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Delicious Sides for Barbecuing, Cooking Classes and More

By Jane Butel  April 6, 2021

I hope your Easter or Passover weekend was joyful.  We had almost perfect weather and enjoyed a yummy  dinner with another couple who are good friends and  live nearby.

Now, I am really in the mood for barbecuing and gardening and getting outside to enjoy the spring weather.  If you have the time--we still have a few openings at a discount for our Barbecue class this Thursday, April 8 at 5 PM.  And to help celebrate  outdoor cooking, I am placing my  best-selling, recently released "Finger Lickin', Great Tastin', Hot 'n Spicy Barbecue  cookbook on sale for just  $12.95 plus sales tax.

Potato Salad is totally a staple with barbecue and there are so many variations.  One that is not usually found, that is a favorite of mine, is Blue Cheese Potato Salad.  The other one I like is a buttery version of the familiar Potato Salad that gains loads of flavor by infusing butter into the just cooked potatoes.  I am sharing both of those recipes with you today.  

We are getting new registrations for our popular Oaxaca Culinary Tour, set for June 15 - 21, 2021.  The tour offers a great respite from  being  so homebound for a year.   We offer a very rich and colorful  experience  on this tour with three full participation cooking classes, tours to world-famous sites such as Monte Alban, considered one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, market tours, visits to ancient villages where various crafts are done and for sale as well as some free time to explore  whatever interests you.

Later this month, we are offering our weekend cooking class, April 23 - 25, 2021, which features "all the good stuff of New Mexico",  Blue Corn Crusted Chile Rellenos, Sopaipillas, Green Chile Chicken  Enchiladas, Red Chile Beef Enchiladas, Tamales, Bizcochitos and so much more.

Mark April 24 on your calendar.   It is national bookseller's day and part of the  month long Founder's Day celebration in Old Town Albuquerque, where Treasure House books (www.facebook.com/treasurehousebooks ,treahobooks@yahoo.com) is hosting a very special live and virtual day featuring local authors including myself where I will be giving away three books in drawings through them.  Several of my cookbooks will be for sale there as well.  Founder's Day is the celebration of the Founding of  Albuquerque, always in early April.  This year it is a month long event from April 10 to 25, 2021.

Have a great week and I look forward to cooking with you.  Here's the recipes--

BLUE CHEESE POTATO SALAD 

Hailing from Chicago, Sarah Larson, who joined our Pecos Valley Spice Company, made this for us once for my birthday dinner and we loved it!

Yield: 4 servings

8-10 small to medium red potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled, quartered

½ cup diced celery

2 Tablespoons diced red onion

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup regular or light sour cream

¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon crushed Caribe chile

  1. Bring about three inches of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt and add the quartered potatoes. Cover and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain water and stir in the remaining ingredients except the Caribe chile and lightly toss together; do not mash potatoes.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Garnish with Caribe chile.

BUTTERY POTATO SALAD

potato saladThis recipe came to me by the way of my sister-in-law, Addie. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to your old recipe…’cause this one’s fantastic!

 Yield: 4 to 6 servings

4 medium-sized baking potatoes (Idaho or Russet), peeled and quartered 

2 teaspoons salt

2 large eggs

2 Tablespoons vinegar

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup finely  chopped Spanish onion

1/3 cup finely  chopped sweet gherkins (pickles)

3Tablespoons juice from the sweet gherkins

½ cup mayonnaise

1 whole canned pimiento, sliced into 1/4 –inch strips

1 whole sweet gherkin

  1. Bring about 2 inches of water with 1 teaspoon salt added  to a boil, using  medium heat .  Add potatoes and cover.  Cook until they are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, drain the potatoes, and  cut in the butter cutting the potatoes into about 1/2 inch dice and replace the lid, allowing the potatoes to steam for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the eggs with the vinegar and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in water to   cover, until just done, about 10 minutes.  Drain and run cold water over them to cool. Peel, slice and dice eggs.
  3. Off the heat, add the diced eggs, onion, diced gherkins, gherkin juice, mayonnaise and all but 5 slices of the pimiento; chopping the pimiento you are adding to the salad into ¼ inch squares, mix thoroughly.

 Transfer the mixture to your favorite bowl, garnish with the whole pickle sliced halfway up into thin slices  and separated into a fan shape and place centered on top of the salad. Add the pimiento strips evenly spaced around the pickle, creating a sun ray effect.

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