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Entries in Mexican (31)


Tempeh and Black Bean Quesadillas

Tempeh quesadillas

As far as meat substitutes go, I prefer tempeh, at least while cooking at home. I like the texture and the flavor. However, until now the only way I've ever cooked tempeh is by frying it in strips and adding it to a stir fry. One thing about tempeh that I never thought to do is crumble it up and use it as if it was ground meat. Of course, this is the perfect way to enjoy tempeh in Mexican dishes, like tacos and quesadillas! After seeing these delicious looking quesadillas, I wasted no time adding them to my weekly menu. After breaking up the tempeh and cooking it with spices, vegetables, and beans, it strongly resembled ground chicken, in my opinion. I'd be willing to bet that I would be able to fool any meat eater into thinking that it was ground meat inside! I ended up with enough tempeh mixture to make about 6 quesadilla halves.These quesadillas were very filling, and tasty to boot! Definitely a winner in our house!

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, diced and seeds/ribs removed
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced and seeds/ribs removed
1 (8 oz) block Tempeh
1 (14.5 oz) can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups Spinach
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Avocados
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 Lime
2 Large Tortillas (I used 6 fajita sized tortillas)
Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the garlic and jalapeños and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the chili powder and cumin and bloom for 30 more seconds. Add the red bell pepper and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Break up the tempeh with your fingers and toss into the pan. Add the black beans and continue to sauté another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice. Add the spinach and toss to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove the filling from the skillet and set aside in a bowl. Keep the skillet at a medium temperature. Arrange a tortilla in the skillet . Sprinkle some cheese over half of the tortilla, then spoon the filling on top. Sprinkle more cheese on top of the filling. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is golden brown. Flip and continue until golden on the other side. Continue with remaining tortilla. Alternatively, arrange the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cheese, spoon the filling on top, and fold the tortilla in half. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the tortilla has become golden and the cheese has melted. (Our quesadillas were baked).

To make the avocado topping, add the 2 avocados, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and the cilantro to a food processor. Sprinkle with salt and puree until smooth. Spoon the avocado mixture over the top of the quesadillas, or pipe it through a pastry bag, if you want to be fancy!

SOURCE: Bev Cooks


Chicken Tostados

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Well friends, it's been fun. I hope you enjoyed the recipes I shared with you this week, I sure did. I'll be turning the keys back over to Melissa today, expect some great food from her in the coming weeks. We've been getting really excited about upcoming farmer's markets and our own garden as the weather warms up.

When the weather gets hot, I like to turn to Mexican food. The fresh ingrediants are in their peak in the summertime, and the spiciness makes you sweat and actually cools you off. These tostados were simple, taking about five minutes to prepare, but were wonderfully flavored and filling.

1 cup purchased refried beans, divided
4 purchased corn tostada shells
1 1/3 cups leftover roast chicken meat (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
Hot sauce for drizzling
Lime wedges

Lightly grill or toast the shells. Spread the refried beans on the shells. Top with chicken, lettuce, tomato, and cheese, dividing equally. Add hot sauce liberally. Serve with a lime wedge and a Corona.


Rajas Poblanas

Hello, Dear Readers. Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Melissa's husband Joel, famous and noteworthy for many things- but most of all for appearing within posts on this very blog. I'll be your guest host this week, guiding you through recipe-land. I'll be filling in for my wife Melissa; who is currently resigned to sitting in the corner of the room, wearing a cone hat that reads "I shall not use so much butter."

I enjoy simple, rustic food. In my posts, you'll find minimal ingredients, and little prep work. I like to cook things from all over, but you'll be hard pressed to convince me that there is better food than a simple handmade pizza. Let's begin.

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These Rajas Poblanas caught my eye while browsing Bon Appetit on the Basil iPad App. Creamy, smoky, and vegetarian are qualities that require no second-guessing in this house.

1 pound fresh large poblano chiles
1 onion, quartered, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1 package tortilla shells 
Kosher salt

Char the poblanos on a grill, turning over until fully charred and tender (15-20 minutes). Place the the charred chilies in a glass bowl, and cover with saran wrap for 15 minutes to steam. Peel, seed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion until slightly charred, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, and after about a minute, add oregano, and 1 cup water. Simmer until water evaporates, about 5-7 minutes.

Add chilies, cook another 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and monterey jack cheese until melted. Season with salt if necessary.

Serve on Tortilla shells, and dress with lime and cilantro. A sweeter white wine like riesling pairs perfectly with the smoky spice.


Veggie Enchiladas

Veggie enchiladas

This past weekend, I went out of town to a conference for my teaching sorority, where I received an award and was inducted as the new state treasurer. I had a good time, but I didn't sleep well on Friday night. The bed at the hotel felt like a pile of rocks! Though I was only gone for a total of about 36 hours, when I got home on Saturday night, I was just too exhausted to cook. We had hoped to catch up with the local taco truck for a Cinco de Mayo feast, but I checked their schedule and they weren't going to be around until after 11pm. Instead, we met up with a friend, ate gyro wraps on his porch, then stopped in to his girlfriend's "Derby de Mayo" party. It seemed like a fun party, but I was pretty much good for 1 beer and I was ready for bed. We were home and in bed by 10pm! I guess that's what happens when you don't get a good night's sleep! Anyway, on to the food. As soon as Nicole from Prevention RD posted this recipe, I couldn't wait to make it. I figured that since I missed out on a Mexican feast on Cinco de Mayo, I'd celebrate by eating these enchiladas on Seis de Mayo! They totally topped the taco truck meal I had planned on eating! For some reason, as I was getting ready to publish this post, I double checked my archives and noticed that I have already posted a vegetable enchilada recipe. However, this is slightly different, and way too delicious to not share, so here you go, a second vegetable enchilada recipe for you! 

For the Enchilada Sauce:
1 teaspoon Canola Oil
1/2 small Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 (8 ounce) can Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup Water
Black Pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. 

For the Filling:
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 small Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small Zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
7 ounces (1/2 can) Black Beans, drained and rinsed 
1/3 cup Enchilada Sauce (see above)
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, minced
1 (4 ounce) can Diced Green Chiles, optional

Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and corn, and cook until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and black beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Take off of the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, cilantro, and green chiles.

To Assemble:
12 (6 inch) Tortillas (I used flour, but corn was recommended)
1 cup Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded

Spread about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce around the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture down the center of a tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. Evenly pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 450 degrees until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the cheese has melted, 3-5 more minutes. I also put mine under the broiler for about 2 minutes to brown the cheese. Serve immediately.  


Chile Rellenos

Chilies rellenos

We have a restaurant near by that specializes in Latin and South American cuisine. My absolute favorite part of this restaurant is their table-side guacamole, which pairs perfectly with their margaritas! One night, on a whim, we didn't feel like cooking and ended up going there for dinner. On their menu were chiles rellenos, which they stuff with black beans and roasted vegetables and serve over soft polenta, topped with queso fresco. Some of the other entrees I've had there lack flavor, but this one is excellent! After ordering it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Luckily, I was able to find this recipe on Mrs. Regueiro's Plate. While these weren't quite as complex tasting as the ones I ate at the restaurant, they were easy enough to make at home and delicious enough to satisfy my taste buds! My house smelled like the kitchen of a pub after deep-frying the peppers, but it was nothing that opening the windows couldn't fix, and they were totally worth it!

1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
3 Egg Whites + 2 Egg Yolk, at room temperature
6 Poblano Chile Peppers
5 Plum Tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

On a gas burner (I used a grill), char the peppers over medium-high heat until blackened and blistered all over. Place the peppers in a large zip-top bag; let them stand for 10 minutes, which will let the peppers soften and become easy to peel. Gently rub the skin off the peppers. Using a pairing knife, make a slit across the top of the peppers just below the stem, leaving the stem intact. Slice lengthwise down from the top to the bottom of the pepper. Open the pepper and carefully remove the seeds and inner membranes, using the pairing knife if needed to loosen the seedpods. In a blender, puree the tomatoes, onions, and garlic until smooth. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tomato puree and simmer for 5 minutes, taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper, if needed. Keep warm. In a small bowl, mix the shredded cheese and chopped fresh oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Fill each pepper with 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and gently fold the sides over and thread 2 toothpicks to form an X. If needed, use additional toothpicks to secure the filling (just make sure you remember how many you used in each!!). In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the yolk and beat for 3 minutes. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil until ready (about 375 degrees). Place flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each pepper in flour, then dip into the egg mixture to cover completely. Let excess batter fall off the pepper. Add the peppers to the oil, 1-2 at a time, and cook, flipping once, until golden brown. Spoon hot oil over the peppers to ensure even browning. Remove the peppers and place them on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Repeat with remaining peppers. Spoon tomato mixture onto a plate and place the fried pepper on top. Serve immediately…but remember to take the toothpicks out first!