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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Recipe Round Up: Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies & Papas con Chorizo

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

These really are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Unless you are allergic to tree nuts. Then don't eat these. Otherwise, they are the best. I'll try to get a photo taken soon. Mostly, the kids eat these before I can snag a picture.

3 1/2 cups pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
2 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla brandy or vanilla extract (I make my own vanilla brandy)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (we get either Trader Joe's store brand, President's Choice dark Belgian chocolate chips, or Ghiradelli's Double Dark)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional, but not really)

I don't really need to tell you how to make these. Almost everyone in America can put together drop cookies, but just in case:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line several cookie sheets/jelly roll pans with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, cream butter with brown sugar, until light and frothy. Add in vanilla and almond extract, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop by tablespoonful onto parchment lined pans, about two inches apart (I really put them about an inch and a half apart and they're fine). Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool a couple minutes on the pan, then remove to cooling rack and cool completely. Store in airtight container. If you have any left. This makes about 6 dozen cookies, give or take a few.

Papas con Chorizo

Papas con Chorizo

I'm sure this is not how your Mexican or New Mexican grandmother made this. It is how we make it. And, strictly speaking, it is, potatoes with chorizo, so the name is still true. This is delicious and cheesy, and if you have issues with fat, or calories, look away now.

2 pounds chorizo
safflower or sunflower oil
10 medium potatoes, diced (peel them if they aren't pretty, leave the peel on if they are)
2 onions, in large dice
2 pounds mixed bell peppers, sliced (I've used bags of frozen peppers, too)
4 poblanos, diced
1 - 2 jalapeƱos, finely diced (depending on how hot you like food)
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt, to taste (you will need very little, if any)
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded
Serve With:
Sour Cream
Diced Tomatoes
Sliced Avocados
Finely Chopped Cilantro

Brown the chorizo over medium high heat in a large frying pan, chopping up with a wooden spoon or a spatula, into bite sized pieces. Remove to a plate and reserve for later.

Add some oil to the fat in the pan. Toss in the potatoes, and let cook until they start to brown on the edges, then add the onions, and let them wilt a little before you add the peppers and garlic. Cook all of this until the onions and potatoes are perfectly cooked.

Add chorizo back to the pan, taste for salt and adjust as you see fit. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle the top with both cheeses and let cook a few minutes more to allow the cheese to melt.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes, sliced avocados, and chopped cilantro. Eat with fruit or a salad to cut the grease. Mostly so you don't feel bad, because you really won't want to eat anything else.

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