Wednesday, January 23, 2013

3-Bean Chili Borracho #WeekdaySupper

When coming up with a list of all the soups I wanted to make for January's Food of the Month Club, on the top of my list was something thick, hearty and spicy...Chili!  The fact that it's a Chili Borracho (Drunken Chili) made with a bottle of beer in the mix makes it even better.  3-Bean Chili Borracho is a great meatless alternative to beef or pork chili.

I really love the rich and robust sauce for this chili.  With the combination of the dried chilies, cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder it reminds me a little of Mole Dulce.  And the beer just kicks it up a notch because it enhances all of the earthy flavors in this chili.

I'll be cooking up a big batch of this for our Super Bowl party to serve over hot dogs and french fries to make chili dogs and chili cheese fries.

I cooked my own beans, but for those of you looking for something quick and easy for a #weekdaysupper, you can use canned beans.  



3-Bean Chili Borracho 
(Recipe slightly adapted from Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried black beans, picked over and rinsed (or 2 cups canned black beans)
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed (or 2 cups canned pinto beans)
  • 1 cup dried red beans, picked over and rinsed (or 2 cups canned red beans) 
  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (optional) 
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped (or 1-14oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle beer (light or dark) 
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Garnishes:
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Shredded Manchego or cheddar cheese
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped cilantro 


Directions:
Bring 8 to 10 cups of water to a boil over high heat in a 4-quart (or larger) stockpot.  Add the dried black, pinto, and red beans.  Cover and let cook over high heat for about 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 2 hours, adding more water if necessary, until the beans are tender; season with salt.



Toast the dried ancho and guajillo chilies in a medium skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds on each side.  Cover the chilies with 2 cups of water and let simmer until the chilies are soft.  Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.  Puree the chilies and the cooking water in a blender until smooth; set aside.


In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.


Add the serrano chile, chopped tomatoes, beer, cocoa powder, cumin, and cinnamon, along with the pureed chilies and the cooked beans and about 2 cups of the water they were cooked in.  Stir gently to combine; season with salt. (*If using canned beans, you will need 2 cups of each bean.) 


Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Using a potato masher, gently mash some of the beans to thicken the chili.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and the juice of 1 lime.  Remove from heat.


Ladle into bowls and garnish with Mexican crema, shredded cheese, chopped onion and cilantro.  Serve with corn bread or tortilla chips.  Enjoy!!!



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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade Tomato Soup {She Made/Ella Hace}

Homemade Tomato Soup - lacocinadeleslie.com

Cold weather and I do not get along well.  I'm a sunshine loving California girl who's not used to cold weather at all.  So, once the temperatures drop anywhere below 75°F, I am F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G!  Like all-I-want-to-do-is-hide-under-a-big-pile-of-warm-fuzzy-blankets-all-day-because-it's-too-cold-to-do-anything-else kind of freezing cold.




Thank goodness for heartwarming beverages, like Mexican hot chocolate and coffee, and comforting soups that help take the chill off.   When I was a little kid, there was nothing more comforting on a cold, gloomy winter's day than a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Of course, when I lived with my grandparents I got the tasty Mexican version, Sopa de Fideo and Quesadillasthat were just as comforting.  But when I lived with my mom, I’d get the ruby red soup from that iconic can of Campbell’s. 

To this day, Tomato Soup continues to be one my favorites, and that's exactly what Heather (girlichef) and I are cooking up for this month’s installment of She Made/Ella Hace

This recipe is very simple and uncomplicated, with only a handful of ingredients.  But this Homemade Tomato Soup is full of flavor.  The natural sweetness of the carrots minimizes the acidity of the tomatoes and accentuates their rich flavor.  Just make sure you have plenty of bread and cheese on hand, because you can't have Tomato Soup without a grilled cheese sandwich.  (I like my grilled cheese with bacon & avocado.) 

Homemade Tomato Soup (from scratch) - lacocinadeleslie.com


Homemade Tomato Soup
lacocinadeleslie.com


Ingredients: 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped 
  • 12 roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Mexican crema (for garnish) 


Directions:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped carrot and onion; saute for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.


Add the tomatoes and chicken broth to the saucepan; season with salt and black pepper.  Once the tomatoes come to a boil, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are fully cooked.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  (About 15 minutes.)


Carefully transfer half of the tomato soup mixture to a blender cup.  Puree until smooth.  Pour the puree into another large saucepan.  (Or if you’re like me and you happen to have 2 blender cups, use the same saucepan you cooked the tomatoes in.) (You could also use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables.) 



Heat the tomato soup over medium heat until heated through. (If you like a thinner soup, stir in an additional cup of chicken broth.)  Garnish with Mexican crema.  Serve with a chunk of crusty bread, croutons, crackers, or a grilled cheese sandwich.  Enjoy!!! 

How to make tomato soup from scratch - lacocinadeleslie.com

Now go check out Girlichef's Tomato & Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup!



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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Peachy Keen Tutti Frutti Jello Salad #SundaySupper

I really love this week's #SundaySupper theme!  Today we are celebrating all things retro in the kitchen.

If you ask my kiddies what period in time they consider to be retro, they'll say it's the 1980's and 90's.  But they're kids, what do they know?!  When I think of the word "retro", I think of the 50's, 60's, and 70's.  The good ol' days.  There was a time, before I got married and had 4 kiddies, that I dreamed of being a 1950's style housewife.   They were so glamorous on TV, with their beautiful dresses, perfectly coiffed hair, and pearl necklaces.  No matter what they were doing, whether it was cooking or cleaning, they always looked impeccable and made everything look easy.

But the closest I get to even remotely resembling that 1950's housewife is when I listen to Michael Bublé while I'm cleaning house.  I feel like I should be all dressed up in heels and pearls, with my broom in one hand, and a martini in the other.  

Anyway....when I sat down to think about what I should make for this week's #SundaySupper theme, only one food came to mind....Jello!  Jiggly, wobbly jello.  After having lived in Mexico for 12 years, I know a thing or two about jello.  Did you know that in Mexico it's customary to serve cake & jello at birthday parties instead of cake & ice cream?

This Peachy Keen Tutti-Frutti Jello Salad is the first jello my suegra (mother-in-law) taught me how to make.

What foods do you consider to be retro?



Peachy Keen Tutti-Frutti Jello Salad

Ingredients: 

  • 2 (6 oz.)  boxes peach flavored Jello 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large can fruit cocktail
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk


Directions: 
Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan; remove from heat. Dissolve the 2 boxes of peach flavored jello in the boiling water.  Set aside to let cool slightly.


Drain the can of fruit cocktail, reserving the syrup.  You will need 1 cup of the syrup.  If you don't have enough syrup, add enough water to the syrup to measure one cup.


In a large bowl, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and the reserved syrup from the fruit cocktail.


Pour the milk mixture into the jello mixture and stir with a wire whisk until well combined.


Gently stir in the fruit cocktail.  Pour the jello into a 10-cup ring pan or plastic jello mold.  (To insure the jello won't stick to the pan, lightly coat it with vegetable spray.)  Refrigerate for about 3 hours or overnight, until the jello is firm.


Enjoy! :)



For more fun Retro themed recipes, check out what the rest of my #SundaySupper friends  made this week.

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:
Sunday Supper Retro Salads:
Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:
SundaySupper Main Dishes:
Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:
Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tacos de Pollo a la Mexicana (Shredded Chicken Tacos)



Living in Mexico definitely has it's advantages.  One of my faves is the abundance of tacos. There's a taco stand on almost every street corner.  Sometimes more.

Tacos de carne asada.

Tacos de adobada.

Tacos de barbacoa.

Tacos de canasta.

Tacos de carnitas.

Tacos de lengua.

Tacos de pescado.

Tacos de pepena

Tacos de ubre...

Pretty much every kind of taco imaginable.

No two taquerías (taco stands) are exactly alike.  Each taquero (taco vendor) has his own unique style of tacos.  For tacos de carne asada, we go to one taquería.  For tacos al pastor, we go to another.  And so on and on.

My favorite tacos, in no particular order, are: chorizo, carne asada, barbacoa, cachete (cheek), rajas (roasted poblano strips), al pastor, and arrachera.

But the one kind of taco you rarely find at taquerías (at least in my small town) are Tacos de Pollo (chicken tacos).  Before I moved to Mexico and became such an adventurous foodie, whenever we went out for tacos, the only kind I ever ordered were tacos de carne asada or tacos de pollo.  

The best tacos de pollo I remember eating were at a taco stand in Mexicali.  They were a little spicy for my Gringa tastebuds, but with a little squeeze of lime juice on my tacos, they was no stopping me!

My grandmother would sometimes make tacos de pollo at home.  Usually the day after Pappy made a big pot of caldo de pollo.  He would add so much chicken, that there was always a ton leftover.  So Gramm would shred the leftover chicken and fry it up with some onion and tomato, and voila...we had our filling for our chicken tacos.  Simple, but absolutely delicious.

Every once and a while I get a craving for tacos de pollo.  And since I can't find them at any taco stand here in town, I make my own.  My recipe is a combination of my grandmother's tacos and the tacos I remember from Mexicali.

What are your favorite kind of tacos?
 


Tacos de Pollo a la Mexicana
(Shredded Chicken Tacos)
lacocinadeleslie.com

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of chicken breasts
  • 1/2 medium onion 
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chicken broth*
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Corn tortillas

Directions:
  1. Cook the chicken breasts in 6 cups of water with the onion half, a sprig of cilantro, the garlic, and salt over medium-high heat for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked. Let cool slightly.
  2. Shred or roughly chop the chicken.  
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Saute the onion and bell pepper for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  
  4. Add the shredded chicken, tomatoes, serrano chile, cumin, chicken broth, and 3 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro. (Note: For the chicken broth, I use the broth the chicken was cooked in.) Stir to combine; season with salt, if necessary.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  6. To serve, spoon a couple of tablespoons of filling into the center of warm corn tortillas.  Top with a squeeze of lime juice, chopped avocado, the reserved cilantro and your favorite salsa.  Enjoy!!!




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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baked Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas #SundaySupper

After an extended break, I am back to posting with my food blogging friends for #SundaySupper.  Today is actually a very special day for #SundaySupper, because we are celebrating it's 1st birthday.  (Throws a handful of confetti and blows on a noisemaker.)

I first learned about #SundaySupper several months ago, through my good friend Girlichef. #SundaySupper just sounded like something I wanted to be involved in, because I grew up eating dinner every day at the family table with my grandparents, and continue to do so with my hubby and four kiddies every day for lunch.  And we really do have Sunday supper every Sunday with my father-in-law, Hubby's siblings and their families.

Anyway...to celebrate #SundaySuppers turning a year old, our theme this week is to cook something that has already been featured on #SundaySupper, by one of our fellow contributors.  There have been so many mouth-watering recipes shared in the last 12 months of #SundaySupper, that it could have been a really difficult decision to narrow the choice down to just one.  But thankfully that wasn't the case for me.


I fell in love with this recipe as soon as I saw it posted on Juanita's Cocina just a few months ago for the #SundaySupper Autumn Apple Party...Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas.  Oh my!  As beautiful as they looked, and as delicious as I imagined them to be, what really drew me to this recipe was that it looked like something my grandpa would have made.  He loved apple desserts, and passed that love on to me.

When I first made Jen's Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas, I couldn't get over how delicious they were, from the warm, cinnamon spiced apple filling to the golden, crisp flour tortilla.  (Sigh!)  They reminded me of the fried apple pies you could get at McDonald's way back in the day, except these were SO much better!  But Hubby said they reminded him of Toaster Strudels.  That got me to thinking that these would make fort a tasty breakfast treat and wondered if they could be baked, kind of like mini-apple strudels.  The results were just as delicious and they've been a big hit in our house ever since.  I now keep a container of unbaked apple chimichangas in the fridge at all times.  I love that they're small enough that I can toss a couple of them into our little toaster oven, while I make my morning cup of coffee.

Happy Birthday, #SundaySupper!  And as we say here in Mexico, Que cumplas muchos años mas!  (And many more!)



Baked Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas 
(recipe adapted from Juanita's Cocina
lacocinadeleslie.com

Ingredients:
  • 6 gala apples, peeled, cored, & roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 10 to 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk


Directions:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon to the skillet; mix to combine.  Stir in lime juice.  Cover and let cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are fully cooked.  


In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch.  Pour into the apple mixture and let cook for about a minute or until the juice from the apples has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Heat the flour tortillas on a comal or skillet over medium heat until soft and pliable.  Spoon two tablespoonfuls of apple filling into center of each tortilla.


Fold in the sides to seal in the filling, and roll up the tortilla like you would a burrito.  


Place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.  With the tip of a very sharp knife, carefully cut 2 or 3 diagonal slits on top of each chimichanga.  Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the chimichangas are light golden brown and crisp to the touch.  


Stir together the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with the tablespoon of milk, until well combined.  If too thick, add a little more milk, until desired consistency.  Drizzle the glaze over the chimichangas.  Enjoy!!!


To continue the birthday celebration, be sure to check out the rest of the #SundaySupper line-up:


Sunday Supper Appetizers:
 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:
 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 
Sunday Supper Veggies: 
Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks: 
 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:
Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

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