“Oh, I adore to cook. It makes me feel so mindless in a worthwhile way.” -Truman Capote
By now you probably know that I am really into simple, fresh food.It's unlikely that I will ever give you a recipe for a really complicated, time-consuming culinary masterpiece. I am all about getting a good, fresh, delicious meal on the table without having to spend my entire life in the kitchen (which is pretty much what I do anyway, but that's beside the point...). So something easy, flavorful , and maybe just a bit out of the ordinary, makes me quite a happy cook. This Taos Turkey Burger is no exception. It is made from super simple ingredients. I use fresh roasted chiles from my farmer's market*, you could roast your own or even use canned roasted chiles if that's what you prefer. In any case, in the time it takes to get your grill hot, you can pretty much have these prepared and ready to cook. Grilled or pan-seared, these are a year-round favorite. If burgers are your thing I have a couple others you might like to try here and here.
Taos Turkey Burgers- serves 5
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup diced roasted chiles, peeled, stemmed and seeds removed (or canned, drained)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (pepper jack, cheddar or colby jack)
2 Tablespoons finely snipped chives
1/4 cup finely crushed salted tortilla chips
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoon pureed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (smoky medium heat flavor)
5 burger buns, grilled-optional
sliced avocado or guacamole-optional
1. If using an outdoor grill, start the fire or preheat it now.
2. Combine the first nine ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Gently, yet thoroughly, combine all ingredients. I like to use my fingertips and avoid compacting the mixture. Keep it loose!
3. Gently form mixture into 5 generous patties. Press a hole in the middle of each burger with your index finger (this helps prevent the middle from puffing up while cooking).
4. Place burgers on hot grill , or if using a heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron is great), heat skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil in it over medium heat. When hot, add burgers.
5. Cook burgers, 5-7 minutes per side, or until done, flipping once.
6. Meanwhile, mix together remaining 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon (or to taste) pureed chipotle chiles. Spread evenly on both sides of buns, if using.
7. Assemble burgers using the optional ingredients of your choice and serve!
*Tip: I buy the roasted chiles at my farmer's market in varying degrees of heat. When I get them home, I peel , stem and seed them. I then lay them flat in a single layer on a parchment covered baking tray(s). I then place chiles in the freezer until frozen firm. Once frozen I remove them and pack like chiles together in freezer bags which I store back in the freezer. They are ready to use in all kinds of dishes, thaw, chop and go! The taste is superior to canned. If you roast your own, you can also store them in this manner.
"It's another tequila sunrise, staring slowly across the sky. " -The Eagles
Just the word Tequila piqued your interest, didn't it? You can admit it, I won't tell. Well unlike tequila shots, there won't be any regrets the next morning when making this spectacular summer dish I am about to share with you. It's simply lean and quick-cooking pork tenderloin, bathed in a beautifully herbaceous, slightly acidic and gorgeously green marinade. I swoon over it ever summer. Just the color of the marinade gets me going! I did not create this recipe though I tweaked it ever so slightly , increasing the amount of cilantro called for. However I no longer recall the original source, so I apologize for not being able to give proper credit here*. You will be happy to know that once the meat is cooked , the flavors still shine bright. You can slice it and eat it plain or create tacos or quesadillas with the meat as well. It's equally delicious with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, too, so why not try both? Its a great dish to entertain with as well- nothing ordinary about it yet it is so super simple to make!
Tequila-Jalapeno Pork Tenderloin serves 6-ish or more depending on how large your tenderloins are
1 cup packed cilantro (leaves with stems ok)- about 1 small bunch
2-3 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded, depending on your tolerance for spice (I use 2)
1/2 cup roughly diced onion
3 small cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2-3)
2 Tablespoons Tequila (I use Jose Cuervo Gold )
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar
2 pork tenderloins (or try with boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1. Make Marinade: Combine all ingredients in blender jar.
2. Blend on high until mixture is smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute.
3. On a clean cutting board, butterfly the two pork tenderloins. To butterfly, cut not quite through each tenderloin, lengthwise, with a very sharp knife, so it opens like a book. Do not cut through!
4. Place tenderloins in a ziploc bag or non-reactive dish . If using a dish, pour half the marinade on top. Turn the tenderloins over and pour the remaining marinade on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over-night. If using a bag just pour the marinade into the bag over the tenderloins and seal.
5. When ready to cook prepare charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to medium-high heat. Clean and oil cooking grates. When ready, remove pork from marinade mixture and discard remaining marinade. Place pork onto cooking surface and grill, covered for about 7 minutes per side, turning once.
6. When done I cook mine to 145 degrees internal temperature but USDA says cook to 165 degrees F, you decide what seems good to you). Remove from grill and let rest 10 minutes before slicing (cooking will continue with carry-over heat).
7. Slice thinly cross-wise against the grain and serve immediately with sides of your choice.
I hope you love it! What's your favorite way to prepare pork tenderloin? Please share in the comments below!
* I was thinking the recipe originally was featured in Fine Cooking magazine, but I searched and searched the web for anything similar and came up empty handed.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” -Ruth Reichl
Just came across that quote-love it!! Don't you? So anyhow, just wanted to give you another idea how to use that Cool and Crunchy Jicama Slaw I recently featured. It makes summer meals taste better...really! We had it last night with Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs (finished off the ribs on the grill with some smoking chips). It was perfect because ribs are heavy and rich and the slaw is the complete opposite-light and fresh. Well, here is another idea, a grilled chicken tostada. If you have the slaw made already you are half-way there! If you have left-over grilled chicken from another meal, well, then you have a quick and easy meal with barely any effort! If you are starting from scratch, let me show you how!
Grilled Chicken Tostada- serves 4 to 6
Jicama Slaw made with half of dressing, reserve other half
4 split chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
seasoning mix from this recipe
6" flour or crunchy corn tostada tortillas (your choice)
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
lime wedges for serving, optional
1. Preheat grill. Prepare seasoning mix and set aside.
2.Take two sheets of plastic wrap and place chicken breasts in-between the two sheets. Pound them into an even thickness, no more than 1/2 ".
3. Season both sides of chicken with spice mixture (a generous pinch per side).
4. Place chicken on hot grill and cook, turning once, til just done, about 3-4 minutes per side. Do not over-cook. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Slice chicken in half lengthwise and then into thin strips cross-wise.
6. If using flour tortillas, grill them until browned and crisp (sorry for the way too blurry shot, but you get the idea). If using crunchy corn tostada tortillas, skip this step.
7. To assemble: on each plate, lay down a tortilla. Top with a layer of grilled chicken. Top the chicken with Cool and Crunchy Jicama Slaw, drizzle with a little extra slaw dressing, then garnish with sliced avocado , cilantro leaves and lime wedges, if desired. As they say south of the border- Buen Provecho! ♥
"Sometimes, a Sunday afternoon needs a whole mango to be kept entirely to oneself, and eaten in one sitting." -Alison Pil
Mango is really that good. Sometimes you just don't want to share it. And totally off topic, but I'm not the only one who loved The Newsroom and Alison Pil as Maggie in it, right? (I confess to binge-watching all three seasons on Amazon in about 4 days. I know...) Back to mango...in the off chance you are feeling a little more generous and maybe sharing the mango is an option, can I talk you into making Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Mango-Pineapple salsa? It is super easy to make, a great option for a quick, light week-night meal or a casual weekend meal with friends. Minimal prep, maximum flavor. If I were you, I'd double or triple the seasoning rub as it's great on chicken and works on pork, too.
It's not quite grilling season here in Northern Colorado, but my indoor grill fit the bill just fine today. This recipe comes from my days as a business owner with my meal prep business, the long gone Meals Made Easy. It was my first time tasting mango salsa and I was smitten immediately. I've added a little fresh pineapple to the salsa, and it's a winner. Easy, colorful and fresh, what could be better?!
Grilled Mahi Mahi with Mango-Pineapple Salsa- serves 6
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for the salsa
1 large mango, peeled and diced
2/3 cup diced fresh pineapple
2 Tablespoons minced red onion
2 Tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
juice from 1/2 fresh lime
6 mahi mahi pieces approx 5 ounces each
1. Preheat your grill to medium high.
2. Combine cumin, chili powder, coriander, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
3. Place mango., pineapple, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice and a pinch of salt together in a medium bowl. Stir to mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
4. Pat fish dry. Drizzle each piece with a little olive oil and sprinkle evenly with spice mixture. Place spice side down on grilling surface and cook about 4-7 minutes a side, depending on thickness of fish and heat of your grill. Before flipping, drizzle top side with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with spice mixture (any leftover spice mix can be kept in an air-tight container in your cupboard for 2 months).
5. Continue cooking, until fish is just done, approximately another 4-7 minutes. DO NOT over-cook. Mahi gets an unpleasant texture when over-cooked. You won't like it. Remove from grill immediately.
6. Top with salsa and serve. Doesn't that look so delicious? That salsa alone....swoon!
Oh, and did I mention it's even good for you? Healthy, quick, easy AND tasty?!! Winner!