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Category Archives: Mexican Inspired

Black Beans with Onion and Cumin

June 1, 2016

This is a very simple yet flavorful side dish to serve with any kind of protein or even just as a snack. I made these beans with the chicken enchiladas… yummy!

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 14 ounces can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 14 ounces cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a wide frying pan with the olive oil. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and sauté on medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the black beans, salt and the water. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid on for 15 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for another 5 minutes. Check the seasonings and garnish with cilantro.

Chicken Enchiladas

May 31, 2016

One of our favorite cuisines is Mexican- we all love it and I make a whole lot of it at home… this is one of our favs…

  • 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Drizzle the olive oil all over the chicken thighs and rub them with the spices and salt. Marinate for at least 2 to 3 hours. Keep aside.

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups homemade sauce or a 28 ounces can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and brown them on both sides until golden brown, at least 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Take out of the pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and the chicken back to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through. Take the chicken out and let cool. Once thoroughly cooled off, shred the chicken with a fork and keep the meat aside. Add cilantro to the tomato sauce, check for seasoning and keep aside.

  • 6 to 8 small tortillas (I used a tortillas made with both flour and corn)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mixture of Mexican cheeses) and more if needed

Use a 8X8 oven proof dish and start assembling the enchiladas. Dip a tortilla in the tomato sauce and then place half a cup of the shredded chicken in the middle and top with about a ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Roll it up tightly and place it in the dish seam side down. Repeat with all the tortillas you have using up all the chicken. Top with the tomato sauce and about one cup of shredded cheese.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Take out and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Shrimp with Pumpkin Seed Sauce

May 2, 2016

We have a local Mexican restaurant that my daughter absolutely loves.. I on the other hand, am not a fan… well, until recently. I found a delicious shrimp dish cooked in a pumpkin seed sauce. It was creamy but extremely light- unlike a lot of Americanized Mexican dishes… this was perfect.. so I thought why not try to make it at home. It was very delicious and easy to make…

  • 1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 cup raw green pumpkin seeds
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped

Roast pumpkin seeds in a heavy skillet on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or till the seeds are golden brown. Transfer the roasted seeds, green onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, salt and 2 cups of chicken broth in a powerful blender and blend till completely smooth. Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil and transfer the sauce into it. Cook on medium heat, stirring for 5 to 6 minutes or till the sauce thickens. Add another cup of chicken broth and continue to cook for another 20 minutes on medium heat. The sauce at this point may separate but don’t worry. Turn heat off and transfer back to the blender and add ¾ cup of cilantro and blend till the sauce is smooth again. Return to the saucepan and adjust seasonings. Cook the shrimp in the sauce and garnish with the remaining cilantro. Serve with lemon and cilantro rice.

Corn and Bean Salad with Broccoli Slaw

October 7, 2015

Unfortunately corn season is done, so use frozen corn for this recipe.. it will still be yummy as a side dish with the tacos from yesterday….

  • 2 fresh ears of corn, off the cob
  • 1 14 ounces can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup grated broccoli slaw (cabbage can be substituted)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 medium limes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Transfer all the ingredients in a large serving bowl. Mix well and let it sit for an hour before serving.

Pulled Chicken Tacos

October 6, 2015

We love taco nights in our house. This one is especially yummy since I made my own pulled chicken- which btw is very easy to make…

  • 4 to 5 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder

Sprinkle the salt and the ancho chili powder all over the chicken thighs and marinate overnight or at least 2 hours.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a large saucepan with the oil over high heat. Add the chicken thighs and let brown for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Flip the chicken pieces and add the onion, garlic and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Cook for 30 minutes or till the chicken is tender. Let cool in the saucepan. Once the pieces are cool to the touch, shred with two forks and mix with the sauce right in the saucepan. Add cilantro. Check for seasonings and adjust if necessary. Shredded Chicken Tacos

Serve as a taco filling or over rice.

Bean Avocado and Shishito Pepper Salad

June 9, 2015

Shishito peppers are everywhere now.. they are these small Japanese peppers that can be quite mild or every once in a while, they can be a bit spicy.. this salad is delicious with black beans and avocados… This salad will be yummy with yesterday’s shrimp dish!

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 3 to 4 shishito peppers
  • 1 medium pepper, yellow or red, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • Juice of a large lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Transfer the shishito peppers to a heated cast iron pan. On medium high heat, char the peppers on all sides- about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a chopping board and let cool and then chop. Transfer the beans, avocado, charred peppers, sweet peppers, green onions and cilantro to a serving bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, honey and oil. Mix well and taste for seasonings and adjust. Let it sit for at least half an hour before serving.