"Recipes from the Chef's Kitchen"

Show 434 with Nathalie Dupree

Lindsey Gustin and Nathalie Dupree

(Nathalie Dupree is one of American's most popular cookbook authors,
and has hosted five top-rated cooking shows on PBS.)
See her website Nathalie.com

These Recipes are from her cookbook:
"Comfortable Entertaining"

Pico de Gallo Salsa
(Pico de gallo, which means "rooster's tooth", perhaps because of its spicy bite, is a loose, runny salsa.  It can be used any time a tomato salsa is required, because the word salsa just means sauce, and this one is full of tomatoes.)

(makes 1 1/2 cups)
1)  2 whole tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeds removed,
      and hand chopped (about 2 cups)
2)  1/2 cup chopped onion
3)  2 scallions, chopped including green parts
4)  4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5)  1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
6)  2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
7)  2 to 4 small fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and
      chopped (optional)
8)  salt
9)  freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Procedures:
1)  In a medium-size bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion,
      scallions, garlic, green pepper, cilantro, and
2)  Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
3)  Cover and let sit for an hour to allow the flavors
      to blend, or refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Drain
      if watery.)
4)  Note on hot peppers: Put a plastic bag over your
      hands when seeding and chopping the pepper to
      prevent pepper juice from burning tiny cuts or
      scrapes on your fingers.

Shopping Tips:
1)  Hot peppers vary...they can be canned, jarred or
      fresh.  Nathalie prefers fresh because they are
      crunchier, greener, and hotter.  As a rule of
      thumb, the smaller the pepper, the hotter, but
      2 peppers in the same bush can vary greatly in
      heat.  When in doubt, always add less.  Nathalie
      buys jalapeno and cayenne peppers unless
      otherwise noted.
2)  Cilantro...
      This is the leaf counterpart to coriander seed.
      They are both from the same plant but totally
      different in taste.  Cilantro has a very definite
      flavor, for which there is no substitute.  It is not
      available year-around in most grocery stores, so
      it has to be left out of the recipe sometimes.
      Adding chopped cilantro to a commercial salsa
      frequently results in a dip that can pass for

Hot Mango Salsa

   (Nathalie uses this salsa for tortillas, grilled chieken, or fish, as well as to add interest to soups.  She varies the ingredients according to the colors and flavors she wants.  She also uses mangoes from a jar for salsa.)

(Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups)
1)  1 (14 ounce) mango, peeled, seeded, and
      chopped (about 2 cups)
2)  1/4 cup chopped scallion
3)  1/4 cup chopped yellow or red bell pepper
4)  1 teaspoon chopped cilantro or basil
5)  1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno peppers,
      preferably fresh
6)  2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Cooking procedures:
1)  Mix together the mango, scallion, bell pepper,
      cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice.
2)  The salso can be kept refrigerated for up to
      a week.

Fancy Cheese Quesadillas

    (The host serves as a short-order cook by preparing quesadillas to order, filling the tortillas with cheese, chicken, peppers, and/or onions.  Some people add refried beans, other tomatoes. Epazote, the pungent Mexican herb, can be added as you go along.

       There are many forms of quesadillas, the most familiar being melted cheese tortilla sandwiches.  Variations abound, such as Sonoran, which Nathalie's friend Ric says are most like cheese pizzas, as they are open-faced.  Karen likes a version where the tortilla is heated on a grill; you slit it in half when it puffs up, slide cheese into the slit between the layers, and eat it right off the grill.

       When serving this as a main course, restaurants usually serve 3 per person. Nathalie also uses filled and cooked quesadillas, in quarts or eighths,for a side bread for a soup.)

(serves 10 as an appetizer or 6 as a main course
1)   6 cups (24 ounces) grated Monterey Jack or
       chedder cheese
2)   20 to 30 fresh tortillas or two 19-ounce
       packages flour tortillas (10 tortillas per package)
3)   1/2 cup to 1 cup chopped jalapenos, fresh or
       canned (optional)
4)   1/2 cup sliced scallions (optional)
5)   3 pounds Marinated Grilled Chicken, (page
       166 in her cookbook), slivered or torn
6)   3 to 4 tablespoons butter, as necessary, or
       nonstick vegetable spray for cooking
7)   2 cups Pico de Gallo Salsa (see above)
8)   2 cups guacamole
9)   1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
10) 1 (16-ounce) container sour cream

1)  Sprinkle 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the cheese evenly
      on one tortilla.  Top with some jalapenos,
      scallions, and grilled chicken slivers.  Cover
      with another tortilla to make the quesadilla
2)  Meanwhile, melt about 1 tablespoon of the
      butter in a large nonstick skillet, or spray the
      skillet with vegetable oil.  Heat to medium-high.
3)  Place the quesadilla in the skillet and saute until
      it is lightly brown and the cheese begins to melt,
      about 2 minutes.  Turn and do the same on the
      other side, about 1 minute.
3)  Remove the quesadilla from the heat and cut
      into quarters. (Nathalie uses a pizza wheel or
      scissors.)  You can, of course, use more than
      one skillet to speed the process.
5)  Put the hot quesadillas on individual dishes or
      a serving platter, and surround with bowls of
      Pico de Gallo Salsa, guacamole, cilantro, and
      sour cream.

Although quesadillas taste best when they are freshly
baked or sauteed, they will hold for a few minutes
while you are cooking them all.  (Or they can be
reheated.  If made ahead, cut cooked quesadillas
into wedges and lay them out on a baking sheet in
a 200 deg f. oven to warm until ready.)

Good Eating!!!