Thank you for Sharing, Karen!

Good friend Karen Garcia shared her new cookbook Seasonal Southwest Cooking by Barbara Pool Fenzl of Phoenix with me.  It is beautiful book full of exciting recipes and wonderful southwest photos.  It is costing me a fortune in ink and paper to copy all the recipes that sound so good!

Yesterday, I decided to try my hand at some of the goodies in the book.  I began with a Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup.  The combination sounded interesting and it is served chilled.  Since we’ve been hitting the 90s this week, a chilled soup sounded very good.  Ingredients are onion, garlic, chicken broth, roasted poblano chiles (I had long green chiles in the fridge, so I used them instead.) tomatillos and a peeled and seeded hot house cucumber.  After cooking simmering those ingredients until the tomatillos and cucumber are tender, you take the base soup off the heat, and stir in a minced and seeded jalapeño, lime juice and chopped cilantro and let it cool.  When it is cool, puree it all, stir in a little heavy cream and let it chill for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve it with a sprinkle of chopped green onion and a garnish of more chopped cilantro.   It was soooooo gooooooood last night.  I can’t wait to try the left-overs today after the flavors have had more time to blend.



This Gringo Gourmet is always looking for something new to do with prickly pear cactus.  Fenzl has a recipe for an Orange, Jicama and Nopalito (cactus) salad that sounded good.  The author used jarred nopalitos.  I just can’t do that, so I decided to gamble and try raw cactus in the salad instead.  I julienned the jicama (tricky because the jicama is not as solid as you might think), then, I sliced whole prickly pear pads into julienne sticks.  I used supremes (individual segments) of small navel oranges.  Next time I’ll use larger oranges because they are easier to work with and they will show up more in the salad.  The recipe also called for a jar of pimentos.  I don’t care much for pimentos, so I left them out and didn’t miss them at all!  The salad is dressed with an excellent orange vinaigrette: orange juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, crushed anise seed and a tiny dash of cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper to taste.  It would be a lovely dressing on any salad.

By chance, I had taken some lamb loin chops from the freezer to thaw a couple of days ago.  I had to try the Spicy Lamb Chop recipe.  The recipe is for a rub with garlic, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, cilantro and olive oil.  I grilled the chops to medium rare. The spicy savory lamb chops were perfect with the crispy and slightly sweet salad.

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