Tuesday, January 15, 2013

taos double chocolate chip cookies

i write a blog celebrating spicy, hot food from all over the world.  so you would think i would be in trouble during food network's chocolate chip cookie week at comfort food feast.  happily, i have the perfect recipe...double chocolate from cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate chips, good-for-you because they are made with white whole wheat flour*, agave instead of sugar and extra virgin olive oil instead of butter and they get a bit of a kick from ancho chile powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

does that sound like an odd combination?  i have fallen in love with the mexican hot chocolate served here in new mexico. it is made with the same spices i used in the cookies.  hey, if it works in the cocoa...why not cookies?  give them a try....you may fall in love too!

taos double chocolate chip cookies
(makes 24)

1 1/2 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour*
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp coarse grey sea salt
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 organic egg
1 tsp pure vanilla ( i like madagascar)
1/2 c organic flaked coconut
1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips (60 % cacao)

preheat oven to 325 degrees. line 2 baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. set aside. sift together all dry ingredients into medium bowl. in separate small bowl, whisk together the agave nectar, e.v.o.o, egg and vanilla. pour wet ingredients into dry and, using a wooden spoon, stir until combined. fold in coconut and chocolate chips. drop by tablespoons onto prepared sheets (i use a medium ice cream scoop). bake for 15 minutes and let sheets cool on racks. you can store in airtight containers for a couple of days...but best the day they are baked.

** i love unbleached white whole wheat flour, whole wheat which has been milled from the lightest wheat kernels...so light they are almost white. contains all the fiber and nutrients of regular whole wheat but lighter in color and taste. note...this is not white flour...the color is light brown when baked. i like the king arthur brand**

it is chocolate chip cookie week at food network's "comfort food feast". check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends:
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Breakfast Bars
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies
What's Gaby Cooking: Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Lemon Bowl: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
From My Corner of Saratoga: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Napa Farmhouse 1885: New Year's Resolution Chocolate Chip Cookies
Made By Michelle: The Best Blondies, Ever
Cooking With Elise: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet Life Bike: Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Cookies
Virtually Homemade: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Cultural Dish: Chocolate Chip Cookie Goodness
Thursday Night Dinner: Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Dishin & Dishes: Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Daily*Dishin: Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Cookies With Pecans
Devour:5 Takes on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
FN Dish: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe you would like featured? feel free to post or link in the comments section of this post.

my best,
red or green
napa farmhouse 1885
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

spicy baked sweet potatoes

it is potato week at food network's comfort food feast and i decided to keep it simple with the best ever way to bake them.  (how modest of me, right?).  baked potatoes are so very versatile...once they are cooked they can be topped with just about anything...from the classic sour cream and chives or cheese sauce, to the more healthful versions of chili or roasted vegetables. (try green chile stew for a delicious main course).  i like to use sweet potatoes for the increased nutrients and just drizzle extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle some cayenne pepper & chopped green onions and serve.  terrific as a side dish or, paired with a salad, a light lunch or dinner.

now...i must share that my favorite part of a baked potato is the skin. so my technique is designed to maximize the flavor and make it a bit crispy with lots of texture. feel free to bake your potatoes however you like but just try my way one time.  you may find that your friends and family devour every bite...skin and all...maximizing the nutrition, fiber and..to me at least...the taste!

spicy baked sweet potatoes~serves 2
2 large organic sweet potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
extra virgin olive oil
coarse grey salt

cayenne pepper
freshly cracked black pepper

3 green onions, chopped...white and green parts

preheat oven to 425 degrees. place a cooking rack on a rimmed baking sheet. prick potatoes 5-6 times with a sharp knife. this allows steam to escape while the potatoes are cooking and you get baked potatoes...not steamed potatoes (completely different texture). using your hands, rub olive oil all over a potato and then place on the prepared rack. repeat with second potato. sprinkle both potatoes with the coarse grey salt. roast in oven 45 minutes to 1 1/2  hours until the potatoes give slightly when squeezed. (cooking time depends on how large and thick the potatoes are.  begin checking after 45 minutes and then every 15 minutes until done)

to serve, slice a potato down the center lengthwise. gently squeeze to loosen the flesh being careful not to tear the skin. use a fork to fluff up the flesh and drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top. sprinkle with cayenne pepper, grey salt and black pepper. repeat with second potato.  sprinkle chopped green onions over top and serve immediately.

another recipe you may also enjoy:
spicy twice baked sweet potatoes

it is potato week at food network's "comfort food feast". check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends:

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Grilled Smashed Baby Potatoes With Green Harissa Sauce
Devour: 5 Ways to Cook Potatoes
Haute Apple Pie: Twice-Baked Southwestern Sweet Potatoes Napa Farmhouse 1885: Healthy Warm Potato Salad With Onion and Vinegar
Red or Green?: Spicy Baked Sweet Potatoes
And Love It Too: Sweet Potato Hasselback Potatoes
Virtually Homemade: Twice-Baked Potatoes With Cheddar and Caramelized Onions
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Crispy Potatoes With Baked Eggs and Pesto Yogurt
Cooking With Elise: Vavos Stewed Potatoes
The Heritage Cook: Potato and Sweet Potato Gratin With Bourbon-Laced Cream Sauce
The Cultural Dish: Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Thursday Night Dinner: If You Need Me, I'll Be With My Potato Soup
Feed Me Phoebe: Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Rosemary
Add a Pinch: Loaded Smashed Potatoes
From My Corner of Saratoga: Garlic and Herb Infused Cheesy Potatoes
FN Dish: Well-Loved Potato Sides

do you have a favorite comfort food recipe you would like featured? feel free to post in the comments section of this post.

my best,
red or green
napa farmhouse 1885

please follow us on facebook

i have started sharing my taos experiences on my newest blog "california girl in taos". please visit and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

bean & green chile pot pie with cornmeal biscuits

happy new year everyone!  i am excited to tell you about a new weekly "fest" from food network.  longtime readers know we do a summer and fall series each year focusing on different fresh, in-season fruit and vegetables each week.  for the first time ever we are going to continue the event during winter.  the difference is "winterfest" will emphasize comfort foods.  the schedule for "comfort food feast" is as follows:

2- Pot Pie
9 – Potatoes (mashed potatoes, French fries, etc.)
16 – Chocolate Chip Cookies
23 – Pizza
30 – Chili of any kind (for Super Bowl)
6 – Chicken (fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, etc.)
13 –Stew (of any kind)
20 - Meatloaf
27 – Biscuits
6 – Grilled Cheese
13 – Comforting Pasta (Mac and Cheese, Carbonara, Baked Spaghetti, etc.)
this is going to be fun!  my two new year's goals (i like that word better than resolutions) are to         #1. continue experimenting with recipes that taste delicious but use clean, healthy, good-for-you ingredients and #2. cook like a locavore.  the second goal has never been more challenging for me.  using local, in-season food in the middle of winter in california is one thing....in a small, mountain/desert town like taos it is completely different.  we get snow here! :)
we start comfort food feast with pot pies.  this bean & green chile pot pie with cornmeal biscuits is one of my favorites.  vegetarian, spicy and very versatile.    the combination of beans, corn, green chile and cornmeal is pure new mexico and i used local ingredients where possible (sadly we don't have local avocados or olive oil).  give it a try and please let me know what you think.
here is a tip for the biscuits used in a pot pie.  bake them first and then use to top your filling ingredients.  most recipes call for the raw dough to be baked along with the rest of the pot pie.  i find the biscuits are never crisp and crunchy on the bottom  when using that method. i am not a fan of mushy dough.
bean & green chile pot pie with cornmeal biscuits
(serves 6)

2 cups dried beans (pinto, black, bolitas)
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
13 oz chopped fresh or frozen new mexican green chile (see resources) mild, med or hot
10 oz fresh or frozen sweet corn
2 tomatoes chopped (if in season, otherwise you can omit)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp mexican oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
cornmeal biscuits (recipe below)
fresh salsa
fresh guacamole

add beans to large stockpot and cover with water by 3 inches. soak for 4-6 hours or overnight. bring to a boil and then reduce heat to high simmer. cook until beans are tender adding additional water if needed to keep beans covered. (note, cooking times depend on how fresh your beans are. fresh dried beans, like the ones sold by rio culebra take about 3 hours to cook. older beans, like the ones bought at the supermarket, can take considerably longer...4-6 hours. plan accordingly and begin testing every 30 minutes after 2 hours. they should be al dente...like pasta...when ready.

in a small pan, saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent.  add to bean pot. add green chile, corn and tomato paste and cook until hot. add salt and pepper to taste. 

preheat oven to 375 degrees. butter or oil a 9 inch deep dish pie dish.  add enough beans to fill a bit more than 3/4 full.  top with baked biscuits.  drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot.  serve with salsa and fresh guacamole.

cornmeal extra virgin olive oil drop biscuits
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 cups coarse cornmeal (i use polenta)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp alum free baking powder
2 tsp raw honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup coconut or almond milk (plus 2 tbsp)

preheat oven to 400 degrees. you will need a non-stick baking sheet...or use silpat or parchment paper on a regular sheet. using a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. add the honey and olive oil and stir using a fork. large lumps will form. gradually add 3/4 cup milk a little bit at a time until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the dough.  the dough will be very crumbly but should hold together when squeezed with your hand.  if too dry add 1-2 tbsp additional milk.

the biscuits are formed by placing forkfuls of dough onto prepared sheets. place in preheated oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. i use approximately 1/4 cup of dough for each biscuit...but you can make yours as small or large as you like. baking times will vary depending on size.

it is pot pie week at food network's "comfort food feast".  check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends:
Made by Michelle: Chicken and Biscuits in a Pot
The Lemon Bowl: Chicken Pot Pie With Phyllo (Dairy-Free)
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie With Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Biscuits
Red or Green?: Bean and Green Chile Pot Pie With Cornmeal Biscuits
FN Dish: Post-Holiday Pot Pies

do you have a favorite comfort food recipe you would like featured?  feel free to post in the comments section of this post.

my best,
red or green
napa farmhouse 1885

please follow us on facebook

i have started sharing my taos experiences on my newest blog "california girl in taos". please visit and let me know what you think.