Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gambas al Ajillo - Shrimp in Garlic

I thought this recipe sounded interesting. We had a good time with the Tapas. B, the kids and I gathered round the coffee table and had some shrimp appetizers with some bread...Very Fun!!

Notice the bacon-wrapped shrimp. Have you ever been at the grocery store and your husband calls you and says, "Get bacon. I need some bacon." I guess it had been awhile since we had some, but I already had these fun plans for Tapas. I'm flexible, so I threw on some bacon. Everything was good and I served the sauce the shrimp were cooked in for dipping :)

Artichoke Dip

I found this, Delicious Hot Artichoke Dip Recipe Mexican Style, thought it would be good. It was okay...I won't make it again, but wanted you all to know that I was trying:)

Southwest Cooking - Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Chicken Thighs

I really don't know the origin of this recipe, my sister sent it to me. But, because it uses a crockpot and chipotle chilies I'm going to declare it an American Southwest recipe. It was really good. The chicken was so incredibly tender and I love crockpot meals that use natural ingredients and don't involve a bunch of cans of stuff. I subbed 1/2 t. Chipotle Chili powder spice for the chipotle and it was the perfect amount for us. Again, I apologize for the lack of pictures. I'm having the hardest time downloading pics off our new digital camera. My goal for next month is to get better about this, but I didn't want to miss an opportunity to share a good find this time. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Chicken Thighs

1 cup sliced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
4 pounds skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce with 1
teaspoon sauce from can
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for garnish

Arrange onion, celery and carrots in bottom of slow cooker.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange over

In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, lime juice,
chipotle chiles with sauce, and garlic. Pour mixture over

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4
hours. Serve half of the thighs with this meal (topped with
diced avocado and cilantro and garnished with lime wedges)
and reserve remaining thighs for another meal.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicken Tamale Casserole


This recipe was recently featured in Cooking Light.

I have been in the market for new casseroles. It is perfect to set up during nap time, then just program the oven to come on right before dinner, so a homemade meal is ready for me when I am ready for it. When I saw this one in the Nov issue, I knew I had to try it. It has NO canned soup, and got great reviews. It is so easy to put together, nothing to chop, just open a few cans...mix together, and taaaadaaa dinner!


I served mine with a guacamole salad. It wasn't as good as my mom's! Mark loved it. He told me to put it on heavy rotation, which shouldn't take long because I have half of most everything leftover.

Beer Margaritas



Mark was out of town all last week, so it was pretty stressful. I had a neighbor over for these margaritas post-bedtime and she brought the chips and queso. I almost hate to admit, that between the two of us, we drank the whole pitcher. These are great for parties, light and refreshing, or for drinking with good friends post-bedtime.

Beer Margaritas

1 can limeaid
1 can coors light (I used 1 bottle miller light, but I think coors gives it better color)
1 cup tequila
1 can sprite

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Frijoles Pintos y Negros Borrachos


I found this recipe on my cookinglight bulletin board. It is favorite with grilled meat, especially with the rub provided on this link. I made it for my parents this past week and I think my dad really liked it. This would be a good one to make with those Rancho Gordo beans...too bad I didn't have any on hand. I like to make this during naptime and the just reheat it for dinner. I am not sure what country this comes from, but the name sounds hispanic!

Frijoles Pintos y Negros Borrachos

1 Tablespoon Oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 bunch green onions, minced
2 Romas, chopped
1 14 oz can pintos, rinsed
1 14 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 jalapeno
1/2 cup beer
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a roomy skillet or saucepan over fairly high heat. Add both onions and saute slightly. Add roma tomatoes, saute another minute. Add beans, chile, beer and cilantro, lower the heat, and simmer for 15-30 minutes. Season with salt.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Citrus, Rum, and Adobo Grilled Shrimp with Peppered Rice

I thought we should move along from Mexico and explore cuisine of another Spanish-speaking country so I looked through some recipes I had clipped out from long ago and found this recipe on a Visit Puerto Rico advertisement. It's really simple and the Shrimp turned out incredible. The rice was ok ... nothing special but used long grain brown rice and probably shouldn't have. I took a picture ... I'll upload it later.

Citrus, Rum and Adobo Grilled Shrimp

zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 t. sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. dark Puerto Rican rum (I used Bacardi Select)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T. fresh oregano (I used 1 t. dried)
2 t. coarse salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Combine all ingredients except shrimp in a large bowl. Add shrimp and marinate 30 min. Heat grill. Thread shrimp on metal skewers. Grill 3 minutes per side.

Peppered Rice

1 T. annatto oil (I couldn't find this so I subbed olive oil)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 minced clove garlic
1 c. long-grain rice
1 T. finely chopped cilantro
1 t. coarse salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, peppers and garlic; stir 2 min. Add rice, salt and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 18 min. or until rice is tender. Remove from heat; uncover and drape a clean kitchen cloth over the pan for 3 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and add cilantro. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Traditional Mexican Chicken Enchiladas recipe

Also found this recipe when I did a search for Mexican recipes. It near the bottom of the page

We had B's parents over for dinner so I could try this recipe. Luckily it turned out well, even the kiddos ate it up:) The enchiladas part is pretty normal. The sauce is a roue with butter, flour, chicken broth, green chilies and sour cream. We will be revisiting this dish with some improvements.

Mexican Corn

I searched for a vegetable side dish and it turns out their aren't many out there:) This recipe for Mexican Corn is GREAT! I made homemade Picante Salsa to go with it as Robin suggested. The salsa was less runny and I made it with tomatoes instead of the canned. I think that I will definitely make this again to go with any meal.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Creamy Caramel Flan

I did a search for "Mexican recipes dessert" and this Creamy Caramel Flan was one that got pretty good reviews.

To start, you have to turn the sugar into a delicious caramel. This is the sugar after FOREVER and it is not quite melted yet.

The caramelized sugar glazes the bottom of a pan followed by all the creamy ingredients. The pan is placed on a towel in a boiling hot water bath...carefully placed into the oven.

After the flan is cooled and set in the fridge, the next day you have a creamy Mexican dessert. The sugar turns into a runny sauce after being cooked and cooled.

See, its really runny. Anyways, it was okay. I didn't love it...especially the second time :( BUT B like it. I am glad I tried it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cheese Enchiladas with Easy Mole Sauce


Don't you just hate it when you pick the monthly challenge, and then forget to make anything under that topic. Anyways...

I actually made these last month, but was looking for an excuse to share the recipe. You will notice that the recipe makes 8 servings, so when I made it, I divided it into 2 dishes, froze one and ate it tonight for dinner. YUM! I am not sure how authentic it is, and when you read the ingredients you have a similar reaction to the first time you made Thai Chicken. "What?!? Peanut Butter? Really?" But it works. Although I am sure it is easier than a real mole sauce, it still takes awhile to put together. Next time I make these, I may back off the chile powder a bit. I liked the amount of spice, but I served it with a dollup of sour creamm


Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
Mole Sauce
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 onions -- chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic -- minced (about 2 tsp.)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 can diced tomatoes -- (15.5-oz.)
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
3 Tbs. peanut butter
12 oz. light Monterey Jack cheese -- shredded (about 3 cups)
16 flour tortillas -- (8-inch)

To make Mole Sauce: Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Stir in garlic, chili powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, ancho chile powder and ground cloves, and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant, stirring constantly.

Add tomatoes, cocoa, peanut butter and 2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To make Enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350F. Ladle 3/4 cup Mole Sauce into bottoms of 2 12x8-inch ovenproof baking dishes. Place about 21/2 Tbs. cheese in center of each tortilla. Roll tortilla around cheese, and set seam side down on top of mole sauce, placing 8 filled tortillas in each pan. Top each dish with 11/4 cups mole, and sprinkle each with 1/3 cup cheese. Bake 20 minutes, or until sauce bubbles and cheese melts.

"Vegetarian Times"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 576 Calories; 18g Fat (27.4% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 90g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 759mg Sodium. Exchanges: 5 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 3 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Smoky-Spicy Tamale Pies

I made this recipe about two weeks ago and it was a huge hit. It was filling and delicious, although the link is a recipe for only two people. I doubled it, but then it turned out to be a ton of food, so I'm not sure. My crust was pretty think, so next time I would reduce the crust portion just a little bit. Also, I made mine in a 9x13 casserole dish instead of individual portions.

Great flavor, nutritious, and easy.

Smoky-Spicy Tamale Pies

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Butternut Squash, Corn, and Cheese Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Green Chili Sauce

Wow ... what a long recipe title. The original recipe was only Cheese Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Green Chili Sauce from Bon Appetit. I had the idea of adding squash and corn after my first recent visit to a great Scottsdale restaurant called, The Herb Box, where I had something similar. Overall this was pretty good. It wasn't something that I would crave and make over and over. I got a lot of satisfaction out of learning how to make my own green sauce from fresh ingredients ... I just am more of a red enchilada sauce fan. But, it was fun to try to venture off from the normal recipe and use my imagination.

Serves 4:
3/4 lb. tomatillos, husked, quartered
1 1/4 c. water
2 T. minced, seeded jalapeno chilies (about 1 large)
12 garlic cloves
2 1/2 c. chopped green onions (about a whole bunch)
3/4 c mild green chilies (I used Trader Joe's Hatch green chilies in the can ... great!)
12 large spinach leaves
8 corn tortillas
3 c. Monterey Jack cheese (about 12 oz)

My additions: cooked cubed butternut squash and canned corn

To make the green sauce: Bring first 4 ingredients to boil in large skillet. Reduce heat to med-low, cover, simmer until tomatillos are soft, about 15 min. Transfer mixture to blender; add 2 cups green onions, green chilies, and spinach; puree. Season salt with salt (1/2 t. is a good starting place) and pepper. Return sauce to skillet.

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil 13x9x2 glass baking dish. Dip 1 tortilla into sauce. Place tortilla on plate. Top with 2 T. Cheese, 1 T. green onion, 1 T. sauce and butternut squash and corn (if using). Roll up and place seam side down in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese melts, about 15-20 minutes.

Salsa Fresca

We were suppose to go to Chuy's this weekend, but it was too crowded. I was disappointed because I love their Salsa Fresca. I decided to try and make my own and used this Salsa Fresca recipe from Tyler Florence. I made two batches. I felt the first batch was too runny, so I tried squeezing the tomatoes out for the second batch. No luck...

First batch...

Second batch...

I would definitely add the entire jalapeno because both batches were not hot enough. Go easy on the salt and B said "more garlic!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Fiesta Challenge

I gave Mark 3 choices and this is what he picked. That's right, it is a "fiesta challenge"! Now, you can interpret that as Tex-Mex, Mexican, Southwestern, but let's go ahead and expand that to all Spanish speaking countries. Any food that is inspired from one of these countries is fair game! It should be a nice break from the traditional Thanksgiving type fare.