Tag Archives: Mexican

Kiwi-Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Standard
Kiwi-Tomatillo Salsa Verde

I absolutely adore “Salsa Verde.” Whenever the husband and I visit the little taco shop by our house (which is very, very frequently) we both make sure to load up on little containers of salsa verde to liven up our tacos.

Earlier in the summer we were in San Diego for the wedding of two of our good friends and we ate at a local Mexican restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. The salsa verde was delicious and inspired me to try something creative with a recipe of my own.

I thought that adding some kiwi fruit into the mix would be a grand idea. The salsa verde remains in the green color spectrum, while the sweet fruit complements the tangy tomatillos.

Salsa1

It’s really important to roast the tomatillos before adding them to the recipe. This brings out the robust and sweet flavor and cuts some of the tangy acidity found in raw tomatillos.

Simply husk, rinse, and quarter your tomatillos and place them in your oven to broil until roasted. Transfer to a food processor with peeled kiwi fruit, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, sugar, and lime juice then pulse until chopped but not liquefied. Season to taste with salt.

The easiest way to peel a kiwi is to begin by cutting off both ends with a sharp knife. Place one of the cut-sides down on a cutting board and use the knife to peel from top to bottom, working your way around the fruit.

Here’s the handy recipe:

Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. tomatillos
  • 1 kiwi fruit, peeled
  • 1/2 c. white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove the husks from your tomatillos and rinse in cold water. Cut them into quarters and place on a greased baking sheet. Set your oven’s broiler to high and place the pan in the oven. Check every two or three minutes to turn the tomatillos and make sure they aren’t burning. Remove from oven when they have a nice brown color.
  2. Meanwhile, place the peeled kiwi, chopped onion, cilantro leaves, lime juice, sugar, and Jalapeño peppers in a food processor or blender.
  3. Add the roasted tomatillos to the food processor and pulse until all of the ingredients are combined but not entirely pureed. You want some little lumps in there.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes before using. Try this as a dip with tortilla chips, or use it to top your favorite tacos, enchiladas, or tamales.

Dig in!

Nutrition (per serving):

77 calories, 2 g. fat, 2 g. protein, 15 g. carbs, 4 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 2

Advertisements

Poblano Chicken Tacos with Pipicha

Standard
Poblano Chicken Tacos with Pipicha

honeypoblanotacos4

Our neighborhood Farmer’s Market opened up this past weekend so we dropped by to pick up some goodies. I brought home fava beans, Mexican mint, and Pipicha (pictured, above right). While I’d never  heard of Pipicha before, the farm owner selling the herb explained to me that Pipicha is an herb commonly used in Mexican cooking. It tastes like a cross between cilantro and mint, with hints of lemon and anise. I brought home a bundle of it and had to try it out right away.

I also had to use up some of my mint by making drink’s I’ve dubbed “Brazilian Mojitos.” Recipe to come in a few days!

I recently bought a tortilla press and have been dying to try it out by making homemade tortillas. I was shocked at how fast it was to make my own corn tortillas at home. If you don’t have a press, you can still easily make your own tortillas using the bottom of a glass pie plate or simply with a rolling pin. No matter what you use, make sure you flatten the tortilla dough between two pieces of parchment paper for easy handling.

To make the tortillas, just buy a bag of Masa Harina (on the Hispanic foods aisle) and mix it with water. The bag will typically say what ratio to use; I mixed 1 & 3/4 cup masa harina to 1 & 1/8 cup water, which made about 12 small corn tortillas. Mix the dough, let it rest for 3o minutes while you prep the rest of your meal, divide the dough into 12 portions and form it into balls, then press using your method of choice into round tortillas. Simply cook them in a skillet over medium-high heat for thirty seconds per side and keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to eat them.

honeypoblanotacos1

These tacos really hit the spot. I roasted some Poblano Chiles under the broiler and mixed them with some chicken I grilled up in a skillet. I added some of the pipicha to the pan and then de-glazed it with tequila. I added the pipicha to the chicken and poblano mixture and kept it warm in the oven while I fried up the tortillas.

Poblano Chicken Tacos with Pipicha

I assembled my little tacos and topped them off with fresh cilantro, more pipicha, and crumbled cotija cheese. This was meant to be enough for four servings (12 tacos, so 3 tacos per person seems reasonable, right?) but the husband and I ate all 12 of them in one sitting. Whoops.

honeypoblanotacos3Here’s the recipe:

Makes: 12 tacos (2-4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Poblano Chiles
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast (two small breasts; or, use leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 Tbsp. pipicha, roughly chopped (substitute cilantro and/or mint if you can’t get your hands on any pipicha)
  • 1 3/4 c. masa harina (or, use store-bought tortillas if you’re into that sort of thing)
  • 1 1/8 c. water
  • Cumin, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Splash of tequila
  • Cilantro and cotija cheese for garnish

Directions:

  1. Make the tortilla dough by combining the masa harina and water in a medium bowl. Mix with your hands and form it into a large ball. If it is crumbly, add a little more water. If it is sticking to your hands, add a little more masa harina. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place a heavy pan (preferably cast iron) on the stove and heat to medium-high. Season your chicken breast with salt, pepper, and cumin. Once your pan is hot, add a bit of oil to the pan (olive oil works great) and add your chicken breasts. Let them sear for one minute, then turn them over, turn the heat down to low/simmer, and cover the pan. Set a timer for ten minutes and leave the chicken alone – don’t open the lid!
  3. While your chicken is cooking, preheat your oven’s broiler on its highest setting. Place your poblano chiles on a baking sheet and place on the highest rack in your oven. Check on your poblanos every minute or so, turning occasionally so the peppers become charred and roasted on all sides. You want the skin to blister but not to burn and turn black. Once they have finished (about ten minutes or so), remove from the oven and turn your oven down to 200 degrees. Place the peppers in a bowl and tent them with tin foil. About this time your kitchen timer for your chicken will go off. Turn the burner off and re-set your timer for another ten minutes. Once this second timer goes off, your chicken is done and ready to be shredded. Remove it to a cutting board and shred with two forks.
  4. Now, remove the tin foil from your poblanos and bring them over to your sink. With the cold water running (just a mild stream), peel off the broiled outer skin. It should rub off easily as it has been steaming under the foil. The cold water will also help it peel off. Once you have the skin off, pull the stem out, open up your pepper, and rinse all of the seeds out. Once both peppers are skinless and seedless, move them over to your cutting board and chop them up. Place in a oven-safe bowl with the shredded chicken.
  5. Turn your pan back onto medium-high heat and add your chopped pipicha. Stir it around with a wooden spoon to get it mixed in with all the yummy leftover chicken goodness. Keep it moving so it does not burn. Once the pan is nice and hot, pour in some tequila and let it bubble in the pan. Keep working the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon until the liquid is reduced. If you don’t have any tequila, you could just use a little chicken broth or water. Empty the pan’s contents into the bowl with the chicken and poblanos. Place the bowl in your oven to keep it warm.
  6. Divide your tortilla dough into 12 equally-sized balls, rolling with your hands to ensure the dough doesn’t have cracks. Get that dirty pan back on your stove and put the heat back on medium-high. One by one, place a ball into your tortilla press (or under a pie plate) between two pieces of parchment paper. Press into tortillas. As each tortilla is pressed, drop it directly into your hot pan and cook for 30 seconds per side, or until golden brown with spots. Place cooked tortillas on a plate in the oven to keep warm.
  7. Once all of your tortillas are cooked, pull all of your goodies out of the oven and assemble into tacos. Start with the tortilla on the bottom, top with some of the chicken-poblano mixture, and garnish with cilantro, pipicha, and cotija cheese.

honeypoblanotacos2

Nutrition (per 3-taco serving):

411 calories, 9 g. fat, 42 g. protein, 38 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 10

What are you looking forward to picking up at the Farmer’s Markets this summer?

Cayenne Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Relish and Corn Salsa

Standard
Cayenne Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Relish and Corn Salsa

Before our trip to Mexico in April of 2013 I think I cooked nothing but Latin food for at least a week before we went. I was just feeling that vibe!

428646_10151639790314515_1451959737_n 922790_10151643491484515_1594700489_n 942202_10151639790394515_1525586951_n (1)

We got back on May 4th and completely spaced the whole “Cinco de Mayo” thing that was happening the next day. Needless to say, we were swamped with Mexican food for another few days after we got back. I couldn’t even look at a taco for weeks after that binge fest.

Here’s a meal I put together a few days before we left – Cayenne Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Relish and Corn Salsa. Don’t be turned off by the cayenne pepper – it ends up being rather mild and the avocado really helps mellow out the dish. The corn salsa has just enough acidity from the lime juice to complement the richness of the chicken dish.

375997_10151624665414515_2061695267_n

Makes: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

[for the chicken dish]

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz. each)
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil (olive oil works fine, too)
  • 1 very small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 of an avocado, preferably Hass, chopped into big chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black pepper

[for the corn salsa]

  • 1 cup cooked yellow corn (frozen is fine, but let it thaw in the fridge first)
  • 1/2 medium firm tomato, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1/8 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed, minced
  • Juice of one half of a lime
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

[for the corn salsa] – Make this first and let the ingredients get acquainted in the fridge while you work on the chicken.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomato, green and red onions, and jalapeno. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the juice of one lime, fresh cilantro, and chili powder. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to season.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably at least 30 minutes.

[for the chicken dish]

  1. In a small dish, combine the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Rub the mixture all over the surface of your two chicken breasts.
  2. Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the grapeseed oil.
  3. Add the chicken breasts and let cook for one minute, then turn them over.
  4. Turn the heat down to low right away and cover the chicken.
  5. After ten minutes (absolutely no peeking!), turn the heat off and let the chicken rest for another ten minutes (again, don’t you dare lift that lid!).
  6. Meanwhile, make the avocado relish and pour yourself a glass of wine.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the onion and lime juice. Let it sit for a minute to mellow out the onion. Sip your wine.
  8. Get your avocado all chopped up and season it with salt and pepper.
  9. Once your chicken is done, fold the avocado into the onion and lime juice mixture. Top your chicken with the avocado mixture and serve with a side of corn relish.

Enjoy!

Corn salsa adapted from Skinny Taste.

Nutrition (half the whole recipe):

384 calories, 19 g. fat, 30 g. protein, 29 g. carbs, 7 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 10

Chilaquiles Rojos

Standard

Crunchy corn tortilla chips simmered in a rich tomato broth, topped with chicken, cheese, and fresh cilantro. Because we can’t quite pronounce “chilaquiles,” the husband and I call theses “breakfast nachos.”

chilaquiles

We first had these on a vacation to Playa del Carmen in the spring of 2013. We went as an early graduation present to myself, which was stupid because I had to take a week off during my final term in my M.B.A. program. I ended up having to do about three weeks’ worth of work in the week leading up to the vacation.

Our first morning in paradise we went to breakfast at this restaurant called La Vagabunda which kind of seemed like their version of a Denny’s. I was craving fresh tropical fruit juice and it was the first place we saw that had patrons sipping juice, so we sat down to eat. I ordered the typical “American-style” breakfast because I was a wussy and it was pretty gross. The husband, who is 99% of the time a better food-order-er than me, ordered chilaquiles and mollettes. If you don’t know what a mollette is, it is basically black beans and cheese on toast, sometimes with tomatoes or other toppings on it. The husband and I ended up switching plates halfway through breakfast after we realized that I liked his food better, and he liked my foot better.

I craved chilaquiles upon waking every day for the rest of the trip, and my love for this dish hasn’t wavered since we returned home. It is traditionally served for breakfast in order to make use of leftovers from the night before. However, this dish makes an excellent brunch, lunch, or dinner item as well! You can also easily convert this to a vegetarian dish.

Here’s how to make it:

Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

[for the sauce]

  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, drained but with liquid reserved
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you want to keep the membranes or not – take them out if you don’t want it to be spicy)
  • 1/2 onion, any kind, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lard (oil works fine, too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

[for the dish]

  • 1 cup of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 10 ounces corn tortilla chips (you can use them straight out of the bag, but the traditional way is to leave leftover tortillas out overnight so they get a little stale, then fry them up into chips – I used six corn tortillas)
  • 1/2 cup shredded chicken, warmed (you can replace with beans for vegetarian)
  • 4 tablespoons crumble Mexican cheese, like queso fresco or cotija
  • 1/2 onion, any kind, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema (I used fat free sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro for garnish.

Directions

  1. Start with the sauce. In the bowl of a large food processor (or working in batches with a small one), add the tomatoes, garlic, onion, and jalapenos and process until it forms a smooth sauce.
  2. Heat the lard (or oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the lard is hot, pour in the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce to simmer and season with salt.
  3. Add the chicken broth to the mixture, stir to combine, then add the tortilla chips. Fold the sauce and chips together until the chips are covered. If the mixture seems a little dry, add some of the reserved tomato juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, until chips are soft but not mushy.
  4. Separate the chip and sauce mixture onto four plates and top each with one quarter of the warmed chicken. Top with the sliced onions, crumbled cheese, crema, and cilantro. Serve with a mimosa (breakfast) or Pacifico (lunch or dinner).

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.

Nutrition (1/4 of the recipe):

361 calories, 15 g. fat, 21 g. protein, 36 g. carbs, 4.3 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 9