Summer Salads: Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Pictured: Quick and Easy Pasta Salad, recipe here, along with several other summer salad recipes.

One of my favorites:

Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

Mix together ingredients and set aside while macaroni cooks.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent)
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Next week: Some duck photos, roasted jalapenos, Key Lime bars. Stay tuned…


 

Tidbits

Tomatoes!  So many!  The weather has been playing havoc with the yields, it may have slowed but it hasn’t stopped them.  Brings up the dilemma faced by most all tomato growers:  What to do with them all.Everyone loves the BLTs, what we have here is a TLT.  Tuna salad is a summer favorite of ours: Tuna, mayo, pickle relish, chopped celery, chopped egg, chopped green or red bell peppers, minced onion, and this one even has shredded cheddar.The classic summer salad of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.  I make a dressing of 2 parts water to 1 part rice vinegar, a splash of canola oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  If you like you can add a bit of granulated garlic and a dried herb or 2, basil and thyme or oregano.  It’s better the next day after an overnight in the fridge.Macaroni and tomatoes is one of those simple dishes that are so good you should make some right away.  Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute then transfer them into an ice water bath to take off the skins.  Chop them up and simmer them for a half hour in a pot in which you have softened some minced garlic in a little oil.  Garnish with fresh basil and eat hot or cold.Green beans boiled with potatoes in ham broth is another summer favorite.  We use cured chunks of ham or smoked ham hocks.  Boil the ham and a sliced sweet onion in chicken stock for a few hours then drop in the potatoes.  We used fingerlings for this but any small potato will serve, or just cut bigger potatoes into smaller pieces.  Give the potatoes a head start because they will take longer to cook through, then add the green beans.  Don’t be afraid to cook the beans for an hour or more.  Cornbread is the perfect side.I did the sous vide ribs thing again, worked great again.  We ate gratin potatoes and baked beans with them this time.  Mrs J declared this “a full meal deal”.The potatoes were easy enough:  I sliced these with my mandoline with the skins on, then arranged them in a casserole alternating layers with sliced onions.  Pour on a cheese sauce and bake, covered for 45 minutes or so, uncover for the last 10-15 so the top browns.  I made this one with cheddar.This is a dish full of chicken and rice enchiladas in a tomatillo sauce.  It doesn’t look like much but it was tasty.

Dinner Menu: Kid Friendly Chili-Mac

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JeffreyW’s Cornbread Muffins. His recipe:  I always use the recipe on the round box that Quaker yellow corn meal comes in as a base, these also have cheddar cheese, minced fresh jalapeno, and a thinly sliced green onion, white part and all.  A half recipe yielded 4 muffins. I used 1 whole egg in the half recipe, and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.

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Sorry I have been absent of late. Work has been busy and the deadline of another project I’m working on is looming, so I’ve barely seen my kitchen. Not to mention it’s fall in Colorado and I want to be outdoors whenever possible.

I doubt there will be a Bixby update this week, but he is doing well and growing daily, though he still has not caught up to his ears or his feet. Standing on his back legs he is 53 inches.

This menu tonight is from my Kid-Friendly series. I loved chili-mac as a kid and it’s still one of those quick comfort foods I make when it needs to be easy and tasty.

  1. Chili-Mac
  2. Corn Muffins
  3. Raw Vegetable Tray
  4. Apples

Chili-Mac

  • 12 oz elbow macaroni
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ green pepper diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 tsp to 2 tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 qt. saucepan, skillet

Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain.  While macaroni is cooking, heat oil in skillet, sauté onions & peppers.  Add hamburger, brown & crumble. Add hamburger, tomatoes, beans, chili powder & salt to drained macaroni.  Stir, let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Corn Muffins

( you can’t beat those 33¢ Jiffy mixes, but this is a good muffin recipe)

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 egg (well beaten)
  • 8 oz can creamed corn
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

muffin pan, paper muffin cups

Mix dry ingredients, make well in the center, add egg, corn, milk & oil.  Stir until just moistened, don’t over mix.  Add paper muffin cups to pan, fill each 2/3 full.  Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes.

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Cold Salads

Pasta Salad final

Cookout season is in full swing. And with it, cold salads, a personal favorite. There are so many varieties out there, from coleslaw, to macaroni, to cold bean salads I thought it would be a good place to start the summer cookout season.

The featured recipe tonight is from a neighborhood cookout we had last week. I was very busy, so I had to throw together something quick. I went with a basic macaroni salad, but with a few tricks to keep it fresh and flavorful, instead of soggy and bland as some can be.

Before that, here are a few other cold salads:

JeffreyW has a traditional coleslaw recipe (and slideshow) here.

I’ve made a Caribbean Orange-Mango Coleslaw for several summer cookouts. Recipe here.

I adapted a Giada De Laurentiis, recipe for Italian Lentil Salad here.

And here are several pasta salads: Chipolte Macaroni and Cheese Salad with Bacon (here), Greek Pasta Salad (here), and my favorite quick dinner, Pasta Caprese (here).

That’s just a start. I’ll probably follow-up in a while with some veggie cold salads. But until then, what’s on your summer plate this weekend? What are some of your favorite cold salads? What’s your go-to dish when you’re invited to a cookout? Hit the comments and share your ideas.

And finally, the featured recipe (pictured above).

Quick and Easy Macaroni Salad

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup creamy Italian dressing (I like Newman’s Own)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • pepper

Blend together well and refrigerate until ready to mix in.

Salad:

  • 16 oz box favorite pasta
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp crushed dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz shredded carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz cubed mild cheese (I used a marbled colby/jack)

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and pasta. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, spices, celery seed, and let sit for 5 minutes. As the pasta absorbs the remaining water, it absorbs all the flavors. Next stir in carrots, celery, cheese and tomatoes. Save tossing with the dressing until 5-10 minutes before serving. This keeps the pasta from absorbing all of it and becoming mushy and flavorless, but still gives it enough time to meld the flavors together.

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Thursday Recipe Exchange: Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

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JeffreyW uses his chipotles in adobo sauce for breakfast.

It seems that JeffreyW and I both have a fondness for chipotles. I hadn’t realized it until I decided to feature his recipe for homemade chipotles in adobo sauce. There were four pages of recipes that included them in some way or another. They can all be found here.

I was thrilled when JeffreyW put together a batch of chipotles in adobo sauce, using jalapenos from his summer garden. I learned a lot from his post. I’m going to direct you to the entire thing instead of just reposting his recipe because he does a terrific explanation of the whole process. So before you try any of tonight’s other recipes, you might want to start with JeffreyW’s recipe (found here).

Once you’ve got your chipotles and sauce all prepped (or bought), you can try them in any of the following:

My absolute favorite is Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon (recipe here). A great way to kick up a comfort food.

The spicy sauce is great in combination with fruits. When strawberries were in season I spiced up someone else’s recipe for Chicken in Strawberry Sauce with some chipotles in adobo sauce for a real treat (recipe here).

And from the photo at top, JeffreyW uses it to spice up his breakfast (recipe here).

So are you a fan of chipotles in adobo sauce? Have a favorite way to use them? If you haven’t tried them, are they something you might try now that we’ve wowed you with their many uses?

Finally, tonight’s featured recipe:

I had canned a big batch of apple butter a while back and one night I was wondering what to do with it besides spread it on bread. I had been thinking that it would be good with chicken or pork and eventually decided that barbecue chicken thighs would be where I would start. Then I decided to heat it up.  A spicy, smoky mix of apple butter, chipotles in adobo sauce and a touch of spices made the perfect sauce:

BBQ Thighs Final

Chipotle-Apple Butter Barbecue Chicken

I decided that bone-in, skin on thighs would work best.

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic

————

  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to start, add more as desired)
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Season thighs with 1 tsp crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Let sit for 5-10 minutes while oven or grill preheats to 375 degrees. Bake or grill chicken for 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, blend together remaining ingredients until smooth. Brush on chicken thighs thickly at the 15 minute mark and add more every 5 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees internal temperature (usually 10-15 minutes for a total cooking time of 25 to 30 minutes). Serve with lots of napkins.

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Photo by JeffreyW

EDIT: Just realized the tomatoes were omitted from the ingredient list. Corrected now.

What a week. The Colorado wildfires became personal again, as my office was smack in the middle of an evacuation zone. The authorities never had to make it mandatory and as I write this, that fire is well contained.  Add to that, one of the guys I work with was in a horrible motorcycle accident at the beginning of the week and that shook us all up. I was ready for the week to be over sometime around Tuesday night, so I’m grateful it’s Thursday and the weekend is within sprinting distance. Even happier that Independence Day is around the corner

Since I love July 4th, I have quite a few recipes that celebrate it with great picnic foods. All 21 of them can be found at this link.  There is quite a variety: fancy appetizers; cold salads; grilling ideas; fun desserts; and even cold drinks. There is also an entire post of potato salad recipes from Balloon-Juicers.

I really like tonight’s featured recipe. It was a huge hit last year at the July 4th picnic. I’m actually making it right now for a going away party, that’s how it became tonight’s recipe.

All right, now it’s your turn, what are your favorite foods on July 4th? Are you all-American with burgers and dogs or something more sophisticated? Share your favorites in the comments and we can all argue about it, good-naturedly of course.

Tonight’s featured recipe:

Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

Mix together ingredients and set aside while macaroni cooks.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent)
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Just a note: There will be no recipe exchange next Thursday, we’ll pick up again on July 12th.

Thursday Night Recipe Exchange

Note to W4DS readers:  I’m going to be putting together a recipe each Thursday for Balloon-Juice. It will cross-post here. It’s going to be a kind of recipe sharing event. I encourage you to hit our comments and share your recipes, too. And come on over the Balloon-Juice, just be aware it’s a left-leaning political blog and things can get very rowdy (even in a cooking thread) and it’s rarely PG. They are good people and always fun to have a conversation with, no matter your political leanings. Here we go:

Photo from JeffreyW’s mouth watering collection

Aloha Balloon-Juicers. I’m back. I wish I could say I was back from a long trip abroad, but no, life has just been very busy. That has not changed, but after quite a few requests, I think I have figured out a way to bring recipes back to Thursday nights with the limited amount of time I can devote to it.  Unfortunately, for now, I won’t be doing full menus.

What I proposed to John and Anne Laurie was to have a recipe exchange. Each Thursday we’d have a theme (I’m a sucker for a theme) or an ingredient to focus those recipes (but by no means restrict them) and everyone could share their favorites. Each week I’ll give you the next week’s ingredient or theme so you have a whole week to think of something great to share.  Anne Laurie would probably gladly accept photos, too.

Now I expect all those people who emailed me and touched base with me in open threads wondering when I might post recipes again, to participate in this endeavor. Don’t make me come in there!

This week we’re starting out simple with my favorite comfort food and a recipe I thought many of you would have a favorite variation they could share.  Like most of my recipes, this is pretty simple and even a novice cook should be successful.  Experienced cooks will tweak it beyond recognition, as all good cooks do.

Next week our secret ingredient will be spinach. So come prepared to share a favorite recipe with spinach in it, in some shape or form. Here’s some baked macaroni and cheese to start things off. Hope you enjoy – TaMara (BHF)

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

I like mine garnished with fresh chopped tomatoes and jalapeños.

  • 12 oz elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder  (about 2 shakes)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 oz shredded jack cheese
  • 4 oz crushed potato chips

large sauce pan, small sauce pan, large casserole dish

Bring water to boil in large sauce pan, add macaroni and cook according to package directions. In small sauce pan, melt butter, add flour, onion powder, salt & pepper blend well and then add milk. Stir constantly over medium heat until bubbly, add cheese, stir until melted. Drain macaroni, put into casserole dish, stir in cheese sauce, top with crushed chips and bake 20 minutes at 350°, until top is light brown and cheese is bubbly.

Click here for a Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese recipe and click here for a Chipolte Macaroni and Cheese.

Thursday Night Exchange: Green Chili Mac ‘n Cheese

Here’s a truly western version of macaroni and cheese.  A version like this was served at the Colorado Governor’s Inaugural Dinner last year – although I’m sure it had only premium ingredients.

I used canned chilies, pickled jalapeno (my fave anyway) and a tomatillo salsa.  For real Green Chili, try IndiLibs, it sounds amazing.

Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese

  • 8 ounces dry elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup green salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 4 ounce can mild chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 tbsp (or more) finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
  • 4 oz hot pepper Jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

2 qt baking dish, oiled and saucepan

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour until well blended and bubbly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in salsa, chile peppers, and 6 oz of cheddar and all of the Jack cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper. Combine with the drained macaroni; spoon into the prepared baking dish. Spread remaining cheddar cheese over the top of the baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese bubbly and top is lightly browned.