Scottie’s Creole Butter
This recipe was inspired by my friend Scottie Johnson from Chicago. We first met via The BBQ Forum on the Internet and realized we were almost neighbors. I wish you could see his adorable little girls. It was first created for deep-fried turkeys, but works just great in the BBQ for all poultry and it makes a great fish marinade too.
Rancho Aurora Garlic Soup
This recipe is from Susana Trilling, who owns the Seasons of My Heart Cooking School in Oaxaca, Mexico. It uses an herb called hoja santa that has a large, fragrant leaf. Look for it in Latin markets but if unavailable, watercress is the best substitute. Serve this soup with a dark beer like Negra Modelo and cornbread. Read Dave DeWitt’s entire spicy spring soup article here.
2 heads garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large hoja santa leaf, cut into strips or 1 bunch chopped fresh watercress
6 cups Vibrant Vegetable Stock (see recipe here) or substitute your favorite stock
2 de árbol chiles, left whole, or substitute 2 large piquíns or santaka chiles
Salt and white pepper to taste
3 bay leaves
1 bunch celery leaves, coarsely chopped
20 toasted bread cubes or croutons
20 cubes Oaxaqueño or other melting cheese such as queso blanco or Monterey Jack
Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil in a soup pot until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the hoja santa or watercress and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the stock, chile (if using), salt, pepper, and bay leaves and simmer for a half an hour. Remove the bay leaves and chile. Add the celery leaves just before serving.
Place 5 cubes of bread and five of cheese in 4 individual soup bowls and ladle in the soup. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Thai-style Cucumber Salad
This recipe appears in the article “Sidekicks: Three Fun Barbecue Side Dishes from Mike
Stines” on the Burn! Blog. Read the story here.
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 scallions, bias-sliced (white and light green part only)
2 (or more) Thai chiles (or 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes)
2 slices red onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced Thai basil
Peel the cucumbers, slice them in half length-wise, and use a melon baller or teaspoon to scrape out the seeds. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch slices and place them in a colander. Sprinkle the cucumbers with one tablespoon of kosher salt and allow them to drain at least one hour. Salting the cucumbers will draw out some of the moisture, making for a crisper salad.
Meanwhile, stir together the remaining salt, rice wine vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Rinse the cucumbers and drain them well. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, scallions, chilies and red onion. Add the rice wine marinade and stir it all to incorporate. Refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour. Garnish it with the basil and serve.
Green Chile-Cilantro Pesto
Of course we have our own New Mexican version of pesto! It’s a topping for pasta but also can be added to soups, stews, and rice. Although we have specified cilantro in this recipes, you can use the traditional basil or even Italian parsley. Pecans, another New Mexican crop, can be substituted for the piñon nuts.
1 cup chopped green New Mexican chile
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup piñon nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
Place the chile, cilantro, nuts, and cheese in a food processor and, while processing, slowly drizzle in the oil to form a pesto. Heat Scale: Medium