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Black bean and corn salad

19 May

This black bean and corn salad is a great accompaniment to a chicken dish or as a topping for taco salad. If I eat it in the taco salad, I don’t add the avocado because I add slices of avocado to my salad. In all other cases, the avocado adds a bit of creaminess to it. With the avocado, you could even consider it like a chunky salsa and eat it with some chips. It is crisp, refreshing, healthy and holds a little kick of heat with the jalapenos/serranos – add as much for the heat level that you desire.

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Ingredient List:
– Black beans (cook your own!)
– Corn
– Cilantro, chopped
– Cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1-3 jalapeno or serrano pepper, chopped
– Avocado (optional)
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– Salt and pepper
– Juice of 1-2 limes
– Cumin (optional)

Directions:

1. To begin with, cook your own black beans. You need to add about 1 cup of black beans (washed, of course) to your crock pot. Boil water before you add it to the crock pot – this makes it cook much, much faster. Add in half an onion, 2-3 garlic cloves, a bay leaf, salt and pepper and let the beans cook. You need to fill your crock pot all the way up with boiling water and then the beans will cook in 2-3 hours. Once they are cooked, drain and rinse under cold water.

2. In a large bowl, combine your beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, chopped jalapeno, avocado, minced garlic, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and lime juice. Depending on what I am using this for, I also add cumin for some warmth. It depends. Do what feels right to you.

3. Serve in a taco salad, as a side salad, or as a chunky salsa and enjoy!

The Boyfriend Rates It: 3.5

It’s a salsa that adds freshness to a variety of dishes. I personally like it in a taco salad with a spicy dressing but has many other creative uses.

Chorizo Tortas

18 Feb

By now, I think my love for chorizo has been expressed. Pork and soy chorizo are a mainstay in my fridge. Friday mornings (the day I am allowed to eat carbs), I tend to make chorizo con huevo for breakfast. But, the other weekend, the boyfriend and I were at the Mexican market and noticed some delicious bread. Decision made. For breakfast, we would have chorizo tortas. The concept is basically the same, its just a matter of a different carb holding all the deliciousness together for you.

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Ingredients:
– Good torta bread (you’ll need to go a local Mexican grocery store for this)
– Butter
– Mayo

Chorizo con huevo
– Soy or pork chorizo
– 3 eggs, whisked
– Half an onion
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Pickled jalapenos:
– 2 jalapenos, sliced
– Slices of onion
– Apple cider vinegar
– Juice of 1 large lime
– Salt

Toppings:
– Cilantro
– Cheese (preferably cotija)
– Avocado, sliced

Extra toppings:
– Salsa
– Tapatio

Directions:
1. In a large skillet, cook the onion and garlic in the oil of your choice. Add your chorizo and cook until crispy. If using pork chorizo, you will not need much oil to cook the onion and garlic because the pork will add a lot of fat to the pan. You might even need to wipe the pan slightly before adding the eggs to rid of excess oil. If using soy chorizo, the texture won’t get as crispy so just be mindful – still delicoius! Once the chorizo is crispy, add in the whisked eggs and cook until fully incorporated.

2. While cooking the chorizo, thinly slice up some onion and one or two jalapenos. In a small bowl, combine the sliced onion and jalapenos with apple cider vinegar, the juice of 1-2 limes, and some salt. You basically want the juices to cover the onion and jalapeno. Let these soak until you are ready to assemble your torta — quick pickled onions and jalapenos add a great little zing and heat to this breakfast sandwich.

3. Prepare your other toppings – sliced avocado, cilantro, cheese, and salsa.

4. In another pan, add an embarrassing amount of butter and toast the torta bread.

5. Now – time to assemble! I am not a huge mayo fan, but the boyfriend swears up and down that a smear of mayo is required on the torta bread. I add a baby amount and a good healthy smear on his. Next, add your chorizo and toppings and serve up!

Depending on your bread, sometimes I tear out a little whole of bread from the bottom piece of the bread in order to allow more fillings. This helps this giant sandwich close so you can hold it and eat up!

Serve with a spicy michelada and enjoy!

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The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

Mmm, mmm,mmm. Tortas are one of my favorite meals of all time. I don’t know many people that can resist the smokey spicy aroma of chorizo in the morning. Add to that crisp onions that have been marinated in vinegar and lemon juice, creamy avocado and some homemade salsa and your in for a treat. Buen provecho 🙂

Salsa Verde

30 Jan

Green salsa. Salsa verde. This salsa can be used for just about anything you feel like — chips and salsa, for your eggs, for breakfast burritos, for taco salads, for tostadas, for….just about whatever you feel like. This salsa is like a combination of me trying to recreate the green salsa boyfriend’s mom makes (mine is seriously not there, yet) and what the boyfriend *thinks* his mom does to make it.

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Ingredient List:
– Roughly 10 tomatillos, halved
– 4-5 serrano peppers, chopped (This will definitely make your salsa spicy so you might want to lower the amount)
– 1 yellow onion, chopped
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
– Juice of 2 limes
– Salt and pepper
– Water

Directions:

1. In a large pan, cook the onions and garlic with some salt and pepper. After 2-3 minutes, add in the serrano peppers. About 1 minute later, add in the tomatillos.

2. Add about 1/2 cup of water to cook everything in. Sometimes I mash the tomatillos with a potato masher to help the process along. Let this cook for 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Once the tomatillos have cooked down, pour the mixture into a blender. Add in the cilantro, lime juice, and more water as necessary. Blend! Adjust the water and salt and pepper until it has reached the consistency and flavor you like.

4. Serve up and enjoy!

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

This was my favorite salsa during my teenage years. It always reminds me of my grema.

Shrimp Cocktail

19 Jan

I am back!! It took us three weeks and three technicians to get our Internet at the new place, but I finally have it. I have been cooking a lot lately, but the posts will be slightly backed up and probably in a weird order since I haven’t had access to a computer except when I am at work. Those high school kids require some attention, you know, so blogging isn’t really an option while teaching algebra and five paragraph essays. Also, I am on a kick, like everyone else, to try and eat a little healthier and “cleaner” this year, so when I post something about a fatty, delicious meal….unfortunately, it might have been a few weeks ago. I need to get back into shape and I can still count on one hand how many times I’ve been running year….no bueno.

But this recipe is a delicious favorite of mine. And it is pretty healthy (except maybe the sodium content). Try it. You’ll like it. It’s even better in the summertime, but I live in San Diego. It’s almost always summertime, so this meal works for me year-round.

And here it goes…shrimp cocktail.

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This is not the shrimp cocktail that you’re thinking. This is shrimp cocktail as introduced to me from the boyfriend’s mom and it is uber delicious. You can eat it as a meal with some home made chips. It is stock full of shrimp, veggies, and the flavors are comparable to my favorite drink of all time — micheladas — clamato, tapatio, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce…goodness.

Ingredient List:
Note – This recipe will serve a lot of people. Adjust the portions as necessary.

– 1 pound shrimp (uncooked, with shells on) — keep the water you cook the shrimp in!
– 5 roma tomatoes, chopped
– 3 avocados, chopped
– 1 red onion, chopped
– 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
– 1 cucumber, chopped
– 5 jalapeno peppers, chopped (adjust for your heat preferences)
– Clamato
– Ketchup
– Cocktail sauce
– Tapatio
– Tabasco sauce
– Worcestershire sauce
– Salt and pepper
– Garlic salt

Directions:
1. Boil the shrimp while the shells are still on. Take the shells of the shrimp and save the shrimp cooking water. You can either chop the shrimp or leave it whole – totally depends on how you like to eat it.

2. Chop your veggies – cucumber, tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, jalapenos, red onion. Along with the shrimp, add all your veggies to a large dish.

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Aren’t all those veggies just a beautiful color?

3. Next add all your condiments and seasoning. The measurements are, as always, up to you. If I had to guess what I used, I think it would come out something like this…
3-4 cups Clamato
1 cup shrimp cooking water
1 cup ketchup
3/4 bottle cocktail sauce
Juice of 4-5 limes
For the Worcestershire, Tabasco, and Tapatio, that really depends on how spicy you like things because all three of these will kick up the spice.
Then, add in your salt, pepper, and garlic salt.

4. Serve up! Boyfriend likes to spread mayo on his tostadas or tortilla chips, but I like to just dip and eat almost as if it is a chunky salsa. Enjoy!

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

This is one of those dishes I grew up eating, so I definitely have a distinct flavor I look for. Personally, I enjoy a heavy hand on the lemon, ketchup, clamato, and Tabasco sauce, but other than that this was an excellent dish. And doesn’t it just look amazing with all those colors?

Fall Flavored Red Enchiladas

3 Dec

Warning! These are not authentic Mexican enchiladas. Don’t make this recipe if that is what you are searching for. It is, however, very yummy and definitely has the flavors and comfort of fall due to the sesame seeds, peanuts, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) that are used to make the sauce.

I got this recipe from a blog and you can find that here.

Ingredients:

For the pipián rojo:
3 dried guajillo chiles
1 dried ancho chile
3 cups boiling water
3 plum tomatoes
1/4 onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I skipped this because I didn’t have cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
I also added…
1 cup chicken broth
1 can el pato

For the enchiladas:
Vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
Cotija cheese

For garnishes:
Cilantro
Sour cream

Directions:

1. In a skillet, toast your chiles. Then, place in boiling water and let sit.

2. In the same skillet, add your tomatoes, onions, and garlic to char. I halved the veggies and left the peel on the garlic until charred. Set aside.

3. In the same skillet, toast the pepitas, peanuts, and sesame seeds. This happens quickly and requires that you stir constantly so that you don’t burn them. Add your cinnamon.

4. In a blender, add your chiles (I left the seeds and everything in them because I like heat — if you don’t like heat, you need to remove them at this point). Add in about 2 cups of the chile soaking liquid, the tomatoes, onion, garlic, nut mixture, and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

5. The recipe stopped there. I, however, thought this flavor was a bit too nutty for me and a bit too thick. Although very wrong in the enchilada making world, I decided to play with this sauce a little. I added 1 cup of chicken broth and a can of El Pato (spicy tomato sauce).

I know that is wrong. When I told boyfriend’s mom about my adventures with enchilada making, she gasped at this and said “oh no, I don’t do that.” Jajaja. Whatever, boyfriend liked it. I just shouldn’t even tell anyone what I did.

6. Transfer back to your skillet and simmer about 10 minutes.

7. Heat your oven to 400°F.

8. Now, this the messy part. If you have someone who can help you in the kitchen, I highly suggest it. Also, wear an apron or a shirt that you aren’t going to freak out if things splatter. It can get messy. Especially if you are a Plumly and clumsiness follows you around like it does for me.

In a separate skillet, heat some oil and cook a corn tortilla until it is pliable. (I wish I could explain the inside/outside of the tortilla but there is a right way – look it up). Then, transfer the tortilla to the enchilada sauce to coat both sides. Then, transfer this to a plate and fill with cotija cheese. Then, roll it and place it seam-side down in your baking dish. Yeah, like all those steps? Repeat it 10-12 more times until your dish is full.

Picture taking of this was impossible.

9. Oh, and I forgot to mention – you should spread some sauce on the bottom of your dish. This helps them not to stick. Also, cover your enchiladas with the remainder of your sauce (I had a lot of sauce so I didn’t use it all – some of it is in the freezer waiting for the next batch of unauthentic enchiladas). Bake for about 10 minutes until cooked through and you think the cheese is melty.

10. Serve with white rice and sprinkle with cheese, cilantro, avocado and sour cream.

The Boyfriend Rates It:3.7
What they lacked in authenticity and aesthetics was definitely made up for in flavor. The seeds and cinnamon really gave an autumn feel. And you can never go wrong with topping of a Mexican dish with cotija cheese, avocado and sour cream 🙂