My stay here has reminded me that the drinks on the front porch of The Stanley Hotel might be one of my favorite vacation traditions.
I like the view and the vibe at the Stanley. I'm thankful that the bar was stocked with limes this year. I learned that if you place 8 or 9 maraschino cherries in a five-year-old's Shirley Temple, she'll eat every last one and leave a pile of stems.
Yesterday I hiked with my family to Mills Lake for a picnic. I was reminded that food on a hike always tastes better. Even the lowly Brazil nut -- something I normally push to the side in a bowl of mixed nuts -- was quite tasty on my hike.
I should probably post a recipe to remind everyone that this is a food blog. Today's recipe is from the book Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and found from he Times-Picayune of New Orleans edited by Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker. The plight to rebuild New Orleans has been well documented. This books tells the story of the recipes that displaced New Orleanians craved recipes from home.
The local paper the Times-Picayune set up a webpage where displaced New Orleanians home could catalog, swap, and share recipes that were lost in the storm. Cooking Up a Storm is a collection of those recipes.
I've selected the cilantro and green chile dressing to share. It a high-calorie recipe, but its unique flavor exceeds anything you'll find on the supermarket shelves. I like to make a grilled chicken salad, and top it with this dressing.
Cilantro and Green Chile Dressing
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (Make sure they're hulled. You'll find them in most markets labeled as pepitas)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, well drained
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned.
- Take 1/4 cups of the pumpkin seeds and combine in a blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Chill for one hour and then serve with salad. Sprinkle remaining pumpkin seeds over the salad.