Dinner Menu: Carne en su Jugo


I had big plans for cooking this week, which all went to hell by the end of today. So perfect time for a Men Who Cook/Guest Recipe.

Tonight we have a guest menu from my friend Alton Gunn, who has provided us with several good recipes.  It’s delicious, I’ve been lucky enough to have it several times (good are the friends who feed you).

On the board tonight:

  1. Carne en su Jugo
  2. Pico de Gallo
  3. Tortillas
  4. Margarita Melon Salad

Carne en su Jugo

  • ½ lb bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb sirloin steak, sliced thin and then cut in 1-inc pieces
  • 1 can (28oz) tomatillos
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt
  • 2 can pinto beans
  • sour cream for garnish
  • shredded cheese
  • chopped onions for garnish
  • fresh lime juice for garnish
  1. Brown the bacon in a large dutch oven. Add the beef and cook until brown (leave the bacon grease in the pot).
  2. Blend the tomatillos in your food processor and strain well to remove the seeds. Add about a cup of the tomatillo liquid back into the food processor and blend with the cilantro, and garlic.
  3. Add the tomatillo/cilantro/garlic sauce and the rest of the strained tomatillo liquid to the beef and bacon. Add salt to taste.
  4. Stir in pinto beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 hour.
  5. Ladle into bowls  and garnish with pico de gallo (recipe below),  fresh lime, sour cream.
  6. Serve corn or flour tortillas on the side.

Al’s Notes: I’ve made this with beef and pork. The basic sauce is good for stewing pretty much any meat. Will try chicken next.  Works well in the crockpot

Pico de Gallo

  • chopped onion
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped cilantro
  • splash of lime

Mix together 20 to 30 minutes or more before meal.

Margarita Melon Salad

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 shots tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cantaloupe, seeded and cubed
  • ¼ honeydew melon, seeded and cubed
  • ¼ small watermelon, cubed

Many markets sell halved melons and wedges of watermelon, making it easy to prepare this salad closer to desired amounts.

Combine lime juice, tequila, liqueur, and sugar in a bowl. Add melons and toss to coat with tequila and lime. Serve in shallow bowls.


Originally posted July 2010

Dinner Menu: Grilled Pork Chops and Peach Chutney

I linked to the grilled pork chops with last Friday’s Recipe Exchange, but thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and post the full menu today. For more peach recipes, check out Friday’s post here.

Grilled Pork Chops
Peach Chutney
Green Beans
Sliced Melon

Grilled Pork Chops w/Peach Chutney:

  • 4 pork chops, medium thickness
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup Peach Chutney

Mix together garlic, salt, pepper and oil and brush over both sides of chops.  Grill over medium-high coals for 5 to 7 minutes on one side, turn and top with ¼ of chutney on each chop.  Grill additional 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked to desired doneness.  Serve immediately, with additional chutney if desired.

Peach Chutney:

  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

small sauce pan

Add all ingredients to sauce pan, heat to boiling – stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened.

Shopping list:

  • 4 boneless pork chops (medium thickness)
  • 2 large peaches
  • 4 green onions
  • 4 oz golden raisins
  • 16 oz green beans
  • couscous (usually a 6 oz box works fine)
  • favorite melon –  Cantaloupes are in season right now here

Also: crushed garlic, olive oil, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, chili powder

Friday Recipe Exchange: Raiding the Garden

DSC_6445 [1600x1200]

JeffreyW raids his garden and comes up with a beautiful dinner

Back from my trip to Nebraska, where unlike Colorado, gardens are full of veggies to harvest. We had lots of fresh corn, peppers, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes with each meal. So I thought tonight we should raid the garden for recipes. If you don’t have a garden or it’s late to produce (I’m looking at you backyard garden), don’t forget your local farmer’s market or farm stand. I really like going to local farm stands, the prices are often more reasonable than a farmer’s market. Two of my local stands have Facebook pages where they list what’s fresh this week and even have coupon specials.

The lovely photo above from JeffreyW is what inspired the theme tonight. Here’s his simple solution for taking advantage of his prolific patio pots: Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes on Pasta (recipe here)

One of my favorite recipes during the summer is Grilled Sweet Peppers and Potatoes (click here).

And finally something a bit different and fun to do with all that zucchini and summer squash: Squash Confetti (recipe here).

And just a reminder, full menus are available on Mondays and this week the menu is all garden fresh (menu is here).

Well I’m off to the evening Art Walk, where my friends will be drumming and where the streets will be filled with local artists’ creations. Tomorrow is the RiverWalk – vendors, musicians, farmer’s market and lots of kids events along the St. Vrain river. What are your plans for the weekend? Planning anything fun on the grill? How is your garden coming along? Hit the comments and don’t forget to share some favorite garden recipes.

On to tonight’s featured recipes, Green Beans w/ Yellow Pepper Butter,  Spinach-Raspberry Salad and Spicy Fruit Kabobs:

Green Beans w/ Yellow Pepper Butter

Last time I was at the farm stand, they had four different kinds of green beans and I used a mixture of all of them in this recipe.

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ yellow sweet pepper, seeded & shredded
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 oz chopped cashews
  • 16 oz fresh green beans, trimmed & cut
  • ½ yellow pepper, seeded, cut into thin strips
  • salt & pepper to taste

saucepan, steamer

Melt butter in saucepan, add shredded pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice & cashews, stir for 1 minute, remove & set aside. Add steamer to saucepan, add beans & just enough water to reach bottom of the steamer. Steam beans for 5 minutes, add strips of pepper and cook until beans are tender-crisp, additional 5-7 minutes. Remove steamer and drain water from saucepan. Add all ingredients into saucepan and heat 1 minute, tossing to coat with butter mixture. Serve immediately.

Spinach-Raspberry Salad

The easiest way to wash fresh from the garden spinach (and leaf lettuce) is to fill a sink with water and soak the spinach (swish it a couple of times). Pull it out and place it in a strainer, drain the sink and repeat. With the two soaks, all the dirt should sink to the bottom. Run through a salad spinner and you should have dirt free spinach.

  • 8 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz chopped pecans
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 2 oz mild bleu cheese, crumbled

Serving bowl

Wash and thoroughly dry spinach & raspberries, add to serving bowl with pecans, toss with dressing and add crumbled bleu cheese.

Spicy Fruit Kabobs

You can substitute or add any fresh fruit you’d like in this recipe. 

  • 1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, seeded
  • 2 pears, cored
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 2 bananas, peeled & quartered
  • 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water
  • ½ cup warmed honey
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • 1 to 2 tsp chili paste

13×9 glass baking dish, blender

Cut fruit into large chunks, alternate fruit on skewers, ending with banana chunks to hold fruit in place. Place in baking dish. Blend together honey, water, lime, jalapeno & chili paste until smooth. Pour over fruit. Let set during dinner (approximately 30 minutes at room temperature. Grill over low coals 5-7 minutes, basting with marinade. Serve immediately.

See you next week.


Fresh Ideas for Unusual Fruit Salads

Here are a couple of different style salads to brighten any holiday picnic or bbq you might have planned this coming weekend.

Unusual Fruits Saladhealth-benefits-of-pawpaw-tree-fruit

  • 1 cup ripe golden apple
  • 1 cup cantaloupe/ honey dew melon
  • 1 cup grapefruits segments, cubed
  • 1 cup small cucumber, cubed
  • 1 cup ripe paw-paw, cubed
  • 1 cup guavas, cubed
  • 1 cup ripe mangoes, cubed
  • 1 cup firm ripecarambolas, sliced


  • ¼ cup sliced onion
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Lettuce leaves

Mix together fruits and vegetables,  tossing well. Mix white wine and honey in a small bowl. Stir well and pour over vegetable and fruits. Toss and chill.  Make a doily on a large platter with lettuce leaves, add chilled salad to the platter and serve.

Caribbean Orange-Mango Coleslaw

  • 8 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro leaves for garnish

Combine cabbage, mangoes, bell peppers, and green onions  in large bowl; stir gently to mix.

Add Orange-Mango Dressing; toss gently to coat.  Garnish with cilantro.  Chill and serve, or store in refrigerator up to 1 day.

Orange-Mango Dressing

  • ½ mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 6 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
  • ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño pepper,* stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger

Place mango in food processor; process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; process until smooth.

Melon Balls with Lime Syrup

I’m back.  Looking to get back in the swing of things and start cooking some fun stuff.  Until then here’s a nice melon recipe to get us started.

This summer has been about melons for me. I just can’t get enough. Sweet, cool and light, perfect for what has been a rather hot few months. Here’s a nice little dessert idea in that vein:

Melon Balls w/Lime Syrup

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh limejuice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1 small seedless watermelon
  • 1 cantaloupe, seeded
  • 1 small honeydew melon, seeded
  • 1 liter lemon-lime soda
  • ¼ cup coconut (opt) (really is coconut ever optional?)

saucepan and large bowl

In saucepan, mix together sugar, limejuice, water, zest & vanilla. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Chill completely. Ball or cut melons into large chunks and add to large bowl. Toss gently with soda and let marinate (macerate) at room temperature for 30 minutes. Chill. Serve with lime syrup and coconut.


Mmm…sunny side up

I’ve got nuthin.

Been mowing all day, off and on.  Got the whole thing done with no problems.  Did catch a brief whiff of skunk but the critter didn’t show himself.  Mowed some sections that I skipped last go around that were thick enough to bog the mower down some, it didn’t help that everything was just a tad damp still.

Dug some leftover BBQ out of the freezer and zapped that.  Nothing worth dragging the camera out for.  Mrs J finished off the fish and puppies.

I did bake a loaf of white bread last night trying out a suggestion to use shortening instead of butter, and I tossed in some “vital wheat gluten” because it’s supposed to help keep the bread fresher longer.  I am fairly happy with the first loaf but I will do a few more before I do a post.  That is a slice of it in the picture up there.

Almost Fall and Cold Soup

Photo from thundafunda.com

I reluctantly changed the colors on the blog today to move toward fall.  I started with autumn hues, but couldn’t do it yet, so we went with an end of summer yellow.  I am not ready to have summer slip away.  It will be in the 90’s this weekend, for that I am grateful.  And in Colorado we always say, ‘don’t pack your shorts’ because there will be days/weeks in the winter when you can wear them easily.

I have a request for squash soup as soon as it gets cold enough.  Commenter Violet wasn’t ready to commit to hot soups yet, just wanted to get her request in early.  So this cold soup is for her, to tide her over until we are all ready for fall meals.  It is a repeat from a party I attended last summer and the hostess was kind enough to give me the recipe.  Here is Tate’s Cantaloupe Soup, perfect for an end of summer meal:

Cantaloupe Soup

  • 1 large ripe cantaloupe, seeded & diced
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
  • Pinch each of ground ginger and salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Mint sprigs

Cook cantaloupe in butter with sugar, lemon peel, ginger and salt, covered, until soft. Puree’ in blender. Add milk and bring to boil; lower heat and simmer 10 mins. Adjust seasonings with lemon juice. Garnish with mint.

And if you have a recipe request, put it in the comment section or shoot me an email.  Until then…