Dinner · Mexican · Poultry

Chicken Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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This is the first time I cooked with tomatillos.  I was always intrigued by this green looking, tomato-like, husked vegetable.   This is a simple dinner, but takes a little bit of time and you certainly would prefer to make it on a cooler day when you can utilize the oven.

Ingredients:

3 small tomatillos, quatered

1 green frying pepper, sliced

1 fresno chili, de-seeded and sliced

1 small onion, quatered

2-3 cloves of garlic

5 chicken tenders

1Tbsp of taco seasoning (our a homemade blend of chili powder, cumin and oregano)

olive oil

salt and pepper

Hard or soft taco shells and all other taco fixings your family enjoys

Method:

Take the first five ingredients, spread then in a single layer on a foil-lined sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 mins at 375F.  You want the vegetables to get slightly charred, but not burnt.

Allow the vegetables to cool and then blend in a food processor to your desired consistency.  You now have your salsa.

While the vegetables are roasting, season chicken with olive oil, salt and taco seasoning.

Saute chicken, till cooked through.  Allow to cool slightly and then shred the chicken.

Take a 1/4 cup of the salsa and mix with the shredded chicken, you now have youe taco filling.

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Heat up your taco shells, pulls out the lettuce and cheese (and all your other favorite taco toppings) and build away !

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Mexican · Quick Dinner

Super Speedy Stuffed Pepper

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This is a great recipe for when you are trying to clean out your fridge.  With just a few ingredients you can  put dinner on the table in a snap !

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground meat/poultry ( I had beef)

1 can of corn

2 medium sized bell peppers ( I actually had 1 whole one and a half )

1/2 yellow onion, diced.

Taco sauce of your choice

Garlic powder, Chilli powder, oregano, salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

oil for cooking

Method:

Heat oil in a skillet and saute onions and beef with browned

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Add the seasonings and corn and cook till the raw smell of the seasonings go away.

Add the taco sauce, about 1/4 -1/2 cup, stir in and take off heat.  The sauce acts as a binder, so add as much as you want.  The amount will vary based on the amount of fat that comes out of your filling of choice.  For example, lean ground turkey might need more sauce than a 80-20 ground beef mixture.  if you do not have taco sauce, you can use salsa.

Allow the filling to cool

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs together and set aside.

Cut the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds to create a cavity that you can fill.  I like to cut it length-wise.

Fill the peppers with the meat and corn mixture and top with the cheese and bread crumbs

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Place peppers in a baking dish and drizzle a little bit of oil on the top.

 

Bake for 20 mins till golden brown

Serve hot, with a knife and fork.  It will get messy !IMG_1953

Appetizers · gluten-free · Mexican · Sides

A fresh snack – Tomato Avocado Salsa

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I am obsessed with avocados! Sometimes I get sushi just for the avocados.  Just because it’s winter does not mean I am not going to eat something summery.  It is a really healthy snack and it goes great as a topping for tacos–look at my previous post for pulled pork tacos.

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You will need:

1 avocados, chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

1 jalapeno, minced

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 (or 2) limes

1tsp of cumin

1tsp of garlic powder

salt to taste

Mix, everything !!!

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I like to eat it by the spoonful, but for a more civilized take on it, you could include some chips to the party

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Classics · Meat · Mexican

Pulled Pork Tacos

 

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Ingredients:

1 pork loin

1 cup water

2 medium oranges, washed and halved

4 cloves garlic, peeled

½ medium onion, peeled

1 large stick Mexican cinnamon stick or 2 small regular cinnamon sticks

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon dried whole Mexican oregano, crushed between palms

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup evaporated milk

½ cup beer (nothing too hoppy or it will make the pork bitter)

hard taco shells

For Garnish:

 

salsa

shredded cabbage/lettuce

DIRECTIONS

Add all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hrs will pork is fork tender

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Shred pork with two forks and saute in a pan to create some crispy bits.

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Add to your taco bar and build your way to deliciousness !!!!!!

Dinner · Poultry

Chicken Bake-Mexican style.

This is a quick an easy one pan dinner.  It could be a casserole had I used cheese but please feel free to modify the recipe to suit your taste.  This is a good recipe when all you have are canned and frozen vegetables–the baking with the spices, wakes them up.  This is what you will need.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken thighs

16 oz bag of frozen, cut Zucchini

14 oz can of corn

14 oz can of tomato with basil and oregano

1 Tbsp of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, dried basil and oregano.

1 Tbsp of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spread the corn and zucchini on a baking sheet.  They will be wet from the can and defrosting so to get them nice and dry I toast them up in the oven with a dash of pepper and salt–just till they are dry and slightly crunchy.

In the mean time, season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin and pan sear them in olive oil till crisp and brown on the outside.  Don’t worry of cooking it through, it will finish in the oven.

Now to assemble the bake:  In a baking dish (big enough to fit the chicken thighs in a layer) spread the tomatoes in a single layer.  Place the chicken on top of the tomatoes and then top it with the toasted veggies.  Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and the dried herbs.  At this point you could top the bake with pepperjack, cheddar or any other mix of mexican style cheese.

Bake in the oven till the chicken is cooked through about 20-25 mins.  the great thing about this layering technique it that, the chicken stays moist and the vegetables stay crisp.

Enjoy !

Cookies · Treats

Mexican Hot-Chocolate cookies

Happy Cinco de Mayo !!!!! A classmate from grad school is throwing a party at his house tonight and I thought I would bring these over.  Cookies are easy, portable and always a hit at cookouts–I thought, when is doubt, bring cookies ! Thank you Martha Stewart for the recipe.  I actually halved it and the dough still made 48 cookies !  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cups sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoons cinnamon

A dash of cayenne pepper (Martha used chili powder)

Extra sugar and cinnamon to roll the cookies in.

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and cayenne and salt.

 

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar till creamy and fluffy.

Add eggs and beat to combine.

With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, combine some sugar and cinnamon.

Form ½” balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

 

Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.

Salad

South of the Border Salad

Remember those super fresh tomatoes that I got on sale and I made that fresh Tomato Basil Salad with??? Well, this is the second recipe with the grape tomatoes.  Extremely fresh but a very different flavor palette.  Hope you ya’ll like it.

Ingredients:

1 pint of grape tomatoes

1 can of corn (I really wish I found good fresh corn, but no luck)

1 tsp of cumin, oregano and garlic powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1.5 Tbsp of Lime juice.

Method:

Wait for it , wait for it……..mix the spices, oil and lime juice in a bowl.  Then add the sliced tomatoes and drained corn.  Toss and refrigerate overnight to allow for the flavors to marry.  Enjoy for lunch the next day ! It is that simple !

Note: Last year during the summer I added drained black beans and chopped green peppers and mixed it with pasta to make a Mexican style Pasta salad.  Go crazy with this ! It is a really versatile salad.  You can even add grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs or even bacon !!!!