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Add flavor and pizazz to your chicken salad with crisp Granny Smith apples, tart dried cranberries, and crunchy pecans.


Cranberry Chicken Salad - lacocinadeleslie.com

This cranberry chicken salad has been sitting in my drafts for a few months now, but I haven't really had a chance to post anything due to a translation project that came up in the middle of my A to Z Recipe Challenge (which I will be continuing soon) and took me about a month and half to finish. And then came some technical difficulties with my laptop. Ay, ay, ay! Thankfully, the problems seem to have been resolved, so I will be back to posting recipes regularly here in my cocina, three days a week. Woo-hoo! Thank you all so much for your patience and kind emails/messages asking where I've been and when I'll be back.

And now on to the recipe...


Chicken Salad with Apples and Cranberries - lacocinadeleslie.com

This chicken salad is one of my all-time favorites made with tender pieces of shredded chicken, crisp Granny Smith apples, tart dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, celery, red onion, and a mixture of mayonnaise and Mexican crema. It's one of those salads that can be prepared year round. During the hot spring and summer months, we like to eat this atop cruchy tostada shells or served on a bed of romaine lettuce or baby spinach leaves. During the holiday season I like to serve it as an appetizer atop crackers or as a filling for volovanes. And for sporting events or the kiddies' graduation parties, I serve it as a filling for cute little finger sandwiches.

Ensalada de Pollo con Arandanos - lacocinadeleslie.com

No matter how or when you serve this flavorful chicken salad, it is sure to become a family favorite!

You may have noticed that I've added a new printable recipe card to my posts this week. What do you think? Do you like them?


Yield: 8 servings

Cranberry Chicken Salad

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 3 hourstotal time: 3 hours and 15 mins
Add flavor and pizazz to your chicken salad with crisp Granny Smith apples, tart dried cranberries, and crunchy pecans.

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Mexican crema
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Whisk the mayonnaise, Mexican crema, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves completely.
  2. Mix together the chicken, apples, onion, celery, and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours before serving. Stir in the chopped pecans just before serving. Enjoy!
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Cranberry Chicken Salad

Vibrant and refreshing agua fresca made with fresh papaya.


Papaya Agua Fresca - lacocinadeleslie.com

Fresh papayas are one of the fruits I like to always have on my kitchen counter. Not only are they flavorful, papayas are also packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin C. Like most fruits, we love to eat papaya topped with Tajín (a chile-lime flavored seasoning salt) and fresh lime juice. But papaya also makes for an incredibly refreshing agua fresca perfect for helping you stay cool in the hot summer months.


Agua Fresca de Papaya - lacocinadeleslie.com


You should also know that the seeds of the papaya are totally edible. If you've never tried them, puree some of the seeds with the papaya to add a light peppery undertone to your agua fresca.


Yield: 8 servings
Agua de Papaya recipe  - lacocinadeleslie.com

Agua Fresca de Papaya

Vibrant and refreshing agua fresca made with fresh papaya.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 2 hourstotal time: 2 hours and 10 mins

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 cups ripe papaya, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Ice

INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Puree the ripe papaya with 3 cups of the water in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into a 2-quart pitcher. Add enough of the remaining water to fill pitcher. Sweeten agua fresca with granulated sugar to taste.
  2. Refrigerate agua fresca at least 2 hours before serving. Serve over ice. Enjoy!
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Papaya Agua Fresca

The creamy potato salad that we remember and love from our childhood with a spicy kick!


Classic Potato Salad with Bacon - lacocinadeleslie.com

The 4th of July is upon once again. And as I've said many a times before, you can take the girl out of the US, but you can't take away her love of American holidays. Growing up, the 4th of July meant fireworks, cookouts with family and friends, and Old Glory waving in the wind. Most summers, we spent the weekends camping in the mountains of SoCal, and on the 4th of July the RV park hosted a huge potluck for all of its members. My mom, who worked at the RV park, was behind the grill firing up hot dogs, hamburgers, and BBQ ribs. Beside her were what seemed like endless trays of coleslaw, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese, macaroni salad, several varieties of chips, and plenty of classic potato salad.

Potato salad recipe with hard-boiled eggs and bacon - lacocinadeleslie.com


The potato salad was one of my favorites because it was chock full of bacon, and I was always so happy when mom brought home leftovers. I mean, who doesn't love bacon?! I still love that potato salad I remember from my childhood and continue to make it, although I've added a few ingredients like Mexican crema for extra creaminess and serrano chiles for a spicy kick. This classic potato salad with hard-boiled eggs and bacon is perfect for a weekend barbecue, or when you're feeling a little homesick for good old-fashioned American food.

To help you save time in the kitchen, make this salad the day before and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.


Yield: 8 servings

Classic Potato Salad

Creamy potato salad that we all know and love with a spicy kick!
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 2 hourstotal time: 2 hours and 15 mins

INGREDIENTS:


  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 tablespoon classic yellow mustard
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled, diced, and cooked
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Mix together the celery, onion, serrano chiles, mayonnaise, Mexican crema, and mustard in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, and chopped cilantro until well combined; season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cover potato salad with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!
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Comfort Food Classics: Potato Salad

Tender pieces of cauliflower in a flavorful tomato chipotle sauce wrapped in a warm corn tortilla is a delicious meatless option for taco Tuesday.


Cauliflower Tinga Tacos - lacocinadeleslie.com


Cauliflower has been one of my favorite vegetables since way before it became the popular veggie it is today. Whether it's steamed, baked and covered with cheese, battered and fried to a golden crisp, or simmered in a spicy tomato chipotle sauce, cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed as a side dish or main dish. Simmered in a spicy tomato chipotle sauce, this Tinga de Coliflor is then wrapped in warm corn tortillas and topped with Cebollas Encurtidas (pickled red onions) and chopped fresh cilantro for a healthy taco perfect for meatless Mondays, taco Tuesdays, or any other night of the week.

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos #TacoTuesday

Salsa macha is an oil-based Mexican salsa made with golden fried garlic and dried árbol chiles.



If you like spicy Mexican salsas, you are going to love Salsa Macha! It's a simple, three ingredient salsa that is rich in flavor and heavy on the heat. The small town we call home is known for producing the best árbol chiles in the world, and in this salsa the unique earthy flavor of the chile de árbol de Yahualica really shines through. A little bit of this salsa goes a long way, so use sparingly. Salsa macha can be served with soups like menudo, Pozole Rojo, Cocido (beef stew), and/or Caldo de Pollo (chicken soup), but it's also delicious served over everything from carne asada to eggs and even a fresh green salad.

Salsa Macha

Thin slices of nopales sauteed with onion and banana peppers in a spicy tomatillo salsa topped with crumbled queso fresco are a quick and easy side dish, garnish, or meatless filling for tacos.


Nopales en Salsa Verde - lacocinadeleslie.com

I haven't forgotten about my A to Z Recipe Challenge. It is still on, I just had to hit the pause button for a little while because real life got in the way. But, things have settled back into our normal routine and I'm ready to get back to finishing this challenge.

Nopales en Salsa Verde #AtoZrecipechallenge

A Michelada is a flavorful Mexican cocktail made with beer, Clamato (tomato juice with clam juice), and various seasoning like salt, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and your favorite bottled hot sauce.



Michelada Mexicana - lacocinadeleslie.com

To paraphrase the most interesting man in the world... I don't always drink beer, but when I do it's in an ice-cold, spicy Classic Mexican Michelada. Micheladas are a popular beer cocktail often referred to as the Mexican Bloody Mary. (Although I prefer my Bloody Marías with tequila.) The classic Michelada is made with light or dark Mexican beer, Clamato, and a variety of seasonings and spices.

Classic Mexican Michelada #AtoZrecipechallenge

Tacos de Lechuga are a delicious way to enjoy tacos, even if you're on a low carb diet.


Tacos de Lechuga - lacocinadeleslie.com

Okay boys and girls, we are almost halfway through the A to Z Recipe Challenge. Today's recipe is brought to you by the letter L and these Tacos de Lechuga (Lettuce Tacos).

Tacos de Lechuga #AtoZrecipechallenge

Cool, tart, and refreshing homemade sorbet made with fresh kiwi and lime juice.


Homemade Kiwi Lime Sorbet - lacocinadeleslie.com

K is for kiwi, as in this Kiwi Lime Sorbet.

Kiwi Lime Sorbet #AtoZrecipechallenge

Crispy taquitos filled with sauteed flor de jamaica (hibiscus flower) and queso fresco topped with lettuce and pickled red onions are a delicious meatless option perfect for Lent.


Hibiscus Flower Taquitos - lacocinadeleslie.com

J is for Jamaica, as in flor de jamaica, which is Spanish for hibiscus flower. Dried hibiscus flowers are used to make one of Mexico's most popular aguas frescas: Agua de Jamaica. Many people make the mistake of tossing out the rehydrated flowers once the agua fresca is made, which is a huge mistake. Rehydrated flor de jamaica is totally edible and can be used as a filling for tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, and empanadas.

Taquitos de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Taquitos) #AtoZrecipechallenge

Creamy Italian Pasta Salad made with rotini pasta, bacon, salami, pepperoni, olives, Mexican crema, two types of cheese (parmesan and Manchego), and Italian dressing.



For today's recipe in my A to Z Recipe Challenge, I could not think of a Mexican recipe or ingredient with the letter I. (If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments, in case I ever decide to do another A to Z Challenge.) Ice cream is always the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about foods that start with the letter I (we play a lot of Scattergories), but I already had an ice cream recipe planned for another letter of the alphabet, which I'll be posting later this week.

Italian Pasta Salad #AtoZrecipechallenge

Roasted unsalted peanuts are what give this horchata it's unique and refreshing flavor!


Horchata de Cacahuate - lacocinadeleslie.com

H is for Horchata de Cacahuate. Horchata is a traditional Mexican agua fresca made with rice. But there are also many versions of horchata made with other grains and ingredients like oats, dried cantaloupe seeds, and even roasted peanuts. Just be sure to use unsalted roasted peanuts. Raw and/or salted peanuts do not work for this recipe. If you like Mazapan (a traditional Mexican candy made with ground peanuts and cinnamon), you are going to love this Peanut Horchata (aka Agua de Cacahuate).

Horchata de Cacahuate #AtoZrecipechallenge

Traditional Mexican Picadillo made with ground beef and vegetables in a ancho and guajillo chile broth.


Ground Beef Picadillo - lacocinadeleslie.com

Continuing on with the A to Z Recipe Challenge, G is for ground beef. When I think of ground beef, the first thing that pops into my head is Pappy's Picadillo. Pappy's ground beef picadillo was part of our regular weekly dinner rotation when I was growing up, although he'd switch up the ingredients every now and then.

Ground Beef Picadillo #AtoZrecipechallenge

When you're sick, there's nothing quite as comforting than a bowl of Sopa de Fideo with chicken and vegetables in a spicy tomato broth, just like your abuelita or tías used to make.

Chicken Vegetable Sopa de Fideo - lacocinadeleslie.com


Today's recipe for my A to Z Recipe Challenge is brought to you by the letter "F" and this classic Fideo Soup with chicken and vegetables that always takes me back to my childhood. I suffered from bronchitis and earaches a lot when I was a kid, and my grandmother always made me this comforting soup to help nurse me back to health. Now that I'm older I still crave this soup when I'm sick, and I also make it for my kiddies when they aren't feeling well.


Sopa de Fideo con Pollo - lacocinadeleslie.com

Chicken Vegetable Sopa de Fideo 
lacocinadeleslie.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium white onion 
  • 2 serrano chiles, stems removed 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 8 oz. fideo or vermicelli pasta 
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded chicken 
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced 
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 
  • 2 medium zucchini or calabacitas 
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro


Directions:
Puree the tomatoes, onion, serrano chiles, garlic, and 3 cups of the water in a blender until smooth; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the fideo, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Carefully pour in the tomato, stirring gently to combine. Stir in the remaining cup of water along with the chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and cilantro. Cover saucepan and let soup come to a boil. Reduce heat to low; season with salt, to taste. Continue to simmer over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the fideo noodles and vegetables have completely cooked and the broth has thickened slightly. Remove cilantro.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro leave. Serve with warm tortillas. Enjoy!

















Chicken Vegetable Sopa de Fideo #AtoZrecipechallenge

All the flavor of traditional Mexican street corn in a cool, refreshing salad perfect for your next barbecue!


Ensalada de Elote (Mexican Street Corn Salad) - lacocinadeleslie.com

If you've never tasted a Mexican elote (corn on the cob), topped with a combination of Mexican crema, mayo, crumbled queso fresco, and Tajín, you are really missing out! It is a popular Mexican street snack that is impossible to resist.

Traditionally, Mexican street corn is served whole on the cob, but the corn can also be served sliced off the cob into a cup with all the toppings. When served in a cup, this dish is often called esquites or elote en vaso (corn in a cup). The corn is usually served warm, but it's also really good served cold and makes for a delicious salad perfect for a family cookout or barbecue.

Ensalada de Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) - lacocinadeleslie.com

Ensalada de Esquites 
(Mexican Street Corn Salad) 
lacocinadeleslie.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups corn kernels, drained or defrosted 
  • 1-1/4 cups queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup Mexican crema 
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Tajín (chile lime powder)

Directions: 
Mix together the Mexican crema, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and Tajín in a medium bowl. Stir in the corn kernels and queso fresco; season lightly with salt, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy! 
















Ensalada de Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) #AtoZrecipechallenge

Discadas are a type of Mexican stir-fry that is traditionally prepared in a large disco (plow disc)--also known as a cowboy wok--over an open flame.


How to Make Mexican Discada - lacocinadeleslie.com

Continuing with my A to Z Recipe Challenge, today's recipe is brought to you by the letter D and this Discada NorteñaDiscadas are a meat lover's dream made with a little bit of everything from bacon to spicy Mexican chorizo to steak, pork chops, ham, and hot dogs. There are also a few veggies like onion, bell pepper, serrano chiles, tomato, and garlic added to the mix. And to finish it all off we add Mexican beer and Clamato, with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and Jugo Maggi (a seasoning sauce also used to make Micheladas).

Discada #AtoZrecipechallenge