Monday, May 22, 2017

Cheesy Chorizo Gnocchi Nachos

Photo courtesy of Chile Pepper Madness
      Barb and I got the opportunity to get away for a week while a close family friend kept an eye on Mom.  We headed up Hood Canal (western side of Puget Sound) and camped near Brinnon.  This is an area I have never had the opportunity to show my wife and a good time for a bit of a break for us.  What better place for a plate of Nachos on a beautiful, warm spring evening! 
      Our vision of Nachos has become all too familiar, although tasty they are nearly boring at times.  Recently I found a version that adds a delicious and filling twist........pasta.  Gnocchi is, simply put, a potato, flour, and egg dumpling.  Combine this with chorizo, green chiles, tomato, and some guacamole and voile.........comfort food. 
      Although the recipe can found here at one of my favorite pepper recipe sites:  I'm gonna walk through the steps, perhaps adding my own twist. 
      First boil a package of gnocchi according to package directions.  I found a pack of Gia Russa Mini Gnocchi that works well for this.  Heat a skillet (I prefer cast iron) to medium heat and add chorizo, browning. 
      Add chopped or sliced green chile peppers (I always use New Mexico #9s or any canned variety as long as they are fire roasted), cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring.  Add garlic (and I also add about 1 teaspoon of Adobo) and continue to simmer, now turning heat to med-low.  When gnocchi is done, drain and add to skillet with a bit of the pasta water. 
      Spread the cheese over the top.  In addition to shredded cheddar I sometimes add some shredded pepper jack, Monterey jack, Colby jack, or even Queso Blanco (white Mexican farm cheese) if you can find it.  Add the chopped tomato and fold in.  I made a different type of Feta Cheese Guacamole which is delicious.  When melted to perfection, serve with some of the guacamole on the side and either with tortilla chips or stuff in soft shell corn tortilla shells.   The gnocchi is a nice touch and still a spicy, tasty treat. 

"As Americans, we tend to look at Mexican food as Nachos, which is not Mexican food really-they don't eat them"
Anthony Bourdain
WiFi courtesy of Verizon MiFi

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Home.....for awhile

      Plans as they often do are always subject to change.  It is said that God has a plan for everything and today was very much a part of it.  Barb and I have been visiting Mom for the past two weeks on our way to Alaska.  In fact we're supposed to leave tomorrow.  Mom has had labored breathing issues for the past couple of months and finally got in to see her doctor.  She has had several appointments since our arrival, including heart specialists, as well as an echocardiogram, and an outpatient procedure to drain nearly a half quart of fluid from her lungs.  In addition she has a fluttering heart valve.  They do want her so see a Pulmonary Specialist as well, but (and this is becoming a far too familiar story) about 80% of the local ones at Providence St. Peter Hospital have retired due to the catastrophe of our modern health care system.  She is on the waiting list for her case to be considered, but who knows how long that will take. 
      Don't misunderstand me, she is in decent shape for a woman of 89, but age has it's way of wearing down a person, especially their memory.  With Mom, short term memory is too quickly becoming a thing of the past.  We don't feel we can leave her at this time as there is no other family that can step in right away.  Mom does have a renter that is very reliable and will be there as well.  Barb and Mom have become pretty close over the past couple of years and she has really stepped in to be there for her.  Between Barb, me, and my next oldest sister we'll work this out.  So for now, our Alaska trip is being put on hold. 
      We've been to Alaska before and are probably just bumping our plans for a year.  Dad built an RV pad with complete hookups when he retired so we are loving 'moochdocking' at it's best.  We'll still get away for a week or so a couple of times this summer, but right now there is no set time for our departure.  She really needs the help and for us that's enough.  I was going to fish in Alaska, but I can fish here at Westport as well.  We also have several close friends from my school days here for any support we may need.
      So for now here we are, my hometown.  The blog will continue, but with an obvious twist of flavor.  I appreciate all the love and incoming prayers that will result from this, but believe me...Mom will be fine........and so will we.