Posts tagged ‘Mexican’

March 18, 2013

HOLEY Guacamole

Guacamole is DELICIOUS! Everyone can admit that. It can also be wildly expensive. With avocados costing $1.00 or more each, making a big batch of guacamole can be pricey!

It is crucial to find the right avocado to make good guac. It needs to be soft and ripe, but not spoiled.


So how did Geff and I make approx $60 worth of Guacamole for only about $10?

The magic of my favorite section at the grocery store; Managers special!

We got 20 avocados for $6.00 in the discount section at King Soopers, and they happened to be the most PERFECT avocados for guacamole!

So what went into the biggest bowl of guacamole I’ve ever seen?


20 ripe avocados

3 yellow onions

1 bunch of cilantro

4 tomatoes

2-3 jalapenos

1/2 cup of salsa

3-4 limes


Garlic Powder (or fresh garlic)


Half and peel the avocados and put them aside. Peel onions and chop or put in food processor (this is much easier on the eyes). Chop jalapenos cilantro and tomatoes in food processor.

Mash the avocados and combine with the salsa and veggies. We combined the ingridents in the Kitchen-aid because it was such a large ammount of avocados. Add in lime juice and cover top of guacamole with lime or lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. Add salt and garlic powder to taste.


Dig In!


March 10, 2013

Orange Chipotle Chicken Tacos

By now, you know that I love Rick Bayless. I think his recipes are great, though I often use them as a jumping off point and find my own way. These tacos were inspired by Frontera’s Chipotle Steak Tacos with Caramelized Onions. We didn’t have steak around, but I found a can of chipotles and some chicken. This ended up great. Just enough kick and a simple recipe. If you like the smokiness of chipotle, you will love this!


Orange Chipotle Chicken Tacos

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
  • 1 can chipotle chilies
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 medium white or red onions, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt
  • 12 warm corn tortillas

Puree the chipotle chilies and their sauce in a blender until smooth. (Thin with a few tablespoons of water or chicken broth if necessary.) Slice the chicken breasts crosswise, about 1 inch thick. Toss with a few tablespoons of the chipotle puree so it is just coated. (Use sparingly if you are spice averse.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high.  Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, but still crunchy, about 4 minutes.  Scoop into a bowl.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil. When hot, lay in the chicken.  Brown on all sides, and cooked through.  Toss the meat with the onions. Add zest and juice from the orange and simmer until the chicken is coated. Taste and season with salt. 

Serve with the warm tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese and some spicy greens.

January 28, 2013

Shrimp tacos

Beginning with this recipe from Rick Bayless…

We made some yummy shrimp tacos. Of course, we changed a few things. For example, we didn’t have any dried peppers, so we used regular old standby, Gebhards chili powder. There is no substitute for fresh dried peppers or even single variety chili powers like ancho and guajillo. But an American mom of Mexican heritage told me to use Gebhardt’s and if I don’t have the other kinds I still do. We used that and chipotle powder.

It kicks all those fancy one from the expensive foods stores, which all add cloves or cinnamon, which I hate. I like my chili to be chili flavored.

We saved calories by not making the sort of quesadilla wrapper that Rick suggests. Wish we didn’t…sounded delicious.

We did make the tangy peanut avocado salsa, which was good. Kelly liked it more than I did. If I’m going to spend calories I will go for cheese every time.

The shrimp for the tacos came out fantastic!

OOOPs we forgot to take the picture of the finished tacos. Try Rick’s original recipe and let us know what you think.




October 17, 2012

Chicken Tinga Tacos

I love Mexican food. Tacos every day? Yes please! The one thing about Mexican food, especially Tex-Mex, is the health factor. Finding ways to make it healthy and tasty can be tough! I think the best of the best at getting that right is Rick Bayless. Everything I have every made of his is fantastic (and I have heard from a good source that his restaurant is to die for). This recipe is the short-cut version using his Frontera Chipotle Salsa. As someone who likes to cook from scratch, sometimes it feels a bit like cheating to cook semi-homemade. However, if on a weeknight you can turn out something this good very quickly, you have me convinced! I actually poach the chicken and shred it, but you could use rotisserie or other cooked chicken to cut down on the time. I have used this chicken as tacos, on salad, and as an appetizer on tortilla chips, each one as good as the one before. This is definitely a standby in my life!



Chicken Tinga Tacos

From Rick Bayless’ Frontera

4 to 6 servings

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

1 jar (16 ounces) Frontera Chipotle Salsa

1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon vinegar, preferably cider vinegar

4 cups (loosely packed) coarsely shredded, cooked chicken

Salt, about 1 teaspoon

8 to 12 warm tortillas

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1 Handful Arugula, dressed with lemon or lime

3 to 4 tablespoons finely grated Mexican queso añejo, Parmesan or Romano

Chopped cilantro, for garnish


If desired, poach 2-4 chicken breasts in flavored water. I like to place the raw chicken in the bottom of a pot. Just cover with cold water. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and a splash of white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until tender and cooked through. Use two forks to shred the chicken.

In a large skillet, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until crisp-tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salsa, tomatoes with their juice and the vinegar. Simmer, stirring regularly until quite thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, cool, then taste and season with salt.

Serve the mixture in warm tortillas. Let guests add avocado, arugula dressed with lemon or lime, cheese and cilantro to taste.

**For tostadita appetizers, arrange 24 thick tortilla chips on one or more serving platters. Top each with a heaping tablespoon of the chicken tinga, a few pieces of avocado, a sprinkling of cheese and cilantro. We sent these to a potluck and got rave reviews. I swear, this is even better on day 2!

July 27, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Grilled Chicken Fajitas

I am always looking for ways to make flavorful and healthy dinners during the week. It is always a challenge when you are busy and don’t feel like cooking at the end of the day, so things that can be prepped ahead of time or quickly are always the answer. I often opt for some semi-homemade options to supplement these meals. This is one that is great because it is easy to prepare and you can do pieces early in the day or right before cooking. Plus, you can throw some additional chicken and veggies in to save for lunches later in the week. I like to take the leftover rice and mix in chopped chicken and veggies for a great easy lunch! By skipping the cheese and sour cream included with lots of Mexican food, you can save lots of calories. This has so much flavor, I didn’t miss it. Enjoy!!


Grilled Chicken Fajitas

1 Pound Chicken Breasts

2 Red Bell Peppers

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Zucchini

1 Red Onion, Sliced

1 Avocado

2 T Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Mission Fajita Tortillas



3 T Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce

Juice of ½ a Lime

2 T Red Wine Vinegar

1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped

2 Scallions, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to Taste



Near East Spanish Rice

1 Tomato, cubed



365 Organic Refried Beans


Juice of ½ Lime


Salt and Pepper to Taste


Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and coat chicken with the mixture.

Cover the chicken and refrigerate until ready to grill (ideally 30 min – about 10 hours.) Prep the veggies by cleaning them and cutting them into manageable pieces to grill (quarter the peppers and slice the zucchini lengthwise.) Toss the veggies in 1-2 T olive oil and salt and pepper.

Slice the onion and set aside.

Prepare the rice according to the package directions and add chopped tomatoes after about 10 minutes of cooking.

Add 1 T olive oil to a skillet and cook the onions over med-high heat until golden.

Heat the black beans in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through, stirring in the jalapeños, lime juice, and spices. (Black beans do NOT photograph well, but they taste yummy!)

Grill the veggies and the chicken, let rest for a few minutes then slice into strips.

Heat the tortillas and serve immediately.


PS – When Ali got home late after work, she reinvented this by using lettuce in place of the tortillas which looked Fabulous! Gotta love new ideas! Do you have other ways to do fajitas??

June 17, 2011

Sopa Azteca (Tortilla Soup)

Tortilla soup is something that takes many forms now-a-days. You can have chunky or silky, low-fat or not so much. This particular version is a new favorite of ours. This is a soup made super smooth with the use of a blender with all the chunks added to the bowl. I love that you can pick your own toppings and everyone gets what they want. I tend to like this a little spicier, so I add a couple different chili (ancho and guajillo) powders to the original recipe. Not everyone loves it that way, so if you stick with the traditional dried pasilla (negro) chile, you will get a smoky, sweet, mild heat. We make chicken stock on a regular basis and I often make this using that. I really do think the homemade broth makes a big difference, but you can absolutely use store bought with great results. Add this healthy comfort food to your arsenal!


Sopa Azteca

Adapted from Rick Bayless‘ Mexican Everyday

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe from Frontera Grill/Topolobampo

1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick

3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 quarts chicken broth

1 large epazote sprig, if you have one (I have not tried this yet but it’s on my radar)

4 (about 1 1/4 pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Mexican melting cheese (like Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar

A generous 4 cups (about 6 ounces) roughly broken tortilla chips

1/2 cup Mexican crema, sour cream or creme fraîche for garnish

1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chile.)

Heat the oil in a medium (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes.

Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes.

Add the broth and epazote, if using. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth).

Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips between serving bowls.

When the chicken is done, usually about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with the crema. Pass the lime separately.


May 19, 2011

Shrimp Stuffed Peppers

If you are like us, you love a little heat in your food! We constantly have a bottle of Tabasco on the table with dinner. Sometimes, other hot sauces are the way to go, like for these stuffed peppers. Find yourself a bottle of Frank’s Wing Sauce and get ready for a treat! What I like about this recipe is the variety of flavors. They are like nothing I have had before.  I usually use Anaheim peppers, but you can use something a little milder if you prefer. Chiles are funny because they always seem to be different in the amount of heat they give you. Sometimes, they are just right and they you will get a super spicy one. Sometimes adding a little something extra to counteract the heat helps. You can also adjust by getting the milder Frank’s. There are several levels available, so choose the one best for your crowd!

Shrimp Stuffed Peppers

Feeds 4-6 People 1 lb Shrimp (peeled and deveined, tails removed) 8-10 Anaheim chiles 1 Plantain 1 Avocado Cubed 1/2 c Shredded Cheddar Cheese 2 T Butter 2-3 Green Onions ~ 1/3 c Frank’s Wing Sauce Cut the shrimp into small pieces (usually three per shrimp) and set aside. Place whole washed chiles on a baking sheet under the broiler until they blister turning them so they are blistered on all sides. (This can also be done over an open flame.) Keep an eye on them, as this can go quickly! Place the chiles in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10-15 min. After the peppers have steamed, peel the peppers and open a slit in them while keeping the peppers whole. Remove seeds, rinse and return to baking sheet. Peel and slice the plantain. Heat 1 T butter over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the sliced plantain and cook until brown on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine the shrimp with Frank’s sauce, add salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining T of butter to pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until firm and pink. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine shrimp, plantains and avocado and divide between the chiles filling them. Sprinkle with cheese and sliced green onion. Place in oven to melt cheese and brown slightly.

Serve immediately with Spanish rice and beans. Enjoy!!


January 5, 2011

Weeknight Dinners: Tacos

Tacos are always a family favorite. You can pretty much make them from start to finish in 20 minutes. It is great for finicky eaters because you can keep everything on the side and let everyone choose their own combo. Tacos can also be a great way to empty the fridge and the pantry.

Our tacos usually start with 85% ground beef, some kind of beans, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Traditionally, we used Gebhardt Chili Powder, but lately we have been experimenting with some more heat (ancho and guajillo chili powders). These get added to taste to the ground beef while browning it along with salt and black pepper. When the beef is brown, remove some of the fat (we usually just use paper towels, but you can pour it off). Add onion and garlic to the browned meat and saute until the onions are soft and garlic is fragrant. Adjust the seasoning as needed. We sometimes add chili beans or tomatoes to the meat. Other times will serve beans on the side.

Some traditional Mexican toppings are radishes, cilantro (love it or hate it), onion, and salsa (pico de gallo). We also add avocado, scallions, and the ever present Tabasco. If you have a gas stove, you can just heat the tortillas directly over the flame until soft and lightly colored on both sides. Otherwise, warm them in the microwave or oven.








This is a great meal to get on the table quickly or for a fun and hands on party where your guests can help! Get creative and make it yours!

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