Warm up your Winter with Spicy Dishes

Nothing warms you up better than some good ol’ cooking.  Peg Rasmussen, former owner of Countryside Café in Hamel, shares some spices dishes to warm you up on these cold winter days.

Bacon Wrapped Potatoes with Lime Crème Fraiche


Potatoes’ – (russet or Yukon gold) partially cooked (2 potato for every 3 guests)
Sweet & Spicy seasoning (there’s a good one from Karlsburger Foods called Smokey Sweet Rub)
Brown sugar
Bacon (1/2 piece of bacon per potato piece)


Cut the partially cooked potatoes into “two bite” pieces

Mix S & S seasoning with brown sugar – start with 50-50 and adjust to your taste

Cut bacon slices in half

Cover each raw piece of bacon with the seasoning mixture (both sides) and wrap it around a potato piece – securing it with a toothpick

Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and roast at 375 until the bacon is crispy. 

Lime Crème Fraiche:

1 Cup Sour Cream
2 T lime juice
2t brown sugar
Stir together and adjust to your preference

Serve with the potatoes as a condiment to cut the heat

Tortilla Cups


Mini Corn Tortillas
*¼ cup sweet onion
*½ medium jalapeno
*1/3 cup diced red pepper
½ c black beans – drain
½ cup hominy – drain
½ c corn – drain
¾ cup seasoned cooked chicken
1 T Taco seasoning – salt & pepper to taste

Garnish: Shredded Taco Cheese – sour cream – chopped fresh cilantro


Fold each mini tortilla into regular cupcake pan – Bake at 350 until crisp 12-15 min

Sautee starred ingredients until soft

Add all other ingredients and stir together – add more seasoning to your taste

Fill tortilla cups with warm mix and garnish with cheese, sour cream & cilantro


Chicken Tortilla Soup


Chicken Broth – 6-8 cups
*Small sweet onion – diced
*2 large stalks celery – diced
*3 medium carrots – diced
1 can diced tomatoes
Black beans – drain
Hominy – drain
Corn – drain
Cooked chicken – diced
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste


Bring chicken broth to a boil and add onion, celery & carrots

Simmer until vegetables are just soft

Now is the time to season the broth to your taste – you can add more chicken flavor and experiment with small amounts of  Ancho chili powder, Chipotle pepper, Cayenne  pepper, Chili Pepper cumin,

Start sparingly and simmer the broth until it is very intense.

If you want to thicken the broth: tear corn tortillas into small pieces and stir the broth as they dissolve.

Too much bite? Add a bit of brown sugar and simmer

Now add all of the remaining ingredients! The flavors will blend and modify slightly.

Garnish with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream and cilantro.


Invest in some high-quality soup bases. The best have a paste consistency and are not loaded with salt.

I still buy the bases and seasonings that we used at the catering shop. They are Karlsburger products which are locally produced.

For the soup I used Chicken base and a terrific Southwestern seasoning called Three Amigos. The Sweet & Spicy Seasoning is also a Karlsburger product, but I did see something similar at Byerlys (I haven’t tried it yet).

I keep turkey, beef, vegetarian and chicken base on hand all the time. I usually like to add some natural broth if I have it.

Look for Karlsburger and other premium bases at local meat markets, (Brothers in Maple Grove) some Cub stores, or online.  We picked some up at their facility in Monticello if you want a road trip!

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