Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chilito de Chorizo {Chorizo Chili}

It's easy to throw a meal together with a few basic ingredients, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You will find that in most Mexican kitchens, we always have Chile de Molcajete and Frijoles de la Olla (Cooked Beans) in our refrigerator.  Those two staples alone are the beginning to a number of great meals.  But today, as I opened the fridge, I noticed that I still had 1/2 a kilo of chorizo just waiting to be used in something delicious, like Chilito de Chorizo.  Yummmm!   

Chilito de Chorizo
(Chorizo Chili)

Ingredients:

  • 24 tomatillos
  • Dried Chile de Arbol
  • 1 pound Chorizo (pork or turkey)
  • Cooked Beans (canned or homemade) *optional


Directions:
Remove and discard the husks from the tomatillos.  Rinse the tomatillos and place in a medium saucepan with a few Chiles de Arbol(I use 2 or 3, but if you can handle the heat add more!)  Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover the tomatillos.  Cook the tomatillos over medium-high heat until the tomatillos are tender.  

Let the tomatillos cool slightly, then transfer them and the chilies to a blender cup and puree until smooth.  (If the salsa is too thick, add some of the water that the tomatillos were cooked in.)  Season with salt; set aside.



In a medium non-stick skillet, brown the chorizo over medium-high heat until it is fully cooked.  (Chorizo releases it's own fat, so I don't add any oil.)  



Once the chorizo is ready, carefully pour in the tomatillo salsa.  Reduce the heat to low and let the Chilito simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.



Ladle the Chilito into a bowl, add some Cooked Beans if you like and serve with warm corn tortillas.  Enjoy!!!


With Love,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sweet home cookin' {Calabacitas con Leche}

When Hubby first mentioned this next recipe to me, it wasn't something that appealed to me.  After all, the only way I had ever had zucchini, was in Gramm's Guisado.  But Hubby assured me that his mom's way of preparing zucchini was even better.  And sweeter.  Sweet?!!!  Who knew zucchini could be sweet?

My mother-in-law prepared Calabacitas con Leche (Zucchini with milk) often for her six kiddies.  And they all still remember it fondly.  Calabacitas con Leche is just that, zucchini cooked with sugar and milk.  And it is delicious!  It tastes almost like Taninole (Pumpkin with Milk).   

Calabacitas con Leche

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cups sugar*
  • 2 cups milk
  • Ground Nutmeg (for garnish)


Directions:
Place the sliced zucchini, water and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Cover saucepan and cook over medium heat until almost all of the water has been absorbed. *If you have a sweet tooth, add more sugar.  These zucchini were very sweet, so I didn't need as much sugar. 



Add the milk and reduce the heat to low.  Cover saucepan and simmer until the milk begins to bubble. 



To serve, ladle the zucchini and plenty of milk into mugs or small bowls.  And sprinkle with ground nutmeg.  Enjoy!!! 


With Love,

Zucchini Medley



It seems that almost every one of my recipes is my favorite.  Which they are.  But if you were to ask me which vegetable is my absolute, all-time favorite, I would say Calabacitas (Zucchini).  They're such a versatile veggie.  They can be sweet or savory, steamed, fried, baked and can even be eaten raw.

Last week, a local farmer drove through the neighborhood selling these freshly cut beauties for 8 pesos a kilo.  The hardest part was trying to decide how to prepare my 3 kilos of calabacitas.  I was in a "Comfort Food" state of mind, so I made Gramm's Guisado de Calabacita (Zucchini Medley).  The only way Gramm made zucchini was to saute it with some onion, tomato and yellow corn.   I prepare it the same way for my kiddies, but I like to add serrano chilies and Queso Fresco!  Mmmmmm!

Zucchini Medley

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 medium zucchini, sliced or chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 serrano chilies
  • 1 small can yellow corn
  • Queso Fresco (for Garnish)


Directions:
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat.   Add the onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.



Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the queso fresco.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet.  Let simmer until the zucchini is completely cooked. (About 10 minutes.)



Just before serving, garnish with grated Queso Fresco Enjoy!!!



With Love,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Name that fruit!

(Insert catchy game show music here!)

Okay friends, it is time to play one of my favorite games...Name.  That.  Fruit!  (Applause!) 


This lovely fruit, which I think looks like a petrified strawberry, was spotted today at our favorite fruteria.  Hubby was told the name, but since Hubby has a memoria de Teflon*, he forgot it in the 5 minutes that it took him to get home.  (*Teflon Memory: Nothing sticks to it!) 

In all honesty, I am not the adventurous type.  At least not where food is concerned.  But this is a fruit, so it can't be that bad.

The inside of the fruit was not what I expected.  (Although, I'm not really sure exactly what I expected!)  It looked and tasted like a grape.  Pretty darn good. 


Now for the Million Dollar Question...What is it?  

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*NOTE: "Million Dollar Question" is just an idiom .  No money will be awarded for the right answer.  :) But isn't the knowledge that you know the correct name for this fruit reward enough?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Comfort Food Classics: Picadillo Dreams

This week we've been talking all about Comfort Food.  So while we're still on the subject I want to share one of my Hubby's favorite comfort food dishes...Picadillo.

This is one of those rare recipes, in which my grandparents' and mother-in-law's recipes are very similar.  The only difference is that Pappy (my grandpa) made Picadillo with ground beef and canned red enchilada sauce.   My mother-in-law uses thin-cut beef steak and prepares her own sauce using dried ancho chilies.

This is such a wonderful dish, however you choose to make it.  The dried ancho chilies offer plenty of flavor, but don't worry they don't pack any heat.  That's what the serrano chilies are for!  And if you're really feeling brave, you can use fresh jalapeño peppers.  Ay, ay, ay! 

lacocinadeleslie.com

Picadillo

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds thin cut beef steak
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 serrano chilies, sliced


Directions:
Place the meat, half of the onion and the garlic in a medium saucepan.  Cover with water and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over high heat until it begins to boil.  Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the meat simmer until tender.  (About 60 to 90 minutes.)

While the meat is cooking, cook the ancho chilies in 2 cups of water until the chilies are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.  In a blender or food processor, puree the chilies with the water they were cooked in, until smooth.  Season chili puree with salt; set aside.

Once the meat is tender.  Let it cool slightly, then shred it using two forks or with your fingers. Or pulse the meat in batches in a blender.  (That's how my mother-in-law shred her picadillo meat.) In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat.  Saute the chopped onion and garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the chopped serrano chilies, chopped tomatoes and the shredded meat.  Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the chile puree and 1 cup of the broth that the meat was cooked in.  Season with salt.  Cover the skillet and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  *If sauce is too thick, stir in more of the broth, until desired consistency.

Serve with Mexican Rice and plenty of warm corn tortillas.  Enjoy!!!

lacocinadeleslie.com












Chile Colorado


Last month marked the 3rd anniversary of my dear grandfather's passing.  As a tribute to him, I thought I'd share his favorite recipe.

Chile Colorado

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds pork loin or pork roast, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (I use a cube of Knorr-Suiza Caldo de Costilla)


Directions:
In a 2-quart saucepan,  combine the pork meat, onion and garlic.  Add enough water to cover the meat and season with salt.  Cover saucepan and cook over high heat until water begins to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the meat is tender.  (About 60 to 90 minutes.)

While the meat is cooking, cook the dried chilies in a medium saucepan with the 3 cups of water until the chilies are soft.  Let cool slightly.



Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.  Puree the chilies in a blender with the water they were cooked in until smooth.  Season with salt; set aside.



Once the meat is tender. heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the chopped onion and garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.



Add the pork meat and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.



Stir in the chile puree and season with the chicken bouillon.  *If the mixture is too thick, add some of the broth that the meat was cooked in, one cup at a time until desired consistency. 



Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.  Serve with a side of refried beans or add 2 cups of Cooked Beans to the stew.  Enjoy!!!




With Love,

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