Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My First Blog Award

Yay!  I got my very first blog award! :)


This beautiful Sunshine Award was given to me by Doña Masita.  Those of you who are fans of Mexican food might know her from her wonderful recipes that she shares on the Maseca website.

The Sunshine Award is given to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blog world. Here are the requirements:
  • Put the logo on your blog or within your post.  Pass the award on to as many as 12 bloggers.
  • Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
  • Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
  • Link to the nominees within your post.
    The Sunshine Award goes to:
    1. My good friend Tina @ Cooking w/ Married to a Mexican.  Not only does she have delicious recipes, but she posts them in video form so you can see how easy they are to prepare.  She's been a little busy as of late, but I can't wait until she posts her next video recipe!  (Tina was one of the first supporters of Recipes by Leslie.)
    2. Theresa @ Theresa's Cooking Blog...Her recent recipe for Sweet and Sour Carrots is at the top of my "To Make" list.  (Theresa was also one of the first supporters of this blog, for which I am forever grateful.)
    3. Monica H @ Lick the Bowl Good...Oh wow!  You are all going to love her blog.  She has the best recipes and her photographs are simply breathtaking.
    4. Tancho @ Rancho Canyon Cookbook...A fellow expat whose recipes are always so inspiring.  His recipe for Really, Really, Really Quick Bread has become one of my favorites.
    5. Don Cuevas @ My Mexican Kitchen...Another fellow expat whose recipes are some of my favorites, like his recipe for Homemade Sausage
    6. Lesley @ The Mija Chronicles blogs about life in Mexico City AND posts some of the most creative recipes like her Spicy Oatmeal with Peanuts, Cilantro and Ginger. 
    7. Anabel @ Oven Delights...I love her cakes and am more than just a tad bit jealous of her cake decorating skills. I hope that someday she will start her own business.
    8. Tami @ I don't like mama...Another talented cake/cupcake decorator who recently started her own business.  Her creations are almost too pretty to eat.  Almost!
    9. Katie @ Apple & Spice is always creating tasty treats in her kitchen.  Today she posted the cutest Easter Pizza that looks like a beautifully decorated Easter egg.
    10. My friend Jeff @ Chef Traveler offers a wide variety of recipes that are low in fat!  He even has a daily newsletter that you can subscribe to by email. 
    11. Luigi @ Luigi's Tastes of Italy...I love Italian food and Luigi's recipes for Zuppa di Piselli and Parmigiana di Zucchini are ones that I will be making often!
    12. Last but definitely not least is Heather @ Kitchen Concoctions...Heather picks one cookbook to cook from for a month and posts the recipes and her opinions about the featured book.  I recently won this cookbook in one of her giveaways. 
     
    I hope you will pay them all a visit!
    With Love,

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Rollitos de Pollo Poblano {Poblano Chicken Rolls}

     Being a mom to four kiddies, I usually make food that is fast, simple and very kid friendly.  But every once and a while I like to whip up something a little more grown up. 

    I came up with this recipe a few years ago, wanting to impress Hubby for Valentine's Day.  It worked so well, that I still make it for him on special occasions.  And you wouldn't believe how easy it is!
      
    Rollitos de Pollo Poblano are delicious little packages of cheese and corn stuffed chicken breasts in a creamy roasted Poblano pepper sauce.  This is a dish that will be enjoyed by all!

    Rollitos de Pollo Poblano

    Ingredients:

    • 2 poblano peppers
    • 2 pounds of chicken cutlets
    • Manchego cheese, thinly sliced
    • 1 small can corn kernels
    • 1 cup Mexican crema
    • 1 sprig of cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


    Directions:
    Roast the poblano peppers on a comal or griddle until the skin is completely charred.



    Top each chicken steak or cutlet with a slice of cheese and a few corn kernels.  Gently roll the chicken into a little bundle.



    Place the chicken rolls, seam-side down on a plate and refrigerate until ready to use.



    Remove the charred skin from the poblano peppers, along with the stem and seed.   



    Slice the chilies roughly then puree with the Mexican crema and a sprig of cilantro until smooth.  Set aside.



    In a medium skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.



    Place the chicken rolls, seam-side down in the skillet.  Cook on both sides until a light golden brown.



    Remove the chicken from the skillet to a heatproof plate.  Cook any remaining chicken rolls.



    After the chicken has been cooked, pour sauce in to pan, scraping the bottom with a wire whisk to incorporate all of the browned bits of chicken left in the skillet.  Season with salt and pepper.



    Return the chicken rolls to the sauce.  Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.



    Serve with cooked pasta or Sopa de Arroz Blanco (white rice) and garnish with a few corn kernels.  Enjoy!!!


    With Love,

    Poblano Chicken Quesadillas

    If you've been following my blog, then you've probably noticed that I'm a bit obsessed with Poblano peppers.  But really, what's not to love?  They're the perfect pepper...not too spicy and not too sweet.  And they are so versatile.

    Poblano peppers are pretty popular in Mexico, too.  They are used for preparing some of my favorite dishes like: Chiles Rellenos, Chiles en Nogada and Rajas con Crema.

    One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Mexico is that whenever a dish is prepared with poblano peppers, onion and corn, the dish is usually called  ___________ Poblano. (Case in point, my recipe for Arroz Poblano.) 

    Today's recipe is no different.  A mixture of roasted poblano peppers, golden corn kernels, onion, shredded chicken and lots of yummy melted cheese make for one heck of a tasty quesadilla.

    Quesadillas de Pollo Poblano

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded
    • 2 large poblano peppers
    • 1 small can corn kernels
    • 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons Mexican crema
    • 1-1/2 cups shredded Oaxaca, Asadero or Mozzarella cheese
    • Butter (optional)
    • Flour tortillas


    Directions:
    Roast the poblano peppers on a comal or griddle until the skin is completely charred.  Immediately place the peppers inside a plastic bag; let set for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove the charred skin, stems and seeds.



    Slice or chop the peppers.



    In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken, poblano peppers, corn kernels, and onion.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of Mexican crema: season with salt and pepper.



    Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in center of warm flour tortillas.



    Top with a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese.  Fold the tortillas in half.



    Over low heat, cook the quesadillas on a comal or griddle that has been lightly greased with a little butter.  (The butter is optional but oh-so-tasty!) 



    Serve with Mexican Rice or a green salad.  Enjoy!!!


    With Love,

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    Tilapia en Salsa de Crema con Chipotle (Poached Tilapia in a Creamy Chipotle Sauce)

    That title sounds fancy doesn't it? This recipe was actually a last-minute creation.  I was going to make Tilapia al Mojo de Ajo, but hubby walked in to say that he was in the mood for something saucy! I opened my fridge to see what ingredients I had on hand to make a quick sauce.  The first things I noticed were the chipotle peppers and the Mexican crema. Hmmmm... I pureed them together and poached some tilapia steaks in the sauce and voila...this lovely dish was born. It was an instant hit with my hubby and kiddies.  And I'm sure it will be a big hit in your house too!

    Tilapia en Crema de Chipotle - lacocinadeleslie.com

    Tilapia en Salsa de Chipotle
    lacocinadeleslie.com


    Ingredients:
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 cup Mexican Crema or Sour Cream
    • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 
    • 6 tilapia steaks/fillets 

    Directions:
    Puree the Mexican crema and chipotle peppers in a blender until smooth, set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the Mexican crema and chipotle sauce; season lightly with salt and pepper. Once sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat and add the tilapia steaks.  Cover and reduce heat to low heat, let simmer for 15 minutes or until fish is completely cooked. Serve with Mexican rice and plenty of warm corn tortillas.  Enjoy!!!













    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Agua de Fresa Colada {Strawberry Colada}

    If you like Piña Coladas, then you're going to love Fresa Coladas.  Slightly tart Agua de Fresa sweetened with creamy sweetened condensed milk.  And if you're looking for a more adult version, add a shot of rum to each glass before serving.  Yum, yum, yummmmm!

    Fresa Colada

    Ingredients:

    • 3 to 4 cups strawberries, stems removed
    • 4 cups water
    • 1 (14oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
    • Ice
    • Rum (optional)


    Directions:
    Slice enough strawberries to equal one cup; set aside.



    Puree the remaining strawberries in a blender with 4 cups of water until smooth.



    Strain the pureed mixture into a 2-quart pitcher.



    Pour in the can of sweetened condensed milk.  Pour in enough water to fill the pitcher.  Stir well to combine.



    Add the slice strawberries and stir gently.



    Serve with lots of ice.  And if you're looking for a more grown-up cocktail, add a shot of rum to each glass!  Enjoy!!!



    With Love,



    Linking up with Gooseberry Patch Strawberry Recipe Round-Up

    Agua de Piña Colada

    Who doesn't like Piña Coladas?  They're so popular that they even have their own song. (Which I have been singing all day!)

    Agua de Piña Colada is a fun and easy beverage for both young and old to enjoy!  It is made with fresh pineapple and sweetened with Cream of Coconut.  For a more grown-up version, add a shot of rum into each glass before serving. 

    Agua de Piña Colada

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 (15 oz.) can Cream of Coconut
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • Rum (optional)


    Directions:
    In a blender, puree the pineapple chunks with 4 cups of water until smooth.



    Pour the pineapple puree through a strainer into a 2-quart pitcher.



    Pour in 1/2 of the cream of coconut and enough of the remaining water to fill pitcher.  Stir in the sugar and mix well.



    Serve with lots of ice and garnish with a slice of pineapple.  Enjoy!!!



    With Love,




    *This recipe was featured on Saveur.com as "Best of the Web".

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

    I waited until the very last minute to make this month's Cake Slice Bakers cake.  Mostly because I was having problems with my asthma.  But I was determined to bake this cake before the March 20th deadline.

    I was not disappointed.

    This cake was even easier to put together than the Mississippi Mud Cake.

    And the taste was fantastic.  The cake wasn't too sweet, which seemed like a perfect balance for the sweet topping.  And the cake was just firm enough that it doesn't crumble beneath the sticky sweet pineapple topping.  I served each piece with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.  But I think this would be even greater with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!

    *In Spanish, a Pineapple Upside-Down cake is called a Volteado de Piña.

    Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
    (From Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

    Pineapple Topping:

    • 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple rings, with their syrup
    • 4 tablespoons cold butter
    • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar, light or dark (I used dark)
    • 10 maraschino cherries


    Cake:

    • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


    Directions:
    Heat the oven to 350ºF.

    To make the topping, drain the pineapple well, reserving 2 tablespoons of the juice (or syrup) for the cake.  Put the cold butter in a 9-inch round cake pan and put it in the oven for a few minutes as it heats to melt the butter.



    Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the brown sugar over its buttery surface.



    Carefully arrange the pineapple rings on top of the scattered brown sugar and melted butter.  Place a cherry in the center of each ring.



    To make the cake, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; use a fork to mix them together.



    Add the milk and butter and beat well with a mixer on medium speed, scraping the bowl once or twice.  The batter will be very thick.



    Add the egg, reserved pineapple syrup and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes more, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl.



    Carefully pour the batter over the pineapple arranged in the cake pan.  Use a spoon or spatula to spread the batter evenly to the edges.  Bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is a light golden brown and springs back when touched gently in the center.



    Cool the cooked cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.



    Using oven mitts, carefully turn out the warm cake onto a serving plate, by placing the plate upside-down over the cake in the pan, flipping them over together to release the cake on to the plate.  Best served warm with a billowy dollop of sweetened whipped cream.  Enjoy!!!



    Don't forget to check out the other Cake Slice Bakers' cakes!

    With Love,



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