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Great Entrees for Entertaining, Fun Cooking Classes Set

By Jane Butel  January 23, 2019

With winter's chill, roasting a sumptuous rolled pork roast around chorizo or Yummy Bolognese Sauce for Pasta sound like just the ticket  and are both very easy to pull off.  This rolled pork roast is a recipe I created, made with a butter-flied sirloin wrapped around a pinon studded chorizo filling and lacquered with Jalapeno Jelly and served with ad delicious double Cilantro Sauce is both beautiful to behold and and a great party dish. 

Or, if feeling more Italiano, my Bolognese Sauce is about the best I have ever tasted.  The depth of flavor makes it just perfect over any pasta and is just the ticket for layering in a Lasagna.   I have always made large batches of this and frozen in various quantities in Freezer weight bags that I  quick freeze  flat on a cookie sheet, then when solidly frozen I can store them like library books in my freezer.

If you are still planning to make a batch of chili for the Big Game, we have a generous supply of this year's crop just ready for your ordering.   You might check out my last few blogs for a range of chili recipes--,tap into my "Chili Madness"  cookbook.

Check out our spring day classes, ready for scheduling.  They are  a "Red Chile Fiesta" set for February 7,  a "Creative Appetizer" Class May 9  or the "Barbecuing" Class set for June 13. 

Our ever popular February weekend class is set for the 15th to the 17th and is now half price.  This is a great get away from the "same old, same old"  weekend activity.  And, our recipes are all healthy and chock a block full of chiles.  The class features lots of fun to know historical facts about the dishes as well as main ingredients.

And, if you have been thinking about going to Oaxaca for our Culinary Tour--how is the time to register.

Here's my favorite well-tested recipes--


Glorious to behold! The red-hued, chile-laden chorizo (Mexican sausage) rolled inside the silken pink -white of the pork roast-crusty with a jalapeno jelly glaze-makes for an inimitably elegant entrée.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

3 ½ to 4 pounds boneless, butterflied loin of pork
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pound chorizo (see Note)
½ cup pinons (pine nuts)
8 ounces Jalapeno Jelly, hot or mild, depending on your taste (recipe follows)

1. Lay the pork roast out flat, with the inside (side from which bone was removed) facing up. Sprinkle with the salt. Remove the casings from the chorizo and place the sausage meat in a bowl. Mix the pinon nuts evenly into the chorizo. Then lay the chorizo in a long roll on the inside of the roast. (If using Italian sausage, or pork sausage, blend in the seasoning first, before adding the nuts.)

2. Bring the two sides together lengthwise. Tie every inch with white cotton twine. Place on a baking pan.

3. Put in the oven and turn to 350F. After the first hour, spread jalapeno jelly on the outside of the roast. Return to the oven and roast and baste every 15 minutes Continue roasting for 1 ½ to 2 hours more, or until 170F on a meat thermometer. Reserve the juices and serve on the side.

Note: If you can't find chorizo, substitute hot Italian sausage and add ½ teaspoon ground cumin and ½ teaspoon crushed Mexican oregano. If hot Italian sausage is not available, use fresh pork sausage and add an additional 2 to 4 tablespoons caribe, or other crushed dried red chile.


At least three groups of women entrepreneurs developed successful businesses selling this jelly to specialty food markets. You can capture this same terrific flavor yourself. Great served with any simply prepared meat dish such as roast leg of lamb, beef, pork or chicken.

Yield: 5 jars, 1 cup each

3 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded and finely chopped

3 medium-size jalapeno chiles for mild jelly, cored, seeded and finely chopped

6 chiles for hot jelly

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

6 1/2 cups sugar

6 ounces bottled liquid pectin

  1. Scrub out five 1-cup jelly jars with resealable lids. Boil jars in water while preparing jelly.
  1. Chop, blend or process the peppers and chiles. Combine with the vinegar and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan.
  1. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes transparent, about 30 minutes.
  1. Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes, or until the pieces of peppers no longer float, then stir in the pectin.
  1. Return to heat and boil, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes or until the jelly passes the sheet test and is 7 degrees hotter than the boiling point where you are.
  1. Remove from heat, skim, and ladle into the hot sterilized jars; seal at once.
  1. In a large pan that will hold all the jars with space for water to circulate, place jars on a trivet. Add water to reach 1 inch over the tops of the lids. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove and cool


For a Christmas look that is great for gifts, prepare some recipes with red bell and chile peppers, and some with green bell peppers and chiles.


(Italian Red Meat Sauce) 

Italian food a favorite?  Never be caught without this savory sauce, packaged in various quantities. For variety and convenience, package the sauce separately in different quantities for single, family, and company cooking. 

Yield: 8 servings 

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 cup minced onion

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork or other substitute such as Italian sausage

1 pound ground veal or turkey

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Mediterranean oregano

1 teaspoon each of the following: thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil and  savory

2/3 cup loosely packed snipped Italian  parsley

2 bay leaves

2, 14.5-oz. cans tomatoes or 1, 28-oz.

2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced or 1, 5-oz. can mushrooms

2 6-oz. cans tomato paste

1 ½ cups water

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup dry red wine (optional) 

  1. Place  olive oil in large pot or stock pot and sauté onion until clear and slightly browned. Add meats and stir into small pieces. 
  1. Press garlic with salt and add to meat mixture with remaining spices, tomatoes, tomato paste, and Parmesan cheese. 
  1. Simmer sauce until flavors are well blended, if it becomes too thick, add water—about 1 hour—add wine if desired during last 5 minutes of cooking. Cool and package. Freezing hint: Package freezer weight bags, wide-mouth jars or containers for a variety of uses. 

Maximum recommended freezer storage: 2 months 

To serve, cook your favorite pasta, such as spaghetti, rigatoni, or shells, and serve topped with lots of freshly grated Parmesan. Or use sauce as the basis for lasagna or manicotti.

See the entire archive of Southwest Recipes to learn more about Cooking with Chiles.



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