Skip to content

New Mexico Christmas Peanut Brittle

Base Microwave Brittle Recipe By: Allrecipes.com

Summary

“Christmas” refers to this utilizing both red and green New Mexico chile. (Insider tip: when asked “red or green?” for your chile preference in a New Mexican restaurant, reply “Christmas” to get both – enchiladas and huevos rancheros both benefit from this treatment!)

This is also “Christmas” brittle to me ‘cause it’s something I typically make around the holidays to bring a little bit of the Southwestern flavor to my home in the Pacific Northwest…

Note that the base of the brittle is the same for both types — all that changes is the type of chile and nuts.

A Note About the Chile

Being somewhat of a New Mexico chile snob, the type really matters to me. I recommend Hatch red and green chile powder, but Chimayo red works well also. The recipes above call for 1-2 Tbsp. of each chile type, with the greater amount used if using medium chile powder, and the lesser if using the hot variety.

WIN_20150102_220304

Ingredients

Red Chile Peanut Brittle Green Chile Pistachio Brittle
  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1-2 Tbsp. pure red chile powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1-2 Tbsp. pure green chile powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

 

Preparation

Preparation for both types is identical, just vary the chile and nut variety for each batch.

  1. Butter a cookie sheet (or apply a light layer of cooking spray), and put in oven at 225°.
  2. Combine sugar and chile powder, mixing thoroughly in a 2 quart microwave-safe glass bowl or container. Combine mixture with corn syrup.
  3. Microwave sugar mixture on High, 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in nuts and microwave on High, 3½ minutes more
  5. Stir in butter and vanilla, and microwave again, High: 1½ minutes.
  6. Rapidly stir in baking soda until light and foamy.
  7. Pour onto warmed cookie sheet and spread thin. Note: if brittle does not spread thin initially, the cookie sheet can be put back into 225° oven to warm and further spread.
  8. Cool and break into pieces to serve. (I’ll often place the brittle pan into a refrigerator once room temperature to fully cool and harden).

 

Result

WP_20151206_21_04_58_Rich_LI

Cheese Manicotti

Quick and easy Italian comfort food!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 box manicotti shells
  • 4 cups (32 oz.) Ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. crushed basil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Italian sausage

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Cook manicotti shells for 9 minutes; drain and rinse in cold water.
  3. While cooking shells, break up and sauté Italian sausage in a small skillet until brown.
  4. Spread a small amount of marinara sauce over bottom of baking dish, roughly 13”x9”.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, and salt, mixing thoroughly. Spoon filling into a pastry bag and fill cooked shells.
  6. Place filled shells in baking dish. Cover with remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle cooked sausage over manicotti.
  7. Cover tightly and bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

Result

WP_20150224_001

Taste Experiment: Green Chile Chicken Soup

Just recently returned from New Mexico and was able to stock on Hatch green chile on the way out of town. On the way home tonight I knew I needed to get groceries for dinner and it hit me: Green Chile Chicken Soup!

This is attempt #1.

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 potato
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cups chopped, roasted hot Hatch green chile
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Grill the chicken breast(s) until done, and set aside to cool.
  2. Chop onion and potato fine.
  3. Peel and press garlic.
  4. Cut cooled chicken breast(s) into small pieces.
  5. In a large pot, melt butter and add flour, whipping to a smooth roux. Immediately add milk and broth to roux, mixing until smooth. Bring base just to a boil and add garlic, potato, onion, green chile, and chicken.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with your favorite tortillas or tortilla chips. Can be topped with a dollop of sour cream and/or finely grated cheddar cheese.

Result

WP_20141022_002

 

Footnote: This really requires real Hatch green chile – don’t make it with anything else!

WP_20141022_003

Dinner Stylings: Meatball Update

Summary

I love a good meatball, so I continue tweak and experiment with a few patterns, and this one is just a brain-dump of the latest iteration which turned out well. The red sauce can be much more complex than that here — this capture is mainly focused on the ‘balls.

Ingredients

  • 16oz ground lamb
  • 12oz ground pork
  • 4 cloves pressed fresh garlic
  • 6 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • ~½ cup milk (just enough to cover crumbs)
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 cups tomato sauce
  • 8-12oz egg noodles or angel hair pasta

Preparation

  1. Place crumbs in bowl and add just enough milk to cover. Set aside
  2. Combine pork, lamb, and garlic, thoroughly mixing with hands.
  3. Add spices and bread crumbs to meat, again mixing thoroughly.
  4. Form meat mixture into 1″ meatballs, rolling in flour until lightly coated.
  5. Brown meatballs in butter over medium heat.
  6. While browning meatballs, bring water for pasta to boil.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place meatballs in small casserole dish, covering with tomato sauce.
  8. Bake meatballs for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  9. During final 10 minutes of cooking, add pasta to water and cook al dente.

Serve meatballs in sauce over pasta.

Result

<TBP>

 

Dinner Stylings: Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb Ground lamb
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne red pepper
  • 1 tsp summer savory
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Flour
  • 2 cups tomato sauce +1 cup water
  • 8-12 oz egg noodles

Preparation

  1. Combine spices and lamb.
  2. Form meat mixture into 1″ meatballs, rolling in flour until lightly coated.
  3. Brown meatballs in butter over medium heat.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place meatballs in small casserole dish, cover with tomato sauce.
  5. Bake meatballs for 40 minutes, turning occasionally.
  6. During final 20 minutes of cooking, bring water to a boil and cook egg noodles, boiling 10 minutes until done.

Serve meatballs in sauce over egg noodles.

Result

WP_20130321_002

Taste Experiment: Chicken Picatta

Stolen from my Mom over the holidays, this version of chicken picatta is a delicious work in progress. I’ll update the ingredients with more specific amount guidance as I figure it out…

Ingredients

  • 1-2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup flour / chicken breast
  • 1/4 tsp salt / chicken breast
  • 1/4 tsp pepper / chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • Angel hair pasta, 1-2 nests

Preparation

  1. Slice or pound chicken breasts into thin strips, roughly 1/8" thin.
  2. Bring water for pasta to a boil.
  3. Combine flour, salt, pepper.
  4. Dredge chicken pieces in seasoning and brown in olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Remove chicken from pan to rest. (Optionally dust with seasoning a second time.)
  6. Add pasta to boiling water.
  7. Scrape remnants in pan and add: butter, lemon juice, white wine, and capers. Bring to a simmer, 10 minutes.
  8. Add chicken slices to sauce and simmer until hot.

Serve over angel hair pasta.

Result

WP_20140116_002

Taste Experiment: Split Pea Soup with Ham

This one is a variation of the Kickin’ Split Pea Soup, using ham instead of sausage plus more spice.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried peas
  • 1 lb boneless honey ham
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 10-15 baby carrots
  • 8 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp savory
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper

Preparation

  1. Dice onion, carrots, and garlic.
  2. Cut ham into 1/2″ cubes.
  3. Rinse and sort through peas to make sure they are clean and free of rocks, etc.

  4. Bring 8 cups water just to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add all ingredients.
  6. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve.

Result