November 15, 2008
My husband and I had a wonderful dinner at Xochitl on the Day of the Dead after a hard day of getting out the vote two weeks ago. We ordered from the special Day of the Dead menu, but had to try the guacamole they prepare at the table. We settled on guacamole with blue cheese and pomegranate, and after the first bite, I knew I had a new party favorite.
The blue cheese added a rich saltiness to the creamy avocados and the juicy sweet burst of pomegrante seeds finished the experience perfectly. The color is an added plus: the red jewel-like seeds atop the green guacamole – I don’t think you can get any more festive than that for Christmas. I hope you try this at your next party – your guests will thank you.
Guacamole with Blue Cheese and Pomegranate
3 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and taken out of skin
4 oz. soft blue cheese (gorgonzola or blue cheese) at room temperature
1-2 finely diced jalepeño chiles (to taste)
1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
¼ C. pomegranate seeds
Mash avocados mortar and pestle (if you are so lucky to own one, use your stone molcajete since those avocados are slippery little buggers).
Add the blue cheese and mash into avocados.
Add onions, jalepeño chiles, cilantro and incorporate well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Place in serving bowl and sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top. Serve with tortilla chips and watch them disappear.
April 27, 2008
My husband and I recently had our cholesterol levels checked and while mine was a healthy 169, his was just beyond the normal range (as in one over the cut-off). Consequently, he’s been interrogating me on the fat content of our meals, requesting fish and other foods that will lower his cholesterol levels, and shunning anything that could raise it. It seems we will be on a cheese and red meat hiatus for the coming months. I decided to make grilled fish tacos for dinner since it pretty much covers all the bases: low in fat, high in omega-3 fatty acids, fresh and delicious.
Just what the doctor ordered: grilled fish tacos
Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
1 – 1 1/2 lb. white fish fillets (I used striped bass, but any firm flaky white fish will do like talapia, mahi mahi, halibut, red snapper, etc.)
3 Tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. chili powder
juice of 2 limes
1 chopped jalepeño, seeds and veins removed
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
8 tortillas (I used wheat, but corn also works well)
Whisk all ingredients (except fish and tortillas) in a shallow bowl. Add fillets and marinate in the refigerator for at least half an hour. (This tastes best grilled, but can also be broiled in the oven or pan grilled.) Take fillets and place on hot grill. Cover and cook for 4 minutes or so. Turn over and cook for another minute. Remove and let stand for a few minutes. Grill tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side. Flake with fork and serve on warm tortillas and top with mango salsa.
2 ripe mangos, diced
1/4 C. finely chopped red onions
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1 finely chopped jalepeño (optional)
juice of 1/2 a lime
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate. Serve on fish tacos or with chips. Or both.
March 31, 2008
Easy and tasty chicken enchiladas
Not me! Vote for Summer! (or as Summer says, “chiminichangas.” What are chiminichangas anyway? I can’t get rid of the visual of Dick Van Dyke covered in soot, dancing with a blackened chimichanga). Napoleon Dynamite allusions aside, can I interest you in you some chicken enchiladas? My husband always recites those lines from Napoleon Dynamite, his favorite movie, whenever we eat enchiladas. Of course, enchiladas are not chimichangas, but it’s become a bit of a family tradition now. He grew up eating his Mexican father’s enchiladas and gave this recipe the thumbs up. It is filling, relatively quick and easy and can easily be made for under $10.
One Spicy Mama’s Chicken Enchiladas
2 1/2 C. cooked shredded chicken *
1-2 Tbs. sour cream (optional) **
4 oz. can of diced green chiles
4 oz. can of diced black olives
28 oz. can of enchilada sauce
2 C. shredded Mexican mix (or Monterey Jack) cheese
16 corn tortillas
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro (optional)
* I like to boil a whole roaster chicken for an hour or so, take out the chicken and let it cool. Discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken to use for recipes like chicken enchiladas, chicken and dumplings, a variety of chicken soups, and other chicken casseroles. Naturally, you want to save the broth for these and other recipes.
** My husband doesn’t care for the taste of sour cream in his enchiladas (“not authentic” is a kind way to rephrase it). I happen to like it and always sneak in a tablespoon. He hasn’t caught on yet.
Combine sour cream, green chiles, 1/2 of the black olives, 1 C. of the enchilada sauce, 1 C. of the cheese, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
Heat tortillas over gas range. This method will work if you are so unlucky as to have an electric range – the purpose is to make the tortillas pliable by heating them up. Frying also works, but adds a ton of unnecessary calories and makes the enchiladas very heavy and oily.
Put in 2-3 Tbs. of the chicken mixture into a tortilla.
Roll up and place seam on the bottom.
Fill 9 x 13 baking dish as shown:
Pour remainder of the enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with the rest of the black olives and cheese.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.