About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view Mlaurence's profile
    Posted June 19, 2014 by
    Bandera, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Who taught you to love food?

    More from Mlaurence

    Hot or Cold, You’re Going to Crave These Summer Recipes!

    There’s a chili that’s perfectly hot and a cheesecake that’s so cool you don’t even have to bake it. Chef Mercedes Soto, sage executive chef at the Purple Sage Ranch near San Antonio, takes the spotlight by sharing the secrets to two of her most popular recipes during her latest cooking demonstration on TV’s Great Day SA.

    The recipes are favorites at the ranch, which is deep in San Antonio’s Hill Country, making it a popular retreat for corporations and other groups. As for the secrets, with the chili recipe, Chef Mercedes says the flavor comes from tomatillos, a green tomato that’s a staple in Mexican cooking. She adds pork butt that’s boiled to tender perfection, garlic, jalapeños, cumin, oregano and her signature Salsa Verde. You can tell from the reaction from the show’s host that the dish is a hit.

    Then there’s Chef Mercedes’ No-Bake Cheesecake. (I mean, seriously, who wants to bake in the summer?) The key is letting it set in the fridge. The recipe includes lemon and lime zest, cocoa powder in the crust and Mascarpone cheese in the filling. Both dishes are perfect for enjoying indoors. But try them outside. It is summer, after all.

    Try out the chili and cheesecake recipes below:

    The Purple Sage Summer Green Chili


    3 lbs. pork loin (cut on 1/2 in cubes) or Ground beef lean
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. pepper
    2 tsp. garlic granulated
    1 tsp. cumin
    3 c. water

    Chili Verde:

    2 c. of tomatillos, peeled and washed
    6 cloves of fresh garlic
    6 green Anaheim peppers, roasted and peeled
    6 poblano peppers, roasted and peeled
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 1/2 tsp. dry oregano


    Cut pork in cubes, add it to pot and let it sear, and add salt, pepper, garlic granulated and cumin. In another pot, add tomatillos and fresh garlic, add water and let it boiled for 30 minutes. Then, let it cool slightly. In a blender, add roasted Anaheim peppers, poblano peppers and tomatillos, and let it run until is almost a puree. Set aside until the pork is ready. When pork is ready, add the tomatillos and peppers mixture and let it simmer and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

    The Purple Sage No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake


    2 c. graham cracker
    1/3 c. brown sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon or cocoa
    1 c. warm butter


    Mix well and press on the bottom of a mold. Chill crust for 30 minutes. to firm.


    2 tsp. of lemon juice
    2 c. cream cheese
    1 1/2 c. mascarpone cheese
    3 tbsp. lemon zest
    1 c. whipped cream


    Mix lemon juice, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest and whipped cream, add it on top of the crust, and let chill for about 4 hours. Garnish with berries or seasonal fruit.
    Add your Story Add your Story