Tired of the same old side dishes to serve with your holiday turkey dinner? How about kicking things up a notch by adding a little spice to your old favorites?
Southwestern cuisine loosely encompasses the varied spices, herbs and chile peppers found from Texas to California. Using these ingredients and turning up the heat a degree or two will infuse your holiday side dishes with a southwestern flair. Be sure to include some blander dishes in your holiday menu to complement these spicy sides.
Here are the recommended recipes to heat up your turkey dinner:
New Mexican Paté
1 ½ cups cooked, white meat chicken, but into 1 inch pieces
1 shallot, peeled
½ medium Golden Delicious apple, peeled and cored
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ ounces chopped green chile peppers (use canned or frozen if you can’t find fresh)
¼ cup piñon nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Add chicken, shallot and apple to bowl of food processor. Pulse machine several times to break up larger pieces, then process until mixture is finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients. Process again until mixture is completely smooth. Pack into jars and refrigerate. Serve with cucumber slices and wheat crackers.
Yield: 1 ½ cups
Baked Oysters with Red Chile Pesto
Red Chile Pesto:
6 dried ancho chiles
2 cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. piñon nuts
½ cup grated Romano cheese
1 tsp. lime juice
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place chiles in oven and roast about three minutes. Remove from oven and take off stems. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until consistency of paste. Transfer to container and cover. Note: You can make this part ahead of time as pesto may be stored in refrigerator for two weeks.
24 fresh oysters
4 tbsp. red chile pesto
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Open oysters with oyster knife. Discard flat top shells. Loosen oysters in bottom shells and rinse thoroughly. Arrange oysters in baking dish. Cover each with one half teaspoon of the red chile pesto and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake until edges of oysters begin to curl (about 8 minutes).
Start by making jalapeño cornbread the day before
1 1/8 cup cornmeal
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. yellow onion, minced
1 ½ tbsp. jalapeño pepper, minced (or more if you want it hotter)
2/3 cup whole kernel corn (canned, frozen or fresh)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a no. 8 cast iron skillet with a pat of butter (you can place it in the warming oven while you mix the cornbread to melt the butter). In a large mixing bowl combine cornmeal, sugar, salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs and oil with an electric mixer. Pour the buttermilk mixture in the cornmeal mixture and stir well.
Mix in the onions, jalapeños and corn. Pour mixture into prepared skillet and bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
For the stuffing:
Cornbread (from previous recipe), crumbled
1 chub pork sausage (hot or regular, depending on your taste)
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 ounces chopped green chiles
½ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chicken broth
Combine all ingredients except broth in large mixing bowl. Pour the broth over the cornbread mixture and toss together lightly. Use to stuff turkey or bake by itself in a 10 x 13 pan at 350 degrees for one hour.
Fresh Orange Salsa
1 ½ cups fresh orange segments, seeds and membranes removed, chopped
3 tbsp. chopped green onions
4 tsp. fresh coriander, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped green chile pepper (or more, to taste)
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. sugar, or to taste
In a small bowl, combine orange segments, green onions, coriander, chile pepper, vinegar and sugar to taste. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or more. Serve with turkey. Note: best to make this the day before.
New Mexican Brunch Cake (not spicy, but darn good as a dessert, too!)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sour cream
½ cup piñon nuts, roasted
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cream butter and one cup sugar in mixing bowl until light and fluffy, using electric mixer at medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Blend in vanilla.
Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream to butter/sugar mixture, beating well. Spread half of batter in greased 9-inch tube or bundt pan. Combine piñon nuts, ½ cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle mixture over batter. Carefully spread remaining batter on top.
Bake for 45 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool cake on rack. Melt chocolate and white chocolate separately over very low heat, stirring constantly, or in the microwave. Drizzle each from the tip of a spoon to decorate top of cake.
Yield: 10 servings