Tag Archives: mexican

Green Enchiladas with Chicken and Cheese (Enchiladas Verdes)

We were looking forward to making these enchiladas because Mexican cuisine is a fave, and a good green sauce can’t be beat. From Milk Street, we noticed right quick that we’d make some changes. Starting with a small rotisserie chicken, we picked off and chopped a little over two cups worth of meat, using the entire amount instead of just the 1 1/2 cups originally called for. In the same vein, we increased the whole-milk mozzarella cheese from 6 ounces to 8. Altogether it was the perfect amount of filling for eight tortillas.

In Step 2, the directions indicate to cook the veggies until well-browned and beginning to soften, 5 to 8 minutes. With all of that liquid in the pan, the veggies certainly softened, but did not brown, so we went ahead anyway. As an added pop of color, we topped the enchiladas with shredded Mexican cheese and placed the uncovered baking dish back into the hot oven for a final five minutes. All of our changes are included in the recipe below.

To make the filling for these enchiladas, use leftover roasted or grilled chicken or meat from a store-bought rotisserie bird (our choice this time around). You also can poach your own chicken. To do so, place 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium saucepan, cover with water or chicken broth, bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low, cover and cook until the thickest part of the meat registers 160°F, about 20 minutes. Let the chicken cool in the liquid until just warm to the touch, then finely chop the meat.

Of course poaching your own chicken will add time to the process. Speaking of which, Milk Street noted the entire start to finish was supposed to be 45 minutes. No way, José. It took us at least twice that amount of time! There is a lot of prep work which took a good thirty minutes in itself. Oh, but they were so worth it!

Tortilla Tip: Don’t skip the step of brushing the tortillas with oil and briefly warming them in the oven. If the tortillas are filled and rolled straight from the package, they will crack and tear. But take care not to overheat them, which will dry them out and make them too brittle to roll.

Green Enchiladas with Chicken and Cheese (Enchiladas Verdes)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium poblano chilies (about 12 oz.), stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husked, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 oz. whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp. hot sauce (see note)
  • 8 6-in. corn tortillas
  • 4 oz. shredded Mexican cheese fr topping (optional)
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, the poblanos, tomatillos, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are well-browned and beginning to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cilantro and continue to process until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish; set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, cheese, hot sauce, 1½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
  6. Brush both sides of the tortillas with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet (its fine to overlap them slightly). Cover tightly with foil and warm in the oven just until soft and pliable, about 3 minutes.
  7. Uncover the tortillas; reserve the foil. Lay the tortillas out on a large cutting board or clean counter. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the tortillas (about 3 heaping tablespoons each), arranging and pressing the filling in a line along the bottom edge of each tortilla.
  8. Working one at a time, roll up the tortillas to enclose the filling and place seam side down in a tight row down the center of the prepared baking dish. Spoon ½ cup of the sauce over the enchiladas. Cover tightly with the reserved foil and bake until the cheese begins to melt out of the ends, about 15 minutes.
  9. Uncover and spread ½ cup of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the shredded Mexican cheese. Return to the oven for 5 minutes uncovered.
  10. Serve with lime wedges and the remaining sauce.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

With the end of corn season drawing to a close, you may be thinking what else could you make with freshly picked maize? Sweet corn is the most common variety of maize eaten directly off the cob. The ear is picked while the endosperm is in the “milk stage” so that the kernels are still tender. How about Mexican Sweet Corn Cake?

For starters, it is only slightly sweet, moist and nothing like cornbread, which is denser and cornier. The texture is softer and more velvety than cake. A hint of corn flavor, but less than you expect and a suggestion of sweetness without being sweet. Interested now?

According to Milk Street where we found this recipe, this simple baked treat is ubiquitous in Mexican food markets, street stalls and restaurants. Its texture lands somewhere between cake and cornbread while hinting at custard. In Mexico City, it’s commonly served for breakfast, but finished with a dusting of powdered sugar, it also makes a casual, homey dessert.

Fresh Mexican corn used for making this type of cake is starchier and drier than the fresh corn available in the U.S., so a bit of cornmeal is added here. If you have more than 250 grams (1½ cups) corn after cutting the kernels from the ears, it’s best to save the extra for another use rather than use it in this recipe; the additional moisture may make the cake too wet. Yellow corn yields a cake with a warm golden hue, but white corn also works.

Don’t use frozen corn kernels—it results in a dense, gummy texture. Made with fresh corn, the cake’s crumb is much lighter and softer. After adding the flour mixture to the corn puree, don’t whisk vigorously. Gentle mixing, just until no pockets of flour remain, will minimize gluten development so the cake bakes up tender.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked
  • ¼ cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • Powdered sugar, to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position.
  2. Mist a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Using a chef’s knife, cut the kernels from the ears of corn. Measure 1½ cups kernels and add to a blender; if you have extra corn, reserve it for another use. To the blender, add the cornmeal, condensed milk and yogurt, then puree until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds, scraping down the blender as needed. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  4. To the blender, add the whole eggs and yolks, and the oil; blend on low until smooth, 5 to 10 seconds.
  5. Pour the puree into a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until evenly moistened and no lumps of flour remain.
  6. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the pan to loosen the cake, then invert directly onto the rack and lift off the pan. Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter and cool completely, about 1 hour.
  8. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Milk Street

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

More fun than the American classic, the Mexican take on the dish has a whole lot more personality, so says Cook’s Illustrated. Cóctel de camarón offers an incredible mix of flavors and textures: plump, tender poached shrimp; crisp bites of raw onion and cucumber; and cool, creamy avocado are all coated in a tangy, spicy-sweet tomato sauce.

“Eaten ice‑cold with a spoon and saltines, it’s like a festive, shrimp‑packed Bloody Mary or gazpacho.”

Cook’s Illustrated

V8’s blend of tomato and vegetable juices and lack of added sweeteners give the dish a welcome savory balance. To round out the dish, cut a ripe avocado and half an English cucumber into bite-size chunks. For savory crunch, add finely chopped red onion to the mix. Finally, a smattering of chopped cilantro contributes freshness.

For a fun presentation, I served the cocktail in margarita glasses accompanied by a long handled spoon and a basket of nacho chips. Son David and girlfriend Vikki joined us for dinner that evening and absolutely loved their appetizers. They scarfed it down in no time!

If you don’t have margarita glasses, another serving option would be a martini glass. In the end, no matter what you serve the shrimp cocktails in, your guests will gobble them up!

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ lbs. large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • ¼ tsp. table salt, plus salt for cooking shrimp
  • 1 cup V8 juice, chilled
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice (2 limes), plus lime wedges for serving
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce, plus extra for serving
  • ½ English cucumber, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Saltines (or tortilla chips or thick-cut potato chips)

Directions

  1. Bring 3 cups water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Stir in shrimp and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and let stand off heat until shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes, shaking saucepan halfway through.
  2. Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Transfer shrimp to ice bath and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Once cool, cut each shrimp crosswise into 3 pieces (or more if using larger shrimp).
  3. Combine V8 juice, ketchup, lime juice, hot sauce, and salt in medium bowl.
  4. Add cucumber, onion, and shrimp and stir until evenly coated. Stir in avocado and cilantro.
  5. Portion cocktail into individual bowls or glasses and serve immediately, passing saltines (or chips), lime wedges, and extra hot sauce separately.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe compliments of Cook’s Illustrated

Identity Crisis?

Why did I never think of this before? Fajita Quesadilla—a win-win! In this case with red meat, but you could also substitute chicken, fish and/or other veggies. This particular combo, sizzling spiced steak, onions and peppers paired with gooey cheese certainly got my attention. We dubbed them QUESAJITAS.

It was our first dinner party since we began the COVID lockdown the beginning of March (if you can call four people a party—but then, I can be a party of one!) And to be honest, it was the first warm, dry weekend we’ve had since the spring season began; so we were beyond ready for some socialization—that included of course, great food and adult beverages.

We were well on our way in prepping everything in the morning, when unexpectedly our kitchen touch-faucet went on the blink. 3 1/2 hours later, without success in getting the automatic touch feature to work, The Hubs disconnected it—but at least got it to work manually.

Now back to that party. What’s nice about this recipe, and our side of Purple Tex-Mex Slaw, is that all of the prep can be done ahead of time. So you’ll only be standing in front of the stove, or over a grill for an abbreviated period of time. Lucky for us, we had enough leftover for the two of us for lunch a couple of days later. This recipe can easily be cut in half.

And because I’m feeling generous today, I’ll throw in my famous Holy-Moley Lynn’s Great Guacamole recipe. It’s chunky style and packed with fabulous flavor while providing a perfect accompaniment for those Quesajitas!

Margarita anyone?

Steak Fajita Quesadilla

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lbs. flank steak
  • 1/4 cup. vegetable oil; more as needed
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 bell peppers: 1 red and 1 green, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 large flour tortillas (9- to 10-inch diameter, burrito-size)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Mexican-style shredded cheese blend (about 6 cups)
  • Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and Mexican hot sauce, for serving

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 2 tsp. salt. Rub the steak all over with the spice mixture. It’s best to do this a few hours ahead of time if possible.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, or alternatively, heat an oiled grill to medium high (400°F to 475°F). Cook the steak, flipping once, until rare, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice across the grain. Repeat if necessary with another steak.
  4. Return the pan to the heat, and add more oil if dry. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan, season generously with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the peppers are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels; set aside.
  5. Put the tortillas on a work surface. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the cheese over half of each tortilla. Evenly divide the steak and vegetables over the cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the steak and vegetables. Fold each tortilla in half so that the empty side covers the filling.
  7. Heat 1 tsp. of the oil in the skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 2-3 of the quesadillas, and cook until golden-brown and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer to a clean cutting board, and then repeat with the remaining oil and quesadillas in as many batches as necessary. Cut the quesadillas into wedges, and serve with the salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and/or hot sauce.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by Christine Gallary from Fine Cooking

A Mexican twist for dessert with Dulce de Leche ice cream and double chocolate Milano cookies. (OK, The Pepperidge Farm cookies were of a different nationality…)

Holy-Moley Lynn’s Great Guacamole

Holy-Moley Lynn's Great Guacamole

  • Servings: yields about 4 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup, finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. slt
  • 4 large ripe Haas avocados, halved, pitted
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, more to taste

Directions

  1. In a large glass bowl, combine onion, lime juice and salt; let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. With a large tablespoon, scoop avocado flesh into the bowl with the onion mixture. Coarsely mash with a potato masher.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap pushing down on plastic to make sure no air is between the covering and the guacamole to prevent browning.
  5. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

http://www.lynnandruss.com