My in-laws came down for a visit this last weekend. They had bought a beautiful photograph for my birthday, and the framing was just finished, so they brought it down to me. I’m so excited about this piece. It is a gorgeous black and white of man’s hand on a post. This man was a farm worker and his hands are so weathered that they almost look like they’ve turned to wood. My description really can’t do it justice, but the piece is really special. For one, it is the first piece of truly fine art that we have in our home. Secondly, it comes from Matt Black, a photographer that grew up in the Central Valley and has done a tremendous job of giving the world a glimpse at the hardship surrounding agriculture. The picture itself was taken in a place just over an hour from where we live. Matt has since traveled the country and gained some notoriety, and I love to see a hometown artist do so well.
While my in-laws were visiting I had the opportunity to fix dinner for all of us. This is a fun set of recipes. This is a little more labor intensive than my regular week-night meals, but since I had some extra eyes on the toddler, I was able to spend a little more time in the kitchen.
(The ingredients are listed by layer)
1 lb Ground (Pork, Beef, or Turkey)
1 Tbsp Diced Canned Jalepenos
1 Tsp California Chili Powder
1 Tsp Granulated Garlic
1 Tsp Granulated Onion
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Tsp Cumin
Salt and Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
1 C Half and Half
1/2 lb Grated Monterey Jack
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper
Chili and Cheese Layer
1/2 lb Monterey Jack S
1 26oz Can Chilis for Relleno
2/3 C Flour
1 1/4 C Milk
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Pre-heat the one to 350 degrees, and take out a 13×9 baking dish.
- In a large pan, brown meat. Add spices and 2 Tbsp of water to help break up the meat as it cooks. Drain and place on the bottom of baking dish.
- To make the bechamel, melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add flour and stir until it is incorporated into the butter. Cook until the smell of flour is gone. Add half and half while stirring constantly. Once the mixture begins to bubble, add grated cheese and stir thoroughly. Pour mixture over the meat layer.
- Begin to layer Chilis and Cheese. Pull the Chilis apart so they lay flat and lay them down over the bechamel. Slice Jack cheese and layer over the Chilis. Add one more layer of chili over the cheese.
- To make the batter, mix wet and dry ingredients together. Make sure the mixture is fairly thin and pourable. If it is too thick add a little more milk. Pour batter ove the top of the chili layer.
- Bake for 45min. Let sit after it cooks for 10-15 minutes so that it will be easy to serve.
This is not my recipe. My Aunt Linda taught me how to do this ages ago.
1 C White Rice (Jasmine)
2 C. Water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Chopped Yellow onion
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Tsp Caldo de Tomato (Tamato bouillion)
1 tsp Granulated garlic
1 tsp Granulated onion
- Heat Large skillet, and add olive oil.
- Chop yellow onions and sauté until the onion just begins to turn translucent.
- Add Rice. Coat in olive oil and gently toast in the pan.
- Add seasoning, bouillion, and tomatoes paste.
- Add water and stir everything together.
- Bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.