Don’t get me wrong. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Javier’s in Las Vegas, but I simply wanted to serve the dish with more shrimp, and more rajas! So here I re-create a version of that fabulous Camarones con Rajas at home. It’s overloaded with succulent Alaska spot shrimp atop poblano chile strips and onions smothered in a garlic butter cream sauce.
Rajas con crema is a popular Mexican dish consisting of strips or slices (rajas in Spanish) of roasted poblano peppers in a cream sauce.
At Javier’s, we dined on aguachile del rey with bay scallop, shrimp, and octopus; empanadas de camarón; chile verde with braised pork and tomatillo sauce; and the camarones con rajas – all accompanied by their hand-shaken signature margaritas. This stunning upscale Mexican restaurant is located in the Aria Resort right next to the casino floor where hundreds of rope strands form an impressive canopy in the bar area.
While Javier’s prepares their dish with Mexican white prawns, I am elevating my dish with Alaska spot shrimp.
Alaska Spot Shrimp are sweet and plump. And if cooked correctly, they are luscious and much more tender than the Mexican prawn variety. With their slightly briny hint of the sea, spot shrimp taste like a sweet-buttery cross between lobster and Dungeness crab. They are just heavenly served over the poblano garlic butter cream.
The year was 1978 at The Chart House in Aspen, Colorado. My date, Jeff, was instructing me on how to eat the curious appetizer that he had ordered. It was something I had never encountered before. It was an artichoke.
He happily showed me how to pull the outermost petals from the globe and dip each one in the ramekin of melted butter, how to scrape the meat from each petal with my bottom teeth. The nutty-earthy flavors, the divine melted butter, the fascinating method for consuming this unique vegetable…I was hooked.
Fast forward to today and it is hard to believe that I’ve been living in Las Vegas for two years now. In addition to the swimming pool, one of my favorite outdoor amenities of the new home is a built-in Blaze Grill.
After having a propane BBQ at my home in LA for all those years, it is such a pleasure to know I will never run out of fuel! And the fabulous Blaze is so much more powerful, the total grill BTUs equal 66,000! It’s hot. And awesome.
So we grill, and eat in the pool ALL THE TIME…today an amazingly good and very popular appetizer of grilled artichokes with our favorite Hatch Chile garlic mayonnaise.
Bistro Style Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich
WITH Fire Roasted Hatch Chiles
The second post in my “Bistro Collection” inspired by Bouchon and Chef Thomas Keller is a Tartine de Thon. This is simply a French bistro style open-faced tuna sandwich with a side of pommes frites… But it is très magnifique and muy magnífico with a French-New Mexico fusion twist!
My tuna salad recipe includes Roasted Hatch Chiles from New Mexico, plus lime juice & cilantro to complement the smoky green chiles. Served on a toasted thick slice of artisan seeded boule, it is un déjeuner parfait.
“Margarita” Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles
This unconventional salmon burger – spiked with flavors of a refreshing Margarita and studded with spicy-hot fire-roasted chiles – captures the essence of summer’s last days and our beloved Hatch chile season. Where the tequila and fresh lime add zing, and the Hatch chiles add heat – these fresh ground salmon burgers are lively, sure to perk up the last long hot days of summer. Relax on Labor Day, enjoy a Margarita or sip some tequila, and savor a spicy “Margarita” salmon burger!
Pork Chops Rubbed with Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Dry Mustard Over Fresh Corn & Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile Pickled Okra Garnish
Growers say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile. They have been roasting up a storm in Hatch, New Mexico. Unlike other chiles, those grown in Hatch are only available for about 6 weeks each year during the months of August and September, and only as long as the fresh chile supply holds out. Hatch chiles range in spiciness from mild to very hot, choose the type that suits your palate!
Since we are sadly at the tail end of the Hatch season this year you’ve got to hurry to make smoky pork chops with fresh Hatch chiles. Luckily Anaheim, New Mexico, poblano chiles or even frozen Hatch chiles can be substituted in this recipe. But try remember to look for Hatch chiles next growing season, their flavor is really extraordinary…