The people's voice of reason

Southern Cuisine - September

We just came back from my somewhat annual summer vacation to Ruidoso New Mexico. We went out to eat more than in the past and we cooked more than in the past and since we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, there were meals prepared for my wife and I, by friends of ours. So, I'm changing the format of my article this month. I will have a description of a dish, the recipe and the picture. And I will have pictures of dishes with little about what is in it. At least not a full recipe. These dishes will mostly be from dishes we had at a restaurant or a friends house. There will not necessarily be an exact recipe. I'm doing this because the recipes I have are meant for you to make. An example of this will be for a charcuterie board. The picture will be the items included and a basic design for serving, Your imagination and taste, will determine how the finished board will look.

So the first dish will be the charcuterie board. Wikipedia defines it as an appetizer typically served on a wooden board or a stone slab that features a selection of preserved foods, especially cured meats or pates, as well as cheeses and crackers or bread. With a vague definition as that, your imagination will determine the final dish. This one has fruit, cheeses, olives, and cured meats.

My friend since collage, David put his one together just to wet our appetite. A perfect snack with a glass of wine sitting on the porch watching the sunset.

Dave's Charcuterie Board

Ingredients: crackers, cheeses, fruit, sliced meats, olives and what ever else you want.

The next dish was prepared by a friend of ours from Austin. She was able to include her recipe for this dish. It is served as a cold dish with only two items needing to be cooked.

Tortellini and Shrimp Salad (Pat Northington)

Serves 6

Salad ingredients

81/2 oz of cooked spinach and 3 cheese tortellini

2lbs of jumbo shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

1/4-1/2 small red onion finely diced

2 -3 ribs of celery finely diced

1/4 cup sliced black olives or 1 small can, drained

1/4-1/2 cup green olives

Parsley and basil to taste


4 tbsp olive oil

2 small cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 1/2 fresh lemon

3/4 tsp Kosher salt

Fresh black pepper to taste

(This was a bit acidic for me, so I added brown sugar to taste.)


1.Cook tortellini, drain and cool.

2.Cook shrimp (I used frozen), drain and cool. Cut into large pieces.

3.Whisk together dressing ingredients.

4.In a large bowl, mix onion, celery, olives. Add dressing (I didn’t use the entire amount) and mix well.

5.Add the shrimp, tortellini and herbs and seasonings. Stir carefully.

6.Chill until serving.

Before serving

1.Garnish with sliced avocado

2.Sprinkle with grated Parmesan or Feta.

looks like it’s lots of preparation, but it’s really quite easy and yummy!

Chili Rellenos

from Tina's New Mexican Style Cuisine

Ruidoso New Mexico

As define in Wikipedia Chili Rellenos is a dish in Mexican cuisine that originated in the city of Puebla. In 1858 it was described as a "green Chile pepper stuffed with minced meat and coated with eggs". The most common pepper used is Puebla's poblano pepper, though New Mexico Chile, pasilla, or even jalapeño peppers are popular as well. It is typically stuffed with melted cheese, such as queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca or with picadillo meat made of diced pork, raisins and nuts, seasoned with canella; covered in an egg white batter, simply corn masa flour and fried, or without any batter at all. Although it is often served in a tomato sauce, the sauces can vary.


This dish is my measure how good of a Mexican restaurant is. Tina's in Ruidoso has what I consider one of the best Chili Rellenos I have eaten in years. After eating, I told Tina that I loved the dish and would she mind if I mention it my article. She was very happy and offered me a cup of her Gazpacho. First the Chili Rellenos which were very large and came as a pair stuffed with cheese and covered with a egg white batter that was then fried. I was asked what sauce I wanted, and of course I answered Christmas tree. The server smiled and repeated”both”. I knew that if you wanted a sample of both sauces it is called a Christmas tree, a red sauce or a green chili cream sauce. It came with pinto beans and lettuce and chopped tomatoes. And it was delicious.

I do not have a picture of the Gazpacho, which is a classic Spanish Soup made with fresh vegetables; tomatoes,cucumbers, red onions, garlic with added shrimp and lime. It was a perfect addition to the meal.


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