Showing posts with label chipotle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chipotle. Show all posts

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Corn, Pepper, and Chipotle Chicken Chowder @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTE:  About a year ago, on a book tour with Hallie Ephron, Jennifer McMahon, and Molly Weston, I made a stop in Penzey's spices in Raleigh. I bought a bag of dried chipotle peppers, but I never used them. With this chowder, I changed that--and we were crazy about the results. 

Every once in a while I make a dish that causes a dogfight over leftovers--though my photos don't really do it justice, this was one of those!


1 or 2 dried chipotle chiles, soaked in 2 tbsp olive oil and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bunch scallions, minced
5 or so slices of bacon, chopped and cooked
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 or so cup milk 

1 large box chicken stock 

6 small red potatoes, peeled and diced small
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
Chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)

Chop the bacon and sauté in a large stockpot until crisp. Set this aside and blot out most of the grease. Add a little olive oil to the pan and saute the chopped red peppers, the scallions, the chipotle peppers, and the cumin until the vegetables are soft. (The chipotles are spicy and add a distinctive flavor, so you may want to start out conservatively.) Add the flour and cook for a few minutes, making sure to stir well.

Next gradually stir in the box of chicken stock, stirring thoroughly. It should begin to thicken like a white sauce. Add the potatoes and simmer about ten minutes. Add the chicken and both kinds of corn and heat through. Now stir in the cheeses, and finally the milk.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and bacon if desired. (We did!) 

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Matt Allegro’s Italian Fried Shrimp with 2 Dipping Shots for Mother’s Day from Cleo Coyle

For over a decade now, Matteo (Matt) Allegro has been entertaining readers of our Coffeehouse Mystery series. 

A globetrotting coffee hunter and occasional playboy, Matt is a half-Italian espresso junkie who dearly loves his octogenarian mother—the woman who owns the century-old Greenwich Village coffeehouse where our series is set. 

If Matt were going to cook a Mother’s Day feast for you (or your mom), my husband and I are pretty sure these Italian fried shrimp would be on the menu, and we’re happy to share his recipe. 

Matt would likely serve these shrimp with "shots" of two delicious dipping sauces, and we’re sharing easy versions of those recipes, as well. 

May you eat with joy!

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle has a partner
in culinary crime-writing—
her husband. To learn about
their books, click here.
Matt Allegro’s
Italian Fried Shrimp
with 2 Dipping Shots

via author Cleo Coyle

Our readers have been asking for this recipe ever since they saw Matt cook it up in Holiday Grind. And here's why he does it...

Frustrated with the diet-conscious fare at a New York cocktail party, Matt is famished. But he has a plan. Abandoning his plate of leek-wrapped water chestnuts, he ducks into the hotel’s kitchen, pays off a line cook, and makes off with a bag of jumbo shrimp. He then heads home to fry up a batch of these babies for himself, his daughter, and his ex-wife, Clare Cosi.

Though Clare is no longer Matt's partner in marriage, she has agreed to be his partner in the coffee business—and he occasionally partners up with her in solving perplexing New York crimes.

As for the crime of ruining perfectly good shrimp, Matt’s recipe gives you some clues to avoiding disaster. Follow his tips and, with luck, you’ll have the same beautiful results as Matt. 

And now, here is our character Matteo Allegro to guide you through his recipe...

To download a free PDF of Matt's recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here

Makes 12 large shrimps,
which will feed...

2 people with big appetites, or
3 people with average appetites, or
4 people for appetizers, or
24 underwear models (they'll each eat half a shrimp and order more martinis)


12 extra large or jumbo shrimps

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 eggs, lightly beaten with fork

Olive oil for frying (1/2 inch high in a large skillet)*

*Note: Because of the expense of extra virgin olive oil, it's perfectly fine to use a regular olive oil or light olive oil for frying. You can also mix the olive oil with a regular vegetable oil to get the amount needed for this recipe.


(1) Peel and devein - Start with jumbo or extra large shrimps. (I don’t believe in anything puny.) If your shrimp is frozen, you need to thaw it. If your shrimp is not "deveined," you will need to remove the vein and take off the shell. I like to leave the shell on the tail, but that's your call.

Peeling and deveining shrimp are easy steps, and you should enjoy your first glass of wine as you do them. For a quick tutorial, watch this vid from an old acquaintance of mine. He's a pretty good chef, too... 



Lightly rinse the shrimp and allow to drain on a paper towel. The shrimp should not be completely dry, a little dampness is good for step 3.

(2) Now we butterfly - This gives the shrimp the most surface area for the breading and frying, which brings the flavor. 

If you're a virgin at this technique,
you've come to the right man. 

Be firm…but gentle. 

Take the shrimp in your hand as shown. 

You want the shrimp's groove (where the vein was) to be pointing up. 

Run a knife lightly along this crevice, splitting the two halves a bit more but without slicing all the way through the soft, delicate flesh. Use your fingers to gently pry open the eager shrimp (think butterfly with open wings). Press firmly on that special spot (see photo) to flatten.

(3) Prep flour, eggs, and bread crumbs – This trinity of breading is a no-brainer for longtime cooks, but (once again) if you’re a virgin at this, I'm more than happy to be the man who shows you how it's done...

Place your flour in one bowl. Your eggs in a second bowl. Your breading in a third. Italians often add cheese and herbs to their breading and we Allegros are no exception. Mix the cheese and oregano into the pre-seasoned bread crumbs. (Yeah, I think that extra shot of oregano is superb with the seafood. You'll notice the bright, herbal aroma as you cook.) 

BTW - If your bread crumbs are not seasoned, you will need to add more herbs and spices at this stage. Mix in oh, about 3 T. of your favorite Italian dried seasoning mix, which most spice merchants carry, including the ones who stock your grocery store's spice section.

(4) Bread the shrimp – Time to have another sip of wine, and (one at a time) dip a butterflied beauty in the flour and shake off the excess. 

Next dip the flour-coated shrimp in the egg 
and allow excess egg to drain off. 

Finally drop the egg-covered shrimp in the bowl of bread crumbs. Coat well, turning the shrimp and using the fingers God gave you to get those seasoned bread crumbs to hug as much of that shrimp surface as you can.

(5) Perfect pan frying – This is not deep frying. It's pan frying, so place only about 1/2 inch of your oil in a skillet or sauté pan. The key to great frying is the oil temperature. It must heat up first. If you start with oil that's too cold, your breaded shrimp will absorb too much grease and the breading may be soggy (and nobody likes soggy).

Hot is good, but in this case, too hot is not... If your oil is too hot, your breading will burn on the outside and your shrimp will be cold in the center—not a very romantic prospect. Watch the oil closely. As it begins to ripple, test it by adding a few drops of water to the pan. If the water "dances" on the oil, it's ready. (And who doesn’t love to dance? Ladies? Shall I put on the music?) If the oil smokes, however, you've blown it. It's far too hot and your shrimp will likely burn.

No crowding, please. You want an intimate gathering... The more shrimps you place into the oil, the more you are reducing the oil's temperature and risking a soggy end (we spoke about soggy, remember?).

Once those breaded beauties hit the oil, you should see some hot tub action, yes, the oil should bubble like a fizzy Prosecco. 

Fry quickly, about two to three minutes, flipping them in the process so both sides cook evenly. When golden brown, remove from pan and drain on paper towels, as shown below...

This is (admittedly) a tricky endeavor. You may need to decrease the heat a bit if your lovelies are cooking too quickly. Conversely, you may need to increase that heat if the temperature in your pan is dropping too fast. (There's a relationship lesson in here that transcends cooking, but that's another post.) 

If you are making more than one batch (for a larger gathering--or those two-date evenings), hold finished shrimps in warm (200 degree F.) oven while you cook additional batches. 

If you're cooking many batches, the oil will need to be replaced. When it becomes brown or full of crumbs, pour it out, wipe the pan and start with new oil. (And, yes, I see a relationship lesson there, too.)

Serve hot (of course) with...

My dipping shots (recipes below)
A little wine (fruity Chianti or bubbling Prosecco)
Some music (suggestions here and here)
Low lights, a fire in the hearth, and...

We’re ready for a perfect evening.

* * * 

Matt's Dipping Shots

(1) Easy Mexican-Style Chipotle
Dipping Sauce and Sandwich Spread

Get the recipe by
clicking here.

(2) Fast Garlic Mayo
Dipping Sauce

Directions: Peel and gently smash 6 cloves of garlic. Sprinkle the smashed garlic with sea salt. Place ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and the 6 cloves of garlic in a small pot and heat over LOW fire until the oil begins to simmer (3 to 5 minutes). Cover with a tight-fitting lid and remove from heat. Let stand and steep for 30 minutes or until oil is cool. Remove (or strain) the smashed garlic and discard. Stir this garlic-infused oil into ¾ cup mayonnaise. Add 1/8 teaspoon cumin. Blend until smooth.
To download a free PDF
of this recipe that you can print,
save, or share,
click here, and...

Have a Deliciously 

Happy Mother's Day!

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly

See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


(with mini plot summaries)
clicking here.

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Simply write an e-mail that says
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This will also enter you in my weekly
Free Coffee Drawings.
Every week, I give away a package of
premium coffee to a subscriber.

Good luck!

* * * 

Haunted Bookshop

Free Title Checklist,
with mini plot summaries,

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dr. Who Wedding Cake from a Cupcake Menorah + Chipotle Cranberry Sauce by Cleo Coyle

Doctor Who Cake design
and photo by Laine Barash

This is one busy week! We are celebrating Chanukah, Thanksgiving, and the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, the longest running sci-fi TV show in history. Am I going to cover all of that ground in this post? You bet'cha!
To get my recipe for
Blue Velvet Cupcakes in a
"keeper" PDF document,
click here.

First up the Festival of Lights, which begins at sundown tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 27) and is observed by the kindling of lights on a unique candelabrum (a menorah). One additional light is added on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night.

Last year, I posted a recipe for Blue Velvet Cupcakes that I used to make a tasty cupcake menorah. If you'd like that recipe, click here.  

And this recipe led to the one below:
a Tardis blue Doctor Who Wedding Cake!

THE BLUE WEDDING CAKE STORY: Last year, after I posted my Blue Velvet Cupcake recipe, one of our many very kind blog followers, Laine Barash, remembered it when her daughter announced her plan to get married.

But this wasn't just any marriage. This was a story of two hearts broken and mended; two souls lost and found. Johanna tells their story in her own words below...

“Chris and I married in 2001. Neither of us were especially nice people at the time. I started to change and he did not. It got really bad. We separated...and the divorce was final 1/11. I didn't speak a word to him. Then one day I agreed to meet him for coffee. I could see instantly the changes he had made. And with each day since then I am more proud of the man he has become. The man he was meant to be. And I'm grateful, I never stopped loving him. Just knew that we all deserved better. So we've both made a ton of changes. We both have a long way to go, but we have direction. And each other. And our son. And God. So I'm proud to go through life as his wife!” ~ Johanna Rothberg Banfill (photo by Shana Rothberg)

After Chris lost his wife and then turned himself around to win her back, the couple decided to officially re-tie the knot on their original anniversary, November 13. 

Of course, I was touched by their story and delighted to hear that Laine was able to use my recipe to inspire her creation of a very special wedding cake, a Doctor Who cake of Tardis blue

Why a Doctor Who cake? 

Because the bride and groom are huge fans of the show and the bride requested it. 

Why Tardis blue? 

Because TARDIS is the name of the ship Doctor Who uses to explore the universe (TARDIS = Time And Relative Dimension In Space). And the ship is disguised to look like a blue British police box. (When the series first aired back in 1963, these boxes were a common sight in Britain.) 

In the wider universe, blue is commonly associated with harmony and faithfulness, which means this beautiful slice of cake is perfect for a wedding like Johanna and Chris's...

Photo by Laine Barash

Laine Barash
Laine's Tardis Blue
Doctor Who
Wedding Cake

Recipe courtesy Laine Barash for the wedding
of her daughter, Johanna, and son-in-law, Chris

Directions: To make the cake, follow Cleo Coyle's Blue Velvet Cupcake recipe (click here for the recipe) with these adjustments:

1 – Use two cake mixes, for two 8-inch square pans and two 10-inch square pans. 

2 – When you mix up the batter, increase the amount of coloring gel paste. For Cleo's Blue Velvet Cupcakes, she suggests 1 to 2 teaspoons of Wilton brand Royal Blue gel paste (pictured). For the Tardis Blue Doctor Who Cake, increase that to one full ounce (one jar) of Royal Blue gel paste per cake mix, and a tiny glop of violet. (That's 2 ounces of gel paste total and 2 tiny glops of violet for the 2 cake mixes that create the batter for your four layers of wedding cake.)

3 – When you divide the batter among the pans, you will notice that they are not as full as usual, and that’s okay. Bake these layers at 300° F. and they will bake up more level, which means you will not have to slice off any domes to even them out. Frost, top with a Doctor Who cake topper and serve to oohs and ahhs galore!

Blessings and
Congratulations to you,
Johanna and Chris!

*  *  *  *  *  *  * 

Finally, this week, we are also 
celebrating Thanksgiving!
For my Smoky, Zesty Chipotle
Dipping Sauce recipe, click here.
A few months back, I shared my favorite recipe for smoky, zesty Chipotle Dipping Sauce (click here for the recipe). 

I use it for veggies and chips, but also to make Chipotle Tuna Salad and Chipotle Turkey Salad, a good use for turkey leftovers this weekend!

About the same time that I first posted this recipe, I decided to make a Chipotle Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving.

This little decision led to weeks of debate at the Coyle household. I thought it was a great idea. Marc (my husband) thought nobody would like a recipe that radically changed traditional cranberry sauce.

Then, last week, The New York Times came out with its Thanksgiving menu, and (wouldn't you know it), they suggested a "spicy" cranberry sauce with jalapenos and cayenne. Ha! (Do culinary minds think alike or what?)

This jazzed up tuna salad sandwich was made with
my Chipotle Dipping Sauce. This weekend, I'll be
mixing it with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey to
make Chipotle Turkey Salad.
Pictured below is an even better idea: Use my Easy Chipotle Cranberry Sauce recipe for your traditional Black Friday turkey sandwich

When Marc finally tasted it, he admitted the Chipotle Cranberry Sauce on the cold turkey sandwich brought a nice zing to the roasted meat. 

The smoky, spicy flavor notes of the chipotle paired beautifully with the sweet-tart taste of the cranberries. Now he wants to try the sauce with some Indian dishes as a revved-up chutney. Sounds good to me...I'll keep you posted!

Cleo Coyle's
Easy Chipotle
Cranberry Sauce

Although I had been planning a "spicy" cranberry sauce for months, the NY Times beat me to the punch. Still, I think mine is a better recipe. Why? It's so much easier! The Times version has several ingredients and steps. You're welcome to their version. But I'll stick with  my way. It's a snap...

1. PREPARED SAUCE VERSION: Whether you're using canned cranberry sauce (whole or jellied) or you're using prepared homemade sauce, all you have to do is warm it in a small saucepan until it loosens up and becomes more liquid. Now open a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (pictured). Dip a spoon in and measure out one teaspoon. Stir it into your warmed cranberry sauce. Taste...if you'd like it hotter, add more. If you'd like it even hotter, chop up a chipotle pepper and stir it in. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and serve. I use it on cold turkey sandwiches with mayo.

2. FROM SCRATCH VERSION: Follow the directions you like best, using whole cranberries, water, and sugar. Your favorite recipe may also include orange juice, orange zest, and/or fresh or dried and ground ginger. Once you begin the cooking process with the cranberries, open a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Stir in one teaspoon of the sauce for a mild spicy flavor. Add another teaspoon or two for a hotter version. For the very hot version, chop up a few peppers and stir them in, as well. Finish cooking the sauce, cool, and serve.

Just be sure to warn your guests 
which sauce is traditional and which is spicy...
and please do have a...

Happy Chanukah! &
Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

December 3rd...

A Coffeehouse Mystery
by Cleo Coyle 

*Starred Review*

"Top Pick"
--RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
~ Publishers Weekly

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.