Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pollo a la Crema #SundaySupper

Lately, I haven't had as much time to spend in my cocina as usual.  What with me returning to teach ESL part-time and the kiddies going back to school last week, our life as of late has been a non-stop whirlwind of activity.

To help me maintain a certain level of sanity, it's important for me to plan our meals for each week.  Then on weekends, we try to do most of our grocery shopping, so that the fridge and pantry are well stocked and I rarely ever find myself wondering or stressing about what I'm going to make for lunch.

With all the busy-ness that surrounds us, the time of day I most look forward to is lunchtime.  As many of you know, lunch in Mexico is our biggest meal of the day and it's eaten at around 2pm.  Most businesses close for lunch from 2 to 4, which means Hubby has plenty of time to relax and enjoy a hearty meal, as do the kiddies who are home from school by then too.  During lunch, our dining room is always abuzz with laughter and conversations about school, homework, work, and whatever else is going on in our lives at that moment.  Lunchtime for me is a time to nourish our bodies and our hearts.

Of course, there are those unexpected days, where I spend most of the morning out of the house, probably attending a parent-teacher conference or helping Hubby in the shop.  And I'm left with maybe half an hour to prepare lunch.  That's when I turn to one of my favorite go-to meals that is quick and easy to prepare, delicious, and something the whole family loves...Pollo a la Crema.   Tender pieces of chicken breast, with sauteed mushrooms, onion, and garlic, in a creamy sauce made with Mexican crema and a splash of white wine.  Add some cooked pasta or leftover rice and you've got yourself a very tasty meal.

What are some of your favorite go-to meals on busy weeknights?




Pollo a la Crema 

Ingedients:
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips or cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 2 cups Mexican crema 
  • Fresh cilantro (for garnish) 
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) 

Directions:
Season the chicken strips with salt and pepper.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the skillet and saute until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.



Melt the butter in the same skillet the chicken was cooked in.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the garlic from burning.  Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the white wine or chicken broth to deglaze the pan.



Stir in the Mexican crema, until well combined.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper.



Return the chicken to the sauce, cover and simmer until the chicken is heated through.



Serve over cooked fettuccine or Mexican Rice.  Top with chopped cilantro and a little (or a lot of) Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!!!






This post is my first for the #SundaySupper, created by Family Foodie, whose mission is to encourage families to gather Around the Family Table.  This week's theme is quick and easy Back to School meals, hosted by The Daily Dish Recipes.

Looking for more quick and easy meal ideas now that the kiddies have gone back to school? Check out this awesome line up of recipes for this Sunday.

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day on Sunday. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about Back to School Meals and ways to make meal time easier!
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat! We’ll be sharing great recipes and tips all afternoon, and we’ll be talking all things Back to School Meals during our chat!
We’d also love to feature your Back to School Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!



Photobucket




Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pan Dulce: Polvorones {Mexican Shortbread Cookies w/ Rainbow Sprinkles}

lacocinadeleslie.com


While making my favorite pan dulce (Mexican pastry) earlier this week for She Made/Ella Hace, my kiddies suggested that I also make their favorite pan dulce: Polvorones.  Polvorones are Mexican shortbread cookies that are available in many different varieties: pink, chocolate, vanilla, tricolor, and topped with chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and/or powdered sugar, etc.  But the polvorones my kiddies always look for first at the panaderia (Mexican bakery) are the ones with lots and lots of rainbow sprinkles.

So yesterday, as a special after-school treat to celebrate surviving the first week of school, the kiddies and I made Polvorones with extra rainbow sprinkles.  Actually the kiddies did most of the work.  I just helped them roll out the dough, handled the oven, and took lots of pictures.



Polvorones
(recipe from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • Rainbow sprinkles (grageas in Spanish) 


Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Using a potato masher, combine the butter into the flour mixture until no big pieces of butter are visible.  Continue to work the dough with your hands until the dough forms a ball.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350F.  Roll out the dough, between two sheets of plastic wrap, to 1/4-inch thickness.



Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap and cut out cookies with a 3-inch cookie cutter.  (You can use any shape cookie cutter you want. My kiddies chose to use the round cookie cutter so that their polvorones resembled the ones from the panaderia.) 



Spoon desired amount of sprinkles on top of cookies.  (We believe that you can never have too many sprinkles!)  

lacocinadeleslie.com

Gently press down on the sprinkles so that they stick to the cookie.


Carefully transfer the cookies to an ungreased baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 to 2-inches apart.  Bake at 350F for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet once, after 10 minutes.  Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


Enjoy!!!


*Recipe yields about 24 3-inch cookies. 


Photobucket

I Heart Cooking Clubs theme: August Potluck


Friday, August 24, 2012

Pan Dulce: Chorreadas con Queso {She Made/Ella Hace}



Chorreadas con Queso


Today is a very special day for Girlichef and I.  We're celebrating our 1 year anniversary of She Made/Ella Hace!  I can't believe we've already reached the one year mark.  I've had so much fun cooking along side Heather each month that I completely lost track of time.

In honor of our one year anniversary, and because the very first recipe we made for She Made/Ella Hace was for our all-time favorite pan dulce (Mexican pastry), Conchas, I suggested to Heather that we should celebrate by making another pan dulce recipe, only this time we'd each make one of our favorites.

Piloncillo (aka Dulce Macho

While Conchas will always be my favorite pan dulce, I also love Puerquitos (which Girlichef is making today) and empanadas.  But here in Yahualica, there's another pan dulce, that I don't think many people know about, that holds the top spot in my heart...Chorreadas.

Chorreadas are a whole wheat pan dulce, that are traditionally stuffed and topped with lots of crumbled piloncillo, that when baked becomes a syrupy, sticky, sweet filling that drips all over the sweet wheat bread.  Hence the name, Chorreadas.

Queso Fresco 

My favorite Chorreadas however are Chorreadas con Queso, which are also filled with the sticky sweet piloncillo, but with the added bonus of lots of ooey-gooey melted queso fresco, that adds texture and a slight saltiness that perfectly balances the sweetness of the piloncillo.




Chorreadas con Queso

Ingredients:
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Queso Fresco
  • 3 to 4 cups crumbled Piloncillo (Dulce Macho)

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast; set aside.  In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over medium-low heat, just until the butter has completely melted.  Stir the warm milk into the flour mixture along with the eggs.  Mix until well combined.



Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough for a few minutes until it comes together and feels smooth and elastic.  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover and let proof (rise) for 1-1/2 hours or until double in size.



Divide dough into 4 equal parts.



On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into a 10-inch circle.  Place one circle of dough on a lightly greased baking sheet or cast iron comal (griddle).



Sprinkle about 1-1/2 cups of chopped piloncillo over the dough.  (You can use as little or as much as you like. Just remember that the piloncillo will melt into a thin layer, so you should add a little more than you think is necessary.) 

*Note: The easiest way to grate piloncillo is to chop or shave the piloncillo cones with a sharp knife.  DO NOT attempt to grate or shred piloncillo cones in a food processor!) 



Crumble about 1-1/2 cups of Queso Fresco over the piloncillo.  (Again, use more than you think is necessary, because it will melt and meld with the piloncillo.) 



Using your fingertip or a pastry brush, moisten the outer edge of dough with a little water.  Gently lay another circle of dough over the filling.



Press down gently on the unbaked Chorreada, to flatten the dough and filling slightly.  Pinch the edges of the two circles of dough together to seal in the filling.




With this recipe you can make two 10-inch Chorreadas, or divide the dough into 16 equal parts to make eight 6-inch mini Chorreadas.


Sprinkle top of dough generously with more crumbled piloncillo.  Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350F.  (Important note: If baking Chorreada on a comal or small cookie sheet, slide a larger cookie sheet underneath to catch any melted piloncillo that might spill out onto the oven floor, creating a smoky mess throughout your house!)



Bake Chorreadas at 350F for  20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cut the Chorreada con Queso into slices and serve with a tall glass of ice cold milk.  Enjoy!!! 



Now head on over to Girlichef's blog to wish her a Happy Anniversary and to check out her recipe for Puerquitos!




Photobucket


Also sharing this recipe with BYOB (Bake Your Own Bread) and YBR (Your Best Recipes) 

BYOB 125 x 125 

 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Agua de Frutas {Papaya, Guava & Apple Punch}


lacocinadeleslie.com

I have been wanting to share this recipe for a couple of weeks now, but with going back to teaching ESL and visiting with my sister-in-law and her family, who were here on vacation for three weeks, time kind of slipped away.  But this Agua de Frutas is too good not to share.  It's one of my favorite Agua Frescas to order at La Michoacana, our local ice cream shop.

lacocinadeleslie.com

It's made with some of my favorite fruits: papaya, guava, and apple.  Papaya and guava are two fruits with their own distinctive flavor and you probably wouldn't think to pair them together thinking that the flavor combination would be too overpowering.  But this Agua de Frutas proves just the opposite.  The combination of papaya and guava creates a wonderful burst of flavor.  And the apple adds a sweet tartness, that makes for one delicious and refreshing Agua Fresca. 

My Agua de Frutas is a little different from the one sold at La Michoacana in that I prefer larger slices of guava and apple instead of tiny chopped pieces of fruit that always get stuck in your straw.

And for those of you that don't really like the flavor of papaya, I hope you'll try this Agua de Frutas anyway, because the papaya loses some of it's potency when combined with the sweetened condensed milk.  


lacocinadeleslie.com

Agua de Frutas
(Papaya, Guava & Apple Punch)

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium papaya, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into large chunks
  • 10 to 12 cups of water
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 6 guavas, cut in thin wedges
Directions:
Fill a blender cup with papaya.  Add 2 to 3 cups of water and puree until smooth.  Pour the papaya puree into a large (4-quart) pitcher.  Stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk and enough water to fill the pitcher a little more than two-thirds of the way; stir until well combined.  Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar, if necessary.  Gently stir in the apple and guava slices.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Add enough ice to fill the pitcher before serving.  Enjoy!!!

lacocinadeleslie.com


Photobucket

Sharing this recipe with FOTMC (Food of the Month Club)


LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...