Cinco de Mayo

Salsa Verde

July 28, 2012

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde or green tomatillo salsa is bright and fruity and is the perfect complement to grilled meats and cheese dishes.  Not bad with just tortilla chips either. 

INGREDIENTS

4 Ounces Husked & Rinsed Tomatillos

5 Garlic Cloves

2 Quartered White Or Yellow Onions

2 Stemmed Jalapenos

1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Bunch Stemmed Cilantro

In a medium size saucepan fill with 2 cups of water.  Put the tomatillos, garlic, onions and jalapenos in the saucepan.  Boil for 5 minutes.  You will want the contents to be slightly soft.  Drain, but save 1 cup of the cooking water.  Put the ingredients into a blender or food processor along with the cooking liquid that you saved.  Add the salt, pepper, sugar and cilantro.  Pulse until chunky.  Pour into a serving bowl and serve at room temperature.  Makes 4 cups.

Fiesta Bean & Chicken Soup

July 21, 2012

Fiesta Bean & Chicken Soup

 

With all of the rain we’ve been having I felt like making a nice homey soup.  I came up with this hearty, but not too heavy, bean and chicken soup.  It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. 

 

INGREDIENTS

5 Ounces Pinto Beans

5 Ounces Red Beans

5 Ounces Black Beans

8 Cups Water

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Ounces Cooked & Diced Chicken Breast

1 Large Chopped Onion

4 Chopped Green Onions

8 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Cup Corn

2 Diced Tomatoes

2 Cups Salsa

6 Small Chopped Red & Yellow Peppers

1 Large Chopped Hot Pepper

6 Cups Chicken Broth

1 Bottle White Wine

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes,

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

 

Rinse and drain the beans.  Soak the beans for at least 6 hours or overnight. Place the beans in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  Boil uncovered for 20 minutes.  Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours until the beans are soft.  Do not drain the beans. Uncover and add the chicken broth and stir.  Add the olive oil, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, ground cumin and chili powder.  Stir.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the wine.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add the onions, chicken, garlic, green onions, corn, tomatoes, red & yellow peppers, hot pepper and stir.  Cook for 10 minutes and then add the salsa.  Simmer for an hour to blend the flavors.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.  The soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.  If necessary, thin with additional chicken broth when reheating.  Serves 8

Chopped Fiesta Salad

July 19, 2012

Chopped Fiesta Salad

Sometimes you just need a good salad.  I came up with this simple, yet tasty, fiesta salad that is a meal by itself or paired with a main course.  I served it with roasted chicken breasts.  Serve with salsa dressing.

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Chopped Spinach

2 Cups Chopped Romaine

1 Chopped Ripe Tomato

1 Medium Chopped Red Bell Pepper

1 Medium Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper

1 Cup Corn

1 Large Chopped Cucumber

5 Chopped Radishes

1 Small Chopped Zucchini

Tortilla Chips

Salsa Dressing

Chop the spinach and romaine lettuce and place in a large bowl.  Chop the tomato, red & yellow bell pepper, cucumber, radishes and zucchini.  Add to the spinach and romaine.  Add the corn.  Toss the salad.  Arrange tortilla chips around the edges of the bowl and crumble a few on top.  Serve immediately as the tortilla chips tend to get a big soggy if left to sit long.  Serves 4

To make the salsa dressing all you need to do is to combine 1 cup of ranch dressing to 2 cups of salsa in a food processor or blender.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

Cheesy Quesadillas

July 10, 2012

Cheesy Quesadillas

It’s hot out and who wants to turn on the oven.  Serve with my Chunky Guacamole and you’ve got a quick no-fuss dinner.  These quesadillas can also be served as an appetizer or a light lunch.  Easy to double or triple this recipe too. 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 Large Flour Tortillas (8 Inches)

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese

2 Tablespoons Minced Jalapenos

Olive Oil

1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

 

Heat a large non-stick skillet over a medium heat for 3 minutes.  Put 1 tortilla in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes until soft and puffed slightly at the edges.  Turn the tortilla over and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove the tortilla and place on a cutting board.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon minced jalapenos over half of the tortilla.  Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch boarder around the edges.  Fold the tortilla in half over the filling.  Press to flatten.  Brush the tops generously with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with the kosher salt.  Set aside and repeat the process with the second tortilla.  Place the quesadillas back in the skillet with the oiled side down.  Cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat until crisp and browned.  Brush the tops with the remaining oil and sprinkle lightly with the remaining kosher salt.  Turn the quesadillas and cook for another 2 minutes until crisp and browned.  Remove the quesadillas and place back on the cutting board.  Let cool for 4 minutes. If you don’t let the quesadillas cool the cheese will ooze out when cut. Cut into quarters and serve with Chunky Guacamole.  Serves 4

Pork Tenderloin Tacos

June 25, 2012

Pork Tenderloin Tacos

 

INGREDIENTS

2 Large Quartered Shallots

4 Halved Jalapeno Peppers

1 Sliced Tomato

4 Whole Green Onions

2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Two Pound Thinly Sliced Spice Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Olive Oil

Salsa For Garnish

1 Sliced Lime

Warm Tortillas For Serving

 

Rub the pork tenderloin with a spice mixture of your choice.  Victoria’s Dry Rub makes a great rub for this tenderloin.  Place the spiced tenderloin with the quartered shallots, halved jalapeno peppers and whole green onions on a foil covered roasting pan.  Drizzle the tenderloin and the vegetables with olive oil and roast at 350° F for 45 minutes. When done cooking remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes.  Thinly slice the pork tenderloin and transfer to a serving plate.  Add the roasted shallots, jalapeno peppers and green onions to the serving plate.  Fill warm tortillas with shredded cheese, sliced pork, sliced tomatoes, shallots, jalapeno peppers and green onions.  Top with salsa and fresh lime juice.  Serves 4

 

Homemade Tortillas

June 24, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

 

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Lard

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1/2 Cup Warm Water

 

In a large bowl stir together the flour with the salt.  With a pastry blender cut in the lard until the mixture looks like meal.  Drizzle the vegetable oil over the mixture and then stir in the warm water with a fork to form the dough. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for 4 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.  For the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest for 1 hour.  Heat a dry skillet over a medium low heat until hot.  Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and form into 12 balls.  On a lightly floured surface roll out the balls one at a time.  Use just enough to prevent from sticking.  Keep the remaining dough covered with the plastic wrap.  You will want each ball rolled out to about 7 inches round and the thickness should be even.  Cook one tortilla while you roll out the next one.  Cook for 45 seconds on each side.  Move the tortilla around to make sure that the tortilla is evenly cooked. Remove from the skillet and transfer to a clean kitchen towel to stack when done cooking each one.  Cover with the kitchen towel until ready to serve.  Makes 12 tortillas.

 

Huevos Con Chorizo

May 5, 2012

Huevos Con Chorizo

 

Huevos Con Chorizo (scrambled eggs with chorizo) is a classic Mexican breakfast dish with a combination of eggs and spicy chorizo sausage.  Chorizo is a Mexican sausage with a unique flavor that can be found in Mexican food stores and other specialty stores. 

 

INGREDIENTS

1/4 Pound Chorizo Sausage With Casings Removed

6 Large Eggs

3 Tablespoons Butter

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/2 Cup Minced Fresh Cilantro (Optional)

 

Crumble the chorizo into a medium size skillet.  Cook over a low heat until dry and crumbly.  Drain off the fat and set aside.  In a separate medium size skillet melt the butter over a medium heat.  In a small size bowl lightly beat the eggs.   Pour the eggs into the skillet.  Stir constantly.  When the eggs are half cooked stir in the chorizo and finish cooking the eggs.  Season with the salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with the cilantro.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4

 

*Goes well with Cinco de Mayo Salsa

Cinco De Mayo Salsa

May 5, 2012

Cinco De Mayo Salsa

 

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good salsa?  This salsa can be made as hot or mild as you want it.  Serve it with chips as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to eggs, tacos or grilled meats and fish. 

 

INGREDIENTS

4 Ripe Plum Tomatoes

1 Ripe Slicing Tomato

3/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

3 Seeded & Minced Jalapeno Peppers

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

 

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put into a medium size bowl.  Chop the onion into fine pieces and add to the tomatoes.  Add the cilantro, jalapeno peppers and salt.  Toss to mix.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or more before serving.  Makes 2 cups. 

Watermelon Cocktails

April 30, 2012

Watermelon Cocktails

 

These Watermelon Cocktails are refreshing and easy to make. Make sure to use good quality tequila and they will make any summer party a big hit.

 

INGREDIENTS

1/4 Cup Water

¼ Cup Sugar

14 Cups Diced Seedless Watermelon

¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

8 Sprigs Mint Leaves For Garnish

8 Lime Slices For Garnish

1 ¼ Cups Good Quality Tequila

Ice

 

Pour the water and sugar into a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a simmer for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  In a blender or food processor puree the watermelon.  You want the watermelon to be nice and smooth.  Strain the watermelon over a large bowl and throw away any pulp.  You want to get as much watermelon juice as possible.  In a large pitcher combine the sugar water with the lime juice.  Add the watermelon juice and tequila.  Store in the refrigerator for 3 hours.  Pour the cocktails into tall glasses filled with ice.  Garnish with mint sprigs and lime slices and serve.  Serves 8

 

Carne Asada

April 22, 2012

Carne Asada

 

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Skirt Steak

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Bunch Green Onions (Scallions)

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

1 Lime Cut Into Wedges

1 Sliced Avocado

Corn  or Flour Tortillas

 

Season the skirt steak with salt and pepper.  Grill and slice.  Set aside.  Brush the green onions with the olive oil and grill.  Serve the steak, green onions and avocado slices in tortillas with the lime juice squeezed over the top.  Serves 4

 

*Note: If you do not have a grill then pop them under the broiler.

 

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