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Category Archives: Latin Flavors

Pulled Chicken Tacos

May 23, 2017

I love making tacos- especially pulled chicken or pork… chicken being healthier, I tend to make them more often. I made a delicious crunchy cole slaw to go on top…

  • 1 pound chicken thighs, skinless, with bones

Spice Rub

  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix all the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle all over the chicken thighs and marinate for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 cup blood orange juice (regular orange juice will work as well)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pack of small tortillas

Heat a medium saucepan with olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces on high heat on both sides. Reduce heat and add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the orange juice to deglaze. Mix well and add the tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and cover with lid. Lower to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Take the lid off and turn the heat off. Let the chicken pieces cool. Take out the pieces and shred with a fork. Return to the pan and bring back to a boil to cook any extra moisture. Check for salt and garnish with cilantro. Assemble the tacos with the pulled chicken and top with cabbage slaw.

 

 

Shrimp Enchilada with Tomatillo Sauce

May 8, 2017

My husband’s favorite thing to order at a Mexican restaurant is shrimp enchiladas.. and typically it is served with some refried beans, etc. Well, I decided to recreate it at home as we all know, one can’t beat homemade food.. so here it is…. very yummy!

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, cleaned
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a medium frying pan with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp, salt and smoke paprika. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes till the shrimp are almost done. Turn heat off and drizzle with lemon juice.

Tomatillo Sauce

  • 4 to 5 tomatillos, cut in half
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half with skin on
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, with skin on
  • 1 poblano pepper, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place the tomatillos, onion, garlic and poblano pepper on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in oven for 45 minutes till the vegetables are soft. Place into a blender with the water, cilantro and salt. Blend till smooth, taste for seasonings and keep aside.

  • 6 to 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 to 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the tomatillo sauce in a flat platter. Dip each tortilla in the sauce. Place the tortilla on a cutting board, add 3 to 4 shrimp with the onions, top with a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla and add to an oven-proof platter seam side down. Repeat the process with all the tortillas. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and cover with aluminum foil, bake for 40 minutes. Take out and serve with refried beans and guacamole.

Paella with Chorizo and Chicken

March 14, 2017

This was a great hit at a get together I had recently at our home. I love making paellas, especially because they fit the ‘one pot meal’ category really well. This particular one is very flavorful with lots of chorizo and smoked paprika. The great thing is I was able to make it in advance and it actually tastes better as it sits.

  • 4 to 5 chicken thighs, with bone, skinless
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Sprinkle the salt and smoked paprika all over the chicken thighs and let sit for 2 to 3 hours.

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dried chorizo, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon Spanish saffron
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a paella pan. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes each. Take out and add the chorizo. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, pepper and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minute. Add the bay, saffron and tomato puree. Saute for a minute. Add the chicken thighs and cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through. Take out and let cool. Add the rice and mix well. Add the chicken broth and check seasonings. Add salt. Bring to a boil and in the meantime, take the chicken meat off the bones and shred. Add the shredded chicken to the pan and mix well. Cook the rice on a simmer for 5 minutes, lower the heat and cover till rice is almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add the peas and tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes till the peas are warm. Stir in cilantro and parsley and serve warm.

Turkey Chili with Beans

January 3, 2017

Yummy and healthy and perfect for a cold day….

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound dark meat ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 14 oz can of beans (use your favorite, I used pinto), rinsed and drained
  • Salt

Heat a saucepan with olive oil and add the ground meat. Saute and brown on high heat while separating the meat and stirring at the same time for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin and ancho chili. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro and tomato paste. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth and beans. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook, covered for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and check for seasonings, add salt and serve warm with shredded cheese and other desired toppings.

Mexican Style Pork Stew with Pomegranate Salsa

December 19, 2016

Delicious stew for the holidays- one of my favorites!

  • 3 to 4 pounds pork shoulder (bone-in, cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces)
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 5 tomatillos, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 2 poblano peppers, cut in half, seeds taken out
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, cut in half, seeds taken out
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup queso fresco

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Transfer the tomatillos, onion and peppers to a lined cookie sheet. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender. Add the cilantro and green onions. Blend till a smooth sauce is formed.

Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil. Dredge the pork pieces and brown on all sides. Keep aside. Add the green sauce and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the pork pieces and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and place lid. Cook for 2 to 3 hours or till the meat is falling off the bone. Skim the excess fat off the top.

Pomegranate Salsa

  • 2 pomegranates, seeds taken out
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix the pomegranate seeds, green onions, cilantro and salt in a medium bowl. Keep aside for an hour. Serve stew topped with salsa and queso fresco.

Scalloped Potatoes with Roasted Poblano Sauce

November 20, 2016

I am very proud of this recipe. I combined a bunch of peppers, garlic and onion and roasted them till they became soft and deliciously nutty. I then blended the veggies with cream and milk- I basically made a cream sauce to be used to make scalloped potatoes. I bought a reasonably priced mandolin. Usually they are quite expensive and not worth the money. They are handy to have around- as they make slicing the potatoes a cinch. I was done in no time. The whole dish took me hardly any time to make.

I would recommend making the cream sauce ahead of time if you are planning a big Thanksgiving dinner. You could even freeze the sauce and take it out a day ahead and assemble the potatoes the morning of and then bake them right before eating. They are simply delicious…

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 anaheim pepper
  • 1 head of garlic with the top sliced off with a drizzle of olive oil and wrapped in aluminum foil
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the peppers, wrapped garlic and onion onto a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle the peppers and onion with the oil and massage with fingers. Roast in oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the peppers are charred on the outside. Let cool. Take the skin off the peppers and squeeze the garlic out of the skins.
Add the roasted vegetables into a blender with cream and milk. Blend till smooth and add salt. Keep aside. This can be made two days in advance.

  • 2 pounds red skinned potatoes, sliced thin about 1/8 inch
  • ½ cup queso fresco, shredded

Divide the potato slices into three batches. Add the first to the bottom of an ovenproof dish (9X9). Spread a quarter cup of green sauce. Repeat till you have the third and last bit of potatoes. Pour all of the sauce covering all the potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Take the foil off and add the cheese. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or till the cheese is golden brown.

Turkey Chili with Squash and Eggplant

November 9, 2016
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 pound dark meat, ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium Chinese eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 1 14 ounces can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounces can black beans
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

 

Heat a large saucepan with the oil. Add the ground turkey and sauté on medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, while separating the meat with the back of a spoon. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, ancho, cinnamon and salt. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat. Add the squash, eggplant, tomatoes and beans. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water/broth, bring to a boil and simmer with lid on for about 20 minutes. Take the lid off and continue to cook till a good chili consistency is reached. Check for seasonings and garnish with cilantro.