Savory

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.

Street Corn Cups

Street Corn Cups

My version of Elote en Vaso. Roasted corn kernels in a creamy, cheesy sauce seasoned with chile, lime and chives.

Old West Style Vegan Chili

Old West Style Vegan Chili

Old West style spicy vegan chili recipe made with plant-based meat, black beans and mushrooms. Served with vegan shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

I’m fascinated by the idea of roasting an entire head of cauliflower, so when I came across these adorable baby cauliflower at the market the wheels started turning. They make a visually stunning side dish, perfect on cold winter nights. You can substitute one large cauliflower if you can’t find the little ones.

BLT Lettuce Wraps

BLT Lettuce Wraps

Tomatoes are at their best, and something about the heat and humidity of the Arizona monsoon season makes me almost totally inert and immobile. This is about all I can muster dinner-wise, so I’m lucky that it’s fairly healthy… It turns out that mayo and bacon are better for us than expected, and my versions is also low-carb.

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, 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!

Thai-Mex Coleslaw in Serrano Vinaigrette

Thai-Mex Coleslaw in Serrano Vinaigrette

This crunchy, salty, and spicy no-mayo Thai/Mexican coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes. It’s inspired by Som Tum (green papaya salad).

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Festive enough for New Year’s Eve, this pretty appetizer only takes about 5 minutes to make. Bacon infused caviar adds a unique smokiness that will intrigue your guests and is fairly inexpensive, but any decent quality caviar will do. The one-ingredient parmesan crisps are a savory, no-carb alternative to blini.

Chile Colorado Tostadas with Crispy Tofu

Chile Colorado Tostadas with Crispy Tofu

I replaced the beef with crispy tofu, which adds just the right amount of heft and bite, and served it on crunchy baked tostada shells topped with Queso Fresco, scallions, radish and sliced pimento-stuffed olives. Recipe link in profile.

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.

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

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

Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children’s cries for burgers when buns weren’t handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe.
Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

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.

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!”

The Moist Maker

The Moist Maker

The Moist Maker is inspired by “The One Where Ross Loses it Over a Sandwich.” My version uses leftover dinner rolls instead of bread.

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”

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

This recipe was originally developed for TasteCooking.com. This pasta is quite spooky looking, yet elegant enough to serve at a Halloween themed adult dinner party.

Linguine with Walnut Pesto

Linguine with Walnut Pesto

Walnuts taste even better in pesto than pine nuts. Spinach linguine keeps this easy pasta recipe a lovely shade of green.

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.

Lasagna Dip

Lasagna Dip

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

The Elote Hot Dog

The Elote 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. 

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.

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This super easy salad dressing recipe is especially good on a Greek salad, cucumber salad or Asian Chicken salad and you can make it right in the bottle if you only have a little bit of Sriracha left.

Baguette Breakfast Casserole

Baguette Breakfast Casserole

This visually stunning breakfast casserole is elegant, yet quick and easy to prepare. Tuck savory Canadian bacon, eggs, herbs, and cheese inside slices of crusty baguettes. Recipe and food photography by Jackie Alpers

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.

Breakfast Taco Cups

Breakfast Taco Cups

Pretty breakfast taco cups filled with eggs, bacon, pinto beans, cheese and salsa.

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Ohio meets Arizona! Cincinnati style chili cheese nachos, “Cincinnachos” as they will henceforth be known. The best of everything for snacking season. Start with My Recipe for Cincinnati Style Turkey Chili, substituting ground grass-fed beef or vegetarian ground beef crumbles if you prefer.

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe. All of the ingredients for authentic Thai cuisine are available at most grocery stores. Sambal Oelek and Thai fish sauce can be found in most Asian food sections.

Carb-Free Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin Cups

Carb-Free Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin Cups

There’s no flour in these breakfast muffin cups, yet they’re still light and fluffy! The secret is to beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

Easy Chipotle Chicken Salad

Easy Chipotle Chicken Salad

This spicy and crunchy Sonoran chipotle chicken salad can be served in lettuce taco wraps, tortas and sandwiches or meal sized salads.

Fried Monster Eggs!

Fried Monster Eggs!

Looks can be deceiving; my favorite monsters are scary looking, but innately good. Just like these monster-ized eggs, which have been turned green and frightening looking, but are completely delicious. These fried eggs with pesto and Parmesan are also monstrously easy to make.

Recipe Index

Visit Jackie Alpers @ The Food Network

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

Order Jackie’s Newest Cookbook: Taste of Tucson

About Jackie Alpers

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

International color awards nominee medal

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