Green Chile Sauce

This is a recipe that my mother had as long as I can remember, but I don’t know where she got it. It is very similar to the Basic Green Chile Sauce on the Focus New Mexico site. The original recipe was cooked in melted shortening, but I use olive oil for everything now, so I’m going to update the recipe.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup chopped green chile (roasted, peeled & seeded)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or 15 oz can)
salt to taste

  1. Heat oil and saute the onion a few minutes, until softened.
  2. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the flour, cook two minutes.
  4. Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the chile & tomatoes. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water or stock if sauce gets too thick.

Mushroom Spread

8 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 green onion, sliced
10 oz mushrooms, chopped finely
4 drops Tabasco
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash Worcestershire
salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Spread on crackers, toast rounds or use as a dip for crudites.


Sweet & Sour Green Chile

John Cannon, one of my mother’s best friends, developed this recipe. He is a very inventive cook and always makes the most delicious food.

8 oz green chile, cut in 1″ chunks
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp dill
1 tsp minced garlic

  1. Mix sugar, vinegar, dill and garlic.
  2. Pour over chiles.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Serve with cream cheese & Ritz crackers.
  • Also delicious on chicken, pork, and hamburgers.

Chile Con Queso

John Cannon, one of my mother’s best friends, developed this recipe. He is a very inventive cook and always makes the most delicious food.

6 large onions, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
2 lb Velveeta, cubed
16 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve juice)
4 – 8 oz diced green chile

  1. Saute onions in oil until soft.
  2. Stir in cheese until melted.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, chile and enough of the tomato juice to make a dippable cheese sauce.
  • You can also make a quick version of this by melting Velveeta in the microwave with enough good salsa to thin it out.

Swiss Mushrooms

This recipe was card number 17 of a collection that was sold in the late 70’s or early 80’s. It does not give the name of the company that sold it. I only got a handful of the recipes as a sample set and this was one of only a few that I kept.

1 lb small mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp parsley, chopped


1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup half & half
1 cup Swiss cheese or Gruyère

  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Saute mushrooms in butter. Remove from pan.
  3. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Mix with mushrooms.
  4. Distribute mixture into 4 small baking dishes.
  5. Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in paprika.
  6. Slowly add half & half and bring to a boil.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.
  8. Pour over mushrooms.
  9. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • If mushrooms are large, slice or quarter before sauteing.

Mushroom Puffs

these little puffs were a big hit at my wedding reception

sliced bread
1/4 lb mushrooms, minced
1 Tbsp butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp onion, minced
milk or cream
salt & pepper, to taste
butter, softened

  1. Cut 1/2 – 1″ rounds from bread. Toast on one side. Set aside.
  2. Saute mushrooms in 1 Tbsp butter. Cool.
  3. Blend cream cheese with onion and mushrooms. Stir in enough milk or cream to make it easy to spread.
  4. Salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Spread untoasted side of bread rounds with butter, then with mushroom mixture.
  6. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
  7. To serve, place under broiler until puffy and browned, about 2 minutes.
  • I made tiny ones for the reception, but the larger ones take less time if you are serving only a few people.

Spicy Swiss Chard Chips

adapted from Family Spice

I halved the salt and doubled the garlic & chili powder.

Swiss chard leaves
extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder (not ground chile)

  1. Preheat oven to 275ºF.
  2. Remove chard stems and cut leaves into 2″ x 2″ pieces.
  3. Place a cooling rack into a baking sheet.  Place cut leaves in one layer on the rack.
  4. Spray with oil.
  5. Combine salt, garlic & chile powder. Sprinkle over chard.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn leaves over and bake until crisp, up to an additional 20 minutes, depending on the size & thickness of the chard pieces.
  7. Let chard chips cool and serve.
  • Using the cooling rack will let the heat go all around the chips, cooking them faster and more evenly.
  • You can substitute kale for the chard.
  • Do not store in sealed container (if you have any left) – they will get soft. If this happens you can crisp them in the oven for about 5 minutes.

White Bean and Kale Soup

adapted from The Curvy Carrot

1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped (1-2 medium carrots)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
5-6 red potatoes, chopped (leave the skins on)
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), or 5 cups fresh cooked beans
One large bunch kale
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage, browned (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Strip kale leaves from stems. Slice stems into ¼” pieces (like celery). Chop leaves coarsely.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the celery, carrots, onion and kale stems, and cook, until the onions are softened, about 4-5 minutes or so.
  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or so.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water and the broth to a boil.
  6. Add the cooked vegetables and the potatoes to the boiling mixture.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Add the beans, kale leaves, (and sausage if desired) and cook, stirring frequently, until completely heated through and the kale is wilted, about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • I left out the cream listed in the original recipe.
  • I used chicken broth instead of the vegetable broth in the original recipe, because that was what I had on hand – if you want it to be vegetarian, go with the vegetable broth.
  • The first time I made this, I added 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage & left out the potatoes (I didn’t have any). The second time I left out the sausage and I thought it was still excellent, but my husband prefers it with the meat.
  • You can discard the kale stems if you prefer, but with a little extra cooking they taste great & I hate to waste them.
  • You can substitute Swiss chard or spinach for the kale.
  • You can substitute white / great northern beans for the cannellini beans.

Split Pea Soup

from my daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner

2 cups dried split green peas, rinsed
2 cups chopped carrots (not necessary to peel them)
2 cups chopped celery (don’t forget the leaves)
1 head cauliflower, chopped

  1. Add all ingredients in a large pot, pour over enough water or broth to cover by 1″. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cook until peas are tender, about an hour. As long as you cook on low with a lid, it is difficult to overcook this.
  3. When peas are tender, the soup will be a bit chunky – you can blend with an immersion blender or regular blender to a consistency of your liking.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder – or any other seasoning you like.
  5. Serve with shredded cheese, sliced green onions, chopped ham or bacon… it’s very versatile.
  • You can substitute 16 oz frozen cauliflower.
  • You can also pour everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • I like to add a bay leaf, dried thyme (1+ tsp), and a pinch of cayenne while cooking – these are the seasonings used at Pea Soup Andersen’s.
  • I don’t usually salt & pepper while cooking – some folks don’t want salt & my daughter Alycia does not like pepper.  I like smoked salt & fresh-ground pepper on mine.
  • If the soup is too thick, add water or broth. 

Dorian’s Marinara Sauce

recipe created by Dorian Lara especially for his Eggplant Parmesan

extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1/4 carrot, diced
1/3 large head garlic, peeled and diced
1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 – 28 can diced tomatoes
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
dried oregano
dried basil
dried thyme
dried marjoram
dried rosemary
black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
10 “twigs” fresh thyme, strip leaves from stems


  1. Heat olive oil in large stock pot.
  2. Add onion and carrot and saute until onion is just barely caramelized.
  3. Reduce heat and add garlic (reserving 2 cloves). Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add all tomato products. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add dried herbs and pepper to taste.
  6. Add fresh basil and thyme leaves (discard the stems).
  7. Simmer for 1-2 hours partially covered. If it looks a little runny, remove lid and cook until thickened.
  8. Before serving, add the two reserved cloves of garlic – just smash and toss them in.
  • Yes, that’s 1/3 of a head of garlic, not 1/3 of a clove.
  • You can use an “Italian seasoning” blend to replace the dried herbs if you prefer.
  • You can make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra.