From the monthly archives:

April 2013

Green chili gravy… mmm.

When we left Arizona, the thing that I missed the most other than my friends, was the food. And to be specific, green chilies. Roasted, peeled and chopped, the New Mexico chili rivals mushrooms for their meaty taste. Riffing on my green chili pork recipe, I came up with green chili gravy.  So tonight, we have grilled pork loin with green chili gravy, mashed potatoes and grilled spring onions.

Yeah, I kind of mixed a few cuisines, but in general, simple foods will simply go together.

Green chili gravy. This is my basic sausage gravy. I just switched out the chilies for sausage and stock for milk. My son will eat this out of a soup bowl though it is not recommended.

My lovely bride and master gardener has figured out how to grow the Big Jim and Sandia chilies from the Hatch, New Mexico area. But I doubt that anyone outside of the Southwest or married to a tenacious gardener will have access to them.

It’s easy to approximate the taste. In this recipe we need about 2 cups of chili. About 3 poblano, 3 Anaheim, 1 jalapeno and one green bell pepper should get you there. These need to be roasted, peeled and deseeded. In reality, I will make 20 or 30 cups and freeze it for later use. This stuff is my base for chile, salsa, cheese dip and now gravy.

The pork loin, mashed potatoes and grilled sprig onions are pretty easy. I am sure that you know how to make these items but I want to add a few tips.

For the loin, I like to butterfly it, or cut it in half. It allows me to cut off more of the fat and sinew. I just dust each side with salt and pepper and grill.

The spring onions are a family favorite. I just put them on the grill with the pork plain as God grew them. I turn them often. My trick is to take them off the grill along with the pork and place them on a platter and then place the grilled pork on top. As the pork rests, the juices flavor the onions.

Works for me.

2 cups chopped roasted green chilies
(About 3 poblano, 3 Anaheim, 1 jalapeno and one green bell pepper be roasted, peeled and deseeded)
½ cup yellow onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Water as needed

In a 12 inch heavy skillet, melt the butter and add the olive oil on medium heat.
Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the flour, cumin, salt and pepper.
Stir for about 5 minutes to cook off the raw flour.
Add the peppers and stir in.

Add the ½ the stock and stir for a minute then add the rest of the stock and the wine.
Stir until it starts to thicken.
Add the oregano and cook for a minute longer.
Reduce the heat to low and add water and stir until the rest of the food in read to serve.

Serve the mashed potatoes and Pork covered in the chili gravy.


I was driving along from here to there and I decided that this is what I wanted for dinner. No real reason: sometimes visions just dance. So here we have roasted portobello and eggplant parmesan

Eggplant can be tough. It’s full of air and water. It’s a sponge. Both the air and water are traditionally taken out with salt before the eggplant is fried. My solution is to roast the slices with a small amount of oil and a sprinkle of salt. This breaks down the cells and releases both the water and air at the same time. The result is a satisfying eggplant dish that has little oil.

It’s not the standard red sauce restaurant fried fare, and that can be great, but this is different and better for you.


1 large eggplant – the more it is shaped like a 1 quart soda bottle the better
4 large Portobello mushroom caps
2 cups marinara (use your own or use my recipe here).
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano plus extra leaves for garnish (optional)
½ cup white wine
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ pound or more fresh mozzarella cheese


Heat the oven to 400 and put the mozzarella in the freezer.

Heat the sauce on medium and add the oregano and white wine.

Peel the eggplant.
Slice in ¼ inch disks. Remember to keep them the same thickness so that they cook at the same rate.
Lightly  skim a baking sheet with olive oil.
Place the eggplant on a baking sheet.
Lightly salt and pepper the eggplant.

Take the stem out of the mushroom cap, drizzle the inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the mushroom cap on the sheet (or another if needed).

Place the eggplant and mushrooms in the oven for about 20 minutes until they just start to brown.

Remove from oven. If any juices have pooled inside the mushroom caps, carefully add this to the sauce.

Remove the cheese from the freezer and slice into 1/8 inch slices.

Add a piece of cheese and a spoonful of sauce to each mushroom cap.
With a spatula, place an eggplant slice on top. Work from large to small.
Keep layering cheese, eggplant and sauce until you have used up the eggplant. Make sure to layer the top with cheese.

Drizzle the top with olive oil and place in the over for about 20 minutes.
When the top just starts to brown and remove from oven.

Place a few spoons of sauce on a plate and set the mushroom cap on top.
Add another spoon of sauce to the top and serve with crusty bread.


Danny’s Lemon Pasta Sauce with Grilled Pesto Shrimp & Broccoli

Thumbnail image for Danny’s Lemon Pasta Sauce with Grilled Pesto Shrimp & Broccoli April 9, 2013

Danny’s lemon pasta sauce with Grilled Pesto Shrimp & Broccoli Ruth Reichl, the NY Times food critic, apparently ate many meals with the actor Danny Kaye and Danny’s Lemon Pasta was one his dishes that she loved.  Should you like to make it like Danny, just add ¼ cup of the pasta water to the […]

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