix.  Next add 2 large eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.  Add 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 tsp of baking powder, again mix well. Lastly add 1 tsp of vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Pour into the foil lined greased pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 mins, check, do not over bake!!  If the center still feel really undone bake a few more minutes.  The brownies will continue to bake even when you take them out of the oven to cool so don’t leave in the oven too long.  When cool, lift foil out of pan, slice and serve or store in airtight container. Recycle the foil and put the pan away for easy clean up.

After you make this recipe, you will throw those brownie mixes out!

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