Comfort Food

The Meatiest Vegetarian Chili Ever!

The Meatiest Vegetarian Chili Ever!

Old West style vegetarian chili made with plant-based beef, and black beans. Served with vegan shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. What’s the difference between chili with and I and chile with a E?

One Pot Arroz Con Pollo

One Pot Arroz Con Pollo

When I asked locals which Tucson centric recipes they would most like to see included in my Taste of Tucson cookbook, quite a few people mentioned arroz con pollo and I’ve always found chicken and rice to be a comforting combo This is a great make ahead recipe for workday lunches. This one pot, Sonoran version of Arroz con Pollo has a mediumspicy kick of heat fromsalsa de chile fresco.

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Dip

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Dip

Beer, cheddar cheese, and pretzels — what more could you want? How about that it’s only got two ingredients and you can make it in ten minutes or less?

BLT Lettuce Wraps: THE BEST Late Summer Meal

BLT Lettuce Wraps: THE BEST Late Summer Meal

I prefer to ditch the bread in my BLT because it really just gets in the way (which might be why it’s not called a BBLT). Instead, I make mine “protein style” served stuffed in the hollow of a big piece of romaine lettuce for more of the stuff that I really want.

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, brown cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp  (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!

Rainbow Sprinkles Cream Cheese

Rainbow Sprinkles Cream Cheese

Rainbow sprinkles for breakfast? Yes! A crunchy and slightly sweet sprinkles cream cheese recipe for everyone who needs more rainbow sprinkles in their lives.

Sonoran Style Chicken Tortilla Soup

Sonoran Style Chicken Tortilla Soup

So quick and easy; you can make this satisfying Sonoran Style Mexican chicken tortilla soup from my Taste of Tucson cookbook in 30 minutes or less!

Layered Lasagna Dip

Layered Lasagna Dip

A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.

Parmesan-Crusted Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Parmesan-Crusted Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Some people believe that grilled cheese sandwich must be made on the stovetop or over an open flame, but my secret to a perfectly melty grilled cheese sandwich is toasting it in the oven instead of over a burner.

Black and White Oreo Bark

Black and White Oreo Bark

Three ingredient white chocolate bark with Oreos that can be made in 30 minutes or less for a quick dessert or snack.

Molletes

Molletes

These open-faced breakfast sandwiches are made by slathering refried beans onto toasted bolillo rolls and then heaping avocado slices, a fried egg, hot sauce, and lots of cheese on top.

Fleur De Sel Caramels

Fleur De Sel Caramels

Fleur de sel (flower of salt) is a hand-harvested sea salt with distinctive flavor. Look for variations that have a pink or gray tone. You’d think that something with such a fancy-sounding name might be complicated to make, but in fact these sweet and savory bite-size treats are as easy to concoct as they are to devour. Still, if you want to let your friends believe these caramels are a feat of culinary magic, your secret’s safe with me.

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

I ate this for breakfast every day for weeks while writing my Taste of Tucson cookbook. The fat from the chorizo makes the egg really crispy and adds a lot of flavor without too many extra calories.

Matzoh Molletes Rancheros

Matzoh Molletes Rancheros

This crispy matzo based breakfast is a cross between molletes and huevos rancheros. I used beans from a can and my homemade chiltepin salsa.

Beef Patty Tacos

Beef Patty Tacos

The beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around Tucson since at least the mid-70s. A hamburger patty was folded into a tortilla and fried. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

Chocolate Caramel Apple Pops

Chocolate Caramel Apple Pops

Cute, kid friendly recipe for slices of apples dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles candy or nuts. This recipe was originally developed fro Refinery29.

S’mores Brownie In A Mug

S’mores Brownie In A Mug

A decadent single-serving brownie in a mug with marshmallows and a soft, melted chocolate center. Make this recipe just for yourself, day or night.

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe

Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would. 

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round. This recipe was There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round. This recipe was originally developed for Today.com.

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Making authentic cowboy steaks is really easy. When I asked Bryan Keith, the Grill Master from Pinnacle Peak Steak House if he had any additional tips he said, “Put some love in it!”

Skillet Stuffing Shakshuka

Skillet Stuffing Shakshuka

Recipe for Shakshuka made with leftover Thanksgiving stuffing. Be sure to make extra-extra stuffing for Thanksgiving so that you can make my Skillet Stuffing Shakshuka the next morning with the “leftovers”

Buffalo Chicken Rumaki Bites

Buffalo Chicken Rumaki Bites

Whatever happened to Rumaki, that vaguely Polynesian appetizer that they used to serve at tiki themed parties in the 70s? Maybe making buffalo-style rumaki will help modernize them a bit and bring them back into the public lexicon? Let’s all try serving this recipe at our next soiree and see what happens.

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

This no-recipe recipe is my tribute dog to Sweathog, Vinnie Barbarino. This recipe has become very popular since I first created it for my monthly column on the FoodNetwork.com. The people of the Internet have spoken, and they have said that it’s a cross between a pizza and a hot dog, and that is not untrue.

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

A healthy recipe for creamy, cheesy, supreme pizza flavored spaghetti squash, for the pizza flavors that you crave in cute single servings. They are fairly low in calories, very filling and taste like pizza. So it’s win-win-win.

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

These individual brownie pan pizzas are baked and served in Lodge 3.5-inch cast iron skillets. The options for different toppings are endless. Have fun experimenting with different combinations or set up a topping bar and let everyone pick their own.

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

A beautiful looking stacked dessert that’s easy to make using boxed brownie mix, berries and whipped cream.

The Mexican Street Corn Hot Dog

The Mexican Street Corn Hot Dog

Inspired by Mexican Street Corn, this whole beef jumbo hot dog is topped with roasted corn, mayo, lime and spices and served in a top-cut, whole grain bolillo roll. Food photo and recipe by Jackie Alpers.

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine. 

Chocolate, Coffee, Pistachio Biscotti with Sprinkles

Chocolate, Coffee, Pistachio Biscotti with Sprinkles

Biscotti means “twice baked” in Italian. First you form the crumbly dough into one stiff mass and bake it whole. Then you let it cool, slice it, and bake it again at a lower temperature. That’s what gives biscotti an almost cracker-like quality, which goes especially well with coffee. This triple-chocolate double-baked treat is dipped in a dark chocolate coating with sprinkles on top.

Sweet Corn Paletas

Sweet Corn Paletas

Why isn’t corn used in more desserts? It’s naturally sweet, and the kernels add a nice pop! There is a popular sweet drink called Atole sold by street vendors that’s made with corn masa and flavored with cinnamon, which served as inspiration for this flavor combination. 

Three Sisters Pizza With Corn Masa Crust

Three Sisters Pizza With Corn Masa Crust

Corn, beans and squash are three of the earliest domesticated crops grown by Native Americans in the Sonoran region. For this recipe, prepared corn masa, which is usually used to make tortillas or gorditas, is pressed into a cast iron skillet for the crust. If you’ve never tried tepary beans, this recipe is an excellent way to experiment with them, but you can substitute black beans instead if you want.

Greek Yogurt Pizza Dough

Greek Yogurt Pizza Dough

This Greek yogurt pizza dough recipe has only two ingredients! With this pizza dough trick, you’ll be a pie-making pro in no time.

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches With Sprinkles!

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches With Sprinkles!

This may be one of the easiest recipes ever. It was originally written for and published on Refinery29 where you can find seven more of my Oreo recipes. I literally wrote the book on sprinkles, so if you’re interested in learning more ways to cover everything in sprinkles, pick up a copy of Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

Spinach Linguine with Walnut Pesto

Spinach Linguine with Walnut Pesto

Walnuts are less expensive and easier to find than the traditional pine nuts and I think they taste even better in pesto, plus they’re loaded with healthy fats. Spinach linguini keeps everything a lovely shade of green.

Sweet Pepper Poppers

Sweet Pepper Poppers

How To Make Sweet Mini Pepper Poppers. I first developed this recipe for the Food Network.

Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug

Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug

For centuries, people believed that it was impossible to make a chicken pot pie in the microwave. I have proven them wrong.

Recipe Index

Visit Jackie Alpers @ The Food Network

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

Order Jackie’s Newest Cookbook: Taste of Tucson

taste of Tucson cookbook cover

About Jackie Alpers

Portrait of Taste of Tucson Cookbook author in her Mexican tiled kitchen

Pin It on Pinterest